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What Lies Beneath [NQ: Odin]

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#1Venus Rosé 

What Lies Beneath [NQ: Odin] Empty Wed Jul 14, 2021 7:19 am

Venus Rosé

Eerie – was the first word that came to her mind upon setting her foot inside Oak Town. It just seemed like a place where all nightmares lived yet, there seemed to be some form of beauty to the landscape, as if in this unsettling fog a new picture has the courage to form. Of course, her entrance was always grand with the guards unnecessarily announcing her arrivals wherever she went which, at one point, made her feel like a princess but needless to say, she was far from being a royal.

Venus spent her first few days in Oak exploring the town as she ventured out of her usual skirmishes to find herself simply enjoying the familiarity of the bustling town, peppered lightly with the charm of its hospitality to travellers that the redhead had come to know naturally, due to her habit of wandering around often. Naturally, along her way she had picked up a quest taking on the responsibility of the dutiful mage that she was (note the sarcasm), purely not because she desperately needed money for her private expenses.

The request she had picked up was an unusual one this time, that required her to dispatch spirits that were housing beneath the Oakland Church. Venus was one to accomplish her assignments alone, but not this time. Her partner was whom she’d been looking forward to see for a while and she had known since the moment she stepped foot inside the town that he was here, with almost everyone whispering his whereabouts. Rumours really do spread fast underground when there was a price above your head and there she was, waiting by the pub that belonged to him; the infamous lich.

284 | 2500



#2Odin 
Online

What Lies Beneath [NQ: Odin] Empty Wed Jul 14, 2021 8:12 am

Odin
As Odin sat at the mahogany seat of the manager's office of his own pub, a letter fell at his desk. Looking up from the balance books, part of his job was ensuring that nobody could even consider stealing money from Swineherd, he eyed the courier up and down. For anyone to reach the office, especially while Odin was present, often meant going through at least three different security measures. By now, the almost completely nude man had been scanned by magical eyes, manually searched, and then had everything on his person, clothes included, removed from him. He was allowed to keep some dignity in his underwear, but he would have to be really trying hard to get close to the Lich with a weapon. After having escaped prison, with the price on his head increasing by another one million jewels, Odin had needed stronger security. This was just part of the new order. And it came in handy that he had many cultists eager to serve HER champion, who's loyalty would never be in question.

The contents of the letter was the only thing not inspected by anyone other than Odin, simply due to the nature of the Lich. He opened the note and his face seemed to lighten slightly, although there was no real way that was possible. He liked staying abreast of anyone that entered his city, and Oak most certainly was his city, in case they posed a threat. This was the complete opposite, and she was standing outside. Putting his cloak on, with a staff in his right hand and a shield across his back, Odin was briefed on the request as he exited the establishment. It was something similar to what he had previously assisted with, although that time he had brought along one of his own prisoners as a test of sorts. With both Odin and Venus requested, perhaps this time it was going to something much more challenging.

She was as beautiful as ever, the most incredible mixture of divine looks and unstoppable power. There weren't many people who made Odin wish he wasn't a Lich, but even beyond that he was just glad she was on his side. One of his three closest confidantes.

"It has been too long Venus", he started before extending an arm towards the church's location, "Shall we?"

396/2500

#3Venus Rosé 

What Lies Beneath [NQ: Odin] Empty Thu Jul 15, 2021 12:02 pm

Venus Rosé

Almost instantly, a smile grew upon her plump, rosy lips upon seeing a familiar face; one that she hadn’t seen in a long, long time. There was a hint of sadness sorrow in her eyes – the disappointment in herself for not being able to be beside her lord during his difficult time when he was sent into prison, or even save him from the grasp of the treacherous bounty hunters. News of Odin’s capture spread fast and wild, and Venus would never hesitate to help her lord break out of prison, but she knew better than most that the wicked lich would never let his enemies win so easily without a trick up his sleeve and here he was, alive and free.

The huntress merely responded with a content grin at seeing him once again and with the two of them going on a quest together again, it reminded her of the time they first met back in Hosenka and how exhilarating it was as his company. ”How was jail time? I hope it wasn’t too bad.” She’d follow his lead to the direction he pointed and racked up a conversation to occupy the passing time that took up for the travelling distance. The church wasn’t so far from the pub, a few blocks down the street at best, and with two of the highest bounty holders requested, it seems to be quite a challenging mission.

There were way too many things that needed to be talked about; to catch up with everything they missed during the time both of them were away and a short walk to the church didn’t suffice. Priorities were set and their conversation would soon be interrupted by a greeting of a pope who seemed to be awaiting their arrival. Perhaps it was due to the talk of the spirits loitering beneath the church, the establishment seemed awfully quiet and sinister that she wasn’t surprised there were no visitors to say their prayers.

612 | 2500



#4Odin 
Online

What Lies Beneath [NQ: Odin] Empty Thu Jul 15, 2021 12:53 pm

Odin
As much as his face could never betray emotion, Odin had to admit that Venus' smile was contagious. It was refreshing to be with someone who wanted his company. After all, the last person who had wished for that had left him and, while the reasons themselves were pure enough, the hurt still stung. It was another person in a long line of close contacts Odin had lost to time. People had their own lives to live, and they often moved away from the Lich to live them. It was the immutable law of the undead: eventually, everyone you know and love would die out, except for you. In that regard, he was happy to be spending time with Venus, a fellow undead despite still looking human. She was one of the few people who could understand immortality, as she was one of the rare few blessed with the ability.

As they walked towards the church, Venus asked Odin what likely most of Oak wanted to know. He had been in jail, imprisoned in Era, where the strongest Rune Knights resided, and yet he had escaped. As far as the Lich knew, he was the first: "Oh well, it wasn't as comfortable as the pub, and the food was horrible." He chuckled slightly before continuing, "I wasn't ever planning on spending much time there after all. Only had the one visitor, Genevieve although she now goes by Hitomi. She joined the knights and came to see me in my cell." He sighed as he though about losing members of Eternal Nightmare. He had to admit, he loved his group. He didn't want to lose any more. "I only got captured because I knew they couldn't stop my escape. What are the people going to think if the Rune Knights can't even keep a Wizard Lord secure in their prison?" One of the red orbs that formed Odin's eyes briefly blinked out before returning, the closest he could manage to winking at the comment.

Before long a priest would meet them outside the church. Clearly the place was rather empty if he was free to just leave during the day. Perhaps faith in Illumin was starting to shake, especially if the clergy were resorting to hiring dark mages to solve their problems. "We started hearing noises coming from the catacombs a few days ago", the priest began, the sweat slowly flowing down his face and dripping off his chin. Sometimes Odin saw human beings and could feel nothing but disgust at their existence. It had only started recently, but it was a powerful feeling. Humans were revolting.

"We sent a knight down there, but a day later we heard his screaming. It was horrible", the man put his hands on his head as he recalled what must have been a traumatic experience for him, "Whatever is down there, it's stronger than your usual zombie." Odin would raise a hand to stop him speaking, trying to stop himself from just killing the priest on the spot. He'd look at Venus and chuckle once more, "Suppose you send two powerful undead to kill one powerful undead. I like our odds."

923/2500

#5Venus Rosé 

What Lies Beneath [NQ: Odin] Empty Thu Jul 15, 2021 3:51 pm

Venus Rosé

She had known that Odin had a trick up his sleeve after all and as he said, what was the point of catching a wizard lord if they couldn’t imprison him properly? Venus could feel the distress in his voice upon mentioning his guild members leaving. She knew there was nothing she could do albeit, she could somehow relate to the unsettling thoughts he had since she used to be a guild master briefly in her previous guild. It was most certainly not an easy job maintaining a guild and the members but so far, Odin seemed to be handling everything well, otherwise she wouldn’t have stuck this long with him.

Despite being one of the titleholders in the guild, there weren’t many that Venus was close to within her guild, other than Zane. She knew Steel and Erebus from the meeting they had with Zagan when they initially formed the guild, but aside from those, there barely knew the rest – heck, even know their names.

”That must be why your bones are looking a little less healthy than before,” She joked teasingly and added, ”You could’ve remained in prison a bit longer so that I had a chance to visit you in jail at least.” Well, what’s done is done. ”That was smart. I can already imagine the look on their faces to see the dungeon of a Wizard Lord empty a few days later being caught.” She laughed.

After a little quick introduction, his holiness brought them inside whilst briefly explaining them about the situation. For the most part, the woman let him speak until she eventually broke the silence, ”Why do you have this hidden place beneath the church anyways? That already seems dubious to me.” There wasn’t an answer to her question and she didn’t wish to press on any further either, simply because she decided that she didn’t care enough. Odin, on the other hand, appeared as though he’d ran out of patience listening to the priest and probably wanted to silence him the second he opened his mouth.

The duo was taken to the place down the end of the hallway and stopped before they reached the end. The carpet was lifted and beneath it was a secret doorway to the ground below. There was a set of stairs that went down in a spiral but it was so dark that it resembled an abyss. She’d lock her gaze with Odin for the last time and returned a wink, just like he did before descending down the stairs.

”Wow, I can’t believe this exist right below a church,” spoke the female as she took her final step down the stairs. As a vampire, she had no trouble seeing through the darkness but she still brought a torch with her anyways and quickly lit up the wall torches so that they could travel easier. As the vision improved, she could see several bones and skulls scattered around on the floor, those that have most likely been decaying for decades, and the stench – god, it was horrible.

1124 | 2500



#6Odin 
Online

What Lies Beneath [NQ: Odin] Empty Fri Jul 16, 2021 12:39 am

Odin
The friendly teasing Odin received from Venus was reassuring to the Lich. After Hitomi had left the guild, the Lich's mind couldn't stop but wander towards the others. This caused him to realise that, of all his current guildmates, he had spent the least amount of time with Venus. She was definitely the most powerful, but they had only completed one mission together prior to her joining, and they had both met Zagan in Samhain's Tower. Beyond that, they hadn't had much interaction, and thus it could've been possible that Venus would leave the guild in the future. Part of the elation Odin felt at doing this mission was to enjoy more time spent with one of his title holders, one of the people he could rely on beyond any others. Venus was a great ally, and she could be an even greater friend.

"Haven't been able to drink my milk as much recently", Odin responded in kind, feeling like Zane for a moment as he made objectively terrible jokes, "The longer I stayed in the prison, the more it could seem like I made some crazy escape plan up while there. No, it was better I leave almost instantly, that shows they have flaws that I could exploit without even studying the place." He appreciated Venus' words though, "Besides, no reason we can't spend time now that I'm a free man again."

She seemed almost as annoyed with the priest as Odin felt disgusted, asking why they had such well hidden catacombs in the first place. Her distrust of the Illumin church honestly made the Lich extremely happy. Finally, other people were starting to see the hypocrisy of the faith that did everything they could to keep their own power. They didn't care about the people of Fiore, only about how they could control them. It had been this way for many years now, but people were starting to notice. The more people, civilians and mages alike, that could have their eyes opened, the less power the church would have until, eventually, they would crumble beneath those they had sworn to aid. There was a poetic irony to the whole thing.

The entrance to the catacombs was, as expected, relatively well hidden to the public. A door beneath a carpet, leading to a spiral staircase that went so far down the darkness hid the destination. The priest didn't need to say anything to them, Odin prayed he stayed silent else he would definitely murder him and killing the client wasn't a good idea. At least, not until after he was paid.

Venus winked before departing, heading down with a torch in hand. It wasn't hugely necessary, both vampires and liches had perfect night vision, but the fire would be good for two reasons. For one, it might scare off some of the weaker undead that would otherwise try to attack them. After all, Odin wasn't expecting them to just find one zombie down here. A dark, damp set of catacombs hidden beneath Oak City? No chance was there just one enemy.

The other reason for the fire, as they reached the bottom of the staircase and came face to face with a large wooden door, sealed with some form of magic by the looks, is that it would draw out the true enemy. If weaker undead would flee from the light, the strongest ones would flock to it like a moth to the flame.

1520/2500

#7Venus Rosé 

What Lies Beneath [NQ: Odin] Empty Fri Jul 16, 2021 3:26 pm

Venus Rosé

As expected, Odin responded with a witty joke that made her chuckle and truth be told, Venus thought he had a great sense of humour. She’d always assumed Odin to be stone-faced – not that he has a face – and wicked evil to everyone around him, but it seemed that she had the wrong impression of him. The lich appeared contrary to her imagination; light-hearted and amicable, though he was still merciless, considering how he brutally murdered every single person in the room on the quest they were on previously.

Still, despite the amount of time they’ve been in the guild, Venus rarely spent time with her lord and hardly knew much about him and vice versa. Having said that, Odin needn’t to question her loyalty to him, for she already found herself attached to the very eccentric guild and its members, as much as she didn’t want to admit it.

The flickering light from the fire touched the stones underfoot and as they marched ahead, they would soon face a wooden door that appeared to be sealed with magic. Venus attempted to push the door and other than piling months’ worth of dust onto her, the door didn’t even budge an inch even with her strength so, she figured to break down a magically sealed door, she would have to use magic. With a snap of her fingers, she’d gather a shockwave of lightning within the palm of her hands and pushed it against the door in an attempt to break the seal.

It seemed like her plan had worked because the next second when the door blasted open, a swarm of bats flew into their faces. It startled her so much that she barely had a second to process her thoughts before she screeched like a banshee – not because she was scared, but because she was taken so off-guard that it felt like she just had a heart attack. The flames from the torch were put out from the gust of wind as the bats flew past by and now they were surrounded by darkness once again.

She’d hoped her scream hadn’t frightened the valiant Lich. Though the flames were extinguished, she was still able to see perfectly ahead of her due to being a night creature and continued to trod ahead into the darkness. This time, Venus made sure she was more alert as she drew the crossbow that she wore over her back, and pointed it in line with her vision. She wasn’t sure if it was simply dust or smoke, but she had noticed how their surroundings became foggier the further they went in.

”I’m not gonna lie, I’m really not fond of anything that is related to horror.” The woman spoke quietly in a hushed voice.

Suddenly, there was a ghastly sound as though some unknown creature was trying to speak or yell – it sounded deep and hollow. She spun around within the empty space that surrounded them and there she’d see a horrifying face with eye balls that were nearly twice the size of a human’s with dark rims, its lips stretched and curved in the shape of a ‘v’, its face as white as paper and its wet, gross hair stuck to her face. For the first time in her life, Venus was speechless. As if a lump was stuck in her throat, she couldn’t get a word out of her mouth.

1697 | 2500



#8Odin 
Online

What Lies Beneath [NQ: Odin] Empty Sun Jul 18, 2021 3:39 am

Odin
Fear was a concept that Odin was very much accustomed to, having become the Lich that he was. It was funny, he had never possessed much in the way of fear growing up. Under the protection of Lucifer, as well as his father making sure that the vessel to his Lord stayed as safe as possible during his younger years, not very much had been able to truly scare Odin, and that had only increased when he became a Lich. Giving up the power of Lucifer had truly been a scary situation for him, as it had been the first time he had felt empty inside, without the guidance -and occasional snide comment- of someone he had known for his entire life. But becoming a Lich had brought him new powers, including the ability to use the Fear of others against them. His magical fear, coupled with the Necromancy magic he had once possessed, which could create illusions of someone's greatest fear, causing them to attack their comrades lest they suffer the consequences. He had once held complete mastery over the darkness of one's fear.

That being said, he still very much got startled, as Venus opened the magically sealed door with a powerful, focussed shockwave. Odin had never actually seen his guild mate's magic in use, but he knew she possessed one of the most destructive powers in existence. Nothing could stop against her onslaught, and an ancient door was definitely no exception. Through the door flew forth bats, likely needing the fresh air having been trapped below for a long time. Odin was surprised to see anything living come through the door, as he thought they would have become food for whatever else was waiting for them.

A scream escaped Venus' lips as she too was startled, but Odin was too preoccupied to say anything on the matter. For the bats all left through the door in such a hurry, many of them flew into the faces of the two dark mages. For Venus, that wasn't an issue beyond giving her a fright. For Odin, who's entire body was hollow and had many ways in and out, it was a much bigger problem, as two bats had become trapped in his ribcage and one of them flew through his eye socket and was currently rattling around inside his skull. Taking a moment, the Lich would remove his skull from his spine, allowing the bat to escape through the bottom as he reached through and broke a few of his ribs. The bats, seeing their exit, instantly flew out, and Odin reattached his skull. The ribs wouldn't be a major concern, especially not as they were walking into the catacombs. He would definitely find more rib bones if he wished to replace those he had just lost.

They had no more fire, but they could still see as normal due to their natures. However, something felt wrong. Activating one of Kazimir's spells, Odin wanted to detect any change in the air. If something was near, he wanted to see it long before it saw him. "Being able to see through darkness just makes us more aware of what lurks inside." Odin responded to Venus' comment, walking to the side of her as they progressed forward. Except, Venus wasn't moving, and Odin's detection was going crazy. Something had moved at blinding speeds into their vicinity, its scream sounding primal and animalistic.

Staring directly at the creature, even Odin had no idea what it was. Large eyeballs, a twisted mouth and it's skin as white as the Wizard Lord's bones. It was almost pressed up against Venus, and the silence from his guild mate said more to Odin than she would ever need to. Without thinking, Odin raised a hand and fired off a magical bullet towards the creature, which deftly dropped back from the two and perfectly avoided the bullet, which was fired at almost point blank range and moved faster than the average spell already. Whatever this thing was, taking it out was going to be a challenge. He would give Venus a moment before asking, but his eyes never left the creature.

"Can you fight?"

2230/2500

#9Venus Rosé 

What Lies Beneath [NQ: Odin] Empty Tue Jul 20, 2021 7:33 am

Venus Rosé

If Venus were in her right mind, she would have guffawed upon seeing the bats stuck inside Odin’s skull and how he had detached his bones just to let them out of his hollowed body – but she wasn’t. One might have thought that it was hilarious to see a very high-ranked vampire being frightened by ghosts or spirits and truth be told, Venus usually wasn’t scared of them. That being said, the ambiance of the place and the chilling atmosphere seemed to be doing it for her. The further she walked, the stronger the intention, the more she felt the maniacal hunger beyond the darkness. There was something, behind all of this fog, calling out in despair, but also most likely had a desperate urge to devour her, maim her, corrupt her and slowly torture the living daylight out of her soul.

Albeit, the creature she saw was no ghost. It looked too hideous to be a ghost, albeit the glowing white form around its body and the sheerness of its figure was enough to tell her that it was a spirit indeed. Before she could shake herself out of her reverie, Odin had fended off the creature before it could even attack.

"Can you fight?"

Venus eventually snapped out of her trance and returned to her original self. ”Sorry about that. Seems like I wasn’t myself for a moment.” Odin had bought her enough time to aim her crossbow at her target. With one eye shut for perfect precision, she activated the trigger as the arrow bolt flew ahead so fast that strands of her hair were whipped back. The arrow flew through the body and it was enough to confirm her theory that physical objects wouldn’t work on this creature. The woman didn’t opt to hesitate to switch to her magical abilities as she strapped her crossbow over her back once again and extended her hand.

A small ball of lightning grew against the palm of her hands, expanding into a barrier that would entrap her enemy and even when she had reacted with little to no time at all, the spirit had dodged her spell. As a result of dodging both of their spells, the creature crashed into the wall of the catacombs, crushing and spilling all the skeletons beneath it and let an animalistic roar. If the creature was this fast, the only option she had was to cast spells constantly so that it wouldn’t have time to parry them.

2111 | 2500



#10Odin 
Online

What Lies Beneath [NQ: Odin] Empty Fri Jul 23, 2021 4:37 am

Odin
Thankfully, it seemed like Odin's offensive had bought Venus the few seconds she needed to bring herself back into the right frame of mind. She brought out her crossbow, a fearsome weapon in its own right, made even more obvious by the fact that Venus possessed it. She wouldn't let herself be burdened down with a weapon that didn't have incredible capabilities, and yet the bolt fired merely passed through the apparition. It was unaffected by physical attacks, only magical powers could take it down. That put Odin at a severe disadvantage, as his own magic was purely physical and he had already fired off the only spell that he could use to damage it. That left him with one choice: be the bait.

"If I hold it in place, fire off your strongest spell."

There wasn't time to confirm the plan, he just had to trust that Venus would know what to do. She was a more powerful mage than he was, and he trusted her intuition. Channelling wind magic in his feet, Odin briefly ensured that he would be just as fast as the spirit. he would be able to keep up and, with some luck, he would be able to lock it down. He activated Greed, the magical aspect of his defences giving him an idea as he rushed towards the spirit. Luck was definitely on his side, as the defensive magic allowed him come into contact with the creature. He couldn't hurt it, but he didn't need to. He grabbed the creature by the neck, spinning round to place it directly between himself and Venus. All he needed now was for Venus to attack. She would need to be fast as Odin couldn't hold on much longer, but he had no fear and no doubt.

Once the creature was destroyed, Odin would follow Venus' lead in receiving payment, thanking her for the opportunity to work together. They made a good team, and he was glad she was on his side.

-Exit-

2500+/2500

#11Venus Rosé 

What Lies Beneath [NQ: Odin] Empty Sat Jul 24, 2021 10:44 am

Venus Rosé

Her spirit would not quiver like it once did as recognized the threat and the death it entailed, her hooded figure gently extracting itself from where she was positioned and lunged into the direction of the beast. The huntress’ choice to attend the quelling of the creature within the grounds of the Oak Church stood a firm foundation within her thoughts. She had never really seen her guild master in combat before; well, there was a time he’d fought alongside her once for a quest, but she could hardly consider that a battle – more like, a brutal massacre. This time, she’d seen him struggle; struggle because of the abilities that his magic came with and due to it, he chose to serve himself as bait to the beast.

As worried as she was for her master, Venus knew there was no other option to defeat the enemy and only believed in her instincts. While the Lich held the beast down, Venus had already gathered magic within the palm of her hands, heeding Odin’s advice and summoned the strongest spell she had spent months and months training. A pulse of energy lit up the room, billowing her ponytail tied atop her head and a beam of lightning radiated out of her palm, from the seal that she’d cast. With Odin pinning the beast down, it wasn’t difficult for her to aim at her target.

Bright red light filled the room and she’d silently hoped this would bring an end to all. The catacombs began to wobble, skulls falling out of the walls due to the force of her magic as her legs immediately broke into a sprint and clawed through the debris to find her guild master. A transparent orb of energy gathered around the location where the beast once stood, indicating that it had been vanquished for good. She didn’t know how Odin had survived her attack but there he was, beneath the pile of remains. ”You’re truly immortal,” laughed the female, as she dragged him out of the church. He was an undead after all; he had probably went through a few scenarios of death, this compared to nothing for him.

Covered in dust and soot, the duo climbed out of the catacombs, where there was now nothing but an empty hole. She’d even destroyed some of the church grounds from her blast, hopefully, the priest wouldn’t nag into her ear for the chaos. For the amount of reward they gained, she figured that all was worth the trouble.

2500+ | 2500

- EXIT -



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