Illyria - Illyria Act 1 - What Which Cannot Be Known

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Description: Sophia has had it tough. Her exploration into the extremes of knowledge has left her twisted into the monstrous form of half snake, half human. Despite this, through the power of will she is able to keep herself together long enough to assist with the expedition, lending her academic knowledge. In turn, Clio is contributing on behalf of the NOL, escorting the joint exploration and research into the tomb. Exploring the side chambers, the pair uncovers a sacred text of incredible power, hidden in an ancient chest. But the magical imprint is far more than mere literature, as the lamia finds her own powers surging up and out of control. As the cursed scroll possesses her, Clio must find a way of containing her power non-lethally, before the lamia harms herself and others.

Sophia always up for doing research on the supernatural, even if it's in ancient tomb. After all she might learn more about what happened to her there. If there's one plus to her her transformation is that she can handle any traps that might be waiting for them then before. Of course she's concerned how others might react to her form as she slithers inside. After all she doesn't really know Clio or NOL very well. Still it wouldn't hurt to have some people who weren't trying to kill her.

Finally back to legitimate work. "Fun in the sun" crap is over. And though Lt. St. Jeanne of the NOL had been hoping to do a follow up investigation on a new friend, it seems the wheels of the world kept on turning even while she was on her busman's holiday. So once more it was that Clio is thrown into the breach. Though this time she's protecting a darkstalker rather than fighting them.

In uniform, with her chain coiled like a serpent around one arm, Clio idly clinks the links together in metronomic time while she walks. It keeps her focused, keeps her attention ahead and on the world around her. She hasn't spoken much to her charge, or to much of the research team at all. Not out of aloof professionalism, but rather the fact that the daytime is a sleepy time for Clio.

She yawns, tapping the chains she carries while she follows the lamia. The researcher tasked with cataloguing and catagorizing this strange tomb that they've uncovered. A potential secret to an untold number of things. Mainly the idea of it being a royal chamber is on Clio's mind. Connecting the young woman to the stories and tales of legendary heroes and knights that inspired her to be what she is today.

"Do you know anything of this area?" she asks the lamia researcher. "I know we're near Albania, but I don't really know anything about it."

Sophia's not really a day person either. At least since she became a lamia, "I'm from the United States, this is the first time I've been in Europe." She carefully examines everything, for anything out of the ordinary before noticing one of the walls looks a bit cracked and discolored. It could be from age, but it could also mean more. She hasn't said much to Clio either, she's not exactly the social type after all. "That's worth looking further." She adjusts her glasses a bit while she figures out the best way to dismantle the wall.

Clio nods, fingertips running along the etched chain that hangs about her body. "I was born in France, but moved to Metro City when I was a baby," she offers, since Sophia was giving so readily of her own information. It's an opening, and Clio, cop that she is, can turn to a more social edge if she needs.

"Surprised you haven't been around more," she says. "Anywhere you haven't been that you want to go?" Simple, casual talk to just pass the time. Clio studying the lamia with a careful eye that's not entirely due to simple work.

"What is?" she asks, looking at the discolored wall. "Something to do with this wall?"

"I believe there's something behind this wall, I could simply melt it but I don't want to damage what might behind it. There are plenty of places I would like to visit but I'm pretty certain I wouldn't be welcome at most of them." Even though Sophia's only been a lamia for a bit over a year she's already ran into her share of trouble.

Clio walks over to the wall to take a close look. She immediately realizes she has no real training or skill in any sort of related field, but maybe somehow looking at things closely will help.

"You can melt it?" she asks, looking back at Sophia. She turns from the wall to consider the researcher she's traveling with. "I admit I kind of want to check that out."

Walking away from the wall, she lets the spiked end of her chain slide and hang in a swaying, pendulous arc. "If people don't want you around, screw them," she tells Sophia. "Their loss."

"I suppose we don't have a better way to get through the wall, maybe if I only use a small amount." Sophia waits until Clio is a safe distance from the wall before she opens her mouth widely and spits at the discolored spot splashing the discolor wall with green acid. There's a sizzling sound as it begins to melt.

"You're not afraid of me?" She looks a bit surprised upon hearing that. Then again Clio likely wouldn't have agreed to come along if she was.

Clio clinks her chains a bit as she waits and watches Sophia prepare her spit. She has a snerking laugh at the acidic loogie and gets a wide grin about her. "Look like those little hooting dinosaurs from that movie. The ones that ate the fat guy."

She laughs as she watches the acid burn at the wall, walking closer for a better look, curious and interested in the damage that a little spit can do on the old wall.

"Why should I be afraid of you?" Clio asks, looking back at Sophia. "I mean, if you think you're a terrifying monster or something because you're a darkstalker, I'm sorry but I've run into much nastier than a cute girl in glasses with a snake tail."

The NOL Lieutenant looks to the sizzling wall. "Melty backwash aside, that is."

Sophia turns a bit red as the melting wall reveals a chest hidden inside, "You think I'm cute?" She wasn't expected to hear that or to find the chest inside. "You know what I am...?" Lilith had used the same term but the succubus was one of them. "Have you ran into another one of us before?" She can't help but to be curious about that it. She wonders as she looks at the chest and then back at Clio.

"Yeah," Clio says with a shrug, red coming to her ears as she backs away from the hole to let the researcher do her research thing. Giving the Lamia the distance she needs and not wanting to cause any damage to priceless artifacts and whatnot.

"Of course I do. After Japan there's been more and more." Clio clinks her chain as she watches Sophia reach inside. "I know one that I'd trust with my life," she says. Though Makoto is a bit more on the fluff side(mostly in the tail) than Sophia, the squirrel is nevertheless a darkstalker.

"And, well, when you've stood toe to toe against a giant demonic skeleton thing that tried to take over your mind it puts things in perspective. I mean, I've fought actual devils. You aren't one," she tells Lilith. "Some jackasses want to call you monsters, and yeah some of you can be. But we all make choices of how to live with what we are. And trust me, I've seen worse monsters among humanity."

Sophia carefully opens the chest revealling the scroll, they certainly went through a lot of trouble just to hide it. Suddenly she feels a surge of energy rush through her body and she clutches her head. She tries to read what the scroll says but she's having trouble just thinking clearly letting alone making out any words. She begins to glow green, the same color as the acid she spit out earlier. She lets out a loud hiss before she screams in agony.

Clio cannot see what's going on. She's too far back to tell what it is Sophia is seeing inside of the chest. But she can certainly see the impact as the green glow begins to overtake the research lead. The woman Clio was meant to protect in all this!

"Ms. Nede?" Clio questions slowly, circling. Violet light crawls over the etch marks along the great length of chain wrapped about Clio's arm. In a serpentine manner, the coils of chain slither and align. A quick snap and Clio has the spike in one hand and her other wrapped in the heavy steel links.

Arcane fire of deep violet flickers from spots along the chain when the darkstalker hisses and screams. "Maybe it's a good idea to get away from that, Sophia," Clio says with a slow, even tone, even as she's preparing for the worst to come.

"Get away from me!" Sophia manages to warn Clio as the power continues to surge through her body and she completely loses control of herself and turns towards towards the woman. She wraps her arms and tail around herself so Clio as a chance to run away. " before I devour every last bit of life from you..." She speaks in a much more seductive voice than before as she flicks her tongue out, drops of acid hitting the floor and scorching it as she does so.

A warning. Always with the warnings. Still, there's something to be said about enough care being there to give a warning in the first place. Though the warning falls on deaf ears as Clio simply plants her base and takes a swaying, crouched and ready to pounce stance.

The change in vocal styling is a bit interesting, enough to get Clio to narrow her eyes and give a little smirk to the acid dripping and lascivious sounding snake. "Really, and you've just met me," she teases back.

Her face grows steadily more serious, her dark painted eyes steel and cold and dark. "I am Clio St. Jeanne, a knight of the azure flame. I will not allow you to put yourself or anyone in danger, even if means putting my life on the line." She locks the chain around her elbow, holding the links taut between hands. "I'm sorry, but this is going to hurt."

COMBATSYS: Clio has started a fight here.

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Clio             0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Sophia has joined the fight here.

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Sophia           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             Clio

"Get out of my way, or get eaten!" Sophia sounds much more confident than she did earlier as she coils forward to grapple to try and grab Clio. A small part of her is still heistant as she tries to grab at the knight. She doesn't uses her tail but her hands instead as she tries to shove her out of the way so she can go have larger amounts of prey.

COMBATSYS: Clio blocks Sophia's Quick Throw.

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Sophia           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             Clio

A woof. A quick rush, but clearly a pulled punch. Clio's spent most of her young life in scrapes and she can pick up on hesitation. Stepping back with the force of the shove, Clio turns around and kicks off the wall of the ruined temple, twisting in the air and landing once more in front of Sophia.

"I can't let that happen, either, Sophia." Clio says, base settling. "Now this might sting a little, but you need to think about what you're doing. You aren't a monster, are you?" she asks.

But then, the knight is off like a shot, closing the gap between her and Sophia with a flashing step. The length of chain around her fist alight with violet flame as the knight swings with a weighted arcane blow to Sophia's jaw. Something is wrong here, and maybe hitting things isn't the answer, but it's the closest thing to one that Clio can work with in the short term.

COMBATSYS: Clio successfully hits Sophia with Power Strike.
- Power hit! -

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Sophia           0/-------/---====|=------\-------\0             Clio

Sophia may be filled with rage and anger but that doesn't mean she takes hits any better than before. She buckles under the strike nearly hitting the ground as both blood and acid drips out of her mouth and she cringes in pain. "That really hurt you bitch...what's wrong with me...?" Her voice changes in mid-sentence as she briefly regains coherence before changing back, "That just makes me when to squeeze the life out of you even more!" Her tail lashes out as she tries to entangle Clio with it.

COMBATSYS: Clio blocks Sophia's Bedtime Story.

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Sophia           0/-------/---====|==-----\-------\0             Clio

Ding! The hit seems to knock Sophia to the point that she can think for herself at least a little bit. Clio's invigorated by the fight. Her eyes are dark with her make up, but bright with her excitement in the moment. She's up close and personal after she strikes Sophia. Her style aggressive in close despite the length of her weapon.

"Something in that chest," Clio tells Sophia. "Just going to knock some sense into you."

The tail lashes around Clio. It's size and weight close to tying her up, but Clio's strength goes beyond what her small size shows. She shoulders the serpentine tail off of her and slips through Sophia's coils.

The momentum of the leap takes Sophia up to the air, twisting around. Her heel whips out, the end of her ankle sparking with a violent violet flame to hopefully bring another brain clearing arcane blow to the lamia's noggin.

COMBATSYS: Sophia blocks Clio's Random Strike.

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Sophia           0/-------/-======|==-----\-------\0             Clio

Sophia brings up her hands up to block her head but that just means they get burnt instead. The pain brings her to senses a bit, "The scroll..." She meekly gets out before the dominating personality takes back over. "No, stay away from the chest! A weakling like you can't handle it!" She spits acid at Clio as she falls and tries to land near the chest in order to defend the contents of it.

COMBATSYS: Clio dodges Sophia's Acid Paper.

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Sophia           0/-------/-======|==-----\-------\0             Clio

Foot against Sophia, Clio uses the snake woman as a springboard to put herself a distance away and to a safe position. Well far enough away as the hurtling glob of acid to avoid any of it hitting herself.

"You're handling it so well, yourself, Sophia," Clio snarks, starting to whirl the weighted end of the chain around in a short figure eight pattern.

An inside, short twist of a swing. The weighted end of the chain swings out in a heavy arc toward Sophia's belly. A lamping lump of metal bursting into a flare of dark fire as it flies.

COMBATSYS: Sophia interrupts Heavy Strike from Clio with Light Reading.

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Sophia           1/------</<<<<<<<|====---\-------\0             Clio

Sophia lunges at Clio as she tries to stop the chain from hitting her belly, she's partly successfully but it still melts through her sweater, leaving burnt skin partly exposed. She screams in pain and Clio's free to make an attempt to grab the scroll while she recovers from the blow.

The lunge is enough to tear pretty deep at Clio, and her uniform. Torn, spun down. Clio has to nearly dance to keep herself upright and stabilized. She rights herself, reels her chain back to her, and reaches under the half cloak of her NOL issue coat.

"Sophia, you like ice cream?" she asks, sidling around toward the case and the scroll within. "Because I've got this thing were I get some after a good fight. And I think I'll owe you." The words are a distraction, true as the offer may be, for Clio to ready and flick her wrist out toward Sophia.

A sharpened spike rockets from under Clio's coat as she darts, moving like a blur, toward the hole in the wall. Something has to to do with this. And Clio has to move fast. Using a second spike, she starts to scratch markings into the wall. Hermetic symbols and runic sigil. Magical Formula, courtesy of the NOL's military academy. The distracting spike something to hold Sophia back while Clio clears her head.

COMBATSYS: Clio blitzes into action and acts again!

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Sophia           1/------</<<<<<<<|====---\-------\0             Clio

COMBATSYS: Clio gains composure.

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Sophia           1/------</<<<<<<<|===----\-------\0             Clio

COMBATSYS: Clio successfully hits Sophia with Spike Throw.
- Power hit! -

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Sophia           1/----<<</<<<<<<<|====---\-------\0             Clio

"Ice cream...?" Sophia sounds a bit confused about why Clio would ask a question like that at a time like this. The symbols on the wall get the researcher's attention leaving her exposed further. Still, she's not fully herself and the spikes stabbing through her only provoke her further. She opens her mouth and her thick forked tongue is thrusted forwards as she tries grab Clio with it and pull her forward.

COMBATSYS: Clio blocks Sophia's Thesis Statement.

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Sophia           1/---<<<</<<<<<<<|=====--\-------\0             Clio

Marking, etching, working at the walls while Sophia is distracted by thoughts of ice cream, arcane formula, and a railroad spike in her tail. It's not the most kind or subtle of deceptions but it is what Clio is working with in the short term.

The tongue lashes out. Clio catches the motion in the corner of her eye. She twists about and grips the length of the tongue for a moment before throwing it back at Sophia. "Bit early for that, don't you think?" she says, laughing, having fun with the fight as it's picking up and waking Clio out of her midday sleepiness.

The chain lowers, the spike scratches the ground. "Still need a bit more for this containment circle, Sophie. So how about a little distraction?" she asks, whirling the chain about. The end of the spike catches the ground once with a click, twice with a click, the third time the click sparks a torrent of violet fire roiling toward the lamia. A wave of arcane energies called up like a lighter striking a flint.

COMBATSYS: Clio successfully hits Sophia with Whipflash.

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Sophia           1/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|=======\-------\0             Clio

Of course all the fighting has worn down Sophia down, she's both in a great deal of pain and hungry. She's unable to dodge the fire coming at her and she's scorched. The smell of burnt leather fills the air as she tries to put the flames out. Her tongue is retracted as she speaks, "I'll eat you if it's the last thing I did! She uses her remaining strength to try and crush Clio while she her fangs are extended and she tries to bite the woman in the neck to draw both blood and energy from her.

COMBATSYS: Clio fails to interrupt Binding Pact from Sophia with Bad Moon Rising.

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Sophia           0/-------/----===|======-\-------\0             Clio

A quick strike, put her down easy. That was the plan. Turn and take down the snake. Clio's gotten confident, perhaps too much. She isn't quite ready for when the Lamia comes for her. Threats spewing and flinging through the fire and flames.

Clio, for a change, isn't fast enough to evade the bite. The fangs sink in. Clio cries out in seething anger and in pain as her strength drains from her. A light headedness, a distant feeling, the fangs deep and the lamia's bite a harsh one. Confidence costs dearly.

Sophia continues to feed as she crushes Clio with her tail, if she isn't more careful she could be done in by the blood loss or the pressure. Still the lamia isn't exactly at full strength and it would be certainly possible to break free if enough force is applied.

COMBATSYS: Clio dodges Sophia's Epic Tail.

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Sophia           0/-------/----===|======-\-------\0             Clio

Feeding. The tail whipping around toward her. She's a knight of the Azure Flame. She's been against terrible things before. This is just another one of them. That tail comes around toward her. She waves a short circle with her hand, focuses on the arcane and bursts out of the lamia's grasp.

She lands a short distance away, boots scraping on the ground. She angles herself, taking a breather and starting to slowly sway and bob. She rushes toward the Lamia. Keeping up her high pressure assault on the snake woman.

A striking sweep of her fiery chain, a twist and a tossing motion to put the serpent away from the scroll and the half written containment circle.

COMBATSYS: Clio successfully hits Sophia with Charged Combo.

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Sophia           0/-------/=======|=======\-------\1             Clio

Sophia's getting rather worn down at this point but her rage still hasn't fully subsided. She needs to get back to the scroll and gain more power before Clio strikes again. She attempts to bind the woman once more with her tail, this time aiming for her neck as she intends to use her full strength to strangle her.

COMBATSYS: Clio dodges Sophia's Choke Hold.

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Sophia           0/-------/=======|=======\-------\1             Clio

Clio dances as though she were holding center stage. Chain clanking against the ground, she sways underneath the tail, back bending, rolling and leaving Clio once more in her crouching and bobbing fighting stance.

A quick whirl of the chain. The spike strikes the cold ground of the tomb. Pyreflame roars in front of Clio. A blinding wave of violet light rolling toward Sophia once more.

And then Clio herself comes dashing through the flame. She swings a heavy blow toward Sophia's midsection.

A second Clio? leaps from the side, chain swinging in an arc, scything the weight like a thresher flail for Sophia's head.

A third image of the Hound of the NOL roars up through the flame flanking Sophia. A sweeping kick, wreathed in violent flame, aimed for the small of Sophia's humanoid back.

Speed in triplicate as Clio moves with her rapid assault seeming to come from all sides. A one-woman riot.

COMBATSYS: Clio successfully hits Sophia with Cerberus Rush.

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Sophia           1/---<<<</<<<<<<<|==-----\-------\0             Clio

Sophie is having trouble dealing with 1 Clio, let alone 3 of her. The combination of blows to the head, back and chest bring her down as she collapses to the ground in agony. She still has one more trick up her sleeve though. "Bring me the scroll..." The green energy exits her body taking the form of several snakes. A pair of them slither for the scroll while the others gang up and coil around Clio. The lamia's going to need some time to recover but still might have a chance if she can keep the knight distracted.

COMBATSYS: Sophia can no longer fight.

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Clio             0/-------/-----==|

COMBATSYS: Clio blocks Sophia's Hyper Hyperbole.

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Clio             0/-------/----===|

Snakes alive! Or, not so alive. It's mostly an energy construct of the darkstalkers own brand of chi, most likely energized by the arcane potential of the scroll. Clio did go to the Military Academy after all. Clio's chain wraps about her arm. The snake can only find purchase on the heavy metal links. And soon after nipping and clinging find their energies burned off by the pyrelight that flickers and slicks up from the etchings in the metal.

"Sorry, Sophia," Clio says, twisting her arm about, the chain uncoils from Clio's arm and stretches outward. In a way a serpent of her own, Clio's chain wraps about Sophia, tightening, binding tight and glowing with a pent up arcane power. The weight heavy on one end, and the spike is shortly driven into the floor of the tomb by Clio's bootheel.

Lieutenant St. Jeanne looks at Sophia with a sharp eyed stare. She has met Darkstalkers before. She has killed some, too. And in that moment she has the eyes of someone that's stared down the kinds of things that go bump in the night. "Don't be stupid, it's not a good look for you," she tells Sophia before she returns to the wall, stamping out one of the chi snakes.

Scratching the circle doesn't take much time, and when Clio puts her hands on either side, it bursts with iridescence. A magical formula meant to contain and isolate dangerous magical weaponry. The Knight is a witch in her own right.

"This should hold it tight until backup can come and clear this up," a tired Clio speaks, head hanging. She reaches into her cloak to pull out her comms device and to make the call to her superiors. She needs a research team and containment. They've found something special, but it's really to hot to handle alone.

COMBATSYS: Clio has ended the fight here.

Sophia whimpers in pain a bit as she bound to the floor unable to move and her eyes look up at Clio. "What happened...why does it hurt so much..."

"I felt an overwhelming rage inside of me and the next thing I knew..." She then notices the other woman is hurt as well, "Did I lose control...I felt really powerful...but you managed to stop me." Maybe she wasn't as strong as she thought.

Clio hisses and extends her neck. Rolling her head back and forth. She'll have to look into a shot or something, she feels, needle punctures are terrible things. Her mind bounces here and there in the aftermath of the spell slinging before she turns and slides to the ground against the wall opposite where she has Sophia chained up.

"Oh, that bite hurt. I'll be feeling that one for a while. Feeling a little buzzed right now." She takes a deep breath and closes her eyes. "I couldn't let anyone get hurt. Not you, or anyone else out there. I can take the hurt. I've been taking it since I was a kid." She speaks as if she wasn't just barely out of her teen years.

"I'm sorry, I can assure you I'm not normally like that. It sounds like you've been fighting a lot longer than I have." Sophia's mostly back to her normal calm self at this point. "I guess, it's a good thing you didn't look at the scroll. I don't think I could have fought you off." Considering she's pinned to the wall right now it's pretty safe to say that she would have lost.

Head back against the wall, Clio smiles despite everything. "You lay it on thick," she says with a light laugh. "Paying me back for the cute comment?"

A sigh and her head falls forward to keep a steady eye on Sophia. "Maybe I'm older than I am," she admits, "So, while we're waiting for help to arrive, and I work out this bite you gave me, how long have you been at this? Digging in tombs and finding arcane artifacts?"

"I didn't mean to..." Sophia's turning red again. "I was planning to get my Master's in cryptzoology but then about a year ago I ended up being the subject of my rsearch." She certainly wasn't expecting to end up like this. "So I had to end up taking my research in the supernatural in a different direction."

Clio nods along before her attention drifts toward the exit of the tomb. "So you weren't always like that?" she asks, humming at the thought. She adjusts the skirt of her uniform before shifting to get comfortable with the ebbing pain in her shoulder.

"Seriously, after this, I want to take you to get some ice cream. I think I've got a lot of questions for you, but it's a bit awkward while I've got you wrapped up in my chain." she pushes herself up to her feet and dusts her half coat. "We'll have back up soon. And the Librarium will take good care of that scroll. Truth is, that's our thing. We contain and manage arcane power that might be a threat to society."

Log created on 00:29:18 03/14/2018 by Clio, and last modified on 11:16:11 03/15/2018.