Some places are believed to be a nexus, a site where magical energies coalesce and spread out across the land. While blessed with such arcane force, they are also considered to be cursed, for they often draw in beings both good and evil: Patrons seeking power, peace, or even simple amusement for themselves. And yet, so many have turned their sights to Penrose of all places. Is it a true nexus, where Horrors can truly manifest, and Gods can enact their divine will? Where Lesser Forces ride on wings of destiny, and Puchuu seek great promise? Or is it by mere chance of fate that so many magical girls have come together to stake their claim on the ravaged earth, having now twice seen a near apocalypse up close?
Of course, the answer is simple: as fortune favors the bold, so do the winds of destiny push the vessels of yearning. Some are driven by power and greed, wanting what they yet not have, as they continue to possess more and more. Others seek chaos and frivolity, binding themselves to the yoke of desire. And yet some are driven by a powerful, world-destroying purpose: justice. The Beacon of Penrose once shared the belief of not granting mercy to any monster, no matter how human they seemed. But now, they have found a new justice; justice of equality for those scorned and persecuted.
A phone rang on a table near where Alicia was sleeping, having woken up from her slumber a while ago. It has been an hour since she had returned back to this world from a magical adventure, only to return back to a cold and dark Penrose. Snow coated the landscape, and what life yet remained on the streets moved quickly and cautiously. Even the sun, so bright and cheery in the summer, only remained for scant few hours in the sky before the long night settled in. It had become a city of fear, not only for the civilians who dreaded a new natural disaster, but also for the monster girls and dark magical. An old justice has come, delivering its fiery wrath.
When Alicia picked up the phone, she could hear Sylvia's shaky voice. "Alicia, are you there?" The voice asked. "Are you at your parents' place? We need to meet up." She paused, thinking of how to word her next phrase. "Listen, things have changed, and now...The Ascendancy's here, and they want me. But I can't do it just yet. I need time to think. Let's meet at the ice rink. My mom's still freaked out over me being gone, but I told her I need to go to school. I'm bringing Sally over too. Just sit tight, bye." Once Sylvia closed the phone while on the roof of her house, she took one last look at her house. "They'll be here any minute. I need to lead them away." Having steeled her resolve, she transformed, and ran off, leaping from rooftop to rooftop. ...
"She hung up," June stated after a moment, and turned towards the group of magical girls on the other side of the brightly lit hall; what once was the Hall of Luminous Valor, just next to the coffee machine, had been changed into something resembling a war room, with monitors hanging on the back wall, and a great table with a hologram of Penrose represented on it. "What should we do next?" She asked. The crowd of local magical girls and few magical boys silently stood by the sidelines, nervously eyeing the few magical girls who were seated around the table; they were members of the Beacon Ascendancy, a new force on Penrose, with a reputation of never failing in their missions in the Beacon community, and ready to do anything to purge corruption and heresy among those who fear them. One of them tapped the table.
"Can you trace the signal, Elora?" A serious-looking magical girl asked. The sound of fingers rapidly tapping on a keyboard could be heard in the chamber. After a couple of seconds, another voice rose from the back.
"Confirmed," Elora stated. "Sylvia is currently located at her home." She paused for a second, and swiped her hand up; suddenly, a visual representation of audio waves was inserted over the Penrose hologram. "She is calling one of the local units. Name: Alicia Hayden. Rank: Seraph. History: a participant of the JvV and S-incidents."
"So she's running to her cronies, huh? Want me to go bring her in? I could do it in two minutes you know!" A shorter girl in gas mask was sitting at the edge of the table, swinging her legs back and forth. "I'm bored of all this talking, and there's a heretic on the loose."
Leena rolled her eyes. "Right, right. You and your Trinity BS." She hopped on top of the table on her hands, and then flipped to the exit. "I'm going after the U-type lead we just picked up. Tsuki, you let me know when that chick's back, ok?"
The girl who first spoke scoffed and crossed her arms. "I'll also come in a moment. Take FanFan with you."
A glasses-wearing girl seated on the table adjusted them with a careful push of her palm, and frowned. "You should have scolded Leena for acting so brashly, Húdié" she spoke towards the mask-wearing girl. "You're giving a bad example to Dawn here." She gestured towards the girl who sat next to her, Dawn Astraea. She was the Ascendancy's newest member, brought to Penrose for her first international mission. "In the Ascendancy, we operate by strict protocol."
Húdié sighed. "I have seen the Liches in the Trinity, Rachel," she answered. "And I saw Leena. You know what that means." She looked towards a silently praying girl, her head leaned down. She looked up at her, and with a sad look, slowly nodded. Húdié turned to Rachel. "We need to send Dawn."
Rachel turned her head aside with an indignant huff. "Very well then. Dawn, you are to follow Leena and FanFan. Prepare for combat."
Cindy rubbed her hands together, and saw the static sparks that lit up. The lightning monster had returned back to the secret shelter, which has expanded since the time Penny last saw it; it had descended deeper and deeper underground in a network of stone corridors and chambers by a group of monster girls and dark magical girls that seemed to grow everyday. Not only did the shelter provide warmth and comfort as well as safety from the cold weather, it was also warded by the strongest of illusions and anti-scrying magic, preventing any being from finding it via magical means. However, the tunnels were not completely safe, as Cindy heard that cave-ins have occurred, sometimes trapping people for hours before they could be saved. "Penny laid a really good foundation, but it doesn't help if it continues going lower and lower. I wonder where she is now? Not to mention her..." She reminisced about her time in another world.
Surrounded by beaches and seas, girls in swimsuits and festive activities… A little bit in the past, still during the stay at the island paradise, Mariette had found herself asked to accompany a girl composed entirely by lightning, the one they called Cindy Ford, who’d previously announced herself to be the ruler of Penrose… who wanted to have a private word with Mariette. Very well, then.
As she accompanied Cindy towards the café, the white-haired girl in an eyepatch got seated on a simple chair at a table not far from where you ordered the drinks. Mariette was happy enough with just getting orange juice. Honestly, she didn’t get to drink that particularly often. Still, not the most avid conversationalist, Mariette kept her eyes on Cindy as she awaited what the shape of condensed lightning would say.
Cindy soon joined her with two glasses of juice, placing one on her side of the table before taking her own at the opposite side. “I ordered you a blueberry smoothie. Hopefully your taste buds find that agreeable,” the crackling monster girl spoke, and took a sip of her own lemonade. “I recognized your voice from the time I made my declaration to Penrose. You suggested that we should form an alliance. Now, I would like you to elaborate on that. Exactly what kind of cooperation are you offering to me?” She asked in a polite tone, slightly contrasting her dated vocabulary.
Blueberry smoothie it is. Mariette took a bit of it, and found that it was agreeable enough. Now.
Huhu. Did she suggest something like that? Perhaps she did. Let’s say she did.
‘… Very well,’ Mariette started, putting down the smoothie to look at Cindy. ‘I am, perhaps you could say, a princess from another dimension. I lead the forces of my patron, which are great in number, and support his desires. Now, he cares little for who rules in Penrose…’ which was true enough… ‘… but he needs me to supply him with resources every now and then. As Penrose is at the center of a magical flux, it’s a logical place to begin. So, the deal is as follows…’
‘You get a portion of our strength. We’ll help by deploying monsters in key positions, give you Magical Girls that will fight for you, and will give you information as needed. In exchange, you give us any monsters you fight, any prisoners or enemies that you think would be better spent thrown into the abyss, or magical items that you feel you can spare us. We’ll give you support proportional to how much you give us, but overall, I believe you’ll find ruling Penrose to be a lot easier if you have our help.’ … That about covers it.
Cindy listened intently, a pair of flickering strands of electricity on her forehead furrowing like eyebrows. “The Abyss, huh? Well, I suppose it is how you describe your inner demons.” She smiled. “We can always use information and new subjects...Even monsters too, should the Beacon threaten their safety.” She gave a curious look. “Your idea of equivalent exchange is unexpected, but adequate. Having a reliable means of disposal will prove beneficial to our rule. I may even be able to throw in an artifact or two, should you prove yourself worthy of your confidence, hm hm~” She glowed a bit, and took a sip. “I assume you have underlings prepared to gather any offerings I may have?”
‘Absolutely. … Well, not currently...’ Mariette said, gesturing a bit on the environment around her. It was hard for them to be prepared when they were all stranded in a beach dimension. ‘… But under the assumption that we will be returned to Penrose eventually, that will be the case. We’re keeping the city under watch and my followers are prepared to jump in whenever is needed.’
Cindy clapped her hands together, causing a bright light to manifest, like the snapping of a photo. “Excellent! In that case, I shall declare our alliance true.” She leaned over at Valerie’s direction. “Two beers here, tavern wench! We shall have a feast!” Valerie’s eye twitched, but she smiled and bowed. “I’m sorry, but we don’t serve alcohol...” “Hah! What kind of pub is this? Very well then, two refills of our drinks then.” She turned to Mariette. “Meet my advisor on top of the town hall on Saturday midnight; then, we shall discuss the details of your fealty.”
Well. That was decently easy. Fortunately, Mariette was saved from alcohol by Valerie. Besides that, was Cindy actually able to consume alcohol? Did she have a bloodstream for it to give her a high from? … These questions aside. ‘Very well. We will meet you there.’ With that said, she lifted her drink (blueberry smoothie) to meet Cindy’s glass, because that’s the form of gesture she got the feeling Cindy would appreciate. ‘For a fruitful united endeavour, then,’ Mariette offered, albeit her expression remained passive.
Cindy snapped back to hearing that members of the Ascendancy were on the move, and ordered everyone to hide themselves in the lair. Then, she bit the corner of her mouth hard as she waited in silence. They have already killed scores of her own people, and knew that if she attempted resisting their brutality, she could lose everything. Right now, it was a cold war between her and the Ascendancy, hatred boiling under the surface of the serene city.
However, despite the darkness that seemed to wrap the city in its deathly hold, a Glimmr of hope could be seen sparkling on the screens of devices all over the city...
What was a clandestine environment? Was it a dark alleyway? A grungy basement? A smoky nightclub? An isolated parking lot?
Nay, for magical girls, veiled from the eyes of the public by the Ignorance that kept men and women from being truly aware of the creatures that stalked the night, a clandestine environment was as simple as meeting them at the entrance of a train station. Dressed in all black, Dolly looked for once as if she matched the season, her warm fabrics and long sleeves complementing the dire weather that had descended upon Penrose. Few humans strode through the streets now, a chain of curious disasters having evacuated the majority, leaving only a stubborn minority of Ignorant behind.
Monsters and saints had eyes everywhere, but Dolly remained nonplussed. Standing beside the copper statue of a loyal wolfhound, she held a small briefcase in her hand and waited quietly for her contact to arrive.
Around the corner, a small girl in a fluffy coat a bit too large for her size came waltzing in, a childish demeanor about her. She was carrying a backpack filled to the brim with stuff, including a broom that stuck out.
‘Whoo wee!I’m really glad the stuff I collected was still in my shop when I returned. Thanks for keeping it all safe while I was gone, Agatha!’
‘����� ���� ��������’ Agatha, the floating ball that was Brittany’s lesser force patron, now in the form of a cute keychain on her backpack, quietly whispered.
‘I know, I know. But now that we’re all back that shouldn’t happen anymore, so no worries! Now, where’s my business partner...Aha!’ She walked right up to Dolly.
‘Good to see you again, Dolly! It’s gotten a bit chillier than last time, he he~’ She giggled a bit, and removed her backpack. ‘Now, here’s what I managed to find before we were whisked away.’ She took out a fragmented chunk of what looked like onyx. ‘This is a piece of the altar. It was nearly buried, but I managed to dig this up.’ Then she dug out a vial of black liquid. ‘This is really potent stuff, highly corruptive so handle it with care. I think it may be melted remains of what used to be Soth’s avatar. Ok, and here...’ Then she offered a piece of silver chain, a bone, and a tiny container of black goop. ‘And here’s the rest. So, what do you think?’
Dolly handled the vial of black liquid with care, but it was the silver chain that her flashing eyes lingered upon the longest. After a moment, she nodded, placing the briefcase upon the snow. A Matchbox was in her hand, and one by one, the gothic girl slid Brittany’s salvage into the small compartment.
“This is satisfactory. You have my gratitude, Brittany.” She stood there, motionless. Her head inclined once, her hands pulling the hems of her coat as Dolly dipped into a curtsy. “Your payment is within the suitcase. If any of your customers so desires a custom-made item, you may contact me with the details of the commission.
‘����� ���� ������������� ����’ Agatha spoke, spooking a nearby civilian as he walked away.
‘Oh, no need to thank me. I just did what was specified in our contract, that’s all, he he~’ Brittany replied, blushing a bit. ‘There’s going to be a boom in business if the beach trip is any indication, so I’m surely going to need more wares.’ She took the suitcase, and took a peek inside. ‘Just be careful, okay? Agatha told me that Penrose has turned dangerous recently.’
“Evidently so,” Dolly said, turning away, “but it will be more troublesome if it was your existence that was terminated rather than mine. Farewell, Brittany, and good fortune to Cindy’s reclamation of Penrose.”
And, like sand, the gothic girl dissolved, all traces of her presence dispersed by the winter wind.
Brittany pulled on her backpack, and then blew some hot air on her fingers. ‘Speaking of dangerous, I gotta get back to the shop or I’ll turn into a popsicle!’ Brittany then also took off.
Not long after, she flipped the sign of her shop from closed to open. She sat down, took out her pink laptop, and wrote out a simple message on Glimmr, the social media service of the magical world:
‘Grand Opening of Brittany’s Boutique! New artifacts for sale!’
@EnterTheHero Would like a description, even if brief, of the Killing Blow, but otherwise don't see any major problems. Accepted. Pretty cool with the whole Crow themed Patron, reminds me of the Raven deity from DnD.
@Crusader Lord I'm cautious about the treasury aspect of the weapon and pulling out any weapon convenient for the situation, but since you haven't gone too crazy with the other variable-power character, I'll have the same conditions as ERode set this one and have it accepted.
@Ponn A Wood girl is a very welcome one in this RP. Also interesting Specialization for the Nightmare girl. Accepted.