(Plot Continuation Coming Soon)
- Sapphire, Matriarch of Erotiads, Leader (User:GirlofDelusion)
Jaime Le'Blanc, daughter of Persephone (User:KittyInASheepsClothes)
- Lilianne Van der Berg, daughter of Hades (User:Queen.Bee)
- Brock Garreth, son of Nyx (User:BachLynn23)
- Gavin Masterson, Son of Hecate (User:Nhlott)
A patron of love, years has been gone,
for he was corrupt, a bond must be withdrawn.
This tie is abnormal, a brew must be made,
consumed it will be and his evil will fade.
Many threats and harms the group should confront,
above all, for the igniting beast they must hunt.
Her comrades shall conflict, to this there is no doubt.
For the matriarch's freedom, the foul they must clear out.
Sapphire: She waits by the camp van on Half Blood Hill for the others to come, equipped with an enchanted purse.
Brock: walks up with a bag slung over his shoulder Hey, hope I'm not late, had to stop by the infirmary first
Gavin: Walks up with a backpack on. Hey guys.
Lily: Walks up with her bag and her sword. Hello.
Sapphire: Hey guys! I'm glad you could all make it on time. You can walk into the van while I wait here for Jaime.
The three questors walk into the van, waiting for the last questor to join them.
Jaime: Runs up, a big bag over her shoulders, out of breath. Sorr-eh, I'm late. I couldn't find Roza, oh sorry, I'm Jaime, daughter of Persephone. Nice ta meet ya all.
Sapphire and Jaime board the van and it starts making way towards the Empire State Building.
Sapphire: Welcome, Jaime. I'm Sapphire, the matriarch of Erotiads, as you already know... I just want to thank you all for being able to join me on this quest, even though we know little to nothing about the course of action.
The questors get to know each other amongst themselves.
Sapphire: First we need to head to Olympus. There, we're going to visit the Palace of the Erotes, where we'll be meeting my daughters. They'll explain everything to us... or so I hope.
Gavin: Olympus you say? Gods, I'm SO under-dressed.....
Brock: laughs under his breath at Gavin Well let's get headed then, Olympus isn't far at least
Sapphire: Oh please, it's not like it's a special occasion... but if you insist, it still is clearly not an issue... I'm the matriarch of Erotiad's, for gods' sake... She twirls her finger around and suddenly everyone in dressed in extremely expensive fashion branded clothing, though not anything too formal. They also seem to have gone through a slight makeover, hair done, makeup on for the ladies, and other various tweaks applied. Though, the look doesn't seem to be quite complete, as everyone is wearing colorful animal slippers. Ugh, I'll fix that... my powers have been malfunctioning since he left, but not to the extent it has as of late... the shoes then turn to match their outfits. There, that should do.
Gavin: Oooh. Awesome. Makes sexy pose.
Brock: Looks at Sapphire oddly Uuuuuhhhh thanks I guess sounds a bit creeped out but if you don't mind, next time I prefer to dress myself, not entirely comfortable with a girl undressing and dressing me
Sapphire: It's not exactly undressing and dressing, but, fine, it's your choice...
Gavin: So, Sapphire, what do you think is going on? From what you said, you don't seem to have any more of a handle on the situation as we do.
Sapphire: Well, it's safe to assume that my soon to be former husband has become one wretched little being, not to mention the fact I haven't seen him in over six hundred years. We need to gather ingredients for a potion, which as I told you, I'll need your help in mixing. These ingredients are probably dangerous to retrieve, since they asked me to bring a large group of demigods along.
Gavin: Sounds like deep shit
Sapphire: Well, it is.
The van then makes way into Manhatten.
Sapphire: Not too talkative, huh, Jaime and Lily?
Jaime: She brushes some hair out of her eyes, I'm barely awake, I dunno how you people can talk at this time without a hell load of coffee! Darn it, I have one craving for coffee...
Sapphire: I'm sure we can get you some coffee before we go up to Olympus.
Lily: I'm... saving my energy for action, not speech. But, what are the ingredients?
Sapphire: I have no idea... It's not a normal potion to break a bond of love, it's something that the Council of the Erotes created specifically for Jasper and I.
Gavin: Mad potion making skills for the win!
Sapphire: Indeed... I'm very grateful that you accepted to join us. That goes for all of you.
The group arrive at the Empire State Building. Sapphire buys Jaime some coffee and then walks in. Once they board the elevator, she asks the elevator-boy to take them to the 600th floor. When he says there isn't a 600th floor, she shows him her pack of golden drachmas and her shields, and he inserts the special card in the slot. After a while. they arrive at the road to Olympus.
Sapphire: Here we are.
Gavin: Indeed we are. What now?
Sapphire: Follow my lead. She starts going down the path, closing in on Olympus slowly, being careful with her balance. Once they all reach Olympus safely, a look of relief crosses Sapphire's face. She then takes them up until the highest area upon this clouded paradise.
The temples of the gods and the castles of the olympians can be found all around them, and at the head, the Castle of the Olympians. They go up pink and red stairs. As they go on, their favorite scent of perfume fills their noses. They go up until they reach a section of cloud which seems to be lightly tinted in pink. A river with beautifully clear waters, brightly glowing under the sun flows by them. Across the river, a majestic red palace, with golden windows, five towers with silver and pink patterns and a majestic golden heart with silver and bronze plating as a door. A silver bridge seems to be their way across. On each one of the towers lay a banner depicting a god. On the biggest is a banner depicting Aphrodite, and on the rest, the Erotes can be seen: Eros, Pothos, Anteros and Himeros.
Sapphire: Welcome to the Palace of the Erotes.
Brock: Looking at the Erotes, he finds himself smiling like a kid in a candy shop and unable to speak properly
Sapphire: Don't even think about it... she chuckles at the thought.
Gavin: Begins juggling change from his pockets
Jaime: Yawns. Mmmm this place got any coffee? Preferably very strong...
Sapphire: Actually, I got you some... but I didn't really want you tripping and falling while we walk towards Olympus. She hands Jaime the cup of coffee. Okay, I don't want to waste much longer... She signals them after her and crosses the bridge, then setting her hand between the two knobs of the door.
The doors then open wide for them to enter. They enter a large drawing room, with walls of gold, silver patterns of hearts, doves and roses along them. The furniture is entirely red, aside from the fireplaces, bookshelves, and chandeliers, which are entirely bronze. Beautiful Kharites, the winged attendants of Aphrodite and the personifications of grace and beauty, seem to be flying around. As Sapphire and the group take their seats on a large couch by a coffee table and a fireplace, a Grace (Kharis) bring them sweet delicacies, all pink, with pink herbal tea, and then quickly flies away.
Sapphire: Takes a sip of her herbal tea. My daughters should be here shortly.
Brock: passes on the tea and sits and waits
Lily: Oh, Rose would definitely love this. Drinks her tea.
Gavin: Yea, I'm not one who enjoys things that are pink. Well, ONE thing, and I'm sure I could find it here, but I digress...
A few minutes later, five girls, bearing resemblance to Sapphire, walk up to them. They seem to be luxuriously dressed, packed with purses enchanted to fit more than their physical capacity. One girl seems to stand out though, wearing more punky clothes, a messenger bag over her shoulder. All of the girls of the five enthusiastically run up to Sapphire and hug her but the one who seems to stand out. Her daughters seem to have appearance corresponding with their gemstones, with oddly colored eyes, similarly to Sapphire, who has red-tinted eyes.
Ruby: Ruby looks almost identical to her mother, only having ruby colored eyes and a more youthful and cheery appearance. Her hair is worn in a braid. We've missed you so much... you don't even have a clue.
Nephrite: Nephrite stands out, seemingly rather separated from the rest of her family. She has green eyes, and short black hair with dark purple streaks. Despite this, she still is absolutely gorgeous. She also seems much younger than her sisters, aside from Spinel, the youngest. She simply listens to music, leaning on a wall nonchalantly.
They get on with their business, having small talk for a short time, until they're cut off.
Nephrite: I thought we were here to separate that scum of a father from our lives, not to have some family reunion.
Amber: Amber has honey brown curly hair with yellow eyes. Right... first though, I'd like to see if any of the campers would like to note anything before I get into details about the coming quest.
Brock: Is still thinking about the erotes
Gavin: Staring a bit at Nephrite......Nah, I-I got nothin....
Nephrite: What you lookin' at, demigod runt? She eyes him, seemingly creeped out, able to sense his interest in her.
Gavin: Steps very close to her. Runt, you say? Brings his face inches from hers. Quite a rude thing to call a stranger, wouldn't you say?
Nephrite: Sod off, little boy. She steps closer to him, and then quickly pushes him away.
Amethyst: The girl with the purple eyes, bearing dark brown wavy hair hurries toward Gavin and helps him up. Calm down, Nephrite... it's not his fault you're an Erotiad.
Spinel: Spinel, the pink-colored girl, who is seemingly more true to her gemstone, bearing pink hair, eyes and skin, looks quite mischievous in that 'pixie' appeal. She also seems to be a tad bit rebellious, though not to Nephrite's extent. She is the youngest sister. Okay, well... can we go on and do the talking on the road?
Sapphire: Sure thing... follow me.
Sapphire motions for the others to follow her and walks out a back door, leading them to a beautiful, large garden, with fountains and exotic plants, largely roses. The garden also seems to have many creatures, including Hippoi Monokerata, unicorns. A large silver carriage led by a pack of auburn-feathered hippogriffs stands on the paved road.
Sapphire: Boards the chariot.
Gavin: Pulls a flashlight from his pocket, extends Calibraun, points it at Nephrite, tapping the tip on her nose, then collapses it and boards the chariot.
Nephrite: She shakes her head, chuckling, and boards the chariot.
Nephrite's sisters follow, sitting down next to each other.
Jaime: Seems to be finally waking up after her coffee, and just noticing the situation and boards the chariot with a small grin. Damn that coffee works slow, only just starting to notice we're in a chariot with sparkly pink pixies.
Sapphire and her daughters glare daringly at Jaime.
Gavin: He twirls his flashlight in his hand and he leans against the inside of the chariot.
Lily: So, you guys gonna 'do the talking'? Like, where we're heading and what's waiting and all that?
Brock: Boards a bit disappointed he didn't get to see the erotes again, entirely disinterested in the girls Yea where are we headed?
The chariot flies away, seemingly headed west.
Amber: She turns to face her mother, taking her hands in her own. A few months ago my granddaughter, a huntress of Artemis was on a hunt for Empousai of a specific "coven", or so they call themselves. When sneaking into one of their lairs she found a man, father, conspiring with them. She abducted an empousa, and after interrogation, she found out quite a bit of information... see. after you went off to Spain, father was sent on a mission in the underworld, aiming toward a bargain with Hades to make a spirit of a demigoddess into an Erotiad... but the coven got in the way. The coven confronted him and their leader attempted to seduce him, which obviously didn't work... so she decided to bite him. Jasper used his powers to relax her, making her let go mid-bite. This caused her to suck not enough blood to kill him, but enough blood to drive him insane. The leader of the empousai decided to use this opportunity to corrupt him into joining their evil efforts.
Sapphire: That explains... quite a bit... I've been having nightmares with empousai hunting me down lately... but why didn't I have any before? And why is it only lately my powers have been significantly?
Amethyst: She takes on. After the huntress broke through and found out all of this, she tried to force the empousa she interrogated to help her capture the rest, but she pretended to go along with it and then warned the group to flee. Now the coven's hunting you down... and probably taking advantage of Jasper's link to you.
Brock: Wow, I didn't realise the empousai were like vampires, then again, I've never run into one yet
Ruby: Unfortunately, you'll definitely run into not only one, but a few this time around. The mortals drew vampires from the Empousai, actually... along with all those wretched she-demons, actually, but mainly Empousai.
Gavin: Deep shit indeed. So what exactly are we doing about it?
Amber: We consulted Aphrodite and the Erotes and they said they did invent a potion that can break the bond... but they made it very secret and complicated so no one can break the bond in harmful intention. It must be used on top of Mount Olympus in Greece. The ingredients are as follows:
- Water with the holy water of Olympus
- Seven rose thorns from the Garden of the Hesperides
- Three drops from the tears of the eastern unicorns
- The Heart of Gold from the nest of the Indian Myrmekes
- A feather of the Amphisbaena's wings
- The wedding rings of Sapphire and Jasper
Ruby: The vial of holy water will be easy to retrieve... there is a fountain flowing with it at the mountaintop. We're now heading to the Garden of the Hesperides... hopefully we'll be able to bargain with the Hesperides. The most troublesome ingredient will be Jasper's wedding ring... we have no clue if he still has it or not. The potion must be spilt on Sapphire and Jasper's ring fingers, with their rings on. We have word on the Coven of the Flame's approximate location, and we were hoping mother's dreams might give us a closer look on things.
Jaime: Rubs her eyes. Wait a sec, wass' Amphisabkkwho or whatever and where do unicorns live and whats myrmekes and why do we got to India for them and Has wide eyes. Now I know why I didn't pass Greek history. Please explain.
Amber: The Amphisbaena is a gigantic two headed serpent that resides in Libya. Unicorns settle in the far east, significantly in China... that's where the legend of Qilins was based. The Myrmekes are giant ants that reside solely in one big nest in India. I hope that answers your questions for now... we will try our best to explain everything.
Spinel: I think I'll have to pass.
Lily: So, are we reaching the garden soon?
Sapphire: Seems so... the Erotes' chariots are enchanted to go abnormally fast without the passengers even feeeling it.
Suddenly, the chariot starts to descend onto land, rattling, seemingly chased by a large group of beasts.
Sapphire: She stands up abruptly and unsheathes her throwing knives, bedazzled and decorated at the hilt, and starts to twirl them in her fingers. Looks like we're up for a fight.
Lily: Pulls out her stygian iron sword.
Gavin: He draws his sword and lights a fireball.
The chariot lands abruptly and the questors run out of it. They seem to be within a forest. Suddenly, the sun shines brightly, disrupting their sight, only the gleam of metal clear to them.
Sapphire: She throws two knives in the direction of the gleaming, only for them to miss. Sapphire calls the knives back. Can anybody see what the gleam-
From the direction of the gleaming, black birds with metal beaks, the Stymphalian birds dawn down at them.
Nephrite: Incoming! She takes a bow and starts shooting arrows at the birds, turning them to golden dust.
Brock: Creates a wall of shadows, sending it at the birds to slow them down and make them easier targets for the others to pick off I'll try and slow them down, you guys pick them off
Lily: Releases a harpy from her sword to take down few birds. Aren't we supposed to use noises? Like, horrible noises???
Spinel: Got that covered. Spinel lets out an extremely high pitched scream in order to confuse and distract the birds, which works. She then starts throwing shurikens at the birds, killing a few every round.
The erotiads and their mother seem to make use of their weapons in a very precise manner, helping the demigods fight the ginormous flock of Stymphalian Birds.
Brock: uses the shadows to lasso a couple of the birds close enough to dust with his CB sword
Gavin:He throws several fireballs and swings at any birds that get close enough.
Four more stymphalian birds join the fight, abnormally huge.
Spinel: Lets out a second, even more high pitched scream, thereafter continuing to throw shurikens.
Amber: That's... intriguing, to say the least. She backflips high into the midst of the flock, slashing at the stomachs of the big birds with her sword, only leaving wounds.
Sapphire: Continues throwing knives in the birds' direction. We need something to take down the big guys...
Jaime: Shoots rose thorns from her hands and nods in agreement Agreed, any ideas? Cause I for one am kinda distracted and not good at multi-tasking when it involves life and death
The hippogriffs screech loudly.
Amethyst: I think I found our solution.
The group boards the hippogriffs and heads off towards the flocks.
Sapphire: She starts slashing at the smaller birds with her daughters. Gavin, Jaime, Brock, Lily, get the four big ones!
Jaime: Nods and looks to the closest big one. Ohhhhhhhhh shitttt, we're SO gonna die. Whistles to the hippogriffs to mvoe up a bit and looks down at the monster. Um okay this may sound stupid but will it be safe to jump on these? Cause if so, imma do it. If not....Well, I might have to do it anyway, my thorns aint affecting 'em.
Brock: I can try and lasso it closer for you
Jaime: Grins. That'd be awesome, might have better chances of surviving. Swings around her SI sword around her and looks ready. Go for it.
Brock: sends a shadow rope down at the bird pulling it up within 10 feet of the hippogriff
Jaime: Closes her eyes before jumping off the hippogriff and landing on the back of the bird, nearly falling off before taking a hold around its neck with one hand and stabbing down into its back with her SI sword before swearing as she starts falling free-fall as the bird explodes in dust. SHIT! SOMEONE HELP ME!
Gavin:He levitates over to one of the big ones and stabs it in the head with hi sword, then sees Jaime. Oh shit! I gotcha! He levitates over to her and catches her.
Jaime: Sighs in relief. Awesome, you are my new hero. Grins at him before looking at one of the big birds coming at them again. Eh think we can get this one or what?
Brock: Lassos the bird coming at Jaime and Gavin, so that they can kill it easier
Gavin:He creates a fireball and holds it in front of Jaime. Fiery thorns, perhaps?
Lily: Is chased by one big bird, then she resurrects one undead's back, who stabs it to dust.
All the small birds seem to have been slain by the erotiads.
Gavin:Well that was-He throws a fireball at the last bird and it burst into flames- an ordeal...
Jaime: Is staring at the ground. Oh shit shit shit, I do NOT like heights I just realized. Can we land? Or get somewhere not floating like we can drop any moment?!
Sapphire: So how exactly did you deal / will be dealing with the chariot?
Brock: Well at least with the chariot you have something under your feet.
Lily: Sighs. It's alright, Jaime. I don't really like it either, but it's alright. Can we speed up though?
The group boards the chariot again, and they head for the Garden of the Hesperides.
Nephrite: I hope the three little snobs will be willing to bargain with us.
Brock: Isn't the garden guarded by that like 100 headed thing?
Amethyst: You mean Ladon? Well, we're not trying to steal anything. We want to settle the issue diplomatically.
Gavin: Snobs? Maybe they're just better than you. Smirks
Nephrite: She rolls her eyes and listens to her music again with Spinel.
After a while, at night, the chariot seems to land by a beautiful garden on a very large hill, a one hundred headed dragon around a tree fruiting golden apples. Three girls with angelic appearance, a bright glow surrounding them, sit at the dragon's feet, singing.
Sapphire: Hesperides, nymph daughters of the malevolent Atlas and Pleione, servitors of Hera?
Aegle: One of them, seemingly having more of a bright aura around her, Aegle, stands up and motions for her sisters to follow. That would be us. What is it you wish, Sapphire, matriarch of the Erotiads?
Nephrite: Can you all stop with the dramatics? I get it, you haven't been the friendliest, but get over it and get THIS over with.
Erytheia: One of them, Erytheia, glares at the group. Well, why is it you brought a legion of warriors with you? It seems you seek the drama.
Gavin: He raises his hands. In my defense, outside of making a potion, I'm only trying to woo this one. He points his thumb at Nephrite.
Brock: grins Don't look at me I just had nothing better to do
Nephrite: WOO me? I think you've forgotten I'm an erotiad, and thus can sense you have a girlfriend... I have no interest in you anyway, get over it.
Gavin: Which you wouldn't be able to sense if I didn't love her, so you should know just as well as I do that I'm f*cking with you. Jesus Christ, your up-tightness makes me itch. Though it should be noted that you didn't point out such lack of interest first, which means you at least entertained the thought, so frankly, f*ck you, pumpkin. He winks.
Brock: Can't help but laugh Um think we could focus on the task at hand? Maybe leave the wooing for when we aren't so close to a hundred headed dragon that would just assume eat us if these lovely nymphs here tell it to?
Gavin: Well, Brock, to be fair, this negotiation is going less than swimmingly because of us......They probably would have forgotten the dragon if you hadn't brought it back up. If by some twist of fate we survive this inevitable shitstorm of violence, you're payin my dry-cleaning bill for this jacket......Don't be fooled by the tears and grease-stains, it's hella expensive.
Hesperia: We prefer to be peaceful if we could, actually. Regardless, the child of Nyx is quite right. Quit wasting our time, bickering amongst yourselves, and just tell us what you're here for.
Sapphire: We require seven thorns from your garden's roses for a potion.
Arethusa: That STILL doesn't explain why you are so many, not to mention what the potion's doing is, aside from that it refers to a disbanding of a relationship, or love.
Ruby: So you've done your research, big deal. No need to act all pompous about it. Oh, I forgot, each Hesperis can only bear one emotion of these three: arrogance, vanity or elitism.
Aegle: All of those emotions encompass similar or identical themes.
Amber: Now you're the cause for bickering, hypocrites. Why is it you require knowledge of our quest?
Arethusa: We don't give out free potion ingredients like that, so if you guys want the thorns, you better start talking.
Brock: Looks at sapphire Is it really that pertinent to the quest keeping it from them? I mean if it is by all means I'll follow your lead, you are the quest leader, but if you're just being unrealistically obstinate, I ain't facin a dragon for ya
Gavin: Yea tell 'em what they wanna know for all our sakes.
Sapphire: She tells them her story.
Erytheia: Sounds rather tragic... despite past conflict with us, we will consider.
The Hesperides huddle for a few seconds, speaking in hushed tones, but then turning back to the questors.
Aegle: Due to the circumstances, we have decided we will allow you to take your three rose thorns from our garden. Additionally, we will allow you to stay here.
Sapphire: Stay here? We don't exactly have tents.
Hesperia: Don't need any. She approaches Ladon's tree and sings a single word, seemingly in Ancient Greek, putting her hand on the tree hollow.
The tree hollow proceeds to open into a staircase leading to a downstairs chamber.
Hesperia: Follow me.
As the group proceeds down the stairs, they can see a chamber of earth, climbing with vines in beautiful patterns. The chamber has several beds, a dining table and several end tables at the sides of the beds, all made of fine wood. Floating balls of light are used as lanterns throughout the chamber. The floor is made with patterns of ivy and wood.
Brock: follows the others
Gavin: Follows and sits on an end table
Sapphire: I must thank you for your generosity. This is more than I would ever ask for.
The Hesperides nod and exit the room. After a few seconds, a lilac-colored coin purse, carried by a ball of light is given to Gavin. In it are the seven rose thorns they need for the potion, as well as more thorns in case they'll need them.
Sapphire: She lies on her bed and falls fast asleep.
All of Sapphire's daughters exit the chamber to explore the gardens a bt but Nephrite and Spinel. They listen to Pong by Eisenfunk, dancing.
Brock: Finds a bed and lays down, asleep before his head hits the pillow
Lily: Lays down on a bed, examining her nails for a while before she fell asleep.
Gavin: Sits up and watches as they dance.
Spinel: Winks at Gavin as she keeps on dancing, the song I Know You Hate Me by Asphyxia coming up.
Gavin: He grins and blushes slightly
Spinel: D'you like any industrial, Gavin?
Nephrite: Rolls her eyes.
Gavin: Yea. it's good stuff. Prefer dubstep a bit more, but industrial has its merits.
Spinel: Come and dance with us... don't be shy. She continues dancing, getting closer to Gavin. The song Eisenfresse by Centhron comes on.
Gavin: He gets up and begins to dance.
After a while, the bunch gets tired and goes to sleep, along with Sapphire's other daughters, who come back into the chamber and fall asleep too. The scent of fine food wakes them up.
Erytheia: Rise and shine. She smiles warmly.
Gavin: Food! He leaps out of the bed.
Aegle: Can be seen cutting some of her cherry pie and throwing it in the brazier, chanting for Hera.
The other Hesperides can be seen following her steps, one by one.
Sapphire: She looks at the table, which is filled with various fruits, nectars / juices, pies and pastries. She proceeds to take a croissant, sacrificing some of it to Aphrodite and the Erotes.
Brock: wakes up and fishes in his bag for his energy bars and bottled water, sacrifices some of his energy bar to nyx and sits back watching the others eat, eating his energy bars
Lily: Takes some croissant and yogurt with berries. Hmm, this is good. To the hesperides. Thank you for your hospitality...and generosity.
Gavin: Between bites of food. Ditto
Aegle: It's our pleasure. It seems like you're not going to have an easy journey. Unfortunately, it's all we can do.
Arethusa: Despite our reputation of being hostile to heroes, we can be very giving. It simply depends on whether you try to thieve from us or be diplomatic about it, like you guys have been.
Ruby: I must admit, it seems as though it would be hard for you to leave behind your 'beef' with my mother.
Hesperia: Shrugs All is forgiven. We were both simply completing our duties.
Sapphire: Still, a great deal of gratefulness is due.
Aegle: She nods at Sappphire and smiles.
Brock: finishes he energy bars and takes a chunk of ambrosia from his bag and some pills and eats those, and drinks the rest of the water waiting for the others
After a while, they finish with their meal, say their goodbyes to the Hesperides and head out to China upon the carriage to gather the unicorn tears.
Amethyst: Alright, some background information on what we're about to encounter: a nomadic son of Poseidon named Bohai Ong, who practices the art of a monk for reasons unknown, has managed to near-tame a pack of eastern unicorns upon his spiritual journeys, travelling through China's plains and timberlands with them, taking care of them. He is now located in an isolated forest region of the Wuyi Mountains in Fujian, China. He is known for gathering the tears of these unicorns and using their healing properties to help those who he deems worthy of his aid. His cover persona, nicknamed by the locals as Shèng Jīngshén, the Sacred Ghoul, is that of a healing spirit from the afterlife who has surfaced in order to help the bold and the wise. It's going to be rather difficult to convince that con artist to work with us, but we must try if we want to be able to create the potion.
Sapphire: She sighs heavily.
Brock: Puts his back pack back over his shoulder Never been to china before
Spinel: I love China's urban areas, not some mountain range. That's no fun.
Ruby: Well, we're not exactly here for the fun. There's things that surpass that in priority at the moment. After we're done with that, we can have our 'fun'.
Brock: Eh mountains are prettier anyway
Nephrite: She looks out the window, watching the landscapes pass by, sighing occasionally, not looking as though she's in her best mood.
Gavin: So, after the tears, can we do a bit of hanging out in China? He looks over at Nephrite, but scoffs and turns to the others.
Amber: That would be entirely up to my mother.
Sapphire: A bit of rest wouldn't hurt... it's going to be a long journey. I don't see why not.
Spinel: She grins in excitement. Yes!!!
Gavin: Grins. So, let's make some unicorns cry, people!
Brock: listens to his itouch
After a while, they land in a clearing, surrounded by trees. They proceed to unboard the chariot.
Amber: Takes a silver whistle out of her purse and uses it to send the hippogriffs to safety until she calls them back. We should probably head out to find the monk and the pack of unicorns. Beyond the timberlands to the east, the River of Nine Bends flows, which we need to follow.
The group heads into the woods, which seem to be elevating as they go.
Brock: looks around as he walks with the others
Sapphire: I have a bad feeling... I just can't seem to figure it out. Danger is approaching, it must be it.
Ruby: Relax, mother... I'm sure it's nothing.
Sapphire: I-I guess you're right... she still doesn't seem quite convinced.
Brock: Want me to scout ahead in the shadows?
Sapphire: T-thanks for the offer Brock... yes, it would be most reassuring.
Gavin: I'll stand back and protect the lady-folk.
Brock: he shadow travels a ways ahead, using the shadows to conceal his movements
Brock can hear a fierce roar, seeing a bright light, seemingly from flames in the distance.
Brock: he quickly shadow travels back to the rest Did you guys hear that roar? There's something up ahead, I saw a bright light and what looked like flames
Sapphire: Oh... oh, no...
Three empousai run up to the group, seemingly a bit different than normal, bearing bat wings, claws and balls of fire surrounding them, seemingly at their disposal. They wear tattered, ripped and dirty clothing. Scars of old injuries and open wounds can be seen all over their body. Their feet are different than a normal empousa's.
Empousa 1: The Rising Coven will flourish!
Empousa 2: Everything in the name of our Sisterhood of Flames!
Empousa 3: The 'wife' of our Queen's betrothed will be VANQUISHED!
They then fly above them in a circle at rapid speed, laughing maniacally.
Sapphire: Goes into shock, lying against a tree, curled up as a ball, murmuring.
Brock: Runs to Sapphire and stands in front of her, CB sword in hand Sapphire, what's wrong?
Gavin: Twirls Calibraun. This should get interesting...
Empousa 2: That's one thing you're right about, demigod...
Ruby: I'll tend to my mother! Stop those wretched succubi! She speeds toward her mother.
Empousai: The only thing that is wretched is your nature, filthy servants of the gods!
A large flame shaped as their symbol is conjured high in the air. They then stop spinning and fly around, swooping by the demigods, taunting them as they maniacally laugh and set the surroundings on fire.
An empousa then dives toward Nephrite, pick her up high in the air, threatening to set her body ablaze.
Empousa 2: Hand over the matriarch or she's gone!
Nephrite: Don't do it! I'm not worth it!
Brock: He looks to see that Ruby is helping Sapphire and makes a lasso out of shadows and sends it out, wrapping it around Nephrite he then yells at the others Shoot something at the b*tch that has Nephrite, I just need her to let go for a second and I can pull her away
Pterygoia: Please, I have a name. Call me Pterygoia. She grins. My sisters are Fele and Chamme, but we're getting off topic. You know, it probably wasn't the best idea...
Suddenly, a young man with the get up of a monk comes from within the woods, standing on a hovering wave of water, interrupting the empousa. He wears white pears around his neck and wrists. Unicorns gallop at his side. He proceeds to take a vial from his belt and mix it with water he takes from his wave, making all the fires fade, including the symbol of the coven. In doing this, he also heals the trees.
Chamme: Brought back up, demigods?
Monk: He says in a tinted accent. I'm afraid I am in no way affiliated with these young demigods or the erotiads, Sisters of the Coven. I would suggest you leave them be.
Fele: Oh yeah? What are you going to do if we don't?
Monk: This. He conjures three cyclones of water and wind, knocking back the empousai and freeing Nephrite, the rope of shadows still attached to her, sent over to Brock's Arms. He also traps the empousai in a dome of dense water.
Ruby: A little help over here? She's losing consciousness.
Monk: What makes you think I can aid her?
Amber: We know who you are, Bohai Ong, son of Poseidon.
Bohai: Very well. He throws a vial of unicorn tears over to Ruby.
Ruby: Pours the tears onto her eyelids and throws the vial over to Bohai.
Sapphire: Gets up fully revitalized.
The dome wears off and the empousai start to attack the demigods and Bohai. Several more empousai join them, some fighting on foot and some with flight.
Lily: Summons three skeletal warriors to attack the empousai.
Gavin: He uses a levitation spell to float up to one of the empousai and stabs her in the breast with Calibraun. Y'know, I like my flying bitches extra-crispy.... He then electrically charges the sword.
A few empousai are shocked to death, bursting into golden dust as the electricity hits them. The empousai seem to be unfazed by the skeletal warriors, though, setting flame to them, turning them to dust.
Brock: Makes sure that he sets Neph safely on the ground, before dispersing the rope of shadows, he creates a bow out of shadows and fires a few arrows at the empousai
Some empousai go down, while others dive toward Brock, claws bearing and fangs out.
Brock: He let's the bow disintegrate and throws up a shield of shadows between him and the empousai
Lily: She creates a small tremor which topples an empusa off its feet, and quickly stabs it to death.
The empousai that crashed into the shield of shadows fall to the floor. Within moments, they get up, shaking it off, and then beginning to throw fire balls at Brock as they rise to the air. They then spin at rapid speeds in a circle, heading in the circle onto Brock at great speeds.
Brock: he let's the shield down and shadow travels behind the empousai
The last of the empousai fall head first into the ground, turning to dust. Slowly, less recent empousai start to reform.
Bohai: He makes a whinnying noise, calling forth several unicorns. They run full force at the empousai, turning them to golden dust. He floods the leftovers, proceeding to mix what's left of the horrendous creatures using his control over water. Got yourselves into trouble with the Sisterhood, eh?
Sapphire: How do you know about the Coven?
Bohai: They've been much of a displeasure upon my journeys.
Amber: How is it you speak English, though, Bohai?
Bohai: I went to Camp for quite a while, but I bailed. What can I say? I missed my homeland. Let's go over to where I'm staying, shall we? Surely you can explain how you know who I am once we're there. C'mon. He proceeds to walk and the unicorns follow him. He signals for the group to do the same.
They walk around for a while. The landscape becomes more and more surreal as they go on, pillars of stone and timberlands surrounding them as they follow the river. A path of tourists seems to be not too far away. From time to time locals can be slightly heard. Eventually, they reach a large lake. Cliffs shaped in a circle around the lake seem to be flooded with unicorns grazing the grass, aside from the central one, occupied by a golden pagoda canopy, under it a small sitting table, a simple mat, an incense burner, tea pot and cups as well as a bronze box containing food, which magically never rot due to unicorn tear effects. A trail of stones leads on to a spiral staircase within the rock which leads up to the pagoda.
Sapphire: So surreal...
The group heads up the stairs and are sat down by the sitting table, which expands once a drop from Bohai's vial is spilled into a small magic lock in the center of the table.
Bohai: Would you like some tea? You must be exhausted after your long journey here from the states. Not to mention the encounter with those foul creatures.
Amethyst: Takes a sip of tea. Delightful.
Bohai: Smiles warmly.
Gavin: Yea......Screw the tea. We just need what we came here for....
Bohai: You seriously expect me to hand over something so precious to complete strangers who won't explain how they know of my completely secret identity? If you want the tears, please, let me keep you around for the night. If you came all the way here for a substance similar to the holy waters and nectar, your quest must be complicated. I assume you need it for a potion ingredient, or a severe disease.
Spinel: Hate to disappoint, seaweed boy, but we were planning on hitting the big cities tonight, y'know, Shanghai, Shantou or Beijing.
Bohai: That would be your choice, but I still demand explanations concerning your motives.
Ruby: As she drinks some tea, she elaborates on the situation, explaining their connections to Aphrodite who revealed the ingredients of the potion and their locations to them.
Bohai: Sounds tough. Hm... He ponders for a moment. I'm willing to spare a vial. Hands it over to Gavin. Use it wisely. Beware the Empousai, friends, if we've seen them around here they must be flooding the big cities.
Sapphire: Thank you for your generosity, Bohai.
Bohai: No problem. Always willing to help. He hands over a pack with food, natural medical supplies as well as nectar and ambrosia. I can provide water travel to the city you would like to visit if you would like.
Spinel: Sounds fun! Where would you guys like to go?
Brock: Eats some ambrosia and drinks one of his bottled waters
After a bit of bickering, the group decides to go to Shantou. They stay at a hotel and head out to their next destination in the morning, standing by their carriage and talking.
Amber: We're heading to India, where we will retrieve an artifact named the Heart of Gold. We will retrieve it from the heart of the Thar Desert, where the Myrmekes, giant winged ants guard the former residence of Chrysus, which they made into their nest as they were tasked with guarding by Chrysus, who granted them sight in exchange, using an artifact named the Eye of Chrysus. It holds some of the most valuable treasures in the universe. Aphrodite has instructed us to take nothing but the Heart of Gold.
Gavin: Sure, but let's get this show on the road, shall we?
Ruby: One thing you should note... their eyes are their strength, if you look into them too long, you can become slowly drained of power. It's best to stab them there or in their stomachs.
After entering the carriage and a bit of flying, they reach the beginning of a trail, wide and made of large gold blocks. Palm trees accompany the path. At the beginning of a trail, a large golden fountain can be found, flowing with holy waters.
Sapphire: She takes a large vial and fills it with holy waters. I find it odd that they placed these waters right out here... if spilled into their eyes, they lose their sight.
They progress down the trail, slowly starting to see a cyclone of sand in the distance.
Amethyst: Makes sure everyone has goggles on to prevent sand getting in the eyes.
Brock: puts them on
Gavin: Puts them on, and continues walking.
Brock: plays with a small ball made of shadows, tossing it up and down, while listening to his iTouch
Gavin: So, what'll be tryin to eat us this time?
Nephrite: Probably the ants.
Gavin: See, that's just cosmic justice. We always kill them,so then they eat us....SO not fair...
Amber: See, ants technically came much after Myrmekes, so I guess it would be better to define ants as small Myrmekes. Technically, you can see it as us getting revenge at the Myrmekes eating us by us killing the ants.
Gavin: Sweet, then I'll feel no guilt when I gut one like a fish.
Spinel: She gulps at the thought.
Brock: Is still listening to his iTouch
After a while, the group reaches the end of the trail, the cyclone right in front of them. They find that the cyclone is actually made of chunks of gold as well. The cyclone pulls them forward... they try to struggle, but it doesn't let go... their grasp get a hold of them and they find themselves upon a giant gold spiral staircase, surrounded by gold coated stone walls with historic carvings. The cyclone is seemingly whirring right over the staircase.
Gavin: Adjusts his goggles............Well, THAT sucked...
Sapphire: At least we're finally in. C'mon.
They head down the staircase as they sound of the cyclone whirring above them dissappears, The staircase slowly become wider and wider, eventually getting so wide that all of the questors can stand on a single staircase. The spiral staircase slowly becomes square, the walls around them slowly rising. They can suddenly hear the sound of other legs against the staircase, rising toward them from deep within the nest.
Gavin:.....Aaaand of course. What's that?
A combination of screaming and crunching sounds can be heard, a struggle clearly going on. Before they can even try and do anything, the sounds stop. Suddenly a noisy whirring voice can be heard, similarly to the flying of a fly.
Amber: How wonderful. She unsheathes her sword.
Gavin: This is gonna suck too, ain't it? Unsheathes Calibraun.
A few Myrmekes fly overhead. Their bodies are entirely black, aside from their wings, eyes, legs, pincers and antennas, which are golden. They snap their pincers and fly overhead.
Nephrite: She takes her recurve bow and fires and arrow right into the belly of a Myrmeke, turning it into dust.
Gavin: Totally called that. He throws a fireball at one of them.
Spinel: Shaken from fear, she leans tightly against a wall with her hands against it.
The Myrmeke explodes into golden ashes.
Sapphire: She unsheaths her bow as well, firing an arrow into the eye of one of them. As it sinks to the ground, she throws a knife at it, turning it to dust. She picks up her knife and does the same to another.
The group goes down the stairs rapidly, chased by the Myrmekes, until they reach what seems to be the heart of the nest. They're in an enormous hall (about as big as a small village, minus the buildings) with a high raised dome roof. Tunnels in the walls seem to lead off to different areas of the nest. Each of the tunnels has an engraving of a certain shape above it. Treasures made of gold are simply piled against the walls, only providing a narrow walkway in between two piles. As they enter this hall, an enormous amount of Myrmekes flies out of the tunnels and towards them. The sounds of their pincers snapping and wings buzzing are unavoidable.
Spinel: She shakes in fear. W-what... now?
Nephrite: We're going to have to try and take them down. On the count of three... One, two, three! She races towards the ants as she fires a dozen arrows within a matter of seconds, shooting the same amount of Myrmekes down.
Spinel: She throws shurikens at the Myrmekes, but fails to hit any due to her fear.
Ruby: She takes out her throwing knives and throws them at several Myrmekes, hitting them all in their eyes. She hurries under the buzzing of the Myrmekes to retrieve her knives telekinetically more efficiently, but she catches the attention of the Myrmekes, who speed down in her direction.
Gavin: He tackles one of the Myrmekes coming at Ruby, stabbing it in the eye with Calibraun and electrically charging it. As it explodes into gold dust, he then levitates over to another, throwing a fireball in its eyes, then jumping off, throwing a knife up at its stomach as he falls.
Brock: Shadow travels next to one, and cuts it's head off
Ruby: She runs towards her sisters and subtitutes her knives for her bladed boomerang, taking down half dozens of Myrmekes each go.
Brock: Sends a shadow dagger into the eye socket of another one
Slowly, as they fight, the Myrmekes start to turn all into golden dust. The shapes above the tunnels clear up. They are, from right to left, a heart, a sword, a diadem, a jewel and a staff. Instructed by Amber, they head down the tunnel with the heart shape above it. From time to time, they are approached by Myrmeke guards, which they easily take down. They then reach a dome-roofed chamber, amassed with jewels and gold. A small artifact, presumably the Heart of Gold, is guarded by some form of red magical forcefield. A very large female and majestic Myrmeke is flying around the Heart of Gold.
Queen Myrmeke: She hears the group enter and turns towards them. Oddly enough, she is able to speak. You are not taking my treasure!
Sapphire: Chrysus kept it here for Aphrodite, not for you.
Queen Myrmeke: Too bad there's nothing you can to retrieve it.
Sapphire: With the snap of her finger, the forcefield wears off and the Heart of Gold ends up in her hands. You were saying?
Queen Myrmeke: Infuriated, she lunges at the group. From between her pincers, spikes are shot.
Sapphire: She whispers to her daughters to follow her lead and cause the Queen Myrmeke to fall in love with them temporarily.
Gavin: Expands a shield and enchants it to be unbreakable as he ducks behind it. He then throws a fireball at her
Brock: Shadow travels behind the queen ant and throws a dagger at it
Queen Myrmeke: Taken aback as she stares at the Erotiads, she is dazed and nearly killed by Gavin and Brock. She lies on the floor as she struggles to get up.
The group runs back out of the lair as they take down Myrmeke guards on their way out, the Queen Myrmeke chasing them. They end up on the trail again, far away from the cyclone, which they popped out of. After running along the path, they take off their goggles, entering the carriage.
Gavin: ......Well, now what?
Ruby: We're heading for Libya this time. After Perseus slaughtered Medusa, it is said that he flew over the Libyan Desert, where the blood from her head dripped and created the Amphisbaena, a dragon-like serpent with large wings and a head on its tail. It resides in the center of catacombs hidden from modern day mortals under the fort in the town of Murzuk, Libya, built by an Ottoman demigod son of Anteros to imprison the Amphisbaena. It remains trapped there. We need to simply acquire a few of its feathers for the potion.
Gavin: Yea, simple....not deadly or anything....
Amber: You can't say any of the things we've done so far were safe, can you, now? You ARE a demigod...
Brock: Sits in the carriage and drinks some water and takes a couple of pills
Nephrite: She whispers to Gavin. Sorry, she can be a bit harsh at times.
Gavin: It's fine. Just for one less person's benefit I'm helping out.
Brock: listens to his iTouch
After sleeping for a few hours, the campers and erotiads wake up to find breakfast on a table between the two sections of seating on the carriage. Pink and red teas are served in teapots alongside cookies, muffins, cupcakes and cakes. Coffee and hot chocolate are also served. Waffles with strawberries and jam are served on their plates. Teacups and goblets sit by the plates.
Nephrite: This breakfast is disgustingly cheery...
Brock: drinks his own water and has some of his ambrosia and energy bars, ignoring the breakfast spread
Ruby: I think we can all use a bit of cheeriness at the moment. Besides, I think the breakfast is wonderfully cute. She smiles and drinks some pink tea.
Nephrite: Oh, gag me with a spoon. She pours herself some dark coffee into a thermos and takes a big sip.
Gavin: Well, I'd like to eat something not pink....
Brock: Where did it come from anyway? We're up in the air, and last I checked Erotiads and such don't have the power to create food out of nothing
Gavin:......another reason not to eat this shit...
Ruby: She smiles. Calm down. I thought you were used to food appearing on your plates at camp. This is a godly carriage, nothing else is to be expected...
Nephrite: You can think of a different drink or meal to appear on your plate... she glares at Ruby. I'm not exactly sure as to why Ruby thought she can pick what we want to eat for us.
Ruby: She shrugs.
Nephrite: She wishes for bacon to appear on her plate, and it does. Her goblet fills with grape soda and she pours herself another cup of coffee.
Brock: continues to eat his energy bar, all set with having anything to do with their food
Gavin: I'll do with just some Mt. Dew for now... He sips from the goblet and sits near Nephrite So, how much more magical grocery shopping we got in store?
Amethyst: We have just the Amphisbaena's feathers, but then we need to find our father and retrieve him, along with his ring for the ceremony.
Brock: sounds like fun
Nephrite: Sounds exhausting. What's the use of gods if they can't make things happen with the snap of their finger?
Brock: yea but isn't this whole quest deal for you guys, not really the gods?
Nephrite: Partially, sure, but in all reality, Aphrodite and the Council of the Erotes would have sent us on this quest if it hadn't been for us initiating it anyway. They need their erotiads to carry out some of their duties for them... she sighs and rolls her eyes. They're also the ones who insisted on making it this difficult.
Brock: Gee I'm shocked, the gods making something difficult
Nephrite: She grins as she looks outside the window. Hm, we're over Cairo now, so it shouldn't be much longer until we land.
Gavin: Sweet. Well, hopefully we can get these feathers quickly
Shortly, they started to fly into the reaches of the Libyan desert, and landing on top of one of the towers in the citadel of Murzuk within an hour. They unboard the carriage, which flies away.
Sapphire: Okay, we'll need to disguise ourselves. The fort has been made into a mosque for the most part... Brock, mind me working my magic?
Brock: Please tell me it won't be as flashy as what you made us wear for the first day of the quest, I may be gay but......
Sapphire: It's clothes for the mosque, it's definitely just the opposite, She swishes her fingers and they're all wearing modest, plain, traditional Islamic wear, per the area's standards. How's that?
Brock: holds back a laugh I feel mildly less violated this time thanks
Sapphire: It's hard to feel violated at all, being all covered up like this... how do these women stand it in this heat? She shakes her head. Off we go, now?
Brock: I'll follow you he drinks some water from his water bottle, the heat getting to him
Sapphire: Let's just keep a fair distance between the girls and the boys... we don't want to attract any attention. She takes out her map and starts to navigate. She hides it every time they are approached by people.
They go through a door, go down a set of stairs and into a narrow hallway. The entire building seems to be made of blocks of stone. The hallway seems to have no doors, and eventually reaches a larger hallway. A large crowd of locals, dressed identically to them, seem to be heading down to prayer.
Sapphire: Okay, this is going to be tricky... we're going to have to blend into the crowd, but branch out into a side hallway without attracting too much attention. Let's get to the back of the crowd.
They blend in at the end and walk around for what seems like half an hour and go down a hallway, careful not to attract too much attention. The hallway is extremely long and the end cannot be seen, presumably dimly lit. A group of men speaking in Libyan Arabic can be heard arguing faintly.
Sapphire: She whispers We're going to have to be as quiet as possible. There's a secret door somewhere along the wall on the right side, so we'll have to go through it as quickly as possible without getting caught. She sticks to the right wall, pacing slowly and silently, motioning for the others to follow suit.
Ruby: She follows after her mother. She trips on a crack in the floor, making some noise, but the men down the hallway don't seem to notice.
Amber: She mouths the words "be careful" and follows.
Nephrite: Follows, shaking her head.
As they go further down the hallway, a shout down the hall echoes in their ears. The argument seems to be getting more intense.
Spinel: A bit taken back by the screams, she keeps following.
Amethyst: She twirls her finger and her make-up is redone.
Nephrite: She facepalms but keeps following, not letting it distract her.
Brock: ''once out of the direct sunlight he uses the shadows to bend around him to keep him mostly unnoticed from anyone that walks by him as he approaches the noises
The shouts begin to turn into beastly growls and howls, slowly turning into evil laughs like those of witches. The sounds appear to be coming from the other end of the hall as well, and suddenly they find themselves surrounded, two empousai identical to those they met in China on each side of the group. More empousai fly in from both ends of the hallway, laughing.
Brock: shadow travels behind one and slashes at it with a sword made out of shadows
The empousa turns into golden dust, but three more lunge at Brock as they notice her absence. One of them, looking bigger and more powerful, tries to reach for Sapphire.
Brock: tries to use a rope of shadows to pull the empousa back from grabbing sapphire
From here on out, the group continues to fight the empousai and eventually vanquish them all. They continue down into the catacombs and after a tough fight, retrieve a bundle of amphisbaena feathers. They head out to retrieve Jasper, only to be abducted by a group of empousai. They were brought to the headquarters of the Coven of Flames, which is Avernus, Italy, a known entrance to the Underworld. The stone ruin was mounted by empousai everywhere, perched on it like birds. Their carriage was destroyed, the hippogriffs held in a cage, the team in a separate cage.
The next day at midnight, members of the coven sacrificed the hippogriffs to their queen, Igetis, by lighting them on fire. This summoned Igetis to Avernus, and with her, Jasper. Jasper's eyes were red instead of blue, and he tried attacking Sapphire, much to the amusement of Igetis, but Sapphire's song seemed to relax him and drive him back into reality, his eyes turning blue again, leading him to save Sapphire, her daughters and the campers. They began to fight the Coven, retrieving Jasper's half of the wedding ring from Igetis in the process. They ran away once it was retrieved, chased by the Coven (led by Igetis). After praying to the Erotes, another carriage of hipogriffs, slightly larger and more war-suited, picked them up and flew them to Mount Olympus, Greece.
There, Jasper was losing his temporary sanity and they had to finish the ceremony before it was too late. Gavin made the potion, preserving the leftover ingredients, and then the ceremony went on. The erotiads were chanting in Greek (per the instructions of the Erotes), circled around the couple. The potion had to be first spilt on their wedding rings, while on their fingers, and then consumed. Once consumed, Jasper was knocked back into insanity and tried to assault Sapphire. Igetis and a few members of her coven then conveniently showed up, agreed to cease fire as long as it was mutual and left the team to return to Olympus, the heavens. Once there, the team met Aphrodite and the Erotes. The team was heavily rewarded and allowed to return to Camp, the Erotiads and Sapphire staying in Olympus.