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  1. #61
    The Cliffs of Maginus, on the Shore of the Sea of Rekōdo

    The High Priests of Maginus

    One of the Priests outstretched his arms when Pictorou casually flapped the arm of LeCavalier over his shoulder like a fisherman carried his bounty from the sea.

    ~The arm- ~ it began before Pictorou's fascination in its brethren's odd digits cut him off. The High priest continued to hold its hands out longingly, like a child watching its precious toy being taken away by a playground bully. The hand-caught Priest, on the other hand, hissed audibly in a way that made its counterparts shirk. No one touched the Quasi dead. Not without consequence to their mental state. A cold, deathly wind was said to be felt sweeping through one's Soul, snatching youth and longevity for the stolen body parts as it went. A hint of the world they so loved, the world beyond worlds. Just a peek for the living might drive one mad with fear of the unknown beyond the grave.

    The High Priests were, once again, confused by the adoration for something terribly dark and Maginus by someone very much not. Theyw ere used to being feared, revered even through the course of fear. Legend, lore and Old Rites wrapped them in shrouded myths and mysticisms. Now it all appeared to be lost upon the arm-thief.

    The hand is taken back ferociously once it is released. Another hiss is given by the accosted Priest before it moved to rejoin the safety of the numbered others. They shirked away from the touch of something living and hissed audibly whenever he approached too close.

    ~We only opened a door for the Master of Maginus.~

    ~He walked through of his own want.~


    ~We only serve the Master- ~

    ~- because of the harvest.~

    ~The dark things.~

    ~He is their Vessel.~

    ~He brings them to us.~

    ~The Astral Witch kept them from us.~


    There was a heavy silence that followed. Pictorou would gain a sense they were in collective agreement. They were so pleased with their self-fulfillment that they did not notice the dark shape that came jaggedly out of the sky until it was upon them. it convulsed as if seizing, struggling to resist being pulled from the joyous fray of feeding that would soon commence once the barrier fell. It could smell the fear, the stink of it and someone, something was pulling it away from its food. It was not a happy Nightmare and the horrid, screeching, bone-jarring sounds it made were a testament to its outrage.
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  2. #62
    The Cliffs of Maginus, on the Shore of the Sea of Rekōdo

    Caldur Eirikson of Isolert

    "What are they summoning?" Baerd Nordinson asked of his brothers. His chiseled chin was prominent as he turned to look slightly back over his shoulder at the High Priests of Maginus.

    "More blights to our land?" seethed Bothvar Yelensson. He spat upon the grassy ground and set his sights on the warmed dome with just as much distaste as he felt for the High Priests behind them.

    "Surely not. They are part of the Returned now." countered Evyind Erlendson. he wore his goatee in Caldur's style. His pale, blond hair fluttered behind his high cheeks in the frigid wind, but it bothered him little. Teh sights above Capios bothered him more. He glanced his blue eyes Caldur's way, but Caldur was half watching and half listening to the High Priests behind him and paid him no mind.

    "Pay them no mind. They are but a distraction" Häming Ivardson calmed toward Eyvind. His smile and eyes were as smooth as Da'Jinn silk. His skin clearly marked him as someone of their heritage. Something from his mother's side, no doubt.

    "Even filth is not to be taken lightly, Häming" chastised Roneth Halvardson. His features were the most exotic of the seven.

    "Something comes." The others started and turned fluidly at the gruff voice of Gunnar Wolofson, the second oldest of the seven. The two more Da'Jinn brothers and Baerd turned back to face the Ailes again. There was space between them, but the impression given by their stance was that they were back-to-back in protection of Caldur. Their reaction to Pictorou's appearance was as uncertain as the High Priests. They watched silently. A few moved their hands to their weapons at their sides beneath their cloaks when they saw the man grab the hand of one High Priest.

    "Is that an arm?" Bothvar asked bluntly.

    "It appears so" answered Eyvind.

    The three with their backs turned looked over their shoulders.

    "Whose arm?" called Baerd from closer to the cliff.

    "It is the arm of Alain LeCavalier, Master of Taroc."

    All turned to look at Caldur's calm statement and then looked back at the High Priests and the seemingly mad, ranting man. Gunnar came to stand beside Cal.

    "We should leave, Cal. The Quasi-dead compromise the security of our area."

    Caldur considered this silently.

    "Cal" called Baerd from his watch. The other two, who had crouched with him, had risen sharply. "We must go. Something draws the blighted beasts our way."

    Gunnar looked at Caldur and nodded.

    "Farther north, then?"

    It was the plan. If the Nightmares saw them, they would leave. Flee farther north into the mountains, closer to the border where the Northern Swells became the Dragon Range. Their plan was no good if Caldur was dead. It was not ideal to his immediate desires, but it was necessary. Caldur nodded.


    They call came close to Caldur and apparated away with a shuddering of air and a pop.

  3. #63
    The Great Orange One Qwaring's clone#1 is offline Qwaring's clone#1's Avatar
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    The Cliffs of Maginus, on the Shore of the Sea of Rekōdo

    Pictorou is infinitely fascinated by the Nightmare beast. He reaches a hand towards it. Even inches away from its dark, formless mass he can feel the icy sting of its corruptive presence. He grins at the feel of this thing's unnatural aura. He's temped to touch it, and feel it infect him. It's a temptation Pictorou is able to resist as he slowly pulls his hand away.

    "Aren't you a beautiful thing," he adoringly whispers to the beast.

    Pictorou holds his hands in front of him, with his palms two feet apart. Liquids begin to bubble up from the empty air. Paint that had once been in buckets within his home is being summoned here between his hands. The mad artist's features tense up as he struggles to use his powers in new ways. He has the power to break down the magically charged world into the paint he uses in his creations, and now he strives to reverse the process. He seeks to restore the paint to what it once was.

    He had melted his servants down into buckets of paint. Unfortunately for the servants the pieces of their melted forms were sorted by individual pigments and mixed in with one another in the various buckets. This means that the thing Pictorou creates is a malformed melding of an unknown number of people. What was a blob of paint only a moment ago is now a pumpkin sized mass of flesh, hair, and organs that writhes and screams from many mouths. It is a creature of pain, horror, and torment.

    Pictorou holds out this creation that had once been men and women, and feeds it to the Nightmare. The terror of this unnatural creation should be a delicacy unlike any other the Nightmare has ever feasted upon.

    As he feeds the beast, Pictorou glances over his shoulder and glares at the priests. The joy he feels at feeding the Nightmare is short lived as he ponders the words of the priests. They are saying all of the wrong things.

    "I thought I could find kindred spirits," Pictorou whispers at them. His tone holds the venom and true hatred only a broken heart can create. "You have everything you need to be master artists and creators of a new dawn, but instead you are happy being doormen."

    Pictorou releases the thing that had once been his servants, allowing the Nightmare to hold and feed upon it as it wishes. He then turns to face the Hight Priests. The mad painter takes the severed arm off of his shoulders and holds it out between his two hands. The arm twists and melts. The liquefied limb swirls around before eventually vanishing. The magic the priests had infused into the arm falls to the ground in the form of glowing Maginus runes. Their control and claim over the arm is taken from them. They don't deserve their trophy.

    "There's only one thing I hate in this world," Pictorou growls at the robed beasts, as he storms towards them. His trembling hands ball up into outraged fists. "One thing: Wasted potential! To have the ability, and not use it as it is meant to be used. To deny the world your greatness. To have everything a great artist needs and using it to be a lowly servant. You have no idea how much I hate this! I hate you! All you could become! All that you could do! And none of it matters!"

    It is by this time that Pictorou realizes that at some point during his rant he had walked up to one of the priests and taken the disfigured fiend's head in his hands. The mad artist didn't even realize he had done this. Not only is he cruelly gripping the beast's misshapen features, but he's also trying to use his melting power on him.

    It will feel like a cold boiling force that shivers and flows through the priest. If the robed creature has sufficient willpower he might be able to fight off Pictorou's power. Also, physically breaking Pictorou's hold, or summoning a mystical defense, might also save the priest.

    If Pictorou's power does manage to effect the priests, he will only melt down the part he is touching. These priests are made up of many parts, taken from many dead beings. There are necromantic forces connecting these stolen pieces, but they are still in many ways separate components being forced together. There are natural borders that necromancy has bypassed, but Pictorou's power cannot reach over. Due to this piecemeal state, Pictorou can only melt one piece at a time.

  4. #64
    Faraking Island of Taroc in Far Western Rekōdo: The Floating Heli'Dom


    Pasce, Princess of Rekōdo and Nalia of Enchantry

    The Princess is momentarily disturbed by the sudden movement of furniture. Within her head, Clow smiled in a manner that was almost loving of the beloved, floating tower. Pasce's pale eyes wandered around the area as the lights dimmed low.

    ~It will think Alain is dead~ he had explained gently, watching the shut-down steps through Pasce's eyes. ~Something like this... Like you, has never happened in all of Rekōdo's history.~

    She had been startled, as startled as she was now that the Heli'Dom reacted to her holding Clow. The Spirit of Taroc's presence had been reassuring. Pasce offered the Heli'Dom, and its Spirit, a gentle smile. Olivia's gentleness caught Olivia's attention. A quiet calmness enveloped the Princess as she followed Olivia and carefully sat down. The Princess's pale eyes remain fixed on Olivia as she spoke. Within her, the Spirits had gone silent. If any of them knew such knowledge, they remained silent, but a darkness had overtaken the face of Capria of Enchantry. Her lover touched her gently and steered her into an embrace that held a deeper meaning that anyone outside Pasce's mind could ever know.

    ~It has, Master Clow, just not like this.~

    And Clow fell into silence. Pasce could feel the Forgotten Spirit's glowing eyes staring at her. His expression was unreadable.

    "It was the water from the Tiarna Woods."

    Pasce's voice was soft as she spoke. Her eyes looked directly at Olivia as she spoke and remembered.

    "It was imported through a portal. Emit and I were cut off from our magik."

    Emit. Pasce shook her head lightly.

    "The High Chronicler" she corrected herself with a hand lightly touching her forehead. She used it to push her hair aside her face. The strawberry blond locks were getting long. If she lived past all this, the girls and women of The City would model their hair after her. "We were both tortured by it. The High Chronicler more so than I. They had a... chamber with Da'Jinn stone, Yüzer Taş, and lamps. They were going to take the other Spirits and bind them. I was to be sold."

    She stopped there. The Princess looked up at Olivia when she mentioned Capria and her lover. There was something in her eyes for a brief moment, but then it was gone. Something determined, hard. A look like something Heron might have. Or Eri. Replaced by the tiredness that was, again, weighing heavily on her Soul. Pasce looked down to the lamps tied by a beautiful sash to her waist. Slowly, as Olivia continued, she began to untie the lamps. Her fingers were shaking. When Olivia said she needed to die adn the steps of what needed to be done, Pasce closed her eyes and exhaled a long breath.

    "I knew it would come to this" she said gently "and I am prepared to do what I must to free the Spirits and heal our lands."

    Nalia looked up from the table where she continued to stand she no longer leaned and supported her child, but she stood with a hand lightly on the tabletop. Lightly in case it was needed again. Mentally, she was keeping track and timing the pains. They came more often and were harsher with each episode, but they were still not stable. The thought of giving birth with Nightmares so close by frightened her, but she reigned in her fear. She had to.

    Within Pasce's mind, Arxus had already moved to the forefront. He stood beside Clow. The unnatural nothingness of the box intrigued him the moment Olivia brought it forward. How could a woman come to possess such a thing? A woman whose allegiance was to Taroc no less. Then he remembered who the woman was. He knew of her from the Great War. At her stinging tone and casual reference to her native land's Ancestral Spirit, Arxus's face darkened.

    ~I wasn't going to overreact~ he seethed grumpily. Clow looked at Arxus with a raised eyebrow. ~Well, I wasn't!~

    Arxus harrumphed and folded his arms.

    ~She wouldn't do that anyway.~

    ~She will. Now stop sulking and pay attention.~

    J'Adonai came to Arxus's other side and stood strongly beside the Spirit of Maginus.

    ~Boxing me in, are we?~ Arxus said. ~Fine.~

    Arxus re-strengthened the crossing of his arms and looked out at Olivia. He ceases moving. The Spirits were blessed and cursed with unnaturally remarkable memories. It was useful to be able to store centuries of information on their provinces, Masters and history. It helped being dead, where such things were not limited by human capacity. Arxus knew that look. He had seen it in the height of the Great War. It was one he had committed to memory because it brought him so much sadistic joy. Now he finds that look being directed solely at him. He can feel it piercing into his Soul like Qadir's hot fire had stabbed into Pasce's mind. He racked his thoughts, trying to recall a genealogical list of the Kuhrson Family. He had thought they were gone. Eradicated from the war, but perhaps there was one who'd escaped death?

    ~Who is she really?~ he asked of Pasce, but the Princess gave him no answer. She was too busy staring at the box and the contents Olivia pulls from within it. Arxus steps forward from Clow and J'Adonai. He sniffs the air, as if trying to divulge something more than what the blood runes deny him. His sharp, blue eyes focus on the swirling contents of the bottle. His eyes widen.

    ~Is that- How did she-?~

    Arxus falls silent. The others look expectantly at him. He sighs and finishes his sentence since there was clearly no one else who could.

    ~It's the captured Soul of a Maginus High Priest. It's something unobtainable for its rarity as the Priests live unnaturally long lives. Forever, really, as long as they maintain their Necromatic Soul-bonds to their borrowed bodies and their body parts are well-preserved.~

    ~How long have your High Priests been alive?~

    J'Adonai's question was met with a laugh from Arxus. The Spirit of the East really did not understand.

    ~They have not been alive for centuries, perhaps longer. In the rarity that one's bond is broken from it's body, it is difficult to tell which Priest it is to begin with, and if it was a different Priest to pass or the same, unlucky spot in the collective being replaced by a luck Priest from the living world.~

    There was a long silence from J'Adonai.

    ~That is unnatural, Arxus, to bend the laws of life and death so.~

    To that, Arxus offered a shrug.

    ~A difference of North and East, my friend~ he said casually. ~We do not waste our bodies by burning them or letting the carrion pick them clean before the sun bleaches the bones white in the sand.~

    To that, J'Adonai said nothing. Arxus looked at the swirling bottle. The skulking was gone from his features. Now he was intrigued to see if this Kuhrson could really pull this off.

    Throughout the exchange in her head, the Princess was outwardly silent. In the back of her mind, the Forgotten was staring down at her. He took a hand and lifted her chin so that her wild, brown eyes would look at him. He shook his head lightly, as if answering a silent question. There were tears streaming down her cheeks. So gently, the man placed a kiss upon his lover's brow and then touched his forehead to hers. He closed his eyes and spoke to her softly, gently in a way that made her weep harder and touch a hand to his cheek. Pasce felt herself falling inward, everything else growing dark in her mindscape except for those two. They were a light, a soft glow of green, scarlet and black illumined them.

    She felt like an intruder, watching a final moment between these two eternally scorned lovers. She watched them, but she had seen this before. She had witnessed it once already in the Book of Memories. A second time in Mararat. Different people, but the same tragic story. To witness it a third time was unbearable. It had to stop.

    Pasce inhaled sharply with the great effort it took to pull herself from her mind. A hand went to her heart a moment, lightly. Her pale eyes found Olivia and she sat straighter. Resolutely. She nodded her consent.

    "I am prepared to do what I must to free the Spirits and heal our lands" she repeated. Only three in her mind would be free. Two would be returned to the blight until she could reverse their terrible wrong, and two others...

    Pasce looked at the onyx lamps in her lamp. One had, scratched in gold, the symbol of Shamaa, the other of Astral. But before she could speak of the future of the Masters and Spirits within the lamps, there was a sudden sound from the tables where Nalia stood. At the table, Nalia had all but fallen to her knees. Were it not for her hand splayed sharply on the table, she would have fallen. The sound Pasce had heard was a mixture of Nalia's hand hitting the table to stop her descent and the objects upon the table as they rattled from the impact. Her eyes were wide, but her hand was not on her womb or any other part of her body that would indicate labor had begun. Her breath came in frozen, paralyzed gasps as she brought herself back upright.

    A light began to fade, a small one, distant. Where a dim emerald presence had lit the horizon of the Heli'Dom's telescope turret, a darkness began to creep in. Nalia frantically, and with as much speed as she could muster, found a crenel between two merlons and looked out to the northeast where Capios lay. She witnessed the last of the protective green dome of Capios as it was enveloped by an inescapable darkness. There was too much darkness below the clouds of the sky and among the thick, falling snow. There was a slight increase in the wind and a distant roar as a brilliant spark of crimson and golden light appeared and left Alain's hidden fortress in its wake. Nalia made a soft, strangled sound and leaned heavily against the crennulations of the tower. A hand went to her head as she breathed in paralyzed breaths.

    "Alain" she whispered as a pinpoint of darkness surrounded by glowing violet left the hoard and floated toward the fortress.

  5. #65
    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...

    When Nalia slaps a hand onto the table to catch herself before she can fall, Olivia twists around to look to her friend. She moves towards Nalia, but one of the Heli'Dom's chairs slides up to Nalia before Olivia can reach her. The chair slides up behind Nalia, offering her a cushioned surface to rest on or collapse into. When Nalia moves to look out towards Capios, the chair follows after her like a loyal pet.

    Before moving too far away from the table, Olivia sets down the round, black bottle onto it. She then moves to follow Nalia. Olivia is soon by Nalia's side. She gazes out over the ocean and towards the battle. Her hand rests upon the handle of her holstered pistol as she studies the conflict. Olivia reminds herself that she is also armed with the totem cutlass. The mystical blade is at its most powerful when it is close to the ocean. The battle being fought is too far away for Olivia to do anything, but if it should spill this way she assures herself that she is sufficiently armed to face it.

    Olivia places her free hand onto Nalia's shoulder.

    "The only way we can help them is to free the spirits," Olivia tells her friend softly. Her voice then drops to a whisper, shared only between herself and Nalia. "I have a plan, but a lot can go wrong. Sending someone that's not an experienced necromancer that far into the realms of the dead is almost beyond what I can do. I think I can do it, but I need to know I've got you watching my back. You know the further into the other realms we go the more important it is to have people in the real world to assist.

    "You took the same oath that the spirits did. I'm hoping that will give you a better sense of what will happen to them once we start our ritual. I'll need that sense to know when the ritual starts to effect them and the oath."

    Olivia once again gazes upon the battle.

    "None of us can win this fight alone," Olivia softly says. "As long as LeCavalier has us here, doing everything we can, he won't ever be alone out there."

    Her words are heartfelt, but well rehearsed. These are things she's said often back during the Great War. Sometimes battles were won only when multiple people worked on different fronts towards achieving the same goals. Sometimes the spies in the shadows, saboteurs hiding in the gears of the enemy war machine, and the support forces aiding the front lines all contributed to the victories won by the heroes that fought and died out on the battlefields.

    "Come on, we've got a princess to kill," Olivia whispers with an attempt at her own dark, gallows humor. She doubts she will get any laughs, but the joke is made to make herself feel better about not being by the side of her oldest and closest friends in their time of need, and for the grim tasks that lie ahead of her.

  6. #66
    Count / Countess Tigers is offline Tigers's Avatar
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    It was a feat that Kali often teased Branwen about, being in multiple places in her mind at once. Part of her was listening to Zarena and focused on the task at hand, another part of her was trying to reach out to Kali and her mother, and another part was listening intently to the words that Udaya spoke to her. Only the elder Shamaa women would likely see that the young girls mind was tasking in several different places.

    This was nothing like Alain's ability to see all possible outcomes, this was a young woman, a sister and a leader tackling all the tasks that lay before her and her people with drive and determination.

    "Then let it stand my brothers and sisters that wisdom guide us in how we handle our enemies and our friends in the days to come. Let widsom guide the princess and the ancestral spirit of Da'Jinn in the future choice for our brothers and sisters in the East and for the benefit of all of Rekōdo. And when the day comes for Herotus to pay for the crimes he has committed against our people, that we also act in wisdom."

    It felt as if a spirit passed through Branwen as Udaya spoke, she had to suppress the shiver that ran up her spine and shot through her body like the chill of cold water on the skin. It was as the older women's voice meshed with words that her mother spoke to her. Their voices distinctly separate but heard as one. Branwen's eyes caught those of Udaya's.

    "Forgive me honored Udaya, I am but a child who knows nothing. The more I learn, the less I know. I will be more cautious of my inner thoughts being voiced."

    As her words left her mouth for Uday's ears, she observed the animal spirits moving toward the fire. It was not uncommon for some to have more than one totem, an animal spirit or spirits that remained with them for their entire life, some that would join the journey only for a while as the individual grew, some that were messengers only and some that represented the darker parts of self.

    It did not escape Branwen, that the red tailed hawk that was one of a few of her totems remained apart from the group. The symbolism did not escape her as one of the representations of hawk was seeing whole picture. It was something she always strives for, but it also represented a balance of vision to sensitivity, echoing her mother and Udaya's words. The hawk remained by Branwen's side, not flying in their air, not moving toward the fire with the others. It was if it was tethered to Branwen, never moving far beyond the young woman, it's meaning clear.

    As the spirit animals gathered near the fire, her focus went to the impending message from Taroc. Before her stood a man that looked familiar to her, but Branwen could not ever place meeting. Upon his words, she greeted Arion with the proper Shamaa greeting as she addressed him.

    "There is nothing to forgive Arion bar Sohil, Acting Guild Master of Taroc. Our brothers and sisters of Taroc are always welcome at our campfires, and their shared wisdom and knowledge is a treasure to value. Please how can we help you?"

    There was a momentary knot in Branwen's chest, waiting for Arion to speak, a feeling of dread creeping into her heart. Her focus was not on the dire wolf that showed itself and whose eyes bore into her very soul, but of the news she knew he would deliver. Her soul while still young was one that always sought to be humble, to be more than just the flesh that housed her spirit. In the red gaze of the dire wolf several of the totems that spoke of Branwen as a whole would manifest around her.

    Arriving in no particular order: horse, wolf, tiger, bear and hawk took their rightful places aound the young woman. Next to them dolphin and butterfly jumped in unseen pools of water and flit about Branwen's being. But like the hawk, her sight was zeroed in on Arion's words. She knew that he had been brought back and when he paused she knew the words he would next deliver.

    "Kali." She uttered not for the first time when he spoke of the attack currently taking place in Enchantry.

    In that moment, the spirit of tiger came up along side her, sending a physical sensation through her entire being and in that moment, she connected with tiger in that quiet sanctuary as all else seemed to become still.

    In the realm outside of spirit, her hand would come up and run along the head of tiger, giving her the peace and patience to endure the moment. Their eyes briefly touched and she was filled with the wondrous moments of play and love shared between the two in her dreams. A smile touched her features as she looked from Udaya, to Zarena, Colina, the Shamaa people and then finally to rest upon Arion. As she responded the smile remained.

    "Then what are we waiting for? The Shamaa people are ready to answer the call for help from their sisters of Enchantry."

    She looked back at Colina.

    "And Shamaa always welcomes the aide and the desire to aide her brothers and sisters of Taroc."

    Her eyes settled back on Arion, with determination.

    "The people of Shamaa stand with you. I can transport us quickly for a surprise attack, but something tells me you have an idea Arion bar Sohil. Let us speak quickly while time is on our side, and yet with the patience and wisdom that will guide us away from folly."

    Her eyes connected with Zarena and Colina, a silent communication that needed no words as she refocused her attention on Arion.
    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

  7. #67
    Count / Countess Tigers is offline Tigers's Avatar
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    “Give the order Dyani, split the most trusted and bravest to each pillar. Leaders, those with calm minds to help keep the sisters of light at the domes focused on their duties and not the creatures. The night mares, they’ll head straight for the weakest links and that will be those powering the domes and the civilians.”

    Kali looked at Dyani briefly, her golden orbs gleaming with all kinds of indescribable thoughts and emotions.

    “Chaos, it will be utter madness if they allow their minds to not remain focused. They will switch tactics the moment they know one way is not working. You have trained them well, and now that training will be tested.”

    It was as if the truth of Kali’s words came to light as the young women fell at their feet. Kali knew darkness, and although it may have different forms, different ways, it was still darkness with the same goals in mind. She turned back to Darmon as his unnaturally animated voice oozed forth words and Dyani instructed the Dire Wolves.

    Dismissed, she was not surprised, but rather disappointed. Darmon was more for theatrics after all, because if he truly wanted to hurt Nalia and Alain as he said, there were hundreds of ways that Kali’s mind processed in which it could be done. It was more painful to most creatures to see the torture and suffering first hand. Delivering your loved ones on a pike to sit and rot before you, to force them to watch as you stripped them of their flesh, or worse, turned them into what they hated most. There were ways, was Darmon really thinking so small?

    Kali growled, exposing a fanged tooth as a snarl touched her lips. Her grip on her sword tightened in the clenching of her fists, taloned hands drawing blood from her palms. The cacophony of sound reverberated off the dome as Darmon gave permission for the night mares to take Capios. Anger filled her being and his words of causing suffering to those Nalia was closest too was unheard by her ears. If they had been, it would make the words she growled have even more meaning.

    “ignavum nominare.”

    Kali was a fraction of a moment from chasing after Darmon when Dyani’s hand grasped her shoulder, bringing her back to the more important task at hand, their sisters and the civilians. The golden orbs of her eyes receded to a golden and crimson swirl of colour in her iris’ as she regarded Dyani.

    “To the end Dyani!”

    At that very moment, Fateema’s voice was heard, several soldiers scrambled to places amongst the seven pillars guiding any of the sister’s of light that had not yet fallen to those night mares that had made it through the cracks. Others were fighting night mares as they started to form small groups of soldiers and light wielders.

    “Dyani, quickly, we need to make sure they are balanced out, acting as sword and shields for each other! Focus on the pillars, we’ll send another trusted sister to oversee the extraction of the civilians! Someone you trust who will maintain focus on their task!”

    “Then you and I will get our sisters at the pillars organized, and then take a small group of warriors that can be spared and armed with weapons and talisman’s of light to help run interference. Let’s keep those creatures from the pillars as long as we can.”

    Kali hated having to split up, but she and Dyani would need to oversee the safety of the seven pillars, it would be stretching them both thin, but between the two of them, the pillars would have a better chance at lasting longer against the night mares. It wasn’t a matter of if, but when one pillar fell, they could reinforce the remaining pillars.

    Kali’s wings pumped the air around them, lifting her from the ground slightly. She gave Dyani a hunter’s grasp to her forearm and then clapped her fist over her heart.

    “Be safe, keep Blas with you!”



    Vucan’s draconic eyes narrowed. Humans. It was the only thought he allowed into his mind because he would not waste his breath to discuss the finer points of human arrogance and ignorance to all things. This whole battle, the talk of light and dark made him want to walk away from these little monkeys. And blast it all he would, except he had given his oath to his father, the same sire that Kali shared. Kali was his sister for use of a human term and their need to label all things.

    These creatures would all be better off if they were reptilian in nature, and male. Females, always so emotionally charged and feeling the need to prove themselves. Nowhere in nature but with man do you see this idiotic behavior. Not even the other clay creatures in nature behaved in such fashion, only man. Vucan merely bowed his head in acknowledgement, best not to excite them and have them pass out on the floor.

    He turned and did the same for the other three and took up post near the rear. He uttered sound that was unintelligible to human ears, a guttural and gravel like noise that suddenly summoned forth copies of Vucan. A barrier of light formed around the three sisters.

    “No night mare will have access through the barriers.” He explained as they made their way out of the rotunda.

    “As long as anyone remains within, they are protected. Gather your flock young shepherdesses and we will see them to safety.”

    Last edited by Tigers; 11-14-2017 at 01:25 PM.

  8. #68
    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

    Once, during Arion's first few months in Taroc, he asked Alain how he could tolerate attending council meetings with Darmon. To the young man from southern Shamaa, everything was vile about Darmon. Every story told in Taroc about Darmon only painted the picture of a monster without any redeeming qualities.

    Alain always had a thousand and one explanations for how he could endure being around Darmon. Most were jokes. Some were facets of honest answers. On this day Alain told the truth.

    Alain spoke of the day he had called his grandfather, Harbin, a coward. Harbin and a young Alain were travelling through a string of small fishing villages when they were ambushed by a squad of province soldiers. Instead of defending the roads of Taroc, these soldiers had taken up robbing travelers. They viciously attacked Harbin, and the old LeCavalier clan warrior allowed them to beat him. Alain had seen Harbin fight, learned from him, and knew Harbin's mastery of combat could have easily vanquished these thugs.

    Alain thought his grandfather had grown cowardly in his old age. Too afraid to fight back against a band of criminals in soldier's uniforms. Harbin showed Alain why he had to be defeated that day.

    That night, Harbin gathered together a band of villagers that had grown sick of this squad of soldier-thieves, and lead them in an ambush on the soldiers. They attacked the squad in their camp. Harbin and the villagers easily defeated these men. Earlier, when he had allowed himself to be beaten by them, he studied them. He learned which ones flinched at the sight of violence, which ones attacked entirely out of range, which ones held the hints of cowardice in their eyes. Only by subjecting himself to this one defeat, and refusing to give in to pride, anger, or fear, could Harbin learn all he would need to know to beat these men without endangering any of the villagers fighting by his side. Because it was a bunch of villagers had easily defeated these trained soldiers, others would fear to prey upon that area again.

    Alain explained he will endure being on the same council with Darmon, because someday all he learns from this disgusting, painful interaction will teach Alain all he needs to know to possibly defeat him, should it ever need to be done.

    Arion thought about it, and then asked if that's true, why does Alain yell and shout so much during those meetings. Couldn't he learn better if he were calm.

    Alain shrugged and revealed one of his greatest secrets to Arion: Even Guild Masters are human.

    The Seas South of Capios...

    Darmon flies towards Alain with words. Alain replies only with silence. The things Darmon says deserves anger, violence, shouts of righteous wrath and justice. On any other day Alain would have given in to rage, and would have replied. On this day, Darmon only gets silence.

    Alain remains, on the very edge of the fortresses roof. His arms held wide open. Welcoming. Without fear.

    Somewhere behind Alain there is fear. Hidden away among the spires and archways that populate the center of the roof are others that do feel fear. Many of them are able to strengthen their resolve with tempered courage. A few are shaken to the core by the sight of Darmon and his hordes of unholy beasts. One is like Alain, entirely without fear.

    This lone figure that is without fear is Lydmila. She raises her sniper rifle upwards, towards the dark clouds. She peers through the scope of her rifle. A single coin caps the front of the scope, so any that look through the scope will see darkness. Lydmila's opened eye glows red as she looks into that darkness, and her gift of prophesy shows her infinite worlds beyond that darkness, and far beyond the visible world others live in. She sees exactly where her bullets belong.

    Lydmila fires off a trio of shots from her rifle. They are elementally charged bullets that fly upwards and to the north. The fly right into the clouds and explode into multiple bursts of bright light. Moments later the skies begin to rumble. More flashes of light rage within the veil of clouds. Finally several bolts of lightning snap out and towards the Nightmare covered dome. The lightning licks across the dark masses of Nightmares, trying to burn them off of the dome, while leaving the dome entirely unharmed. It's not enough to clear away all of the Nightmares, but the plan is to buy time for the people of Enchantry.

    Meanwhile, Ryth aims his own storm rifle towards the swarm of dark fiends flying beside Darmon. He fires off several rounds of elemental bullets. Each one explodes into bursts of starlight, burning at the Nightmares.

    Alain lowers his right arm.

    The seas to the east of Darmon seems to explode as a large sailing vessel of ancient Taroc designs rises up from the ocean depths. This ship is old, somewhat rotted, and missing parts of its wooden bulk. The missing portions are filled in with spectral manifestations of what should be there. The large sails of the ship screams with the souls of the damned that have been condemned to propel the ship. The vessel flies the banners of the ancient pirates side by side with the banner of Taroc. It's the Raven's Triumph, a ghost ship crewed by undead pirates.

    The Raven's Triumph turns its side to face Darmon. The ship is to Darmon's north-east. A dozen ports open on the side of the ship, and a dozen cannons peak out from the belly of the vessel. Each cannon has a dragon's skull mounted on the front, with the tip of the cannon barrel resting in the skull's mouth. The eyes of the skulls burn with unholy fire as they sense the former master of the province that has hurt dragonkind the most.

    The cannons then burst forth with blasts of hellfire, born of the magic in the cannons and the rage the dead dragons feel for Darmon. The undead man had slain many dragons in his life, and the haunted cannons wish to unleash all of their vengeance upon him and his horde of Nightmares.

    Alain lowers his left arm.

    From the skies behind Alain's fortress, flies several Taroc celestial ships. These look exactly like modern Taroc sailing vessels, but they have been equipped with elemental celestial drives that allow them to fly through the air. These ships swing around the skies about the fortress, and take a position north-west of Darmon. They angle themselves and open the ports on the sides. From these ports fires several storm cannons. Like Ryth's rifle, there cannons fire starlight upon the creatures of darkness that serve Darmon.

    Alain nods his head.

    Several iron shutters part open on the face of Alain's fortress. These shutters had concealed windows. In each window is a storm cannon. These cannons have a mystical glyph hovering over them. These glyphs allow Alain and any in his squad to send mental commands to the weapons. Alain thinks, and the cannons open fire upon Darmon's Nightmares.

    Darmon and his army of terrors are caught in a triangle formation made up of the celestial ships to the north-west, the Raven's Triumph to the north-east, and Alain's fortress to the south. All are firing upon Darmon's army of beasts.

    This is a classic tactical maneuver. Lure the enemy forward, then pin them down with attacks from three different sides. Alain had used such a maneuver many times during the Great War. He has obliterated whole legions of enemies once he has them trapped in such a triangle of death.

    Now, Alain knows this will not win the day. Darmon would not have come right at Alain if he feared such strategies. He doubts this would have been enough to harm or even greatly inconvenience the undead fiend.

    All of this is being done to keep the Nightmares scattered and disorganized. While Lydmila works to buy Capios some time, Alain's other forces will keep the remainder of Darmon's forces busy and off balance. This will hopefully allow Alain to focus entirely on Darmon.

    Alain then steps off of the roof of the fortress. The Taroc flight harness he wears under his military coat hums to life and keeps him from falling. The harness is guided by the movements of the wearer. Alain had a chance to use this harness in battle during his invasion of Jinai's fortress. He calls upon those experiences, as he flies himself directly towards Darmon.

    A storm pistol in one hand, and a dream-powered sword in the other. And Alain is still silent.

  9. #69
    Southern Rekōdo in the Shamaa Province: Siochana... The Capital City

    Zarena of the Maloto Tribe, a Dream Speaker

    Udaya of Shamaa

    Curiously, it was the Dire Wolf in the fire whose crimson eyes followed the red-tailed hawk with its intensity. The curling smoke of the fire curled around the black wolf's fur. When Udaya spoke, the Wolf's eyes shifted to regard the old woman. The wolf sat in the presence of a greater power. Udaya took her attention from the gathering and left Branwen's side. Carefully, showing a hint of her true age, she walked with her walking stick over to the great hearth and stopped several feet from it. She stared up at the Dire Wolf and it down at her. For a long moment, she remained like this: staring into the image within the smoke.

    The Acting Guild Master of Taroc listened to Branwen's words as she spoke. There was a wise gentleness in his voice when he spoke again.

    "Alain is leadin' a small squadron of 'is best figh'ers from th' Grea' War into battle agains' Darmon. The idea is to 'ave as few people infected by the Nigh'mares as possible. Enchantry will need our bes' to repair the damage done by the Nigh'mares to i's people. Attackin' outrigh' will only give them more fuel. We nee' to protec' the people of Enchantry."

    The Acting Guild Master of Taroc stood formally with his hands behind his back. He removed one hand to gesture at Zarena. His crimson eyes looked to her. He had been excellent friends with her brother, Mindoka's former Second, when he'd passed. A great grievance, and a common one it was for them both. They had not seen each other much since his memorial. Arion occasionally wrote to her and she back, but both their duties to their peoples prevented anything more. Arion afforded Zarena a firm nod.

    "Alain an' I are in accord on this. As much as I wan' to figh', my place is in defense of Taroc an' Rekōdo. Alain will lead th' fight. We need defense for Enchantry. As much effort as Nalia 'as woven into i', there are just too many Nigh'mares to keep ou'. If there can be Dream Speakers in place along the smaller islan's of the Ailes or th' Ligh'ouse Islan' by Al'Rora, we can protec' the minds of Enchantry from th' Nigh'mare infec'ion."

    Zarena's brown eyes stared hard at Arion.

    "The Maloto Tribe is ready to defend Enchantry, Mistress Branwen" she said as she looked at Arion. One of her fists was clenched at her side. "With your permission, I will gather my people and lead them in defense of the innocent within Nalia's Ailes."

    Udaya's voice was like a gentle breeze rolling in the undertow of the conversation.

    "You are a beautiful Spirit" she said as she leaned forward and squinted up at the massive wolf. "But even you do not know de beauty of your Soul. How unique a ting it is! De others like you know, but dey are lost to de ways of man. A sad fate for de mighty people of de-"

    Udaya turned to look over her shoulder. She stopped when she realized she was the only one speaking. Curiously, the Dire Wolf stood imposingly over Udaya. It's stance was anxious, wide, as if anticipating something great from the old woman. When she stopped speaking, the wolf's tag-wag slowed and then stilled. It remained waiting for a moment longer before it gave up on the old woman and relaxed its stance. The Spirit seemed solemn now.

  10. #70
    Count / Countess Tigers is offline Tigers's Avatar
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    May 2004
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    Blog Entries
    Enchantry: Island of Capios

    Enchantry: Island of Capios

    Sari & Ráichéal of Haven, Nicolette of Palios, Kiyoko of Rekōdo, Eilwen of Eloruh, Dominika of Krig

    As Fateema spoke to the women of Enchantry, Ráichéal’s gaze traveled to Sari. A little bit of the color had gone back into her cheeks and she could see the determination build within the younger woman. From their vantage point, they had had a clear view of the young girl that had been consumed by the Nightmares, she was a friend of Sari’s.

    Despite the death of their parents, Sari had remained vibrant and full of life and death still affected her deeply. Ráichéal had hardened her heart to the realities of life and although it seemed cruel everyone would eventually die, it was part of life. If it came to it, she wouldn’t hesitate twice to give her own life for her sister. She just wished she could spare her a little longer, protect her so she wouldn’t end up closed off like she had. The world needed more positivity, more optimism, and more love. It needed young people like her baby sister.

    Kiyoko squeezed Sari’s shoulder, as the other fighters watched the movement of the Nightmares. Ráichéal could see Kiyoko whispering in her baby sister’s ear but she could not hear her words. Knowing Kiyoko, it was likely words of encouragement, words Sari needed to hear, words that always seemed to escape her. She saw Sari visibly relax and the determination build, whatever it was Kiyoko said was working. As the women at the other pillar’s voices of confidence and determination rang like a heavenly chorus around them in answer to Fateema, Ráichéal added her own. Sari looked at her sister and for the first time in a long time she gave her baby sister a genuine smile.

    “We’re ready, all spells, enchantments and totems in place!” Ráichéal replied.

    Kai, like an ethereal zephyr, bounced back and forth between the pillars amplifying the energy of each and every sister supporting the pillars, enhancing all enchantments and spells the women added to increase the light.

    “Kai already ready! Already helping!” He replied.

    “Feeding off Nightmares, helps to grow power for sisters. Kai very hungry!” He said in his broken attempt at the human language.

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