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Zeitgeist Blue

Through the Mirrored Glass and Back Again (IC)

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"If we ever go into my mask, I promise good weather," Masque noted, clothing adjusting to give her as much physical protection as she could - and even then she pulled her cloak in, warding herself against the sand as she stepped through the window and out into the storm. Twice, in fact, and no less - where one Masque stepped into the glass on one side, two stepped out, splitting up to flank Veronica and trusting Ouroboros to watch their backs. "Green fields, sun."


"Dogs," the other Masque agreed.


"Friendly dogs, who only want to play catch." Even from behind her mask she squinted, trying to look at the sun without...looking at the sun. "Do we know how we're getting the mask in there? A good throw, maybe, or is it colder than it is bright? I could send the other me to drop it in by hand, but that'll get really unpleasant if it's as dangerous as it looks."

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Ouroboros winced slightly as he stepped through the portal behind his fellow students, "Of course."  he murmured in distress and let out a disgruntled huff.  "I don't really do the whole sun thing."  he offered as he took in the unfolding chaos around them.  "I think I'll be able to provide cover however."  he offered as he summoned forth a spinning disk of mystic light and stepped upon it to follow calling magic to his hands as he rode it aloft, "I'll do my best to keep them off you."  he promised as the coruscating energies he called upon writhed around his arms in preparation for being called upon.  


The dhampir held back keeping an open angle of attack on anything that might challenge his fellows progress.

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Upon their conjured platforms the quartet (including one Masque duplicate) descend into the vortex where sands scratch and turn exposed skin raw from exposure. Your platforms hold steady as Ouroboros watches drones tear at each other in the water-filled dimension immediate to the one you had just entered. It is cool and wet there, unlike the heat and dryness that greets you here.


The miniature sun, achingly harsh in the distance, beats with the intensity of a dozen noons in a dozen deserts below you. Yet the four of you continue, pushing past the heat and the pain that threatens to seep the strength from your limbs. The promise of greater labors bears on your shoulders as you near the Self, your brows dripping in sweat and your clothes drenched. Though it does not sear his skin like some vampire-kin, the sun's glare seems to be multiplied thrice-fold for Ourboros and his dhampir physiology.


Almost unspoken among them, they take formation, hard-won experience dictating that they watch each others' backs, lines of sight agreed upon, magic and weapons ready. With watchful eyes, the Claremonters seek for those who would do them harm. Each one of them possesses the unique ability to perceive magic yet this close to Bellios' Self and their magical sight is as much filled as their normal vision. Magic flows out as water does from a wellspring, bountiful but bewildering. Perhaps each views magic differently, dictated by the source of their powers or training. Dark or light, structured and encompassing from training under the greatest practitioner of the age or fleeting colors like the whimsy of an ancient artifact of many forms or writhing in a primal beat that invites one to explore the unknown places of this world. It fills each of their eyes, overpowering the mundane-ness of swirling sand and glaring sun.


Magic unbound.


It blinds them.


It is only at the last second do two of them, the adventurer in the lead and one of the masks on the flank, notice a figure barring their path. It's body is almost invisible in the storm for the robe it wears is the color of sand too. They see it raise a delicate hand from beneath its sleeve... From behind, an elephantine figure appears in mid-air, armored in head to toe in sand-colored blocks. It resembles a golem and it is leaping for the heedless vampire at the rear of the formation. And beside the other mask who notices the ambush too late, sand shifts against the wind to engulf her in a loose mist of hard-edged sand before it forcefully drives into the fabric of her protective cloth.


The figure in front of Veronica speaks in a voice that is like claws screeching against a blackboard. It cuts through the sound of the sandstorm and they hear "Bellios" uttered within its string of profanity-like syllables. Then from thin air she feels clawed hands grasp at her, steel limbs wrap around her body, as several dragging her out of her platform.


Masque sees all of this before the intensity of the storm increases, turning the combatants into hazy forms among the sand. Yet with her mage sight she see a number of brands upon their assailants, glowing with the same signature as the Self does but dimmer.

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