|Scene Title||Terra - The Elemental Pole of Fire|
|Synopsis||Jason gets a mission…|
The morning after. Or.. at least some point in time after. Jason may or may not have had sex with Jord, that is kind of undefined. It's Schrodinger's sex. But whatever he did wore him out and now he's waking up, presumably to find himself alone! Clothes are reached for and slipped on, a quick search of the bedroom taking place as he hunts for the relics left behind. Expanded senses quickly keying up to their full potential the better to scout out any hidden little recesses where things might have been hidden.
There are no relics. The Titan Avatars are not dumb. They are making escaping as difficult as possible as all his relics don't seem to be within the grass hut that he is in. Outside, he can hear the sounds of the jungle. Birds squeaking, insects buzzing andrustling of leaves. It's raining now, a heavy downpour actually as there's trickles of water leaking through the roof.
Awkward. Nothing says his relics are even /in/ Terra after all, Preethi might have confiscated them before handing them over. Still.. she might not have. A now dressed Jason opens the door to the outside to pass through, taking in a deep breath of the jungle air. His often handled relics should have something of the scent of him about him, and it is jut that which his hunter's instincts try to fasten on. Hopefully the scents not totally washed away by the pouring rain.
Clothed Jason is then! He turns his head this way and that not quite getting any clear scent on his relics through the pouring rain it seems. Still there is that movement to the right and left. Maybe? It's so hard to see, and with the sheer plethora of chaos in the environment from the rain his expanded senses don't seem to be helping him all that much. Finally he heads off to the left, exploring that way while he makes his way forward through the storm.
To the left to the left! That's where his stuff is according to Beyonce. And perhaps it holds his freedom! Who knows? There's a lot of thick foliage and variuos insects trying to bite and suck his blood all vampire style. Rawr. Still, things seem calm for now as it seems no one is watching. At least there's no one watching from what you can tell so far, though there's another movement in the bushes up ahead.
What Beyonce says is surely true. Jason endures the insects as best he can, divine skin amply resistant to mundane varieties but surely the insects of Terra are made of sterner stuff. Crouching down low and trying to move silently he moves to flank that sound of movement, hand pushing foilage aside so he can try to get a peek at the source of the sound.
Ribbit. Ribbit. A little tiny frog hops out from the bushes. It's one of those endangered yellow and black spotted poison arrow dart frogs. It just peers up towards Jason, canting it's head to the side before letting out another ribbit.
It's.. a frog. A frog really does not smell much like his relics at all! Jason is clearly being thrown off by the rain and he simply stares down at the little poisoned froggy for a moment, "Right. You're not what I was looking for. Friendly though, and in a land where nature rules supreme maybe you're even helpful hey? I'm looking for my guns. Do you know guns?" Jason is of course continuing to look through the rain, not really expecting the frog to be of help and so searching for any other huts or structures that can be made out through the pouring storm.
The frog continue to peer at him curiously. Ribbit ribbit. It then suddenly disappears as something from the brushes shrieks as it has the little wee froggy in it's beak. It's a griffin,and a huge one at that. OMG! It's Buckbeak from Harry Potter! It stares at Jason before it starts to charge, thinking him food as well.
Fuck! Jason is most certainly not Griffon food and right about now he is probably regretting the lack of heavy firepower. Still even without it he maintains the natural powers of his ichor and he slips out of his jacket, waiting for the griffon to begin it's charge before he charges on his own. Waiting until almost the last moment before he leaps into the air, body twisting so that he can land astride the beast. Nemean leather jacket being swung over the creatures head in an effort to pull the central mass of it between the beak and to make the sleeves into a makeshift pair of reins. Jason is trying to ride the damned thing.
SQURAK! Yes, that's what griffins sound like. With the nemean leather jack etin front of the beak, it's blinded starting to buck around trying to get Jason's off its back. STill it's unsuccessful and starts flapping it's powerful wings, starting to rise up above the jungle floor.
Excellent! In a.. griffon is trying to fly off with you on it's back kind of way. Jason digs his knees into the griffons side and hodls onto those sleeves keeping the makeshift pair of reins tight within the beak even as the bird begins to rise off the floor and hopefully above the treeline in quick order. Jason was having no luck finding any other structures or features of note while on the ground, the rain and the thick jungle combining to disorient and confuse but an aerial survey should allow him to get a much better sense of his surroundings and that is just what he is doing. Gaze sweeping back and forth along the skyline and the jungle floor, taking note of features of interest and getting the lay of the land.
As Jason rises up higher and higher in the air, all he will realize is one thing. This Greater Titan represents the first home of every Scion: the World. There is no easy way to symbolize something as vast and varied as Earth and its mundane heavens, so Terra doesn’t. It simply is them. The realm renders every natural aspect of the World. Unliving aspects are identical and to scale. Even when bound away, Terra maintained an unbreakable link with its creation and always represented it without flaw.
The difference between the two locations is the focus on nature. Nature is strong enough in Terra to exclude all else. Therefore, the Titan realm lacks people and all things made by them. No mortals wander its plains, and no cities dot its rivers and valleys. The signs of humanity are there, though. Mining causes deepening holes in mountains. Large, barren plains lie where cities should sit. Brown arteries cross nations where roads and rails are in the World proper.
Apart from Terra’s refusal to acknowledge the World’s mortal inhabitants, its portrayal of Earth’s landscape is accurate. Where natural animals reign in the World, in this Greater Titan they dominate. Where Earth’s flora and fauna possess bastions against intrusion, such as the rainforests and deep jungles, Terra possesses fortresses teeming with living defenses that brook no interference without resistance. Nemeans and typhonians represent the extreme of natural animals here, living in prides and murders and schools. Similarly scaled nemean and typhonian plants also mutely protect their weaker cousins, with monstrous flytraps snapping closed on animals that step wrong and huge bladderworts sucking in and digesting sharks in the oceans; many are capable of restraining even creatures with Epic Strength.
Whatever Jason might have been hoping to find that is not it. He is well accustomed to the Gods, whatever their incarnation and focus they are irrevocably tied to the concepts and ideas of man. Even those who most embody the natural world have their temples, their cultivated gardens, their acceptance of mankind as a part of the whole. He works to keep control of that griffon, his knees pressing to either side of it's body while he keeps that jacket thrust between it's beak such that he might have a pair of reins. A moment to try to get the grasp of how things work here and instead of searching out thickness he works to steer the griffon towards the thicket patch of jungle evident near where he was being held. The place where the natural order seems to hold sway the strongest, if there is an outpost to be found in this land where things are strangely backwards it seems it will be there.
Humanity bound the gods that turned them against their parents, and as such, there are no works or temples to any of them. Terra is Earth without humanity, animals rich with fecundity and all sorts of species of plants and animals surrounding the area. As he continues to fly, there's a small patch of forest that seems familiar. It's familiar for multiple reasons simple because it's an anomaly in the land. There's destruction, and there used to be something here. A resort of some sort that now looks to be completely destroyed…
Huh. Jason might have been here recently, or at least someplace rather like here. That particular stretch of coastline, that particular bit of land which is now destroyed. Huh. Huh huh huh. Recalling Claudine talking about the sacred mountain that she was so desperate to protect he turns his gaze now around the skyly, steering the Griffon into a circular pattern seeking out any such landmark. Any such peak that might serve as the cente of the natural power in this area.
As he approaches, he does see a rather tall mountain off in the distance. at least one that looks like it anyway. Still, the griffon squawks and circles down, eventually landing down in the ruins of the resort. It's eerily familiar. In fact, Jason could swear this is exactly where Aya filmed her video as there are various markings on the buildings marked Kuroko.
Ack! The Griffon is not responding to his controls! Jason does not want to land! He wants to keep going! Of course the Griffon also seems to be taking him to someplace that he should know. Either fate or the Titans are perhaps guiding it's motions. Jason cautiously dismounts once it has landed, working to free his jacket from it's beak and giving it a firm look of the "don't try and eat my head" variety before he moves off. Starting to explore the area. Of particular interest in the real world was the lab deep beneath the surface, that hidden away area of plants and spores that he released but that took Claudine to access as no entrance existed from the surface to there. So instead he explores, senses playing over the terrain seeking out items of interest.
The griffon squawks at the command and seems to follow it. For now. As he explores, there are a variety of various items that seem eerily familiar. There's some camera equipment with some lichens growing on it. A familiar wooden bed where he and Aya were simulating coitus that now has moss growing over it…
Jason is no fool. Really he is not, and as much as all of this might simply be here by chance.. the odds of this surviving in the world when nothing else has? It is a stage being set and the spotlight is upon him so he calls out, "You may make yourself known. I know you're watching. You knew I'd try to escape. You might not have known just how I would make my way here but you control this place, any path taken or any road trod might have guided me to this place. To this place I helped Claudine to destroy by my actions and by my choices. What do you want me to see?"
"You helped us. You helped my mother most of all.."
That's another familiar voice. The curvy young Filipina demigoddess suddenly appears from the foliage completely naked, her body lithe and athletic as she looks towards him. A soft chuckle under her breath can be heard as she idly runs her fingers through her hair.
"What did I want you to see? That you already helped serve the agenda of Terra herself.." Claudine says matter of factly.
Jason turns his gaze now towards the sound of that voice, gaze taking in that familiar figure thoughtfully. If Jord was to be believed than Claudine really had no idea she served Terra's agendra herself, her mother consumed and becoming a part of Gaia. Did Jord lie, or this figure now before him not Claudine at all? His eyes look her over for more than the ordinary, seeking out any telltale signs of an illusion or hints of shape shifting that might have been left behind.
"I decided to free some plants. Some spores. Some seed. This destruction around me? This was done without my consent. I was teleported far away just so I could not try to stop it." A sidelong look towards Claudine and he asks, "Why did the destruction have to happen. What they had created was freed. Was not that the important thing? Why destroy them after it was done?"
"You think Terra herself would allow such impudent mortals remain within her realm? Sure, she used them just as much as she was used, but Terra is angry. She is angry at mortals. Look around you in Earth. Pollution, poverty, constant warring. The humans are so boorish that they constantly fight themselves. They are like a virus invading the body of the Earth herself, and she is sick. She is angry. Terra feels her pain and wants it to be gone.."
Claudine smirks rather smugly as she idly runs her fingers through her hair as she looks and peers back towards him.
This is more and more not sounding Claudine, who although she wrecked such terrible devstation was not quite this fanatical about things. Jason steps closer the better to meet her gaze, finding a bit of ruined wall to lean against as he stares at her. "Some would say that they are her children as much as any other species that walks the land. That like any child, their accomplishments flatter their mother. That for all the harm that humanity might do they are wondrous too in the things they create. Some mothers would be proud. Why is Terra instead consumed by such rage?"
"Some children need to be punished." Claudine replies with a shrug of her shoulders as she wrinkles her nose and takes a deep breath. "Terra is a powerful Titan due to those that worshipped her. Centuries of civilizations worshipping mother nature herself gave power to Terra and her avatars. Now they are tainted. They forget that she provided for them. Instead they worship Aten as if he is the only thing worthy to worship. Even my people moved from their more animistic worship to worship the one God, Yahweh, Jehovah, whatever you call him, he is Aten. If your children totally forgot about you, their mother, would you not be angry?"
Well that sounds like Claudine. Huh. Jason continues to peer at her in a way not typically that in which he stares at naked females. "Perhaps" Jason says with a low release of breath, "But many children leave the nest. Many children fly far. Murdering them for forgetting to call home on Sundays seems a touch extreme." A look back towards the distant Griffon and he then asks, "Well. Lesson delivered. I did help to serve Terra's agenda, whether I meant it or not. This place now stands testament to nature's fury and to the power of nature's gifts."
"That it does, so you know her power. You know our power. Gaia, Jord, Kamimusuhi. All of them are my mothers to some extent. It was not my intention to deceive you, but I had to see where you stand on issues, and I would like you to stand with us. Gaia already hates the Dodekatheon much like you do. Look at them wasting their power. They won't even accept her other children, the gigantes, amongst them. They think they are so much better than everyone else, but yet, they are the most human of the gods with their lust and out of control emotions.."
Claudine slowly and tentatively approaches, keeping her distance unless she thinks it safe to press close to peer into his eyes.
Jason makes no effort at harming her as she draws near, nor any effort to push her away. It seems he is as curious to see what occurs within her eyes as she is to see the emotions play out in his. Deep within territory hostile to the children of the gods surrounded by many of those whom take fanatical to a whole new level it is no time to mouth off simply for the sake of it. Instead the Scion of Aphrodite carefully says, "Tell me of my own mother, for you cannot make a case against the Dodekatheon without speaking of the one whoose blood I come from. Tell me of what her humanity has wrought."
"Haven't you heard the stories? Your mother is the butt of epic poetry. Oh do not harm any of the gods, but Aphrodite.."
Claudine lets out a hearty laugh at both Jason's and Aphrodite's expense at that one as she twirls on her feet and turns to face him once more. She hrmms for a few moments and starts circling him like a carrion bird would it's prey.
"Think about it, for thousands of years your mother has been called weak, useless, acting as nothing more than a sex toy for the gods and mortals. Do you know what she did during World War II to help out your family? She served as a whore. She was about as fecund as my mothers are in producing Scions who would throw their lives away for a war they would eventually lose. How do you think she feels about that? She was a whore and a prostitute to the Axis soldiers as well,you know. You think she wasn't affected by her duty to her family?"
Jason gives a visible flinch at those words. Oh if Claudine wished to dig a barb into him she has managed that, for by now having been around as much as he has he is hardly ignorant to the way his mother has often served the Pantheon. He is not ignorant to the fact now that such influence as she wields is not for her mind, or her skills in any other area but in the bedroom. "And how do you think I would feel about the same? Jord has already shared my bed, and while I was not unwilling at the time neither was she invited there. She even tells me your other mothers intend to share it as well. Is that how you seek to win the favor of a child of Aphrodite, by making him a sex toy for the avatars of the titans?"
Letting that barb of his own linger for a moment he asks, "So that is why she turned against them? If so.. why not come to you. Surely she would find understanding here, if anywhere."
"Helena, the protogoddess you have trapped in that box of yours, is her favored daughter. As far as she has inherited your mother's traits, she never let herself get used by a man, never. Instead, she used them, using her wiles to her advantage. So, I figure your mother lived vicariously through her daughter, and considering who your sister serves.."
And Claudine leaves it at that, letting out another soft chuckle under her breath. "Jord is sex incarnate. She is the act of coitus. She doesn't care what you think."
Jason gives a dark look at the mention of Helena being Aphrodite's favored daughter. "My mother told me to kill her once, if I saw her again. My sister. To shoot her between the eyes for becoming very nearly the Avatar of a Titan. What then do you suggest, that my mother was simply trying to throw another of her sons to death in the war? That really she was proud of what Helena has accomplished with that deed? Pleased to have her alive again?" Jason is.. starting to look a little raw. Emotionally vulnerable. Claudine might be feeding him lies or truths but she is the first person who has really been able to sit down and give him any answers regarding his mother that at least seem reasonable and it is an issue which has been tearing him apart.
"I am not a mind reader, Mr. Xanthis. Perhaps what she did was a show that she was still loyal to the Dodekatheon. Or perhaps she wanted you killed. Do you know that it was she who led Eric Donner and Donnie Rhodes to Mami Wata who would have then given one of them to Ran.." Claudine offers, her brows furrowed as she continues to feed half truths and lies as she continues to circle him, gauging his reaction to every little thing she says.
Jason is actually not that good at gauging lies, just as he is really not all that great at telling them. For all of his espionagish aspirations in most of his personal dealigns and relationships the Scion of Aphrodite has tried to drift away from the manipulation of his mother and into something else. So he is buying it, looking punched in the stomach at the news about Eric Donner and Donnie Rhodes being given over. "I never knew what led them there. How they wound up captured. It was purest chance we found and rescued them at all. That.. that was her too? Perhaps she traded them for helping Helena in some way, they are well familiar with the Underworld and she was only recently returned."
"Tragic Death and Love mingle together to only bring pain and tragedy.." Claudine says, quoting the prophecy that most seers know by know. She chuckles once more, amused at Jason's moral dilemma as she shrugs her shoulders before soon pressing herself against his chest. "Are you angry now that you know this?"
What the heck? Is she trying to piss him off? Make him sad? Seduce him? Some weird combination of the three? She has managed two at least, he still looks like someone punched in the chest but deep within his gaze too is a fire that was not there before. The rage building within not concealed, "She attempted to sacrifice my brother? She probably attempted to sacrifice me? All for the honor of my sister? Of course I'm angry." Silksteel slides against her flesh as he takes in a deep breath and lets it out slowly moving his chest against hers int he process, "I hope that you are lying.. of course. I'd far rather be angry at you instead."
Claudine almost looks hurt at that as she npouts for a few moments and wrinkles her nose once more. "For what, telling you the truth? The truth hurts, Mr. Xanthis.." she says with a shrug of her shoulders as she stretches her arms into the air. "I cannot say if that was her motivation for sure, but all signs sure do point that way, doesn't it?"
Up so close Claudine's stretching bag draws Jason's eyes to her bared chest, despite his anger his gaze becoming captured there and lingering instead of returning at once to her features. "You may call me Jason if you would prefer" he says to her letting out another of those breaths, "But no. If you are telling the truth I have no right to be angry at you. You are the only person who has been willing to speak to me plainly about my mother and while I do not like what you had to say I cannot help but to thank you for that."
"Oh, Jason.." Claudine says with a come hither glance as she starts heading towards one of the huts that remain untouched by the damage she caused. "I know you're trying to escape. My mothers know you're trying to escape. Have you wondered why there is nothing trying to stop you?" she asks curiously as she sashsays her hips from side to side.
Angry Jason is not sexy Jason! He is shoot things until they die horribly Jason, and not with the Orgasmagun either. Still.. uh.. he is what he is and his eyes do indeed drift down to Claudine's hips as they sway from side to side while she moves and he does follow along after her. "Nothing trying to stop me? You have my relics, my weapons. Without them I have little to no hope of ever even locating an exit to this world, much less fighting my way through to it. But you are right. They left me my clothing and armor at least, the door was unlocked. Why is there nothing trying to stop me?"
"The connection of Terra to the other realms is the Atacama Desert. Unlike it's earthly counterpart, /NOTHING/ can survive in it, at least not without the protection of your various relics and powers. Coatlicue is actually hoping for you to make the trek so you will become one of the spirits of the dead that will serve her.." she says with a wry grin, snickering once more as she slips inside and starts to lay on the bed, giving him another come hither look.
Jason is torn. He really is angry about things but Claudine is certainly hot, helpful and as her words clearly indicate.. he's the stranger in a strange land in this case and pissing off someone currently friendly would not be wise. The clothes stay on but he does move to take a place on the bed beside her, leaning against her as his eyes again seek out hers. "I see" he answers quietly, "So there really is almost no hope of escape, or rescue. You could take me from here, of course."
"Of course I could. I did it before." she whispers softly, waggling her brows. Oh goodness, so she didn't transport him to the Philippines afterall! Or maybe it was, being a Philippines in Terra.
Perhaps in some ways Jason really does take after his mother. It's not /really/ whorish because he really does like Claudine after all. It is just.. intentionally pushing everything else to the side to let that come through as he moves closer to her, an arm moving to slip around and pull her form against him while his lips move to glide along her collar bone and he whispers, "Then you could do it again. I'm sure you don't do everything your mothers say, with three of them they must drive you absolutely insane sometimes." The rest is news! Big news! "And that was here? You really did have me quite fooled." Flattery and kisses, do they get him anywhere?
There's a soft gasp at the kiss on her collarbone as she shivers and trembles as she feels her naked body against his own. "I could, but then they'd be awfully upset with me and send me to Coatlicue. As handsome as you are, I wouldn't want to be sent to her.." she whispers softly as she groans, running her fingers over his body. "I'm sure you understand."
A bit awkward on the bed but Jason slips out of his jacket, letting it fall beside the bed and his silksteel shirt joining it a moment later. That leaves the rugged lines of his toned chest pressing against her bared flesh even as he leans in to brush his lips now against her cheek, tugging her earlobe for a moment between his teeth before the tip of his tongue darts out to play against it. He whispers again, "But you could help in other ways couldn't you. Bring me something to help me. Point me in the direction of my relics."
Claudine shivers as she feels his lips against her and she whimpers once more. "To the east is one of your guns. To the north is your GPS. To the west is the other gun, and to the south is the pin from your mother.."
That helps! It doesn't help as much as Jason might hope but he can work on that. Claudine can feel him move against her as he slips off his pants now as well before his arms against pull her close against him. Again encircles her in the embrace of his well tonned form, the heat of his body radiating against hers while he slides a hand to play along her stomach even while he nuzzles ner neck before letting his lips play once more and he murmurs quietly, "I looked from the air but saw nothing but jungle stretching in all directions. What should I look for to find them?"
"You'll know when you see it." Claudine lets out a hearty laugh as she wrinkles her nose while shivering underneath him once more.
Jason seems to be sleeping with the enemy a lot these days, or are they the enemy? It's really getting hard to tell anymore, and it's kind of hard to really get your hate on for anyone that makes you feel this relaxed and limbered up the next day. The Scion of Aphrodite is already starting to show some effects from his time in Terra in proximity to such fonts of health, his frame having just that much more of a healthy glow and seeming just that much more there somehow. Not that he is adopting the local dress standards just yet, taking some time to washup at the nearby beach before he makes his way back to the cabin and gets dressed again before he goes hunting to see if the griffon is still lounging around.
The griffon is still lounging around as he squawks when seeing Jason approach from the beach. Claudine is nowhere to be found, but there is a note in the creature's beak.
Huh. Jason gives the griffon another of those 'don't eat my head' looks as he draws closer and plucks the note off it's back. Holding it in one hand to read it over even while absently petting the griffon with the other. Assuming it really is not trying to bite him, of course.
The griffon isn't biting Jason this time around. It seems to have taken a liking to Jason, perhaps Claudine and the avatars of Terra have something to do with it. Who knows? Still, the note is a simple one from Claudine.
"Dear Jason: Thank you for the wonderful time last night. I hope you're not too tired, but I figured I should give you a bit more instruction as to where your relics are. Your four relics have been moved to the elemental poles of fire, earth, water and air on Terra. The trip will be dangerous,so I tamed the griffon for you. Don't let him die or else you'll have a hard time traveling from place to place. And he likes eating rats. Big ones. Much love, Claudine."
Jason peers at the note and then peers at the griffon. "Well…" he says to it, "I guess you get to be my ride. Hopefully she fed you this morning and you can hunt your own rats because a pied piper I am not." He moves to slip around the griffon and hop more properly onto it's back. He's foregoing the coat in it's beak this morning, hoping that Claudine taming the thing will make it a little responsive to voice commands. "Let's head to the south. Much as I'd like a gun in hand I've already seen the natural firepower this place is throwing around, but even some of the smallest creatures in nature seem to do pretty well with a little bit of illusion at their beck and call."
The griffon squawks once more as it simply nods to the commands. It bows low, letting Jason ride on top of it's strong and muscular form before it's wings start to flap starting to head to the south, to the elemental pole of fire…
Jason simply holds on tight to the griffon neck, leaning forward to cut his resistance to the wind and looking down down down at the landscape below. Heights that do not bother in the least with a sky relic look considerably more daunting when the fall could actually cause you harm. Even sans relics he's a terribly perceptive sort, telescopic senses making him as sharp eyed as any hawk and he is already looking into the distance and scouting out what lies ahead.
And as he glies south, he can see lots of things! There's a clear connection of this realm to Mount Olympus as he can see the silhouette of the mountain not too far away. Still, the griffon flies in the air, soaring in the air flying freely.
Ohh.. Mount Olympus. When Claudine told him that every exit from this realm was surrounded by the desert was she lying to him? Does Terra's assaults on Mount Olympus mean an open doorway exists between this place and his. Tempting tempting exit but with a nudging of his knees upon the sides of the griffon's flanks he shifts course away from that mountain. Olympus holds family, but does it hold any that he would trust to aid and shelter him sans relics or to come to his assistance? The sad answer to that is it really does not. Olympus is filled with those entirely too lost in their own pursuits, filled with those who did nothing to come to Eris's aid and did nothing to stop Aphrodite's and Helena's scheming. So instead of aiming at that mountain Jason continues to steer the griffon towards the south. Seeking out the elemental pole that had been mentioned.
There's a lot of landscape below. It's beautiful forests that turn into beautiful jungles that turn into beautiful savannahs, well you should get the idea. Soon, there's an open stretch of water. Lots of water really, as Jason is probably flying over somewhere over the Pacific, or whatever it's equivalent may be in Terra. Soon, the color starts to change, and there's oppressive tropical heat as he approaches a series of island. A ring of them actually with a rather large volcano in the middle that is smoking seemingly since the dawn of time.
Is this the right place? Claudine said he'd know it when he saw it. This is at least.. interesting. He guides the griffon closer and moves to circle the volcano getting an idea both of it's dimensions and of the land surrounding it. Looking before for anything that actually seems of interest, and scoping out what might exist in the way of landing sites. Assuming of course the griffon does not decide to land of it's own accord, it did last time after all!
It's a huge archipelago at least thirty miles in diameter. There's islands on the edge, forming circles around the volcano itself as it continues to let steam rise up from the cone of the volcano. It's getting hot near it, but at least on the edge where the other islands are, there are a lot of tropical trees and sandy beaches withwhich one can land if he or she chooses.
Jason so chooses. Picking one of the islands as close to the volcano as he can and bringing the griffon down for a landing. Letting it settle before he slips off his back to take a closer look around, exploring and letting his senses prowl around him while he takes in the surroundings.
The island he has chosen is one of the larger islands though it's still the closest one to the oprressive heat of the tropical atmosphere and the volcano itself. As he lands near the shore he can notice one thing right off the bat. These islands are still PART OF THE VOLCANO. How is that possible? The water inside the circle is simply a crater, a huge one that is filled though it's at least a couple of hundred feet deep at it's deepest point, and then it rises up again to where the volcano is.
That is curious. Jason makes note of that, his brow furrowing. Approaching the Volcano any more directly seems both difficult and unproductive, if the agents of Terra actually hid his relics somewhere within the magma itself what chance would he have to recover them. Still there are other possibilities, one time lava tubes might have left a way to get closer to the source of that fire below the islands surface or the water itself may hold it's mysteries. He explores searching for either.
There are various lava tubes near the island, but that would mean going underground and going underwater where it may even be more treacherous. Still, there's an opening on the southernmost spot on the island.
It does mean that, but Jason's survey not having found anything else suitable must go with what is available. He takes a moment to enhance it's vision to it's fullest, the tiniest magnetic fluctuations and plays of energy suddenly expanded to his sight. It may not be a flashlight but it is better than nothing when going into the darkness. He makes his way carefully into that opening and begins to follow the passage.
He could always swim? Nothing has stopped the griffon from letting him down on the cusp of the cone of the volcano to peer what's inside. Still, he can see lots of things with the magnetic fluctuations. There's a lot of iron, or rather magnetite in the area, and most of it is molten in the volcano.
Nothing stopped the Griffon from flying over the cone of the volcano either when he was doing his scouting. If there was anything interesting to be seen, surely he would have seen it. The same could be said for anything dotting the volcano's slopes, all attempts at scouting having returned nothing worth finding however the underground route does at least present something new and unseen. Jason continues to push forward.
That griffon circles the volcano and it's surrounding islands several times before finally heading towards the central point of the entire thing. The volcano slope is uneven and rough which does at least mean it does have a few relative flat patches. He brings the griffon down for a landing upon one of these close to the rim. Dismounting and encouraging the mouth to stay before he turns and starts to make his way up the rough slope. Legs working to cross that last distance to the very peak of the volcano so he can look over the edge into what lies below.
And Jason's going straight towards it! The rim of the volcano isn't thin, but it doesn't exactly give a lot of room to stand on either. Still, the griffon squawks a few times, definitely uncomfortable from the heat and steam rising up from the cone. Inside, he can see various thermal signatures, not just of the lava below, but there's a few rather large giants at this point. They're not your traditional giants either.
They're dressed in black as they seem to be guarding a box in the middle of the lava that floats from side to side. Here at the elemental pole of fire everything is hellish as the way down seems to be rather treacherous with sharp jagged rocks and spikes on the way to the intense heat of the mantle from Terra's core.
Jason looks down at the gathered giants looking not alltogether happy at the sight of what he is seeing. Especially without his guns giants are a bit much to handle, and who knows what these ones are capable of. Steam rising from the cone suggests a source of water though and he plays his gaze around searching for it. If the big guys like to heat, they might not much like it going out even on a temporary basis and a lot more steam could provide him just the cover he needs to get in without being seen. He makes a shushing noise back towards the Griffon, encouraging it to keep quiet and not give away their presence.
The griffon isn't stupid. It knows there are things stronger there and so it just starts to fly off, moving away to give Jason his own space and time for now. It keeps watch of his new master, flying in circles which its keen eyesight locked on the Scion of Aphrodite.
Still, the volcano magma is flowing freely. There's various little 'islands' in the magma, but all of them are too far from the box that presumably contains his guns. It is also difficult to anticipate where it will go as the convection current of the lava flow makes it seemingly move in random directions while the two giants stand guard.
When getting to the box looks to be that difficult, try to make the box come to you. Jason takes a moment to slip out of his clothing. Carefully leaving silk steel and nemean leather folded up on the ledge before he returns to the rim of the volcano. He adopts an imperious demeanor as he begins to make his way down the inner slope trying to look for all the world as if this is exactly the place he belongs and that he is here on business which has left him faintly peevish. Keeping his feet on stone he calls out towards the box guarding giants, "Greetings. I bring you new instructions."
His voice booms. The volcano has very good acoustics afterall, and so his powers resonate as it goes down towards the two fire giants. Still, Jason's in a precarious position as the two giants look up towards him, their brows furrowed as they stare up towards him.
"And what would be those new instructions?" they asks in unison.
Having palmed a shard of Obsidian before making his way down the slope Jason advances to the stone at the very edge of the Magma. The heat is not at all comfortable there to bare flesh but then, Jason's is reinforced greatly by his divine ichor at this point. "There is another item that you will need to guard. I am instructed to verify that the contents of the box remain whole, to add the new selection, and to return it to your custody for continued safekeeping." He stands. Waiting. The instructions seem normal enough to his mind, and should that benefit of the doubt and powerful charisma continue to function they should prove just what is needed to bring the box to him.
"Mistress Coatlicue told us to guard the object with our lives, now we are to add one more to the chest?" one of the giants speaks, looking rather confused for a few moments. He raises his arms and grumbles under his breath, the currents of the lava shifting to where the box lands at one of the islands as the giants slowly meander towards it.
"Come down to place the object in the chest then.." It's ridiculously hot down there though. Can he survive it?
Can he? It's been a long time since Jason has had to worry about his vulnerability to heat and fire and his awareness of just how much of either he can actually handle without his relic is something he has never actually had cause to test. Still.. they seem to buying the store but only so far. If one can walk across coals with the right mix of speed and daring it seems not impossible for a Scion possessing of inhuman speed to manage similar even in the heart of a volcano. Eyes carefully scan the terrain down below, noting the areas of greatest and length hit and then he begins to move. A mix of speed and leaps carrying him between the cooler and more stable areas, making his way in dashes and hops to the island containing the box.
As he heads down he can feel the intense heat of the volcano. It's definitely searing his skin, and it probably hurts like a bitch as he continues to move down. Fortunately for him, godly dexterity and stamina help in these matters and so he eventually ends up right on top of the lava on the island where it feels like he's going to melt. Maybe he is melting as his skin is becoming squishier and more charred the longer he stays there.
The giants continue to wait for him as they just stare for a few moments. They are slow creatures and the pain is getting to be.. well a lot. "Where is the item? We shall put it in the chest."
Geez. What makes a relic work. He is /right/ here. Although one supposes that in a possibly locked box guarded by others it cannot /technically/ be said to be in his possession. Jason attempts to continue to look regal, commanding and thoroughly an agent of Terra comfortable in his element as he says towards the giants, "I must verify the contents. I must place it in the chest. Open it and we can proceed as we have been instructed and you can return to your guard duties." There is really not too much more he can do right now. Upon the soles of his feet body armor selectively forms, taking the form of the volcanic rock around them.
Volcanic rock it may be, but it's still no real protection to the intense heat and fire of the volcano. Geysers of fire start to erupt in the air, splattering some hot lava on the fire giants who don't seem at all disturbed by such things. They shrug their shoulders and stare at him curiously as they nod, continuing to slowly move towards the chest before opening it.
Inside is the orgasma gun! Along with one other item. It's a bracelet made of obsidian as it waits there next to the gun.
Jason really is surprised by finding two objects but with his skill at acting his face betrays no sign. He angles his body to try to block the view from the giants as he swaps out gun and bracelet for the chunk of obsidian he holds. Fast feet. Fast hands. The bracelet being slipped onto his right hand even as that hand then holds the gun itself. With his left he reaches up to close the lid of the chest himself, using the chest's form and the angle of his body to conceal the gun and bracelet from the giants. Hopefully. He's sure giving it his go at resolving this without raising any sort of alarm at all, "The contents are confirmed. The new one has been added. You may return to your duties."
And he is not caught! At least not by the giants. But come on, this is the elemental pole of fire in the middle of the ocean. The volcano starts to erupt, more geysers bubbling up as the items are removed. It's totally Indiana Jones right now as fireballs are launched in the air. The giants are confused, not expecting the volcano to do such a thing as they whine.
"The volcano! Erupting!" They are certainly masters of the obvious with that statement as while Jason may now be immune to fire, that does not make him immune to molten lava, which is clearly under the earth purview.
It really is Indiana Jones style and Jason is still without a stitch of clothing. Magma may be earth but fire really is everywhere right now and the middle of the volcano is not where he wants to be. Turning his gaze towards the volcano lip far above and focusing his will for a moment it suddenly bursts into flames. Inferno springing up at his command. And then he is diving himself into the next sprouting flare of flaming volcanic glass using it to teleport to that rather distant and hard to reach locale. Leaving behind the fire and magma below for the volcanos slope which is not covered in fire and magma.. yet. "Grif!" he calls out towards the sky, "Get down here!"
Jason is immune to fire and heat! The poor griffin isn't. And while he hears the commands of Jason, he squawks while just circling the area. It seems the son of Aphrodite has to find his way up out of the volcano before getting picked up.
Jason takes just a moment more to scoop up his earlier discarded clothing under one arm and then his legs are folding beneath him so that he can spring forward and up into the air. It's a powerful leap, carrying him through the air above the volcano cauldron with it's now churning and bubbling magma beneath. Just how sentient is Terra itself? How much of a person does it qualify as being? Orgasmagun turns downward and he snaps off three quick shots, orgasmic rounds plummeting into the lava below. If Terra was about to explode already, that should totally push it over the edge. Then Grif is coming into sight probably looking rather startled at the flying Scion and he reaches out an arm to wrap around the griffon's neck, pulling himself sharply to sit astride it as he calls out, "Go! Go!"
All the Greater Titans are sentient. The avatars embody certain aspects, the entire world is alive, especially in this case. Still, Jason leaps onto the back of the griffon who squawks once more. Should Jason wear the bracelet of obsidian, he'd start to understand the squawks. In fact the griffon seems concerned and speaks rather proper and in a formal tone.
"Is everything all right, master?"
And once the orgasmic rounds hit the lava, the volcano quiets for a few moments before suddenly exploding. Ash starts to blow out of the volcano as Terra literally pops her top in this case! Rock and rubble gets sent into the sky and somewhere Jord, Gaia, Coatlicue, Kamimushi and even Gran Bois shudder. Oh yeah, they felt that one.
Jason put on that bracelet earlier and so he is hearing things just fine. Not that he exactly.. trusts his hearing for a moment. Talking to animals is another thing he has not had much call for in his divine life. Still you cope with things as best you can and he says, "Everything is fine apart from the volcano deciding to nearly explode with me in it. I seem to be able to understand you now, this was not the case before. Do you know if it is because of the bracelet I now wear or has something changed on your end?"
"Logical deduction would make it appear that way." the griffon speaks with a soft chuckle under his breath as he continues to flap his wings. "I am not familiar with the treasures of the various elemental poles, but Claudine did tell me to take you to each of them for some reason. Just know this that all the elemental poles are dangerous, as you have already experienced. So where do we go to next?"
"After what just happened and what we just experienced" Jason says towards the Griffon, "I think we could use a break from the fire. Let's head West and visit the Water. I'm not sure what treasures will be contained there or what we'll confront but at least it will make for a change from where we just came."
"Okay! TO the west it is then!" the griffon squawks as he continues to proudly flap his wings. He hrmms for a few moments as they cross the open waters of Terra. "Master Jason, might I ask you for a favor?"
"If you are looking for giant rats I'm afraid I don't have any" Jason says sounding somewhat joking, "Claudine told me that they were your favorites. More seriously though, of course, you have been of great aid so far and I am grateful."
"I am not hungry now! I imagine when we reach the poles of earth we will find some giant rats. They are quite delicious. But, that is not the favor I ask for. I was hoping for a name. It isn't just one of your holiday games; You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter when I tell you, a griffon must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES. First of all, there's the name that the family use daily, Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James, Such as Victor or Jonathan, George or Bill Bailey— All of them sensible everyday names. There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter, Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames: Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter— But all of them sensible everyday names. But I tell you, a griffon needs a name that's particular, A name that's peculiar, and more dignified, Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular, Or spread out his wings, or cherish his pride? Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum, such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat, Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum- Names that never belong to more than one griffon. But above and beyond there's still one name left over, And that is the name that you never will guess; The name that no human research can discover— But THE GRIFFON HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.. When you notice a griffon in profound meditation, the reason, I tell you, is always the same: His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation. Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name: his ineffable effable, Effanineffable, Deep and inscrutable singular Name.
"Do you want a single name then or two?" Jason asks of the griffon as they continue to fly along and he goes about trying to get dressed on griffonback. This is a feat that is surely somewhat like getting dressed in a moving car but vastly more difficult. "One for the every day? One formal? Or is the name you want something else entirely? Why do you never confess your third name? What makes that name above all the others so fascinating?"
"It's because it's my true name." the griffon says firmly and resolutely. Bah at humans, don't they understand such things? Cats have the same thing going on as well as T.S. Elliot can attest. Still, he squawks unintelligibly before starting to swoop down just a bit towards the water. "But two names. One for the every day and one that is peculiar, one to give me a sense of pride fitting of my strengths."
Jason counters, "Then you are Grif for the every day, a thoroughly average name that everybody might guess. Approachable and friendly and the sort of fellow you'd buy a few drinks at the bar. But then for the peculiar you shall be be known as Boerockyginsugooglemaps, for it is a name that praises your ability to fly, your determination to never give up a fight no matter how defeated you see, your sharp claws and your ability to find any place you seek. And best of all it is a name that no other Griffon shall have one quite like."
The griffon preens approving of both names. He flaps his wings harder as he zooms and does a loop-de-loop in the air in ceebration. "I like those names! Truly no other griffon shall have the name Boerockyginsugooglemaps!" He squawks in celebration for griffons are odd and proud creatures, and the peculiarity of his name does make him happy.
"Truly no other shall" Jason agrees easily as he finally finishes getting clothing back on. Even if.. a trip to the water suggests he might be striping it all off again soon enough. Terra hates clothes. It really really does. "So surely you have often flown the skies of this place. Have you been to the poles before? Can you tell me what I might see there?"
"I was but a youngling when I toured the variouspoles. I was born at the pole of air, so that I can tell you about the most. But the pole of water is well, pure water and ice. Very dangerous conditions, hard to get a foothold and the creatures there quite vicious. Polar bears particularly are quite savage. The pole of earth is a cave. It is pure darkness. That is all I know. The pole of air is in the skies. That one will be the most difficult to find.." he says matter of factly. "It is close to our connection to Mount Olympus."
"I saw Mount Olympus in the distance when we were flying earlier. I was surprised to see it. I have heard that on all sides Terra is surrounded by the desert, all those that pass through without ample and adequate protection doomed to die. Have I heard incorrectly? Due to the attacks upon Olympus can one truly simply go directly from here to there?" Jason inquires as he simply continues to play rider.
"You still need to cross the Atacama. If you are going to cross it, you need to find the relic the one thing that can protect you from the harsh dry conditions of the desert. Of course it is in the pole of water, but it's hidden. No one has ever found it.." the griffon says matter of factly.
"Have many looked for it?" Jasons asks his ride as they continue to go along, "I cannot think this aspect of Terra gets many visitors, and it seems that most of those who live and dwell here already would have no wish to leave."
"You are the first in a very long time to come to Terra and actually see the poles. So no, not many have looked and even fewer have found it. Though, there are some backdoors to the realm that would allow you to bypass the Atacama Desert." the griffon says once more.
"Tell me about them" Jason asks of the Griffon, "What sort of backdoors. Ties to other places of great natural power? Connections to make travel quick to places the Avatars themselves frequently wish to visit? Are they used for travel often?"
"If the avatars had a mean to leave the realm without going through the dessert, I do not know it. But, there are rumors that Crom Cruach is digging into the realm. The maggot is digging into Terra herself and it causes her great pain." the griffon says, quite angry about such a thing.
Despite being a prisoner here Jason cannot help but to frown at that, the lands that sail by really are lovely and he reaches out to rub the griffon's neck reassuringly. "That does sound like an awful thing. Will we be flying over any area where this occurs? It sounds like an ugly thing to see but I really would at least like to get a glimpse of it happening if we might."
"Considering he is burrowing into her through the earth, you may find some traces of his corruption and disease in the elemental pole of earth. It is already becoming abandoned by creatures due to his malignant presence in Terra. He wants to consume her you know. That is why the avatars are worried.." the griffon continues to explain.
"I did not know they were" Jason says sounding rather troubled by this whole thing, as well he might! For if Terra falls the earth itself might cease to be, at least within it's current form. "We shall leave the pole of earth until last then. Should I survive to make it there I might at least then be properly equipped to aid in some way."
"Crom Cruach is the Greater Titan of the Earth as in dirt. He resents Terra's status and if he had it his way, the planet you Scions inhabit would be polluted and be diseased. Rumors are that he is trying to woo Coatlicue away from Terra to become one of his avatars, the dominant avatar anyway..I do not know the veracity of this but it is something that worries me.." he says once more.
Jason makes a thoughtful sound, "Well. I have seen the power of Terra firsthand. This place seems well capable of defending itself. Although if one of it's avatars betrays it that would surely be a problem." Changing subject again he asks, "So you said that air would be difficult to find, and yet it is the place you were born. Why is that?"
"Because like the air itself, you cannot see it, but you can feel it." the griffon replies rather matter of factly.
"Great. An invisible pole. I bet it moves around like air too." Jason stretches out for a moment and he says, "Unless you need me Grif I'm going to grab some shuteye. I need to heal up from walking on that lava earlier. Wake me when we're getting close?"
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