|Scene Title||The Way - Jason's Apotheosis|
|Synopsis||Exotic locales! Mysterious women! New quests! And a New Tartarus. Jason's Apotheosis|
Jason awakens from his strange Atlantean nightmare within a tangle of muses. He really did have quite a busy night before the strange dream overtook him. The tangle of sprawled arms, legs, and other miscellaneous body parts takes all of his epic dexterity and his escape artist powers to slip out of without causing any to awaken. He stumbles out of their extraordinarily large bed (do they do this sort of thing often?) to pad over to his clothes, slipping them back on and padding quietly out of the room. He heads to the palace library, surely Athena is still asleep at this hour and not too likely to object to him going through the stacks. He's pulling out scrolls related to the Drowned Road and expeditions there, looking for anything that might provide a reference to find the Temple of Demosia.
Alas, there is nothing in the Drowned Road pertaining to the Temple of Demosia. However, there is a sordid history of what happened to Atlantis after it's fall. There was a conflict between the Yorubans, wanting to take a piece of Atlantis. As it was split apart, there are rumors and hidden conspiracy theories that one such section of Atlantis was broken off after it was sunk. Off to the Carribean it was sunk and was claimed by one of the Yorubans as an underwater palace. That portion of Atlantis, Jason would know, is where the Temple of Demosia once stood.
Jason has done some research of his own on recent friends, allies, and other questionable sorts. Claudine might be all nature goddessy and thus lounge about naked surrounded by giant bugs far too often but she is still the best source of knowledge on that area that he personally knows. As such making sure he is equipped he leaves her a message, "Claudine. I need to see you. It's important. I'm in Olympus right now, but I know how you can get around. If you get this and you can come pick me up to somewhere you're comfortable talking I'd appreciate it." Call placed he tucks away relevant scrolls, surely Athena won't miss them!
Will she? Who knows? Still, the call doesn't take too long to get answered. Claudine is an excellent psychopomp even though she probably triggers alarms in Olympus when she appears. There's a grab of Jason's arm and woosh, he's gone too. The Olympians will not be too happy about that. No, not one bit.
And it's then that he's back in the Philippines with demigoddess lounging about naked in a little nipa hut. They're on the black sand beaches not too far from Mount Pinatubo and she peers towards him.
"What do you need?"
Jason is not exactly concerned with what makes the Olympians happy these days. Zeus is just going to have to deal with a Demigoddess in service to Terra popping in and out of his house. Jason takes a moment to look around the hut and then look over Claudine herself, his lips curving into a smile and he gives her a deep nod of his head. "Sorry if the call came off as all business. It really is nice to see you again. Things are going to hell in a hurry though and I really do need your help." Crouching down to the floor he spreads out his purloined scrolls, "I need to find a portion of Atlantis that is supposed to have been stolen and resides now in this area. It's not exactly something Olympus has in it's archives, I was wondering if you might have any ideas."
"There's no portions of Atlantis near the Philippines. Not that I know of anyway." she says and wrinkles her nose as she looks towards the purloined scrolls. "This one points to one in the Carribean, thousands of miles from here." Claudine says with raised brows.
"All places are reflected in Terra" Jason says towards her as he moves out a hand to rest upon her shoulder, "And you are her child in a way. I know this is a bit out of the way of your usual stomping grounds, but they are also equatorial waters. I hoped if you had not heard stories carried beneath the waves that you might at least know someone who could assist in finding these answers. It really is quite important." He gives a frown, "Things have quickly gone mad in Olympus, and I suspect elsewhere. I am sure you have heard news in your own way."
"That, I have heard." she says with a sage nod as she scrunches up her nose and hrmms for a few moments. "There has been activity in the Carribean, yes. The Atlanteans have been searching for something there, but I do not think they have found it yet. There is also activity in the Indian Ocean, another piece of the sunken continent is there, and I know that they are looking. While I am not interfering with their plans as of yet, I do not want them to attempt the destruction of countless civilizations once more."
That hand Jason has upon her shoulder massages with the familiarity of an old lover's caress as he asks, "What I am looking for will be in the Caribbean, at least if something I was told a long time ago has any truth to it. I'm trying to found something new, something different, a place where the children of your mother will be free and where the children of the newer gods can build a home free of their parents machinations. I'd like your help with that, eventually, but the first step to any of that is finding that section of Atlantis. Will you help me? With your powers as a psychopomp we could search far more quickly than I could on my own."
"Is this not part of your trial to reach godhood?" Claudine asks curiously, her brows raised. She does know much it seems as her brows as she looks towards him. There's a slight shiver as she hrmms for a few moments. "To truly be worthy of godhood one must suffer, one must do everything on his own to be worthy of apotheosis."
Jason leans over to give Claudine a kiss on the cheek and he says to her, "I don't believe that. Some gods may be defined by the solitary suffering they endure and by the torment that they undergo but some are defined by the friendships they make, by the loves they hold, by the stout companions by their side. If you do not wish to come along I shall not force you, never that, but I do think such stories as having to be alone and to suffer are tales the gods tell to keep us from becoming too powerful on our own. False leads to make us lead solitary lives of torment instead of banding together to do something new. I shall head to Port Au Prince and start my investigation there, if you choose to join me you will be welcome." A last quick squeeze of her shoulder and he is collecting his scrolls, tucking them away once more before stepping outside to vanish in a burst of flame. Haiti bound.
Having been devastated by the earthquake earlier this year, Port au Prince is still being rebuilt. The shantytowns of the city are slowly being built back up with the children of the Loa doing a good bit of the work in making the land workable once more. Once of these children is the daughter of Erzulie, as she looks over the downtrodden and destitute of her people.
What is shedoing at this moment? She's singing to the children, her fingers gently strumming over her guitar as she soothes their woes and ills, letting them fall to a peaceful sleep with her cradle song.
In a blaze of fire he appears somewhat isolated from the makeshift refugee camp that has been set up where a wide open field used to be. It's not exactly a subtle entrance, but then Jason can really only go anywhere that he has gone before and this is quite near to the Terra Incognita used to exit the Drowned Road last time. He steps clear of the flames, spidersilk and leather accenting his almost flawlessly perfect features which stand in such a stark contrast to the poverty and despair around him.
His eyes, green today with the light reflected from the nearby grass survey the area and it's residents and he catches the cradle song under way. He moves to stand closer to the child of Erzulie, their mothers, so much alike causing a nearly magnetic attraction between the two that would surely have drawn the son of Aphrodite even without those melodious words to guide him to her side. He is silent until she finishes, letting her put the children to bed before he says to her, "A beautiful song, I would say that it suits you but in truth I think that you surpass it. I have not been here since.. the most recent disaster. It's changed. I did not know this land could hold much more tragedy than it has already suffered. My name is Jason, child of Aphrodite and friend to Jolie who was born of the Baron. I came here hoping to find him, in search of piece of a city and people long dead."
"~There was always, a power I could feel. It was guidance to tell me the way to go.But nowadays I feel like can't hear that voice, I've been flying blind, I need you to come and be my eyes.~"
Her fingers still lightly strum over the guitar before she pauses in the song, her voice having a soft contralto with a bit of a raspy soulful quality to it. She sways backand forth as she continues through the song, sighing softly, reaching a crescendo in the song…
"~I bow down and I humble myself, I can't do this. Lord I need your help, All the material things, they feel like chains. If you're not here beside me. You're the reason I see…~"
There's a bit more singing for quite a bit until she finishes the last bit of the song, the children asleep all curled up in little kidlet balls as she spies the flash of fire. It's a flashy entrance and her brows simply furrow as she looks towards him. She's dressed rather simply, no fineries for her in a multicolored sundress with her dreadlocks tied back underneath a bandana. She stares for a few moments and hrmms, putting her guitar to the side.
"Welcome, child of Aphrodite. I would not advetise that so openly considering your mother is now an enemy of the pantheons." she says, her voice still raspy even as she speaks. "The Baron is still recuperating within Ville Au Camp. My name is India, daughter of Erzulie. What business do you have here in Port Au Prince?"
Jason has quite a few fineries really, he dressed stylishly for his earlier visit to Olympus and not so long ago the leather was well polished and every piece of attire carefully selected to compliment each other. This was of course before climbing Mount Olympus, fighting a flock of of 747 sized birds, chopping the hand off a Galactus wannabe, and a night of messy lovemaking with a group of very creative women. He's sort of a mess, in a rugged adventurer and quester sort of way. "I am not my mother, child of Erzulie. Her crimes are not mine." His voice turns a bit more wry and he gives a chuckle, "I've plenty of my own if you seek to hold me account for some of them. I am helped to break through the lines in Ville Au Camp in an effort to save the Baron, did free prisoners held beneath the waves. I am no enemy of your people."
Turning so that he can survey the water in the distance he says towards her, "The Atlanteans seek something in these waters. It is rumored to be a part of old Atlantis brought to these waters, transformed into a palace. I need to find this place, and to take from it something hidden there before they arrive."
"What the Atlanteans have lost, we have gained as a people, child of Aphrodite. What makes you think I would share such a precious secret with someone outside the pantheon. You were under no obligation to help us, but you did. In the end, the village of Ville Au Camp was desotryed in the ensuing battles that took place while the Baron was being saved. And in the end, he was still drained of his divinity."
There's annoyance to that. It seemsshe channels the more fiery passionate part of her mother, not the slut who aspects. She stares at Jason still, waiting for his rebuttal.
"The fact that you are losing" Jason says with a blunt directness as he turns back to give a long hard look at India. Hard and long in the passionate way, not the slutty way, he has sides too! "The fact that we are losing. I did fight on those front lines at Ville Au Camp, I know the forces which were arrayed against you and your people. I just yesterday say the Gods of Olympic in a virtual panic, a panic! For Olympus nearly fell."
He walks back directly towards India, standing before her and letting his gaze focus on hers so that she can fully see the passion in his own gaze. "I tell you truly that what is within that place might very much help with the founding of a New Tartarus. With a New Tartarus we will at last have a place to put those foes we currently dare not kill. Without those leaders their armies of children fall apart. Our peoples will survive. I shall do this daughter of Erzulie for it must be done, but I would rather do it with the help and blessings of your people, paying what respect to the site is proper and honoring whatever ways your people have in the visiting. Will you aid? Or shall you stand in my way?"
There's a soft sigh. He does have a point. They are fighting a losing war. The enemy's strength grows every day and the fact it she'd rather have with the knowledge hidden there instead of the Atlanteans.
"We do have what the Atlanteans want found. The Palace of Agwe is eighteen thousand feet below sea level. Travel north from this place twenty miles and go down eighteen thousand feet. The pressures of the waters below will crush you unless you are one with the sea, Aphrodite's child. That is all I can and will say."
Jason softens his look as India at last gives him what he seeks and he says to her, "I realize you have doubts, child of Erzulie, but you have done the right thing. Your people have suffered much, we must do what we may to see they do not suffer more needlessly. I owe you a minor favor for your assistance, if ever you have need you may seek out my aid." There is no flashy fiery departure this time, having never been to patch of ocean she describes he cannot simply teleport there. But he does turn to dash to the water, simply diving in and beginning to hold his breath as he swims his way beneath the waves. Rapid motions serving him well to go the twenty miles, although he does take the depth slowly, making certain that even his spectacularly resilient frame can handle the pressures posed by that depth.
Jason left Ville Au Camp awhile ago by the expedient process of simply diving in the water and beginning to swim. With no need to breathe water can at least fill his lungs, equalizing pressure somewhat from the depths which he is approaching. Right now he is going in without any sort of light, not wanting to alert whoever may be around of his presence and trusting that perhaps a palace in active use will be well lighted on it's own. So down down he goes, arms working and leg kicking while closing in on the position earlier indicated by India, the daughter of Erzulie.
Swim, swim, swim. It takes at least six hours to get all the way down to the Cayman Trench. It's like the Abyss really, it's ridiculously dark and it's difficult to see anything at this depth. This is where the rays of the sun fail to penetrate as Jason finds himself floating in black inky darkness. Something brushes by him, the rough skin of some creature going against his arm. Something pricks him, but fortunately he's a bit hearty to where the prick doesn't cause any damage.
Coming still in the water close to the area indicated he now lets his expanded senses prowl through the water, his incredible powers of perception looking well beyond the normal visual band as he tries to see anything out of the ordinary. To detect anything that might be the palace even in the surroundings of endless dark. The touch of rough and prickly bits causes him to shift position a bit, away from whatever fellow denizen of the dark he just had such an unexpectedly close contact with. Wary of further contact his skin begins to harden and firm into armor, the usual perfect alabaster hues of grecian sculpture being replaced by a more washed and colored display of coral (not that anyone can see that in this perfect darkness).
Heat vision! Hot! (pun intended). He can see a variety of forms swimming in the water. The bad thing about heat vision though is that finding the actual palace itself will be difficult. But, he can see a rather large serpentine shape start heading towards him! It's swimming fast, and while it's features can't be made out from the IR vision, he can definitely tell that it has it's jaws open, trying to swallow him whole! Oh dears! It's /AT LEAST/ as big as the Dunkelsaurus they encountered in the Drowned Road.
Crap! Jason is not seeing much, but what he is seeing isn't worth liking much at all. He kicks away in the water working to swim out of the way of those swallowing jaws even while a hand motions towards the nearby water. The bolstered fire of an inferno suddenly blooms within the ocean depths, needing no oxygen to burn and unphased by the water that surrounds it, a fiery beacon that seen through the ocean depths shifts in shades of blues and greens while suddenly bringing at least some measure of light to the area. The Scion of Aphrodite will have to hope that is enough, eyes so used to the darkness might find themselves blinded even by that feeble light. Even as he is trying to make his escape he is casting his eyes about anew, searching again now that there is some illumination. Palace walls might be some shelter from questing jaws.
In the light of the inferno, Jason can finally see something more than the heat given off by the living creatures. Deep beneath the living coral is another crevice. Another pathway deeper into the abyss itself. The hole that would be through is surrounded by sharp and jagged spikes from the dead coral surrounding it, but it would definitely give him some respite from the hungry ubereel!
Kicking to the side in the water Jason just avoids another clamping down of massive jaws, perhaps the massive creature really was a little blinded by the light, or maybe Jason really is just that damned fast. His motions are frantic as he kicks through the water, ubereels something even a Demigod have cause to fear being swalloed by. Down down he goes towards that hole and he is wriggling his way past the spikes of coral to make his way inside and deeper down. Already his eyes are seeking out what is at the bottom, hopefully he has not trapped himself in a pit that leads nowhere.
As he enters the tunnel, he finds himself in a labyrinth of sorts. It seems that the Loa really do not want anyone to make it to the former palace. There are multiple paths, bubbles and sharp spikes and shards of coral reef sticking out through each of the pathways. Of course, it doesn't help thatthere's something else lurking in the water, something that swims by behind him. What was that? Which way is he going to go? Right? Left? Both what lies beyond is a mystery.
Jason is looking more and more waterlike in his movements the longer he spends beneath the surface of the waves, steady small movements of the surface being replaced for fewer and more forceful motions. Eyes dart behind him, whatever could have followed him here. That moment of distraction leads to an uncomfortable brush with a patch of coral, the screeching sound of armored flesh against that material echoing through the waters for a moment. It inspires an idea, a snap of the fingers is suddenly amplified by divine magic and the sound waves go echoing in and around through the water, bouncing off the walls and the jagged protrusions alike as they echo throughout the labyrinth. In the meantime the ears of the quester are carefully attuned for every sound, every minute variation, trying to use them to build a map of this place within his head.
Jason is like Echo the dolphin! That was an awesome gamefor the sega genesis btw. Still, the sound goes through the caves and starts to form a map. There's a dead end to the right with something that ended up being a massive blob on the sonar. That's never a good sign, right? To the left is a clear path before there's another dead end, but at least there's no blog there!
Massive blobs are often bad. Massive blobs are often carnivorous fish things that want to eat noble adventuring sorts. It seeming unlikely that those who had legitimate business here would wish to go past carnivorous blobs on the general principle that they tend to be very hungry and occasionally forget their training. Dolphinlike he swims down the left passage, legs kicking all taillike behind him. One hand makes a small motion, a bolstered ball of flame appearing in it to burn within his palm and again provide some faint illumination to the surroundings nearest to him. He comes to a halt at the dead end his sonar indicated, turning this way and that to take in his surroundings.
And there are balls of light ahead. The creatures of the deep are a varied lot and as he heads towards the other path, he'll notice a light to the right of him. At least there's only one way from where he's gone as pink little puffs of various jellyfish and other assorted transparent creatures shed light on what's up ahead.
With the ball of fire in his hand, he can notice some Atlantean writing. He's definitely in the right place now, having gone through the path less traveled it seems as there are sharp bits of coral that start scratching at him. Unfortunately for him, the coral starts to squeeze down to where he can barelyskim through. Removethe coral or go the other way? It's entirely up to him.
The writing on the walls that the coral are growing from has some familiar names though. Demosia. Amnis. Badarus.
Jason is certainly not going back, there is a blob that way, that means removing the coral as best he can. He starts with the coral over the name of Demosia, if what he learned in the past is accurate this is her temple after all and perhaps there is something significant in the way of writing to be found there. Not that he /stops/ with that coral, working pieces free and using the small club he keeps about for more non bloody takedowns to break off any pieces that will not yield way easily.
Poor ecosystem. Jason is totally not a champion of Terra right now as he breaks through the coral reef. As he eventually gets closer and squishy through the small hole, bloodied, he leaves a trail of blood towards the temple itself. Now he's reaches a wide open area where the spires of Demosia appears.
It's like the Dark Hour, but under water. It's rather surreal really with all sorts of phosphorescent creatures producing bright colors around him. It's something no mortal has ever laid eyes on in thousands and thousands of years. Still, there's an entrance on the bottom of one of the spires. Should he follow it, he'll find that the pressure of the sinking spire has made the inside rather dry. He emerges from the water to a room made of baby blue and white coral. It's an interesting underwater aesthetic as the room is filled with statues.
There's the statues of the original Atlantean gods in their glory. It seems Amnis was a pleasantly plump milf looking lady and Badarus looks like Triton from the Little Mermaid. Demosia itself is predominant in the lobby he has emerged from as she has perfectly symmetric features, dreadlocks with beads framing her exotic and pretty face.
around the palace are two stairways. One to the left and one to the right. It's a common theme in the area. And of course, there's always straight ahead which has soft flourescent light. Odd.
Coral breaks all the time! Especially around giant sea monsters! Jason is doing less damage than a giant sea monster might. He takes care to heal any cut swiftly, wary of leaving too much blood in the water even if this seems a bit remote for sharks to be swarming him. Swimming forward he does eventually come in sight of the temple and it's forgotten beauty is enough to cause a silent gasp of surprise. He does swim to the base of one spire and then up the stairs, finally stepping free of the water and the fluids pooling off him as he steps forward deeper into the temple. A bow is sketched to the statues, they may be enemies of Olympus in the past and possibly even in the present but they are still Gods and this place is meant to revere them. The statue of Demosia is carefully studied, given it's obvious importance and central position it would make an ideal hiding place for what he seeks. Once that inspection is done he is inching forward to peek towards the source of that flouresence in a quest to discover what else this temple holds.
The room he enters is is filled with luxurious offerings, ranging from bottles of champagne and perfume to dishes piled high with still-steaming food. Silver effigies of rams and roosters adorn the walls, and gleaming nautical medals, sextants and astrolabes line the shelves alongside intricately carved model boats and toy sailing ships. Giant seashells are piled high with gems and pearls, both loose and fashioned into jewelry with ocean themes.
In the middleof the room is a strong and well polished oaken table. Behind stands a gorgeous woman, her skin that of milk chocolate as she stands there in rather sheer clothing, not leaving much to the imagination at all. In her hands, she clutches a scroll with an Atlantean seal and she takes a deep breath as she peers towards him.
"I have been expecting you, child of Aphrodite. I am La Sirene, loa of the ocean depths."
It was not what Jason expected to find when he stepped forward into the brightly lit place and his expression reflects that for a moment. Still his eyes look around, taking in the astrolabes, boats, and toy sailing ships with the fascination one expects from boys of any age. Soon enough of course his attention is drawn to the woman behind the desk dressed in such sheer attire with the fascination one only expects from older boys of a certain age.
Another bow of the head is given, just as he did to the statues of this temple upon entry. "Greetings La Sirene, it is a pleasure to greet you. I confess to my surprise that I have been expected, it seems at every stage of my journey others know that I am coming which is really quite astonishing given I usually have little idea where I am going. You've a lovely home, if one quite remote." Stepping forward he lowers his head from cleavage to the scroll in her hands, "Is that for me then? Or is it the source of your knowledge of my arrival."
"This is what you seek." she says with soft sultry tones as she remains standing there, letting out a soft chuckle of amusement. "For the sake of all, I am afraid I cannot let you have it. It is something my people have protected for millenia."
Jason makes a mhmming sort of sound as he looks over the scroll with his uber senses. Can he make out of the print even through the rolled up parchment? While he tries he carries on conversation with the Loa, "Protected for this day. Protected for this time. I do not know what secrets you have stood guard of, but I need access to what I have come to find. You did not answer my arrival with violence, even though it might have been the best way to secure what it is you stand guard over. Perhaps then you hope that there is some arrangement which can be made, some deal brokered. For the Atlanteans search for this place even now, you know that as well as I, and they are less likely to believe in the virtues of diplomacy to reclaim what they feel is theirs."
"If they would want this scroll it would be to make sure no one has access to it ever, child of Aphrodite. You do not know what this scroll possesses." she says with a coy smirk curling onto her lips as she runs her fingers through her hair. "If that is what they want, I will gladly give it to them."
"I do not" Jason says moving closer to her, close enough that the heat of his form can be felt. Surely an avatar of lust is not immune to it's own influence upon her. Perhaps it will help muddle her mind! "But I know that the Atlanteans will not leave it at that. You know what they have done, going through the heavens stealing power from those that have it, trying to punish ancient offenses in this new era. And you have dwelled here within one of their temples since their demise. You have power they seek. Oh they might take the scroll from you La Sirene, but they will take ever so much more besides. Amnis rules them now, can you imagine how much she'll desire your.. charms."
"Let them come, child of Aphrodite. I think you underestimate me." she purrs softly, a wry grin curling onto her lips as she remains clutching the scroll tightly.There's ashrug and the avatar of lust is certainly immune to it's influence upon her, but she is keeping things in check. She does not realize that he knows who she truly is afterall. She is certainly different from the crazy Mami Wata he saw before.
It's then that Jason should remember something.. the words of the archivist Nicodemus Mulhouse…
"Ahhh. Pontus, what will become the Drowned Road. I told them not to do it." he says with a gruff breath as he shakes his head wobbling two and fro as they make it towards the archive….
What does that have to do with the scroll in her hand?
"Nor should you underestimate them" Jason says letting his hands play down her arms, his fingers trailing along her flesh before he is finally forced to pull them away. Lust goes both ways and it would not do to let his own mind get too addled with her presence, "Or can you think only of Pontus and the defeat there?" Ok, so he is name dropping a bit with highly suppressed and ancient secret knowledge in an effort to get some sort of reaction or revelation out of the Titan.
"It. Is. The. Drowned Road." There's a bit of a hiss that mar her beautiful features before she calms herself, not wanting to give herself afterall. She takes a deep breath and looks towards his hand and starts to slip away, not wanting to give him a chance to steal the scroll away from her. "They were fools at Pontus, but that is millenia ago."
"I know what you fear" Jason says quietly as he moves the hand away from the scroll to seek out her shoulder, his eyes moving to meet hers in a convincing gaze. "You fear what all the Loa fear, that the Titan which holds sway over the drowned road since it stopped being Pontus will come to dominate all. That all will come to love her as so many already have." He turns his gaze away, "You realize what role fate seems to have ordained for me. In trying to stop my mothers actions against Eris, I turned her considerable powers to the aid of Ehekatoyaatl and her true father in her struggles against all of Olympus. In my struggles to stop Preethi within Tamagahara, I found myself in Terra defending it from her enemies and becoming it's champion. Everywhere I go and everything I have done has left the Titans in my wake even more powerful, even more strong. You think now it is /her/ turn, that if you give this scroll to me the threads of fate will again converge and to her favor." A low breath and he looks back firmly, "And so they might, but even at the cost of making a Titan stronger the Atlanteans cannot be allowed to continue their actions unchallenged. Please, La Sirene.. let me have it."
There's a soft sigh under her breath. "Promise me one thing then, child of Aphrodite." she says softly, scrunching up her nose asshe continues to hold the scroll in herhand.
"Yes?" Jason says, eyes looking up to meet hers once again as his hands remain not grabby for the scroll. Oh no! He's trying to social his way out of this one.
"Defeat him." she says matter of factly. "When you gain the knowledge in this scroll, you also release him. He is what I fear." she continues as she looks into Jason's eye. "Bind him and lock him away forever."
Jason stares intently into her eyes and a hand reaches out for the scroll, "Puros" he says simply. "My lady, you have my word. I shall bind him and lock him away for all time. I shall act as your champion and protector in this, he will know defeat."
"No, not Puros." she says matter of factly. Jason seems to have misunderstood something. "It is my fate to be bound up by he that is locked within that scroll. I know that I cannot defeat fate, but you, who passed through a trial of the Dark Hour, can."
Tick. Tick. Tick. Jason knows full well that the woman before him is deadly in the extreme, a titan of immense power who has already done unspeakable things. She also has what he needs, and for all her monstrous deeds is in the form of a beautiful woman which is something of a weakness for Jason. He tilts his head, "You have my word, mi'lady. I shall change your fate and his. I would have the scroll and it's knowledge, and a token of your favor. If he is to fall in your name and at your will, your favor should mark the quest."
"Here then, the knowledge is yours." La Sirene says as tears run down her cheek. She knew it was inevitable. Oceanuscould not be contained forever afterall and would eventually be released.
Jason accepts the scroll, not unmoved by the plight of La Sirene as he moves a hand to rest on her back for just a moment. Still, curiosity burns and the hunger for knowledge is strong. Breaking the scrolls seal he opens it to read the contents.
There's a woosh as suddenly strong winds can be heard escaping from the scroll itself. A well muscled man suddenly appears not too far away. He's very muscley and lets out a hearty laugh as he grins at La Sirene. "Ahhh, Mami Wata, it has been a while, my love.." he quips, manhandling her before he winks towards Jason and disappears.
There's a high pitched shrilled shriek as she's manhandled by his Ultimate Strength and suddenly disappears. "Your promise, child of Aphrodite, your PROOOMMMMMMIIIIIIIISSSSSSSSEEEEEEE" That's all that can be heard until it's deathly quiet in the room. But at least he has the scroll. The history of the first defeat of Atlantis. The loss of Badarus and the origins of the power draining ritual.
It happened during the first Titanomachy. The chosen seven were helping the Yorubans, now the present day Loa fight and bind Pontus. Oceanus was the dominant avatar, but he had devised a terrible ritual, one that would merge his essence with another. For many weaks, the combined powers of the Atlanteans and the Yorubans fought the avatars of Pontus. In a bid to defeat the gods, Oceanus performed the ritual on Badarus, merging his essence with the Atlantean god.
With the disappearance of Oceanus, the others thought Pontus was defeated, even though he was slumbering in the form of Badarus. Years would pass and his consciousness slowly took over the father of Atlantis. Oceanus had always lusted after Amnis and now in the form of her husband, there was much torture, much rape. Princess Melanope and theothers eventually found out the truth of what had happened and sought a way to separate the essence of the titan with Badarus.
For years they would try until they defeated Avernus and discovered Puros. Puros first corrupted the Scion of Demosia and soon she would prey on the weaknesses of the others. Melanope was distraught over the suffering of her mother and so was her betrothed, Bardelys, son of Badarus. They wanted Badarus' essence separated from Oceanus and considering the details of the ritual he had performed before was lost, there was no way to do that. But the Scion of Demosia, the disciple of Puros offered a way, and that's how the divinity stealing ritual was formed.
A new host would be needed to take the essence, and thus the ritual was performed. Oceanus' essence was locked away in the scroll that had thehidden secret purged from all of records of Atlantis. Until now…
Jason watches Mami Wata dragged off with a look of apology. Wow. When she says opening and reading the contents would release Oceanus, she meant really really quickly. Well, to a woman as fast as Mama Wata that is no surprise at all. The contents of the scroll are read and his lips purse into a frown, curious, interesting in a whole background of the ancient world kind of way but none of it seeming to directly aid his quest for a New Tartarus. None of it really illuminating the incident of the attack on Olympus. That, perhaps, will require finding Nicodemus himself. In the meantime however the scrolls contents are memorized and the item itself tucked away before he rather thoroughly begins to look through the room. The incredibly powerful Titan wench is no longer present after all, and who knows what kind of valuable assets she might have laying around that would help him in his quest (and her eventual rescue, of course).
The scroll describes more of the power stealing ritual. Part of the ritual involves a statue to funnel the ichor of one being and to filter it out so there are no adverse effects on the one receiving the divinity. The scroll continues to talk about how the ichor is actually funneled through the realm of Puros, being purified along the way.
In addition, there are a few more other scrolls, speaking of Puros. It's apparently a taboo subject, considering all the scrolls still have the Atlantean original seals on it. There are many ways to Puros, the scrolls state. The quickest way, is through the Greater Titan of Death itself. And the way there is through Crom Cruach…
Jason stuck around as long as he might looting Mama Wata's bedroom, a result which did not turn up much in the way of relics but at least turned up a good quantity of valuable ancient history. But for now he has turned up a lead that suggests that what he seeks can be accessed through Crom Cruach, and there is only one place the Scion of Aphrodite has ever bumped into that particular realm. After reaching dry land once again he extracts a sealed container from his jacket and opens it to reveal and endlessly glistening damp ball from within. He traces his fingers upon it's surface, ripples of water greeting his touch and spreading outward into the world beyond. The shift is subtle, all that is man made or left by man vanishing from around him to leave him in the more untouched and untamed lands of Terra. Clairvoyance casts out to the "smurf" cavern, large and spacious spot that it was deep beneath the earth, gaze checking to see the area remains and is free of roving smurfs before he transitions between here and there in a burst of flame and fire, a part of which he salvages to hover over his shoulder in a sphere of fiery illumination.
Tra-la, la-la-la la…
There's a bunch of delighted squees as Jason enters the "smurf" cavern. The little'uns start rushing towards him with excited little voices hailing the hero who saved their precious little civilization frombefore.
"He's here! He's here!" one of them squeaks happily as the black little fuzzballs rush him. Oh noes! ZERG RUSH!
Ack! ZERG RUSH! Jason carefully both tries to avoid rushing little "smurfs" while simultaneously not stepping on any of them. "Nice to see you guys too" he says to them cheerily, "Is Papa Smu.. uh.. your elder around? The one that went with me last time into the body of the great beast? I seek safe transit into the realm it came from and I know a doorway must exist somewhere within these caverns."
Zerg Rush indeed of cute little fuzzballs! Papa Fuzzball is nowhere to be found amongst the gathering crowd of squeaky little kami that rushes around Jason happily. "Earth shakes! The caverns shake and there is roaring in the caverns. The elder has forbidden us from going near the sinkhole!" they squeak together as they try to block the way for they do not want their hero to have something horrible happen to him.
"Away from the darkness! Away! Away!" they squeak
Jason crouches down for a moment to look over fuzzballs and he says, "But you know what this means. If there is rumbling and roaring it means the great work might have returned, and even if your great relic protects you now it may not for long. I have protected your people once, and if I must do so again I shall find a way, but I cannot do so if you do not let me proceed. How long has the earth been shaking and the roaring heard? Have you lost any to the agents of corruption?"
"4 and 20 hours!" one of them chirps up as it bounces up and down over and over again to get Jason's attention. "4 and 20 hours the earth has been shaking. The great darkness comesupon the land once more." it whines in it's high pitched squeaky voice. "None have been lost… yet. away! Away from the mouth of darkness!"
Jason continues to advance through the zerg hordes slowly, carefully displacing them from his path so he can still manage to mvoe forward. "Not so long then, and the avatars may not even be aware of this incursion yet" says the quester as he tries to make his way to his objective. "Your elder speaks wisely, but he is not here. Where is he? Where did he go? Did he go to the mouth of darkness himself?"
"He is having a meeting with mother.." presumably that would be Kamimusuhi. They are little fuzzball kami afterall. Still, there's a loud NOOOOOOOOOOOOOES as he continues to move towards the way. "Please do not go. It will only mean certain death! The darkness is death!" another squeaks once more as they are pleading this time.
Jason continues to inch forwards towards seemingly certain death, "I understand that you are worried about me, I appreciate it more than you can know." Once more he lowers himself into a crouch to give all the earth spirits a good look, "But I am a Protector of Terra, a defender of these lands and her people. You are meant to live here, beneath the earth, doing your tasks and avoiding the danger that is corruption. My purpose is to seek out such dangers, to confront them, to protect those who cannot protect themselves. If you know another way, another route, I shall listen. You know these caves far better than I. But if that sinkhole is the only route to the lands of corruption I must go there despite the danger."
There's a group awwwww as they sigh in resignation. They are cute cuddly creatures and nod afterall. "It is darkness there. There is no light. Rely not on your senses, just your intuition. It will guide you." one of them says as they separate and make way for him to jump down the deep abyss. Yes, it's a jump down. Woosh!
Jason looks over the fuzzballs at that but finally nods his head, "I have been under such conditions before. Far from here in a forest of the Vanir. I shall let my intuition guide me. Return to the mouth of your cavern and I shall seal it as best I can. It will not hold back one of their avatars, if one returns, but it should keep their lesser creatures from harassing you or your people." Providing they do so Jason does raise an unseen shield at the cave mouth, a shimmering field of force to block that exit. Then.. then it is into the hole he jumps.. intuition seemingly guiding him to jump into a dark deep and possibly bottom pit.
None of them try to follow, but at least the unseen shield keeps a few of them from falling alongside Jason! Those were a few fuzzball lives saved this very day. And he falls for quite some time. Soon the light fromthe cavern and the village is gone as once more he is surrounded in utter and complete darkness.
For an indeterminate amount of time he falls. It feels like a while, but it's hard to tell when you're depraved of your senses and can only feel the sensation of fallling in the darkness. Suddenly and abruptly, there's a loud squish as he's landed upon something. It's warm and gooey and sticky and stinky. It's not really a pleasant experience, and he's sinking, slowly.
The little guys said to rely on his instincts? Is he still supposed to be doing that? A deep breath taken so he can go without air for some time and Jason is flailing about for something to hold onto, exploring his environment with touch for some way to extricate himself from gooey stinkyness. His instincts tell him he does now want to sink into a pool of goo and stink! They tell him this very strongly.
Jason fell for quite some time before finding himself in the rather unpleasant sort of ooze into which he crashed down. Around him things are pitch dark, not simply gloomy but the endless sort of dark that one can only find deep underground in a place the sun has never truly touched at all. Kicking through the muck he reaches about, searching for anything else that can be found within the dark. Exploring the scenery by touch that cannot be seen with his eyes, allowing his instincts to guide him as the little fuzzballs up ahead suggested.
It's definitely gloomy. It's definitely dark. No light has ever touched this place, at least not the warm light that shines in Terra. All he can feel around him is decay. Squishy rotting carcasses. Rotting plants. The smell of thiols and methane coming from those who have fallen into the realm of the deep earth. Into the Crom Cruach itself. What does he do? The more he struggles the further he sinks into the muck?
Perhaps that is what is meant to be. If Jason is not in Crom Cruach yet, surely he must be on the outskirts and the way deeper in to what he seeks is probably forward. Not behind. Holding his breath, not all that sure that icky muck is breathable he dives deeper in. Going beneath the surface of that most unpleasant substance in an effort to get to the bottom of whatever pit he has found himself within.
It would have been easy to just relax, to be one withthe surroundings and let Crom Cruach swallow him. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, that is part of what being dead is, total relaxation so the earth can consume him once more. Still, Jason takes the rather proactive approach and soon finds himself emerging from… a swamp?
Did he suddenly go upside down or something? His hair is all groddy and sticky as the stink of rotting flesh, decaying plantlife and the earthy smell of the soil is all that can be felt around. At least there's a bit of light now.
While Terra herself is in eternal sunshine, Crom Cruach is in eternal moonlight, the moon a reflection of the sun being the only source of light. It's a dank place, the smell absolutely horrid, but at least he can move about now. There's solid land a mile or so away, but for now he's in the swamps, and there's something bubbling in the corner of his eye. That might not be a good sign.
Jason is the proactive sort! Generally being consumed by the earth is not the sort of thing he does, Gaia doesn't do oral. A hand reaches up to brush muck back from his hair and he gives what it pulls away a look of disgust before he turns his attention to equally unpleasant things by the light of the dim moon. Bubbling might not be a good sign! Who knows what is under the water and about to explode out in this strange place. He quickly moves to get away from the source in case of any suddenly gas explosions or monster attacks, working his way towards the nearby patch of land so there is at least something stable underfoot. "What a miserable" place he grumbles to the air, "No wonder it's so hard to get here. No tourists. Who would ever want to vacation in a place like this."
Crom Cruach is the antithesis of all that Terra is. While Terra is the earth in it's beauty, this realm is the complete opposite. Industrial pollution spills out into the swamp, spewing nasty chemicals in the water. The longer Jason stays, the more he can see that his clothes are slowly dissolving by the low pH of the swamp.
More bubbles start to come up as a horrible looking largehorshoe crab like creature springs out, it's spikey sharp sword like tail slashing towards Jason. The creatures are hungry, and he's fresh food.
Right… Jason draws his gun from his holsters, hopefully nemean leather is at least holding up better to the hostile environment than most of the rest of his attire is doing. Still he does not fire, not yet, ducking low and under that swiping tail as it drives forward to allow it to pass over his head with a low whistle. Then he is stepping forward and on, using it's carapace as a momentary bit of firm ground in this swamp that is rather lacking in that to push back and leap into the air, flicking backwards in the direction of the land earlier witnessed. At the high point in the arc he gestures sharply at the swamp below, using his oh so powerful senses to pick up the foulest scented part of the territory below and suddenly willing fire into that location. Letting an inferno spring into being right where the noxious (and flammable) concentration of gasses are at their most dense. It's time for some boiled crab.
Oh there's a place. It's just very odourous and very offensive to the nose. The nose knows afterall. Woosh, the bullets go to that portion of the swamp, but the explosion from the fire creates one bigger than Jason had expected. The rushing inferno starts going towards him as soon what wasonce aplace of death and decay is morelike a hellish place of doom and gloom, the gases from the swamp also igniting to have fire on the surface. Lots of places for Jason to travel!
Lots of places that Jason could travel! But are any of them places he wants to go?!? That is the question which must be answered! While immune to fire he is not immune to the force of that blast and the impact he finally makes with the nearby landmass more equates to "is blasted to" than "lands on". Picking himself up he runs his eyes around the fiery hell he has created and slips the guns away only to pull out his GPS. Tap tap tap go the keys as he scans the realm for doorways, the one he entered through from Terra is beneath the water over.. there.. what else is in the area? He quickly makes a search for what might be the doorway to the realm of Puros that he seeks so that he'll have some idea where he is headed in these loathsome surroundings. It is not the sort of place a Scion of Aphrodite likes to linger, poor clothes, poor innocent clothes.
Tap tap tap the keys goes as the GPA starts working looking for any places that would open a gateway towards a Terra Incognita or an Overworld. While there was one entrance from Terra, there's a marking about four miles in north from where he is. It's an exit out of this realm. His telescopic senses tell him that the area though is the pit of the mukade. Dun dun dun!
There is a pit of mukade?!?!? Isn't one mukade quite enough?!? Regardless, Jason has come too far to stop now and if there is a pit of incredibly disturbing monsters in his way he is just going to have to find a way past them, or through them. He makes his way northwards towards the pit, slogging once more through the unpleasant stuff that is simply everywhere within this realm until he is close enough to pit to be able to do a proper observation of it, finding what height he can on a small bit of elevated stone he looks over the pit, playing scout, collecting what intelligence he can on what is inside before simply rushing in and forward.
The pit is a valley between two mountains that have risen up in Crom Cruach. Curled up in the middle is one gigantic centipede, wriggling and writhing as it's curled up in a spiral in itself, filling the valley with it's body. It's not just one mukade though, but it's writhing and protecting a basket of it's eggs. Little chibi mukade (about the size of 4 cars of a train) wriggling inside, still developing as the mother protects her children peacefully. It'd be cute if it wasn't so disgusting.
Jason is a protector of Terra. Jason is a protector of the Drowned Road. Jason is most certainly not a protector of Crom Cruach or it's lifeforms. Still.. something within him pauses at the thought of murdering children, even mukade children in cold blood even if it might distract the mother. Focusing on a nearby point on the horizon he focuses his will into another fiery bloom and explosion, then a moment later his divine ichor focuses itself into yet another even closer, and then another closer yet. Explosive bursts of fiery gasses, rumbling of the earth, surely it is something that could pose a danger to the mother and her eggs and by all appearances it is growing closer. Will she go out to engage the flames? Will she flee with the children. The watcher on the hill above surely hopes that she is going to elect for one of those to allow him access to the valley below.
Pfwoosh, a plume of fire and some smoke.Woosh! There goes another one. The chittering mukade chitters, though it's more like a loud roar considering it's size as it starts to wrap around it's basket of eggs. It's body is hardy, it's carapace quite tough and ready to take on whatever is around it. The mother mukade wraps around her children, scrunching away from the rest of the valley until there's a giant sphere of centipedey goodness wrapped around the egg case.
And there's the exit that she uncovered. A swirling black hole.
It may not be the 'Giant Mukade machine of death going away' that Jason had hoped for but he is little inclined to squander the opportunity presented. As soon as the swirling black hole is uncovered he is racing for it, footsteps thundering across the far too gooey ground, a headlong charge. It's quite the Sliderslike way to enter a wormhole really, charge it at full force and then simply fling yourself in head first without an idea what is on the other side. That is exactly what Jason is doing.
And he finds himself going through the swirling hole and into darkness once more. This time it feels like he's in a sensory deprivation tank. Even the light from the moon is gone, or at least whatever that facsimile of a moon was. He's in complete darkness, and if he tries to feel anything around him, there's nothing. At least he can breath, but yet he feels like he's floating in space…a black inky void is what he's in. Is he blind? Or is there just nothing to see?
Jason floats for a time, drawing in deep breaths of what may or may not be air. Is there air here? Strangely this feels far more like the setting that the 'smurfs' had described than his entrance to Crom Cruach. That was a fall into muck, this, this is darkness without direction. Closing his eyes for a moment he focuses upon what he knows, picturing the world that he briefly saw after following the hand from Olympus and with his arms wave as he tries to drift that way. Following whatever his instincts tell him by way of movement, hoping to find his destination (or anything) within this seemingly endless void.
Maybe the little fuzzballs knew what he was planning. Or what he was searching for. Their powers have yet to be revealed to him afterall. Still, for a time, there's a soft chuckle of amusement that can be heard. The image in his mind's eye is clear, but the giggling might be a bit distracting. The voice is soft and feminine as it seems to be coming from just around him.
"I know what you're doing, child of Aphrodite, but you're not yet that powerful. Are you lost?" the voice asks curiously.
Giggling in an absolute void is distracting when you are trying to let yourself go and concentrate, it's also damned spooky. Jason turns his gaze around impenetrable darkness and dryly says, "Yes. Lost. You know how it is. Second star to the right and straight on towards Puros. Nobody ever told me there wouldn't be any stars though, or much of anything really. You seem to be doing just fine here though, another traveler on her way somewhere a bit more colorful?"
"You can say that. You are trying to find Puros? Whyfore?" the voice asks curiously as the voice continues to seem to surround him. "No one has sought Puros in a long time."
"It's more the home of Puros I was interested in" Jason says, volunteering much to the voice in darkness. "The Titanomachy commences once again and soon both sides will find themselves decimated by it. There must be a new home for those would cause trouble, a New Tartarus to house those who cannot be destroyed without imperiling the Earth itself. His home seems vast, room enough to build what I seek to construct and distant enough to be free of the squabbles that consume the heavens elsewhere. You know of Puros, fellow traveller?"
"Ooooh." There's an impish giggle fromthe voice and nods. "I know of what you speak. You wish to find the /false/ Puros." the voice continues. "Tell me what you wish for.."
"The false Puros?" Jason asks the darkness, "I am not sure. There was a massive fellow in the robes of a monk, I severed his hand from his body when I closed the portal through which he was reaching. He was surrounded by many massive beasts." A dry laugh, "And what I wish for? Have I not been telling you? I wish to find what I am seeking. I wish to move on to the next stage of my journey."
"But what is the next stage of your journey? You seek the false Puros." the voice says matter of factly as there's a hrmm. "And yes, you severed the hand of one of the avatars of this false Puros."
"The next stage will probably be the realm of the false Puros, from what you say" Jason says in answer, "But then you never can quite tell how journeys will end, or go next. But you seem to know of this place, and how to get there. Won't you please help me to find the way?"
There we go. The magic words have been said. The disembodied voice starts to have form, appearing as a shimmering young woman in white. She's dressed immaculately, her clothing quite sheer as the silk ribbons of her dress start to cast light in the darkness.
One of her ribbons starts to unfurl and stretches out towards the distance and soon, he can see a rather large spherical planet shaped object in the darkness. WHy couldn't he see it before?
"You have asked and now you have received. The grasslands of purity is what you seek.."
Why does Jason always seem to meet hot powerful women after he has been through hard torturous ordeals? Is it a Greek hero archetype sort of thing. Still caked with the grimy crud from Crom Cruarch and half naked from dissolved clothing he makes a sharp contrast to the woman's immaculate white attire. All the same he gives a deep nod of his head and flashes her her best smile, "The grasslands of purity you say? I do so hope they have a lake of purity somewhere present for I greatly need to get clean. I do think your for your assistance, for I am not certain I would ever have found the way without you. If you are so inclined do feel free to join me there for a bath, although I fear if all of the avatars there are so unfriendly it would be exciting in ways unintended." He reaches out to rest his fingers lightly on the ribbon, beginning to follow it towards the planetlike destination.
"No. I will not join you I am afraid, but I will be watching." she says mysteriously, a bright and cheerily smile on her features. She leans in and places a soft kiss on his forehead and there's a brief flash. Already he can see what is going on in Olympus. Xanatos is boasting how he will find a New Tartarus first, and how Jason will simply fuck things up for he is Titan corrupted.
Elsewhere, Jason sees that Maia is back alive, but on Earth, in the Congo. The jungles are a hard and tortuous place and already he can see that there are three women watching over her very closely froma different aspect.
Suddenly, another flash. He can see Haldor fighting Kamui to the death. With his percetpvei powers expanded, there'sa little wriggling and a little hee-hoo noise that comes out from the side of the colliseum they're fighting in as Black Frost tries to squish his way into Hundun.
And there's another flash! Erika and Rosie the Riveter talking. She's getting some quantum flux drive thing, a little perpetual motio machine, but woosh, another flash. Everyone he has ever met or has formed bonds of fate with, he can see what they're doing at this very instant before theimages disappear, the mental overload gone.
Tra-la-la. Follow the white silk road to the grasslands of purity.
Woah! Total sensory overload! Jason is suddenly everywhere at once, or at least, everywhere and with everyone that has ever really mattered to him. He also has a white wearing voyeur chick watching him, which is kind of hot. Questions must wait forever, footsteps stagger but never stop, now that there is some direction in this place he does nothing to jeopradize that and he keeps following that white ribbon. Forward. Forward. Each movement drawing him closer to his destination, each movement advancing him along the way.
The Way continues to watch. As he gets closer and closer to the grasslands of purity, he can hear her voice just as if she was right next to him.
"You have suffered much, child of Aphrodite, and you will suffer more. Accusations will come. Anger will follow. Beware the son of Zeus." she whispers before disappearing. She's no longer there. Only her white silk road is, and soon, he finds himself in the grasslands.
It's just as he remember with creatures all hugenormous. It's a beautiful savannah with the sun bearing down hear. It's in close proximity to either Aten or Muspelheim considering the heat. But for all around him, miles upon miles upon miles, he can see that there is grass, lakes and nemean creatures that would put the gigantes to shame.
Moving forward Jason quietly says to the air, "I am always wary of Xanatos. He means me only harm, and ultimately his lust for power will lead him overthrow his father. He'll try to climb atop me if he may." Such conversation does not last long of course, not when the person he is speaking to at last totally fades away to leave him alone. He draws in a deep breath now that there is air again to breath, eyes the massive beasts now that they are there to eye. He wastes no time in making for the nearest lake, he was not joking about the need for a bath, the heat only causing the residue of the swamp to cake upon what remains of his clothing and his flesh. Along the way he again checks his GPS, probing for other doorways, if this place is ever to become a New Tartarus it will be useful to know how many ways in and out it has. He'll also want to return home at some point, of course, and does not yet realize that he can now do so with a thought. He must disrobe upon reaching his destination of course, shucking out of his attire to begin to wash up and return himself to some level of being presentable.
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