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  1. #201
    The Ailes Bones: The Cross-Shaped Island


    Nalia.jpg


    Nalia of Enchantry, Clow, Spirit of Taroc & Arxus, Spirit of Maginus


    On this island, there were echoes of what was all around them.

    The warring of the waking world had begun to catch up to this half-world of half-truths. The beautiful pastels had changed. The seas beyond where they'd teleported were gray and foggy. Their almost murky display half hid the beauty of the ghostly presence of waves that appeared on the shore in pearlescent translucence and then disappeared only to reappear elsewhere. The change was slow, as if the World of Dreams, with all its complexities and secret, could not keep up with the fast pace of the tides in the waking world. The real world. As Nalia looked ahead of her, she reminded herself that it was not on their time, that it only displayed part of the truth and only slowly revealed the whole of it.

    The forested hills in front of her were glowing.

    As if enriched by an energetic rain, the pines and ground and rocks were sprinkled in a glow that pulsed gently as if the Dream World had its own heartbeat. With each pulse, the odd mixture of red and yellow glow illumined the extensive root system beneath each tree trunk down into the deepest depths of- what would be in the waking world- soil. The many root systems of the grasses and wild flora spiraled down to their puny depths and as the inward draw of the pulse called the light away, the roots dimmed out of existence.

    In the distance, a gap could be seen. There were trees that had been felled. Many trees, it seemed. Their roots and presence did not pulse like the rest of the thin forest around them. Their broken bodies flickered in and out of existence with how their true natures once were: from tall and erect to broken and distorted. They were like a streak of permanent stain of yellow and red upon the odd beauty of the Dream World.

    On the beach where she stood, Nalia hesitated. She had not seen anything like this in the World of Dreams before.


    ~What did Alain do here?~

    Slowly, Nalia shook her head as she watched the display before her and tried to understand it.

    "I do not think this was entirely his doing."

    Clow, too, looked straight ahead and observed.


    ~You are defending.~

    "And you are projecting."

    Nalia glanced away from the pulsing forest to stare hard at Clow.

    "It's a wonder Alain didn't go mad. If you were always this argumentative, I certainly would have."

    Clow looked away from the forest to stare incredulously at her, but Nalia had gone back to facing the foreign pulse of the Dream World. Her fast was cast on and off again in the residual glows of yellows and reds. The Spirit of Taroc let out a small, short laugh. If Nalia had housed Clow for any extensive amount of time as Alain had, she would know what a rare treasure he'd just revealed.


    ~Comfort lies not in change~ he recited the somberly. ~Were it not for how much this land has already suffered, I would find comfort in knowing that destruction still closely follows my Vessel wherever he goes.~

    How much this land already suffered.

    Nalia's intense emerald gaze left the forest and, once more, settled on the Ghost of Taroc. Her brow furrowed. His words just opened up a door to discussion about what had happened to the first Enchantry. Nalia thought carefully for a moment and opened her mouth, but before she could step fully through that opened door, Clow lifted an arm to point ahead of them.


    ~There~ he said quickly. ~In the woods. Do you see it?~

    Nalia's eyes narrowed and watched the pulsing of the forest. She follow the line of Clow's pointed finger until her eyes found what he'd seen.

    "There" she confirmed and pointed her own finger to match the trajectory of his. They both lowered their arms. Clow smiled.


    ~It seems even in this world the magik of my Oath binds me to my pledge.~ It was faint compared to the pulsing glow of the forest: A pathway. Footprints, almost, that lead from the forests edge near where they stood into the pulsing woods. It trailed up and into the glowing pines and distantly grew lost among the brilliance of the roots as they flared into existence and died out again. Nalia did not understand what this path signified. Not like he did.

    ~Wherever the Master of my people goes when the time of one has stopped, so does his path in life. Wherever the Master of my people goes at his start, so I shall see and follow until Spirit and Master are once again one.~

    Nalia was silent as she took in the proverbial-sound of Clow's words. Her eyes were glued on the pathway as she tried to follow it to its farthest into the forest. Her breath caught in her lungs. It headed straight for the destruction of trees and stones.

    ~I do not expect you to understand that~ he said to fill the silence of, what he thinks is, confusion after his words. ~I do not know that Alain does. We do not speak of it much in serious tones. There is a bell tower in Clow. A waystation with a Mystic in charge of sensing my Spirit as it is freed and- Like I said, it's complicated. But you, apparently, have been my waystation this time. That makes sense, seeing how this is not the traditional way an Ancestral Spirit has to move between-~

    "You need to get to Alain."

    The sudden interruption of Nalia's words cut the Spirit's explanation short. Nalia had gone very still. Both her hands, Clow saw, were on her womb. There was a pained look on her face. Worry and something else.

    "Go to him" she said in a voice that was much more soft and vulnerable than the commanding tone she'd just used. "He needs you."

    The breath she inhaled was shuddering and did not come back out. She held it, because of the child she carried or because of something she felt of her lover that he could never understand. Clow watched her and, for a moment wondered if she truly had taken on the responsibilities of the Mystic at the tower in its fullness. Then, unexpectedly, Clow bowed to Nalia. It was deep and it was long-held to the extent that Nalia actually stepped back from the Spirit of Taroc. If an Ancestral Spirit were to ever bow, which she was not sure they did, it would only be reserved for Kings or Queens who were regarded as above even them. The sight of Clow bowing to her brought her discomfort in the confusion she already felt by it.


    ~I am not saying that I approve~ he said carefully as he rose ~but a part of me is glad that you were not Quieted after he found you in Astral. That we were able to keep you and guide you and- ~

    Eventually, all of that lead to she becoming Alain's singular lover.

    ~You are, in your own way, vital to Taroc~ he said finally. ~I do not think She or he would do well without you and for that... for that, Nalia, I thank you.~

    It was almost an apology. Almost acceptance.

    No. Not acceptance. Tolerance without approval. Clow was set in his ways and it would be hard for the Old Spirit to budge from them. It was the source of many conflicts between he and Alain, and it seemed it would be still. Despite Clow's earlier request, she returned his bow, though not nearly as deep as it had been at the Heli'Dom. All around her, the Dream world was fading. The lines of its solidness were blurring and running together in a distorted haze she knew came when she would be taken from this place back to the waking world. This time though, an odd warmth ran through her as she was pulled away. Nalia cried out and tried to hold on to the World of half truths, but no one could escape the waking world here, not unless they were dead.

    So it was that Arxus of Maginus heard Nalia al'Vatar of Enchantry disappear from the World of Dreams with a cry that was cut suddenly short. Without much caring for what happened to the traitor of Maginus, Arxus traveled deeper the path that Clow had seen. He had seen it also, before either of them and had begun his journey to find Darmon. As Nalia had so cleverly pointed out back on the floating telescope: Where Alain is, Darmon would be also. What he had not expected, but should ahve known would happen, was that his path veered off from the one Clow would follow in his wake. It did not carry him to his former Vessel as it would Clow. His former Vessel was dead and, returned or not, had broken his bond with Maginus's Ancestral Spirit in his death. He was not alive, even now, though through Dark Rites he had been called back. He was a Spirit housed within a shell of himself. A shell with no life could only house one. Darmon was no longer an option to which he could return.

    So when he found his path lead him to another, he curiously paused. His Spiritual senses ran over this new body to test and to taste him for what he was, of the stuff which he was made. It turned out, Arxus knew this man, or at least knew of his station. He had gone to the Shepherd of Souls with the passing of each Guild Master of Maginus. The Temple of Liar'Adon by the Sea at Windf'rte was where his Soul always went before he was guided onward in his journey. It appears he was guided to him still, though what the Shepherd of Souls was doing all the way out on the Ailes of Bones was a myst-

    Ah. Clever boy.

    He had come to seek out the Ancestral Spirit when he had not come to him on his own. Clever, clever boy. Arxus could taste it. His magikal presence was strong, so much so that he'd almost forgotten the pull he felt, even here, from Caldur of Isolert and his cronies. Arxus hesitated. There was no one else here for him. Everyone else, except for traitorous Enchantry women of Maginus birth, was far back on the mainland of his Province. This man had sought him out to complete his duty. He would do. At the very least, he was better than entrapment and servitude to the man with the Dragon Staff.

    If he would not, then he would get his quota out of him, the boy would be killed and he would find another, more worthy host.
    Last edited by SilntAngl5; 03-18-2018 at 06:00 AM.
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  2. #202
    Faraking Island of Taroc in Far Western Rekōdo: The Floating Heli'Dom

    Nalia.jpg

    Arion, Acting Guild Master of Taroc, Pasce, Princess of Rekōdo and Nalia of Enchantry


    Pasce closed her eyes and shivered. Olivia's hand felt so warm on her forehead, almost too warm, but her body quickly regulated the sensation of the palm's presence. She feels a tingle run through her body at Olivia's incantation. She is wracked by another shiver.

    "She's always col' " the Acting Guild Master grunted as he tried to keep Ryth still. It was meant to be words of comfort. "I's when she's warm tha' Alain always worries."

    But Ryth was right. Her pulse was terribly weak and he could still hear the fluctuations in her Soul Song. it sounded distant now, as if she were moving so far from them all. Arion looked down at Nalia as Eliona spoke. Across the room, he heard Olivia speak to the Princess.

    "She did i' " he uttered quietly as he looked down at the unconscious woman. Her breaths came slow and light. Her complexion was pale and it made her mane of raven curls seem all the darker against her lightly freckled face. Even from where he stood, he could see the fabric of her gown shift as the child within her stirred. Arion does his best to keep out of Verona's way. When she is ready, he removed his hand and stepped back. He watched Verona and her golden threaded needle work. He felt an inkling of something. Nostalgia? Regret? Was this how Alain felt when he had to step back and be a Guild Master? Arion's crimson-colored eyes moved from the dutiful Verona to Olivia and Eliona. The two could not be more different. Everything about the Soul Songs sounded different-

    -Arion's eyes meet Eliona's and he went very still. It is a rare thing, but when someone achieves a clarity of purpose, their Soul Song rings out in perfect pitch and tempo. It sounded like perfection, like heaven to a musician's ear's. It was a perfect confluence of the workings of the universe and a single, solitary soul within it. He was so enveloped with listening to her Song that it took a moment for him to register that she'd spoken to him. He blinked, taken aback. He tried to recall if Alain had ever taken orders like this from anyone in Taroc, let alone someone from an outside Province. He knew he had, and ultimately, he was of no use here where so many others had stepped up.

    "Her name's Verona" was what he ended up replying to Eliona. He half turned to go to the Princess and hesitated. He left his comment where it lay and completed his motion to turn away and go toward the Princess.

    Pasce sat in her chair hunched over. Her pale eyes were distantly seeking out and searching for any sign of the Ancestral Spirits. She felt nothing, not a trace of them. The vast empty chasm they left within her psyche felt a need to be filled and her mind sought to restore order to itself. She was still trembling when Arion came and knelt before her. With infinite gentleness, he took one of her hands in both of his, first with one and then the other. Pasce looked up when he small hand was eclipsed in his and the warmth of them pressed down upon hers.

    "I's alrigh' " he said to her quietly. He offered her a gentle smile. "You'll ge' yourself all worked ou' soon. I's a great task, so fill th' gap you 'ave insi'e you now."

    Pasce's body shook still. Arion re-adjusted his hold of her hand. He held one palm up and turned her hand over so the back of it rested in his. His second hand eclipsed her palm so that the entirety of his hand covered her hand and his fingertips stopped halfway up her lower arm. It was done easily, for she was as delicately short as he was lanky and tall. Those fingertips gently stroked downward on Pasce's hand, from her arm slowly down to her fingertips. Each of his own digits ended up finger-to-finger with one of hers. Each time he lifted his hand he started the same journey lower and lower on her arm.

    "O, my love, sing sweet for me
    a ballad of spirit, an ode, a tune
    Sing sweet, my love, a song for my heart
    High as the sun, for my Soul, at noon."


    Each time his fingertips ended up at hers Pasce's fingers curled more and more to meet his. He started at her wrist now. The gentle melody of his tenor voice lifted up to her ears. Her lips parted softly as she breathed in and exhaled out calm, steady breaths. Slowly the trembling in her body subsided. First at her feet and then up her legs to her torso and arms. With each downward stroke and consequent closing of the Princess's hand, all that caused her to shake became stored in her palm where her fingertips ensnared it.

    "Fair as thou ar' my love, my life
    My love for you stays true
    Love you, shall I, 'til my ligh' is gone out
    'Til the stars in their courses subdue."


    He was gentle in every way. In the lightness of his voice, in the touch of his hands upon her flesh. It was terribly intimate. The Princess's yes looked upon Arion and saw not only the gentleness, but the chaos within him. The man was an inward knot of turbulence, a constant battle between peace and chaos, between instinct and duty, between who he forgot he was and who he was expected to be. She saw how his horns could grow to be like a crown upon his head, how he smoldered like fire and brimstone, how the draw of his fingertips were like talons that raked across her fair skin, how his every breath was a plume of hellish colored smoke.

    " 'Til the stars in their courses subdue, my dear
    And the ligh' of my life gone ou'
    Love thee, shall I still, my dear
    For our love can ne'er be put ou'."


    Arion's fingertips trembled. A heavy dryness was forming in his throat.

    "Farewell, my love, my only ligh'
    Farewell to thee a while
    I shall search for you on this prison of earth
    Til at las' I am freed my exile."


    All of her trembling had been contained within her palm which he shakingly stroked closed. With infinite gentleness, he turned Pasce's closed hand over and bent to bring his lips to it. He inhaled deeply as his lips left her knuckles. His touch was like fire up her arm, as if he pulled all the residual cold from her body and into himself. She was filled with a warmth from where he'd planted his lips throughout her entire body. The empty chasm of her mind was reknit together and she was left with an overwhelming feeling of tranquility. It was wrapped with a ribbon of something she recognized as sadness. When she looked up at the Acting Guild Master of Taroc, it was he who was trembling now. His crimson eyes were wide and disbelieving of whatever ailments he took from her. He blinked them away rapidly, and then seemed to settle his sight on her. He released her hand so that he could properly clasp his fist over his heart.

    The look she gave him was curious. Then she shook her head lightly.

    "Master Arion" the Princess of Rekōdo said "You should not know that song."

    Again, he offered the Princess a gentle smile and bowed his head to her.

    "Aye" he said with a heaviness to his voice. "But I 'eard i' from you. You are 'ow I knew to sing it."

    The Princess's eyes left his and searched something inside her for a moment. Again, she shook her head, but with more definition this time.

    "I can't feel them anymore. I know not where they've gone... I'm sorry."

    "You 'ave already done a grea' thing by them" Arion said gently. He stood and offered her his hand. "With you, I feel their time in exile is almost up."

    And, as the weight of what she still must do landed heavily back on her shoulders once more, the Princess of Rekōdo took the Acting Master of Taroc's hand and rose.

    On the couch, she heard singing. She always did love Arion's music, however at odds they had been with each other. It reminded her of her mother. She would hum and sing Astralian love ballads- the older, more tame ones- to her father as she cooked in the kitchen or cleaned the house with her older sister. Sometimes she would sing among the tall grasses by the lake while they played or swam. Her father always looked so lovingly at her mother. He'd reach for her hand and kiss it with such love. Those were such good memories. In Ryth's hand, Nalia's fingertips moved.

    The first thing she saw when she opened her eyes was Olivia. The Necromancer was so close to her and had a hand on her heart. Her eyes moved slowly from Olivia to Eliona with a vague notion of the transfusion machine to Ryth. The old soldier was holding her hand and his stern feature were awash with worry. He looked about ready to melt into a puddle. Her fingertips moved again and tightened weakly on his. To Ryth, she gave a very tired smile. Then Nalia closed her eyes, as if that small gesture had taken up all her immediate strength. She shivered. There was an odd mixture of warmth and cold running through her veins.

    "Did... it work?" she asked weakly."Did she make it?"
    Last edited by SilntAngl5; 03-25-2018 at 04:40 PM.

  3. #203
    The Ailes Bones: The Cross-Shaped Island




    Sacha, Shepherd of Souls



    The farther he traveled into the forest, the more uneasy he felt. The air was still alight with energy left behind from the recent storm and the mists that had rolled up from the sea were thick and unyielding to the islands many secrets. This place felt ancient and chaotic. He could feel the magiks here edging into his mind and untying the modern magik he so knew and felt comfortable in. He was thankful for his training in Old Magik that he'd undergone through the temple. Without that, he feels as if he might have lost his mind here. The further inland he got, the forest continued to thin. He no longer needed to keep a hand before him to draw the pine needles from his face. His pace had slowed only somewhat. It was difficult to avoid the crunching blankets of dead needles that littered the ground, but he still tried to trek quietly. He reached the clearing where something massive had left a crater. The streak of destruction left a scar through trees and dirt and boulder. Sacha felt uneasy out in this opened space, despite the mists that creeped upon him and seemed to follow him the further he went.

    No. Mist couldn't follow you. That was his mind playing games on him. The feel of the Old Magik.

    The mists has come around him now and closed up the path he needed to travel right before his eyes. The Shepherd of Souls hesitated and turned behind him, but the mists were even thicker there. By the time he turned back, the only thing he could see was the ground at his feet. Warning bells began to go off in his mind. Slowly, quietly, he widened his stance and spread his arms from his body. His blue eyes moved across the mists before him looking for any sign of movement. For anything at all. His ears heard nothing, just the distant rumble of thunder. Sacha breathed shallow, quiet breaths. His hand tightened on the blue, carved spirals of his Shepherd's Crook. Thunder rumbled again, closer this time.

    Blue-violet light began to spiral along the hilt of his crook from where he gripped it. It alit the mist-covered air around him and cast a play of light and shadows across his face. He looked down suddenly when the arcane spell circle came back. The circles, the pentagons, the lines. The symbols of lightning and the archaic runes. He knew this symbol. It was the same symbol that guided him here. The brightness of it and his staff grew and cast his shadow onto the thick mists behind him. A second shadow was there, and independent of his own. It lifted its arms and its long, priestly sleeves fell down like wings of an ancient beast. The symbol at Sacha's feet crackled and above him clouds swirled and spiraled. They flickered and flashed violently with lightning. The light of the symbol filled Sacha's widened eyes.

    "What? No... No!"

    Sacha turned around within the confines of the symbol. He reached his arms out, but flares of crackling lightning flared up to stop him. He knew what was coming and he could not stop it. Still, vainly, he threw up his arms to keep it from happening.

    "No, no, wait!... WAIT!"

    His cries for mercy escalated into a scream as the churning skies above unleashed a peal of lightning down upon him that could kill any mortal man. His scream was lost among the resounding boom of thunder that shook the entirety of the island.



    -+-



    Darmon, The Returned


    Darmon_Returned.jpg


    Darmon's laughter echoes through the dust stirred up by the barrage of fauna and stone upon the Guild Master of Taroc. The dust does not have a chance to settle before the mists of the island creep at its edges. They curl at its presence, as if tasting the dust to gleam the secrets of the battle from it. The story of the fallen Master is a sad one. The mists continue to encroach, but recoil as the echo of the Returned Man's laughter which grows only louder as he approached the Master of Taroc in all his glory upon the ground. The laughter dies off as the battered man stirs. Darmon watched Alain silently struggle forward.

    "You really won't give up, will you? You can't."

    Darmon's boot kicked Alain over and then lays across his throat. He studied the bloodied man that is so far beneath him. His glowing, violet eyes are full of hatred and contempt for this man whom he has battled for far too long.

    "So be it" he said with finality. The release of pressure on Alain's neck was brief. Darmon's hand came with more force than his boot upon his throat. He grit his teeth as he hefted the stone-armed Master up with unnatural strength. Lightning crackled at his fingertips and crackled around Alain's throat. It rippled in dissipating waves up and over his biceps and torso. Close by, a deep rumble of thunder reverberated and cause the land to shiver.

    "I will grant you the end you cannot seem to bring upon yourself."

    He lifted Alain high as a show of his own superior strength that dwarfed the horribly injured man. Then he brought him right before him, so close that his glowing eyes reflected off Alain's skin. All around them, the mists enclosed. The island trembled.

    "And then, once you are done, I will find her" he breathed at him. His breath echoed with the protests of souls from the far beyond. The sky above him swirled and churned in preparation to unleash a new storm. "You will die now, knowing that you failed and that she will suffer at my hand!"

    Darmon lifted Alain up high and opened his mouth to call forth unholy lightning to strike down and smite his foe for good, but before he could speak, the sky tore itself open and sent down a finger of lightning thick enough to rival the thickest of Maginus's famed redwood pines. It arced down from the sky and impaled the ground with such force that the entirety of the island shook as if it were being cleaved in two. The Man of Maginus's eyes look dim in comparison to the sheer brightness of its presence. Streaks of dark blue and black join the seemingly permanent streak of white-hot lightning. Darmon's eyes went wide.

    "It cannot be" he uttered. The digits that threatened to crush Alain's trachea went slack and the broken Guild Master was released to the whims of gravity. Darmon took a step forward and seemed to have forgotten about the joyous death he was about to deal. It was momentary. He wheeled on Alain of Taroc and delivered a swift kick to his ribcage. His grip upon the Guild Master's throat this time would elicit cracks from his windpipe as he wrathfully raised him aloft.

    "Who else it out there!?" he raged into Alain's face as he attempted to shake the words out of the severely injured man. "Who else did you bring with you!? WHO!?"

    Even if Alain could conjure an answer for the undead man, they were not needed.

    "No! No!"

    A shadow appeared in the mists. It twisted and writhed like a diseased animal. Somehow, it managed to stagger forward despite its uncoordinated gait, and toppled through the mists onto the ground several feet away from the matched enemies. His hands clutched his head through his thick, white hair as if he sought to claw through his skull. He pushed himself forward with his boots. His entire body smoked and his priestly robes, outlines in golden, Maginus symbols were charred and tattered. Remnants of sleeves hung off his scarred shoulders and torso. His toned biceps were pale amongst the tattered state of his clothes. His blue eyes, though, were wide and glowing with dark blue light. They were wide as if struggling with the horrors of the Nightmares that had just been sucked from this realm.

    "No!" he agonized again. "Get out of my head!"

    He lurched forward and Darmon of Maginus took an unbelieving step back. His eyes were wide and unfathomably staring at the white-haired young man before him. Whatever was torturing the poor soul seemed to give him a moment of respite. He stayed hunched over on the ground breathing heavy, labored breaths.

    "This... This is not my purpose. I am only a guide to your next Vessel" he pleaded between breaths. "Get- get out of my head. Please- "

    Darmon's eyes blinked and then went horribly wide. His fists slowly clenched crackles of lightning at his sides.The hunched boy's body trembled as if attempting to fight off something great.

    "- It's not supposed to be me!"

    His body suddenly shot up, erect. Something, a voice, told him there was danger and his body instinctively reacted with movements that were his, but not entirely his own to control. His hand shot out and caught a glowing, blue Shepherd's Crook that came tearing through the mists. He spun it in a defensive series of circles as he turned his body back around and pointed the half-arrow end of it at Darmon's throat. The white-haired man's blue eyes went wide, but the agony and struggle were slowly ebbing away. Now they were filling up with shock and a little bit of horror.

    Darmon of Maginus took a step back, but now he firmed his stance. Still, he could not erase the volatile mix of danger and disbelief from his voice.

    "Who are you?"

    The white haired man remained in his pose with his rune-covered Crook between he and Darmon. Alain LeCavalier, the Scourge of Maginus, lay behind him. The Shepherd of Souls found himself in the precarious position of having landed himself between two mortal enemies.

    "I am..." he looked confused a moment, shook it away. "I am Sacha of... Windf'rte. I am the Shep-"

    His eyes looked past Darmon a moment as if listening to something.

    "What? No I am not saying that."

    Darmon's pupils became pinpricks of rage within his hotly glowing, violet eyes. The white-haired man seemed momentarily oblivious to the wrath he was incurring.

    "I'm not saying that! I do not care who you are! I am not the Guild Master of Maginus!"

    "No."

    Sacha glanced up from his argument and found the enraged sight of the Undead Guild Master before him.

    "I don't care how many magikal oaths and bonds I must break."

    Darmon stepped forward. Sacha stepped back, but the point of his Crook between them remained in place.

    "I don't care what this does to the Five Provinces"

    More steps forward and even more back from the white-haired priest. They passed by Alain of Taroc.

    "I don't care if Rekōdo burns to the ground."

    The broken man has been forgotten. The Ghoul of Maginus continued his advance. Sacha of Maginus continued to retreat.

    "I will not allow a- a mere boy to take Arxus from me. He is mine! I am his Vessel and no other!"

    The air around the Undead Man of Maginus grew dark. Sacha's eyes went wide.

    "I don't care if Maginus herself is swallowed by a hoard of Dragons! I WILL-"

    A flash of light blue streaked across Darmon's face with such force that his neck snapped to the side. The sound of shattered vertebrae yielded no results from the occupied corpse except a slow, angry returned stare from the icy-eyed man.

    "No" said Sacha. "But I do."

    Sacha swung his Shepherd's Crook again. Darmon lifted a hand and stopped him with a blade of pure lightning. He leapt back followed close by the white-haired Guild Master. The mists of the island rolled up and long the body of Alain of Taroc. Their tendrils touched him curiously as they explored both him and the blood he'd spilled on the ground. The battle between old Guild Master and new raged on before him. The mists began to blind his view, eager to see what the end result would be.
    Last edited by SilntAngl5; 03-25-2018 at 04:40 PM.

  4. #204
    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 & Olivia Kuhrson



    Above Faraking Island: The Heli'Dom...


    Eliona nods when Arion informs her of Verona's name. Her time in this place seems to have been filled with so much conflict, arguments, and drama that such introductions had been neglected. The Astral woman can't imagine what kind of impression she is making on these people. She must look quite horrible right now. Having just been in a battle, running through that Nightmare infested fortress, and not taking a single moment to make herself look presentable. Following Ryth around, and trying to keep him from breaking himself to pieces, is certainly making it impossible for her to present the best side of herself.

    Despite such worries, Eliona is still a glowing beauty. Even the tears in her clothes or the smudges on her flesh do little to mar her appearance. Really, on Eliona, such flaws look like accessories worn by someone that is trying to make combat weary look like a fashion choice. The only real flaw to her are the cracks and burns on the hand and wrist that she bared when she unwrapped her bandages on one hand. She gave no thought to exposing these injuries, as she needed to expose the veins in order to help save lives. The instincts of a healer can sometimes override Eliona's Astralian vanity.

    Eliona smiles to Verona, and gives an approving nod to the aide's work treating and bandaging Ryth's wounds. Personally, Eliona finds the use of an enchanted needle and thread to stitch wounds to be rather distasteful. Giving such important work to the limited functionality of a spell infused into objects is a poor substitute for the skill and care of a true healer. And Verona's bandaging is not as well put together as they should be... But Eliona must remind herself that this isn't the White Towers, these people are not trained healers. They are doing the best they can.


    "Thank you for your help, Verona," Eliona politely tells the silver haired woman.

    "It's all part of the job," Verona replies as she rises from Ryth, and returns to the medical cart. There she recovers some cloth and begins cleaning the blood from her hands. She's seen far too much blood lately. It will be nice to return to paperwork.

    When Nalia awakens, Olivia offers her friend a small smile.


    "Pasce lives, Arion is with her now," Olivia softly tells Nalia. Her smile fades as the weight of events crushes her moment of joy. "I couldn't stop the force that was trying to steal the spirits. I don't know if it got them. I'm sorry. I tried."

    "One battle at a time, O.K.," Ryth tells Olivia. "One battle at a time."

    Ryth offers Nalia a smile of his own.

    "You did good tonight, kid," Ryth tells Nalia. "You saved the princess. That's a win we needed. That'll help us with whatever battles we have ahead of us. If we need to go rescue those damned spirits, having a living, breathing princess will help a lot with that."

    "Yes, very good," Eliona comments. Her tone is soft, drowsy. Some of the color has left her features, as she is willing her power into Nalia through the blood she is sharing. "Though, please do not do anymore good tonight. I'm afraid I only have so much of my energy to share..."

    Eliona pauses. Lost in thought a moment. "Using the telescope was a good idea. That is a new one for the books. When you eventually get to the White Towers you'll have to show that trick off. You'll certainly impress quite a few of the trainers."

    Olivia, deciding Eliona has given enough, shuts down the blood transfusion mechanism. She then removes the needles from Nalia and Eliona. Olivia bandages the spot where the needle had been inserted into each woman's arm.

    Verona makes her way from the medic cart towards Pasce and Arion.


    "Do you need anything, highness?" Verona dutifully asks. In the recent chaos much of the protocol had been tossed aside, Verona seeks to restore at least some small amount of order to the situation.

  5. #205
    The Great Orange One Qwaring's clone#1 is offline Qwaring's clone#1's Avatar
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    Alain LeCavalier




    The Ailes Bones: The Cross-Shaped Island...


    It's cold.

    Alain thinks he was just fighting. It feels like there was a fight.

    Now, he's not sure. It feels cold. Dark too.

    His instinct is to finish the fight. Harbin used to say something about leaving a battle half finished. Alain can't remember the exact words. It's too cold. He should just sleep. That might fix everything.

    Sleep and-


    ~Don't!~ a voice warns Alain. ~I didn't come all this way only for you to give up and die on me now.~

    The voice feels familiar. Alain wonders if this is a friend. He almost remembers having those. Maybe that was before the battle.

    Why can't he feel his legs?


    ~Focus on my voice.~

    Alain struggles to hear through the cold.

    ~The air is flooded with residual energy. It's magic in its most primordial form. I've never felt universal energy this pure and- Wait, no, I have. It's just like your stone arm.

    ~Your arm knows how to use this energy. I can sense it. I simply have to pull this energy into the arm.~

    Alain isn't sure what the voice is talking about. Hard to think. Hard to breath.

    ~Stay with me, Alain.

    ~I'm going to borrow your stone arm for a few moments.~

    Alain feels his left arm raising. The broken bones in his shoulder crack and stab at Alain with blinding pain. Alain wants to scream, but he only hears a wet gurgling. He tastes blood. He can't breath.

    The fingers of the stone hand trace out glyphs of ancient Taroc. The glyphs glow in the air for a moment before fading. It's a forgotten spell. Clow doesn't bother trying to recall which of his hosts crafted this spell. He only focuses on its casting, and whispering a brief prayer that some miracle will allow this to work.

    Warmth washes over Alain. It runs from his stone arm, through his broken shoulder and into his dying body. As this warmth, this power, floods into Alain his pain subsides. Damaged bone and tissue rights itself and mends back together. Alain's stone arm does grant him accelerated healing, but even its mysterious powers could not restore him from the near death state he had been reduced to. Clow's spell allows him to channel the residual magical energies and boost the limb's healing properties.

    Such a feat of miraculous healing is only possible this once. Trying to release the power of the rod a second time might inflict too much harm to Emporium. The magical forces of this world might not be able to endure another maelstrom of primordial power. A second release of such energy might damage the natural order of their planet beyond repair.

    Alain opens his eyes. He gasps in a deep breath into his restored lungs. Alain sits up. His body has been fully repaired. Pain and injury are gone. Whatever left over power remained in the air over the island has been spent.

    It is at this point that Alain becomes aware of Clow's presence once more within his mind. Along with the return of the ancestral spirit Alain can also feel his full mystical might restored to him.


    ~Welcome back, LeCavalier,~ Clow tells his host. The spirit can't quite hide the joy in his tone.

    ~Thank you,~ Alain replies. ~Welcome back, Clow.~

    Alain gazes around himself. He detects the signs of a conflict playing out just through a veil of mist. His mystical senses whisper secrets of the confrontation between the former and future Guild Masters of Maginus. Alain can't stop himself from grinning as he revels in his returned combat sense.

    He rises from the ground. Red flames flow over him, teleporting away his tattered clothes and replacing them with a suit of black. Black trousers, vest, long coat, and tie around the collar of a white shirt. The clothes one might wear to a funeral, to say goodbye to the departed.

    Alain plucks a small stone off of the ground, and throws it at Darmon. It bounces off of the back of the undead creature's head, causing no harm. It's only intended to attract Darmon's attention.

    Should Darmon turn around, he will see a grinning Alain LeCavalier. Unharmed and fully restored.


    "Come on now, Darmon, surely you'd rather fight Clow and I," Alain taunts. "Leave the shepherd be. I'm ready for round two."

  6. #206
    Count / Countess Tigers is offline Tigers's Avatar
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    KALI &
    Vucan



    Kali’s form did not lumber, for the size of dragon she had changed into, her movements were graceful like a cat’s. As she witnessed the chaos from this point of view, through the eyes of a dragon, she was struck by the beauty of it all. Even the death of her fellow sister’s those that escaped through the aide of the Shamaa and the sudden appearance of what she could only assume were ancestral spirits, it nearly took her breath away.

    It was not something she would repeat out loud, she did not want anyone to mistake what she saw as a callousness towards the death of her sisters. It was the first time she had witnessed outside of a “humanoid’s” eyes, the life cycle of death and rebirth. Oh, many would be sorely mistaken if they believed that this was the end, once the fleshly body died and decayed.

    As she urged her sister’s forward to the extremes of their already tired bodies, she watched with a hidden smile the sudden spark of rejoicing to the sudden arrival of long dead family. It was just the time of confidence boost that many of them needed. A toothy grin spread across her dragon’s maw, happy for the first time since this invasion began.

    There were no sightings for Kali, but she did not expect as much. In truth, it was a great relief, as it meant that their mother was still alive, and that there was still hope for her and Branwen to be reunited with her someday.

    Just as soon as they appeared, they vanished into thin air. Kali’s size began to shrink, and soon she was back to the form she had taken since the beginning of this battle. With one last flex of her wings, Kali’s feet touched the ground running, behind and slightly to the side of her gathered sisters. It was then that her attention turned in the direction of the docks, her thoughts going momentarily to the commotion and the life she had detected earlier. The call of the dire wolves brought an instant relief to her, they were headed in that direction. It was the best chance at surviving, since she and the others could not go do them.

    The piercing cry of Dyani’s spirit animal brought Kali’s attention as it swooped down next to her. The instant she made eye contact with the ethereal gaze of the hawk, she saw what Dyani was looking at. She cursed under her breath, of course these creatures were not going to make it easy, but had any of them really expected as much?


    She opened her mind to Vucan, when Evalynn’s voice reached through.

    “We’re here Evalynn, headed your way as fast as we can.”

    “Dyani’s shown me a wall of Nightmares, I’d ask how bad it is from there, but I think we all know the answer.”

    There was a moment’s pause, as if Kali was trying to work through a solution.

    “Evalynn, do whatever you can.”

    She could see Vucan in her mind, standing there with Evalynn, while she touched his arm.

    “Vucan, help Evalynn, keep the way open for as long as you can. We just need long enough to get through this wall, I don’t care what it is, runes, traps, a barrier, whatever will keep them at bay.”

    There was another pause, when Kali spoke, there was a weariness in her voice.

    “Dyani and I will push the sisters, Kai and Blas will help give them a boost of energy and I’ll do what I can from this end.”

    Another pause.

    “Evalynn, the sisters are already pushed to their limits. They’re beyond exhausted and the energy will only allow bodies to move, but the mind and coordination…”

    “We will likely lose more…we cannot stop to help them…”

    The was a long silence. Kali loathed the idea of losing anymore, but the alternative was unacceptable.

    “Unless anyone has any other ideas…I’m open, but we have to move quickly.”



    **************************************


    Standing next to Evalynn, Vucan could sense the tear in her mind as it tried to contain and decipher her surroundings. After dealing with the trauma within the caverns, he was sure that this was another shocking hit to the senses. He would imagine it would be like a frail butterfly wing being grasped in a cruel hand.

    “If you’re speaking of the wolves, the answer is shrouded. There is likely a secret that is being kept hidden, either from or by the wolves themselves. It is a mystery that will become unraveled when the time is right.”

    With a delicate touch, Evalynn’s hand touched Vucan. The connection would be instantaneous, and the young Enchantry sister would not have to wait long for an answer. As Kali spoke, Vucan listened.

    “I will aide within my ability allowed in this realm.” He replied to Kali.

    He awaited Evalynn instruction, his command was to serve Kali and in return those she asked for him to protect. Together, whatever the plan he would help strengthen and fortify their defenses until the others arrived.


    Last edited by Tigers; 03-26-2018 at 08:55 AM.
    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. #207
    Count / Countess Tigers is offline Tigers's Avatar
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    Branwen


    Branwen observed Merriam’s reaction to the young lady at Fateema’s side, her eyes briefly glancing to the two standing behind the stout older woman. The looks were unmistakable as to tell who they were, especially the uncanny resemblance to the woman. But Branwen’s eyes were drawn back to Merriam as she spoke about Mahlah, the young lady by Fateema.

    She listened to Merriam’s words, as she took in the ghostly figure of Mahlah dutifully comforting her older sister. A heavy weight began to rest upon the young acting guild leader of Shamaa, Mahlah and Fateema’s tale seemed so familiar. Familiar in the since of man’s ability to take things too far in their ever-growing quest for prestige, money and “things.”


    “I’m so sorry.”
    Branwen whispered to Mahlah.

    Empty words she knew, but her heart did ache for the younger woman and she absently wiped at her own tears when her attention was drawn back to Merriam’s own sorrow.

    Aala continued her dutiful healing on Fateema, her own ancestors gathered round keeping vigilance for Nightmares. Branwen noticed the touch of a smile on the healer as she was affected in a much different way by gathering of those long dead.

    In her own distraction, she was caught off guard to the gentle touch on her cheek. She turned, only to catch the figure move behind Merriam’s parents. He was tall and striking to look at. His long dark hair hung around his shoulders, much in the way her mother’s did. There was something strangely familiar that tugged at Branwen’s heart. She felt as if she should know this man. He cut such a deceptive appearance, a refined, educated type, but with an underlying deadliness, but not towards her.


    He moved back toward her, a gentle smile upon his face. Branwen felt immobilized, struck with a sudden uncertainty and panick twisting with the knowledge she knew him.

    “I…should I…do I know you?” She mentally thought.

    His smile grew and his ghostly eyes began to glow orange, just before he disappeared. Branwen was awestruck, dumbfounded but what she had just seen and felt. But it was nothing compared to what happened when she felt him pass right through her. If the young woman hadn’t already been crying for Mahlah’s loss of her life, the tears suddenly unhinged a hidden dam of emotions.

    “Dad?” She whispered, but he was gone.

    She looked around her, trying to find him, to feel him once more, to ask him if she was correct. But there was no linger trace, and one by one all of the ancestors began to vanish into the ethereal mist. Branwen had not been aware of the Commander’s differing emotions about the ghostly apparitions. She had been too moved by Mahlah’s story, by the appearance of whom she was sure was her father and it opened an emotional storm as well as questions. The most nagging one was, if he was here, then he must be….

    Branwen didn’t have time to sort through this tidal wave of emotions, there was too much going on, too much at stake. She would have to hide these tumultuous emotions and sort them our later. Merriam’s voice suddenly brought that thought full for force as she forced her mind back into the present.


    Branwen tried to compose herself, as she acknowledged Merriam’s claim that she needed no healing.

    “It is an honor to meet you Merriam of Enchantry. Shamaa is pleased and honored to help our sister guild, and it is finally nice to place faces to the names we have heard. Kali, my sister, speaks highly of all of you.”

    The sudden appearance of the water Efreet, startled Branwen. Shaking her head at her temporary loss of control, she pinched the bridge of her nose in slight frustration with herself. Her eyes followed Merriams.

    “Yes, Sacha, Shepherd of Souls and Aramil, his advisor. We came across them before your arrival. They are here to help, they are not part of the treachery committed by their Guild Leaders.”

    Branwen’s gaze turned back to Merriam.

    “And they have been warned by Shamaa that if they show any deception, they will be dealt with swiftly.”

    Branwen’s head quickly snapped back at the water with the very next commotion, her staff tightened in her grip. But to her surprise, another party had entered the battle against the Nightmares and the beach was quickly being cleared of them. A quick glance toward the Commander and Branwen smiled, Commander Weir was certainly holding her own.

    “It looks as if the sea itself has brought it’s own warriors to battle the Nightmares. Who are they?”

    She searched her thoughts on all the teachings she’d had from Mindoka, had he mentioned these beings?


  8. #208
    The Island of Capios, Below the White Palace: The Caverns




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



    Evalynn closed her eyes and exhaled a sound of relief in its purest.

    ~Oh, thank Liar'Adon~ she uttered at the sound of Kali's voice within her mind. Her eyes remained closed at Kali's revelation of what Dyani had showed her. Her breathing slowed, became something different.

    ~They are here too, at the entrance to the Caverns.~ her gentle, meek voice said. ~They batter against the wards Nalia has in place, but they still hold.~

    The next question on their minds would all be the same: For how long?

    ~I- I don't know what I can do- ~

    ~Evalynn? Kali?~ Shalla's voice broke through. It sounded far away, interfered with like static, but she heard it.

    ~Shalla!~

    But before she could hear a clear response from Shalla, Kali's voice implored her to listen. Evalynn felt her heart thumping against the walls of her chest. With the clearing of universal energies form the air, she could feel them. Thousands of them. Spirits, Ancestors summoned up from their rest to fight for the lives of their kin. It was breath-taking. She could hardly breathe.

    Evalynn swallowed nodded at Vucan's words, though that did not seem like enough. There was not enough time for words. As soon as her meek fingertips touched the humanoid beside her, she inhaled sharply. Instantly she felt him, all of him that he would allow. A hint of the breadth and scope of his true nature, all its volatile, dark beauty. It took a moment for her to realize he was waiting for her to lead. The presence of him and the Spirits around her was overwhelming. She felt charged as if she were going to explode. She brought a hand deftly to the rune-shaped scars alongside her face. They hurt, pounded with the beating of her heart.

    No, not hers. His. It was not something she was prepared to handle.

    She wished Fateema or Merriam were here. Even Laelis would have a fount of ideas. But her-

    ~Let go, Ev.~

    Evalynn's gentle blue eyes watched the horrors attacking the barriers set forth by Nalia al'Vatar. They battered the wards voraciously and ricocheted back with reverberating sounds only to lunge forward and attack again. The sound filled her head and she suddenly felt overwhelmed-

    ~Ev.~

    ~Shall?~

    Her voice was weak.

    ~Evalynn.~

    The young Enchantress brought a hand up to the other side of her head and released the faint touch she had on Vucan. She looked to him with wide, stricken eyes. Her breathing was bordering on panic. The left side of her face was bleeding. She'd re-carved the runes, long ago scarred over, into her skin.

    ~Ev...~ Her breathing slowed under the sound of Shalla's voice. Vucan would see her go terribly, achingly still. He would feel her go utterly still. ~Let. Go.~

    Evalynn blinked and her eyes flared with violet light. She reached out and grabbed Vucan's hand. From a pocket, she procured a small shard of knobby crystal and brought it down into his palm. Before he could protest, she took her fingers and conjoined them with his. The shard stuck out the other side of her hand and, if his tough reptilian skin allowed, it might also go through his. The crystal hummed at the impact upon their flesh. The hum permeated the air but, rather than dissipate, remained constant. Evalynn took two of her fingers and blood form the side of her face. She quickly traced a spell around the shard that protruded from her hand. She wrested his hand over so it was atop and wrote a second spell there, upon his flesh, just as she had her own. Her lips moved in a whisper of incantations that echoed on the waves of the hum emitted by the crystal between them. When she looked up at Vucan, she took a step back toward the doorway and its still-holding wards. Her fingers gripped his tightly. Where she was going, he would have to follow.

    And she was going out that door.

    Evalynn's footsteps were light as she pulled Vucan along. Cries rose up as she went to and through the wards of the doorway with a leap and pulled Vucan outside with her. She lifted her hand and a pulse of ethereal light sent the Nightmares reeling back above the tree line. It would buy them seconds before they regrouped and came at them again. Without words, she twisted her palm violently and snapped the crystal that joined them in two. A vaporous tether linked the two shattered ends of the crystal together and thus bound them by blood and magik. He would feel her through it, and she him. Above the dense tree line of light, the Nightmares called out with ear-splitting howls. They were coming.

    ~You are my anchor to this world. Guide me back if I should forget the way.~

    Evalynn turned to look at Vucan. She had freed him, mostly. He could stay here and fortify the barriers and keep the dark beasts out as Kali had asked, or he could go with her. The tether was ethereal, not physical. It had no limit tied to this realm. Behind her, shapes began to manifest in the tunnel between the trees of light. Ghostly shapes that turned into Spirits. The call to her would be felt by any returned Spirits within the island of Capios. Evalynn's blue eyes glowed violet and her body shimmered at its edges with the same violet hue. Her eyes regarded Vucan with intense focus, not with the meekness of her true nature.

    ~It's my turn.~

    Evalynn's voice echoed as if not entirely present in this plane. The Nightmares let out a screeching cry of havoc as they bombed the spot where she stood. The air filled with hisses and sizzles as they smoked and burned and tore open amid the thick branches of the trees of light simply to land a mark or blow upon her. They passed through her as if she were not there at all. Her hood blown back by their force and fury, her blond hair tied back begun to whip around her violet eyes and porcelain face. She turned and evaporated into the darkness that tried to undo her.



    -+-



    The Island of Capios: At the Edge of the Forest, Near the Treelight Beacons



    Dyani of the Border Forests



    Dyani was first to get to the weakening shield. Her fighting knives cleaved through the thick barrier of darkness and sent Nightmare back arching in searing pain as the dream light burnt their infernal flesh into ash. Their screams made the air unbearable to the ear. There were simply too many and the sister traveling with her were too tired. The group had run halfway across the city as the collected the survivors of the pillars. They were simply too late. By the time Dyani cut a swath through the Nightmares, the Sister and all the novices under her care had fallen prey to the dark hoard. The darkness had begun to batter their shield at the sight of the incoming group from the pillars and it shattered within moments. They were dead, all of them.

    Dyani let loose a scream of rage and anguish. Dyani's run had come to a complete halt as she stared in horror at the sight of the dead Sister and the young girls with her. Now that she had ceased running, ceased moving and fighting the heaviness of fatigue hit her like a ton of bricks. Her limbs felt like pillars of steel rooted into the ground beneath them.

    "We have to keep going" she said to the group behind her, but it sounded more as if she were trying to convince herself. The Sister's woven belt told her she was from Shamaa before the darkness swarmed around her and claimed the sight of her from Dyani's blue eyes. She never got a chance to see her face. Most of her flesh had been feasted upon already. Would it have mattered if Dyani knew her more personally than that? Would it have mattered if their tribes were related? Cousins? Of the same blood?

    No. The Sister of Enchantry would still be dead. All the Novices under her care just now were dead, but Dyani felt she was owed more than that.

    Ahead of them was a wall of darkness that nipped and gnashed as a unit at the gateway of light. It singed them and burned them, but they prodded it and tested it angrily. They did not count their losses, but how much more pressure the beacons set by Laelis could withstand. Even the Ancestors around them, as if sensing the end was coming, began to fade from existence once more.

    It seemed hopeless.

    Then there was a great cry that rose up from the women around her. It was outdone only by the dark beasts that looked up and screeched in angry wrath at the glowing, violet figure that confronted the wave of darkness that threatened to beat down with the strength of a tsunami upon the entrance of treelight. The Nightmares frothed and dripped acidic pitch from their many maws amidst their titanic wave. Behind the fair young woman who stood before them, an army of undead formed. The Ancestral Spirits summoned by the Shepherd of Souls formed their ranks behind her and the numbers in their legions were lost in the thickness of the forest.

    Dyani looked up and her anguished, blue eyes recognized the figure who stood with an army before the Nightmare hoard.

    "Evalynn!" she screamed, but the Sister from Maginus did not respond to her call. Dyani's voice called out to Kali. There was a hint of panic among her normally steeled composure.

    ~Kali, it's Evalynn~ she said hurriedly. ~She's taking on the wall!~

    A Nightmarish cry rose up from the wave as is swelled and then fell down upon the girl-between-realms. A cry rose up, but only those attuned to the Spirit Realm would hear it: they answered the cry for battle with one of their own.



    -+-



    The Island of Capios: The Docks at the Bay of Capios




    The Dire Wolves of the Ailes



    The psychic play is met with excitement from the pack that remained behind to observe her. Their tails wagged and head sloped to one side curiously. They played her game of psychic tag and enjoyed every moment of it. They were almost like children, the home-sized wolves. The only exception was the Alpha. His psychic play had ceased. The most serious of wolves stared at the sniper with intense crimson eyes.

    It is when the play stopped that the wolves went silent. They recognized a hunt when it was happening and within an eyeblink several of the pack disappeared. With hundreds of years of stealth under their belt, a portion of the pack had circled around and formed a perimeter with Lydmila. Only an occasional flutter of dark fur, or human clad fur or a faint sound of padding on the ground revealed any trace of the creatures at all. Again, only he Alpha remained in Lydmila's sight. He remained just beside her and slightly behind to give her the honored position of lead hunter. He was silent as he moved with her above the city. Pictures of what they saw as they prowled flashed in the Alpha's mind and would bounce of Lydmila's barriers. The Alpha hesitated at the sight of her rifle. His ears moved back on his head, but he waits. He is silent. He can sense her grieving, smelled it like perfume upon her body.

    A brightness filled the warehouse, one that made the Alpha wolf lift his head from the light and emit a long beautiful howl.

    Silence is allowed after, for Lymila. Then the Alpha crossed the space between them and sat. He is entirely patient as he towers above her. He stared down at her with crimson eyes that seemed sorrowful, as if he knew she'd experienced a loss. Beside it, Spirits that looked akin to Shamaa, albeit distantly, stood beside it. One of the Spirit men touched the Wolf's shoulder and gave it a nod. Their Ancestors left them and the air was placated with pitiful whines that went above human hearing and then howls of mourning.

    The sound changed only as the pack that had split off from the Alpha reached a hill above the docks and saw the Raven's Triumph. They lifted their heads and howled joyously. They yipped and barked and looked about ready to leap onto the marooned boat in their excitement.

  9. #209
    Count / Countess Tigers is offline Tigers's Avatar
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    Vucan

    With detached interest, Vucan waited and watched this human female, Evalynn. This was there realm and while not constrained by their laws and rules he was bond to Kali and their father’s request. She was for all intents and purposes his sister, they shared the same father, though they were completely different kinds of beings.

    As her true senses opened, she felt enough of him to glimpse into what he truly was, at least to the degree that she could handle. Normally he barely managed to tolerate these beings, but the time spent with Kali he had grudgingly come to feel something for a few of them. Likely a less acidic sense of disdain, but a different feeling none the less.

    Despite what little Evalynn gleamed of Vucan, very few were ever prepared for the strength of his energy, especially male energy when one had been surrounded by only feminine. Male energy was very invasive and for any female, who were vessels by nature, it could be quite overwhelming indeed.

    He could see right through her and the momentary rise of fear as her thoughts invaded her actions. Uncertainty about what to do, if she could handle him, the situation before her, it swirled about her, threatening to consume her. But Vucan knew her on a level that only an ascended being could understand, and she would pull through this, she just was not aware of it at this very moment.

    He could feel the tenuous tug of her life mate, calling to her since the moment she could feel a reestablished connection. The support from a loved one was always valuable for such beings, but when it came to the soul, and what would become of it, that was only up to the individual in question. It had absolutely nothing to do with anyone else, and Vucan had seen many such begins fall to attachments that had nothing to do with the spiritual growth of one’s soul.

    There was hope for some of these beings, and without invading the human woman’s mind on purpose, he sensed that she knew this. But he also sensed, that she found a measure of strength in her life mate. Hopefully, she would not ever rely strictly on that strength alone.

    He watched her with a demeanor of calm to her wide stricken eyes as she had unknowingly at first recarved the runes on her face, drawing blood as it trickled down the side of her face. He sensed what she was about to do before she even realized she was doing it. Vucan allowed her to snatch up his hand once more.

    As the shard pierced her skin, he allowed the opposite point to pierce through his. He sensed she did not understand the totality of the decision that she had just made. For him, it was nothing but beneficial to her and her loved ones, but that was only his perspective and he was not arrogant enough to believe his was the only one in existence on this planet, let alone the galaxy.

    He supposed as she performed this blood bond he could have stopped it, could have warned her that even though her mind was made up and she was going to do this, it held consequences. In many worlds, this was a type of blood magic that was forbidden, outlawed by penalty of death. But she had made her mind up, and Vucan allowed it.

    He spoke in his draconic tongue as he performed the blood rite, sealing the bond and strengthening her own incantation. If Evalynn had not been too distracted by her own thoughts she would hear his strange tongue as it gradually became words in which she understood. The magic would bind their blood with a strange non burning sensation that spread through them both like a wild fire and then abruptly ended.


    She was going out the door, and her intentions were clear to him and with the new bond he would follow. His mind whispered in hers as she pulled them through the door. Their thoughts and messages passed to one another simultaneously.

    “I do not sense that you fully grasped what it is that you have done. But I am more than your anchor, we are now kin, through the rites of the blood bond. You, Evalynn Agravaine of Maginus, are forever linked to me as my sister, as is those of your family, including your life mate. And you will forever be linked to Kali, as she is my natural kin.”

    Spirits now began to show in a more visible form, drawn to the human that had called them. Evalynn’s demeanor had changed and Vucan regarded her closely as she spoke her last words.

    “Then what are you waiting for, let them taste your own strength. I will be here if you need me….but I think you know that you will not.” He replied with a sinister grin of dragon’s teeth.

    His focus was now to guard the way through.


    Last edited by Tigers; 04-02-2018 at 06:16 AM.

  10. #210
    Count / Countess Tigers is offline Tigers's Avatar
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    KALI

    Kali had never felt the effects of a blood bond before. She had heard of the rites through her brief studies, but nothing on a more personal level. She had never considered performing such a ritual, it had just never crossed her mind, nor the effects that it might have with her kind or that of her half kin, the dragons.

    The women for the most part, that traveled with their acting Guild Mistress, had remained quiet and focused. She could hear a few of them sniffling back the tears as they passed the remnants of their sister’s lying in various stages of death, or the lack of a body to go with torn and bloody clothing. But when Evalynn performed the blood bond and Vucan completed the rite through his blood and magic, she was unprepared for the sudden presence of Evalynn so clear in her mind.

    It was the first time since this mess began that Kali had actually stumbled from being genuinely caught of guard. The eerie sound of flesh and scales sliding across the cobbled streets caused a momentary panic in the group and there were several screams of panic and a hesitation in the pace they had set.


    “No! Don’t stop!” Kali called back as she quickly rolled back up to her feet into a run. Her breath coming in labored gulps.

    “Evalynn?!” Kali called through the link she was now very aware of.

    But there was no answer, just the surge of confidence through the blood bond that Kali knew existed within the woman, but had never felt her exert before. Unbeknownst to her, Kali had a grin on her face. It was as if she knew what Evalynn planned without her speaking a word.

    “I sure hope you know what you’ve done.” Kali whispered to herself. Hoping that Evalynn would not regret her decision.

    Dyani’s concerned cry suddenly rang through her head.


    “I see her.” Kali responded.

    “She’s opening a way for us to get through the wall.”

    “We’re just behind you Dyani, let’s make this count. Vucan will make sure she gets to safety.”


    “He’s sworn to protect family.” Kali replied, without realizing she had spoken it aloud as well.





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

    An Entire group of their sister’s lost to these creatures, it was a thought on each and every one of the women’s minds. They had all lost so many, but just how many was uncertain. Sari, one of the youngest amongst them could not unsee the horror and it reflected in her eyes and the tears on her face. She looked around, searching for more of the other novices like herself and her eyes found so few.

    Despite the horror, she had not let it distract her, or cause her to lessen the amount of light she helped to produce for the barrier around the group that had joined Dyani in their run across the city. Even in her youth and abundant energy, she would have come to an understanding at the fatigue that Dyani now silently felt. It was the first time in her life that she had experienced such a draining. Death, shock, loss, the realization of one’s own mortality never rang as clear as it did in this moment.

    Sari turned to the touch on her arm, to find Kiyoko looking at her with concerned eyes. She did not wipe the tears away as she nodded to Kiyoko that she would be fine, despite the lack of truth it seemed to ring within her own mind. Kiyoko squeezed her shoulder, and looked to see the thankful face of Ráichéal regarding them both.

    Many of the women in their group had begun to shift restlessly as they seemed to have paused on this precipice of certain life and death. Kiyoko and a few of the others of some rank had been trying to keep the fear from overwhelming them all, as even Kai and Blas were beginning to show weariness as they moved amongst Dyani and the group.

    That was when several of the women saw the figure of Evalynn in the sky and began to cry out. Eilwen was on the verge of snapping at them all for their loss of focus, even if she too felt a keen concern for one of Nalia’s trusted.


    “Look! Our ancestor’s rally behind her, they are trying to give us a chance of life!”
    Eliwen called out in encouragement.

    Unaware of Kali’s communication with Dyani, another cry sounded from behind the group, as Dominika and Nicolette’s voice called out as one!


    “Kali and the others!”

    “Dyani, they are just behind us!”


    Last edited by Tigers; 04-02-2018 at 06:35 AM.

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