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 Act 2: Upheaval V - The Red Sword

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PostSubject: Re: Act 2: Upheaval V - The Red Sword   Fri 16 Nov 2018, 10:47 pm

"It's the reason they're all so secretive about themselves and won't touch us with a 10-foot pole, but every one of them will jump whenever a Human wants to become a Green Mage. For every one of us that gains a Aspect, they gain a slave. When it happens, you have no control. No say in it, no chance to fight it. You're just theirs, end of story. They could make a mother throw her child in a fire if they wanted to, and they probably have. They..." - he searches for the right words.

"They don't think the same way we do. Literally, all their minds are connected into a hive. In it, there is no I, only We. Maybe that's why they all fear us, they believe we'll somehow kill them all. Killing us first has been their driving purpose for the last two centuries, and they've come pretty close at least once."

He pauses another moment, for emphasis. - "I'm sorry, Duma. Zenobiusz. I wish i was kidding."
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PostSubject: Re: Act 2: Upheaval V - The Red Sword   Fri 16 Nov 2018, 10:52 pm

Steve stops chewing and waits to see how they'll take it. Without realizing it he's begun leaning forward a little bit and is holding his breath.
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PostSubject: Re: Act 2: Upheaval V - The Red Sword   Fri 16 Nov 2018, 11:00 pm

"We aren't alone in this, thankfully. There are others making every effort to combat their conspiracy against humanity, which includes the three of us," he says, gesturing to the adjunct members. "And of course, every summoner denied to their puppetry is a personal defeat for them and a victory for the rest of us, human and fairy alike."
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PostSubject: Re: Act 2: Upheaval V - The Red Sword   Fri 16 Nov 2018, 11:02 pm

"So long as we can do it on the down low, without them dreaming what's going on."
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PostSubject: Re: Act 2: Upheaval V - The Red Sword   Fri 16 Nov 2018, 11:11 pm

Duma and Zenobiusz stare at the adventurers with wide eyes, very much troubled by what they just learned. Even Nadzieja, who already knew most of what Mihai just explained, is perplexed by the revelation concerning the Elementals' "hive mind". After a few seconds of silence, the green mage and his Aspect of Life look at each other, and then back at Mihai again. Duma licks his lips nervously and asks, "So... how can you be sure we're not under the Elementals'... ‘control’? 'Cause it's kind of important, right? Right? Right."
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PostSubject: Re: Act 2: Upheaval V - The Red Sword   Fri 16 Nov 2018, 11:25 pm

"Well, as i understand it, people trained in Spellcraft can sense something off you when you're under their control. Fairies can sense it too. It's similar to the connection between a Summoner and their Aspect, but... different. As for how we're certain right now, well... that's the reason we had to break it to you now, instead of explaining it properly when we had more time."

He takes a breath.

"You might have noticed the Mages in the arena being a bit unsettled when they scanned you earlier. We... gave you a magical artifact that suppresses their ability to control you - or so we thought at first, but just now we learned it actually kills it outright. We were going to just leave it with you, but there's someone else we're going to try to save when we're done here. And it would help us a lot of we could borrow it off you for a while."
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PostSubject: Re: Act 2: Upheaval V - The Red Sword   Fri 16 Nov 2018, 11:30 pm

Konrad nods to Mihai's explanation. "He is right...I've been able to sense it once before." His lower eyelids flicker at a distant memory. "Normally, at my level of competence, have to really concentrate."
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PostSubject: Re: Act 2: Upheaval V - The Red Sword   Fri 16 Nov 2018, 11:34 pm

"Wait... that thing in my head—it was you!?"

"Me, actually," Nadzieja says. "I gave it to you during our fight."

"So that means... when you kis—"

"Yeah, yeah yeah," she interrupts him, embarrassed. "That's when I did it."

"...Oh."

Szef Duma seems to be at a loss on what to say now. Zenobiusz however is curious about something.

"I'm sorry, but... why haven't we learned about this until now?" he asks.
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PostSubject: Re: Act 2: Upheaval V - The Red Sword   Fri 16 Nov 2018, 11:41 pm

Konrad eyebrows go up. He opens his mouth, but then clams shut when he realizes what Nadia is doing.

He'll let someone else answer Zeno.
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PostSubject: Re: Act 2: Upheaval V - The Red Sword   Fri 16 Nov 2018, 11:46 pm

"It's a small circle of trust, getting steadily bigger as we can manage it. This is deadly serious. Everyone in this room is a target now and so are all of your loved ones. That's why we don't go around shouting it from the rafters. You never know who might be listening. And besides, it's all crazy. Who would believe this nonsense? I wouldn't if I didn't know better."
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PostSubject: Re: Act 2: Upheaval V - The Red Sword   Fri 16 Nov 2018, 11:48 pm

"The Enemy would believe it though, and act in a second. That's what we call them, by the way. We don't even say the word Elemental out there, just in case they're listening. They can't know that we know, or it'd be open war."
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PostSubject: Re: Act 2: Upheaval V - The Red Sword   Fri 16 Nov 2018, 11:52 pm

"We felt it would be important to include you, Zenon, because we were concerned what might happen if the orb was discovered by your personal aides and then removed, or destroyed. And regardless of that, we thought the Enemy might see to it that you have an accident, now that you are no longer a skin for them to wear. Additionally, your position and your abilities make you a strong ally in Myr. We spilled it to Nadzieja for...much the same reason."

He looks at her, but he will look away to whomever speaks up next.
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PostSubject: Re: Act 2: Upheaval V - The Red Sword   Sat 17 Nov 2018, 12:16 am

"That's... so touching," Duma says jokingly. "And... comforting."

The green mage is left dumbstruck by this deluge of revelations, and he can only stare at the ground with a perturbed expression. Even his Aspect seems uncertain on how to react, and asks his summoner, "You okay?"

"Nope," the Szef replies. "Just... gimme a minute to wrap my mind around this. I—I need to sit."

He slumps on one of the beds and takes a moment to breathe. As for Zenobiusz, he's currently covering his face with his hand. They clearly have some difficulty to process this information.
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PostSubject: Re: Act 2: Upheaval V - The Red Sword   Sat 17 Nov 2018, 12:27 am

"Like i said, i'm sorry for revealing it so abruptly. For what it's worth, no one here will hold it against you if you choose to ignore this knowledge and just stay out of it, so long as you keep it secret." - he tries to soothe.

"But Duma, there's a very urgent reason i had to reveal it to you now. That Orb will become more attuned to you, the longer you wear it. Sooner or later, it'll be too late to use it for someone else - if it's not too late already. And right now, it's the only one we've got that might still be workable. There's still someone else we know of that will very soon need saving, and we're very thin on options."
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PostSubject: Re: Act 2: Upheaval V - The Red Sword   Sat 17 Nov 2018, 12:34 am

"So, Szef Duma of Clan Dziki, with your permission, and for the survival and preservation of humanity, we request that you return the orb that we freely provided."
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PostSubject: Re: Act 2: Upheaval V - The Red Sword   Sat 17 Nov 2018, 12:37 am

Szef Duma blinks at Mihai and Konrad. "...And how am I supposed to give it back to you?" he asks apprehensively.
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PostSubject: Re: Act 2: Upheaval V - The Red Sword   Sat 17 Nov 2018, 12:39 am

Konrad smiles. "By removing it from your head, of course."

"Just reach out and will it into your hand. It's that simple," Mihai adds.
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PostSubject: Re: Act 2: Upheaval V - The Red Sword   Sat 17 Nov 2018, 12:42 am

"It's easier than it sounds once you get the hang of it."
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PostSubject: Re: Act 2: Upheaval V - The Red Sword   Sat 17 Nov 2018, 1:06 am

Szef Duma gazes into the adventurers' eyes to detect any hint of duplicity, and after a few seconds of hesitation, he brings his hand to his forehead. What he brings out of it is a vitreous sphere, half the size of an apple. The eight Elements are constantly swirling on themselves, like water and oil. Duma and Zenobiusz stare at the strange orb, absolutely astounded.

"This is amazing," Zenon says.

This is when the adventurers notice that the orb is much more active than when they gave it to Nadzieja. In fact, the speed at which the Elements are swirling is similar to their own orbs, last time they saw them.
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PostSubject: Re: Act 2: Upheaval V - The Red Sword   Sat 17 Nov 2018, 1:08 am

Mihai deflates and sighs in defeat - "Thank you, Duma. It's too late, you can keep it. In fact, you should. You're the only one that can wear it now."
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PostSubject: Re: Act 2: Upheaval V - The Red Sword   Sat 17 Nov 2018, 1:09 am

"Damn..." Steve mutters to himself, leaning back in his chair in defeat.
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PostSubject: Re: Act 2: Upheaval V - The Red Sword   Sat 17 Nov 2018, 1:11 am

"It appears to imprint on the user much sooner than we thought," Konrad adds, disappointed. He didn't like killing women, and he'd hate to allow the duchess to be slain by a clone of Edward Fox.
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PostSubject: Re: Act 2: Upheaval V - The Red Sword   Sat 17 Nov 2018, 1:17 am

"What? How can you tell?"

Nadzieja and Zenobiusz are curious as well, and they all peer into the orb to figure out how the adventurers knew it couldn't be used on somebody else.

"Can't you just use it anyway?" the white mage asks.
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PostSubject: Re: Act 2: Upheaval V - The Red Sword   Sat 17 Nov 2018, 1:22 am

"A clean Orb is normally more inert, doesn't swirl so actively. We could technically still use it, but that Orb is saturated with Zenon's memory now - possibly his very will. We put it in someone else's head, they would flood that person's mind, most likely overriding their personality and essentially, well... that person would become Zenon Duma."
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PostSubject: Re: Act 2: Upheaval V - The Red Sword   Sat 17 Nov 2018, 1:24 am

Konrad frowns. "Indeed. If Zenon did that to Zenobiusz, for example, Zenon would essentially replicate himself, while Zenobiusz would be forever lost."
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