Anima: Beyond Malaz

Spoils and Nightmares

Sometimes rewards come with unexpected hazards.

• Evening of day 171, having just completed the Tournament of Fragments.
• They go through the massive list of Reality Fragments that they had acquired from them all.
• 6. Fragment of an Arbiter
• 7. Fragment of Imperium
• 9. Fragment of Diablo
• 30. Fragment of Mirrors
• 39. Fragment of a Bow
• 42. Fragment of a Bolas
• 44. Fragment of a Black Moon
• 45. Fragment of Dementia
• 49. Fragment of a Lock Pick
• 50. Fragment of a Unicorn Horn
• 51. Fragment of a Sword
• 54. Fragment of a Summoner
• 59. Fragment of a Phylactery
• 61. Fragment of a Suit
• 62. Fragment of the Azure Grimoire
• 64. Fragment of a Tonkori
• 66. Fragment of a Saint’s Medallion
• 68. Fragment of Kagutsuchi
• 75. Fragment of a Healing Periapt
• 83. Fragment of Lordran
• Jack doesn’t want to divide them up until after they have left from The Arena. He also says that he doesn’t want anyone writing these down in the Deckard Book, since he did want to give up Fragment of Diablo to Deckard, but Elspeth already jotted it down, which pisses Jack of a great deal. He says Elspeth won’t get that Fragment now. Then, they figure they should get back to the ship rather then deal with Lucanor or Esorchan right now, so they decide that they should leave. They head out through the doors from the Arena, and found outside the crowd of the massive audience, with the mingled collection of cheers, boos, jeers, and all reaction. Countless things are thrown towards them, rotten fruit, money, women and men’s undergarments. The lot of them decide to dodge, block, or evade their way through the crowd, Emack just taking it with his invincibility, and Elspeth making a shield to defend herself, and then the lot of them run through all of the crowd, making their way to the docks. They find Lynn Steiner waiting for them, and all their ships in the middle of the lake as the other ships have all formed an armada getting in their way, with hundreds of soldiers, Trygalle Trade Guild, and other people in the way. One, wearing the uniform of a Malazan Admiral demands the pirates stand down and join with the Malazan Empire in order to come with them or they will have to kill them. There are other marines and sappers with munitions, so Fynn turns into a dragon, having Elspeth, Emack, and Ryn jumping onto his back in order to carry them. Jack begins running forwards, and then the army begins to prepare to bring him down. Until a giant beast of blue skin, massive bestial maw in its chest as well as its rather humanoid head, giant scything bone claws for wings, and scything massive blade fingers. Upon his shoulder there was Millenium sitting on its shoulder, telling Behemoth to make the bad, sore losers part the way and then let her friends make their way through the water back to their ships. Behemoth unleashes a giant dome of destructive force energy that banished all of the soldiers by tossing them through the air, sending them flying back but leaving her friends intact. It also pushed aside the ships in the way, allowing Jack to run to his ship, Fynn flies the others to the ship and then lands. Jack wonders what they are doing, if they are in attack position, or defense position, or what is going on. One of the crew explains they fell back when they were being attacked, since none of them are of high enough power in order to order the Dreglings. Jack cringes, promising that he will be working on bringing them back to their humany-shape. Fynn offers to just drop Cussers down on the flagships of each fleet, while Millenium gets brought back to the boat with Behemoth trudging through the water and Lynn Steiner on a make-shift magic boat that brings her through the other place in order to bring over all of her items and merchandise, which she gets brought up onto The Wicked Wench in order to begin setting up shop. Millenium then suggests they leave rather then try to blow them all up. They agree with the just running away, so they open the portal to Ruse, and make their way through it to escape their pursuers Millenium banishes Behemoth with a wave and a smile.
• Inside Ruse they see that a massive, winged, and monstrous shape plummeting down towards them. The orders to defend the ship and kill the creature coming at them. Ryn fires one of the super-ballistae, while some of the other crew men fire the other two, but the creature bats the quarrels aside with its massive arm, in the shape of a colossal blade. Fynn then throws a Melter with all of his power at the thing, hitting it solidly, in order to begin melting him down. Then Elspeth fires a powerful Light Beam, making it so that the flying demonic monster with its stomach blown open and the entrails falling out to hit the deck. Then, after looking at him more closely they realize that it may very well be Bo’sun that is actually there, so they need to try and bring him back from the dead. They try a few of the different fragments they won in the tournament (Phylactery, Healing Periapt), but it doesn’t actually work for it all. Then they attempt to bring him back to life by Jack ringing the Absurdity Bell while holding the Healing Periapt, but that doesn’t work. Then he tells Elsepth to shoot him with a massive laser while her rings The Absurdity Bell. Then Elspeth fires the laser while they Jack rings the bell, which makes the Fragment of Boletaria collar falls off and a massive hole is blown in his chest and kills him outright. The rest of the crew is rather not terribly pleased at this, and need to try and find some form of way to bring them all back. Then Millenium arrives and demands to be given the Reality Fragment which was owed to her from the friend that they decapitated. She seemed quite cross still, so the others decided that they would give her the Fragment of a Phylactery that was owed to Millenium. Millenium then wanted to know if they would be doing that because they owe it to her, because they want to, or because they are afraid of what she is capable of doing to them now. Fynn, Ryn, Emack, and Elspeth all agree that they are doing it because they viewed her as a friend, in addition to having promised. Millenium is very happy to hear this, and so decides that it is now time for her to give them back an additional reward of her friends for what she had retrieved. She put the Fragment of a Phylactery on Jack as it was said to belong to his soul, a Fragment of a Stuffed Animal (a tiny little man wrapped in black cloth) to mix with Emack’s soul, a Fragment of a Receipt (covered in incredibly valuable gold leaf and important fancy writing) to mix with Fynn’s soul, the Fragment of Lost Logia (a large technomagic sniper rifle) to mix with Elspeth’s soul. Then, since the last two items weren’t properly soul-linked to either Ryn or Bo’sun, Millenium let Ryn choose between the Fragment of a Sandal, or Fragment of a Cookbook. Ryn took the sandal, and Millenium put the Cookbook onto Bo’sun’s smoking corpse. The, all that had received a fragment and were still alive, were knocked on their butts by a potent vision, of a group of warriors from a place called Earth, after magic had returned and coalesced, that had defended from numerous assaults and terrible foes, to earn the right to reforge the world as they had hoped to create. However, one of the members refused to allow them to do anything, and so they left the world as it was, leaving it to spiral towards the inevitable destruction that these fragments reveal it already has.
• Once the others had gotten back up, Millenium decided that Jack needed to get back up, and so started poking the phylactery, then zapping it with magic, then jumping up and down on it until the necklace, and Millenium’s feet, were jammed deep into the massive hole in Jack’s chest. Then, with an explosion of energy Millenium was thrown through the air, and Jack was brought back to life, fleshy and human, and free from his Fragment of Boletaria collar. Jack demanded to know what happened, it was explained to him, and he found that he couldn’t put the Fragment of Boletaria back on anymore. They then want to see if they can bring Bo’sun back. When Ryn looked at the cookbook there were some rumors of the person that possessed it being able to create all form of healing potions, and even bring people back from the dead, so she gave the book to Emack to read and try and find an antidote to Bo’sun’s death. Unfortunately Emack couldn’t read it at all. Therefore, they gave it to Millenium, who could read it, commented on some really fancy stews they could make, and also a potion that could revive Bo’sun. It required a component from the most Fragment Heavy Pirates, a dragon scale from Fynn dug out by Jack and his magic sword, a tentacle piece from Emack that he had to cut off himself (it grew back afterwards, but still hurt a lot), a hair that wasn’t from Elspeth’s head, a pint of blood from Ryn taken by Millenium less then gently with a massive syringe, and one of the dangly pieces from Jack’s hat (Jack hesitated the longest on this, although Fynn wasn’t too eager himself). Then they mixed it all together, and jammed the scale into Bo’sun’s chest. Nothing happened. So Millenium told the others to crowd around and shout his name all at once to try and wake him up. It did, and with a resounding “Why the hell did you all try to kill me?!” Bo’sun was once more back in the land of the living.
• The first thing that Bo’sun demanded to know was why after he had been gone the first thing they tried to do was murder him in the most furious and frenzied assault they possibly could. The other pirates countered that he had up and left them without any warning, gone and done who knows what right when they needed him before the Tournament of Fragments, and then came back looking like a monster from Hood’s Realm itself. They finished off by pointing out that he could have at least tried to say something to them as he reappeared. Bo’sun conceded that point, still a little bitter about the whole him dying horribly thing.
• Then they get back down to business, as they have the Reality Fragments they received from the Tournament to divide up. Furthermore, Jack asked Bo’sun if he would be expecting to receive any of his old Reality Fragments that he left behind. Bo’sun said that he would like whichever of his old Fragments that he could get back, although he wouldn’t expect to get any of the new Fragments they received in the Tournament, since he didn’t participate in the battles. Bo’sun is given back the Fragment of an Arena back from Emack, Fragment of the Gauntlet The Death back from Elspeth (mostly because she felt bad it was one of the reasons she killed him in the first place) which now turns his face into a massive demonic silver skull, the Fragment of the Gauntlet The Hanged Man back from Ryn. Ryn chooses to keep the Fragment of Machinations as she enjoys all of the potency it gives her in her combat (which leaves many of the others pleased that Bo’sun won’t have it should he try to kill them), and Fynn decides to keep the Fragment of a Hammer, since it helps to improve his combat skills quite greatly. Therefore, Bo’sun will get two of the Tournament of Fragment pieces that they got, to replace the ones that Ryn and Fynn kept for themselves.
• Then begins the remarkably awkward process of distributing the Reality Fragments that they won in the Tournament. Rather amusingly, despite many being incredibly powerful it actually takes several more cycles through Jack’s list to be able to properly distribute them. This is due to the fact that there are many Fragments, and no one wants to regret any of their choices, plus they all feel quite good with the Fragments that they currently possess so there is less a feel of ‘needing to get the fragments’ for themselves now.
• Eventually, all the Fragments are split up, visions of the many different people that they belonged to are had, and powers are tapped into.
• Jack takes Fragment of a Saint’s Medallion (Lynn Hoenheim, powerful psychic. Jack becomes a super power psychic to become a 15 level mentalist, but also blinds and deafens him permanently, giving him golden irises), Fragment of a Black Moon (Lord of Nightmare Tsukiyomi the Black Moon, gains Attractiveness and +100 Leadership), Fragment of an Arbiter (Supreme Archon Matthew Gaul, leader of the Azur Alliance, Jack is treated as having a Dex and Agi of 20 for obsessive imbalance of combat attributes.), Fragment of a Suit (The Yakuza acrobatic warrior Tsunimoto, Jack uses it to form the Suit of Tsunimoto, to get +200 Style); Emack gets Fragment of Imperium (Knowledge of the Powers in the Shadows group Imperium, Turns it into a technomagic squidly arm to give him +50 Magic Projection), Fragment of a Unicorn Horn (The elven druid Nienna Silmaril, Control over Call Lightning, Level 80 Air Control Weather, and can free cast Lightning whenever there is normal electricity), Fragment of Diablo (Demonic Prince of Terror Diablo, Taps into Dark Magics gaining Sub-Paths Blood and Sin, and Level 50 Darkness Magic), Fragment of Lordran (The land of Lordran, forged by gods and overrun by demons, not actually wearing it); Ryn gets Fragment of a Bow ( Black Sun Seeker Heinrich, Turns it into a +20 Compsite Longbow, all arrows you fire through it are light aligned and hit on energy, the quality of any arrow fired is +5 better, and has a base range of 1,500 feet.), Fragment of Mirrors (All events of import to ever appear within the reflective surface of a mirror, Turns it into a scrying glass), Fragment of Boletaria (Previously possessed by Jack, which she wears and gets zombified); Elspeth gets Fragment of Dementia (Lord of Nightmares Dementia, Uses it to break your mind, further, to buff your Psychic Powers, +75 Psychic Potential, which also makes them her, Jack, and Emack all hate each other.), Fragment of a Summoner (Fragment of the Summoner in Black from Earth, Gains Summon and Control of 250), Fragment of a Lock Pick (Fragment of the werewolf gnomish rogue Xan, Turns herself into a Werewolf), Fragment of a Healing Periapt (Fragment of an assassin obsessed with healing his allies, using it as the necklace in order to heal 150 LP once per day); Fynn gets Fragment of Kagutsuchi (Necklace of the Technician Fenix, Turns it into the real necklace, that can revive him 1 per week, and revive in a massive explosion.), Fragment of a Sword (The warrior Rokor Stormrage, 50 LP buff), Fragment of a Tonkori (The great samurai Taiko no-Musashi, not being used yet.); Bo’sun gets Fragment of a Bolas (Black Sun Seeker Cormac Weatherson, makes it into the magic shield of water protection and improvement), Fragment of an Azure Grimoire (Potent artifact from Hazama’s world, Turns it into a second right arm sprouting it out from his elbow to let him dual hand his axe arm).
• Ryn also gets the Portal Gun from Millenium, since Millenium promised to give them all something good if their elaborate Warren portal plan to steal the Moranth Munitions from the Malazan fortress would actually work, which it did.
• Having absorbed and activated so many new fragments they are all feeling a little bit off. Bo’sun wants to talk with Jack about what he should do next. However, Jack merely began blithering incoherently about things that need to be done, where he is, what is going on, and other bits of near gibberish. Bo’sun begins poking Jack, at which point Jack begins asking whatever is doing that to stop poking him. Bo’sun then says he is going to take Jack back over to The Falling Dragon to get him looked at, with Ryn also wanting a ride back so she can set up her new mirror in her crow’s nest. Bo’sun flies Jack and Ryn over. Fynn flies Emack back over to The Wicked Wench, while Elspeth remains upon The Black Pearl with Jafar, and the dreglings. This leaves the three Lord of Nightmare containing pirates (Emack, Jack, and Elspeth), all on separate ships.
• While inside his cabin, Emack begins plotting ways to overthrow Jack and Elspeth, based on the poisoning hatred now corrupting and flowing through him at the interactions between the other fragments. He begins taking stock of all the resources that he has, and all the resources that the others could have against him. Then begins the planning, tabulation, and calculation.
• Elspeth, with the Lord of Nightmares Dementia rather pronounced in her head, trying to manipulate and control the other personalities. She isn’t sure what exactly is going on, trying to get proper control over her mind once more, but the madness continues to try and force its way in. She then decides to try and read Emack past using her psychic powers, to better understand him. She is able to infiltrate his mind without him noticing, and is terrified to learn that he is plotting to murder her. She decides that she needs to try and find some way to survive, since she is unable to kill Emack. She figures she will need to try and befriend Bo’sun in the near future, to give herself an ally in the struggle that may soon arise around them.
• Bo’sun takes the captain back into his room where Dina and Isabella ask what the hell happened to Jack. Bo’sun says he doesn’t know, but that it seems like he can’t respond, and doesn’t know what is going on. The three gather around Jack, where he continues muttering about not being able to see the ocean, or hear the breezes blowing around him, wondering how he can captain a ship, and admiral a fleet, without these senses. Bo’sun, Dina, and Isabella then begin working through an elaborate system of taps to communicate, with Bo’sun forcefully making simple letters before pushing once or twice to signal yes and no. Then began righting single letters to try and spell out simple words, so that Jack would ask aloud the questions that Bo’sun could then either reply “yes” or “no” to via one or two palm pokes. He began by spelling “Cain”, so that Jack could guess that that was where they were heading, due to Deckard demanding they do so since they now have his precious Fragment of Diablo. Jack is rather unhappy, assuming it was either Emack or Elspeth that authorized this, but not having any better ideas for what they should do now and so will allow them to keep the ships traveling towards Ankara through the Warrens. Bo’sun then begins sculpting three tiny model ships, one for each of the three in their fleet, to help with later communications, while Dina and Isabella continue asking him questions to try and figure things out.
• Fynn and Applejack relax, and continue working on their training together a bit. The two of them also began discussing the strange behavior and sudden hostility between some of the other crew.
• Ryn, having made it back to her crow’s nest, was greeted by Sparkly, that wanted to introduce them to her new friend, the Crow Boy Snuggly from Lordran. Ryn smiled, assuming that this new one would like ‘snuggly’ things, and so gave him her jacket first, getting a chunk of Red Titanite, another stone for making magic items, this time associated with fire. Then, Ryn put up her new Fragment of Mirrors scrying glass, and told Sparkly and Snuggly to look through it all they want to find any items that they might want her to get for them. Both bird children are exceptionally happy at the prospect, and begin wanting to look through it after they take some naps. While the two are napping, Ryn begins using the mirror to spy on people. She looks at what the rest of the crew are doing, seeing Jack and his crippled state communicating with the others in the room, Jafar contemplating why there is so much danger aboard this ship all of a sudden, Fynn and Applejack discussing what is going on (Although Ryn doesn’t spy on the naked dragons for very long), Elspeth having her mental breakdown and internal arguments, and Emack beginning to plan how to destroy those that have the other Lord of Nightmare Fragments. Ryn is troubled to see this, and figures that starting tomorrow she may have to try and plan something with Fynn about how to deal with this.
• Then, Ryn decides she wants to see if this mirror can let her spy on Prince Lucanor Giovanni to see what he is doing. As the mirror focuses in she sees that Prince Lucanor is sitting in a large chair before a fire, reading a book with his massive black panther Daaku right beside him. Seeing the cat makes Ryn gasp, which in turn makes Lucanor look up from his book. Terrified, Ryn tries to sever the connection, but Lucanor brings out a strange chime of crystal and metal, which when he rings it he locks open the scrying window. He asks Ryn if this means they are ready to accept and face his challenge in order to determine which of them shall have the right to possess the Reality Fragments. Ryn is able to stammer out, due to the presence of the massive cat, that they aren’t quite ready yet. Lucanor says that he can wait for a little longer, but that eventually there will be a time when other events will force them together if they have hesitated, and once that time comes he will not be willing to wait any longer. Then Lucanor allows them to close the portal. After that fresh terror, Ryn decides she should turn in for the night, so that they can continue her planning on how to save the armada from self-destruction.
• Many turn in to sleep for the night.
• Day 172
• As the dawn rises (which is really no different in Ruse from any other time), pirates begin to prepare for the day ahead. Jack, Bo’sun, Dina, and Isabella begin working on their communication and ways for them to deal with Jack’s new crippled nature.
• Elspeth begins chatting with Bo’sun, trying to befriend him and get him on her side. With Dementia inside Elspeth, Bo’sun feels that he will get along much better with Elspeth now, although he is still sworn and loyal to serve the pirate’s code, and so his loyalty to Jack still comes first. Elspeth is slightly troubled as she hears this, since she doesn’t expect she can survive against Jack either, but she figures it gives her a slightly better chance of surviving at least if he’ll side with her over Emack.
• Emack continues his plans, and decides that it is time he activate the Fragment of a Card for its World Power. Such strength will help him in the struggles ahead.
• Ryn decides that it is time for her to take an active and proactive role in trying to save the ship, and so uses her scrying mirror to find Fynn sunbathing on the deck of The Wicked Wench, with Applejack cuddling against him. Ryn calls down to him through the mirror, and to her delight he can hear her. She says that they need to begin discussing what to do in order to save their companions. Fynn thinks it would probably be best they have this discussion in person, as they look around to see if anyone else can hear, and so he and Applejack both make their way into the crow’s nest of The Falling Dragon by running across the water and up into the mast, in order to avoid drawing too much attention. As the two dragons and Ryn begin discussing what they need to do, they comment that Applejack says she could only hear a faint whisper, so it should mean they weren’t overheard too much. Then Ryn fills the other two in on what they know, regarding all of the information Ryn spied on the others the night before, so that the chances of them murdering each other and trying to fight is a very real possibility and threat. Therefore, they begin looking over their options, first of which is to gather all the important and powerful neutral parties they can into this gathering. As neither of them really trust Bo’sun to remain neutral for anything anymore, this essentially leaves them with Jafar as an option. Fynn runs down the mast, gets to Jafar, tells him they need to have a discussion with him in the crow’s nest (Jafar doesn’t really like this degree of secrecy), Jafar agrees and goes up the nest thanks to Fynn helping to carry him up there. Then, they fill Jafar in as well. The options, as they see it, are to either have Jafar take The Black Pearl away from it all, saving the sane individuals and trying to continue to work on their own, although this would make it much harder to gather enough Reality Fragments. The only viable option is to try and prevent them from killing each other. The options they see are to either do it before they get to Ankara, or to do it after Ankara. Ryn also suggests they try to use the Fragment of Infinite Dreams to open a way to the Halls of Infinite Dreams, to keep all of them nearby so that they can’t fight each other subtly, and the others can still keep an eye on them then. However, with all in close quarters the odds of some event coming up definitely increases. However, since Emack has already started his own plans, Ryn fears they may not have much time even if they were to try and wait until after Ankara. The four that are planning spend some more times going over their options, but they figure they should try and deal with it before they make it to Ankara before Deckard, so that they can maintain being a united front. Therefore, she brings out the Key to Infinite Dreams.
• Ryn unlocks the door to The Halls of Infinite Dreams.

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