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  1. #1
    The World of Emporium: Memories
    Last edited by SilntAngl5; 01-14-2018 at 10:33 AM.
    *The Golden Goddess|The Goddess of All Motherless Secundae*
    *Dexter to the Core|Council of Guidance|Matriarch of Poetry*
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  2. #2
    (In the World of Dreams) The Memories of Nalia al'Vatar: The Trials of the Second

    Nalia.jpg Darmon_Aged.jpeg

    Nalia al'Vatar and Darmon of Maginus

    [I]Her mouth tasted of ash and smoke. It was the only thing she could think of as she dove into the bone-achingly cold water of the Lake of the Valley in the Unsettled Lands far north of Maginus and Taroc, the two provinces she called home. The taste burned in her nose ands tung her eyes so that they blurred as she dove downward into the dark deep. Shafts of sunlight pierced the water at intervals, lighting her way until there was nothing but dark blackness all around her. She seemed to bright in the water as if her pale, moon-kissed skin were glowing. She was much younger in this memory, almost a dozen years younger. The sleek way she dove downward, the way her dark hair rippled behind her made her seem like an immortal creature of fable and lore. Like a Mermaid or water nymph. The darkness of her gown rippled all around her, billowing like an array of beautiful green fins. As she swam Darmon's voice echoed coldly within her mind.

    "I need you to bring me a book" he'd said with a scowl as he watched the skies on the shore of the lake. He had his dark blue and black cloak wrapped tightly about his form. It billowed and snapped in the cool spring breeze, causing his thin white hair to whip about his head. His icy blue eyes were trained meticulously on the cloudy sky, looking for any signs of trouble. Her own cloak waved freely behind her with her dark curls. The corseted gown she wore had a skirt of light material. He had told her to dress this way. It was pertinent for her to have something light on. Apparently she was going swimming.

    "At the bottom of the lake, towards its center is a cave. It's a long swim and quite cold. Go until you're about to run out of air. A current will take you the rest of the way."

    She was reaching that point. The air was beginning to burn for release in her lungs.

    "They will be expecting you, so you must be your charming witty self. Destroy them with Nightmares if you must. I do not seek any of their plundered gold or treasures that they've thieved from innocent people. I only seek the Book. There will be only one and no other like it. Get the book and get out. I don't care how. Massacre the scaly beasts if you need to. You should be well versed in how to destroy worthless lives. This should be an easy task for you."

    And there, just as his awful voice finished speaking, she felt it: a current rushing in to sweep her away from the cold darkness. It took her quickly, dashing her around until it thrust her upward into a spring and a large, large cavern. She burst the water's surface, sending clear droplets spraying everywhere as she gaped in a large mouthful of air. She bobbed in the water, sinking back below its surface before kicking her bare feet and swimming forward until she felt stairs beneath her. Her large emerald eyes looked up at the flights of chiseled, stone stairs before her, the very same ones that Alain and the Prince traveled upon not so long ago. She made the exact same journey as they. It seemed all important, life-changing paths came up these very stairs and through the archway to the golden steps. Nalia dripped in the cool damp cave. Her ringlets curled and dangled droplets behind her as she walked into the cavern with the shallow pools and mounds of long-ago plundered treasure. She saw the pillar with the golden bookcase. She saw the two figures standing there and stopped a great distance away.

    "Come forward, Nalia al'Vatar, daughter of Neohr and the White Healer Silvyan of Astral. We have been expecting you."

    Nalia froze, hearing the name of her lineage. Her young eyes were wide in the cool, golden lighting of the cave.

    "Do not be afraid, daughter of the Light and Deep Dark. Come forward. You are welcomed here."

    At that her brow furrowed. She was still quite young, but old enough to not defend the notion that she should be afraid of the horned women. Alain might recognize the first to speak. Karythar of the Dragonfolk.

    "You know me?"

    "It has been foreseen that you would come. Many events surrounding your coming have visited my Dreams" lilted the second in a light, serious tone. Their dark, black eyes studied her. Flecks of amber and gold and muave watched every silken movement she made until she stood several feet before them within the watery pool surrounding the island with the Book.

    "Why?" her voice was bold among the echoes of the cavern. Her brow furrowed as she regarded the two females. Her arms were splayed at her side as if preparing to defend herself. Karythar looked at Nalia's hands. Her dark eyes were reflective pools.

    "There is such darkness smothering the light within this child" she whispers.

    "Yes, but she harbors a great lineage of Light. That can be enough to overcome the Darkness within."

    "Hers is great and deep. Darker days lie ahead amid the beacon of light she is yet to find."

    At that, both women fell silent. Then Karythar moved to the pedestal and clicked a latch in the golden, octagonal pendant about her neck. Rays, like that of a golden sun sprung forth and ti was with this key that she turned the central of there dials until they clicked open. The Second of the Dragonfolk remained watching Nalia.

    "I am a Dreamwalker. I traverse what your kind call the World of Dreams and see what is to come. Child of Healers, you are to be given a great gift. But with this gift comes a great burden and suffering."

    Nalia shifted, causing the water to ripple around her.

    "Despite what I am... Despite what I have done, you treat me with such kindness and welcome? None have done this for me."

    "Except for one." The Dragoness smiled and Nalia felt her cheeks burn. She said nothing, to protect him.

    "Do not deny a beacon of light in your life. It will be needed for what is to come."

    "And what is to-"

    Karythar descended into the water, closing the precarious gap between Nalia and the island. In her clawed-hands, covered carefully and artfully by her earthen robes, was a golden book with the infinite symbol of Rekōdo and ancient writing on its carved, golden cover. Nalia raised a hand back sharply and took a half step back. Her emerald eyes were wide.

    "No. No! Darmon cannot have this. He cannot be allowed to possess it!"

    "You know this Tome?"

    Nalia nodded her head.

    "Tel'Parma en' Rinarim" she whispered hauntedly, using the ancient wordage. As a gatherer of ancient Tomes and Totems, this was the most fabled of Books, kept in the Library- not a cave- and used to record the lives of every ruler of Rekōdo form the first to the present.

    "You will not give this prize to him? It is this which he seeks above all else."

    But Nalia shook her head vehemently and took another step back. Her hands were back at her sides, ready to fight or fly.

    "Kill me" she demanded "Or send me back empty handed to be killed by him. But I will not do this thing he asks. Not for this. It is not for him, or you, to possess. It belongs to Rekōdo."

    The second on the island looked for a moment like she were to laugh at Nalia's pride, but there was a more serious matter at hand.

    "He will not kill you. Not all of you. When you return to him, you will certainly suffer for your failure here. This is the gift we are giving to you, Nalia of Astral that forsakes her. In my dreams I foresaw that you needed knowledge from this sacred text to fulfill a very important role. One that will help rebalance the misguided and falsified world in which you live."

    Karythar opened the book and instantly, Nalia was bathed in a beautiful white light, like that of a Healer. Instantly, her eyes were drawn to it. She had not seen such white radiance since she was a child in her mother's house. She had killed her mother. But Nalia shook her head in denial.

    "I have no right. The knowledge within is not for me to see."

    "Then ask it a question" commanded Karythar as she carefully held the tome before her. "A single question with the gift of receiving a single answer."

    "Those above us saw to let this be the path for you. Do not deny it or you will stray from your true self."

    Nalia's wide, emerald eyes looked between the two women and the book. Then, slowly, she reached out a hand and touched the open page of the book.

    ~Why does Darmon seek you, Ancient Tome? What does he wish to learn from you that is so important?~

    Nalia's voice was soft, respectful, a tone she rarely used with any but Alain. Her voice echoed within his mind as if she were speaking to him and only him.

    There was a rush of wind and bright white light flared from the open pages. It was blinding, but it filled her own orbs and drew her in. Where her finger touched her life was being recorded onto its pages in chapters. Ancient text scrawled across the glowing parchment as Nalia's eyes were opened to the truth within the book. When it had taken from her and shown her the great devastation of truth, Nalia fell to the ground and hunched over. She sat in the cold water of the shallow pool and wept silently. Dark, wet curls hung before her face and she put a hand over her eyes to shield herself from the sight of the Dragonesses. They waited silently for her to recover. Her birth, the gaining of her dark power, the death of her family at her hands, Alain finding her in Astral, her training by the two Guild Masters after her banishment from Astral, her finding the Book through Darmon's inquisition, the rebellion from Darmon's rule over her, the forming of Enchantry, the affair... the child. Everything was written and was being recorded within the Book.

    "You must go now" Karythar said gently. "Forgive me, but there is no time for delay."

    "Your dark Master seeks to meet death upon the surface."

    "Make haste upon your return. Do not tell him of what you saw here."

    "Do not tell him of what you have seen in the Sacred Book."

    "Times ahead will be very dark for you, you daughter."

    "Fight him. Never stop fighting against the darkness he heaps upon us all."

    "You must go, Nalia."

    The world of the cavern began to shake.

    "Go, child!"


    She ran. Her bare feet carried her swiftly as an eagle through the shallow pools and down the stairs. She dove into the stair-fed spring and swam upward. Nalia broke the waters surface to find the world around her in chaos. The air teemed with Dragons and fire, smoke and ash and the sound of Darmon. He was laughing.

    Nalia's eyes were wide in horror. Dragons lay fallen everywhere she turned. Within the water, their carcasses sank, on the shore and within the smoldering ruins they lay. The living circled in a vortex and dove in ones and teams at the man in the middle, who stood with a Dragon-shaped staff pointing at the sky. Fire was belched and spiraled into the sky. The earth erupted with each impact of Dragon retaliation. Darmon's blue eyes were alight with joy, a sickeningly sweet joy one such as he only got from watching the world around him burn. He turned and saw her coming up out of the water.

    "Did you take it?" he shouted above the roaring and groaning sound of the Dragons above. His blue eyes were crazed as he sought to rid the sky of anything that flew. "Where is the Book?"

    But Nalia just stood there, soaked and dripping on the cold, windy shore. The gleeful joy on Darmon's face changed instantly from joy at watching the world burn to hatred at her failure.

    "Why did you return without it?" he yelled, dividing himself between Nalia and the Dragon's above. "What good are you to me without this success? Go back down and do not return without it!"

    He called forth dark energy from the clouds, manifested as lightning. It shot down to the earth, splitting the grassy knolls around the ruins, shattering the wooden bridges and disintegrating whatever Dragons it touched one cell at a time.


    Darmon wheeled, completely disregarding the Dragons.

    "What did you say?"

    "This is madness! I will have no part of it."

    He stared at her incredulously.

    "You defy me?" he snarled and stalked toward her. The Dragon staff was pointed directly at her. It hummed in a multitude of energies tapped directly from the planet's core. The whine of it could be heard charging the air. The Dragons all bellowed in insatiable rage.

    "Let us be gone from this place. Please. I will have no more of this!"

    Darkness lashed out from the staff, like metal-tailed whips. With each of his words, they cracked at Nalia.

    "You" -crack- "will" -crack- "not" -crack- "defy" -CRACK- "me!"

    The last smoldering whip Nalia deflected by throwing up her arm. The burning, black pitch wrapped around her arm from wrist to elbow and Darmon used that to pull her to him. Smoke rose from her skin where he'd burned her and from the fabric of her dress which was torn. He yanked her to him and held her fast by the whip on her arm.

    "I am your master! You will obey me! Get me the Book!"

    Darkness seeped into the air around Nalia. It darkened the beauty of her emerald eyes and sucked the very brightness form the air around her until they were eclipsed in blackness. She gritted her teeth and opened her mouth to utter words to bring forth the Nightmares within her, but a shadow fell upon them, massive and growing. Nalia looked up and immediately the darkness evaporated as the massive wingspan of the Dragon's shadow blotted out all light. Nalia threw up her free hand as the Dragon came crashing down upon them, seeking them with talon, studded tail and maw. It roared in rage when it met the green dome of Nalia's shield. She breathed heavily as the weight of the Dragon pressed upon her psyche. It roared and clawed the dome. It broke its teeth upon its transparent surface. It wanted nothing more than to tear them both apart and it knew Nalia was keeping it from that satisfaction. She could shift the dome and separate herself from Darmon. The temptation wihtin the memory to free herself from Darmon through his death was overwhelming, aching. But so was the realization that doing so would make her the very thing she was seen as: a monster. Careless and vengeful and corrupted by the darkness within her. The Nightmares in her head hissed and howled and begged and pleaded for her to let them feast upon his wrinkled, old flesh. But she denied them and held fast the dome. Even as the weight of the Dragon, joined now by its comrades, grew too great she held it. Cracks appeared at its apex and spread like jagged rivers down the side. The entirety of the time she kept them from certain death, Darmon lashed out at her with both word and weapons until finally she broke. She could not maintain her own defenses and that of the dome. It shattered into deadly green shards and the pile of Dragon kind came crashing down upon them.

    For a moment, everything was still.

    Then, from the beneath the snapping pile there was an explosion. So great was the force of it that the entirety of the earth shook and groaned as if in pain. It sent Dragons, both whole and torn flying in all directions. They crashed into tall pines, not mountains and ruins. Their splash was heard as they dropped like heavy stones into the lake. In the middle of it all stood Darmon of Maginus, dirtied and breathing hard. The Dragon staff was held aloft, crackling with residual energy. At his feet lay Nalia. She did not move. There was a massive howl coming from across the lake. It was angry and in its wake came thousands of dark, winged shapes in the distant, cloudy sky. Darmon spat and yelled at the oncoming horde. He yelled again and again in unfiltered rage until finally, he quieted. Breathing hard, he dropped the staff at his side and looked down at the unconscious woman at his feet. He moved his boot out from under her head so that she lay in the dirt. The Dragon's bellowed again, a response to his war cry. This fight, for him, was over. Darmon crouched down and lifted Nalia up. It was an easy feet, even with the staff in his hand, for she weighed very little. He hefted her up so that she was cradled in his arms.


    They melted, rapidly, into black ashen smoke. The smoke curled and churned, turning in and in on itself until they lost shape and the cloud of them became smaller and smaller. Then there was a loud pop and they disappeared. They apparated moments later into a stone room with no doors and no windows. Candles burned along a stone shelf that ran all lengths of the wall. There were books and bones, vials and jars and knives and painted symbols from the Dark Arts crammed within this tiny room. There were torches and scrolls and parchments and maps. The only furnishings beside a piled-upon wooden table and chairs were a massive, full length mirror upon one wall and a large bed used for late nights after long incantations and research. Darmon dropped the staff unceremoniously atop a trunk full of old scrolls and gems. He carried Nalia, over to the bed and placed her there with neither care nor gentleness. He turned from her and stalked away. His hands dove into his hair, messing it up entirely. He gripped his head tight as he paced back and forth within the small, cluttered room. His pacing grew faster and the hands went from his hair to his sides, balled into furious fists from their failure. His teeth gritted and he muttered to himself until his rage consumed him. He kicked the chairs with the scrolls and tomes, sending the wood flying to the wall. It shattered and rained down upon the floor. He turned and kicked the trunk, the piles of books and paper and turned over the table of maps and incantative drawings. When there was little else to overturn he wheeled around to the bed to spill his rage upon Nalia, who had not moved throughout his whole tantrum. He stalked over to the bed and then stalked away. His hands returned back to his hair and held fast. His breathing was raspy uncontrolled as he turned back around once again, ready to unleash his outrage upon the unconscious Nalia even if she could not be awake to bear witness to the pain. but he looked at her there on the bed and something changed in his face. Her dark hair was strewn in soft, damp waves across her face. Her clothes, torn and scorched, revealed her bare ivory legs. Her cheeks were flush and her lips lightly parted. Her cloak was thrown back. It was always to carefully kept around her petite figure. Darmon's hands left his hair and remained curled, but not closed.

    A dangerous look came into his eyes as he approached her.
    Last edited by SilntAngl5; 06-09-2013 at 08:47 PM.

  3. #3
    (In the World of Dreams) The Memories of Nalia al'Vatar: The Trials of the Second

    Attachment 1550 Attachment 1551

    Nalia al'Vatar and Darmon of Maginus

    For a moment there was darkness and only sound, but right away the context of the sound was clear. The first time he had her was quick, harried by the thought of her waking and driven purely by the fury and desolation within him. The dangerous look blossomed into intimate touch, running first along the smooth, cool skin of her moon-kissed thighs to the delicate hint of ligament at her inner thigh. His fingertips slid up the sheer fabric of her torn skirt, to the rough, tight texture of her corset to the delicate mounds of her breasts. Darmon's eyes glazed over, becoming lost in the heavy breathing of a rapid, insatiable urge to destroy and damage, to regain control of a situation that had gone so terribly awry. The desperation to grasp onto that control funneled itself into the desire he felt gathering in the depth of his loins. There was nothing delicate or loving. There was no exploration of her beauty, the secrets her youthful bodice hid. There was no hand in her curls or lips upon her throat, seeking to drink the moment of copulation in. It was harsh, it was quick. It was this sound, the sound of breaking through a feminine portal that began the next half of this memory. It was the sound of his elation as he finished that began it all.

    Sight came back as she awoke to him above her a second time. His back was arching as he moved into her with much more wanting and enjoyment that the first time. He had finished and removed himself from her, stumbling several feet back into chairs that had semi-survived his earlier wrath. For a moment he stood back panting. Not a sound but that permeated the windowless, doorless room. His disbelieving blue eyes watched her and as his breathing calmed and sense came back he conjured a dark realization. There had been no other before him. It was evident by the blood of her innocence left upon his sheets. The thought aroused him, that he before any other had walked through the most sacred portal of Nalia al'Vatar. A smile grew upon his face as he stood up from the tumbled chairs. A smile that quickly turned as dangerous as the fury-driven desire that guided him before had been. He approached her again, noted the finer details of her being, and remembered the pleasure her treasured warmth had offered him. This time each shadow upon her flesh, each beauty mark, each dimple, each curve and beautiful valley was observed, touched, noted, desired. Darmon yearned for a deeper taste of this forbidden pool and this time, as his hands touched her, they delved more intimately. He climbed above her on the large, wide bed and bent to smell the sweet scent on her flesh, mixed with the ashen smell of their travel. His rough fingers grazed her cheek and tangled into her rich, dark curls as he bent to bring his lips to the length of her elegant neck. Her legs parted with unconscious ease once more as he began the driving rhythm that fueled a greater desire, a greater urge to conquer more deeply. It was this that woke her and the lips upon her sensitive flesh before he rose up to move with enriching, deepening thrusts.

    Nalia's green eyes opened and were confused by the silhouette above her. It would be the first thing they saw and then the sheer force of panic set in. Panic and utter horror. Nalia's hand came up and shoved at Darmon's chest. His eyes opened from his elation and his hand grabbed hers and pulled it off his chest. The second came up to damage him somewhere, anywhere she could reach, but it was grabbed, twisted and the weight of him forced them downward above her head. His rough fingers crushed her wrists together as he slowed his tempo so that she might feel and know exactly what it was that was done between women and men, so that she might see the ecstasy she brought him. He bent down, arching his neck to bring his lips to her throat, to whisper things that only two intimate lovers should speak to each other. Words commanding, begging him to stop fell on deaf ears and she slowly began to hide within the horror that he, of all the men that Rekōdo could offer her, would be the first to have her. Tears fell from the corners of her eyes as she moved against him, writhing beneath the weight and rhythm of him. Pain shot from her groin to the tips of her fingers and toes as he hurt her over and over again. His breathing grew more ragged as she struggled, his movements more desperate within her, to finish within her and ruin her again. Nalia closed her eyes and caved in to the fear and humiliation. She let it consume her and complete her until the tears that fell from her eyes were as black as tar. His cries of climax were overrun by the cackles and howls and hisses and jeers of the Nightmares that frothed to take control of her in this moment of ultimate agony. Nalia fought. Her hand grabbed Darmon's wrist and smoke singed from her palm. He made a noise and released his one hand. It was enough. Nalia's fist came out and connected with Darmon's ribs. As he bellowed and lurched to one side, a leg came up and kneed him swiftly in the gut. Darmon fell back and Nalia clawed her way off the bed. She fell to the floor, covered in sheets and curls. Nalia shook, unable to control herself as her wide, fearful emerald eyes looked up.

    Darmon was laughing.

    Immediately that mortification and pain and disgrace morphed into Anger and rage. The switch was immediate as Nalia picked up the sharpest thing next to her and lunged at Darmon. The broken shard of chair impaled his femur upon the bed. Darmon's laughter turned to a yell of rage. His hand found her face, sending her back from him, back down to the floor. He ripped the chair leg from his own and threw it at her. He moved off the bed and secured himself as she came at him again, this time with her bare hands. Her screams of rage and torment echoed morbidly within the thick, unyielding walls. She clawed his face and chest a he grabbed a thick handful of her hair and threw her into the nearest wall. He grabbed a dagger, one knocked from an altar of stone, skewed in his rage and raised it high. She dodged and it as it embedded in the wall beside her head. Darmon's fists pummeled her flesh as Nalia's desperate hands came up to wrap around his throat. Rage fueled her. She felt the darkness of her fear and suffering consuming her one cell at a time until it was all she was. It was with a primal scream that Nalia called forth the dark power within her, the power he so loved, and blasted him across the room and into the far wall. The whole room cracked and shifted on whatever foundation it lay upon. She was across the room in an instant and her hands re-wrapped themselves around his throat and lifted him up from the ground. His skin began to smolder and burn. Darkness crept into the corers of her enraged emerald eyes.

    It was his laughter that sent her over the edge. Her voice was a grating, Nightmare-twisted whisper.


    The flesh of his neck began to blister and pop. It seethed and festered until it rotted and turned black as melting pitch, as the rolls of night across a starless sky. His laughter was a mix of adrenaline and anguish as the Nightmare froth she poured from her hands liquified and decayed his flesh.

    "Do it" he breathed between laughter in a voice that personified his desire for her in his bed. "This night you give me what I've always wanted and more."

    Nalia's rage-drive action faltered, but the skin continued to rot under her touch. Darmon threw his head back and howled with the joy of the pain he felt. It was what he always wanted from her: to see and taste her dark power. To feel the sting of the ultimate darkness upon his own flesh.

    "If this is what it took to make you succumb to the darkness... Had I only known I would have claimed you sooner."

    Nalia's eyes widened in horror. The Nightmares within her head screamed in glee. Darmon's ice blue eyes, wide with torturous pain and pleasure stared into the hollows of her heart.

    "I will have you again and again. You will never be free of me, Nalia al"Vatar." The delight in his voice was overwhelming, the look in his face cruel and twisted.

    "I will always have you. My claim upon your flesh is staked out. This piece of you is mine." Daron licked his lips. "And I will have it again, oh yes. Over and over if it brings your darkness to me."

    Nalia's hands tightened about his throat until his windpipe creaked and threatened to shatter. Darmon gasped for air. His face turned a gray hue as the Nightmare energy continued to feast upon his flesh.

    "Do it" he gaped hoarsely. "I welcome the ultimate darkness of death. Give it to me!"

    His blood poured down her wrists and bubbled and dripped on the floor at his feet.

    "Do it!" he hissed. "Do it!"

    The rage was emptied out in a sudden rush, leaving her weak and hollow. With an echoing wail, the Nightmare tide washed back within her and Darmon dropped to the floor. Nalia staggered back. Her body shook and dripped with his blood, with her own from her nose and lip where he beat her. Her emerald eyes, wide with shock and suffering stared at him from behind tangled webs of dark curls. He laughed again, but this time it was hoarse, shallow at her failure.

    "You are so weak-" He gasped, slumped against the wall. "- Pathetic. You cannot even kill me. You let me have you and then you cannot-"

    He put a hand to his throat as he coughed up his own blood and dark ichor.

    "There is nothing so worthless-" he hissed "- as one with so much useless power."

    Nalia backed away. She finally found the will to make her legs move. Rapidly, her emerald eyes looked around for an escape. A door, a window, a ledge high above the ground to jump from. But there was nothing. Nothing but broken items and a large, untouched mirror. Darmon began to laugh in short, jutting blurts.

    "What will you do now, Nalia?" he cajoled. "Where can you possible go that will accept you for the dark, worthless thing that you are?"

    Nalia was beginning to shake uncontrollably. She had to escape. She had to leave or she might not be able to contain the overwhelming desire to silence him forever. He would tell the world what she'd done, what he'd done to her. Every one would know. It would be like her family in Astral all over again. She could not live like that. She could not live like this. Nalia's crazed green eyes found the mirror, the only untouched thing and dove for it. Mirrors were well-known to be portals to other places, just as doors were. It accepted Nalia's body as she dove into it and out into Darmon's bedchamber in Arx, the capital fortress. Nalia scrambled across the floor and into the massive, columned chamber. She backed up into one of the pillars and fell into the darkness of its shadow. Into its Realm where the Nightmares she housed dwelled and tainted the darkness. They lunged for her the second she entered and began to run. The tattered of her dress whipped behind her as she tore through the darkened space between shadows. Tears streamed unbidden from her eyes, blinding her vision. It incapacitated her from seeing where it was she ran. It did not matter so long as it was away. Far away. She wept only as she flew through the darkness. Where could she go? Where could she hide? Who would keep her as she was, despite who she was and what had been done? She stumbled and fell in the dark and curled up upon its cold, unfeeling floor. She hugged herself and shook, sobbing uncontrollably for all the pain she felt, both physical and self. Where would she go? Who could she go to? Who could she trust?

    In the darkest hour of her life, Nalia uttered a single name.


    She wept and in her weeply mouthed his name over and over again. The one person in all of Rekōdo who dares show her any kindness without fear of the dark power she harbored. The one person who guided her and taught her without strings or agendas. The one person who, when she desired nothing more than to end herself, the thought of was like a beacon of light in the great darkness. Nalia rose slowly, pushed herself upon her hand and knees and began to stagger toward the shaft of light that opened before her. She wiped her tears away with furious movements of her hands as her desire to be before the one last hope she had fueled her to go just that far. As she came before the sliver of light, she slowed and straightened and tried to walk normally, though the vision of the memory showed it hurt. It hurt so that she doubled over and covered her face in her hands and screamed, holding the delicate cradle between her legs in the crook of her arm. When the pain subsided, whe she knew the length of what to expect and manage, she righted herself again. She took in a deep breath and walked rigidly forward. She passed through the sliver and onto the platform of Faraking Island. The tower floated above the castle below. The Heli'Dom, the most massive and powerful telescopic lens in all of Rekōdo. Alain LeCavalier would see himself there, looking at the stars when she arrived. She stood there silently, arms spread apart, beaten, battered and torn. Bloodied and clearly distraught, but composing herself as best she could. She looked up at him, up high above her round platform of the telescope. And from that place where she stood, she inhaled deeply to steel herself and called his name so that he might know her.
    Last edited by SilntAngl5; 12-29-2013 at 12:26 PM.

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

    The Heli'Dom, On the Faraking Island...

    When Nalia arrives within the main observatory, Alain is lost in a cosmos of orbiting items floating around himself and the massive telescope that towers before him. Papers, books, scribing imps, a cup of steaming tea on a saucer and a pear floats in a lazy orbit around Alain as he ponders the glories of the stars that his telescope bares to him. He softly mutters, both to himself and to the imps. These scribe imps are mystical constructs that hop from one floating scroll or book to another and with their pen-tipped tails scribble notes based on Alain's mutterings. Carefully, ponderously, Alain studies the prophesies and truths that the heavens shine down upon him in their silent beauty.

    Alain himself wears a white, high collared shirt, with the first several buttons unbuttoned some time during the long night of stargazing. Over the shirt is a sleek waistcoat of dark crimson and intricate swirls and star patterns of gold thread. Below the waistcoat he wears black trousers and leather boots that look as though they have worked hard treading across miles of Tarocian landscapes. Tucked into Alain's belt is a single leather glove, with the second glove being worn on his left hand of stone. Alain rarely leaves the stone hand bare in public, and never ungloved when dealing with the delicate mechanisms and lenses of the Heli'Dom telescopes. The touch of his marble fingers might scratch some important element of the telescope and render the device inaccurate.

    One of the scribe imps, mid-leap to an ancient tome on the constellations during the winter solstice and their meaning in the visions recorded by the fifth Guild Master of Taroc, spots the newly arrived Nalia. The simple creature decides its master would know how to deal with this information better than it can, since a visitor probably involves very little note taking. It hops off of the book and lands on Alain's shoulder. It whistles something into the man's ear, prying Alain's attention away from the telescope and towards the slender woman that stands across the room. With its task performed, the scribe imp leaps off of Alain, lands on the large telescope and slides down to the floor where it can feed from an inkwell.

    Alain rises from his chair, pulling off a pair of alchemically infused goggles, which granted him new spectrums of sight in which to observe the cosmos. His brown eyes are revealed in a worried gaze. He rushes down from the platform that acts as a nest for the telescope and any stargazer that may operate it, and approaches Nalia.

    "Humbug," Alain calls out to Nalia with a nickname he gave her when she was much younger. 'Humbug' was Alain's grandfather's word for the art of casting illusions, something the old man found greatly annoying during his time as a warrior. Alain later went on to use it as a code word during the Great War. After the war, the word simply became a bygone relic that reminded Alain of his grandfather. When he first witnessed Nalia using her powers of illusion it was the first word to come to Alain's mind, which immediately after became the first word he said in response. Somehow, Humbug became a playful nickname, something they could share as mentor and student, and eventually as friends.

    He looks her over, his features worry and ponder every sign of injury that he sees upon Nalia. He opens his mouth to immediately barrage the woman with all of the questions that need to be asked, but Alain manages to restrain himself. She's obviously in distress, her care should come first.

    "Come, sit down." He holds one hand out and gestures towards a high-backed, cushioned chair that rests in a sitting area near the telescope platform. With a glance he telepathically signals to a steaming teapot and an extra cup and saucer to float to the sitting area and meet Nalia and himself there with a fresh cup of tea for the woman. Though the brew is of the more bitter kind enjoyed by the tea leaf readers and fortune tellers of Taroc, Alain is sure to command the teapot to add a little extra sugar and cream for his guest. He recalls she found that more to her liking the last time she visited him in Clow.

    ~Darmon's done something,~ Alain thinks into the spaces within his mind where he can feel Clow, his Spirit Guild, lurking.

    ~You always say that. Don't jump to conclusions. Nalia isn't the most popular of people in Rekōdo. Many still remember the stories- ~ Clow begins to try and reign in his host's suspicions, but he is soon cut off by sharp thoughts from Alain.

    ~Rumors! There's no proof of her doing anything. And she was just a child.~

    ~Yes. Yes. Yes. Of course. I'm just telling you to wait before you storm off to do something foolish like strangle a fellow Guild Master. Please, we're not savages. Or in your case, not any more.~

    Alain responds with a mental grumble, followed by a nudge to push Clow further away from Alain's primary consciousness. This makes Alain less aware of the spirit's presence and allows Alain to bring his full attention to Nalia.

  5. #5
    Faraking Island: The Floating Heli'Dom of Alain LeCavalier


    Nalia al'Vatar

    Nalia shifts back and forth on her feet as the imps inform him of her arrival. Her hadsn pick at each other, momentarily leaving their fight of flight position. The nickname made her shake, placing a chink in the delicate resolve she had built up so that she might face him. That little words made her happier than any other word in the world, but right now it made her feel like a child. Darmon made her feel like when she was a child and the whole world was horrified of her. They still were. His words began to come back to her, to haunt her. His noises, his smell, his touch, the way his lips touched her and his hands reveled in her flesh.

    "I will have you again and again. You will never be free of me.."

    She hurt. She stood stiffly, doing everything she could to keep her legs for trembling. Her legs looked awkward, pinned together so. but everything about her seemed broken. There was dried blood from a split in her lip. She was bruised from her arms to her legs, the sheer fabric of her gonw was all but rags from the waist down. The straps of her corset were torn and falling off her shoulders. Her cloak was gone. Nalia never went anywhere without her cloak. She seemed terribly exposed, vulnerable. It was a relief when Alain asked her to sit down. As she lowered herself to the couch, she made a small noise and looked down at the remnants of her dress. She tried to smooth them, focusing more on their sad state than wanting to meet Alain's eyes, lest he question the noise she'd made. The teacup was accepted with hands that shook far more than she willed them to. She held the steaming cup in her hands, but did not drink. She smelled the strong Taroc tea, sweetened with extra sugar the way she enjoyed. It made her smile, but the smile was broken and wilted into a trembling frown. She took a hand away from the cup to cover her lips. Her hands were covered in dried blood. Hers and his. Nalia closed her eyes and set the tea cup on the small table between the cushioned chairs and put them back in her lap. Iron-colored fingerprints were left on the cup. Nalia moved so she sat on the very edge of the chair, as far as she could without falling off. It hurt her less that way.

    "What will you do now, Nalia?" Her hands held each other tightly. She tried to look up at Alain, but failed.

    "Where can you possible go that will accept you for the dark, worthless thing that you are?"

    Nalia bit her lip and it began to bleed again.

    "I- I failed" she stammered out.

    "This piece of you is mine." Nalia's hands scratched each other in distress. "And I will have it again... Over and over..."

    Nalia closed her eyes. She would not look at him.

    "I did not know where else to run."
    Last edited by SilntAngl5; 06-09-2013 at 08:43 PM.

  6. #6
    The Great Orange One Qwaring's clone#1 is offline Qwaring's clone#1's Avatar
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    Alain LeCavalier

    The Heli'Dom, On the Faraking Island...

    Alain weaves mental commands to his surroundings. The main observatory is without staff at night, the presence of so many others may influence visions gleaned from observing the stars. This means Alain has populated the chamber with mystically animated objects and furniture to serve his every thought. Soon a winged hook flies a blanket from a storage closet down the hall. Alain takes hold of the blanket and drapes it over Nalia's shoulders as she sits and shakes on the couch. A silver platter hovers up to Alain, carrying a bowl and a small pile of pristine white cloths. The teapot is commanded to pour hot water into the bowl and it does so.

    Alain kneels down on the floor in front of Nalia. He is assessing her injuries, while whetting a cloth in the bowl of water. His combat medic training taking control of his actions.

    "You're safe here. I will tell the observatory to lock itself down for the night. And if you require it, I can summon a galleon to patrol the waters surrounding the island. My naval seers can spot the flea on a seagull's backside from an ocean away..." Alain begins speaking but gradually drifts off.

    ~Summon a galleon? Really? She 'failed'. What does she mean by that? Maybe she's on a mission for Darmon, and when things got too dangerous for her Nalia ran here to hide like an irresponsible child.~ Clow ponders within the depths of Alain's mind. Clow is again rudely nudged further back behind Alain's train of thought.

    Alain finishes dampening the cloth and holds it, ready to clean and treat Nalia's wounds, but he pauses, looking at her.

    "Please take a deep breath. If I may, I will clean these wounds and you can tell me what happened. We are friends, Nalia, I will aid you in any way I can."

    ~You should call in Verona. She can check with reports on Maginus activity, and give us a better idea of what we're dealing with. You shouldn't let this girl drag us into Maginus business. That can get messy.~ Clow is back within the center of Alain's mind, stubbornly refusing to leave his place in the midst of his host's thoughts.

    ~If this is Maginus work, then I need to put a stop to it,~ Alain angrily replies. Clow simply sighs as his host fails once more to heed any of his advice. Nights like this makes it hard to be a spiritual mentor.

  7. #7
    Faraking Island: The Floating Heli'Dome of Alain LeCavalier


    Nalia al'Vatar

    Even with the blanket on, Nalia continues to tremble. She almost removes it. She feels dirty, as if all the white, clean rags Alain can conjure will not clean her. But she cannot tell him that. She cannot tell him why. If he knew Darmon touched her, had her in the way men did a woman, he would refuse her. Alain hated Darmon more than she hated him, more than anyone on Emporium did. She had been bedded by his most renown enemy. How could he allow himself to mentor her further? She would lose the last link to happiness she had. Here he pledged to send a galleon fleet to protect her. Her.

    "You will never be free of me, Nalia al"Vatar."

    Nalia straightens, stiffens and nods. She cannot watch his hands as they approach her, even with the pure white towel. Instead, Nalia stares away from him, out over the floating turret to the distant harbor in the bay of Faraking. The stars, all around them this high up, are truly beautiful. Their beauty is lost to her. Everything seems bleak. Hopeless. His first touch upon her skin makes her cringe more deeply than she wanted. But she did not make a sound. Watching the harbor's faint lights, watching the stars, Nalia's eyes began to water.

    "Darmon brought me to the Unsettled Lands, to a lake with ruins covered in snow. He wanted me to get a book."

    His touch was distracting, pulling her back to the invasive hands that gleamed her innocence. It felt like it had happened years ago, an hour ago, a minute ago. It felt all encompassing, enveloping everything about her and ruining it. His hands were not Darmon's. She repeated that to herself over and over again. She could not tell him about the Sacred Book. She was sworn to that. Fast forward.

    "There were Dragons everywhere..."

    "He will not kill you. Not all of you."

    The blood on her lips was moist, but no longer bleeding. The dirt and grime of battle smudged her ivory skin, as blessedly pure and white as the seas of the moons above them. It was the great light of the moon that lit their tower and the Heli'Dome, amid candles and stars. Truly, this place was beautiful. There was blood on her hands and her legs, bruises all over that no cloth could wipe away. Nalia's mouth opened, but no words came out.

    "I could not get the Book. Not without destroying them all. He ordered it... I refused."

    She would not use her Nightmare power. She had refused Darmon that no matter how he threatened or asked. And she used them on him today. He laughed at her when she would not kill him.

    "You" -crack- "will" -crack- "not" -crack- "defy" -CRACK- "me!"

    "I... refused."

    "You are so weak! Pathetic!"

    Nalia squeezed her eyes shut, pressing the tears out. The rolled without the sound of weeping down her cheeks. The back of her corset was in tears of fabric. He had whipped her with the staff. Imprints of the carved dragon were imprinted upon her flesh of her back and arms, no longer bleeding now.

    When you return to him, you will certainly suffer for your failure here.

    Nalia could not keep the voices out of her head. She wanted to clap her hands to her ears and scream. The desire to scream and wail and curl into a ball at Alain's feet was overwhelming. It aggravated her and angered her that she felt so small, like this was something she deserved to have brought upon her. She knew she did not deserve this suffering. She wanted to scream so that all of Emporium knew that she did not deserve this. But she couldn't. She could not tell Alain or anyone. So she stopped speaking altogether.
    Last edited by SilntAngl5; 06-09-2013 at 08:41 PM.

  8. #8
    The Great Orange One Qwaring's clone#1 is offline Qwaring's clone#1's Avatar
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    Alain LeCavalier

    The Heli'Dom, On the Faraking Island...

    Alain silently listens to Nalia as he tries his best to clean the various cuts on her hands and arms. Treating her injuries is slow going, Alain is hesitant as he can practically feel that his proximity to her seems to only worsen her anxiety. As Nalia reveals her assignment and refusal to complete it, Alain stops his attempt to clean her cuts. He drops the blood and dirt soiled cloth onto the floating tray.

    ~Keep calm, Alain. Don't start jumping to conclusions.~ Clow immediately steps forward as he feels the anger rising within his host. Alain knows of Darmon's temper. He knows how much Darmon hates failure, and hates dragons even more. These injuries could have been inflicted by Darmon during one of his tantrums.

    Clow stumbles back further into Alain's mind as the Guild Master's fabled Combat Sense erupts within their shares mindscape. A full opera of war and violence sings to life within Alain's thoughts as he ponders out potential strategies for attacking Darmon out of retribution. His mystical senses responds with a chorus of foreseen outcomes and alternate tactics. It's far too soon to receive a surefire attack plan, but the actions that will lead to certain disaster have their failings sung out to Alain.

    ~Stop this! Stop it right now. This is a Maginus matter and you know it. Each Guild Leader can discipline their subordinates as they see fit. Darmon's methods include violence. You know this. You knew this long before Nalia was placed under Darmon's care. If you blaze off to Maginus right now you're just going to give Darmon ammunition to use against Taroc. You can't hurt our people, just so you can get revenge for something you knew would happen sooner or later~ Clow's shouting within Alain's mind gradually quiets the thunderous sounds of his Combat Sense. The spirit's words are reaching his host's sense of responsibility. ~It's savage, and tragic, but if the girl can walk away with only a beating, she's luckier than most who have refused Darmon. She's alive, and right now she's safe.~

    Alain takes a deep breath.

    "It's alright now. You're safe here. Darmon can't set foot here. I'm pretty sure he'd burst into flames. I had a ward installed decades ago, I can't recall if I ever had it removed..." Alain softly tells Nalia. He rises from the floor and sits back on a chair that has rolled up behind him. He sits immediately in front of Nalia. He leans forward, with his elbows resting on his knees and his right hand clasped within his stone grasp.

    "We don't have to talk about what happened if you don't want to. If you wish, we can discuss making him pay. I can't guess at what he may have done, but I can offer advice on how we can seek to punish him," Alain gently offers. "No matter what, I will be here for you."

  9. #9
    Faraking Island: The Floating Heli'Dome of Alain LeCavalier


    Nalia al'Vatar

    Nalia's Astral instincts kick in. She sees the change in Alain's face, the well masked anger there. It is well known that Taroc and Maginus hate each other, but no two hate each other more than Darmon of Maginus and Alain of Taroc. Ironically, for how much Clow despised Nalia, her thoughts ran worriedly along similar lines. It would be what Darmon wanted. Where else could she go, but to Alain? To Alain to spill her story so that he would over react and go marching into Maginus. If Alain knew the full of it, if he knew the depth of how badly he hurt her, he would. Abruptly, Nalia stood.

    "I should not have come here" she said quickly, letting the blanket fall to the floor. His joke about Darmon bursting into flames from an old ward is lost upon her. The chair she was in shifts backwards. Nalia's dark curls blow in front of her face as her knew height catches the wind high in the sky.

    Nalia stepped back from Alain.

    "I will never be free from him."

    She was close to tears and turned around abruptly. She gave Alain only her back, the tatters of her dark corset hung in stuff strips. Again, the fragility of her was striking. She was not wearing her cloak. She took her cloak with her everywhere, to hide herself. Her hands at her sides seemed confused, unsure if they should be balled into fists or curled into claws.

    "You will never be free of me, Nalia al'Vatar."

    His voice haunted her. The sight of his silhouette over her, moving, moaning.

    "My claim upon your flesh is staked out. This piece of you is mine!"

    She would never get that part of her back. That little piece of her was stolen and gone forever.

    "He will not kill you. Not all of you."

    "I will have you again and again."

    Nalia's breathing grew labored, dangerously fast and shallow.

    "You cannot even kill me."

    She wanted to kill him. To make the flesh melt from his bones. To watch the Nightmares within her make a meal of his worthless carcass.

    "You let me have you-"

    The Nightmares within her began to howl with delight at her dark thoughts. They struggled against her claim of control, frothing at their dark maws to be free.

    "You are so weak!"

    If she let them go-


    This could all be over.

    "There is nothing so worthless-"

    But then-

    "- nothing-"

    The stars began to fade.

    "- SO worthless-"

    One by one, under the black hole of darkness that grew around her.

    "- as one with so much useless power."

    - he would win.

    Nalia's hands settled on fists and at that moment, something changed in her.

    "What will you do now, Nalia?"

    The darkness began to retreat, leaving her with a momentary chasm of nothingness within herself. A howl of outrage and murderous anger went up within her mind. She silenced it with a single thought.

    "I know what I must do" she whispered in a deathly quiet voice. It was such a haunting sound that, for a moment, it looked as if she might jump from the tower.

    But Nalia was not going to destroy. She was going to create something from the ashes of her own ruination. She was not going to let this happen again. Not to her. Not to anyone. Nalia turned around to face him. There were tears on her cheeks. Tears of angry determination. What was she saying? Create her own Guild? No one had done that. Not since the beginning of Rekōdo. But in the beginning, there were seven. Now there were five. But no one knew that but her and the King. The King who did nothing! It would be her own personal victory to spite them all. She would honor the fallen, honor them by giving them a memory, even if the world did not know what memory they were being given. And it would be the ultimate thorn in Darmon's side. Everyone who was ever wronged by him could go with her. They would all be free at last...

    "I am going to form my own Guild."
    Last edited by SilntAngl5; 06-09-2013 at 08:39 PM.

  10. #10
    The Great Orange One Qwaring's clone#1 is offline Qwaring's clone#1's Avatar
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    Jun 2004
    Walking around.
    Alain LeCavalier

    The Heli'Dom, On the Faraking Island...

    Alain stands up shortly after Nalia does. He does not approach her. Alain simply watches her, waiting to try to halt any attempt to leave here. She does not seem to be in the best condition to be out in the world alone. But he can see something is going wrong within her, and he hopes she has the inner fortitude to right it. Alain knows she has the strength to overcome whatever has been inflicted upon her, but he can't force her to utilize that strength. He can only try to keep her safe right now.

    Eventually, Nalia turns around. Tears leave a glistening path down her pale cheeks. When she announces her idea to begin a new guild, Alain is left dumbfounded. He collapses back into his chair, as if felled by a solid blow. His eyes drift away from her and stare into the empty air as his mind tries to wrestle with the concept.

    ~Ridiculous!~ Clow responds while Alain still struggles. The woman's idea goes against the order of things. An order Clow helped to shape.

    Clow's outraged voice seems to rouse Alain from the spell he's under. Alain looks back at Nalia with a wide grin on his lips. His mouth opens to free a deep chuckling of delight. Alain leans back into his chair, rubbing his strong chin with his right hand as he seemed to enjoy Nalia and her idea. Gradually his laughter softens and dies away entirely. His smile remains.

    "That's perfect," Alain enthusiastically replies as he sits forward. There's an energetic gleam within his eyes that few can say they can see within Alain's gaze very often. "A new guild, brilliant."

    ~What? You aren't serious. This is a terrible idea. It won't work,~ Clow dismisses the concept within Alain's mind.

    Alain stands up again and begins pacing, his words are addressed to both Nalia and the spirit within his own head.
    "Darmon holds Maginus in such an iron grasp, nothing great about the guild can ever truly grow or prosper. Another guild would give these suffocating elements room to breath and blossom." There is an excitement within Alain's tone, as he paces and gestures his hands this way and that way in order to emphasize his words. Suddenly he comes to a halt and turns about to face Nalia.

    "And who better to lead this new guild." Alain grins proudly at Nalia. "It's perfect."

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