Staredit Network > Forums > Null > Topic: Chronicles of Kriste
Chronicles of Kriste
Apr 19 2012, 5:45 pm
By: Fire_Kame
Pages: < 1 15 16 17 18 1924 >
 

Jun 19 2012, 10:10 pm Fire_Kame Post #321

wth is starcraft

Isador realized that Darkfall forest in Kriste was easily the most defensible position in the nation. A network of underground caverns were linked to each other, at the depths of them holding the sources of magic he wanted, but it would come at great cost. He realized that this library was the strongest presence of magic in the country...it could pull any book from any nation and bring it's information here. Mixing that with the experiences of all that enter it...it was very complete in knowledge. He could go scavenging from cave to cave like a common rat, but he found that the magical influence in the form of high magic was stronger in Tryvali, and that a sort of wild magic - although still very oppressed - was present in Brayyn. It was a wonder to him that Tryvali came here for sources of power, given the relative danger and difficult, as Tryvali seemed to have many found, safe and secure sites to gather their energy from. And to cross the border - a dangerous feat, and one Isador knew he could not accomplish simply by walking across the border - to do illicit work seemed even more baffling. Unlike Kriste, Tryvali did not contain the same sprawling forests, having one large one in the middle of the country, taking up a large amount of land, the rest was rolling hills. The only other magical point of interest would be the Desert of Strayr - cold and desolate. Darte in many of her volumes hinted that a fierce war had ravaged the once prosperous nation, but she never stated more as to why our how, beyond the implications that it caused a wide embargo on the area surrounding the desert, magic was shunned, and the world now would pretend that the country Strayr never existed.



Athenos arose at the crack of dawn. Erik had remained there, and apparently had been talking to the princess through the night, even though the princess was still laying still, eyes closed, lips barely moving. Fridolf, Dan and Martin were still asleep. The other men and the prisoner were gone. When Erik caught sight of Athenos, he kissed her hand and stood. "I will be back to my men - we will be in touch. Hopefully under better terms," he said, the others awaking. He mumbled to Fridolf, her nodded grimly, before leaving.

"We're close now," Fridolf said, clearing the camp. Once it had been cleared, he helped the princess to her feet, but she could no longer support herself, and it took his quick thinking to keep her upright. Fridolf cursed under his breath, and lifted one of her arms over his shoulder. "Just as reckless as your father, aren't you," he mumbled to her, she didn't respond. "Let's make it fast," he said, looking around at the woods around them. He set off, supporting the princess effortlessly. "If any of you see the flower known as demonsbane, let me know. It is a small, purple flower. We will see more as we get closer to Pryti, but we still have another day of solid travel before we will get close."




Jun 19 2012, 11:08 pm IskatuMesk Post #322

Lord of the Locker Room

Isador closed another book, satisfied with his mental library of its readings. He was about to move to the last of his collection when he felt something stir in the back of its thoughts. He wouldn't have noticed it, hadn't it been for the settling communion of this realm. It was a distant echo, as though something significant had occurred in the elements. He traced his memories... but couldn't come to an immediate conclusion. He suspected he sensed the disruption because of his affiliation to the realm of fire. Fireborn were surely involved.

"Is something wrong?" Justifar asked.

"Something," Isador murmured. He turned his attention back to his studies. He had learned a great deal in a short time. His genetic memories would hold the remaining information as fresh as when he first read it, and so he worked as fast as he could. Elements, magics, locations and history. Much of it he did not immediately understand, but he had little choice but to hope he could sort out the information and attempt to apply it at a later time. The mechanisms of his enemies were still in motion, working against him even now.



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 20 2012, 5:46 am Fire_Kame Post #323

wth is starcraft

Athenos, Dan, Martin, Fridolf and Princess continued their march for the rest of the day and the following morning. Their path seemed erratic to Athenos and Dan, Fridolf being the only one sure of where they were going, and the only sign that they weren't walking in circles was that the trees had started to grow significantly closer together, forcing them to now walk in a single file line. For easier maneuverability Fridolf had at first tried to carry the princess on his back, but she outright refused, instead using a fallen tree branch to support her weight like a walking stick. As the morning grew old on the second day, they started to realize that the harsh dirt path they were walking on had become almost entirely moss covered, and something like a waterfall could be heard nearby. Fridolf stopped abruptly. "We're here," he said. A little ahead of them they saw that the trees parted into a valley. "But we will have to wait, we cannot cross into the valley as we are right now. We carry traces of evil. Even if we were to try to walk forward, we would not get far."

Slowly the scene ahead of them changed. They saw the outlines of a large stone structure, a small log cabin sitting beside it. Towards them ran three women - two shrouded in pale white robes, the one at the front wearing a rustic simple dress, significantly darker in complexion to the shrouded characters. They stopped before them, the woman at the front of the group looking around the group in earnest. "What is it that you bring here, wolfborn? What plague have you brought upon our home?" she asked viciously, measuring Athenos, Dan, and Martin carefully before her eyes fell on the princess. "Ah! Aleiya!" she cried, reaching out for her, bracing the princess in her arms, "Run and ready the medicine!" the woman said, leading her away. The party, except for Fridolf followed her, but no one seemed to notice that he had disappeared.

She walked past the modest home, straight to the stone structure. It was dim, with shafts of light coming through slitted windows around them, and the furnishings consisted of a few pillows scattered throughout the hall. At the front of the building was a long crystal structure, sitting motionless. Around them were several hallways to different rooms. Already the two women earlier accompanying her were running to them, carrying a syrupy dark substance with them and tipping it back into the princess' mouth quickly. She slumped forward and fell, the two women grabbing her just in time so that she did not hit her face. They carefully carried her off to a side room and did not return. "We do not have time for formalities," she said, looking at them one by one, "Psamathe has lowered her defenses for the time being. I thought perhaps it was only the wolfborn that carried the evil taint we sensed, but I see I was mistaken," she turned and stared at Athenos. "If it was not for her desire to speak to you, I would have thrown you out already. Nonetheless, she still requests an audience with you. But first, you must tell me what happened, from start to finish, to put the princess in a state such as this. Surely she could not have inflicted so much on herself in such little time."




Jun 20 2012, 7:33 am Sacrieur Post #324

Still Napping

"The flight was more arduous than anything she may have experienced before," Athenos replied, shifting his attention from more pressing thoughts, "She must become stronger if she is to reclaim her kingdom."

He took a deep breath before focusing on the matter at hand, his voice carrying an ominous air, "I have not time to tell the tale. You must direct me to Psamathe; fate dictates that I must go alone."



None.

Jun 20 2012, 8:03 am IskatuMesk Post #325

Lord of the Locker Room

Isador studied the library one last time. For his efforts here he had learned more than he had in many years. To move on, he felt he had to locate more magical fonts, and access them. Through his new wisdom he could employ techniques and commune in ways he had never thought possible, and through his new understanding of the realms he finally had a direction to go. At long last, the pieces for his plan were falling into place. It would take time to fully absorb the massive amount of information he had taken from the many tomes he had covered, now safely transcribed into his genetic memories.

"I sense you have changed since you first arrived," Justifar noted to him. "That the knowledge you have gleamed from our halls has helped you complete yourself."

"It has," Isador murmured. "And would the fates bring me here again, I would study further. But I feel that my foe makes motions against me, seeks to seal the noose around my path, and I have gathered that which would be the most significant. I fear I will return to a world not like what I remembered, but the lessons and trials I have learned of in this place have prepared me more than I could have hoped for. I believe this place," Isador made motion to the cathedral, "and others like are why my father brought me to this world. I must reach them all. Asta hishaash, we will dream again."

But to complete the riddle of his father, Isador had to return to the shadow realm. Songs of the sleeping shadows... Isador turned to face Justifar.

"Of all the gods and demons I've yet faced, you have been the most accommodating. I thank you for this. Unless you desire further business, it is time I move on."



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 20 2012, 5:09 pm Fire_Kame Post #326

wth is starcraft

The tan skinned woman looked amused. "I hardly believe her flight was more arduous a task than those set before her in Astron. The thing she is struggling the most with now is control. I do agree that she needs training, and it is fortunate that you brought her here when you did. Not as soon as I had hoped - I had wished she came at once, as soon as her father disappeared - it will take several days for her to recover fully, and after that several weeks for training...nonetheless, I owe you all and the wolfborn my gratitude. If there is anything I can do for you during your stay, you need only ask." she turned to look at Athenos, "follow me," she led him to the crystal structure, an open tomb that held the body of a devastatingly beautiful woman with olive skin and long black hair, peppered with an occasional white strand. She appeared to be smirking. "This is Psamathe," Pryti murmured, light herbs placed around the crystal coffin into a smoky blaze. "She is intent to meet you, but you will not be able to stay while we train the princess. It is for your corrupted heart we had to lower the defenses, and we are not meant to fight off an attack. Not now. Grasp her hand when you are ready to commune."

Pryti left him without looking back. Athenos...is that you? an unfamiliar voice hummed in his head, it is...grab my hand Athenos, she demanded.


Justifar nodded curtly, and led him towards where he had landed. "Remember that once you leave you can never come back," Justifar said, "it is to protect the neutrality and identity of all that this is true. But I have been known to lend assistance to those who know how to ask." They were upon an open door now, the frame of which was glistening gold. "You simply need to walk through this door and you will be back in the cave from which you entered. I imagine you have been here a week and several days in your time. Many have libraries such as mine, but none are as big. I wish you luck in finding them, and the other sources you seek."

The step back into the mortal realm was not as unpleasant as the step into the library. Isador found himself back in the cave, the dead man turning rancid, the cave looking as if the fight between the two never happened. In his pocket he felt a small weighty object. Pulling it out he realized it was a small steel ball. Etched across it were engravings that glowed blue when touched. He remembered Justifar's words...I have been known to lend assistance to those who know how to ask...




Jun 20 2012, 6:54 pm Tempz Post #327



-Ask how i can cleanse myself of my impurities and so as long as it doesn't involve anything to harmful
-Ask with whom and where martin and I can train our crossbows and swordsmanship and so accordingly



None.

Jun 20 2012, 7:47 pm IskatuMesk Post #328

Lord of the Locker Room

Isador mused over the object momentarily before he realized he was sensing something different. The air of the realm had changed. The defenses... what we was sensing now were not defenses. His eyes traced to the staircase leading down - towards the caves. At first he thought what he was sensing was coming from below. It wasn't. He returned to the exterior of the cave, in the clearing. The air billowed and churned - smoke. The smell of burning flesh. This did not make sense, Isador thought. If it had been a week, during then bandits would surely have disposed of that man's body by now. And even if they hadn't, the camp was a distance away...

Isador's pace quickened as he retraced his steps back through the marsh. The heat was rising. A pit formed in his throat. He knew what it would be before he arrived.

Isador happened upon the fringe of what appeared to be a very shallow crater, stretching outwards for some miles. Trees and brush were scorched to ashes within, and the ground reduced to charred dirt. He tread through the smoldering field, leading to the bandit enclave. When he reached the enclave he found nothing but remains. The mangled corpses of men strewn haphazardly at strategic locations, their equipment reduced to slag. They were at rest, or working. They hadn't been expecting the attack. The air burned with intense heat. Isador scanned the vicinity, laying eyes upon a small pool of molten rock. In it, a stone lance. A single, lengthy white hair was fastened to the end of it, pulsing lightly in the evening. Isador growled. It was a decree. A mark of of the huntsman of clan Kalkatha.

"If I didn't know any better, I'd say you'd have grown fond of the mortals," A searing voice spoke from behind him. Isador's senses betrayed him. He sensed nothing. He turned, catching eye of motion between the heat, surrounding him. At least twelve. And the figure behind him, a demon no less than two feet taller. Lithe, toned and plated in skin-tight golden plate that shimmered in the searing haze. Loosely gripped in the demon's left hand, a lengthy bladed poleaxe.

"Esofar sends greetings, shadowborn," the demon offered a toothy grin. Isador swore inside his thoughts. It made sense, of course.

"A shadowborn, perhaps as old as I even, should know better than to evoke the rite of insight through blood in such a place. You are truly arrogant, son of Jhinheim. First to show your lineage, then to openly challenge us. Esofar is not so idle as you would believe. Times have changed since your antiquated brutality offered such an advantage."

"The huntsmen," Isador murmured. The demon nodded. Loha, youngest - nay, second youngest - son of Kalkatha. For such a demon to stride the earth surely did Kalkatha's movements seem shrouded. Esofar, Kalkatha's third most powerful son, was operating on its own. But Kalkatha's presence extended much further than the fire realm. He knew. He knew what Isador was. Esofar had told him, of course. Isador's aggression was truly foolish.

"Excellion," Loha murmured. The presences in the heat - the Fireborn huntsmen, shrouding their presence by bending the light around themselves with their communion to the fire - remained motionless. "Such a weapon should never have been forged." The demon sighed loudly. "But it was. And with it, the shadow realm awoke, consuming all in its path. You would seek to rewrite the past. Seek to devour the entire fire realm and beyond, finish what that monster started. I would have struck you down where you stood, shadowborn, if I but trusted my blade to fell your foul essence in but a single strike. No. You would slip into the shadows and once more the hunt will begin. As it would be. But know this, shadowborn. The huntsmen have heard the call of the ocean of the stars. No demon in this world will escape us. You will make a mistake. And when you do, you, too, will join them in the infernal quarters of the afterlife."

The frames in the fire vanished, and Loha offered a curt bow before he, too, disappeared into the night.



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 20 2012, 7:58 pm Sacrieur Post #329

Still Napping

"Impossible to fight the dark with the lighted; I have thus become benighted," He hesitated a moment before grasping Psaemathe's hand, curiosity eventually overcoming him.



None.

Jun 20 2012, 9:08 pm Fire_Kame Post #330

wth is starcraft

Pryti smiled at Dan, "you are already pure enough for this humble place," she said to him. "If you wish to further enlighten yourself, we can meditate. It can have a great effect on your spiritual and emotional well being. Otherwise, we are quite peaceful in nature here, you will not learn how to fight in these walls."

"I am looking for a man...I heard that a strange metal object flew right above us, that it may have landed in this forest, do you know of it?" Martin asked stepping forward. Pryti debated for a minute.

"Yes I saw it, he pulled his....carriage? ...into a cave near here. If you return to the main path, and travel west, you will eventually cross upon a greatly damaged area of forest. He will be over there," Pryti said, Martin pumping his fist into the air, "but please rest first. You have had a long journey, and the forest will grow more and more dangerous as the week passes."

Upon touching her hand, Athenos felt himself jerked away from the mortal realm. Dread overcame him as he recognized the path he was on - soaring up to the heavens. He resisted it with all his might, slowing down the ascension only slightly before being wrenched down again as if overcome by a tidal wave. He was pulled off the path and down onto the hard floor, where he landed with a loud thud. Standing beside him was the devastatingly woman, alive and well, her hand outstretched to him. "I am sorry, fair knight. I have not needed to pull someone as strong into my humble realm between realms. Do not worry - the gods are quite used to my ploys of ascension, they will mistake the signature you may have left as me." She helped him up, a warm sensation trickling up his arm...upon his chest....up to his mind....he jerked his hand away, she smiled like nothing had happened and continued, "I know who you are, but I should explain who I am. Forgive me if I draw on...but it is important you understand.

"I was a simple priestess of this temple you are in right now, back when it was acceptable to vary your faiths and to learn the skills of the gods. I was a gifted healer, and the god we worshiped favored me over the others. I would be his private counsel when all others had retired for the day, and he would come down to visit me often when we could steal a few hours together. He promised me that when I died he would place me in the pantheon right aside him as his divine bride, and so I resulted to kill myself by drinking a highly concentrated poison. But...his promise did not go unnoticed by Darte, goddess of the hunt. In her rage that he would defile their heavenly abode she cursed my body to never age or decay, and she cursed me to never remember the name of the dear god that I honored and praised. She blasted his images from the temple, killed my sisters and brothers of the order, and drove a protective barrier that would allow only the most righteous and pure of heart to enter. Setting her standards so high, she thought I would be lost here forever, perfectly preserved, my soul condemned to the...nothingness around you.

"But I found Pryti - rather, Pryti found me, while she was wandering in the woods. She was thoughtful and introspective, and I found a way to communicate with her. She carries a piece of me now so that we are in constant communion, but our souls are not bound," she reached out to touch Athenos again, but he withdrew, so she continued, "she is my charge, and I am her's. It is a beautiful understanding. During this Darte had not visited me, assuming her defenses would be enough. And then suddenly, starting about sixteen years ago...she became more interested in me and the country of Kriste. She made her journeys here regularly, and when she saw Pryti she distrusted me immediately, thinking I had somehow cracked her defenses. She is here now, you know, in this dwelling," Psamathe said, coaxing a bubble in her hands. After two failed attempts, she finally produced a compact mirror structure, and flipped it to show Athenos. The princess was laying on a bed, convulsing. Over her, stroking her head and holding her hand was Darte, with her ethereal panther at her ankles. "You see, I find this strange behavior for a goddess that deplores the consummation of a god and a mortal. I wonder what it could mean..." She sent a mischievous look to Athenos, and then turned back, forming another compact mirror and handing it to Athenos, closing the other and placing it in her pocket.

"With this you will be able to communicate with me," she hesitated before adding, "and watch the princess. I have a feeling Darte's trips to my humble home will be much more frequent now that her daughter is back," she grinned suddenly, changing the subject, "It is Darte's wish that she exterminate everything not godly. Her first step was tricking the mortals into destroying their magic, the next step will be to get them to forget about the gods altogether. And when this happens the demons will roam the earth, unseen by the mortals, destroying anything in their path. Darte has plans to speed it up further though - even now her hunt party scours the demons' realms, driving them to the mortal realm with grandeur dreams, like one would drive game over a cliff. But you see, I do not agree with this way. I think that we all are meant to coexist together, demons, elements, mortals and gods alike. And I plan on uniting them, destroying those who stand in my way." Her eyes became glistening black, "but I see that you have gone down the same path as me, haven't you?" He felt the warm sensation searching his mind again despite them no longer touching.

Her eyes returned to normal, the warm sensation gone. "What say you? Will you help me on my quest? Before you answer, remember...Darte is not known to stop before she hunts her game. And the game will include the princess she is nursing right now."



Isador's thoughts drifted back to Justifar's Library, to the knowledge he gained there, to the mental map and library he had built. His allies were diminishing faster than his enemies were building. He should not have been so foolish to perform the ritual, but there was no other way. And the knowledge he received...would be invaluable in his lone journey ahead. He had only need to choose the direction...to the Desert of Strayr? Cavern Hunting in Kriste? The rich resource of Tryvali? Or what of that man he met with the demon's soul, should he follow him instead?




Jun 20 2012, 9:45 pm Sacrieur Post #331

Still Napping

Athenos pondered her words for a moment, before placing the mirror aside. He stepped up to her and placed her hand on his chest.

"Do you feel that, oracle? That is the pulse of the fireborn, raging to get out; always urging to annihilate. I could not destroy your panther, despite all my power. You must send me back, surely you can feel his presence nearby. He is of greater gods, and he comes for me."



None.

Jun 20 2012, 10:11 pm Fire_Kame Post #332

wth is starcraft

Psamathe placed both hands on his chest gently. "Very well, if it is your wish to leave, you will. But to throw aside such a gift from me was not wise, and I will see to it that you will help me, willing or not." she pressed a little harder into his chest, a prickling sensation filled his chest, achingly. She pushed him down with surprising ease. "The poison once inside my body is now in you. You are a worthy vessel for it, the power inside you will stave off death but will be unable to steal the pain from your body, and yet despite your strength, the wisdom and the virtue bestowed upon you...no one will call your name when death finally takes hold. Within the hour, the barriers around my dwelling will be brought up again, and those of ill heart and intention will be destroyed."

As she spoke, Athenos was back in the cathedral, his head and heart aching. As he stood up he realized that his feet felt leaden to the ground, though whether it was from the poison on the barriers, he did not know. No one else seemed effected or seemed to notice the growing gravity except for him.




Jun 20 2012, 10:16 pm IskatuMesk Post #333

Lord of the Locker Room

Isador glared at the stone pike, memories and emotions churning through his thoughts. Loha... son of Kalkatha... He had seen this demon's face in his father's visions. The huntsmen, fireborn oathsworn of clan Kalkatha. Shadow demons were not easy prey to find. Loha and his kin were formed exclusively to hunt down him down. Since then they have had an eternity to roam the realms on whatever charge of their master...

He was not surprised. Not now. It all made sense. Esofar recognized Excellion, Kalkatha sent the Huntsmen to find him. It was an extermination. Other demons would not be so lucky as Isador. They would find any and all potential connections he may have had to other demons. Something else troubled Isador, however. The demon within the blood of that which the wind called Athenos. If he was indeed related to the brood of Kalkatha, what would happen if the Huntsmen found him? Why was the demon so far from the Fireborn lands to begin with? If he died... Isador would lose the easiest chance he'd have to taste the blood of Kalkatha's kin. Loha himself was no whelp. If he found what he was looking for his huntsmen could not be stopped. Isador needed more than just knowledge. He needed strength.

Again, Isador cursed under his thoughts. His father should have left him something more. Perhaps the demons had reason to fear Excellion in his hands. But in Isador's, the weapon was scarcely a trinket. He could never get close enough to a fire demon of Loha's stature to taste his life essence. He recalled other words, now. The words of his father's message.

With it, you may listen to the songs of your sleeping kin...

Isador considered these words. Songs in the tongues of demons were often flamboyant rituals to commemorate. They had little purpose in the clans other than for purposes of inspiring emotion. In human lands, however, songs ranged from simple pasttime to powerful chants wielded by Gods to enact their power. Had a typical demon heard these words, he'd scoff... He drew forth Excellion, the phantom lance, and studied its pulsing frame. He felt something... different about it. An alternate form of communion, he immediately wagered, awoken by his father's memories. Was this the power of the words his father had left in his genetic memories that he hadn't translated? Perhaps it had always been there, and he had never given concern.

Isador's eyes traced the burning remains of the enclave, his senses attuned for the slightest show of attack. The huntsmen were here. In the mortal world. He had to be careful now. Furthermore, he had to prevent them from destroying his opportunities. He placed together a mental map, crossing the shadow realm to the mortal one, tuning the locales. He figured he knew how to reach the other magical locations, at least those on the surface. It was the caves he was most uncertain about. He traced the steps of the man he had seen the memories of, through Aston and beyond.

Just then, the sun set completely. Only the flames of the Huntsman's mark remained, illuminating the region as far as the eye could see. But, in the night sky, Isador could see nothing. No stars. No moon. He found this curious for a moment. Excellion hummed in his hands, a reverberating rhythm. At first he didn't acknowledge it, studying the starless sky. His eyes traced to the ground. The burning treeline was gone, and the heat melted away. He was in the shadow world. Excellion pulsed brightly for a moment, sending a shimmer of violet light through the silent land. Symbols traced across it, rich in detail and lengthy in prose. Isador realized something immediately. These words were not placed here. They were forced here. It was the shadow tongue, and it spoke of much pain and sorrow. The emotions that he felt... were the memories of the land. They spoke louder now. More fluidly. His eyes traced them, a trail of erratic and meaningless babble as far as dialect was concerned. He wandered for a time, Excellion in hand, tracing the phantom blood.

Isador happened upon a ridge of a crater he had seen before. But this time the crater seemed... more whole. As though a portion of it had been trapped within the binding spell of Kalkatha. Isador had never seen these details before. He felt as though he was gazing into an entirely new world. Black tendrils, once rich with the life of the shadows, frozen in time. Isador traced their frame, forming an image in his mind of the entire body. It was a worm. A massive, ever-hungry primal lifeform, amongst the most basic of the Shadow world, and amongst the most feared. The worms were not truly sentient. They were shadow energy made manifest, with scarcely the intelligence of a trained dog. They forever hungered to devour energy that was not of the shadows. This worm in particular felt significant to Isador. As he approached its translucent maw, trapped in the moment of Jhinheim's - his father's - fall, the humming sensation grew louder, and world seemed to vibrate.

A distant sound echoed through the lifeless shadow plains. The humming grew voice. Distant, soft, but deep and potent. It reverberated from within Excellion and the worm's resting place, half-concealed in the ground, half-translucent, prosed to attack some unseen foe. Isador risked another step forward, and reached out with his hand. The worm's body flashed a brilliant violet as he came in contact with it. Energy shot through his arm, hurling him to the ground. Isador cried out as he writhed in pain, violet lightning crackling across his body and tearing into the dirt. The pain passed quickly, but the song continued, ever more profound. The drones could almost be considered strings of a deep cello, and the voice an incessant chant. But, soon, the voice vanished, and the glow of the world vanished as quickly as it had appeared. Isador rose, the pain in his chest ever reminding him of his bondage. Was this the worm's thoughts he had felt? The moment of its defeat? Was so profound, and so agonizing, the death of his father that the entire realm had felt its feedback?

Isador was about to turn away when he noticed something. The worm's mouth, lined with large, jagged teeth, was open, as if to grasp an unsuspecting Fireborn amidst battle. But some of its teeth were broken off, scattered around its resting place. They were not trapped in sleep as the worm was, they were real. Isador had seen them before, mistaking them for merely stones. He knelt down to grasp at the closest one - again feeling a slight shock of experiencing communion with it. But it was its own entity. A fang no larger than a dagger. He collected the others, and together, considered them. They pulsed very lightly with vicious intent, as if ready to feed. He attempted to absorb them into his body and, much to his surprise, they gained life. They sprung into the air on their own will, forming a circle of blades, and collected in formation around his body. He tried to turn his attention to them, but they moved with his thoughts, orienting themselves to that region instead of to each other.

A new presence entered Isador's thoughts. A distant thirst. The worm's boundless hunger, carried on by its limbs. They were a part of him, now, carried aloft by the infinite call of Excellion. Isador dismissed the spear and the fangs, too, vanished. He recalled the weapon, and the fangs re-appeared in puffs of black smoke.

Only now did he understand the song and the words it spoke. The shadow whispered gratitude to the sleeping beast.

Dreams of our father,
Dreams of our sons,
Dreams of midnight.

Fangs of Ejitrazz, Hungerer,
To forever yearn,
To forever feed.

In the darkness we fed, boundless.
In the darkness we are free.
No longer.

Strike at thee, mine fangs of night.
Bring life my dreams.
Atash Atash, Ista Ader.
...


Isador blinked. He was standing in the burning crater of the bandit enclave, Fangs slowly circling him. The worm's children hungered for the warmth of the earth. And so he had made his decision.

He would investigate the caves.



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 21 2012, 1:20 am Fire_Kame Post #334

wth is starcraft

Isador took one last look of the wreckage around him and set off for the most logical palce to start. He was back at the cave in the swamp again, the ground no longer shining, the orb of Justifar's Library appearing to be only a broken orb - a defense mechanism to make sure those that had been in the library before were in capable of getting back in. Isador ignored it, taking a torch off of a nearby sconce and descending down the steps at the back. It was much cooler and damper on the second level, but it seemed to hold nothing for him. He noticed the staircase went down, and he descended until he was on the fourth level, where he reached the final level of the structure.

He gasped, finding a room that was larger than most mortal keeps and could even cause jealousy in some of the ethereal realms. Giant blocks of marble lay here, the size o which must have required three to four mortals per stone to lift. There was a short stage and an alter upon it, covered in dust from lack of use. Behind the alter the wall had started to cave in, showing a narrow passage on the other side. He walked around the altar, his footsteps muffled by the layer of dust but echoing nonetheless, to the narrow passageway behind it. It looked as if it had been carved out of a larger cave in - the ground was dirty but laid with stone , and above him saw the hints of the ceiling. Once in the back room he saw the normal ornaments of a cult - decorative masks, a few ceremonial orbs, and what he assumed at one time had been the leader's robes, mostly eaten away by mites and other vermin.

He exited the side room, returning to the main one. He walked around the edge of the room, examining for more caved in areas, or any artifacts of power. Parts of the walls held murals on them that did not make sense to Isador - mortals handing large, glowing orbs to one another. In some depictions, the men had different symbols above their head, but what it symbolized Isador did not readily know. Resolving that perhaps the item of power in this cave was Justifar's Library, he walked back towards the entrance. As he was nearing the entrance, he stepped on a stone that sunk into the floor by several inches. Above him on the third level he saw a flash of light, and heard a humming noise. He ran up the staircase to see what had caused it, but saw nothing. He ran back down to the fourth floor, testing several stones again before finding the right one. Again, the room above him lit up in a flash of light, but again he could not get up there on time. Whatever system this was obviously was meant for two people.




Jun 21 2012, 1:25 am Sacrieur Post #335

Still Napping

"An inconvenience," Athenos muttered, already forcing himself to move undeterred. He grabbed his sword and left, ignoring the need for farewells.

---

The clouds grew dark and foreboding, if at any minute they would spill their contents upon the earth. Flashes of light scorched overhead, followed by claps of thunder. It did not feel natural, as most storms would be. The farther Athenos traveled the more ominious they became. It would not be long now.

He stopped his journey in a meadow of flowers, taking in its beauty and aroma, if only for a moment. It was a shame that this beautiful land would inevitably be destroyed.

The lightning above was becoming more localized, centering on his position. The air became more crisp, his senses more sharp. The storm was to be let loose. He uncovered his arm and threw off his cloak.

In a brilliant display of power, lightning crashed into the center of the meadow, forever scarring its once glorious displace. Where there were once flowers was now burnt earth, his keen sense of smell picking up the smokey tint. And before him, a man of powerful stature in elegantly crafted golden armor.

"Athenos, what have you done?" the voice boomed deeply. Athenos drew his blade.

"Lunas, I had expected they would send you."

"It is not too late. Come willingly and we may yet spare you."

Athenos laughed, his demonic energy finally starting to unravel, "Who are we to barter with fate?"

"So be it."

The man began to glow, radiant golden energy spiraling out of him, materializing into chaotic flickers of lightning. Athenos could hear the air buzz with power, but stood his ground, undaunted. He began to cut loose his attemtps to restrain his own ability. His eyes sparked with flames, and the air around him ignited with a brilliant crimson inferno. He was fireborn, his power knew no equal.

Their minds clashed at once, furiously struggling for dominance, but to no avail, their focus equally sharp. Each poured in more effort, only to be met by a force of equal size. The battle was not to be one of wits.

Athenos rushed, his muscles now augmented by demonic rage, hurtling him into his assailant at an alarming speed. Their auras emitted a shower of gold and crimson sparks as they collided, igniting the ground beneath them. He attacked from the side, the full force of his charge piled into the blow. There was an unsatisfied crack as steel met steel, swords being driven by titanic strength. Athenos jumped back, his strike unsuccessful.

He was distracted for a moment, noticing a crack had appeared in his sword. Lunas seized the opportunity and lunged, allowing Athenos only a fraction of a second to successfully block. But it came at a price, his blade split in two; it was clearly not intended for a conflict of this nature. The tip flipped away, narrowly missing his head, and lodging firmly into the ground. Athenos jumped back once more, carelessly throwing the hilt aside.

He focused, pulling forth the full rage of the demon within. Tendrils of power spiraled off his form, now indistinguishable from the inferno; bathed in crackling flame. His eyes were all but hidden from view, replaced by a vicious white electricity. What little life had remained near him was incinerated.

He changed tactics, moving in fast for weaponless combat. He struck Lunas with blistering speed, knocking him off his feet, and his sword away in sheer surprise. Lunas recovered quickly, striking hard with his fist into Athenos's chest, creating an audible crack.

He buckled over coughing, flames temporarily diminished. Blood spilled from his mouth and his lungs screamed for air. He tried to steady himself, but a hand grabbed him firm. He tried to resist, but was met with pain as electricity flowed into his body.

Athenos, starforged knight, fell; he tumbled to the ground, his blurred vision finally fading to black.



None.

Jun 21 2012, 1:42 am IskatuMesk Post #336

Lord of the Locker Room

Isador studied the stone thoughtfully, his gaze turning to the blocks of marble. Perhaps if he placed a block on the stone, it would stay activated...

A sensation passed him suddenly, turning his thoughts astray. He immediately recognized it. It was the first sensation he had felt some days ago now, that lead him to the starfallen, Athenos. A massive burst of fireborn energy had released itself somewhere, only to sharply cut off. Isador growled under his breath. What if Loha had found him? Isador considered returning to the shadow world and interject in the confrontation, but no sooner had he sensed the powers than they had vanished, and their source empty. Isador remained for a time, considering the implications if the kin of Kalkatha was destroyed. Loha would be his only viable target. Isador made a mental note to hunt down the remains of the starfallen and recover them when he had dealt with this riddle. For now, though, his attention was divided.

Isador made motion with his hand, projecting a carpet of shadows across the floor to the closest marble block. With their abyssal grip he slid the block across the chamber and onto the stone plate.



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 21 2012, 3:22 am Tempz Post #337



Find a solitary area and train with my short sword.



None.

Jun 21 2012, 7:41 pm Fire_Kame Post #338

wth is starcraft

Dan goes off into a secluded area of the grounds and practices the moves Athenos and Fridolf had showed him. Pryti lingered nearby, talking to Martin about the general location of where his grandfather might be. They were interrupted by a flash of light, followed by an earthquake inducing shake of the ground. Bright blazing flames flew into the sky, the smell of hazy smoke overcoming them. The flames licked up around the fortress on all sides, but seemed to be repelled easily by a transparent shield.

They heard a blood curdling scream, much like a war cry, come from inside the fortress. "We must get inside," Pryti said, leading them back into the stone fortress, she whispered, "please hide yourselves. One of the rooms over there will suffice." She left them then, running up to Psamathe's body, lighting incense and muttering an incantation.

"PSAMATHE!" the horrible voice boomed from where the princess lay, crumbling the stone archway in the room. "Where is that foolish girl..." it growled again, storming towards where Pryti was kneeling. The new woman was much taller than any woman should be, her skin would look leathery if she didn't emit a glow so bright that Dan and Martin had a hard time focusing on her. Pryti stood up resolutely, staring at her with glazed over eyes. "What have you done, you silly girl?"

"Nothing, that was not me!" Pryti spoke, but the voice was not her's. Presumably, it was Psamathe's voice, using Pryti to stand before her. She looked confidently into the eyes of the accuser, as if the blinding glow was not there.

"And you expect me to believe that you had nothing to do with it? That this is not a ruse to make me lose sight of you so that you can ascend to the heavens again?" she paused again, there was another explosion. The large woman looked up, and let out another cry, this one victorious. "His heart was weak, the capture was easy. Perhaps they will send him to the same place I sent the god you loved so dearly. But I must wonder what he was doing so close to your dwelling..."

"What would you have me say? That I called the fool here? That I did not banish him when I realized his heart held evil of the highest order? His heart was so corrupted I could not even touch it, I could not even see what-" Pryti was cut off by the intimidating woman slapping her across the face.

"I am not so foolish, Psamathe. I know that you harbor the same evils...the same evil you pretend to abhor even now. Your facade may have fooled the weaker of the divine, but you have not fooled me. I can sense it in you, I know you carry the seeds of evil inside you. It is only a matter of time before ... she trailed off suddenly noticing Martin and Dan, cowering in another room. "Mortals?"

"They were the escorts of the princess, they assured her safe passage here. Surely you do not intend to kill them," Pryti said, in a nearly mocking voice.

"I did not even feel the barrier brought down to allow them in..." The large woman said, troubled.

"Because the barrier was not brought down!" Pryti said, revolving to put herself between the angry goddess and Dan and Martin, "they are of pure heart and pure mind. You cannot find any more faultless than they!"

"No matter...they have gazed upon my face, and for that they must die."



Isador placed the rock on the glowing tile and set off to the top floor, the room glowing and humming again. It worked. When he reached the top landing he was met with a blue light reflecting off and around the room, projecting a star map. Etched on the walls were planets and heavenly bodies, and a ray of the light touched a moon map, proclaiming that the moon was nearly full accurately. A good trick for mortals, he decided, but he did not immediately see the worth of the room. Beneath the etchings were the same murals, smaller, that he had seen in the room downstairs, but they were aligned and connected with a maze of etched lines. The caverns that held the artifacts and power he sought were all connected, even this submerged tower, which would lead to a deeper cavern beneath the forest. He saw that if he continued following the caverns east, he would empty upon one that would empty into the Tryvali countryside. The use for the room became apparent then. It had been operated to provide a means of keeping time for those that did not emerge from the caverns for quite sometime. Logically the mortals had assumed adventurers would travel in pairs or more...

Isador saw that the way out lay behind the room behind the alter. He went to it and looked it over. Mortals did love their puzzles...but the room did nothing to help him discover the exit to the next cavern. Examining the room further, he found something metallic glinting on the other side of the rotting robes. He dug at it, finding two door knobs, realizing that one was trapped and one would provide an exit to the next stage of his quest.

Post has been edited 1 time(s), last time on Jun 21 2012, 9:39 pm by Fire_Kame.




Jun 21 2012, 9:45 pm IskatuMesk Post #339

Lord of the Locker Room

Isador sensed outwards with his thoughts on the doors. He could sense no immediate elemental energy, nor the same nature of energy he had sensed when he had first come to the cavern. The trap could be physical in nature, or only active by a trigger. The handles themselves seemed fairly identical, it would be clear whoever would be opening the doors had prior connections with the cult and thus knew which door was which. Without such prior knowledge, Isador could only leave it up to guess work. Shadowstepping through the doors wouldn't likely offer him any better odds. Instead, he stepped backwards, leaving behind a nearly perfect replication of himself. A phantasmal illusion. To all but shadow demons the projection would be entirely genuine, but the purpose here was more crude then that. He stepped back to a safe distance, then had his projection open the left door.



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 21 2012, 10:01 pm Fire_Kame Post #340

wth is starcraft

The projection stepped through the door and continued on unharmed. Isador could hear a crumbling noise and the dripping of water, but the room did not fall down around him. His projection stood on a small path, one that required a great amount of traipsing at spots where it had nearly worn away. It narrowly followed the edge of a cavern wall, polished nearly smooth by a constant drip of water coming down around him, presumably from the marsh above him leaking through somewhere. The murky water collected at the bottom of the cavern, many floors down, partially submerging at least two paths and who knew how many others beneath him. The shape overall was like an upside down cone...there was a mouth at the bottom, partially submerged, doubtlessly leading to another section similar to this one. The paths varied in length and wear, the more stable ones near the bottom, the crumbling ones at the top. The path he was on lead to the mouth to another section of the underground network, but he saw others that lasted mere feet and some that seemed to fade off into the distance. He walked to the end of his path, and looked at the mouth to the new section caves. It had crude drawings on it, faded greatly and washed away in some places, of more men passing orbs to one another. Further along was more paths, splitting in three directions: one spiraling up along a pillar, one going right to another mouth, the other going left to a doorway.




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