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  1. #171
    Rekōdo City: The Gathering Room of the Grand Palace





    Prince Eri, Acting Ruler of Rekōdo and his guards Ganard of House Fallandor and Merelin of House Diorna


    It was a simple room, purposely so. The only thing on the pillars were the banners of each province in Rekōdo, seven in all with the middle one handing the infinite diamond symbol of the unity of all. A throne room chair had been set up before the pillars, a simple one of dark, rich Maginus mahogany draped in a swath of the finest blue Astral silk. A silver ribbon had been hemmed along its borders. They were the Prince's colors, and they had been the colors of every Prince of Rekōdo since the first had come into the world. The Prince wore clothes to match the blue and silver of the cloth upon the throne chair. A chair he had yet to sit upon.

    Eri looked out a window and watched the snow fall. The window faced west, into the oncoming storm. Things were being readied behind him at an annoying slow pace. Everything had been thrown into chaos. The regents had done their best to keep order in his and his sister's absence. Ganard had been in contact with them during his time in the Temple of Unspoken Prophecy in Taroc. Ganard spoke with them now. With everything devolving in Pasce's absence, the magi-news, holonets and every other channel used to communicate the happenings of the world were abuzz with the current state of disorder and overflowing with predictions as to who or what would fall apart or be attacked next. He had learned just moments ago that Capios' dome had fallen. The island had gone dark. Alain LeCavalier's floating fortress, a relic from the Great War itself, had disappeared. Something happened farther our in the snow-covered Ailes. Something with lightning and an unleash of great power that had set the whole world on edge.

    He needed to drain the world of its fear. He did not think the things his sister had asked him to tell their world would do that.

    "She's not in Da'Jinn" he said to Merelin Ganard as he approached. Merelin had given him a reprieve and had taken over the finer details of broadcasting a statement by the Prince to even the most remote locations of Rekōdo. There were Healers of the White Towers in their white cloaks and golden-hemmed robes speaking with her next. Concern for the Prince's well-being. Concern for the eye. The rest he should be getting after such a procedure. Eri had given Merelin orders. He would not rest until he had spoken Pasce's words to the world. His words to Ganard made the elder guard freeze. He watched the Prince carefully.

    "Where is she if not in Da'Jinn?"

    "West" was all the Prince said. They all knew what was west: chaos and war and Nightmares. Ganard hung his head. Beneath his bearded mustache, his lips worked.

    "She is hard to read" Eri said distantly. Ganard knew the tone of his voice. He was looking for her. His voice was gentle in its distance, like the delicacy needed for worn, old fingers to stroke the wing of a butterfly. Ganard waited. "She does not feel right, Ganard."

    The old warrior's lips pursed.

    "Highness, we cannot leave and go-"

    "I know."

    Again, the agreeableness surprised Ganard. He opened his mouth, closed it again and left it there. Eri stood up from the window and turned away from it. He inhaled deeply through his nose, as if the physical turning away from his sister took much greater strength than he outwardly presented. From across the room, Merelin paused to stare his way for a long moment before returning back to her tasks.

    "There are things I must do here. Our Princess has asked me to be what she cannot and I cannot be that if I run to the West."

    Beneath his beard, Ganard suppressed a sad smile. He knew this conflicted what Eri felt within, the pull to be within protecting distance of Pasce, but it was the right move, the smarter move. Rekōdo needed the presence of its ruling family.

    "That you can't."

    Eri stepped forward. There were bands of gold woven into his brown hair. He placed a hand on Ganard's shoulder and steered him toward the center of the room, where there were banners on pillars and a throne room chair. Ganard went with his Prince.

    "It is a wise move, highness" he said. This time, Eri offered him a small smile. The man who had mentored him all his life could see the sadness of it in the corners of his eyes. "Rekōdo needs its Prince. It needs something tangible in the way of hope."

    "Then it is hope I will give them, Ganard" the Prince said.
    "I have not been myself and everyone around me has suffered for it. It will not happen any-"

    Eri suddenly stopped talking and gripped Ganard's arm roughly.

    "Eri-" The Prince's gripped tightened so that Ganard braced the Prince's left shoulder with his hand, but Eri shook his head vehemently. Ganard released him but the arm that the Prince held stayed close by his side.

    "Something's wrong" he breathed in hoarse undertone. He inhaled sharp breaths of air as if he could not fill his lungs with enough to stay upright. Ganard looked across the room and found Merelin was already looking at them. She moved to step toward them, but Ganard gave his head a curt shake and she stayed where she was.

    "What is it?" the Head Guard muttered under his breath."The eye?"

    But again, the Prince shook his head. His single eye locked with Ganard's.

    "No" he managed and once more his grip was a vice upon the guard's forearm.
    The eyepatch across his left eye, of blue and silver to match his attire barely contained the golden glow beneath and he uttered a name that made Ganard's face go ashen. "Pasce."
    *The Golden Goddess|The Goddess of All Motherless Secundae*
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  2. #172
    The Cliffs of Maginus, on the Shore of the Sea of Rekōdo



    Caldur Eirikson of Isolert and his Six Brothers


    "There."

    It was faithful and watchful Baerd who saw it first: the presence of the unnatural glow and the sky fractured with forks of tongued lightning as it struck downward and eviscerated the Nightmares from points on the Ailes. He remained crouched, but a silent motion of his hand drew their attention as his other pointed northwest toward the chaos and mist-distorted light. With the mountains jutting upward and outward along the edge of the Sea of Rekōdo, it was difficult see the full scope of what had been unleashed. The brothers stepped forward and craned themselves dangerously close to the snowy edge of the cliff. The upward thrust of the wind over the cliff face tossed snow through their wildly dancing hair.

    "That is not the Maginus lightning, is it?" came the cautious Evyind's question. It did not feel from Maginus, but it did not feel wrong or out of place either. Gunnar closed his eyes and sniffed the snow-strewn air. His breath came out of his nose in plumes of white clouds.

    "It is powerful, but not unnatural" the second oldest of the brothers commented. He opened his eyes and looked back at his brothers. His eyes stopped at Caldur. "What could cause such an outburst? The Star Reader is without his power."

    "As is the Astral Witch" added Roneth. His exotic eyes, too, went to the oldest of them all. "Could it be a Totem of her finding? A trap set for the Returned Man of Maginus?"

    "I do not think so" answered a surprisingly serious Häming. His calm, smooth voice had lost its amusing edge. He stretched himself out farther so that he might get a better look, but the mountains offered him nothing more. He shook his head and looked back. "Bothvar? Your thoughts?"

    But the well-versed brother shook his head.

    "It is not of my knowing" he said slowly, thoughtfully. "The land trembles with its use. It feels... old. Far older than even us."

    The others fell silent. Something older than their kind would be as old as the creation of their world. Older... It was beyond the scope of imagination.

    "Wait."

    Baerd's low, voice commanded their attention. Throughout the discussion and appearance of distant, flashing light beyond the mountains, Caldur had remained by Baerd's side. There was a proper space between the two, but the son of Eirik was facing almost due west with him. They looked straight out over the cliffs and this time, Caldur held up his hand. His palm was perpendicular to the sea, a flat face against the western islands. His fingertips moved occasionally: They dipped forward as if typing something in the air. His golden brown furrowed against his dark, tanned skin.

    "She is here."

    "The Princess?"

    "Surely not! She was in the East amongst the People of Sand!"

    "It would be unwise to bring her so close to our proximity."

    "Only if they knew our proximity was something for them to be wary of."

    "Quiet."

    He did not have to raise his voice for them to all fall suddenly silent. They were disciplined toward each other and all things. The plumes of air that left their mouths were small. They awaited Cal's words with baited breath.

    "I feel them" he said with an edge of excitement to his voice that had not existed since they were children in Isolert. "They are moving."

    Caldur's eyes remained closed.

    "I feel them as well."

    Baerd's low voice confirmed Cal's statement. They were both sensitive to such things. They always had been.

    "So she is not mighty enough to house them, even with Liar'Adon's precious lineage."

    Gunnar's voice was one of mystery and question. There was a sub-note of disappointment to his tone, as if the Princess's weakness were a shame on the God's great name.

    "Can they be captured?"

    Caldur opened his eyes. He looked back at Bothvar, at them all.

    "If she expires, this will be our only chance to capture them all at once." His golden eyes looked at the emerald-eyed, lacquered Dragon Staff in his hand.

    "We must try" he said as much to the staff as to his brethren.

    They exchanged no more words but came together. They drew the enchanted hoods of their cloaks up against the wind and snow. They became one mass of gray cloaks and each extended an arm to lay a hand upon Caldur's neck or shoulder. Baerd remained at his left. The hand that held the Dragon Staff came forward and pointed the emerald-eyed head of it west. There was an audible sound in the air, a pressured sound of something moving, being pulled. Something massive that shifted the center of everything around them. The earth trembled and stones loosed by years of the battering winds and waters of the Sea broke free and fell into the water. The tremors lasted but moments before Caldur retracted his hand slightly. The brothers looked to him as he breathed deeply.

    "Again" he said with his eyes locked to the west. "More."

    The brothers bowed their cloaked heads and renewed their grip upon their leader. Caldur stretched forth his arm and leveled the eyes of the Staff so that they faced west, toward Faraking and the Heli'Dom where a dead Princess walked toward light. Again, the air increased in pressure. The brother began to strain and pull against something great, something so massive that the snow behind them was throw backwards with an unseen rush of power. The emerald eyes of the lacquered, ashen staff gleamed despite the lack of moon or sunlight. Caldur's hand upon the staff caused it to creak and groan as the air around them became thick and buffered their ear drums to a point that they felt like bursting. The ground beneath them shook. More stones of the cliff fell into the sea, but this time the trembling of the earth did not subside. It continued as if the land were crying out against the massive forces that were being manipulated to move in its direction.
    Last edited by SilntAngl5; 02-11-2018 at 11:12 AM.

  3. #173
    The Great Orange One Qwaring's clone#1 is offline Qwaring's clone#1's Avatar
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    Commander Colina Weir



    The Ailes Bones... To the Southwest: Dragon Scale Island


    Colina recovers from the Nightmare attack to find the beach has devolved into a warzone. The Shamaa are bravely holding back the hordes of corpse-wearing beasts.

    Meanwhile the house-sized spider Nightmare has noticed the arrival of the women from Enchantry. One is sick with the Nightmare infection, and the other has depleted her magic. Easy prey. The massive spider nightmare charges at the Enchantresses.

    Colina steps between the giant Nightmare and the women from Enchantry. The Taroc soldier raises her storm rifle and fires a bolt of lightning into face of the Nightmare. The lightning strikes and bursts part of the fiend's face. The thunderclap from the attack shakes the beach. The giant Nightmare shrieks in pain and frustration.

    Colina doesn't hesitate. She fires again. The Nightmare staggers back from Colina as another lightning bolt impacts its side. Two of the beast's legs have melted off. It begins to sprout more limbs to replace the lost legs. Colina fires again. Part of the monster's thorax bursts into melted wax-like substance that bleeds out onto the sand. The Nightmare tries to lunge at the woman from Taroc. Colina replies to its lunge by firing another lightning bolt into its face. The latest bolt explodes the front third of the Nightmare and sends the creature staggering off to the side.

    The Nightmare spider begins to skitter off. It's attempt to evade its unrelenting enemy is blind and clumsy. It trips on a few of the corpse-armored Nightmares. Colina maintains her aim on the escaping spider. She fires her rifle again and again. Her aim is true and her lightning destroys more and more of the monster. Eventually, half a beach away, a smoking and melted mess of the thing collapses onto the sand. What was once a giant spider is now a mound of corrupt fluid and charred fragments. From its melted and bleeding mass the many Nightmares that had combined together to form the spider begin to crawl their way out of the destroyed husk.

    Colina continues firing on the disassembling monster, trying to slay every Nightmare that's attempting to escape the mass.

    She only fires two more shots before a Nightmare blade, from a corpse-monster that had crept up behind her, strikes her on the back plate of her armor. The impact knocks the wind out of Colina. She stumbles forward a few steps before forcing her body to spin around. As she turns she reaches to her belt and picks up a hatchet. The blade of the weapon glows with elemental light.

    Colina strikes at her new attacker. Her elemental hatchet cuts off the corpse-monster's arm with the intense heat of primordial fire. The Nightmare shrieks as the blazing weapon harms it. With her other hand Colina raises up her rifle. Normally the heavy weapon needs two hands to properly hold and aim, but in close quarters combat it's not difficult to point the barrel of the rifle into the chest of her enemy. She pulls the trigger and her attacker evaporates as a bolt of lightning shoots right through it.

  4. #174
    The Great Orange One Qwaring's clone#1 is offline Qwaring's clone#1's Avatar
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    Verona Aliester, Eliona & Commander Filip Ryth




    Above Faraking Island: The Heli'Dom...


    As Arion stands behind Ryth, Verona stands a short distance behind Arion. He is the acting Guild Master, and she is the aide to the Guild Master. Her place is by his side. However, her attention appears to be focused on Ryth. Her worried expression is for the angry man that has been a friend to her for as long as she can remember. Seeing him like this is agonizing.

    Ryth turns just enough to look at Arion and Verona out of the corner of his eye.


    "There was some craziness in Astral," Ryth tells the two. "Doraen, Eliona, and I took care of it."

    He turns himself even further so that he can face Verona.

    "It was those Circle people. They sent Sebastian to unleash some monsters on Dayena... "

    He falls silent. Ryth remembers seeing Sebastian and Verona dancing at the big celebration after Enchantry became a guild. Those were happier times. Simpler. Why couldn't they have stayed that way?

    Ryth looks away from Verona for a second, steeling himself to tell her what he must. He looks back up at her, and sees Verona doing her best to hide how much it hurts to hear about how far into the darkness her former love has fallen.


    "Sebastian's dead. I'm sorry. He gave us no other choice. It was either him or a whole city."

    Arion will hear it. Verona's soul song skips a beat. Ever since she found out that Sebastian was working against Alain she had sought to view the man only as an enemy. However, some part of her held onto some shred of hope. That hope dies tonight.

    Whatever Sebastian was years ago is gone. He was probably lost years ago.

    Verona mutely nods her head to Ryth, accepting the news and his apology. She turns away from Ryth and Arion. It's only for a moment. A brief instant that she can't hold back the pain. It soon passes and Verona looks back at Ryth. Her crystal blue eyes are all business now. Her attention is focused and whatever she might be feeling now has been locked away.


    "Did you or Doraen find out anything more about the Circle?" Verona asks.

    Ryth crosses his arms over his chest and looks down at the floor. He's seen Verona get like this before. It was when her father died. She uses the work as a shield to protect her from the pain. Back then it was her school work. Back then Alain wisely knew to let her take the refuge she needed, and in time she felt safe enough to hurt and mourn. Ryth decides to follow Alain's wisdom at this moment. It's wisdom from a time that Alain had wisdom.

    Ryth has more to tell them. It's Alain that betrayed Ryth, not Arion or Verona, so Ryth decides to give his full report. Even if it will probably be this one last time.


    "After the fighting in Dayena, Doraen and I had some time to check up on the rest of these Circle jokers," Ryth continues speaking to the two. "They're gone. The others on Doraen's list have gone into hiding. And judging by the small team of thugs Sabastian brought to Astral, I'm guessing we've pretty much depleted whatever agents they had working for them.

    "I'd say they're pretty much broken right now. All you got to do is assign an oracle or two on them, and if any of them stick their heads out again you guys should be able to spot them and take them down.

    "So that's one less thing to worry about."

    Ryth looks up and towards Nalia, Olivia, and Pasce. They're the other things he's currently worried about. However, Ryth continues to speak softly to Arion.

    "If things don't implode, I just might be able to forgive LeCavalier... I mean, I did send his fortress into the sun, so I guess I got some small payback for all of this $%*# he's put us all through.

    "I just don't think I can work for him anymore. He's gone too far this time. I can't trust a man that would do this. I can't work for anyone I don't trust."

    Meanwhile, Eliona silently listens to Nalia. Eliona nods in thoughtful agreement to the mistress of Enchantry. Despite agreeing with the wisdom of Nalia's words, Eliona can't bring herself to trust the necromancer like Nalia does. To Eliona it would be like trusting one of those Nightmare monsters out there. However, Eliona doesn't have to trust Olivia. She has decided to trust Nalia, and in this situation that will be enough.

    Eliona looks out at the others in the room. Her keen Astral senses grants her a reading of those around her. Despite them all seemingly enduring great stress, tragedy, and conflict, Eliona can sense that these people are more than allies. They are family. Even Ryth, now that he isn't threatening to shoot others, appears to have let some of his guard down.

    Upon realizing the bond shared by those around her, Eliona can't help but feel like an outsider here. She doesn't belong. She doesn't belong anywhere. Fate had conspired to take Eliona's family from her. Now she might have to live without the kind of relationship that those in this room seems to have forged together.

    Eliona glances at Nalia, wondering if this is how the Enchantress felt all those years ago after Astral had abandoned her.


    "I'm sorry," Eliona tells Nalia. "I know my words are of little comfort now, but If the worst shall happen this night... Someone should apologize for all that has happened to you. What Astral did to you was a terrible crime, and I promise that if we survive this night I will do everything that I can to show everyone the truth."
    Last edited by Qwaring's clone#1; 02-14-2018 at 07:35 AM. Reason: Fixing a dumb thing.

  5. #175
    The Great Orange One Qwaring's clone#1 is offline Qwaring's clone#1's Avatar
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    Olivia Kuhrson



    Above Faraking Island: The Heli'Dom...


    Arxus is standing too close. He will find out he is too close as he soon feels the cold touch of a spectral blade press up against his manhood. Olivia has summoned a weapon of ghostly energy into her uninjured hand and now holds it against the spirit, as a threat... No, as a promise of what will happen if the manifestation of everything she hates about Maginus pushes her too far.

    "Though, I have decided not to kill you, I can still castrate you," Olivia whispers to Arxus. "We both know there are ways I could do it that would cause your future hosts to be effected by that impairment. I'd say that's a fair punishment after what you allowed Darmon to do to all of those women. To what he did to Nalia."

    In the blink of an eye Olivia is now standing beside Clow. Her sword is gone. The spirit of Taroc will not be surprised by how effortlessly Olivia can move about on this psychic and spiritual level of reality. They've interacted in this way a few times during the Great War. She was a master of moving her soul even in those days. Now she has had two decades to perfect her craft.

    "She's with her parents?" Olivia ponders aloud. This is followed by a few muttered vulgarities that would even make Ryth blush. Olivia looks down at her nail-impaled hand. It glows in this place.

    If she pulled on the tether she shares with Pasce it might bring Pasce back to her senses and allow the girl to resist the lure of the ghosts of her parents. However, doing that too soon would ruin the entire plan. Pasce might return to her body before the spirits have the time to leave. Returning before the spirits are gone will kill Pasce.

    Olivia looks up as the ancestral spirits begin reacting to forces pulling them away from their host. The Necromancer feels nothing. She didn't expect she would. They're the ones connected to their sacred and ancient oath. Olivia is only tethered to the soul of one ill-fated girl.

    Olivia puts a hand on Clow's shoulder. Her grip is firm. Her gaze is stern.


    "Bring LeCavalier back to us alive," Olivia tells Clow. "His continued existence will determine how civil my next conversation with you will be.

    "You and I will have a conversation about the part you played in Quieting two provinces. I promise you this."

    Then the spirit of Olivia is gone. She returns to her own body and full awareness of the living world.

    She glances over her shoulder to assess how the standoff with Ryth has progressed. Olivia sees Eliona and Nalia speaking civilly, and Ryth sulking on the far end of the chamber. Olivia decides that if they all survive this crisis she will have to do something to help Ryth through this tough time in his life.

    Olivia's attention is pulled away from the others as she hears the sound of bones cracking. She looks down at the trio of skulls she has resting on the corners of the ritual triangle. They're cracking. The light in their eyes is dimming, as if struggling to stay lit. These three skulls are a part of a guardian spell, which is intended to protect the ritual, Pasce, and the spirits from outside forces. Something is fighting its way through the guardian spell. Something very, very powerful.

    Olivia reaches into a pocket and pulls out a handful of ebony colored powder. She throws the powder at the air above Pasce. The dust lights up a massive spectral dragons claw that has dug its talons into threads of ancient runes. The runes are of every province. They flow through each other, binding the old magicks of all provinces into a single knot of ageless sorcery. Olivia recognizes the threads of runes. It's the oath of the ancestral spirits. Some immensely powerful force is pulling on the magical forces of the spirits.


    "We've got a problem!" Olivia calls out to the room. She rushes to her bag of mystical tricks and supplies. Her hands frantically begin digging through the contents of the bag, searching for something to use against this unknown force. "Someone is trying to take the spirits!"

    The trio of skulls resting on the floor around Pasce all shatter into bursts of bone fragments and dust. The guardian spell has been completely destroyed.

    Olivia pulls out a small, palm-sized mirror. The reflective surface of the mirror has many symbols and runes carved onto it. The necromancer holds the mirror up to the spectral dragon claw. She shouts ancient words of power, and begins to weave a hex. Her dark spell pours into the force that's trying to take the spirits, travel along that energy, and then cast itself upon the one that is responsible for this attempt to steal the ancestral spirits.

    Olivia's spell is a curse. It will summon a swarm of poltergeists from the world of spirits. These invisible spirits can only interact with the living world by levitating and moving objects. Typically, they move furniture and items within the houses they haunt. This time, Olivia has infused the swarm of spooks with a violent hatred of the one trying to take the spirits. The poltergeists will take hold of any object they can and attempt to smash them into Olivia's enemy. Their desire is to injure, and if possible slay.

    Olivia doubts this curse will kill her enemy. The poltergeists can be dispelled or destroyed with enough magic. She only hopes it will disrupt what's being done. Maybe distract her enemy long enough to break the hold they have on the spirits. Olivia knows she doesn't have enough magic to overpower the force that is taking the spirits, and so this curse is one of the few options she has.

    Meanwhile, Pasce's limp body begins convulsing. The power needed to drag the ancestral spirits away is of such a magnitude that it is disrupting the magic Olivia has weaved through and around the girl. The ritual that keeps the princess hovering just outside of death's reach is beginning to bend. If this ritual collapses while being used on a healthy body there is a good chance it would revive them back to full life. Unfortunately, Pasce's body is not healthy. She's been lingering too close to death for far too long to escape its grasp now. Her body is dying.

  6. #176
    The Island of Capios: In the Heart of the City, by the Seven White Pillars



    Dyani of the Border Forests


    The expelled energy from the light and lightning caused the winds of the islands to pick up. Strands of Dyani's brown hair were buffered about her face and before her eyes. Dyani whipped around as she and Kali parted ways. Her blue eyes glowed with the summoning power that called her Spirit Animal to this realm. The wideness of her eyes and the sudden stillness of her body were her reaction as the entire island trembled with the release of Universal Energies. Dyani's eyes took on the glow of the eerie sky as she gazed upon it. She had never seen anything like that before. Kali's hand upon her shoulder made her start and the look she gave Kali was one of shock, just as they had been when the sky opened up farther out to sea in the mist and snow. She refocused herself and nodded in affirmation to Kali's request to dispatch as many of these wretched blights as she could. As soon as Kali took to the air, Dyani whipped around and her hawk-like gaze found the two dragons as they zipped throughout the sky.

    "Kai! Blas, to me!" she shouted above the fray.

    Dyani was already moving at a run as she circled back around toward the central pillar where several of her sister's held fast. She slid to a stop before their barrier. She lifted her fingertips from her weapon's hilt and delicately, despite the urgency of the situation, touched the many waves of blue light that swirled and swam and bounded around in a protective dome. They would feel through her contact that it was indeed her, unaffected by the Nightmare banes about, wholly herself. Her breathing came hard and fast with as much excitement as there was need to leave the pillars now.

    "Shamaa has come" she said to them. They would know, the sisters within who were of Shamaa heritage. It was evident in the trail of light footprints she left on the ground behind her. "It is time for us to depart to the Caverns."


    "We must gather the others in the three remaining pillars to the south and then make for the beacons of the forest." She gave them a moment to comprehend the amount of danger that entailed. "Fighters will flank the Sisters who can wield the light. Shamaa Sisters will maintain the barrier as best they can. We will run and we will not stop. We must all stay together."

    If they did not, and their group was split to recover the fallen, their barriers would break, the Sisters with white light would be exposed and defenseless. They would fail. Dyani looked back north to where her Spirit Animal flew beside Kali and with the Sisters they gathered along the way.

    "As we add the groups at each pillar to our own, we will reweave the barriers, fortify them and make them stronger. We will not fail because we have no choice but to succeed. The dark things will head for the Cavern if they've not already. We must protect it. Let's go."

    Once everything was in place for a clean break, Dyani signaled their move. As one, she led them down the white-stoned streets, across the wide roadway whose side either flanked a cliff that fell down into the city below or rows of tall, steep buildings that had grown along the hillside that lead up to the emerald and white palace. Dyani was a swift runner, most of the ladies of Shamaa were. They, along with the men of the land, grew up running through its fields and forest, swimming in its rivers and streams. They were brisk and only hesitated marginally to relay their plans to the Sisters at the pillars before moving on. The massive tree-line, left undisturbed by the development of the city began to loom in their frontal view. She did not see it at first, but a glance to either side revealed that they were being flanked by unknowns. It took a second glance from her for her to see that they were not entirely unknown. She knew some of them that came to run beside them and defend them from the Nightmare beasts.

    How could she not know her own family?

    Upon the earth amongst the vibrations of Shamaa's presence glowed Maginus runes, the Summoning Spell placed there by the Soul of Sacha of Windf'rte as it made its journey throughout Capios in an effort to preserve the life and Souls of those he would some day Shepherd to the Beyond. Having run out of living who were not shrouded in barriers he could not penetrate, he left the rest of his weavings and mechanisms along the most common path those in flight would take to get to the Caverns. Along the way, as their feat tread upon them, they were activated and any ancestors, deceased and not yet so far beyond wherever death went that they still had ties to this world, they came forth in glowing, transparent numbers and flanked those who fled. the dead knew no fear and they provided no substance for the Nightmares to taste. They were simply another barrier for them to cross, another obstacle to surmount before they could claim their tasty prizes. In the wake of their flight, the Sister's footprints lit up and the multitude of light burned at the Nightmares until the ashes and char from their skin began to wilt off them and flutter into the air. A grin spread across Dyani's face as she saw them: Her father and grandfathers and grandmothers, brothers of her father who were lost before him. As she ran, she lifted her head back in a primal howl, like a wolf. They returned, the gesture silent in the divide between realms, and matched her pace.

    She did not know how they had come, but they had. Perhaps death awaited them and they had come to guide them home? Some Provinces believed such things, did they not? The happenings at the dock were far behind and below her.

    If this was so, then she would go willingly into death's embrace and take every last one of these beasts out with her on the way.



    -+-



    The Island of Capios, Below the White Palace: The Caverns




    Evalynn Agravaine of Maginus, Shalla of Tuah and Laelis of Lymes


    Silence.

    ~Kali? Dyani?~ Evalynn's throat leapt into her throat and choked off the strength of her mental voice. Her voice went terribly small. ~Shalla?~

    Silence.

    Panic seized her, but she kept running. All around her, the mental world that was her only voice in this world was met with silent response. They couldn't all have suddenly met their end, could they? Her blue eyes looked around her. There were still people coming down the carved stairs from the forest somewhere above. The amounts were thinning now. These were among the last to come. There were still plenty of people for the O'aris to take to wherever Nalia had planned for such a situation. Evalynn tried to listen as she ran, but she'd gone too far from the lakeshore to hear them as they splashed beneath the surface with their precious cargo.

    Now, she heard the shouts and yells of those who defended the door. When Evalynn ascended the last of the stairs, she froze on the plateau of solid stone. There was a barrier erected, a mixture of talents of light and Animal Spirits from Shamaa across the large expanse of the opened doors. The trees of light kept out most of the Nightmares, but a few who dared dove between them and at the barrier. Their screams and thuds echoed dully against the barrier. Their cries were long and rage-filled as the light slowly burnt them into nothing ness, but still more came. There were Sisters of white and green cloaks there, and others who laid hands upon them to give them strength. If the barrier fell, they were all lost. Nalia had enchantments made, their runes easily visible from this side of the door, to disavow the Nightmare's entrance, but their constant hammering upon the carved archways scratched off many of the protective spells carved into the stone of the cliff. Shamaa Sisters and runners who were brave enough dove out of the door to collect the few left who travel through Laelis's beacons. The near constant pounding upon the barrier made Evalynn wince, but she kept her eyes open.

    She was waiting for Kali and Dyani.

    As people trickled in, several stood up from the protection of the runners to look back behind them. Their looks were wistful, longing. One of them, when they turned, had something upon their back. It seemed to be burning off of them, most likely from the protection of Nalia's wards. It was a single rune. Evalynn stepped forward with her eyes narrowed. She touched one of the women who came through lightly, but enough for her to turn around. Evalynn grabbed her wrist and stared strongly into her eyes.

    ~What did you see?~ her mental voice whispered.

    The woman licked her lips and allowed Evalynn to peek into her memory of her flight here. Evalynn's eyes glowed a gentle blue, enhancing their already radiant color. She let the woman go, thanks her and gave her instructions and pointed she and her in the direction of the stairs. Immediately, Evalynn turned back toward the door.

    Summoning of Ancestors.

    Evalynn knew of that spell, but it was not one anyone of Maginus just handed out to the world around them. No one in the group knew how they had been marked or where their Ancestors had come from, but it had been a terribly welcoming, reassuring sight to have them run at their sides and protect them.

    Evalynn's blue eyes looked out the door. She waited for her Sisters to come.

  7. #177
    Count / Countess Tigers is offline Tigers's Avatar
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    The Island of Capios

    The Island of Capios


    Vucan

    A keen mind, this one had, just like Fateema. Vucan liked this one and as they danced the frenzied dance of death and battle, Vucan allowed the man to peek into part of him that no one but Kali would know existed. A glimpse, nothing more, just enough to whet the appetite for more questions than answers. Vucan laughed at the words of the man who fought beside him.

    “Very astute young mortal, on many accounts. I care not for most on this world, save one and those she cares for.”

    Vucan’s words were cryptic at best, but even if this mortal had a full knowledge of who and what he was, it would matter not. It would be likely he would deduce that Kali was who he referred too, if this was a man of Maginus, then he would surly know of at least Darmon. Vucan hummed, but the sound was more akin to a guttural his.

    “Chaos, yes, that would be an appropriate description for this world, and for my visage and my words. You are not far from the mark in what I am.” He replied with a smile in his voice.

    Vucan’s blades sliced in tandem dispatching the Nightmares as they conversed. Secrets and distrust poured off the spirit of this one, and it would be so easy to peel those layers like an onion. But if nothing, he was a being of his word and he would respect Kali and play nice with what might otherwise be a tasty morsel.

    “Then young shepherd of souls, you know the responsibility that comes with a such charge and I will give you this, I have but one task here and that is to protect the young mistress in my care.”

    There were many unspoken and underlying meanings to Vucan’s words, but they were not of importance. He was not a complete dullard and on some levels, would understand a bit more of the bigger picture if revealed to him. But this was neither the time nor the place and Vucan cared little for the sky opening to the Universal Energy, the ground quaking or anything else going on around him. He regarded the young mortal and there was a brief exchange before he concentrated on the task at hand.

    “It will do and as a token of my gratitude…”

    Vukan opened a portal.

    “It will take you to where you desire with but a thought.” He replied with laughter and a toothy grin before they both departed ways.

    The moment that the young mortal, Sacha, decided to step through the portal, Vucan’s voice followed. His words were simple and to the point, but they left something indescribable and questioning in the air. There was a deeper meaning than they had time to dwell upon or discuss and should they ever encounter each other again, there was an air that Vucan would be more than willing to partake in further conversation.

    “You are wise to distrust me young shepherd.”

    The moment that Sacha disappeared, Vucan reappeared next to the young Evalynn. Spirts abound on the planet and magick thrummed through the air with such intensity it would rattle the bones. This world was in utter chaos and had been on the brink for some time. Vucan could see the wolves, the ancestral spirits of all beings gathering together in a race against time. It was all quite thrilling, he supposed.

    “Kali and Dyani are safe for the moment and making haste to our location.” He replied to Evalynn.

    “If you desire to extend your reach and remove the silence within, touch my arm young one and it shall give you peace of mind. You will hear their voices again, no matter how far they are from you.”

    Without further thought he stood and waited with Evalynn.

    Peace is a lie
    There is only passion
    Through passion I gain strength
    Through strength I gain power
    Through power I gain victory
    Through victory my chains are broken
    The Force shall set me free

  8. #178
    Count / Countess Tigers is offline Tigers's Avatar
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    Branwen


    Merriam’s words brought a crack of thunder and peel of lightening across the sky. The earth quaked beneath their feet and Branwen came to realize how much of this planet was shielding the young woman for the chaos. Her eyes snapped to her brethren that were in the dream realm as her knees buckled under the weight of this planet’s burden.

    The shamaa healer, Aala, rushed to Branwen’s aide, but was waved off by the younger woman. Branwen’s breathing was heavy and when she looked up into the eye’s of Aala, they glowed with an orange color the shamaa healer had never seen.

    “See to Fateema.”

    Her focus went immediately back to the women of Enchantry and without further interference, laid her hands upon the suffering Fateema. The dream paint left along her arms, placed there by her brothers and sisters from the Maloto tribe glowed. A soft chant murmured from her lips and the raven-haired healer reached out and into the raging battle inside Fateema.

    While Aala attended to Fateema, Branwen’s glowing eyes scanned the area. First it was a glimmer of faint aura’s popping up all over the isle, and then suddenly several around the Dream Walkers, Aala and even Fateema and Merriam. Faces and shapes of bodies began to materialize, some laid hands upon the women and men, others seemed to weave a barrier over the area to protect them. It was a surreal moment of calm amongst the opposing chaos she felt within the planet itself.

    Her focus turned back to Merriam, as if she’d forgotten to reply to the woman’s plea of help.

    “I’m sorry, circumstances have not allowed for introductions…”

    Branwen was distracted as she watched the spirits of those around them lean in and touch the women of Enchantry and Aala.

    “Do you see them?” Branwen asked in a hushed and reverenced tone?

    A touch on her cheek caused Branwen to jerk, as she turned to see a fleeting figure move away from her.

    “I’m sorry. I lost my head for a moment. Branwen, acting Guild Master of Shamaa. Aala can help your friend.”

    She paused for a moment, observing the others around them. Her brain seemed to whisper, ancestors, before she heard it echoed out loud amongst her tribesman. Rejoicing in all forms could be heard all around them.

    “And, whoever it is that is with her.”

    Branwen’s eyes quickly went to beach where Sacha and Aramil had gone. This had not been of the Shamaa, could it have come from the brash young man? Branwen did not take the time to ponder the thought any longer. With the small reprieve, she turned her attention back to Merriam, as she searched for injuries.

    “Are you hurt? I may not have the skills to heal like Aala, but I can assist. If nothing else, I can at least replenish your strength.”

  9. #179
    Count / Countess Tigers is offline Tigers's Avatar
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    Sari & Ráichéal of Haven, Nicolette of Palios, Kiyoko of Rekōdo, Eilwen of Eloruh, Dominika of Krig


    The two dragons zipped towards Dyani, each flanking the Shamaa woman, Blas twining once affectionately around her before taking her post. They would follow Dyani’s instructions as if they came directly from Kali. As Dyani dealt with the women, Kai and Blas would weave in and out of the shield, dispatching Nightmares as they went, never going far from their charge.

    The barrier sang with the presence of a sister, uncorrupted by the Nightmares. Dyani would hear the cheers from inside the dome as she spoke to them. The announcement of Shamaa was not a surprise now with Eilwen with them, but it was still a beautiful thing to hear from yet another sister’s mouth, especially Dyani.

    The protective bubble seemed to grow and envelop Dyani as they took in the importance of her words. The entire group of women made eye contact with one another and acknowledged their readiness. Sari and Ráichéal took the lead, flanked by Nicolette and Kiyoko, slightly behind them and closing the formation was Eilwen and Dominika, the strongest two with fighting magical abilities.


    Kiyoko exchanged a glance of their readiness and they waited for Dyani’s signal. The women were tired, but it was Sari who was showing the worst signs. She was the youngest of their group and despite her determination to remain strong her weariness was beginning to slow her pace. She kept telling herself to keep going, it wasn’t going to be long now and that they would be safe soon, but her lungs burned with the need to stop and the energy she was using to help with the barrier felt as if it was taking everything from her.

    Sari refused to look at her sister, she had to concentrate, she couldn’t let her down. And she didn’t want to join many of her friends who had died this day. She wanted to live, even if that was selfish of her to think of that in this moment when many had died. Sari had not been paying attention to her surroundings, just the beating of her heart, the magik at her fingertips that helped keep the Nightmares out and the burning need to stop. She did not see the figures that the others had only begun to notice as they ran.

    She heard Dyani first and then she was followed by Eilwen. The sudden vocal howls and shouts frightened her and Sari stumbled. It was then that terror set in, they would have to leave her, she’d left them vulnerable, and she was near tears of anguish when she was suddenly lifted back to her feet by the air. She turned to look as she kept running, the shock on her face evident as she heard Eilwen’s cheerful cry.


    “Praise the ancestors’, they have come to help us!”

    The ethereal image of her father and mother ran beside them, her father giving her a smile before pointing her focus forward. Chills ran up her spine as she heard Ráichéal nearly choke out the words she couldn’t speak.

    “Mom, dad….”

    “Sari, Ráichéal focus sisters!” Kiyoko commanded from behind.

    It was then briefly that the two sisters noticed that they were being flanked by people they have never seen before, ancestors of the women of Enchantry. The two girls smiled as they ran, renewed by the strength of the love and support that surrounded them. Digging deeper, Sari redoubled her effort, never slacking even as they added the women of the other pillars from their group.




  10. #180
    Beyond Emporium: On the Journey to Death



    Pasce, Princess of Rekōdo and the Spirits of King Heron and Queen I'yana


    The Princess of Rekōdo's long hair waved in the unfelt winds of this place at the very far end of life and death. She seemed so ton, but the longer she lingered here, the more she forgot everything life had to offer her. Right now, she wanted nothing more than to go with them.

    ~Come with us, Pasce~ her mother whispered in a voice that was so gentle it could not possibly be leading her to her decision. Pasce looked longingly at her. She was so beautiful. Her father beside her looked so happy, but she knew he could be happier.

    ~The choice is yours, daughter~ he said to her, again, with that gentleness that was reserved solely for his children. ~A third of my happiness lies with you, but I will not force you.~

    Pasce felt something within her give.

    ~Papa~ she whispered softly and started forward.

    ~I can't do this $&!@%… Not again.~

    There was such sadness in that voice. So much so, that Pasce stopped.

    ~You must. I know how much it hurts- ~

    He did, but that did not stop her from weeping. She could hear it, like an echo.

    ~ -We are so close to being free. Our people are so close to being remembered.~

    ~I am tired of existing so~ she grieved again.

    ~Just hold on for me. Just for a little longer.~

    Their grief pierced the depth of her Soul and it compelled her to go in the opposite direction of her parents, from the light that seemed to move and flow in ways she was so close to understanding. Their plight caused her to turn around seek its source. Their voices were like an echo that came from every direction. Just when she thought she had discerned their source, she was implored to look elsewhere and so the Princess stood in one spot and turned around and around.

    ~The voices~ she said slowly as she did this ~The gentle man and the sad woman… Did you hear them?~

    Her mother’s brow furrowed as she watched their daughter turn repeatedly in different directions, but the King’s stern brown eyes were upon Pasce. He stared at her as she searched, but answered his Queen silently and simply with a hand upon hers through the looped arm she had given him. His eyes he could not offer her. They were fixed on Pasce and his face was set in a deep frown.

    And she was still too busy searching to notice.

    Their aggrieved sounds came from everywhere and the weight of them was heavy upon her Soul. Such was the strength of their emotion that she could almost see them as they settled hopelessly upon the reality of their fate. He with ram’s horns and brimstone and she with antlers and ivy. They were a perfect balance of calm and chaos. She gripped his forearms now tightly. The way she was angled, the way her dark brown hair billowed behind her with her cloak and robes gave the appearance of being pulled, forced away from the man she so dearly loved. Tears streamed down her face as she pleaded to him with utter agony her eyes. He, on the other hand, gripped her upper arms gently in perfect calm. His long, dark hair, his clothes carried wildly in the unseen forces around him.

    ~I don’t want to leave you. Please not again… I can’t.~

    He took his hands from her shoulders. She was pulled from him violently and her knuckles were white in their desperate grip upon his arms. The panic in her was stilled by the gentleness of his hands upon her face as he cupped her cheeks in both his palms. He stared at her as if memorizing every etch of her skin, her hair, her eyes, even her grief. How differently they two were now from where they were when their banishment came upon them. He the calm and she the chaos. He had embraced their fate as beautifully as he cupped his lover’s face. He stared into her eyes and she into his. She had gone utterly still under this touch.

    ~You never have~ he said to her gently. ~None in this world can know the depths of our bond. Not even this can keep you from me forever.~

    She looked down again and began to weep heart-wrenching, aching sobs.

    ~My love look at me.~

    They both knew it could be the last they see each other for too long, decades as it had been in the past. Hundreds of years. He needed to see her, just for a moment longer. She looked up at him and he smoothed the tears form her cheek with his thumbs.

    ~They will not keep us apart forever. Our time together in her is proof of that.~

    The pull upon them both became too great. Her arms were shaking. She looked up to him, no longer pleading, but mirroring the resignation to their fate that was in his eyes. The great sadness was now shared between them.

    ~We will be remembered again~ he whispered with all the love in his heart. Now, in their final moments, he wished he could say more. There were too many lifetimes of things he wished he could say.

    ~Our people will be remembered again~ he said quickly, with urgency. ~I promise, Capria.~

    He bent down and kissed her simply, delicately on the forehead. Her eyes closed as she lifted her head to meet his lips. They tried to hold onto each other even as the forces around them pulled them apart and away.

    Capria.

    Pasce whipped around to face her father. She had asked him a question, one which he had not answered. The King’s frown had gone from his face and was replaced by something else. Passed stared at him and waited.

    ~Only the female~ he said finally. ~The man has been stricken from me even here. The Magik of their banishment goes even this far.~

    ~A man and a woman?~ It was her mother’s voice that drove the heart of the lovers’ last words home. ~Of what does our daughter speak, my King?~

    Anger catapulted through her Soul. He could have done something, anything. He could have moved things forward to help them in some way. Nalia al’Vatar had in re-creating the Enchantry Guild from the Book of Memories. Pasce had seen it as it once was. What Nalia had built was almost a complete replication. Her father was just as guilty as all their bloodline before them.

    ~They did not all come to me~ the King said in response to her visible anger. ~They came to you. All of them.~

    Something changed in his eyes and voice, something she had not heard from him before.

    ~It was always meant to be you that would free them.~

    Shock caused her to take a step back from them and between she and her father an unspoken exchange took place. Her anger evaporated instantly and was replaced by resolve and determination. Her father’s frown was grim, but the sternness of his gaze never faltered from her. Their silent exchange was brief, but between them passed a myriad of things that could not be said aloud. Gently, the King re-captured his wife’s hand in his, but it was to their daughter that he looked as he spoke.

    ~Pasce will not be coming with us. Not yet~ he told her as gently as he’d taken her hand. He looked down to her now to reassure what, to her would be an aching blow, to have her daughter again only to be taken from her. Again.

    ~There is something I must first do before I can truly rest. Something important.~

    She tried to save her father the hurt of having to look at his wife and see her grieving. They were supposed to be at peace, the both of them and yet here they were with her here. In the same way that she and her father had resolved what needed to be done, her mother and father looked at each other. Their hands held and re-held each other until the Queen looked down and nodded her head in resignation to a decision that had always been Pasce’s to make.

    ~You were so small when you were born, much smaller than Eri had been~ I’yana said quietly. She smoothed the grayed knuckles of the King’s hand in hers. ~It was such a difficult pregnancy, the most difficult at your birth, and we were afraid you would not make it.~

    She looked up at her husband with all the love a mother could give to the father of her children. Then she passed that look of love on to her Pasce.

    ~But I told him then that I knew you would make it. You were strong, a fighter, and you had great things you had to do.~

    The Queen squeezed the King’s hands as if it were she who had to reassure him.

    ~Go accomplish greatness, my daughter. We will be here when you are ready to rest at last.~

    Pasce looked upon her mother and father. In admiration for them both, she curtsied to the ground at them and bowed her head. When she rose she took time to take the sight of them in again. Liar’Adon willing, she would not see them both again for a very long time.

    ~Know that I love you both.~ she said, then turned away from them and was gone.



    -+-



    The noise Arxus makes is slight and small, enough so that it would only be heard by Olivia. If a Spirit could go pale, Arxus’s face would be as white as the honeymoon robes of a pure Da’Jinn bride. The instant Olivia was gone, he cleared his throat and adjusted his collar there so as to draw attention away from the hand that drifted to his genitals. Once he was sure everything was undamaged and in order, he scowled in Olivia’s direction, adjusted his manhood and muttered remarks that would make an Australian woman blush.

    By Olivia’s side, Clow has resumed some manner of calm. The Spirit of Taroc is entirely unfazed by her sudden appearance. It was the cursing that made him pure his lips and glance sidelong at her.

    ~Heron and I’yana both came to her~ he said after he’d recovered. The glowing, impaled hand of the Necromancer is given a glance. His expression is grim. J’Adonai is facing the direction he is being pulled. Argues is scowling with his arms folded a very safe distance away from Clow and Olivia. The lovers are very far from them all, together. Something great pulls at them. Clop can see it is almost dragging them apart. He looks down, away. There is guilt there, a guilt Olivia would see briefly before it was masked as he looked back to her.

    Her words sounded like a threat. They were as much as they were a promise. Clop simply nodded to her. He would not hide from a conversation with Olivia, not even about this. They all owed answers for their actions. It was the least that could be done for those who were Forgotten.

    ~Clow.~

    The concern in J’Adonai’s voice roused him from his contemplation after Olivia’s departure. He felt it too. Then again, but this time the pull was so violent that they all fell or stumbled forward. Arxus cried out angrily and came up to a knee. He looked around as if sensing something around them.

    ~I know this spell~ he finally muttered. His blue eyes went wide and he whipped around to Clow and yelled against the roar of wind. [COLOR=“#483d8b"]~I know this spell!~[/COLOR]

    The dark void they were in rocked again.

    ~This feel wrong~ J’Adonai called from where he’d braced himself on wide legs. The Da’Jinn were masters of balance. They’d walked and navigated shifting sands and dunes for centuries. A little wind could not fell them.

    ~It is Maginus~ Arxus yelled and gestured at Clow.~But not your spy. This is tainted Maginus magik!~

    They were felled suddenly, all of them, and with his footing gone, J’Adonai was the first to be pulled by the violent forces that battered them. He drew his curved, wide blade as he went. He cursed in the Eastern tongue and slashed at the unseen grip upon his Soul until they lost sight of him.

    ~Arxus!~ The Spirit of Maginus was on his hands and knees when Clow called to him. The Spirit of Taroc outstretched his hand as far as it would go from where he too knelt in the darkness. ~Take my hand!~

    Arxus glanced over at the lovers. The Forgotten Soul had Capria’s face in his hands. He had just bent to kiss her upon the forehead and then, together, they let go. Both of them were pulled away and gone almost instantly. Arxus looked quickly back to Clow. What pulled them was so strong he could not move forward against it. He was afraid if he tried for Clow’s hand he would get pulled back. But before him, Clow stretched out his hand.

    ~For the sake of peace, brother!~ he shouted the old saying and inched his hand forward. Arxus set his jaw, firmed his stance and reached his hand out for Clow’s.
    Last edited by SilntAngl5; 02-26-2018 at 07:50 PM.

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