Ancient Evil (RP - IC)

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Postby PoisonedDragon » Tue Mar 13, 2007 8:18 pm

(EDIT: dammit, stupid doubles)
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Postby PoisonedDragon » Tue Mar 13, 2007 8:19 pm

They ran. It was all they could do. After the explosions beasts began to stream through the breaches in the wall, killing everyone in their path. Those guards who had not been killed in the explosions were quickly cut down as the creatures swarmed into the inner city. Mykael and the others wove their way through a myriad of side streets and alleys trying to avoid the creatures, and before long were utterly lost. It became obvious to Mykael that they would have to find a place they could defend, somewhere they could make a stand against the beasts. As they continued their journey through the city he saw something that might work. It was an old stone watch tower that looked as if it was older than the rest of the city.

Mykael turned down the street and began making for the tower. When he reached the door he heard a horrible roar from behind him and turned to see beasts coming down the street towards them. He turned to Kiera and shouted so that he could be heard over the noise.

"Take Iseide inside and get up into the upper tower, we will be right behind you."

Kiera nodded and took Iseide's hand, and then the two went into the tower. Mykael drew his sword and secured his shield to his left arm quickly, then turned back to face the beasts, with Darian at his side. They looked at each other for a moment, and strange smiles passed between them. Then the beasts reached them. Mykael did not hesitate when they struck. He poured all of his skill and training into the battle. Weaving, dodging, blocking, he avoided most strikes and those that did hit him were glancing blows at best, and were deflected by his armor.

He waited for openings, then attacked without thought, cutting one down after another, and to his left he could tell that Darian was doing the same. Their previous encounters against these beasts had proved useful, since they all seemed to use the same tactics, and their styles were easy to learn. Before long the squad that had attacked them was completely wiped out, and Mykael took a quick breath of relief before he saw another beast coming, walking down the street alone. It was strange looking, different from the others and it took Mykael a moment to realize that it wasn't another beast at all, but a human with furs covering him to make it look as though he was. Mykael motioned for Darian to enter the tower.

"Go on up, I will follow shortly after dealing with this one."

Darian nodded and backed through the open door. The human slowly made his way towards Mykael, and it suddenly struck Mykael that there were no more beasts around, that beside the human and himself the street they were on was completely deserted. As he approached the human unstrapped a huge two-handed sword from his back, then stopped five paces from Mykael and set himself into a wide stance, holding the sword with the point on the ground to support its weight.

Mykael set himself into his own stance and waited, knowing he would be a fool to make the first move. He didn't have to wait long before his opponent let out a tremendous cry and rushed forward, swinging the massive sword up towards Mykael's head. Too high, since Mykael was easily able to duck under the sweeping blade quite easily, and stepped in quickly to slash at his opponent from within his guard. He felt the tip of his sword bite through flesh just above the human's hip, and scream of pain followed shortly after. The sword swung around again, but Mykael jumped back out of its reach before quickly closing again to stab the point of his sword through his opponent's shoulder.

The human screamed again and nearly dropped his sword, but through some extreme force of will was able to hold onto it. He set the sword with a charge, and tried to thrust the tip of it into Mykael's chest. Mykael merely used his own blade to parry the thrust, then in a single sweeping motion stepped past his opponent while drawing the blade of his sword across the man's neck. With a wet sounding moan the human fell to the ground, dead, with blood leaking from his throat. Mykael stood for only a moment before moving through the door of the tower and closing it behind him. Darian was standing just within the door, and it appeared he had watched Mykael's fight though he said nothing of it.

He gestured towards something beside the door. It was a massive stone disc that would roll in a track to barricade the door should the need arise. Between the two of them it took several minutes to roll the disc into place, but when it was secure Mykael felt much safer than he had in a long time. The two of them then made their way up the staircase that wound around the interior wall of the tower. Along the way up were landings with slitted windows, clearly for archers, though there were none here now. At the top of the stairs they passed into a large room which had likely been the lookout portion of the tower. There were four large windows, one looking out in each direction. There was no furniture, and other than Iseide and Kiera who were seated on the sill of one of the windows, the room was bare.

Mykael made his way over to the window where Iseide and Kiera were sitting. It was the east facing window, and gave a clear view of the citadel. It became clear to Mykael very quickly that there was something seriously wrong. For one thing there were many more beasts than he had expected. Everything he had heard and seen suggested a force of one thousand, but it looked more like triple that, as if more had shown up during their night in prison. The second thing that bothered him was that he could see evenly spaced breaches in the inner walls all across its length, about thirty breaches in all, so that the beasts were able to come into the inner city from all directions at once.

The last thing, and the one that disturbed him the most, was how quiet everything had become. There were no more screams, no more howls. He could see that the beasts had formed a ring around the walls surrounding the citadel, but they were just standing there, about five hundred paces from the walls, as if they were waiting for something. From behind him Mykael heard Darian.

"Why are they just standing there? They have won, why do they not just finish this?"

Mykael did not like the sound of the defeat in Darian's voice, but he agreed, there was something very strange going on. He moved a little closer to the window and put a hand on Iseide's shoulder. He knew she must be feeling very disoriented, after all, since she was unable to see what the rest of them were talking about. He gave her shoulder a gentle squeeze, hoping the contact would reassure her that everything would be alright. Then Kiera spoke.

"Something is happening, look."

Mykael looked out over the beasts, and at first could not see what Kiera was referring to. Everything looked the same, the beasts still surrounded the citadel, not moving any closer. The he saw it, the beasts were moving. Not closer as one might expect, but to the sides, creating a wide avenue, down which walked a tall figure with long black hair. She was very thin, and very pale, but extremely beautiful. She moved with a flowing grace that made Mykael think she was anything but human. When she had passed through the ranks of the beasts the avenue closed behind her until once again they formed a ring around the citadel. The woman continued forward until she stood halfway between the beasts and the walls of the citadel, then stopped, facing the gate.

She thrust one of her hands into the air, fingers splayed, and even from the distance he was watching from Mykael could see the shadows gathering at her feet. They came in from all directions, gathering under her, then rising up to shroud her figured in what appeared to be wispy black smoke. They continued gathering until without warning she swung her hand down, towards the gate of the citadel. As one all of the gathered shadows rushed forward, spreading across the ground. They hit the walls, but the walls did not stop them. The shadows flowed up the surface of the walls, and spread into the citadel's inner courtyard. Suddenly, horrible high pitched screams tore out from the citadel, and Mykael had to cover his ears to protect from the sound. People with the citadel were dying, and the screams continued for minutes on end. A couple times they died out, and Mykael thought for sure the slaughter had ended, but then a new batch of screams would rip through the early morning air.

Eventually it did stop, the last of the screams dying away, and though he had not seen any of them die, he knew now that every person in the citadel was dead, killed by the shadows released by that woman. He could feel tears streaming silently down his face at the thought of all those lives lost uselessly, and he slumped down to his knees before the sill of the window. The woman was moving forward again, and with a wave of her hand the gate was ripped from its hinges and she was inside. Mykael kept watching, knowing that she would eventually return. It was several long minutes before she did, but when she emerged she was carrying something that was shrouded in a piece of black velvet. It appeared to be spherical in shape, but beyond that Mykael had no idea what it could possibly be.

She moved back to her previous position, where someone else was now waiting for her. The newcomer was dressed entirely in black, so that not a single bit of their flesh was visible. He was shorter than she was, and just as thin. The two spoke together for a moment, then she handed the sphere over to him. The newcomer then bowed to her and promptly disappeared, though Mykael could not see where he had gone. He didn't have much time to wonder about it though since his attention was once again drawn to the woman. She had raised both her hands this time, drawing even more shadows to herself than before, and the beasts were now quickly streaming out of the city as if fearing for their lives.
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Postby Darian_Raven » Wed Mar 14, 2007 4:57 am

Confined to the prison cell, Darian grew restless. He had always imagined himself a prisoner in his father’s home, but never had he felt so utterly helpless. That though was enough to force him into action. He knew they could not stay here, but what choice did they have. Darian spoke to Mykael, trying to devise a route of escape, but it was clear that a prison was not meant to be left so easily. There were no guards watching them, but there didn’t need to be. Darian began searching their confined cell, checking every stone in the wall and every bar on the door for any sign of weakness. Mykael had come to see the truth of their situation far sooner than Darian had, and Darian was busy trying to pry a stone free from the wall. It was a useless effort, and after several moments he gave up with a grunt. They were helpless, and at the mercy of either the city soldiers or those creatures. Whichever happened to win the day, and that was a troubling thought.

Darian looked around at his cell mates to see that each one had already accepted their fate. Reluctantly, he was forced to do the same. The priests from the temple were caged across from them, but still within sight, and Darian could see that they too had taken a seat against the wall of their cell. The day had been long and exhausting, and Darian watched as his companions each rested their eyes. It was something he was not willing to try. He would be the first to admit that he was exhausted, and that sleep would be a blessing, but he knew his time on this earth may be very short. It was his intention to be aware of his death, and do everything he could to prevent it. The thought of having his throat cut while he slept in a cell by one of those beasts sent his blood to boil. His thirst for their blood was growing with every passing moment he was left to imagine the horrors caused outside.

Darian was the first to hear the muffled boom coming from somewhere outside in the distance. He couldn’t say what it was, but he listened more intently. There it was again. The others had awoken to the strange rumble and they began to stir. Darian exchanged uneasy glances with Mykael as they listened to the sounds continue. Darian had thought it sounded somewhat like thunder, though much too concentrated and short for it to be a storm. Then, before he could comprehend what had happened, Darian was thrown back as the strange blast destroyed the prison. Chunks of stone and debris showered him, even as he felt one of the large rocks ricochet off his chest. The force of the blow winded him, and he spent the next moments working simply to breathe the dust filled air. He couldn’t say what happened exactly, but looking around Darian could quickly piece it together. The prison had been hit by some kind of siege weapon, and it had utterly destroyed the building they were in. Looking around, Darian could see the companions in his cell were relatively unhurt and still alive. It was evident that the priests across from them had not fared nearly so well. The majority of the destructive force had struck the priest’s cell, carving a hole from their cell into Darian’s that lead outside.

With a look over to Iseide, he could see that she was unaware of the tragic loss of her closest family. Their bodies had been crushed by the force of the stones, and Darian felt the bruise growing on his chest, with the realization that it could have been much worse. It was then that Darian knew Iseide’s blindness was a blessing. He could not imagine seeing a loved one in such an utterly twisted form. It was a sight he was glad she would never have to remember.

Mykael was the first to fully recover from the disorientating destruction and he quickly lead them out of the ruin of a prison. Mykael pulled Iseide behind him and Keira was hot on their heels. Darian was about to follow when he looked back to see the young priestess’ dog laying there. With a look over his shoulder he could see the others had already moved out of sight. With a sigh, he moved back into the rubble and found the dog. The force of the blast had collapsed a part of the wall, and the dog’s hind leg was stuck beneath. As Darian rushed to drag the stones and rubble away he could see blood dripping down onto his hands. With a touch he realized his forehead was bleeding, and there was a large welt circling the gouge. He had not even felt the debris wound, but now that he was aware of it he noticed the stinging sensation. With the last of the rubble pulled free Dach stood up with a whimper. The dog had suffered several cuts from flying stone, and it seemed to step with a slight limp on one of its back legs, but it appeared to be otherwise unharmed.

Already far behind, Darian scooped the dog into his arms and slung it across his shoulders, balancing it’s weight as evenly as he could before running out of the prison. The others had gone a short distance down the road, and turned just as Darian spotted them. They had not even noticed that he was behind, but he did not expect them too. Starting at a run, Darian followed with the dog bouncing across his shoulders as he went. As he rounded the corner he spotted them again, and noticed that he was gaining. Iseide tripped, which slowed them down slightly, and gave Darian a chance to nearly catch up. It wasn’t until they stopped for Mykael to cut part of the priestess’ dress free that Darian finally reached his allies.

They continued at a breakneck pace through the city, until Mykael lead them to an old stone tower. Their position had been discovered, and a sense of urgency gripped them all as more of those creatures charged them. Kiera and Iseide went ahead inside, and Darian released the dog, which obediently followed its master into the tower. With the others inside, Darian turned back to the force confronting him. He shared a slight smile with Mykael, anticipating the carnage to come. They were two against many, but Darian understood now how the creatures thought. They were not like men, and did not seem capable of working as a unified force. It was their disorganization that made them vulnerable. As the wave of creatures crashed into the two swordsmen, blades flashed and howls of challenge and pain escaped the melee. Darian’s first swing had been low, and severed a creature’s leg at the knee. As the creature fell it was quickly trampled by the press of its comrades. At times Darian wished he had a shield, as he sometimes wished for something solid to hide behind, but his strength came from his speed and his mobility. He never remained in the same spot for more than a heartbeat. He moved easily in a rough figure eight, his blade slashing, parrying and thrusting. He blocked everything he could, but still found the sharp edges of an axe cut him across the cheek. He didn’t have time to judge the severity of the wound as he stepped again and lunged. His legs burned from the exertion, and his body ached from numerous gashes and cuts he had received. Nothing had yet been deep enough to cause worry, but Darian was aware that these creatures would tear him apart piece by piece if they had to. Darian continued to move, allowing the creatures to continue their attack to where he had been, even as he moved to stand inches from them. Darian was panting from exhaustion by the time he and Mykael turned on the last of the creatures. Outmatched and finally outnumbered, the creature lasted long enough to give a cry of rage before both Darian and Mykael plunged their bloody blades into its chest, their points crossing out the beast’s back.

With the skirmish over, there was a small circle of corpses around where they had fought. Some of the creatures were not yet dead, and severed limbs could be noticed scattered about. Those that had not quite died were quickly bleeding out and not worth further attention. It was then that a lone man approached them. Reluctantly, and only by Mykael’s request did Darian leave his comrade to face the enemy alone. Even still, Darian did not want to be far, and stopped to watch at the tower’s entrance. Mykael had just fought a number of opponents and won, only now to face a fresh foe. One with an intelligence and cunning those creatures could never match. Darian would have been lying if he didn’t say he was worried for the safety of his friend. If things went poorly, Darian was willing to jump in to aid his comrade, whether the interference was welcomed or not. As fate would have it, Mykael was not too tired to fight, and managed to finish his opponent with a brutal efficiency.

Together they sealed the tower, and Darian couldn’t help but feel as though he were sealing his own tomb. Still, he understood the benefit of remaining somewhere defensible. The city had fallen and it was only a matter of time before the pillaging would begin. At the top of the tower, they were given an opportunity to regroup. They had unintentionally come across the perfect vantage point to watch the final fall of the city. Darian could hardly understand why the creatures would stand idle.
"Why are they just standing there? They have won, why do they not just finish this?" He asked finally, irritated at the seemingly uninterested force. It was then that he witnesses something he could say scarred his soul. He knew very little of sorcery, but watching that demon like woman raise the shadows to slaughter the last pocket of resistance in the city was noting short of the darkest magic. The screams echoed from that place, and Darian could feel his body grow cold. After this day, he would have no trouble believing the souls of that building would remain to haunt the living. The sound of their death wails was like nothing he had ever heard before and it chilled him to the core.
[center]If you find yourself in a fair fight...your tactics suck.
There are some people who cannot stand the sight of no blood.[/center]
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Postby Thenician » Thu Mar 15, 2007 2:40 am

Thenician and Duncan arrived at the outer gates of Tallus. The smell of death and ash filled the air, and the city's ruined defenses littered the ground. They dismounted their horses and headed in on foot. After a minute, they realized that it was quiet, and feared the worst.

"Are we too late?" Asked Duncan cautiously.

"Maybe..." Thenician sighed. "I prefer to think it's so quiet because we're about to be ambushed."

"I hope you're not like these, Kiera." He whispered to himself as he walked past several corpses.

The two walked in the direction of the inner city. As they got closer, they could hear screams of pain. Thenician caught himself smiling at the sound, he knew then that they were not too late.

"Come on!" He shouted at Duncan as he took off in a sprint.

The sounds of fear and pain grew louder as they neared the inner wall. They saw a nearby breach in the wall and headed toward it. As the two men rounded a building to run in the direction of the breach, they what looked like a hundred of the hairy beasts pouring into the inner city through the breach. They stopped in their tracks at the sight, but they had little time to examine it as a few of the creatures saw them. They let out a fiendish howl and charged at them.

As the two dozen or so creatures that turned to challenge them neared, Thenician caught himself wondering what hope Kiera would have against such fearsome monsters. He'd come expecting bandits or soldiers, something human to fight against. But the carnage he'd seen until this moment showed no humanity, and now that he'd seen the things personally, he knew he could not hold anything if he hoped to see his daughter again.

He looked over at Duncan, who returned the glance. The look that said it all, hold nothing back. The huge man slowly pulled the massive, harp shaped axe from his back and lowered it beside him. Thenician raised his right hand before him, the gold and silver gauntlet that covered it, the Lion's Roar. Its smooth, gentle edges disguised the power within. He focussed the little magical energy he knew how to harness into it. Suddenly, it seemed to take on a life of its own, a faint growl could be heard coming from it. Thenician flung his hand out to his side, and immediately a blade of holy energy seemed to thrust out from his fingertips. A loud noise very much like a lion's roar accompanied the blade's appearance.

In the moment that had passed, Thenician's fear of Kiera's danger only grew. He felt guilty for letting her come alone. He was afraid that he was already far too late. But most of all, he was angry at the creatures for starting this whole mess. And that's the expression that showed on his face. With a fiercely growing cry, he charge at his oncoming attackers with Duncan right beside him. The Lion's Roar growled steadily as its blade cut across the air.

"Get out of my way!!" Thenician shouted just before reaching the melee.

As soon as his enemies were close enough, Thenician attacked. Swiping his hand in a wide arc in front of him. The magical blade let out a beastly roar as it cut across the air. The arc was wide enough to hit three of the creatures, they moaned in pain as the holy energy pierced their flesh. Not only did the blade partially disintegrate the tissue and bones of the beasts, but it also tore the life force from its victims. By groups at a time, the monsters fell.

Duncan was tossing his own weight around. A little larger than the creatures himself, he flung his axe around violently. Slashing mortal wounds into many of his attackers, and even cutting some clean through. Within moments, the group that attacked them was disposed of, and the dozens of hairy beasts remaining in the breach poured back out to challenge them.

As the second wave approached, more than twice the size of the first, Thenician had a moment to analyze the previous battle. He realized that regardless of the creatures' size and strength, they were an inferior enemy. They had no organization and obviously only minimal training, any strong man who's ever been in a bar fight could likely beat one in an even fight. But their appearance and sheer numbers would strike fear into even the bravest warriors. As the monstrous howling wave reached him and Duncan and began surrounding them, he realized that was their advantage and weakness. Since it was just the two of them, they could only be surrounded by so many of the beasts at any one time, so their numbers were practically nullified. Their size made that number even lower. At best, only four of them could effectively threaten them at a time. They were even tripping over their own fallen comrades trying to get a swing in. Thenician tried to dispatch them as quickly as he could, knowing that each second he spent here raised the odds of finding Kiera.

Swinging the Lion's Roar wildly, he cut down his enemies with inhuman efficiency. The ghostly blade howled as it cut across the air, and almost seemed moan with righteous delight as it tore the vile souls from its victims. Duncan's axe slashed through flesh and bone with equal swiftness. And on occasion when it would strike against the axe of one of the creatures it would ring like a bell.

Suddenly, the gauntlet felt much heavier in Thenician's right arm. It had been gradually feeling heavier due to exertion in battle, but this was more sudden, like it was actively resisting his effort. He didn't have time to wonder why, since his attackers saw his hesitation and acted immediately. If he had waited a moment longer he would've been chopped to pieces, but he managed to jump up out of the melee. He landed on the head of one of the monsters and quickly jumped off toward another, after a few well placed jumps he was clear of the crowd, though only for a moment.

He took the brief opportunity to look at the holy blade of light coming from his fingertips. It was glowing much brighter than before. It was a bit longer and fatter, and its brightness was shifting violently, randomly releasing a powerful flash of light every few seconds. The light show was accompanied by an agry growl, which changed in intesity along with the brightness of the blade. Thenician knew that the gauntlet was one of the holy relics of the Laios Knights, but he could not see how that information was relevant to its behavior.

Though his enemies quickly surrounded him again, Thenician made short work of the few that remained. Once the last one fell to the energy sword's wrath, he turned to find Duncan standing there leaning on his axe as if waiting for him.

"I'm sorry, did I keep you?" He said trying to catch his breath.

"No boss, I just finished." Duncan replied sarcastically.

Raising his right hand up to stomach level, Thenician tried to dismiss the blade, but it remained, still pulsating and growling violently. He looked back to Duncan and motioned him to follow as he turned to run in the direction of the breach.

"Any idea what's going on with this thing?" He asked Duncan.

"You don't remember what Lady Virgo said?"

"That depends..." He replied, as he tried to remember. "Was I drunk at the time?"

"You were drunk a lot thirteen years ago, boss." Duncan said, almost hesitantly.

When Thenician heard that, he began thinking about Rehal's murder all those years ago. He recalled stealing the Lion's Roar from Mynden and using it to avenge her. Then he remembered when he met Virgo. She was sent to retrive the relic, but ended up helping him instead. That's when she explained the nature of the spirit within the weapon. If a great evil is near it, the spirit will awaken, and will not rest again until said evil is destroyed. But right now he did not care for any possible holy wars. All he wanted was to make certain his daughter was safe, and he intended to destroy anything in his path, evil or otherwise to ensure that.

When they entered the inner city, they saw that the battle was all but over. From where they entered, they could see down one large road that led to a wide open area with some damaged buildings on one side of it, an old tower on the other, and the Grand Citadel of Tallus beyond it. They could see a few sparse soldiers still holding their ground against overwhelming odds, but they soon fell.

As the battle seemed to take its last breath, Thenician's heart sank. It seemed his fears come true, they were too late. He dropped to his knees in dispair.

"Hey boss look!" Duncan shouted, poiting toward the wide open area, which until recently was probably a park.

Thenician hesitantly looked up, and saw a group of people running in the direction of the tower. It took a moment to hit him, but one of the figures was unmistakable, it was Kiera. He was so relieved that he stayed on his knees for a while before getting up. As he rose, he saw about a dozen or so of the hairy creatures converging on their location. He saw Kiera and another girl run into the tower, while the two men they were with turned to face the beasts.

Without hesitation, Thenician took off in the direction of the tower. He and Duncan weren't even half way down the road before the two men eliminated the threat and barricaded themselves inside the tower.

As they neared the tower, sudden screaming from the direction of the citadel caught Thenician's attention. It wasn't the intensity of the screams that he recognized. There was something familiar about them, something unique he'd heard before. Then it struck him, it was during the reign of the Taurren Empire. Wails of pain just like these filled the walls of cities that resisted. Suddenly, he knew the evil that awakened the Lion's Roar.

"Duncan..." he called to his friend as he stared at the citadel and the vast army of beasts that surrounded it, and listened to the screams from within. "Get Kiera and those other people out of the city."

Duncan did not rely, only obeyed. He knew when Thenician used that tone of voice there was no debate, only action. So he ran to the tower and tried to push through the barricade.

Thenician began to walk over to the citadel. The screaming suddenly stopped as he neared it, and everything seemed calm. Everything but the Lion's Roar, it was more unstable now than ever, as if it also knew what he was going up against. Almost like it knew her.

All at once, all the monsters started running away from the citadel seemingly in a panic. Some even ran past him and paid no attention.

------------------------

Meanwhile, Duncan gave up trying to force the tower barricade. He did not want to make any noise at first, in case more of the beasts heard him. But now that they were running like panicked rats, he resolved to simply shout.

"Ahoy up there! Miss Kiera, are you up there!? It's ol' Duncan!"

Kiera, hearing the familiar voice, shouted back out the nearest window.

"Duncan? Yes it's me! I hear you. Is my father with you?"

"Uhh..." he began, looking back at the crowd of monsters rushing in all directions. "I believe he's providing a diversion."

He knew Thenician was not responsible for it, but he also suspected that if he suggested he might be in danger, she would behave as irrationally as her father.

"Quickly, we must leave now! Get everyone you have in there and lets go!"

------------------------

As Thenician reached the outer courtyard of the citadel, he saw her playing with shadows as she always had. The object of his nightmares in all her tall, dark haired beauty.

"Shara!" He called to her.



(OOC: PD we obviously need to talk before you can reply to this, just to settle on what happens, so this can be resolved in one or two good posts, instead of half a dozen little shitty ones. Everone else, carry on.)
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Postby PoisonedDragon » Mon Apr 09, 2007 8:44 am

"Shara!"

The shout came from behind her, breaking her concentration and she lost her control over the spell. She spun around in a rage, ready to destroy whoever had interrupted her. When she saw him, she paused, a cruel smile spreading across her face. Her rage was forgotten, to be replaced by a far deadlier cold anger. She recalled perfectly the last time she had seen him, back on Ordo'Nai, when he had betrayed her. She had been looking forward to seeing him again for so long, had been anticipating her revenge, and now she would have it.

Her smile shrunk a little when she saw the weapon he wielded, that cursed relic known as the Lion's Roar, and she could feel the holy energy radiating from it in waves. She had known he possessed it, but had not known he knew how to wield it. He was closing quickly, and she knew that if he got within range she would be powerless against that damned blade. She reached out with both hands, drawing shadows from both sides, and flung them towards him. The shadows streaked forward, to be dispersed by quick slashes from the glowing sword.

Shara frowned a little, then tried again, this time drawing the shadows from behind him so he was forced to spin to defend himself. Those too were easily dispersed, and the distance between them continued to shrink. She needed to buy some time to prepare a more powerful spell, so she quickly summoned two Shades, who surged towards him with incredible speed. They did not last long, but it bought her the time she needed. She had reached out with her right hand, drawing shadows into her palm. The shadows coalesced, elongating until they formed themselves into a short staff of black wood, its entire length wreathed in swirling shadows.

The Shades destroyed, Thenician slowed his pace with ten paces remaining between them, clearly wary of the staff Shara now held. They circled each other, neither wishing to make the first move, but Thenician had never been a patient man, and that had invariably proven to be his greatest weakness. He rushed at her, slashing out with the blade of the Lion's Roar. Shara met the slash with her staff, and the two were both thrown back several paces as both weapons shattered, their opposing energies, causing a small explosion that dazed both combatants for several seconds.

Shara was first to recover, and with the holy sword dispelled, she had a clear advantage. Shadows rushed towards Thenician from both sides, snaking up his legs and holding him in place. More spread up his arms and held them tight behind his back, redering him helpless. Shara moved forward slowly, relishing the feeling of success, and savoring the thought of his impending death.

"How does it feel betrayer? How does it feel, knowing that you are about to die?"

She laughed then, a short, evil laugh that held in it all the hate she felt for him. She reached her hand up to his face, and lightly ran her nails across his cheek, one final caress. She then gripped his face tightly in her left hand, and jabbed her first two fingers deep into his eyes, drinking in his screams of pain. She leaned in close, placing her lips next to his ear.

"And now, betrayer, you die."

Meanwhile

After Kiera told them that the man was a friend her father's and that the two of them must have come to rescue her, the group made their way down the stairs of the tower, with Mykael in the lead, once again leading Iseide by the hand. It took all of Mykael and Darian's combined strength to move the blockade again, but once it was moved they started making a quick escape. They moved through the deserted streets of Tallus quickly. Without anyone to oppose their passage they made it out of the city within minutes. They were a hundred paces from the city's outer wall when Kiera suddenly turned and looked back towards the city.

"Wait. Duncan, where is my father?"
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Postby Thenician » Sun May 06, 2007 9:25 pm

The pain that Thenician felt as Shara pierced his eyes was unbearable. He had felt great pain many times but never something so excrutiating. In the sudden darkness, her menacing laugh was all he could hear.

Her laughter faded gradually as she leaned in close. Thenician couldnt see her, but he felt her breath on his cheek just before she whispered in his ear.

"And now, betrayer, you die."

Any other time, he would've denied that her words sent a chill down his spine, but in the grip of shadows with death standing before him, he allowed the fear to fill him. With all his soul he cried out, and as if being disturbed from its slumber, the Lion's Roar growled. An ephemeral glow shone from the gauntlet, tearing at the shadow that held his right arm. Feeling the weight lifted from his hand, he quickly reached out in front of him, hoping Shara was still close enough to him.

He felt one of his fingers snag against the material of Shara's clothes, so he grasped it. Gripping it tightly, he pulled it toward him as fast as possible, hoping that she was still sllightly off guard. She caught herself before being brought to the ground like Thenician, but she was pulled close enough for him to attack.

Guessing her head was about a foot in front of his and slightly higher, Thenician arched his neck back, then brought his head crashing into her jaw. He felt blood spray his face a little, but he couldn't be sure whose it was. The shock caused Shara to lose control of the shadows holding the rest of him down. Her whole body was thrown back from the impact, but Thenician made sure not to let go.

With his legs and other arm free, he began a blind assault, never letting go. After a few left jabs to the face, he brought a stiff right knee from the side into her abdomen, while at the same time knotting his left hand into her long dark hair. After another knee to the side, he pulled her head toward him from her hair for another headbutt. As her skull bounced off his, he released his grip on her clothes and used the gloved hand to deliver a barrage of body shots. All the while she was trying to break his grip, pulling and striking his arm and trying to reach his face and body.

After the eigth or ninth blow to the stomach, he brought his hand open into her neck. Once he had her throat in his grasp, he began to squeeze. She gripped his arm with both hands and tried to pull him off, but in terms of muscle, he outranked her. Instead, with Thenician's attack stopped, Shara seized the opportunity to summon another shadow.

The shadow sprung up beside Thenician, after swirling around for a moment, it took a pointed shape and plunged itself into his chest. He flinched, more from surprise than pain, that sense had gotten dull in the past minute or so. Keeping his grip on Shara's neck, he continued squeezing. She was starting to feel somewhat disoriented, but managed to manifest another shade, this one behind him. The shadow swirled around for a moment like the one before, then also impaled Thenician, this time through his lower back. Again he flinched, but less so this time. Though he was starting to feel the fire of rage waning within him as his life slipped away.

Shara was becoming desperate, her vision was blurry and she was very dizzy. With all the will she had left, she called one last shadow. This one wrapped itself around Thenician's arm and tried to free Shara from it. He could feel the ghostly form squeezing, piercing, cutting, pulling and even trying to break his arm.

"I've had to kill many times in my life." Thenician coughed at her as his arm shook, fighting the will of the shadow with the last of his strength. "But this is be the first time I'll get satisfaction from it."

Shara moved her lips, as if trying to reply, but her voice was being crushed by Thenician's grip. Finally, he loosened his grip on her hair and brought his left hand to join his right at her throat.

"You may have taken my eyes, but you've given me the sight to finally see you for what you are... and what I see is just another monster!" As he said it, he felt the shadow on his arm fade away. At the same time Shara's grip began to weaken.

Suddenly, Thenician felt a breath on his cheek, just like before. But this one carried an aura he could not mistake.

"Sorry, we still need this monster alive." Whispered the cold, familiar voice from behind him.

Any other time, Thenician would've asked himself a dozen questions about how C'ink got to this continent. How he broke free of his frozen tomb. And who this 'we' was. But this time was different, this time was that time. The time that only came once.

C'ink reached around Thenician's shoulder and gently placed his claws on his neck. Knowing his death was imminent, he released Shara.

"Go ahead." He said with seemingly chilling sincerity.

"Goodbye, Kie..." His voice was cut off as C'ink's claws tore open his throat, and his body dropped to the ground.

"Oops..." He mocked.
"I love stealin', I love takin' things."
-Bender B. Rodriguez

"How 'bout I alter your face?"
-Thenician Dusk
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Postby Khavi » Sat May 19, 2007 6:32 am

The scent of smoke was heavy in the air, despite Tallus being more than a day's travel away. Though she could not see it, Iseide had heard a dozen times or more that a massive black cloud hung low over the trees, where once there had been the peak of a mighty citadel.

The people of the small town they had come across while fleeing Tallus had been more than welcoming. Iseide and her newfound companions were not the only survivors, but they were the only ones to arrive so late after the attack. It seemed that only those who had escaped early in the assault had made it to safety, had been hiding in the little village for the three days since. All who had watched the smoke and fires were surprised when she and her friends had stumbled from the trees into their village. They were given a place to bathe, fresh clothes, beds to sleep in.

But sleep did not come easily to Iseide. Though she had been given a comfortable bed in the town inn, she was restless and uncomfortable. Every time she closed her eyes and tried to rest, she only heard the screams of the dying echoing in her head, felt the pain in her battered legs that she was too exhausted to heal, smelled the stench of fear and death. Her only small respite was that she did not see the horrors that had surrounded them in Tallus. She could not see faces twisted in agony and frozen in death, could not see the blood that ran like rivers through the sobbled streets of her home, could not see her family at the temple gutted and torn limb from limb.

But even though she had no sights to accompany the cacophony of noise that repeated endlessly in her mind, it was still no easier to find peace in sleep. There was some small comfort in the form of her hound, however. Dach had curled at the end of her bed, a warm and familiar presence near her feet. His breath was the slow and rhythmic pattern of sleep, and she envied the dog his ability to recover from such horror with only a full belly and a scratch behind the ears.

Iseide lay awake for most of the night, listening as the sounds outside her window shifted from those of a sleeping world to one that was beginning to awaken. Silent trees began to rustle as birds began to stir among their branches, birds that began twittering. The room slowly warmed as the sun started to rise, signaling Iseide that morning had come and still she had not slept.

Sighing she sat up, and felt Dach stir. She stood and moved cautiously towards where she remembered leaving her few possessions. As her outstretched arms found the chair her leggings and boots had been left on, she heard Dach's clows click against the wooden floor as he followed her. She dressed herself, then felt over the chair for Dach's harness, which she slipped easily over the dog's shoulders. Iseide stood and slipped her fingers under Dach's harness, and he lead her to the door, where she felt along the frame for the staff she had left leaning there. This new staff had been quickly fashioned for her by Mykael as they had fled through the trees. It was faster for her to feel her own way along than for her to constantly stumble and fall as she was pulled along by Mykael.

Quietly she slipped down the hall, not wanting to disturb any of the other patrons of the inn, or alert her companions to her leaving. Downstairs she felt her way between chairs and tables as she passed through the dining room towards the exit.

Outside she murmured a quiet phrase to Dach, who lead her to the nearby treeline. They walked for a small while, until Dach stopped her with a nudge of his slender shoulder. Pausing, she smiled, knowing Dach had found her a small clearing, as he had many times in the past. Nude, she walked forward several paces, then knelt in the grass and raised hands in front of her, palms up.

Iseide drew in a long, slow breath, doing her best to calm herself. She tried to clear her mind, to draw on years of growing up in the peaceful gardens of the temple, years of praying to her goddess among the trees. Slowly she relaxed, taking comfort in the familiarity of habit. Dach lay down next to her, resting his head on his paws, though still alert to anyone who would draw near.

"Ailaesti..." she whispered, invoking her goddess. "Ailaesti, mother goddess, let us pass safely..."

Iseide fell silent, and her hands dropped into her lap, halting the prayer that she had known since she was very young.

"Ailaesti," she began again, speaking softly, without the practiced firmness of her usual prayer. She raised her hands again, the usual posture for speaking to her patron goddess. "I speak frankly, for I fear that well-versed prayer is painfully inadequate for what I need... I fear that well-versed prayer is less likely to be heard..."

Her words were cut short when Dach lifted his head and let out a low growl. Iseide frowned, and turned her head to better hear who approached. There was the faintest snapping of a twig as someone drew near, and Dach growled once again. She heard Dach surge to his feet and growl louder as whoever it was stepped into the clearing.

Iseide heard whoever it was gasp, and step back.

"Forgive me, Iseide, I did not know..." Mykael's familiar voice stammered. "I just... you weren't in your room, and someone in town told me they saw you head this way, I just wanted to be sure..."

"To be sure I was well. Thank you, Mykael," she said, smiling a little and turning away once more. "I just needed to come out and talk to my goddess, as I did before Tallus... You may join me if you wish, and talk to whatever god you feel will listen to you as my goddess listens to me."
I was so mad, I could have chewed up nails and spit out paper clips.
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