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[SS] Chocolate Fish

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Re: [SS] Chocolate Fish

Post  Erin Lightheart on Thu Mar 02, 2017 12:51 pm

"There can only be one location: Right here. We've no time to get the children someplace else while this place is so open and easy to lose a target in. On the plus side, she has no choice but to come here, so we already have the advantage of knowing where she'll strike. The house itself is trapped well enough to repel an army. But we have yet to set up a perimeter directly outside, where traps can be more easily hidden under the cover of snow. The best types for outside would be alerting traps and perhaps snares and nets. I doubt we have the time and manpower to dig pit traps and establish much of a network before she arrives, so something more rudimentary to alert us before she arrives would be best after all. Tripwires connected to rattling tins, bells, wind chimes...that could work."

The hour was late. The absence of a conscious Folke, as well as that of Tierney and Edana grew into quite the large elephant in the room with each passing minute. Erin's anxious pacing only accelerated as the nearby clock ticked. Even with something basic set up outside, the fact that there was simply...nothing was far more worrying than an outright attack on their stronghold.

"Do you have some means of communication or signalling among yourselves in case of separation? Radio, fireworks, flares, some kind of spell?...Smoke signals?"

Continually checking on the children to ensure none went missing, and ensuring the seals remained unique to each room, the wait for the eventual showdown had transformed the night into one unending. She was surely worrying Vita by pacing around like this, and upon realization put on a comforting smile and offered some words of reassurance.

"Don't worry. Just because i'm placing myself in harm's way, it doesn't mean I intend to just give up if things get bad. As a human being, I will fight for my survival like anyone else would. In any case, it's looking increasingly likely that we will be stuck defending this place alone, with you as my only backup for the plan should the traps fail to catch her without a fight. I take it you would have no qualms with my contacting the townspeople to lend their aid should things become dire? In fact...that's a good idea. I can get the message out to the town in case she's listening and get our acting plan started at least."

Taking out her phone, she dialed the usual numbers in order to get ahold of all the right townspeople as before.

"The final showdown with the monster who did this to your children may soon be at hand. If this is indeed the case, it will be a tough fight. But I, Erin Lightheart, will lead us to victory, and deliver that weak coward to justice! She'll have to get through me if she wants to accomplish anything! A leader never stands down when there's work to be done, and such a foe appears to be small-time. I promise you this: The children will be found, and the monster's head will be delivered to you on a platter once this nightmare is brought to an end by my hand! Feel free to watch this fated showdown yourselves to witness my glory."

In one fell swoop, she got the message out across the town in such a way that if the culprit was still around, she was sure to receive it. And on the plus side, by assigning herself the sole responsibility for the outcome, she was shielding Folke and the others from taking the blame if things went badly. She could deal with a negative reputation; in the event of a failure, it was her plan that resulted in it anyway. And it was better for one person to be disliked than a whole group.

"By the way, Vita. You didn't happen to see if this mansion housed any cars, motorcycles, or snowmobiles, did you? Or if any of the above could be found nearby?"
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Re: [SS] Chocolate Fish

Post  Vita Vesta Caesar on Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:37 am

"We don't have any pre-arranged methods of communication, no. But it was Tierney who told me about this place, and she went with Edana to follow the tracks Sassa left. So even if we don't do anything, they should come here once they finish."

It was plainly obvious to Vita that Erin was going a bit stir-crazy. A siege was extremely draining psychologically, especially in a situation like theirs where they didn't have enough to people to watch in shifts. The two of them had to spend every moment on constant alert, never knowing when or where the attack would come. If one wasn't used to it, the pressure would crush them, and Erin's inexperience showed. Vita had long since stopped doubting Erin's capabilities, but if this went on too long what she could do wouldn't matter. The girl would break down.

Apparently, Erin had noticed Vita's worries, as she spoke up in an attempt to assuage them. Her assumption of their origin, however, was off the mark, even if she had hit remarkably close to an entirely different worry. Watching as she went off onto a tangent partway through what was supposed to be her reassurance, Vita decided to speak up about the matter as soon as Erin finished her call.

"I haven't seen any, but even if we searched I think it'd be difficult to find one. This place does seem the most likely to have one, but its owner appears to have vacated it only recently and it's hard to believe that he'd leave something so expensive. Changing topics, though... That's not what I was worried about," she said with a cough, getting to the point. "You're not used to this, are you? This pressure. Doing everything you can is commendable, but in scenarios like these, it's more important to have a sense of stability. When an attack could come at any moment from any point, rather than jumping from one task to another, it's necessary to have a routine. Otherwise, the pressure will build up, and you'll collapse."

Until Edana and Tierney returned, Vita had to avoid the diminishment of their combat potential at any cost. Erin couldn't be in anything but top condition, so one could say it was Vita's responsibility as a senior to manage her.

"So, let's establish a set patrol path. We'll need to ensure that we meet up periodically, but that shouldn't be too difficult. Even though this is a mansion, it's only so la-"



Doors, windows, and all normal manners of entry had been barred. Odd scents could be found at every last one, each one certainly a trap. However, they only prohibited entry. She could not step foot within, but she could do as she wished without.

She crouched not on the ground or in the shadows, but on the roof of the mansion. Hiding her figure in the shadows, she had approached the building without being seen by any watchers and scaled the walls. Taking the utmost care to avoid detection, it had been far more difficult than if she had simply devoted her full ability to the task, but it had not been unmanageable.

For one such as her, whether one barred the doors or not was insignificant. So long as even a single grain of sand could enter, nothing could stop her. She thrust her hand into the shingling, and the resulting crack opened unnaturally wide. She fell gracefully, entering the building not from any established entrance, but from above.

Creating a crack so forcefully had alerted the attention of the inhabitants. That was a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it alerted those who had created the building's defenses to her presence. But on the other, it forced a reaction from the hidden children, allowing her to pinpoint their location.

She did not bother with using doors, hallways, or stairs; she simply created cracks in the walls, ceilings, and floors and progressed to the children's room via the most direct possible path. She had abandoned all subtlety, but in this situation a clean rescue was an impossibility. She would make up for everything with sheer speed, not allowing the defenders an opportunity to react.

She reached the children's room, and recognized the marked child at a glance.

It ended quickly.



Away from the eyes of Erin and Vita, in a certain room near the main entrance of the building.

Something that shouldn't have been there, was there. A doll crudely hand-crafted from animal skin, ragged and dirty. A type of spiritual tool used by the magician known to Necessarius as Sassa. In Scandinavian folklore, there was a werewolf-like creature known as the nattmara, or nightmare.

With similarities to many other creatures, it was said in some stories to slip like sand through the smallest of cracks and feed on the life force of its inhabitants. But in others, it would act similarly to a banshee and mark someone for death by leaving a ragged doll in their home. Linking these two aspects of the story, so long as Sassa could somehow smuggle a doll into a building, it was virtually impossible to deny her entry.

It was the spell that Sassa had created for the sole purpose of retrieving children. It was Hunting.

And it sat quietly in the bed of the fireplace.
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Re: [SS] Chocolate Fish

Post  Tierney Bevin on Sun Mar 26, 2017 1:25 pm

If there was one thing this Sassa magician seemed to excel at more than anything else, it was making it seem like she didn't exist in the first place. And that angered Tierney terribly, who had a very clear idea of where that woman might have fled to had she not decided to abandon this village entirely.

“We need to return to the mansion, now! If Sassa returned there, she has more than enough advantages against Vita and Erin!” Her words were immediately followed by the sound of snow being violently kicked away, indicator that she had taken off in the direction they'd originally came from just as she'd closed her mouth.

Her staff was no longer being held in an anxious two-handed manner, but in a visibly irritatedly confident manner.

And that wasn't indicator of anything good for the village in terms of intended damage to the surroundings.
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Re: [SS] Chocolate Fish

Post  Erin Lightheart on Sat Apr 22, 2017 7:22 am

To all reading this thread: Required reading!:

From this point forward, the way this thread will be conducted will be different. Due to circumstances surrounding the thread, it was decided that I will take over the narration and bring the plot to a quick and satisfying conclusion.

In order to do this without writing a novel, the rest of the plot will be presented in a summarized format with two sections in which the participants will get a chance to act out some socially focused parts. I hope you will all enjoy what I have come up with. Thanks for your time.

Part 1: The Chase

The Mansion

Sassa's sudden invasion had succeeded in catching Vita and Erin off guard, if for but a second. They hurriedly deduced that Sassa had gained entry somehow via the second floor. Erin began to bolt up the stairs to confront the villain and protect the children, but the more experienced Vita had other ideas as she discovered the doll dropped in through the fireplace. Being familiar with counteracting the idol theory of opposing magicians, the doll was soon reduced to many indistinguishable pieces.

Hoping this would at least make some difference, Vita then joined her temporary ally to face Sassa. The sight she discovered was that of the blue-haired detective facing a disheveled woman sporting a feral appearance. It appeared as though the intruder was not expecting such a quick response, as whatever spell she had in mind to use on the child in her grasp had yet to be activated. Erin asked her what the reason was behind her actions. The animalistic woman's sole response was a piercing glare reflecting much anger and sorrow.

With her idol theory dispelled, Sassa was at a distinct disadvantage. The nearby window had furniture piled in front of it, so digging through that to get away was not an option. Now that Vita joined Erin in blocking the only remaining exit, it was time for desperate measures. Whoever made the first sudden movement would signal the start of the battle. But was battle on anyone's mind...?

It all happened far too quickly. There was no way for Sassa to complete the spell on the child she had taken, and so it would only be a liability in escaping. On the other hand, it could still be useful! With great force, the captive child was thrown toward the unsuspecting Erin and Vita to keep them busy as she barreled past them. Already taken by surprise by having the child thrown at them, the two were tossed aside like pins daring to stand in the way of a mighty bowling ball's rampage.

Sassa exploded into the second floor hall, looking desperately for a way out now that she temporarily disabled the two pursuers. There was nobody else around and the coast appeared to be clear...

Outside the mansion

Edana and Tierney hoped they weren't too late. The sleepy town had been far too quiet for their liking, and the fact that they had been led around only to have Sassa escape to the mansion did little to improve their mood. Even the cool Edana's temperament had begun to give way to a degree of frustration not normally seen. As one who prided herself on being a skilled Hunter, consistently elusive prey such as Sassa had become an insult.

Tierney had enough of just playing along with this wild goose chase. She was determined to step forward and end the threat herself in one decisive blow if the opportunity presented itself. Despite having raced to near-exhaustion to reach the mansion quickly, the prospect of paying back Sassa for all the trouble she caused them invigorated the girl. With a devilish grin betraying her intentions, she surprisingly took the lead and charged the large stronghold.

*Smash!*

Erupting from a window facing the direction the two didn't come from came Sassa, clawing at her eyes, nose, and mouth as she landed on the snowy terrain below. Accompanying her was the smell of the many scent-based traps she triggered on the way to her escape. Her face was covered in cleaning powder, which was soon hastily cleaned off thanks to burying her head in snow.

Before the two girls had the time to react, the villain made a frenzied dash toward the outskirts of town, in the direction of the woods. Tierney thought to give chase immediately, but Edana stopped her. There were no children with her, they didn't know where Erin and Vita were, and besides, smelling like she did, it would be easy for Edana to track her down. If Sassa's hideout was indeed within the woods, Tierney would be at an advantage too.

Inside the Mansion

Folke's eyes calmly opened as he heard voices talking in a nearby room. He initially wondered where he was, but as he overheard the girls going over the events which transpired, he breathed a sigh of relief. Painfully he got to his feet and shuffled over to make his presence known. There was shock and surprise that a person with his injuries could be awake and walking around so soon, but they failed to take into account his willpower to see his goal through to the end.

There was no way he could be down and out at this stage in the game. He had to prevent the other Necessarius members and that outsider Erin from committing any grave mistakes from now on. Therefore, when the topic of giving chase to Sassa came up, he refused to be left behind. Without him, things would definitely go badly, and he couldn't have that.

The group had packed enough supplies to last for a while, and there was now little reason to delay the pursuit. It was determined that after the failed abduction, Sassa was unlikely to come back to the village, so now was the time to catch her. Edana and Vita, both having abilities related to tracking, assured the others that Sassa would be found quickly thanks to Erin's scent traps. Still, Erin remained even more distant than Folke, with the image of Sassa's glare etched into her mind.

The hunt had begun.

The Outskirts and the Woods

It did not require much effort by the experienced trackers in the group to determine exactly where the culprit had fled. Normally entering the woods at night was something made of nightmares, but these magicians had purpose, and nothing was going to stop them from reaching their target. That said, Sassa was faster and had a bit of a head start on them. As they had gone without sleep for the night, and one of them was still injured, the magicians had to conserve their energy for the battle ahead.

The maze-like woods was quite a drain on their collective energy and spirit. While tracking their prey had been relatively simple, the toll of having run around all day without rest on top of being in the unfamiliar wilderness had begun to rear its ugly head. Still, they were getting closer, and the prospect of reaching Sassa to finally bring her down gave them enough energy to keep walking for a little longer.

Erin began to wonder just what laid ahead of them, and why Sassa was going to such lengths to go after children. She was unfamiliar with the world of magic and every glimpse she was granted only resulted in further disgust. Could the others around her even be considered much different from Sassa if circumstances were different? Folke may have had an ulterior motive in presenting her to them as his assistant, though Tierney was nice...

Tierney's impatience was quite a beast to be reckoned with, in its own right. At every turn, she had been denied the catharsis of delivering Sassa to justice...smashy justice. If this opportunity also slipped her by, she very well might turn into the most dangerous being on Earth. What irritated her even more was the fact that she hadn't even been given adequate information about Sassa to even consider her side of the story. The lack of almost anything to go on was unbearable, so if there was an opportunity in waiting, she was willing to go ahead and take it.

Vita, as tired as she was, watched the group before her with pride. For all of their flaws, they still came together to work for a common purpose, even that rookie. This strength in diversity...it was something she loved to witness, especially if she could get them to join her cause. But that would come later. Could now be the time for her to assume her role as destined leader and organize these subjec--allies to victory? She looked forward to showing them and the world what she was made of, what Rome was made of.

Edana knew the prey was getting closer with each step. And yet, despite being so fit, fatigue began to set in, and she could tell that the others would not last long if they kept the pace up. She slyly took the lead and steered the group toward a nearby clearing where they could rest. While she was not averse to taking exciting risks on her own, placing everyone else in danger was not something she could accept. Despite the stumbling and fumbling, she used her stored energy to set up camp while everyone else rested and caught their breath, or in Folke's case, tended to injuries.

Folke began to worry. They had made too much progress too quickly, and on such little energy too. Something bad could very well happen if a confrontation happened now before he could think of a plan of action. When he realized Edana discovered a clearing and began setting up camp, his worries faded somewhat.  Now he had been granted time and opportunity to approach the inevitable event with some careful planning.

Camp

The warmth of the fire was a welcome feeling to all present. Having had little else but flashlights and the distant moonlight to illuminate the darkness until now, it was almost overwhelming to their eyes. Some food was prepared and now the group of magicians, huddled around the fire, had several hours in which to eat, rest, and even chat if they so desired. The signal to resume the chase would be the rise of the morning sun. How would they spend this time afforded to them...?
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