Cogflake Cogflake

Feb 27, 2024




Siege of Helio


Everything comes to a head as the Advocates begin their assault on Helio, their forces converging on the seat of power in Loka. The pasu taking shelter in the city are skilled, but will even they be able to stop Leviathan’s advance?




Aeon? (Male Red-eared Slider Turtle)
Joseph? (Male Mouse)
Kelketek (Male Fox)
Leviathan (Unknown)
Lupe? (Male Wolf)
Raziel (Male Tiger)
Renna? (Female Fox)
Rhyis? (Male Male Grey Myotis)
Sovereign? (Male Newt)
Terrence? (Male Wolf)
Viktor? (Male Arctic Fox)
Xeones? (Male Tiger)
Zorro? (Male Fennec)

The fennec Zorro rubs his eyes, and pushes open the door once it’s unlocked, to reveal Kelketek, Xeones, Renna, and Rhyis. The fox turns around and looks at Raziel, “That cheat of an innkeeper! There’s people already in here! Wait, I know…” His eyes widen at the sight of the red fox, pointing at him. “Holy shit.”

Aeon blinks as his eyes blink a few times. “Rhyis? What’re you doing here? Did the innkeep shortchange you too?”

Renna blinks, looking up from whatever small thing she was doing, and ends up … shoving it quickly into her bag. “--wha…?”

Raziel looks over the fennec’s shoulder, scanning the room. Wow. He /actually/ managed to find the bat. He didn’t think this plan was going to work at all! “Rhyis! There you are!” He takes a few steps in…before he sees Xeones, and slows a little. “Oh, boy…”

Rhyis is still hanging from the ceiling when the fennec walks in. He turns his head away from Xeones and towards the new pasu. “Turtle! You, uhh.. What was your name? I know we met, but stuff happened and I’m lucky I remember my own name at this point.” Moments later, the winged creature sees Raziel walk in. “Raziel! Er.. Sooorrrry, aeee.. Avis?”

Renna just sort of stares at the assemblage of people looking into the room. Momentary confusion.

Joe is also quiet, eyes flicking back and forth between all the people, “Does everyone know each other here but me?”

Xeones looks back at the group at their door, just sitting up from his bed. Of course, his gaze immediately locks onto Raziel, and a frown starts to crease his muzzle. He mutters, “Betrayer…”

Aeon moves over and looks up at the bat. “Its Aeon, Rhyis, remember?” He then hears the word ‘Betrayer’ spoken and looks over. Xeones was here too. He grunts and tosses his hand up before saying to Xeones “Pirates are loose in Loka, and all you can think about is a blood feud right now?”

Kelketek gives a soft smile to Zorro, and winks at him, “Hello again. What became of your friend, the Thrillseeker?” Zorro laughs, “I don’t know.” Then he goes quiet. “…I don’t know.” The fennec looks off, and the fox nods. The little fox then looks up, “Kelketek, I thought they kicked you out of Helio. What are you doing back?” His name finally spoken out loud, the red fox winces a little.

Renna shakes her head at presumably-Joseph, glancing at the Betrayer/not-Betrayer pair for a moment, blinking. So… And then … oh! So THAT’S what he’s called.

Rhyis headtilts as his eyes follow the turtle over. The bat leans himself back a little after nearly getting thwacked in the face by one of Aeon’s hands. “Xeones? Really? We’re being attacked by organized… Somethingorother’s, and this is what comes to mind?! Put it aside for the moment!” Rhyis doesn’t respond to Kelketek’s name being mentioned. It’s not likely that he didn’t hear it, though..

Renna peers questioningly at Kelketek, but keeps an eye on the new group, still a bit startled, wary…? Well, startled. “Did you invite all these people without telling me?”

Aeon looked at Rhyis and nodded. He then says directly to the bat “You lizard friend was captured.”

Raziel actually does notice Kel’s name. He heard it once before, in relation to Escorus. In relation to the /Razing/ of Escorus. “/You’re/ Kelketek…?” The tiger asks in confusion. So much for being ‘just a vagrant’.

Xeones, assaulted from all sides by ‘helpful’ advice, simply ignores Raziel, for now, finally taking note of the others. He recognizes Aeon…but few others.

Kelketek ohs to Raziel, “Did I not mention that? Must have slipped my mind!” He then looks at Zorro, “Oh, I’m not supposed to be here, no. But what are they going to do with everything else going on? I’m sure they’d rather I be helping them than spend time chasing me away again.”

Rhyis, upon hearing the name for a second time, turns his head to the fox. “Wait, you? I grew up there! If I wasn’t on my first route I would’ve been caught up in that!” Things seem to hit the bat late; it takes him about a quarter minute to realize who Aeon’s talking about. “… Seusur’s alive, right? Captured alive?”

Aeon says, “I didn’t hear any bloody murder type screams when I fire vaulted myself over the stone wall of Noria. I can only assume he was captured alive…and Joseph lost his vehicle on the getaway too.”

Kelketek tries the technique used on Xeones, “There are pirates out there wanting to kill everyone, and you want to talk about me?” He waves his arms around, “I’m nothing of importance. Especially not now.”

Joe mostly just looks dumbfounded, staring off.

Renna looks back and forth. “…what is everyone knowing about this fox that I don’t?”

Rhyis looks around the room with slightly squinted eyes. “Which one of you is Joseph? And why are you all upside-do — Oh. Right..” For the moment, the bat stays inverted as he returns his gaze to Kelketek. “No! This is important! You can just walk up to Esqueu, esqueue.. … Their island thing and blow it up!”

Kelketek’s ears lower, “No, I can’t do that. Dozakh’s balls, Rhyis, what sort of stories have you been hearing?” The fox wrings his tail between his paws. He looks to Renna, “Don’t worry about me, really.”

Aeon says, “Joseph would be the mouse, Rhyis…” He looks at Renna “I haven’t heard of this Kelketek either so…your not alone.” He looks at Xeones “Look, I know you might not like him, but Raziel managed to warn people before the pirates left Noria.”

Renna frowns. “You keep saying so…” She’s not sure she believes it.

Raziel’s ears flit about, listening to all of the conversations at once. Or trying to. He doesn’t know a /whole/ lot about Kelketek…only what the reports said. And those were…unreliable, at best, and tabloid worthy at worst. “Well…I suppose you’re right. That’s not important now. And— Xeones, will you stop glaring at me? It’s not helping Loka in the slightest.”

Rhyis keeps trying to pronounce the name of the town correctly while Kelketek’s talking. Eventually he looks back up. “Hey, the destruction was pretty intense! .. Though it could’ve been anyone’s explosion. Still!” The bat tries to collect his thoughts, but then a certain draco comes back to his mind. “How bleak was it? Seusur’s situation, I mean.” Rhyis talks in Kelketek’s direction even though the question wasn’t directed to him.

Aeon looks at Rhyis and grunts. “Well, he was trying to intimidate a merchant when the pirates hit, and I think I heard him shouting out…could have been trying to convince them he was useful for all I know, I was too far away to see him when I left Noria…mostly hugged the forests at the time to try and remain hidden.”

Sasha has reconnected.

Sasha has dropped a connection.

There are little crackling and popping sounds far off in the distance. Low thuds. Cannonfire— and small arms. The fox’s ears perk as he looks outside the hotel window. “Gilead’s meeting with Leviathan now.”

Aeon grunts “Damnit… I sure hope Chester is alright…”

Rhyis visibly breaths a sigh of relief. “He’ll be fine. Most of their forces had to be up at Muon anyway, right? He can talk his way out of a few stragglers.” The bat only hears the gunfire after Kelketek mentions it. Maybe he can’t hear as good while he’s talking.. “… Helio’s safe, right?”

Raziel finally manages to address Rhyis. “Things in Noria were not precisely good…though we made it through Meson in one piece. The pirates are plentiful, but not exactly the most attentive in the world.”

Renna looks out the window, and then … around, and around. Her ears flat a little.

Kelketek doesn’t answer the question, staring off. The horizon occasionally lights up in hot flares of light, electrical bolts firing up and down. The sheer amount of magic being thrown around can be seen even from this distance, “The guard is up front. I don’t know how much of it was sent.” He chews his lip.

Renna looks at Kelketek, and back at the window, and at Kelketek. Is this night, anyway?

Aeon says, “It would be worse had we not made it to Gilead and warned a general there.” He steps up to the window, watching the magic. “They must have a lot of powerful casters there… don’t think I could make a dent. However…if we could…entice the White Circle to help maybe?”

Renna frowns, tying up her small bag just for something to do, a bit rattled. “I… uhmm, what…”

Kelketek looks over his shoulder, “You think you could rally them here in time? I’m not sure how.” He looks to Renna. “Your airship… does it have any weaponry?”

Rhyis grumbles quietly to himself while his eyes follow Aeon over to the window, then to Kelketek when the fox talks. His expression changes a little. “/You/ actually want them on board? You. Guy who blew up Escorus? Is this invasion really that serious?” The bat turns his head towards Raziel. “Where were you? How bad is it in other parts of Loka?”

Renna er. “I… can shoot off of it…” She feels outclassed. “Then not… wait, you blew up Escorus?”

Rhyis realizes only after Renna speaks that he should probably be afraid of the fox. The bat moves his feet around until he finds a new rafter to hang from that’s a little further from Kelketek.

Aeon looks over at Rhyis “Its bad over there Rhyis. The pirates were in force. water ships, air ships…the ONLY reason they didnt catch us off guard was because I dispelled the mist around the town…and blew their cover.”

Raziel simply replies, “Bad,” as he stares out the window. “I can’t believe they’re already here….” For once Xeones has completely forgotten about the other tiger in the room, able to feel the charge of electricity in the air. “How long do you think they will hold?”

Kelketek blinks a few times, looking at Rhyis, “I didn’t /blow up/ Escorus…” He folds his arms, looking off to the side a little, “I mean, it was already mostly blown up by the time I got there.” He nods to eon and Raziel, “It’s… very bad. Any help would be accepted now, I’m sure.” He looks out the window, and his face falls, “I’m not sure, but it looks like there’s one less caster out there than when they started. Whatever weapons they’re using…. it may be something we’ve never seen or trained for before.”

Rhyis thinks to himself for a minute. It’s clear there’s some serious thought running through the bat’s head; his eyes are closed and he occasionally twitches his ears. After Kelketek speaks, Rhyis opens back up and reaches down with both wings. “I have a thing I need to do. Do’ya people mind backing up so I can get down?”

Renna sort of half-leans against the wall, looking sideways out the window. She … really isn’t sure what to say (or do) any more.

Aeon says, “They might have some Svargan tech with them…in which case they’d be outmatching us. We need all the help we can get. Need to somehow mail a request for help to the White Circle maybe…after all, this is going to damage nature and life as we know it…even uproot hard working people.”

Renna stops, and blinks up at Rhyis…?

Kelketek looks to Renna and Rhyis, Aeon as well. “Perhaps the three of you should go see if you can find some of the members and bring them here, then.” He backs up a bit for Rhyis, so he can get down.

Aeon moved out of the way, but he does turn his head and look at Rhyis from the corner of his eyes. Rhyis was smart enough to know when hes trying to get a veiled message to him.

Xeones steps out the bat’s way, while Raziel paces back and forth, sometimes under, sometimes not under the bat. The white cat asks, “What about anticelizene? Is there none in the city that could be used against the casters?” Xeones grumbles something about, ‘unhelpful abomination of nature’, but is silent after that.

Kelketek looks out the window, “That’s entirely possible. If someone’s finally managed to weaponize Anticelizene, we’re in deep shit.” He looks around, “This room is pretty crowded. Do you all mind if we go outside?”

Renna uh… “Anti…ce…liz…” Gives up.

Aeon looks over at Xeones “If Anticelizene is used for our advantage, you and I would probably need to get some kind of mask to prevent it from affecting us.”

Rhyis still doesn’t have much room even with people moving for him, but he drops himself anyway. Both wings are extended, but they’re definitely too weak to support his weight. Instead, the bat ends up rolling forward along them. He ends up in a kneeling position a short distance away from ramming into another pasu. Before things get awkward, the bat stands himself up and brushes his wings off. “Thanks. That sounds like a good idea Kelketek, but I /have/ to do my thing first. You guys go out and I’ll be here for a bit.” Rhyis sounds more serious than usual..

Kelketek places a paw on Renna’s shoulder, “Hey, are you alright?” He noses the vixen, who seems to be pretty… out of it. “You’re still good to fly, yes?”

Aeon looks over at the others, before looking at Rhyis “Is there something I can do to help?”

Renna uhs. “I guess?” She … shakes herself out, hard. “S… sorry. It’s just a lot suddenly, you know…?”

Raziel looks over at the bat, and nods. “Do what you have to. Oh, and—” The tiger leans in towards the bat, whispering to the bat. He had to relay Seusur’s message anyway, and he trusts that only the bat can hear the hushed tone in the crowded room. After that, the tiger strides towards the door - though drops something next to Xeones on his way out. It’s his respirator, from the White Circle attack on the train - already fitted for a tiger, and proven at least somewhat effective. The white tiger has had it in his bag for a while now…

Kelketek looks to Xeones, “I mean— It’s possible they’re using Anticelizene against the casters in the guard. It would explain how…” He looks out the window, “The lights keep going out…” He chews his lip, “A mask. Raziel, you’re an engineer. Don’t suppose you know how to make some quick masks, then?”

Kelketek is also walking out by now, anyway, as that was the idea he had, and he should, like, do it and stuff.

Rhyis leans in towards Raziel just a little. Near the end of his message, the bat’s ears flop down slightly then back up at Kelketek’s suggestion. “Yes! A few thousand, preferably!” Rhyis makes the request like there’s an actual need for that many masks.

Renna guesses she’s going to follow after Kelketek, or something. She doesn’t have a better idea, after all.

Raziel looks back at the bat and the fox as he descends the stairs. There’s no reason for him to remain here, and if the others are sincere in their requests…he’s going to need supplies. “That many, no. A few, yes. They won’t be as well made as mine, but they should work. It may take a little while, though…”

Aeon moves over to the bat and carefully pokes him. “Rhyis, is there Something I can do to help?” When the others are out of earshot, he whispers to the bat. “How soon?”

Kelketek nods a bit. “Well, maybe that will buy us a few opportunities, then.” He looks on the horizon once more. The lightning bolts have stopped, but the gunfire hasn’t let up at all. “You’d…. better hurry.”

Renna guesses she’s on the stairs coming down after Kelketek?

Kelketek leads the poor confused vixen along by the paw so she’s only lost mentally instead of physically.

Rhyis glances out the window. Upon seeing a significant lack of flashing lights, he walks over to an end table before rummaging through his mailbag with a wing. “The most you can do is get me lots of wax, ink, paper, and maybe envelopes. Make sure the envelopes are well-made.” Without further delay, the bat tugs a few papers out , lays them in a stack, takes one off the top and begins writing with a small pen tip attached to one of his wings. It seems to have randomly materialized, though he probably managed to put it on while going through his bag. “Keeping quiet would help, too.”

Renna follows after Kelketek!

Aeon nods as he moves over and starts to gather the required materials from the room. He says to Rhyis “Its not going to be easy…I hope they can buy us some time…and maybe a bit of ground back.”

Renna brings her bag with her, and supposes that we’re … okay, we might be going to try to find that White Circle thing. And the bat’s doing something. And the world is sort of coming apart, but she knew that already. She’ll just have to try to -not- lose her footing while it does so, she guesses.

Sovereign slowly lumbers down the street, his large, heavy footsteps crashing against the ground, causing small things inside the tavern to shake and rattle, such as cups and plates, bottles, and various liquids. Strangely though, there is hardly any noise at all, the sound closer to that of regular footsteps.

Raziel heads to the nearest hardware store, which, unsurprisingly, is unattended, it’s proprietor ‘out to lunch’ or some other survival related activity. The feline quickly appropriates what he needs from the shelf, brushing everything off the counter in order to give himself an impromptu workbench. “These will be single filter masks, and be strapped around the muzzle, in the case of pasu, or around the back of the head, for humans. The seal won’t be perfect. Avoid direct exposure.” The cat rattles off as he works, tacking a filer and leather straps to a sheet of rubber, forming a sort of cone with it. “There. One.”

Sovereign slowly lumbers down the street, his large, heavy footsteps crashing against the ground, causing small things inside the tavern to shake and rattle as he nears, such as cups and plates, bottles, and various liquids. Strangely though, there is hardly any noise at all, the sound closer to that of regular footsteps.

Xeones reluctantly puts on Raz’s mask…and heads outside. He’s not sure where to go…but he can’t just stand around.

Rhyis sighs a little when Aeon does not produce quiet. “Yes, yes.. What did I say about silence?” The bat appears to be trying to focus, but despite that, his wings still moving fairly quickly. The writing is disturbingly intricate for the speed at which he’s writing, but it does appear legible. Of course, any time Aeon tries to peek, Rhyis just moves his head or one of his ears to block the turtle’s view.

Which the bat doesn’t have to do, as the turtle doesn’t try to peek.

It takes a while before Zorro can manage to spot Sovereign with all these tall people around! “Sovereign!” The tiny fennec runs up to him, and hugs his leg, “Please tell me you didn’t just make Illuminators, but superweapons, too!”

Viktor sits atop Sovereigns shoulders, his large forks hanging from straps on his legs, and a large piece of metal affixed like a backpack on his back, with tubes and such extending around his neck to a mouthpiece that covers his whole muzzle. He’s not wearing it though, so it hangs around his neck. On Sovereigns other shoulder is a certain jackal, with black dyed fur and intricate tribal markings around her body. On her head is a helmet and in her arms is a modified long rifle.

Sovereign chuckles as Zorro runs up to hug on his leg. “Hello my friend! Unfortunately, not much. I neither have the supplies or the workspace to do so. Not anymore at least, and certainly not enough time without the proper help.”

The fennec looks up at the jackal, “Oh! Long time no see!” He smiles. The fox then frowns at Sovereign. “I imagine not. It’s a good thing you weren’t in Meson when they took it. I’m sorry about your lab.” His ears fold back.

Aeon eventually moves over and looks out the window, he is about to say something, but stops and stands there, mouth agape.

Kelketek has Renna by his side as he watches Raziel make those masks. He’s just watching, too. The vixen might take this opportunity to ask him stuff.

Viktor and Akala look down to Zorro, both waving with smiles.

Sovereign says, “Oh don’t worry about that. My lab is safe. I’d like to see them drag the thing up from the bottom of the delta, and still make use of what’s left inside it while this is going on. I moved out as much as I could before the fighting started, though not all. I’ll have to go back and collect what else I can when things calm down. THough I am in need of a new lab.”

The fennec climbs up and gives the arky fox with the weird accent a big squeezing hug! “Viktor, you crazy fox. How have you been?”

Raziel makes a few more, about six in total, before he looks up to see Sovereign…and Viktor…and Akala outside. “Well…the gang’s all here…” The tiger finishes up another mask, handing it off to Kelketek. “I hope that’s enough, at least for now. Out of filters.”

Viktor hugs the fennec back, smiling more. “Aai aahm kvite vell, Zorro. It iz good to zee you aahz vell. Zovereign kaahme aahnd got uz out bevore thinkz vent zouth.”

Kelketek takes a mask, and puts it on with a nod. Seems to… mostly fit. “They’ll do. At least, I hope they will.” He looks to Raziel, “Go back to the group. Equip them to whom you can. I don’t know if we have enough for all our magic users, but… I think we do…” He scratches his head. He hasn’t seen Viktor yet, of course. The fox looks over the horizon, “Does Gilead’s shape look different to you?”

Rhyis finishes his writing in roughly three minutes. The bat grabs another paper and starts folding it into the shape of an envelope. That part barely takes any time. Rhyis quickly folds the first paper into thirds, slides it inside and reaches back into his bag. “I can talk for a few seconds. Now, listen. I’m going to try and show the same paper off instead of making hundreds of these. I don’t know how many are going to buy into it, but it’s not like I can make these up and hand them to you for delivery; they’ll only trust it if I give it to them personally. They will expect me to come _alone_. Do not follow me. Find Raziel, help him make his masks. Got it?”

Renna watched Raziel making the masks. Silence! It’s nice. She uses that time to pause, and think. Maybe she would have asked Kelketek something, but she’s really not sure quite what it IS…

Renna well, sort-of second hand bargain bin silence. At the best.

Aeon nods as he looks over and walks to the bat. He places a hand on Rhyis’ shoulder. “I have faith you’ll get it done. And if they need convincing, tell them it would make them heroes and might actually get them some kind of reward…like some nature preserve territory…or something that might help their overall goal.”

Rhyis flinches when Aeon touches his shoulder, then shrugs his hand off. “Thanks. Don’t touch me when I’m working with wax.” The bat lifts a candle from his bag and holds it up over the table, though off to the side of the letter. “While you’re here, can’ya light this for me?”

Aeon nods and chuckles as he lifts a finger, lighting a flame on it and he moves the fire, lighting the candle.

Renna also, in the meantime, settles herself by putting the bag over her shoulder or otherwise set or strapped in some way so that she won’t have to carry it around all the time until she gets to the ship or some place to put it down. And then … hm. She looks at Gilead too, peering, trying to see if it does in fact look different…

Raziel heads outside with an armful of impromptu masks. He gives one to Aeon…and Viktor… Xeones already has one. There are indeed enough, and a couple leftover. “Alright. Magic users, put those on. Don’t rely on them, but they should help.”

Viktor smiles and gives his back, tapping the metal tank-thing on his back. “Aai don’t need thiz, aai haahve my own.”

Gilead looks wicked different, yo. There are several buildings that straight up aren’t there anymore. And the shooting seems to have slowed. The zeppelins appear to be moving.

Kelketek looks to Viktor, “You anticipated Anticelizene gas? I don’t suppose you managed to catch them using it at Meson?” He tilts his head.

Aeon eventually moves outside and looks. Were the zeppelins pirate, or guard…and were they heading this way? He does take the mask that Raziel gives him and puts it on.

Viktor shrugs, then points to Sovereign, which isn’t hard, since he’s sitting on him. “Aahzk him.”

Renna blinks up at Sovereign and Viktor. Um… wow.

The guard doesn’t have zeppelins of their own. There are certainly less Zeppelins than started, but the King’s ones are mostly gone, occasionally having gone down in brilliant flame during the battle.

Rhyis raises and lowers the candle once it’s lit, trying to help melt some of the wax faster. It still takes a minute or two, but soon there’s a pool in the center, surrounded by unmelted wax walls. The bat tilts it sideways while bringing it over the envelope, letting a few drops land on the tip of its lip until a single blob forms. After blowing the candle out, Rhyis sets it aside and starts to run a thumb through the material, trying to make some sort of official-looking seal. It’s usually quite intricate, but the bat looks to be rushing just a little.

Aeon says, “They’re coming…and Helios’ gates are closed…”

Renna still looks rather rattled and nervous, but!

Rhyis pulls his claw from the wax for a moment while he stands up and peers over Aeon’s shoulder. Upon seeing airships, the bat yells out “Close enough!” as he picks the envelope up. It’s too hard to see at a glance if the seal looks convincing, but the bat’s already running on the way out. The papers and candle are left behind and his bag’s still open, but it’s staying on his shoulder. Before Aeon can tell him, he’s already out the door and headed down the stairs.

And Sovereign continues after Viktor directs the question to him. “No, in fact, I have never heard of the substance. Instead, I had made this for other reasons. It’s a self contained tank of compressed air filled by an air mage, used in diving. I needed some help sinking my lab carefully, and a few days spend alone on this is worth the many more days it will take to collect everything I left behind safely.

Rhyis bursts out the door of the inn moments before that bolt goes off. The bat shrieks and jumps, but he’s too focused on running down the road perpendicular to the ship to let it distract him. While he’s passing the group, the bat blindly shouts “Stuff’s coming! Do things!”. Just a few buildings down, the bat ‘calmly’ knocks on the door to an average-looking house. Whoever’s inside is taking their sweet time answering..

Raziel looks over to see if everyone who has a mask needs one, and nods when he’s fairly confident that they do. He looks over at Gilead, his ears flattening. “How long before you think the airships will be here…?” he asks no one in particular.

Kelketek chews his lip in thought, “Five minutes, I’d guess.” His ears lay back.

Aeon grunts as he looks at Raziel “We cant get out…Helio’s gates are locked up tight…and we cant get out of here without straining ourselves again.”

Sovereign turns slowly to look at the incoming airships. “Oh dear. I need to get moving, to outfit my suit with some things. Akala, keep that rifle ready. Viktor, you should probably stay to help.” He turns again to face the others. “I’ll return when I can, this suit is slow.” He then starts to chug forward, quickly meeting his top speed soon, a brisk walking pace for anyone uninhibited.

Viktor and Akala hop off of Sovereign as he starts to move, quickly joining with the rest of the group. He then moves over to Kelketek and asks a question. “Vaaht is Aahntizelizine?”

Renna looks to one side and the other. “…I…?” Not knowing what to do!

Kelketek looks over along the horizon, but speaks to Viktor, “Anticelizene is a substance that was discovered by the Academy. It’s known to keep magic users from being able to do their work.”

The otter just stares at Rhyis for a moment before examining the envelope, apparently unaware of impending doom. Eventually he opens it and pulls the letter out, then begins reading. Before he even gets to the end, the otter hands it back and shakes his head. “No. This is phoney.”

Rhyis shakes his head as he turns the paper over, holds it up against the wall of the building and starts writing a signature. Slowly, the otter’s eyes widen. The pasu ducks back into his house as the bat finishes up. Some shouting’s heard before him and another two pasu, one rat and another otter, follow him out. “We have some pull in this town! Everyone, split up and move!”

And that, they do. All four pasu run off in different directions. Doors are knocked, things are said, and Rhyis presents the same letter and signs it, again and again.. Hopefully something decent will come of this. Fast.

Renna grabs Kelketek’s shoulder. A bit jittery. “What can I… should I…?”

Viktor ohs and nods, looking away. After a moment, he turns back to ask another question. “Do you know aahn aahir maahge? Aai myzelv iz one, but aai aahm not wery good aaht komprezzink aahir.”

Rhyis is moving quite a bit slower than the other pasu. After a minute he’s got a small entourage of pasu following him, but there’s a larger one following each of the other pasu. They keep running to various houses, soon disappearing down the streets of Helio. Although they’re totally out of sight, they can occasionally be heard shouting out. It’s mostly impossible to understand, but maybe Rhyis’ ears pick it up better than other pasu’s do.

Kelketek slips his arms around Renna, and hugs her tight to try to calm her down, “You either need to hide, or get in your airship and try to get as far away as you can. But if they take here, no place is really safe.” He looks to Viktor, “I can do air. There’s that turtle Cela that was with the others. He might know something about it, too.”

Viktor nods and takes off the tank from his back, loosening the valve and slowly leaking what air is left inside out. Then he finds a heavy object he can use as a lever and slowly unlatched the heavy latches on the side, splitting the tank into an empty cylinder and a sealed cap. “Kaahn you vill thiz vhith aahz much aair aahz you kaan komprezz inzide?”

Raziel is a bit distracted by all the chaos, his technical skills not needed at the moment. Xeones hangs off towards the edges of the group, watching as well. Though, the electrical cat looks around a bit. Where did the bat go?

Renna mrks at Kelketek. o.o A bit startled. But does try to calm down. “…if that… why run at all?”

Kelketek pets the vixen’s ears, “That’s up to you. You need to do what’s best for you and yours. If you want to fight, talk with the soldiers here. They shall issue you something to hunker down with. If you want to hide, you should do so now. And if you want to run— well, you’re the only one who can right now.”

Aeon looks over at Xeones. He grunts as he then watches the airships. “I’m not really the best at combat here…even if I have one of the more combat capable magics…”

Rhyis can occasionally be seen darting around through the streets with a few pasu running after him. They don’t look like they’re trying to hurt him, but they are moving with purpose. There doesn’t look to be a big group of them, at least not with Rhyis..

Kelketek takes his paws and places them on the compressed air tank, facing away from the others and waving his arms to force the air into the canister, filling it up in not too long with a grunt.

Renna holds her head, trying to think. She feels like she’s tap-dancing on top of a collapsing building in an earthquake. o_o

Viktor quickly slaps the cap on and strains to force the heavy locks back in place, tightening the release valve and smiling, thanking the fox for his help. “Thaahnk you. Thiz vill laahzt me aah vile hopevully.” He then walks over to the rest of the group getting ready. “Aahlo, my naahme iz Wiktor.”

Renna might, in the end, dart off and see if she can get something from the soldiers, and then sort of huddle or hide nearby, watching. Although she isn’t quite sure whether to do that or just run…

Renna supposes she COULD try to grab people who needed to be taken out and get out with them or something, if she was going to flee. But she might be too late to make that choice anyway.

The vixen better make the choice to leave right now, if she’s going to make that one. At the rate the airships are approaching, she will be shot down if she’s not up in the air within the next minute.

Aeon asks, “Raziel…should I try and help evacuate civilians?”

Raziel takes a deep breath, rubbing the back of his neck. “Where are they going to go? At least if they’re hunkered down in their homes, they have a roof over their head. Outside, they have nothing.”

Aeon says, “I take that as a no then.”

Xeones watches the bat with some interest, walking over to investigate. He isn’t sure what’s going on…but judging by the tribal look of most of the pasu moving about, the tiger is beginning to suspect the Circle may be involved…

There’s a loud crashing sound coming from the inn, and then a delayed thud can be heard from out on the horizon. One of the zeppelins appears to have begun firing, already managing to cause damage this far out, and closing the gap quickly!

Kelketek leaps forward, covering his head as splintered wood flies every which way from the tavern. Screams can be heard, cries for help, and people begin to run. The soldiers line up their canons and begin firing back at the Zeppelin’s as best they can, the remaining members of the guard lining up to begin their casts.

Renna guesses she’s over thought things and is out of time anyway. So she’ll just sort of… huddle down nearby, hopefully with some weapon or other, whether she managed to get one out of the soldiers or somehow ran back to her ship and found a gun (she might have been using to hunt with) from there. Or try to stay safe, somehow, and maybe try to help anyone she runs across if she does.

Viktor drops to the ground and covers his head, waiting out the blast.

Every time Xeones looks one way, Rhyis is somewhere else. Upon hearing the thud, though, the bat lets out a loud squeak and stops running. He’s probably going to be a bit hampered at this point now that he’s trying to run with his ears plugged. The other pasu are far less affected by this.

The group with Rhyis stays with the bat and don’t try to attack the ship. With any luck, they won’t draw more attention than the average panicked citizen. There’s a particularly strong fireball from another part of town, however. It’s _big_, at least three times as big as the cannonball, but most of it dissipates while heading for the ship. It’s only the size of a regular cannonball by the time it impaaaacts… The bottom of the zeppelin. Drat. It leaves a pretty nasty scorch, but it’s not much use if it doesn’t hit higher. Some shouts and strongly-vocalized changing can be heard from that same area of town.

Aeon grunts, “this isn’t good. They are already firing on us.” He sighs and grunts as he tries to find a spot to take cover.

As the airships close in, little cylinders start to fall and clatter onto the streets. After a moment, they pop open and start to spray a vapor into the air with a loud HISSSSSSSSSS!

Viktor gets up and calls out to the little group. “Kaahn aahnyvone do aahnythink? My maahgikz kaahn’t aahvekt aahn aahirzhip aahnd it’z too vaahr aahvaahy vor me to touch.”

Viktor sees the gas start to spread out through the streets and figures this is a good time to strap on his tank. So he affixes the mouthpiece around his muzzle and straps it in tight, then turning the release valve slowly.

Kelketek places his mask over his face, and then places his paws together, shouting, “Close your eyes!” To those near him.

Viktor then also closes his eyes.

Raziel ducks as the cannonball impacts nearby, though he’s less concerned about the gas than the magic users. He’s sure he’ll get a headache from it, eventually, but he’s not disabled. The tiger just wishes he could do…more. His gun can’t do more than make a dent, but…perhaps something larger? The tiger is already running for the city walls, and the cannons, as the fox makes his announcement.

Renna would, if she heard, close her eyes too… She might be trying to skulk near Kelketek and co., or something, just so she doesn’t get too horribly far from the one group/person/thing she sort of knows.

Aeon grunts as he looks at the vapor, oh HELL… well, hes covered his face, the best he can do is try and help. He waves his hands and tries to focus on the vapors, attempting to try and get enough watery mist around the canister nearest him to dampen its effects. He closes his eyes as he concentrates.

The hissing is not any less bothersome to the bat than the sound of buildings being smashed. The sound’s enough to get him to change course. Luckily for him and his group, the other pasu follow. By now there’s five chasing after him.

The sound of the hissing draws more pasu out some of the nearby buildings. Rhyis and his group grab as many as they can as they run past, though it’s unclear if they’re all mages or not. Regardless, as soon as the bat’s far enough from the nearest hissing device, he takes a sharp turn and starts running towards the Castrum. The group follows. With any luck, any dosage of anticelizene they get will be small and wear off reasonably fast!

Kelketek’s own eyes scrunch shut after he points his paws toward the closest Zeppelin. He sucks in a deep breath, and then pulls his paws back and throws them forward. There’s a loud CRACK! and the air around those near the fox gets very hot, like a blazing summer’s day. Even with their eyes closed, those nearby would see a bright light. They might even see the bones through their fingers if they covered their eyes that way. There’s a loud BZZZZZZZZZZZT and HISSSSS, and then as soon as the heat was there, it’s gone, and the fox collapses onto all fours, coughing up blood, and ripping his mask right off, causing him to inhale the anticelizene— which, oddly enough, seems to treat his immediate coughing fit, but leaves him powerless. The Zeppelin is losing altitude, the balloon on fire, but it was only one of several.

The water displaces the nearby anticelizene, letting Aeon and those near him have a good reprieve from the effects of the chemical. It has a good area, as well, guarding several people near the turtle for a few precious minutes.

Viktor knows what’s happening to the fox from his own experiences, and so he runs up to Kelketek quickly, pulling out water and various foods, setting them near him as he moves to fox to a sitting position. “Iz there aahnythink you need zpezivikaahly?”

The other group Rhyis rounded up is smart. They seem to know enough about the gas that they start trying to create a strong breeze to keep it away, but doing that requires clean air /somewhere/ to begin with; that’s not exactly plentiful at the moment. The most they’re able to do is delay the gas’ effect for a minute. It’s unclear if they’re able to cast during this time..

Renna gasps and had covered her eyes with her fingers, and sort of stares after that. If she was that close, which… possibly. If she’s close enough, she might try to dart out and help Kelketek, or drag him into some nook or something that looks a bit more safe than just being collapsed that way.

Kelketek grips Viktor’s coat, iffn’s he has one, “Back pocket— syringes…”

Renna well, maybe with an arm, considering that she thinks she got some sort of thing for shooting at things, if worst comes to worst. But who knows?

Viktor nods as Kelketek grips his vest, searching the other fox’s back pockets to pull out every syringe he finds, asking which ones to use and where, and if he needs any are from his tank.

Aeon calls out “Everyone get away from the canisters!” The turtle opens his eyes and grunts, he was mask covered so his magic wasn’t out yet. But direct exposure was still a problem. He began to head away from the gas. “Raziel, get people back into their houses.” He slowly works his way, trying to keep clear of the gunship line of fire.

Kelketek points to one of them, and the canister that’s with them, and instructs the fox to draw several CCs and inject his arm.

Xeones follows after Rhyis and his growing band of pasu, forcing his way through them, and running ahead on his long legs, trying to catch up with the bat.

A loud CRASH comes from the Castrum as a cannon-shot flies right through it, tearing a hole in that gleaming, tall tower.

The metal creaks a little. Is the tower swaying?

Renna glances up. Should we… be… ummm, running right now?

Renna doesn’t know if it’s that tall or not.

Aeon says, “If I could just get some fog in the path of the airships, Might be able to stop them from firing…”

Viktor nods and fills the syringe with the specified amount, dripping a drop to evacuate any air inside the needle as he squeezes the other fox’s arm tightly and injects the substance, hoping he found a place for it to work.

Aeon looks over and grunts. “Dear Lord…the Grand Castrum…its going to fall…”

Kelketek grunts, scrunching his eyes and relaxing as he lets out a heated sigh. The fox sits up a little, his eyes a bit glassy, and struggles to his feet.

Sovereign arrives from Helio - Grand Castrum Courtyard.

Sovereign has arrived.

…Or what’s left of it, at least.

Renna watches the tower nervously. Ready to try to run away!

The Castrum isn’t falling immediately, though the strain of the metal sounds like a loud roar blanketing the city.

Sovereign returns pushing what seems to be a very very large harpoon gun in front of him. He reaches the group and starts to set up, asking for a hand from anyone nearby, as there are a few small things he can’t do in the suit.

The gates of the city THUD!

Renna could maybe help s…. uh-oh?

Aeon grunts and looks up…he takes a deep breath and tries to get a higher vantage point. The turtle wasn’t sure he could use what little earth magic he had learned in this way, but he works closer to the Castrum, and attempts to cause rocks from the ground to rise up and stop the Castrum from teetering so dangerously…

Xeones looks up at the tower, alarmed by the swaying of it. It’s a long shot, a /very/ long shot, but the tiger doesn’t know what else he can do. Xeones focuses…and tries to use his magnetic magic to hold the Castrum steady.

Sovereign has also pulled a cart behind him, and in it is a very large steam engine, along with another device hooked up to a large tower with several rings around the stalk, and a large ball at the very tip of the thing. He starts setting that up as much as he can while he waits for a hand, trying to work as fast as possible.

Renna, at loose ends otherwise, tries to help Sovereign! She does know a bit about making airship engines work, after all!

The combined efforts of the two stabilize the Castrum, keeping it from falling JUST as it was looking like it would start. The Castrum won’t take too much more punishment, but it is clear which way it will fall now, should it be hit again, as it leans precariously in that direction.

Rhyis is still unaware Xeones is chasing them. They keep running, possibly leaving the tiger behind as they head for the base of the structure. Their plan isn’t totally clear yet.. What are they going to do? Try to hold it up with their paws? Regardless, as they close the distance they don’t seem to be slowing any. They should be there within a half minute..

People begin to, like, leave from that direction!

Sovereign looks down to the vixen that suddenly appears to help. “Hello there, thank you. Now, if you could hook up some of these cables to those harpoon bolts, and use the levers and cranks on the ballista to aim at the nearest airships balloon, that would be wonderful!”

Aeon looks over and grunts, he could tell Xeones was doing something…and then a thought hit him. He hurries over and runs to the electric tiger. “Combination, lets try and make a storm for these pirate airships to go through!”

Raziel, meanwhile, is climbing the walls of the city - though he’s treated to the sight of the massive burst of zeppelin obliterating light, barely raising his arm before being blinded. That would have sucked. He can also see the Castrum hit from his vantage point, though he can’t make out the pasu on the ground at this distance. The feline is looking to get his hands on some artillery, at this point, and try to take out some of these zeppelins… Now, he just needs a big #%& artillery piece.

Oh, lookie there! A canon. The fellow who was manning it earlier appears to have caught a terrible case of the dead. Seems his upper half was sheared off from that first cannon shot. Legs are still there, though! And the canon is still intact. Yay!

Renna tries to hurriedly figure out the mechanism. Cranks, levers, all this… unfamiliar, but hopefully at least somewhat obvious. And hook things up, and kneel down behind it to aim…

A wolf can be seen walking into the stabilized Castrum quite casually, with his top hat, nice cane and jade pommel.

Sovereign finishes the set up on his end, then hops out to affix the cables opposite end to the device in his cart, then moving back up into his suit to turn around and face the ballista he has set up. “Is it ready?” He asks the vixen, hoping she’s got it well enough.

Aeon needed to take a moment to catch his breath. It was getting just a bit stale having to smell his own breath, but he wasn’t going to take it off yet. He begins to concentrate and pull what cloud cover he can in and around the surrounding airspace near the airships.

Renna looks up at Sovereign from her position. “I… think ready?” She isn’t unintelligent, and she does have to keep her engines running when, you know, the world isn’t collapsing around us. So… hm. Maybe she needs to roll for it, but maybe not!

The bat’s group run around any loose rocks that Aeon might’ve produced. Just as the tower’s stabilized, they land their paws on it, panting heavily. It takes some working, but they join hands in pairs. Those who have tails join them as well, one wrapping around Rhyis’ waist. They all manage to make contact with each other somehow.

Low chanting flows from their lips. It’s not clear what they’re saying at that distance, but they seem to be speaking in unison. Hopefully /something/ will happen, and soon..

Aeon grunts and coughs, taking a deep breath “dang it…too much distance to try and cover all tired…”

Akala runs up to Sovereign and the mystery vixen, asking what to do. The newt tells her to string some cable to the rods set up on the sides of houses in case someone gets a storm going, with how many mages there seems to be. So she runs off to do so.

Aeon says, “Xeones, we need to get up higher…”

Lupe barks orders to his men as he keeps guarding the front of the Castrum. The wolf stands, and pulls his paws back, looking like he’s about to do the same thing Kelketek did earlier, but nothing happens. The wolf is unaware of the effects of the Anticelizene, and keeps trying!

Kelketek places something in Viktor’s paw.

Xeones catches up with Rhyis and the other pasu before anything major happens…though he isn’t sure how to join their rircle. He scoots his way in next to Rhyis, though. “What in the blazes is going on?!”

Kelketek whispers to him.

Sovereign takes whatever it is without question, then takes a look at it.

Renna tries to continue helping Sovereign if possible.

Viktor takes whatever is is without question, then takes a look at it and listens to what Kelketek has to say.

Aeon grunts as he watches Xeones slip off. There goes his plan. Eventually he spots Lupe, and he works his way towards them.

Kelketek stands back up to his feet, and goes to the soldiers, asking for a sword. Lupe gives him an angry, incredulous look, but grants the fox’s request, arming him as they prepare. The gates have another THUD!

Rhyis wraps a leg around Xeones rather awkwardly. Given the situations, the pose is probably excusable. The bat then takes his wing off the Castrum for a moment, uses it to put Xeones’ paw on it, and keeps it held there with both appendages touching before chanting louder. Hopefully the tiger catches on.

The chanting seems pretty simple. There’s only a few words being repeated over and over again. It seems to be some sort of synchronization system than anything directly important to the spell.

Raziel looks at the cannon. That’ll do nicely. Time to put his training to use. He’s a little rusty on the priming of cannons, but it’s quickly coming back to him. This much powder, that much fuse, pack the shot… Now, he just has to hit something with it. And there are too many airships for his liking…

The lightning arcs up the tower, and flings from the top of the Castrum over toward one of the Zeppelins, catching fire to it. It begins to lose altitude--- rapidly, and toward the tower!

Renna um… should she maybe try to aim the mysterious harpoon gun thingy at that zeppelin?

Aeon calls out to Lupe when hes close enough “Anticelizene, Anyone breathing it in has their magic disabled” When he sees the zeppelin coming down, he gasps before he shakes his head and focuses hard once more, trying to pull rock and earth to make cover for himself and those around him.

Sovereign addresses the vixen. “Excuse me miss, are we ready to fire? Now would be the time if it is!” While he’s asking he his the switch on his device, the sound of electricity buzzing through his arc tower, electricity visibly arcing from the rings to the ball on top.

Renna looks up at Sovereign again. “I, uh, think so? Unless I missed… a thing?”

Lupe swears, not having seen an anticelizene attack coming, but he orders a strike of cannon fire upon one of the ships. Oddly, the king is nowhere to be seen. Perhaps he is still in the Castrum.

Most of the pasu keep their heads down and keep chanting. One, namely Rhyis, looks up to see what they’ve done. The sound was LOUD, but he’s focusing enough that he doesn’t completely flip out. After seeing the ship headed for the Castrum, the bat puts his head back down and calls out. “We get one more shot before we move, unless someone can redirect that ship headed right for us!” The bat pushes down on Xeones’ paw to try and encourage the tiger, though he doesn’t know the full extent of his powers personally; it’s just a blind shot of faith. After speaking, the bat returns to his chanting as the group tries to get another shot off. Their voices are strained now, but they might be able to fire one more time before people start collapsing.

Sovereign looks at it and shrugs, didn’t set it up himself. “Hopefully! Here we go!” He then yanks back the lever on the harpoon ballista, launching the bolt towards the nearest airships balloon. He hopes it hits as he sets up another harpoon, using his suit’s massive strength to pull back the draw on his strange artillery piece.

Aeon grunts as he looks at Lupe. “If his majesty is still in there…now is the time to get him out, the Castrum is going to fall apart on the next hit!”

The harpoon, meanwhile, strikes true and bursts through one of the zeppelins. This, however, is less immediately dangerous, as the hole isn’t big enough for rapid destruction of the rigid airframe. It is, however, losing altitude, and the pirates are having to pause some of their fire to try to fix it in place. However, as soon as they get up there, lightning strikes, killing a large number of them. The Zeppelin continues to fly, but the remaining crew appears to be too small to be effective as a combat force, and they begin turning away.

Xeones is surprised to feel part of his own magic being used to aid the first bolt - and looks up even before the bat nudges him that way. This is bad. This is very bad. The tiger isn’t sure how much he can do about an airship - but the frame is metal enough for him to try. The tiger closes his eyes to concentrate, and creates the strongest magnetic field he can, pushing the falling zeppelin away.

Lupe looks at Aeon, “The inner sanctum is made of Svargan construct. It will not fall with the rest of the tower.”

Sovereign smiles at it hits the balloon, running back to flip another switch on his device, electricity instantly arcing through the cable to the end of the bolt, lighting the balloon up.

Renna keeps an eye on the immediate area, the tower… She’s a bit o.o at all this stuff, but is managing to keep her head, so far.

Sovereign addresses the vixen again. “Alright, hopefully that’s one down. Take aim at another one, you’re doing well.” At this point Akala runs back, and she is directed to flip off the switch, unplug that cable, plug in the next, and flip the switch again when the bolt fires.

The cannon ball strikes one of the zeppelins, causing a shower of splinters within it. It’s not mortally wounded or anything, but it likely caused a few casualties. The ship heading toward the Castrum is diverted, though it crashes right next to it. But it’s for not— another cannonball fires through the Castrum, and the structural support of it gives way, the great tower now falling rapidly. The airship that had the harpoon in it dances with electricity, and it starts falling much more rapidly, but it yoinks the harpoon gun along with it, dragging it away from Sovereign and Renna, and causing a wake of destruction in its path.

Aeon grunts as he looks up and quickly moves, pulling Lupe away from some falling debris.

Akala yelps as the cart starts to move before she can remove the cable attached to the airship. This is not good, and she yells at Sovereign to get his attention.

Renna bangs on Sovereign’s mechanical carapace if the yelling isn’t enough!

Raziel doesn’t waste any time once he sees the cannonball impact. He starts loading another into the artillery piece, adjusting the angle. He doesn’t want to stay out here too long - he’d rather not end up like the last guy. But there are still airships coming…

Lupe oofs, falling aside. The wolf pushes the turtle off of him, looking up and seeing the tower crumble to the ground, destroying buildings in its path. The dust kicked up is considerable, hindering everyone’s visibility, and making it difficult to breathe.

As the second bolt goes off, some of the mages take their paws off the building and back up, quickly breaking off from the group. They pant in place, one still standing on its feet while two are on their knees. Rhyis is still okay. Maybe he doesn’t have much magic to give in the first place, or maybe him moving Xeones’ paw was enough to take him out of the second round. Either way, before something bad can happen to him, he pulls out as well. “I won’t force the rest of you to cast again if the opportunity opens up, but I STRONGLY suggest we move away from the Castrum RIGHT NOW!”

Those pasu listen. Fast. All of them break contact with the tower. A few start dragging the kneeling pasu away as the ship’s cannon fires. One of them calls out to Rhyis, though he seems to have him confused with someone else.. “Krolin! Leave me and get away from the rubble!”

The bat does not argue with this. He lets the creature go, turns, and runs about a dozen yards before looking back for any large objects falling towards his head. Luckily for the downed pasu, someone else starts trying to tug him along.

The canon punches through another part of the airship, and it seems to be hitting more turbulence as the holes cause wind resistance issues. They begin to turn their cannons toward Raziel.

Sovereign just blinks as his cart is rolling towards him, apparently he over thought the fact that the cable wouldn’t come loose from the airship. “Well, this is not good.” He reaches out to grab both the cable with one arm and to stop the cart with the other. This succeeds, but it destroys the plugging mechanism, making the device far too dangerous to use with another harpoon bolt.

Raziel dashes away from the Castrum as well - it’s beyond saving at this point. The tiger isn’t caught coughing on the rubble it kicks up, at least, and advantage which he uses to help usher others away, and help Rhyis along.

Aeon grunts as he looks at Lupe “Get anyone in whats left of the Castrum out…” He moves around his stone and earth cover, and takes a fireball in his hand…. “Fly true…and burn them hot.” before he concentrates, and sends it hurtling towards the zeppelin that was turning towards Raziel.

Raziel for his part, decides that the better part of valor is NOT BEING BLOWN IN HALF BY CANNONS. The stripy cat abandons the artillery, running back towards the relative safety of one of the guard towers, and heading back towards street level.

Renna looks at Sovereign— “Aim… again?” Panting a bit, in this oncoming dust.

Sovereign sighs. “This is not good. Take aim anyway, we’ll puncture what is left. I need to get this cart to a somewhat safe location, so can you aim in the mean time?”

Renna nods a little, and starts in to cranking and hauling on levers.

The side of the airship that was facing Raziel is smacked by the flames, and ignites, burning in the air, though not yet falling. The canons still end up firing, but end up nowhere near the tiger, and the dust starts to settle, making it possible to see what’s left of the castrum— what’s under the rubble. And then there is a sound. A very distinct sound. A sound Raziel has heard only once before.


Sovereign tugs his cart away and out of sight, hopefully it won’t be hit by cannon fire.

Rhyis runs at full speed with Xeones, along with most of the other mages. By the time the tower collapses, all but two have made it far enough to not be outright smashed, though most are coughing on the dust and lagging behind. They /should/ make it to the other pasu soon, though..

Terrence stands over the King, his blood running onto the ground as the Svargan weapon in his paw smokes. He looks up, and sees the livid Lupe charging for him with a feral SHRIEK!

Viktor blinks himself and taps on Kelketek’s shoulder. “Vhaaht vaahz thaaht noize? Did you heaahr it?”

Raziel stops dead in his tracks, his ears flitting around, trying to locate the sound. He does know it. He heard it once, a long time ago. The tiger’s thoughts immediately drift to Muon, to his first encounter with the Advocates, to being shot in the leg…by a Svargan repeating pistol. Raziel rushes towards the sound.

Aeon grunts and looks over… he grunts and quickly moves to the king and begins to check for vital signs.

Lupe leaps up into the air, dual blades unsheathed as he wraiths his way in livid fury toward the wolf.

Terrence fires twice, hitting the other wolf and causing him to stumble and fall to the ground. He then bolts for it, speeding out of there in a flash!

Rhyis suddenly goes wide-eyed upon hearing that sound. It’s loud, and scary, and constant — three things the bat doesn’t like about sounds! “Is that Raziel, or am I behind on the newest models of noisesticks?!” The myotis picks up the pace, almost managing to drag Xeones behind him for a moment.

Obviously, the bat doesn’t quite follow any news about firearms, let along hang around them when they’re in use.

Aeon grunts as he looks up at the shots, and he moves over and quickly grabs Lupe, and checks to see if hes still alive…

Raziel keeps following the gunshots. He doesn’t know why he’s heading towards them, but he is. Maybe he’s curious to see whose paws it ended up in. Maybe he wants revenge. Even the cat doesn’t know. But he’s going to find out.

Lupe clutches his chest. He’s still alive, but he’s got nasty bullet-holes in him. It’s hard to tell if he’s mortally wounded or not, the guardsman so sturdy that he wouldn’t fall over immediately. “Damn it…”

Renna, in the meantime, is probably working on aiming the next (last?) bolt of Sovereign’s.

The sound where the bullets came from is far off from where the wolf is now. Raziel comes upon the dead king, the wounded Lupe, and Aeon trying to keep the wolf stable.

Aeon grunts as he checks to see if the bullets went clean through, then he starts to Cauterize the wounds. “I can stem the bleeding but if they hit anything vital…I’m not a healer.”

Renna aims, then. Presumably there are still some airships, and we could still be in trouble.

The gates THUD again. Those things are tough! But there’s a hole in one of them now, and pirates are beginning to scale the walls, even as the airships are being downed one by one.

Raziel looks around, head and ears scanning for any indication of the gun. “Which way?” And then…he catches it. A whiff of the familiar scent of powder. But not black powder, no… It’s the same that he smelled in the air in Muon. He sniffs around for a little bit, before running off towards dissipating trail.

Viktor sticks with Kelketek, knowing he’s probably going to need as much help as possible, and also knowing he’s useless pretty much anywhere else.

Kelketek is doing hand-to-hand combat! Or will be shortly as pirates start to make their way in. Terrence is the one that went into the building, as Raziel will find by sniffing.

Karzee just… appears, standing over Aeon from behind, looking down at the pair as the turtle works on the wolf. In the chaos though, it’s probably not all that hard to ‘just appear’.

Viktor will probably be doing had to hand combat then as well! They shall feel the wrath as their eardrums explode and their bones are shattered. As much as Viktor can handle, of course.

The entry and exit wounds are mostly clean, but fairly big. Still with some work, and just because Lupe is that strong, he stands up a little, staggering as the turtle cauterizes the wounds. He huffs and pants, “Shit. I’ve never felt anything like that. I should be dead.” He shakes his head, “I really should be. Not the king…”

Xeones stops outside the door, following the trail. He takes a deep breath - he has no idea what he’ll find inside, but he has a feeling it will be important. If nothing else, it will be a surprise. He readies his rifle. And heads inside.

Renna’s probably kind of useless at hand-to-hand combat… maaaaybe she could fire from rooftops a bit, but… if Sovereign needs more help she might as well stick there, or something.

Raziel stops outside the door, following the trail. He takes a deep breath - he has no idea what he’ll find inside, but he has a feeling it will be important. If nothing else, it will be a surprise. He readies his rifle. And heads inside.

Sovereign returns finally, after storing his cart away. “Are we ready to fire?”

Renna nods? It probably is.

Aeon grunts as he gets up “The king was shot through something vital…probably the heart, but I cant do anything for him, I could only manage to get you back on your feet…We better follow Raziel though. He may be on to the killer.”

Xeones looks around for Rhyis - he seems to have lost the bat in the confusion of the falling tower - and he has no idea where the other Circle members have gone.

Karzee just stands, staring at the two. “Hello. Lovely day, is it not?”

Lupe looks around, “I didn’t see which way he went. He’s too far off by now.” And indeed, both the wolf and the tiger appear to have skedaddled quite a ways away in all the confusion!

Rhyis stops running once he doesn’t feel Xeones’ paw. Apparently it’s taken him a while to realize they’ve been separated. The bat turns around and scans the area, then starts running back towards the rubble. He doesn’t see Xeones yet, but he’ll happen to run right past him on his way towards a particularly tall pile of rubble. The otter Rhyis first round is standing next to it and beckoning the bat to come over.

Aeon grunts as he whirls around, and looks at Karzee…a bit taken back “Is there a problem here sir?”

Xeones pushes continues searching for the bat, calling, “Rhyis?!” His voice is muffled by the mask, but he doesn’t want to take it off yet. All the tiger can do is head forward, through the rubble.

Rhyis can faintly hear Xeones’ voice through his mask. As incessant as the sounds are, he’s starting to get a /little/ used to them. “Over here by the rubble!”, the bat calls out.

It’s official! The bat wins the ‘most useless information of the year’ award! Hooray!

Rhyis ducks behind what could almost be a wall if it wasn’t clearly made by accident, on the spot, by gravity and falling debris. Four of the mages are there along with Rhyis. What happened to the two who couldn’t stand is.. Fairly, clear. They aren’t looking for them.

SLAM! The gate finally comes loose, and a number of pirates start swarming in, clashing with the soldiers in hand-to-hand combat as one of the airships turns around and readies its cannons for additional support, firing out more gas canisters to start with.

Renna tries to get the ballista-thing aimed and fired and… stuff!

Karzee grins a bright, wide grin, then shakes his head. “No, but I wouldn’t stay here if I were you.” With that, he launches in the air, spreading out his wings wide to gain lift, flying off as the gate finally crashes down, pirates swarming through.

Xeones heads over towards the bat, looking around for signs of further trouble. Which is more heard than seen, with the breaking of the gate. Their little group should be too far towards the center of the city to be immediately threatened, but the tiger still says, “We cannot stay here forever. But where do we go now? There are too many for us to take alone…”

Sovereign pulls the lever to launch the harpoon at the next ship, then packs it up to push it away. “This is no use here. Not anymore. The gates just came down, there will be fighting in the streets.”

Renna, at loose ends again! She does still have her gun, at least. “And…? Should I hide?” Almost half-asking herself.

Aeon grunts as he shakes his head and moves over, grabbing hold of Lupe’s arm and allowing him to lean on his shell. “If we just stand here, we’ll be killed.” He grunts as he tries to help the wolf find some cover.

Kelketek pulls out his sword, and begins fighting through the soldier crowds. The fox may be older than the days of his youth, but he’s earned his scars, and begins cleaving through pirates with practiced movements, keeping Viktor close by for backup.

Rhyis starts and keeps waving with a wing once he sees Xeones until the tiger’s with them. The other pasu are all looking at the bat like they’re awaiting some form of an order. Odd, the bat’s never looked like the leadery-type in the past around Xeones..

“With the exception of myself, we’re all skilled mages,” the bat says, “I know you have some weird magic. If you pace things, we might be able to help amplify your abilities for a while. Is there anything around us you can use as well? The rubble, maybe? There’s a lot of it.”

There’s a rumbling sound.

Viktor unlatches his tines, using them to hit things with when they get near, but mostly to disorient anyone that get’s close to Kelketek. Amplifying sounds, bursting eardrums, even collapsing walls on top of pirates nearby, though it is clearly taking a toll on him.

Aeon grunts as he leans Lupe into a doorway and into a building, where he would help him to a wall and allow him to get a weapon. He then moves and looks out a window.

Karzee finds another group, this time it’s Xeones and Rhyis’ group, lightly landing next to the tiger. “Hmmm, look at all them, they look like little ants.”

Metal treads propelling an armored frame roll forward, a large forward cannon mounted on the front of the steam tank points toward the now exposed Gaokerena tree where the Castrum once stood, and FIRES! The great tree splinters and breaks, its trunk fracturing from the impact of the cannon.

Renna wonders what’s going on. How it’s going to play out. Leviathan’s probably — uh… she probably noticed that, and looks around quick for the source. Could she see it from where she is?

Aeon grunts as he shakes his head, “Why’re they shooting that tree?”

Sovereign notices the tank, then calls the vixen and Akala over. “Alright, we are going to hide. We are of no use here right now, not in this position. “

Renna’s sort of staring at the tree, holding her breath.

Akala tugs on Renna’s arm, the jackaless trying to lead the vixen to Sovereign.

Aeon says, “First the king, now a tree? These pirates are…not making sense just yet…”

Renna is… well, reluctantly lead, maybe, looking back. She wants to see if the story Kelketek told was, well, true. If it WAS, we probably are all doomed anyway…

The tank focuses on the tree, firing again, and again, until the beautiful thing is destroyed…. and something under it is revealed. A sort of metal doorway, covered in chains. It fires again, and the outer layer of chains breaks.

Xeones watches the steel machine approach, and suddenly, it becomes very clear what he has to do. “Follow me.” The tiger rushes through the rubble, trying to get to the side of the tank, but waiting for the Circle members to catch up with him. He’ll need their power. “Gather around. Help me.” The tiger focuses on the tank, getting a strong mental image of the metal in the tank. He moves his paws, and the tank begins to creak…

Renna stares at that. “…oh. Oh no. If it wasn’t story…”

Aeon grunts and shakes his head. He concentrates and attempts to pile rocks and stone from wherever he can pull them in on that metal doorway using his magic.

Rhyis is not taking the LOUD sounds well! The bat simple covers one ear with a wing while using the other to usher the mages on. They follow over, though one simply /has/ to do the cliche ‘look back at whoever they’re leaving behind’ thing. Eventually all four mages are at Xeones’ side. They follow his lead quickly, each laying one paw on the tank and another on the tiger’s back. One begins chanting, and the rest follow suit.

Karzee shrugs and flies off again, not a mage, so he really can’t help.

Renna really kind of wants to see how this ends now.

The top of the tank opens up, and a few pirates pull out their guns, aiming at the mages, and firing at them.

The mages do not make difficult targets. One of them goes right down, but the others are virtually unaffected. Their chanting seems to keep them right on task. Hopefully Xeones can do something, _fast_..

Aeon grunts, he was taking cover in the building. Then he sighs and moves to another window for a better vantage point, and tries to rip the earth up from underneath the tank, hoping to cause it to fall over.

Sovereign leads the two girls to safety, though the safe place does a good view of what’s going on. “I’m going to try and do something about that thing. My armor is large, and my parts are shielded, I can get close. Hopefully. I just hope they’re too focused on that tree that they won’t notice me.” He then turns and lumbers off towards the tank, hoping to do something about it.

Xeones knows the time is now or never. Using the power of the remaining mages (he hopes), the tiger gathers all of his strength, and PUSHES, trying to flip the tank over.

The earth does indeed pull up under the tank, causing it to roll over. The pirates duck back inside. But as soon as it’s rolled over, there’s a lurching sound, and it flips back on top on the right side. There may be a mage inside. It takes a moment, recalibrating to try firing again at its target, more focused on that than anything else.

Renna watches, a stunned look on her foxy face.

Sovereign watches the tank flip over…. then back over again. This is not good. Still though, he trudges on up behind the thing, so close, yet so far away.

Aeon growls, “Oh no you don’t…” He growls and tries to have the ground spike up, attempting to send rock and stone into the tank, penitrating it, while also attempting to stick a BIG piece of rock right into the tank’s cannon.

Xeones clenches his paws into fists. He can’t just /let/ this happen. The tiger tries again - but he tries something different. He opens his paws, as if to wrap them around the tank…and clenches them shut, attempting to fold the machine in on itself.

One of the mages cheers!.. Then goes quiet. All three remaining Circle members stay with Xeones and keep trying to help amplify his power, though they don’t imitate his hand movements. Hopefully it still helps..!

The tank manages to squeeze out two more shots before the metals of it begin creaking and bending. The door is blown open, a bright red glow emitting from it and the sound of screaming, clashing metal below entering the air. The top of the tank pops off, and Leviathan leaps out of it right before the thing folds in on itself, crushing the other men who were inside.

Leviathan has arrived.


Right as the tiger enters the Rritaa house, he feels a metal piece of something press against the top of his head. “Drop it, Raziel.”

Raziel stops, and growls…but he’s a weapon-smith; he knows better than to tempt a loaded weapon. The tiger drops his rifle, the heavy instrument clattering to the floor. “How do you know my name?”

Terrence hops off the top of the door frame, straightening up, “I had been watching from a distance. I’d intended to hire you for a few things, but the timetable accelerated much faster than I had anticipated. It’s a shame, I think, that we’re meeting at gunpoint. But I’m afraid if I didn’t get the jump on you, you’d shoot me before I had a chance to explain things to you.” He gives a soft smile. “You see, Raziel, I need your help.”

Raziel furrows his stripy brow, staring the wolf down. “Is that so? You certainly didn’t need my help to shoot the king. And I’m eager to find out how you laid your paws on that gun.”

Terrence chuckles, “It was taken from Muon, after it hit.” He doesn’t lower the gun yet, but he keeps his finger off the trigger. It’s pretty clear he wants Raziel alive if he can keep him that way. “I didn’t need your help shooting the king, no. I /do/ need your help shooting Leviathan.”

Raziel squints at the wolf, his ears lowering in confusion. “Whose side are you on…? If you mean to oppose Leviathan, why kill the king?” Regardless, the tiger seems a little less tense, at least willing to listen. He has no love for Leviathan.

Terrence frowns, “The king is an oppressor. This land— the one Svarga knew, was one where its people chose its government. Where they worked together to decide who would wield power. Before Dozakh tore it down, they were choosing their own destiny, something we will never achieve here.” He growls, “Not only that, but there were some personal vendettas I had against him that are incidental, really. Leviathan was the only force powerful enough to give a chance of dislodging the king, but I don’t want him in power, either. He’s a madman, and not the God he’s made out to be. I worked for him, getting him here, giving a chance to finally free this world from the likes of both him AND the king.”

Raziel listens to Terrence, his thoughts conflicted. He killed the king. But if what he says is true, then it was only in the interest of freedom, of self determination…values that the tiger holds very dear. On top of that, he wants to take down Leviathan - a creature that has plagued the kingdom for generations. But at the same time… “There will be chaos. Change won’t be easy. Just look around you now; how many have already died to set this plan in motion?” The tiger pauses, looking down at his own rifle on the ground in front of him, paying no mind to the wolf at this point. “Though…I am well aware that the price of freedom is high.” He looks back up, his pale blue eyes focusing on Terrence. “What do you propose we do?”

Terrence pulls out of his pocket some things that look familiar. They’re brass casings from Raziel’s rifle, but they’ve been reloaded… with something different. “We use these.”

Raziel takes a step forward, no longer terribly worried about being shot. He leans in, inspecting the altered casings. “What did you put in them?”

Terrence stops pointing the gun at the tiger, though he doesn’t drop it or anything, “They have been reloaded with components similar to what the Svargans would have used. These are armor penetrating rounds. They should get past Leviathan’s cloak, which is much more than it appears.”

Raziel gestures towards his rifle, as if asking permission to pick it back up. “Ingenious. And…I take it you had quite a lot of stock riding on /me/, if you had them shaped to fit my rifle.” He assumes that the pistol would not necessarily be accurate enough for the job, or be able to handle pressures that high. “What /is/ Leviathan?”

Terrence looks into the cat’s eyes, “Leviathan is a living legend. Each generation Leviathan chooses a successor, and retires, passing on the persona to a descendant. He is not the same Leviathan that captured Esquemelin in the days of Skanda.”

Raziel nods slowly, “That makes sense, though I heard that as a rumor among many. I didn’t know what to believe. However, there is clearly some merit to the stories. I know for a fact that he is a powerful mage.”

Terrence nods, “Unfortunately, we don’t have much more time to discuss it. As we speak, Leviathan’s armored carrier is taking him to the Helldoor to release Dozakh.”

Raziel shakes his head. “But…that makes no sense. If Leviathan is a mortal, what could he possibly gain from it? He’d be destroyed like the rest of us!” The tiger picks up his rifle, and holds out his paw for the bullets. “But you’re right. Time is short.”

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