wrmods: (Default)
Witches Reign Moderators ([personal profile] wrmods) wrote in [community profile] witchesreign2014-02-01 09:29 pm


The first sign of the end is a golden-yellow light. Flaring brightly from the roof of Galbadia Garden, it soars, cutting a graceful arc against the washed-out winter sky -- and then, at its apex, tears downward. The roof of Balamb Garden stands no chance; the ceiling of the ballroom below barely has time to buckle. In an eruption of metal shrapnel that clatters all the way down the outside like hail -- not to mention under the feet of any combatants still up top -- it gives way.

To the people still fighting, it's a cue. Maybe a Sol Invictus member takes it as a signal to charge; maybe a SeeD on what remains of the barricade senses the urgency and motions her allies to follow: Within minutes, both sides of the battle flood inside Balamb Garden and pour into the ballroom.

But there, the brawls, shouts, and wildly flung spells trickle to a standstill. The crowd stops, packed in too closely to fight, and blinks at the display.

At the far edge of the ballroom stands a haggard but familiar figure in a tattered sweater-vest: the missing Headmaster Cid -- and his three Sol Invictus captors. On his left, a graying leather-jacketed man holds a knife to the Headmaster's throat and another between his shoulder blades, less than an inch away from thrusting home. On his right, a burly young woman points a gun to his head, a clearly pinless grenade held with calm professionalism in her other hand. The third of the trio, a woman covered from her neck down in tarnished chain mail, hasn't laid a hand on the Headmaster yet, but only because both of hers are clasped together and crackling furiously with power; anybody who steps inside the translucent but hotly glowing sphere around her, her compatriots and their hostage will find themselves suddenly seized with electrical current and violently flung aside. The message is unambiguous: try anything and the Headmaster will die.

And in the middle of the ballroom is the main spectacle, from which few onlookers from either SeeD or Sol Invictus can seem to tear their eyes away: the scrape and clash of sword against giant sword, the same blaze of gold suffusing the air -- Ien, the leader of Sol Invictus himself, bearing down on Commander Erlea Zabala with his daiklave flashing through her defensive stance like a sunbeam.

(ooc: With this final showdown, the Battle of 3 Gardens comes to a close. Subthreads have been provided below for reactions to B3G's denouement; you are free to make your own.

For information on the next stage of endgame, look here!)
commanderzabala: (the commander)


[personal profile] commanderzabala 2014-02-01 09:44 pm (UTC)(link)
Zabala's often impassive face twists with the effort of standing her ground. Slowly, her feet are slipping. But she does not give.

"Why this farce --" she begins to hiss, but stops to jerk her head back from the next slash, trailing a few bright droplets of blood -- and the rest of her body across, her katana and wakizashi a sudden, vicious blur.

[personal profile] solarexalted 2014-02-01 09:46 pm (UTC)(link)
Ien leans back; the flurry of blows skims the air a hair's breadth from his side. "I need to fight you," he says with the same nonchalance, his voice soft enough to border on casual, yet booming authoritatively throughout this cavernous space. "You wouldn't trade your life for the Headmaster's, would you? No. No," he repeats, "you wouldn't. You couldn't. Erlea Zabala, the Garden Master's puppet... How could you possibly give in now? You'll play this game until the end --"

Around him, the golden light thrums, intensifies, roars, pulling itself into the outline of an enormous lion. But no claws are about to sink into the Commander -- only the blade of that daiklave, dropping towards her head in a deceptively lazy arc, more a bludgeon than a slice.

"-- unless I force you."

Somehow, that whisper is enough to set the entire ballroom reverberating. And then, somewhere inside it, there's a sharp, horrible crack.
commanderzabala: (wry)

[personal profile] commanderzabala 2014-02-01 09:47 pm (UTC)(link)
It doesn't come from Zabala; the daiklave plunges past her, its momentum solidly burying its tip in the hard floor an inch away. An instant later, her katana, too, clatters to her feet. Or rather, the two halves of what was her katana.

Yet still she stands. "No," she retorts -- and though her breathing is heavy, though she's practically snarling compared to the preternaturally smooth voice she's echoing, there's a kind of ragged calmness to it, the serenity of a tightrope walker halfway across the line. "Do you honestly believe you can defeat all of Garden? Do you believe you can defeat me?"

In one fluid movement, she turns, and her remaining sword sails straight toward Ien's unprotected head.

[personal profile] solarexalted 2014-02-01 09:47 pm (UTC)(link)
It meets his hand, where it stops. A single globule of blood oozes from the nick it leaves between two of his fingers, drips free, plinks oddly loudly off the hilt of the daiklave and drops to the floor.

Ien looks down the length of the blade and effortlessly pushes it away, all the while meeting the Commander's unwavering eyes with an almost teacherly look of mild disappointment.

"Yes," he tells her.

He flips the daiklave back into his free hand, smiles, and drives it to the hilt through her chest.
commanderzabala: (a tiny bit impatient)

[personal profile] commanderzabala 2014-02-01 09:48 pm (UTC)(link)
No sooner does a choking gasp escape Zabala than the orichalcum blade cuts it down to a gurgle, a wet splatter where it bursts out of her back, and then nothing but a thick silence.

Yet still she stands. Blood pours from her wound, through her trembling fingers in rivulets where she's clutching at the daiklave, but she stares back at Ien with unclouded eyes. If anything, it's as if they're beginning to glitter...

[personal profile] solarexalted 2014-02-01 09:48 pm (UTC)(link)
The Solar Exalted's confident smirk fades, puzzled, for just a moment. "Why aren't you --"
commanderzabala: (the commander)

[personal profile] commanderzabala 2014-02-01 09:49 pm (UTC)(link)
Before the onlookers can recover from the shock, before the signals from their brains can reach their feet, the world turns a blinding white. In the center of the flare, Zabala's shuddering silhouette grasps for the hilt of a darkly gleaming greatsword floating in front of her, one that wasn't in front of her a second ago, and swings.


A single clean cut -- an atom-thin edge. To the SeeDs in the room, it rushes past like no more than a passing breeze. But it doesn't blow in from the gaping hole in the roof, nor from the ballroom doors. It slices across the air directly in front of the Commander, seems to curve around -- then the world returns, and the greatsword is gone.

Zabala drops to the floor, her Limit Break spent. The daiklave, still lodged through her profusely bleeding lung, flips her onto her side with no more resistance than a rag doll.

Silence falls.

[personal profile] solarexalted 2014-02-01 09:49 pm (UTC)(link)
An eternity later, so does Ien. So does every last member of Sol Invictus left in the room.

And then, so do the rest of their bodies, a series of sickeningly wet thuds and crunches in such rapid succession that from below it might sound like heavy rain. The golden glow has abruptly vanished, replaced by an overwhelming stink of iron. Pools of blood mix in with fragments of bone, with fallen concrete and twisted metal. Every hostile life-form on the battlefield has been cleaved in two.
wrnpcs: ([headmaster])

[personal profile] wrnpcs 2014-02-01 09:50 pm (UTC)(link)
[Shaken, his sweater-vest soaking, Headmaster Cid takes a deep breath and splashes gracelessly across to the closest SeeD he can see.]
commanderzabala: (Default)

[personal profile] commanderzabala 2014-02-01 09:51 pm (UTC)(link)
[Zabala's breathing is shallow and inconsistent. As she bleeds out onto the ballroom floor, she tries to focus on the people around her, trying to check what's happening.]
eggplantallergy: (Gakupo: *stares*)

[personal profile] eggplantallergy 2014-02-01 11:14 pm (UTC)(link)
[Everything happened so quickly. One moment he was fighting a powerful enemy and just barely managed to get the final blow before the other could use a Firaga at point blank range, then the next he was chasing someone into the ballroom. There was a rather large crowd gathered, all of which were fighting, but the main event had begun.

Just as things passed by quickly, everything slowed down when Zabala was struck down. He gasps, or he thinks he did, and then the blinding light and light wind whipped over them before it was gone. Gakupo could see himself coming closer to the center and seeing Zabala crumpled on the ground. She's not down for long.]

...Commander... [Gakupo rushes over to her side to assist her.] We need to get you to the infirmary, and you need to not move much.
wrnpcs: ([prison guard])

[personal profile] wrnpcs 2014-02-01 09:52 pm (UTC)(link)
[Not quite everyone made it into the ballroom, and throughout Garden, Sol Invictus members remain. As far as they're concerned, they still need to take Balamb Garden.

Care to disabuse them of this notion?]