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Wow, another half-decent muse... - Just Characters

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April 8th, 2004

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06:22 pm - Wow, another half-decent muse...
Characters:Venture Raithen
Location:East Ocean, Ivhansa

The cold of the outside air was muted slightly as she entered the ice cave. Dug deeply into the frozen ocean, extending straight down at times, and slanted at a almost lethal angle at others. The perfect place for bandits, marauders and thieves to hide out, and not to mention all manners of creatures that lived out here. Shivering as she braced her feet, and let herself slide down another tunnel that cut back in reverse of the one she had just walked down. Losing her footing on the still alien ice, sliding down onto her back, and careening down the rest of the way, and out onto a flat, almost mirror-smooth sheet of ice before she finally stopped.

"Ow..." Venture winced at all the bumps she had hit in the ice on the way down, and silently cursed this frozen world again. Something that was quickly getting to be a habit for her, having come all the way from the warm forests and jungles of Reganus for this. Barely a half-year a native, and only slightly more comfortable then she was when she first arrived. Wrapped up tightly in two layers of shoulder to foot clothing, padded boots, and a patch work blanket for a cloak. Hiding the top of her head and her ears in a brown-dyed fur cap, and a scarf around her neck that she could pull up over her nose and mouth when she got too cold. Feeling like the ice bears that had been killed for most of what she was wearing as she stomped and stormed through the zig-zagging cave. Going further and further underneath the upper layer of the ice, and down further then she thought the ice extended. Amazed at a number of places where she could stare out, and see nothing but unfrozen water and fish. Lots of shiny fish and creatures of sizes so large, that she thought she was dreaming when she saw their shadows in the dark.

She could see in the dark with infravision, a gift giving to her by the elven half of her parents, but it only worked with heat. Something that was less then scarce down here, and on this world in particular. Shivering as she raised a hand out from under her cloak where she was keeping them warm, gathering the light that reflected from above through the ice, wrapping it around her hand, and through her gloved fist. Giving it just a little bit of her own energy to secure it, and tossing the ball of light away and in front of her. It bounced twice and slid to a stop silently. Illuminating the inside of the ice room with weak, but passable light. Just a small piece of magic that anyone could do. Lighting up the rectangular-ish cavern in the ice with it's dusk glare.

Whistling softly as the room became a viewing hall, with transperant walls that showed the world outside as if there were nothing inbetween her, and the pressures of unimaginable amounts of ocean water. A flat, finned creature the size of a small city, hovering in the water to her left, and causing her to squeak in sudden shock as her eyes met with it's. The creature's sole eye tracking on her for a moment, before looking elsewhere, seemingly decided that she wasn't worth the effort for a snack. Her eyes tracking across the spectacles for a stunned moment, before passing over the single structure in the viewing room. Calming her heart as she studied the room's floors for traps before crossing.

The large marine animal watched her boredly as she made her way towards the single pillar of polished ice as softly as possible. Having the feeling that this place was as fragile as it looked, and not wanting to die in the cold waters before becoming fish food. Shuddering at the thought of what lay in that creature's stomach out there. Touching the ice pillar, her visible breath causing it to defrost for a moment, and then solidfy once again into a smooth, unblemished surface. It wasn't natural, anyone could see that. Running a hand along it for opening, but finding none. Moving her hand back and taking a step the same distance as the pillar suddenly glowed green, then yellow. Yup, that's what she was here for.

Essence, the material of the god's plane. Such raw power in such a small form. Cast down a millenia ago, and spread out all over the Combine and reaches within. Here was one such piece, buried deep beneath the frozen eastern ocean in this pillar, fitted to it's sentient wishes. Just waiting for someone to come by and pick it up. Feeling kinda reluctant to take it away from such a nice home, and wondering how long it took it to find this place, and carve it out. Not long, probabley, was her own answer. It was a piece of the gods. Still...such a nice place to call home, if you didn't mind the cold, and the creature staring at you from outside. "Sorry, fella, you're coming with me." She apologized and reached back underneath her cloak for her sword. A click of metal sounding across the viewing room's walls from behind her.

She spun with her hand still on the hilt of her sword. Catching sight of a figure with what looked like a long, straight stick in both hands, pointed at her. "Ours." Scavengers! Damn them, too! They had followed her in. Let her do all the dirty work. Now they wanted the essence for themselves, the cheating bastards! "Screw you." She bit back, and watched as a second scavenger ran across the ice floor from behind the other one. A bloody halfling, of all the things to be stolen from. Watching him with her weapon ready to draw as he watched her in return. A short sword in one hand, looking like a long sword in his small hands. Scooting right on past her to retrieve the essence while the other one covered her.

If the halfling got the essence first, all she could do was kill him, and that would ruin it for her, too. Essence scattered when it was released from a living body through death. She'd lose it completely, but if she moved..."Hurry up." The one further back hissed, and hissed literally. Tilting her head sideways to look at him, and realizing that was no regular humanoid. "A halfling and a lizardman, oh come on, how stereotypical can you get?" She asked. The lizardman hissed and chuckled with a shrug. She made her move as his weapon moved in his hands ever so slightly. Her sheath clicking as she turned the hilt once to the right, back left, and then a second time to the left to trigger the release mechanism. Drawing on the halfling, but having to bring her blade up in her defense as the lizardman's rifle popped.

The broad sword in her hand reverberated violently as the rifle slug pinged off the middle of the flat-sided blade, bounced off and up, and punched a hole right through the more solid ice of the ceiling. Counting herself lucky that the shot hadn't deflected through the thin viewing walls. "Are you trying to kill us all?!" She hollered at him, running to the right and forward to throw off his aim as he worked the loading lever and prepared to fire again. He fired again, and missed. The shot passing right by Venture's damaged left ear, and making a small shattering noise as it passed through the thin walls on the sides. She knew right away that it was going to be bad without even having to look. Raising her left hand and recalling the light magic she had used earlier, grasping it in her hand as the lizardman reloaded, and tossing it backhanded towards him.

He easily deflected the orb of light with the muzzle of his rifle, sending it bouncing off the walls to a rest. Turning his rifle back to fire at her again, and stepping back as he saw how close she had gotten. The rifle backfired as Venture's blade cut right through where the muzzle met with the chamber of the weapon, blowing it out of the lizardman's grasp, along with the fingers on his right hand. He'd regenerate it, like most of the amphibious species, but he wouldn't regenerate his body back into one whole. Venture's forehanded horizontal cut taking him in the stomach, cleanly through his softer skin, and parting his upper body from his lower. Both halves twitching as they hit the floor.

"I have it!" The halfling announced, prompting her to turn back towards the pillar. Staring wide-eyed as the hole the bullet had made through the wall slowly widened. Already flooding the room with a inch of water, and growing fast. A yellow-green flash as essence melded with another being. "You do, that..." Drawing on her life force again, commanding heat from her body, from the light streaming through the ice, and feeding it off of the other source in her body. The warm glow in her hands sparked into fire, and a spark of fire blazed into a ball of fire. The ice around her already starting to condensate as she reached back and threw it at the halfling. Turning to run even before it made contact, and exploded into a inferno many times the size of it's source of ignition, consuming the halfling's clothing, the hair on his feet, and the ice walls around him.

She saw the yellowish-green light of essence fly up through the ice, and through to the surface faster then she could ever hope to move. Racing the water up as it tore apart the viewing room below, and filled the cavern below her. Her breath coming in heavy fog as she used her blade as a pivot in the ice on turns, and as climbing help on the steeper inclines. Not wanting to look back as she stuck her blade as high as she could into the sheer ice wall of one of the wells, and used it in tandom with the opposite wall to pull herself up. Reaching down to extract her blade from the side, even as the water rushed in below and filled half of the well before coming to a sudden stop.

She climbed the rest of the way in defeated silence. Trying her best to squash the nagging in her head as she took her time with the rest of the tunnel, and found herself never more grateful to be in open air again. Shivering at the blast of colder air that greeted her, and just glad to be dry and alive. Pulling her hood over her head, and the scarf up over her nose as she walked back to camp. Cold, hungry and thirsty, but alive. In the end, that was about all that mattered, right? Right...
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