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 A Dry Night in the City of Rain (Justicars/Open) 
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Stablehand

Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2002 11:36 pm
Posts: 9
Post A Dry Night in the City of Rain (Justicars/Open)
OOC: There is a rule in some old lore of this thrice born realm, which reads that one will not make an ass of oneself.

That is all I will specifically ask at this time.

[center]~~~~~[/center]
The city stretched on forever. Stone and plaster, wood and iron beams hewn into the famliar swirling architecture of it's founders...it lived and breathed with a life all unto it's own. The clamourous din of the merchants during their daily commerce, the blinding colors and music of the Bazaar in full swing, dominating the senses with a dizzying array of things bought and sold from distant lands, or home sweet home...

To the south lay the grand fields, where farmers toiled, cattle lowed and soldiers trained. Emerald grass, here grazed down, elsewhere trampled flat. Sheafs of wheat, springing from the fertile earth and destined for the bakeries.

At the center of all of this, lay the hub of it all. The shineing monolith of the Temple, with it's towers and crenelations, secrets and memories as old as dust. The old stones breathed, and warmed themselves in a blanket of ivy and vine. Within, dozens of chapels held the dozens of worship ceremonies in service to their Lord. Darden, the Dire Prophet. The Temple encircled the ampitheatre, and the ampitheatre encompassed them all. The Bowl, a great sweeping mass of stone said to have fallen from the Heavens themselves...and carven by the founders into this edifice. It swept low, curved with maddening precision to reflect and direct sounds so that whoever stood at the center could both hear and be heard.

The floor was inlaid with mosiacs of brown and gold, defineing a symbol of duality across the entire surface. Light and Dark, chaseing each other head-to-tail...Yin and Yang. Death and Life. Despair and Hope. Within them, danced other patterns and ideas, in a dizzying array no eye could hold the whole of...a labrynth of lessons and ideas.

The chanting of the priests set the pulse of the city without, and it lived. In the shadow of the mountain, by the river to the sea, the city of Rain watched over them...

[center]~~~~~
Somewhere within the Temple Grounds...
~~~~~[/center]
Wind slipped whispering into the small chamber, disturbing the tiny metal tubes hanging down in the window. Danceing on the air, they clinged against one another and sang in a chorus of single, bright notes...

The wind brought no rain, nor had it for weeks now. They were living off the river and the wells, which was fine and good, but strange...the city had been named for it's major feature, which was a downpour. They could go on awhile yet in a dry spell, but it was greatly disconcerting.

The darkness was broken solely by the candles on the tiny wooden altar. Just two, plain white and proudly tall tapers. The flames guttered for a moment in the passing draught, and the wicks curled slowly. Before them knelt a single figure, wreathed in the shadows of the room, her head bowed and her eyes closed. Stark white hair ran down the back of a flowing silk robe. It was tied in a tight braid, for love of convienience. The robe, like the candles, was a relativly plain affair...unbedecked by either arcane runes or gold trim, nor laced with any distinguishing marks that would betray the wearer's rank or status.

It was strange to her, this change in the weather. So close to the shore, and along the riverside...to say nothing of historical prescedence. It the years she had lived here, before the city and during it's rise, there had never been a dry spell like this.

So she gave prayer, for answers.

In the mirror on the wall behind the altar, another supplicant knelt and gave prayer. Two candles flickered in a passing breeze. Someone knocked once, gently at the door.

Wide golden eyes shimmered open in the darkness and looked into themseles across the tiny oak platform. She closed her eyes again slowly, sighing. The breath flickered amidst the candleflames. "
Yes, Arad?"

The only person who ever came calling was her servant, and so it was no great prediction in fact. Nor did he ever come knocking while she was meditating without some good reason. A halfway ancient voice, nervous despite her congeniality, came from the other side. "
Lady Mihn, you asked that I notify you if anything untoward occured in the city?"

She nodded slowly. Arad could not see this, having kept the door shut. Mihn's private chamber was a secret that stayed such, constantly, even to those she theoretically trusted. "[color=green]...M'lady, there have been several recent fires-
"

"
This I know of. Go on."

He wasn't surprised. She didn't rely on just one person to serve as her eyes and ears in the world outside the temple, after all..."
A number of outlanders have arrived as well, under the name of Darden. They profess to seek aid, in some matter, though their request has yet to reach the City Council."

"
And you believe these matters may coincide, in some way?"

Arad smiled vaguely beneath his beard. "
Perhaps, Lady Mihn. They may bring conflict with them."

"
Perhaps. Thank you, Arad...I shall look into these matters personally."

He departed, and Mihn rose from the floor looking thoughtful. Sweeping towards the window, she gazed out over what of the city could be seen from this vantage. Smoke still curled off of the merchant quarter, and much of the city was dark. The only souls awake, for the most part, were the night-shifts of the militia and those others whose proffesions involved the late evening hours.

The near future was looking to be very interesting...

Shinakai turned about and swept out of the chamber. There was much, no doubt, to accomplish...

[center]~~~~~
Never forget where you have been.
You may find yourself in need of returning.
[/center]


Sat Nov 09, 2002 9:16 pm
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Stablehand

Joined: Wed Oct 02, 2002 1:08 am
Posts: 6
Post Night Watch
The wind screamed over the plains from the sea, bringing with it the empty promise of rain. It smelled wrong, lacking the subtle tang of impending humidity...the drought would continue for awhile yet.

The nose making this cynical observation twitched faintly. It was a predatory design, to be sure, and it belonged to a predator. He hung from the ledge with one hand, feet propped against the wall beneath, ready to drop and run at a moment's notice. He wasn't yet hungry, and had long been out of the habit of feeding nightly. Nevertheless, his duties on the night-watch of the city guard provided the occasional hunting opportunity...not that crime was typically a great problem in Rain, except for the recent fires. Granted, there was little reason to suspect arson...the general dryness and heat could very well have sufficed.

Much of the watch was not yet entirely comfortable with Noah. There were creatures of his ilk about, it was known...they liked the trappings of civilization. But there was a difference between knowing they were out there, and working directly with one. They were predators, and most unflinching about it...

They had habits like stareing at you, and sneaking up without neccesarily meaning to.

Nevertheless, it had been Lady Mihn's wish tht he be given a place on the guard. It suited him, in it's way, as he walked the slow path towards coming to grips with his nature. Enough prey to keep the predator distracted, coupled with the company of real people who, while they may think nervously of him, nevertheless made the subtle effort to treat him as a person, not an animal or pawn. Nor did they force him to be in constant contact with others when he required solitude...being equivalent to a small band of normal watchmen, he walked his own patrols most nights.

They were almost too kind...

"
Noah?"

He glanced down at his erstwhile companion. They let him walk his own patrols most nights...sometimes he got a neophyte to show around. Everyone got the duty, on occasion, after they'd been around a few months. This week, Noah had had two. One of them had suffered terrible burns helping a family to escape their homes...Constable Sherinal had remained outside with the bucket chains, ready to extinguish them when they came diving out the windows. Fire was a notorious vampiric vulnerability, but Noah had faced it, and come out mauled...only the quick actions of Sherinal kept him from being reduced to a crisp with Private Cobble.

And only by virtue of his recouprative powers was he not still laid out alongside Cobble in the infirmary. He felt like raw hell, and looked like a true nightmare...black char frameing the crimson eyes of an albino. He would heal, with time...

"
Yes, Constable?"

"
Are you all right up there?"

Noah cocked his head to the side for a moment. "
As well as I can be, at this point in time, I think. The night is silent enough."

She nodded vaguely. Working with Noah was a learning experience...the week had been one terrifically long hike from one end of Rain to the other, seeing the parts of it that as mere farmers or merchants they had never needed to. You could live in a place for a thousand years, and not see all of it, he'd said...and the whole bit with the fire hadn't helped matters in the least. Poor James...the apothacaries had high hopes, but she was never much of an optomist.

She cast about mentally, looking for something to fill the silence with. "
Go home, Constable. Let the Captain know I've released you for the evening. Your shift is nearly over anyway, and if anything comes up, we'll know where to find you."

The Constable nearly made a protest, but Noah had already leapt up onto the roof proper and was gone. Nothing for it really, when it came to that...she headed towards the guard house they were assigned to, shaking her head. Such a strange fellow, even for a leech...

[center]~~~~~
"Oh, but he's my monster. My good dog."
~Cordelia Vorkosigan, Cordelia's Honor (Lois McMaster Bujold)[/center]


Sun Nov 10, 2002 3:28 pm
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Stablehand

Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2002 11:51 pm
Posts: 4
Post His mistress's Pleasure
The beast crouched in the dark alley between two leaning plaster and wood buildings, looking for all the world like a misshapen lump of offal. The stench coming forth from the thing only increased this illusion. But were one to look for a while longer, they might notice the steadily growing puddle of drool at its feet, or the white flash of a fang caught in the light just so. Those foolish enough to come closer would then hear the wuffling of its predatory sniffing over the howling winds. It is unlikely the foolish would come much closer, nor live to have a story to tell if they did.

It was searching for its mistresses pleasure, for she was in a mood. And such happened a couple of times a month, and when this happened, only her favorite of treats would soothe her. But it would seem the smooth skinned things were cowering in their homes, disconcerted by the lack of rain. With one massive, misshapen claw it scratched at its dry skin. The lack of moisture was making its life uncomfortable as well, the mucous that dripped from its many open sores was drying, crusting on its skin. The rain usually helped to keep them moist and running, spreading their virulent, pungent odor.

Its discomfort and line of thought, primitive though it may be, was distracted by the approach of prey. It turned its crouching massive hulk to look towards the origin of the scent to find a woman coming towards him from down the street. She was dressed in the uniform of a constable, but that was of little consequence to it.. Its mistress had little care for the position her pleasure held, only that it screamed. And from experience it knew that the females of the species screamed best. They also fought least, and this made its task a simple one, if only a momentary distraction.

It followed the womans direction of travel, and decided that her destination was a small building situated alongside the city wall. It uncrouched slowly after she passed its hiding space, so as not to reveal himself, and once he was out of her sight, he leapt upward onto the building wall. His claws dug in to the plaster and wood, and ripped large chunks away as he used it to yet again leap, this time landing atop the building. There, again crouching at the buildings edge, he peered over, his clawed hands digging into the buildings roof.

She was almost to her destination, time was almost out.

With an inhuman howl he leapt from the building top and down on his hapless victim...

It was a good night to be a predator.


Sun Nov 10, 2002 7:21 pm
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Flaming Toaster
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Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2002 5:00 pm
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Post 
The shrieks and cries of the heat of battle echoed through the narrow vallow, placed between two barren ridges. In the faint light that the stars provided, the glint of steel and bronze could be seen through the sparsely wooded valley floor...another of the places of ambush the rogues had hidden in since the start of their travel from Civitas Aeternus some three days ago. Of the original twenty eight that had set out on this mission, only two thirds remained....of twenty eight, there were but twenty now, four spearmen and the rest swordsmen and women, hand chosen for this trek into the wilds. And thus, they had been beset from both sides once more.

The clash of steel rang loudly, and even as the fray strengthened, the battle crazed berserkers striking out from the trees and jumping directly into the fray, swords raised with such terrifying power that they could not have been human.

Seska Kardis, wearing only the grey and silver robes of burial, rather than the white and gold of office, slashed downwards with the heavy oaken staff she carried. The man staggered under the first blow, taken offgaurd by what he had assumed a crippled warrioress, or perhaps a priestess...Seska grinend as the light of his hunger dimmed. The second blow crushed the mans skull, spilling his brain onto the rough road. Elsewhere, the cries of those derranged beings assailing with renewed strength assaulted her ears.

In the depths of her mind, she knew who was responsible. Every night, she could feel his agonizing gaze upon her as she tossed and turned in the restless manner of the deceased. That, and the occasional rest, if it could be called that, afforderd her by she could only assume as her god...

Avanth Lomician. The name haunted her waking dreams and tormented her at night. Ever since...since he had come to Koriasai after his banishment, managing to be defeated by someone or something other than she...he had been devoting a lot of attention to trying to destroy her a piece at a time. Yet, she wondered, he never faced her openly.

Of this...she could make no sense of it. He could crush her in a single blow, yet he hid away. Something about her terrified him, or in as much as terror could grip that old horror. He resorted to sendign sorties to deal with her. There had been no successes yet.

Seska turned in time to see another young idiot, twisted by the power that gripped him, rushing her. She dealt with this one simply by grabbing him as he got within range, and the blissful feeling of his life wilting, being drawn to her to feed the ragin magis that sustained her existence consumed her for but a moment. He let a small shuddering gasp pass his lips before she released him. He staggered and slowly dropped to his knees, the light of life fading from his eyes. She stepped across his prone body, and wandered into the midst of the combat zone.

There were bodies all about the field, many of them cloven in two or sickly twisted....the bandits bodies here neatly dissected as if by the trained hand of a healer, or run through by the surviving pikemen...but here and there, along the way...

What the Lord had done to these men was all too apperent. As she passed by the fallen of her own ranks, she realised dimly that these men were very, very strong. The limbs of her troops unlucky enough to be caught undefended were torn from their bodies while they yet lived...and, judging by the corpse she now mulled over, they were then disembowled by the brutes who seemed to use their bare hands more than their weapons.

All around her she could hear the sounds of her men fighting back the enemy, and she shuddered at teh thought of what the Lord may send against her next. He was creative, that much was certain.

"Golds! Form on me!"

Shouts of recognition came as the command was spread down the broken and scattered lines, and slowly the sound of fighting drew nearer. Her men and women crept backwards in retreat towards her, parrying the punishign strikes, some of them giving a lot faster than others. Allready, she could see the Gold Tigers, her msot elite of warriors, were tiring. Relentless fighting over the last few days ahd sapped their strength slowly.

A shriek erupted as one mroe of the pikemen was downed, the barbarians falling upon the screaming man, until his screams were cut short as they ripped his throat out, allready begining the canabalistic taking of his flesh from his limbs and forearms. Seska did not blanch at the sounds of their fervored feeding, instead keeping her attentions focused on those who still had life left in them. Slowly, they formed a loose ring about her as they diengaged from their enemies, whom had been stunned for a moment by her sorceries, and prepared for their renewed assault. Of the remaining forces, now only eleven remained.

Seska made a motion to them to get ready, but things would not run well. The world had somethign against her this night.

The keening cries of a further hundered of the power drunk warriors echoed and shattered what little courage remained in the allready exhausted warriors she had remaining her. She turned, and issued the command to retreat, but not before those on the ridge began to hail arrows upon their meagerly defended position. Two more of her Golds went down to arrows, before all of, including herself, had broken into a run.

They had not gone far before they realised they were not being pursued. The skyline was devoid of warriors, for they still stood looking on from the distance, as if they had been barred entry into the lands beyond where she had run. Or, she thought, they would simply wait here until she passed near again, and then ambush her once more. That having been figured out in her head, she turned to look at those left with her.

Two women, and one of them was badly hurt, and seven men, all of whom had received on injury or another. And her destination...

Where was it? They had been so bent on escape of these marrauding raiders that they had lost track of how far they had come.

She looked up, and noticed that the once steep and sharp ridges had become more worn, and that behind her lay the vast peaks of cold ice and snow and granite. They were coming to the last straggling ridges that, while still stony as the backbone of the chain, were a lot less imposing...

They had followed the ancient roadcut most of the way through those looming peaks, for straying from it was dangerous...it was all too easy to get lost in the forests and snowfields that abounded in the higher altitudes.

Here the road ahd faded to nothing more than a rough if slightly even place in the ridge side, erosion having worn most of the cut itself out. Seska pushed her weary and ragged band of men and women....urging them to go on. Their dear friends were not far behind, and if they tried to rest for a night it wasl ikely they would never wake up.

The road rose slightly out of the valley floor, begining to turn slightly southward around the stony shoulder of the ridge. It took very little time to clear it, and what she saw beyond was perhaps theb est thing she had seen since she had set off.

The pale light of the stars and the thin moon illuminated parts of a city...in places, it glowed where torches burned along important avenues, she thought. Off in the distance, the ocean shimmered gently, no sign of storm lingering anywhere.

Quickly, she forced her forces, such as remained, along at a quick trot. The Ridge and the road behind it faded quickly in the distance as they covered the mile or so that existed between the West gate and the ridge...

_________________
GM Ordo Draco | Co-GM Demonic Reality | GM Revenant & Calael
And when the men on the chess board get up and tell you where to go.
And you've just had some kinda mushroom, and your mind is moving low.
Ask Seska. I think he knows...


Sun Nov 10, 2002 10:00 pm
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Stablehand

Joined: Wed Oct 02, 2002 1:08 am
Posts: 6
Post Predation
Noah knelt, a hunched silouette against the moonlit rooftop of the signal tower. Gray cloak and chalk hair fluttered faintly in the breeze as he gazed out over the landscapes surrounding the city. A thousand scents from a thousand sources wafted around and about, but not up here. Here there was only the silence of the night, and the lonely company of the heavens...

He looked to the east, and saw the sea beneath the moon. There was a solitary desert land...always moving, but savage and full of mystery beyond the fareing of mortals or parasites among them. He wondered, some nights, what lay in those sapphire depths.

His gaze turned north, across the lower hills and plains of that quarter. Beyond the wall of the city, in this strange grove carven by ancient hands older than even himself...the distant forest shimmered greenly, and his eyes move on to the west.

To the west lay the mountains. Monolithic, massive, magnificient edifices of the earth. They were close to the city, and towered over it like some dragon's backbone at rest. The bones of the world, protrudeing beneath a thin skin of rich earth and thick forest. And from them-

-From them someone was coming. Noah's eyes narrowed suspiciously. Traders came mainly from the south, never through the mountain pass. It was a treacherous place, and he knew of only a few people in the city that ever did go there. He never knew why. Strange, very strange...

He began to slip down the side of the building to the street when a whistle sounded shrilly in the distance. An alarum cry, some trouble. Certainly danger more than whoever had sounded it was immediatly prepared to cope with. Noah hit the ground running, blood aflame with intent. The travelers could wait, right at the moment. At the moment, Duty called.

[center]~~~~~
The Guard House
~~~~~[/center]
It had been a most queer night, all things considered. It was kind of Noah to have given her the rest of the shift off, and the elf wasn't about to argue the fact at this point. The streets were quiet in the wake of the fires, but a few taverns were still open. All that remained was to report in, get home, and go find something to do for an hour or so before bed.

Tomorrow was a duty-free day, too, so she could afford to indulge a bit as far as sleep.

A yard from the door, something went thump. Something had landed atop the Guard House...something large that went thump...

And almost immediatly thereafter went ARGH! and leapt down at her. Constable Sherinal moved on pure reflex, ducking into a roll out from under the thing's flight path. She came up with her sword in-hand, and her whistle between her lips, shrilling sharply a single, high note halfway out of human hearing. Glass rattled faintly, and across the quarter watchmen turned and came running...

[center]~~~~~
Is that a death, and are there two?
Is Death that woman's mate?

~Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner[/center]


Sun Nov 10, 2002 11:06 pm
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Stablehand
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Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2002 5:00 pm
Posts: 62
Location: The red desert realm
Post 
From a distance I look out upon this city, a crazed mass of building and flesh to my senses. I am not a complete stranger to such places, I have seen great settlements like this often enough when we war upon the heathens, but normally those are the ones we seek to tear down stone by bloodied stone. To live in somwhere like this seems an unthinkable idea, never would Mother order us to build a city in the red desert. No, out there in the sands we keep our settlements to villages, small towns at the most, it is the most that the desert will sustain.

I push myself up from four feet to two, walking as a man would and not as the beast that I appear to be. Snapping my jaws at the night air I find myself wondering once more why Mother sent me this way rather than letting my prowl the boundaries of our lands. There seems little reason why I should travel so far from her side at this time, what if the heathens should attack while I am gone? Our soldiers are well-trained I know, but I am the only one that Mother trusts to lead them and teach the song of the Lord to those who have fallen into the lies of Foret and Isonia. And if the heretics were to try and claim the lands of the desert once more I should be by Mother's side, protecting her from those that will never understand the depth of her devotion to the Lord.

And there is another fear. That while I am away the witch will try to take my place in Mother's heart, turning her against me and the God of Sorrows. I do not trust that Sidhe witch, she is no child of the Lord, she doesn't hear His song. She is a faithless one, I can see the poison in her soul even though no one else can. That one will try to change us, she'll try to warp our faith and make us believe in her version of the 'truth'. I won't let her take Mother from the Lord's side, I'll tear out her wretched heart and offer it to Darden before that ever happens.

Mother why did you command me to travel?, I growl to myself though I know the answer well enough. It was her vision that sent me from our lands, Mother performed the ritual and saw that I must be here but she never spoke of why I must come to this place that is so alien to my home. it almost seems pointless for me to come to this city when there is so much more need for me in the desert. And yet, Mother's visions come from the Lord, to disobey them would be like going against Darden Himself, a sin of great magnitude that I shall never commit. If the Lord demands that I be present here then it will be so, no matter how uneasy I am in doing so.

My pure white fur catches the faint light, if any were to look at me now they'd probably think that I glowed. There again they's more than likely be too concerned about what a beast that looked like me was doing anywhere near them. Vicious, sharp claws and fangs to match, a melding of wolf and bear to the eye, Darden armed me well when he formed this flesh for me. Every ounce of strength I have comes from Him and so it will be used to serve Him till he sees fit to return me to the spirit alone. but till that day I shall be Mother's faithful son, her precious one, her clever one, the only one who can truly love her.

I stalk towards the city, clothed in my luminescent fur alone, armed with nothing save the natural weapons this body has. The thought of entering the city concerns me, to leave the open spaces behind and confine myself willingly to the enclosed areas within. It seems madness to me that any living creature would live within these huge settlements, to deny themselves any part of the wilderness. They are like sleep, tamed by the shepherd of brick and mortar, safe perhaps from most dangers but easy prey when the wolf comes knocking at their doors. There'll never be any city that I call home, no I'll stick to the wild places and be predator rather than prey.

The city looms ever closer, almost seeming to wait for me. I wonder what this place's guards will say when they see me, the half-question brings a wry grin to my maw.

_________________
[center]~~~SO~~~
Beast of Darden, Child of Ebony
I don't do this because I hate you, but rather because He loves you[/center]


Mon Nov 11, 2002 4:09 am
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Flaming Toaster
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Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2002 5:00 pm
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Location: Personal Universe v2.01.05
Post 
They approached slowly, for the wear and tear of their travel as well as the fighting they had endured weighed heavily upon all of them, with the onyl possible exception being Seska herself.

As they dropped from the foothills of the mountains to their rear, the view of the ocean vanished, and the walls of the great, old city began to loom higher and higher. Even in the pale light that was afforded by the moon, they could see these walls were old, and ornate as a wall could be. Seska estimated them at being easily fifty feet high, andi f she had any knowledge of construction, they were probably half as thick.

Some ways down a huge gate was set into the wall, its gate open even at this hour. The gaurd house, if that were what it was, was alight with the warm glow of a fire or perhaps candles...they were still awake, she told herself as they drew ever nearer.

When they were withing shouting distance, she heard the cries of gaurds upon the walls themselves as they announced her approach...at about the same time she heard the calls of alarm from other parts of the great city itself. She slowed her pace, and her weary and injured allies drew a deep sigh of relief as they strolled at a more or less leisurely pace.

Her and her meager vangaurd drew up to the lighted semi-circle of torch light, and she heard the cries of challenge come from the gate itself. A man emerged from the darkness afforded by the interior, and as he came from the shadows, Seska was able to get a more clear view of the man than before. He wore chainmail over leather armor. A pale gold cloak wavered in the faint breeze of the night, sometimes catching the light when the wind blew it the right way. It was clasped by the Bowl of Darden, which glinted in the tochlight like the holy relic it was. ASide from that, the man wore a plain steel helmet, and the steel at his side glinted with all the sense of sharpness a swordsman strives to get from his blade.

He drew himself up as they approached, and smiled slightly at them.

"Fair eve, travelers...dost thou seek entrance at this gate?"

Seska halted, and waited for her companions, some of whom were being carried by others at this point, to catch up fully. And then she stepped forward and curtsied in as best a fashion as she could wearing the plain grey and silver robes of her burial attire. The lady smiled faintly, but it was without warmth or mirth...empty and hollow even if it was not meant to be so.

"Indeed, Sire, I seek enterance through this gate. I also have need of any healers that may be about...me and my men encountered some bandits and thugs along our way here..."

The gaurdsman took this in and thought for a moment, and then signaled to one of the gaurds presiding on the walls, whom immediatly left his post with great haste.

"Indeed...thou travelest from a queer direction, m'lady. If you will pardon the delay, M'lady, Healers come to attend your wounded. But I must know, why for do you travel from the -west-? Naught lay therin but ruins, and worse things..."

Seska's smile faded slightly, as if somethign troubled her, but she recovered quickly. Bad memories always have a way of making themselves felt at the most innapproriate of times.

"Sire, indeed we travel from the west, from the thrice desecrated valley of Koriasai. It is now consecrated ground...for I among other have managed to drive the fell shadow that presided over those lands away. And ruins still lay that way, though we have made progress in undoing the damage of a millenia or more of tyranny and despoilment of the land."

At her words, the gaurd fell silent, and then quickly turned from her and the rest of them to go and open the portculis and the gate itself. He said naught to them even as the healers came from behind thos closed gates, rushing in their own way to see to those who had been hurt grievously, and then grabbing the ones in most need and hauling them along into the city itself, where they quickly vanished from sight in the gloom and murk of twilight.

However, the rest of them were not ignored either. Other healers came, and soon Seska found she was being guided through the gate as well, passing the disconcerted gazes of the gaurds who had come to watch over this most unusual event. She was guided through the dark city streets, a maze of them, and brought closer towards the city center.

They passed beneath and archway, where the remaining injured were taken off to be healed as well, leaving Seska and a couple of her gaurd behind.

Yet another of these priests came, and she was told to stay where she was, before he too scurried off into the temple, leaving her alone in the temple grounds...for she knew that was what these had to be, the way it was built...

She stood, waiting with a patience only the undead can achieve, even though that very trait had made some of their hosts a little nervous for whatever reason they could not guess...

_________________
GM Ordo Draco | Co-GM Demonic Reality | GM Revenant & Calael
And when the men on the chess board get up and tell you where to go.
And you've just had some kinda mushroom, and your mind is moving low.
Ask Seska. I think he knows...


Wed Nov 13, 2002 11:55 pm
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Stablehand

Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2002 11:36 pm
Posts: 9
Post Old Aquantances
The silence of waiting was punctuated at present by the sharp click of an old oak stave upon the polished stone of the floor. It echoed off the high ceiling, buffeting about the crenelations and curvatures...but no footfalls sounded with it. A dark elf, skin as black as raw ebony in the twilight, traversed the distance of the outer hall purposefully. Vivid golden eyes looked thoughtfully upon the form currently awaiting her arrival.

The councilor announceing the visitors arrival had given as clear a description as he could, and it had been enough then to arouse Shinakai's suspicions. There were elves enough in the world, but only one fitting that specific appearance and coming from that particular godsforsaken wasteland who would take it into her head to come here...

The sight of the new-chilled lich was sufficient to confirm those suspicions.

"
Seska Kardis, as I live and breath! They told me you came from Koriasai...I ought to have known immediatly with whom I would be speaking..." Emerald silk fluttered and flowed as Mihn's hand and arm circled out in an expansive gesture of welcome. Small, perfectly white teeth flashed in a tight, sharp smile. "I had scarcely imagined to see you again...when was the last? Schooling we were, in Koriasai. Good days were those, yes? Come, there is much to ask and answer, and I have yet to dine. These human kitchenwrights, they do wonders you would not believe!"

Shinakai turned about, gestureing for Seska to follow scarcely without a pause. Oh, indeed these were turning into strange days. She gestured to a nearby attendant, an ageing man in plain brown robes of coarser material. He nodded, acknowledgeing the messages laced in the motions of her hands as she rattled on. Arad had never heard mention of Seska before, but then again...Lady Mihn was not terribly prone to shareing her past with anyone at all. Nevertheless, the sudden appearance of someone she apparently named friend was doing wonders already to lighten the overal mailase brought on by the drought.

He nodded politely and wandered off towards the stairs down. There were preparations to be made, and news to be delivered. Koriasai, purged of it's shroud...strange days, but perhaps not dire of omen...

"
Tell me though, what is it you seek here? Surely the pass is a dangerous thing, to come looking up old aquantances merely. It is said you have restored Koriasai...?"

She let the question trail, cueing Seska to answer and ask as she felt fit. There was much to ask and much to answer yet, and more than enough time to do it in.

For the moment.
[center]~~~~~
Knowledge is knowing what.
Wisdom is knowing why.
[/center]


Thu Nov 14, 2002 12:37 am
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Stablehand
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Location: The red desert realm
Post 
Even as I approach I can see the soldiers at the gates, their hands reaching towards their weapons as their watchful eyes fall on me. It was to be expected of course, there are few outside Mother's lands who realise who and what I am. Most of those who inhabit the realms of this isle seem to think that their eyes alone can tell them the whole truth about a creature. Often I have entered another's lands and seen only fear in the eyes of the heathen populace at the sight of me. The only thing that those people should have feared was the Lord's wrath upon their souls when He judges them after death.

Halt, who goes there?, the words come out of the darkness, tinged with uncertainity. I wonder if they think that I am some heathen abomination come to try and take their lands from them in the name of a false God? As if I would ever worship at the altars of Foret or Isonia, even the idea brings the bitter taste of bile to my mouth. I would take my own life before I ever bowed down at Their feet and brought such dishonour to the God of Sorrows.

Sniffing at the air I catch the scent of the gate-guard before me, the foul perfume of his sweat and the metallic-twang of the sword. His hand strays to the hilt, dancing upon the metal as he tries to size up what kind of threat I am to the city. Rather than make him any more nervous than he already is I pause, not coming any closer though I can tell that I am still within the range of any bowmen that might be standing on the walls. Now there's a mistake I'd rather not make if this realm were hostile to my beliefs, but I trust that Darden will watch over me. The Lord will ensure that I am safe, I place myself in His hands in all things.

I cock my head to one side, meeting the guard's eyes, I mean you no harm friend, I half-growl. He glares at me suspisciously, perhaps he never thought that a beast like me would be capable of speech. I am Silus, follower of the Officium, son of the Vision-Seeker Ebony, worshipper of the one true Lord Darden, the introduction is one that Mother made me learn by rote before I left. She thought that it would be best for me to know how to explain myself to the lands that I moved through on this journey.

The guard looks me over, taking in everything about me, sizing up what manner of threat I might pose to this place. A warrior I may be, but not even if Darden strengthened me a thousand times over could I destroy a whole city by myself. I doubt that there is a warrior in the world who would even claim to be able to do that without the aid of magic or an army.

And...and what business do you have here?, the man's question betrays his uncertainity. On the one hand I am of the same religion as him, opening coming to him in the peace of our shared faith. And yet at the same time I do not appear as a peaceful creature, I would look far more at home on the battlefield than strolling down the streets of any kind of settlement. Though I do not possess the ability to read a man's soul I can tell what this one is thinking for it is the same thing that anyone would think in his place. He is plagued by his conflicting knowledge about me, weighing up the two sides of the argument in his mind.

But to answer his question, if I were human I would be showing some signs of nervousness myself at this point. Mother never told me what to say if they asked me why I was here and I was never one for thinking on my feet. I...I..., the words don't come and I can see the guard's eyes hardening he looks at me, his hand gripping his sword firmly now. I am here on a...pilgramage...visiting the temples to the Lord...to offer up prayers to Him. I don't know where it came from but as I turn the excuse over in my mind it seems to make a great deal of sense. Perhaps that is the reason that Darden sent Mother the vision that led to me coming here, maybe He does want me to go on some kind of pilgramage.

The guard thinks about it for a moment before relaxing his hold on his weapon, gesturing towards the city instead, Go in then and be at peace.

I walk past the guard and his fellows, through the gate and into the city itself, almost feeling the brickwork close in on me. It will be a hard task to live within the walls of this place even for the couple of days that it will take me to search out the main temple and worship Him there. But I must do it for Mother has said that it will be so and she is rarely wrong in her visions.

_________________
[center]~~~SO~~~
Beast of Darden, Child of Ebony
I don't do this because I hate you, but rather because He loves you[/center]


Thu Nov 14, 2002 3:26 pm
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The echoing sound of the tap tip tap, the sound of Mihn's staff as she crossed the hall roused Seskas attention before her men even knew that there was another approaching.

Seska turned slowly to face the oncoming stranger, but recognition flickered in her dull, pale gold eyes, reflected abck in the bright gold of her host.

Seska lowered her head in respect for her host, allowling a thin, emotionless smile to cross her lips.

"I see, Lady Mihn, that time has been kind to you as well."

The Lady let slide anything regarding food...something she did not need nor could she enjoy anymore. As the Mihn motioned to follow, Seska made her own gestures to her remaining men, whom were to stay behind while she talked with Mistress Shinakai.

Seska took up a position alongside the old dark elf, staff, previously unnoticed, now in hand. Their footfalls would have echoed, yet the only noise was the offbeat sound of staves clickign along.

" Tell me though, what is it you seek here? Surely the pass is a dangerous thing, to come looking up old aquantances merely. It is said you have restored Koriasai...?"


The Lady paused for a moment at this...bad things stirred about the restoration of the valley...but things that needed discussing all the same.

"Alas, Lady Mihn, that is what I have come to this place for. Indeed I have purged Koriasai of its evil parasite...but I have done only that, purged it. It may well be overtaken again, and for that I need help in preventing. But there are also other matters...."

Perhaps at this point one would have noticed that the Lady only breathed when she spoke, and at no other tiem did her chest rise and fall.

"No, Lady Shinakai, I came here seeking help. Dark days may yet await me, and those of the freed lands of Koriasai...I am not strong enough to hold that place yet on my own. And..."

Her words trailed off into thoughts. She was by now becoming used to be unalive...

_________________
GM Ordo Draco | Co-GM Demonic Reality | GM Revenant & Calael
And when the men on the chess board get up and tell you where to go.
And you've just had some kinda mushroom, and your mind is moving low.
Ask Seska. I think he knows...


Thu Nov 14, 2002 10:33 pm
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Stablehand

Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2002 11:51 pm
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Post Re: Predation
Quote:
A yard from the door, something went thump. Something had landed atop the Guard House...something large that went thump...

And almost immediatly thereafter went ARGH! and leapt down at her. Constable Sherinal moved on pure reflex, ducking into a roll out from under the thing's flight path. She came up with her sword in-hand, and her whistle between her lips, shrilling sharply a single, high note halfway out of human hearing. Glass rattled faintly, and across the quarter watchmen turned and came running...[/color]
[center]~~~~~
Is that a death, and are there two?
Is Death that woman's mate?

~Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner[/center]


"The damnable thing could MOVE!" was the first thought that drummed through its primitive mind as it landed next to the creature that was now making such a terrible racket. The noise, in fact, was almost enough to paralyze its sensitive predators ears. But no matter, the noisy thing would soon be silenced.

It turned to face the Constable with a sinister lack of alacrity, flakes of dried ooze drifting through to the ground like macabre leaves. Its two eyes rolled hideously in its head, rust-red pupils dilating and contracting repeatedly as they dipped repeatedly in and out of view, but above these, staring like a beacon from hells very depths, was single, solitary, watching eye. It was silver of pupil, the white black, and its iris shaped disturbingly like a human skull, and it locked its baleful stare directly on Sherinals pulsing throat.

And ever so slowly, it raised its hideously asymetrical form upon its three hind legs, with all the menacing intent of a crane raising a wrecking ball. Its three nostrils flaired, and a horrible wheezing sound was to be heard, accompanied by the bubbling sound of the creature gargling its own mucus amidst a ships graveyard of ragged many edged teeth. A great many things clung tightly to its hideous form, looking for all the world like undulating parasites feeding from its massive form.

After one last wince from the piercing sound of the whistle, it raised one viciously clawed hand, and swung it at Sherinal with a horrible burbling laugh.


Fri Nov 15, 2002 11:50 pm
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Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2002 11:36 pm
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Post Measure for Measure
"...and you wish to know if the city of Rain can lend assistance?" Shinakai chuckled softly. It was typical of her old friend to make such extravagant gestures against the establishments of centuries. The coast had always been predominantly neutral, as far as war was concerned. To lend military aid against possible attacks was near unthinkable...

"
You know, Seska, that we have always strived to stay out of the wars of others. We kept out of Koriasai's conflicts always, even unto it's fall. In turn, many dark powers have overlooked our community, and it's sanctity remains...a paramount concern. Still..." She trailed off, letting the thought turn in the silence for a few moments.

"
We are not without compassion. Consider us a safe haven, should you need it. The old tunnels in the mountains should serve, if you should need a neutral ground to meet on for...whatever purpose. This is all I have a right to commit, without further council...and I pray you find it sufficient, for I doubt that the others will be fond of even that much. We do not like strangers too close, you understand."

The drow smiled vaguely. It was exactly on the line of what she could offer by way of assistance. By rights, the old ruins in the mountains were hers by birthright...though this was always something she felt was cumbersome to a priest, and so she had left them to the ages. Noone else had ever claimed them though, and if any did decide to dispute her offer to Koriasai, she could thwart them at a word.

Yet one last thing had to be stipulated.

"
...but if you do bring any outsiders to the mountain, you must be watchful. Rain is secluded. They may see it. They must not find a clear path here. You knew the way to come, one of several...guard these as secret, for none but Koriasai ever knew or knows. Let it stay so. as much as you can. It is all I shall ask of you."
[center]~~~~~
Suffering is a Truth, for it breeds Hope, which is sacred.[/center]


Sat Nov 16, 2002 7:32 pm
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Stablehand

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Post Measure for Measure
The...Thing, struck the pavement with a hideous squelch...and as it turned and rose to 'face' the elf (if such as it had could be truly called a face), Sherinal decided that it really did deserve the capital 'T'. Such Things live in the darkest hours of night-terror, and it lumbered on three impossible legs like some terror out of a child's closet made horribly real.

She backed away slowly, slashing the air warningly with her sword. It hissed through the air, and her shield came up behind it in the same motion...a steel-and-wood barrier, it probably wouldn't hold terrifically well. Still, it was about a thousand times better than thin air. The watch was alerted, so she only had to activly avoid being killed for a short while yet before the proverbial cavalry arrived...
[center]
~~~~~[/center]
Noah sped amongst the rooftops, a dark blur of earthen and gold. Bootheels thrummed a frentic tattoo against the stonework, waking residents and startling cats and rats alike. The whistle had come from the nearest watchhouse...

As he closed, he heard the sound. The hideous gurgle of something huge and foul issued up from the street below, and he came to a dead halt perched upon the ledge above. Gazeing down, he saw the creature turn towards the accosted officer. Sherinal raised her shield, stepping away from the...the Thing. Noah had seen any number of terrors, but nothing he had encountered quite compared to the hideous wreckage of flesh and disease currently turning with deliberate, menaceing slowness towards It's intended target. Even from this distance it reeked to Noah's nose, of things that, like it's visage, nothing quite matched.

Rot came close to being the only viable adjective. He gritted his teeth, and crouched low on the edge of the roof. No acting on impulse, see if Sherinal could handle it...wait for more backup. The predator urge resonated within the albino, a coiled knot of rage and murder waiting to leap...but a cunning beast it was, and it knew when to hold it's claws. Make sure it is suitably distracted, and make the first strike a killing blow...

If it could even be killed...
[center]
~~~~~
I will not pretend to be any kind of Angel, light, dark or otherwise.
Nor will I call myself a Demon. Rather presumptuous.
I am a predator. I accept that.
I am also myself, no matter what Fate or Fortune may say otherwise...
[/center]


Sat Nov 16, 2002 8:03 pm
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Stablehand

Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2002 11:51 pm
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Post Predative Skirmish
Its claw collided with Sherinals shield, reducing the object to a mess of twisted metal and splintered wood, and driving the constable to her knees. In its odd triple stepped gait it strode up to hover directly over Sherinal, drips of its fetid drool plopping on to her armor and the mangled remains of her shield. More flakes of dried ooze drifted down around her in a hideous parody of cherry blossoms around a doomed Samurai. It had every intent to strike while she was off balance.

But something caught its attention, and as if it wasn't horrid enough, the one steady eye moved across its flesh, rolling back across its head, and its two other eyes ceased their rolling to settle on Sherinal with a pulsing stare.
The one steady eye centered its gaze on a nearby roof-top, something familiar was present, something of an ilk it had encountered before. Forgetting its current prey for a moment, its massive bulk began to turn so it could settle all three eyes on the roughtop.. Something crouched there, another predator.. A long burbling sigh of pleasure spewed forth from its twisted visage, followed by a series of squelching popping sounds such as that of bubbles coming up through tar, complete with the foul stench of fetid gas.

It centered its attention on its fellow predator, and raised its claw to motion in a loathesome parody of a come-hither motion to its newly designated asperser.


Sat Nov 16, 2002 8:48 pm
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Post 
The darkness once again was rising up, banishing the vile sun into the depths of the horizon. THe time for him to wake was quickly arising, already his sences were begining to arounse, he could feel the cool of the night creeping across the earth, the very earth that he himself was buried in. As he felt the last of the cursed sun's rays leave his area, his plunged a hand through the earth, reaching to see how far it was that he had concealed himself under the ground. Feeling the cool air on his wrist and hand, he knew it wasn't far, and with his uncanny strength he would easily be able to get out.

Shaking off the dirt that felt the need to cling to him like fleas to the dogs, he cursed the sun for making him hide. One day it would be banished, and the night would prevail, the prophecies would come true to those who were faithful, and to those who has the patience to wait out the time, in time, all things die, this he knew first hand. Walking along, picking at his nails to get the dirt out, he smiled up at the moon, why could it not stay there forever? why couldn't the gods notice the faithful servents of the night, and grant them eternal night, let their power run supream. Walking along, so used to silence, he did not even crack so mucha s a twig as he walked along, his feel hardl even leaving tracks in the soft moss. The forest was his playground, there were few who could best him in here, and very few of those could survive his wrath when they ran into each other.

Thinking back to the days of old, he knew vaugly where he was headed, although not as well as some would have wished, he was an old vampire, his mind held in to much knowledge, and little things such as places, and names held little meaning to him, unless they were owrthy of his notice, and those of them that were, soon died anyway, only his kind were immortal, the rest withered in time's hourglass like the tree's around him, he knew, would soon whither and die.

A silhouette stood out in the darkness, a city or sorts, he senced being of power in there, not food, but others even like him, other vampires. SOmething rare to behold, usually he did not find those of his kind waiting around in some city unless there was a good reason. This could get interesting. Smiling to himself, he let his presence reach out to the other vampires who dwelled within, let them know of him, and that he intended to come their way. Would they come out and confront him? Either way, it would be good.

Smiling, he stopped and let his sences reach out, taking note of what was happening, and who noticed him as well.

_________________
Pyro of the lands of Maxim


Sun Nov 17, 2002 5:06 pm
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Seska ceased to walk, and turned slowly upon Shinakai. She smiled faintly, but only just.

"Aye, Mihn. But...while I appreciate the gesture, I do not desire assistance from Rain in such a manner. My enemy allready knows of Rain...my meeting for any purpose near it will give him the only reason he needs to move in and dispose of your people. I would not have that."

The lich fiddled with her staff irritably, and then turned from Mihn.

"In fact...I am not at all certain that the Nemisis would choose to stay himself from assaulting Rain on pure principle that it has remained unafflicted by war for so long. No, I would not have him given reason to bring Rain into ruin."

She turned back, but sparkiling somewhere deep within her eyes, those bottomless wells of the soul, sparked fear.

"My desire is more spiritual and mystic in nature. I am not even sure that it can be achieved. Yes, we had taken Koriasai, his seat of power, from Him...but as surely as I stand before you now, is as surely as my blood runs chill and my heart beats not."

She strode closer towards Mihn, begining to pace nervously. Something deep inside her cried not to carry on with this foolishness...something deep within even went so far as to demand the dark elf's life slain. THe Lady reeled under these blows...the nature of the undead was naturally evil. Morals seem to be the first thing that goes with unlife.

"Yes...I could continue my fight in my current state...but it is far more likely that I will join the side of darkness again, and in that moment be lost to all who cared permenently. I bear the curse of the undead. I came here seeking aid in removing this curse...and to hell with wether I live or die because of it..." She spoke in a soft, turmoil filled voice.

Seska looked back up into the golden eyes of Mihn Shinakai. "Are you willing to do that?]"

_________________
GM Ordo Draco | Co-GM Demonic Reality | GM Revenant & Calael
And when the men on the chess board get up and tell you where to go.
And you've just had some kinda mushroom, and your mind is moving low.
Ask Seska. I think he knows...


Mon Nov 18, 2002 11:33 pm
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Post 
Relaxing in a chair, gently massaging the spot behind his eyes with his fingers Sariel looked up at the ceiling thinking of nothing but easing his headache. Taking another sip of ale before returning to his massaging Sariel had been up all night trying to ease his skull, he knew from experience that the pain was from his Gift, the Gift that allowed him to fire into a mob of men and be able to pick out targets without visual verification.

Standing up and pacing around the room again with his eyes closed Sariel knew without looking where the board that groaned was located and the exact place to put his bear foot if he wanted to be picking out a splinter. Just having decided it might be a good idea to slam his head into the wall in an attempt to ease the pounding pain Sariel was distracted by noise that pounded its way across his ceiling. The overhead pounding noise stopped but the noise had caught his attention. Sariel knew where the thing was on the roof that had made the noise simple by thinking of it. But with that insight also came a smell in his noise that was not present in the room he was in at all. The smell was that of death and corruption, the smell the first person arriving at an entire city killed by plague might smell.

Unthinkingly Sariel moved slowly over to the window to let out the un-present smell from the room. Choking on the smell while he started to open the window Sariel looked out and saw a lump of some kind outside the nearby building. The guard registering in his mind not at all, the visual contact with the lump sent Sariel stumbling backwards in surprise with his mind reeling and swaying like a drunk in a windstorm, to trip over the chair he had been sitting in earlier. Having tripped and hit his head for the first time ever in his life Sariel crawled over to his black bow and arrows never realizing his headache was gone.


Tue Nov 19, 2002 10:06 am
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Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2002 11:36 pm
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Post Of Strange Tideings
Mihn smiled softly as Seska spoke. Many shadows had danced over their nearest neighbor over the turning of the centuries, and many shadows danced behind the faded gold of the Dragonslayer's eyes. The more things changed, it seemed...the more they stayed the same.

"
You crave no small boon from me, Seska of Kardis...even as you bring tideings of darkness into my House."

The drow folded her hands thoughtfully around offered up a silent prayer to the Infinitly Merciful. She knew no singular answers, and the ones she had were not going to be the ones Seska wanted to hear. But they were the only glimmering shards of hope that she had for the elf.

"
You died once, this I know...and were returned. The arc of your destiny is incomplete, yet despite the best efforts of those who would defy it...you carry on. Now you are cursed...or blessed, as some would have it, with the half-gift of an immortal corpse. But you do not wish this to be so..."

She rose, abandoning dinner to the servant's, and swept away beckoning for Seska to follow her. "
You know I will help you, if I can...but Miracles are the province of the Gods themselves. And if their like and Fate have made you what you are, then no mere whispered pleas of mine are going to undo what you have become..."

"I can help you find the answers you seek, Dragonslayer, but you alone must know them when you see them, and it is you who must upon them act..."
[center]~~~~~
There is no hope, but I may be wrong.[/center]


Wed Nov 20, 2002 11:22 pm
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Joined: Wed Oct 02, 2002 1:08 am
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Post Rage
Noah watched with apparent impassivity as the creature shattered Sherinal's shield like so much tinderwood. The elf had slim to little chance against a beast like that...Noah wasn't even quite sure where he stood against it. Such Thing's were no common wilderness creature, and nothing the likes of which he recalled outside of a truly derranged mage's laboratory.

That was a disturbing thought all by itself...what if this thing was an agent of some other power? Still...there was no time for such thoughts...at least until after the Thing was well away from the city.

Grumph loomed hideously over Sherinal, and the vampire withdrew something from his sash, waiting for just the right...

The Thing noticed him. Not exactly part of the game plan, but it gave the Constable a moment's respite from what looked to be a rather hideous way to die. It grombled about on it's array of podestria, and gave him a look with that hideous backwards eye, and Noah gave it an unflinching crimson stare by way of reply.

Sherinal was getting to her feet. The Thing gestured to him with an appendage that could have been charitably reffered to as an arm...on the end of which was most assuredly a claw.

Noah growled softly, slideing out and down with a scattering of loose gravel and dirt. Pushing off the side of the building, he twisted about. A few small objects flew with a faint whisper through the night air...plain silver daggers, balanced for the throw. He landed with a half-feral roar of challenge, from one predator to another. Stark white fingers, a moment ago mere slender wisps of digitry, stretched and hardened into the razor claws of a killing beast.

The challenge was out.

Fight or Flee.

Do or Die.

War, even between individuals, was never a certain thing...but one thing here was certain: Someone was going to crawl away bleeding. If they lived to crawl...

[center]~~~~~
Life is Pain.
Anyone telling you different is selling something.

~The Princess Bride[/center]


Wed Nov 20, 2002 11:58 pm
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Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2002 11:51 pm
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Post Preternatural Donnybrook
It chuckled in its repugnant, muculent way, sending small droplets of the viscous fluid spattering to the ground with soft spluttering sounds. Here was a TRUE challenge, it thought to itself as the pale beast slid down the rooftop, another predator like itself. Sensing movement behind it, and not wanting to give the frail elfling a chance to interfere, the beast kicked backwards with one massively muscled pod.
It noticed Noah reaching into his sash, saw the flash of metal, and rolled its pustule ridden shoulder into the incoming knives, each piercing, and disappearing into, a large malformed bubble. A spray of grey-green, gelatinous fluid spewed forth, spattering everything and everyone nearby. A low sussurus of discomfort issued forth from the beast, and its two good lower eyes glowed a furious red, and that single stationary orb focused on Noah with a look of pure maliciousness.
With another ground-shaking, preternatural roar, it reared back on its three legs, two clawed arms stretched to the sky, and what was revealed on that chest was surely something from a myriad of nightmares. The flesh boiled and rolled, faces forming, rolling down its chest, and dissipating into the flesh near its legs, all kinds of faces. Canine, Feline, demonic faces from every childs worst nightmare, and all of this boiled around a single stationary face. It was a beatific face, a prepubescent female, and into the night, mixed with the roar, was a quiet tune sung in a hideously merry sing-song of a young child.



"Here we go a-killing again,
a-killing again,
a-killing again,

Here we go a-killing again,
I wonder what he'll taste like."


With that the roar rumbled down, and the three hideous eyes levelled at Noah, fore-pods poised to strike.


Thu Nov 21, 2002 7:37 pm
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Location: The red desert realm
Post 
I prowl along the darkened streets, eyes peering into every shadow to see what lurks in the shades of the city. What strange things does a city hide, what secrets and mysteries are hidden in its depths? It is nothing like the quiet places of the desert, here I feel as though a hundred pairs of eyes watch my every move whereas when I am in Mother's lands it sometimes feels as though I am the only creature in the world. I cannot see those that watch me but there are there all the same, peering out of doorways and windows, bright eyes, shadowed eyes, curious and suspiscious, frightened and confident, all manner of people watch the beast that wanders through the streets.

Leaning against a wall I huddle into the shadows, not wanting them to watch me any longer. I am not a caged and pampered pet of a nobleman, I am a person in my own right, they will not stare at me, they will not. My anger wells up from within, the blood running red hot through my veins at the thought of all those people, darden's people, looking at me as if I were no more than the entertainment at some travelling freak show. The Lord doesn't see me as they do, He knows that I am as worthy of His love as any of them are, Mother tells me so. And shouldn't that be all that matters? As long as Mother and the Lord love me what should I care what anyone else thinks? But somehow it does matter, in this world where even the slightest difference of opinion seems to lead to war and violent clashes of words and armies, why shouldn't I want just a little acceptance?

The brick of the wall gives way alightly under my claws, tiny grains scored free fall, pelting down like rain to pound upon the ground. Rain, ah yes, that word fired off memories within my wind, as I'd drawn nearer this place I'd heard people talk of the falling waters. Supposedly it had not rained here for a while, far longer than they had ever thought responsible. I wrinkled my mussle up at the thought, rain almost seemed unnatural to me, water did not fall from the sky in Mother's realm. The water might be found in the heart of the desert plants, or in hidden oasises, or even in the underground rivers that could be found in the network of caves nearer the western mountains. But fall from the sky? I knew of only one thing that fell from the sky and that was the great black tear of Darden that now formed the Onyx Temple in the Torturer's lands.

I scented at the air, taken aback momentarily by the strange smells that immediately assaulted my senses. This place had none of the dry pruity that I had grown used to in the desert, though there were similarities, I could almost smell the way that this land thirsted for the touch of fresh water. Perhaps if I used that I might be able to survive being in this maze of buildings and people, if I could onkly imagine it as somehow being the brethern of the desert.

But I cannot stay here, no matter what else happens I can hardly spend by visit to this city pressed against the wall near the gateway. I must strike out, go further into this labyrinth and find the prize within its depths, namely the temple to the Lord. He would not want me to be afraid of this place, not when each and every soul who finds shelter within these walls is a faithmate. They are His worshippers as much as I am, true the guild banner they fly is different to Mother's but they are still children of Darden, embraced by Him for all time.

Your servant in all things Lord, I mutter, strightening myself up to my full height, knowing that I will tower over any human male that I meet. Mother has always said that if I am ever alone, I need only pull myself up and offer up a prayer to the God of Sorrows. He may not answer that prayer but that doesn't matter, what matters is that I am willing to place myself in His hands even in the times when my confidence is lowest. Guide my steps Lord if it is your will, take me to Your temple so that I can sacrifice to Your glory.

A muffled cry to one side seems to split the air momentarily and then dies away as if it had never been. The city swallows up the sound, eating it as quickly as a hungry predator wolfing down its first meal in some time. The life of the city goes on unabated, not even seeming to notice the cry or any one of the hundred things that are hidden in its darkest places. Silently I wonder how much goes on in a place like this, acts that never see the light of day, buried deeply in the night hours instead.

Striding away I push the thought from my mind, such idle wonderings are of no concern to me, I should keep my mind on the task at hand, on finding His temple.

_________________
[center]~~~SO~~~
Beast of Darden, Child of Ebony
I don't do this because I hate you, but rather because He loves you[/center]


Sat Nov 23, 2002 1:36 pm
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Flaming Toaster
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Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2002 5:00 pm
Posts: 230
Location: Personal Universe v2.01.05
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The elf did not so much as flicker in her appearance, nor in her mood...her face remained unchanged. Perhaps it was simply that so much bad had happened to her that she simply did not care anymore...or perhaps she couldn't care, either.

Birth....then death, and rebirth. Desitny and Fate....

She looked upon the dark elf with a mixture of emotuion trying to come to light behind eyes as lifeless as, well, as she was. Somewhere in there, sorrow and despair throbed powerfully.

"Yes....I have died...a couple times. Always I seem to manage to return...and by others devices, usually to their benefit only. Were it that I could simply have been allowed eternal rest the first time...things would perhaps be much, much better in this world. No, despite the best efforts of those to slay me, I live yet. But I am not the same anymore...I have been robbed of what bit of 'humanity' I had before. I am no better than that which I fight...I deny the true nature of the beast within, and thwart it only by the barest of measures..."

She turned from the drow, lost in thought. True, honest despair is rarely felt by anyone...the kind of despair that comes once you step into that thin void of space betwixt the heavens and earth, and you find that your emergency parachute just failed, and that you have only moments to live...

To her, it was different. She had allready slammed into the earth...but the horror would not end there, not for her. Instead, she was forced to go onwards...an endless cycle of suffering.

She turned morosely back on the priestess, a solomn look upon her face.

"Aye, Mihn....you say that you can help me find answers...but if the Fates that be have decided me to turn into a...into a monster, what is going to stop them from having their way? They have their reasons...I am sure. As for miracles, the gods have never saw fit to even speak to me, let alone acknowledgem y existence or prove theirs. Would such a being openly aid me? What answers could there possibly be?"

She turned from the drow, and slowly walked away, awash in her own despair. That in of itself was a new concept...she never knew it before, but she did now.

"What could possibly stay the hand of fate in my favor?"

_________________
GM Ordo Draco | Co-GM Demonic Reality | GM Revenant & Calael
And when the men on the chess board get up and tell you where to go.
And you've just had some kinda mushroom, and your mind is moving low.
Ask Seska. I think he knows...


Sat Nov 30, 2002 8:36 pm
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