Again into the Dark Pt1

February 12, 2018:

Lara and Ripclaw venture into another reality to push back against a growing darkness.


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

The Curator's Shop as always is cluttered, stuffy with incense and a loud television runs in the backroom, blaring noise from a direction that is unnecessary.

Robert is here today at least, not just the aged man and his bad TV junkie humor, the Native is wearing a black tee shirt, faded jeans and pointed brown cowboy boots not those ugly new flat nosed ones that have become popular, sensible at least.

"The Deadzone?" Ripclaw asks, a chill coursing him, the two have been talking, she will over hear them on entry, with the door chimes they both look over. Its nicer out with the storms gone, frost and ice beats piles of snow.

The Curator bent and shuffling moves easily around in his sandals, navigating the mess, "Yes, you seen traces of it, it's trying to return. That place, the dark thing, studying it I have learned what may be there, we are not yet prepared."

Lara's jeep pulls up outside of the Curio Shop and she exits the vehicle a few seconds later. She's pulling her leather jacket on over her shoulders and the grey hoodie she has on beneath that is zipped up a little higher on the green tanktop worn under THAT.

Lara stuffs her car keys into her olive drab cargo pants and she walks up toward tahe shop to open the door and announce herself with the chimes. Once inside her hand comes up to remove sunglasses from over her eyes and she lets her hazel pupils scan over the interior of the store. She spies the two of them, shows them a faint smile and then turns to close the door, not wanting to interrupt their conversation if they were talking about ultra-important things.

With door shut, Lara moves in deeper into the store and exhales softly. "Wait, you mean the dream realm we visited?" She had to ask then, taking an asumption about what was being conversed.

"Yes, we were at it's borderlans." Ripclaw confirms, "The outskirts of a central… entity."

"It is strong, both in our world and those beyond, anchored through all, the relic it may have could be in Spirit or Flesh." Curator adds, "Having surmised this… "

"We have to conduct an expedition in to both, it is too dangerous to go under so very close." Robert says.

"Yes, which is why you use the Dragon's Blood Pool." The aged man says.

"Also hello, Lara. Good to see you again." The white mutant says politely. "We'll need firepower, magical and real to go for the Flesh, the Spirit… we have been, if the Pool can allow us to project further than I will do it. I can do it alone."

The Curator sucks on his teeth, "You should not. Never alone. I can watch over your body but you need someone else with you, never should we seek these artifacts alone."

Lara looks from one of their faces to the other, several things about what they're speaking of intrigue her… but where does one jump in on a conversation like this?

"Dragon's Blood Pool?" She chooses, showing a confused look at that. "What precisely is that?" She has to ask, who wouldn't?!

To Robert she regarded then with a casual stare. "I'm more than up for volunteering to go with you, but I'm not sure how we bring physical weapons from here… to there… You saw what I was wearing the last time we went there, that was… anything -but- helpful to what we were doing."

Then to the curator. "Can physical weapons even harm an entity of this nature? These are the kinds of questions I've been wanting answers for… Krampus, for example, seemed to be less than harmed when I shoved a knife into his arm."

Wait, what? Lara fought Krampus? She hadn't told anyone that!

The Curator is rubbing his wrinkled knuckles together, one over the other as he stares, obvious concentration in his thoughts, "The Dragon's Blood Pool is an open vein, a ley line liquified, there is a reason this shop is here, I built it upon it. A direct 'riverway', it bleeds through the system of the multiverse. Raw mystical fluid, not just ethereal, it posesses substance."

"We won't be bringing weapons with us, when I say the Flesh I mean our world, this dimension, the Spirit, that is where we were before, experienced seekers and dreamers can manifest weapons within but so can demons, angels and all other foul monsters.

"Enough prattle, Robert you are going, Lara, you are more than up for this? Are you certain?" He is already facing away r from them, slowly he begins unlocking the door to the stairwell down.

The basement consists of very little until one looks at the of the room, positioned perfectly there the gound not cement but rock, dirt, actual Earthy grit. The pool, blue lava lamp like fluid swirls within, glows brilliantly . Encircling this pool is a Chinese style dragon, it's tail long and curled protectively,

"Physical weapnos generally do not harm entities from the other realms.

Lara listens carefully and she watches the Curator as he begins to lead them toward the basement? "Well that makes perfect sense, considering most of my defensive capabilities are rooted in the physical weapons that I possess." She sarcastically comments before glancing out toward her jeep which was filled with physical weapons right now, bags of them infact.

"Of course I'm up for it." She replies to the question of such and moves to follow after either of them. Once in the basement she's slowly walking around the perimeter of the pool and eyeing it closely.

"That was a very literal translation of dragon blood pool." She has to comment, her British flavored voice soft and calm. She looks back up then. "If nothing else, at least I kept my wits about me in the spirit realm. I always… have -that- to fall back on, right?"

"Wits and will." Robert says calmly across the pool from Lara, he is undressing, that black t-shirt being pulled over his head.

The Curator walks forwad with a linen gown extending it to Lara and then another to Ripclaw.

"I will protect your physical forms, do not stay in the Dragon's Blood for too long. It has been known to… consume the unwary or thoughtless."

"I have seen one other of these before, I am prepared." Red eyes shift up, level upon Lara, "Do you remember the things I told you last time? Hold on to such thoughts, we remain close."
The man starts to hop on one foot, peeling his jeans off.

"Also I have the ability should you encounter danger to withdraw you, it should be as simple as removing you from the pool before you expire."

Lara's hands reached out softly for the linen gown that the Curator was offering her and she watched to see Robert changing into one for himself. "Right." She says softly. The Tomb Raider wasn't necessarily shy about changing in front of others, but seemed a bit odd to do it in front of these two here. So she finds a place she and get a modest amount of privacy behind and she does the clothing change herself.

Once she's finished, she re-emerges in the gown and sets her clothing down in neatly folded stacks on a table surface. She walks over toward the pool of water and stares down into it, the gowned-version of her reflection looking back up at her.

"This will be… an experience." Croft quietly says before she'll start to step into the pool as she believes she's meant to. She looks up to Robert though to make sure he's coming too, cause you know… she doesn't want to look stupid!

The gown is a simple thing, white, embroidered with ruins along the hem and around the neck, the arms are bare and slits run up the sides. Robert at least turned around the other direction, the Curator himself looking busy with a sigil on the flooring, manners, polite enough out of both of them at least, not a one of them looking up until she is entirely finished.

"Near same as last time, near." Ripclaw says, trying to ease any discomfort. When Lara begins to descend he does as well, opposite of her putting a foot in and then easing down in, it is thicker in substance than water, filmy, not hot, nor cold, just body warmth temperatue, the gown's embroidary lights up gold, not blue once they are immersed, it feels as though there is no bottom, only the edges of the pool.

The Curator walks over, picking up their garments, moving them back and away from the immediate area around the Dragon's Blood, then he nods to them, "Simply dunk yourselves, close eyes and the rest is upon me, you will be in the /Otherside/."

"A diamond of will at the core, form in to it and stuff everything that is you inside, focus upon that… " Words cut off and the mutant disappears under the blue glowing surface.

At least she wasn't wearing this in front of a large crowd of people, right? But still, she felt self conscious in the garment. But that was neither here nor there… she had a job to do and an 'adventure' to go on. Lara's expression showed a bit of discomfort at the texture of the pool's 'water' but she was a trooper so she pressed onward and came to sink herself down into its contents.

Once submersed up to her shoulders she started to exercise her breath, pulls being taken in between her lips and softly released before she'd make eye contact with Robert. She'd descend with him and hopefully suberge their heads beneath the water's level together.

The curator's words were noted, she'd do her best to follow those guidelines… and once she was beneath the water's level her brown hair flowted up around her head and her eyes could be visibly seen clamped shut with dark lashes clenched together and her lips firmly closed to keep the 'Dragon's Blood' out of her mouth.

The Dragon's Blood once beneath the surface goes from a dim blue, a brighter until absolute white. Much like the stories of when someone witnesses their death or the Afterlife. Then, the sensation of floating overcomes, floating upwards, straight up, all around them white water then darkness, pitch black, up is no longer happening, now they float in a nothingness, blue to white to now ink black water, The Void. It's daunting, panick inspiring and suddenly water rushes down, a torrent and Lara will find herself lying on her belly, upon a large flat rock that is stacked upon another larger, then a small, teetering over a ledge, below is a ravine, more of this rocks dotting the landscape, around it there are houses like a city street forming sideways, defying gravity as they form down the walls of the massive crevice, disappearing in to its depths.
Something sails overhead, a manta ray? Yes, or similar. It's 'shadow' falls over Lara, inside of that shadow she can see faces in greys, blacks and darkened purples opening and closing their mouths, like theyre screaming. Wailing.

"Lara?" Ripclaw's voice, the man's once more towering bearheaded pseudo-human, nearing eight feet tall, covered in glowing veins, long claws for fingers an nothing else. "In one piece?" There is a new thing this time, hovering in the air is golden embroidary, runic sigils around neck and thighs, where the robe outside had fallen upon them.

The sky? It is pink, blue, purples, reds, stretched out in all directions as if just thrown that way by a painter. The far distance, that black mass of tendrils, reaching up, darkening the sky and the landscape around it.

To say that it is a surreal experience to transfer between realms / realities is a very massive understatement. But at least 'entering' seems to be less disturbing than 'exiting' … at least as Lara has discovered thus far.

Once inside, and on her stomach, Lara's body rolls over in time to see those faces set into the dark shape that floats over her. She draws in a shocked breath and then sits up as Ripclaw's voice speaks out to her. "I'm okay." She says, moving to stand up…

Lara is NOT in the Egyptian royalty clothing this time, no… she's in something quite different. Byzantine plate armor, with chainmail skirt and wolf pelt accents, leather pants and leather boots. She's dressed like a Knight!

As she stands she looks down at herself, and then up at him. "Oh god. My other childhood obsession…" She says to the Bear.

The bear-man looms over Lara, a clawtip crackling with electricity taps the armor, a golden sigil lights up off of it. "You formed functional armor in the Beyond. That exceeds a novice feat." He sounds impressed, proud and bemused. There is a tip up of the maw, sharp teeth show, "We need to cross the ravine, through that burrough and try to find a pathway to the heart of the Black Blight. This may be beyond us but at the very least we are here to find that opening, then, we will probably require aid of others… "

Crouching down upon that hanging rock he suddenly throws himself over the side and his claws scrape in a drag that gouges rails in until he stops, one arm over the rest of him dangling there, "Climb on. I will at least get us down to the flooring, then we figure a way across the gap."

The gap. It looks like the grand canyon from here. A fissure in the earth with various types of structures forming out of it, miles in both directions, walking either way would take… a very long time. They were warned about the Dragon Pool consuming them if in too long, which means, they are somewhat timed.

Lara's eyes fall down to the claw that reaches out to touch the symbol on her armored breastplate. She then looks back up at him after he says those words and she smiles. "My mentors always said I was a fast learner… I guess I was better mentally prepared for entering this reality this time." She comments to him before she turns when he turns and together they walk to the edge of the drop.

She watches him as he prepares and when he tells her to climb on she moves to do so. "Lets hope I don't need to find out how effective this kind of armor actually is though, right?" She asks him as she ascends and straddles a leg over his big bear back. She remembered the last time she'd used him as some kind of 'epic mount' and she was better prepared for that now too.

Her eyes scan the distance ahead of them. "Its a shame we can't… manifest a couple of hang gliders though." And she exhales softly then, a hand going up to brush strands of dark hair out of her eyes.

"Funny, I was often told the opposite by my mentors." The grins if that is what its to be called, it looks a lot like terrifying grimace or like hes about to chew on some poor rabbit. Once she is fully locked about him he starts to just drop, arms rippling with muscle as claws scrape, hook and latch, brachiating down like some Gorilla until they're hitting the largest flat lower rock, a 'wuff' sound escaping Ripclaw at the final drop.

"If that were so easy, were I a better mystic I could manifest such things my nature limits me. Despite how much I seek to be open minded, I am self-aware in a way that…. adds constraints. Most of us are. Very few can break those barriers and become truly mutable, generally those types are absolutely in-fucking-sane." The Native explains, "A lot of old medicine men used to embrace duality to access this, gender bending and bisexuality, it unlocks additional… facets of the mind, womans medicine to man's."
"That is more devoted than I am, of course. I'm once again, far more constrained."

The bear shifter strides to the lip of the rock while talking and hops down, landing on the red and brown sands that lead towards the ravine 'city'.

"This… is a large collection of dreamers and travelers. A very tight nesting or spiritual cluster. Amazing."

When he starts to descend, she leans forward and down to press her armored torso against the fur of his bear-back. Her hands reach into said fur and she claps onto him tightly there to keep herself steadied as he descends and she just… holds on!

Once he reaches the stoppoing point, and foofs out that huff, she looks up again and can't help but gently laugh at his words. "So you're not a free-spirited hippie who slips with man or woman, and wears his bathrobe to the store to get his groceries?" She teases him. "I'll remember that. But sadly, at least in this scenario, I wouldn't have minded if you had been, if it meant we would be granted unusually unfair advantages to better traverse this terrain."

Lara's eyes look up over the Bear's head to take in their new surroundings from this alternate vantage point. "How much time do you think we have to work with?" She asks then and there.

<Part Two coming soon>

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License