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The Kivdronian Excursion


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The Kivdronian Excursion

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Spoiler

 

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In a swift motion, Remon willingly leapt into the blazing flames, where Alucard lay; flesh already burnt off, nothing but a smoking ruin.

The following was painful. He screamed, screamed, screamed; and there were even a few moments of regret; but soon, he became accustomed to the pain.

His flesh slowly dripped off his form. His hair caught fire, and the searing heat in his skull almost broke his sanity; but he clung on, thinking that there was not long left. Surely he could not survive for long.

Then came his fingers. They cracked, bones and the accompanying flesh falling to the floor with a thud. 

At this point, his flesh was entirely burnt off. He was nothing but a dilapidated skeleton now, different pieces scattered around the fire.. yet, still, his conciousness remained. 

It was attached to his skull. He could see out of the sockets. All he could feel was the stone bed below, and an unending pain, a searing pain.

Why did the pain continue? He soon realised that it was his very bones being burnt away, blackening and crumbling to ash. Soon, too, did his skull.

And yet his conciousness endured. He could not move, feel, see.. all he was left with was an Ebony Ocean.

He had been lied to. He had not been reborn.

Why are you sleeping next to a corpse?

 

Remon woke with a start.

 

* * *

Spoiler

 

* * *

After hurried explanations of his odd circumstances, Remon got to know Usamea a bit more. 

She was a voidal mage, and she had tasked herself with fighting off the voidal horrors that were resident in what she called 'The Void.' She was a sharp woman, who didn't shy away at the dead body that he had slept next to; simply burning it, and the remains, away with her magic. Her control over the void was so great that Remon could feel her aura of power; or at least, some sort of aura of a voidal nature.

This all intrigued Remon. He had been looking to return to Kivdrona, and she sounded perfectly cast for the job; so he posed the question to her.

Remon told her of the circumstances of the place; how it was filled with tens of thousands of monsters, none of which would die easily. He told her of the coronation, of Chelka, of what he had seen there; and she nodded, eventually speaking.

 

Certainly interesting enough. Shall we head there then, Mr-

 

In stumbled Alucard, speaking in a slightly confused, yet nervous manner, flashing Alucard a small smile.

 

This, uhh... isn't the way home.

 

Usameas' ears twitched. Alucard and Remon felt her voidal aura expand, as Alucards' breathing began to speed up, glancing around the hallway he resided in in notable fear.

 

My dear Larihei, do not sneak up on people without announcing yourself. My apologies for what you are currently experiencing.

 

In concern, Remon stepped forwards.

 

What are you doing?

 

I cannot control it if someone scares me. As I explained, I see the void. My powers allow me to show the void as well. However, for the unattuned, it can be a rather traumatic experience.

 

. . .Larihei? You're hanging with Haelun'orians?

 

Alucard said this dully, bringing up his hands to rub at his eyes, a slight shiver running down his spine. 

 

A voidal mage. Is there a problem with Haelun'or that I'm not aware of, Alucard?

 

Alucard hummed a moment, and softly shook his head.

 

Ne oem of any importance, I suppose. You see the void then, elfess? Quite odd.. I was just talking about it with my maln. 

 

It was easy work for Remon to convince Alucard. He too, thought Remon, would make a valuable contribution. After hurried introductions and some informing, the group made their way to Kivdrona.

 

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Spoiler

 

* * *

 

A s the trio approached the gate, it soon became to clear to Remon that the city had irrevocably changed. Saving the place was out of the question. 

A cool, summer breeze was the only thing noticed by the trio as they approached the gate; but as they got closer, they spied the sand-encrusted beasts.

Hundreds of monsters, small ones, big ones, flying ones, all pressed against the gate; all seeking an escape from the temporary prison they found themselves locked in.

Alucard, himself, was so shocked that he took a stumble back.

 

What the **** are those?

 

Aberrants. Citizens turned into monsters by Chelka.

 

Chelka?

 

I was there when they released the gas into the crowd. It wasn't pretty.

 

This is certainly interesting to me. I do wonder if my presence affects them at all..

 

However, it seemed that her presence did not. Privately, Remon was disappointed; he was hoping that if the creatures, if Bezaleel was voidal, then perhaps she would awaken him.

Evidently not.

It mattered little, though. Bezaleel was not of the same magic as these.. things. As far as Remon knew, Bezaleel was a member of a holy order from beyond Almaris; who he had last seen at Tor-Azdroth, when he had left Remon to die.

That raised the question; why look for him? The shocked silence that Usamea and Alucard stood in gave him much time to reconsider, to contemplate. What would his next move be? How to find Bezaleel?

 

. . .

 

He ambled over to Alucard, speaking in a low whisper.

 

This is where I met Bezaleel. If his magic is voidal, perhaps Usamea will be able to summon him.

 

. . .What? Why are you investigating Bezaleel anyways?

 

He resurrected me from the dead. What am I to do, ignore him? I must find him once more, ask him.. I believe I was immortal while I was in his thrall, Alucard.

 

Remon, I don't understand what happened between you and Bezaleel. But, if you seek to find him, I will aid you in this.

 

Thank you. . . .Don't tell the An-Gho.

 

Alucard gave a firm nod. Remon stepped away, and exhaled. The die was cast; though the gift that the An-Gho had offered was undoubtedly sweet, immortality was obviously far better. There was no deception in what he did. If he found Bezaleel, he found Bezaleel. If he didn't, he didn't, and he would return to the An-Gho, who would be wholly unaware of the whole incident.

 

Do we know where we can enter?

 

It's been far too long. I don't know the state of the city..

 

The group glanced inside; and, just behind the monsters, they saw a bizarre collection of flesh, pulsating with a red light as if it was a heart. 

 

It might be better to go around.

 

And so they did; trekking around the city as they walked, keeping an eye on their surroundings. 

The night grew darker. The wind picked up; and the sky was lit up by lightning without thunder, providing a very unsettling aesthetic for the group to trek through.

Twice, they came across immovable ledges, too steep to climb; so Usamea transfigured them into water, providing a slide for the group to climb up. Perhaps, thought Remon, she was not such a waste; in fact, she was quite useful.

They were close to their target now (The mountain behind the city, the sight where Remon had first met Bezaleel) but yet another cliff face stood in their way.

Remon had grown increasingly frustrated; and, he figured, if Bezaleel was nearby, he would hear and recognise any cry for help that he made.

 

BEZALEEL?

 

Whispers surrounding the group, from all angles.

 

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Spoiler

 

* * *

 

. . .Bezaleel?

 

Cymbals and timpani's began to clash disharmoniously, cutting through the violent winds of the mountain. Usamea cast an orb of light; but it did nothing but reveal an array of demonic, twisted faces, hanging in the air around them.

 

Price. And contract?

 

A chorus of voices spoke.

 

Usamea didn't seem fazed. Perhaps, thought Remon, this was little to the voidal horrors which she so frequently faced. In contrast, Alucard seemed nervous; face beginning to twitch, readjusting his grip on his sword.

What contract do I have with thee? The price and number.

 

I have no contract, no number; I seek passage.

 

Ye do not draw a circle before you call the name of one of 'is generals.

 

The voice seemed unfamiliar; if, indeed, it was possible for a demons voice to sound such. 

Remon hissed to his partners not to speak, which they both silently agreed on. But, before he had the chance to speak to the demon, it spoke to them.

 

If passage is what ye want... I can provide. But ye must pay me fee.

 

For what cost? Bezaleel knows me, he's a friend.. I'd hate to upset him with tales of a difficult journey.

 

Will ye pay the toll?

 

What is the toll, friend?

 

Are any of ye musicians?

 

Remon glanced to the other two. Alucard shook his head, but Usamea nodded. 

 

Usamea is.

 

Do ye know of 'is trill sonata?

 

Well, to a degree. I can make you hear the songs, but I am unable to play them by myself.

 

No matter if ye do not know the sonata, how about a D minor. With yer body, give me a D minor.

 

At that, Usamea nodded; the ears of the elfess twitching, aura beginning to pulsate. Remon, the demon, and Alucard all heard a D minor.

 

Yer physical body.

 

Usamea suddenly felt an immense tension with her connection to her magic, as if a presence was immersing it metaphysically.

A violin tone cut through the wind repeatedly.

 

Like so.

 

The sound, whatever it was, could clearly only be created through crude percussion; such as shields on swords, banging explosions, and the like.

Remon, worried, glanced to Usamea; and Alucard clutched his head in evident pain. Usamea grimaced; but she didn't seem overly afraid or worried, expressing such to the voices.

 

As I explained, I am unable to provide you with the cost of my physical body. However, I can recreate the sound with magic.

 

Usamea felt her hair begin to levitate.

 

I speak with the horrors of the void, for I represent them on the mortal realms. You do not scare me.

 

Do I need to make ye afraid? Or, are ye willing to bargain another trade?

 

Alucard, can you sing?

 

That will not do. I have a better idea. Have you ever tried to fly?

 

Remons' face went pale; dreadful memories of a bloody death filling him, of slumping against hard stone while a gloating figure stood above, blood-soaked knife dripping onto his corpse. He remembered it all, down to the very last grimy detail.

 

Please. Another deal.

 

A cracking sound was heard around them, as a sigil wrenched itself into the stone beneath their feet; the mountain itself trembling slightly.

 

Alucard glanced to Remon, a hint of fear in his expression.

 

You show your fear. If you let me make you fly, I will take you wherever you want.

 

Another deal. Not flying, it is.. Do not. Please. I show my fear because I know what 'flying' entails.

 

I said flying.. not falling.

 

My body is unable to withstand. Launch me, and I shall turn to dust the moment I touch the ground.

 

Your soul is tainted, white one. I have no use for you now. Be quiet, or to dust you shall return.

 

I have encountered your 'general' before. He offered the same.

 

Your pleasantries with Bezaleel mean nothing to me. These are hunting grounds.

 

Usamea fell quiet, the elfess closing her eyes. She offered a smile to the voices.

Then, her hair began to lift more; and the elfess would quietly, gracefully, drift slightly up into the air.

 

Choose where you wish to go and choose wisely, because if it isn't interesting to me I might drop you.

 

I am unable to show you fear, for the horrors have destroyed my capability to feel. I mean you no disrespect, however.

She was gently lowered back to the ground.

 

You mentioned a ritual site, Remon? Our objective?

 

Aye, it lies on the top of the mountain.. blocked by the ridge, and by our friend here.

 

The fine text comes later. You're in no position to bargain.

 

That was true; and, as Remon considered his options, he realised that they ran quite thin. If the voices weren't willing to bargain, then there was nothing that they could do but take the deal.

He, himself could not; and Alucard had made note of his fear. That left..

 

Usamea, would you be willing to fly? Considering you don't feel fear, and his version of flight is different to what I was afraid of..

 

There was a moments silence.

 

Remon, we are definitely talking abo-

 

Voices, I seek you take us to the ritual site that lies on top of the mountain. I shall pay the cost, and if it is the cost of my physical being and I turn one with the horrors of the void, I am not afraid to die.

 

Sounds borin'... but if you insist.

 

There was another silence.

 

Ain't no circle up there no more. 

 

Take us up all the same. I promise; if we find Bezaleel, you'll be interested enough by the experience.

 

Bezaleel ain't here no more.

 

Where is he? I pray of you, take us to him.

 

Ye want to go to hell?

 

Hell?

 

Is that where he lies?

 

Yes.

 

Take us to Bezaleel, if you would.

 

Ye realize you would be forfeiting your souls for a few hours, right? I'm required to tell you that. Means yer bodies would be controlled by me, or others like me.

 

What would you do with our bodies? Would you return them?

 

I'll do whatever I please. Depends what happens.. and, probably about a sixty-six percent chance of me returning yer bodies.

 

I will send ye to Karkosa.. Nay, not karkosa. To the point of inversion.

 

The darkness consumed the group, and all sound cut out.

 

* * *

Spoiler

 

 

* * *

 

A white orb of light appeared, illuminating their new surroundings.

They stood in a mouldy smelling chamber; with only a few meters of space, before there was a massive pit of water. Mosquitos buzzed about the room, and the water was stagnant. Black patterns of mould adorned the walls and ceiling. 

Remon dipped a toe into the water, cautiously; yet nothing happened. All seemed normal.

Alucard was clearly disgusted.

 

Good thing I can swim in this shit. Time to swim, I suppose?

 

Tally ho.

 

REMON-

 

And Remon plunged into the water, the cries of protest being muffled by the water.

The water spiralled around his body and legs; as if something large was moving around him. Throughout the water, all three felt an invisible pulse.

Remon emerged into an air pocket, taking a deep breathe for air, considering.

Was the pulse from the heartbeat they saw at Kivdrona? 

But suddenly his arm grew numb, and the water thrashed around him. Some crocodilian thing lashed out at him, its jaw dislocating to attempt to grab onto his bicep.

That failed, and Remon withdrew his longsword; stabbing down towards the thing. The sword glanced off the things jaw, but it reciprocated, enormous, muscular tail smacking into his head. As Alucard swam towards Remon, yelling for him to retreat, his vision faded; and he slumped against the rock, vision fading..

 

* * *

Spoiler

 

* * *

 

Where..

 

Remon began to rise from his slumber. At once, he could hear a great hum. As he lifted his head, he saw a door, resonating with energy, cracks of golden light visible.

 

What.. what happened? Did we find him?

 

The hidden stone..

 

Not yet, Remon. You're alright.

 

Alucard, who had previously been carrying Remon, set him down. In that dizzied, confused moment, Remon felt a surge of guilt; for his treatment of Alucard, who in reality was a far better more honest, trusting person then Remon ever had been. And he felt shame.

He warded this off, though, standing and stumbling towards the door; and he was soon captivated by the golden light.

 

What's behind there..?

 

W- the golden pools. Immortality.

 

Usamea was brimming with excitement, and as she opened the door, the group were overcome by the light; yet it suddenly vanished, exposing the entrance to a cavern. Bats were heard within, and as they all entered, they were hit with exotic, foreign smells. As the door shut on them, they made their way to the mouth of the cavern; and lush forest was revealed, exposing untouched forest. Something became very clear.

 

They weren't on Almaris.

 

* * *

Spoiler

 

* * *

 

Remon, by instinct, looked upwards. There, on top of the hollow mountain, there was an ancient castle; rock far older then anything on their home land, though still well kept. From within the tower, there could be heard a constant chanting.

 

Dee.. Dee.. Dee..

 

We should make our way inside the castle.. find out where we are.

 

And so the group trekked around the hill.

 

Around halfway around the castle, over the ridge, there popped out a bald, pale head.

 

Shh! 

 

The group retreated under the ridge, holding their breaths. While they were trying to enter the place, there was something profoundly unsettling.

Eventually, he left, and the group left that ridge; only, Usamea then spoke with alarm.

 

I - I can't use my magic..

 

Remon inhaled, then exhaled. All this was giving credence to a theory of his; when Bezaleel last left him, he had called this continent 'dirty,' and his own clean. That would line up with the untouched landscape.. and, the unnatural magic that Usamea grappled with.

They continued on.

Occasionally, as they walked, they picked up the smell of frankincense on the wind; and the faint chimes of windbells. Above the ridge that they snuck under, footsteps and light chatter was heard, foreign to all three of the visitors.

Suddenly, Remon stumbled; and tripped out on a rock next to an entrance to the cavern. He span around in fear; and saw a bald, savage inhabitant in a tight coat, pointing and screaming at him.

 

HEKARE! HEKARE MAKTA!

 

Several people began rushing to the savage. Bows were heard knocking, people scrambling down the rocks. Red lightning traced the sky.

 

SHIT! INTO THE CAVERN!

 

Usamea and Remon scrambled into the cave, but Alucard remained standing.

 

Guys, guys.. wait. It might be ok, alright? I mean, we look friendly enough..

 

Just as Alucard said that, a strike of red lightning vaporized him on the spot. Scraps of steaming armour and flesh were all that was left behind. Several more lightning strikes hit the steaming lump of flesh and melting metal; each blast flung gore about, until he was nothing but a stain of grease on the floor.

 

. . .We need to escape into the forest.

 

Remon slowly nodded; face white with guilt-filled terror, quite unable to process what had just happened to Alucard. And so they ran.

As they sprinted, savages closing in behind, more and more unholy incantations were heard. Just the mere sound of them sent shivers up the pairs spines, sending them further and further into their foolish sprint.

 

As Usamea fled down the rocks and forest, the storm began to build. As water began to fall around the city, a red, blindingly hot lightning bolt coursed from drop to drop, finally hitting her in the face; and she exploded into a cloud of steam and mist.

Almost immediately after, the same happened to Remon.

 

* * *

Spoiler

 

* * *

 

There was a darkness.

Then, the group woke in tanks of viscous liquid; which, upon their waking, poured them out onto the floor, releasing them.

Usamea seemed confused. Alucard wept; but Remon was silent, because he had come to a realisation.

Thrice, now, he had 'perished.' Only two of those times he remembered; but both times he had been brought back from the dead. Perhaps he was wrong in his belief that it was Bezaleel had made him immortal.

Perhaps he, Remon, was simply immortal.

 

[!] 

Soon after these events, a swift robin delivered a letter to the An-Gho.

Spoiler

 

 

To the An-Gho;

 

I write to you now as a man reborn. You were right, no ash, no fire, no volcanic pilgrimage was needed for this. All that was needed was Kivdrona.

You see, An-Gho, I have discovered a wonderful thing. In the bowels of the earth, there lies a doorway to another continent, certainly a land mass beyond Almaris; one filled with untouched forests, and a city in the grip of maddeningly powerful sorcerers, who speak in a tongue foreign to me (Though perhaps not to you.)

Most interestingly of all is the relation to Bezaleel. Though we ended up at the city, we originally trekked to Kivdrona (Me, Alucard, and an elf called Usamea.) A collection of discordant voices offered us passage to wherever we wished; and I asked to be taken to Bezaleel. He responded by saying that Bezaleel was in hell.

While we were trekking the mountains of the foreign place, we were all killed. I remember it quite clearly; first Alucard, too trusting, was blasted into shreds of flesh. Usamea and me were both disintegrated by arcs of red lightning. The magic that was used was clearly unholy.

Could this be the hell that the voices referred to? Certainly, the magic used by the locals was unholy, and when Bezaleel visited Tor-Azdroth, he spoke of a 'cleaner' continent, which could be referencing the untouched forests.

Either way, we intend to return. Bezaleel must be found. I would appreciate your help in such, but I hesitate to ask outright, simply due to the nature of the mission that we undertake. Death is all too possible, and should we succeed in our goal, I do not know how he will react to seeing you again. Or me, for that matter.

 

May fate be good, An-Gho.

 

-Remon

 

@Jentos

 

Spoiler

Whew.

 

Thank you very much to @zchronik for running this event for us. Thank you to @Neviah and @Gemini for taking part, too. Excited for sunday.

 

 

 

seizure warning

 

 

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"What constitutes magic." intoned the An-Gho to no-one, reading the missive alongside his afternoon tea. The ash stirred. "Perception that it is." He mused to none but himself. 

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OOC Comment seeing as uh well the only irp knowledge thing in this post was that note to the An-Gho
 

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It was a pleasure going to Karkosa n shit with you mate, I cannot wait for Sunday when we venture off once more into Kivdrona - I wonder what awaits us. Lovely writing as always. +1

 

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10 hours ago, Jentos said:

"What constitutes magic." intoned the An-Gho to no-one, reading the missive alongside his afternoon tea. The ash stirred. "Perception that it is." He mused to none but himself. 

 

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