作者 主题: 【Artifacts Unbound】Praxis p136-137  (阅读 1253 次)

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【Artifacts Unbound】Praxis p136-137
« 于: 2019-01-07, 周一 18:48:51 »
剧透 -   :
The painted elf stared at the rift, the ultimate physical
reminder of his good friend Dunkelzahn. It was an impressive thing; eight meters across at the furthest edges of the
ellipse. He stood alone in the massive chamber, surrounded
by deserted sensors and monitors where the UCAS Army
otherwise would have been keeping an eye on the rift and any
possible emissions. Astrally, the chamber was also empty.
It had become attuned to the magical energies used by the
Army to study the rift, as well as from the presence of spirits
and magicians whose job was to keep anything that might
emerge from the rift from leaving the heavily warded chamber.
Harlequin did not know why the chamber, not to mention the
entire bunker complex in which he was standing, would be
deserted this evening. Someone of considerable political power
within this city must have pulled every string and cashed in
every favor they had to pull this off; his suspicion rested on a
certain white-haired nubian elf.

剧透 -   :
Though he was alone, that would not last for long. He felt
the presence of another and witnessed the form of a massive
orange great dragon circling around the damaged Washington
Monument to approach the bunker from the east, directly above
Virginia Avenue. Harlequin stood and watched as she slowed,
hovering above the building before taking a human form and
landing on the balcony that ringed the chamber level some
twenty meters above the street below. She passed through the
security doors without objection. The elf watched her silently
until they stood face to face a few meters from the rift.
剧透 -   :
“No joke? No clever witticism? I’m insulted,” she said. The
shifting glow of the rift shimmered in her deep orange eyes as
she stared at the rift with a mix of curiosity and fear. She could
only imagine the hell that Ghostwalker experienced before he
tore his way out of the rift, which spilled magics onto this plane
that only a few of her kind could even begin to understand.
“I was summoned here, like you, against my better judgment.”
“As if your judgment was worth anything,” a male voice
announced from the shadows. Ehran emerged from the inky
blackness slowly, and with a pronounced limp. Frosty had informed her mentor of what had transpired on the ship as it
sailed across the Pacifc Ocean. She emerged shortly after he did,
and took her place at Harlequin’s right side.
剧透 -   :
Beyond the walls of the Watergate Rift Bunker, people
were moving about with purpose of action. Whatever political
favors had been called and moves made, the military personnel
of the UCAS, along with troops from megacorporations, foreign
armies, and mercenaries that were garrisoned across the river
at the UN Mission within the DC National Airport, had become
increasingly alarmed at the presence of the magic that otherwise
should have concealed the presence of Hestaby and the others.
Too many people started asking questions, and their trained
response after the years of chaos and violence that had plagued
this metroplex was to respond with overwhelming force. This
time, though, their forces would not be nearly enough.
剧透 -   :
The next two arrivals were eerily silent, even for this morose assembly. Lugh Surehand and Jonathon Reed entered the
rift chamber accompanied by their paladins, mercenaries, and
shadowrunners. Surehand carried the Sextant of Worlds, which
emitted a powerful aura on the astral plane that even the mundanes in the room could probably sense. The runners possessed
the Phaistos Disc and Shantaya’s Compass. With the three
artifacts together, the rift began to twist and distort. The glow
fluctuated in color and intensity as the air around them crackled
with energy. The artifacts, against all their normal inclinations,
wanted to be together. The rift wanted them.   
接下来抵达的两人安静得让人起疑,甚至对这一阴郁得组合也是如此。卢·休尔汉和乔纳森·里德(Jonathon Reed)进入裂缝间,带着他们的圣骑士、雇佣兵还有狂奔者。休尔汉拿着世界六分仪,它在星界散发着强烈的灵光,甚至房间里的凡俗都可能有所察觉。狂奔者持有斐斯托斯之碟(Phaistos Disc)和沙塔雅罗盘(Shantaya’s Compass)。三件奇物同处一处,裂缝开始扭曲变形。光芒的颜色和强度波动,周围空气发出噼啪的放电声。三件奇物违反了通常的倾向,渴望结合。裂缝渴求它们。
剧透 -   :
“These mortals should not be here,” a woman’s voice said,
breaking the silence. It came from a tall Persian woman who
approached the rift without any further acknowledgement of the others as she stood within reach of the planar fissure. She
held out her hand toward the rift, almost touching it. Blue
electricity arced toward the woman, and she hesitated before
pulling her arm back.
剧透 -   :
A chill ran down Harlequin’s spine for the frst time in centuries. He recognized Aden in his gender-bending human form.
From afar Harlequin admired the wyrm’s subtle jabs at the metahumanity’s assorted biases and assumptions. Standing in the
presence of the unexpected visitor, though, caused him to realize
that Ghostwalker had deceived them all.
剧透 -   :
“Nor should you,” Surehand growled. “Lofwyr and the humans are massing armies beyond these walls. If they knew you
were here, they would destroy this city from above just to end you.”
“Lofwyr knows better,” Hestaby said, interrupting them
as Surehand and Aden squared off. Aden carried a box in “her”
other hand, and Surehand smiled at the sight of it. He noticed
Reed staring at the box as well, and turned to face his former
protégé with a knowing yet sadistic smile.
剧透 -   :
“Please, everyone, maintain some level of decorum.” The voice
belonged to Aina Dupree, his dear friend. Her voice carried authority in this room whether anyone wanted to admit it. She
was responsible for this conclave being possible after all. Aina
walked into the chamber alongside a very somber looking human.
Harlequin eyed the man with some curiosity, and tried to fgure
out his old friend’s game. As they walked into the middle of the
group, he fnally remembered where he had seen this serious human. They once fought alongside each other at the gates of Vienna. Harlequin shook his head and then began to laugh outloud. And yet many here considered him to be the fool.
“Well, where is he?” Surehand asked aloud. He had unfnished business with most of the people in the chamber, and
he was not exhibiting the patience with his equals that he had
shown as High Prince.
剧透 -   :
As if to answer his question, the rift began to expand and
energy crackled and burst forth from within it, striking the walls
with enough intensity to burn and blast chunks of ferrocrete
into the air. The entire building shook, and all assembled within
converged together in front of the rift as it destroyed the roof and
floor surrounding it. The roof completely crumbled, then was
vaporized into dust by the combined protective magics of those
present. With the roof gone, they could all see what was coming:
The massive white great dragon descending down toward the rift
as the building was surrounded by an armada of military craft. None dared take action—history was flled with conflagrations being lit by much smaller sparks.
Ghostwalker stopped just above the group, his massive wings flapping slowly as everyone looked up at him. Everything
that happened, every move made, and every possible outcome
had shaped this one moment. The dragon wanted the artifacts
that he considered to be his alone, and that goal was now within
his reach. Harlequin had to admire the white wyrm for that if nothing else. He played a bunch of schemers like only he or his
clutchmate could.
剧透 -   :
The rift fnally began to stabilize. Surehand offered up the
sextant, and it rose to the dragon’s right claw. He then turned
and looked at the runners. They were out of their league, and
out of their element. They looked at each other with a measure
of grudging acceptance, and offered up the two artifacts in their
possession. Ghostwalker extended his right claw to receive them,
and offered everyone a glimpse of the Piri Reis map pressed
against his torso. Finally, Aden looked down at the box, and the
back up at Ghostwalker. He released his grip on the box, which was immediately taken by the hovering lizard.
With all of his tools in hand, the giant white dragon began
to perform an ancient magical ritual. The rift began to expand
outward and above him, creating a tunnel-like entrance. He was
preparing to enter hell, and Harlequin began to wonder if he was
going to drag them all in with him. It was also possible that
Ghostwalker might simply unleash hell on this patch of Earth.
He glimpsed over at Hestaby, and then at Aina. He saw fear in
their eyes. They had to do something, but he could not even speak.
The energy of the rift began to unravel from the portal-like
shape it had maintained for almost two decades, and it unraveled into tendrils of energy that wrapped around Ghostwalker as
he came in closer. He began to turn incorporeal and was passing
through them and their magics as he entered the rift. What
seemed like an excruciatingly slow process suddenly shifted, and
Ghostwalker simply vanished into the rift. Or what was left of
the rift. It shrank and faded behind him until it was a small
point of light.
剧透 -   :
Harlequin breathed. He found himself able to move and
blink just in time to feel a blast of pure mana sweep over hum.
Damn the pale wyrm, he thought. Ghostwalker slammed the
metaphorical door behind him so that none could follow. He
didn’t care to inform the assembled beings that closing the rift
would expel a large amount of energy back onto this plane roughly equivalent to the nuclear weapon Dunkelzahn used to open it
in the frst place. Equilibrium needed to be maintained. Harlequin
didn’t have time to think. He wrapped himself in defensive magic.
Everyone tried to save themselves. Raw mana tore at itself in slow
motion as he felt a thread of mana reach into his soul. He could
not sense anything, but he knew who was responsible. Aina was
performing some sort of ritual only she would understand. The
elves, the dragons, and even the Crusader all became as one with
her in the heart of their gestalt.
She used their combined magic and tricks to warp reality
around them. A surge of mana could not be simply be dispersed,
or absorbed, or channeled into something else. Harlequin simply
could not comprehend what she was doing as his entire being
was consumed in a white light, and felt that his fate was being
rewritten before the white light was replaced by the dark emptiness of … death?
No. Life.
« 上次编辑: 2019-08-05, 周一 01:18:11 由 马非鱼 »
If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's probably an Andrik