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  1. It could talk. This thing, this horrible creature of malice and destruction could actually talk and speak as if it hadn’t just caused all of this destruction surrounded them. A shiver went down her spine as she bit her lower lip. Disgusting. Vulgar. Not only was the Baron pulling poor souls back from the grave, but now he was giving them the ability to parrot human speech. Why? To taunt them? To mock the Lord’s creations by showing he could create twisted shadows of his own? No time to think about it now. Her quills had made eye contact but it was by no means a lethal blow. Still, it was clearly painful as the creature reared back and clawed at his face. Her quills probably couldn’t be able to pierce the Beast’s thick skin, so managing to kill it was out of the question. Fortunately, the Beast apparently decided that it was done and turned away, blindly stumbling through the city. There was no guarantee it would really leave, but it didn’t look like it was rampaging anymore so much as it was just…leaving. That left her to deal with the smaller Beasts. The one in question had foolishly been appearing to assist her in the fight-or at least was using the fight as an opportunity to fight with the other Beast. In fighting was witnessed among Beasts, but it was rare when they were already attacking something else like a city. This one, apparently, was different. It had highly unusual behavior, and instead of going after her, it raised its hands in the air and looked towards a nearby, destroyed house. A sign of surrender. Speech was one thing, but now this thing was displaying signs of actual intelligence and human understanding. “I’m sure you care an awful lot about a human,” Sonya replied sarcastically, holding her fists at the ready as she quickly jumped off the roof, landing in a squat but never lowering her guard. Still, if there was a chance that there was a kid trapped in there, it was her responsibility to help him. “Stay right there,” She ordered, continuing to face the Beast as she inched closer to the destroyed house, refusing to turn her back on the creature. “Don’t think I’m done with you.” She was standing in front of the house, or at least what was left of it now. A good half of it was destroyed and hopefully if there was a kid under there he wasn’t trapped under all of that rubble. There was no way she’d be able to get him out in that case. But half of the house was still in tact, although shaky, so she began to carefully climb over the rubble to access it. It was mostly inaccessible, but there was a gap that she could carefully climb down into the remnants of the house. Sure enough, huddled in a corner and shaking, there was a child. Alive and mostly unhurt. “Shhhhh,” She whispered softly, forcing her voice comforting and warm. “I’m an Apostle, I’m here to help you. Are you hurt?” He looked mostly unharmed, but there was always a chance something had happened. Fortunately, the child-who appeared mostly shellshocked- mutely shook his head. “Okay, good. I’m going to take you to the Fortress now, okay? You’ll be safe there.” — — Julius froze when someone walked into the same room as him. Oh? He could have sworn everyone had left. But strangely enough, the person didn’t actually notice him. Or maybe it wasn’t strange at all since as he watched, the man unwound bandages from around his head, revealing what looked like a very bad injury. Oh, he was blind. As another surprise, with a flash of white a weapon snapped into place in the man’s hand. He was an Apostle. Except it wasn’t a weapon at all, it was a violin. Wow, that was hilarious. What was he going to do? Kill Beasts with music? He was blind on top of that so clearly the Lord was picking some silly people to be her fighting force. He almost couldn’t help laughing, honestly. Oh well, at least this would be mercifully easy. The poor Apostle probably wouldn’t even hear him coming since he could just walk along the air to get to him and pry his heart out before he even realized he wasn’t alone. Well, at least the Lord was making it easy. The Apostle could spend his last few moments cursing her for giving him something so silly as a violin. Except he hadn’t even moved before the Apostle suddenly began to yell and abruptly tried to break his own weapon. Julius tilted his head to the side before going still. With his clothes on it was impossible to see, but beneath his gloves the star on his hand pulsed with power and for a brief moment, his heart stopped. Fascinating. His eyes turned a vivid red color and his expression changed abruptly into a wide, toothy smile. ”Oh?” Julius purred, his words not his own as he stepped forward, never once making a sound as he seemed to glide along the ground. ”Who is this child that denies the Lord’s gifts?” His voice was deeper, raspier, as if he wasn’t quite sure how to actually speak. As he moved closer, he reached out with both hands and carefully, gently touched the sides of the Apostle’s face. ”Who are you?"
  2. The scene went watched. How could it not be? The gods watched as the village was sacked and its inhabitants fled, either to another land or their souls to the afterlife. The battle was merely one move in an eons long chess match between the two, but it was a pivotal one all the same. One of the Lord's Fortresses invaded. Hallowed land devastated. A new abomination revealed to her scrutinizing, knowing eye. The Baron ended his turn... The Lord lifted her hand. — — The massive Beast hadn't noticed her approach, and seemed preoccupied with something else. Something she couldn't see from where she was standing, but it didn't matter what it was. It gave her the opportunity to sneak up on the creature, allowing her quills to sink deep into it's stomach. Unfortunately, unlike most Beasts of normal, small size, the first attack wasn't nearly enough to bring it down. In fact, more than anything, it just looked mad. Well, the Beast wasn't focused on whatever it had been looking at. Instead, it was now staring directly at her, something dangerous looking dripping from its maw. Well, she had it's attention at least. Drawing in a sharp breath, Sonya swept backwards, retreating back a few streets and towards the mountain as a new set of glowing, white spikes snapped into place on her brass knuckles. As soon as the Beast lunged, however, she took a sharp turn, leaping onto an overturned cabbage cart to escape from its snapping teeth. Her fingers clenched around her weapon as she leapt off the cabbage cart and onto a nearby roof. Her shoes slipped for a split second on slippery tiles before she found her footing. Wheeling around, she jabbed again towards the Beast, sending four glowing white quills racing towards the air towards the creature's head. There wasn't a chance in hell she was going to be able to kill this thing. It was too big, too huge, and nothing realistically seemed like it could kill it except maybe Divine intervention. But she could run away and keep it's attention on her until everyone managed to flee into the mountain. With the Lord's power protecting that place, it wouldn't easily be able to get inside. — — Julius hummed to himself as he slipped quietly inside the Fortress through the ajar door. The Apostles by now had all flooded outside to fight, and nobody had made it up the mountainside yet to seek sanctuary inside the Fortress from the Beasts outside. Maybe they were all running in different directions. Or maybe they were just all dead. It didn't matter, since someone had left the door open and now he was inside. He was greeted with the sight of impossibly smooth white walls. The ceiling looked several dozen feet above and huge stone beams supported the ceiling along the walls. Several winding staircases led deeper and deeper into the mountain where, presumably, there was other things, but the edge was guarded by a railing to prevent people from falling down into the depths. But even just the entry was impossibly large, enough to make the castle that the Disciples live in feel incredibly small in comparison. "Geez," He said, kicking his feet slightly as he walked deeper inside the large, cavernous lair Apostles called home. "He might have some trouble with the door, but I bet Noodles could fit in here easily." Making his way to the railing, he leaned over the edge, glancing down as the many staircases splintered off into different paths into the mountain. "Why is this place so big?" — — Argus sighed as he made his way to the Castle, sliding beneath the shadows of the door with little trouble. Popping back into place inside, he frowned slightly. Julius going into that mountain seemed like a bad idea, but it wasn't like he could stop him. He was just a Beast, after all. He would have to trust Julius's judgement to keep himself out of trouble. Or avoid getting into more trouble. Oh well, it wasn't his problem. With a huff, Argus made his way back to the fireplace and laid down in a small basket nearby the fire, which at this point had died down to a few burning coals. Oh well, it was still warm enough. He closed his eyes and set about to actually properly falling asleep, like he had planned to do earlier until Cyrus's pacing had disrupted him.
  3. His breath caught in his throat as Varian pushed himself up against the farthest corner of the building. Something, something with a giant head and snapping teeth was inside the remains of his home now and teeth like knives were only a few inches away from where he was curled up in a ball. But although it got closer and closer, it never quite managed to reach him, and eventually the head retreated. Not that he noticed all that much, because as soon as he looked up to see where the thing had gone, the massive creature suddenly let out a tremendous roar that had him pressing his hands over his ears and curling in on himself all over again in the far corner. He was scared. He was more scared than he had ever been in his entire life. His whole body was shaking with terror and even if he had half a mind to get up and run, there was a disconnect between his panicked brain and his trembling body. He couldn’t move from the corner he had squashed himself in, even as he felt something sharp pressing against his side. Probably a piece of splintered wood, since even if this side of the house was stable for now that didn’t mean all the furniture in the room had come away unscathed. But more importantly his mom. Where was his mom? She had vanished and he couldn’t see any trace of her. He hadn’t seen his dad at all. Had he been deeper in the house? Choking back a soft sob, Varian shoved the back of his hand into his mouth and bit down hard on his skin, trying to stop himself from crying as best he could. He could hear someone calling for him, but it sounded suspiciously like that Beast his mother had pulled him away from. If he was quiet, maybe it would go away like the other one. He clung to the thought as best he could, trying to calm down his trembling shoulders and choke back audible sobs even as the tears continued to flow. — — It didn’t take long at all for them to make to the base of the mountain. It was a strange, solitary peak that seemed horribly out of place compared to the rest of the terrain, but that just made it even more identifiably the home base of Apostles. Taking a long, contemplative drag of his cigarette, he blew out a puff of smoke before holding out a hand and touching the steep, sloping side of the fortress. His hand disappeared into the dirt, passing through it like it wasn’t there at all, and sunk in a few more inches. “Hold on,” Julius said with a smile towards Argus. He was flying a little bit blind here, but how hard could it be to find a hallway and work his way up? Sure, nobody had actually been in the Fortress and lived to tell the tale, but how hard could it be? Then, suddenly, his hand stopped, encountering a wall. Except that wasn’t right, he should be able to pass through any walls with ease. And then it wasn’t even a normal wall, since the palm of his hand suddenly burned and with a sharp hiss he pulled back, jerking his hand out of the mountain and holding it close to his chest, ripping off the white glove in the process. His entire hand throbbed with pain, and when he glanced at it he could see faint purple lines like veins fading into his skin. That was…new. “You losing your touch?” Argus chimed from his shoulder, content with licking one of his paws as if he was bored by the whole affair. “No, there’s something here,” Julius replied with a frown, reaching out again. But instead of his hand harmlessly passing through the dirt, he dug his fingers into the soil, scraping the top few layers away. There, just underneath. It wasn’t normal stone, but rather something else entirely. Something pure white that throbbed with power and made him gnash his teeth in disgust. Clearly, the Lord’s work. “Ugh, I guess I’ll have to go in through the front door,” Julius said with a scowl, giving his hand a shake to fight off the remaining numbness in his fingers before slipping the glove back on. “I’m bailing, then,” Argus replied, blinking his yellowish eyes owlishly. “I’d suggest you do as well. If you can’t get in, who is to say you can get out? You shouldn’t risk that.” “I’ll be fine,” Julius replied with a dismissive wave of a gloved hand. “Go make sure Candide and Cyrus haven’t burned the house down yet, okay?” The cat nodded and, with that, vanished to presumably go back home. Which left Julius and the mountain all alone. Curiosity sure was a powerful thing. Oh well, all the Apostles were probably out of the mountain already given an attack was right on their doorstep. What better time was there to explore their secretive home? Rising through the air as if he was on an invisible elevator, he blew out another puff of smoke as he made his way towards the large doors set into the mountain itself. — — Sonya was in town by now, having sprinted down the side of the mountain as fast as she could. It was a good thing that entrance to the fortress wasn’t actually that high up on the mountain, otherwise trying to make it into town would take much longer than a few moments by foot. Still, she didn’t stop to hesitate now that she was in the fray. It was time to save lives and that meant no hesitation. Near the edge of town was the massive Beast, clawing its way through buildings. That was going to be the biggest threat, and with a huff she squared her shoulders and drew her arm back, as if throwing a punch at the Beast despite the fact it was several hundred feet away from her. But as she drew her arm back, the spikes on her knuckledusters began to glow, and when she swung her fist forward the spikes launched forward, propelled off her knuckledusters like quills and zipped through the air towards the massive Beast. It was too big to take down on her own, but if she could kite it around until reinforcements arrived maybe teamwork would help.
  4. Like I said, this RP is closed and not accepting new people, only characters from players already involved. Could you please delete your posts so the OOC thread remains clear?
  5. Right so uhhhh first I'm just going to say that making OCs based off of real life people feels a little off, especially when you use their name and image. Others might be fine with it, but it feels a bit weird in the context of an RP. Second, you didn't fill out your character sheet quite right, since Weapons/Powers aren't supposed to appear on the same sheet. One slot should be left blank depending on if the character is a Beast/Disciple or an Apostle. Finally, and this is my fault, but this RP is actually closed right now. We already have four people and adding more to the mix slows things down in my experience. Sorry
  6. Wherever the conversation had been going, it stopped short when the ground shook. It was small, barely noticeable really under the strength and might of the mountain the Fortress was dug into, but it was enough to make Sonya stop dead in her tracks. It could be nothing. Or it could be something. Most likely, it was something and it was something bad. Her hands curled into fists and instantly, pure white pieces of metal that pulsed with energy snapped into existence around her knuckles. Her grip adjusted slightly on her weapons to find a more comfortable grip, but she was already moving quickly, practically sprinting towards the door. Only a few seconds had passed since the rumbling started, but she could already hear the Fortress light up with the cries of alarm. "Stay here," She ordered, turning back towards Aspen before sprinting out of her office. Aspen wasn't a combatant, and against a Beast she wouldn't be able to help. It would be safer for her to stay in the mountain, behind layers of rock that the Beasts couldn't easily get to. The doors to the Fortress were already wide open, and in only a few short moments she was standing in the sunlight, looking out over the sea of chaos down below. Beasts. Beasts in a number greater than she had ever seen attacking one place were ravaging the town. One particularly giant one had sprawled out across several building and was currently thrashing it's way towards more. By the Lord, how had they missed something that big? Nothing ever reported a Beast of that size. Running as fast as she could down the pathway that led to town, Sonya scowled. Apparently, the Baron was launching attacks on their home territory now. Well, it didn't matter how big the army was. She was going to hold them off for as long as possible to give the other Apostles time to group up and get ready. — — Julius watched the carnage unfold in the town, whistling softly in amazement as Noodles easily crushed a few buildings underneath him. It was impressive, and probably enough to make the Apostles holed up in their mountain afraid. Speaking of which. He turned away from the town and began to walk around the perimeter of the forest, drawing his lighter out of his pocket and lighting a new cigarette for himself. He could wait until most of the Apostles had run out of their Fortress before he went snooping too much. It sure would be a shame to get caught, after all. "Where are you going?" Argus asked, still lounging across Julius's shoulders, though his tail had started to flick from side to side. "Oh, you know," Julius replied with a carefree shrug. "Just going sightseeing." "Sightseeing," Argus repeated, a look of disbelief crossing his face. "Then why are you headed towards the Fortress?" "Like I said," Julius replied, breathing a puff of smoke onto the cat's face. Given he was already dead, it wasn't like it would hurt him any. "Sightseeing." — — Before he could even hope to respond to whatever was going on, his mother suddenly appeared and grabbed ahold of his arm, tugging Varian away from the door. "Varian, get away from that thing!" His mother yelled, hoisting him off the ground like he was only a few years old and not eleven before dashing through the house. With the front door blocked by a monster, that meant they'd have to seek alternative exit routes. In the absence of a back door, that meant windows. "What's going on?" Varian yelled over the sounds of screams that suddenly seemed to fill the air. "Where's dad?" "I don't know, we just have to get to the-" Suddenly, his world shifted as the roof above them caved in in a shower of wood, tiles and dust. His mother's grip on him was gone, and he was rolling across the ground before coming to rest in the far corner of the room. Every part of his body ached, and he could feel something wet underneath his nose, but when he looked up he could see the sunlight streaming in through a hole in the house. Something was there, something big and scary and awful. The rest of the house creaked ominously as Varian struggled to his feet, his legs shaking as he pushed himself into the farthest corner of the room. He couldn't see his mom anymore.
  7. "Why wait?" Julius asked with a smile, reaching up to scratch Noodles' exposed neck the way ordinary humans might pet a dog. The bond between them really went beyond that, though. Noodles was more than just a pet, Noodles was his family and had been with him for most of his entire life as a Disciple. He needed the Beast and if anything happened to him, he would never be the same. Which was why whenever Noodles did attack places, he always made sure that there were no survivors to live to tell the tale of either of them, and that there was always a large supply of other Beasts to make sure any Apostles couldn't gang up on Noodles. Such a large Beast tended to attract attention, and it required careful planning to avoid him getting hurt. "Of course, I'll have to gather up some friends to help us." "No need," Argus replied, slipping out of the bushes nearby with a flick of his tail, weaving his way between Julius's feet. "The Baron already ordered a raid on the town, and I spent the better part of my afternoon organizing some Beasts together to participate." He seemed clearly agitated that this had disrupted his nap, but didn't say anything directly about it, instead disappearing into a nearby shadow, only to reappear wrapped around Julius's neck. "If you're already planning on participating, why don't you take over? Running around has left me exhausted." "Fine," Julius replied with a carefree shrug and whistled sharply. The trees around shook as the Beasts Argus had gathered swarmed the small clearing. There were easily forty altogether, not including Noodles, Argus and himself. That was much stronger than most Beast attacks, since Beasts rarely ever moved in packs more than 2-3, and even those were rare. It would be enough to terrify the Apostles holed up in their little mountain for sure. Maybe he'd even be able to sneak inside the legendary Fortress himself. Admittedly, given that he did have the power to move through almost any object at will, the fact he hadn't seen inside that mountain fortress really tempted his curiosity. "Alright everyone!" He called out, clapping his hands together. "Let's get this show on the road!" Candide could surely handle Cyrus and whatever he planned for that prisoner for a few hours. The walk back to town was largely uneventful, but as soon as the trees started to clear away Julius stopped short. Like all fights, it was best not to get involved just yet. He'd step in if he had to or at the end to deliver a surprise attack by pretending to be an innocent, but getting involved right now would only reveal himself as something dangerous. "Alright," He said, turning towards the Beasts assembled. "Go have fun." With that, the massive horde of Beasts spilled out of the forest which such intensity that the ground had even started to shake a little. The raid had begun. — — Varian finally made it home after all of his deliveries had finished, and opened the door to make it back home. He wasn't that late, not really, so his parents wouldn't really make any fuss about the amount of time it had taken to get all of the products to their owners. Which meant even though he had spent most of his time running around the market as fast as he could, it was worth it in the end. "I'm done!" He called out as he slipped his shoes off at the door. He closed the door and turned to enter the living room to get started on his homework when a slight rumble in the ground made him pause. Huh. That was weird.
  8. Well, that was fair enough. The Apostle sank to the floor only to be caught easily by Candide. He looked like he was still breathing, which was a bit of a shame. Maybe it was just a difference between them. Julius had finished off a number of Apostles himself, but he usually didn't toy with them for that long. He certainly never went as far as to bring one home. God, between Cyrus basically fainting and Candide bringing the enemy right to secret their base of operations, it was a wonder they were still alive. The ground shook slightly and Julius turned around just in time to see a familiar head slither out of the trees and nudge him. To a human lurking in the forest, the face of the Beast, if not it's ability to make the ground quake, would no doubt be frightening. But to Julius, seeing the creature only made him smile. "Noodles," He greeted, rubbing the Beast's head as it nuzzled against his side. Honestly, his friend had grown so large that the action was enough to almost send him stumbling away, but he just barely managed to hold his ground. Apparently, he had taught the Beast well since as soon as Noodles caught sight of the unconscious Apostle, he reeled back and hissed before asking if he could eat him. "I can't, Candide has plans for him," Julius said, honestly apologetic that he couldn't just let the giant Beast eat the Apostle. But until Candide asked for help, he wasn't going to have anything to do with whatever was going on. He was officially washing his hands of whatever was about to happen. "But, I'm sure we can arrange something for you to eat," He offered, rubbing the back of the Beast's head like he was a dog. He paused for a moment, closing his eyes as he thought. The original plan had been attack the town before that got derailed. He could let Noodles attack there for a bit, but sending him so close to the fortress just didn't sit well with him. Well, he could always call him back if things got too tricky. "How about we go attack the nearby town?" Julius suggested. "I'm sure some other nasty Apostles will show up and you can eat any of them if you like. Just not this one." — — Argus had managed to pull together a small group of Beasts, although it was admittedly not that easy. Most of them seemed more interested in attacking him until he mentioned the Baron and the town. At that point, they were usually convinced to stop and settle down a bit, though trying to keep that many in one area mostly just resulted in them snapping anxiously at each other. Geez. Beasts weren't exactly known for being smart, but this was really pushing it. Suddenly, Magnes returned with a flurry of feathers, and Argus darted out of the way of reaching claws with a loud hiss as the panicked Beast yelled something at him. "I'm not their mother!" Argus replied with a scowl, his ears flat against his head as he watched Magnes warily, not wanting to get dragged off somewhere and get distracted. "Don't come tattling to me when I don't care what they do. As long as they kill him in the end, who cares what happens before that?" It wasn't his job to watch over them like that, and it was irritating enough when they had vanished earlier without warning. If the Baron had a problem with what they were doing, he would bring it up. But the only standing orders right now were to attack the town, not to watch over a bunch of fully grown men. — — Sonya glanced up from her paperwork when there was a sudden loud crash from outside her office, but quickly returned to her paperwork. Or she tried to, rather, before the door to her office was practically kicked in and Aspen entered the room like a hurricane. The sudden change in pressure with the door flying open was enough to send a few papers on her desk drifting to the floor. Taking a deep breath, Sonya took another long sip of her lukewarm coffee, listening to Aspen's frantic report with a slight frown. "Calm down, Aspen," She ordered, rising from her chair and setting a reassuring hand on Aspen's shoulder. "What exactly did you see and has anyone gotten hurt?" If there were Beasts, or strange human-like Beasts that managed to somehow appear, it would be important to take care of the civilians hurt by the attack first. But she needed to know exactly what happened, or she might accidentally mobilize too few Apostles and cause even more destruction and death.
  9. "Oh, I didn't mean any harm by it," Julius replied, raising his hands to show he meant no harm when the older of the two confronted him on his question. "I was just surprised, that's all." That was the truth, of course. All the Apostles he had encountered-and quickly killed-were older. Adults, at least, but sometimes middle aged. Once he had even found a nice, old man who had given him a run for his money when the man had produced a gun and started shooting at the Beasts around him. He had almost gotten away too before Julius had recovered from his surprise and managed to slide a pebble into one of his arteries. He didn't last too long after that. But still, seeing such a tiny girl summon a weapon was adorable. Beyond that, she was plucky. At her biting comment, Julius chuckled and shook his head. Right, twelve then. The Lord sure was picking her soldiers young, wasn't she? But she had apparently given up, and was walking away, letting them lead the Apostle towards the woods. Everything was going well. They could get back home, let Cyrus sleep in a bed, and decide if they wanted to just kill this Apostle, or maybe lock him up in their dungeon for a bit. There were so many choices and all they had to do was make ho- "Oh my god," Julius whispered as Magnes appeared above them, practically yelling out his existence for the entire world to see. God, he could have sworn Magnes was one of the intelligent Beasts. Nothing today could just be easy, could it? Everything had to be a challenge. "Candide, do you wanna take this one?" Because at this point, he was only half a second from whistling for Noodles and finishing the job. — — Sonya sipped a cup of lukewarm coffee that had somehow ended up on her desk. Someone at some point had probably come in to try to talk to her or just to shove some more papers in her face, but she couldn't remember exactly when. Oh well, it was in her mug and it was the way she liked it, so who really cared? That training hall mess had been a nightmare, but by now everyone would hopefully be recovered. With no immediate struggles nearby, she was left to examine reports from places farther away. Of course, they weren't the only stronghold of Apostles, but sometimes persistent encounters required looking into, and Apostles were sent away on longer trips to dispose of Beasts farther away. — — Just like that, his help had suddenly vanished. Oh well. Varian managed to get his orders in order fairly quickly, and was only behind schedule by a few minutes. He only needed a few more deliveries, then he could make it back home and reassure his parents he hadn't been hurt. Hopefully that girl was alright. She had seemed rather shaken up, but when he had turned around suddenly she had vanished into the crowded market. Turning back to his task, he hurried down the street, balancing the few remaining boxes in front of him as he wiggled through the crowds.
  10. "I certainly didn't mean to," Argus replied as he slunk out of the shadows, glancing around the treetops but finding the area mostly deserted aside from himself and the feathered beast. Well, the two of them and the poor chap Magnes seemed to be in the middle of eating. He was telling the truth though; he hadn't meant to sneak up on the other beast. But he also didn't feel like walking all the way back to the woods to search for some Beasts, and it was far more efficient to melt into the shadows and appear near-instantaneously somewhere else. "But," He said, looking at the deceased beast lying across the rock with a slight frown. Approaching the rock, he cocked his head to the side and pushed a part of the unidentifiable body a little further away from him with a paw before looking up at the harpy. "I'd rather not spoil my appetite. After all, I've just received some very special orders." His face split into a wide, toothy smile as he gestured his head towards the town nearby. "It's time to show our neighbors some fun. I'm sure you'd much rather eat human, wouldn't you?" There was no question that every Beast craved the taste of the living. They ate each other not out of necessity, but out of want. After all, Beasts were technically dead already and the dead didn't need things like food and water. But when faced with the living, an almost uncontrollable ache filled their very being. An emptiness like they were not complete, but devouring what was in front of them would make them whole. Even the most intelligent of them could hardly resist the desire to feed. — — "We'd be delighted to have an escort," Julius replied with a sweet smile that only just hid his distain. Fortress. There was no question of it now, this was an Apostle. But if that was true, his companion was likely also one too. Interesting. Very interesting. But he seemed incredibly dismissive of her despite her attempts to keep him away from them, and that would be his undoing. Suddenly, the girl snapped and a pair of glasses appeared on the man's face. They didn't look like normal glasses, per say, and the more he looked at them the more revolted he felt. Like he wasn't looking at glasses at all, but rather a large pile of vomit. He knew what they were, and he didn't need them magically appearing on the man's face to give it away. "Those are some nice glasses you've got there," Julius said as he paused and stepped closer to the man. The repulsion was obvious, but all it would take was a touch. Just one touch and he could force the Baron's power up and into the glasses. One touch and he could break the unbreakable. "Are you an Apostle?" He asked, leaning down slightly to look at the girl as he forced his gaze away from the glasses. It was tempting, but not here. Not yet. "I didn't know they made them that young. How old are you, 12?" It wasn't meant to be condescending, but rather an honest question. The Lord was bringing a bunch of children out to fight them. With glasses. That was absolutely adorable.
  11. Oh well now this was super awkward. That girl from earlier was back and she seemed to be awfully crazy, since now she was trying to pull away Candide's little friend. Weird. As much as he wanted to get going and push things along, especially because Cyrus wasn't looking so good, being interrupted like that was just plain rude. Normally, he wouldn't actually care about something like this, but the most important thing about Julius was how absolutely petty he could be. Fortunately, Candide seemed to be a few steps ahead, since as soon as he turned around to start something that would no doubt be particularly awful, he caught sight of Candide picking up some random boxes off the ground and carting them off like they belonged to him. He wasn't exactly sure who they belonged to originally, but before Candide picked them up he swore he saw a sign on the side that said 'Fortress'. Well, that was petty enough for him. "Bye," He said with a smile, waving towards the man and the girl as they walked away. "It was nice meeting you. If you still want to escort us you're more than welcome to walk us back to our home, but if you're too busy with your friend that's alright." Either way, they wouldn't be long for the world. As soon as they made it out of sight, he was calling for his favorite Beast to wreck the whole time. Of course, more would come when he whistled, but he had a special place in his heart for that big lizard. It was like a cute little dog. — — "Excuse me," Varian said as he passed by three men and their collection of boxes. He had finished giving his stuff to the cabbage vendor, but now he had a lot more boxes to deliver. Only, he had turned around to find that the girl who had been helping him had suddenly vanished, forcing him to gather up all his clocks and carry on deeper into the area of vendors. Hopefully it wouldn't take too long and he could make it back home fast enough his parents wouldn't get worried. — — Finally, he spotted them. Argus stared down from the rooftop of a nearby building, watching as Julius, Candide and Cyrus made their way down the busy street. With a frown, he turned his attention towards the two people they seemed to be walking away from. Apostles. Clearly Apostles. His teeth bared and his tail flicked from side to side before he turned away and melted into the shadows of the roof, vanishing from sight. If they were leaving town, it was time to gather up forces. The Baron had given him some orders, after all.
  12. "Oh, sorry!" Varian replied, slightly breathless as he made his way as quickly through the crowd as possible. This wasn't any good. Waiting so long meant that everyone was running towards the market to get lunch, which meant more people he had to shove past to get where he was going. But it was okay, he could see the cart just up ahead. "My name is Varian," He added, making the final push to where the cart was and setting down the boxes he was holding on the ground with a sigh. "Hello!" He called out to the merchant as he sorted through the boxes. "I've got your orders here!" Picking out the topmost box from his pile, he held it out to the merchant as the man crossed out in front of his stall filled with cabbages. "So you're the delivery boy today, Varian?" The merchant said with a smile as he accepted the box and pried the packaging open to reveal a clock for the wall. Only, this was no ordinary hanging clock, as the entire thing was fashioned to look like a cabbage. "Don't go getting into any trouble, alright?" "I won't!" Varian replied with a wide smile before turning around to look at Aspen. "I think he's got two more orders. Can I see those boxes you've got to check?" — — Julius took a thoughtful bite out of his wrap as he observed the person Candide was chatting with. At first glance, he seemed just like any old person. Just waiting in line for lunch from a local vendor. Nothing suspicious or weird about that, right? That being said, he could feel something...off about the man Candide was talking to. It was probably only because they had so much of the Lord's power in their bodies and it was such a big part of their very being, but standing nearby sent a shiver up his spine. It wasn't anything definitive and could easily just be from being in the town for too long in the shadow of the Fortress, but it did put him at least a little on edge. They should probably get going soon. Tuning back into the conversation just in time to catch Candide saying something about the low activity of Beasts recently, Julius frowned and aimed a sharp but subtle kick at Candide's leg. That wasn't something normal folks would know much about. Sure, there wasn't a chance of them being linked to the Baron since nobody knew the Baron had human followers, but it was just bad practice to mention any possible ties anyway. Especially things they shouldn't necessarily know. Especially if this one somehow got away from the impending slaughter. "You're right," He interjected with a frown. "We really should be going. We need to get back home so I can feed the cat." Not that Argus actually had to eat or anything, but it was a better excuse than nothing, right? Hopefully Candide caught the message well enough.
  13. Trying to find out what was wrong with the stranger was quickly forgotten when she bent over and lifted up a few of the boxes he had left on the ground. Just as easily as he had forgotten all about his chores, he suddenly remembered and scrambled to pick up the remaining boxes. Oh geez, he was going to have to hurry or his parents were going to get worried. Or worse, ground him for running around and not working. “Uhhhhhhh,” He said, balancing the stack of boxes on his knee as he looked over the uppermost box. Now that he remembered about his chores and the potential punishment on the line, he was practically bouncing off the walls of the alley trying to get going and back on track. “This one goes to the nice old man who sells cabbages,” He said, quickly scampering down the alleyway in the direction of the food carts. “I think he has three different orders in total. We can sort it out when we get there, come on!” With that, he took off. As long as she was offering help, he wasn’t going to deny it if it meant potentially getting back on schedule. — — “If you say so,” Julius replied with a shrug before turning to the vendor with a warm smile. For someone who hadn’t been human for an awfully long time, he sure was good at pretending. “Can I please have two of the wraps with avocado and chicken?” He asked, reaching into his pocket and pulling out a fancy, leather wallet. Not his, of course. Well, not his originally anyway. Most of his belongings had been salvaged one way or another, but it served its purpose as he fished out the appropriate amount of money any exchanged it for the two wraps before stepping out of line to allow the next person to order. “Here, eat up,” He said, turning that warm smile towards Cyrus as he offered out one of the wraps. He paused for a moment before his smile faded ever so slightly and his lips pressed together into a more serious line. “Are you feeling alright? If you aren’t up for this I’ll walk you get home. Or, ah, get someone to escort you back.” Someone, obviously, being a Beast. He didn’t want to miss out on the fun but Cyrus was at a delicate stage for more reasons than one. He wouldn’t want something bad to happen to him. — — Argus blinked as he wove his way through the streets. Goodness, where on Earth had those Disciples run off to? The Baron was going to get awfully worried if they were all loitering around the town, especially one practically nestled at the base of the Fortress. It was one thing of one of them watched from afar as some Beasts ravaged a town, but all three running off at once? And right into enemy territory? Whatever happened to keeping a low profile? It was practically asking for something to happen, especially since Cyrus had vanished as well. Those older two should've known better than to include him in their mischief since he was still vulnerable at this stage. Huffing slightly to himself, the black cat sniffed the air leapt up onto a windowsill before bounding up onto the roof of a nearby building. Maybe he'd have better luck spotting them from above. Honestly, there were so many humans in the way it was impossible to see anyone, especially given he was working with only two eyes right now.
  14. Julius allowed himself to be steered towards a row of little stalls filled with prepared food. It wasn't any pizza, but any thoughts of that was quickly and promptly pushed from his mind as he sniffed the air. This entire area smelled wonderfully delightful as the different scents of food mixed. But his gaze was drawn away from the many vendors towards a specific one Candide was looking at. Mostly vegetables by the look of it. Not exactly his cup of tea, but he could understand. The first time he ever stumbled across a group of Beasts feeding, he had sworn of meat for a few months. But that was many, many years ago, and he long become desensitized to that sort of thing. Maybe Candide still had some lingering attachments, or maybe he was thinking of Cyrus, or hell, maybe he just didn't like meat. It wasn't his place to judge. "I'm not sure," He admitted before glancing down at his gloved hands. "Something with a fork?" He suggested tentatively. He didn't want to get his gloves dirty, or for that matter the rest of his outfit. He wasn't dressed up all that much, but it was still more classy than his regular outfits were and he'd hate to ruin it with something messy. It was his best coat, after all, and sure he could just turn intangible but why go through all that effort just to eat food? Especially when he was sure there was something they could eat here that wasn't going to be messy. "What about you, Cyrus?" He asked, turning to look at the third member of their group. "Anything you fancy here?" — — "What do you mean?" Varian asked, his hand tensed up slightly when it was grabbed by his wrist, but he didn't jerk his hand away in favor of leaning forward and trying to see what she was looking at. "There's nothing there," He replied with a slight frown, wiggling his fingers as she eventually let go of his hand, giving him the opportunity to stare at it again. Nope, still nothing. It was just his own hand. "Are you sure you're okay?" He asked, the box long forgotten at this point. "You seem really....nervous." — — Sonya took a deep breath and released it after a few seconds of pause. Fine, fine. She was fine. Everything was fine. Except when it wasn't. All they had managed to do was unnerve everyone in the training area and not get anything productive done. Her gut still insisted something bad was going to happen, and at this point there was clearly no trying to resume training. "Do whatever you want," Sonya replied, moving towards the entrance of training hall herself. "I'm going to look at the map again." After all, that was going to be the most productive thing to do now, since she still hadn't figured anything out.
  15. Julius glanced away for maybe half a second at most to stare at Candide as he had somehow ended up on the ground surrounded by fruit. He raised an eyebrow, but quickly looked back towards the girl only to find she had vanished. That was a bit worrying. If he knew Cyrus’s brother, that meant he was alive. But he could have sworn Argus had told him the Baron had taken care of that loose end. With a frown, he took a long, contemplative drag of his cigarette before dropping it to the ground and grinding it into the street with his shoe, extinguishing the smoldering remains rather effectively. “Candide is right,” He replied smoothly, gesturing all of them away from the belongings the girl had left behind. If she recognized Cyrus’s brother somehow, it was probably best to steer clear of this area. The town was big, fortunately, so it shouldn’t be all that hard to get them somewhere else and avoid crossing paths with her again. Not that it really mattered, since it wasn’t like Cyrus’s brother knew what had happened to him, right? No, the real trouble was making sure Cyrus didn’t run after the girl and do something dramatic preemptively. They had to let the Beasts take charge on everything and take the credit for their actions to avoid being discovered themselves. The Baron insisted on that above all things. “Let’s go get some pizza, go shopping, and then we can do what we actually came here to do, right?” They needed to get back on track and he wasn’t about to go running off after Cyrus just because someone asked about a very common name, and he actually wanted to do some shopping. If he could get some good ingredients he could make a good dinner for them all later on instead of having to deal with the honestly poor shopping that the Beasts did, if it could even be called that. There were only a few that could disguise themselves as humans and they didn’t really have the intelligence to make good shopping decisions. It was fine, but after a while he got tired of them always showing up with twelve heads of cabbage and nothing else and thinking that would work. — — Varian turned down a few streets, intent on taking the fastest route to the marketplace. This involved a couple of back streets that were usually empty aside from a bit of trash. When there were people there, they were always people that he knew since it wasn’t more than a couple minutes from his house to the marketplace, and this side of town tended to all know each other. But when he started to go down this back alley, he found the way blocked by someone he didn’t know. Peering over the large box he was holding, he paused for a moment before nearly dropping it when he saw that there was clearly something wrong with her. “Oh!” He called out, carefully placing the box on the ground before hurrying over. “What’s wrong? Are you alright?” He didn’t know who she was which was a little weird, but he wasn’t going to look away when she was obviously upset. — — “No more of that,” Sonya said firmly with a frown. That was dangerous, and it was not something that she was going to tolerate in the Fortress. Not, at least, around other people who could be influenced by it’s apparent power. If making people sad was the violin’s power it wouldn’t be of much use anyway. All it would do would be make them sob during battle. “Not here, anyway. If you’re going to practice, only do it around maybe one person. I’m not going to tell you you shouldn’t practice at all, but doing it in public places like this is not good.” She sighed softly before turning back to Damaris, her lips pressed into a slight frown. "Are you alright?" Actually, now that she looked around, there were a lot of people inside the training hall. That could be problematic if they were all going to suddenly get emotional. They couldn't deal with disheartening the troops. Not when she was still sure something was going to happen. "You know what, everyone is dismissed," She suddenly barked, motioning to the people inside the hall aside from Damaris and Matt. "Morning schedules are cancelled for everyone here. Go get lunch and take a nap and come back when you're all together."
  16. Julius glanced over the fruit stand with a slight frown. Shopping right now wasn't really important if they were going to get lunch first. In fact, food shopping should probably be done last. "So what were you thinking about to eat?" Julius asked, a grin forming on his face. "I'm sure there are plenty of fun restaurants here we can try out." But that conversation suddenly seemed to veer when a girl from nearby called out a name he barely recognized, and a quick glance at her saw she looked confused. That name. Where did he know that name? A glance at Cyrus and he couldn't help but sigh as he realized. Oh, right. He knew that name because Cyrus wouldn't stop talking about his brother. A tie he should have been rid of before becoming a Disciple, and now it was biting them all in the butt. "Bump the brakes there, buddy," Julius said with a scowl, moving his arm in front of Cyrus. Cyrus seemed to be incredibly agitated right now, and that was not what they needed. Letting emotions get in the way was how they got caught faster. But even if Cyrus was older than him, he had been a Disciple for longer. He had a much better grip on his ability, and with the placement of his arm it would be easy for him to slip it inside of Cyrus's chest. Rifling around with internal organs was never something good, but it was just a silent threat for someone who knew what he was capable of. Turning to the girl as she backed away, Julius offered up an innocent smile. "Can we help you with something?" "You can help me with something," The irritated fruit salesman snapped. "You can pay for that apple your friend just smashed. Next you'll be smashing up my cabbages or something." With a snort, the fruit salesman jerked his head towards the cart next to the fruit cart that he apparently owned, which was filled to the brim with vegetables. Or, rather, mostly just cabbages. — — Sonya chuckled, nudging Damaris with her elbow after he had finished firing his arrows. "Oh, don't be silly!" She declared, planting both of her hands squarely on her hips. Her knuckledusters glowed softly in the light as most weapons of the Lord did, but in the light of the training room it wasn't really noticeable. "You agreed, so the only way you're getting out of this spar is to give up. Besides, your aim might be fancy but you gotta work on your speed. It won't do you any good if you encounter a Beast that can get right up close to you before you can blink." She opened her mouth to say that they should start sparring now when, rather abruptly, music filled the halls and she stopped short in her tracks. Closing her eyes, she brought a hand up to her face and took a deep, but shaky breath. For a moment, maybe even two, her mind went completely blank. Then everything came rushing back quickly and those barriers she had forced into place long ago came back, leaving her feeling hollow but aware. "Enough," she snapped, turning towards the source of the music. "Stop playing, right now." This wasn't what they needed. The Fortress had to be strong and united, and they couldn't do that if something was making them feel awful and twisted inside like this. — — "I'm going to deliver this repaired clock, dad!" Varian called out, slipping on his shoes before picking up the large, cardboard box with both hands. It was enough to make him wheeze slightly, but he adjusted his grip enough not to worry about dropping his precious cargo. "I'll be back soon, okay?" "Be safe, son," His father called out from the back room where he was doing inventory, and a few seconds later the door swung shut behind him as Varian quickly hurried down the stairs and onto the busy street. The town was...well, just that. A town. It was quiet and pretty boring, and they lived as close to the Fortress as possible without being inside it, which made them pretty safe. Beasts rarely attacked and when they did, they were driven back quickly. The only reason they were able to live here was because his family had been living there since long before the war started. So it was really only luck that kept them safe thus far. Walking down the busy streets, he started towards the marketplace. Technically, the owner of the clock he was delivering lived somewhere else, but during these hours he was running his fruit stand, and it would be easier to deliver it to him now. Plus, he had said it was alright to deliver it right to him if he was working and hey, maybe he'd get some fresh fruit out of it.
  17. Yeah it's basically like Skype but better. I've made an invitation to the chat here (It'll expire in a day, so if you don't join by then just message me and I'll make a new link) https://discord.gg/Yrjn5H
  18. Fantastic art!!! Look at them sparkle eyes <3 Oh hey so I was thinking about it but do y'all maybe want to make a Discord chat for the RP? It would make it easier to discuss plot developments and other fun character things.
  19. "Why bother sending in a Beast?" Julius remarked with a knowing look in his eyes. Seriously now, these two kept overlooking the most obvious answers. There was a reason their castle was in the woods, and even beyond that there was a reason that they killed any Apostles they came across. When it came down to it, there were only two physical signs that there was something different about them, and casual clothes covered the largest one. The second was easily covered by a pair of gloves, but even if someone saw it wasn't as if they could pinpoint what it was. They'd probably just think it was a religious tattoo. "After all, we're just three regular people. Why don't we enjoy ourselves and get an early lunch first? Maybe go shopping. I'm sure Argus will appreciate a new toy." He could pick up some lighter fluid, a new pack of cigarettes and even do a little shopping for the castle. Not that he necessarily needed to since there was a couple Beasts who were able to disguise themselves as regular humans who could just as easily be ordered to go shopping, but they were already out here, weren't they? "It'll be my treat. If we're going to raze this place to the ground, we might as well make the most out of it first." They were drawing pretty close to the town now anyway, which meant they'd have to finalize a plan at some point. Besides, this would be the first time in a while that he'd be able to enjoy someone else's cooking, even if it was only one meal. Fortunately enough, money wasn't a problem for him anymore. After all, all it took was pushing a Beast away from it's kill long enough to find a wallet and snag any money he could find out of it. He never missed an opportunity to make sure he had currency on hand. He refused to be in a situation where he couldn't afford to eat ever again. "I don't think an Apostle could become one of us, though," He replied with a shrug. "I mean, maybe if you broke their weapon first, but if their weapons can hurt Beasts, how could that exist in the same body as the Baron's power?" If it existed in the same body at all. When they weren't using their weapons it was common knowledge that they vanished, but into what? To where? He didn't know for sure, after all, since there wasn't any record of that kind of thing. "Besides, who would possibly defect? There's barely any of us anyway, and none of us are fanatics like Apostles are." — — "The song doesn't matter," Sonya replied, nodding towards Damaris to showed she agreed. "That will be something you can learn later. Just try to play anything and see if anything happens." She hadn't learned how to use her weapon by fussing over how best to throw a punch to deliver the most damage. She simply looked at her knucklebusters and realized the best thing to do was just punch something-anything-until something happened. And sure enough, the first time her fist had connected with a sandbag, she had ended up shooting it full of holes. It was only after she mastered her weapon's ability that she focused on the best ways to position her body and fight to deliver the most damage while keeping her own body safe. Then again, there was a strong possibility that this was all useless for him anyway. She wouldn't say if the Lord could or could not heal his eyes since assuming either way would be disrespectful, but there was only so much he could do in battle with a weapon that wasn't actually a weapon. If his instrument had a dangerous ability, there was a chance he'd do more harm than good with friendly fire. "As for you," She said, turning to look at Damaris and glancing at his bow for a moment before gesturing to a target on the other side of the arena. "I hope you've been practicing, since I want to see how accurate you are before we get started. If you're lacking, I just might bruise you a bit more." It was a joke, of course, but it was still important for her to make sure all of the Apostles were practicing regularly. One weak link was all it took to break a chain.
  20. "Oh, don't worry," Sonya replied with a wide smile when Damaris asked about the spar. "I'd never deliberately cripple an ally." She knew how to pull her punches when it mattered and honestly, after seeing her spars and being terrified with her power, most young Apostles were even more terrified when she went onto a battlefield and didn't hold back. There was a reason that she rarely used her ability during spars, since there wasn't really a way to not make the quills her weapon produced not deadly. She didn't want to go punching holes through their fighting force, after all. But it wasn't just pure destructive force that got her to the position of Cardinal. After all, her weapon was undeniably an extremely close quarters weapon, although the ability of the quills to fire did make up some ground. Still, they weren't nearly as accurate over long distances, meaning she was forced to fight up close and personal with Beasts. Getting in that close and not getting hurt herself was a feat, and one that took a lot of practice to pull off. Which was why she was absolutely delighted she had managed to rope Damaris into a spar. "Alright, here we are," Sonya said, pushing open the doors to the training grounds. Technically, there were several grounds inside the mountain that could be used, but this was right off the lobby and this the closest one. It was a large room with a towering ceiling, and the floor had been filled with a layer of fine, white sand. Training equipment lined the sides of the room but, in the center, was a large rectangle marked with thick, black lines to show the official sparing area. Any other fighting among Apostles was strictly forbidden except for inside that field. But she ignored it for now in favor of curling both of her hands into fists and punching her hands together in front of her. The second her fists collided, there was a flash of light and when it faded, a pair of bright, white, pristine brass knuckles had appeared around her fists. "So let's start with the basics," She said, looking towards Matt. "You can already summon your weapon which is a start, but now you need to work on figuring out what you can do. The best thing to do is to just see if you can play it first. Most Apostles uncover the secrets of the Lord's blessings by just using their weapons as they were intended to be used." — — As they began to walk away from the castle, Julius reached into his pocket and quietly pulled out a pack of cigarettes. Pulling a single cigarette out of the pack, he stuck it between his teeth before fishing out a dented and scratched-up metal lighter and flicking the cap off. It took him a few tries to get a flame from it, likely since it was nearly out of fuel at this point, but after a few tries he managed to get a small fire from the lighter and lit the end of the cigarette. He was really going to have to look into getting something to refill his lighter from, since he wasn't about to just get a new one. Sentimental crap and all that, but he was still attached to the thing all the same. He didn't bother glancing up when their party of two suddenly became a party of three, instead returning the lighter back to his pocket and letting out a small breath. "You two are forgetting these aren't animals," He replied, pulling the cigarette from his lips with two fingers. The ash would probably ruin his white gloves, but he didn't mind. "They're Beasts, and we're disciples. Even if a Beast is based on a wolf or a dog, it'll still have to roll over if we tell it to." He was quiet for a few moments before ultimately shaking his head. "No smoking them out, and no fire. We shouldn't do anything that looks unusual for Beast activity or else those Apostles will get suspicious. We only want to squash a few ants, not have the entire hill after us." He closed his eyes for a second as his body passed silently and seamlessly through a tree, never once losing his stride as he walked. "We should send a group of Beasts around from the far side and have them attack the town from the far side. Any that run into the woods we'll take hostage, and any that stay in the town we let the Beasts have. We can keep our hostages alive and well until the Apostles arrive." He took a long, deliberate drag of his cigarette before exhaling a cloud of smoke. "Then we make them scream."
  21. Children. Julius mused over the words for several quiet moments. It seemed like an odd question to even ask. He wasn't sure when, but now that he reflected on it, he felt far removed from regular humans. Removed enough that the idea of deliberately harming children didn't seem to bother him at all. It was just an inevitability of the fighting. "There will always be casualties in war," Julius replied. Maybe there was a time, many years ago, where he would have hesitated or even denied participating in such a task. But that time had long since passed, and he was firm in his loyalty to the Baron. Besides, they did deserve it a little. Even humans that weren't Apostles were dedicated to the Lord of the Living through her church. The Disciples were the black sheep among the herd, and they were forsaken as a result. So who really cared if they got revenge for the injustice against them? He certainly was rearing for a little revenge. "But you know, I think those self-righteous Apostles may just be dumb enough to walk into an obvious trap to save a bunch of kids. If we attack one of the towns closer to their mountain, it'll probably draw more of them out as well." There was a good chance with the recent decline in Beast activity that the Apostles would grow arrogant and think they could actually save some hostages. It was a pretty good idea to remind them just how hopeless their fight really was. "You're so sinister when you put your mind to it," Julius said with a smile as he stood up, stretching out his cramped legs before stepping off of the roof. Instead of falling, however, his ability activated and he began to descend as if walking down an invisible flight of stairs towards the ground. Honestly, he probably could have jumped and not hurt himself thanks to the increased durability of Disciples, but who cared if he showed off a little? "How many Beasts were you thinking for this plan? We don't want to have the entire mountain after us so we probably shouldn't go in with a small army."
  22. He was right, of course, which was why Sonya was fussing over the map in the first place. There wasn't a pattern there that she hadn't observed yet already. Beasts came from the dark places of the world outside of the Lord's light to attack humans and Apostles indiscriminately. Or, at least, that had been how it had been for years until Beast attacks ultimately began focusing on areas occupied by Apostles already. That wasn't to say they never happened elsewhere, but the Baron didn't seem to be deliberately targeting areas filled with humans that didn't have as many Apostles. Cities now were rare targets, and most Beasts didn't make it past the fortifications. Instead, things seemed to be focused around their mountain, though no attacks had been launched at them specifically. Communications with branches of the church around the world revealed similar patterns from them. No direct attacks, but a focus on areas around them. So what was she missing? Why couldn't she see the storm forming? If she didn't know what was coming, what exactly could she fortify against? Sighing again, Sonya pinched the bridge of her nose. She'd been pondering this for weeks, long before Matt had shown up. She needed a break to gather her wits. Maybe a visit to the training grounds to let out some steam. Besides, Matt clearly needed some guidance, and she and Damaris would be more help than just one of them. Not that they could offer all that much help anyway, since both of them actually had combat weapons and not a violin. Unless the Lord was planning for him to just whack some Beasts over the head with it. "If you're feeling up for it, you should try to practice at the training grounds. They're more built to accommodate displays of our power than the rest of these halls. I was planning on heading down there myself so I can stop fussing over this map." She turned to look at Damaris, a sly grin forming on her face. "You should come as well. Maybe we could have a friendly spar?" She'd pull her punches, naturally, as she did with all spars, and avoid punching him full of holes with her quills, but that didn't mean he wouldn't leave with some serious bruises if he accepted. A good number of Apostles steered clear of the training grounds whenever she was in the area simply out of worry she'd drag them into a spar and beat them black and blue.