Come with me, My Love, to the Sea...
GM: Nine
Players: Gnosis
Synopsis: Gnosis travels to the water plane for an AQ ordeal… Nine does some whining previous to all this and gets her way about coming with him this time, but she fails to complete the AQ… :/
Date: ICly, this astral quest took place before Christmas 2070.

***

Gnosis turns to the left, now, moving off the path a bit…

He sees a red fern, and he kneels beside it. "Here," he says. "Months later, into Winter, and still healthy. Good." He closes his eyes again. "This is me," he says to Nine, running his hand over the fern…

Nine looks to the red fern and then wows softly at how deep its blood red hue is. She makes sure to have let Gnosis go when he began to kneel, so that he may move without being hindered. Then, she kneels down right next to him, herself, to his right and slightly behind him. After Gnosis informs her that the red fern is part of him, Nine reaches out with wonder to touch a frond ever so softly with her fingertips, caressing it gently as she would an ear on the man himself.

Then, Gnosis takes the walking stick in both hands, one hand near each end, and he opens himself up to the astral. "White Hart," he calls, spirit reaching out. "Guardian of this place. Come forth: Your friend has need of you, and begs another boon." He snaps the stick in twain. "Come forth!"

Nine sits back on her haunches, making sure not to be in the way of the stick Gnosis wields, so that he will not have to worry. She watches the magical Elven man beside her with some wonder at his amazing ways of ritual ceremony, and then she slides one hand onto his back softly, feeling contact with him as she tries to open her own soul to the White Hart, as well. With masking down, she tries to let the spirit know that she is Nine, its friend, and that she is waiting. She does not speak any words, though.

Gnosis waits, now, keeping his position, clutching the broken stick in both hands. He expands his senses outwards, relying on his magic sense to sort of diffuse the area with his presence… but he waits, patiently.

Nine closes her eyelids while leaning near Gnosis, but she puts no weight upon him, just being pleasantly close. Finding balance, Nine keeps her body in this position while meditating quietly. Her astral form rises up from her physical body, which seems to keep its posture behind/next to Gnosis's right side. Her spirit rests astral hands atop her meat body's shoulders, as if to keep it steadied in a symbolic way, as she peeks at the astral scenery before them.

Gnosis's spirit almost hums with the power as he sits there, waiting… but then there's a stirring in the brush, and the leaves part, and there's the Hart, Shining white in all his manifested glory as he inclines his head down towards the pair. Gnosis is busy focusing: NINE WILL HAVE TO SPEAK!

Nine blushes that they are graced with the majestic presence of the White Hart, and she slips back down into her meat body again. She wavers only briefly when she does, getting both her body and spirit and mind and everything all put back together again.

Opening her intense green eyes, Nine looks to the White Hart with a genuine smile (for she is quite happy right now), "Hello, Friend… thank you for coming to us so quickly… We are but the 2 magi that you met months ago… We ask you and Ser Sparky Evans if you would both be so kind as to watch over us as we leave our physical bodies in the Hot Springs to go to the Water Plane?" Nine hopes that her words are okay… she generally does not feel as if she is as majestic with vocal abilities as Gnosis, unless she is in VEDDY ANGRY mode. She smiles to their antlered ally!

The White Hart inclines his head in acquiesance. It says or telepaths nothing, but there's the feeling that your desire will be honored.

Gnosis turns to Nine, a little tired looking. "Good," he says. "We're on. To the springs? Is it even safe to be in the springs for… however long?"

Nine almost misses the feeling initially, but having been practicing listening to her heart (or Hart?) lately, she gets that her request will be granted, and so she turns to Gnosis before giving him a light hug and then getting up, offering down a hand to help him up, too. "Well, I believe that our friend here will make sure that we will be just fine." She smiles and then glances back over to the White Hart and whispers, “Thank you."

Gnosis says "Well, I mean safe, like… physically. Like sitting in hot water too long… but you are probably right." He grins, and will start moving through the forest on his own, leading her towards the hot springs. "Thanks for coming with me," he says. "I'd appreciate the company."

Nine watches him for a moment and then just tucks her hand down into her pocket before meandering after Gnosis, "You're welcome. I would love to go to the Meta-Planes anytime with you."

Gnosis eventually makes it over to the hot springs, and, stripping down a bit more than is comfortable for the cold, slides into the water. "Good," he says, putting his fingertips to his forehead and drawing an invisible symbol there. "Let's do this."

And then he slips into the astral.

Nine watches him for a moment before shedding some of her own belongings and then stuffing them behind some bushes with his. She just wears the mage robe, nothing else is over or under it, save for the Emerald Sash, and then she slides into the pool beside Gnosis. She hugs his body and then closes her eyes.

Then, she begins the process of departing from her physical body, taking a bit longer than the split second it normally would take. But, she manages, carefully, and then she heads to astral space. It all took probably about a minute. Nine appears before Gnosis as a silvery feminine form with triangular fuzzy cat ears atop her head, and the reflection of Mom's greatcoat is still seen to enshroud her with a protective aura, despite it not being donned in the physical world. Perhaps, it is just how Nine sees herself.

Gnosis's form is, as always, the Gnosis of astral light. Perhaps as he gains grades, he'll get more light and less skin. Who knows? Anyway, as he crosses his distance, he waits at the threshold, glowing slightly, adjusting his clothes of white. In this shape, he wears no hat.

Nine chases after Gnosis to the Threshold of the Meta-Planes, which appears as a familiar scene for Nine. It is a vast expanse of Bermuda grass with various puddles here and there as far as the eye can see, with ambient light keeping the setting visible but which comes from no apparent heavenly body. It just is.

Some puddles are full up to their brims with surface tension keeping them from overflowing onto the surrounding grasses.

Some of the puddles are bone dry, leaving behind a void instead, a black abyss without even earth underlying those.

Some puddles are half full, with soil keeping them steady.

Standing next to Gnosis on the Threshold, Nine appears more defined than she did previously while occupying astral space. Glancing toward him, Nine smiles slightly, watching him in admiration momentarily.

Two dwellers wait in the shadows. Even as Gnosis turns to look around, eyes glowing like white flares in the dim light of the threshold…

But the first one that steps forward isn't for him. It's a man, skinny and emaciated, only part-there. As he speaks, his mouth moves, but the voice is deep and ill-fitting to his body, and echoes as if it comes from a great distance. "I speak for Leviathan," he says, watching Nine carefully, and raises a finger. "Tell me, mortal, why you come forth. You who have shirked your magic gifts for so long, you who, like Leviathan, have been content to be asleep. How DARE you come here, and risk the guppies within… how DARE you come to us now, having abandoned us for your tools and your surgeries and your mortal lover? What do you seek, and Why should the Powers let you in?"

«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Nine (#10584) rolls Etiquette + Astral Pool: 3 vs TN 5 for "Say What?!":
1 2 2 3 3 4 4 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Nine (#10584) rolls Etiquette + Astral Pool: 3 vs TN 5 for "Say What?! (KP1 Normal)":
1 1 3 4 4 5 9 = 2 Successes

Nine turns to face the gaunt fellow, listening to his words but letting them fall off of her like rocks thrown at a castle wall. Her nature comes about then, the cat-ish part, and she starts to grin a bit at what is said, rather than curling up and crying like she has been prone to do these days. And, Gnosis might also realize that her dialogue is much more graceful than on the physical plane (where she sometimes stumbles over words) but these are flowing like water. "I come seeking the knowledge of Flash, the magic of illusion native to the water plane, not the fire elemental of the same name." Glancing away from the Dweller briefly to look toward Gnosis and then back to the Dweller again, "As for hard work, knowing how to use my tools combined with magic is useful, but now I am waking! And, it is because of…" she pauses long enough to thrust her left hand back toward Gnosis and point with vigor toward him and not half-assing the motion. "Because of this man! Now, please, realize that I come to find that for which you scold me now, and please, let me on my way!" The word 'please' carries with it some respect, yes, but there is also a bit of demand to what she says.

The man-thing tilts his head and regards the woman. "You let others influence you too much, Cat Mage. But we will let you through, and we will watch. Do not disappoint us." One of the pools of water begins to glow, evidence of a portal!

Nine grins faintly about why she does what she does… as if she has some kinda secret inside, but she is hiding it like Killroy. She nods to acknowledge what the Dweller says and replies softly, "Thank you." She waits quietly, not yet taking the pond portal. Watching, she will not leave the Threshold without Gnosis.

The second Dweller steps forth, coming around from behind the emaciated one, and this one is more feminine with dark skin, but her outline is not very defined. She giggles mockingly at Gnosis, and her energetic voice practically sings, "I speak for Otter, and it looks as if you are setting yourself up for a lifetime of *CENSORED* …rather than having the fun that you could if you just set out on your own and forgot about this mortal woman."

Although, it would be very much like Nine to growl like a cat about being disregarded, Nine does not make one peep during this.

The Lady of Otter continues her beration, "You are so handsome, and you could have any woman in all the world, maybe even more than one if you so desired! Do you not realize this?" Winking, the girl comes closer to Gnosis and stands in front of him before looking up into his eyes. She is not really touching him, but is within very close proximity. "And, you are just going to get even more attached if you stay with her… and she will probably die, *CENSORED* …and you might be so heart broken that you could end up just like Father Glenn. Do you want that?"

Gnosis watches the woman even as she comes up to him. "I have made my choice," he says. "I know the score, and I haven't flinched away from it." His eyes begin to blaze a little. "And I do not know you, Otter. I came to this place of my own violation, and do not require YOUR help. I will accept Nautilis as a guide, or no other… as for you…" He starts to become verily consumed by light. "I grow weary of my choices being questioned. Please, let me pass. My path is my own, and only I may choose it."

«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Gnosis (#8121) rolls Willpower + Astral Pool: 1 vs TN 4 for "I SHALL PASS!":
2 2 4 4 5 5 5 = 5 Successes
«Plot» Nine says, "+2KP yay!"

Nine listens and watches, but her expression falls into shame. Glancing away, Nine tries to not let Gnosis see this after the Dweller has been told off, but her aura basically bleeds shame.

The Otter woman tilts her head to the side and frowns at Gnosis, but then backs away to join with the Leviathan Representative. Together, they swirl before falling down into an empty puddle, escaping this place into the abyss where they go to do whatever it is that these Dwellers on the Threshold do out there.

The pond portal opened for Nine now feels like a portal that Gnosis can access, too, with it being a bit bigger now in its pond than it had first been after Nine opened it up.

Gnosis will turn towards Nine, taking her hand. "Listen not to jealous shades of capricious shamans. The nature spirits do not understand focus and commitment… I have never hesitated about our love." He squeezes the hand. "Now join me," he tells her, whispering softly. "And let's achieve what we came here for!" He squeezes her hand and, still holding it, leaps into the portal!

Nine lets her man of light take her hand of silver, and then she turns to look at him with a smile, comforted by his loving words. "Thank you." is not a thing that is said, but Gnosis can probably just feel the gratitude from Nine where they have contact with one another in their hands. Also, there are many other emotions, some of admiration and adoration and most definitely love, too. Happiness fills her at being here with him on this quest, able to join him, and so the sadness is forgotten, and in its stead, there is excitement inspired by him. She dashes off after him while still holding hands, going down down down into the portal!

«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Nine (#10584) rolls 1 (to no one):
3

Both Gnosis and Nine find themselves sinking in pure pond water, which does not drown them because this is the meta-planes! Then, they are released from the pond water, both falling down to land in a vast expanse of sea-green water that stretches beyond their vision capabilities. Then, both of our metaplane travelers can feel something stirring below them in the water, and when they go to look, they will see that they are both being held afloat by their respective force 6 elementals, who live here on this plane. Nine is being kept afloat by Donna, and Gnosis by Nautilus.

Gnosis smiles a little, letting himself sink into Nautilis's arms. "Thank you, my friend," he says. "One day I will repay you for all you've done, I promise." He lets himself drift, guided a little, tilting himself to a more horizontal swimming position, still holding tight to Nine's hand as best he can. "I wonder what's next," he murmurs.

«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Nine (#10584) rolls Intelligence:
2 2 3 4 5 5 8 11
«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Gnosis (#8121) rolls Intelligence + 2:
1 2 3 3 3 4 5 8

Nine grips Gnosis more tightly by his hand after being tossed down into the sea water with him. Getting oriented, Nine realizes who all is here with her and relaxes slightly. She smiles, "Ah, Donna… preesh." Nine follows suit in tilting her form to try horizontal swimming. Donna compensates easily, and for a while, there is just a nice lull.

Then, far off in the distance beyond, admist some mist, there seems to be a huge tugboat coming this way, and the smoke stack puffs a dark thick cloud up into the air above the water surface.

Gnosis frowns as he sees the tugboat. "That doesn't seem right," he says, somehow communicating through bubbly noises as he tries to talk underwater. But with the 'physical' connection between the two astral forms, the information carries across perfectly. "It's ruining my idyillic underwater journey. I suggest we avoid it and continue to seek out our knowledge in the depths… unless Nautilis or Donna have other plans?"

Nine keeps her connection solid with Gnosis, and she agrees that the tugboat seems to be wrong here, too. There is a brief musing over how Nine used to tell people that she could live under the sea easily. That has nothing to do with their decision, though, for they could both submerge and be just fine out here, as long as Donna and Nautilis are taking care of them.

However, Drizzle comes rushing away from the tugboat scene on the sea water, approaching Gnosis. Drizzle is frantic and screaming, "Bad Boat! Bad Boat! Bad Boat!"

Gnosis's eyes widen, and he looks up. "Bad boat," he murmurs. "All right, Drizzle, we'll check it out." He alters his course again and begins to shoot up, using his Astral Might and his knowledge of physics to hurry his journey!
Gnosis is still holding onto Nine, unless she lets go.

Nine will definitely keep holding onto Gnosis as long as she can. If she was holding onto his physical hand, it would probably have lost circulation by now! <3

Nine looks to the huge tugboat, about to analyze the situation, but when Gnosis rushes, she decides to impulse speed toward it, too! Donna and Nautilis are much like water mounts, and they help along with the efforts of Gnosis and Nine to expedite things. As the couple and their 3 elemental companions near this 'Bad Boat', they can see that there are two figures up on the deck that are dumping 55-gallon barrels of toxic waste off the back end of the ‘Bad Boat’ into the water below.

The sea water seems to be made up of many more elementals than just Donna and Nautilis, so there are a few that look like they are in pain now!

Gnosis frowns. He doesn't like this. His hand comes free from Nine's, and in an instant he's breaking free of the surface of the water, glowing with light like some kind of 80s superhero. Maybe even 2000s.. SENTRY!

He flashes and glows, and points a finger at the shipmen. "YOU!" He booms. "DESIST, OR FACE MY WATERY WRATH!"

«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Nine (#10584) rolls Athletics vs TN 4:
1 1 2 5 = 1 Success

Nine watches Gnosis do awesome like in The Matrix. She wows and then goes to try to do the same, but Donna keeps ahold of her for some reason, and then laps whispers into her cat ears. Nine nods, and then Donna tosses Nine toward the Bad Boat. Nine grabs ahold of the side just before her foot almost touched some toxic water, and then she starts to cat climb up the side, quietly!

The two figures turn to face Gnosis once they hear his voice, and they look exactly like Gnosis and Nine! Without the connection to Nine that he had before, Gnosis cannot discern the difference between the ladies right now. It seems that they have reached the Place of Destiny on this astral quest.

Reflection Nine laughs as Reflection Gnosis uncaps a barrel and then kicks it off of the back of the bad boat into the water of elementals below. "Make me."

Gnosis's patience has been lost today. Spirits taunting him, spirits calling his path into question. As if he didn't have enough on his plate. His eyes glow more brightly, and he narrows them. "All right," he tells reflection Gnosis. "Since you asked SO nicely…"

And then lightning is cackling around Gnosis as he waves his arms in a sudden circle, fingers moving in arcane patterns, and Lightning will flash out of a clear sky towards Reflection Gnosis!

«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Gnosis (#8121) rolls Magic + Astral Pool: 1 vs TN 4 for "BLAST!":
2 3 5 5 5 9 11 17 = 6 Successes

Reflection Gnosis seems quite evil, and he goes to bring his hands up in a way that signifies that he might be ready to cast something back, but then…

…the lightning doesn't come from Gnosis. It comes straight down from the sky, crashing into reflection Gnosis with a terrible thunderclap. With Gnosis's so-rarely unleashed rage behind it… he never stood a chance. The reflection shatters into a thousand and one butterflies of astral energy and disperses.

Real Nine clutches the ropes along the side of the tug boat and ducks down her head when the lightning comes striking down atop the Reflection Gnosis, cause the effects that she can sense are mega scary! She starts to climb again after his reflection has been dispersed, and then she crawls up onto the top of the deck to face her own reflection. "Give it up." Real Nine commands. Reflection Nine pulls a cutlass from a belt scabbard. "No, you." is the replay, said like a little kid.

«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Nine (#10584) rolls Magic + Astral Pool: 3 vs TN 5 for "Soak S Stun!":
1 1 1 1 2 2 2 3 3 5 5 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Nine (#10584) rolls Magic + Astral Pool: 3 - 2 vs TN 5 for "Soak S Stun! (KP2 Normal)":
1 1 2 2 3 3 3 5 7 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Nine (#10584) rolls Magic + Astral Pool: 3 - 2 - 2 vs TN 5 for "Soak S Stun! (KP4 Normal)":
1 2 2 2 3 4 5 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Nine (#10584) rolls Magic + Astral Pool: 3 - 2 - 2 - 1 vs TN 5 for "Soak S Stun! (KP7 Normal)":
1 3 3 3 4 7 = 1 Success

"Okay." The Real Nine tells her reflection before simply waving a hand out toward the cutlass wielding enemy. Gnosis can see that green mana triangulates about the enemy before a lightning bolt comes down, much like Gnosis had done, to blast the reflection of Nine into bits. Nine never ever likes to do this to 'herself', wishing this place never existed on the metaplanes, but it does.

Nine turns away from the tetrahedral chunks that go flying past, looking grim. "I will." is what she says in a very quiet way.

«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Nine (#10584) rolls 1 (to no one):
3

Gnosis stays floating in the air, watching the scene take place. Once the two falsehoods are done with, his speaks again, his voice still as powerful as a cracking whip. "Beloved," he says. "Clear the deck. I will end this problem." His hands raise now, and he begins to tap into the magic again. The nature of the water magics are illusion, but there is another way. Water is about balance, about finding the flow… and as he wraps the boat in lines of mana, the boat, its toxic contents, even the toxins floating in the water, he intends to return THIS to the way things should flow. "Quickly."

Nine looks up toward Gnosis. She obeys right away without delay, thus dashing to the edge of the tugboat deck in the direction that she knew Donna had last been. Just as she gets to the edge of the deck, however, a strange red triangle lights her up before lightning of the same color comes striking down. The thread of energy keeps ahold of Nine even as she falls off the edge of the deck into the waters below. Donna is waiting down there, about to catch her!

"NINE!" Gnosis screams as she's targeted by the red light, and now his magic gets some real FORCE behind it as he howls, his rage really unleashed. He grabs a hold of the boat with all the magic might he can manage, and forces his will on it, trying to make it FIT, trying to make it a part of the flow—trying to remove the cancer that Dared to strike at his beloved!

«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Gnosis (#8121) rolls Willpower + Astral Pool: 1 + Karma Pool: 1 vs TN 4 for "kp 1/7(9)":
3 3 4 4 5 9 9 13 = 6 Successes
«OOC» Gnosis will burn the 2 extra kp for successes, staging me down to nothing.

«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Nine (#10584) rolls Willpower + Astral Pool: 3 vs TN 5 for "Soak D Stun!":
1 1 1 2 2 2 4 4 5 7 = 2 Successes
«OOC» Nine beats her dice against the desk.
«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Nine (#10584) rolls Willpower + Astral Pool: 3 - 2 vs TN 5 for "Soak D Stun! (KP8 Normal)":
1 3 3 3 4 7 11 11 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Nine (#10584) rolls Willpower + Astral Pool: 3 - 2 - 3 vs TN 5 for "Soak D Stun! (KP10 Normal)":
2 3 4 5 8 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Nine (#10584) rolls Willpower + Astral Pool: 3 - 2 - 3 - 2 vs TN 5 for "Soak D Stun! (KP13 Normal)":
2 2 4 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Nine (#10584) rolls Willpower + Astral Pool: 3 - 2 - 3 - 2 vs TN 5 for "Soak D Stun! (KP17 Normal)":
2 4 4 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Nine (#10584) rolls Willpower + Astral Pool: 3 - 2 - 3 - 2 vs TN 5 for "Soak D Stun! (KP22 Normal)":
1 3 5 = 1 Success

Nine screams as she falls down with the tendril of red lightning following her, down down down… till she splashes into Donna, who dives down with the force of Nine having landed right in the middle of her while trying to play catch. And, they sink so far that their images are obscured more and more as they go.

Gnosis will focus his will further, finally making the boat and the toxicity dissappear, and even the red lightning bends to his will, disappearing into the piercing blue sky… and there he floats, above the water for a moment, his power cackling around him like flares of light. "Nine," he murmurs, the rage fading. "NINE!" He calls again, and now he's diving into the water, trusting to Nautilis to help him as he searches for his lady!

«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Nine (#10584) rolls 1 (to no one):
5

Nine and Donna plunge deep and do not seem to rise any time soon, but at least G-and-9 do not drown in this sea water, at least not when they are being helped by the elementals Donna and Nautilis.

Nautilis helps Gnosis, bringing him down to the bottom where he will finally be able to find Nine. She is laying in what looks to be a clearing under the sea, sand beneath her while underwater vegetation grows outside the open space. Donna is trying to help pick Nine up, who seems to be in something akin to lethargia, but otherwise appears to be undamaged in other health departments.

Many of the elementals that were bothered earlier by the toxins are trailing after Gnosis and Nautilis, curious about the fellow and his lady who saved them. Some of them even go so far to get in the way of him seeing to Nine, asking Gnosis of magical rumors he has heard recently, and some of them are not about to give up without some kind of answer said!

«OOC» Nine says, "Magic Rumors + AP vs TN4, if he wants to get them out of his way, he needs 4 successes.”

«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Gnosis (#8121) rolls Magic Rumors + Astral Pool: 1 vs TN 4 for "Motherfucking elementals on my motherfucking plane!":
1 1 5 7 7 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Gnosis (#8121) rolls Magic Rumors + Astral Pool: 1 - 3 vs TN 4 for "Motherfucking elementals on my motherfucking plane! kp 2/7":
2 8 = 1 Success

Gnosis shakes his head. "Just… stuff!" He says. "Warrens gangs, snatching up mages. Dunky's ghost haunting Lofwyr. Ehran the scribe invented teleportation, and there's a djinn running around in Denver thinking she's a witch for a storybook. Please, let me find my lady!"

Donna pets Nine's two-toned hair, which is this way even on the metaplanes no matter how she looks in the physical world, for Nine really loves her grey and black stripes. Nine does not move, but the elementals finally realize that they need to get out of Gnosis's way and seem appeased by his answers. They scatter away from blocking him and his vision, and he can see both the ladies within reach if he and Nautilis progress a short way.

Gnosis throws another flutter kick and swims deeper towards Donna, stretching out his hand towards her…

Donna can sense the men coming close, and so she offers back a hand to G, and then she hauls him and Nautilis closer, so they land right next to Nine on the sandy sea floor. Nine still seems to be breathing, just looks tired and seems to be slowly mumbling something almost incoherent.

Gnosis will take the hand, sending his energy across it, floating closer to Nine, wrapping an arm around her astral form. "Nine, sweetheart," he says, pleadingly. "Can you hear me? Tell me you can hear me."

Nine seems to brighten in the aura when Gnosis is holding her. She whispers softly, "James…" But, she does not answer the question or do as told to do, for some strange reason.

Even down here, it seems like they should be able to hear one another easily. Nine goes on to mutter about sine and cosine and tangent and various numbers with the word 'degrees' appended after them. Once, Nine did a stunbolt on a guy, who fell down crying about the Pythagorean Theorem. Perhaps, having been struck by a lightning bolt on an astral quest in the same light had kinda done the same thing to Nine, here. She fights through the mathematical chaos inside her brain meats!

«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Nine (#10584) rolls Mathematics + Astral Pool: 3 vs TN 5 for "OMG, Soak M Stun!":
2 2 3 3 5 5 9 10 = 4 Successes

«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Nine (#10584) rolls 1 (to no one):
1

Where many others had failed to not be stunned by trigonometry, Nine looks to be more and more confident in the aura, even though she is not quite with it, just yet, and it looks like she is talking herself through something in her mind! And, Gnosis can hear her narrating the equations aloud in her soft vocal way.

Gnosis reaches out, touching the woman… but he knows they need to get through with this before she'll be healed fully. "Come, love," he says, threading some healthy glow into her before he continues on. "We're almost off of this merry-go-round."

Nine only takes a few seconds more before finally blinking, then she looks to be in a much more present-based condition. She grins cat-ishly right after attaining full clarity, and then she flings her arms up and around Gnosis to hug him, "Yes! I ha—" But then, the healthy glow gets her attention, and she cuts off whatever it was she was about to say before moaning, "Oh… oh… thank you!" Glowing, now, Nine presses a full on kiss to Gnosis in happiness. She seems ok!

«OOC» Nine says, "Normal Perception Check, but we will not change places after this roll, so use AP wisely!"

«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Nine (#10584) rolls Intelligence:
1 2 2 3 4 4 5 5
«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Gnosis (#8121) rolls Intelligence + 2 for "meow?":
1 1 2 5 5 8 9 11

Gnosis kisses the woman back. "I'm glad you're okay!" He says. "I was so worried! So utterly worried!"

Nine is grinning and giddy. She takes a moment to revel in the fact that they are still alive even on the metaplanes after having dealt with some of the more hardcore of the places.

Donna and Nautilis remain nearby their summoners, but while everyone else is currently distracted, Gnosis will be able to sense danger is coming again. Even the elementals do not realize, but if elves had hair, the ones on the back of G's neck bristle. Past the side of Nine's face that kisses on him, Gnosis can catch a glimpse of what is coming.

Not too far away, there is a large squid-like creature.
(Imagine 20 Thousand Leagues Under The Sea movie, only smaller.)
It has 9 tentacle legs with which it uses to crawl and swim, and its bulbous main body is half as tall as Gnosis, but its legs are much longer than this with many suction cups all along each one. The sea creature has a snapping-turtle style maw located in the very center on its underside, and it has an indeterminable number of sick-looking yellow eyes for complete 360-degree vision on its main body. No base color can describe it other than camouflaged. Right now, it moves too quickly to blend in, but the colors keep changing to fit the scenery that it has just passed.

Gnosis's attention turns to watch the giant squid thing, but while his magic is near at hand, he doesn't make a move. yet. "Nine," he whispers, "Darling… over your shoulder, behind you… something's coming up. It's hideous!"

Nine tenses! Although reluctant to stop macking on Gnosis, Nine does stop. With narrowing eyes, Nine glances grumpily over her shoulder toward the creepy creature, and then she nods in definite agreement before detaching from Gnosis's fine arms. Their water elemental friends provide weaponry, reaching inside themselves before drawing out weapons that suit their owners. Nautilis pulls an ice-crystal long-sword from within himself, and Donna pulls an ice-crystal mace-headed flail-type thing.

Simultaneously, their water elementals tell them both, "Battle!"

Gnosis will take the ice sword, and the blade will flicker to life with his own intense inner light. "BATTLE!" He calls, a note of sudden joy in his voice. Here, on the water plane, he's very emotional! And he'll leap towards his target, swinging his sword with wild battle-joy!

Nine slides over to Donna and grabs up the flail looking thing… whose chain seems sturdy enough, despite it being made only of ice-like crystals. She charges toward the beast after Gnosis, heading into battle fray with him while also getting the head of her weapon positioned behind her in preparation to smash things!

«OOC» Nine says, "Mmk, INITz" Nine does mash-up Place of Battle for this one. It's more fun. :D

«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Nine (#10584) rolls Initiative with a result of 11.
«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Gnosis (#8121) rolls Initiative with a result of 10.
«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Nine (#10584) rolls 1 for "+9 Creepy Sea Thing.":
11

«OOC» Nine says, "Creature 15, Nine 11, Gnosis 10!"
«OOC» Nine says, "Everyone's reaches cancel, legs are long, and so are our weapons."

«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Nine (#10584) rolls 9 (Squid Skill) + Combat Pool: 9 vs TN 4 for "Attacking Nine!":
1 1 2 2 3 3 3 3 4 4 4 4 5 5 7 11 11 16 = 10 Successes

«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Nine (#10584) rolls Whips + Combat Pool: 4 vs TN 4 for "OMG, Defense!":
1 1 2 2 3 4 4 5 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Nine (#10584) rolls Whips + Combat Pool: 4 - 3 vs TN 4 for "OMG, Defense! (KP23)":
3 4 5 7 8 = 4 Successes
«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Nine (#10584) rolls Whips + Combat Pool: 4 - 3 - 4 vs TN 4 for "OMG, Defense! (KP27)":
9 = 1 Success

«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Nine (#10584) rolls Body + Combat Pool: 2 + 4 (KP27 to KP30) vs TN 9 for "Soak S Dam!":
2 2 2 2 3 5 5 5 5 7 7 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Nine (#10584) rolls Body + Combat Pool: 2 + 4 (KP27 to KP30) vs TN 9 for "Soak S Dam! KP31":
2 2 2 3 4 4 5 5 5 11 11 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Nine (#10584) rolls Body + Combat Pool: 2 + 4 (KP27 to KP30) - 2 vs TN 9 for "Soak S Dam! KP33":
1 2 2 3 4 4 5 5 9 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Nine (#10584) rolls Body + Combat Pool: 2 + 4 (KP27 to KP30) - 2 - 1 vs TN 9 for "Soak S Dam! KP36":
2 2 3 4 4 4 5 8 = 0 Successes

«Plot» Nine will burn the 1 AQ KP I got for the success that is required to take only L damage.

«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Nine (#10584) rolls Whips + Combat Pool: 4 + 1 (KP37) vs TN 5 for "TN4 +1 for L Wound!":
1 1 2 2 3 3 5 5 10 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Nine (#10584) rolls Whips + Combat Pool: 4 + 1 (KP37) - 3 vs TN 5 for "TN4 +1 for L Wound! (KP38)":
1 1 2 4 4 14 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Nine (#10584) rolls Whips + Combat Pool: 4 + 1 (KP37) - 3 - 1 vs TN 5 for "TN4 +1 for L Wound! (KP40)":
1 1 2 2 4 = 0 Successes

«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Nine (#10584) rolls 9 (Squid Skill) + Combat Pool: 4 vs TN 4 for "Defense.":
1 1 2 2 3 3 4 5 5 5 5 11 14 = 7 Successes

«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Nine (#10584) rolls Body + 1 (KP41) vs TN 9 for "Dude!":
1 1 2 4 4 4 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Nine (#10584) rolls Body + 1 (KP41) vs TN 9 for "Dude! KP42":
1 3 3 5 8 9 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Nine (#10584) rolls Body + 1 (KP41) - 1 vs TN 9 for "Dude! KP44":
1 1 3 4 10 = 1 Success

«OOC» Nine takes M!
«OOC» Nine says, "L+M on Nine. Squidy is done with CP, tho."

«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Gnosis (#8121) rolls Edged Weapons + Combat Pool: 4 vs TN 3 for "DAI DAI DAI!":
1 3 3 4 4 4 5 8 = 7 Successes
«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Gnosis (#8121) rolls Edged Weapons + Combat Pool: 4 - 7 vs TN 3 for "DAI DAI DAI! kp 3/7":
2 = 0 Successes

«OOC» Gnosis says, "okay, stand on 7. strength is 3. :/"

(GM) Sword = (STR +2)M

«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Nine (#10584) rolls 9 (Squid Skill) vs TN 5 for "NO!":
1 1 2 2 4 5 5 9 11 = 4 Successes

«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Nine (#10584) rolls 9 (Squid Bodyz) vs TN 5 for "Soak S Phys!":
1 1 1 2 2 3 4 5 11 = 2 Successes

«OOC» Nine says, "It takes M phys!"

The Squid comes crawl/swimming along at a rather quick rate, and it circles off to the side at which Nine is, because she decided to quest dangerously! Reaching out, it lashes one of its legs across her right thigh, causing it to bleed red, even though they are on a MetaPlane! It seems that this whole scenario is limited to physical means right now. Nine grits her teeth against the pain caused and pulls back before suddenly thrusting forward, putting force behind the flail weapon and sending the headpiece toward the enemy, but it is too quick, and it deftly moves out of the way before lashing out and attacking her, but this time, for more damage. It actually gets her right across the cheek, sending her stumbling off to the side, but at least she still has ahold of her freaky weapon!

Gnosis won't hesitate when Nine's in danger, but he's no match for the thing's speed… at least at first! But when it injures Nine, he springs into action, plunging towards it, taking advantage of its over extension and driving his sword deep into its body. "You leave her alone!" He shouts. "It's me that you have to worry about… fight me, you bastard!" He twists the sword and pulls it free, bits of blood and guts pouring out into the water.

«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Nine (#10584) rolls 9 (Squid Skillz) vs TN 7 for "Attacking Gnosis! He hurt me!":
2 2 2 2 2 2 3 4 4 = 0 Successes

«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Gnosis (#8121) rolls Edged Weapons + Combat Pool: 4 + Karma Pool: 1 vs TN 3 for "kp 4/7, time to take advantage of the opening!":
1 2 2 3 3 4 4 5 9 = 6 Successes
«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Gnosis (#8121) rolls Edged Weapons + Combat Pool: 4 + Karma Pool: 1 - 6 vs TN 3 for "kp 5/7, time to take advantage of the opening! kp":
3 4 4 = 3 Successes

«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Nine (#10584) rolls 9 (Squid Bodyz) vs TN 7 for "Soak 7D Phys!":
1 1 1 1 3 3 4 5 11 = 1 Success

«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Nine (#10584) rolls 1 (to no one):
2

Gnosis's got its attention. The squid thing turns on him, swinging its tentacles, but its too badly hurt and Gnosis has the advantage of an ally. He's ready for this, spinning the sword in front of him in a fantastically vicious maneuver that ONLY works in the astral, shearing tentacles off like they were nothing… and then he steps forward amid the gore, flourishing the sword, and striking deep…

And the vorpal sword goes snicker-snack, and the jabber-squidy goes limp…

But Gnosis isn't done! "You hurt my lady…" he growls… "NOW YOU'RE MINE!" His sword keeps spinning, and the creature begins to seep into him. It's strength, its mind, its fluid nature, its very essence becoming part of Gnosis. The strength of Leviathian, the endless patience of the sea…

"I cast a spell on you… AND NOW YOU'RE MINE!"

Nine was definitely hurting, but she was determined not to leave Gnosis alone with this beast… using the last of her might focused into becoming one with the ice flail. She comes charging forward in angry rage with her green eyes almost filling up with the usual green fire, but then she realizes that Gnosis has won. She drops down onto one knee and skids like a baseball player, her momentum stopped by the weight of the ball on the chain that she has held by the handle. She just watches in dazed wonder, silently mouthing her thanks to Gnosis.

Gnosis continues to absorb the squid till the last of it is with him, and then he nods, firmly, looking back at Nine. "Can I heal you, here?" He asks. "Or is it like drain… must we just hurry? What can I do?"

«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Nine (#10584) rolls Willpower:
1 2 2 3 4 9 15

Despite her injuries, Nine grunts her way up to her feet before she shoulders the ice flail weapon. Despite stumbling slightly, she stays upright and tags on after Gnosis, "I am not sure." is what she answers initially, but then works through the following vocally (but said softly). "I don't know why you could not, but if we are not at the Citadel, there is a good chance that the meta-places will try to interrupt you…" Her mind is fuzzy, but she shakes her head and finally tells him, "No, please, let us just go. We cannot have you hurt, too, not out here. I should be good soon." She stolidifies herself, nodding her readiness.

She is a sad sight, though, her leg and cheek both bleeding red into the waters around them. Donna and Nautilis come close, and Nine gives up the flail to the elemental that gifted it to her. "Thanks, Donna." she murmurs softly.

Gnosis studies her, and nods, taking her hand again and letting his sword absorb back into Nautilis with a thankful nod. "So we go, my love," he says. "But we will be careful. If it looks too terrible… let go, and I will rejoin you as I can." Onward and inward they go, into the heart of the MetaPlanes- but while Nine's power is flagging, Gnosis only seems to get stronger!

Nine feels better as soon as they are once again holding hands. For some reason, there seems to be something about Nine and physical contact with someone she loves… makes her just beam. She smiles, despite the pain in her face, "Ah, well… I have never given up on one of these before. I can imagine a few things that would make me go home right away without fighting them, but I have not yet been to any of those." Nine speculates momentarily before saying softly, "Oh, my… I do gotta be careful, though, you are right. This all transfers to the phy body." She frowns. Although it is just her aura here out in the metaplane, there are other things about which to consider still in the physical world. She gives Gnosis's hand a squeeze, and then she picks up her pace to match with him.

All around them, there are water elementals. Some bask lazily while others race around the two metaplane travelers as if in storming mode. It is clear that there are just as many being lazy as there are those storming, as there is balance to be had here in the land of Water. Eventually, the trek will take them to where they can see a sand castle on the sea floor beyond them, but they still have some walking to do to get there.

Gnosis will float down towards the bottom with Nine, clutching her hand, focusing carefully on all the elementals around them… for some reason he seems to think them more important than even the sand castle. "There are so many of them," he murmurs. "Do you think… they come into being as sentients when we summon them? Or are they always like that, and we bind them to our will… like slaves, as the shamans claim?" He shakes his head. "I don't like that idea."

Nine keeps ahold of Gnosis, but he might be able to sense her losing grip and then reaffirming it again as they travel. She is probably sore, but she is not dead yet! Nine glances all around at the elementals through which they wade, then shakes her head at the last aspect, "Perhaps, some do… but, I like to think that people like you and I create our own, and that they live here when they wait for us to call them. Though, I did have one run away… I missed her so much that I came here to find her, but… I regret that now." Nine sighs. There is a deep sadness, a regret for which she has not forgiven herself, even to this day. "She could have stayed here and been happy, but I was stupid… she was the first elemental that I had ever created on my own, and I missed her, and, then an enemy mage… killed her later. I shoulda just let her go." Nine not only bleeds into the water, but she also lets a few tears out into it, too.

Gnosis squeezes the woman’s hands. "I'm sorry," he says, quietly. "That's hard. That's pretty hard. But we all make mistakes," he says. "I… we can probably go on a quest to re-constitute her. Energy can neither be created nor destroyed."

Nine listens to this and then replies quietly, "I am not sure… I don't mean that she got disrupted or that I used the last of her favors… I mean that they used a horrible mana spell to… kaboom. But, maybe… you told Nautilis that you would make them much more great than before? I… Want to hear more in depth about that, sometime. Right now, though, it is so hard to focus." Nine leans against Gnosis, unless he minds or it hinders him, at which point, she would try not to be so leany!

The sand castle seems to get bigger as they progress near it, because it is actually a huge affair, just perspectives played optical-style illusions on them. Donna and Nautilis listen to the convo between their Mistress and Master, and they also hang behind to get to know one another. Aww, cute!

In front of the arch of the sand castle before G and 9, there are 2 crystal mermaids, both ladies who wear absolutely nothing but the hair hanging down over their nips, just like they usually do in ancient paintings. They are both alive, and they have tridents of ice crystal in their hands.

Gnosis comes to stop in front of the mermaids, calling forth some of his mana, just to hold in reserve. "I did," he tells Nine, quietly… "But there has to be a way." He tilts his head now, looking at the mermaids, his eyes glowing brightly. "Hail," he says. "Let us pass," he continues. "I am not inclined to be hindered today."

«OOC» Nine says, "Etiquette + AP vs TN4, Soak M Stun."

«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Nine (#10584) rolls Etiquette + Astral Pool: 3 vs TN 7 for "Ugh!":
1 1 2 2 3 4 5 = 0 Successes

«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Gnosis (#8121) rolls Etiquette + Astral Pool: 1 vs TN 4 for "yeouch!":
3 3 4 5 10 13 = 4 Successes

«OOC» Gnosis says, "come on, nine! use that karma! pass through!"
«OOC» Nine says, "i don't have anymore. :P I'm done!"
«OOC» Nine poses up!
«OOC» Gnosis nooooes!

Nine nods to Gnosis and then regards the mermaids curiously, wowing over how beautiful they are. Both of them scan Gnosis, and then they smile. Then, Nine smiles to them both and says softly, "It would be rather kind of you, yes." Though, the two do not seem to take very well to Nine, frowning in her direction. But, the way is opened up, at least it seems to be. Both stand aside.

Through the archway, Gnosis can see the Citadel of water power! It is big, with all kinds of high force elementals inside.

Gnosis takes Nine's hand, and leads her towards the citadel… watching the mermaids carefully. He stares them in the eyes, not flinching, not trusting, but will try to get his love through nonetheless. "Thank you," he murmurs, cautiously.

Nine is not able to enter, though. Even though Gnosis can pass, there is something holding Nine back. The 2 armed merfolk fixate their attentions upon Nine, then they suddenly draw back their crystalline ice tridents, as if preparing to attack the woman.

Their inhuman voices speak in simultaneous harmony, "How DARE you come here. You are an unworthy wretch. Feel what Lady Zexin did."

Donna looks rather upset now, but she seems to know well enough to cower away from these crystal mermaids. There is nothing that she can do, anyway, as the sharp-pointed polearms come to life with crackling blue energy.

«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Nine (#10584) rolls Willpower:
1 1 2 3 3 4 5

Nine lets go of Gnosis's hand, unless he keeps ahold of her, but she starts to jerk back from what seems to be impending attack, or doom, or… something!

Gnosis turns back towards the women. "What?" He asks, suddenly panicky. "How can you let me through, when you deny her? We are part of each other! There is no difference!" He tightens his hand around hers, trying to bring her forward to him. "Power through it, Love! It's all a test! You're stronger than this!"

Nine has never experienced anything like this before. Her eyes flash green as she becomes panicky, too. But, she makes a snap decision now. She decides to chamber what looks like a TKD kick, but instead of attacking Gnosis with it, she just puts her foot on his side before giving him as rough a push toward the Citadel opening as she can do. Probably, she is trying to shove him away from her and get him in there! "Succeed, for me!" she screams, as the 2 mermaids close in on her and bring their sparkling tridents crashing down onto her astral form.

Gnosis screams NOOOOOOOOOOOO as he's pushed back into the tower, but he's across the threshold of the Citadel, and there is no going back. Finally, the lesson of power he needed so desperately from the plane of water becomes true to him in an instant as he rages, the sand castle crashing down into him, absorbing into him. So long, he's let his mind rule his power, keeping his emotions leashed in his magic as a scared owner keeps a powerful dog at heel…

But now, he learns the true power of passion, learns what kind of STRENGTH he can have when his emotions are truly unleashed and focused… and then with that knowledge, he's leaping through the citadel and out into the real world, diving for Nine's meat body!

«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Gnosis (#8121) rolls 4:
1 5 5 14

By the time that Gnosis is awake, Nine is already laying draped across him, bleeding and bruised and tired and sore and hungry. She does not say much but is staying close, whispering softly, "Please, get what you need, you are strong… powerful and wise." She has her face pressed onto his chest.

«OOC» Gnosis says, "DAMAGE LEVEL?"
«OOC» Nine says, "L + M phys, M stun."

The White Hart realizes that they have both returned alive, and then it bows its antlered head before dashing off quickly into the Ostara Shamanic Park. One thing that the two might notice, outside of what they suffered on the MetaPlanes, is that they are doing pretty damn good for having been in hot water for hours.

«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Gnosis (#8121) rolls Sorcery + Sorcery Pool: 4 vs TN 5 for "casting f4 heal @ M. Need 4 successes for complete heal job.":
1 1 1 4 4 5 5 5 7 16 = 5 Successes
«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Gnosis (#8121) rolls Willpower + Sorcery Pool: 2 vs TN 2 for "need 4 for no drain":
1 1 2 2 3 3 9 11 = 6 Successes

«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Gnosis (#8121) rolls Sorcery vs TN 4 for "healthy glow":
3 3 3 4 5 13 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Gnosis (#8121) rolls Willpower vs TN 2 for "drain":
1 1 1 2 3 5 = 3 Successes

Gnosis's arms are quickly wrapped around the woman, the urgency of his need to heal her at a strange disconnect with the time he took not quite registering…. the area around him and her seams to suffuse with light as he pours his power into her, knitting up her wounds with amazing finesse… and even when her wounds knit, he continues casting, throwing waves of healthy warmth into her… and then he's physically exhausted. It will take Sheila to get him home safe. He was gone for 25 hours!

Nine looks up at Gnosis, and it looks like someone took a strap and slapped her across the face. She gives him a lopsided smile, though, and her eyes close at the warmth of his healing power… which makes the injury disappear. "Oh, James… thank you…" is murmured softly before she just collapses again, this time in physical bliss, but then realizes exactly what all the casting has done to him. "I apologize, Love." she tells him in a very quiet way, and then she begins applying to him a tame massage, being very gentle, nothing rough or disturbing, because of the state in which he is now magically drained. "Did you… win?"

Gnosis lets his magic continue to pump into the woman, still knitting wounds and restoring health, and he nods. "I… I won," he says, his voice a passionate husk. "I learned it all. All that's left is Earth, the secret of how to manipulate the elements, the secrets of remaining steady and strong, and I’ll be at the next level. I can feel it!"

«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Nine (#10584) rolls Massage for "The power of chee… massage!":
1 2 2 5 10
«Auto-Judge[Mew!]» Nine (#10584) rolls Therapeutics (Massage) - 4 for "Dude!":
1 2 4 4
«OOC» Nine says, "Yay. 3 successes if TN4, I suppose. :D"

Gnosis will let himself be rubbed by his woman's willing hands, and will smile at her lazily. "I'm sorry I couldn't get you through," he says. "It made me so… angry… what they did to you. It was so unfair! You worked to make it through, too!"

Nine keeps up the nice massage, working down over his biceps with steady hands. Gnosis might still feel a strange tingling in both his arms from all the strength that he used while mashing up the Battle Squid (in style) with his sword, even if all the fighting happened on the metaplanes, some strangeness does replicate here.

Nine seems to notice a very slight difference, too, looking to his arms and rubbing them extra while watching her hands move over his flesh. She whispers, "Yes, but I did something wrong… I think that I was verbally short with them because my injuries were being sore. I need to keep controlled and be more kind when dealing with metaplanar beings, despite the pain. For next time!"

***

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