Gem Session @sinfulnature1123

Ceylon had foreseen the Mad Scribe before she'd arrived.

Her powers had been greatly dampened since entering her mechanical body but it was more than able to peek at something that near to the present.

The boss monster was odd, resembling the insectoid consorts of her land, but thoroughly living up to its name of 'Mad Scribe', a babbling, jittering psychotic that wandered the Rooted Tomes; a massive book on Ceylon's land that pulled information to it the way a tree did nutrients through its roots. For whatever reason the Scribe guarded the tome, and attacked any it even presumed to be trespassing.

Ceylon could only assume it had been the information of the tome itself that had driven the creature so mad, leaving him a husk rambling about logic and paradoxes. She was in no shape to fight the thing in her current state, she could see quite clearly that any attempt on that would leave her body in pieces.

Luckily she didn't need it dead.

She wasn't here for very much. The Mad Scribe seemed to know she was coming before she landed, a blast of ethereal light firing at her from the creature's hands. She dove out of the way and returned fire, putting everything she could muster into a single, concentrated rush of ice.

The Scribe was encased in this blue ice. She wasn't sure how long it would hold, but she was certain she'd be long gone by the time it broke free. Hurrying passed the deranged insect, she approached the Rooted Tome.

With a sigh, opened it, and as if off its own accord the pages fluttered to exactly the page she needed; showing her the locations of the special metals her denizen had tasked her with gathering, too well hidden for her handicapped future vision to spot. Memorizing the locations, she took off to collect.

Not a second too soon either; as she heard the ice cracking as she flew away.

Maxixe still wasn't used to her new outfit.

It seemed a smidge too revealing for her liking, confirmed by the Green Spinel's inability to keep her eyes above the belt before she'd returned to her own land. But she was thankfully away from prying eyes.

Actually, she realized, she was away from all eyes. She wasn't certain when exactly she'd become lost, though she refused to admit she was lost at all. Certainly not, she was simply exploring the uncharted territories of the land. Yes, that was it. Perfectly logical to be doing.

That being said, she'd certainly like to be exploring somewhere above ground again. She'd been wandering through a cave system for longer than she realized, and wasn't entirely certain of her way out. But the deeper she went... the more she felt something. She couldn't explain what, not even to herself, but she felt some kind of presence within these tunnels.

Given that the last powerful presence she'd met had shattered her, she had her scope at the ready; but the closer she got the more certain she was that the Carrier Frog was practically nothing compared to what she was feeling now.

And yet for all her trepidation couldn't convince herself to stop moving closer towards it. It was like it was calling to her.. ridiculous as the thought seemed.

When she found the source of it though, it seemed much less ridiculous. The tunnel opened up into an utterly massive open cave, the stone she walked on coming to an end at a pit so deep the darkness of it reminded her of the vastness of space she was used to seeing from her ship view when traveling between starless areas.

She tensed when she realized the cave was shaking slightly, tremors caused by something impossibly large moving within the cave. The beast slowly rose into view, Maxixe staring slack jawed at the creature before her.

She was horrific and beautiful and incomprehensible all at once. The bulk of her body was serpentine, long slender serpent's tail leading up to the body of a woman, a woman beautiful save for the uncountable, impossibly spark spines lining her back.

Maxixe couldn't move, nor could she speak, so certain that doing anything would mean her shattering and she wasn't sure if she'd come back a second time. Rather than attack her though, she creature spoke.

She spoke in a voice that Maxixe had no words to describe, one that she'd never heard and didn't speak, but that she somehow understood perfectly.

"Why have you come to the layer of Echidna? You are surely to weak to face me now."

Despite the imposing aura of this creature, Maxixe found herself still offended. Before she spoke though, the creature-Echidna-continued. "Have you perhaps come to hear The Choice?"

Maxixe hesitated at this. She was uncertain of anything this serpent was saying, but if she was some late game entity, it may be prudent to know where she was headed so she could better prepare for it. "Yes," She said, "I would like to hear this 'Choice' of yours."

"It is a simple one, one possible only to you. You must either free me from this pit and allow me to explore space freely, or kill me and condemn the session to failure."

Maxixe stared at Echidna, no longer in awe of her presence and more in sheer dumbfoundedness of the statement.

"You expect me to find a way for you titanic girth out through those tunnels? I'd need nukes the size of small moons to clear a path like that! How do I know you aren't just trying to save your own hide hm?"

"I expect only for you to make a choice. Take all the time you need to do so."

And with that, Echidna retreated back into the darkness, leaving Maxixe to stare in confused frustration for several minutes before turning back and attempting to find her way out of the tunnel system.

Imperial Jade had practically become a local celebrity across LoSaM; spoken of in an especially enigmatic tongue to prevent *them* learning of the entity that had been come to be called the Shadow Knight.

Jade was quite pleased with the nickname, even more so as she trained her shadowy powers within the forests and old marble alleyways. She had come to realize that her ability to pick up on and easily communicate with the thick and deceptive language her consorts spoke in was not merely the result of her component Gems having lived with a similar dance for ages.

It was itself a power. She drew from more than literal shadows it seems, able to draw power from deception itself, channeling it into her words and movements.

To what extent she could push it she wasn't certain, but it seemed to silence her steps and turn her into a liar that would make the locals sound like they'd been dipped in truth serum. She'd decided to refer to this ability set as 'Under Cover.'

Whether she had truly come up with the name herself or if it were fated to be called as such she wasn't certain.

But it would not be nearly as useful for her current mission as her other ability. She had not yet been able to replicate her shadow summoning of weapons again, at least not to the extent she had the first time.

It seems to have been something of a surge of panic that had allowed her to do something requiring so much power. But she could happily store weaponry inside shadows, pulling them out of seemingly thin air later, and if she focused could do the same herself.

The feeling was.. unsettling; something akin to being conscious while simultaneously not existing. But it was quite handy to avoid an attack. She'd come to call these ability, as well as the previous she had used 'Shadow Tools.'

And with these tools she currently hunted a local boss monster.

The Empty Forest, it seems, was Empty for a reason. Something inside was killing everything that entered too deep. And while Imperial Jade had heard tale of another location that had also been cleared out, a quarry where all who tread were eaten by what lay within, whatever was in the forest wasn't just eating. It was killing.

She supposed she only got as close as she did thanks to Under Cover, perhaps the first being to see the beast, The Grand Young as its health bar called it, before it began attacking. The massive quadruped had replaced the many thin legs of the previous monster Jade had encountered with a mere four; albeit thicker than tree trunks with hooves hard as stone.

But if there was something it and its kin had in common, it was the truly unnecessary number of fanged, slobbering mouths along its muscled, meaty torso.

Rather than antlers though, its back was lined was lined with slick, waving tentacles. She could tell this beast was nothing to underestimate without even needing to see the health of the creature. But she was here now, and she had the upper hand.

She reached into the shadows to draw the four bladed weapons she'd stored within, and prepared to pounce.

Caroline panted as she came to a stop, leaning on her battleaxe.

She hadn't thought it possible for her to tire herself out, but she'd been at it for so long without stop that exhaustion was finally catching up. It almost felt amusing after how long she'd spent in that infernal garden.

Thinking about that garden was, depending on one's perspective, either a good thing or bad. She'd carved her way through LoDaD to a massive nest of the Demons called the Flaming Church.

The Demons congregated there, developing more power and planning their attacks within the ever burning building.

It was evidently one of the most essential places on the planet to neutralize, and while it was in her sights now, the exhaustion of the Rose Quartz had prevented her from simply charging.

But as the thought of the garden, she felt body fill with a righteous energy the likes of which she wasn't familiar with but wholey welcomed. For the garden brought up thoughts of another Rose Quartz, the one that had-by choice or not-condemned Caroline to that garden, who had damned every other Rose Quartz without a second thought, who had shattered Caroline's Diamond.

Unknown to Caroline, a golden light began to emit from her skin, the brightest around her gemstone. She stood up straight, exhaustion not merely forgotten but gone altogether as she hefted her axe, eyes narrowing at the Flaming Church. She couldn't bring any justice to that rogue Rose Quartz, but she could certainly bring it to these accursed Demons.

She took off towards the building like a rocket, a word flashing in her mind and though she knew not its meaning she welcomed it as much as she did this knew energy.

Glorious Charge.

She crashed through the wall of the flaming demon hive with more force than she'd ever done anything, and with a roar that carried more power than she'd felt in awhile, she set dispatching the occupants.

She moved without thought, the energy guiding her hands as her axe seemed to cut through Demons with an ease she'd never noticed before.

Caroline didn't know how long it was before she came back to, kneeling on axe and panting even heavier than before. The Flaming Church was not merely cleared out but leveled; a battle meant for an army finished by a single soldier with a single axe.

Hessonite marched back and forth across the line of Rubies and Carnelians she had collected.

They all noticed that the normally collected demeanor of a Hessonite was gone, hands shaking and mouth spitting as she spoke, eye twitching as she used her wrists to wipe dried saliva and honey that had crusted around her mouth away. But for as odd as it was, they couldn't see anything wrong with it.

They'd all had some of the same honey themselves, and her actions were starting to make more and more sense to them all.

So when the soldier gem spun them a story of treachery and betrayal, of anti-Diamond terrorism gallivanting across these twelve planets and that had even corrupted their own allies such as Pink Lace and Ceylon; they listened.

The Hessonite's ravings were interrupted by a ping on her scanner. She eyed the screen and smiled, "And it looks like we've got some more allies."

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