Logs:Pillars of Strength

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Pillars of Strength

(Rolled a chance die for a dramatic failure. < 1 >) <OOC> Zodiac says, "... muddy7 just tripped and splattered onto the ground on it's own." <OOC> Brielle giggles. <OOC> Jericho says, "He was special. He rode the short bus in." <OOC> Rhys says, "Yay!"

Dramatis Personae

Rhys, Brielle, Jericho and Sloan with Zodiac as Book

30 January, 2016

Book has shown up again outside the lighthouse with warnings of a growing danger in the Hedge. A handful of brave and possibly far too trusting Lost have answered the call and taken up the quest.


North Point Lighthouse and surrounding Hedge

The shadowy figure that has arrived from the hedge, stepping out of the darkness like a wraith, is viewed with suspicion by many, outright hostility by some and curiosity by those who might not know him. Cloaked in a fluttering, torn black robe, a skeletal face barely visible under the hood, he is not one to inspire love and hope. An ink stain on the otherwise clear ground he stands, waiting, after having given his warning. There is a danger out in the hedge, a danger that affects everyone here, and only those here can stop it. More he would not say, until those willing to fight had come.

Well willing to fight is almost synonymous with Summer Ogres so it should surprise no one that Sloan arrives. He is dressed for a gang fight, he has a bandanna wrapped around his forehead and is wearing a leather jacket, jeans and leather gloves on his hands. He walks over towards the unknown man looking around a bit unsure exactly why he chose this fight but maybe he just felt the need for one.

Jericho... uh. Take whatever the diametric opposite of 'shadowy' is, and that's pretty much the Metalflesh. The boy's about as subtle as a train wreck.

On a boat.

Ahem. Needless to say, he's not exactly the sort of person that's easily missed. It's the footfalls that announce him first; heavy, measured and steadily clipped. Those lead into the aura of silvery-white radiance that seems to surround him at all times; a clean, almost liquid glow that - while it appears to emanate primarily form the wispy, ghostlight tendrils that trail from his shoulders - does not really seem to fade as it extends outwards. Rather, the illumination reaches some set point of about two meters then abruptly stops as if striking some unseen barrier.

Given that he comes in from the Hedgeside, it's probably no real surprise that the Warmaster is loaded for bear; in addition to the interlocking, heavy plates of bronze-etched gold, a straight blade - nearly five feet long and lacking any sort of conventional cross-guard - sits slung across his shoulders. What's more, as he draws nearer one might discern peculiar, dark flecks - reddish brown, almost as if rust or dried blood - that spatter up his arms and legs, even going so far as to swirl within the sirocco breezes of his mantle until they fade away into nothingness a few feet from him.

Whatever the case, either he's heard tell of this fellow putting out a call for warriors, or fate simply decreed that he visit the lighthouse today - because Jericho appears to be, barring any interruption, on a juggernaut-like beeline towards the figure in question.

While Brielle wasn't the best fighter she was good at ranged things and she could probably heal if others needed it. She'd brought some hedgefruit in case she needed it. When she sees the man standing there's a bit of a head tilt and her black eyes blink. Amos peers out of the pack as well, wondering what they should do. Then she starts over towards the men.

Rhys seems to be here out of a mixture or curiosity and concern. With his backpack, turtle armor, and knife at the ready, he waits for the figure to show up, then follows Jericho and the rest towards the hooded figure.

The dark figure looks at the four that showed up, boney face grimacing slightly. "When I said that there was a threat-" his voice is dry, dusty, cracking on each word, "that could affect everyone in this region, I expected more of a response. One works with what one is given though. I am Book." Dark eyes move to each person in turn, judging. "There is, in the hedge, a secret place. A Gentry is constructing a device of incredible power, one used to dominate the weak of mind and suppress the will of others. When it is finished no one here will be safe."

Sloan nods to Book and says, "So it is our job ot wreck the doohickey right?" he then looks back and gives Brielle a smile since she is the only one of the others he really knows."

As he draws closer, Jericho reaches up to drag the featureless, slit-visored helmet off and tuck it beneath one arm - revealing a face that, while at least more humanoid, might be described as being entirely as expressionless - smooth silver skin, polished to a reflective sheen, that bears no hint of crease, joint or wrinkle; coupled with a cascade of shoulder length hair that might almost appear as luminous as the wing-like ephemera at his back. Even as he speaks, the flesh flows like some heavy liquid; almost akin to mercury. "Mn. Well;" That, first, in a deeply resonant baritone - the smooth voice bringing with it the vaguest hint of a local accent as his attention flicks from person to person before returning to the dark figure. "I suppose that'd be because the _sane_ response when most people are presented with danger is to get as far away from it as possible. We're..." there's a brief moment of quiescence there, followed by a faint upturn of the very corner of his lips as he jerks the edge of his chin towards the rest. "Apparently qualify as not that."

Brielle gives a bit of a nod to Book, "Good to meet you, Mister Book." she tells him. Then she listens to what he has to say and there's a bit of a hmm. "I can do ranged combat. I will help as much as I can. I can heal as well." she offers. Then there's a nod of greeting to the others as she knows them. Rhys nods slowly. "Can you give us a description of the machine and the dangers around it, Mr.....Book, right?" he asks.

"That is the plan. The device is an obelisk of the most black stone. Its master is gone, he does not feel that it is in any danger. Constructing it are beings of mud and stone, mindless golems. They will defend it to the bitter end." Book looks from person to person again. "They are the least of the threats. Even partially constructed as it is the obelisk reaches out, trying to dominate the minds of those around it. It is weak, for now, but will grow stronger in both range and intensity every passing day. You will have to steel your wills to not be suppressed. The strongest among you will have the most difficult time. This is sadly a trap, laid for myself."

From one sleeve he withdraws a small, black fragment of stone dangling on a string. It twists and jumps on the end of its leash, tugging towards the paths leading deeper into the hedge. "I was only able to remove this small fragment. The pieces of the obelisk are drawn to each other. It will lead you to where the rest stands. Shatter it, topple it, that will destroy it." A pause, and then, "There is one more thing."

Sloan nods listening. He grimaces on hearing the strongest will have the hardest time, thinking only of physical strength. He nods to Book, "Well If I can get close to it I can weaken it for a bit so that it can be more easily broken." He then says, "Though I might need some cover cause that would leave me open to the golems attacks."

"Golems I can handle." Jericho offers with a singular nod towards Sloan. "Plus, I'm more hardheaded than your average bear - just ask my wife." That... might be a joke; though apart from a faint upturn of the very corner of his lips and an almost actinic flicker of amusement across his eyes, the Metalflesh gives no other indication. A breath later, he glances back to the rest of the group - then once more returns his attention to Book.

Rhys nods again. "What's the one other thing?" he asks. , shifting his backpack a bit.

"No information comes without price, not even this warning. The price though you will find easy to pay. When you shatter the obelisk retrieve for me three fragments from its very core. Do not touch them with your hands bare. The task will be simple, once you have prevailed." With that though Book falls silent as the shadows that seem to cover him.

Brielle quirks an eyebrow as more information is given, "So it's a trap set for you." she repeats. There's a bit of a 'are you serious?' look. She looks to Rhys, Jericho and Sloan, "You guys up for this?" she asks them. "Sounds a bit funky. But maybe I can talk to some hobs or something along the way." she muses.

"Maybe." That, it seems, is Jericho's entirely too cheerful answer to Brielle's question - the single word punctuated with a fractional nod before he shifts his attention back towards the figure. "Three questions, first - one, why would they want to trap you. Two, why aren't you getting it yourself if you already know what to expect. Three, what are you going to do with the fragments - what use are they to you?" Because, after all ,it's not paranoia when godlike embodiments of pure chaos really _are_ after you. And stuff.

Sloan nods to Brielle, "All the intel we can get is a bonus." he cracks his knuckles, "Not sure I am up to it but I know we have to try if this thing is as nasty as he says it is." He looks to the others to see they share their thoughts.

Rhys nods to Brielle. "Funky" is one way to put this." He then nods to Jericho's questions. "Yeah..."

Book chuckles a dry, dusty chuckle, with something like the sound of pages falling blended in. "Information costs you, but I am willing to answer your questions. The first is simple, some of the Gentry think I should be them. Some consider me a threat. I have many enemies, this is one. The second is already answered, the stronger one is the more influence the obelisk will have. Someone like myself finds it difficult to even move. I suspect that you will not be so burdened. The last is easiest. They are powerful materials. I will make tools and weapons to fight against those who wish to enslave us all."

"That I understand; but in this case the only thing the information does is help us help _you_, so... I'd figure anything you give us 's ultimately to your own benefit." Pause. Beat. Just long enough, it seems, to allow Jericho to give the wheezing, cloaked figure a more focused up and down glance before he continues - still in that deadpan seriousness. "I mean, it's not like I asked what the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow was, right?" Ahem. Yes, he went there.

That aside, though, the Metalflesh ultimately nods once again - glancing back to the others with a faint tilt of his head up and to one side. "Either way, sounds like something we need to get involved with. We're short on ranks, so if anyone knows anyone who can get her quick now would be the time - otherwise... seems like we've got a job to do."

Sloan shakes his head, "No one I can reliably get a hold of." he looks around the group, "I think it might be just us."

Rhys nods. "Noted", still staring at Book, observing the changeling.

Brielle gives a nod to Jericho's questions and then Books answers. There's a shake of her head, "No others known for the moment except the ones here. If the others wanted to be here they would." the Shadowsoul states as she looks to Jericho and then the others.

On one long bony finger the stone on a string is presented to those present. "I have given you all the information that I can and given you what you need. Proceed with caution. I will wait here for your successful return or," voice grim, "your hopeful rescue party."

Sloan does not take the stone divining device leaving that job for another then he says, "Well either way it is not gonna get easier while we wait." he shakes his head, "If we don't come back send in the marines." He cracks his knuckles and shrugs his shoulders waiting to follow whomever decides to be the leader.

"You're in luck, then." Another momentary crackle of amusement there - more visible in the flash of his eyes and slightly wry cant to his voice than anything else - as Jericho glances back towards Sloan. "I am the Marines." Ahem. Again, maybe a joke. The attention lingers on Sloan for a second longer before he turns - first to the stone, then back to the rest. "I sort of need both hands for this;" that statement punctuated with a jerk of his chin to the +5 Overcompensator he's got slung at his back. "One of you others have a free one?"

Rhys looks at his knife, then back to Jericho. "I'll take it, if Brielle's okay with it", he says.

"I'll take the stone. Probably good to have someone that can navigate take it." Brielle states as she reaches long and pale fingers out to take the string, not touching the stone. She wasn't touching the weird thing. She then gives a bit of a nod to Book before she looks to the group, "Alright. Shall we?" she asks them with a smile. She was trying to keep the smile on her face. So she wouldn't seem worried. She settles the bow on her shoulder and then waits for the others.

The trip through the hedge is somewhat uneventful, for the danger that is normally involved in such a task. Whether it is luck or the path that the stone is taking the intrepid group on there does not seem to be much out wandering at the moment. Then again, that could also mean something much, much larger is out hunting and everything with half a brain is hiding. Nevertheless the stone keeps tugging away at the cord, jerking in the air, trying to make its way home again.

Sloan follows along behind Brielle, not talking a whole lot trying to focus his mind on resisting whatever powers the obelisk has. He looks at the others and says, 'Might as well get this out of the way, "I am Sloan, I think I have seen you both before but don't really know you."

Jericho stays up near to the front of the group; near enough to interpose should something threatening appear but, otherwise, he follows Brielle's lead. Somewhere along the line, the Metalflesh unlimbers the monolithic zweihander he's had strapped to his back - gripping the moonsteel blade at the ricasso, between the paired parrenhakken, and holding it point down and behind him as he continues along. When the introductions start up, however, he flicks another glance to the rest. "Jericho Whittaker, of Summer. Warmaster of the Iron Wall."

Brielle wasn't scared to take the stone and whether it's that or sheer luck they don't encounter the myriad of things they could have. "This reminds me of that one movie with the halflings. The Lord of the Rings. Maybe I shouldn't watch fantasy movies anymore..." she murmurs to Amos. The little imp is in her pack.

Rhys is concentrating and slightly frowning, but nods to Sloan and says ""Nice to see you again, Sloan. Rhys." Then falls silent again.

Sloan walks along and nods o Rhy, 'yes it is. 'he then grins, "You were one of the first folks I met in town." he then asks, "How is Owne doing I have not seen him lately?" He keeps walking along following the stone.

Without giant changeling eating ogres, hedge dragons or the massive burrow worms the trip is a rather quiet affair. There was an incident or two, something large moving in the distance, a scream of pain and anguish followed by silence, but nothing on the trod that they are walking. The change though is subtle at first, a downward pressure like the atmosphere is thick or gravity is stronger. Each step the effect grows, making it harder to put one foot in front of the other. The path opens up ahead and motion can be seen, though at this distance nothing can be specifically pointed out. It has begun.

The stone in Brielle's hands jerks forward and the Fairest goes with it for a moment and then gives a look over her shoulder, "There's movement up ahead. Probably need to get ready for the not so warm welcome." she tells the others as she looks back to the front. She was hoping no one was going to get hurt badly in this trip. Then there's the trouble walking, "Umm. There's also something pressing down on us. So keep aware of things." she adds.

With stubborn determination Sloan walks forward one slow step at a time, possibly too hard headed to let the mental effects stop his body. Once he gets there he sees the situation and turn moves back to the group, "Alright there is a bunch of them, but I can make it weak if I have clear sight of it, if one of you could shatter it from a distance that might do the trick."

Jericho's step does falter - briefly - but the Metalflesh recovers after a heartbeat and carries on; lips drawing back and teeth, every bit as silver as the rest of him, gritting down just before he snaps up the helmet and pushes it on in an almost vindictive briskness. "Yeah. I feel it." That, it seems, towards Brielle. "Sorta like the crap we felt outside those holes that've been popping up, yeah? Not exactly, though."

Rhys twitches when he steps into the affected zone, but seems to be moving at a relatively nice, but slow pace. "Grk. That's something", he says in a hushed tone. He nods to Sloan. "Gotcha. What us to divert attention away?", he says after taking out his knife, fiddling with it a bit. "And the holes? A bit, though it was more...subtle than this".

Brielle gives a nod to Sloan and then one to Jericho, "Yes, a little similar. The other makes you go crazy a little at a time. Let's hope that we don't have something that does that here." she tells Jericho. "Alright. Going to go ahead and move in. Everyone be on your guard." she states as she makes her way forward.

Sloan moves up slowly behind Brielle, once he gets with in sight of the obelisk they are seeking he focuses his thoughts on it and moves his hands in front of him like he is breaking the image. This causes no obvious harm to the stone but it does protend it's hopefully soon destruction.

Rhys looks around, and sees the mud-golem closest to the party. Still fiddling with his knife slightly, he stares intensely at the golem. Then a sharp autumn breeze gusts out from behind him and blasts the golem in the chest.

It's all about momentum, really; and the Metalflesh tends towards 'locomotive' in his mannerisms. True, there was that brief misstep earlier - but once he'd recovered, Jericho seems to push forwards with an ever-increasing force and speed. Midstep, the Metalflesh grips his blade at the hilt - keeping the off hand securely wrapped around it's ricasso - and uses both his forward acceleration and a focused degree of force from his arms and shoulders to cut forwards and upwards in a long arc; catching one of the mud-like things low and tearing through it at an ascending diagonal to, effectively, Voltron the thing into two halves as he passes by it.

Brielle wraps the cord around her hand as she nocks one of her arrows and she takes just a second to sight one of the muddy guys. She looses the arrow and then waits to see if it does any good. Apparently it does!

Sloan runs up to the obelisk and with a mighty bellow swings his clenches fist into it, trying ot destroy it before it can control his mind.

The strike hits true, smashing a corner of the obelisk, fragments flying off. In mid air though the fragments turn and fly back, snapping back into place, sealing as if never struck in the first place.

The mudmen finally seem to see that there is a threat. As one they turn towards the invaders, lifting arms of dripping mud and stone, shapes that look vaguely like mouths open in silent groans or screams. They shamble towards them, the first reaching the Metelflesh, fists coming down to smash against armor and... leave some streaks on it. That might take a bit of spit and polish to wash off.

Rhys runs up to the fragment, touching the blade of his knife briefly, frowning, but taking swing at the obelisk. "Damn!", he says, when it starts to reform again.

That... gets his attention; but really, not much more. Jericho instinctively wheels back as the Mud golem slams at him - likely tucking out of the way just quickly enough so that all it does is leave the dirty streak across the front of his armor. On the plus side, it sort of matches the natural, permanent blood splatters that stain the suit - on the minus, it's still _mud_. Ick. At least he's not a Fairest, right? Whatever the case might be, the Metalflesh gives the attacking creature a rather cross look - sideways, irritated, but otherwise peripheral - then half steps to one side and lunges towards the _other_ golem; the one that seems to be just a touch slower on the draw than his fellows. This one gets the first third of the Warmaster's blade shoved straight through it's midsection; then twisted as he yanks it out through one side.

That aura from the obelisk is heavy, weighing down on on everyone like it is trying to shove them into the mud at their feet. While it does not seem to make any action the sensations of hate from the thing can almost be felt. There are groans around, the ground boiling in muddy splats, shapes rising from the depths and forming into new golems. These shamble for a moment, then turn on the attackers.

Brielle gives a bit of a wide eyed look, "Oh shit." she states as she nocks another arrow. She really didn't want to get hit by one of these things. It would probably hurt. She sights in on the other golem and fires on it. Splattering it back into the earth that made it.

Sloan shakes his head to clear his thoughts and focuses on smashing the obelisk sadly he is not green and he is not the Hulk. So all of his efforts yield nothing in the way of results.

Rhys staggers a bit, but centers himself and takes a swing at the tower. Same as before, the tower reforms.

In fairness, he _is_ a member of the Legion; and that Entitlement is rather well known to having an almost fanatic adherence to combat training and skill development. On the other hand, though, there's a certain elegance to the way the Metalflesh moves - crisp and efficient, yes, but it might almost seem that he grows more fluid, more seamless as the moments of the battle press on. One motion feeds, _flows_ into another; the weight of the sword used to carry on his own swing and steps rather than seeming to fight against them as a burden. One of the newly risen golems seems to grow out of the muck right in the path of the Elementals onslaught - and catches the edge of the blade horizontally across the midsection even before it's fully formed - sending it toppling in two pieces as Jericho simply carries onwards.

Every attack against the obelisk seems to, up to this point, fail. The massive stone thing just presses its awful will down upon the changelings, trying to dominate their minds. Even as the various mud golems fall even more rise up out of the ground beneath their feet, clawing their way up to the surface and shambling towards the group. There does not seem to be an end to their numbers.

Reaching outwards the mud golems shamble towards the nearest attackers they can find. One rises up behind Brielle, arms lifted high above what it uses for the shape of a head, then they come crashing down upon her. Another shambles towards Rhys... it too rises up, then in a turn of incredible luck it stumbles, falls and splashes to the ground, returning to the mud it formed from.

Nock and loose. It's sort of like lather, rinse, repeat. Brielle takes aim at the one that hit her and there's a bit of a grumpy look on her face as she delivers the arrow that she had knocked. But it doesn't splatter like the other hits had. Damn it!

Sloan moves away from the obelisk and shouts to Brielle and Jericho, "My fits are doing nothing ot it, you guys try." he then moves over to one of the golems and smashes it trying to help the cause however he can.

Rhys turns around and sprints towards the muddy attacking Brielle, slashing it to muddy bits. "Brielle, aim for the tower, please! I'll take care of the muddies!" He says, turning around again to face the rest of the mud golems and the obelisk.

"I'm on it. Cover the arty." Arty, apparently, would refer to Brielle - if Jericho's accompanying jerk of his chin is any indication. Congratulations, ma'am; you've been promoted to field artillery.

Ahem. Right Whatever the case might be, though, after that barked out call - sent, it seems, mostly towards Sloan and Rhys - Jericho rolls back to his heels and jerks himself out of the patterned rhythm that he had been falling into. A quick glance is shot towards the other two men - and the obelisk they had been assaulting - before the metalflesh seems to come to some decision and lets one hand slide up the hilt of his blade; catching, now, just beneath the upper pair of parenhakken while the other hand slides down to very nearly the pommel. And then he moves - shoulder forward, zweihander held down and to one side to trail behind him as he almost seems to linebacker-rush through the combatants in a dead set line towards the pillar. About three or four paces away, all of that momentum, all of that stored potential energy suddenly bursts forth with a launch forwards and upwards - a leaping slash that brings the blade, first, up and over his head then at it's very apex swings down again - using both the force of his rush, and the forward motion to reinforce the delivery.

There is a resounding crack when blade meets stone, the strike causing part of the obelisk to shatter violently. A massive chunk is sheered away, fragments flying away from the impact. This time they don't slide back into place. Instead they twitch and quiver on the ground, flung far enough away that they don't seem to have the strength to return. For once the obelisk actually seems damaged.

There is a sound, one hard to describe, nails on chalkboard, whining stone and crystal, from the quivering obelisk. If anything the malevolence from it is all the stronger. The golems attack with renewed vigor. It would appear that the attack was a success, as it is trying all the harder to stop them now.

With renewed fury the golems swing at the attackers, mud flying. One wild haymaker of a strike manages to land against Sloan, catching him hard across the back. Another swings at Brielle but doesn't manage to connect, though there is mud splattered everywhere now.

When Rhys tells Brielle to shoot at the obelisk there's a nod and the archer changes her target. Bodkin arrows were probably better suited for that anyways. She lets Sloan and Rhys take on the Muddy's while she helps Jericho tear down the obelisk. The Obelisk and the blows from the mud golems slow him down but Sloan keeps swinging. He makes solid contact with Muddy but does not drop the creature.

This is decidedly different than the way the Metalflesh had been fighting before. When engaged with the golems, Jericho was enwrapped in something very much akin to a dance - sweeping, interconnected attacks and parries that seemed to join together into a single tapestry of motion. Here, though, when he focuses his attention on the obelisk? It's all about raw power. The Metalflesh wields that moonstone blade almost like a sledgehammer - gripping it at the lowest and midpoint of the hilt, sweeping back without any apparent concern given to defense and leaning his full weight into every swing. After the first leaping slash landed, he allowed the momentum to carry him forwards - then abruptly spun back and around with a crescent shaped, horizontal cut directly to the opposite side of his first - in that same sort of manner that one might use to fell a tree.

The obelisk shudders at the strikes, an explosion of fragments flying from the impact, scattering about on the mud and ground. The force of the strike exposes the core of the stone, a thick vein of pulsing black crystal running it's entire length. The obelisk trembles, teetering, but still upright for the moment.

The mud golems drop to the ground, returning to the earth they came from mid swing. There are a few splatters of still falling mud when the earth erupts. Clawing from the ground is something that could only be described as massive. Twelve feet of stone and slopping mud it rises above the attackers, bellowing out a earth shaking roar.

With casual ease the massive mud monster gives a backhand swing at Sloan, sweeping him off his feet and knocking him across the clearing, then it turns towards the rest and roars again.

Brielle focuses on things as Jericho cracks the obelisk open and the actual center is exposed. She aims her next shot at it, even as the mud golems and things keep coming. Hopefully the damage would start to mount against it.

Sloan bellows out a roar back at Giant muddy and charges. He rams himself head long into the critter likely not really doing much to it.

Rhys shakes, himself, and moves rapidly towards the crystal, making a heavy thrust, seemingly stabbing it in its dark core.

Through the sound of the roaring beast, the squelching of mud, the heavy fighting the sound of that blade striking the crystal can clearly be heard as a soft, metallic 'tink' followed by a sharp crack. Another, then another follows, fractures running up and down the length of the vein. It pulses once, twice, and then a third final blast before the entire obelisk shatters, exploding outwards. Pieces of stone drop from above, slamming into the mud below.

On the other side of the fighting the mud monster stumbles, staggers, goes down on one knee. It reaches outwards, towards the fragmented mess of the obelisk, then collapses back into the mud it came from, dissolving away.

He seems just about to rear back and launch another attack at the obelisk when it shatters - and, almost in a protracted slow motion response, Jericho watches the cracks snake upwards for a moment or two before almost reflexively dropping to one knee and turning aside; putting his back and profile towards the exploding edifice as bits of it rain down around him. He remains in place for a few heartbeats longer until - finally - a low breath rattles out and he straightens again; head canting from one side to the other then shaking briskly as if to clear it - before he ultimately glances back and around to the rest. "Everyone in one piece?"

Sloan pats himself down and says, "Yeah a bit banged up but nothing I can't sleep off." he then says, "Might spend the night in the lighthouse rather then walking home though." He then adds, "I got gloves on so want to to grab the pieces for Book?"

There's a bit of a surprised noise from Brielle as things start to shatter and fall. The Fairest backpedals and Amos grabs onto one of the flowers at her temple to keep from tumbling out onto the dirt behind her. "I think we're alright." she tells Jericho once things are done rattling and collapsing. "Let's get the shards and get them back to Book." she adds.

"I'm good. Tired, but good" as he dusts himself off, and puts back his knife after muttering "Thanks" and putting it back in its sheath. Then, he says "So....whose against taking extra pieces of these for ourselves? I don't know about you, but I semi-trust Book", leaning and putting down his backpack.

"Don't know 'im, personally." Jericho returns with a slight shake of his head as he turns all attention back to the rest. "But something about the way he talks doesn't sit well with me; blame it on me being a naturally suspicious individual. He says the Others 're after him to try and make him one of them - which, fine, I can believe. What I'm less convinced of is if he's not trying to go about it his _own_ way. We'll get him his three; but I figure we should haul at least one or two back to Valhalla and let someone - mebbe Tock - have a look at them to see what they make of it."

Sloan shrugs, "Not sure I trust him but a deal is a deal, not sure we have a deal but he thinks we do so best to stick it out." he then shakes his head, "I don't want a piece of that." he says, "I got enough troubles thinking normally." He nods in agreement with Jericho, "Yeah Tock should get a piece, she will know what to do with it. It couldn't hurt to bring a couple back for other folks either at Valhalla or the lighthouse."

Rhys nods to Sloan and Jericho. "Sounds like a plan. I'll get two pieces to Tock, but I'm not leaving them in the lighthouse. Valhalla, or the waking world probably, just in case", as he gets out his nalgene bottles of earth, and coaxes the earth to carrying some of the lighter fragments of the obelisk (crystal and outer), with two pieces in total.

"Sounds good to me." Jericho offers with a single nod towards Rhys "Actually, if you have a place in the real world, I'd suggest we leave one at Valhalla and one outside - just in case. Never hurts to have a backup, and there's that bit about putting all your eggs in one basket or something." As he speaks, the Metalflesh slides his zweihander back into it's baldric - following through with a slow gaze across the horizon line before finally stepping back towards the path.

The trip back seems to be as uneventful as the trip there, though in the distance there can be heard the sound of something massive crashing through the briar at one point. Safe and sound, if very muddy and a little beaten up the intrepid fighters are able to return to the lighthouse once more.

There, standing in the exact same spot as if having not moved a hair, is the dark shadow of Book. He speaks, voice dry and raspy, "I felt the obelisk crack and its power fade from here. You have saved all those here who decided to not lift a finger to help." Then one bony hand is held out, black sleeve covering all the way to the skeletal wrist. Asking, silently, for his dues.

Sloan looks over at Book and smiles, "Well sometimes that is what needs to be done. I am sure there are times when those not present tonight have saved us from things we might never know about. That is community." He is battered but oddly optimistic it seems. He looks to whomever carried the pieces and waits for them to be given to Book.

Brielle brushes some of the dust from her armor as they arrive back. There's a bit of a chuckle as they give things back to Book. She swings the shard on the string just a little, "This one as well?" she asks as she holds it out for him to take.

Rhys puts down his backpack, again coaxing the shards to Book, forming a pedestal of the earth, with the shards of the obelisk on it, with Rhys nodding towards it for Book take. "So, I'm guessing you'll be around?" he asks to Book.

Book seems to have no problem taking the shards in hand, despite the warnings that he gave. Its not that there is no reaction, even his bony flesh crawls when he dumps the shards onto his hand, fingers curling in reaction. But he examines each shattered piece of crystal in turn and seems to, in the end, decide they are acceptable. They disappear into his cloak with a motion of his hand. "I am, in the shadows. I trust you took pieces for yourself?"

Sloan smiles and uses some of the wisdom he has picked up on the streets sicne returning to the world, "Has there ever been a crew that didn't take a cut?" It is not a direct answer, but really close enough.

Rhys turns to Sloan, nodding, but otherwise remains silent.

Brielle doesn't give an answer. She just hands the shard back to the man and gives a nod, "We'll be in touch should you need anything." she tells Book. Then Amos peeks over her shoulder and looks over her like she's nuts.

Book gives a slight nod in return. "Be careful with those shards. They can shatter the mind of even the most trained individual," then starts back towards the hedge. In between one step and the next his form and shadow just seem to vanish, disappearing to where ever it is he goes when he is not around.