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In -FV- 12 days ago Forum: Casual Roleplay
Iphigenia grimaced as she recalled the mentioned interview. “Eh. At least EGN’s one of the more tolerable outlets,” she handwaved, before giving a real wave to Tian-Gui and Kyouko as they made their way inside in their own uniquely separate ways. It was good to finally see everybody again after all this time.

The purple-haired girl sipped her tea as she got in a comfortable position to listen to John’s rundown of the dossiers and potential leads. Most of them, frankly, didn’t rouse her interest, nor did they sound like particularly world-threatening events in the making. They were all concerning, sure, but not really worth the Final Five’s time. Iphigenia personally thought that the Bremen matter, the so-called Church of Gears, and mercenary group were all things that a competent three-letter agency could probably tackle. If not, then they could probably kick the matter up the chain again.

The London incident… was in the same category, but Iphie naturally had a bit of personal bias towards events that happened in her home country and city. In fact, she took meddling with her city’s museums personally; the thought of some punk looting the British Museum for whatever nefarious means made her blood boil. The fact that research companies were being hit as well was even more concerning, considering that Courtlandt Holdings did have a lot of assets within London as well. She absolutely wanted to investigate this dossier, but the Psybloc dossier was too concerning to ignore.

“I think we’re all in agreement, then,” Iphie started. “As much as I detest the Siberian winter, the dossier there really has some apocalyptic potential. We should go in quickly and in force, but cautiously,” she nodded, mostly to herself. “That said, I think it’s understandable that I want to investigate this London matter as soon as I can after we deal with this disappearing land act, yes?”
Narkissa Langdon


@Rune_Alchemist @Crimson Paladin

“Huh…”

Narkissa frowned as she looked at the slime feasting on the bit of meat that Novak had given it. She looked at Lazhira a bit skeptically. Either way, it still looked like there was a door –and possibly their way out—behind the slime, so the big blob needed to be removed some way or another. The smaller one… she didn’t know much about, but as far as she was concerned, it didn’t appear like a threat nor did it look important at the moment.

“Burning?” She sniffed at the air, frowning again. This time, her frown was deeper. “No, something is definitely burning.” A flicker of concern passed through her face as she thought of what that meant. “The temple was on fire earlier… maybe it never died out, or somebody set it on fire again? Shit,” she vocalized. If the hunters had given up waiting and had entered the temple… or were trying to literally smoke them out, they were in big trouble if they couldn’t find an alternate way out, now.

Narkissa thought about alternative options, but quickly discarded them. If there was a fire, maybe she could put it out with her newfound water magic, but she still didn’t know the full extent of the fire, her own abilities, and her ability to combat it, especially if there was a chance that the hunters had also entered the building. It was too risky.

“Hey… hey. Are there other pieces of meat in this dungeon? Can you lure that big beast out of that spot so we can get to that door?” She looked at Novak. “If we can’t… we’re going to have to break through it, I think. I’ve got a feeling we’re about to be trapped.”
Narkissa Langdon


@Rune_Alchemist @Crimson Paladin

They didn’t find anything outright objectionable about the barricaded door, so Narkissa also helped with clearing out the debris blocking the door. She had felt a bit of a breeze, to boot, which was promising as far as things were concerned. Sure, it could be a ventilation shaft, but she didn’t feel like that was something the temple builders had ever thought to build.

Especially when she actually got a glimpse of the gruesome scene that was on the other side of the door. It was a prison… or a torture chamber, even, considering the presence of the unremoved skeletons. More concerning, however, was the black blob that existed against one of the walls in the chamber. Dangerous, clearly, but she had dealt with one before… and this one looked scared, for some reason?

“Sure… the big one I thought had some sort of intelligence too, I suppose. Like an animal’s.”
She gave her own observations to Novak, frowning as he seemed to seriously go down that train of thought. “Are you daft? I wouldn’t get so close to that thing like that without your guard up…”

She clicked her tongue as Novak attempted to lure it with the meat, taking up a position to defend themselves with her own sword or some magic if it did lash out.
In -FV- 1 mo ago Forum: Casual Roleplay
Iphigenia Courtlandt lounged at the dining table at the new “Fort Five,” demurely sipping on a cup of hot jasmine tea. The purple-haired girl looked sharp as usual, though her hair was done in a cute headband crown braid instead of her usual sidetail. Wearing a stylized suit and tie getup with a jacket that transformed into an attractive a-line dress that ended at her knees, she looked every bit the cool, corporate boss.

It was an image that she’d leaned hard on in the wake of the defeat and collapse of the Thremont Corporation and the Final Five’s subsequent rocketing to fame. As the most identifiable of the Final Five, a bona-fide British aristocrat and majority shareholder of one of the larger companies in the world, Iphie took the greater share of the attention on the group, and as somebody who much preferred being out of the limelight, all of it was unwanted.

Though, it was a sword that she conceded was better for her to fall on than somebody like Kyouko, because even if she received the majority of the bullshit, with her social status she was also in the unique position of cutting through said bullshit without additional help.

Even though somebody had leaked her personal cell number sometime in between, hiding oneself behind a team of corporate lawyers and secretaries to avoid being swamped by attention and scrutiny was unsurprisingly effective, after all. Those were resources that she also extended to her fellow team members, although Mason, John, and the rest of the supporting staff in the organization had done a fantastic job of neutralizing the particularly egregious red tape that the Final Five’s newfound attention had brought. Iphie had been very thankful that matter had been dealt with and wasn’t something she’d have to personally take care of.

Regardless, she dealt with it all by taking a more active –if temporarily—involvement in the Courtlandt Group in her board capacity. With the collapse of the Thremonts, it was a necessarily evil anyway; although the Final Five as a group received most of the corporation’s liquid assets, Courtlandt Group inherited enough of the Thremonts’ and Heavyware’s technologies, supply chains, and secrets that it necessitated her personal involvement in the matter.

It had only been recently that she’d gotten a much deserved vacation over the past couple weeks, and it seemed like quite a bit had changed in the meantime. She had some beef with the “Fort Five” name, but the new headquarters were pretty snazzy, all things considered.

Iphie flicked through the files and dossiers in front of them as John gave his briefing. She didn’t have much to say about most of it; all of what their resident intelligence agent had said was sensible enough, and the recommended new hires looked qualified. Iphie wasn’t against supplying the team with her own tools and toys, but having a dedicated personal armorer for the group was nice, and gave a nice outside, unbiased perspective when it came to her own equipment. Getting some additional help for Mason and Amoix with the expanded headquarters made sense, and having an expert doctor of exotic ailments and equally exotic treatments on call was more than welcome. The bureaucrat drew a little more of her attention. Considering that Iphie was from the UK, and thus the European Union, she couldn’t help but to judge the bureaucrat just a little bit. Altogether though, the credentials looked flawless along with the rest. John had vetted them well.

She raised her hands in wry objection once John’s words were directed at her.

“Oh, no, I deal enough with politicians and their ilk in my other life as is. Hard pass. That’s not to say I won’t tag along if there’s a particularly tricky matter that needs an extra hand, but I’ll otherwise trust in the judgment of our new hires. Once they’ve been fully vetted, of course.”

She chuckled as he moved along to their leads, taking a few files in her hands and idly flipping through them. “Yeah, everybody’s got an agenda now. The cat’s out of the bag, but I’d rather us not be treated like some glorified PMC,” she replied, frowning at some files in her stack before tossing them back away from her before commiserating with Jin-Sun.

“At least if they show up here, Mason will chase them right out, mm? I’d also be interested in seeing what tricks our new armorer has, although I’d like to have a chat with the European Union diplomat, too.”
Narkissa Langdon


@Rune_Alchemist @Crimson Paladin

“Yeah, when you put ‘flowers’ and ‘dripping’ together in one phrase, it doesn’t evoke the most hopeful imagery, especially given the context,” she agreed. Given Lazhira’s description of the poison, it meant that way out was right out, even more than before. Narkissa gave Lazhira a questioning gaze when the girl glanced at her, but didn’t choose to mention it at the moment. She’d certainly want to follow up later, though.

“We won’t know if we don’t look,” replied Narkissa, with a matter-of-fact tone. “Maybe there’s an illusion that hides it which also contributes to the weirdness? Well, either way, let’s get out of this pit again.”

It wasn’t much later that they found themselves in front of the blocked door that Novak had mentioned. But… it was blocked intentionally from this direction, right? Was it meant to keep something in, or to keep something out?

“Wait up. Before you start dismantling, put that mask back on to see if you see anything.” In the meantime, Narkissa got as close to the barricades as possible, trying to see if there was any sort of draft she could feel from the cracks in the door or barricade. If there was, then it was definitely a promising lead. Either way, if Novak didn’t find anything concerning, she wouldn’t object to unblocking the door or helping clearing it.
Narkissa Langdon


@Rune_Alchemist @Crimson Paladin

“Hunters, huh,” Narkissa muttered. “An encouraging nickname.” She raised an eyebrow at Lazhira’s followup statement. “You… might actually have to fill me in on that. I’m not sure if I was here for that.” That didn’t sound familiar to her, after all. She’d met Lazhira in town together with Leannah, and the strange Japanese girls from earth. It didn’t feel like there were any strange cult-ish hunters there for that meeting. Then again, Lazhira didn’t know who to trust, either. Cool, so it was like the red scare during the Cold War, except replace the Soviet spies with cultist spies. Lovely.

Thankfully, both Lazhira and Novak were in agreement with her basic plan, and Novak even used his strange mask under the suggestion of Lazhira as he climbed back up the rope.

The report he gave back after returning was just as encouraging as the name given to the hunters.

“Right, so an arrow, the cultists’ symbol, a deadly sounding flower –poison? Either way, the field has been tampered with, so it’s a clear ambush no matter the strange symbology,” she agreed. Unfortunately, she didn’t have many ideas for tackling this one. They only had guesses, and they were far from well equipped enough to deal with an ambush like that by intentionally tripping it to find out, either.

“Hmm… so, by the way that ambush seems to be laid out, it’s contingent on us coming out into it,” she thought aloud. “In other words, if we stay below for the time being, if they haven’t seen you, it might be a while before they go looking for us. At this point, I say we turn back and see what the rest of this underground network reveals to us. Hopefully we don’t run into a certain corpse dancer again, and we find a secondary exit instead, mm?”
Narkissa Langdon


@Rune_Alchemist @Crimson Paladin

What a lovely little god this was. And by lovely, she meant anything but. At the very least, her gambit seemed to pay off. The Illuminator had entirely focused her (his?) attention on the empty-headed man and his promise and not her. Narkissa wasn’t under any illusion that she’d pulled a fast one on a god, though, let alone one that was the god of knowledge. It didn’t take an omnipotent being to notice that she was skirting around making an oath, and if the Illuminator wanted to collect from her despite her implicit refusal to make a deal, she knew there was nothing stopping the god from doing so.

All the more of an incentive to leave this place as soon as she could, especially after hearing the evil god’s parting words.

“Right. So. Us three are going to have much to talk about later. But right now, I’d like to prioritize our survival,” Narkissa said, as soon as they were out of earshot of the Illuminator and her corpse dance. Nonetheless, she gave Lazhira a very apologetic look for putting her in such an awkward position. She was glad she was able to save the girl, though. “I don’t want to leave Leannah alone either, but we might be forced to,” she lamented. They did not, in fact, have a hydraulic jack, after all, nor could she probably recreate one with magic yet upon second thought. And like Novak, she did not like that god’s warning at all.

“I get the impression that there are, in fact, some more rabid followers, by the way she spoke. As much as I want to leave, now, we need to do some scouting. How about this; let’s get back to the tar pit first. Novak can shimmy up the rope and peek his head out to see if the coast is clear up top, and then we can plan from there,” she suggested, shamelessly volunteering the man up first.
Narkissa Langdon


@Rune_Alchemist @Crimson Paladin

“You are the Illuminator. Therefore, you must know of the legal concepts of innocence, and the presumption of innocence, and other fundamental tenets of a civil system of law. So, you’re right, the law determines that, not us.” Frankly, it was her opinion that if gods deigned to walk the earth, then they should have to abide by whatever local laws that existed. At least, in her perfect world, where laws made sense and were fair. It might very well be that she would have to make that world herself, with how this place was shaping up. Idealistic crap, really, but she was starting to get fed up with this petty god.

She did have some different opinions compared to Novak about this disturbing god, though. In her mind, any god that wanted young girls for whatever machinations, especially one that liked to dance with Frankenstein corpses, was a god that could not be trusted, period. If they wanted a seal, it meant that they wanted to break it, and if they wanted to break it, then that was probably a bad thing. Narkissa was prejudiced against this god like that after seeing that display.

That still didn’t leave her much choice in the situation, but she wouldn’t agree so readily like the brainless man next to her.

“As I said, I was an archaeologist. I find things. A marine archaeologist, to be sure, but one nonetheless.” She added onto Novak’s declaration. She’d let him be the one that promises his soul or whatever to the bad evil ancient god, not her. She was just stating facts, even if the implication was, 'let her go and I'll find it,' it wasn't a promise.
Narkissa Langdon


@Rune_Alchemist @Crimson Paladin

Narkissa’s eyes flickered in annoyance. She hadn’t expected much from the strange god, but this was even more of a non-answer than she’d expected. She could have asked a leading question with some of her otherworldly knowledge as bait, but that had the potential to end… poorly. And the rest of what she was talking about was very riddle-like. Narkissa didn’t like riddles.

Intellectually, they were always a nice challenge, but she had dealt with enough riddles in her past job.

At least she answered her question about Leannah, although she couldn’t exactly verify the truthfulness of that answer.

It was becoming more unproductive the more they spoke with this strange god. She clicked her tongue. She really didn’t want the Illuminator getting her dirty mitts on Lazhira. In the end, she had no real reason not to give the girl up to save herself, but she’d already helped her so much, and it just felt wrong regardless.

“Yes, well, I don’t want to hand over an otherwise innocent girl if I can’t help it.” She let out a sigh, shaking her head at Novak. “I suppose we could help look for the lost thing, though.”
Narkissa Langdon


@Rune_Alchemist @Crimson Paladin

In the end, they’d agreed to go deeper into the catacombs to confront whatever danger there was as a group and rescue Leannah. There was the niggling concern that it was a danger that was out of the scope of their abilities to deal with… but Narkissa was still coming down from her high on using water to slice and explode things. Too cool. Too awesome. It felt like she could do anything.

And she was promptly disabused of that notion when they made it to the main altar.

The first thing that struck her about the scene was how creepy the entire thing looked. No matter how you could slice it, dancing in the dark with a mannequin –a mannequin made out of bloody body parts—was not something that a mentally sane, well-functioning individual did. No siree.

That wasn’t to mention the internal cringing Narkissa did when the strange girl introduced herself. Oh, no, it wasn’t just a deranged individual. It was a deranged god. She was fairly sure that none of them here could kill a god, if this girl was actually a god.

“Archeologist. Not scavenger,” she couldn’t help but to mutter under her breath. “No thieves here.” Lazhira scooting closer to her wasn’t lost on her at all, though.

“Well, if you think there’s nothing but empty space in his head, then at least we agree on one thing.”

Traitorous mouth!

… Not that she disagreed.

But it didn’t exactly give her much of an advantage in verbal rhetoric. Because if this girl was Iva’Krorh, The Illuminator, Narkissa was sure the only thing that could get them out safely at this point was talking, or hoping this god –the whole pantheon of them were starting to seem as fickle as the Greeks—was in a very good mood.

The problem was, she didn’t know how to respond, and she didn’t know how much the Illuminator did actually know about her. Surely, she didn’t know a lick about her past life, either? She could just ask her ‘what now,’ but she didn’t exactly fancy giving the god the initiative either. Since it seemed like she only had beef with Lazhira and Novak, she could simply try to just wiggle out of this herself… but it would feel wrong to do that to Lazhira, even if there was no lost love for Novak.

Right, fishing for more information it is.

“Well. Please forgive our intrusion. At this point we’re only searching for our lost friend. Forgive my curiosity, but how much do you know?” She left the ‘about us’ or the ‘about me’ hanging, hoping that either way wouldn’t be too… offensive. It hadn’t exactly been her style to address a random person dancing with corpse parts with the reverence of a god either, but Lazhira had already done worse and she hasn’t been immediately struck down by the will of a god.
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