no_longer_a_king: (Just so tired)
Counter Guardian Arturia @ Tower of Animus ([personal profile] no_longer_a_king) wrote in [community profile] towerofanimus2013-03-26 10:58 pm

ITP: Crystal caverns

Characters: [AU5] Arturia and open!
Setting: Floors 99, 80, 50, and 13 after the seasons event.
Format: Prose
Summary: Arturia starts looking for people from the elevator dive to help make a map, works for the day, is made a human sacrifice, and other various and sundry things.
Warnings: Prompt D involves ritual sacrifice and character death. Please pick it only if you're okay with that sort of content.

[A: Various; possibly going into Floor 77; Sauna]
Ever since the idea came to her, Arturia had been planning. She'd intended to do so much sooner, but then the plan had to be put on hold when the weather became strange. The time when the weather kept flipping through extremes had been a time to keep the map she and Diarmuid had made from falling apart. They'd still had to repair some parts of it, but at least they'd managed to save it.

But now? Now was a time to set her previous plan into motion. She knew the Administrators were watching and they would likely figure out the pattern to the people she was speaking with, but that would not stop her. Arturia had to try something, lest they wind up completely blind when Zelda and the others inevitably went back down below to obtain Dax's information.

So she asked around, searched. She recognized most of the faces of the others who had been in the elevator, but there had been so many people it was hard to remember them all. A few stuck out in her mind--especially Feferi--but the rest she had to search for. She knew she would make mistakes, but that was easy to rectify. It was hard for Arturia to become embarrassed when she had a specific reason to ask these people to a place like the sauna one on on.

"Excuse me," she said, leaning close to the person she'd just found and attempting to keep her voice low, "Would you accompany me to the sauna? There's an issue I'd like to discuss about last month."

[OOC: Since she's trying to find out through the grapevine, your character doesn't necessarily have to have been someone who went into the elevator for this prompt. It's fairly easy to make mistakes or be told the wrong information, after all.]

[B: Floor 99; Crystal Cave]
And then she preferred her moments of quiet. The cavern reminded her of some of the things Merlin showed her during her childhood and she sometimes found herself spending time here when she wanted to be alone. It was a quiet place and rather beautiful, even if looking too hard gave her a mild headache. Sometimes she even splashed the puddles just to hear the echo in the caverns.

And then there were times she just ran into people who got lost in the caverns, as the person she just ran into might have.

"Oh, hello. Are you having trouble finding your way?"

[C: Floor 80; Circus]
Whoever thought walking a tightrope suited her was out of their mind. She could do it, but with how often the ringleader would comment about her being 'beauteous' and 'graceful' and other such things, Arturia had half a mind to drive Caliburn through him. The only reason she even came was because she gave her word and she had half a mind to see if the Administrators would listen when she requested her job assignment to be changed.

Once again came the call for her to walk the tightrope, the spotlight one Arturia in her white dress holding the ridiculous lacy parasol they made her carry for no practical purpose she could think of. Certainly not for balance. The walk across the rope was only a hundred feet and while she did have to mind her balance Arturia was not human. This sort of thing was easy for one such as her to do.

And so it was with a bored expression she crossed the rope despite the ring leader's attempt to make it sound more dangerous than it was. Her expression was bored and if there was anyone at all in the audience they might comment upon how boring the tightrope walker was.

Once her part of the show was done she climbed down from the platform she'd been on and headed for the exit. Hopefully no one would require her assistance before she reached the door and she could, once again, forget she had even been assigned a job here.

[D: Floor 50; Ritual Sacrifice]
Normally when she passed through this floor nothing came of it. It was another floor, oddly decorated and not dangerous at all. It was one of the floors Arturia would use for training. There was nothing here but marble and windows. Nothing more.

Except something was different today. Very different. The marble had not changed, no, and as Arturia wandered toward the center to go through the motions of training with Caliburn she swore she heard chanting of some kind. A look over her shoulder told her there was no one there even if her instincts were screaming of the danger here.

Instincts that proved correct the moment she looked forward again. There were ghosts of two hooded figures before her and before she could even move they had clamped their hands onto her arms into a icy vice-like grip and began to drag her toward the center of the room.

"Get your hands off of me!" she roared, wrenching her arm free from one and turning to punch the other. Except her hand went right through the hooded figure. Before she could even blink it had grabbed her arm again, twisting it painfully behind her even though she continued to struggle. Whatever these things had in store for her, she knew it would not be good. Especially if it was ghosts. If there was one thing Arturia loathed more in this tower beyond the Administrators it was definitely the ghosts.

[E: Floor 13; Cathedral]
Arturia did not like churches very much.

Not that there was anything wrong with a church in and of itself, just that churches brought up too many memories for her. It'd been in a church where she'd found Shirou, then confronted by Kotomine who had been the man his father had feared the most. Then had come the offer he had made as the Overseer for the Holy Grail War. An offer she had been unable to refuse thanks to one single errant thought keeping her from staying her hand.

Arturia balled her hands into fists as she stood at the end of the aisle, trying to will the memory away. She justified coming here and only standing in the back every few days as trying to make the memory less painful. If she relived it enough then maybe, just maybe, the pain in her heart would numb just a bit, especially now that Shirou was here. Alive and well and she found herself unable to tell him of what she'd done.

If she was to protect him, she needed to be strong. She needed to be able to look at him without seeing his corpse in his place. To do that she needed to make sure those memories didn't get in the way. That boy was most certainly not the boy she had betrayed and she refused to do the same thing again. Now if only, despite everything, it would stay in the past.
proteusmoon: (♕ ιт'ѕ ιn тнe aвc oғ growιng υp)

D ; Floor 50

[personal profile] proteusmoon 2013-03-31 04:56 am (UTC)(link)
Since Lancer had told her two of the floors most frequented by monsters, Cecil herself had been looking for the others for her own training purposes. In Baron, her homeland, cutting practice had been done without the use of live targets and friendly sparring matches with other soldiers and knights traditionally, but in the last few years, with the then bizarre and inexplicable resurgence of monsters in the region, most had taken to fighting goblins and the like just outside the outskirts of town and Castle Baron. Even for the Red Wings, this was not an uncommon practice and Cecil had become accustomed to training on an actual enemy.

She was using the stairs on her way down to some of the lower levels of the tower when she heard furious screaming that caught her attention and, if she were honest, frightened her. Quickly drawing the Mythgraven Blade, Cecil hurried down the few steps she had yet to descend before reaching the fiftieth floor and rushed inside. What she found wasn't something she had seen before, but she cast her surprise aside in favor of springing into action to help the other woman.

"Let her go!"
proteusmoon: (⚔ тнe cold ѕweaт oғ gυιlт)

[personal profile] proteusmoon 2013-04-02 11:58 pm (UTC)(link)
Truthfully, Cecil did not know if she could. The properties of the Mythgraven Blade itself were such that the holy powers it was imbued with were capable of dealing devastating damage to any undead— ghosts included. Even so, however, this was no guarantee that she could successfully deter the dark spirits here from harming the other woman, as even an attribute of Cecil's white magic behaved differently inside the Tower from how it had back home.

But she must try. When the blonde caught her eye and wrestled the ghosts closer, Cecil charged. She prayed she could cut them down. The paladin swung her sword upwards, slicing clean through one ghost, then brought it down in an arc without hesitation on the other.
proteusmoon: (♕ ι ĸnow yoυ тнιnĸ)

No, no, you're fine! I willingly signed up for the Bad End.

[personal profile] proteusmoon 2013-04-04 02:49 am (UTC)(link)
Cecil realized their intentions for the other woman at the same moment the victim herself did. The white knight saw her own mortified revelation reflected in her green eyes a moment before it was replaced with furious resolve. When she looked at her and demanded the impossible from her, Cecil recognized the strength and dominance in that tone. This wasn't the desperate plea of a madwoman— no, this was the command of one who had once been accustomed to being obeyed, possibly recently. Cecil couldn't say for sure, but she got the distinct impression that the other woman had either been in the Tower for a very, very long time or she was a soldier of some sort— someone like Cecil. A knight? Everything about her attitude said firmly that she knew exactly what she was demanding of Cecil.

"I... I can't!" The paladin attacked again, but the other woman was not saved by this assault either. Cecil began to feel her gut churn and horror gripped her. Kill an innocent woman? No, no... Do not ask this of me.

Cecil wanted to beg her, but she couldn't bring herself to. She began to understand that the other woman was right. Wasn't that her sword there as proof of it? The weapon was no mere trifle; that was a knight's sword. She was a warrior and she deserved an honorable death.

But it didn't feel like anything about this was honorable. That didn't change for Cecil when she threw herself forward to dispatch of the ghosts currently holding the other woman knight and she thrust her sword into her gut. The paladin met her eyes and felt her jaw tremble.
proteusmoon: (⚔ jυѕт тo ѕee ιғ тнere'ѕ мore)

(~;w;)~

[personal profile] proteusmoon 2013-04-06 10:13 am (UTC)(link)
The hand on hers and the expression of gratitude did little to comfort Cecil, but she appreciated at least that the other woman understood how difficult it had been for her to do this, even if she'd known it was more merciful than allowing her to fall prey to the ghosts. Still, the paladin's hands shook once she withdrew the Mythgraven Blade from its sheath of human flesh and insides. She was no longer in the Tower, but in Mysidia, on that morning when her dark blade had slashed through innocents so that she could take what was theirs for her corrupt queen. Then she was in Mist, after she and Kain had slain the Mist Dragon and unwittingly brought fiery ruin to the quiet summoners' village as was ordered of them by that same monarch.

They were all her sins culminated in one chaotic flash of memories. Cecil fell too to her knees and stayed by the other woman's side while she bled out, holding her hand as though it would do any good to ease the pain or hasten the falling shade of death. She did not move until the light left her eyes and Cecil knew she saw no more.

When the ghosts reappeared, her first thought was that they wanted the blonde woman's body and Cecil took up her sword again to protect it. She would not let them disgrace her. The spirits took that as a clear sign that she would not surrender and suddenly their translucent hands were all over her, pulling her to the alter, and Cecil realized that she'd been wrong. She fought them as best as she could, but much like before, she could only defeat one to have two more take the fallen's place.
proteusmoon: (♕ ιт'ѕ мore тнan jυѕт вad lυcĸ)

Definitely up for a timeskip!

[personal profile] proteusmoon 2013-04-10 05:38 am (UTC)(link)
Cecil had awakened in her dorm a full day later. She certain she would never truly become accustomed to the sleep paralysis. As usual, she'd sat up quickly and rubbed her hands over her face once she'd had control of her body again, feeling shaken from the surreal experience of being conscious, yet unable to move at all. While she'd gathered her bearings, her last memories before this death came back to her and she felt sick again, frightened, disturbed.

The feelings stayed with the paladin while she tried to find the other woman she had died with. Although she did not know her personally, she felt she had to apologize for what had happened and see to it that she was indeed well after her death. Cecil had heard before of strange side-effects sometimes for individuals who died in the Tower and Cecil felt responsible for her.

She wasn't having much luck though. Apparently, the description of the blonde woman knight was too general for Cecil to narrow down her search for her. Near giving up, the half-Lunarian wandered to one of her usual haunts, the ninety-ninth floor, hoping to clear her mind and allow herself a peaceful sleep tonight at least.