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Chapter 3: Homecoming


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#21 {IRS}Athos

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Posted 31 October 2009 - 01:56 PM

Rindar considered brushing past the minotaur... and from the look on Byron's face, he was thinking the same thing. However, before either of them could move, Astariel bowed her head. "There is no inconvenience to us, noble minotaur. Perhaps we could travel--"

Before she could finish her sentence, Byron grabbed her arm and dragged her a ways off. Rindar's keen ears caught only snatches of their conversation.

"You think..." muttered Byron, as a crowd of fishermen walked past, drowning out his next words, "that another companion will..." His next words were drowned out by raucous laughter from a nearby drunk as he finished the sentence. "do anything for us?"

"I know..." said Astariel patiently. "But he seems to need something..." She lowered her voice, and Rindar strained his ears, picking up "...can give it to him."

"You may come with us, if it is your wish," said Astariel calmly.

Byron was fuming. Rindar sidled up behind the pair and muttered into Byron's ear. "Quite dominant, that lady of yours," he sneered. Byron elbowed him in the stomach without glancing back, and Rindar admired the move even as he caught his breath. "Nicely done," he wheezed.
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#22 Luchiaros

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 10:14 PM

Cassius shouldered his sword and then turned and looked the alley the man had escaped through, he turned away from ti and revenge, now was not the time he had decided, maybe he would find his revenge with these people.

''Cassius will accompany you,'' He said ''For now at least, Cassius may leave later for other matters.''

He turned again towards the alley, it was empty and now there was no turning back, Cassius had made his choice and now all he could do was wait and see what it brought him.

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#23 Vortigern

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 03:50 PM

"So, basically this Vayu chap is as close to pure evil as ever we're likely to meet?" summarised Morion, having been filled in by Theria, Illyriel and Tom on the way back to the docks.

"Pretty much, I'd say," agreed Theria.

"But you're not absolutely certain it's him?"

"I'm fairly sure. It's a hell of a coincidence if it's not him, and I wouldn't put it past a mage of his power to have worked out a way around death. Zhar did, after all."

"Is he stronger than Zhar?" Theria shrugged.

"You'd have to ask Zhar, and he'll probably vehemently deny it whatever the truth of the matter might be." Silence ensued for a moment as the five of them stepped up to the gates opening onto the docks. Theria raised her wrist, displaying the copper bracelet she had been given on arrival, and passed through unrestricted.

"Theria!" came a shout. She looked around, seeking the source of the sound, and her gaze settled on a Minotaur for a moment before she noticed his companions: Rindar and a couple of strangers. She waved them over, glancing over at Tom and Illyriel. The Deathknelf had resorted to his standard pose when facing an unknown quantity, one hand straying to the hilt of the appropriate sword, feet apart, muscles relaxed and ready for action at a moment's notice. Morion cast an interested gaze over Rindar's female companion, a strikingly pretty young human clad in simple but elegant fabrics. He stepped forward, dropping to one knee as he offered her his hand.

"My lady, I am Morionquetil Toruisao, and you are most welcome among us. May we know whom we have the pleasure of meeting?"

"My name is Astariel Nomana. These are my companions, Byron-" she indicated the young man by her side, who looked to Theria as though he had gone through life with a scowl on his face. "-and Cassius." The Minotaur rumbled a greeting, not paying attention to any of the group but for Rom. It was apparent to Theria that the two Minotaur were sizing each other up, each assessing the capabilities of the other. Though Rom was considerably taller than the newcomer Cassius, the bulk of each made it difficult to tell their strengths apart, even to as trained an eye as Theria's.

Abruptly Rom lunged forward, cracking a headbutt into Cassius's forehead. The shorter Minotaur stumbled backwards, lashing out a hairy fist to catch Rom in the side. Rom ignored the blow, grabbing both Cassius's arms and pinning them to his side. Cassius struggled for a moment before stopping, only for a moment before Rom loosened his grip and Cassius lurched free, driving a knee into Rom's leg. Rom let out a surprised grunt and slipped down, his leg giving way beneath him under the force of the hit. Rom shook his head and pushed himself back upright, then let out a long, rumbling laugh, with which Cassius joined in. The two clasped arms for a second and then stepped away. Theria and Morion were both supremely unconcerned by this turn of events, but the others were a little more surprised.

"What the hell was that about?" exclaimed Illyriel after a moment's awkward silence.

"Minotaur strength test," Morion filled in. "That's how they say hello." Illyriel winced slightly.

"I think I'll stick to using words, if you don't mind."

"Anyway," cut in Rindar. "Astariel and Byron want to help us, and Cassius here could do with a hand travelling. We've got more than enough space on the boat, so I thought it should be alright." He looked straight at Theria while he said this, yet another sign that the whole group looked to her as leader. She was still unable to figure out quite why this should be.

"By all means. I daresay we could all do with hearing a few new war stories." She favoured Astariel with a smile. "I'm sure Shava and I will appreciate having another woman in our crew. The testosterone does tend to stink up the place after a while." Astariel nodded knowingly, with a little half-smile. "All aboard, then?"

* * * * * * * * * *

As the golden twilight drew in around Anharad, receding into the distance, the boat came ashore in a small town spanning both sides of the river, held together by a series of bridges and canals, all fenced in by a low palisade. Most of the group came ashore for the evening, leaving Bazric, Shava, Rom and Cassius aboard the boat. The two Minotaur had been talking incessantly since Cassius's arrival, and the snatches Theria had caught had all been about "back home". No surprise, she thought. Rom hasn't been back to the plains in a long time.

Darkness fell across the green fields of Anvar, a few Dwarven-built gaslights illuminating the streets of the town. The cloak of dim light found Theria and Illyriel walking together through the cobbled roads and alleyways, reminiscing about less troubled times.

"Do you remember old Shabat?" chuckled Illyriel, a wide smile cracking his hardened features.

"How could I forget?" Theria replied, laughing heartily at the memories. "I still don't know how he managed to get himself with that sword."

"By being a blind old idiot, most like. Whatever happened to him?"

"No idea," she said, shrugging. "He was only human, so he'll be ashes and dust by now. At least he enjoyed being alive," she added.

"You know, I think he even enjoyed putting his own sword through his leg, the mad old bastard." Theria shook her head, smiling in exasperation. Blessed silence descended on the sleeping town as they both remembered for a moment. During that brief moment, though, Theria heard a sudden, near-inaudible whirr, almost like-

"Shit!" shouted Illyriel, clapping a hand to his face as an arrow tore through the soft skin of his cheek. "Raiders!" He dragged Theria into cover and drew his swords, handing one of them to her. "To arms!" he yelled. "Raiders!" A few lights came on as candles were lit in windows, then shouts of alarm as the writhing shadows revealed themselves as foreigners, come to pillage and to steal.




((Fight scene! Raiders, mostly humans and now-intelligent Vyre, with more than a few dwarves too. Get slicin', chaps.))
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#24 Fire Ze Missiles!

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 01:18 AM

Back against a wall, Illyriel's keen eyes scanned the writhing shadows of the small streets. He felt naked and exposed with only one sword but it would have to do. He was hardly going to leave Theria defenceless, although it was a shame she hadn't thought to bring her own sword.
'Bloody women...' he thought glumly.
"Come on," Illyriel commanded, "we need to get back to the others." Theria nodded and the pair turned tail and ran for the boat. A few roars of anger signalled pursuit. Shouts began to be heard from behind them, with the crackle of flames. Illyriel could feel Theria's need to go back and help people, save lives - he felt it too. But three hundred years of survival had shown him when to make a stand.
"We go back, we die! Keep running!" He didn't know if she'd heard, let alone listened and at that moment didn't care particularly. There were raiders ahead of them; they were trapped. "Stop!" he hissed, grabbing Theria's arm. It was a needless gesture - she had seen them too.
The raiders slowed as they neared and encircled the two elves. Lustful eyes regarded them beneath black hoods as the red orbs of the Vyre stared hungrily from umbral shawls. Theria brandished her sword and set her jaw, an action which elicited a rasping laugh from one of the Vyre. The creature suddenly lunged forwards, claws outstretched. Theria's blade was raised in defence but the beast charged heedlessly into it, knocking her back to the wall, but before the grin could spread across the Vyre's face it departed from it's shoulders and Theria was lathered with a fountain of gore.
The raiders bristled. Illyriel's execution had just excluded all possibility of his survival.
Time seemed slow as Illyriel contemplated his next move. It seemed that an age passed as he stood and considered whether the situation was grim enough to merit what he was about to do. The man before him drew his weapon as if it were made of lead, a warcry slowly contorting his face. Illyriel watched him impassively, then made up his mind.
Sound rushed back and the man yelled his bloodlust and charged forwards and Illyriel began to sing. The man, the first of the raiders to react, reached Illyriel and Theria with the clash of steel on steel. Moments later he left them with the slick, gurgling whoosh of a sword through his gut. A pale light was gathering about Illyriel as he sang a strange song. It was a song of death, blood and misery and it fed on the mortality of the o'erhasty human who lay before Illyriel. the light visibly changed from the yellow of flames to a deep crimson and it spread from somewhere behind Illyriel's head to the back of his eyes and from there to those of his enemies.
They cried out for mercy as Illyriel dived into the pack of blind men and Vyre, his sword weaving deadly arcs through their midst. One by one their throats were slit and their petitions silenced. The light danced madly around Illyriel; he positively glowed the sanguine red from every pore on his body. Had the men he killed been able to see him their minds would have forever been turned to madness by a single glance into the inferno that raged in his eyes, a chaotic confusion of magic and vengeance. It was a mercy they were spared this fate for the lesser punishment of death.
Illyriel's blade flicked out once more, now so coated in viscera that its every movement sprayed gore across the walls of the surrounding hovels. Theria gasped. The sword quivered at her throat.
"Illyriel?" There was fear in her voice. Illyriel shuddered, his face turned away from Theria, and groaned. The sword clattered to the floor and Illyriel collapsed, spent. Theria was by his side instantly but he turned away from her again. At length he sucked in a deep breath and at last looked her in the eye. Theria swore in that moment that his eyes were pure black, with neither pupil nor iris, an endless abyss of darkness. She blinked, and his eyes were the same shining blue as ever.

At that moment Bazric rounded the corner and saw them, awash in a sea of blood. Assuming the worst he ran forwards and sank to his knees to examine the wounds.
"There's not a scratch on you...how did you...?"
"Later," promised Illyriel, standing (blood had stained the lower half of his trousers completely red and fell from them in pooling streams) "we need to leave. Now."





((OOC: Wow, sorry that got so long. It's not even particularly good, although it is some nice character development. Oh well.))
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#25 {IRS}Athos

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 02:35 AM

Three raiders charged at Astariel. Byron met the first attacker with his long knives, parrying a blow and locking blades with him. As the two humans struggled, Astariel sent out a tendril of Will, seizing the mind of the brawny dwarf about to cudgel Byron. The dwarf swung his cudgel at the legs of a nearby human instead, causing him to yelp and topple over. Byron finished his attacker and the fallen man quickly.

Rindar had initially reached for his bow, but it was apparent that his skills in ranged fighting were going to be no use in the close quarters of the brawl. He pulled his sword and engaged a human swordsman. Unfortunately, a second man ran to the raider's aid. Rindar, fighting two opponents, gave ground quickly before stumbling over a corpse. However, as the raiders raised their swords for the kill, the face of one of them suddenly went oddly slack. His sword-arm wavered, then shot out, running the other bandit through. Rindar felt Byron seize his shoulder and draw him to his feet as Astariel moved in, drawn sword in hand.

"A useful talent," said Rindar, watching the bespelled man attacking the other raiders before one cut him down.

"She doesn't like using it," said Byron. "I can tell you for a fact that she wishes she could have solved this peacefully."

"There has been too much war and death," said Astariel as she let her control of the dying man fade away. Her face was set in a martial frown, but it looked to Rindar as if she could burst into tears at any moment. "Why must we inflict more suffering on the world? Why do these men fight? It is because the world has turned its back on them, and therefore they must rob for a crust of bread--"

The snarling face of a leaping Vyre was impaled by Byron's crossed knives as it attempted to attack Astariel. "Save your pity for later," said Byron, hacking at the creature's neck. "We have a battle to fight."

As more raiders attacked, Rindar felt the same ferocious calm that had descended on him in the pit on the isle of the Vyre. Time seemed to slow, and his blade struck with more confidence at the dwarves, humans, and Vyre before him. For this, I was born. For this, they shall die.
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#26 some_weirdGuy

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 01:06 PM

((sorry this is a bit long.))
The new intelligent Vyre were more of a threat now then before. Where as previously they wielded merely their claws as weapons the new vyre and found use of all sorts of weapons. Although most were fairly unprofessional, unused to wielding such tools, they still posed more of a threat now than ever before.

Added to this was their new cunning, strategy, and sense of self preservation where before there was only a beastly hunger. As Illyriel, Theria, and Bazric left the fallen began to slowly awake. Not all the vyre had been decapitated, and unlike their comrads(decapitated vyre and non-vyre colleagues) they soon regained consciousness. Severed limbs were held in place till they reattached themselves, and wounds began to seal up. The few vyre look to one another, raided their fallen comrads of anything valuable, and went back on the pursuit.

----------

Zhar had made himself scarce. He had no interest in dealing with such menial tasks as local law enforcements meddling, and even the group became more of a burden then he would tolerate normally. He did not know what kept drawing him to them, what kept him from killing them all as heartlessly as he otherwise would have done long ago. Yet for some reason he could not honestly contemplate such an activity with any real conviction, and this was becoming an increasing area of concern
hast thou gone soft? came the nasty little voice
He clenched his fist. No he had not gone soft, he could still bring himself to kill mercilessly. As if you prove this to himself after he left the others he snuck into some poor farmers house where a baby was sleeping in its crib, and had extinguished the childs life with almost indifference, and certainly no sign of a conscience or regret at such a monstrous action. So why could he not bring himself to abandon that accursed group and dispatch them as he so easily did to the child.

The thought of the grief it would cause the parents when they finally discovered the remains came into his mind, of the gut wrenching horror of such a deed, and of how familiar it was to him. Indeed he killed many children in cold blood. Many people in general. He held onto the fact that they still meant nothing to him, and that he could easily do it all again without a moments hesitation. And yet for some reason, it was almost as if something was blocking him from doing anything to the group that he had become part of.

Again this deeply troubled him, but then a gut wrenching twist stabbed at his belly as the punishment the lord of hell had awaiting him came to his mind. Again he vowed to find away to cheat his fate, then set to thoughts of Vayu. For now it was more important to just do the Lord of Hells bidding.
Once he is off my back, then i can go back to finding a way out of this.

Zhar looked around and saw that he was in the middle of nowhere, in a section of bushland. He settled down, drew a pentagram around him, and began to concentrate. It glowed and soon he was initiation powerful incantations.

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

Vayu sat, tracing the lines on his hands, apparently deep in thought.
"Not as clever as you thought you were... Vayu" Winter Vayu's head darted up as he snapped to attention. Zhar loomed from the shadows to stand infront of him, standing infront of the desk vayu sat behind.
"I must say you look different to before. Your new body is certainly helping you avoid me, but you didn't hide well enough" Zhar spoke almost conversationally, not looking up at vayu and instead seeming very interested in one of the ornaments on his desk
"please cadavok, why would i ever try and hide from you?" a contemptuous glace was directed at Zhar, but vayu nervously licked his lips
"i do wonder where you have been hiding this whole time. You should have gone to hell, you should still be in hell. And yet somehow you cheated the system. You avoided your fate. Tell me how and i might even consider sparing you" he strolled back and forward, hands clasped behind his back, casting glaces at Vayu every few paces.
Vayu let out a short chuckle "if it was actually in your power to kill me then we both know you would do it either way"
"true, very true. But what is this 'if it was in my power', are you actually implying that i cannot kill you?" an amused note was in Zhars voice
"i think you are mistaken... But that is not of concern at the moment. Tell me how you escaped your fate" this time the question was voiced more forcefully. Though Zhar tried to keep his cards close to his chest, he burned to know. If vayu knows a way to cheat his way out of hell, then i must know! this might be what i have been looking for!
"oh, i did not cheat my way out of hell, Zhar" he said, sitting back in his chair, and proving he could fake civility like the best of them
"don't lie to me! as the lord of hell for my witness i know you did not go to hell like you should have! tell me or i will kill you now!" Zhar had darted to the desk, leaning over and pointing an accusatory finger, teeth gritted.
"i am not in the least afraid of you" something had changed, as vayu no longer had that hint of nerviousness he had held but a moment ago. infact now a little smile hinted at the corners of his lips. Was it because he knew zhars desperation for an answer?
"nor your little master... if he is really so powerful then how is it he missed me, when i was right under his nose for so long? like i said, i did not cheat my way out of hell. I served my time, and then when my time was up i came back. Seems i have unfinished business that i need to attend to..." he straightened in his chair, giving Zhar a very direct look
"Great events are taking shape the likes of which nether you nor i can truly comprehend..." he sat back again
"now, run along" he finished in an infuriatingly superior tone
A nasty gleam came into Zhars eyes, and he drew the dagger
"oh, i'll run along alright. Send my regards to the lord of hell when you meet him..." he move towards Vayu, but Vayu seemed unconcerned
"please, who do you think you are fooling?" he said, contempt and malice in his eyes
"no vayu, i am going to kill you now" replied Zhar, although he had stopped moving closer
"hardly. Your little trick is no longer amusing to me, and i think we have exhausted this line of conversation. Have your shadow back" and with a waving gesture, as if brushing away an insect, Zhars projection split apart into a number of dark shreds which darted across the floor and walls and disappeared from Vayu's room.

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

Back in the bushland Zhar opened his eyes, the pentagram around him fading. He looked down at where his shadow should be, but it had not returned. Zhar let out a little grunt. Vayu had dispersed Zhars shadow, which he had used as part of the spell in order to contact him, it would take a while for the pieces to filter back through. It felt strange without a shadow, but not more that an inconvenience to Zhar.

This had not been a complete waste of time, Zhar learned some things - he was disappointed at not finding a way to cheat fate, but he did not expect Vayu to be forthcoming. Of cause, vayu was surely lying, the lord of hell would have know were vayu in hell... wouldn't he?
No matter, when i have vayu at knife point, as he begs for his life to be spared, i will drag the answer out of him, then send him on to damnation. He did not just learn things from their conversation, but more than that. While vayu still managed to allude direct pinpointing, the fact that Zhar was able to get through to him with this spell meant that Vayu was not unreachable. Zhar would eventually find him, and when he did he will get the answers he seeks...

((vort, if you have any problems with what i have done in this post, then i can edit it. But i don't think i did anything too out of line? anyway, again, sorry for the long post :blink:))

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#27 Copaman

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Posted 08 November 2009 - 01:53 AM

Upon getting off the boat, Tom used the freedom to seek out the messenger which the council had no doubt sent for him. While he was within a city with a Council's Shard, none of his thoughts were private; the Council, no doubt, would have caught all of the thoughts in reference to Vayu's return.

==

In the middle of a grove of trees, the two deathknelve found each other. The messenger pulled back his hood to reveal a very young face - probably no older than twenty - but the relative darkness made it difficult to tell exactly how old this boy might be. "Well met, my king. I have word from the Council."
"Well met. Did they tell you anything about their message?"
"They said that there have been a change of plans. The details are in the letter."

The boy pulled from one satchel pack a plain letter, handed it to Rethalar, and stood while he read it.

We understand that Theria has discovered Vayu is back. With a bit of poking and prodding through various magics, we are afraid that she is most probably correct. This occurrence is very troublesome and as such (despite how it hurts us to say it) you must take care of it first. If you were to just leave Vayu, no sooner would you have your throne then he would remove you from it. We have begun small insurgent operations in the mean time; hopefully, by the time you return from this detour...

Tom caught a small rustling of leaves and looked up. It stopped for a moment, almost as if it had been a breeze, but Tom could feel someone - or something - watching the two deathknelve. He clenched his fist, brought the letter inside a pouch, and burned it slowly to give off as little light as possible. His free hand rested on the hilt of one sword. The boy looked to him with a question in his brow; Tom merely pointed up. A quick set of hand gestures and the boy understood: despite his young age, the messenger would have already graduated from basic training. The two crept closer together before assuming their respective stances, the boy's a bit sloppy and unpracticed, Tom's unmistakably solid. As Tom's sword slid from its hilt, he saw the slightest flash from above. Grabbing the boy's shoulder, he dragged the two of them down but it was too late - as Tom came out of his roll he could see that the arrow found a home in the crown of the boy's head.

He threw a hand upwards and focused his being on a point above the trees, where a small piece of his soul appeared as a bright ball of flame. Tom had to fight to keep his jaw in place as he took in how many creatures had climbed into the small grove he stood in. There was at least one Vyre in each tree, and a human component on the ground.

Without hesitation Tom turned heel and sprinted towards where he had left Theira and Illyriel in the small town. The small army dropped from its perch and began its pursuit, the humans no match for Tom's speed but the Vyre not far behind.

((Comical "RUNNN AWAYYYYYYY" scene!))

Edited by Copaman, 08 November 2009 - 01:54 AM.

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#28 Taralom

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Posted 08 November 2009 - 12:01 PM

(([...] anyway, again, sorry for the long post :p))

((What do you have with long posts that it's bad to write long posts? :p I wouldn't stand up for less than one thousand words... Anyways, part one of the battle with Gaurr. It's not done yet, but I felt like posting, to keep up with you guys.))



The wind's gentle breeze made his skin tingle. The black cloth of his vest was cold. The chainmail that he wore over the shirt ringed every time the wind blew through the many iron chains. How long had he been waiting? Long enough. When would Varin finally arrive.
Gaurr Zant opened his green eyes and stared to the horizon. He sat on top of the mesa, with the many dead around the feet of the fortress of Umbar. His eyes saw the sunrise, but his mind saw the fire, the destruction that was about to come over him.

"Shit, put me down." Azuvas reacted immediately and put Varin against the stump of a tree. Varin clenched his teeth when Azuvas inspected his hands, who had turned grey after the encounter with Carrgh. Varin’s arms were turned into a landscape of cuts and bruises and flesh could easily be peeled off.
"You went too far," Azuvas stated.
Varin nodded. "I have. The last shield was too much. Damn that Carrgh."”
"I'll clean the wounds, hold on."
Azuvas grabbed a piece of cloth and drenched it in some water with herbs. He had prepared it in the morning and had dragged it with him until now. With some care, he started to treat the many wounds.
They left the village a day earlier, setting it ablaze when they left. There were no villagers left to inhabit it and letting it fall into the hands of Paladins or worse was no option. They travelled tiny bits every time, until Varin collapsed of the agonizing pain. This was just one of the many times.
The sun was at its peak and shone down through the thick roof of the forest upon them. Varin could not defend himself anymore. If anyone would attack, he would prove no match for anyone. A child with a stick could kill him now.
Varin clenched his teeth together. "Stop it!" Azuvas quickly removed the piece of cloth and saw how a patch of skin fell to the ground, yet it dissolved with a black flame instants before it touched the soil. This was the price Varin had to pay for his powers.
"Interesting, huh?" Varin said when he noticed Azuvas' gaze. "Both of us got our own curse. This is mine."
Azuvas looked up, but did not say anything. What was he going at?
"Isn't it strange that the two of us are thrown together by fate?" Varin spoke softly. "A mage and a warrior, both with a past that neither one of us wants to share. Both with their own fears. Isn’t it strange?"
Azuvas nodded in agreeing fashion, but obviously did not pay any attention.
Varin grinned. This was his chance. "I know all about your curse, though. I know how you became aware of the rage inside you. I know what you did when you first used it, how you murdered tons of foes. I know how you killed your wife and kids, when you could no longer suppress your anger. How the entire village rushed to your home and tried to capture you. How your broad blade decapitated some guards, before you were captured."
Azuvas turned his back towards Varin. He did not want to hear any of this.
"Do you think that I don’t know why I got to you? Do you think that I do not know what you are? You said it to Carrgh, whispering it in his ear." A silence fell, before Varin whispered: "Berserker."
Azuvas turned around, his hand grabbed Varin by his throat and choked him. "Never... never call me that again," he said with a deep, frightening voice. The white of his eyes had turned red. He bore no more resemblance to a man. He was a predator.
Varin could see the energy Azuvas transmitted. He absorbed it all and he could feel how it filled the gaps in his soul. How it restored his powers, how it healed his many wounds. "Azuvas, you fool," he said, before his body dissolved in shadows. Immediately, a hand was placed on the Berserker's shoulder. "To fall for the same trap I laid down for my foes."
Azuvas' eyes widened with the insight that Varin had cast an illusion upon him and stood behind him. He shot away to the left, grabbing his broad sword. He turned around and attacked with a wide, sweeping motion. Yet, before his sword hit Varin, the latter had attacked Azuvas already. A dark shroud of magic started spreading from his shoulder, there were Varin had laid his hand before, and engulfed Azuvas in a purple shroud. Just before nothing could be seen of him anymore, he let out one agonizing scream.

A ripple of magic reached Gaurr’s senses. Death? Probably. But who killed who? Did the master kill the guard, or the other way around? Or did neither die? He would find out eventually.
His eyes scanned the horizon, but nothing abnormal could be seen besides the trail of dust that a caravan let behind. Varin would come to him. He was sure of that. The only thing he could do now, was wait.

"Evening, my master," Varin said when he stepped upon the top of the mesa. The top was The many stone pillars, once a place to perform rituals, was defiled with taunts from the Paladins, written in the blood of the fallen. Gaurr sat in the middle with his grey, near silver, hair combed neatly behind his head. He wore a black shirt covered with chainmail. His staff lay on his lap, a long wooden staff with no beautifications. Purpose only, was what Gaurr always said.
Gaurr opened his eyes and met the gaze of his former apprentice. "You have fallen too far astray from the path of Umbar, young one."
Varin let out a laugh. "Young one? Stop calling me that. I've surpassed you."”
Gaurr shook his head. "No. You've worsened. You cannot surpass me the way you are now. Yet, the only way to surpass me is to kill me and thus surpass me. I possess that what will increase your powers, don't I?"
Varin grinned. "The ability to create your own energy, yes."
Gaurr stood up, slowly. His hand grabbed his staff firmly and his knuckles became white. An aura of purple surrounded him, while his eyes met Varin’s for the second time. "Come to me, with all you have."
Varin rushed forward, unsheathing his sword in the process. His sword carved the air open, but he missed Gaurr. He spun round, his sword streaming in silver behind him. Gaurr blocked the attack with his staff. The sound of cracking wood hurt their ears when the sword collided with the staff. Responding immediately, Gaurr stepped forward and punched Varin in his face. Varin was pushed back, but drew his sword loose from Gaurr’s staff. He stabbed forward, but Gaurr simply stepped aside. The master spun the staff over his head, grabbed the end and dealt an enormous smack to Varin. All the air was pushed out of Varin’s lungs and he had to step back, out of Gaurr's range, to recover from the blow.
Heavily panting, he said: "I never thought you'd be this good. You never were this good during my training."
Gaurr put down his staff. "Do you really think I'd let you surpass me? You're a fool, Varin."
Varin started to chuckle. "No, Gaurr. You are the fool here. You want to know why?" Gaurr rose an eyebrow. Varin let out a laugh, which he quickly suppressed. "You'd have to come to me to see it."
Gaurr reacted swiftly and before Varin could tell, he already was in front of him, his staff raised high above his head.
Suddenly, Varin’s body dissolved, but was replaced by a perfect sphere of black magic. Gaurr’s eyes widened as he saw through Varin’s deception, but it was too late. The sphere imploded with astonishing force, drawing everything near it to its core. Gaurr was swept off his feet, but before he touched the core of the dark sphere, he was pushed away by violent force. Flames engulfed his body as the sphere exploded with bigger force than before.
Gaurr landed on his back and heard his bones crack. He lay still for a moment, checking if he could move his toes and fingers. Nothing was broken, luckily. He sat upright and checked his surroundings.
Varin appeared from behind a stone pillar, unharmed in any way.
Gaurr nodded as he understood what was going on. Smiling, he said: "I see, you use Illusions. I've never seen the magic, but I heard of it. It is rare... When did you use it upon me?"
"Right before I let the illusion attack you. It was rather funny to see you fight imaginative creatures," Varin remarked.
Gaurr lost his smile. "I see, so that's how you want to play the game." He stood up. His body hurt, but that was only because of the smack he made. He took off his chainmail and his shirt. His scarred chest was covered in bruises and his arms were burnt on several places, but none of his wounds were severe. He threw away his staff and his sword and formed a fist with both hands. Right before he closed his eyes, he glanced at Varin. This is the beginning of the end. The second stage of our conflict.
Energy started to circulate around him, tensioning the air. Electric discharges covered his body and made him blurry. He opened his eyes again, but they were no longer green, they had turned light blue, like the thunder.
Varin knew what was going on. "So this is your famous technique that made you a hero to Umbar." Gaurr nodded. His hair widened as the electricity spread through his body. Varin grinned slyly. "But then again, channelling lightning through your body isn’t natural and I wonder how long you can keep this up without experiencing any side effects." He jumped backwards and summoned a protective dome. Purple magic formed a net of protective threads all around him, proving himself invulnerable to most attacks while he could keep this up. "Now, come."
Gaurr roared and shot forward, faster than Carrgh did during his encounter with Varin and Azuvas. The purple threads wavered and discharged. Yet, they did not do their work. Varin could not believe what he saw when Gaurr appeared before him, inside the dome, and dealt an amazing blow with his elbow. The dome disappeared and Varin was thrown back.
Varin slid over the hard surface of the rock, and stopped when he clashed into a pillar near the edge of the mesa. He was partially paralyzed. His right arm wouldn’t move, since Gaurr hit him on the right part of his chest. He had lost his sword in his fall and was somewhere between the pillars. He was screwed.
He stood up, heavily grunting from the pain and cursing himself for his paralysis. Gaurr stepped forward and drew Varin’s immediate attention.
"Now that I have your attention," the master said, "what happened to your companion?"
Varin spat on the ground. "What do you mean? I have no companion."
Gaurr shook his head. "Do not lie. I know that you were with another one when you left this place. I saw you when I came back."
"He is dead. I killed him for his rage. I needed his power," Varin said, almost bragging.
Gaurr closed his eyes in despise. "I knew it. None of the things I thought you actually came through. You are a mindless fool."
"Perhaps," Varin said. He raised his left arm and a dark sphere of power formed between his fingertips. Gaurr opened his eyes, right before Varin released the power. The sphere shot forward, too fast to be seen. Gaurr dodged, however, with minimal effort, as if he had seen it coming. Was there no limitation to his power, Varin thought in despair.
And then he saw it. As Gaurr dodged the attack, he could clearly see how energy from his surroundings hastily flew towards him. It took him a second, maybe one and a half second before he was fully charged again. That was all the time Varin had to react. Could he use that time to beat his master? Could he use that minimal amount of space in between Gaurr's attacks to defeat him?
Gaurr stood up and stroke a loose hair behind his ear. "It's time to end this," was all he said. Varin swallowed. It was time to end this, one way or the other.

Edited by Taralom, 08 November 2009 - 12:12 PM.

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#29 Copaman

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Posted 09 November 2009 - 04:20 PM

As he neared the town, Tom looked back over his shoulder to see how many had kept up with the pace. He was glad to find that only the most fit vyre had managed to keep up - there were only about three left. Tom spun around to face them fully, and ran backwards at a slightly slower pace so they could catch up. As they came closer, Tom stopped and drew his blades, using the spare moment to catch his breath before launching his attack.

He lunged forward at the first vyre, who weilded a basic hatchet. As the distance between the two closed, Tom watched the hatchet come down towards him - a moment later, he planted his left foot and completely shifted his momentum to the right, with a roll to stay under any blades. He popped up just in front of another Vyre, and brought his swords up into it. The thing's eyes grew wide as the blades came out its back; Tom then pulled them closer to his body, rotated them around the hilts so that the blades faced upwards, and wrenched down a tiny bit before bringing them up and out through the vyre's clavicles with incredible strength. To ensure that it did not rise against him again, he severed the head at the base of the neck.

Tom dove back, planted his hands, and flipped around; without delay, he began running from the vyre again - his arms were too tired from the elaborate slaughter of the single thing to fight two more.

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#30 Luchiaros

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 03:55 AM

Even though it was the middle of the day Cassius could not keep his eyes open, he shut for just a moment and then he fell asleep. Then he began to have a dream, he saw his village the night it burned down, then he saw himself talking to the Elders. He turned and left that building and went to the gate, no guard was present except for Garrus the traitor. Cassius tried to attack him but he could not, all he could do was watch and wait, then he saw them, over one hundred men began to exit the forest, they slowly began to circle the village. Cassius ran to the other sentries only to find they were already dead, then he turned back to face the village, it had already started to burn. He let out a roar as the building he was in collapsed, then he searched for the humans. They were slaying the Minotaurs with ease, some dark power must have given them strength enough to beat them. Cassius roared again and charged Garrus who was slitting the throat of a Bull, then the dream ended but Cassius slept on. Everyone nearby had turned to face to dozing Minotaur as he roared in his sleep.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Cassius awoke to find himself caught in the middle of a battle, drawing his sword he struck at the nearest Vyre, however it was to fast for him to hit it. The Vyre jumped into the air and came back down upon his back, Cassius rolled over crushing it beneath him, then he turned to face two more. These two were ready for his attack and dodged his blows, then one dove for his legs and knocked him over, shoving it off he stood up and roared. Swinging Ashard with immense speed and strength he cleaved the other in two, Cassius then walked over to the one that had knocked him over, it lay stunned next to the wall of the building Cassius had been sleeping next to. He crushed it with his hoof and then left, as he ran his back stung from the wounds inflicted by the first Vyre. He turned a corner and then stumbled and fell, the wound in his leg began to burn like never before. Cassius pulled himself upright and looked around, everything was blurry and shapeless, ignoring the pain in his leg he stood up again and blinked. The world seemed to spin before him but it had become un-blurred, Cassius stumbled forward again and continued to fight the pain in his leg.

Edited by Dark _Warden, 10 November 2009 - 04:35 PM.

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#31 Taralom

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 08:31 PM

Lightning spun around Gaurr as his eyes were fixed upon Varin. His student tried to move away, out of the danger zone, but his limbs did not respond. He was paralyzed. With effort, he defensively raised his arm and tried to mutter a spell. Gaurr grinned upon this final effort of his student to defend himself, right before the master vanished in thin air to reappear right before Varin, readied for his final technique. His fists, with two fingers pointed forward, became a blur as they hit Varin a thousand fold. For every hit, a small electrostatic shock went through Varin’s body, accumulating to a agonizing pain. The agony went through his entire being, burned his flesh, toasted his intestines. It seemed without end.
Varin slowly slid to the ground, with his back against the stone pillar, that showed multiple cracks at the place where his back had just been. Gaurr stepped back and watched how his student tried to get back on his feet and fight through the entire paralysis.
“I didn’t strike your heart,” he said.
Varin couldn’t respond. He didn’t, that was correct, he could feel his heartbeat and he could breath, but barely. He was panting heavily, with the tiny amount of his lungs that still did function properly. Yet, he was beaten. He didn’t know how to heal himself, rendering himself defenseless to Gaurr’s final attack.
Gaurr closed his eyes and listened to the wind that still soared around the mesa. “It is sad, how you became this creature you are now. You see, I saw talent in you. A talent that could have surpassed my own. Yet, you failed me. Not only me, you failed this academy. You were meant to inherit my own techniques, my wisdom and my strength, so you could defend the people of Umbar from the crusade of the Paladinate.” He opened his green eyes and fixed them upon Varin’s crushed person. “Yet, you decided to defect from us, slay us and aid the Paladins. Why? Because you sought power for your parents? Because you wanted revenge? You wanted neither. You have no idea what you really want. You have this… insane urge to avenge the death of your parents, while you already have. I know this, for I know all that happened to you while you were away. Yet, when you had avenged your parent’s untimely fate, you felt empty, suffered from the loss of your goals. You wanted more bloodshed, more suffering, more killing. And now you failed in your final effort to eradicate your past. You could not defeat me. You have to think. Think hard, Varin. What do you want?”
Varin raised his head and grinned. The answer, however, came from behind Gaurr’s back, when a hand clapped on his shoulder. “I want power.”
Gaurr’s caring complexion turned in an astounded one, as he realized what had happened. Before his eyes, the Varin he had crushed lay off his skin, as the illusion wore off, and turned into a bleeding Azuvas. Then, a fire ignited his shirt, swiftly setting him ablaze. Engulfed by fire and flame, he fell down to his knees and without a scream, fell to the side. His body burning, he died without letting out the slightest grunt.
Varin stepped over the burning corpse of his former master and held out a hand to Azuvas. Azuvas let out a cry of pain, when he reached out for the hand and grabbed it. Varin pulled him on his feet, where he supported him and carried him away.
“Thank you, Azuvas,” he said while walking, “for allowing me to do this.”
Azuvas smiled. “Never mind. You probably stood no chance if we did it any other way. We had to ambush him this way.”
“If you didn’t let me control your body with my mind, we would not have won this at all. I have to say, it was a perfect execution of the puppet-technique. By lending me power, you made it possible. Thank you.”
Azuvas grunted. “Never mind. Just let us get out of here.”
Varin nodded. “Agreed. We’ll need to find you a healer. Ready to go?” he said, while pointing out the stairs.
Azuvas sighed to gather enough courage. “Yes, let’s go. Another adventure starts with the first step. May that first step be down the stairs, or on the path onward. Let’s see where it takes us.”
Varin looked over his right shoulder to the moon, partially covered behind the clouds. “Peace, I hope.”

((Just in case, looking over your right shoulder is said to bring good luck ;) ))
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#32 some_weirdGuy

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Posted 13 November 2009 - 05:28 AM

Zhar traveled back, seeking out that accursed group of 'companions' which he felt drawn too. He had his suspicions about that. He may be insane but his mind was sharp when his focus was not marred by split personalities and demonic influence. Sometimes Zhar would have what he came to call 'moments of clarity', when the turmoil within seemed to subside and things would occur to him, seemly unbidden in his mind, sometimes this would only last a short while, other times for longer.

It was in one of these moments that he came to this train of thought. Everywhere now he seemed to become confronted with coincidences, and hints that something was at work here. Little things that on their own would be merely shrugged off, but collectively began to nag at him. His attachment to the group was one of these, the way he seemed to always find himself back with them despite everything. They had all split up and gone their separate ways, only to find themselves reunited once again, and even now as he tried thinking of them the usual whispers of murder and death that came when he thought of others did not sound. Even in moments of need, when he had spent to long without a kill and began to feel its effects, it did not even occur to him to take what he needed from his... companions.

The hinting of his master, and the same message being echoed by Vayu during their meeting, both indicated that there was someone or something manipulating current events. This was certainly confirmed by the strange occurrence that happened to Theria, which had unsettled Zhar at the time but now it seemed the memory itself was fading, as if someone were compelling him, gently, to forget.

But of cause this was ridicules, there is no greater power at work in the world... is there? Zhar was no longer sure. He had abandoned faith in a 'God' long ago, But now that he though of it, was it not possible that some greater power was at work? In fact was the demon lord not proof? His accursed master was a manipulator himself, sending Zhar to track down even men and send them onto him... Zhar wasn't exactly sure why such a powerful being cared, but he was not about to argue. He was terrified of his master, and for good reason.

Zhar came out of his thoughts to find himself in a town, and it appeared there was a bit of a commotion. Raiders. Zhar probed out with his mind; mostly human, with a number of vyre and even some dwarves. Then nearby he encountered something familiar...
"oh cruel fate doth striketh again" he said somewhat dramatically, then strode around the street infront of a running Theria, Illyriel and Bazric.
Theria began to speak three times, but in the end only managing to repeat Zhars thrice, each time with a different expression, firstly surprise, then seriousness and finally anger, Zhar however did not let her finish any of these sentences, instead replying with
"Theria Theria Theria" He then looked over as the brawl between Cassius, with Rom now at the minotaurs side, and the Raiders erupted into the street,
"oh and look, here's Rom Rom Rom" The mocking twinkle in his eyed made Theria huff in exasperation, as Illyriel and Bazric came up to assit the two raging minotaur dispatch their human and dwarvern attackers.
"so.. who's Roms friend? Don't tell me we've picked up another companion. I tell you, my predictions of this group growing into an entire army are looking more and more plausible by the minute"
"we've picked up a couple, actually. Cassius is just one of them" Theria said a bit tartly
"can't trust you on your own for five minutes, can i?" said Zhar, quickly ending the brawl with a sweep of his hands which sent the remaining raiders flying into a wall behind Rom, Cassius, Illyriel and Bazric.
"shall we move right along now?" said Zhar, crossing his arms and looking down his nose at the still forms of the raiders "Its not our job to take out the trash..."

Edited by some_weirdGuy, 13 November 2009 - 05:30 AM.

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#33 Vortigern

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 05:09 PM

Theria, panicked as she was, uncomfortable with the weight of Illyriel's sword in her hand, found herself struggling to maintain her grip on reality with the stench of blood thick in the air. The brutal roars of the two Minotaur rent the air, but did little to rouse Theria from the grim reverie into which her mind had sunk. She felt empty, devoid of that feeling that made her care about life, that underlying sentiment she would have called 'humanity' were it not for her elven heritage. Beside her she could sense Illyriel and Bazric, weapons drawn and thoughts clear: kill or be killed. The two of them were warriors, able to accept the truth of the matter, that the world was too harsh and cruel to rely on friendliness or beauty to see you through.

You've made it this far, whispered a voice in her head. You've seen blood before. You've taken lives, you've dealt justice in death. You are no innocent.

So what? she replied to herself. Is it weak to still feel the weight of every death, to recall the suffering I have inflicted and feel regret?

Not weak, no, but nor is it necessary. And most importantly, now is not the time.

Still Theria could barely walk, let alone raise her hand to wield Illyriel's sword with any intent. The deep melancholy that gripped her now was beyond anything she had ever felt. These people have such short lives anyway. What good will it do to murder them before their time?

"Theria!" Her consciousness stirred, like a sleeper slowly awakening from a century of undisturbed slumber. "Theria!" She looked up. The concern in Illyriel's eyes warred with the aroma of death that surrounded him, but still it was enough to move her to alertness once more. "We have to go," he told her, placing a gentle but firm hand on her arm and pulling her back towards the river. As they approached the water Theria felt the breeze stirring up, whisking through the streets and amongst the houses, distorting the noise and carrying shrieks and smells far from their origins. As the group of three came in sight of the small harbour that served the town and its visitors, Theria saw Rom and Cassius, back to back, swinging their gigantic weapons at the Vyre and the humans that surrounded them, more often than not simply sweeping them away only for the Vyre to return instantly to the furore. Rindar, Astariel and her young man emerged from an alleyway before Theria, Rindar immediately hurling himself into the fray to help dispel the enemy.

In this wide, long street now, Theria could feel the strength of the wind blowing in from the north. The current and the winds would quickly carry them far away from here, from this town overrun by corrupt souls spilling innocent blood.

"Rom!" Theria shouted, struggling to make herself heard over the howl of the gale that was rising around the town and the sounds of battle. "Panna jotta veneilla!" Get aboard the boat. A moment later she knew he had understood as he smashed a swathe of screaming Vyre away from him, gaining a moment's respite in which he tossed his axe high into the air and grabbed Astariel and Byron by the collars, hurling them bodily back aboard the little boat. Catching his axe as it fell, Rom nudged Cassius and the two of them retreated to the boat, still fighting and crushing their way through the apparently endless stream of Vyre.

Aboard the boat, Morion began untying the moorings as the group made their way there. Rindar leapt over the rail, utilising every ounce of his elven strength and agility to make the leap. Theria, running now alongside Bazric and Illyriel toward their escape, paused momentarily as her elven ears once again caught the unmistakable whoosh of a bowstring. No, she corrected herself. Several bowstrings. Arrows came whizzing out of the darkness, one bouncing from cobbles between Theria's pounding feet. Another volley came from before them, to their left, aimed at those aboard the boat. Morion shouted, hands flying away from the last rope as a projectile hurtled into the bollard, severing the rope and setting the boat loose.

"Faster!" shouted Illyriel, sprinting at full pelt to the dock and launching himself through the air, tumbling over the rail and landing on the deck. But Illyriel was faster than Theria, and much faster than Bazric. The dwarf was now left behind, and for a moment Theria almost went back for him, but then her survival instinct kicked in, propelling her along the jetty. She prepared to leap at the rapidly-disappearing boat but, just as she bent her knees, an arrow came whipping through the night, slicing straight through her thigh. With a cry she fell to the decking, eyes wide with fear as her blood began to pool below her and drip through the planks into the swirling, grimy waters beneath.

A few seconds later Bazric arrived at her side, wheezing heavily and seriously out of breath. He stared for a moment at the diminishing boat before turning to face Theria.

"It seems we have been left behind, my lady," he said, a tremor in his usually steady voice. "Not quite as I would have hoped for the end to come, but noble nonetheless." He offered her his hand, helping her stand to face the enemy.

"Good luck," she whispered. Bazric hefted his claymore, breathing deeply to prolong his fitness for battle.

"And to you, Lady Theria. It's been an honour and a privilege."



((Cliffhanger! With everyone else gone, what will happen next? Stay tuned! Also, get the hell out of the village. Stick with the mission, folks. Ye be Maughold-bound in search of that fearsome Vayu chap. Oh, and assume everyone I didn't specifically mention was aboard the boat anyway. As I recall, that's Tom, Shava and Zhar. Although Zhar's probably somewhere else entirely, who knows?))
I hope I am a good enough writer that some day dwarves kill me and drink my blood for wisdom.

#34 Copaman

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 06:20 PM

Tom's legs burned as he flew towards the boat; he could feel his pulse in the aching muscles and his throat burned from the sprint - the boat was on the opposite side of the town from where he had been.

As he got nearer to the boat, he could see Illyriel, Bazric, and Theria to his left - his mind did some quick estimations and he came to the realization he would make it to the boat before they would. At the end of the jetty, he leaped into the boat and rolled as he hit the deck to stop his forward momentum. A dark shape flew and hit the deck as Tom stood up - he glanced down, and realized it was Illyriel. Tom offered a hand and helped him to his feet. Together they watched as Theria and Bazric neared the boat.

They watched the volley come down. They saw Theria bend her legs to jump. And they watched her fall short as a razor sliced her thigh.

Without thought Tom began to run for the railing, and was flexing his legs to leap back to the dock when Illyriel's strong arms grabbed hold and dragged him back to the boat. Without words, Tom understood that Illyriel was acting in the best interest of the group. The two shared somewhat of a similar bond with Theria; Illyriel's past and Tom's half-formed - neither watched Theria fall without losing something inside.

As the boat moved further from shore, the two went below deck. Tom uncapped a drinking skin and began to set his world spinning.

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And some taste.

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#35 {IRS}Athos

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 09:48 PM

Astariel stood up and calmly brushed off her robes. "That was unfortunate," she said.

"You just left your companions behind," said Rindar acidly, looking back toward the dock where Theria and Bazric could still dimly be seen. "I'd expect as much from a Deathknelf," he added caustically, "but not from the rest of y--"

Byron elbowed him in the stomach, causing him to let out his breath in a whoosh of air. "Instead of trying to provoke him into a fight, why don't you concentrate on trying to get them out of the sticky situation they're in?"
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#36 Copaman

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 11:59 PM

Tom looked up from his drink, the world slightly blurred, and addressed Rindar. "You know too damn well that even though we aren't human, by the time we reacted to seeing Theria fall we were already too far from the dock to make the jump. There was nothing we could do. I'm not exactly made for swimming, especially not with armor and whatnot. The current would have swept me and anyone else who tried to jump back onto the docks under.

"Furthermore. Even if I had been able to make the jump, and even if I had managed to elevate myself to the point you saw in the cavern, Rindar, we were outnumbered. Beyond outnumbered. I would have made a difference, yes, but I could not keep it up for long enough to save Theria. Even with your daft self helping me it wouldn't have been enough. Had it been you, Illyriel, and myself, it wouldn't have been enough. You could have had your choice: two potentially dead, or five. I might not be the smartest purebred half-breed to walk this planet, but I can tell you that a group going up against a Winter Vayu who can come back from hell would be less hurt losing two members than five members, including one of the best swordsman alive. Hubris on my part? Maybe. But you can't deny that I have a gift that helps us out from time to time.

"Do you think that it didn't hurt me to watch as her slender figure shrank as we got further away from the dock? You've got some serious balls to call me out for not going back. I tried. I was off the boat. I was pulled back in."

He broke for a second, took a long draught from his drink, and looked back up into the elf's eyes. Even in the dim light of the cabin, Tom could see the color clearly. And he knew Rindar could see color just as well. Tom's eyes were no longer bright nor were they blue. The light had faded and the color darkened to a deep navy blue; almost black.

"I loved that woman. I don't care if you think me wrong for it. I loved her. And now she's gone."

He turned away from everyone, and emptied his drinking skin as fast as he could. The liquor burned his throat as it went down, the heat growing as he continued.

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If you meet me:

Have some courtesy,

Have some sympathy,

And some taste.

Use all your well-learned politesse,

Or I'll lay your soul to waste.


#37 some_weirdGuy

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 04:53 AM

A slow clap sounded behind, and Tom looked over fiercely
"oh the humanity, oh the drama!" said Zhar, gesticulating wildly in an overly theatrical manner
"Bazric and Theria, doomed and abandoned, left to face their destinies on a god forsaken jetty of death!" Zhar placed one hand on his forehead and faked a theatrical faint, lying limbs splayed on the deck.
His foot twitched, and a moment later his head came up as he spoke
"Theria gone, and bazric too. What are we suppose to do? Do we continue on this path? let Winter Vayu face our wrath? my vote is such, and from what i see, it seems that all of you agree?" the last part was said in a questioning manner

"... yes, Zhar is right. We must go after Vayu." said Illyriel in a depressed voice after a moment.
"Theria and Bazric are tough. I'm sure a couple of raiders won't stop them. They're sure to meet up with us soon enough, just you wait and see" said Shava (who had already been on the boat), although in all honestly she was to afraid of the answer to go out probing with her mind.
((lets just say shava was on the boat. rav's absence seems to be making us forget about his characters existence. Rav, get posting already! you said that you were going to))

Only Zhar watched Theria and Bazric, observing overhead the approach of the raiders towards the two figures on the jetty. He was not about to tell the group anything. If they had already decided that the two were dead who was he to say otherwise? They likely wouldn't survive anyway, But Zhar watched just in case, unsure which way he really wanted the outcome to play out.

Edited by some_weirdGuy, 22 November 2009 - 04:57 AM.

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#38 Vortigern

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 01:32 PM

Barely able to stand due to the pain in her impaled leg, Theria leaned heavily on the bollard beside her, waiting for her enemies to come and rip her body to pieces. It's not right, she thought. After all we've been through, to die in some village to a bunch of petty criminals. But at least she would not die alone. Before her Bazric stood, calm and inflexible. The momentary tremor as he had realised their fate had passed, and now the dwarf seemed to have accepted that his earthly days were over.

A single arrow flashed out of the night, and in a blur of steel Bazric blocked it in mid-flight with his sword.

"Come out an' face me, if ye dare!" he shouted, railing against the numbers and ferocity of the unseen enemy. He was answered by a screech, an order among Vyre. A moment passed, in which Bazric shifted his footing uncomfortably, trying to find the best distribution for his weight to face the trial that was to come. Five of the bloodthirsty creatures came pelting forwards, out of the night. The first met with a clean strike to the neck, head tumbling to the ground as Bazric swung to face the other aggressors. Two of the Vyre bore weapons, one a hand-axe and the other a long, black-bladed knife with twin points curving back from the end. The hatchet bounced off Bazric's helmet as he leaned in for a second strike, economical and precise, carving up through the Vyre's torso in a spray of gore, exiting through the right shoulder and leaving the Vyre basically cloven in two. Pushing off his back foot, he powered his shoulder into the damaged Vyre, shoving it into the swirling waters of the river before it could heal itself. As he connected with the bloody creature, Bazric felt a sharp pain between his shoulder blades, and dimly heard Theria scream through the fog at the edge of his senses. He turned, wrenching his back and arching in agony as the skin tore further, opening his chest to a second blow from the heavy blade of the Vyre. With what little remained of his breath, the dwarf uttered a short incantation, focusing so hard as to not even feel it as the third strike came, puncturing his stomach, the two other Vyre landing blow after blow on his head and shoulders.

Bazric fell to the ground, breathing his last, and mouthed the last word of his dying spell. He caught Theria's eye as his sight dimmed, pleading with her to survive, not to let his sacrifice have been in vain, before his body exploded in a huge burst of white light, lancing through the night and lifting the Vyre around him into the air before blasting their bodies into fragments of golden dust, swirling up and away in the wind.

Theria, thrown to the wooden floor by the force of the blast, shakily tried to stand up, but her leg gave way beneath her before she could bring herself upright. Tears streamed down her porcelain cheeks as her mind replayed the sight, the sound of Bazric's death. He had been with her from the very beginning, from before Zhar had dragged them all on his quest to challenge the greatest magus of the age and lead them to near-death at the corrupt Paladin's hands, back when their nobility had remained intact and their morals untouchable.

Howls came out of the night, now beginning to glow orange as fires overtook the village. In the blood-drenched night Theria's elf eyes could see faces, contorted with rage and animal lust, fury beyond reckoning. With a jolt she realised she knew one of the faces: the innkeeper in whose home they had stayed when this deadly night began, now twisted by hatred just as the pillagers were. Another time she would have pondered the cause, but now survival was all that remained in her thoughts. Soon nothing will remain, her subconscious offered as a group of crimson faces detached themselves from the host, rushing forward, toward Theria, alone and injured on the jetty. She turned away, trying to bring herself to the edge of the decking and throw herself into the river as a mercy, a respite from the torture she knew these misanthropic machines of destruction would bring upon her, but she stumbled on the uneven planks and her wounded leg forced her to the floor once again. She turned her head, accepting now that her time had come, trying to see how close her predators had come. The thump of feet on the decking, reverberating all around her, gave her the answer she needed. She dropped her head into her hands, unable to watch as her killer approached. She tensed involuntarily, waiting for the blow that would prevent her fighting back before the merciless torture began. Moments passed. Theria opened her eyes, confused, and risked a glance behind her.

A man stood over her, sword raised high, frozen in time and space, eyes unresponsive. Theria pulled herself into a sitting position, turning to face the wild, lust-driven raiders and villagers, all now locked in one place as the man before her was. A deep, booming laugh echoed across the town, audible even above the rushing of the water. A single set of footsteps sounded across the wooden jetty as the laughing man came closer. Searching for sight of him, Theria desperately scanned the area, seeing nothing. Then something caught her eye, a blur in the corner of her vision. She turned her head to try and find it, but again saw nothing.

"I am here, you know," said a voice. A voice she recognised, different though it was to the last time she had encountered the speaker. Younger now, though still tinged with the same air of arrogance and infallibility, a man secure in the knowledge that he was untouchable.

"Vayu?" she whispered.

"And a good evening to you too, Lady Theria," he replied, emerging from the shadows. "It's a simple spell to make me go unnoticed. Sometimes you get caught in the corner of someone's eye, but rarely. Maybe elf-sight helps. I should look into that," he mused. "And these chaps? All my doing. Your little gnome friend isn't the only one who can twist raw emotion to her will." Boastful, thought Theria.

"Why have you come back?" she asked, realising that now there were bigger questions to be asked than simply whether or not her life would end tonight.

"A better question is how, wouldn't you say?" replied Vayu, offering her a winsome smile. "But I daresay the answer to that one shall remain a mystery for now. I have returned to this mortal coil to usher in a new age of blood."

"I've heard that before," Theria cut in with a snort. "From you, indeed."

"The old me, perhaps. Not this new model, crafted by the forces of hell and imbued with demonic power." Vayu looked Theria right in the eye, and she found herself unable to look away, pulled in by the power of his gaze. "I will not be stopped, elflady. Tell your friends I said goodbye." He snapped his fingers, the sharp click echoing around the village. As the sound reverberated, the raiders began moving again. Theria scrambled away from the man poised to kill her, but then stopped, seeing the motion for what it was. Hands clapped to their ears, all those under Vayu's emotional control seemed to be trying not to let their brains escape through their ears. Screams of unadulterated agony rent the air as they began to fall to the ground. Vayu favoured Theria with another smile before again clicking his fingers and disappearing.

Theria pulled herself vaguely upright, still leaning heavily on the bollards of the jetty. In desperate awe she surveyed the havoc that Vayu's coming had caused to this village. Corpses filled the main street, bleeding from ears, noses, mouths and eyes. Slowly, mournfully, numbly, Theria began to make her way back among the houses. No amount of water could wash away what she had just seen.




((Yes! Theria is alive. Bazric, sadly, is not. You fellows had best get on with your quest, though. Don't you go pining for dear old Theria.))
I hope I am a good enough writer that some day dwarves kill me and drink my blood for wisdom.

#39 some_weirdGuy

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Posted 26 November 2009 - 05:25 AM

Zhar had witnessed Bazric's death, but as it came to Theria's turn everything blanked out
"what" he sound out loud, straightening back up to a sitting position from where he had been laying. Shava who was nearby was the only one to heard or see him, but Zhar merely pulled a face and poked his tongue out at her, and she soon went back to her own affairs.

Zhar tried breaking back through, but still could not get through, like a thick layer of black fog it obscured his senses. Sometimes if he kept up the push he would hear split seconds of muffed sound, or just barely see rough shapes, but never for long enough to make any sense of it.

"damit it" he said, again outloud. He stood and turned to look out over the side, leaning against the edge.
This art surely Vayu's doing
This is true, i would agree, to bad we cannot look and see
dammit, i left to early! if i had gone back for those wretched fools i could have intercepted vayu!

Zhar paced back and forward, and at the moment he had decided to translocate right over there the fog was lifted, Vayu had obviously left, and Zhar could see Theria limping away. He did not for a second think of going back to help or save her, He just viciously kicked a few things, grabbed an unoffending piece of rope and bit it as hard as he could, then smashed a role in the railing on the side of the boat before finally composing himself.

It was then that he realised any other time he would have taken his anger out by ending the lives of those around him, this own made his mood more sour, and with an "RRRRRRR" he went below deck. While his erratic behavior didn't go unnoticed, no body went down to ask him what was going on. Most were still mourning the loss of Theria and Bazric, or trying to preoccupy themselves by doing other things. With Vithars demise still fresh in their mind the loss of another two members of their team was very hurtful, even the new members felt heavy hearted by the loss.


((so, whats happening now?))

Edited by some_weirdGuy, 26 November 2009 - 05:27 AM.

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#40 Taralom

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 05:45 PM

((A cooperative post with Vortigern himself. His part starts there where it is better written.))

The sun was slowly descending to set, as Varin and Azuvas emerged from the black hole in the mesa where its mighty gate once stood. Azuvas looked up to the sun, who had turned red already, and sighed deeply. “It seems like we have to camp again, eh?” He was supported by Varin, since he could no longer walk by himself. His arm laid numb upon Varin’s neck, as the magician tried to keep both himself and Azuvas standing.
“It seems that way,” Varin said softly, as if he wasn’t paying attention at all.
Azuvas gained a concerned complexion. .“Sorry about this, Varin. It was more than I could handle.”
Varin turned to his friend, for a moment with a thoughtful expression, before he smiled. “Never mind. You helped me end this chapter in my painful history, so I’m nothing more but grateful to drag you around.” He winked. “And besides, if you hadn’t been there, I would have been the one to take all of Gaurr’s blows. I would have broken my spine and the gods may know what more. Right now, Gaurr gave you nothing but bruises and a broken leg, which will heal pretty quickly.”
Azuvas chuckled. “Yeah, probably. But we’ll move a lot slower thanks to that broken leg. So, I guess we’ll have to camp anyway for maybe three days?”
Varin nodded. “Yes, the closest town is a one-day ride, but with this speed we won’t make it in less than three days. Anyway, I’ll keep on checking your leg at every break.” He frowned as he recalled Gaurr’s final attack upon Azuvas, which made the latter collapse. His voice dropped. “I need you, Azuvas. Your powers are great. As a berserker you can easily take out multiple foes at once. I need such power.”
Azuvas grinned. “I knew it would come to this, and I’ve been thinking about what I would respond. Varin, you have my sword at your side. You can count on that.”
“I can certainly use a strong back at my side. Thanks…”
A strange, and yet familiar voice cut him in the middle of his sentence. “How touching…”
"Who's there?" he demanded, spinning around.
"I am the Cold Wind," replied the voice. "You will see me when I deign to reveal myself." Varin began muttering under his breath, but a laugh from the voice stopped him. "So simple a spell will get you nowhere with me, young mage. I had hoped for better from you." Varin raised an eyebrow, unimpressed by the sarcastic stranger. He took a deep breath, concentrating on the words in his head, not giving his opponent a moment to think ahead of him.
A blazing white light burst forth from Varin, revealing the shadows for what and where they were. In mere moments Varin located the stranger, instantly binding him in place.
"Complex enough for you?" he asked as the light died away. The stranger, revealed in solid form now, blinked rapidly and rubbed at his eyes, blinded by the light. Azuvas was reacting similarly, though Varin was unaffected. "Tell me your name."
"I am Winter Vayu, young master Rax," replied the other man, his voice cold and hard, eyes like slivers of ice penetrating through Varin's mind. "Is this any way to greet your employer?"
"The only way," said Varin. "Do you expect me just to trust you?"
"If I wanted you dead you would be," said Vayu with a sigh. "If I could be bothered to break out of this paltry spell that holds me here I could be gone in the blink of an eye, but I am here to talk to you. I was watching when you killed that old man, Guarr. You really know how to manipulate your element."
"My element?" queried Varin. He had not heard the term before.
"Darkness. That's your element. All magic is based in one of the seven elements, and yours is illusory, shadow and darkness. Just like all Umbar. The Palatinate teaches differently to the Umbar, but the foundation of magic remains the same the world over. But that is beside the point for now. I am requesting your services, Varin, and yours too, Azuvas the Berserker. You are highly skilled, the both of you. I could put your talents to much greater use than simply hunting down stray Umbar." Vayu flicked his wrist idly and Varin felt his binding spell unravel, the threads of magic evaporating like mist in the sun. Vayu strolled casually forward, reaching out towards Azuvas who stood, frozen in place, locked upright by magic despite the damage to his leg. Vayu laid a hand on Azuvas's thigh, and the warrior let out a deep sigh of relief.
"What did you do?" asked Varin.
"I healed him, inside and out. I can teach you that, and so many other things, if you take service with me." Varin did not need to give the decision a moment's thought.
"What do you need?" Vayu smiled.
"I believe you have already crossed paths with Zhar Cadavok?" Varin searched his memory for a moment before he recalled the filthy undead wizard, the corpse clothed in the flesh of the innocent. He nodded. "Seek him out and kill him. And any of that ragtag band of misfits and outcasts that travel with him."
"How do you kill someone who's already dead?" Varin wondered, remembering what he had seen of Zhar.
"No mortal weapon will harm him. So use something else. Best of luck," he added with a raised eyebrow and a grin. Then he vanished. Varin looked at Azuvas, who was flexing his repaired leg experimentally.
"I guess we should be going, then?"
If the above post offended you in any way,
please take note that, until further notice, I don't care, so get lost.




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