• Graded • The Door of Life

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The Door of Life

Tue Mar 26, 2019 9:32 am

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Ashan 30, 719 Probably



For those without Sparks, the Call had been a most agonizing experience. And for three of them, they'd find themselves waking up in dark, damp, and cold place. So dark. Light was completely absent down here, and sounds were scarce. A drip of water here, a bit of creaking stone there. Sounds that were all too familiar to one of the three that had appeared here suddenly. Maxine was far too familiar with Slags Deep. Kisaik and Thysbae were not so lucky as to have such experience.

And they were not alone.

Maxine would feel a shadow tentacle crawling up her leg and around her waist. But it was not with menace, and it would feel familiar to her. It was the Ishkahl, stolen by the very entity that Maxine had discovered in the depths of Level Seven. The same creature that had lured Patrick to the mountains and stole his spark. The creature was a pet of the dark haired girl, and through a form of empathic communication, let Maxine know that it was there to help her.

Meanwhile, Kisaik would find a Spirit of Trees with him, a creature that would, in the presence of light, look like a Tunawa in many ways, but it stood nearly three meters tall, just shy of the damp ceiling overhead. In a low, rumbling voice, it spoke to Kisaik, "I have been called to assist you, Son of Trees." Meanwhile, Thysbae would find stones rolling and sliding up and down his body, settling upon his shoulder, creaking into his ear, "I have been called to assist you, Son of Chaos."

Unfortunately for them, speaking while in Slags Deep, especially down here in Level Seven, was often a death sentence. And in the dark, completely silent, those who had once been people, for everyone became creatures down here, began to move toward the source of the sounds. There wouldn't be long before some of the worst beings from Idalos happened upon the group.

And the closest one was a Naer.
 ! Message from: Aegis
Maxine, Kisaik, and Thysbae

Each of you has the same clothings and belongings upon your person as when you answered the Call.

If you wish to know if something will work, do it up as an attempt. If you ask me "Will X work?" or "What will happen if I do Y?" I will tell you to make the attempt. Any other questions I will do my best to answer.

There is no posting order, and everyone gets 1 post. This posting round closes on the night of April 1st.
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Re: The Door of Life

Wed Mar 27, 2019 1:27 am

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Pain. That was the last thing Max remembered. An agonizing, soul-crushing pain that had her about calling out for her own end. She couldn't recall feeling something so severe that it drove hope and the will to survive out of her like a cockroach caught in the light. The residual ache of the mental and physical assault remained like a dull pulse on her mind when she awoke with a groan. Her fingers curled, nails scratching against cold rock and filling her slow-forming fist with gravel. Eyelids fluttered open to complete darkness. The air hung heavy, moist, and cold upon her skin. The relieved exhale out of her lips sounded far louder than it should've. Her brow furrowed. Understanding was slow to come, but come it did.

No. No fucking way.

Denial and panic had her rapidly shoving herself up from where she laid up to her feet. Her hands shot to her person, patting herself down. She could feel others in her circle of space and she reeled away from them. Her back struck a wall and the minor sound sent an echo down the tunnel. Maxine swallowed hard, heart beating in her chest. She wasn't dressed in a smock this go-around, but there was no mistaking it. There was no denying this horrific reality she'd tried again and again to forget. There was no putting this past behind her, no matter how much Ambrosia she smoked or rum she consumed.

I'm back in Level Seven.

Maxine ran her fingers, stressed, through her hair. Her mind raced in search of an explanation. She couldn't remember explicitly violating the law before the pain blacked her out. Not one worthy of this, at least. Had it been The Warden? Was he displeased with her progress? Was this a way for him to remind her that he had the power to drag her back into his hellish domain whenever he wanted? She shook that train of thought away. If her work had really been so unsatisfactory, Audrae was more likely to come screeching out of the shadows to express her ire. Even if the young girl she'd met in Slags Deep wanted a word, she imagined The Warden simply would've summoned her to another "tea party." If she was right in all that, a more troubling question remained.

Why am I back here?

She felt something crawl up her leg. Without hesitation, Max unsheathed the gladius from her hip. The convict was preparing to drive her weapon home when the creature somehow...connected with her. Her swing froze before it began, and she stared down at the tentacle through the dark where she knew it to be. Somehow she knew this creature though she'd never encountered anything like it. There was a familiarity that was hard to shake, and though she couldn't articulate how she knew it to be true, the shadowy beast was there to aid her. A part of the woman knew how it came to be here, and the thought twitched her lips toward a smile.

Other creatures spoke aloud to the other two unceremoniously dumped in The Beneath, which merited a hostile hiss from Maxine in return. There were clear rules to survival down here. Complete silence was one of them. To be heard was to welcome death. Judging by the not-so-distant sound of inmates, death was on the way. Anxiety at the thought of the incoming party wasn't so potent as it had been in the past. This time was different. She gave her gladius a quiet twirl in the dark and toggled her enhanced listening on. The world around her amplified. Max reached out to run her hand down the black feathers of her new companion. Then she turned toward the ignorant pair new to this familiar arena.

"You make a sound, you die," she murmured her advice darkly as low as she could. "They're coming now. Lots of them. Kill anyone that isn't you." Maxine, the better version who had helped save Scalvoris with Sephira and Rey'na, was slain right then by the convict persona. The last time she'd been in Slags Deep, she'd been hunting the robust mages and marked criminals lurking in the dark; dispatching the superior, resident menaces to prove herself the monster Scalvoris pegged her to be. It was time again to be the apex predator not long for this cage.

The inner switch was flipped.

Apathy settled in her unseeing eyes as she turned and ran, leaving the other two to their own devices to occupy the initial wave of enemies. Max rounded familiar corners, navigated tight short-cuts, and ventured safely around known choke points in her sprint. Any she met along the way would earn either a passing strike from her fist or swing of her deadly blade. She hoped the Ishkahl followed her flight loyally. After all, it wasn't really away from danger that Maxine was moving. She was racing for the exit. And she knew just how to escape.

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Re: The Door of Life

Sun Mar 31, 2019 11:21 pm

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Kisaik had little idea of where he was, to state the obvious. It wasn’t altogether unpleasant, it was moist, with plenty of potential for plantlife to thrive from what he could tell. As he rose from the ground, his armor clinked lightly, and reflected whatever light was present in the vicinity.

He noted the tree spirit, gravitating toward it absently as he walked slowly across the floor. He waved at the large spirit.

He also noted the two people that were there with him. One a human woman by all appearances, and another a young man that looked somewhat familiar to Kisaik. He could’ve sworn he met him before… His face reminded him vaguely of the scent of drying orchids…

Regardless, he could more or less tell by the way the woman bolted and ran, that she was desperate. Perhaps she had a better clue of what dangers lie in store in these caverns. Perhaps she was running into danger? Kisaik couldn’t say. Either way, he needed to take stock of just what was going on here. So he did just about the only thing he knew how to do.

He tried as best he could to hide behind the large tree spirit, behind its ankle, and using the shadows to obscure his own form, he lay still and in wait, to see what emerged from the darkness of the cavern.

It wasn’t entirely a knightly thing to do, to hide like that, but it was the only real skill the Tunawa had apart from alchemy. And his laboratory was Spirits knew how far away, in Yaralon.

He looked toward the young man that was left with them, and waved him over to take shelter behind the tree spirit. This done, he looked into the darkness, and anticipated whatever might appear out of it.
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Re: The Door of Life

Mon Apr 01, 2019 3:37 am

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It was pain that had taken him, and pain that had brought him...here. Wherever here was. Dark and damp, he was given no solace as the pain left him in this strange place. He could hear things moving about in the dark, but beyond that was silence. A silence that chilled him more than the cold of the darkness around him. Until there was a voice in his ear that made him jump, and smack his head against the low ceiling just above him. The cry that left him was choked down a trill too late as another voice sounded, warning them of noise. A woman, none too pleased by her tone.

Even if he wanted to ask her what she meant and why she knew what was happening - or had some clue - she was taking off. Leaving him and the other small figure he could make out in the darkness. There was familiarity in the shape, but it wasn’t enough to alleviate the panic brewing in him. Thysbae knew, for one, that he was likely far away from anyone that would be of any help to him. That he was, basically, alone.

Alone. He sucked in a breath, tears streaming down anew. Silent he remained, as per the hurried advice of the woman. He could only hope to do one part of it. Killing was something he’d prefer very much to avoid. Bae looked up in time to see the little figure darting forward, beckoning him along. He complied gladly, scampering after the little man to crouch behind what looked like a small tree.
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Re: The Door of Life

Tue Apr 02, 2019 10:29 am

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Maxine's trail separated her from Kisaik and Thysbae. She was only accompanied by the Ishkahl, who was as silent in here as a shadow. As silent as the shadow that was creeping up behind Kisaik and Thysbae. She was a veteran of this hell, locked away for a litany of crimes, the biggest of which was getting caught. But down in here, in pure darkness, Naer were true devils. And she could smell tears.

She crept in behind the unaware Thysbae, plucking away the tears with a long, razor sharp claw, slipping them into her mouth. Phenomenal. So much fear. It truly was the finest of spices. It had been a while since one so soft had been consumed. The Naer wished to marinate her prey in this. Both of the companions of Kisaik and Thysbae asked them what they should do, how could they help?

Maxine's path had not changed much since her last vacation down here. The only things that changed in Slags Deep were the people. One of whom was waiting ahead of Maxine. Truly waiting. Maxine would hear a voice ring out, a woman's, one that sounded familiar, and yet not. "You left me here."

The Ishkahl opened a portal along the roof. It wasn't one that could be traveled through, but rather, emanated light over the small cave the three were in. Across from Maxine, glaring at her with a deep hatred, was Maxine. This Maxine was wearing the tattered smock that barely covered any skin whatsoever, and she was holding that familiar pickaxe. She was dirty, hair stringy, skin pale, curves were replaced by ridges of bone from starvation. It was Maxine, the animal. Not the convict. Convicts still have hope. Animals only know the fight to survive.

"You left me."

Then she charged forward.

Back with the others, the Naer continued to slide unseen in the shadows, blowing on the back of Thysbae's neck, touching at Kisaik's beard. A chuckle echoed around them, "Perhaps you can be my pets..." She tapped them both on the head with a claw, allowing them to temporarily see in the darkness, though they still couldn't see her. But they could see the Mer wielding a spear and a human man with nothing in hand, nor on his person, both creeping toward them, toward the sounds of their breathing, to their foreign smells, unaware that they'd been spotted. Once they were close enough, they would attack.
 ! Message from: Aegis
Maxine, Animal Maxine has all the same skills and abilities and knowledge as regular Maxine.

Any questions your PC will ask IC will be answered by a PM/DM, so as to be added to your post if so desired.

Any OOC questions are welcome.

This round is open until the morning of April 9th.
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Re: The Door of Life

Thu Apr 04, 2019 2:17 am

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Max was well on her way to escaping this familiar hell pit when she heard the voice. She slowed her advance to a jog, and as the Ishkahl projected light through its peculiar Rupturing portal, she stopped altogether. An emaciated woman with long, matted hair stood in her tattered smock with a standard issue pickaxe in hand. The tool was rusted with blood stains. Any appearance of physical weakness as a result of starvation was made up by the burning, seething hatred in her intimidating stare.

"Left you?" Maxine asked with a tilt to her head, blinking at the figure in her way. Her eyes narrowed as she searched deeper into that vaguely familiar, gaunt face. Her fingers adjusted their grip on the gladius and she took a tentative step backwards, brow raising with disbelief. It wasn't another convict challenging her escape. It was...herself. "What...what are you?" Instead of giving a reply, her doppelganger charged.

The pick-axe came swinging with a tenacity she didn't expect from her hollow-cheeked counterpart. It put her on her heels, bobbing and jerking away from the wild, heavy swings as they came. Once the steel head of the weapon passed her for the fourth time, she made her move. Her left fist cracked across the bony side of her doppelganger's face. Then her gladius came screaming from the outside for a heavy, bisecting cut. It stopped short when she felt the pickaxe head thump sharply into her middle. Max fell backward onto the ground, back slamming against the stone wall behind her. She gasping now that the wind had been reaped from her lungs. Her head rolled up to spy her adversary standing over her, pickaxe raised high. Memories of caving in Lenny's head after he made his threat rushed into her mind. The image of her own pickaxe through his crushed face sent her scampering sideways just as the weapon came screaming down in real time. The doppelganger growled, her swing crushing naught but gravel.

Looking to capitalize from the ground, Maxine's leg swung out to reap one of her imposter's. When Animal Maxine dropped forward to the ground, the authentic one lunged forward with a straight jab with her sword. A mass of clouds burst through the tunnel and she felt the point of her weapon clink off rock. She shoved herself up and spun rapidly about in confusion. The Fog was her trick, her strategy. She hadn't deployed it. Where had it come from if not from her? She heard someone suck in air behind her, and she rotated to parry the pickaxe as it parted through the fog just before it blasted her. The awkward angle of her enemy's tool caught her blade and carried it out of her hand. Somewhere in the darkness the gladius ricocheted off a tunnel wall. Lip curled, Max rushed low and body-locked her doppelganger, hurling her brutally backward onto the unkind ground.

"I didn't leave you," Maxine hissed between grit teeth as she procured a dagger from her belt, seated in a top mount on her imposter. "I outgrew you." She plunged the dagger downward toward Animal Maxine's face, who thwarted it by bracing the pickaxe handle up against her forearms. Max leaned all her weight forward. Animal Maxine's strength began to cave beneath her force. Maxine glared down to meet her adversary's stare, finding it to be all too familiar indeed. She knew that look. It went beyond hatred and anger. It went beyond an ego. This was the stare of someone who had nothing left to lose. Someone driven by a spite that could never be satisfied. There was only one way to stop her now. Max applied more force, and further her dagger sank toward one of Animal Maxine's eyes. That's when the doppelganger opened one of her palms holding up the pickaxe to let a stream of acid shoot into Maxine's face.

"You motherfucker!" Max snarled, turning her head and shutting her eyes. It was too late. The few couple trills weren't that bad. Then it started to burn. She shook her head and tried to pry her lids open, only for that burn to intensify. "Fucking cunt!" Blind, Max felt herself get thrown from her superior position. Now she was on her back with Animal Maxine in her guard. Her legs locked up around her imposter's hips. She forced her eyes open with a shriek of pain and rage, blinking rapidly to push the substance from her eyes. The effects were only getting worse, but dammit, she wasn't going to die with her eyes closed because of a little pain. She shifted her head out of the way of the pickaxe point before it poked a hole in her visage. Max moved sideways and braced her shin across her enemy's waist. Bits of stone rained onto her searing face as Animal Max pried the pickaxe from the ground. By then it was too late for her to make another attempt. A quick scissor sweep had turned the tables again. Pissed off and looking for righteous revenge, Maxine was all over her Animal counterpart.

"Here!" She mocked bitterly as she shoved a bony, defensive elbow aside to brace her palm over Animal Maxine's face. Acid sprayed across the imposter's furious expression. "You like that? Fucking burns doesn't it?" The world was dim even in the portal light, but it felt like the sun was inches from her face and white hot glass shards were blown into her eyes. Animal Maxine yowled and whipped her head back and forth, cursing with eyes slammed shut while Max smirked. It didn't change the tides of their fight. The pair exchanged ruthless blows back and forth, beating each other and fighting for position for several bits before Maxine finally drove her dagger home.

Animal Maxine's breath caught in her lungs as the blade slipped through a visible rib. She stared regrettably up toward Max, grimacing with brief surprise and resisting the reality soon to come. Maxine felt fingers curl into indignant claws on her arms. She gave the dagger a wrenching, merciful twist. Animal Maxine whimpered. Her hold on Max tightened as though she were latching desperately onto life itself. One of her hands released, making a last-ditch swing that generated no power against Maxine's face. Max's brow furrowed as she watched herself slowly slip beneath that veil she so desperately fought against. She watched as her own eyes dimmed, the flicker of emotions neither of them understood which flit across them as the end drew nearer. It cracked something inside the victor. Something deep without name. The world fell quiet as the skeletal body in her arms fell limp with death.

Confusion and denial seemed to register first. Max gave the lifeless version of herself a nudge. Those unseeing eyes didn't so much as twitch. The head rolled to the side and one of the hands gripping her slumped to the floor. Maxine rocked backward, mind and heart racing. Her hand shook when it moved to Animal Maxine, gently shutting her eyes. It felt wrong to leave her doppelganger, the image of herself dead in this hell, but it was not without purpose. She stormed down the tunnel, scooping up her discarded gladius as she back-tracked past the Ishkahl. Back to where she'd started.

"Perhaps the fuck not," Maxine's ominous threat echoed down the tunnels toward the Naer playing with the newcomers in the shadows. She gave the gladius a twirl in her hand, eyes red from acid and free hand curled to a gloved fist. Blood from her kill painted her flesh. Animal Maxine had never been the superior version of herself. The strongest was the one here now. Cultists. The deepest level of this prison pit. All the trauma that came from Rynmere. Deals with devils, brutal betrayals, and too many close brushes with death than she could count. This Maxine had weathered all of that. She was tougher than she'd ever been. Angrier. More filled with spite and quicker to light than a powder keg. She was the apex predator of Slags Deep's Seventh Level. Theirs lives belonged to her. All of them.

"You can leave," she continued as she advanced with a look in her stare that wasn't quite...right. Wasn't quite her but had been her all this time. Her lip curled with deadly menace. "Or you can die. Choose."

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Re: The Door of Life

Mon Apr 08, 2019 4:50 am

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The treeknight didn't waste much time when the young man joined him behind the tree spirit. He began climbing the lad's clothing, working his way up his legs and then his torso, to take up position over his heart. And there he clung, to offer some semblance of protection against any who would strike the lad a fatal blow.

"I protec!" He whispered in common. "Trust tree."

He felt the Naer's claws grazing him, offering a glimpse in the darkness though the creature of shadow was as yet unseen. He saw the man, and the mer. Kisaik shuddered in dread at their approach. Where in Xiur's hermitage was he? What was this place?

He instructed his friend, the tree spirit then, in as quiet a voice as he could manage, though he dare not think it would escape the notice of the Naer. "Tree spirit, shelter us from predation! Trip up any who would give pursuit."

So saying, he clung ever more fiercely to Thysbae's shirt. He really just wanted to be home with Rabu now. Idly, he wondered if his Husband was still safe and sound at home, or if he was similarly beleaguered in a strange place such as this.

He cast his eyes through his visor, looking at all around them, trying to spot the Naer in the darkness but failing miserably.

Then, he thought he heard the third person in their group returning! Hurrah, they were saved?

Did she intend to help, or was she yet another animal in this forsaken place?
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Re: The Door of Life

Tue Apr 09, 2019 3:09 pm

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Fear was a tremendously powerful thing. Especially for the mortal born clinging to the only protection he had. Tears continued to roll down his cheeks until they didn’t. Until he felt something stop their course for a trill and he froze. It was quiet all around them but the thundering of his own heart in his ears was enough. His whole frame felt like it was shaking with the force of the rapid thrumming, breathing struggling to match the pace as he placed his hands over his mouth to stifle any further sounds. At the rate he was going, he might very well have passed out in the next few trill. A tap on his head - flinching away from it - allowed him to see the two other figures approaching, but what would it do if the third person behind him?

He swallowed, blinking. The panic was still there, festering away at him, much to his dismay. But it was easier to handle with a slightly clearer head as Thys looked forward into the darkness. A thick wave of nothing was what he saw. Of course Bae would had been terrified in this situation. He was not so far off from that himself. The little tree man clung to him - and this was after his declaration of protecting the mortal born. Thys might have laughed, but that could work. If the the tree man was willing to sacrifice himself, so be it.

And if he had to be someone’s pet - so be it.

Thys glanced into the darkness at his own assisting spirit. Rocks. Rocks could do some terrible things. A great weapon they would be. “Could you put up a wall? Between us and them? No gaps, so they’d need to break through.” No sooner had he proposed this, the third of their group had voiced her own intervention. But why did she come back? Was there something else where she’d come from that she was fleeing? That couldn’t be the case because she seemed very confident. Too confident for someone running, right?

Regardless of her reason, she was here and whatever the Naer had in store for them would likely be put on hold. And he was curious to see if this ultimatum given would have a tragic end.
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Re: The Door of Life

Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:44 pm

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As Maxine walked away from the corpse of her former life, it dissolved away into shadow, and followed her. In the absolute darkness, she didn't, couldn't notice as it slipped into the hidden shadow that was inherent to the woman, possessing it as easily as a ghost might a person. And there it hid.

The Naer had seen this happen, followed by the woman's challenging words. She knew this scent. It wasn't so long ago that she'd picked up this smell down here, only to find it had disappeared. The Wraith of Level Seven had returned. Life truly was a cruel joke. For the extreme few that paired up down here, whispers of the Wraith had spread. Stories told of the one true monster to avoid at all costs. Especially one that was so loyal to the mother of shadows.

The Naer chose life. For the moment. She slinked away without a word, off the Nest. Her champion would want to know that the Wraith had returned. But with her disappearance, so too did the darksight she granted disappeared from Thysbae and Kisaik, plunging them back into darkness once more.

Kisaik's companion heard his request. The spirit stomped its feet, both of which sank into the ground, sending large cracks through the stone floor. It then twisted and grew, forming a tree that reached just up to the nearby roof. Once there, the branches spread out, growing denser, forming thick, whipping vines, some of which plunged into the ceiling, others that grew out into the air of the tunnels. Roots spread out through the cave floor, sending more and more cracks through it. The roots and vines reached out, lashed out, violently.

And then the spirit with Thysbae formed a wall, using much of the same stone that had been released by the roots. It sealed them off from the approaching Mer and man. Leaving the three companions, alone, together. Except that the tree, following Kisaik's orders, began striking out at Maxine and her Ishkahl, viciously and swiftly.

Meanwhile, the cracking in the stone spread far and wide in Level Seven, and to the levels above. Huge chunks of stone began to fall all through the lower levels of the prison. New holes and tunnels opened up, connecting Levels Four through Seven, allowing the gates to be bypassed. In the floors above, chaos ensued as prisoners were beginning to realize that freedom was now an option. The cracking caused a section to loosen against Thysbae's wall, slipping a stone out from it. The stone fell to the far side, decapitating the human man who was trying to find a way around it. The Mer decided his corpse would do as a better meal than those who'd just escaped.

Then everyone in the prison heard a massive, bestial roar. Most of them had never heard the sound, it was rare, even for these depths. But when the Sessfiend cries, many will die. And it echoed from down the tunnel Maxine had just left, the same tunnel that Thysbae had just made into their only available route.

And it was on its way.
 ! Message from: Aegis
The Sessfiend is on its way. Should you meet it in your posts, you are able to design the features of it as you see fit. But each of you gets exactly 2 specific features of the Sessfiend. You may work these out among yourselves.

Questions are always welcome.

I will post again on April 16th.
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Re: The Door of Life

Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:15 am

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Yeah. I fucking thought so.

Maxine huffed her disgust as the cowardly Naer vanished into the depths of Level Seven. As battle-ready and blood thirsty as she was back in her old haunt, the marked woman didn't grow arrogant with her enemy's concession of power. This part of the prison was swarming with formidable foes. One was most vulnerable when they were caught in the illusion of triumph. She was too seasoned down here to fall victim to that folly. There was still much ground to cover in their escape.

Without explanation, foliage sprouted from the rocky, lifeless earth to lash out at her. Max turned from the whipping vines, cursing as she darted out of their reach. It was when she heard the Ishkahl's irritation that her own soared. Max was opening her mouth to offer the offending Tunawa a colorful verbal lashing when the ominous cracking started. It rung loud in her ears, echoing as the ground shifted and moaned its protest as it was forced to move. She covered her head when the chunks of stone began to rain, and as sounds from above began to leak down, she swiftly gathered the true shift in the prison's structure. The integrity of the levels had been destroyed. Screams of excitement filled Slags Deep. Maxine frowned deeply to hear them. After all, it was this very scenario that she'd been planning for when she was still a prisoner here. Whatever the cause of this break, Scalvoris was likely lucky it wasn't her doing as she'd originally intended. Such a bloody trial it was that she'd conceived. A bestial roar broke her jealous thoughts.

"Oh, for fuck's sake," Maxine growled aloud now that the importance of silence had seemed to go out the window. "What in the fuck is that?" She turned to stare down the dark tunnel she'd just slain her doppelganger in. The same one the ominous shriek had come from. Their only way out. She turned her head to glare at the two strangers she'd foolishly returned for. "Now that I've kept you from becoming her bitch, do me a favor? Direct your fucking attention toward the real threat. If I feel a rock or another tree branch, I'll feed you both to whatever fun friend we're about to shake hands with. See if I'm a liar."

Nostrils flared with frustration, she directed her attention to their cursed path. She started down it slowly. One foot in front of the other, pausing now and then to see if she could pin-point the creature's location before it surprised them, she led the way. A hand shot out to stroke the feathers of the Ishkahl. "You can tell her I haven't forgotten," she murmured softly to her feathered friend. "I'm still loyal to her. I'll see her freed." The scratch of sharp talons upon the loose graveled floor made her freeze. For a trill she didn't move a muscle. All she did was listen, hearing the fierce scraping as the beast took each step. The whipping of a tail behind a fast-moving creature cut through the air.

Shit.

Whatever it was, it was coming. Maxine flattened against the shadowy wall of the dark tunnel and summoned the shadows themselves to rush to her aid. With luck, the beast would merely pass her by while she hid in plain sight. Regardless, her eyes were rapidly darting about to take in the changes to the tunnel system. Max had every intention of rushing through the first opening that allowed her to circumnavigate around the threat toward the exit.


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Dialogue|Thoughts
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