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on Sun 12 Apr 2020 - 3:53
Sethus rose an eyebrow at the talking snake jaw, understanding who was in it although still finding it a bit odd. Heulyn's staff serpents were indeed something he approved of, the differences were interesting. His spirits were kept within the crystallized spirit stones that could contain spiritual energy, and thus keep spirits sleeping inside without issue, similarly making the staff more heavy due to weight both physical and spiritual. Still worthwhile as it meant he didn't have to expend his own energy in anchoring the many spirits within. However, they were slumbering within those very specific stones, rather than active parts of the staff. It was not something the High Lord would have issue with however, since the servants still maintaining enough autonomy to do things like speak without being summoned had plenty of its own uses. Simply a bit of deviance from the Anubite Spirit Mystic Orthodoxy, but he was getting rather used to that from his apprentice.

Still, it was good that she understood this more important part, and he nodded, "Good to hear. Your empathy is powerful, but today is a day for decisive action. Action that will end the loss of lives, the final step to stopping this strife within the Anubite Empire. I would much prefer that we do not face tragedy on what should be a crowning moment." With that, he continued moving down the hall, opening the doors to the war chamber within the Rwim Palace. The war chamber was a rather large room that acted as a location to direct wars. The walls were practically all taken up by various computer monitors, noteboards, and shelves of various filed reports. In the very center was a large projector with a few dozen chairs surrounding it. Right now, the projector was displaying a planet named "Fendil", a world that straddled the border between the Anubite Empire and the Republic of Proscore, and was an old Anubite mining colony, long since left behind after it stopped producing material. Anubite Military commanders were already sitting down, looking at the planet as well as the many small little blurbs of info talking about potential landing sites, suspected docks for Nerotep's naval vessels, and more. Sethus gestured for Clexmose and Heulyn to sit down as well.
Eteru Ithkar
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on Sun 12 Apr 2020 - 20:10
Heulyn moved inside with Clexmose. Ascluphoes slithering back into his dormant state around her Torch-Staff. Making him appear to be an actual ivory fixture. She sat down in the seat that she was gestured to. Feeling small to be among such a gathering of individuals. In a way she kinda feels like a stranger considering she had been isolated from the war front. Now she was dropped right in at the end. It feels a bit undeserving. But she doesn’t let these thoughts bother her for long so she kept her attention to those around her. Choosing to set her gaze on the projected planet of Fendil.
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on Mon 13 Apr 2020 - 1:47
While Clexmose and Heulyn were seated, Sethus stayed standing. Everyone else began to sat down as the High Lord took his position at the front, waiting for everyone to grow silent and direct their attention towards him. Once everyone in the room was ready to listen, Sethus finally gave his address, "Welcome everyone. You are all gathered here today to finish a conflict that has plagued the Anubite Empire for the past few years. A civil war within a civil war, and it shall finally come to an end. As you have all learned, we have located Nerotep's base of operations, and we are quite sure he is unaware that we have tracked him down. This gives us a rare chance for a decisive victory. The planet you see before you, Fendil, is where he hides. We will be launching a surprise attack and attempt to knock out as many of his ships before they can ready themselves for battle as possible. Naval Commanders, please note the following locations." On the digital map, the areas where ships were suspected to be docked, be it in orbital dockyards or groundside ones, flashed so they could be noticed. "In the meanwhile, we will also rush the surface with ground troops, establish a base of operations, and attempt to capture Nerotep himself. Preferably, he is to be brought in alive, but it is acceptable if he falls. We will not be taking risks in this final hour. Specifics for your parts in this operation will be uploaded to your personal datapads. As for my own part... I will be leading the main groundforce against Nerotep's suspected command center personally. Joining me will be Royal Guard Captain Tifuri, Lord Clexmose Yuya, my apprentice Heulyn Llyod, the first and second Royal Guard Companies, and the 3rd Imperial Marine Division, alongside the personal escort units that the commander individuals I mentioned prior will be tasked with leading. I am not suspecting heavy resistance on the ground, given that Nerotep's capabilities are primarily naval, but I will still be quite cautious. You can all do your parts to keep me alive by simply following your orders. Any questions?"
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on Mon 13 Apr 2020 - 17:27
The briefing was well explained. There wasn’t anything she needed to inquire about. For the most part she has a bit of unease which was okay. It’s normal to have some anxiety in a situation like this. A lot of things can go wrong. But she trusts in the commanders around her. They have been fighting this war much more than she had. But now they are in the final stretch. A lot of things can go wrong. Nothing is ever clean cut. That’s just the romanticized fantasy in fiction. Valiant heroes storming the last bastion of evil and coming out unscathed. This is sadly reality. A harsh and cruel mistress.

’Vincit qui se vincit’

The deep rumble of a masculine voice echoed in her psyche. The voice bled a charismatic and a boisterous presence. Her staff briefly felt warm under her palm. His presence saving her from the sudden relapse. ‘I don’t blame your heavy heart Master. You have felt many losses in the field of battle. But never let that drag your gaze to the soil instead to the horizon. Once, you were weak, but you’ve grown into a champion! Look around you Master.’ She could mentally sense his gesture towards the room. Sitting at the table were Anubite Commanders. Many she has never met before. A gathering of strangers. Of brothers in arms. ‘Exactly! They are now your kin! And you must show why you are worthy to sit at this table as you are to sit at the table of kings! He didn’t need to relay any more words to make her heart beat louder. The inspiration of a king making her blood hot. There were no more words because it was unneeded. She just needed a small reminder of who she is. Of the best version of herself she can be. A master brave enough to ride into battle alongside the King of Conquerors. ’That’s why you are worthy of being my Master after all.’ Before his presence receded from her he gave her one last word of wisdom. ’In the end, when it’s over, all that matters is what you’ve done.’

With her inner pep speech concluded she put her attention back on the room. These Anubite Commanders do not know her. But that’s okay. For this is the chance for her to show the whole universe what she is. To finally put their silent skepticism of a High Lord having an alien apprentice to rest. That this timid, compassionate woman is brave and bold enough to be their sister-in-arms. The once bubbling anxiety melts away. Parting to give way to a surge of confidence and optimism. They will claim victory on this day. She shall ride into battle with her Torch-Staff held high. Blazing a path to the ever-distant horizon. For that was the woman she had been many years ago. And now it was finally time for that woman to return.
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on Mon 13 Apr 2020 - 19:35
All around her, the various Anubite, as well as a small number of Amurrak, Commanders all remained silent. They glanced about at eachother, but none spoke up to raise any questions. It was hard to tell if they simply had no questions or if they simply felt it would be wrong to be the only one to speak, but in the end none did regardless. But the air was easy to tell, most were confident. Even those who seemed a bit uncertain simply put a hand on their dataslates, believing that the answers to the small questions they had would be within. None of them doubted the High Lord. Sethus looked around, and then gave a nod, "We are settled then. Disperse and join with your units, be ready to move at a moment's notice. We will be departing as soon as preparations are done, no time can be wasted if we wish to use this opportunity! For the Empire and our Ancestors!" The large crowd of Commanders stood up all together, saluting the High Lord. They began to move away now, all heading off to join their troops.

With the Commanders breaking off, Sethus looked back to Clexmose and Heulyn, "Well, that went well. Good to be trusted I do suppose. Now, as I said you two will be sticking with me, or at least you'll be with my direct unit. Clexmose, I may have you and your Household Guard break off from the main group to take and hold vital positions, so ensure that your troops are prepared for that in case it is required. It is quite likely that you will be needed to cut off Nerotep's escape routes. Heulyn, you will be sticking with the Royal Guard, specifically you'll be with the mystics. A good chance for you to see how Retinue Mystics function in situations like the battlefield, I do believe. I don't think you've met Royal Guard Captain Tifuri before, as he's been a trusted commander I sent out early on in the Civil War to act as an attache to the Iammelonian Union. A good way to ensure the Anubite Empire's resources are being used responsibly by Tyfrondor and his war cabinet. But as the larger conflict is drawing to a close, I have recalled him. He will be returning soon however, and you'll be with him and me."

Clexmose nodded his head in understanding to his part, "Of course, High Lord. I'll do my part to ensure my brother cannot flee again, and this conflict ends today. You have my word that I will not be foolish and break off in the name of glory or whatnot. I know my place."
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on Mon 13 Apr 2020 - 21:02
Heulyn gave a nod as well. Understanding her place on the battlefield. Unlike moments before she was now feeling energized. As if she was now truly beginning to understand that this was happening. She was going to the field of battle once more. Vaguely she could sense Iskandar’s Ionian Companions cheering in the back of her back. Further stimulating her soul to remain steadfast. Galvanizing their young commander to take on this task with bravery and valor. She had spent many years healing and studying. Now it was time to show she had finally grown. All this support made her smile. “It’s a bit surreal. But I’m ready to go back out there. It’ll be an honor to be working with the other mystics.” She’ll need to correlate with them on her ideas of where to place her Servants that she is bringing along. Her mana core was strong enough to finally maintain three of them in a fight. Of course one would be directed to work with the combat medics.
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on Tue 14 Apr 2020 - 4:24
Sethus nodded, pleased that both of them seemed ready for the task ahead, "Good, then we shall go and prepare immediately. We'll be departing as soon as Captain Tifuri arrives, and that should be rather soon. If you have any arrangements to make, should do them now. If not, come with me to the ships. Best to get aboard early so we can depart quickly." With that, Sethus moved to leave the military command room, heading out through a different door by which they arrived. This door led to a hallway that led out into a large hanger. A large number of military shuttles were being loaded with equipment, fuel, and ammunition. Troops were scattered throughout the hanger in groups, each being briefed by their commanders in their roles for the mission ahead.

One such shuttle was being loaded up with the Rwim Royal Guard and the Yuya Household Guard, and that was the shuttle they were headed for. But as they were walking, Clexmose turned to Heulyn and spoke a question that was on his mind, "Hey, Heulyn, I must ask. Is this your first time participating in a large scale military operation like this? You seem quite prepared for this sort of thing. Have you led troops before?"
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on Tue 14 Apr 2020 - 15:43
A light wave of nostalgia came over her when she came out onto the hanger floor. It reminded her of the hanger bay back in Chaulkuau. She remembers dancing on that hanger floor. Her hips sway to the beat. Spun from one dance partner to the next. A voice brought her back to the present. Drawing her amber-gold eyes to the source. “I suppose I have.” She admits. While she didn’t lead a large number of troops. The battles she fought in were often epic in scale. And she had to formulate tactics with what Servants she had to efficiently fight in those numerous battles. Every Servant had their strengths and weaknesses that she had to remember. Grouping them up so that their strengths can flourish with their weak spots protected. Some Servants fight better in urban settings while others like Iskandar dominate on open, flat terrain. So many other variables that she had to also take into consideration. “Many years ago when I still lived in Angelarium I worked in the Chaulkuau Security Organization. I led small groups of powerful familiars to safeguard civilization and history.”
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on Wed 15 Apr 2020 - 4:54
There was unfortunately not much dancing or music in this particular hanger. Unless one counted the mechanical clanking of autoloaders and the marching of the boots of soldiers as music, although it would be odd to sway one's hips to that particular beat. Clexmose meanwhile seemed surprised to hear of that mission, but also impressed, "Really? Quite admirable! Heh, this Chaulkuau Security Organization would fit in rather well with us Yuyas if the protection of civilization and history is their goal. We guard the tombs, major artifacts, and major centers of spiritual power for quite the same reason. We shield the Anubite Empire, but even more importantly we shield its history! To ensure the continuity of the Empire as it is now, and see that we never forget our roots. Although we rely more on our troops and assisting warrior spirits, rather than powerful familiars. Seems then you'll be doing that again here, just this time with some mystics! Erhm, anyways, good to hear that you have experience!" He seemed to realize he was about to start talking too much, and so quickly quieted himself. Still, it was clear that this mention of safeguarding civilization and history was something Clexmose was very happy to hear.

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on Wed 15 Apr 2020 - 17:49
Remaking the Chaulkuau Security Organization was an appealing thought that came to her at times. They didn’t need to time travel to fulfil their purpose. “Yeah, they would fit well with Yuya.” Heulyn spoke absentmindedly. Not being aware of the extent of what she just said. To her she just agreed with the similarities. “I have been through a lot. It’ll be a learning experience to work with the mystics.” There had been times where she had to often face foes alone. A handful of Masters out of the starting group in the beginning was not enough. They were often overworked, stressed, anxiety ridden, and other issues due to the result of having too few Masters to work in the field. “Do you have any experience?” She bounced the question once more. Assuming that being a Yuya would imply he had some form of experience.
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on Thu 16 Apr 2020 - 3:42
Clexmose was quite happy that Heulyn seemed to agreement with his assessment, but decided to keep the why to himself so as not to screw that up. He nodded his head, "Indeed, seems like you may in some ways be more experienced than me! Still, I think you'll slot quite well into mystic work. Already got plenty of powerful and loyal spirits. Well, somewhat like spirits, not exactly the same I guess. Same principle however! Anyways, as for my own experience, I do have a fair bit! I served in two Yuya forces, first as an attached mystic to my older sister's Excavation Watch Force. It was my time to prove myself capable of more serious tasks, and the force was assigned to guarding an excavation of some ancient ruins on a world called Nentris. Old World that used to belong to the long lost Scati-Virxi Empire, the so-called First Empire. Not correct, as we Anubites were first, but those eastern nebulaeans always focus on themselves. Anyways, we actually had to fight a battle with some pirates who were using the ruins as a place to store stolen loot! I did well enough that Nerotep, still the head of the Yuya House at the time, promoted me to serving in the navy. I led a force of Mystic Marines, continuing in the anti-pirate work. I was after this one specific pirate, Captain Bloodclaws, a rather notorious Apex Crew Pirate Lord who is a great deal smarter than the rest of his more aggressive and direct compatriots. He's still out there, this Civil War forced me to come home before the work was finished. I hope to finish that hunt someday, although I doubt I'll be able to do it personally, given that I'm the head of the Household now."
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on Sun 19 Apr 2020 - 23:19
Heulyn was a sucker for high sea adventures so it was cool to hear that he was a pirate hunter. Perhaps not as romanticized as her vision of one. She tilted her head in recollection of the pirates. The name was familiar. Sucali assumingly jokes that they should hit up with some Apex Pirates sometime for good old underground racing. They are such a fan of racing that they are proud of having tanks that can drift. That admittedly caught her interest. Seeing a tank drift was right up her eccentric alley. Considering both her and Sucali position however that was unlikely to happen anytime soon. “I’m sorry to hear that. I’m sure you’ll still track him down somehow.” Heulyn was still aware of her surroundings to respond. Noticing that they arrived at the ramps to board the shuttle. Stepping into the ship she could not help but entertain thoughts of the days ahead.
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on Tue 21 Apr 2020 - 4:04
The Apex Crew Pirates were rather infamous for both their brutality as pirates and eccentricity in their strange obsession with underground racing circuits. So much so that the pirate syndicate was effectively split along the lines of pirates and racers, who each believed the other activity only existed to service the one they preferred, and was the cause of much internal strife within Apex. The drifting tank was one of many results of the strange compromises between the two sides, one that Sucali quite approved of. Clexmose meanwhile smiled at the encouragement, "I am sure I can, soon as my brother is brought to justice! The Yuya's soldier life doesn't end just because a war does, the work goes on. The safety of the Anubite Empire is a battle eternal, fought on many different fronts. We simply have to shift between one front to the other as needed." Regardless, they were finally getting aboard the shuttle, but it was not taking off even as they all settled in.

The reason for the delay finally became apparent when another figure arrived. It was Captain Tifuri, whom Sethus had been waiting on. The Royal Guard Captain entered the shuttle, giving a bow to Sethus before taking a seat and speaking up, "I apologize for the delay, my High Lord. I hope my troubles with the Ether did not ruin your plans."
Sethus shook his head, "You have arrived at quite a fine time, Tifuri. These are Lord Clexmose Yuya, the new head of the Yuya family, and my apprentice Heulyn Llyod. And for you two, this is Captain Tifuri."
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on Wed 22 Apr 2020 - 22:37
Heulyn settled into the seat of the shuttle. Fiddling with the seat belt to fasten herself in. Her torch-staff planted near her. Its flame is a calm billow. The air was nice and chill as a result of the air conditioner. A nice respite from the stuffy air outside. The last of the belt clicked in and she leaned back into the air. Letting the tension ebb away. She looked over to the sound of footfall. Seeing Captain Tofuri walking up abroad. She gave a friendly wave when she was introduced.

She shuffled her feet somewhat. Still thinking about the future while keeping attention to her surroundings. It was also important to listen to other people chatter to keep up with what’s going on. That was something Ipwet brought to her attention in the rare times they met. She could recall the small talk they exchanged when she was on Angelarium. Ipwet reminded her of old friends who were quite good with eloquence. It’ll be awhile for her to believe she could talk to them on equal footing.

Her musing on the past led to snippets of her known past lives. They were all distant, photos long bleached in the sun. It was amazing she could remember so much at all. That gave her some peace. For while she forgot things it was a good feeling to remember them once more. No matter how dark or depressing they were. Realizing that she was relapsing into introspection again she look back to the High Lord and Captain. Focusing on them for a moment.
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on Fri 24 Apr 2020 - 4:59
Clexmose similarly just gave a wave to the captain, not having much more to say. He instead brought out his dataslate, one detailing his troops. While he of course seemed a bit out of water in the social aspect, he was experienced in military matters, and intended to use the journey to arrange his troops as best he could, knowing exactly what he was working with so he could keep as many of them alive as possible. He not only had the information on how he would be deploying his troops, such as their squad and regiment information, but he also had dossiers on each of his soldiers. This is what he was looking over now, to ensure troops of certain skills were deployed in groups that they were needed, but also compatible with. He might not have known many of these men personally, as the Yuya Guard was simply too expansive for that, but he could do his best to ensure the talented shielded the more mundane. The shuttle's doors closed, and it took flight to rest itself in a larger vessel in orbit.

With the Yuya Lord silent in his work, Heulyn could easily listen to Sethus and Tifuri, who started to speak as soon as the Captain sat themselves down. The High Lord started simply, "So Tifuri, how is the situation with the Union Leadership? And how fares the greater war?"

Tifuri spoke calmly, their voice having little emotion to it and being rather flat, but still quite audible even if the tone was blank, "The Union is winning the war, and the end is fast approaching. The Zantine Empire's separate peace has been finally settled upon, with Emperor Maximanius officially abdicating. Emperor Zenos Lasacris has taken the throne, and his forces have joined the Union. I am sure this will disappoint some of the more nostalgic commanders, as Instabull hasn't been reached, but it is a good sign for the greater war. With this development and the various Confederate Memberstates falling back to protect their own holdings, rather than concentrate forces, Interim President Tyfrondor expects that the war will be over within the timeframe of two weeks to two months at most. He believes Monrio will fight a final battle, seeking victory so he can gain more favorable terms for surrender, but will surrender afterwards regardless of the result. So long as Monrio survives, this war is quite likely to end soon."

Sethus gave a nod, looking relieved but not entirely satisfied, "The Dragon is quite good at such assessments, and I see little reason to doubt this one. The Zantines wouldn't switch sides unless the situation was finally looking too dire to gain anything more from it. I am sure this separate peace will benefit the Zantines overall, but that is a fine price to pay for peace. But that is only our current foe, tell me what the Grand Drake is playing with his position of Interim President. Will he be giving it up?"

Tifuri nodded, "He has indicated he will hold elections for the Union Congress upon the war's end, including representatives from the defeated Confederate territories. Once Congress is in place, he will hold presidential elections. Whether or not he intends to run in that election is unknown, he appears rather tired, but he is not the sort to give up his project to another so easily in these early days. My belief is that he will run, and he will quite easily win."
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on Fri 24 Apr 2020 - 16:09
’No one ever gives up power easily.’ She muse while listening to the conversation. There were mixed feelings regarding the Heordian Dragons. That is not to say she doesn’t like them, far from it. The concern lies in the character of the Grand Drake. The times they were in proximity of each other were sparse so she can’t fully paint a picture of him. But as Tifuri said he seems rather possessive about his place in society.

’My Filia, envying that lofty throne are we?’ Came the mental tease from the King of Conquerors. She resists the urge to playfully roll her eyes.

‘Haha, I would envy a throne that is not in a mountain made up of one of the rarest resources in the galaxy.’ She quipped back to him. It was still easy to recall the sight of what she considered to be a very...crude design for a fortress. Granted it serves its purpose and message well but would it hurt to have some color variety? Chiseled paintings and statues?

‘I’m just thinking within the confines of a democracy. I prefer if he didn’t run because it would serve as a strong message of walking away from power. That would set a precedent of valuing ideals over a position of power.’ She continued mentally chatting with Iskandar who she felt his general agreement.

‘Hah, as expected to hear from a romantic soul such as yours Master. But you aren’t wrong! Those below very much follow by example.’ He mentally bellows.

They kept mentally conversing with one another. The other two would join in from time to time if they felt the need to contribute to a particular subject. In the meantime she took out her dataslate as well to look over the details of her assignment. As well to pull out dossiers on the Servants she bought with her to share with the other Mystics when she met them. She felt like emailing them but that seems to be a major security risk. The dossiers go over her Servants skills, parameters, traits, attribute, and noble phantasms. Strength and weakness, and where they will be of most use.
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on Sat 25 Apr 2020 - 3:42
The shuttle flew up towards the main Anubite Imperial Fleet, which was assembling for war. Dozens of ships, getting into formation, their weapons brimming as cargo shuttles loaded men, vehicles, and ammo into the ships. Hundreds of troops were being loaded into the ships every minute, preparing a full invasion force for the times ahead. The groups involved included Loyalist Yuyas, Rwim Household Troops, Anubite Imperial Army and Navymen, Rehka Technomystics, and even an Amarna stealth corvette with onboard Amarna Stealth Troopers. This was quite the serious attempt to bring Nerotep to justice, with all of the Anubite Empire prepared. Only Tarset's family guard was not involved, but that made more sense given that her family was the least martial of them all, and the troops she did have were staying back to protect the capital.

Their shuttle flew into the flagship's hanger, settling down and opening its doors once more. High Lord Sethus got up and spoke, "Report to your groups, everyone. Clexmose, get with your Yuya Marines. Tifuri, assemble the Royal Guard and prepare them for the operation. Heulyn, you will join up with the rest of the Royal Retinue Mystics. I am be headed to the bridge to take command. Prepare yourself for the battle, as this fleet will be leaving very shortly. Oh, the mystics are gathering in another shuttle, Heulyn. Over there." He gestured over to another shuttle, were Heulyn could see a number of Mystics preparing themselves. It was a varied batch, but they were all wearing ornamental armor, with gleaming gold and gems. The gems however were functional, as they were Anubite Spirit Stones, with spirits in them. Those spirits, while dormant, were focusing their power into providing adding additional defense to the armor itself, and therefore its wearer. Their staffs were also quite ornate, and one of them had a bladed quarterstaff.
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on Sat 25 Apr 2020 - 18:10
“Ah, Appreciated!” She quipped before grabbing her staff as she made her way over to the group. A bit nervous but not as bad a while ago. She was looking forward to working with the group of Mystics. “Hello! I’m Heulyn Lloyd.” She said as she got up to the group reporting for duty.
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on Mon 27 Apr 2020 - 5:03
The Mystics all seemed happy to welcome Heulyn to their group, and one of them, an Anubite named Hathur, started to introduce her to the various members of the group she would be serving with. There were a fair few of them, and they were all quite intent on meeting the High Lord Apprentice for themselves. This would be Heulyn's experience for the rest of the journey by starship, as it would not be a very long one.

-

Within the hour, alarms rang out throughout the ship. In the hanger, barracks, bridge, and everywhere else loud sirens went off, the sign of impending battle. The Great Anubite Fleet was rapidly approaching their destination, which was now visible in the distance from the windows. The last stronghold of Nerotep, and the Anubite Fleet had caught them entirely off-guard. Soldiers were scrambling to get into their shuttles, and fighter pilots rushed to get into their starfighters and bombers, warming up the engines and waiting for the signal to take off. Clexmose shouted for his marines to prepare themselves before joining them in one of the shuttles, locking himself in. From a doorway, High Lord Sethus returned to the hanger from the bridge, silently marching himself towards his own shuttle. Tifuri was close behind him, along with a contingent of Royal Guards, their weapons loaded and at the ready. The Retinue Mystics similarly got loaded onto their own shuttle, with a seat being left open for Heulyn. One of the Mystics offered her a drink of water from his canteen, since it was unlikely they'd get another chance in the coming times to drink up.

With everyone aboard their shuttles, the signal was soon given, with the pilot of the Mystic shuttle speaking back, "Hope you're all ready, because this is the part where it gets dangerous!" With that, the shuttle took off, one of many in the vast hanger as all the shuttles each lifted off. Closely following behind were the fighters and bombers, moving to escort the shuttles directly. But as the torrent of ships left the hanger of the Flagship, Heulyn would see out the windows and see similar streams of ships coming out of the other large Anubite ships, merging with eachother to create a massive swarm of shuttles and fightercraft, rushing directly towards the planet. A few of the fleet's corvettes, including the specialized Amarna Stealth Corvette, joined the swarm, following closely behind as the big guns of the escort. The Capital Ships meanwhile continued their own advance, headed to cut off the Yuya Renegades, annihilating the few that were already in orbit with massed fire. With that done, they began to open up with long range bombardment. Sethus was quite right in that they would catch the Yuya Rebels off guard, as Nerotep's fleet was entirely unprepared. Most of them were still anchored to repair stations, undergoing upkeep, and so were unable to quickly stir to fight the Imperial Fleet. What they could do was dispatch their fighters, which rushed to try and cut off the shuttle stream, only to meet the Corvettes and Imperial Starfighters, fiercely fighting to protect the shuttles. Their fanaticism was natural, as the High Lord was aboard one of those shuttles, and they would sooner die before allow that shuttle to go down. This combination of determined defense and surprise gave the shuttles an easy line straight to the surface, headed for the main Yuya Compound on the ground, which from a distance resembled a small Anubite City, with the militarization that came naturally with the Yuyas.
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on Mon 27 Apr 2020 - 22:52
Heulyn used as much of the time she possibly could to get to know the mystics. She was happy as well to meet them. For the coming hours she’ll be working closely with them. Underneath a more somber reason was present. That if they were to die they won’t be a faceless person to her. Conversing with them she took part of the coordination with not only eachother but with other groups of the army. There was a big part that she was going to pull off that everyone needed to be aware of. Beside that she gave off an amiable air as she interacted with the others. Not letting the gloom of the future to sour the mood.

Her shoulders tense when the alarms blared. The time has come to make history. Walking away from her spot of the hanger to their shuttle. Along the way mentally reciting the aria to trigger the materialization of her cosmic regalia. ‘For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.’ A ring of shards came to be around her sunfire hair. 72 twinkling stars within its black permanence. The flow of mana coursing her body deepens to unknown levels. Her awareness of everything around her became crisp and vivid.

Taking her seat beside the others she gratefully accepted the canteen for a drink. Letting out a sound of thanks as she hands it back. Her now shimmering amber-gold eyes flick over to the pilot. Heart beating against her chest. Body hot with adrenaline and excitement. The latter was somewhat influenced by the combined determination of her Servants. Her connection with them helped suppress many of the negative emotions that would be clouding her thoughts. She needed to pay attention every step of the way. Looking over to the window she didn’t really need normal sight to see the tidal wave of prismatic bands surging down on the planet below. Each speck a shining soul. If this was any other time she would have teared up at the beauty of it.

When the shuttle party began to make landfall she clasped her torch-staff with both hands. The hieroglyphics give off a soft, white glow. Its flame while roaring did not give off physical heat. She didn’t want to burn down the shuttle after all. Taking a breath she commenced the first of her efforts to come. ‘Ride out O King Iskandar! May Nikn bless your trail!’ The mystics would feel a spiritual presence leave the shuttle. A distance away near the shuttle came a sprawy of blue and red sparks as the King of Conquerors materializes. Racing across the air itself upon his Gordius Wheel, a large antique war chariot with two prows that is led by two Divine Bulls with rippling muscles.

His thick ride mantle whipping in the air behind him, he gave a war cry that was sadly drowned out by the vacuum of space. Yet someone those in the shuttles nearby could sense the vigor and courage that seeped into them, empowering them. His charisma reaches them despite the distance. With the crack of his reins the chariot boomed forth like a blue comet. Speeding far ahead in a big spiral. ’My King. I will bequeath you my love. Attain Victory!’ Under her right sleeve her command seals that were in the shape of a rose stem gave off a rad glow. The lowermost section of it fading away before the rest stopped glowing. The mach cone around the chariot took on a red hue as Iskandar became super charged with the influx of mana from the used up command seal. He grinned the chariot cut through the sky like lighting. It reached the ground near the base a safe distance away, twenty three seconds before the first shuttle. Hooves stomp the ground, crackling lighting can be heard for miles around, the chariot raced around the base in a large circle. Leaving behind a trail of shimmering white light. Closing it in seconds.

Beads of sweat were already forming between her shoulder blades. Inverting someone else's reality marble was not easy to mentally process. A lot of math and geometry was also involved much to her lament. In action it does seem a lot simpler. The lines serve as marked ‘space’ in which those inside of a reality marble can step out of. The mental aria of Iskandar boom in her head. Rattling her bones with his zeal. ’Their bodies may return to ash, but their spirits still hear my call! These men are my legendary heroes, my loyal followers! They’re my true friends, breaking the rules of space and time to fight once more at my side. They are my treasure within treasures; they’re my right to rule! They make up my mightiest Noble Phantasm: Ionian Hetairoi!’ The activation of his mightiest feat became known when heavily armed cavalry of soldiers slowly appeared as mirage-like images stepping out of the air marked by the glowing line, and completely manifested as a diverse fighting force with the fierceness of a true army 47,000 men strong. The entire fighting force is fully composed of a peerless array of famed and legendary warriors only heard reverently in legends long ago, all of whom personally fought with Iskandar on the battlefield.

Looking out the shuttle window she could see the phantasmal army surrounding the base. Any moment they will storm it as they did in days of yore. “Alright, my Servant should be a nice big distraction for them!” She spoke out optimistically to her group. A bit yellow in the face but was doing fine. The most important part now was to conserve her mana as best she can and use her remaining two command seals wisely. So that move will be generally the only big move she will pull off. There was no need to spend all her energy in one go after all. So she’ll spend the rest of the operation aiding the mystics and let the other groups have their time to shine.
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on Wed 29 Apr 2020 - 5:30
The sudden arrival of a second army was quite surprising to the Yuya Renegades, who quickly had to turn their attention to the new enemies. They refused to allow the phantasmal army the initiative, and they quickly found that as they started to surround the base, it responded. Large turrets arose, and Yuya soldiers on the outskirts opened fire with plasma rifles, cannons, and blasts of magic. Yuya Battle Mystics started summoning their own phantom soldiers to their sides, who by their own nature were better equipped to handle such foes. The Mystics also prepared their magic to banish the returned souls, striking them directly at the soul.

Iskandar's army however provided a vital distraction, and the landing of the Anubite Empire's troops went rather smoothly without Yuya resistance. All the Yuya guns were focused on the closer army, and so Sethus's much greater force to disembark their ships and advance. The Anubite Soldiers rushed forward, moving to take positions and set up rapid defenses, like digging trenches. Others quickly marched forward to support the attack on the base. The Retinue Mystics around Heulyn however held back, waiting for a moment. High Lord Sethus was watching the battle, looking for a weak spot. He noticed a spot where the Yuya defense of a gatehouse was weaker, and he waved in its direction. The guards there had been diverted to focus directly on Iskandar, leaving behind a weaker garrison to try and hold that gate. He, Clexmose, and the Royal Guard all moved forward to exploit this weakness. The Royal Retinue Mystics moved to join in this, as they would need to join the High Lord in his thrust to breach the base and rush its command center.
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on Wed 29 Apr 2020 - 15:33
Iskandar beamed at the rapid response from Yuya. Their determination to confront his army is praiseworthy! Listening in on his master discourse with the Yuya lord had given him an idea of what he was facing and had spread the information along to his generals. Who then converse and strategize with each other. During those moments he never felt so ecstatic in his life. The prospect of finding a worthy rival out of the Yuya was something he had been searching for a long time. He would even be joyous if he was defeated! For it meant that there was truly a new mountain for him to overcome and conquer!

His mind buzzing with excitement they all planned for the battle ahead. The standard phalanx formation is less than ideal to counter the long range weaponry so the front was hybridized with the testudo formation. Conventional weapons can’t hurt phantasmal beings but the turrets, cannons, and plasma still have mass. Meaning if one is not careful they can be knocked around enough for the magic attacks to get through the shield wall. The banishment spells would be tricky to land. While they may bleed and take damage to their organs, their true being resides in a Spiritual Core they obtain upon first materializing that resides in the torso. For the bolts that manage to strike true they would be promptly sent back to Iskandar reality marble. That is when the mana upkeep truly kicks in for his master because they need to stabilize.

However his master was no mere master. She was his master. The Son of Junter! He who defeated the Gordian Knot! The Empire that gave birth to the pantheon of fire! Lo and behold how his master sails directly into the heart of her enemies. The weight of the entirety of him and his eternal companions' ambition rest firmly on her back. His divine bulls stomp on the sand as if signifying their approval. And he was certain that many of his men think the same. If they weren’t focus on their enemies they would be chanting her name!

He unsheathes his spatha, gifted to him in life by the King of the Cypriots; its hilt is decorated with the likeness of a lion. Holding it above him as he bellows his war cry. ”AALALALALALALAI!” Any other sound that the Yuya would make would be drowned out by the deafening roar of his army. Albeit slowed by the long distance weaponry they surged forth. Bolts of plasma and cannon shells ricochet off the shield wall. The soldiers a few lines behind would fling their spears in an arc. Cracks of light appear across them as they make its descent down on the turrets and other artillery. Denoting in a massive magical explosion on impact. Shaking their defenses from the volley of broken phantasms. His army steadily advances step by step. Unlike in movies the army does not break formation to engage the other forces.

The land shook with thunder as he rode out. The wheels of his chariot generate lighting. He charged through the Yuya ranks with great speed to scatter and trample them. The bulls create thunderous sounds and webs of lightning with each ‘stomp’ as they travel. In the corner of his eyes he could see both valiant sides clashing against each other in a spirit & meat grinder. The Yuya are truly living up to their renown and he and his men can’t be any more happier. Oh how will they soon sing in praise to Heulyn for granting them such a glorious foe. It pained him that he wouldn’t reach Heulyn in time for the final confrontation. Breaking through the Yuya defenses will take time. And they would have to secure the perimeter as they push into the base. Nonetheless he has faith in his master.

Inside the base his master felt dull throbs coursing through her body. The centaur Kheiron took notice and promptly materialized next to her. Picking her up to ride him. Heulyn let out a noise of gratitude. She expected it would be brutal but that did little to comfort her. Golden light gathered beneath Kheiron's hand. Than closing it around the materialized bow. Her last servant came into existence as well to be ready to jump into action. Death can come so easy in a firefight after all. Heulyn could hear the sound of combat as her group moved along with the mystics.
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on Thu 30 Apr 2020 - 5:23
The magical spears flew into the air, and found themselves detonating against prepared energy shields, which absorbed blow upon blow. But in some positions, the shields would falter, and spears got through, testing the foundations of the Yuya stronghold. The soldiers thus prepared for a closer encounter as their artillery and turrets began to fire less and less. The Yuya, while wielding modern weapons as their mainstay, were still Anubites, and very traditionalist warriors at heart. As such, they also had curved blades in sword sheaths, prepared for melee if the enemy got closer. These blades were special ones, built with small enchanted stones in them to allow them to strike at spiritual foes, which of course would become quite useful in their usual battles against rogue spirits and the aggressive desert echoes. And now, they would come in use again, as the Yuyas kept up the ranged fire but had their swords ready for when Iskandar's army finally drew near. Such blades were drawn, and they moved to engage the shieldwall. Yuya Mystics, embedding their staffs with magical energy, used them as impromptu spears, and Iskandar would have to contend with a foe not much unlike him. One Mystic called upon their ancestral protector, and from it emerged a chariot-bound Anubite, the chariot carried by two great desert horses. The Anubite Spirit controlling it wore ornate armor, signifying themselves as an Ancient Yuya, and with a mighty war cry he urged his steeds onward. With spear in hand, he would engage Iskandar as the armies fought around them.

Within the base, there was still resistance, but Clexmose's Marines showed their competence here. With coordinated volleys, they quickly downed the few warriors who had not been sent to the main front of the fighting. As they moved forward, the sounds of battle grew further, and the base quieter. It was certainly unsettling, but the Starport was now within sight. Clexmose turned to the rest of the group, "I and my marines shall seize that starport, and prevent Nerotep's escape should he slip from your grasp, High Lord! This battle will end today, one way or the other. Come Yuyas, we shall retake what our rogue kin have stolen!" With that, the loyalist Yuya forces split from the group, off to forcefully seize the starport.

With Clexmose gone, High Lord Sethus looked around, and then found his prize. The enemy command center was a building Heulyn would recognize, for it was Sucali's Pyramid Tomb. His spiritual aura was oddly not present, but Nerotep's own mighty spirit was certainly in there. Sethus nodded, "And that is our goal. Remember, while it is preferable to take him alive, Nerotep must be defeated here. Do what it takes, and this war is over. Tifuri, have the Royal Guard secure the perimeter and seal off all alternative entrances, and then use one of those entrances to enter and support. Heulyn, you and the mystics will come with me. We will head straight through the front. Prepare yourself."
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on Thu 30 Apr 2020 - 7:14
She felt there was a firestorm in her chest. The underside of her clothing sticking to her now sweating back. And it was supposed to be sweat proof. A crashing wave of elation could be felt from Iskandar from what she could sense. Found a true worthy opponent. Taking a glance to the side she could see with her third eye that he was locked in chariot combat with a Yuya chariot rider. The armies around them in a deadlock. The level of skill, valor, and passion on both sides would be something she would applaud if she wasn’t a sweating pig. The Anubites were lucky that the noise seemed to get dimmer. Unfortunately for her she was stuck with her sensitive senses. Her head turn in attention to Clexmose 'plan of action. “Ascluphoes! Give support to the Marines and Royal Guard out here!” She barked the order to her Servant who obeyed without question. It was rather logical to him anyways since he would be more of use this way.

“Ah…” She let out a noise as she attempted to reorient herself. They were in the last stretch. The last years have all been building up to this moment. It was nostalgic in a way of having her fair share of ‘final battles’. The adrenaline, blood, pain. They all came back to her. But rather than crippling her in those dark emotions it empowered her. Her will became steadfast. In a small, quiet part of her that she doesn’t listen to. She misses it. There was no need to parrot a motivational speech that she made back in the hanger so she just gave a nod. Kheiron gallop at a cautious pace along the mystics as they make their way into the pyramid. All the while Heulyn couldn’t help but think about Sucali. Those thoughts were pushed away when they got inside. She needed to focus after all.
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on Sat 2 May 2020 - 3:13
Heulyn would be entirely unable to sense Sucali, even as she got closer to his pyramid. It seemed he was completely absent from this place in this pivotal hour, so it seemed he simply wouldn't be here for the final confrontation. But there was one extremely powerful spiritual being within, one she had sensed before in this very same building. Nerotep's soul was burning, stronger than it was before when she had last met him. Anger was boiling over, power was concentrating, and the Pyramid started to take on a glow. The silence around the pyramid was disturbed by muffled shouting from within the pyramid, followed by a brief burst of gunfire, and then complete silence. Sethus did not like this, and so he quickly led the mystics towards the front door. Wasting no time, he shoulder charged the door, forcing it open.

Within, the room was filled with corpses. The bodies of Yuya Soldiers, Strategists, Technicians, and Mystics, all scattered throughout the building. Some showed signs of struggle, their weapons still gripped in their dead grips, while others had stabbed themselves with their own blades, primarily the mystics. But from their bodies streamed out spiritual energy, all of which was aimed towards the center of the room. Standing atop Sucali's sarcophagus was Nerotep, wearing his full armor with eyes glowing a dark green. A dozen Anubite Skulls floated around him, in a circle formation. Within each Heulyn could sense was a powerful Anubite Soul, who was transferring their power to Nerotep. The Rogue Yuya Lord looked up at the new arrivals, speaking calmly, "And so the puppet arrives. The false Rwim, false High Lord. Joined by my treacherous kin, and the beast apprentice. What a perfect gathering. When all of you fall, and your spirits removed from play forever, the shackles will be broken. The Anubite Empire, all of its citizens, and all souls under threat... We will be free."

Sethus, disgusted by the sight, stomped forward, anger seeping from his voice, "Free? You killed your own soldiers, your own family! I have little interest in your freedom if it means I shall be liberated only from my mortal coil, scum of the Son! I am a True High Lord, but it does not take a lord to see that you have simply gone entirely mad, Nerotep!"

Nerotep just grunted, "Idiot. Even with the creature besides you, and all your years as High Lord, you haven't gained a single glimpse into the reality of your position. I could at least have some respect if you did this for selfish reasons, but ignorance is never worth a compliment. You won't be getting in my way." He then pointed straight to Heulyn, "You, give up. As should the rest of you! None of you need die here for a fool! Join me, there is more in play than you realize, and I can free you from the shackles binding you! That should be most relevant to you, the walking science experiment."
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