Soulshapers: An Opening
Araatris "Ary" Valryss, Vasedra, Malfias, Sraath
Mental speech is denoted by asterisks.
Out on Argus in Krokuun...
18:33:04 Vasedra sighs and looks up at the dark place in the sky that is the cloaked Umbral Eclipse and then down at the trussed-up demon by her hooves. Her gaze proceeds to scan the area around them before she looks at Ary.
18:40:59 Vasedra leans down and checks the disabled Nathrezim, triple-checking each of the bonds and making sure he seems well unconscious.
18:41:12 Vasedra says: I think ... we are as ready as we can be, Ary.
18:41:38 Araatris Valryss nods.
18:43:05 Araatris Valryss says: Then I suppose that there's not much else to do than finish the preparations.
18:43:22 Vasedra nods and straightens, turning to her companion and stepping back from the Nathrezim.
18:44:10 Araatris Valryss settles on her knees next to the demon, her shadows reaching for him. After a few moments, the nathrezem is covered in shadows.
18:45:39 Araatris Valryss says: Do you have a good hold on him? I don't plan on being gentle and he may thrash if he wakes.
18:45:56 The sky alights as a large fireball ignites somewhere above Argus.
18:46:11 Vasedra stands beside Ary, her gaze on the demon and her hoof touching the edge of the shadows. "He's not moving anywhere."
18:46:24 Araatris Valryss says: Good.
18:47:04 Araatris Valryss straightens as she delves into the demons mind, using it as a cover for her own as they reach out to Malfias.
18:49:30 Vasedra calls through the connection to her former Master, wordless and familiar.
18:49:55 There is a stirring within the demon's connected mind. One that is not yet fully lucid. It is... fragmented.
18:50:39 Vasedra: *Master.*
18:50:40 Araatris Valryss frowns.
18:51:29 A flash breaks in the distant night above the world, then another. Tiny pinpricks of light scatter from a central point of fel-green flame. Something is breaking apart in high orbit around this world.
18:51:42 Araatris Valryss silently adds more power to the connection.
18:52:01 Vasedra: *We need to help him...*
18:52:08 The stirring does not quite respond, yet. It feels as though there is something else blocking, something shielding.
18:53:22 Vasedra draws more from Ary's shadows, stretching their perception against the shield, questing.
18:53:42 Araatris Valryss says: Yes, but it is difficult. It's like the connection is... hindered.
18:54:00 Vasedra says: Then we break the hindrance.
18:54:25 Vasedra fills the connection with determination, a piercing weapon.
18:54:46 Araatris Valryss doesn't reply, but begins to gather her energy behind their mental shield.
18:55:26 Araatris Valryss says: Are you ready, my blade?
18:55:49 Vasedra says: Yes.
18:56:23 Araatris Valryss strikes at whatever is blocking their mental path.
18:57:00 The stirring ceases entirely, and there is complete silence for a long moment.
18:57:24 Another moment passes.
18:58:04 Malfias 's image materializes in front of the two.
18:58:19 Malfias says: There is... there is only darkness...
18:58:37 Vasedra says: Master. We've come for you.
18:59:12 Araatris Valryss pushes to her feet by Sedra.
18:59:31 Malfias 's image flickers, as if incomplete.
18:59:41 Malfias says: Where...?
19:00:19 Araatris Valryss says: Argus.
19:00:49 Araatris Valryss attempts to strengthen the connection as she answers distractedly.
19:01:33 Malfias looks at his surroundings, but it seems as though he's not actually seeing what his projection sees. His eyes take in something else entirely, and they darken.
19:01:34 Vasedra says: It's fragile, Ary. Don't push too hard.
19:02:18 Malfias says: No... this is not. Not Argus.
19:02:21 Malfias says: Trapped.
19:02:49 Araatris Valryss says: Yes, on Sraath's ship from what we've discovered.
19:03:16 Vasedra says: Let us see what you do.
19:03:33 Araatris Valryss nods at Vasedra, merely holding the connection.
19:04:40 The area around Malfias's projection seems to ... widen? Around him can be seen the felsteel interior of a Legion vessel. The former demon lord appears suspended, his body surrounded by sparking magics.
19:05:32 Malfias says: I am... I am his trophy.
19:05:44 Malfias growls, a sound deep and frightening.
19:05:54 Vasedra frowns. "What... how much did he destroy?"
19:06:13 Malfias says: ...all of it.
19:06:35 Vasedra 's alarm rocks the connection before she tamps down on it.
19:07:02 Araatris Valryss scowls at Vasedra before smoothing the connection back out.
19:07:08 Vasedra says: I'm sorry.
19:08:10 Malfias says: The gate... the gate still stands, but it weakens.
19:08:22 Malfias says: It... was weakening. The last I knew...
19:08:24 Vasedra turns her attention back to Malfias. "Why did he do it? Does he want the gate to fall?"
19:09:35 Malfias says: He wishes...zzhhhh...ee it all bur..zhhhhh...mpletely taken by madness.
19:09:51 Malfias 's image begins to flicker more heavily again as the surrounding image shrinks.
19:10:26 Araatris Valryss says: A moment. Let me see if I can strengthen the connection.
19:10:30 Araatris Valryss says: Again.
19:10:31 Vasedra slants a glance at Ary.
19:11:04 Araatris Valryss closes her eyes and re-focuses her attention.
19:13:59 Vasedra watches the projection of Malfias. "Sraath has gone mad, finally."
19:14:51 Araatris Valryss says: He wasn't mad when we saw him before as he gathered his soul?
19:15:31 Vasedra shakes her head. "There is a difference between opposing the mortals and siding with the terror beyond the gate, Ary."
19:16:11 A loud explosion rocks the area as something large collides with what little atmosphere this fragmented world has left. The shockwave is sudden and oppressive as the ball of fire from earlier blossoms into thousands of tiny fragments.
19:17:37 Araatris Valryss is rocked to her hands and knees as she holds onto the thread with Malfias.
19:17:57 Araatris Valryss says: Son of a-!
19:18:06 Vasedra staggers against Ary, grimacing.
19:18:09 Malfias says: Eerrrgghh...
19:18:12 Malfias kneels down.
19:18:31 Malfias 's image seems to tumble out of his suspension.
19:18:43 Vasedra says: What is going on?
19:18:46 Malfias says: What...?
19:19:06 Araatris Valryss says: Something just hit above us... a meteor maybe?
19:19:32 Vasedra says: It hit the Eclipse?
19:19:35 Malfias says: ...something is wrong.
19:19:52 Malfias 's image, while still hazy, seems to have strengthened.
19:20:01 Araatris Valryss says: Wrong? Define wrong.
19:20:35 Araatris Valryss glances at Sedra and mutters under her breath, "It must have hit it. Look at him."
19:20:59 Malfias says: My chains have broken.
19:21:04 Vasedra watches Malfias' projection carefully, but nods at Ary's comment. "What if it's a chance?"
19:21:24 Vasedra says: We can help you escape, Master.
19:22:13 Araatris Valryss says: In exchange for assistance. We plan to kill Sraath.
19:22:27 Malfias laughs at Dreadwhisper.
19:22:55 Malfias says: This little one you brought to me... she has heart.
19:23:51 Vasedra glances at Tris worriedly, but she keeps whatever she's feeling from the connection, burying it in the Nathrezim's mind.
19:24:17 Vasedra says: She is adequate. But we have taken steps to see it done.
19:24:30 Malfias says: What steps?
19:24:53 Malfias 's image slowly rises and stretches his arms, feeling their freedom.
19:24:57 Vasedra shows Malfias the keys, the plan in its entirety before Ary can manage to stop her.
19:25:20 Araatris Valryss scowls at Vasedra.
19:25:56 Malfias says: You have a way in? That is... impressive for mortals.
19:26:02 Malfias says: Does he know?
19:26:07 Vasedra doesn't kneel, though, as his projection approaches. She edges in front of Ary, between them.
19:26:23 Vasedra says: We don't believe so. But we have no way to know.
19:27:14 Araatris Valryss straightens, tapping her fingers irritably against her thigh.
19:27:42 Malfias waves a hand, and the nathrezim at Araatris's feet dissolves into ash.
19:27:58 Malfias says: Let your mind go, little one. The connection is no longer yours to maintain.
19:28:11 Araatris Valryss says: ...
19:28:22 Vasedra gasps. "Master..."
19:29:24 Araatris Valryss mentally shoves Vasedra in front of hers in the connection.
19:30:11 Malfias says: Your paranoia amuses me, but it is unfounded.
19:31:07 Araatris Valryss says: Consider it caution. I refuse to put myself at unnecessary risk.
19:32:01 Vasedra watches Malfias' projection, ready to be shield as well as blade. She tries to redirect the conversation. "How can we free you?"
19:32:10 Araatris Valryss 's shadows churn around her in lazy circles, chittering.
19:32:21 Malfias says: I have controlled minds far more complex than yours, human. While I can sense that you have been training, it is nothing compared to what I have faced.
19:32:24 Malfias shakes his head.
19:32:38 Malfias says: But, no. I am not here to claim you. That would be...a waste.
19:32:43 Vasedra presses her lips together.
19:33:17 Araatris Valryss smiles politely.
19:33:19 Malfias says: You will fail at your attempt to defeat the Lord of the Eclipse. It will take more than his keys to strike at his heart.
19:33:55 Malfias says: You seek to destroy that which cannot be destroyed.
19:34:18 Vasedra says: Then how do we end him? He must be ended.
19:35:09 Araatris Valryss grins.
19:36:18 Araatris Valryss says: We have both Shazadi, his priestess, and my master, Eraelan.
19:36:34 Malfias says: Shazadi...
19:36:41 Vasedra looks at Ary, her eyes widening. "Shazadi?"
19:37:07 Malfias says: I never expected she would allow herself to be captured.
19:37:08 Araatris Valryss nods at Vasedra.
19:37:23 Vasedra 's rage dances along the edge of the connection, harsh and sharp.
19:37:53 Vasedra simply turns her gaze back to the projection, saying nothing at all.
19:38:55 Araatris Valryss says: From what I understand, she'd created a disguise of a human traveling with a draenei named Mifuune.
19:39:42 Araatris Valryss says: Somehow, he knew who she was and it was revealed to the Netherbane.
19:40:18 Vasedra clenches her fists and the anger flares before she shuts it out.
19:40:33 Araatris Valryss raises an eyebrow at Vasedra.
19:41:03 Malfias says: Her sentimentality gets the better of her again. I should not be surprised.
19:42:25 Malfias says: Then you may have a chance of reaching him.
19:42:35 Vasedra manages a relatively neutral voice as she says, "Can Shazadi be used, then?"
19:43:46 Malfias says: He struck at me out of sheer anger. He discovered that Shazadi and I had been plotting against him, and he desired to reassert his dominance.
19:44:19 Malfias says: It is something lowly animals do on the countless worlds we have crushed. To see him reduced to such basic urges was...
19:44:24 Malfias shakes his head, almost sadly.
19:44:42 Malfias says: He was able to capture me. He seeks one more.
19:45:00 Araatris Valryss says: Shazadi.
19:45:03 Malfias nods.
19:45:07 Vasedra manages a little grin at that, toothy and dark. "She can be bait."
19:46:15 Malfias says: Bring her here, and he will respond.
19:47:18 Vasedra nods. "And once he does?"
19:47:32 Malfias waves his hands, pulling away the clinging shadows from Araatris's body. As he does so, the reality around them both changes, and a massive vessel appears around them from nothingness.
19:47:34 Araatris Valryss gasps and falls to her knees.
19:48:04 Malfias says: Here is the Umbral Eclipse. Here will be its final resting point.
19:48:49 The surrounding vessel is larger than any other of the Legion ships seen so far. At the top of its spire burns a flame--orange, unlike the rest. Damage, perhaps?
19:48:53 Vasedra says: Ary?!
19:50:18 Araatris Valryss says: You son of a-! I'm fine. Just backlash. I think he dispelled... something.
19:50:39 Araatris Valryss grabs towards Sedra's arm as she stands and looks around.
19:51:07 Vasedra supports Ary and then tugs her back behind her.
19:51:34 Malfias says: He will know that I am no longer powering his cloak.
19:51:55 Malfias says: He is mad, but he is not unobservant.
19:53:31 Vasedra peers at his projection. "Can you escape him?"
19:54:25 Malfias says: I can. But now I am free, I may be of better use here, inside.
19:54:56 Vasedra frowns and glances over her shoulder at Ary.
19:55:00 Malfias says: He took us by surprise at the Outer Gate. Approached as an ally, then attacked with one of his mass driver vessels.
19:55:22 Malfias says: We were... unprepared.
19:55:26 Araatris Valryss nods at Vasedra.
19:55:47 Araatris Valryss says: So, you wish to coordinate with us.
19:56:15 Malfias looks over his shoulder at something unseen, then waves a hand and nods.
19:57:00 Malfias says: Now I am prepared. He has forgotten what a psychomancer can do.
19:57:18 Vasedra frowns more. "Can you oppose him, Master?"
19:58:15 Malfias nods again.
19:58:21 Malfias says: I will make these halls his nightmare.
19:58:35 Malfias says: Plan your strike. Gather your allies. Then bring Shazadi here.
19:58:50 Malfias says: I will ensure that he becomes aware of her presence.
19:59:04 Vasedra bows her head and presses a fist over her breast. An answer.
19:59:11 You salute Malfias with respect.
19:59:32 Malfias turns his gaze upon the smaller human.
20:00:15 Araatris Valryss says: That will work. We will be in touch.
20:00:27 Malfias nods.
20:00:38 Malfias looks over his shoulder once again at something hidden from view.
20:00:48 Malfias says: He must believe that I am still here.
20:01:01 Malfias says: He will believe what I wish him to believe.
20:02:14 Malfias's hazy form fades from view, but not before resuming the suspended, trapped position it was in at the beginning.
20:02:45 Vasedra waits, silent and still, until the connection closes.
20:03:32 Araatris Valryss says: What are you thinking, Vasedra?
20:04:08 Vasedra doesn't answer for a while, and then she finally only says, "I don't want to talk, Ary."
20:04:59 Araatris Valryss crosses her arms.
20:05:15 Araatris Valryss says: You will need to speak with me about it sooner or later.
20:05:56 Vasedra says: I don't think so. Give it enough time, and it won't be important.
20:06:14 Vasedra sighs and turns back to her friend, taking advantage of the shadows of her cowl.
20:06:42 Araatris Valryss says: It depends. Are you planning on showing off the entire plan to anyone else?
20:07:04 Araatris Valryss says: Well, what we know of the plan anyway.
20:07:04 Vasedra doesn't even look contrite. She just says, "Not at the moment."
20:07:23 Araatris Valryss scowls.
20:08:05 Araatris Valryss says: So, we're just going to ignore all of that about Shazadi? Every bit of it?
20:08:13 Araatris Valryss questions further.
20:09:33 Vasedra says: Yes.
20:10:02 Vasedra folds her arms across her frosted breastplate and looks away, the anger back on her expression.
20:12:45 Sraath 's image appears seeming to unnotice anything around it, as it approaches the doorway.
Sraath's form is large, towering over them.
20:13:16 Araatris Valryss says: ...
20:13:34 Vasedra steps closer to Ary, hands going to her sword hilts.
20:13:42 Sraath says: Math raza zem lok unais.
20:14:05 Sraath 's image raises its arms and the damage at the top of the vessels begins to mend itself.
20:14:31 Sraath says: Math raga sol unokil.
20:14:52 Sraath roars with bestial vigor. So fierce!
20:15:19 Sraath turns from the doorway and begins to return to wherever it came from.
20:16:09 Vasedra gives Ary a wide-eyed look.
20:17:04 Araatris Valryss says: Talking or not talking. Perhaps we should do it elsewhere and not on the doorstep of the Umbral Eclipse...
20:17:39 Vasedra nods, "Let's get back before Master forgets to protect us, next time."
20:18:04 Araatris Valryss says: Agreed.
They summon their mounts and ride off toward their shelter… pausing partway along...
20:18:53 Araatris Valryss says: Are you sure you don't want to talk?
20:19:08 Araatris Valryss pauses her mount.
20:19:26 Vasedra says: ... I'm tired, Ary. Let's just go.
20:19:46 Araatris Valryss sighs.
20:19:53 Vasedra sighs and pulls her cowl lower over her face.
20:20:21 Araatris Valryss says: Will you stop hiding in that cowl? It's not going to stop me from knowing you're angry.
20:20:26 Araatris Valryss says: Let's go.
20:20:43 Vasedra just nods. To what? Who knows...
20:21:31 Vasedra says nearly ten minutes later as they ride... "I'm not angry."
Ary waits until the settle into their cavern to say...
20:22:39 Araatris Valryss says: Does that just mean you're not angry at me or...?
20:23:49 Vasedra tosses her pack in the corner and finally flips her cowl down, turning back to Ary with a sigh. "It means... I don't know."
20:24:41 Vasedra slips her swords out of their scabbards after checking the security array display. She tosses them carelessly by her pack.
20:24:58 Araatris Valryss says: But you're still... what would you call this?
20:25:03 Araatris Valryss gestures to Sedra.
20:25:08 Vasedra says: Tired.
20:25:59 Araatris Valryss says: Alright. You're tired. I'm tired. That's understandable.
20:27:21 Araatris Valryss says: You just met with your form-- your master. You were... surprised by the information about Shazadi. Concerned for my wellbeing.
20:27:46 Araatris Valryss says: It's been... a busy evening.
20:28:02 Araatris Valryss takes a deep breath.
20:28:16 Vasedra sighs and starts tugging her gauntlets off, though her expression darkens at the mention of Shazadi. "Why do you want to talk so much? I'm fine. You're fine. M-... Malfias is freed. We have a plan to defeat Sraath. It was a GOOD evening."
20:29:54 Araatris Valryss says: Because you're more disturbed at the mention of her than I am and she nearly murdered me.
20:31:20 Vasedra shrugs slightly. "I want to kill her for that. Very much. But no one told me we - ... you had her."
20:31:38 Vasedra somehow has a neutral expression through that grim announcement.
20:32:11 Araatris Valryss crouches and drops her bag on the ground, then turns and sits.
20:33:16 Araatris Valryss says: I didn't know either for a while. Tris told me. It took a little bit to process how I felt about it and what I was going to do.
20:34:14 Vasedra simply follows her movement, staying where she is even when the priestess sits. "And what did you decide?"
20:34:38 Araatris Valryss sighs, looking up at Sedra.
20:35:38 Araatris Valryss says: That a tool is more useful than my revenge. I knew you would be displeased, but I'd planned to tell you soon.
20:36:32 Araatris Valryss says: Rephaia doesn't know either.
20:36:36 Araatris Valryss grimaces.
20:37:04 Araatris Valryss says: I'm not sure her mother would survive that backlash and we still need her alive.
20:37:33 Vasedra makes a face. "Ardell's h-... ... mother?!"
20:38:33 Araatris Valryss says: Shazadi is Rephaia's mother. Even more so than I, she would get to choose her fate.
20:38:50 Vasedra pinches the bridge of her nose. "I thought it was a ridiculous rumor."
20:38:59 Araatris Valryss shakes her head.
20:39:03 Araatris Valryss says: I wish.
20:40:06 Vasedra just sinks to her knees where she is with a weary sigh.
20:40:51 Araatris Valryss says: I do regret not telling you.
20:41:22 Vasedra says: ...
20:41:58 Vasedra says: I don't know how mad I am at you. Mostly her. Everything. I don't know.
20:43:41 Vasedra shifts around and pulls her knees up to lean her elbows on them. "It's been a good night," she repeats, sounding like she's trying to convince herself.
20:43:58 Araatris Valryss says: It has been a good night.
20:44:11 Araatris Valryss offers a tiny smile.
20:44:24 Araatris Valryss says: Thank you for watching out for me tonight.
20:45:23 Vasedra nods, leaning her chin on her arms. "It's what I do."
20:46:02 Araatris Valryss says: What do you think? Should we tell Rephaia?
20:46:54 Vasedra says: No, of course not. We need Shazadi alive, now.
20:47:41 Araatris Valryss nods.
20:47:58 Araatris Valryss says: There's no guarantee that someone else won't tell her.
20:48:16 Araatris Valryss hides a yawn behind her hand.
20:48:36 Vasedra makes a face. "Don't ask me to protect her. I have my limits."
20:49:41 Araatris Valryss says: Nah. I'll let me sister handle that. There's a reason she's at the Site so much and it's not just cleaning.
20:50:36 Vasedra nods and stands, putting her gauntlets back on.
20:51:55 Araatris Valryss raises an eyebrow.
20:52:13 Araatris Valryss says: Are you heading back out?
20:53:10 Vasedra pauses long enough to look over her friend, a perusal. "Yes. I'm not ready to settle."
20:53:33 Araatris Valryss says: Didn't you just say that you were tired?
20:53:37 Vasedra reaches up and flips her cowl up around her face.
20:53:50 Vasedra says: The two aren't related, Ary.
20:54:11 Araatris Valryss says: Do you wish company?
20:54:44 Vasedra says: No. You're tired.
20:54:57 Araatris Valryss says: But that's not related.
20:55:19 Araatris Valryss lips quirk slightly in what might be amusement.
20:55:44 Vasedra gives her a droll look. "Not related for ME."
20:57:10 Araatris Valryss says: Sedra, when you figure out what you feel... Could you please let me know?
20:57:34 Araatris Valryss pushes to her feet, looking far more drained that she had moments ago.
20:58:41 Araatris Valryss steps up to Vasedra and rests a shadow covered hand on her arm.
20:58:59 Vasedra frowns a bit, crossing her hand across her other wrist. She looks away from Ary. "I ... don't know if I can."
20:59:30 Araatris Valryss says: Because you don't wish to tell me or because you don't know if you'll understand it?
21:04:28 Vasedra says: Maybe... both?
21:05:35 Araatris Valryss sighs and drops her hand.
21:06:14 Araatris Valryss says: That's fair. I won't force it any further.
21:06:14 Vasedra glances down at her hand. "I can show you, if that's what you want. It may not help."
21:07:01 Araatris Valryss says: Why would showing me be different?
21:07:54 Araatris Valryss speaks softly, she reaches up to rub at her eye before grimacing and lowering her arm again.
21:08:07 Vasedra shrugs slightly. "I did say it might not help. But words are so much harder."
21:08:36 Araatris Valryss says: Only if you want. I won't force you.
21:08:32 Vasedra says: ... is something wrong?
21:09:23 Araatris Valryss says: No, no. Nothing's wrong.
21:09:52 Vasedra looks her up and down, not appearing terribly convinced.
21:11:23 Araatris Valryss holds up her hand, revealing the weak wispy shadows.
21:11:46 Araatris Valryss says: I'm just tired, Sedra.
21:12:53 Vasedra examines her again before finally nodding. "Then you should rest. You don't need to use your powers any more, right now. It will keep."
21:14:02 Araatris Valryss relents with a grudging nod.
21:14:23 Araatris Valryss turns, but pauses and asks, "Sedra, you're my friend, aren't you?"
21:15:28 Vasedra says: I am your friend, Ary. I will always protect you, even when you stop needing me to.
21:16:27 Araatris Valryss nods again, her shoulders sagging as an unknown weight seems to be removed from them.
21:16:43 Araatris Valryss says: Thank you.
21:17:11 Araatris Valryss settles down against the rock wall and closes her eyes.
21:17:25 Vasedra nods. "Rest. I'll activate the grid when I leave."
21:18:10 Vasedra sets the display by Ary and pauses there. "Sleep well."
21:18:14 You kneel before Dreadwhisper.
21:18:32 Araatris Valryss says: I will. Please don't be too long.
21:19:05 Vasedra says: As you wish.
21:19:12 Vasedra fetches her swords before disappearing out the cavern entrance, the pair of them still in her hands.