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  1. #861
    The Great Orange One Qwaring's clone#1 is online now Qwaring's clone#1's Avatar
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    Verona Aliester

    Above Faraking Island: The Heli'Dom infirmary

    When Arion closes his eyes, Verona rests a hand on his upper arm. She wants him to know she's here. She won't be leaving his side for a while.

    She looks away from him when he jokes about resting after he's dead. Verona knows what he meant, but after all of the close calls they're all had recently it's difficult to find the humor. She gives him a courteous grin for his efforts.


    "That one's an Alain-ism, for sure," Verona comments on the source of the saying.

    When Arion asks Verona to not let Doraen put any more weird Doraen-magic inside of him, she nods.

    Finally, as he drifts further and further towards sleep, Arion brings up Verona singing to him. She blushes. Verona had almost forgotten about that. She had hoped he had forgotten about it as well. Verona knows her limitations. She's no singer. When she was young she thought she could. As a child she sang and danced. Her father sometimes called her his 'Little Songbird'. While attending the university in Rekōdo, she took a theater class on a whim. She was quickly taught by some of the Astralian students that she has no talent in song and dance.

    These days she typically refuses to sing. Berlix once caught her singing to herself when she thought she was alone. The girl reminded Verona of why she doesn't sing around others. Verona can't remember what compelled her to sing to Arion before. Everything is just such a blur right now, she doubts she can fathom why she has done so much of what she's done in this time of crisis.

    Though, if she would be willing to sing to anyone, Arion would be one of the few. Well, maybe only if she thought he was dying.

    Verona watches Arion as he finally drifts off to sleep. The Heli'Dom, always considerate of its occupants, dims the lights in the infirmary. Arion and Verona are primarily lit with the violet light of the enchanted candles.

  2. #862
    The City of Mararat in Da'Jinn To the Far East of Rekōdo: Jinai’s Fallen Palace




    Pasce, Princess of Rekōdo, Prince Eri, Protector to the Heir of Rekōdo and Emit, High Chronicler of Rekōdo


    He remembered how he felt when the Princess knew his name.

    It was night time and he was working late in the Central Library, translating what was thought to be draconic text into the common language of Rekōdo. He was tired. It was late. Gargoyles flew by on wings of varying sizes to re-shelve books and scrolls. Floating library carts full of manuscript floated overhead, along with enchanted paper airplanes with notes self-delivering to various stations and work help desks about the library. Work for the interns to do tomorrow. Reminders of meetings. Letters from recipient-knew-where. he worked by candlelight, archaic as it was. There was something about this more natural form of light that pleased him on late nights such as these. It offered him more than what the magikal orbs throughout the library could offer. it had taken him a moment to notice the absence of carts, gargoyles and other litter of things in the air around him. In fact, when he looked up from his runic glasses, self-enchanted to help him decipher cryptic and ancient text, the world outside his little, candlelit nook in his note-littered desk seemed hazy and wavy, as if he were caught in the waves of desert heat that distorted the air. She was there, simply standing there, watching him. He did not know her until she withdrew her hood and said his name.

    Emit offer the private from Taroc a genuine smile. He felt so much older than her, sitting there on pillows with a blanket over his legs. He did ache all over. Repeated skinning from fingertip to chest, beatings and torture would do that, at the least, even with the healing waters of Tiarna. He was tired. the High Chronicler arches an eyebrow at the mishap with the Guild Master of Taroc. It is cat-like in amusement. When she scurries off to complete her given orders, the High Chronicler offers her a small wave. He looks at his hand and flexes his fingers as if testing for something.

    He was tasked with information to find and he could not do that here. The High Chronicler, with a face aching as he rose, stood up. The blanket slid off his legs and fell to the floor. It was time to see if his magik could finally bring him home.

    Emit walked and stood in the center of the room. People hustled and bustled around him, ferrying wounded, carting the dead, obeying orders. No one paid him any mind, which was how he liked it, how it most often tended to be. He lifted a finger and began to draw in the air. Light blue runes scraped and arched in a circle around his as he rotated and wrote. The runes were a series of orders, the spell easy, yet very old. A place, a time, a how. When the circular spell was complete, it glowed brightly. The symbols reflected downward directly onto the floor around him. Lines began to scrawl across the Da'Jinn marble and connect between each of the runes, creating a complex symbol. It glowed upward, surrounding the High Chronicler until his visage was one with the light. The air would hum with old magik as the floor symbol swirled upward. It carried the light and High Chronicler with it. When the light disappeared upward, he was gone.

    -+-


    The only sound in the warded room as she entered was the sound of golden coins jingling. He, as always, was silent. There hung, on an ornate, gold and jeweled changing screen, as a Da'Jinn style dress. It was ivory white, for purity, trimmed and embroidered with gold for wealth. The designs were rich and intricate, like the eye of a peacock's plumage. The shawl was organza and ivory, inlaid with white opal gems across the top. Pearl threads hung down that would be wound throughout her hair. A shawl of sheer purple, clasped with a golden brooch at the left shoulder, wrapped the body of the dress for modesty and royalty. Purple was her color and the color of her mother before her. Slippers of sequined purple and gold were neatly placed on the floor beside the dress. She did not know where it had come from. She did not want to know.

    She crossed the length of the room, the coins al around her jingled softly as she went. Her brother, as always, was silent. When she stopped, he stopped and when she turned to regard him and his vast injuries, it was with a tiredness and a sadness to her pale green eyes. Her mouth turned down in a sadness that threatened to overtake her at the sight of her brother's bandaged eye. Unvoiced sentiment washed between them. Together again, their Oaths and Bonds were as strong as the day they were forged.

    "Eri" she whispered his name. As if released from a holding spell, the Prince crossed the space between them and enveloped his sister in a large embrace. His arms wrapped strongly around her and hugged her tightly. A scratched, dirtied hand caressed her hair.

    "I'm sorry. I'm sorry, Eri. I'm so sorry." Her muffled voice pleaded forgiveness into his shoulder. He hushed her gently.

    "It is the past. We cannot change it."

    Pasce pulled back from him and looked into his eye. They were so stern, like their father's. Just the one now. Pasce's lips firmed tightly to hide her distress. A hand came up to gently lift the bandage there. He took her hand and gently brought it back down with a shake of his head.

    "Nothing can be done for it" he said gently. He watched her inwardly mourn his loss. He shook his head again. "You are safe. That is what matters."

    It was Pasce's turn to shake her head.

    "I was foolish to not include you" she said regretfully. "You know why I did not."

    He shook his head again, very gently, it matched the gentleness of his voice.

    "It is past, Pasce."

    "I had to protect you."

    Eri's lips pursed.

    "It is my job to protect you" he murmured with a fist at his side. "I have failed greatly."

    He always blamed himself.

    "The fault is mine, Eri" Pasce grabbed one of his hands in both of hers. "I should never have asked Emit to kidnap the Guild Masters after the coronation so that-"

    "The High Chronic-" he corrected the informality with the man's proper title and then stopped short. Eri dropped her hands."You- what? Kidnap the Guild Masters? Kidnap?"

    The Princess nodded.

    "Pasce-"

    "It was a horrible idea, I know."

    "But-"

    "If they were united, even powerless, they would be be together. They would be safe. We could have figured this out together. All of it."

    Emit's mouth opened and closed. She was right, if the method of the gathering was a bit illegal.

    "Do not be mad at Emit-" Eri arched an eyebrow at her. Her cheeks flushed lightly and she looked away from him. She had screamed that name over and over. She had wept for him when she thought him dead. She wanted nothing more than to hug the poor man she'd drug through the mud and chaos and danger this entire time without giving him a full explanation to everything behind her reasoning. She owed him an apology and a public pardon.

    She did not correct his name to his proper title. There was a reason.

    "He only followed my direct orders. Just as Ganard did when he took you to the Temple to keep you safe."

    "He- You told him-"

    "I had to." Her voice changed. He stopped speaking. "We just lost father. I couldn't... Rekōdo couldn't..."

    Eri reached for her and she took his hands in hers. She looked down to collect herself. He gave her all the time she needed.

    "I need you to go back to the Palace" she said at last and looked up at him. "and you will lead Rekōdo until I return."

    Eri's only eye went wide. He stared at her, as if to check is she were serious. Pasce did not move.

    "No."

    "You have to."

    "I won't."

    "Rekōdo needs you."

    "Rekōdo needs its Queen."

    "I have to make this right, Eri. I have to return the Spirits to their Masters."

    She could not do that if weighted down by ruling from the Golden Throne. Eri opened his mouth to protest again.

    "I have to bring back the Forgotten Province."

    He closed his mouth, regrouped himself.

    "Rekōdo is unstable with the Master's powerless" he said carefully.
    "Now is not the time-"

    "Have you seen The Book?" Her tone was sharp, strong. "If you had seen what I have, you could not sit idle any longer. While the rest of the world turns and forgets a past they cannot know, there are people Eri, our people who do not know who they are."

    She takes her hands from his and stands straight.

    "I watched as generations of our forefathers and mothers ignored our jaded past. It was never the right time. Rekōdo was always on the brink of something horrible. Balance must be restored to Emporium or our kingdom and its provinces will never be at peace."

    Pasce inhaled deeply and calmed. When she spoke again, her tone was more civil and level. She was, once again, gentle and serene.

    "This world may hate her, unjustly so as I have seen everything about her, but Nalia al'Vatar is the most courageous woman of Liar'Adon's creations after Deanna the Loved. She saw what happened to Enchantry- to the true Enchantry and its Forgotten brother province and took action. No one could know the terrible curse she tried to reverse and still she tried. She did what the bloodline of Liar'Adon and Deanna failed to do. I will not sit idly and ignore this great wrong. Can you, brother?"

    Eri was silent. He looked down at the marbled floor and then bent a knee. He paid fealty before her and bowed his head.

    "I almost lost you" he whispered in a voice that bordered on vulnerable. "I am not ready to leave you again. Not until I know you are safe."

    Pasce smiled sadly and reached down to touch his face. The fingertips of her left hand grazed his right cheek and moved down and around to his left side. The back of her hand gently stopped at his bandaged eye.

    "Eri" she said his name softly. "I am the Queen of Rekōdo. I am never going to be safe. You need to understand that and allow me to rule in danger or Rekōdo will never have someone to guide it."

    He looked up at her sharply with his stern brown eyes. She touched his face again with love.

    "You will stay by my side until the Elders of Da'Jinn have gone back to their sand" she said and then crouched down to his eye-level. Coins jingled around her, like soft wind chimes. She was going to be sold as a concubine-wife to the highest bidder. She wore white because she was pure. "Then you will return to the palace, address our people and call a High Council meeting. We need to restore stability before our world becomes too broken to mend. This is the message I wish you to tell Rekōdo..."

    -+-

    By the time she'd dressed, a make-shift throne had been erected in the very room where she and the High Chronicler has been captive and tortured. The injured and wounded had been cleared out of the great space and some of the debris cleared. The room was large and ornate, with gilded windows of mosque style, golden trimmings and floods of natural light coming in from carvings in the wall, from holes left by a great battle. She deliberately chose this room. It was the sign of a great defeat and also a decisive victory. From one of the holes in the wall, the desert sands meeting the ocean-like lakes could be seen, a meeting of two worlds, how one needed the other to survive. There was much symbolism in this room, something she knew would not be lost on the Elders of the Sand. Pasce stood and looked out that large hole. Banner men stood at lengths and held aloft tall poles with the flags of their tribes snapping in the sharp, desert wind. Her brother, her Protector, and his two guard stood aside the throne where she would sit. The horns signaling the great arrival grew closer.
    *The Golden Goddess|The Goddess of All Motherless Secundae*
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  3. #863
    The Great Orange One Qwaring's clone#1 is online now Qwaring's clone#1's Avatar
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    Olivia Kuhrson

    The Aile Bones

    Olivia sheathes her sword once again. Its mystical power isn't needed to try to pierce through this barrier. Words were enough to bring it down.

    Olivia rushes to Nalia's side. She kneels beside her friend. With trained expertise she checks the condition of the slumbering woman, ensuring Nalia isn't in any immediate danger. Olivia hesitates when she considers the child Nalia carries. The necromancer/spy/crime lord has had limited experience with pregnancies. She's unsure on how to check on the child's state. Olivia decides she'll eventually need to call up the spirit of someone that will know all about these matters.

    Once she's sure Nalia is only slumbering, she recovers her Guild badge from the woman. The metal symbol of service to Taroc glows slightly as it recognizes the touch of its rightful bearer. She pockets the item into a belt pouch.

    Then Olivia slips out of her coat and drapes the warm garment over Nalia's upper body. Seeking to provide some amount of warmth and comfort to her friend.

    Olivia looks to Shalla and the Alpha.


    "Yes, get to Capios," Olivia says with a nod. "Warn them about Darmon. Even if you don't have Nalia, he still might attack you just to spite her. Though, if your defenses are up he may decide his efforts are best spent on the hunt."

    Olivia may have had limited experience dealing with the man face to face, one such encounter ended with the death of one of her bodies, but she has dealt with Darmon as he sought to lay siege to a city just to capture, hurt, or kill a single person.

    Olivia rises from Nalia's side and approaches the Alpha. She runs a hand over his fur, from behind his ear down his strong neck.


    "Thank you," she tells him. "If any of us survives this, I owe you and your pack a debt. Though, if you don't hear from me ever again, feel free to ask Alain LeCavalier to repay that debt. Over the decades he's gotten used to helping me to pay off old accounts. Besides, I think he owes you a great deal as well."

    Now she approaches Shalla. Olivia reaches into her backpack and pulls out a silver key. She offers the key to the woman from Shamaa. Any holding the key can feel it humming with mystical energy.

    "When you're able to, give this to Evalynn," Olivia says. "Tell her it is from Olivia, her spirit friend. If she hasn't spoken to me in a year she should show that key to Verona Aliester of Taroc. Verona is the aide to LeCavalier. Verona will know what the key means."

    It's the key to Olivia's mausoleum. Verona will know that this is Olivia giving away her magic to Evalynn. Every artifact, ancient tome, and dark ritual that is kept in the mausoleum. This is all that remains of the Kuhrson family. It's everything Olivia has built and collected as a necromancer. It's her true legacy.

    Olivia now turns her back to Shalla and the Alpha. She returns to Nalia, and crouches beside her.


    "Please assure Capios that they don't need to worry too much about Enchantry's ancestral spirit," Olivia calls back to Shalla. "I'll talk the matter over with Nalia, and it will be solved. We'll do what's best for you and your people."

    "Now, go. Enchantry will need all of you."

  4. #864
    The Great Orange One Qwaring's clone#1 is online now Qwaring's clone#1's Avatar
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    Alain LeCavalier

    In The World of Dreams


    "There's nothing to forgive," Alain assures Nalia as she speaks of keeping the lost provinces from him. "You were placed in an impossible situation, and sought too do all you could to make amends to a legacy that was unjustly cut short. You carried a burden no other could."

    He reaches up to Nalia's lovely face, and with a thumb he wipes tears from her cheek. His hand then caresses her pale cheek with a tender touch.

    "If Darmon did not die, he would have been Quieted and given to the dragons," Alain tells her. His once soft tone hardens as he thinks of the justice he had vowed to dragons and spirits in a previous visit to the World of Dreams. He closes his eyes. His head tilts down, and with a slight trembling to his whispered voice he continues. "Pasce sought to learn about Enchantry, and how you knew of it. After she was first burdened with the ancestral spirits she was taken to the World of Dreams. There she searched for the Book of Memories. It was found in the domain of the dragons. They allowed her to read from the book."

    He doesn't want to relive any of this. However, he does. He must.

    "She found your memories in the book. Imprinted from your contact with it. Pasce showed me and the spirits what Darmon did. What he did to you. Clow nearly choked the life out of Arxus for not intervening. I- I stopped him. If one spirit perished they all might. The two lost spirits did not deserve that after suffering so much.

    "Justice. I had to seek justice, not vengeance. You and our child deserve a world of justice. Not angry men of Taroc savagely slaughtering men of Maginus.

    "What you did was justice. By all our laws, you acted in the defense of others to stop a monster. Our queen knows this, all of our guiding spirits know this. Arxus might not be able to accept it, but we will silence his ignorant tantrums. We will deal with Maginus. Even in their cold land they have laws. Laws that not even Darmon was immune to. We can show them all what kind of monster he truly was, and we will see if they lack enough shame to continue to seek vengeance.

    "I love you more than the stars themselves. More than the earth we tread or the air we breath. That love will give me the strength I need to forge the world of justice that you deserve. We will make them see the truth that lies beyond their madness. We will do this, together."

  5. #865
    The Aile Bones: In the Company of the Dire Wolves


    Attachment 2222

    Evalynn Agravaine of Maginus and Shalla of Tuah and the Dire Wolves of the Ailes



    Shalla, still holding Evalynn without a sing of tiring, steps back from Nalia as Olivia comes to her. She knows the Taroc Agent means her no harm and is better equipped to assess her than the already burdened Enchantress. It's begun to snow again, thicker flakes this time. A cold wind blew in from the northwest. The wind blows the white crystals into Nalia's hair, then the wind blows her curls across her cheek.

    The Shamaa Enchantress offers Olivia a smirk of confidence.

    "Enchantry has readied itself for Darmon's attack- for anyone's attack since its founding. Nalia's done well with defensive measures for the island. We'll be ready."

    Already the wolves are gathering. More come out from the woods, having been on vigil for further attack. There were a half dozen to dozen by Shalla's estimates. There could be more. They gathered and drew close to Evalynn and Shalla. If the Enchantress weren't from Shamaa and such things, though not with wolves per se, a normal occurrence, she might have been made uncomfortable by their closeness. They opened sniffed at she and Evalynn. Some circled or tail-wagged in an eagerness to be on their way. Wolves loved to run. She paid them no mind and focused solely on the Alpha and Olivia.

    The Wolf's ear flattened as Olivia's hand came near, but then they rose again at the gentleness of her touch. His crimson eyes close and his mighty head bows under the submission of her hand. He takes a step closer to her, as if wanting more of such a gesture. His eyes open to regard her as she spoke. He understood the secretive thing she spoke of and was intelligent enough to not discuss it.

    ~Do not forget us.~

    It is the last thing the Alpha Wolf says to her and the weight of it goes far, far deeper than the simple sentiment it conveys to Shalla of Enchantry. The Wolf steps back and looks at Olivia with his proud head raised. He studied her as if engraining every detail of her into his mind in case they truly never do meet again. Then he turned and approached his pack. Whatever was passed between the Dire Wolves remained quiet from the two conscious women.

    Shalla takes the silver key. It hums softly to her, a hum she can feel but not understand. She shivers slightly and tucked the key beneath the folds of her robes. It disappeared easily once beneath the Enchanted cloak into a place Shalla deemed safe.

    "I will. You have my word."

    Shalla hesitated at Olivia's last request. She would do her part to ensure Nalia's privacy on her current situation, but she did not know if she could keep the entire province at bay to await for Nalia's return- or not. It left her feeling uneasy. She was not a fan of limbos, but she nodded curtly to Olivia. The Alpha Wolf had come along side her. He crouched down and Shalla carefully saddled Evalynn on, then herself behind. She held her friend's limp body to her, an arm wrapped across her chest where a hand held her shoulder.

    "We will do what we can to protect you. Liar'Adon's mercy be with you. May we stand face to face again someday if it is meant for us to do so."

    An old Shamaa tag to the farewell blessing. The Alpha Wolf shifted its stance to taste the new weight and balance it would need to fly across the island. He could feel the lovely smelling Enchantress showing him a picture of where to go. She spoke in pictures to him. He decided he fancied this female. A flurry of black shapes began to take of and blend in with the forest around them. To the east, the sun began to peek above the cliff sides of Taroc and Maginus. In the distances, the Wolves howled. The Alpha Wolf looked at Olivia once more, holding her in his sight as long as he could before a primal instinct overcame him. He threw back his mighty head and howled a loud, long cry into the air, and then sprang forward. Within seconds the Wolf and the Enchantresses were gone.

  6. #866
    In The World of Dreams

    Attachment 2227


    Nalia of Enchantry


    She edges her cheek into his touch as he wiped away her tears. Her lips grazed his palm and her eyes closed. It had been so, so long. Her eyes closed tightly as every nerve of her muscles tried to capture the feeling of his touch upon her cheek as if she feared it would never happen again. The hand on his elbow comes up to the hand on his face. She eclipses it in her own and holds it tenderly there. Her lips fully embrace his palm before she looks up at the man who had her heart. The trembling in his voice made her go terribly still.

    Nalia stepped back from Alain, completely. She was shaking her head. Those were her memories. In The Book. She was a fool. She should have known better than to touch that Book. She should have refused the Karythar of the Uru'Loki. Her memories... Her everything was there now.

    Everything.

    What Darmon had done. What had happened to her family. Her years in Maginus and Taroc. Them. Their child. Everything she did for the rest of their lives would be contained in The Book of Memories. Everyone who ruled for as long as life reigned on their world would know her. Those were her memories. They were supposed to die with her. What Darmon had done...

    The rest of his words were briefly lost to her. He would feel her turmoil through their mental bond. Her heart was beating so that it threatened to break through the cage of her chest and sink, like so much Da'Jinn rubble, into the depths of this sea. But he was not going to march across Maginus. He was not going to smite the second land that hurt her so. Perhaps it was because Darmon was already gone- that she had killed him- that satiated that need. It would be many things. They had a child now, or would soon is Liar'Adon wished it so. They had to make a world for their child. Together.

    "I could not tell you. I was afraid for you. I was ashamed" she said in a whisper that would break his heart. It contained the sound of her own and all its broken pieces beating together. She was several steps away from him. She was crying because he knew.

    He knew.

    "Yours was the name I called in the dark. I went to you..."

    Her voice broke. It caught in her throat on the fragments of her heart.

    "He was my first. It should have been you."

    It was said in the history books of Astral, perhaps studied by Alain two decades ago as he'd acquired an Astral child into his fold and sought to understand her better, because such things were openly discussed, debated and thought upon, that the first union was a gateway. The first, with its pain and desire and lust and love- because one had to love even a fraction for them to willingly open themselves to another- was the closest thing they could ever know to feeling what Liar'Adon first felt when he saw Deanna of the Hills for the first time. To enter and to be entered into a depth where souls were shared with each other was a sacred thing in Astral. It was nothing planned or courted or coordinated. It simply was, just as Liar'Adon's love for Deanna was the simple, driving force behind their entire creation. In some parts of Astral, the first union for one or both parties was celebrated. The Festival of Red and White.

    It was well known that Astralians were fairly free-giving in their desires and with whom they shared their bed. Perhaps they sought to capture and re-capture that initial feeling, of pain and love so beautifully intertwined. There was a saying, that if the first of unions was the only of unions between a pair, it was a blessing from Liar'Adon and Deanna above. There was no such thing like it in their culture.

    Her mother and father had had that. It was a legacy of love that went unmatched. Darmon had stolen that from her. He would feel it come from her in overwhelming waves. She was ashamed. And now it was catalogued in a Book that had no ending. She was a book for all to read. All would know of her shame.

    And fear, still unvoiced, that because his hated enemy had his way with her that he would hate her too. Because a piece of her was Darmon's now and would be forever. A piece of herself that she should have had the right to give to him.

    And he hated everything about Darmon.

    "I loved you then, even if I did not know it for what it was."

    Even in her darkest hour, she'd thought of him. She'd feared him and had feared for him after his hated enemy had hurt her.

    "You are the light of my world" she whispered with love and with heartbreak. He would know the depth of that meaning, how much he mattered to a woman who had known so much darkness. He was her light of hope. The light that gave, warmed, created. She took a small, hesitant step closer to him as if she still feared he'd reject her because of what Darmon had done. "I love you, Alain. I will stand by your side in this and in all things."

    Tears came down her cheeks, but silently now. Nalia swallowed down the fragments of her heart, a painful thing to consume. With the pain of that memory out, now that he knew of it, her voice grew a notch stronger.

    "I've only ever wanted to be together with you. If this world is merciful enough to allow us that, it is all I will ever need."
    Last edited by SilntAngl5; 09-02-2017 at 11:59 AM.

  7. #867
    The Great Hold of Maginus in the Great Swells of Rekōdo: In a Chamber for the Dark Rites Far, Far Beneath



    The High Priests of Maginus


    It began as death began for so many people of their world. Four, young girls lost their lives, in the giving of blood. None were important. None, aside from the horrible grief of their families, would be missed by Maginus. They were peasant's children. Children of villagers. Noble children were never taken. Such sacrifice was reserved for special occasion, usually by the families themselves. The High Priests, the greatest Necromancer in all of Emporium, could not be bothered with politics of the world of the living. The Quasi dead cared for little except what stirred them most. Maginus.

    Snow fell heavily in the mountainous world far above. Thunder rumbled within the thick, white clouds long into the night and morning. The chamber hummed and rattled with the reverberations of the natural sound they they could not hear. Sound did not matter to them. Not natural sounds, anyway.

    The Shadow Wraiths had delivered the precious cargo days ago. The pure vessels were lead by a gnarled hands, with fingers of varying colors and states of age and decay, as they looked when they had been plucked like beans from the stalks of their corpses. Only one hand was lead by a full set of fresh digits. A body had been procured to replace the fingers of the High Priest's whose appendages had been lost when the Dragon Glass orb had filled with white light that burned and then shattered. Each husk was lead to stand in a spot along the circle surrounding the raised altar where smoke and mist shrouded and moved over where the broken body of Darmon of Maginus had laid. The room, misty and smoky with centuries of sacrifice, was alit by a blue glow. The blood that had been taken from the first four girls glowed in its channels along the floor that created a glowing symbol of Maginus. As one High Priest stood beside each of the nine remaining girls, they held aloft in their gnarled fists a bag of crushed, purple velvet with black drawstrings.

    None of them screamed. Not a single girl that was sacrificed made a sound.

    They were but shells of what they once were. The wraiths has drew their souls from their bodies with a kiss while they slept. Their backs arched with unearthly winds that pulled their glowing, white sparks from their bodies and into the toothless mouths of the wraiths. Then they were lifted, so much lighter without the burden of life, and carried through the night to the Great Hold. There was an excitement amongst the Necromancers as they released the hands of the girls to open their bags. A sound, ugly as it was unheard by the living, unearthed from the depths of their cowls. A sound that could be called joy. They overturned their bags in trembling haste and a white spark tumbled into the eagerly waiting, decaying palm. It was like starlight plucked from the heavens had been brought down to them. it did not touch their undead flesh, but hovered for a moment before rising upward to wherever it was souls went after their time of earthly life had ended. Before it could ascend and disappeared, it's light disappeared into the cavern of the hooded Necromancers as they bent their heads at highly unnatural angles to consume the souls of the sacrificial lambs. Then they each took the girl they stood beside and her face disappeared into their cowls in what seemed like a kiss.

    The rebirth of their Master began as life began, with blood and union. Knotted fingers eagerly touched the pure, youthful flesh. Young bodices were torn and left tattered with litters of gowns and garments upon the floor. The consumption of the pure sparks ignited a desire in each quasi dead man that was only ever meant for the living. They each had the girls in their own way, with the unprotesting bodies on the ground, in some way within the symbol-circle of glowing blood. They made no sound for the living to hear, but the sounds of their copulation, of their eagerness in this rite fueled each other on. At the height of climax, daggers of Maginus stone, taken from this very mountain, used to cut their own tongues in their Ceremony of Descent into the High Priesthood, were raked across the throats of the sacrifices. Union and blood. The blood of their innocence and the blood of their life joined the circle of Maginus and overflowed its banks. The tributaries of blood combined and joined until they created a shallow lake of blood beneath Darmon's altar. The air within the high-ceilinged chamber had whipped up in the frenzy of their ritual. The smokey mists stirred upward from the altar to connect to the portal mirror suspended fourteen feet above it. Lust gone, urges satisfied, the High Priests stumbled back from the bodies that were of no use to them anymore. The mist and smoke overcame them and dragged their remains upward to the altar. Their bones would re-mend his, their organs made him whole. Their flesh livened his and brought back from the depths of his broken death a living pallor. Now all his reinvigorated body needed was a Soul.

    The Soul must come forth to claim the host. It was so easy when the soul was willing.

    Violent violet light poured forth amid the smoke and ash clouds that has risen up into the mirror. Ectoplasmic matter breached the void between the living and the dead, causing the metal mirror to smoke and drip downward into the bloodied lake below. the sound of hundreds of souls across the deceased border and the triumphant cries of one's great return poured into the chamber and echoed and swelled. The entirety of Maginus trembled. Birds took flight and blotted out the nearby, snow-spewing clouds of the Great Hold. Their black masses cawed and screeched across the sky as they sought refuge and haven away, away from the undead portal being so violently ripped open to the living world. The unearthly wind from the undead plane rushed out of every crack and crevice of the Chamber, rolling the narrow stairway with concussive force, killing instantly any who were in too-close proximity to the far-removed subterranean lair of the High Priests. On the wind was a roar, an echoing sound of rage and hatred birthed from depths far, far from the reaches of life. The chilling feel of it echoed out from the mountains, losing most of its ferocious sound, but hauntingly detectable to all who are sensitive to such things for within hundreds or miles of the city-fortress of Arx.

    The portal-mirror had all but melted away with the escape of his Soul. Smoke poured from his body as he pushed himself up to sit upon the altar of stone. Glowing, violet-blue eyes with black-pupil centers were the only thing to light the room. All torch and light, with the exception of a faint hazy aura from the blood-lake beneath him, had been snuffed out.


    ~Masssster~

    The collective hiss of the High Priests echoed within the canals of his undead ears. His glowing eyes moved swiftly, sharply to behold the ones who returned him. They spread their cloaked arms and bowed their cowled heads.

    ~You are returned.~

    ~With sacrifice and blood.~

    ~With union your rebirth awaits.~

    ~Finish what was started.~

    ~Seal your presence amongst the living.~

    ~With the fire of a hated enemy.~

    ~Renew your purpose.~

    ~To Hunt and to kill.~

    ~The greatest darkness of all is Death!~

    ~And from Death you were reborn.~

    Collectively, their outstretched arms moved with creaking and groaning of ling-together knit pieces of bodies past. Feet planted, they turned in unison to point just past the raised dais where the blood of sacrifices had pooled and rippled at the hems of their tattered, Maginus robes. The last girl stood down fro the dais in the mist. It swirled and licked up at her in all her pale, beauty. She wore a cloak only, with a clasp of the Maginus symbol to hold it at her throat. The mist reached up just beyond her knees as if seeking to caress the ivory offering, cloaked in pure white. Her eyes were open, but appeared to offer little in the way of life or livelihood. They looked depressed, distant as if the spark for living had long been lost. Her eyes were glowing with magik, enchanted from their pale blue to look more sea green. She was young, with curls of dark brown that melted into the black of the room. With a twist of one High Priest's hand, her arms moved robotically to pull back her hood and reveal her features to the Undead Master of Maginus. They were not illusionists, not even close, but the charged the Shadow Wraiths to find them one who fit their sacrificial criteria and looked as close to the appearance of the Astral witch as possible. They even put scars on her flesh where it was reported a decade ago for the young girl to have had. The one who murdered her entire family with Nightmare essence that made them all squirm. They had seen the Masters memories. They were excited to take this offering as he had the Astral witch.

    Another twitch of a gnarled hand beckoned the girl forward. She ascended the steps to the dais and unclasped her cloak as she entered the pool of blood. She stood before Darmon in her youthful beauty. A High Priest brought forth the bag containing her spark. With more ceremony than the others, it was gently released from its bag. A push of the air by the High Priests hand ushered the spark into the mouth of the Undead Master. Upon its consumption, his eyes pulsed with light and then dimmed. The High Priests' anxiety grew. He stood from the altar, planting his bare feet in a pool of humming, glowing blood. The newly revived reached forth a hand to touch the throat of the dark-haired beauty before him.[/font]

    ~Ignite your purpose.~

    ~Seal your presence amongst the living.~

    ~Remember her.~

    ~The Astral Witch.~

    ~Let this offering remind you.~

    ~Your purpose.~

    ~To the Hunt.~

    ~To find the Witch.~

    ~To take her.~

    ~To murder her.~

    ~Snuff out the unholy light within her.~

    ~The forbidden union.~

    A grunt came forth from his parched throat. Ash and smoke curled forth from his lips when he opened his mouth. At the depth of his throat, violet light glowed.

    "LeCavalier" the voice rasped, a mixture of undead sound and graveled human vocals.


    ~The hated enemy!~

    ~Remember.~

    ~Reclaim what is yours.~

    ~The Astral Witch!~

    ~Her blight upon the world.~

    ~Her dark power.~

    ~The Spirit of the First Master!~

    ~Lost to the Crown!~

    ~FOR THE GLORY OF MAGINUS!~

    The collective cries crescendo echoed off the walls. The hand that touched the delicate throat grabbed it and pulled the offering forward. Sounds echoed within the chamber once more. Sounds not meant to be heard by the living, but made by things only partially living. Things alive on borrowed parts and magik stitched together. The sound of his rage. The sound of his taking as he had with the one he would hunt long ago. He would not rest until she was found. He would kill her and torture her soul for eternity. His pleasure would have no end. Revenge was coming. Thunder shook and rattled the Great Hold of Arx as he finished what was given to him. Glowing, violet eyes. A body drenched in blood as he'd taken the offering and then slit its throat. His bare chest heaved with breath, with life yet not alive. The Man of Maginus is returned.

  8. #868
    The Great Orange One Qwaring's clone#1 is online now Qwaring's clone#1's Avatar
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    Olivia Kuhrson

    The Aile Bones

    Olivia summons a cloud of ectoplasmic mist. The pale vapor wraps itself around Nalia, and flows beneath her as it raises her up from the ground. Carrying Nalia on this ethereal cloud, Olivia races back towards the coast.

    They arrive to find a longboat waiting for them on the shore. A pair of undead crewmen from the Raven's Triumph man the boat. Olivia places Nalia onto the boat, climbs in beside her, and they push off from the sand and out into the water.

    Olivia looks eastward. There's something cold behind the wind. Colder than snow and ice. Something is being done.

    She's silent throughout the trip to the Raven's Triumph. Olivia ignores the babbling and gossiping undead pirates on the longboat. Her unnatural senses are feeling at the fabric of reality.

    Soon lines are tied to the longboat, and they are all pulled up onto the deck of the haunted pirate ship. Olivia hops out of the smaller boat and onto the deck of the mighty pirate ship. Her azure gaze finds Captain Gold-Eyes standing up by the helm. He's a ghostly figure of sea blue and spectral mists. He wears a captains uniform of ancient, long forgotten Taroc, and his eyes blaze with golden light.

    Gold-Eyes stares off to the east. He glowers at what his mystical eyes shows him.


    "We need to get moving, now!" Olivia commands. Gold-Eyes turns away from the horizon, looks upon the necromancer, and salutes her. He immediately begins barking out orders to his crew. Normally the ghost captain takes childish delight in setting his crew in motion and bringing his vessel to life to sail the seas, but there is no joy now. He can see what's coming. Gold-Eyes knows creatures of flesh are bending the world of spirits to their sick desires. And that sick desire will bring doom to those he has pledged his service to.

    Olivia leaves the pirates to their work. She cradles Nalia in another cloud of ectoplasm, and carries her below deck. They make their way through the lower decks until they arrive in Olivia's quarters. Her quarters, unlike the rest of the ship, is not a mass of ancient, sea ravaged wood held together by dark magic and the wills of spirits. Her chamber was implanted the day her mission to find Nalia began. It's the luxurious quarters from an Astral air-yacht. It's a shelter of dark, exotic wood, furnished with the ambition of granting maximum comfort to any that stay here. Olivia didn't have much time to prepare for her mission, so she bought an air-yacht, and had this cabin torn out of it and transplanted into the lower deck of the Triumph.

    She lowers Nalia onto the bed. She does her best to position Nalia as comfortably as possible, and then pulls sheets of crimson silk onto her friend.

    Olivia steps away from Nalia as she feels cold fingers scrape behind her vision. There's a taste of burning beyond the air. Something dark and hungry was just pulled out of the Realm of the Dead. Every soul on this world is tied to their province in ways that even the wisest mystics have not yet fully realized. Olivia can feel a Maginus soul, blazing with wrath and lust for power, being ushered forth from the realms within realms where the spirits of the Maginus people find their final rest.

    Olivia grips at her heart. It has skipped a few beats. She falls to her knees. There are vastly dark forces at play this day. A shifting in the balance of necromantic power. Any master of necromancy knows that rituals this powerful should take days or weeks to complete. To speed up a spell this powerful will make it sloppy, loud. This ritual causes tidal waves to crash around in the planes of dark magic. To those that are like Olivia, a creature alive through dark magic, attuned to the spirit realms, and tied to Maginus through birth, this is a shotgun blast to the soul.

    The crew of the ship will feel an illness creeping through the world, and see a chilling ripple across everything, but this will pass. Even though they are also creatures of death and necromancy, they are of Taroc. Their experience of the unholy deeds of this day are greatly muted.

    Olivia violently trembles. If she hadn't removed the ability to do so, she would vomit. Black tears stream down from her eyes. Her azure irises appear to be floating in horrified seas of black oil in her wide-opened eyes.

    The worst of this ordeal is that Olivia knows how this ritual works. She knows what sacrifices need to be made. How they are prepared and finally ended.

    In this moment Olivia wishes LeCavalier had done whatever it took to erase Maginus from this accursed globe. The War should have only ended when all of Maginus was ashes and bones. It would have been a merciful genocide.

    Shaking, weeping liquid onyx, Olivia crawls back to Nalia's bed. She sits on the floor and leans against the side of the bed. She reaches up a trembling hand and takes hold of one of Nalia's pale hands. She grasps the hand tightly.


    ~Wake up...~ Nalia sends her telepathic thoughts into Nalia. The voice is weak, shaken. ~The Dark Priests of Maginus have brought Darmon back. We're on the Raven's Triumph. We have a little time. I'm taking us away from the aisles. We'll run. Away. No matter how far he flies. We'll run faster and farther. I promise. Please. Wake up.~


    ((I'm going to write up an Alain post. If you want, Nalia can hear Olivia after that.))

  9. #869
    The Great Orange One Qwaring's clone#1 is online now Qwaring's clone#1's Avatar
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    Alain LeCavalier

    In The World of Dreams


    As Nalia slips from his grasp his hands close into fists, as if trying, too late, to grasp the memory of her touch. He takes half a step forward, as if to fall into her absence. He takes a moment to straighten up and right himself.

    Alain has suffered in life. Though, he has never suffered as Nalia has. He can't fathom what she must feel, what she needs. Harbin's words taught him the values of seeking justice, of defending others from such brutalities, or how to endure torture and violence himself, but never how to help others through life after such agonies.

    Alain casts aside the words of his beloved grandfather, and trusts in his heart to give him voice.


    "We weren't allowed to be each others firsts, but you will be my last," Alain swears. "Now and forever, I will be by your side."

    He takes a careful step closer to Nalia. It's a cautious move she will remember him making many times over the years. Wanting to be closer, but never wanting to push it on her. Testing. Offering.

    His hands open out to her.


    "You, as you are now, is all that has been missing from my soul since creation,"

    Another half step closer.

    "If you come to me in the waking world, we can have the life we've deserved. I have faith in Pasce. She will do what is right. And she will help us show the people this is right."

  10. #870
    In The World of Dreams

    Attachment 2227


    Nalia of Enchantry



    Her heart threatens to betray her. It beat so hard she feared it would break from her chest and fall before him. His words resonate within her Soul and she goes very still as he speaks. He would hear her breathing as her lips parted. She was always very careful about such things, about her poise, her silent demeanor. He had disrupted all that. His words, they shook her to her core. He would see that she was trembling.

    He would be her last. Those words broke her heart in a way that was well worth fixing. She looks to his hands, to the steps taken. Her emerald eyes are wide. Tears fell silently. His is within reach of her now and she makes no more motion to be away from him. She never wanted to be away from him again.

    Nalia embraced him. With quiet she was well-known for and a grace few besides him so truly care to see, she closed the space between them and brought her lips to his. In it she brought her love, a hunger, a desire that held no value in words, but in the air they occupied together. A cold hand was placed on his chest, on the lock of hair- the trinket she'd given him that held such a deep, romantic meaning to the people of Astral. To keep someone from losing their way on their journey, a gift given to someone loved. And Nalia loved more deeply than anyone in their world. Her lips parted with him only to take in air. She would not be apart from him again. She vowed this in her heart. When she had to go back, when the living world was ready to receive her again, she would tell Olivia that they were going to Da'Jinn. To Alain.

    Her hand stayed rooted to his chest, her palm flat there. Her other hand found his face and cupped his jaw. Her fingertips brushed his hair. She whispered his name between their next embrace. An ache, a want, a whisper so vulnerable and wrapped with love.

    "I will find you" she whispered when she finally managed to withdraw from him enough to speak fully.
    "I promise you, Alain. When we wake, I will find y-"

    ~Wake up...~

    Something cold burst within her mind, like a shard of ice stabbing through a warm blanket. The hand on his face loses its strength and slides away from him. Alain would feel it to. He might not hear it, but he would sense the familiar presence through their link. The world around them, bright and hazy as the sun had come up in the waking world, began to run and bleed as if too watered down. Like paints, the world around them began to grow too difficult to see. It started in the distance. The dunes blended with the sky. The city became shrouded in fog and cloud.

    She was starting to wake. Something from the waking world called her back.

    ~The Dark Priests of Maginus have brought Darmon back-~
    ~-have brought Darmon back.~
    ~We're on the Raven's Triumph-~
    ~- the Raven's Triumph.~

    The hand that fell went to Nalia's head. It tangled in her curls. While weak, the voice echoed and ricocheted in her head as if trying to find one solid place to deliver itself. Something tangible. In Dreams, everything was fluid. She would have cried out, made a noise, something, because the message delivered destroyed whatever joy she'd felt. Instantly, it was gone and replaced with a feeling worse than dread. The sudden absence of joy left her weakened, shaking. Nalia would sink to her knees unless he held her up.

    ~We have a little time-~
    ~-little time.~
    ~I'm taking us away from the aisles-~
    ~- away from the aisles-~
    ~We'll run-~
    ~-run-~
    ~- Away-~

    The echoes collided with one another, until the initial message began to fade.

    ~No matter how far he flies. We'll run-~
    ~-run- ~
    ~-run faster and farther. I promise-~
    ~-Please-~
    ~-Please.~
    ~-Wake up.~

    The world around them began to deteriorate. Fog shrouded everything until there was nothing left but they two in the fog. It was windy, as the space between the World of Dreams was opening, and their minds were preparing to receive them both back in the waking world. Nalia lifted her head from Alain's chest. He would see it in her eyes. Before she spoke it, he would know. Nalia's hands touched Alain's face, as if she would not see him again. Already, the sense of touch was beginning to fade. The fog of half-sleep would overtake them soon. They would be made to leave this haven.

    "Alain" she said quickly, speaking as if she were running out of time. "Alain, listen to me. He's coming. The High Priests brought him back."

    Her emerald eyes stayed in control of her tears, holding them at bay. She would not say the Man of Maginus's name here. She would not need to. Alain would feel her need for flight, her absolute fear. She kissed him once, twice, long and deep. Desperately.

    "I love you" she said hurriedly. "I will come to you. I will find you."

    She had to stop because her voice was beginning to break. Her thumb smoothed his cheek. Her hand touched the heart of his chest.

    "I love you" she whispered, a tear finally falling from her eyes. Then another. She had to hold him. She could not let him go. But she felt herself being pulled from him. When she woke, he would not be there. She felt her resolve fading so much like the imaginary world around them. Nalia hugged Alain to her as tightly as their child would allow.

    "I love you" she said again, afraid. She looked deeply into his crimson-flecked eyes."I love you Alain. I-"

    On the Raven's Triumph within the enchanted quarters of Olivia Kuhrson, Nalia inhaled sharply and sat up.

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