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Chronicles of Kriste
Apr 19 2012, 5:45 pm
By: Fire_Kame
Pages: < 1 13 14 15 16 1724 >
 

Jun 16 2012, 10:53 am Tempz Post #281



Keep following Fridolf



None.

Jun 16 2012, 9:23 pm Fire_Kame Post #282

wth is starcraft

Martin and Dan struggled to keep up with Fridolf's strides as he took them through the countryside that surrounded Irongoll, heading due south, judging by the location of the stars. The half moon shown down around them so bright against the open fields that if they didn't know better Dan would have said it was morning. It was a still night. "We're coming up on the edge of Astron now," Fridolf growled. "They planted trees on the south side of the city to make a sort of artificial forest. 'Said it was for protection, or something. Don't know what they're protecting, all I know is that it greatly agitated the wildlife around them." They didn't say anything for some time, the moon moving across the sky, signalling that the night was almost over. On several occasions Dan heard things slither to and from them, and a few times he thought he saw the silhouette of wolves. Although showing curiosity, none of the wildlife ventured closer. They got close to the awkwardly planted forest and set off around the parameter. On many occasions, Fridolf would suddenly stop and duck down. Once Dan could hear the strangled cry of a bear, but Fridolf carried on, mumbling about the disturbance the forest had caused.

They stopped at about day break, on the other side of the artificial forest, next to a stream, partially hidden by a cliff. Fridolf pointed out beyond it, "We will wait here until your charges come across," he grumbled, "at least, I assume it was them we heard causing the disturbance, but this way they are taking is one of two known ways out of Astron, the other being the main road. The plains we went through hold many secrets," Fridolf said, suddenly thoughtfully, "but none I wish to instill in you just yet, pup. We have a long journey ahead of us. I will keep guard if you two would like to rest, I don't believe that they are traveling right now, the forest is too still." He started a fire, and pulling some sausages out he skewers them with a stick and lets them roast.



Athenos originally thought the princess would argue with him over sleep, but he held firm, and the princess didn't even utter a word. She only looked longingly at the pool next to them before laying down and closing her eyes. her breathing fell deep by steady, and her body relaxed at last. The guard, seeing this, beckoned Athenos away. In his hands he held a sketchbook and a crude piece of charcoal, his fingers covered in the dark dust. Erik seemed to have found his nerve to approach the creature again, and had taken great pains to detail the significant differences in his drawings, to which Athenos raised his eyebrow. "It is the best application I have for the skills I possess. I thought I could apply it to my work in metal-smithing, and I did until my master passed away. He had the patience for my diagrams, but when I took over, I no longer had the time to spend on such...fanciful endeavors. But I have found that a skill in artistry has it's other uses, and this is the first drawing of the monster anyone will see. It will help the kingdom indefinitely. But if you could check the drawing...make sure I did not leave any details out," he said, handing the book to Athenos.

While Athenos studied it, he continued, "I know it was foolish of me to ask the princess to come back, and if I thought she would say yes I wouldn't have suggested it. The kingdom is in great chaos, I don't need to tell you that, I know." He paused for a moment, and then dropped his voice again, "my companion...supports the Captain of the Guard, his name is Teiv, should you care, but he doesn't respond by it anymore. The Steward is in control of the kingdom as we speak, as the family has disappeared and did not tell anyone where they went. With them is a small battalion of their most faithful, mostly the inner guard, the secret guard, that the Captain had no knowledge of. It was something the King set up many generations ago...last time the monsters were sighted, but when that happened they were not as malevolent. They have taken the family and hidden them. I tell you this because you do not want to go looking for them, not yet. It would not be wise...they lack the ability to differentiate between helpful and evil, only objective and target. The objective is to keep the family safe, the target is anyone who may speak of their location. But back to the Steward...he does not hold enough wait for his sudden disappearance or death to be of any interest. In fact, when it leaks that the family is gone, no one will ever noticed if he is murdered. And after the steward, it is Teiv in line for succession.

"Not only this is causing chaos. The monsters, I am obviously talking about, and the certain link to necromancy links them back to the Tryvali. There are several sleeper cells in the kingdom, only a few of which the guard is aware of, none of which we can act on until they make the first move. You can see the bind we are in. And, I believe you were at the most recent banquet? The entourage of Tryvali that attended they are still at large. We are certain the woman accompanying them has returned to the kingdom, as our guards sighted her for certain crossing the boarder again." There was a long pause now, and when he started talking again, there was hurt in his voice. "The princess trusts you, and has a certain fondness of you, despite..." he points idly to Athenos' covered arm, "...and it is she who chose you as companion. Since she is protected, I am in a unique position to benefit the kingdom far greater than just protecting her. I will go back to the capital city, feigning great injury, returning with both horses stating my companion died and was devoured by the beast. I will present the drawing, and I will present information...false information...of your where abouts." The hurt was gone then, and sudden resolve filled him, "I will be a double agent, I will keep an eye on the activity there, I will find a way to contact you again, her again.

"But, for this to work..." he said, pointing at his well healed shoulder, even as he was speaking pealing back the armor "I will have to sustain more damage than this. It is well known that damage done by the beasts does not heal easily. But if you do it, do it before the princess wakes up. I do not want her to have the wrong opinion of our arrangement," he reached into his pocket and withdrew the folded piece of leather from before, "here, for her. As a sign of good will. She is quite good at whittling you know, and when her fingers are occupied, she looks better. Please, get her to Pryti. You can be sure more will come, and the supporters of the House of Leaves are wearing thin."



Isador heard screaming in the camp around him, bursting him into wakefulness. Upon realizing that the men were celebrating, not in the throes of battle, he instantly became annoyed, wondering if they had pillaged a new cache of liquor. The fires had quite gone out by now, and the dawn illuminated their dark camp well enough for him to see that a hunting party, sent out to gather meat for drying later that day, had captured something quite alive - a robed character, shrouded in dark green robes. He was not trembling, and the men were having great fun poking at him, trying to coerce him into conversation. But he remained still. Isador approached them, glaring at the men causing the disturbance. "Oy, see if he'll make 'im talk!" one of them said in the distance, to a roar of agreement. Isador closer inspected the man. The green robes bared a repeating pattern along the cuffs and collar - what looked like a flower with energy bursting from it. The man carried a simple satchel, the type of which intended for small vials and dried herbs. It seemed strangely bulky.

"We found him while hunting," a man said, scarred and blind in one eye, "he refuses to talk of where he is from," he continued greedily, "but think of the riches of a commune, right under our nose!" There were more roars of applause. Isador waited until they fell silent before talking in a quiet but firm voice.

"Strange it would be for a commune to hide in the Darkfall Forest...with it's many dangers lurking about," Isador said, walking closer to the robed figure, eyeing his robes again. "Order of the Thimbleweed," he commented, "What are you dong so far from Tasside, on the doorstep of your enemies, those of the Willow..." Isador noticed that the robed man looked visibly distraught by Isador's presence, but did not make a sound. "I wonder, what would bring you out - most likely alone - on such a dangerous journey..." Isador peered at him, the robed figure's eyes dropped to his back and jerked back up quickly. But it was a movement that did not go unnoticed. "Empty his satchel!" He barked, the men around him cheered in agreement, two of them ripping the satchel from his shoulder and dumping it. Vials and various dried herbs fell forth, two small dried fish as well. With a heavy thunk, a book fell on top of it all. The group fell silent, and watched Isador pick up the book and turn it over in his hands.

It was an old volume, and dusty - it had not seen the sun for a very long time. He opened it tentatively The pages felt as if they were disintegrating as Isador touched them. Listed on each page were reagents and uses of them for alchemy pursuits. On the front was inscribed, in heavy golden overlay, "THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO TRANSMUTATION." Isador did not comment, but he knew what it had meant. These fools around him were caught up in the treasures of a convent, perhaps a few rusty axes and a shield, when out there, somewhere, was a hidden source of the old knowledge, the knowledge Isador yearned for, and, perhaps, a source to find more? But they were close. They had to be, if they stumbled upon this man at such an early hour. He would not have camped so far from the power's location.

"I will need some time alone with this man," Isador said slowly, looking intently at him.

"I would die before I give you information!" The man shouted, the first thing he had said. A dangerous glow lurked behind his eyes, but the other men conceded to Isador's request and left the two, a great deal of space between them. Isador waited until they were well out of earshot before he bade the man to sit on a rock before him. The man did not move.

"It would be unwise to disobey this early in the interrogation," Isador said, "now sit."

Post has been edited 1 time(s), last time on Jun 16 2012, 9:31 pm by Fire_Kame.




Jun 16 2012, 10:17 pm IskatuMesk Post #283

Lord of the Locker Room

Dawn's light peeked through the forest. As night settled in memory, the pulsing violet beneath Isador's skin faded to a dull glow. But his eyes burned fiercely, illuminating the angular face of an ageless monster. Shadows of dawn crept away from him as he allowed the man to soak in the silence of the moment, revealing his many thorns and blades to the mortal eye. Those of his elbows at rest formed a most wicked silhouette. As the light touched his skin it revealed faint scales that seemed to shift and dance with its embrace, and an inner motion that drew the eyes to madness when they tried to quantify what they saw.

"Men are truly fleeting things, yet they are brash, they whose minds are so quick to reach the absolutes of an equation," Isador murmured, his voice resonating through thought and tongue, sifting through pages idly. "Do you believe that death is your bondage to this day? That I would grant you this?" The man blinked, but remained silent. The demon's eyes turned to the rising sun in the horizon.

"There is no truth in death. Not as men would seek it. Thy duty to the elements does not end with death. The very element that grants you existence betrays you with every breath, seeking mastery over your fate here and after. Even you must know this... You would consider me impatient, regarding me with thy own conceptions of time, hoping for a swift end. You may not be patient... but I am. Thus, it would be wise to choose a more... pleasant path."

Isador closed the book, and tapped it gently with a clawed finger. His eyes drew back to the man, and pulsed briefly. The air surrounding them seemed to freeze with this otherwise insignificant display.

"Shall you begin?"



Show them your butt, and when you do, slap it so it creates a sound akin to a chorus of screaming spider monkeys flogging a chime with cacti. Only then can you find your destiny at the tip of the shaft.

Jun 16 2012, 11:05 pm Fire_Kame Post #284

wth is starcraft

The man was silent for several minutes, watching the book tentatively. "The way here was handed down to me by oral tradition. I have no map to share with you, and I cannot explain the path. It is near here, you know, it has been in your backyard this whole time," he fumbled for something around his neck. "If you will not grant me death, I will grant it for myself." A small bottle with white powder in it appeared in his fingers, and he quickly dumped the contents into his mouth. He convulsed violently, foam pouring out of his mouth.




Jun 16 2012, 11:49 pm IskatuMesk Post #285

Lord of the Locker Room

"So be it," Isador murmured, studying the man's corpse as it still twitched. "You choose the path of pain. For you... and all your kind."

"Osvald!" he shouted. A moment later and one of the bandits arrived at his side. Osvald was one of the only humans Isador had yet met who could bare the sight of the demon without turning his gaze astray. He was wholly, utterly lost to his humanity.

"Prepare me a sterilized blade, and clear the camp fire pit." The man blinked in confusion. Isador glanced sideways at him. His face stiffened in anxiety. "One more thing. Have our scouts cover the local region foot by foot. Have them build me a map of its elements, the geometry and anything even slightly significant. Give them paralyctic poison for their arrows. If there are anymore wanderers... subdue them, and search them thoroughly." The bandit's face turned to the communer's corpse, his eyes tracing the foam from his mouth.

"I understand," Osvald muttered before turning away. Isador stepped forward, reaching down to the man's corpse. What he would attempt guaranteed no success, this he acknowledged. But the blood of men may yet bear its secrets. His eyes drifted to the bottle. For such a man to so easily condemn himself... what did he seek to hide so fervently? The thought excited him. Few men were willing to throw away their mortal bonds, he had discovered. They would beg and plead, offer him their material collections in exchange for but one more breath. He was lucky to have this one so fresh.

A few minutes passed. The fire pit had been cleared, a flat clearing in dirt, though it still smelled of smoke and ale. The men stood at a distance, trying to tend to their own business - such strange requests were not made often, and they knew better than to ask questions. Osvald returned from a nearby creak, a bottle of alcohol in one hand and a fine blade in the other. He offered the blade after a moment's hesitation. Isador studied it carefully. It was surely from one of the nobles they had pillaged a week or two ago. A fine piece, but entirely ornamental. It wasn't a combat utility, but it would suffice.

"Dare I ask what you plan 'ere?" Osvald muttered, staring at the man's body stretched out in the pit.

"Nothing," Isador whispered. "If a man is to rob us of his words, then we shall rob his blood of its passion. What will we see, I wonder, if anything at all?"

"I know not of such an art," the bandit spat. Even he was shaken by the implications.

"Of course not. Return to me when the scouts have reported their findings."

Blood magic. An art alien to the mortal realms. The pasttime of demons and fell ilk. Isador knew of it through his genetic memories. But Shadow Demons were not evokers or wizards. They were devourers. What he knew came from his forefathers in distant thoughts, those who were now dead or long asleep. Such rituals were not bound to the shadow arts, they were a utility, if even. Even so, he figured there was little to lose at this point. To access any magical elements at all, let alone in such a barren world, he would need much focus. His eyes dulled, and he lowered the blade to the man's right hand.

Something was hidden in these hills and brush. He would find it, even if he had to burn the forest to the ground.



Show them your butt, and when you do, slap it so it creates a sound akin to a chorus of screaming spider monkeys flogging a chime with cacti. Only then can you find your destiny at the tip of the shaft.

Jun 17 2012, 2:15 am Sacrieur Post #286

Still Napping

"Hold still," Athenos said as he uncovered his left arm. His black claws itched with anticipation. He measured the distance well, moving them just a few inches from Erik's shoulder before slashing the man, being careful not to cut too deep. The man gasped and fell to his knees.

Athenos inspected the wound. It was bleeding profusely, but he managed to avoid anything vital. He tore a piece of cloth off of Erik's shirt and tied it around his shoulder, if only to stop the bleeding and add authenticity to his story. He was very brave man, this protector, he would have perhaps made a fine knight.

"War is coming, protector. Forces of great power will collide, and this realm is their stage."

Erik left in silence. Athenos watched him until he was out of view, then his eyes drifted to the princess, wondering if she was plagued by any unwelcome dreams.

The conflict was escalating, and gods would have taken notice by now. He would not be surprised if they already had someone in this realm, assessing the situation. They would certainly not like what they see, and he -- it was best he avoid the gods, for his own good.

He entered a meditative pose, his mind wandering back to that realm of spirit.

"Your heart sings a song of sorrow, Athenos."

"And yours of longing. Our paths in fate are identical, dark prince; we three are but fragments of one: a forgotten requiem of ancient power, older than both our kin. But this ritual, as powerful as it may be, does not yet grant us what we so desire."

"You have done well to resist the madness, but even your will has limits."

"The ritual must be continued. Are you willing?"

"I hear her calling, starborn."

Athenos said no more. He moved to the bars, now more worn than had last seen. He put his hand against them, feeling their essence. He willed with his mind and they dissipated into a fine mist. The demon rose to meet him, pausing before him. The foreboding presence was stronger than before, with the shackles that held back the terrible power now gone. Njorthbiartr reached out his hand, Athenos met it. A warm feeling crept over the two of them. There was a feeling of oneness, as if pieces were finally rejoined.

Her voice. He could hear her voice.



None.

Jun 17 2012, 4:22 am Fire_Kame Post #287

wth is starcraft

Isador calmly slit the man's wrist, letting the blood pool before him. The edges of the mortal realm and shadow realm blurred again, and he peered at the man's life force from two sets of eyes. He saw a haze lift off of the blood, a fragment of the man's aura, but there was no bond here, Isador could only observe. He reached out and cut the man's other wrist, pouring it near the first pool of blood, releasing more of the aura. The aura drew to each other and mixed colorlessly, hovering serenely. You will lead me there, Isador demanded in the shadow realm, but the aura did not move. Even in death this man's will was strong. As if he expected it...as if they were taught against...Isador pushed the troubling thought from his mind. He tried every technique he could think of to coax the blood into moving - he used runes, both demonic and mortal to frighten or coerce the blood into leading him...but nothing would work. He eyed the sword. He had but one choice left, and the thirst for what the man saw was too strong.

Isador picked up the sword, muttered an incantation under his breath, and drew his own blood. The blood mixed with the man's instantly, and Isador felt it try to pull him from the shadow realm and permanently into the realm of mortality, into the life that this one lived...in a vivid flash of memories, Isador saw everything the mortal had felt and seen for the past thirty years of his life. He was one of the wisest and oldest of his commune, having worked his way up arduously for eighteen years. He possessed great knowledge of Astron, more than any man could hope to achieve. Isador saw the path to a cave, but inside the cave was a door, barred shut on the other side. The book must have come from the mouth of the cave, where several tables sat, looking out. Isador was pulled back into an older memory - another door, one at the commune. The man was about to open the door for the first time, Isador felt his surge of anxiety, of right to open the door. Isador knew that had gone too far. If he did not sever the connection now...

Quickly he grasped the sword again, and plunged it into the heart of the dead man before him, condemning the soul back into it's rightful body. With the act, Isador reentered the mortal realm. He felt his own power surge back through him. He had not gone too far, but he was exhausted by the effort. He looked up, realizing it was past midday. Isador left the sword in the man for several minutes, contemplating what he had seen. He knew the way to the cave - it was on an island in the middle of the Swamp of Kings, the longest one right outside the enclave. But what had disturbed him more was the door back at the commune...the one with the emotional connection that almost doomed Isador to mortality. He could not say for certain, but he had the psychotic inclination that behind it lay a god. But what god would allow himself to mettle so heavily in mortal affairs? The setting had never been better, but surely they were not so bored as to settle down on this plain...

He looked off. Osvald had returned, a map clutched firmly in his hands. Isador turned to grab the sword from the body, but as he did so an electric jolt caused him to pull his hand away. Although he managed to sever the direct relationship with the soul, it had become partially trapped within the sword, the strange flower design etching itself into the hilt. He left it there, took the map from Osvald and walked back to his bedroll with another word.

Map of Darkfall Forest





Jun 17 2012, 5:16 am IskatuMesk Post #288

Lord of the Locker Room

Isador considered for a time the memories and words that had flooded his thoughts. A mortal's life, at least most of it, made bare for him to consider. So much information... albeit, most of it useless. Conversations, emotions, techniques, much of trivial matter. But this island...

What Gods would know of the shadow realm? When it had fallen to the fire demons so long ago, most of the Gods were very young. They had not been involved in the wars of demons. The old worlds, many of which now were desolate and abandoned with the wars gone, were beyond the concerns of Gods. Yet, even so, the demon worlds were much more lively than the mortal one. The utter lack of magic he had encountered thus far was reason enough to conclude this. For a God to have become involved here...

Many things did not make sense to Isador, things he had tried to conceive for a long time. First of all, Esofar's seat upon the throne of of the star ocean, as caretaker, and not his father. Esofar was moderately powerful in the noble fire bloodline of Kalkatha. Very much a God by mortal terms, but the true warriors were not present at the citadel. Their homeland. If indeed the broodling he had sensed in the blood of Athenos was of this bloodline, he would likely be the weakest and youngest. Were his elders even aware of what he was doing? Did they even care? And Kalkatha did not even sit upon his own throne. This, of course, insinuated that the fire demons were occupied elsewhere. Had they chosen another war, perhaps against another demon realm? Or did the presence of divine energy, including that of a fallen God, Isador reminded himself, hint at a greater picture?

Isador groaned in his thoughts, considering the map in his hands. Perhaps, if he had overtaken Esofar, he could have challenge a God with such strength he would have drawn from the caretaker and his realm. Now, though, the mere chance of risking the knowledge of his existence, that a Shadow yet lived, would surely incite the Gods to action. Their eldest would be afraid of him, afraid of what he could become. They surely seek him out. He could hide, as he had hid from the firesworn, but if Gods decided to torch the mortal sanctuaries searching for him, what chance would he have of finding what he sought? If Isador failed here, his world would forever sleep.

Isador considered another possibility. What if the God in question, assuming one indeed was involved, was not strong? What if he could be overtaken? The blood of an immortal, especially a non-demonic one, would empower Isador far beyond the reserves he had prepared for Esofar. If only his fathers had offered something of true value before they left him... if only he could access their wisdom, trapped within eternal sleep or lost to the ashes of their confrontation with Kalkatha.

Isador figured that if he set out now, he and a contingent of his men could reach the marsh by nightfall. For his men to cross the marsh would be dangerous, however. Of all Darkfall, the marsh had been the most deadly locale thus far. Isador could not afford to expend his energy slaughtering every beast that came out of its twisted depths. If he travelled alone, however, through the shadow realm... whatever defenses that awaited would be his alone to dispatch. Isador's hand reached for the golden hilt of Esofar's Starscourge. He considered it momentarily, as he had many times. Such a weapon was a tool of utter destruction, but could it even give him an edge against such a foe? Would he even be able to wield it long enough?

No, Isador considered, returning the sword hilt to his side. Force was not going to overcome this challenge. Only tactics. The shadow phantoms and illusions could very likely fool a God, but only momentarily. Enough to distract it, and retreat, should the encounter turn awry. Another thought entered his mind, though, as he considered his approach. If indeed a God was upon these lands, was this God related to Athenos? And, if so, what was that relationship? Surely, such a coincidence was most rare to come across in an otherwise desolate world.

"Somethin' amiss, sir?" Osvald muttered as Isador strode towards him. The men were cleaning up after yesterday's heist still. Racks of arrows and several cabinets of poisons had been organized in easy access of their enclave. Most of these devices had been necessary only for the wolves and other creatures that occassionally harassed their scouts and hunters. Now, Isador wondered how the humans would fare if a new form of battle came to their doorstep.

"Burn the body, store his belongings" Isador muttered. "And double the watch. Something is amiss in these woods."

Isador's eyes turned to the aging sunlight as he resumed his rest. His mind was settled at least on one aspect of this fiasco - he would investigate the island at nightfall.



Show them your butt, and when you do, slap it so it creates a sound akin to a chorus of screaming spider monkeys flogging a chime with cacti. Only then can you find your destiny at the tip of the shaft.

Jun 17 2012, 5:36 am Tempz Post #289



-Ask Fridolf if he sees any food in the surrounding area
-If yes go and gather this food, cook it on the fire and eat it (making sure to be cautious to any sounds or movements)
-If no then eat some food remembering to ration telling martin to eat but remember to ration

When I'm finished eating go and look around for any ingredients that would be of use for me
When finished all above train with my sword and crossbow telling martin to train with his crossbow (give him 6 of my bolts)



None.

Jun 17 2012, 8:02 am Sacrieur Post #290

Still Napping

I am the justice that evil doth fear,
I am the storm of virtue's revere.

I am the tempest, wind and gale,
I am the nova, fury and flail.

I am the one of story untold,
I am Serena, guardian of olde.




None.

Jun 17 2012, 5:09 pm Fire_Kame Post #291

wth is starcraft

"Ah yes, we'll be upon my traps soon enough. Don't worry about hunting or foraging for berries just yet," he said, handing a sausage each to Martin and Dan, "and don't go wasting your bolts out here," he barked noticing the exchange of bolts. Dan showed Martin how to fire. They ate in silence until the clamoring of horses interrupted them. Fridolf looked up and over the short cliff wall they were hiding behind, his own bow and arrow in tow. A figure riding one horse and leading another started to appear on the path. Fridolf fired a warning shot, landing in a tree indirectly in front of them. The horses started in surprise, but the rider calmed them.

"Who goes there?" The rider asked, withdrawing his sword and walking the horses towards the outcropping.

"Well this is different..." Fridolf growled under his breath. Coming closer, Dan can see that it was a soldier of Astron, deeply wounded on his shoulder, color drained from his face. "Oy, I'm sorry lad!" Fridolf said as he came closer, inspecting the wound, "We are waiting for his sister to come around the bend, when we heard fighting last night, we assumed the worst for her." The guard looked irritated at the claim, reached into his satchel and withdrew a drawing of a bear like creature.

"My partner and I stumbled across this and only this in the forest last night," he said, pulled the parchment back as soon as he felt Fridolf had had a good enough look at it. "Obviously, my partner did not make out as lucky as I. I am returning to the castle to report my findings. Any news that you or your companions have on the matter will benefit the crown greatly."

The man turned to leave again, but Fridolf stopped him by saying "a strange way to leave the forest like this, wouldn't you have rather come out on the other side, closer to the entrance?"

"I merely was finishing my duty to the crown. I wanted to thoroughly inspect the forest. It is undisturbed now," he said curtly, turning without another word and leaving. Fridolf grinned toothily as he fell out of earshot, circling around the forest back to the main gates of Astron.

"He's good, I'll give him that. He'll fool the Captain of the Guard...but he's lying. I can tell," Fridolf said, settling down again, skewering another set of sausages.



Isador smelled the putrid flesh burn off elsewhere in the camp, dusk already setting. It would scare the creatures off for the night, but would alert any smarter game to their presence. The men were restless with his orders, and the doubled guard meant that only a small contingent would be left of the other tasks to hunt for game or riches. Already he had sent two mean to scout the way to the marsh, the way that would bring him to the correct arrow the fastest, and that had yet to return. He turned in his bedroll, drifting in and out of sleepless rest, thinking over all that there was to consider. Osvald was upon him again now, and he sat up straight. The scouts had returned. They bowed quickly, afraid of both letting Isador out of their site for too long but also not willing to make eye contact.

"Sir, we have scouted the way to the swamp," he started, "it is still. Very quiet. I do not know how to explain it - we got there so quickly," he trailed off for a minute, grasping for words. "There were no other men, and we did not find his camp. He was very good at hiding his traces, that much is certain. The quickest way to the island you seek is due south - it won't be hard to navigate the brush until you get there. We found an upturned log, probably the one he used to get across..."

"It was strange, Sir," the other interrupted, "The whole area makes your skin tingle. And as we got closer to the island, close enough to see the mouth of the cave, our skin began to burn as if we were standing under the sun for too long. But the entire area is overcast, not enough sun could get down to accomplish the task."

"Hence why the area is vacant of beasts, I assume," Isador said. Something was protecting - or scaring - the wild life away from the area. "Thank you, men. You have done well to bring me this information." The men turned and left again, Isador gathering his sparse belongings. "I wish to reach the swamp before nightfall," Isador said to Osvald, "I wish to do so without further aggravating the men. The gods know this is no time for mutiny."



Athenos looked ahead of him. The ground around him had disappeared, his vision distorted by an imprint of waves. Ahead, sitting idly on what could only be described as temporal sea foam as if it were nothing at all, was the one he sought. When she smiled at him, his heart was overcome with guilt. "Athenos...why do you call upon me?" She said curiously, even a little motherly. "Do you so readily seek passage back to the heavens? Before you left, you were dearly loved...before your fall from grace, many would've called you 'son.'" As Athenos walked closer the woman shifted her position, changing the world around them with her. It was now a clear and starry night, and if he looked up far enough he could see 'home...'

"They are celebrating?" Athenos asked, peering up, as he did so floating higher.

"They have become jaded, they seek no more the pleasure of the stars and instead sought to interfere with the pleasures of man...have you not noticed?" She asked genuinely, "they take great interest in Kriste, you will see. Some have gone so far as to fall from the heavens." She paused thoughtfully for a second, turned gracefully. The scene around them changed once again to a place Athenos did not recognize. It was the mortal realm again, a large stone room with a roaring fire. "Not in the way you have, they can come back at will," she sighed again, and they returned to the waves with a graceful turn of her hands. She held a bauble in her hand and twirled it carelessly. It was a glass ball, filled with small gems of many colors, each rattling and sparkling as she turned the orb. "It has happened before, it shall happen again. But what do you come for, once so loved, betrayer of heritage, the one they now call starfallen?"




Jun 17 2012, 5:45 pm IskatuMesk Post #292

Lord of the Locker Room

Isador was staring down a trail of brush - scarcely enough to be considered a goat trail, surely cleared by a single man's passage - leading towards a fallen log.

The swamp of Darkfall. Its murky depths were reason enough for any man worth his value in dirt to avoid. The smell of the air was putrid, and those beasts who called it home were the deadliest of the land. Tremendous reptiles, entities that hid just beneath the water's surface, and potent wasps... the perfect place for a guild of bandits to make their home. And here, in what was at the very least a deathtrap and at most a mortal realm of hell, somehow a sanctuary had existed all this time, just underneath him. Someone had thought exactly as he had. Someone who had made no trivial preparation to forge this area.

The scouts were correct. The air was... alive. It was not an energy he was familiar with, and his skin could not easily absolve it. Isador knew little of the lore of Gods, only what he had gleaned from the tongues of demons. Tongues sooner to spin whatever odyssey they thought their captor wanted to hear. Once, a time ago, a noble had dumped an entire caravan into the swamp. He wouldn't get far from the deed before he was discovered and reunited with his abandoned charge. This caravan was not far from the mouth of the marsh, that which now Isador stood before, and even so he had not felt such energy.

Isador's feet easily crept across the log's moss-slick surface. The air of the swamp was hot here, as was the air on his skin. However, his skin was unlike that of men. It tasted the heat, so to speak, but it was not a taste he was familiar with. It danced across him like liquid motion as he traveled deeper into the humid depths. Trees indeed blocked out the sun where ever he looked. His skin pulsed lightly, briefly illuminating the terrain around him. Elements bonding, detaching, and rebonding beneath his translucent shell.

Isador's eyes spotted a distant formation of rock encased in thick greens and shadows of overhang. The sensation of energy became ever stronger. Not enough to be uncomfortable, but a clear warning never the less. Isador did not have to guess that something within the cave was producing this sensation. He approached, and the sensation indeed became stronger. His eyes scanned the vicinity - a clearing, dense with thick grass and the winding trunks of trees, gave way to the cave. The man's memories, wrought with alien sensations and emotions, trailed into here with no less comfort than a stroll in summer, no doubt having used his knowledge of alchemy to conspire a potion or remedy that suited his travel in the hostile swamp air. Some devilry was afoot here.

Isador approached the cave entrence, ever mindful of the environment. His senses tuned to the sensations around him. His skin churned with anticipation. He formed the shadows around him into a shield, a phantasmal barrier. Such a skill he had not been able to practice often, and it offered him little protection against Esofar. He had little else on hand to grant him peace of mind, however, as he stepped into the cave. The air was utterly silent. No birds, no frogs, not even the gasses escaping the water's surface behind him. His eyes turned instinctively to his right, where a trio of wooden tables and a chair were situated. A collection of old tomes, not unlike that the man had been in possession of, were neatly lined up on the rear of the center table. Somehow, the books endured the humidity of the swamp. He considered that they might be useful, even though the man had sifted through them in his memories and understood them with much greater depth than the demon could. Thus, his eyes turned to the back of the cave, where the shadows betrayed the location of a reinforced wooden door. There, the air was alive more than ever, but he could sense no immediate defense.

Isador braced himself for what he could, and stepped towards the door.

Post has been edited 1 time(s), last time on Jun 17 2012, 5:51 pm by IskatuMesk.



Show them your butt, and when you do, slap it so it creates a sound akin to a chorus of screaming spider monkeys flogging a chime with cacti. Only then can you find your destiny at the tip of the shaft.

Jun 17 2012, 6:51 pm Sacrieur Post #293

Still Napping

"Your games are every bit charming," he replied, kneeling before her, "I am your knight, of will and power. Your tragedy has ended, and pieces joined. We are but fragments, three of three. I am demon, god, and human one."

"An eternal void is not quite terrible," she chuckled, "But I cannot help but hear the call. I was shattered, split in three. I was broken, in unsung reverie. But now the night shall end, at my behest. The knowledge you seek you hold within. Edwin and Njorthbiartr, Athenos of stars, your souls are turmoil, but your minds I can meld. Be this my gift, my knight of dream."

---

Athenos awoke upon the stone slab. He felt refreshed and clear, like never before.

He sat up and looked around, the fissure was gone, as suddenly as it may have appeared. And the tunnel was gone. He felt a power resonating all around him -- his power. It was demonic and noble, something he had never felt before. But he understood, it was an ancient power. Part of an ancient power, and it was missing something... Serena.

It was the second phase of his merging. The pieces split in three were now one in mind and body -- only the souls remained apart. The secret was now revealed to himself. Why he felt so strange, among the gods. Before the gods, he now could comprehend, before the demons and before their wars. The ancient starforged lived, called faerie, they created the demons, their firstborn.

A noble race of mettle and strength. But the starforged had not anticipated their taste for life, and it corrupted them. Their once noble appearance became twisted in form -- an effect of the life they so readily devoured. They were cast out of the realms of faerie, and into the dark plane. But some disagreed, the demons must all perish, they claimed. Disagreement became feud, and feud became war.

A gap in memory -- the war... Someone had done something terrible.

Athenos looked at his left hand, the same dark red as it had always been. His canine teeth had grown sharper, almost like fangs. The tops of his ears were pointed, but covered by hair -- hair that was white as snow. He had little doubt his eyes were also red. He withdrew himself from the world of spirit.

He groaned, his once sharp mind now groggy, like he had slept for far too long. He sat up, leaves stuck in his now white hair. The sun was just setting; how much time had passed? He could not tell if it was the day before or the day after. But the princess was soundly asleep still. She must have been more than exhausted. He got up to gather some tender for a fire -- she may be a bit hungry after waking -- and if she does not, he was certainly hungry enough for two.



None.

Jun 17 2012, 8:04 pm Fire_Kame Post #294

wth is starcraft

"You know, there are men waiting for us over the hill," the princess said to Athenos as he walked past. Her eyes were still closed, her breathing soft. "Two of them we went to that horrid pub with, the third I have never seen." She sat up then, and looked at him closely, noticing the more impressionable fangs that had not been there before. She sighed again, sorrow lining her gaunt features. Athenos continued preparation of the meal, and they ate in silence, the princess watching Athenos intently. "First you say you will go to the monks first, and then you told Erik you will go to Pryti. So which is it St-" she started to call him something, but hung back on the phrase, returning her gaze out over the setting sun. "It is best we set out soon."


Isador was surprised to see that the doors opened so carelessly, wondering why it was that the man could not open it. He stepped through the door, and stepped into what could only be described as a library. Aged and worn out bookshelves packed with books, many in ruins, leaned along the sides. The remains of what looked liked plush chairs were scattered here in there and behind all of it was a winding staircase, leading down to another level. In the middle of the room was a glowing orb, sitting delicately on a gold spire. Inside it were small marble like balls of different colors and shapes. Isador took another step, the ground around him hummed and grew blue. The door behind him slammed shut, locking out the only amount of light beyond the orb. He looked down at his feet, unable to move, seeing translucent blue vines wrap around his ankles.




Jun 17 2012, 8:22 pm IskatuMesk Post #295

Lord of the Locker Room

"Aksa itas, fate attempts to ravel its coil," Isador muttered in his haunting tongue. His skin pulsed with vibrant magneta, sending a surge of light downwards, into the floor. The vines dispersed, but only momentarily. Devilry indeed. Isador's eyes shot upwards, towards the orb. He rose his hand, strengthened by the darkness, and projected a phantom chain across the room towards it. He wagered the orb was tied to the defense mechanism, and attempted to grasp it with his projection.



Show them your butt, and when you do, slap it so it creates a sound akin to a chorus of screaming spider monkeys flogging a chime with cacti. Only then can you find your destiny at the tip of the shaft.

Jun 17 2012, 11:07 pm Tempz Post #296



Treat the mans wounds the best i can, telling Fridolf to watch out if its an ambush
Than rest while someone is on guard
After we rest ask Fridolf if he is ready to leave; then do so according to his answer



None.

Jun 18 2012, 2:18 am Biophysicist Post #297



(OOC: My most sincere apologies. We're in the middle of a family crisis. I'd rather not say more; I'd try to make it not seem like much but that would be lying. I am not dropping out, but convert Pandora to an NPC temporarily, please. I'll be back in about two days.)



None.

Jun 18 2012, 5:41 am Sacrieur Post #298

Still Napping

"I have deemed it unwise to journey so far," Athenos returned, scanning her frail appearance, "We have not the time I had thought. Fate's clock is ticking."

"T'ley equitas," he muttered under his breath, reading the runes upon his arm. A talent he now possessed, with the knowledge of Serena now to his advantage. They spoke of strength, power, and mettle. All aspects of the demon within. No -- the demon that is. He was Njorthbiartr and Edwin; their minds now one. An interesting fit indeed. A knight, prince, and fallen god -- an interesting quirk that fate had played.

Njorthbiartr was the first, a demon of fire. He was weak, but fierce nonetheless. His power untapped, as soon he would learn, from the knight of chivalry, Edwin the white. Once joined his power grew to new heights, granting him prince of the dark palace. The facets of the two coursed through Athenos's veins. He could feel the call to justice, and the might of the demon.

"I will not abandon you, princess of twilight," he affirmed, unprovoked. He looked her in the eyes, if only for a moment, before looking towards the hill.

"We should go to meet those men, they have my sword," he pointed out, in a mildly playful tone.



None.

Jun 18 2012, 6:58 am Fire_Kame Post #299

wth is starcraft

Darkness had nearly fallen on Dan's camp. Try as he might to tend to the man's wounds, he would not let him, and the man left in silence. They sat for a long time, Fridolf occasionally looking over the cleft to see if anyone was coming. Dusk fell on them, Martin pacing wildly, Fridolf looking slightly amused at the prospects. "We will probably travel best by night," he said gruffly.

"But so what?" Martin snapped, looking at Dan imploringly, "Dan we need to leave - I can't leave him waiting out there for me any longer..." but no sooner had he said that than Fridolf hushed them, drawing his bow and arrow. Martin and Dan did the same, but Fridolf waved their weapons down and walked towards the edge of the forest.

Dan and Martin heard someone sheath their weapons in the distance, and Fridolf was accompanied by more footsteps. "It would seem that you have this man's sword," Fridolf jerked his hand at the two figures following him. The princess, who had never looked worse, and Athenos, who looked quite a bit more menacing than normal. Fridolf beckoned them to his fire, Athenos inspect his sword as Dan handed him, and finding it his, put it to his side and sat. The princess remained standing.

"We need to leave." She said shortly. Fridolf looked inquiringly at Athenos, and then at Dan, and then back to the princess.

"My lady we-" Fridolf started, with forced formality.

"Stop. You owe me no pleasantries," the Princess shot at him. "I know who you are. It is not the passage there that I fear, it is once we get into the depths of the Bittergreen Forest," she said firmly, "it will be in a week's time won't it, to reach Pryti's dwelling? And most of that time will be spent in the forest." She looked meaningfully at the moon, and back down at him. "If we leave now we will miss the worst of..." she trailed off, unwilling to say more in front of the others. Fridolf grimaced, baring his teeth, but held himself composed. "I know what lies there for you. I know why you delay. But please, trust me," she grabbed his hand and held them firmly in her's, "I may not have the strengths you do but I can help provide safe passage. He owes me. Your order owes me."

"The order cares not for the meddling affairs of humans," he growled so softly Dan and Athenos could barely hear him, "have you not noticed? I am the only one that ventures into the pubs, that still comes when the House of Leaves and their retainers call upon them. I fear the day we take sides..." he groaned. "You will have your wish, it is why I have been called here. I had hoped to miss the moon by a week on the other side, much less dangerous...but I see the need for haste." He put his few belongings into his pockets and the small bag he carried with him. "Come now, let us cover the traces of our camp, and we will leave at once."

The princess and Fridolf talked in hushed whispers until the camp was cleared and the party set out. They were in an open clearing until daybreak, the princess hanging back to talk to Martin, Fridolf scouting ahead, Dan and Athenos in the middle. They could tell they were past the Astron protectorate when they crossed a river to the south. They continued until the sun was near the top of the sky before Fridolf sat down suddenly right off the road. "We will rest for a small time," he grumbled, pulling out a canteen he had filled at the river and drinking deeply. Again, the princess did not sit. "We will leave again soon, princess." He mumbled. She nodded, her gaunt features looking at the clearing around them distractedly.

"We are close to the edge of the forest," she said. She sighed. "I had hoped that I could arm myself before going in."

Fridolf grunted in agreement.



Isador sent the chain searchingly out into the room, he saw it near the orb...and then it went right through it. He pulled back the chain with his mind, and again shot it forward. It hit nothing again. He frowned, the vines still entwined around his legs. He heard mortals laughing, echoing off of every wall. A man shrouded differently from the one Isador had captured earlier, came forth. With a twirl of his wrist, more of them appeared, identical in size and markings. They moved in on him. Illusion... Isador thought to himself, recognizing it as the most basic form of mysticism a mortal could muster. Isador watched each one, looking for the pattern or trait that would set the leader apart.

"All this time we have been seeking mortal souls," he said, a snapping his wrist again, doubling the numbers and then halving them with each moment, as if it were child's play, "when I could have had a demon...? How fascinating. I do not know who you are, but I am sure I know how you got here. You have robbed me of a meal, and for that you will pay." He drew a weapon, the others doing the same. "I wonder if you know what we seek...I wonder if I could tare the source we need from your lips..." they rose their weapons high above him, ready to strike.




Jun 18 2012, 8:09 am IskatuMesk Post #300

Lord of the Locker Room

Bonding. Separating. Bonding. The motion beneath the veil. An infinite dance, an endless thirst. The light beneath the darkness. A veil thin, translucent, yet boundless, maddening; the vessel to carry that within. To behold, to consider, to abandon. Profound, absolute, yet meaningless. The heritage of night. Darkness, shadows, voice... that which the light did not reach. The absolute of emptiness. Infinity. To be lost, to be alone. To be aimless, thoughtless, without meaning or sense of self. Yet, in absolution, truth. For in nothingness there could be no doubt. With no doubt there could only be nothingness. Without question, without hesitation. Without reason.

Born of midnight, nay. To be.

Isador's eyes flashed. The shadows around him, that which had formed his barrier, deepened and dropped to the floor like a liquid, drowning the binding vines. As the mirrors approached, the shadows expanded, and with them Isador's mental influence. In a single, perfect motion, the human clones and their swords came down upon him. And with this motion, as if to reflect their own, the floor came alive. Brilliant violet eyes opened in the depths of darkness beneath, and projected phantom chains upwards. For every sword, a chain, and for every motion, a counter-motion. A clash of ringing metal sounded through the air. Isador felt the impacts in his mind, tasting of every blade a minute flavor. The chains hummed with the life force of their master, that which hungered and yearned. But he could taste nothing.

"Wha-"

Isador twisted his hands, as though to wrestle with invisible force. His mind toiled, and his body dimmed, pouring its inner light into the world around him. The humans recoiled from their stroke, lowered their swords, and thrusted. Isador's chains vanished into a burst of smoke, and he threw himself upwards, into the air, before the vines could reform. Leaving the surface, his shadows vanished with his feet, and he traveled overhead the circle of robed figures, landing behind them. Again they splintered, seeking to surround him. Isador was prepared for this, and struck forward with a lance of glistening magneta - Excellion rose forth from his motion, spearing the closest mirror. His mind sensed Excellion's connection to the magic within, devouring it, but offering him little substance. His mind moved, as did his body, circling away from the incoming attacks, and swinging his lance to parry the closest as he repositioned himself.

The human clones closer stepped back, and those he had retreated from stepped forward, forming a wall of bodies. His eyes traced to every one, seeking their orchestrator. Even then the vines approached, faster now. He lowered Excellion into a stance, dispersing his shadow, attuning himself to the weapon's presence.

"You are not like any demon I've met. I wonder what secrets you hide," The humans laughter echoed.

Excellion, the only heritage he had of his homeland. It hungered as he did, but in a more primal manner. It drew from the world around it, even in silence. If he could focus on the motion of its activity...

The humans stopped in front of him, in a large half-crescent. Their swords vanished, and instead crossbows took their place. Isador scarcely had the time to reform his barrier before they rose and fired. Dull pangs thudded through his thoughts, then a sudden presence. A bolt pierced the veil, easily biting into his left shoulder. The force of the impact was very real, twisting him away from the mirages. Isador ignored the bolt, moving with the motion of its initial momentum, reaching out with his lance. Excellion pulsed with vibrance, casting a shadowy arc as it sung through the arc. The humans were reacting. They rose shields, and the blade struck.

For illusions, the phantoms were surprisingly durable. Excellion hit the first outstretched tower shield, tearing the image in half with its motion. But the second managed to deflect it, even though its hunger devoured a chunk of the image's frame. Isador lacked the strength of his distant fire foes to force his way through them all at once.

"Your weapon is impressive. It will make a fine addition to my collection," the humans spoke. Isador was waiting for their next advance. The shadows had devoured the vines, traveling along them during this period. This time, the chains shot outwards in a fan, towards the phantoms. The phantoms blurred with the shadow's embrace, then vanished as the shadows devoured their essence. One of them, however, was forced back as his conjured shield absorbed the impact. The human laughed as the chains dissipated, taking his shield with them. The crossbow bolt fell from Isador's shoulder with the motion of its shadowy skin then, too, vanished.

"You're strong, demon. I suppose I cannot play with you anymore," the man sighed. He rose his hands, uttering in an alien tongue. The air around him blurred, forming into a dozen two-handed swords.

The vines continued to reach for Isador on the floor, but instead reached into the well of shadows he had created. If he withdrew his shadows, he would be hard pressed to release them again as fast. The vines were feeding him their energy... but slowly. If only he could...

As the swords sprung forward, Isador dismissed Excellion. He poured his influence into the chamber, forcing shadows across the floor and wall. They pulsed vibrantly as his light diminished into the depths, just as the swords reached him. Chains sprung outwards, and blades bit into the demon. He allowed them to pass through his skin, attuned to the motion, and ignored their presence. Chains sprung forward from his shadow font. The human stepped back, certainly expecting an easy kill. He easily avoided the first chain with a sidestep, and then ducked the second. The floor crawled with violet eyes, pulsing, at first vibrantly, but then duller. Isador struggled with the scale of his influence, projecting another series of bindings. The swords bit into his shadows essence, and he could feel his influence weakening. The human was encircled by glowing chains, but he could no longer project any more chains. Isador fell to one knee, tasting of the human's flesh from the phantom's influence. The human, too, struggled to stand, bearing the weight of the devouring shadows, even though they had not yet hit him.

"You are no demon...," The human spat beneath bated breath.

The swords sought to dismember the demon, but with his essence so thinly spread, all they could do was whip through smoke. His body was barely visible, flickering between light and darkness. He had to endure...

The human began coughing as his internal organs were deprived of their mortality. His muscles aged, weakened, but still he managed to cling to life. He hands made faint motions, and the swords disappeared. Mirrors of himself appeared again, splintering away from his chained prison. They marched with animated intent to the walls, and drew forth lit torches. They hurled the torches to the book shelves, those who had become encased in shadows and were fueling his phantasmal prison. Isador could feel their heat as they touched the ruined papers and woods beneath his thin veil, and they easily set the room on fire.

Isador's control broke with this new presence, and the chains vanished. His body pulsed back to its original form, and the human collapsed to his hands and knees. The ground pulsed to life once more, but Isador was already moving. He gripped Starscourge, the golden hilt, and charged across the room before the vines had a chance to grasp him. With his landing he brought the weapon hilt down upon the human's head, soundly caving in his skull. Isador paused in this embrace, bladeless hilt in hand, blood pooling across the floor before him. His essence still felt thinly stretched, even though it had returned to him. His mind still reeled with the exertion. Never before had he attempted to push his influence so far. Never before had he needed to.

"I am that which demons fear," Isador whispered to the corpse.

More humans were surely nearby, Isador thought. He considered retreating, but still his curiosity and thirst burned. He forced himself to stand upright, laying eyes upon the globe once again as the light of flames danced across it. It was within reach now, and so he grasped for it in humility.



Show them your butt, and when you do, slap it so it creates a sound akin to a chorus of screaming spider monkeys flogging a chime with cacti. Only then can you find your destiny at the tip of the shaft.

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