2018-11-11: The Lungs of the World

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=============================<* Baskar Colony *>==============================

Baskar Colony is the closest thing to a capital for the Baskar Tribe on Ignas. Nestled high in the northwestern mountains, this small village is where many of the Baskar elders dwell. The homes here are simple but imposing structures, often carved into the walls of the mountains themselves. The scant wood here he goes to providing fire and warmth for cold nights. Provisions are limited to what is given by families who live here, as there aren't any dedicated stores; similarly, no inns or hotels provide respite. However, the elders' knowledge will sometimes lure the determined and desperate to this place.

BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKKhBT0A1pE
DC: Ida Everstead-Rey switches forms to Chained Devil Stylist Ida!
DC: Leon Lorentz switches forms to Lightning Shaman Leon!
<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

Where better than the bowels of the earth to seal away the stuff of nightmares? Who better than the tireless dead to stand eternal vigil? What better than the burial mounds of a reclusive village, remote even in the high ages of the ancients, to disguise its presence?

It was hoped, sorely hoped, that the passage of the aeons, the sacred burial, the long vigil of the protectors of this place, would see the threat sealed here disappear into the sands of time.

It was not to be.

Regardless of how and when you entered into the Catacombs of the Nahual, somehow, somewhen, you've found your way here. Here, where the pulse of the foreign poison is at its strongest. Here, where the deep and abiding hunger seems to overwhelm all else. Whether you attained passage through the great Gate of Wing, or carefully tread your way down the narrow walkways over the fathomless abyss, you've found your way.

Were you called here? Did the unseen hand of the Guardian spirits of this sickly world guide your footsteps? Did you come here on your own power? Or was it something else-- something desperate for the blood that pumps through your veins? Something that would seek to devour you in your entirety, consuming all life and essence and soul and memory and leaving nothing except the hungry void in its wake?

It doesn't matter.

All that matters is that you're here.

You've made your way to a pillar standing solitary and alone within a seemingly endless void. Inscribed across its surface is... to call it a mural is too generous for what this is. It's less art and more a vast and twisted mandala, writ with once-sacred symbols, now worn away and utterly decayed. Those few that remain whole are each in some way dedicated to containment, imprisonment and stasis. They spiral and twine, carved by ancient hand across unchanging stone in imitation of chains, bindings or roots... All around an enormous, frenzied, grinning maw which even now seems almost ready to burst from the stone.

There, at the center of it all, hovers a great globe of raw elemenatal power. It seems to draw you closer, exerting an inexorable gravity on both body and soul. But a second light surges against that terrible, emerald sphere. Sitting cross-legged beneath it, at the nexus of great veins of raw malevolence which crawl and writhe across and into the stone, is...

"LEON!" Cyre Lorentz screams, already breaking into a run. "Leon, what have you done!? What IS all this!?"

The figure is a somewhere between beast and man. A god made manifest in flesh profaned by poisonous humanity that even now pours into the leyline, desperately injecting impurity into the very lifeblood of the world. This is the form of a Nahual, brilliant and golden and covered in runes that speak blessings and profanities alike. Lightning pulses across his leonine body, muscles tensed and strained as if struggling against... something. There, behind and overtop of him, pulses the enormous chartreuse star, its expansion barely halted by the wreath of violet energies clasped around it.

Cyre draws near, his eyes only on one thing now. The golden nahual creaks one eye open to glare at his brother...!

But...

What is all this!?

Is this all Leon's doing?

Were the ancient Nahuals of Wehaca up to something far more sinister than any of their descendents could have ever considered?

What is the source of this overwhelming sense of hunger and consumption...!?

Today, one tiny sliver of this world's black and sordid history comes to light.

But perhaps some things... Should have just remained buried?

<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

Where better than the bowels of the earth to seal away the stuff of nightmares? Who better than the tireless dead to stand eternal vigil? What better than the burial mounds of a reclusive village, remote even in the high ages of the ancients, to disguise its presence?

It was hoped, sorely hoped, that the passage of the aeons, the sacred burial, the long vigil of the protectors of this place, would see the threat sealed here disappear into the sands of time.

It was not to be.

Regardless of how and when you entered into the Catacombs of the Nahual, somehow, somewhen, you've found your way here. Here, where the pulse of the foreign poison is at its strongest. Here, where the deep and abiding hunger seems to overwhelm all else. Whether you attained passage through the great Gate of Wing, or carefully tread your way down the narrow walkways over the fathomless abyss, you've found your way.

Were you called here? Did the unseen hand of the Guardian spirits of this sickly world guide your footsteps? Did you come here on your own power? Or was it something else-- something desperate for the blood that pumps through your veins? Something that would seek to devour you in your entirety, consuming all life and essence and soul and memory and leaving nothing except the hungry void in its wake?

It doesn't matter.

All that matters is that you're here.

You've made your way to a pillar standing solitary and alone within a seemingly endless void. Inscribed across its surface is... to call it a mural is too generous for what this is. It's less art and more a vast and twisted mandala, writ with once-sacred symbols, now worn away and utterly decayed. Those few that remain whole are each in some way dedicated to containment, imprisonment and stasis. They spiral and twine, carved by ancient hand across unchanging stone in imitation of chains, bindings or roots... All around an enormous, frenzied, grinning maw which even now seems almost ready to burst from the stone.

There, at the center of it all, hovers a great globe of raw elemenatal power. It seems to draw you closer, exerting an inexorable gravity on both body and soul. But a second light surges against that terrible, emerald sphere. Sitting cross-legged beneath it, at the nexus of great veins of raw malevolence which crawl and writhe across and into the stone, is...

"LEON!" Cyre Lorentz screams, already breaking into a run. "Leon, what have you done!? What IS all this!?"

The figure is a somewhere between beast and man. A god made manifest in flesh profaned by poisonous humanity that even now pours into the leyline, desperately injecting impurity into the very lifeblood of the world. This is the form of a Nahual, brilliant and golden and covered in runes that speak blessings and profanities alike. Lightning pulses across his leonine body, muscles tensed and strained as if struggling against... something. There, behind and overtop of him, pulses the enormous chartreuse star, its expansion barely halted by the wreath of violet energies clasped around it.

Cyre draws near, his eyes only on one thing now. The golden nahual creaks one eye open to glare at his brother...!

But...

What is all this!?

Is this all Leon's doing?

Were the ancient Nahuals of Wehaca up to something far more sinister than any of their descendents could have ever considered?

What is the source of this overwhelming sense of hunger and consumption...!?

Today, one tiny sliver of this world's black and sordid history comes to light.

But perhaps some things... Should have just remained buried?

<Pose Tracker> Leon X. Lorentz has posed.

        Back during the Trial Knight's visit - or harvest - of Wehaca, the Brothers of the Storm seemed to be able to connect again for one fleeting moment in which to save the Malevolence-drenched settlement from the rampaging Sword Dancer. A time in which several happened upon the breakthrough that would allow them to remove the foreign impurity from the land.
 
A time in which the leonine Nahual of Noua-Shax disappeared.
 
One empty, blackened eye turns upon Cyre. Their clawed fingers curl and twist in ways painful to observe, as they further and further induce more of the violet venom.
 
"...Foolish...!" They strain the word out, coherency and clarity of what is being said somehow able to be discerned over the bestial snarling. Electrical sparks flit out of their mouth where saliva would.
 
That is the beast that was Leon X. Lorentz.
 
No, after their time on Lunar, and their better grasp upon what Malevolence is...
 
That is the beast that -is- Leon X. Lorentz.
 
With Mother's awakening, the power in which he - and the other shamans - can channel are further strained. It would seem in the time that has passed, the Malevolence has twisted the form of the Golden Lion a little further. Shoulders are ever broader, as though expected to be the foundation of something the rest of his body proportionally may not be able to handle.
 
"You... cannot... shoulder...!" Leon strains out the words as his entire body shudders under the strain, pressing arms inward.
 
But something is pushing back.
 
He cannot hold on for much longer.
 
"You -never-... will..." Leon cannot finish the sentence before the great power seems poised to yet surge against the purple force meeting it.

<Pose Tracker> Ixquic has posed.

It should have stayed buried.

The violet of Malevolence is blasted back and cast aside with a tremendous push of Ley energy, blowing back the Malevolence and causing the ground and air to shudder. Some may recognize the broad sketch, though not the specific outline, of what this buried thing was: a Primarch, not unlike Rahab. Its form, however, is altogether different. White plates, stained a sickly neon green color, cover a body that looks somewhere between a bull and a tiger.

Horns, indistinct, are curled back across its head -- like a ram's. Its eyes are black, recessed pits. Its snout breathes in, and out, and in again. It opens its mouth; it screams, and huge jaws are visible then -- two rows of flat, too-large herbivore's teeth.

The Primarch of Wing has come.

Its horns shudder -- and then they unravel, turning into the tubing that one might find within a human lung. They explode outward, threads of super-strong and super-sharp horn in that shape that criss cross the room and slash at the lot of Cyre and his allies.

GS: Ixquic has spent 1 Combo on Inspire, including 0 on Gatling!
GS: Ixquic has attacked Cyre H. Lorentz with Benediction of Wind and Thunder!
GS: Ixquic has attacked Jacqueline Barber with Benediction of Wind and Thunder!
GS: Ixquic has attacked Catenna with Benediction of Wind and Thunder!
GS: Ixquic has attacked Lydia Seren with Benediction of Wind and Thunder!
GS: Ixquic has gained 1 Combo!
GS: Ixquic has completed its action.
GS: Ixquic has attacked Cecilia Adlehyde with Brachial Threadworks!
GS: Ixquic has attacked Rosaline Calice with Brachial Threadworks!
GS: Ixquic has gained 1 Combo!
GS: Ixquic has attacked Lan Lilac with Brachial Threadworks!
GS: Ixquic has gained 1 Combo!
GS: Ixquic has attacked Ida Everstead-Rey with Brachial Threadworks!
GS: Ixquic has gained 1 Combo!
DC: 1 turn has elapsed in the battle against Ixquic! 4 turns remain!
GS: CRITICAL! Catenna takes a glancing hit from Ixquic's Benediction of Wind and Thunder for 0 hit points!
GS: Hyper, Mute, and Poison! Statuses applied to Catenna!
GS: Catenna gains a Combo from Inspire!
GS: Jacqueline Barber takes a solid hit from Ixquic's Benediction of Wind and Thunder for 0 hit points!
GS: Hyper! Statuses applied to Jacqueline Barber!
GS: Jacqueline Barber gains a Combo from Inspire!
GS: Lydia Seren takes a solid hit from Ixquic's Benediction of Wind and Thunder for 0 hit points!
GS: Hyper! Statuses applied to Lydia Seren!
GS: Lydia Seren gains a Combo from Inspire!
GS: CRITICAL! Lan Lilac takes a solid hit from Ixquic's Brachial Threadworks for 188 hit points!
GS: Mute and Poison! Statuses applied to Lan Lilac!
GS: Ida Everstead-Rey takes a glancing hit from Ixquic's Brachial Threadworks for 70 hit points!
GS: Rosaline Calice takes a solid hit from Ixquic's Brachial Threadworks for 135 hit points!
GS: Cecilia Adlehyde guards a hit from Ixquic's Brachial Threadworks for 82 hit points!
<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

What in the name of the moon did the people of Wehaca seal away down here? Catenna can only ask herself. And why does it feel like it wants to eat me metaphysically?

The immensity of the power roiling from that orb - hideously intertwined with the grotesque power of Malevolence - is almost enough to repel Catenna away completely. She brings her arm up as if to try and shield her face from the malicious double light. But looking away is impossible.

After all, a face she's seen before is there. Squinting into the sickly light, she watches Leon as he strains to bear something that seems like it's barely bearable.

"Cyre--" she starts, but he's already running towards Leon. Her eyes widening a little, Catenna takes off after the Nahual of Fengalon without hesitation, all too aware of the terrifying power pouring off of that pulsating, shining thing, yet caring less about her fear of it than about her fear for Cyre's well-being.

But what it is soon becomes evident. A creature beyond reckoning. Catenna'd only heard reports of what the Primarch was.

Seeing one is horrifying. "What!!" she exclaims, unable to find the right words before the web of horns slashes at all of them. With a yelp, she leaps forward, hastily but gracefully leaping over those threads and then rolling under another mass of them before weaving through the mess to find Cyre again. "Cyre!" she shouts over the din of the Primarch's curdling shrieks. "Leon must have been trying to contain it! We have to help him--"

Another cabling horn lances towards her. With a hiss, Catenna bounds away from it, once more rolling and coming out of it beside Cyre. Her hands move quickly, and she holds them out with a few uttered words of power - and a low, rumbling groan begins to mix itself in with the Primarch's roaring and booming.

Gravity begins to mount. The Primarch's weight begins to rapidly increase. Catenna clenches her teeth, bunching her shoulders as she fights to physically hold the monstrosity in place, or at least slow it down.

GS: Catenna has attacked Ixquic with Encumber!
GS: Catenna has completed her action.
GS: Ixquic takes a solid hit from Catenna's Encumber for 0 hit points!
GS: Break! Statuses applied to Ixquic!
GS: Cyre H. Lorentz takes a solid hit from Ixquic's Benediction of Wind and Thunder for 0 hit points!
GS: Hyper! Statuses applied to Cyre H. Lorentz!
GS: Cyre H. Lorentz gains a Combo from Inspire!
<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Jacqueline finds herself lying atop a great pillar within an endless void, inscribed with a twisted mandala bound by symbols of containment. Her eyes are drawn to that great globe. She could feel that raw power - sensing it throughout her entire body. And beneath it sits the Nahual of Noua Shax himself, Leon Lorentz.

Her friend's brother.

With a wince, Jacqueline forces herself to her feet.

"C-Cyre, wait!" Jacqueline calls out, following him. She didn't know what was going on, but they needed to approach this carefully. She did not understand what was going on here, but she could feel that it was something...immense, and sinister.

Leon speaks - Cyre could not shoulder this, whatever it was. And then, the great power before them pulses. Jacqueline recoils back at that feeling, that sensation of raw Ley energy.

And then she looks upon the sphere of power and she gasps, her eyes growing wide.

"It's...a Primarch! Like what was underneath Wayside...! Be careful, everyone!" Jacqueline warns. She could never mistake that sensation...though the beast itself is, in form, markedly different than Rahab. It was more bestial, like a bull or a tiger. And then its horns unravel, exploding outward. At this point, Jacqueline can feel the power of the statues from before flooding over her, reinvigorating her. She avoids the attack just barely, and gestures with her right hand.

"The last one was able to manipulate one's mind...I'm not sure what this one will be capable of. Be careful!" She warns. With a gesture of her hand, spears of flame are forged and sent flying toward the beast.

Fire was wind's opposing element...but with a creature of this level of power, she is unsure how much difference it will make.

GS: Jacqueline Barber has attacked Ixquic with Profit Through Preparation!
GS: Jacqueline Barber has completed her action.
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Poisoning a leyline. It's bad. Don't do it.

Lydia finds herself sliding along the floor thanks to the pull of the elemental globe. She finds herself staring at the creature she promised to help save. It can't help but make her think of the time that she had taken on characteristics of Rigdobrite.

And then of course there's a Primarch showing up. Because why not also have a Primarch trying to kill everybody on top of everything?

Normally at times like this, Lydia would feel like all she can expect to wether is a great deal of agony from all this. She exhales quietly, and closes her eyes, feeling the blessing of the statues with her.

And more importantly...the blessing of a Granny.

"You've always been one of us. One of the large family we call Baskar. We must stand by one another, even when -- especially when -- one of our own is hurting."

"...It doesn't matter." Lydia says. "The Wehaca Tribe are our brother and sisters too."

She draws out the Silver Medium of Rigdobrite and unleashes a wave of cartoon-star shaped blasts at the creature Leon is struggling against.

"Leon! Your family is waiting for you, so you better hold on! We'll get you through this!" She shouts.

GS: Lydia Seren has attacked Ixquic with Interstellar Vibe!
GS: Lydia Seren has gained 1 Combo!
GS: Lydia Seren has completed her action.
GS: Ixquic takes a glancing hit from Jacqueline Barber's Profit Through Preparation for 79 hit points!
GS: Ixquic takes a glancing hit from Lydia Seren's Interstellar Vibe for 61 hit points!
DG: Elhaym van Houten has left your party.
<Pose Tracker> Ida Everstead-Rey has posed.

        High above, a seal has been broken, and a group of hardy souls makes its way down a narrow stair. It loops around the inside of a long, black pit, a pit that feels more and more like the windpipe of an immense, dying beast with each shuddering 'breath' of wind. The air pushes back, thick and smothering, until every footstep takes effort. The stench is unbelievable. Whatever's causing this, it is clearly not the Hellion that awaits at the bottom--and at this point, there's no question there's a Hellion awaiting at the bottom. The telltale scent of a Malevolent Domain filters up through the fetid wind. Time seems to stretch out. Seconds become minutes. By the time the party reaches the end of the stairwell, Ida is slumped over, one arm across her stomach as if trying to keep herself centered--or at least keep herself from succumbing to the nausea, the fear, the horrible, gnawing feeling that the Malevolence here is a deliberate, engineered thing.

        And then she raises her head, opens her eyes, and sees the Hellion at work.

        Ida doesn't know Leon. All she has to go on is Cyre. Nevertheless, she recognizes what he's doing--the way that Malevolent power crackles around something that feels like tainted Ley energy. A sense of desperate urgency animates her; she walks forwards, stepping across the platform, straightening up.

        "It's like the Mirror," Ida whispers, terror and determination mingling in her voice. But not exactly. The Malevolence here isn't stimulating a reaction from the planet--it's trying to suppress one.

        And then, Ida sees figures up ahead. Cyre's party.

        Cyre cries out. Leon responds, struggling to keep control of his sorcerous, Shamanic working. But Ida knows from experience that the slightest interruption in circumstances like these can be horrible--and she sees the horrific shape slumbering in the darkness beyond. "Leon!" Ida shouts, as the monstrosity starts to shudder--starts to awaken. "Cyre! MOVE!" And then it's free, shuddering to horrible life.

        'It's... a Primarch!'

        Jay puts a name and face to the upwelling of twisted Ley energy. Ida only vaguely remembers Rahab, having fled Hadal Temple in terror. This is...

        Threads of distressingly cartilaginous horn rush at Ida from several different angles. She twists her leg out of the way, ducks--three threads slam into her torso, the force driving the breath from her lungs. They could've easily impaled her, but whatever that new, dark trenchcoat is made of was enough to stop them. Ida sucks in a breath, and shouts back at Jay: "How do we kill it?!" Her hand snatches Devil's Due from its holster, aims, and fires at the creature's center of mass. A bullet saturated with chi streaks downrange, a tiny, glowing spark.

        Ida chances a glance behind her. She doesn't see Jack or Jean. She doesn't know where they went, nor did she see them vanish.

GS: Ida Everstead-Rey has attacked Ixquic with Chi Bullet!
GS: Ida Everstead-Rey has gained 1 Combo!
GS: Ida Everstead-Rey has completed her action.
GS: CRITICAL! Ixquic takes a glancing hit from Ida Everstead-Rey's Chi Bullet for 90 hit points!
GS: Hyper! Statuses applied to Ida Everstead-Rey!
<Pose Tracker> Rosaline Calice has posed.

Rosaline is exhausted. She and her friends braved the malevolent storm to come here, and yet it seems their work is not nearly done. She sees Cyre and the others, sees the source of malevolent light...

Cyre's brother.

She remembers Wehaca. Although she was fighting the Sword Dancer then, she saw what had happened to him. So that was where he went. Not that she could have done much to help him then. She knew so little about Malevolence, about anything. And now...

Well, that's not very relevant at the moment. Ida compares this to the Mirror, and Rosaline gasps, seeing the resemblence, but... It seems the lightning Nahual is actually on their side. And before she can do much more than register this piece of information, the Primarch of Wing unleashes its terrifying power upon them.

Rosaline does not know what a Primarch is, but its threat level is self-explanatory enough. Horn twists and extends, piercing through her midsection. "Gh--!"

Mercifully, it pulls away, causing her to collapse but also giving her the opportunity to do something about that wound. "I can do this...!" she says, pressing a glowing hand to her wound as tears bead in the corners of her eyes. "Shield of Faith!"

Her bloody wound closes up. A glowing bubble forms around her. She stands back up, drawing her ARMs. "Cyre, Leon, hang in there!" She has no idea precisely what she'll do, but she has to try.

Granas' Blood, this is Azado all over again, isn't it?

GS: Rosaline Calice has attacked Rosaline Calice with Shield of Faith!
GS: Rosaline Calice has gained 1 Combo!
GS: Rosaline Calice has completed her action.
GS: Shield! Statuses applied to Rosaline Calice!
GS: Rosaline Calice heals Rosaline Calice! She gains 100 temporary hit points!
<Pose Tracker> Leon X. Lorentz has posed.

The Primarch of Ixquic emerges, and the Golden Lion is thrown across the chamber. They catch themselves by their very claws, casting jagged and sharp lines rather than the straight incisions into the ground one might. Their breathing goes irregular.
 
"-Family-." The Hellion Leon snarls, exasperated and enraged alike as Lydia calls to her. Emtpy, blackened eyes stare at the ground towards huge, beastly hands. The only two thing he has had in which to grasp the Primarch, to keep it at bay.
 
Simultaneously, in the moment, the Golden Lion seems to have the appearance of a hulking quadrupedal predator, and someone who is crawling in need of help from someone to help them up.
 
His right arm SURGES with power as he sweeps it outward towards those who might physically approach him. The gesture imbalances him, and he barely stays upright with the left arm against the ground. This appears to incidentally strike a white-haired man who has kept a silent presence, sending him spiraling further out the chamber to be put out of mind.
 
The Hellion that is Leon can afford others no further mind. He must do this himself, for there is no one else to.
 
They twist and contort the fingers of his right hand as though his very claws were to fork like lightning itself, and electrical power ROARS from one such finger. Lightning forks chaotically as it deafens and blinds, flashing across the battle. It is a near-miss for almost everyone in the way as the simultaneously sacred and profane bolt of electrical power forks for Ixquic.
 
The Hellion that is Leon must do this alone, but knows it is beyond him.
 
The purplish-black corruption churns ever more, feeding further into the death spiral of determination and despair that consumes him.

GS: Leon X. Lorentz has attacked Ixquic with Thunder Break!
GS: Leon X. Lorentz has gained 1 Combo!
GS: Leon X. Lorentz has completed his action.
GS: Ixquic takes a solid hit from Leon X. Lorentz's Thunder Break for 119 hit points!
<Pose Tracker> Lan Lilac has posed.

 
        They'd made it out of the hungry wall, through the lightning maze, and out onto a pathway that crossed a gaping unknowable abyss. There had been a great rush of wind, and she'd watched helplessly as Loren fell--

        --and then gaped in something like awe when Leah Sadalbari had leapt after him, commanding Lan to keep going in a voice that echoed in her ears like distant thunder.

        And so Lan kept going.

        The great Primarch bursts free, its horns spreading and spearing; Lan catches the point of one through her left shoulder. Momentum arrested, she swallows a cry of pain and changes tactics, ducking under a familiar-looking blast of magic to pop up underneath Wing's jaw and... try to uppercut it.

GS: Lan Lilac has attacked Ixquic with Dancing Dagger!
GS: Lan Lilac has gained 1 Combo!
GS: Lan Lilac takes 5 damage from Poison!
GS: Lan Lilac has completed her action.
GS: Ixquic takes a glancing hit from Lan Lilac's Dancing Dagger for 69 hit points!
<Pose Tracker> Cecilia Adlehyde has posed.

It was a long trudge down, but Cecilia emerges out into the open, pushing back against the wheezing, breezy power blasting them backward with her own light. Someone's down there - She saw the Hellion of this man, once, helping defend the village of Wehaca what feels like a lifetime ago. But any hint of recognition disappears behind her senses perking up at the tremendous Leyline presence. Cecilia yields a step back at the powers she sees looming above. "What..." she croaks out. Jay identifies it easily as something Cecilia's never heard of. She SAW what she describes - she remembers it, the screaming, bestial thing that destroyed the statue under Wayside - but... "What IS that!?" she calls.

Maybe unnecessarily, as the thing lashes out at the party with slicing, stabbing waves. Cecilia whirls her staff, reflexively whirling it to blast aside one, tow, three waves of power, then setting the thing agains ther arm to resist a particularly stubborn horn. "Nnngh. That power it used completely canceled the Malevolence! What is this!?" She only knows one thing that does that, and the thought of having to kill one is far from ideal. On the other hand, it's trying to kill her, and Cecilia generally knows what she needs to do to things that do that.

She lashes down to her crest case, grasping one swiftly, fingers plucking up a stone chip as the magic circle surges out of her skin, etched in the air. Above, Geo; below, Geo. Uniting them, offense. The circle clocks and ticks around itself, a mechanism made of light as Cecilia slots the Crest Graph into its core and the whole thing flares and bursts.

"BREAK!" Cecilia screams, and the earth at their feet rips apart, javelins of earth shooting across the distance.

GS: Cecilia Adlehyde has attacked Ixquic with Heart of the Crests!
GS: Cecilia Adlehyde has completed her action.
GS: Ixquic takes a glancing hit from Cecilia Adlehyde's Heart of the Crests for 73 hit points!
<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

In the days after the Trial Knight visited disaster upon his home, Cyre had hoped-- sorely hoped-- that Leon was okay. That he had just... Gone somewhere else, to be someplace else. Some part of him that's more optimistic than it has any right to be had hoped that the Malevolence that had afflicted his brother had bled away with the Sword Dancer's destruction. But...

Life is never that easy, is it?

Life is cruel. Hope and optimism mean nothing in the face of an uncaring universe. Now he sees. Now he sees what has happened to his brother.

There are so many things he wants to say. So many things that he should have done. If only they hadn't been sent to the moon. If only he had stayed instead of heading to that damned ruin. If only they had come back home sooner. If only he could still properly transform-- How many months has Leon been down here, alone, straining against something...

Nightmarish.

"Leon," Cyre repeats, dread settling in the depths of his heart, "What is this thing? What... What have you been doing here...?"

Cyre has never seen a Primarch before. He knows only in passing of the monster that lurked beneath Wayside-- but he was absent when it had finally shaken loose the shackles binding it. To see one for himself incites sensations that Cyre sorely wishes he'd never have had the displeasure of experiencing.

There is fear there. Fear and disgust and rage. Cyre reaches out in that last moment as the creature gestating within its primordial womb awakens--

And is sent flying as it breaks free.

He hisses a curse with what little breath hadn't been knocked out of his lungs, twisting and pivoting in mid-flight. He turns and lands, dragging his fingertips across the stone in a strange mirror of his brother's own maneuver. For a moment, Cyre stares aghast at the... The monster. What were his ancestors doing, keeping something like this in here? No-- sealing it here. Is that what all this was? All the honored dead, buried here to keep this... thing contained? Catenna lands at his side; the shaman glances her way and nods, "Yeah... Yeah I know. Cover me!"

And then he turns and runs... Toward his brother.

"Leon!" Cyre yells, his brother seeming to... To shrink and falter in his eyes. He's exhausted-- the question repeats, how long has he been down here? The younger twin kicks off the ground running for the elder, rushing to help his brother to his feet.

And then Leon rises, and a bolt of lightning forks across the chamber. Cyre shields his eyes, staggering back a few feet away as the thunder peals through his body. "Leon, we're here to help. Whatever this thing is, we'll deal with it! Come on--" Cyre moves closer, reaching a hand out to steady his brother's wavering shoulder even as another reaches out toward the monster at the center of the chamber.

Clenching that hand into a fist, he wills the air surrounding it to suddenly crush inward. Where Catenna manipulates gravity, Cyre controls pressure. But will it be anywhere near enough against a monster like this...?

GS: Cyre H. Lorentz has attacked Ixquic with Grand Pressure!
GS: Cyre H. Lorentz has gained 1 Combo!
GS: Cyre H. Lorentz has completed his action.
GS: Ixquic takes a glancing hit from Cyre H. Lorentz's Grand Pressure for 72 hit points!
<Pose Tracker> Ixquic has posed.

Ixquic's weight grows and gathers, in response to Catenna's spell. His weight begins to grow heavier, and heavier. This seems to slow the ram for a moment, which helps; the Primarch is unable to move away in time before Jacqueline's fire blast slams against the side, then rammed into by the star-shaped bursts of light from Lydia Seren's magic. The Primarch opens its mouth and screams, again, primally.

Those horns reform. Brachial tube-like protrusions curl and wind back together, to form a ram's horns. Then, they crackle with lightning and electricity -- and unleash a rapid-fire burst of globe-shaped lightning. Sparks explode and fly, some weaving towards Catenna; a few more rush for Jay and Lydia, arcs of lightning lashing out for them.

Ida's chin-infused bullet slams into the horns, and then sends off a few chips with a shower of sparks. The creature's horns glimmer -- and then a wave of sharp threads shoot outward, tangling together and forming a cage that slashes around Ida. Lightning erupts from all those horns, too.

Then, a wicked, sharp wind swirls up around Rosaline Calice. The Beastwoman finds winds whipping and tearing at her habit, as a vortex centered on her screeches to life -- and dashes rocks and stones about the room, too. Ixquic's head turns, however, as lightning is smashed into his side. The black non-eyes look in his direction, and then his mouth opens. A terrible, horrifyingly odorous breath pours out. It billows and churns, like a thick black smoke, and washes over the one who freed it -- and over Lan, as she rushes in, and on towards Cecilia and Cyre, as he comes to help his brother.

Cecilia's javelines of stone slam against the creature's armored hide. A few cracks are left in it. Then, the pressure around the Primarch grows and grows; Ixquic screams, as Cyre's spell causes Cecilia's cracks to only grow larger.

GS: Ixquic has attacked Catenna with High Spark!
GS: Ixquic has gained 2 Combo!
GS: Ixquic has attacked Jacqueline Barber with High Spark!
GS: Ixquic has gained 1 Combo!
GS: Ixquic has attacked Lydia Seren with High Spark!
GS: Ixquic has spent 1 Combo on Poison, including 0 on Gatling!
GS: Ixquic has attacked Ida Everstead-Rey with Surging Metastasis!
GS: Ixquic has completed its action.
GS: Ixquic has attacked Rosaline Calice with Grand Vortex!
GS: Ixquic has completed its action.
DC: 2 turns have elapsed in the battle against Ixquic! 3 turns remain!
GS: Lydia Seren takes a glancing hit from Ixquic's High Spark for 85 hit points!
GS: Ixquic has attacked Leon X. Lorentz with Blighting Breath!
GS: Ixquic has attacked Lan Lilac with Blighting Breath!
GS: Ixquic has attacked Cecilia Adlehyde with Blighting Breath!
GS: Ixquic has attacked Cyre H. Lorentz with Blighting Breath!
GS: Ixquic has gained 1 Combo!
GS: CRITICAL! Catenna takes a glancing hit from Ixquic's High Spark for 103 hit points!
GS: Mute and Poison! Statuses applied to Catenna!
GS: Jacqueline Barber guards a hit from Ixquic's High Spark for 99 hit points!
GS: Cyre H. Lorentz takes a solid hit from Ixquic's Blighting Breath for 0 hit points!
GS: Cyre H. Lorentz has been afflicted by a Curse!
GS: Break, Cripple, Jam, Mute, Slow, and Weaken! Statuses applied to Cyre H. Lorentz!
GS: Lan Lilac has gained 1 Combo!
GS: Ixquic has lost 1 Combo!
DC: MISS! Lan Lilac completely evades Blighting Breath from Ixquic!
GS: Ida Everstead-Rey takes a solid hit from Ixquic's Surging Metastasis for 0 hit points!
GS: Reaper and Toxin! Statuses applied to Ida Everstead-Rey!
GS: Ida Everstead-Rey takes an additional 15 damage from Reaper!
GS: CRITICAL! Leon X. Lorentz guards a hit from Ixquic's Blighting Breath for 0 hit points!
GS: Leon X. Lorentz has been afflicted by a Curse!
GS: Break, Cripple, Jam, Mute, Mute, Poison, Slow, and Weaken! Statuses applied to Leon X. Lorentz!
GS: Rosaline Calice has gained 1 Combo!
GS: Ixquic has lost 1 Combo!
DC: MISS! Rosaline Calice completely evades Grand Vortex from Ixquic!
<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

The sight of Leon surging into battle tweaks Catenna's impulse to cleanse. But she can't do that right now. Not only is he too strong, there's a hideous elder god in front of her.

"I'll try," she answers Cyre, fighting to keep her spell up. While her spells tend to be much more effective against creatures of size than against small things, the Primarch is not just massive, but ungodly powerful.

It's also full of lightning. Catenna widens her eyes as that spell powers up - and with a gasp, she hurls herself to one side and his the ground, trying to shield herself from the thunderballs.

It's futile. Several of them explode around her, hurling electricity and shrapnel through the air to both arc across her and pound against her. With a pained whine, Catenna tries to shield herself with her arms, twitching in pain as she struggles to roll away from the explosions. Coursing electricity leaves her muscles spasming painfully, and when she does rise, it's with visible effort, wincing and pushing to one knee.

With Leon seemingly intent on doing this alone, Catenna presses her lips together, looking on after Cyre and momentarily reflecting on the fact that her own brothers and sisters would never be this loyal. She shoves the thought away. "Leon," she calls out towards him. "Cyre's right... if we are going to have any chance to survive, we--" She twitches with a little gagging sound as another surge of electricity triggers a few muscles. "--urk-- we have to help each other. We must!"

Brushing her hand over the second Medium at her hip, Catenna struggles to weave together a spell. Contacting the Guardian of the Sea and drawing upon her arcana is much harder than bridging the gap between herself and the ambient essence of Moon she's known all her life - uniquely among the Zortroa. Clenching her teeth, she chants under her breath, then lets the spell go, a shimmer of oceanic motes of light glimmering around Cyre.

And with those lights will come a sudden boost of speed - a burst allowing him to vault to almost wherever he wants on the battlefield!

GS: Catenna has attacked Cyre H. Lorentz with Jump!
GS: Catenna has gained 1 Combo!
GS: Catenna takes 9 damage from Poison!
GS: Catenna has completed her action.
GS: Cyre H. Lorentz takes a solid hit from Catenna's Jump for 0 hit points!
GS: Cyre H. Lorentz gains Restore, shortening negative statuses by 3 turns each!
GS: Quick! Statuses applied to Cyre H. Lorentz!
GS: Cecilia Adlehyde guards a hit from Ixquic's Blighting Breath for 0 hit points!
GS: Cecilia Adlehyde has been afflicted by a Curse!
GS: Break, Cripple, Jam, Mute, Slow, and Weaken! Statuses applied to Cecilia Adlehyde!
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia blinks as Lan uppercuts a Primarch.

"Holy shit Lan." Lydia says. "What the hell." Her eyes widen. "Oh shit!! We can fight together this time!"

Electricity is pretty new at least. The spark wings Lydia and she hisses as that arm writhes spasmatically into wildly different forms as the components that make up her arm are overloaded and go out of control. Lydia takes in a deep breath and focuses herself and her arm shifts back to normal. in short order.

"I should do a quick headcount." Lydia murmurs as she skates BACKWARDS towards Ixquic to get a look see at who is helping out. Cecilia also earns a 'Holy shit' but she doesn't comment any further as she rolls towards the beast.

"Okay if Lan is uppercutting this thing with a friggin' dagger, I gotta do something equally cray."

She spins around and leaps up, bouncing alongside flying rock debris like a true platformer before hopping off the last and swings her arm back and slams it down against the creature, her fist exploding into silver fluid as it aims to wrap itself as wide an area it can around Ixquic and then, of course, promptly explode around him. Lydia is thrown back by thy detonation.

"Your turn, Lan!" Lydia shouts.

GS: Lydia Seren has attacked Ixquic with Reshape Riot!
GS: Lydia Seren has gained 1 Combo!
GS: Lydia Seren has completed her action.
GS: Ixquic takes a solid hit from Lydia Seren's Reshape Riot for 149 hit points!
<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

They're not alone - Jacqueline looks back(though only for a second) as she hears others joining them on the pillar. They've heard her warning, as well, and Ida asks her a very important question.

How do they kill it?

"I don't...think we can, but...the last one released its core upon inflicting enough damage to it and fled into the Leyline. That may be our only option." Jacqueline replies, returning her attention to the Primarch. They had not killed Rahab - it had simply seen everything it needed to see. "Just keep trying!"

Others begin to flood in, and even Leon himself joins the fight against the Primarch - but it was not simply going to accept this.

The beast's horns reform then crackle, exploding with sparks that home in on her. With a quick gesture of her left hand, a pillar of earth rises in front of her. It intercepts some of them, but the rest weave around, striking her from both sides.

Jacqueline winces as electricity courses through her, but the sensation fades quickly. She stumbles backward, shaking her head.

Catenna entreats Leon, and Jacqueline nods.

"Yes...you seem to know something of this Primarch. If there is anything you know that might help, please, let us know!" Jacqueline entreats. She takes a moment while her pillar still covers her to swap up the Crests in her gauntlets, ejecting the previous ones and inserting ones she felt would be more useful.

And then she ducks out from behind it, flinging a glass bottle full of a lavender solution at the cracks forming in its armor thanks to Cecilia and Cyre. If she could weaken it, if only a little...they might have a better chance of survival.

GS: Jacqueline Barber has attacked Ixquic with Sapping Solution!
GS: Jacqueline Barber has completed her action.
GS: Ixquic takes a solid hit from Jacqueline Barber's Sapping Solution for 42 hit points!
GS: Weaken! Statuses applied to Ixquic!
<Pose Tracker> Leon X. Lorentz has posed.

The Hellion that is Leon SNARLS anew as the younger twin moves to aid him. He does not look them in the eye - eyes black and empty as they are, could he look anything in the eye? For the younger brother, who has known the Golden Lion from a time before all this, there are numerous expectations about how the gesture can play out. Most of them are violent.
 
Most striking, most painful...
 
Is being -ignored-.
 
No swing of a corrupted, bloated, muscular arm to shoo him. No claws to strike him. The Golden Lion ROARS and hurls himself forward into the putrid breath, intent to leave Cyre behind. No living being should ever do so. No living being should -think- to do so.
 
The Hellion that is Leon does not think, for he must.
 
"Foolish..." The Hellion snarls out again. "You will not... will... not..."
 
Breathing is hard. His lungs may not even work on oxygen any more, but the pulsing corruption of Malevolence that yet forces these unrestrained, conflicted feelings out. It is the only thing that can keep going as his entire body, mind, and soul suffocates upon the blighting breath he -threw- himself into.
 
It is a worrisome prospect as to whether there may be much of a Leon left underneath it all.
 
"Together... that was... lies." Leon's voice escapes a choking throat between bestial roars. "You did not... shoulder it..."
 
Convulsing, fury forces the Golden Lion upright. His form has distended as such that it does not seem something he can maintain as both hands strike out. A warped, jagged blade transformed by the Malevolence gleams and glistens as he takes it in hand, electrical power coursing through it.
 
"You... alone..." The leonine Hellion snarls, and even he is reaching the limits of coherency as his freer hand comes to his face as if to block everyone else out of sight and sound. From the empathy that can be uniquely shared from Ida and Rosaline alike from their own stints under Malevolence's sway, to Jay's methodical understanding of what stands before her, to the Shaman who may be the one among mortals closest to all the Guardians, to Catenna's heartfelt and unwavering devotion to a man Leon is convinced possessess none of those qualities, to the Rigdobrite Shamans who keeps an optimistic vigil upon what Leon understands to be a dreaded inevitability...
 
"You -cannot-." Leon snarls as he swings the twisted electrical blade to and fro, guided less by purpose and entirely by emotion gone wild. Most of the time it swings at thin air. A few times it veers close to hitting others, only for the blade to fall short and be forced against the ground in a shower of fell, corrupted sparks.
 
Only towards the end of this impotent rampage, does Leon's gaze orient itself somewhere in Cyre's direction.
 
Empty as those black eyes are, the Hellion that is Leon is still Cyre's brother, and it is a look Cyre can uniquely pick out.
 
Disgust.
 
Pleading.
 
"You will... -never-... shoulder... it..." Leon's last words before he wrenches his gaze away from Cyre - with a sharpness and sureness as if to forever dismiss him from ever being - and SLAMS the electrified blade, wildly, somewhere into the mass of Ixquic.
 
To carve himself further inward.
 
To risk being -consumed-.

GS: Leon X. Lorentz has attacked Ixquic with Lightning Blade!
GS: Leon X. Lorentz takes 6 damage from Poison!
GS: Leon X. Lorentz has completed his action.
GS: Ixquic takes a solid hit from Leon X. Lorentz's Lightning Blade for 162 hit points!
<Pose Tracker> Ida Everstead-Rey has posed.

        Jay does not share good news. Nevertheless, if disincorporating this thing means it's not going to kill everyone in Wehaca, then that's what they need to do. "Understood!" Ida says, raising her voice so Jay hears her over the howling cacophony. The resonance of Leon's domain is almost as bad, if only because it's so, so familiar. It's not a perfect match, because she and Leon are not the same person, but...

        "You brave bloody idiot," Ida says, as the lion-man picks himself up. Was he trying to kill this thing in its sleep? "You had a sound idea, but you botched the execution!" And then Ixquic's horns surge out, twisting into strange, cancerous-looking shapes. Spears of rigid, unyielding material stab into the floor on either side of Ida, and split into a network of razor-sharp branches. Lightning crackles between them, momentarily trapping Ida in a cage of stabbing horn and surging electricity. The current crawls across her, drawn in by all the metal she's carrying--her ARMs, mostly, as whatever Kalve made the trenchcoat out of appears to be grounded. It's cold comfort. Ida bursts out of the cage in a single stride, trailing sparks and bits of bone and droplets of blood. Smoke rises from her body, and electrical arcs crackle across her. They're not stopping. Each new movement brings with it fresh jolts of pain.

        Ida skids to a halt, feet stirring up clouds of dust on the ancient stone floor. She sucks in a breath, counts, lets it out. Chi surges erratically within her, and she turns her focus inward, correcting the flow, compensating for the pain and damage. "But I know," Ida says. Lots of people are speaking to Leon, trying to get through. What makes her think she can? "I know." Her gaze turns distant. Residual Malevolence flickers around her, forming something shadowy--a faint image overtop her, like writing that wasn't quite erased before something else was written atop it. Most people here would recognize Ida's Hellion form, rendered in someone else's Malevolence, sticking to Ida's body. Is she doing it intentionally, or...?

GS: Ida Everstead-Rey has attacked Ida Everstead-Rey with Iron Body Focus!
GS: Ida Everstead-Rey has gained 1 Combo!
GS: Ida Everstead-Rey takes an additional 25 damage from Reaper!
GS: Ida Everstead-Rey takes 9 damage from Toxin!
GS: Ida Everstead-Rey has completed her action.
GS: Ida Everstead-Rey takes a solid hit from Ida Everstead-Rey's Iron Body Focus for 0 hit points!
GS: Ida Everstead-Rey gains Restore, shortening negative statuses by 3 turns each!
GS: SHield! Statuses applied to Ida Everstead-Rey!
<Pose Tracker> Lan Lilac has posed.

 
        "Huh-- LYDIA?!" Lan yelps again, this time for less painful reasons.

        Her palm glances off the Primarch's chin, but Lan doesn't stop there. It breathes a gout of disease, narrowly missing Lan as she uses the magic in her silver ribbon to negate some of her own gravity and keep going. Past stars and energy swords and crazy people with huge shoulders, what she soars, reaching the apex of her leap twenty feet above the ram's head. "O you of endless twilights," she chants, clapping the palms of both hands together with her index fingers extended. "O you of eternal stars!"

        Silver lights burst into being in a circle around Lan, burning bright before piercing downward like silver bullets. Lan focuses her breath and opens the 'circuit' in her mind, fallin foot-first in an ambitious dropkick. "HAAAAAAAAAA!"

GS: Lan Lilac has spent 1 Combo on Poison, including 0 on Gatling!
GS: Lan Lilac has attacked Ixquic with Meteorain!
GS: Lan Lilac has gained 1 Combo!
GS: Lan Lilac takes 7 damage from Poison!
GS: Lan Lilac has completed her action.
<Pose Tracker> Rosaline Calice has posed.

Winds picks up all around Rosaline. Reflexively, she presses an ARM-clutching hand to the side of her habit's headpiece to prevent it from flying off, but she know this is only the beginning. There's only one way she can go: Up!

And up she bounds, in an uncannily catlike motion, followed by what an outside observer could describe as 'a pretty sweet flip'. It's a shame she's too focused on surviving to be proud of it.

And she lands, a few feet away, as the vortex she was just in the middle of crush stones into rubble. Her heart pounds in her chest. That could have been her!

But. What next? One foot in front of the other. Already, the battlefield is in chaos. The triage medic in her finds the highest priorities. Cyre is being tended to, and Leon seems to be taking some lumps... but just watching him shrug his own brother off is convincing enough proof that her healing would be unwelcome. There's simply no reaching him right now. She would know. She's been there.

Her hand curls into a fist.

And so, instead, she turns her focus towards the Primarch, peppering it with a rain of bullets from Esdras and Judith as she roars in defiance. It may not be about as effective as actual rain against a foe like this, but above everything, they need to keep this thing busy before things get any worse.

Though even as focused as she is, she can't help but notice the particular shape Malevolence is taking around Ida. "Oh no...!" she says, under her breath.

GS: Rosaline Calice has attacked Ixquic with Esdras and Judith!
GS: Rosaline Calice has completed her action.
GS: CRITICAL! Ixquic critically Guards a hit from Lan Lilac's Meteorain for 25 hit points!
GS: Hyper and Quick! Statuses applied to Lan Lilac!
GS: Ixquic has gained 1 Combo!
GS: Lan Lilac has lost 1 Combo!
GS: Ixquic has gained 1 Combo!
GS: Rosaline Calice has lost 1 Combo!
DC: MISS! Ixquic completely evades Esdras and Judith from Rosaline Calice!
<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

There is indescribably awful about ... all of this. To be face to face with a living avatar of everything that could possibly, potentially go catastrophically wrong within Filgaia's metaphysical landscape is one thing. To have it be so inextricably tied with the very elemental forces which he and his brother had sworn their lives to is another.

Cyre's eyes go terribly, awfully wide as the monster's mouth unhinges and unleashes a cloud of twisted, corrupted air. Is this what is at the core of this... This thing? Stagnant, putrid, disease-ridden air. An elemental calamity given flesh. He staggers as the cloud washes over him. The sleeve of his robe blackens and rots as he brings it up to shield his mouth and nose. And still he can feel the deadly breath seeping into his very pores, into his eyes, into whatever it can gain access to.

But.

Perhaps what more than anything, more so even than the vile inverted atmosphere threatening to snuff the life from his body, is...

"Leon--" Cyre coughs, his lungs seizing. Even through the black haze, he can see his brother. He can hear his... Admonition. The body language exchanged speaks more than any words can. Denial, refusal, a full rejection of his very existence. Not worth enough even to strike back or knock away.

Bile burns at the back of his throat. They came all this way, fought through all the corruption and the insanity, all to get here. To reach this place. And his brother...

Ignores him?

Cyre clenches his fists and staggers after his brother's suicidal charge, but his legs don't move. The poison saps his strength as it seeps into his veins. Damnit-- if only he could use that...!

No.

No excuses.

Cyre forces himself up, almost toppling over. As he rises, a wave of cool blue energy washes over him, pouring into his limbs. He's not alone. He's not alone...!

Cyre gives Catenna a meaningful look, before once more turning to stare at his brother's back.

No, not just stare.

The shaman braces himself against the ground. The stone ripples like water for a brief moment before he shoots forward, tearing through the killing cloud. One step closes the distance. Two steps puts him a half-stride behind. Three brings him alongside the twisted, mutated form of the Golden Lion.

He doesn't spare Leon a look.

His gaze is focused straight ahead.

"I won't," Cyre growls as he focuses what little power he can draw into his right arm. It blazes with light, unfolding into as much of his other form as he's able to summon. The great claw of the Wind Tiger is plunged forward alongside Leon's lightning blade, a vortex of tornado-force wind screaming into being as he strikes. "I won't let you... Carry this on your own!"

Even if it risks being -consumed-.

GS: Cyre H. Lorentz has attacked Ixquic with Tornado Fang!
GS: Cyre H. Lorentz has gained 1 Combo!
GS: Cyre H. Lorentz has completed his action.
GS: CRITICAL! Ixquic guards a hit from Cyre H. Lorentz's Tornado Fang for 129 hit points!
GS: Mute! Statuses applied to Ixquic!
GS: Hyper and Quick! Statuses applied to Cyre H. Lorentz!
<Pose Tracker> Cecilia Adlehyde has posed.

"Fled into the Leyline!?" Cecilia squawks. "But you can't just--that's not...!" Only Guardians can do that, is what she's attempting to say.

And while she's fumbling with that horrible reality, a different one intrudes upon her. She slaps her hand over her mouth, choking and coughing and gagging on the hideous stench. "What," she attempts to choke out, and that's about as far as she gets. She doesn't entirely understand what Leon's saying, here - Cyre seems to have figured it out - but mostly she's trying to keep her lungs, stomach, and lunch from everting. She forces a leg under herself, glaring up at the goat...thing. It looks like the plan is to fracture that armor...her mind is spinning with sickness and half-formed correlations, trying to come to a solution better than 'hit it until it goes away', but for now that's what she's got. She remains back with the casting line, reaching for her Medium case and producing one, a certain Medium with special meaning to her. Her fingers wrap tight around it and then she thrusts it forward, motes of soft light flashing about. "MATERIAL!" she calls, pulling the power out of the Leyline, a point of energy gathering around her and swelling up like a hole in a hose.

"ICICLE EDGE!"

The light flashes, once, twice, and then condenses again into the furred but humanoid form of Aru Solatu, the Guardian's birdlike helmet hiding two blazing eyes. It thrusts a claw forward and the air above freezes in a heartbeat, raining down on the Primarch in crashing, gnashing waves of ice.

When the light fades Cecilia is on her knees, gagging again, her heart thumping uncomfortably in her chest.

GS: Cecilia Adlehyde has attacked Ixquic with Material - Icicle Edge!
GS: Cecilia Adlehyde has gained 1 Combo!
GS: Cecilia Adlehyde has completed her action.
GS: Ixquic guards a hit from Cecilia Adlehyde's Material - Icicle Edge for 85 hit points!
<Pose Tracker> Ixquic has posed.

Lydia bounces off some of the debris that Ixquic's winds have swept up -- and comes down, punching her fist into him. The silver reshapes -- the creature stands a good ten feet high and is bulky, so she can only get the liquid metal around some of the armored hide, before it explodes and throws it backward. Ixquic's feet scrape over the stone, as she does.

Ixquic finds a glass bottle shattering over it. The lavender fluid seeps into the wounds, and the Primarch lets out another bellowing scream that shakes the air. He turns his head, and opens his mouth -- and gasps in.

The air around Lydia, Jay, and Catenna suddenly vanishes. There is the strange feeling of gasping, of breathing, and find nothing to breath -- for a few terrifying seconds, they are in a vacuum as the Primarch deprives them, in that localized area, of any air at all.

The horns, too, thunder and crackle. A massive spark explodes off it and flies down -- and bounces off the ground, before it tries to slam right into Ida. A moment later, Lan kicks down, smashing the head downward -- until wind swirls up, and a tornado blows, trying to smash her back and away from the Primarch.

His eyes turn, then, and peers towards Rosaline. Then, a massive blast of wind explodes out from it, and catches the bullets. Those are turned back... before another crackle of lightning erupts along its horns, and then another large spark flies off towards Rosa!

The air above the Primarch freezes. Ixquic looks up, snarling at Aru Solato's image -- and then ice smashes down into him. He is thrown backward, but he responds by sending out a powerful blast of wind meant to knock Princess Cecilia back into the opposite wall.

Leon rushes in towards Ixquic, accompanied by his brother. Leon's blade slams down, electrified, into the armored hide of the Primarch. Lightning erupts and shoots off with each blow, leaving rends and gouges into the plating. Ixquic bellows his fury, and bellows it further when Cyre smashes the Wind Tiger's claw down after Ixquic.

The air around them, suddenly, condenses inward. Then, it explodes outward. Hurricane force winds pitch the both of the brothers back into two of the columns that rise floor to ceiling.

GS: Ixquic has attacked Catenna with Drinker of Breath!
GS: Ixquic has attacked Lydia Seren with Drinker of Breath!
GS: Ixquic has attacked Jacqueline Barber with Drinker of Breath!
GS: Ixquic has attacked Ida Everstead-Rey with Grand Spark!
GS: Ixquic has activated a Force Action!
GS: Ixquic has attacked Lan Lilac with High Vortex!
GS: Ixquic has attacked Cecilia Adlehyde with High Vortex!
GS: Ixquic has gained 3 Combo!
GS: Ixquic has attacked Rosaline Calice with Grand Spark!
DC: 3 turns have elapsed in the battle against Ixquic! 2 turns remain!
GS: CRITICAL! Lydia Seren takes a glancing hit from Ixquic's Drinker of Breath for 145 hit points!
GS: Mute and Poison! Statuses applied to Lydia Seren!
GS: Lydia Seren enters CONDITION GREEN!!
GS: Ixquic has attacked Leon X. Lorentz with Atmospheric Collapse!
GS: Ixquic has attacked Cyre H. Lorentz with Atmospheric Collapse!
GS: Ixquic has completed its action.
GS: Jacqueline Barber takes a solid hit from Ixquic's Drinker of Breath for 160 hit points!
GS: Catenna takes a glancing hit from Ixquic's Drinker of Breath for 135 hit points!
GS: Rosaline Calice takes a glancing hit from Ixquic's Grand Spark for 94 hit points!
GS: CRITICAL! Leon X. Lorentz guards a hit from Ixquic's Atmospheric Collapse for 164 hit points!
GS: Mute and Poison! Statuses applied to Leon X. Lorentz!
GS: Leon X. Lorentz enters CONDITION GREEN!!
GS: Ida Everstead-Rey takes a glancing hit from Ixquic's Grand Spark for 94 hit points!
GS: Cyre H. Lorentz takes a solid hit from Ixquic's Atmospheric Collapse for 242 hit points!
GS: Lan Lilac guards a hit from Ixquic's High Vortex for 96 hit points!
GS: CRITICAL! Cecilia Adlehyde guards a hit from Ixquic's High Vortex for 123 hit points!
GS: Mute and Poison! Statuses applied to Cecilia Adlehyde!
<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

Wind and Thunder roar as one. For one brief, beautiful moment, it seems as though they've found some way to... Fight in unison again. But...

But then the atmosphere abruptly gives way. Cyre feels himself being drawn in as the air condenses. He and his brother are crushed inward for the briefest of moments.

'Shoulder it.' That's what he keeps going on about. 'Shoulder it.' Even his shoulders have grown exaggerated and strange. And still, he's here. Forcing himself in on Leon's responsibilities. Interfering where he shouldn't be. Again, it seems as though Cyre is nothing more than the brother who couldn't.

And yet.

In that split second, Cyre knows what he has to do.

He can't speak with no air-- but his expression says it all. His eyes are full of regret as he reaches out for that bubble of liquefied atmosphere. Regardless of all else, regardless of what this monster might think itself to be, Cyre walks in the footsteps of the Guardian of Wind.

He exerts that authority as he plunges a fist into that sphere of air.

A sudden gust, liberated from the orb, would blast Leon free--

As the remainder of that terrible power is unleashed on Cyre alone. One moment, he's there. The next, the wind rushes outward with a clap of thunder, and he-- and the column in the distance-- are gone.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"That's what I'm talking about!" Lydia says as she slides across the floor. Leon is shouting that Cyre isn't shouldering it and Lydia turns to shout back.

"Cyre's been fightin' all this time! So he did it abroad, he was still shouldering plent--"

She is caught off by a lack of oxygen. Her breath suddenly catches in her throat. Does she need to breathe to live? Lydia hasn't run tests, though she certainly seems able to hold her breath for a long time.

Lydia runs through the vaccuum, face turning a faint combination of blue and silver as she rushes out of the vaccuum so she can pant for breath outside. Whether she needs it or not, the painful reflexes remain.

"Urggghh that was sucktastic..." Lydia says, skin color not quite returning to normal. She sits herself up and says. "Shit...Shiiiiit."

Lydia sits herself up and closes her eyes, summoning the power of Rigdobrite once more. Summoning it enough that Rigdobrite appears in the sky, hanging above the battlefield, blinking with concern(?) down at the fight below him.

Lydia vanishes from her position, reappearing on top of Rigdobrite as she points down towards the field below. Lydia says, "Come on, we gotta help my brother's brother..." She murmurs before standing herself up and taking in a deep wonderful breath.

Then she shouts, "LEON LORENTZ! I will show you... THE POWER OF SHOULDERING A BURDEN...TOGETHER! Feel your brother's light...if you dare!"

And then a light erupts out of Rigdobrite's eyes, flashing down towards her allies. It plummets towards Lan, who stole her medium, clearly willing to share the blessing with her even so.

It flashes towards Rosaline who was once a hellion herself, a woman whom Lydia once hated but has grown accustomed to love.

It crashes towards Ida who nearly shattered her when she was a hellion.

It comes down upon Catenna who was the first person she even met out of anybody here and Cecilia who is a powerful shaman in her own right.

It grants them the power of the stars, it fills them with solar power and light.

And it comes for Leon and Cyre, a strand of light rippling between them. Two brothers, one goal.

If they wish to be.

GS: Lydia Seren has activated a Force Action!
GS: Lydia Seren has spent 2 Combo on Inspire and Reload, including 0 on Gatling!
GS: Lydia Seren has attacked Cyre H. Lorentz with Baby The Stars Shine Bright!
GS: Lydia Seren has attacked Rosaline Calice with Baby The Stars Shine Bright!
GS: Lydia Seren has attacked Lan Lilac with Baby The Stars Shine Bright!
GS: Lydia Seren has attacked Ida Everstead-Rey with Baby The Stars Shine Bright!
GS: Lydia Seren has attacked Leon X. Lorentz with Baby The Stars Shine Bright!
GS: Lydia Seren has attacked Jacqueline Barber with Baby The Stars Shine Bright!
GS: Lydia Seren has attacked Catenna with Baby The Stars Shine Bright!
GS: Lydia Seren has attacked Cecilia Adlehyde with Baby The Stars Shine Bright!
GS: Lydia Seren has completed her action.
GS: Hyper! Statuses applied to Catenna!
GS: Lydia Seren heals Catenna! She gains 100 temporary hit points!
GS: Catenna enters CONDITION GREEN!!
GS: Reload! Catenna gains 15 extra FP from Lydia Seren!
GS: Catenna gains a Combo from Inspire!
GS: Hyper! Statuses applied to Jacqueline Barber!
GS: Lydia Seren heals Jacqueline Barber! She gains 100 temporary hit points!
GS: Jacqueline Barber enters CONDITION GREEN!!
GS: Reload! Jacqueline Barber gains 15 extra FP from Lydia Seren!
GS: Jacqueline Barber gains a Combo from Inspire!
GS: Hyper! Statuses applied to Cyre H. Lorentz!
GS: Lydia Seren heals Cyre H. Lorentz! He gains 100 temporary hit points!
GS: Reload! Cyre H. Lorentz gains 15 extra FP from Lydia Seren!
GS: Cyre H. Lorentz gains a Combo from Inspire!
GS: Hyper! Statuses applied to Ida Everstead-Rey!
GS: Lydia Seren heals Ida Everstead-Rey! She gains 100 temporary hit points!
GS: Reload! Ida Everstead-Rey gains 15 extra FP from Lydia Seren!
GS: Ida Everstead-Rey gains a Combo from Inspire!
GS: Hyper! Statuses applied to Rosaline Calice!
GS: Lydia Seren heals Rosaline Calice! She gains 100 temporary hit points!
GS: Reload! Rosaline Calice gains 15 extra FP from Lydia Seren!
GS: Rosaline Calice gains a Combo from Inspire!
GS: Hyper! Statuses applied to Lan Lilac!
GS: Lydia Seren heals Lan Lilac! She gains 100 temporary hit points!
GS: Lan Lilac enters CONDITION GREEN!!
GS: Reload! Lan Lilac gains 15 extra FP from Lydia Seren!
GS: Lan Lilac gains a Combo from Inspire!
GS: Hyper! Statuses applied to Cecilia Adlehyde!
GS: Lydia Seren heals Cecilia Adlehyde! She gains 100 temporary hit points!
GS: Reload! Cecilia Adlehyde gains 15 extra FP from Lydia Seren!
GS: Cecilia Adlehyde gains a Combo from Inspire!
<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

Trying to talk to a Hellion logically is probably futile, Catenna realizes as she listens to Leon trying to snarl out his sentiments in bits and bites. She's beginning to think of Malevolence as every bit as much a mood disorder as it is a magical enhancement. "Right now he is about to shoulder you," she snaps tersely towards Cyre's big brother. "When he's done that you two can bicker about it, but there are more important things right now--"

Then Jacqueline says something, and Catenna stares at her. "Into the LEYLINE?! That's impossible!" she exclaims.

She has no time to dwell on the impossibility because the air around her just disappeared. Catenna inhales without thinking of it.

She doesn't get anything out of it. Staggering and dropping to her knees, she cups her hands over her mouth and struggles to try and capture even a hint of air. But there's nothing to capture, and her face begins to turn a sickly blue colour, beginning to pitch to one side.

Her mind swims with incoherent panic; only her muscles act. All of a sudden, Catenna hurls herself back, staggering out of the oxygen-free zone and finally gasping for breath as she bursts back into extant air.

It takes Catenna a moment to regather her bearings. When she does, breathing heavily and burdened by exhaustion, she turns towards Cyre with eyes wide to watch him forcing the power of Fengalon through himself. "Cyre," she breathes, curling her fingers at her collar.

And then comes that gust of wind - and that thunderous power. Catenna's eyes go wide as the Nahual is swallowed up. The pillar goes with him.

"CYRE!!!" Catenna screams, reaching out towards the place he was standing a minute ago.

Lydia - sweet Lydia - calls forth the inspiring power of the stars. The starlight glitters around Catenna, her body bracing and her muscles steadying again. But she can't find joy in it. Worry for Cyre has consumed her. Clenching her teeth, she looks up towards the Primarch.

A couple of tears stand at the corners of her eyes as she looks up, her pale grey eyes hard. Holding her hand up, she begins to focus as much power as she can.

The force leveled upon the Primarch of Wind is immense. Even with the limits placed upon communing with the Guardians, the amount of power Catenna channels through herself is about as much power as she's ever channeled at one time, all poured into a single, crushing spell. A source of gravity begins to manifest somewhere in the Primarch's centre of mass, the inexorable force attempting to seize the eldritch horror's extremities and collapse them violently inward.

Holding her hand out, Catenna walks forward with eyes like steel as she pours as much power as her emotions can muster into trying to compress the Primarch of Wing into a Primarch of Three-Inch Imploded Cube.

GS: Catenna has spent 4 Combo on Gatling, including 3 on Gatling!
GS: Catenna enters CONDITION GREEN!!
GS: Catenna has attacked Ixquic with Polarity Clutch!
GS: Catenna has completed her action.
<Pose Tracker> Rosaline Calice has posed.

All right, so the Primarch can counter simple bullets. Good to know. As the hail flies back right towards Rosaline, she holsters her ARMs and runs. Bullets plink against her barrier of light, but the ensuing lightning is only slowed down for a brief moment before it shatters. Rosaline, who is quick but not quicker than lightning, cries out as electricity surges through her.

But just then, the power of the stars washes over her, courtesy of a certain spunky beastwoman. The pain ceases. "Thank you!" That was close. She was almost a grilled Rosaline.

And once again, she finds herself speed-assessing the state of the battlefield. Hold on, is Cyre-- "CYRE!" ...He's gone. What does that mean? What can they do? Rosaline bites her lip. She can only hope for the best. Frankly, she doesn't understand Guardian nonsense, even if she's grown to grudgingly respect it.

So instead, her eyes land on... Ida. Being a healer sometimes involves a small amount of nepotism. "Please let me help! Saint's Charge!"

A few arcane gestures and a glowing aura later, and Ida finds herself... faster. Whether she needs to run away from peril or towards the enemy, she can now much more easily do both.

GS: Rosaline Calice has spent 1 Combo on Inspire, including 0 on Gatling!
GS: Rosaline Calice has attacked Ida Everstead-Rey with Saint's Charge!
GS: Rosaline Calice has gained 2 Combo!
GS: Rosaline Calice has completed her action.
GS: Ida Everstead-Rey takes a solid hit from Rosaline Calice's Saint's Charge for 0 hit points!
GS: Quick! Statuses applied to Ida Everstead-Rey!
GS: Ida Everstead-Rey gains a Combo from Inspire!
GS: Hyper! Statuses applied to Leon X. Lorentz!
GS: Lydia Seren heals Leon X. Lorentz! He gains 100 temporary hit points!
GS: Reload! Leon X. Lorentz gains 15 extra FP from Lydia Seren!
GS: Leon X. Lorentz gains a Combo from Inspire!
<Pose Tracker> Leon X. Lorentz has posed.

Such is the risk inherent of the sin of hubris. The stubborn belief where one believes themselves the only one capable of accomplishing something, leaving so many others confused and with incomplete information in which to deal with a problem that may yet spiral out of complete control. If only Leon understood and could comprehend some of the experiences of others as regards Rahab, over under Wayside... or that he wasn't alone with even trying the idea of shoving Malevolence deep into the Leylines.
 
It is too much for one person to handle.
 
Just as the electrified blade strikes, at the same time, so too does the claw of the Nahual of Fengalon.
 
The Golden Lion's sanctified prayers and baleful curses etched upon them pulse as he GROWLS, sparks of electricity dripping out a mouth baring jagged fangs.
 
Cyre is -there-.
 
Cyre -is- there.
 
-Cyre- is there.
 
No matter which read or feeling dominates that sentence, this is a truth.
 
-Cyre is there.-
 
The explosive atmospheric discharge... but there is one great gust of wind from within the sphere of air that precedes what would be a series of uncomfortable and even life-threatening sensations hurls the Golden Lion bodily out against one of the columns.
 
He narrowly escapes the worst.
 
The Hellion that is Leon once more SLAMS his claws down for traction, forming jagged lightning lines that seem impossible to create with straight movement. Both of them crash into separate pillars at the same time.
 
The Golden Lion once more leans against his enormously muscled arms, that strange posture that looks a cross between a quadrupedal beast of majesty and someone begging for help...
 
And he rises. No one can see where Cyre went, only with the context clue being some of the collateral that comes with the immense power being thrown on all sides.
 
The Hellion that is Leon stands upright. It is a challenge. His form is so grotesquely transformed that, ironically, he may not be able to stand for long under his own power.
 
Others around speak their support. Those he may have only seen in passing while Wehaca was under assault, through direct blessings of other Guardians or other such sources.
 
Others, yet, give way to fury and concern.
 
The feelings of conflict once more stir within the Golden Lion. A brother whom he despises for leaving him to have to do all the duties asked of him on his own. The same brother whom he detests for daring to show himself after so long anyway. That one who would go forth and do what he did, just now, despite being ill-prepared in all ways, because, because...
 
Because -one person-...
 
...
 
...-One person-...
 
The Hellion that is Leon forces himself to stay upright. He staggers and sways like he may have had too much to drink, because his lower body can't support the mass on its own. On its own, because ONE PERSON... CANNOT...
 
...
 
Leon steps forward as Catenna, out of despair and panic for the man she loves, throws her emotional everything into it. It's sort of touch and go. He has to have one hand push against the ground every so often.
 
"...You've -shouldered it-, then." The beast speaks cohesively, though with an undercurrent of bestial growling that underlines the strain it puts upon the leonine Hellion. "Hrrghh--"
 
Blessings shine as they will, as everyone puts their all into one another.
 
"Foolish." The Hellion that is Leon growls.
 
"I am... foolish."
 
...
 
Both claws slam back down onto the ground with a thundering echo, as electrical power rises.
 
"CYRE!!" The voice lacks some of the guttural undercurrent of a beast whose throat is not meant to talk. It is more the voice of one Brother Lightning, of the Storm Brothers. The same one that would snap out of nowhere, like a bolt from the blue, scolding and striking the free-spirited, drifting Cyre who would go forth and take up the mantle of a Drifter. Leon does not see Cyre.
 
He just knows he is there.
 
He just -knows- he is THERE.
 
A lion's roar BELLOWS, heralding the arrival of a storm. Like a distant crack of thunder, the entire chamber shudders. A spoken promise, given form -
 
Lightning is here, sacred words across his grotesquely warped body flaring ever brighter across the profane curses that mark every inch of his person.
 
With lightning, will soon come...

GS: Leon X. Lorentz has attacked Ixquic with Heaven-Rending Roar!
GS: Leon X. Lorentz has completed his action.
<Pose Tracker> Ida Everstead-Rey has posed.

        The image before Ida is just that--an image, formed of Malevolence crudely shaped with chi. Ida remains the woman she was before this started. "I know," she says. "You love him, don't you? But he's--" She doesn't finish the thought. The Primarch draws a deep breath, and Ida's ears pop as the pressure in the cavern suddenly--and in open defiance of the laws of physics--drops. The image of her Hellion-self dissipates, and she gasps for breath. Ida doesn't seem to have gotten the worst of it, though. A few residual sparks leap from the hem of her duster as she rushes forwards, reaching into the vacuum for Jay's shoulder. The sweat on her hand boils off instantly. Her skin starts to redden. She grabs a handful of the alchemist's robe, and hauls her backwards, out of the vacuum. Jay might need a moment to regain her balance, but it's better than the vacuum chamber.

        That should not be possible, and yet, this twisted thing has found a way.

        Light shines on her. Even here, in the depths of the earth, the Guardians are present--they, too, find a way. The sight of Cyre flying back and suddenly vanishing bodes ill, but Rigdobrite takes the edge off. Ida takes a deep, steadying breath, and a second wash of power further reinvigorates her. "He's either going to spring back out," Ida concludes, "or he's dead, and his burden falls on us."

        Ida races forwards, across the carved stone platform. Rosaline's blessing takes her preternatural speed and makes it breathtaking--she's suddenly right there, leaping up and driving a gauntleted fist for Ixquic's knee. She drives a foot down, catches it on a bony protrusion, and uses it like a step--she heaves herself up further up the monster's body. And then Ida explodes into a blur of motion, throwing punch after punch after palm-strike after elbow strike after kick. It might look like a particularly stubborn gnat harrying a much larger animal, but that's not what Ida is thinking about right now.

GS: Ida Everstead-Rey has spent 5 Combo on Headshot and Gatling, including 1 on Gatling!
GS: Ida Everstead-Rey has attacked Ixquic with Unbroken Lotus Fist!
GS: Ida Everstead-Rey has gained 1 Combo!
GS: Ida Everstead-Rey has completed her action.
GS: Ixquic takes a solid hit from Catenna's Polarity Clutch for 171 hit points!
GS: Ixquic takes a solid hit from Leon X. Lorentz's Heaven-Rending Roar for 185 hit points!
GS: Disrupt! Statuses applied to Ixquic!
GS: CRITICAL! Ixquic takes a solid hit from Ida Everstead-Rey's Unbroken Lotus Fist for 225 hit points!
GS: Hyper! Statuses applied to Ida Everstead-Rey!
<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Cecilia and Catenna are understandably upset about what she said. Jacqueline was just as concerned when she saw it, herself.

"...I know. I don't really understand it, either. It was a lot more talkative, but not about how it works." She replies, shaking her head. "These creatures feed on the Leylines. It seems like the ancient Nahual were able to seal this one, but..."

But now it has awoken, and there's no telling what it would do. Even someone like Leon, both an accomplished Shaman and a powerful Hellion was ultimately unable to hold it back.

Jacqueline's solution takes hold, but the scream the Primarch echoes forces her back. And then...the air around her simply ceases to exist. Jacqueline lets out a strangled gasp, dropping to her knees as she suddenly finds oxygen in short supply. She can barely think, feeling only a primal fear.

And then she feels something grab her shoulder, pulling her back out of the vacuum created by the Primarch's power. She lies there on the ground for a momen, gasping for breath. But she is alive.

"Th...thank you...Ida..." Jacqueline coughs out with as much gratitude as she can manage, trying to suck air back in. And then, there is a light. The light of Rigdobrite shines down on her, rejuvenating her - inspiring her.

She couldn't stop here. This wasn't over yet. Jacqueline conjures an earth pillar, using it to support her weight as she forces herself to her feet. She's unsteady, but...she reaches out toward the Primarch. As Catenna seeks to compress it, a wave of force pulses out against it, seeking to counter its movements and erase any momentum it might have built up. To disrupt it, and give them precious few extra moments to act.

GS: Jacqueline Barber enters CONDITION GREEN!!
GS: Jacqueline Barber has attacked Ixquic with Erase Momentum!
GS: Jacqueline Barber has completed her action.
<Pose Tracker> Lan Lilac has posed.

 
        Huff, huff...

        Her impact with the top of the Primarch's head feels solid. Was it a good enough hit--? Winds sharp and forceful throw her backwards and Lan barely makes a good landing - but she does, and remains there for precious seconds as familiar, blessed starlight shines down on her.

        Of course Rigdobrite would share his magic with one of his own. Stealing the village medium isn't what made Lan a shaman, after all.

        The weight of the metal plate is a solid comfort beneath her shirt, and it stays there while Lan goes to one knee. "Just a little more...!"

        She doesn't understand what's going on, not entirely. Just that something horrible was here, buried along with her people, so Lan has had a Bad Day already and isn't nearly ready to let them down just because somebody wants to do stupid things with an energy field bigger than their head!!

        Which is to say, she doesn't really feel like it's her place to interrupt important times between brothers.

        Lan crouches, tenses - and explodes into motion, the afterimage of her ribbon a silver comet's trail behind her. It's a moving line on its own, a snake made of stardust, and it goes for the Primarch's neck, trying to bind Wing's head to the ground.

GS: Lan Lilac has activated a Force Action!
GS: Lan Lilac has attacked Ixquic with Subdue the Serpent!
GS: Lan Lilac has completed her action.
GS: Ixquic takes a solid hit from Jacqueline Barber's Erase Momentum for 0 hit points!
GS: Disrupt! Statuses applied to Ixquic!
GS: Jacqueline Barber has lost 0 Combo!
GS: Ixquic takes a solid hit from Lan Lilac's Subdue the Serpent for 176 hit points!
GS: Entangle! Statuses applied to Ixquic!
<Pose Tracker> Cecilia Adlehyde has posed.

Cecilia was here to save Claude from getting eaten by bears, not stop an eldritch horror from...being...present? What even is the plan!? She's having trouble thinking of one, muddled as she is by the leftover rank of that thing's horrid breath. Lydia's light bursts down on all and sundry - the light of Rigdobrite shining across them all. It does help Cecilia stand up straighter, feel stronger, even if her nose still burns and her thoughts still swim. "The Leyline's not a...place," she chokes out. "You have to be a Guardian to do that!"

The Primarch promptly demonstrates the importance of good attention to her by again taking advantage of her frustrations, BLASTING her with a primed Vortex that blasts into her and sends her toppling. Her barriers do their job but the impact is still rattling. She releases from the wall only slowly, landing with rough, ragged breaths. "Where did Claude GET to," she mutters. She can rely on him to take those hits for her usually! Lumbering forward one, two, three steps, she plants her staff,, holding out her arm. Well if you can't beat 'em, she thinks dully, and calls forth her oldest and most reliable Guardian. "MATERIAL!" she cries out, and the Leypoint forms around her, bursting Muse splashing and crashing around her, swirling up into a negative vortex that explodes apart into the form of the Guardian of Water, Schturdark.

That gathered leyline light gathers together into a crashing wave, roaring up and over the Primarch to bury it in waves. "ASSAULT TIDE!" Cecilia cries, over the scream of waves.

GS: Cecilia Adlehyde has attacked Ixquic with Material - Assault Tide!
GS: Cecilia Adlehyde has gained 1 Combo!
GS: Cecilia Adlehyde takes 5 damage from Poison!
GS: Cecilia Adlehyde has completed her action.
GS: Ixquic takes a glancing hit from Cecilia Adlehyde's Material - Assault Tide for 75 hit points!
GS: Entangle! Statuses applied to Ixquic!
<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

Foolish.

That was just... Foolish. What was he thinking, in those fateful, self-sacrificing few seconds? That he could be a hero? That somehow, he might be able to pierce through the haze squeezing around his brother's mind with nothing more than a few words and a brief, selfless action?

No.

His reason wasn't anything so noble.

He just didn't want to see his brother die.

As Cyre tumbles through the void, he knows. His body is... Pretty much pulp. The bones in his back and shoulders ache in an ominous and unfamiliar sort of way that suggests multiple fractures, nevermind the shooting pain that races through him every time he so much as twitches. No, this is it. Falling into the abyss, body broken and consciousness fading, he's going to die here.

Barring a miracle, this is... The end.

Appropriate. A Nahual dying in the Catacombs of the Nahual. They won't even have to bury him.

...Catenna, Lydia, everyone. Cyre's thoughts flicker toward those still fighting. In the end, he couldn't be there to see this adventure through. Cyre releases a breath as gentle starlight falls across his face. He's so... sorry. So... tired.

So tired... That he almost misses that there's something else there, shining in Rigdobrite's light.

So tired, that it isn't until he hears that distant thunder that his eyes fix upon it.

                                  --------

Atop the great, sealing pillar, the monstrous thing called the Primarch of Wing continues to unleash its unspeakable fury. Hungry. Hungry. It's impossible to call it anything but that. Ravenous and wrathful and terrible. But still they fight. Gravity is driven mad. The stars shine down in castigating constellations. The Shaman herself stands against it. And...

A roar like thunder shakes the room.

And with lightning, will soon come...

                              The Rising Wind

The darkness surrounding the central pillar suddenly splits as a column of brilliant, emerald light shoots up from the abyss. A second voice, like an echo of the first, roars up from below. The wind rises, whirling upward like a great spiral of force. A shadow races up the center of the emerald pillar, before shattering the cylinder of light with a single, tremendous claw.

There-- impossibly, indomitably-- stands the Nahual of Wind.

The great white tiger throws its head back one more time and again bellows an answer to its brother. The two shouts join and resound as one, summoning not just wind and lightning...

But the Storm itself...!

DC: Cyre H. Lorentz switches forms to Nahual - Fengalon!
GS: Cyre H. Lorentz has spent 4 Combo on Gatling, including 3 on Gatling!
GS: Cyre H. Lorentz has attacked Ixquic with Storm Shattering Shout!
GS: Cyre H. Lorentz has gained 1 Combo!
GS: Cyre H. Lorentz has completed his action.
GS: Ixquic takes a solid hit from Cyre H. Lorentz's Storm Shattering Shout for 190 hit points!
<Pose Tracker> Ixquic has posed.

Lydia summons Rigdobrite's might. The Primarch responds, inherently, to the call of a Guardian. Though a Primarch is not a Guardian, there is a commonality there. It turns and stares down at her -- and then its eyes blaze, those darkened pits revealing themselves to have a baleful green glow.

Then, Catenna uses the intense, immense force of gravity to begin compressing Ixquic. Pieces of armored hide buckle inward; chunks of its horns snap off, then slam into the back of the Primarch's body. It screams, in rage and pain. This is when Leon's lightning slams down, sparks exploding and flying up off the back of the Primarch. The beast stumbles, roaring with those eerie, flattened teeth.

Ida meets it, punches flying, cracking the stone-like hide, with multiple large dents and cracks. Ixquic reels his head back, then swats Ida to the side--but before he can open his mouth, Jacqueline's spell stops the head's movement.

Lan's ribbon comes down, smashing the beast down to the ground, and his massive bulk leaves a crater in the cavern's floor. He rises up, eyes still blazing green--

And then Cecilia calls out, and Schturdark's visage appears. A massive wave of water smashes into him, slamming him backward. The Primarch stands again, opening his mouth -- and wind begins to pull inward, a sharp intake that picks up stones, and threatens to create a vortex towards the cracked, beaten down, but not yet broken creature.

The wind whips--

--and stops, as the Primarch of Wing finds itself face-to-face with the emblem of the Guardian of Wind. Those eyes blaze -- and the tiger roars, and the shout blows the Primarch backward, slamming into the far wall. It cracks, shattering out in a circle around its impact. Then, the Primarch sinks downward.

Ixquic hits the floor... and vanishes, subsumed back into the Leyline.

DC: 4 turns have elapsed in the battle against Ixquic! 1 turns remain!
DC: 5 turns have elapsed in the battle against Ixquic! No turns remain! Time has expired! The battle is over!
<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

The pillar shatters. The wind screams forth. And Catenna gasps, her spell left to do as it will as she snaps her attention towards the resurgent form of the great white tiger of the wind.

"Cyre!!" she cries out, this time not with fear, but with relief.

The wind is enough. Catenna lets her breath out, hands falling to her thighs as she watches the hurtling Primarch vanish into that circle and disappear into....

Into the leyline. The lifeblood of Filgaia itself. Catenna's mouth hangs open slightly, but she snaps it closed, a sickening feeling beginning to percolate beside the more joyous feelings evoked by the fact that her boyfriend is, in fact, alive and well. She swallows her worry and resolves to dwell on it later. Right now, though, she's turning towards Cyre. Darting to the Nahual's side, she looks up at him with a certain concern, beginning to reach out towards him.

"Are you alright? You were hurt...."

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia lands moments afterward, color returning to her face as she straightens up, stretching her arms above her head. "Yep, I'm a genius alright." She says, looking towards the vanishing Primarch. Man. One of these days she'll actually know what a Primarch is.

But for now she she laughs heartily, "We did it! I think! At least, it feels like we did it right!"

She sees Catenna rushing after Cyre. Lydia allows them a moment before following after.

She promptly gives Cyre-Fengalon's side several comraderly hearty pats (she is being pretty Tomo Takino about this). "Ha ha ha! You sure showed 'em! Nice job! Nice job! Ha ha ha ha!"

<Pose Tracker> Rosaline Calice has posed.

Rosaline can't help but make a few small, unconscious punching motions as Ida blurs into a flurry of fists that actually break through that thing's thick hide. And soon, her eyes go wide as Cyre returns in the form of the Nahual. The brothers banish the beast, and all is... well?

Or at least so she hopes.

"I can't believe we did it," she says, looking... disheveled, to say the least. She scans the room to see if anyone is in dire need of healing, then... turns her attention towards Leon.

He may not be a literal elephant in the room, but it's close enough.

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

They fight hard against the Primarch, but Jacqueline can't be certain it's enough. The beast is durable, and powerful in a way that is difficult to comprehend.

But then they appear, striking in tandem - Leon and Cyre, bringing the full force of the storm down upon the ravenous Primarch. It is thrown into the back wall and collapses, shattering apart in a circle...and sinking downward.

Gone, vanishing into the Leyline much like its brother before it. Jacqueline sighs, sinking down against the pillar of earth she had summoned before. Now that the Primarch has vanished, the adrenaline she felt is vanishing, too...though a part of it is due to still recovering from the Primarch's vacuum attack.

That was two Primarchs awoken - Muse and Wing. What, then, of Geo and Frey...? Jacqueline frowns, with a sigh.

...Well, the important thing was that Wehaca would be safe - at least for the time being. Though there was still the matter of...

Leon.

Jacqueline looks toward him, quietly and wordlessly. With the Primarch gone, what would he do now?

<Pose Tracker> Leon X. Lorentz has posed.

The immense all-consuming air pressure subsides, but they all yet stand within what is a Malevolent Domain.
 
Leon's own. However, all of their souls have strengthened since various trials and hardships upon the Silver Star. The twisting, contradictory airs of being overburdened but also refusing to accept another's help all slowly fade and subside.
 
The Golden Lion... the Hellion that is one Leon X. Lorentz, who could not allow himself to rest nor falter...
 
Collapses, one weighty clawed hand clasped against where a sword once went through his chest. Manias and emotions receding, if not fully contained, his body struggles with the ideas of how it does (and doesn't) work under the amount of stresses it has subjected itself to.
 
...
 
"It has... retreated." The Golden Lion - no, Leon X. Lorentz - reinforces what others already witness and confirm. The emotional walls put up by the Domain fold, one by one, until the impurity's presence becomes less thick and foreboding - and just an ambient haze that lingers at a concentration that's is best not left alone.
 
A concentration that just might be manageable at this time to deal with.
 
"...Cyre." Leon's words straddle the line between bestial growling and a person talking. The feelings still linger in that contradictory form - they are what transformed him, after all. Malevolence just does not -go away- on its own. "You left... and once more, you return, only as all looks to fall to ruin."
 
Empty, blackened eyes... they don't seem as empty or black now, even if they share the same lack of color or depth as before, but they're empty, blackened eyes that try to do the thing eyes do, which is to say look and make eye contact. A quiet snarl rumbles across his face, briefly exposing jagged teeth of an anger that is at rest.
 
There is a quiet beat.
 
"They appear eager to shoulder -your- burdens."

<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

The thing called a Primarch, the thing uncomfortably too-similar to what the Guardians are supposed to be-- runs away.

In its defense, it did gain little from remaining here compared to... Just leaving to menace the world again another day, in another place, preferably with fewer terrifying Guardian-avatars, shamans and demon-weapons there to make its life difficult.

The white tiger makes a sound of quiet approval as it descends, touching down across from the one who is its brother. Cyre and Leon stare at one another for a long moment, before--

Lydia just straight up SMACKS HIM ACROSS THOSE STILL VERY PAINFUL SHOULDERS. "Ow," the tiger-avatar ows in a voice that really does not sound like it should be coming from that thing. "Ow. Ow. Ow-- Lydia damnit I went through a pillar." Hopefully she stops! It hurts, damnit! Cyre turns to Catenna then and... Smiles, reaching a massive claw out toward her-- before the tiger's form falls away in a blizzard of little green motes. "I'll be okay," Cyre says with a tired chuckle. "Pretty sure transforming set most of my bones. And-- look."

There, in the hand he reached out with, is... a medium.

But not just any medium.

It's a beautiful, silvery thing emblazoned with the mark of Fengalon. The Silver Medium of the Gale Claw. "It was in that pillar," Cyre says. "I think... Maybe they used it when they built this place, maybe to help contain that... thing?"

They can theorize on the reason that an incredibly valuable Baskar artifact was lodged inside a pillar down in the allegorical Wehacan underworld later. Cyre has... something else to deal with, first.

The Malevolence withdraws. During Cyre's time on the moon, he... Became all too familiar with the various 'intensities' that Malevolence could take on. While his brother's Domain fading from 'oppressively present' to merely 'undeniable background noise' is a good sign enough, the fact that Leon is still in that form is... Not.

"...Yeah," Cyre answers, limping his way closer to the Golden Lion-- to his brother. "I... met a lot of really great people out there. I guess they saw something in me that neither of us did," he wheezes out a tired laugh, but... Then he stops, his expression turning... remorseful. "...Sorry, it seems like I only show up in time to keep things from falling apart completely, don't I?"

There's a long pause. He looks the lion in its deep, black eyes. "I think... I think we can try to fix this, though. If you'll let us-- not me, not after that. Can't move right to do it properly right now. Then... We're going to have a lot of catching up to do."

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

When the tiger sheds its form, Catenna reaches out towards Cyre and lays a hand on his shoulder. Then she does something she doesn't often do in public: Steps in and gives him a soft kiss on the lips.

But he has something to show her. Catenna blinks as she looks down towards the Medium in the catman's hand. With wide eyes, she tightens her grip on Cyre's arm just a little. "If you have come into it, then Fengalon means for you to possess it," she says, looking up again and giving Cyre a shining smile. "Whatever the circumstances... you have surely found a new level of favour in the eyes of the Wind."

But Leon's there, too, and when Cyre turns his attention to him, Catenna does as well, beginning to move towards the other Nahual. As much effort as Catenna put into the battle with the Primarch of Wing, she can tell that Leon poured countless times more into keeping the abomination contained for as long as he did. The Moon Shaman looks at him for a moment, watching the way he sags and seems to struggle - and the way those signs of humanity begin to reassert themselves.

"Perhaps someone should shoulder one of your own," she says quietly as she begins to move towards Leon, taking her Medium from its spot at her belt. "But I think I can at least help you."

She's thinking along the same lines as Cyre - and provided Leon doesn't lash out at her immediately, Catenna will move forward, ready to begin the ritual of purification. Cyre may be too exhausted to dispel the Malevolence which pollutes Leon's very being.

Catenna is not too exhausted to do the job. It's the least she can do for the brother of the man she loves.

<Pose Tracker> Ida Everstead-Rey has posed.

        Ida goes flying. She hits the stone platform and slides, trails of dust rising behind her in her wake. She shoves herself up with a hand just as the Primarch makes its exit--and the sight of something that massive just vanishing chills her. She doesn't notice the pain in her ribs until a moment later. The jacket ate most of that blow, but not all of it. At least with the Primarch gone, she can actually breathe without fighting back nausea.

        Ida pushes herself to her feet anyway. "Is everyone all..." She trails off into deep, heavy breaths. That last burst took a lot out of her. She looks back at Rosaline, and then Cecilia, making sure both of them are all right--and then she turns her attention to Cyre and his brother.

        Don't try and fix this. You'll only make it worse. Do you think either of them will listen to you?

        "Leon," Ida says. Her voice is low, and she still sounds winded. "What are you going to do now?"

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

"I-I'm alright." Jacqueline says in response to Ida, stumbling off her pillar. She has to take a second to stabilize herself. She looks toward Cyre, as he and Leon stare at each other...and then Jacqueline has to try and stifle a laugh as Lydia smacks him(good-naturedly).

And in his hands...a silver Medium.

Maybe it was fate that they would come here, and he would find this when he needed it most. Jacqueline doesn't dwell on it too long. Instead, she makes her way toward them, a tired smile on her face.

"...That's what friends...allies, companions...are for. We help shoulder each others burdens when we can't handle them alone. We support each other, draw strength from each other, and in doing so we can accomplish much more than if we had to do so alone. There's only so much a single person, no matter how strong, can shoulder without being crushed by it." She says. "At least, that's what I believe."

Cyre and Catenna extend an offer to Leon. It is one that Jacqueline can't help with, not possessing the power of purification, so she doesn't comment on it. Instead, she stands aside, looking out to the others.

<Pose Tracker> Rosaline Calice has posed.

Cyre seems to be all right. He has a new Medium. Rosaline raises an eyebrow at the sight. "Well. Congratulations!" Guardians matters or not, she chooses to chalk this up to her own God's divine providence. This is exactly the sort of thing they'll need, and right when they need it, too.

The Domain grows thinner. Leon speaks... more coherently, at least. Rosaline relaxes, ever-so-slightly. So this is what it looks like from the other side.

"He's helped many people on his journeys," Rosaline offers, her hands clasped together, regarding burdens and the shouldering thereof. She glances at Cyre with a little smile. "It's only fair that we help him back."

Cyre says they can try to fix this. "I can help!" she blurts out, nearly tripping as she steps forward. What? This is new. "I can... Um. I've, ah. This is something I can do, now," she explains, in the process not explaining anything.

She holds out her hands, palms facing one another as a mote of light appears between them. It grows into a small sphere of light, burning like a pure white flame. She wait for Leon to accept Catenna's ritual before she moves to offer any more help. Sweat beads on her forehead as she focuses her eyes in concentration, tongue sticking out a tiny bit to maintain the light...

And it drops out of her hands. "Oops!" It spreads on the floor surrounding her, moving towards a nearby wall and climbing up it, consuming the miasma in the air. The tiny, accidental blaze is short-lived, but it definitely left the spiritual air cleaner in that small area.

"I can help," she repeats, eyes wide in embarassment. "I just-- I haven't had much practice yet."

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"You made us worry," Lydia says to Cyre. "That hurt more. But it's okay. We're even now." But she does at least stop smacking him.

She smiles as Cyre finds his own Silver Medium. "I guess you're also a high priest now, neh heh heh..." She wipes at her eyes for a moment before looking to Catenna. She gives her a nod. "I'll back you up, Catenna, if you need it!"

And she will. Lydia is pretty exhausted but not so exhausted she can't lend Catenna a hand. Rigdobrite fades from view. But he's not really gone. He's still iwth Lydia, even now.

"Rosaline, you were really cool today!" She tells Rosaline, still able to smile for others. "Thanks for helping a Cyre out."

<Pose Tracker> Leon X. Lorentz has posed.

The wind is a funny thing. It goes where it does, when it does, as quickly as it wants. The open air is where it calls its domain, and it travels it without care of what others think. A fanciful, flippant, -youthful- way to see the wind.
 
To see Cyre not doing as he pleases on his own out of selfish whim, but as part of something else of grand scale... as evidenced when he looks upon how close he has come to the Shaman of Celesdue who now approaches him to bid him help.
 
He does not snap out at Catenna, but she can feel the lingering upset coming from him. They are issues that he will have to work out with Cyre after the fact, under his own sound mind and not the rampaging feelings of a man left to fend to a great duty on his own to the point of isolation.
 
The former Hellions among them might be able to give advice about how they held themselves together as the Purification went underway, but as the rituals transpire, the Golden Lion's form proportionally recedes to something that is much more believably that of someone who walks upright.
 
Scars upon their chest become more pronounced - to be expected, for what went through there! That there's even anything in that space left, well... no, maybe that sword cuts through something other than flesh, but that is no longer a concern.
 
There is one last jump-scare of a barking roar as the purple motes dissipate out his face, leading into a short coughing fit.
 
Leon X. Lorentz is a well-built man, even through the telltale signs of starvation and dehydration. His hairline is already starting to recede from the toll his duties put on him. His beard stands out on end from lingering electrical elements that dance throughout him.
 
He runs a hand through that beard to smooth it out, popping sounds of static electricity all the way down, because Guardians know Cyre is always amused by that and that is not the sort of laugh he earned tonight.
 
He falls to a seated position. The look on his face is far better composed than most might in this sort of situation of returning to something they were, after so long.
 
"I never approved, Brother." Those words are stern. "I can see now, that it is not mine that holds the highest counsel on your path."
 
...For it is Cyre who now bears the Silver Medium of Fengalon.

<Pose Tracker> Cecilia Adlehyde has posed.

Cecilia flops back into a sit, back colliding with the bottom lip of the wall indentation she was briefly part of mere seconds ago. She...sits back and watches, for the most part. "No Claude," she thinks dimly.

She watches the reunion; the brothers coming back together, in their way. She doesn't rise. She can't be there for every moment, she knows.

Her fingers reach down to her pouches, producing the big, shining jewel of the Blue Virtue. Her fingers clutch around it, as the light of the Silver Medium shines.

"They're doing everything they can," she murmurs, and forces herself up onto shaking legs. "So we must as well."

She rolls her neck, stretches her shoulders back. "Back to it," she decides.

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

Catenna will probably need it.

And indeed, she does. She ropes Lydia in to help her out, and even Rosaline. Before long, though, the silver light is shining forth.

Malevolence bleeds off. As it fades away, the man behind the Hellion form is revealed. When it's finally over, Catenna sags visibly, her hands falling to her thighs as she doubles forward. Colour has faded from her cheeks a little, but as she sinks to her knees to catch her breath, it's with a pleased smile at the sight of the Golden Lion restored to his old self.

It's done. Cyre has his brother back. Cyre has Fengalon's special Silver Medium. All seems to be well. For now.

<Pose Tracker> Ida Everstead-Rey has posed.

        Rosaline does not usually 'nearly trip'. This is the first sign that whatever she's about to do is of great import. Ida turns to her friend, and her eyes widen visibly as she sees what's in Rosaline's hands. Her mouth opens, but she says nothing. She looks back at Leon, who seems--now--to be aware of what he's become.

        "Let go," Ida says. She reaches into her pocket, withdraws her Stone Medium from its case, and holds it forward. She's no Shaman, but she saw what the others did when Castle Rabenstein was purified. "Breathe. You're no monster, Leon. Not now, not ever."

        And then it's done. Ida swallows. Her throat suddenly feels dry.

<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

It is done.

The lingering purple motes fade away into the ether as several different kinds of purification rituals go off at once. A pair of arms reach to catch Catenna as she sags-- it's the least he can do, in repayment for the unexpected kiss. The Golden Lion returns to himself, and then finally fades away to reveal the face of a man Cyre knows all too we--

...

Didn't Leon... have more hair, before...?

... Cyre wisely keeps his mouth shut.

"Yeah," Cyre sighs. "Well. Even so, there's stuff I need to tell you anyway. So we'll... Take care of that later. For now we need to get out of this place."

And it wouldn't be like a tomb with an ancient evil stuck in the center to just have a convenient back door to walk out of, would it?

<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

(Also Rosaline gets a very distinct arched-brow what the heck is that kind of look when she accidentally sets part of the tomb on fire.)

(Like, that's just weird Rosa. Come on get it together, y' damn adorable little pyro.)

<Pose Tracker> Rosaline Calice has posed.

An already flustered Rosaline starts blushing in earnest when Lydia compliments her. "Y-You think?" Oh, Granas, she's being hapless, isn't she? She thought she was over being hapless. Sort of. "And thank you, too. You also helped everyone out, didn't you?" Ida looks on with interest, and Rosaline looks back with a tiny 'bet you didn't expect that' smile and eyes that say 'we can talk about this later'. She can be very expressive when she wants to be. Cyre doesn't get a look back. This is low-key cat sass.

But for now, she provides aid to Catenna, conjuring that white flame once again to provide, if nothing else, a Malevolence-repelling aura that facilitates the task at hand.

And after a moment, Leon is Leon again. Rosaline is pale and out of breath, but not as much as Catenna, who bore the brunt of this particular task. The two brothers may not be completely reconciled. Maybe they never will be. But this is a promising first step.

"We should talk later, if you'd like," she offers to Leon, quietly. "I've... been through a similar experience, myself." She glances at Ida, not offering on her behalf if she doesn't want to.

<Pose Tracker> Yarobeleedt has posed.

MEANWHILE
 
        Yarobeleedt, overwhelmed by gut-wrenching fear of the great pressure in the air, flees deeper into the depths of Xibalba because where else can he go other than deeper into the darkness? Just hiding underneath all the layers of rock and dust, waiting for anything scary to pass so that he can reach out and feel big and tough when he tags them from angles he's not expecting.
        "Fu fu fu. Did Fengalon run?" Yarobeleedt cackles, as the all-consuming air seems to go away. The slithering Metal Demon scout taps a solid forearm against a blobbier one. "It is time to unface. Unface, until it is as ugly as a butt. No ifs or ands. But butt~"
        He comes along one of the sarcophogi down below, of ancient warriors who yet watch vigil. He starts to push it to and fro, cackling all the while.
        The floor gives out underneath into a descending, inverted pyramid-shaped pit.
        There are beautiful flowers all around within, for some reason, and it fills Yarobeleedt with existential dread. He screams and flails, succeeding only in freeing the flowers from where they grow as they all mob and scatter about him like they were the equivalent of tiny plant-based attack plants seeking to take him to the appropriate unknown level of death that yet lies beyond.
        And so, for his efforts, he spends the better part of the day failing to climb out of a flower pit.
        The entomed warriors keep vigil. They might laugh and give high fives while no one's looking, maybe. Dead people tend to be very good about keeping a straight face through these sorts of things.