Had it been someone else, they might have stepped back in shock at the sudden appearance of a beautiful woman behind them (let alone one that was on fire), lost their footing, and fallen into the lava below. As it was, Jacob had grown used to people inexplicably cropping up within his vicinity, and the only thing that jumped was his eyebrow.
The woman was exactly as the etchings depicted her - gracefully muscular, a good head or two taller than most, clad in a one-piece dress of feathers that ended just below her shins. Admittedly, the stone carvings failed to convey a few important details of her figure. The woman's flesh was composed of molten rock; the feathers of her dress, some glassy iridescent crystal. Her eyes were likewise crystalline, jet black and polished smooth. At first glance she appeared bald, until one realized that her long, curly hair was composed of the crackling flames running from her scalp down the middle of her back.
The woman glared scornfully down on Jacob, apparently waiting for some explanation. Unfortunately for her, Jacob was an expert at subject evasion. He circled her, scanning her figure as one might inspect livestock, never quite meeting her eye.
"So what are you, the local Goddess or something?"
Despite the woman's expression growing colder, the ambient temperature managed to rise a degree or two. Your fate is already grim. I would suggest you not endanger yourself further.
Several things occurred to Jacob simultaneously. Glancing towards the edge of the precipice, he noted that yes, the large black statue had inexplicably vanished from its pedestal and was very probably now staring down his neck. Typical that a delusional, irate being of probably-considerable power would manage to find him first. He sighed, wishing the woman would simply go away and leave him to kill off Sen.
A curt reply, muffled and distorted by echoes.
"Did you touch anything?"
A lengthier, indignant reply that sort of trailed off in a discouraging manner. Fantastic.
Jacob turned around to find the flaming interloper glaring back down the path to the lobby. Why did you bring him here?
He wiped his brow, mentally noting to acquire a handkerchief at some point. "Followed me, actually. Now, if you'll excuse me..." The lava-woman whirled around, the heat once again minutely intensifying. What of the others?
The chronomancer snorted. "I don't know, I- wait..."
As he considered the implications of someone who'd been locked away in a volcano knowing of the existence of both John and "others," Jacob idly noted that the statue's feet didn't actually touch the ground. Nor did she bother to replicate the movement of walking with any great accuracy as she moved. Of course, he didn't have much time to take note of these things before she was grasping his chin rather a lot more tightly than he would have liked.
Jacob's thoughts ran approximately so: Ugh, my reflexes are usually quicker than that. Cutting her would probably just piss her off. Stupid, stupid, stupid! Should've just left when I had the chance. Why am I not burning to death right now? Skin's smoother than lava should be... Oh wait, she's talking to me.
...trespassing on holy ground, attempted theft of the holy ground itself- "Okay, hang on, I didn't-" The statue pointed accusingly at his floating melon of lava. "Oh." The woman tightened her grip. I shall keep you here until I have some idea of what to do with you. Until then-
"Leave him alone!" The woman went rigid, releasing her hold on Jacob, face contorting in shock. One of her eyes twitched as a thin black ripple passed along her body. Though he knew she couldn't have lungs, Jacob had the distinct impression she would be breathing heavily if she did.
There was a musical clinking as the woman's dress decomposed, constituent feathershards gracefully rearranging themselves along her arms in a set of crystal wings. Likewise, the woman recomposed herself, managing to regain some semblance of serenity in her features. She folded her hands together as though in prayer as the last crystalline fragment slotted itself into place. She slowly turned, the grace of her movements setting of several alarms in Jacob's head compared to her previous anger and haste.
The heat seemed to have physical presence by this point.
The fire-goddess slowly turned to John, whose aggressive stance was beginning to waver somewhat. You thought you, a mere... She glanced at his hands and blinked. ...mortal, could hope to fight a Goddess? She advanced, slowly, steadily. Whether through stubbornness, stupidity, being paralyzed in fear, or some combination of the three, John held his ground. Mostly. In her own domain, no less?
The tip of the self-declared goddess' finger turned to black glass as she tapped the cryomancer's staff. This is a powerful toy, but you could never- John lashed out angrily with his staff, barely missing the woman of fire. "It's not a toy!"
And then she had him around the neck, pinned to the wall.
You are wasting my time and I am out of patience. John struggled futilely against his captor's rock-solid grip, muttering empty threats. Jacob sighed, and with a wholly unnecessary snap of his fingers forged a tunnel such that the humanoid was hanging in the air in front of him. "I'll just be taking him off your hands, if you don't mind..."
The knight grabbed John around the waist and pulled, adding just a tad extra force than there should have been. Apparently, the goddess' grip had not been quite as tight as he'd made it out to be, and the pair fell over backwards. Springing up and dusting himself off, he glanced over at the no-longer spatially proximate woman to find her staring blankly at the wall, hand still glassed over from her hold on John.
I... must go. The goddess spun about, still not fully aware of her surroundings. She floated gracefully over to the edge of the cliff, not even turning her head to look at the pair she seemed to so despise. As she passed, she waved her hand at the lone exit, and the heavy stone door thudded down, sealing them in. On reaching the pedestal upon which she had stood for who knew how long, the goddess knelt, spreading her wings wide in preparation for flight. Be grateful I have more important business to deal with.
She did not flap her arms as one might expect from her pose; she did not even bother to maintain her feminine guise. She simply shot straight up into the sky; her molten body coalescing into an amorphous comet, feathers spiraling after her in a glittering cyclone of prismatic glass shards. Jacob watched her go with not a hint of regret. "Wow, what a total bitch. Gotta feel sorry for her worshipers. You alright, John?"
"Um." The knight turned to his companion. John was still seated on the ground, cradling his legs in their half-melted ice-casts. "There's a thing I think I might have forgot to mention."