Free City, Truce - Fountain
A tiered fountain marks the center of Truce, water gushing from its
summit and trickling into a deep, wide basin, wrapped by a ring of benches.
Roads flow like rivers away from the fountain, and houses sprout like weeds
all around them. Not far to the east, the ocean roars in the harbor.

A loud, guttural groaning sounds from the southern avenue of Truce; it sounds as if its source is heading this way.

Crazed blinks. And stares at the source, with his Skitty nervously hopping behind him

Tyrranis stares at the sky, trying in vain to see shapes in the clouds.

The sky overhead seems to tint somewhat, all of a sudden. Normally a deep navy for the night it represents, it now seems a dark violet, as if a shade of red was gradually filtering into its palette.

The groaning occurs again, almost inhuman. It seems to be getting closer.

Crazed keeps staring in the direction of the growing commotion, hand slowly reaching for his shield and rocket launcher

Crossroads comes in from the eastern part of town looking for a place by the fountain to sit. Her ears however pick up on the groaning sound from the south and looks in that direction with interest.

Tyrranis grits his teeth at the tinting of the sky. More annoying women from the sky? Picking up his baseball bat, he focuses his attention instead on the noise. It promised to entertain him.

Without warning, a hideous and decayed person ambles up toward the fountain, arms outstretched, uttering horrible noises from the back of its throat; it reaches for the closest person it can get to, which we'll say is... Crazed!

As soon as this creature appears, more groaning and growling emit from virtually every direction; the sky also continues its direction into a pale purple hue.

Crazed screams like a schoolgirl, and scrambles backwards, nearly squashing the Skitty. He yells " Oh god evil evil evil THINGGGGGGG"

Crossroads stares at the decaying person, wondering if this was simply a person suffering from some sort of disease or something and seeking help or some thing that was posing as a threat.

Crazed tries to calm down, repeating his oath of knighthood to himself quietly. It sounds something like "So long as shield and breath are in my hand, I shall not take a step back from this land, Unless that step is towards mine foe, For that is the only way I shall go..."

Crossroads takes a few steps towards crazed but she stops dead in her tracks, her eyes glancing down at her soul gem which seemed to be slowly coming alive.

The creature stumbles as Crazed steps back from it, but it lurches forward again, trying to grab him in his dirty, rotting hands as it emits an agitated growl!

Tyrranis lifts up his soul gem in one hand, and grins as he's enveloped by the ensuing grey sphere. One stock footage transformation scene later, his towel is now a blue hakama, and one of his scars has been filled with the gem. "Right then. About time."

Another decayed form pitches forward as it comes in from the west, landing on its face in an unsavory manner; the sound of a couple bones cracking upon impact can be heard when it hits the pavement.

Crazed brings his shield up quickly and grimaces, scooting backwards as the skitty beats feet the hell out of there. It's long gone. "Damn undead people. LEAVE IT BEEEEE."

Crossroads puts a hand around her soul gem as if she is attempting to make what is happening go away by covering it up. Another witch? She remembered the first one she fought.

Crossroads takes in a deep breath looking at crazed. " Run!" Hopefully this person would be sensible enough to listen. If not, he was on his own.

Tyrranis is nowhere near as nice as Cross in his method of telling Crazed to move. He siezes the back of the man's neck and roughly yanks him backwards, standing tall infront of the zombie with a grin. "Shall we?"

Crazed flails wildly as he's catapulted quite near the second zombie, and just sits in a heap, having bashed himself with his shield before landing. "Pretty birdies.. Wheeeee..."

The front creature doesn't seem to care WHO it gets, and now reaches for Tyrranis, decayed fingernails attempting to tear at his body in a deathly embrace!

On the side, the second zombie haggardly gets to its feet; one arm hangs limp as its side, but it stumbles toward the fallen Crazed, good arm flailing wildly as it moves in for the kill!

In the midst of all this, a woman's voice suddenly rises above the groaning and growling now surrounding the fountain from all angles; laughter, piercing and shrill, yet decidedly... young-sounding?

Crossroads nods to Tyrranis and pulls out her gun. " We have to find the core. Otherwise these are just going to keep ..." She stops as she hears the laughter. There was a good chance it was coming from what they needed to be looking for.

Tyrranis steps forwards into the grip of the zombie, and slams his forehead into it's with a sick crunch. "Gotta use your head kid. Get up and use that shield as a weapon."

The zombie shrieks gutturally from the impact, its decayed skull caving in as it falls backward with an equally-sick -smack-!

Crazed growls. "Oh hey, you just threw me backwards twords the little bastards. Don't mind me. 'sides.." He grins, leveling his rocket launcher at the shambling zombie and opening fire. "Rockets are more fun."

Given that the zombie was all bu right up on Crazed at this time, the rocket impacts him squarely, sending zombie gibs raining in all directions; however, being hit point-blank with a rocket is bound to leave a few burns on the blaster themself.

The groaning of the undead sound throughout all around now, with the woman's shrill laughter almost overpowering all of it; no further undead seem to make their way to the fountain at this time, however.

Crossroads turned to deal with the other zombie, only to see Crazed blow it up with a rocket launcher. She steps aside, avoiding a large piece of burning decaying flesh as it falls from the sky. " You mean normal people can harm them?" This was something of a relief, but it also confused her.

Crazed is blackened, burned, and generally imparied by the smoke. He slowly gets up, looking a bit dazed.. And then throws his hands up in the air while screaming " THAT WAS SO FREAKING AWESOME!" He then drops his launcher, and gasps for air. " But not.. Condusive to my health. I guess it's punches and shields only.."

Tyrranis shakes his head, and spends a moment to break his fallen zombie's jaw with the bat in his hand. "I wonder if these are traditional or magical zombies? Infection might prove interesting."

After several moments of the haunting noises, the female laughter stops. Abruptly.

That creature that had given Crossroads her powers had mentioned that normal people couldn't fight a witch. And she had seen first hand what happened when one had tried. She simply stared blankly at Crazed as he brought himself to his feet. The soul gem was reacting, but if that cat thing was telling the truth, this couldn't be a witch.

Crossroads says ' I think I'll pass.'

From the southern avenue, a hooded figure comes almost sauntering towards the fountain. Their features are hidden well beneath the hood, and it stops a good several feet away from the group, basking in the howls of the surrounding, and as yet unadvancing, undead.

Behind this person stagger in three freshly-risen corpses; they fall into a jagged line behind the figure, dirt still falling from their shoulders as they grown dismally.

Crazed waves at the crazy hooded person, and picks up his launcher, carefully returning it to it's slot on his back "Hiya! You own that horde of the undead there? I think Truce has some sort of law against bringing one of those into town. You might get slammed with a service slip."

Crossroads aims her gun at the hooded figure. Since the zombies seem to be following them it seemed safe to assume that they were under their control. She had a dozen questions for it. 'who are you?' and 'What are you?' being top of her list.

Instead of asking these however, the first thing out of Crossroads mouth was "Explain yourself!"

Tyrranis looks up and back from the fallen zombie, and turns around to face the woman as well. "I thought Crysta would be the first to fall. Are you just bored or something?"

The figure just looks at the small group for a moment, before reaching up and pulling back their hood; the young face of a girl is revealed, possibly not more than 12 or so years old, with bright blue hair falling to about shoulder-length. She smiles openly at them, saying nothing.

She does, however, raise a hand in the group's generaly direction, and her hand slowly forms into a pointing finger; as soon as it points, all three zombies stumble-charge the group!

Crazed scratches his head in confusion. "Aw hell. We're fighting a kid? thass not cool.. Or maybe it's not a kid?" He jumps as the zombies charge!!.. And then walks forward, and slams his shield into the face of the nearest one.

As if on cue, zombies begin pouring into the center of Truce from all avenues! North, west, south behind the woman, even from the docks to the east! Decayed fiends of all shapes and sizes charge the area!

Crazed says 'Hey mates? Should I use my launcher now?'

It seemed very clear to Crossroads that the girl was in control of the zombies. Since she already had her gun trained on the girl, she fired one shot before directing her attention to finding higher ground or at least a safer spot.

Tyrranis raises an eyebrow at the young girl, turns around, and roars at the zombies at the west gate, wading towards them flailing his bat, his fist, and head all as weapons.

Given that they're, y'know, ZOMBIES, it doesn't take much to bring them down; Craze's target falls backward from the force of the blow, and Tyrranis carves a path of extra death through the pack of zombies parading in from the west.

Crossroads' shot glances off the side of the girl's head, and would've taken a bit of her face off if not for a tilt of the girl's own head; instead, a small lock of her blue hair is blasted free, floating to the ground nearby. Her expression remains joyous, not speaking despite apparent enjoyment of the mayhem she's causing.

The zombies only seem to have one actual surge to them, as it were; Tyrranis could see the end of the zombie colony as he pushes through them, and what immediately comes barging into the Fountain area seems to be all that is actually here, without more waiting in the wings.

Crossroads fires at any that come within range. When her bullets run out, she bites her lip. Not wanting to waste time on reloading she quickly casts a summoning spell for the first thing that popped into her head. A legion of tiny toy soldiers emerge from the ground ready to attack.

Crazed facepalms with his free hand, then nabs his launcher and, after moving backwards and away from the zombies, FIRES AT WILL so long as it's not near Tyr or Cross.

Tyrranis continues to roar, taking the opportunity to pick up and slam the zombies into eachother, stomp fallen enemies, and when the dead DO claw and grapple him, he rectifies this by applying his bat to their arms and hands.

The zombies doesn't seem to have much in the way of effectiveness against the group; between Tyrranis' fervor and Crazed's weaponry, the undead are felled one after another into lifeless bodies or lifeless body parts.

A few that advance on Cross stop short, with apparent primal amusement at the toy soldiers, and some of them fall to their knees, attempting to scoop them up and feast on them like little hors d'ouvres. All the while, the girl stands there, hair blowing occasionally as a gust of wind whips through the carnage.

Crazed stops short, staring at the girl for a second or two. And then he shoulders his launcher, screams "GERONIMOOOO" and hits said girl with a full on tackle.

The girl twists suddenly, her robe flowing gracefully about her form as she grabs at Crazed's arms as he is about to tackle, and uses his momentum to throw him up and over her small frame with ease of strength, towards one of the nearby buildings!

Crossroads orders the toy soldiers to attack before they are all demolished by the zombies. They begin stabbing at them with their tiny spears. Crossroads uses the distraction they are causing to quickly reload her gun, and try to take out a few more nearby undead.

Tyrranis begins wading back, dragging one of the zombies behind him and smashing his bat into the few in the west wing still unlucky enough to be alive. Taking a quick glimpse of the scene, Tyrranis grins widely.

Tyrranis steps up onto the west facing bench, twirls once to gain momentum, and flings the zombie at the girl! "Boy. Trade enemies."

Crazed goes flying, and yells "Fine!" to Tyr before slamming hard into one of the buildings. He tumbles down the side of it, landing on his back with a gasp. He manages to wheeze "she would probably redirect a rocket into my crotch or something, come to think of it.."

The girl reaches up and catches the incoming zombie missile by the -throat-, holding tight in her small grasp; the zombie (assuming to still be alive?) gurgles before disintegrating in the blink of an eye, its dust fanning out into a cloud as it falls from her lowering hand.

As the zombies' numbers begin to wane, some of the last few falling from the attacks by Crossroads and her soldiers, the woman's smile fades, and her demeanors gains one of a more serious nature; the wind picks up somewhat, swirling her robe and hair all about.

Crossroads breaths a quick sigh of relief as the last of the zombies went down. Then she directed her attention back to the girl, aiming her gun at her again. "Well, are you going to explain yourself, or should I just shoot you."

Tyrranis begins singlemindedly walking towards the girl, attacking enemies along the way. "Damned mages," he pauses to slam his bat into a skull "Summoning up hordes" breaks a zombie's kneecap inwards with a kick "Of zombies that will probably get back up" rips a lower jaw off "Until we kill you. And of course we're supposed to feel bad about that aren't we?" He raises up his bat and swings it in a vertical chop against the girl. "WRONG."

Crazed stands up slowly, holding his head and his gut. " I'ma feel that in the morning, that's for sure. Why is this harder than fighting a Dragon?..." He shakes his head and looks around, and then heads over to cross, still a little woozy. "Hey miss. I'm not gonna be good to fight for a little. ... Do you have any idea what the hell is going on?" This is, obiously, directed at Cross.

As Tyr starts to get close, she waves a finger warningly, speaking for the first time in an appropriate 12-year-old's vocal range. "Ah ah ah..." She moves her warning hand swiftly, striking against the incoming bat to deflect the strike; a magical spark ignites at the area of impact, flickering away after.

"I wouldn't do that if I were you. Unless you really, honestly, and -truthfully- don't want this too badly, after all..." She flicks her wrist, the same hand used to deflect now holding a familiar looking black gem, which glows softly in tandem with Cross and Tyr's soul gem's pulses.

Crossroads glances at Crazed, "Not entirely sure. She isn't like the other witch I fought." Her eyes fall upon the black gem, " And what is going to stop me from taking that if I do?"

Tyrranis is in no mood for questions and vague answers. For the first time, dark grey magic flows from his gem and down his arm, weaving in and around the bat in his hand and pierces it. Hefting the now magically nailed bat, Tyrranis growls and begins raining blows upon the girl, magical hand waving or not.

Crazed stares at the crystal for a second, then at Tyrs bat, and looks very confused. ... His confusion is interrupted by a sudden SKITTY ATTACK, in which his skitty pounces on his head and nuzzles him happily. "Oh hey Gel, you're back. Good." He gives the Skitty a few absent pets while looking around to see if there are any other zombies left.

It seems as though the zombie threat has indeed been removed; what few are left seem not inclined to get up off the ground after Tyrranis' brutality. And speaking of brutality...

The girl makes no attempt to avoid or deflect the incoming blows from Tyrranis; as soon as she is hit by the first strike, the power behind it gashes across her face and sends her reeling to the ground, robes and all. In that moment, however, the girl's threat rings true; the dark gem is knocked from her grasp, and as soon as it leaves her skin, it crumbles into dust.

The girl rolls away swiftly to avoid further blows, quickly getting to her feet as blood streams down her face; she is smiling, however. Very sadistically.

Crazed throws his hands up in exasperation, and then curls up and goes to sleep on the ground. ... Narcoleptic?

Crossroads takes a few steps forward as soon as the gem leaves the little girl's hand but realizes that she is too far and too late. She curses as it shatters upon the ground. She remembered asking the creature what would happen if the gems were not clensed. Its reply was that she didn't want to know.

So it was safe to say that she was a little irritated that the giant brute had decided to go about his merry waling way after such a delicate object had been presented. Though Crossroads could probably still find one from another witch, the prize from this battle was still lost.

Tyrranis glares at the girl with an equally nasty smile. "Tell me, tell me, little witch. What do we know that you don't? The gems are your cores. If it shattered like that you would be gone. So either it was another witch's core, or a fake. Either way. I'm still going to kill you." He leans down close to the ground and roars a battlecry once more.

The girl still smiles; the wound on her face seems to quickly repair itself, the blood from it drying up and quickly flaking off the side of her head. "Oh, so you do understand. Part of it, at least! But you see, knowing two out of three doesn't help your case. Let me put it in another way." She gestures, unperturbed by Tyrranis' battlecry.

"You think me a fool, lacking knowledge in how you of the soulless work. Don't you even want to know HOW I know what it is that gives you the trigger for your proverbial guns? Or should you also assume I don't know what will happen if you don't find anymore of these coveted "Witches"? Like, say... someone else is beating you to them, perhaps...?" Her smile only grows as she speaks. "I'd put the bat down and listen if I were you. Already messed up once."

The girl was offering information she didn't have so hearing her out was rather tempting. " If you were just trying to give us this information you have an odd way of going about it." Crossroads glares at the girl, "You had to have something to gain from trying to attack us. But your attack failed. So now you are simply changing tactics trying to negotiate to get what you want. Am I correct?"

Tyrranis looks like he's about to step in to attack the girl, and then he shakes his head. Uncrouching, he looks back to Crossroads. "Simply talking to her will not help. She is the same as the last hooded woman, come to cry for attention. This one though serves a bit more of a purpose. She is attempting to bribe us to join her cause, help find the gem shards presumably so she might fuse them all together. The seeds are the only barganing chip she can find, so she holds the knowledge over our head." Tyrranis looks back to the girl again, and rolls his shoulders. "Frankly it's a weak gesture. If you killed the witches we seek then they were not a good fight. Have your weak seeds. It makes no difference to me. Nor do your plans."

The girl nods in acceptance of Tyrranis' presumption, but her smiles fades somewhat at Crossroads' query. "A warning. Your friend here didn't take me seriously last time, I fear. I felt a reminder was in order. But no, I require no bargaining chips, and least of all aid from those without their own wills. I just would think it... interesting..." She pauses, looking toward Crossroads fiendishly.

"...What a sad series of events it would make, having the Oracle's young son be the one to put an end to you once you've turned. Oh, the irony! And he's so taken a liking to you, too. T'would break his heart, I wager." She looks between them. "I continue my search, but as I said, a warning, nothing more, this was."

"Intercept me or my plans in the future at your own risk. I seek the old world, and I will not tolerate delays. If it means choking the life out of would-be heroes such as yourselves, then I will do so at the source. You have been warned." She turns, and begins to leave via the south exit.

Not funny. " Yes, I imagine that would be a sad thing to happen." Crossroads didn't want the woman to know that her words had any effect on her. " Still just imagination though. Do you have any idea what I wished for?"

Tyrranis scoffs and shakes his head. "Of course not. No one knows what we wished for, least of all those who are not in the loop. A warning however. Currently she is attempting to make you call up the last reserves of your self worth and throw them aside so you can fawn at her feet for the blessing of knowledge. Such a thing is foolish to fall for."

"I don't need to know what you wished for. The fact of the matter is that if your proverbial soul food source is cut off, what will happen? I'm inclined to find out, myself. But as I said, I am not keen on delays. For now, consider yourselves lucky. I won't send minions to do my bidding if we cross paths again." With her threat in the air, she would make her exit, as planned.

Tyrranis just flat out laughs at the woman, kicks a corpse off one of the benches, and sits down on it, dismissing the soul-state he was in. "Just another fight down the road."

" Lets just hope it is not an ill timed one when it happens." Not that Crossroads thought Tyrannis cared about the timing. But she certainly did. And she could convince herself to some degree that the girls threat wouldn't come to pass. Afterall she had wished to see the future. And if the future didnt hold those things there wouldn't be reason to worry, right?