In a cataclysm known as the Nightfall, the worlds were almost completely destroyed by a harrowing surge of darkness.
In the shadows of the ensuing chaos a new group has taken shape. Led by an Aegyl named Kalos, the 11th Hour touts an esoteric knowledge of how to combat the darkness and restore the worlds. They might be the worlds’ best chance at survival; but nobody really knows enough about them to confirm or deny their claims.
On the brink of collapse, the universe holds its breath in anticipation. Of restoration? Of destruction? It is up to individuals like yourself to decide.
A special thank you to ChasingArtwork of Deviantart, who allowed us to use this stellar banner image.
There aren't enough praises in the world I'd like to give to wonderful coders for the Proboards community. The following have contributed to World Destiny in some way: W3 Schools for countless how-tos and countless of other souls who have helped get WD up to where it is.
Riku’s eyes narrowed as a familiar figure appeared before them within one of the portals, praising Aqua for arriving here to look for Ven. He then turned to Riku, congratulating him on his mastery exams, but then taunting him about how Sora couldn’t be found here, and Riku’s eyes narrowed. Young Xehanort addressed the rest of the party, informing them that finding Ven meant assisting the Organization in also adding another member to their ranks, someone who could summon unversed.
”Unversed...?” Riku glanced towards Aqua for some kind of explanation, to which Aqua mentioned something about a boy named Vanitas, exclaiming that there was no way he could be alive, and that he and Ven may have joined hearts. Perhaps Riku could find out more later, but it didn’t seem they had the time right now, just like he didn’t have time to fill Aqua about who Young Xehanort was, and about what the organization were up to.
As Young Xehanort announced that they would have a race to find Ven, he revealed that he wasn’t actually here at all, and him speaking to them had merely been an imprint he had left behind in order to waste their time while he got a head start. When he disappeared, Aqua led the way forward, through the portal and into the next room.
As everyone made their way passed the obstacles in the room, either being heartless or Xehanort’s time traps, Riku made sure to keep an eye on anyone who might need assistance on the way. They needed to hurry, but he wanted to make sure they didn’t get separated either. Knowing how Xehanort always planned ahead, wasting their time might not be the only trap he had in store for them; they had to stick together. Making sure Riku was behind the rest of the party, he slashed through some heartless with his keyblade, taking a more direct approach and steering clear of the time magic around the room.
((Health and Mana come later, we play this fast and loose and everyone's basically at max anyway. I'm going to bed. >_>))
As the rime that dusted the air fell and faded, Maxwell took off closely behind Aqua. Diving to the ground and throwing one shoulder over the next to narrowly avoid the touch of the low-sweeping sphere of time magic. As if sensing his opening, the Heartless swarmed after him. The Sergeants clambered along the ground towards the soldier, only to rear back from the arc of a wide slash that scuffed against one of their helmets. Max had righted himself in time to set up a proper defense, and quickly switched to an offensive against the group.Following after the one he'd already grazed, one powerful, rounding strike was all it too to cleave the top of the first Sergeant's head from the rest of its body and render it unable to continue. As its form broke down, Max channeled the remainder of his rotation into a thrust that pierced cleanly through the second Heartless.But in a fight of three against one, turning your back to an opponent for even a moment was asking for retaliation. Yellow claws raked down Max's flank, tearing through cloth and leather and leaving a shallow gash at the apex of their swing. The remaining Sergeant leapt back from his attack, convulsing and contorting as its head cocked to one side in a taunting manner. At the same time, two more of the undulating spheres of magic began to arc in loose paths about it. Further pursuit could potentially be dangerous.
Mikhail and Shaizen had both similarly picked up on Max's idea, as both dove beneath the reach of the first magical obstacle. Thankfully, none of the Heartless seemed to pay them mind as between Max and Aqua's paired assault against them was drawing most of their attention.
Fahe, however, had a different idea. With a flourish and flap of his wings, he took to the air, taking care to avoid the uneven terrain and as many of the obstacles as he could. Though keeping his eyes on his surroundings took most of his focus, as he dove beneath one of the orbs he was able to fire a volley of feathers from his back. Of the set, only about half would strike true against the one remaining Sergeant that Maxwell was facing. The others, intercepted in one of the orbs, froze in place. Oddly, though, it seemed that the act of capturing something inside itself was enough to bring the motion of the magical structure to a halt.
Of the group, Riku and Aqua both honed in on this realization. Perhaps if they could find more objects to stall the traps with, combat against the Heartless would become easier.
But they as a whole wouldn't have much time to strategize about that out loud. The one remaining Sergeant, noting his injuries, jumped once and dove into the ground. One second passed, and then two, and then out from the depths a scant dozen reinforcements leapt out from various places below the ground and broke into three groups.
The first, a cell of two, appeared next to Oswald who had spent the past several seconds trying to find a best course through the somewhat literal minefield that had been presented before him only to tackle him over an edge and down into one of the pits that helped make up the room's several levels of elevation. With limited space to fight, good distance separating him from his allies, and having a disadvantage in numbers, this two versus one fight could prove a touch perilous for the lucky rabbit.
The second and third groups, each composed of five, surrounded Shaizen, Riku, and Mikhail as well as Aqua and Max. With the traps still hovering about the field, the latter group charged towards Aqua and Max only for the keyblade wielder to throw up a barrier that spun around them and expanded outwards, pushing back the assault.
Aqua looked over to Max, breaking her focus for just long enough to communicate her intentions.
"I can drop this in sections so we can attack them one at a time, but I'll need to stay focused. Pick your targets, and I'll give you the opening you need."
The words lacked the tentatively bitter tone she could have put behind them; that a small part of her wanted to put behind them. There was no time to question one another's motives here or to bicker between themselves; no room for grudges or petty squabbles. The fight in front of them was going to require teamwork, and losing here was the last thing Aqua could afford. Whatever happened after they won wouldn't matter so long as they did.
Post by Maxwell Tendas on Jan 21, 2020 17:29:48 GMT -4
Max’s sword connected with the first sergeant, cleaving off the top if its head and turning it to black mist. Moving with the momentum of his first strike, he brought his sword arm in close and then thrust his sword through the face of the second. He began to turn as his second target turned to mist, maneuvering his blade into position for a slash behind him, expecting the third sergeant to take advantage of having his back presented to it. He had been too slow, however, feeling claws rake into his side as he spun to face his attacker. He swing his sword in a wide arc in an attempt to ward the black creature away, forcing it to dance away from him. It began to clearly taunt him as a pair of the magic traps began to circle it.
Max pulled the water from his canister and readied it to attack the sergeant. Before he could do anything with it, Fahe attacked with several feather projectiles, some of which hit the magic and froze in mid-air. The rest found their mark and hit the sergeant, piercing through it and sticking in the floor. The injured heartless jumped and sank into the ground as it landed, disappearing from view. Max stood there for a fee tense seconds, looking at the floor around him in expectation of a surprise attack. What came, however, was definitely worse than a sneak attack.
A dozen more of the sergeants sprang from the ground, and immediately came at the party in small groups, with a group of five headed towards the soldier. He backed up, holding his sword in front of him, ready to fend off attacks, when a sound drew his attention. He looked to where the man-rabbit had been before to see two of the heartless leap into one of the pits into the floor, with the man-rabbit nowhere in sight. Another group of five went after the others in the group, but Max didn’t have time to intervene as another group of five surrounded himself and Aqua. The soldier held his sword in front of him, ready to ward off attacks from the advancing soldiers as he backed up toward the blue-haired keyblade wielder. The two of them were back-to-back before the heartless leapt at them. Max began to swing his sword, but stopped as a magical barrier spread out from Aqua, shoving the Heartless back.
“I can drop this in sections so we can attack them one at a time, but i’ll need to stay focused,” the Keyblader said, obviously trying to keep as much focus on the barrier as she could while speaking, “Pick your targets, and i’ll give you the opening you need.”
Max’s teeth ground together as he looked at the heartless surrounding them and the others. If they kept multiplying like the first one had, these sergeants could end up costing them a lot of time. To have any hope of reaching Aqua’s friend first, they had to get away from these things and just make a break for the portals on the other side. With how many heartless there were, however, it was likely impossible for them all to make it before being stopped. The only option, then, was for them to split: one group, including Aqua, should go ahead and leave the rest to deal with the Heartless in this room.
“No, we don’t have the time for that,” he told responded, looking back at her over his shoulder, “If we’re going to get to your friend first, we need to get to the portals. And now.”
He paused for a moment, thinking about the best way to accomplish this. Then his eyes fell on Fahe’s feathers frozen in mid-air by the time magic, and he had a sudden moment of inspiration. He could use a spread of small water spheres to trigger a section of the floating magic and open a hole that he could get the Keyblader through, using the rest of his water. However, he wouldn’t be able to just carry her, as the time and focus required to do that would leave him too open to the heartless for too long. No, he would have to effectively throw her through the hole created. So she wouldn’t be going on alone, he could then move over to the pit the man-rabbit had been shoved into and do the same with him. It was a little risky, especially since there was still a risk of either or both of then being trapped by the time magic, but he didn’t see another way to make it there quickly enough. Afterall, if every room had traps as effective at slowing them as this one’s was, they had no hope of getting to the center of the castle first.
“I’ve got a plan,” he continued, forming half of his water into the spheres needed for the plan, “I can get you and the rabbit to the portals, but I’ll need you to trust me.”
Oswald surveyed the room trying to find a good way to get through all of the orbs floating around when the Sergeant that Maxwell was focusing on dove into the ground. Oswald passed it off as something that all Heartless did, like the shadows, that was before more and more of the sergeants started appearing, including the two that appeared next to the toon knocking him down into a pit behind him, making the rabbit yell out in surprise as he fell. As he fell he righted himself and used his ears to glide down into the pit, the two sergeants hitting the ground before the rabbit did.
Landing on the ground Oswald gripped his remote and hit the button on it, holding it down as it charged up. "Take this!" Oswald yelled out as an explosion of lightning burst out from the remote striking the two sergeants and any one else that could possibly be hit. The sergeants knocked back from the force of the burst were on their back for just a moment before recovering, "Gah, just dissapear already!" Oswald said blasting the sergeant to his right with a stream of electricity.
Similarly motivated as Max was in keeping everyone in the party safe, Riku’s gaze also followed Oswald as the rabbit disappeared into the pit with the two heartless. Though, as more heartless began to surround them all, crossing the distance to reach Oswald would prove to be quite difficult. Mikhail and Shaizen were to either side of Riku, and the heartless all around and prepared to jump them at the first opening they made. Riku was capable of handling many enemies at once normally, as he could traverse through dark portals and appear in multiple locations at once. However, in such a tight corridor, and with so many allies among him, it would be difficult to pull off such a maneuver without hurting someone else. The many traps containing time magic didn’t make it any easier.
Then again... perhaps that could be used to their advantage. He wouldn’t know unless he tried, so rather than swinging his keyblade at the heartless in front of him, he instead landed a heavy kick, shoving it towards the time trap behind it. He swung at the next incoming heartless, not having enough time to see the effects of his improvised plan, but if these traps affected the heartless too, many they could get through without having to vanquish every last heartless. He began either slashing through heartless or knocking more of them into various traps as he told Shaizen and Mikhail, ”Follow my lead! Let’s move together and watch each other’s backs!” And hopefully, the three of them would be able to move as a group towards the hole Oswald had fallen down, without leaving anyone else vulnerable as well.
He looked ahead to see Fahe in the air dodging traps and heartless alike, and Max and Aqua standing their ground within a magical barrier, certainly an impressive skill Aqua seemed to specialize in, considering the sizable barrier she had also formed on their way into the castle. Those three seemed the best best to reach the portal and move forward, as unfavorable as it was to separate the party. He could see Aqua and Max planning something out, but with the chaos of battle he was unsure what they said, so he simply readied himself to help further an opening for them if that’s what they planned to do. It was risky, but if he used dark aura in here to portal his way into heartless around the edges of the hallway around Aqua and Max, he could avoid hitting them; the major risk was falling into one of the time traps. He’d take that risk however if it meant getting some of them through the portal at the end. After that, the remaining party members would figure something out.
Post by Fahe Reingard on Jan 31, 2020 1:24:33 GMT -4
Circling back around the room Fahe had a look at the current state of everyone, with Oswald in the hole with two sergeant it wasn't looking amazing for him, Aqua and Maxwell seemed to be fairing better with Aqua holding a barrier while instructing Max to attack when she dropped it. That only left Shaizen, Riku, and Mikhail that with the numbers they had were probably the group that needed the least attention.
Flapping in place for a moment while he looked around, Fahe finally decided and started to fly over to the hole that Oswald fell into. "Hey are you okay in there?" Fahe asked the hole as he watched an explosion of electricity burst out of it. "Sure, I'm fine, just in a hole with monsters, I'm as fine as I can be!" The hole replied back as the sound of electricity started up once again. Fahe rolled to the side as a Time Bubble bobbed towards him. Now over the hole itseld Fahe looked down into it to see Oswald and the two Sergeants battling it out. Firing feathers down into the hole at the Sergeants, Fahe nodded having helped the Rabbit he watched as Riku's group started to battle their way over to Oswald. "Help is on it's way Oswald!" Fahe said before flying off again to assist the groups with their Heartless, firing feathers down at the sergeants that the group missed as they focused their attacks.
"A plan?" Aqua asked, raising a brow at Max's declaration. As he elaborated that said plan would involve throwing her across the room, Aqua couldn't lie to herself that a certain amount of apprehension welled in her chest. Wouldn't that leave him alone to fight against the Heartless that were currently swarming around the two of them? Their numbers may have been small, but that didn't change the fact that they'd be stronger this deep into the Realm of Darkness.
Or did it?
Aqua looked upwards, tracking Fahe as he tucked and rolled through the air before flexing his wings and riding his drop to turn gravity into lift and shoot upward. He called out something to Oswald, who had found himself in a pit before throwing a cluster of feathers near the Heartless that were crowding Riku, Shaizen, and Mikhail. His support seemed moderately effective - more so that what should have been possible if these Heartless were still drawing strength from the Darkness outside.
Beyond just that, the frustrated cries and sound of sizzling air that signaled Oswald was doing his best fending off his targets below informed her that he was at least holding his own. That was good. When she'd seen him drop and feel a thud rumble slightly through the ground she'd thought a solid knock to the head had rendered him unconscious. It seemed he'd been able to pick himself back up and take the fight against his attackers.
"I'll drop the barrier. You won't have a lot of time to act after that, so do what you have to and then go help Fahe with Oswald," Aqua offered, tilting her head in the direction of the pit that the Lucky Rabbit had found himself in the bottom of.
Aqua raised the Master Keeper in the air, feeling the weight of the mana that she was channeling into it to keep the barrier magic intact against the occasional glancing blow it received from the collection of Sergeants. She sucked in a quick breath, picturing the air travelling to her center before slamming the tip of her keyblade into the ground and releasing a final pulse of energy.
The barrier burst, sending shards of the crystalline magic in every direction that had each of the sergeants raising their hands to defend. The strength of the blow wasn't meant to destroy them - that would have to wait for later. For now all she and Maxwell needed was a distraction.
In the same beat, she leapt into the air and allowed the arc of a midair flip to carry her to the Drydenian Solder. In the meantime, Max's instincts took hold and the water he released from the reservoir on his person took flight. With one swipe of his arm, a majority of the moving time magic on one side of the room was struck and forced into a standstill. A second shot a barrage of ice needles that traveled faster than the orbs of water he'd shot initially, allowing them to reach the traps on the other side at nearly the same time. From there, setting his feet and cupping his hands to receive the airborne keyslinger was simple.
Aqua landed more or less exactly where she'd intended to, with her feet pressed together and her knees bending with the impact against Max's hands. With both her knees fully bent, Aqua allowed a second burst of magic to flow through her legs and into her feet. Just after Max had thrown her and she'd fully extended her legs, she triggered the technique she'd learned about during her trip to Neverland - Doubleflight.
The pulse of energy shot her through the air, and as she sailed through the room and towards the portal on the other end she reoriented herself once more to land next to the portal with both knees bent and the tips of her fingers touching the floor while her arms hung at her sides. The first part of Max's plan had worked, at the very least.
After she'd landed, however, Max was almost immediately accosted by the group of sergeants. While he managed to shrug them off while making his way towards Oswald, the scrapes and scratches he'd received on the way weren't exactly easy to ignore. Still, as he made the drop to Oswald he was able to position himself to slam into the one Sergeant that Oswald's barrage of electric attacks hadn't finished off, and the force of the blow was enough to finish the job.
The two exchange few words - Max instead opting to almost immediately throw Oswald into the air where Fahe was waiting patiently to catch him. Together, the two flew their way quickly to Aqua's side. When they arrived, Aqua took stock of the situation. The three of them - Oswald, Fahe, and herself - could proceed forward and leave Riku, Max, Shaizen, and Mikhail behind to find their own way to the portal, but with some eight of them left the four remaining fighters would be more outnumbered than they had been since they arrived in this room.
With Riku taking point and leading the charge for Shaizen and Mikhail, she wanted to believe that things would be okay. His first attack, an attempt to shove a Sergeant into one of the orbs of time magic, was botched as the Sergeant sidestepped and serpentined around the kick, moving in a quick semicircle around Riku and attacking him from the rear. The blow was strong, and Riku was off balance. Though he righted himself, he was barely able to avoid falling into the trap he'd intended to use - one more bad move would do him in.
But, even as Aqua moved to abandon the portal and assist Riku in much the same way she'd done nearly a decade ago, Riku remained strong. He lashed back out against the group that was striking at him, swipes of his keyblade cracking against helms and slicing through the inky shadows that composed their bodies. Relief flowed into her. They would be okay.
"We'll see you four soon! Be careful!" she called, throwing herself into the portal.
On the other side, what awaited her small fraction of their initial group wasn't quite what she expected. While the previous room had been filled with traps, this one was almost shockingly empty save for two things. The first - the portal that they likely needed to go through to continue making their way to Ven, or at least another encounter with that mysterious figure. The second, a series of lit tiles in various colors. One green, one red, and one blue.
Aqua sighed. A puzzle. And what was more, there were seemingly no hints. She tilted her head further to the ceiling, wondering if there was anything else the white haired young man would think of that could waste any more of their time than trial and error. It was there, though, that some sliver of hope presented itself. A message scrawled in an eerie black light that etched away at the faint image of her face in the soft glow of the ceiling above.
Light is a deception. Only its absence reveals the truth.
Post by Maxwell Tendas on Mar 3, 2020 22:29:52 GMT -4
Max watched the keyblader as she seemed to consider his plan and take an agonizingly long time to make a decision. She turned and looked around the room at the others of their small party. The soldier assumed that she was hesitant to leave the rest of them behind, but if their trip was to have any point at all they needed to reach her friend first, snd there was no telling what might happen if they didn’t win the race. Each second lost brought them closer to unknowns that Max would prefer to stay that way. He opened his mouth to begin speaking as she finally made a decision and responded.
“I’ll drop the barrier. You won’t have a lot of time to act after that, so do what you have to and then go help Fahe with Oswald,” nodding toward the pit the man-rabbit had fallen in.
Oswald...so that’s his name...
“Then i’m ready whenever you are,” he said, stepping over to the far side of the barrier so that Aqua would be behind him. A few moments later, the barrier burst apart, shards of magic careening into the surrounding heartless. They had the time they needed.
Several volleys of water spheres went flying through the air, triggering the time magic and leaving an opening that the keyblader and Oswald might make it through. He turned and knelt down, cupping his hands with what remained of his water in them as Aqua landed in them with both feet. He heaved as she pushed off and, with a little help from Max’s water and her own magic, she rocketed across the room.
Max was left with no time to rev in the success of his plan. The soldiers had recovered from the shattering of Aqua’s barrier and now rushed him. He retrieved Quicksilver where he’d laid it on the ground and fended them off, receiving minor injuries in the process. Before they could regroup and attack, the soldier ran to the pit the rabbit was in and leapt in, sword held at the ready to strike. It found purchase in the torso of the last remaining Heartless there, which burst into black mist.
“Sorry,” he muttered as he reached out and grabbed Oswald by the ears and tossed him up to be caught by the winged boy. He formed his remaining water into a disc to raise himself out of the pit. He stole a glance back towards the portals to see Fahe setting Oswald down next to Aqua. He took a split moment to enjoy the feeling of satisfaction of his plan working so well, only to have it interrupted by the sting of claws on his arm. One of the sergeants had attacked him while he was distracted and managed to get in a decent blow. Before it could escape, however, he lashed out with his sword with a strike that could cleave it in two...
Unexpectedly, Riku saw Aqua release her barrier, and suddenly Max sent her flying across the room after having cleared a lot of the corridor ahead with his water magic. He then proceeded towards the pit where Oswald had fallen in, fighting heartless the whole way. It seemed Max would beat Riku to Oswald, as his formation with Mikhail and Shaizen was much slower going, and they had plenty of their own heartless to fend off. The sergeant he tried knocking into a time trap dodged around him, nearly landing Riku in the trap himself. He quickly spun around, slashing his keyblade through several of their enemies, which allowed him the time to recover his balance.
Riku had just enough time to see Aqua down the corridor hesitating about heading through the portal, before deciding to head on through after shouting to them that she would see them soon, and to be careful. He offered her an affirming nod before turning to swing at another heartless. ”Keep moving towards the portal! It’ll be easier to fight down there now that Max has cleared the traps!” He said as he lead the little formation further through the corridor and meeting up with Max, who had risen from the pit with the help of his water.
((Hey all. Sorry for the short reply - to be honest, I think we're more or less done with the last room and ready to move forward. I think this puts everyone in the same place, and a riddle sounds a little more interesting to play out right now than the Xth round of combat.))
With one swing of his sword, Max rent the Sergeant accosting him from shoulder to hip. The shadowy form of the creature bursting into smoke as it split apart, and with a quick count it would be easy to see that the Heartless' numbers had dwindled to half of what they once were. Between Maxwell, Riku, Shaizen, and Mikhail, the group would quickly make work of the remaining attackers while making their way towards the portal that Oswald, Fahe, and Aqua had exited through.
When the four came tumbling through, they were met with the sight of Aqua gazing at her reflection in the floor in thought before turning her eyes back to the mysterious text that had etched itself into the ceiling above her.
"Good to see you made it," she said with a smile. "But I think we might have hit another roadblock. To tell the truth, I've never really been one for riddles."
She pointed upwards, acknowledging the words flickering the the reflection of the ceiling. Whether it was simple philosophy or vital clue to progressing forward, Aqua wasn't to say. Ever since that man in the black cloak had appeared, her sense of where Ven might be in the castle had grown fuzzy and unclear. It wasn't that she couldn't feel his presence at all; more like any of the three portals in the room could lead to him. And with the traps that had already been put in their way, Aqua wasn't going to be poking her head through any of them until she knew for sure which way was correct.
"I don't suppose any of you have an idea of what we're supposed to be doing?"