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  1. The End Eliza looked to the Olog, already leaving the city. She glanced behind her, seeing William next to her, and saw Brawly, lying on the ground, Silas was hoarsely shouting for aid, before coughing, smoke filling the air. "Come on! We've got to leave!" No... Eliza needed more time to think. She slid off the pile, grabbing Delra and Nadia, dragging them out of the city. A guard was running towards Dante, picking the screaming halfling up. "Where have you been?" The guard nodded in the direction of the gate. "Up there. I stayed in there because I didn't want to die, unlike the rest of them." Eliza's gaze panned down, seeing a pile of dead guards. They all had their throats cleanly cut. She knew a few of them... there was the lad who'd wanted to be a hero, so she'd told him to join the army to make a name for himself. There was the lass who wanted to prove that she could be better then... she glanced at the guard, his face ashen. "You alright?" He looked away from that lass, his sister, nodding. "Yeah. I'm alright... We've got to leave." Eliza nodded. "Let's go then." William picked up Brawly, and Silas grabbed Delra, who seemed to be slightly out of it. Nadia closely followed, running out of the city. Eliza was second, tugging Delra along. William, carrying Brawly, was far slower. A shower of stone collapsed, a wooden partition falling onto William... until Silas speared it just above William's head, throwing it to the side. They made it out. But the guard carrying Dante did not. @Pinks Delra left the city, feeling somewhat numb. Someone was dragging her. Eliza, Eliza was her name, right? She just couldn't bother with anything. She had to go and mourn in her home... but her home was burnt to the ground, and others were burning around her. The thick smoke covered the air. A part of her was glad that she had made it out, out of the fog, fire, corpses, pain... But she could go back in. It would be so easy, she could try to save Dante! But she knew that she was trying to justify going back into the collapsing wreckage that was Rozania. And she was never able to choose, as the gate collapsed, blocking off the city completely... @alexdraganoid The Olog left Rozania far before any of the others. The taste of blood was still on his mouth, a grin slowly spreading across his face as the oh so familiar feeling of bloodlust overtook him... He turned back to the city, seeing a tired, bedraggled group of travellers leaving the city. . . but it goes against his code to kill those beneath him, and they certainly are right now. With one final look of contempt, he leaves. @titanicbomber William watches as the place starts to collapse, running with his hands over his head, carrying an unconscious Brawly on his back. He stumbled through the city, burning wreckage falling around him. There was a thunk above his head. He looked behind him, Silas throwing his spear to the side with a wooden partition neatly sliced between it. They manage to barely get out of the city, before the gate collapses, completely blocking off the city. William can't help but remember the poltergeist's words. "The real world is horrifying, isn't it?" William almost wishes that he hadn't left that paradise, and as the screaming of Rozania is silenced by the collapsing buildings, horrible crunchings being heard, he turns away, slightly sickened by what's happened. @ThatTromboneGuy Silas coughs, smoke seemingly making up his lungs at this point. He wants to save survivors, but as he looks around, it strikes him that there may not be any. He sees Eliza motioning for everyone to leave, and he moves towards the exit, stumbling slightly. The overuse of mana has weakened him, and it's all he can do to save William from that falling wood. He gets out of the city and looks back. The guard holding a now silent Dante is frozen. "Come on!" The guard doesn't move, his face pale, nearly as pale as Dante's... who doesn't seem to be moving. Finally, the guard blinks, starting to run after Silas... but as the rock falls, the guard doesn't make it in time... and now, there's a solid wall blocking the guard, and Dante, from the exit. There's a horrible screaming, as the rocks on the top crumble down towards the guard. @gurlpirate Her city burned. She stood outside, tears running down her face, as the place that she helped build, the place that she loved, cherished, cared for, worked for, bled for, burnt to the ground. She saw the rock tumble, but she didn't care. She heard the scream of the guard, but she didn't care. The only thing on her mind was Rozania... that beautiful, wonderful place, that gave her everything. That was now gone. She turned back to the group. They looked at her. Gods, they make for a bedraggled lot. Silas, dusty, smoky, William, carrying Brawly, a bedraggled look on Will's face, and Brawly unconscious, the Olog already leaving, Nadia, seemingly frozen, Delra, a look of incredible guilt on her face... What to do now. Where to go? Where could they go? The guard wasn't able to move. How could he? His legs were crushed beneath the rock, and Dante's weight made it impossible to move. Dante slowly opened his eyes... but he couldn't see. He opened his mind, slowly standing up, feeling around him. The guard gasped in relief. "Oh, thank Trigon. Please, help me, save me..." Dante looked down. "Who's there? What's afflicting you?" "My name is Tirilith Calding. I just came here to look for Nathaniel, my brother, but I couldn't find him, then I saw that he was dead... my legs are trapped under the rock." Dante paused. "Calding?" "Yes. Now help me!" "Nathaniel's brother?" Tirilith made a frustrated, desperate face. "Yes! Now help me! Get me out of here!" Dante slowly reached for his dagger. "What are you doing? Move the rock!" Dante slashed downwards, slicing Tirilith's throat. The blood bled out of Tirilith, and his head fell to the ground, utterly dead. Dante sheathed his dagger, wiping it clean with Tirilith's arm. He turned around, trying to find his way to his house. But he couldn't find... anywhere. He was blind; and the burning, and collapsing rubble made it impossible to find anything, anywhere. He fell over his feet, dragging himself towards the palace. He knew where that was. He tried to find the door, but he only found it's wreckage, the Olog having smashed it down. He tried to find a seat, and he found a bench to the side. He lay down, and slowly drifted off into unconsciousness. God, he wanted his vision back. He wanted it so f***ing much... he'd kill for it, he'd sacrifice for it, he'd even laugh for it. He awoke in a rage, still unable to see. He stormed around, bumping into walls, pulling out his sword, randomly slashing around in the room. He head a clang, and he knew that he'd hit the throne. He slashed at the throne, again, again, again, again, again, hoping beyond hope that somehow it would get him his vision back. Of course, it didn't. He tried to pull apart the throne. The throne was the only object in the room on which he could exert his sheer anger... until. A child walked into the room, scared. "Mister halfling? What's happening?" Dante slowly turned around. The child gasped in fear; Dante made quite a sight. Holding a sword with a skinless arm, his eye gouged out, his other eye missing, his entire body covered in dust and soot. "I'm blind, child. You're going to have to speak up. Where are you?" The child almost saved himself... but it was too late. "I'm a few steps in front of you, Mister..." Dante smiled slightly. He sheathed his sword, stepping forward, holding his arm out. A brilliant ray of sunlight, the setting sun meeting the two's hands connecting. "I'm Dante..." Lo? "Calding. Dante Calding." And Dante unsheathed his sword, slicing the child's head off. He dreamt of Ravens. He could see. He walked into a dead, unsettling forest, Ravens covered the trees around him. He came across a gravestone, entitled to, "Dante Calding." A Raven landed, and spoke. "Cover your eyes. Pay for your atrocities... or we will make you." Dante merely sliced the Raven's body in half, or at least tried to. Suddenly, the Ravens were everything, squawking, pecking at his arms, legs, face, pecking his eyes out, and dropping them into his hands. Dante awoke in a cold sweat. Outside, there was nothing but darkness, ruin, and death. Rozania had finished burning, and there was a child dead at his feet. He stumbled towards the throne, gasping slightly. He had to find something to cover his eyes with. He had to, he had to, he HAD TO. He laughed, somewhat insanely. He had to cover his eyes, but he couldn't! He couldn't do it, there was nothing to do it with... He finally realised that he should just use his jacket. He ripped off some cloth, tying it around his eyes. ". . .I. . ."
  2. The Fall Several things happened at once. Nathaniel pulled Eliza out of the hole, motioning for Will to take care of her. He then lunged at Xerxes. The Olog threw the corpse at the armour piece, aiming to free Dante. The hand with the nail was dislodged, and the nail raked across Dante's face, leaving a massive cut. Dante had been rendered blind. Delra's hit landed, but on the wrong ghost. Ironically, Nathaniel's tackle had saved Xerxes. Nathaniel collapsed to the ground, as Delra twisted the blade around him... only then did she realise that she had the wrong ghost. And as Nathaniel looked up at Delra, he knew that this was it for him. "I think you've killed me." And so she had. Xerxes saw Nathaniel's death, and all the fight seemed to go out of him. He had no more cards to play. All his armour pieces were destroyed, and Nathaniel, a last, desperate option, was dead. Xerxes slumps onto the ground, sighing. He looks up as a shadow falls on him. Delra is standing over him, blade in her hand, a look of rage, pain and guilt on her face. "Well, get on with it." And she thrust the blade into his skull. @titanicbomber Although William tried and tried, the pile of bodies seemed to be endless... until a blue hand thrust out of the pile, dragging Eliza with it. Nathaniel Calding gave Will a look, a look of guilt and pain. "I'm so sorry. This is all my fault..." Nathaniel then turned to Xerxes, and lunged at him, and he accidently saved Xerxes. Will saw Nathaniel's death, and Xerxes's death... and he sighed in relief, for the battle was finally won. @Pinks Delra felt nothing but guilt. She'd stabbed her best friend, twisting the blade around... only for it to be the wrong ghost. Nathaniel collapsed, dead. Delra then turned to Xerxes. He gave her a thin smile. "You enjoying this?" She slew Xerxes. The armour pieces holding Dante collapsed with Xerxes. Dante was lying on the ground, clearly in pain, his eye completely slashed through. Dante was trying not to scream, so instead he was just punching the ground repeatedly. Dante stood up, still holding his eye, blood pouring through his fingers. He removed his hands, then put them back, then removed them... "I can't see." Dante stumbled around. Delra looked at the halfling, wondering if he was serious or not. He was wearing an eyepatch on the non-scarred eye, and the other one had just been slashed through... Dante bumped into Delra, and he turned to her, blood pouring out of his eye, his horrifying arm very visible, and said, "Who is this? Who are you?" @gurlpirate Eliza was pulled out by Nathaniel, a blue hand lifting her to the light. He gave her a look that conveyed everything; Guilt, Pain, Sorrow, Anger.. He then leapt after Xerxes. She tried to stop him, to grab his leg, something... she was afraid that Nathaniel would simply be beaten up by Xerxes again. What happened was far worse, as Delra plunged her blade into Nathaniel's chest... She saw Dante stumbling around, trying to not scream. The Olog was digging out Brawly, and Silas had managed to get out of the pile. He looked dirty, tired, red, hellish aura surrounding his face. But as she turned around, she saw Delra plunge the blade into Xerxes's face. The armour pieces collapsed around Dante, and finally... Rozania was at peace. @ThatTromboneGuy Silas finally broke into the fresh air. Despite himself, he took deep breaths, only to start coughing, as smoke filled his lungs. He coughed, trying to desperately look around him. The scene was apocalyptic; smoke filled the air, massive piles of corpses everywhere... fires still burning around Rozania. And Silas saw Eliza standing at the top of the pile, a brilliant ray of sunshine breaking through the clouds... but just as soon, it vanished, as Eliza's face froze in shock, staring at something beyond the pile.
  3. The Beginning of The End Xerxes Calding watched, invisible, as Delra moved to Dante. Admittedly, this wasn't what he wanted, but this would do just fine. Nathaniel Calding was moving forward, trying to stop her, but they both knew that he wouldn't make it in time. Nathaniel cried out, and Delra's hand jolted, stabbing Dante's arm. His eyes opened, and he tumbled onto the floor, holding his arm in pain. Nathaniel turned to Xerxes, able to see him, and charged at him, letting out a bellow. They tumbled through a window, onto the ground outside, fire burning around them, the corpses of the citizens practically paving the road. Nathaniel let out several savage blows, and Xerxes took them, crying out in pain. But soon, the tide of the fight changed. Several armour pieces held Nathaniel back. Although he cast them to the side, Xerxes set upon Nathaniel, brutally beating him. Nathaniel tried to raises his arms, but he eventually collapsed, holding out an arm, desperately trying to stop him. Eventually, Nathaniel was beaten into unconsciousness. And Xerxes still beat him. It was truly horrific to watch. And so Xerxes finally finished. He stood over Nathaniel's form, laughing at him. "You fool! You tried to protect everyone, and all you achieved was, well..." He gestured around him. "This." Nathaniel slowly wakes, croaking at Xerxes, "You did this... you used me, and so many others." Xerxes shrugged. "Half right. You were to weak to stop me, and it was your choice for me to take over in the first place." He crouched in front of Nathaniel. "You know, possessing you was possibly the best choice I ever made. I could do it again..." Nathaniel looked at Xerxes with a certainty. "No you won't." "And why is that?" "Because they will stop you." Eliza rounded the corner, slayersteel in hand. Xerxes slowly turned to face her. ". . .You." @gurlpirate Eliza watched with some horror, as Delra stabbed Dante in the arm, convinced that Xerxes was still inhabiting his arm. But she watched the fight between the two, and saw Xerxes beat Nathaniel. Eliza ran down the steps, hoping that she would make it in time. She did, seeing the poltergeist standing over Nathaniel. ". . .You." Eliza gripped the slayersteel dagger, pointing it at Xerxes. "Me." @titanicbomber William woke from his slumber. He was in the arms of an armour piece, on the roof of the palace of Rozania. Below him, Rozania burned. People were dead in the streets, men, women, children... it was horrific. William noted this, and one more thing - two ghosts and Eliza were about to start fighting. But below him, he could hear an Olog rumbling to make an attack, a halfling crying out in pain, and he saw an armour piece standing at the guard post at the gates, slowly lowering the gate. The remaining armour pieces were slowly starting to head to the square. All in all, there were around seven left. If they were not stopped, it would be the end of Eliza, surely. He had two options. One, he could chop down the burning decorations hanging above the city, in the hopes of stopping them, or at least setting them on fire. Second, he could hope that the people in the palace would be able to deal with them. Or he could just fight them. But all of this was discounting the fact that he was in the arms of an armour piece... @Pinks Delra had made a mistake. Dante sat at the edge of the room, holding his arm. She stabbed his right one... and it's a strange arm. It had no skin. Dante's arm was covered in veins, flesh, and bone. Especially flesh and bone... his fingers were long, spindly, horrifying. Just the sight horrifies Delra, instinctively making her want to get as far away as possible... @ohbother1 Nadia wakes from her internal imprisonment, and for a few seconds she almost wishes that she hadn't. The scent of charred flesh lingered in the air. Smoke covered the room, and a single look outside would tell her that Rozania was on fire. Heart wrenching screams filled the air, as the denizens of Rozania were massacred. The inhabitants of the room were in chaos. Silas was convincing an Olog to leave, Dante lay slumped against the wall, with some sort of horrifying... wait. Was that an arm? She saw Eliza charging to fight the poltergeist, and she followed, half wanting to help, and half wanting to get fresh air... @ThatTromboneGuy Silas had fended off the Olog, for now. He saw all that happened; Nathaniel tackling the Poltergeist out of the window, Eliza and Nadia haring after them, Delra gazing horrified at that.. abomination on Dante's arm. And in that split moment, he began to question this whole affair. "If the Spectre knew that the Poltergeist was such an issue, why did he let him take control? Where did he come from in the first place?" But these questions would have to wait, he told himself. He chased after Eliza, seeking only to defeat Xerxes, and protect Eliza... @alexdraganoid As the Olog issues the warning, he turns towards Dante. He sees Delra stab Dante's arm, seemingly unprovoked. The halfling tumbles to the side of the room, clutching his arm. Except that he recognises the halfling... it's Dante!
  4. The Beginning of the End Xerxes has lost, and he knows it. What can he do against Silas, Brawly, and Eliza? Eliza alone could probably beat him into oblivion. He only has twelve armour pieces left, William and Dante are free from his prison, Nadia is not in the vicinity... What about the Olog? Could he maybe... too late. He comes trundling down the path, conferring with Brawly, who points at Xerxes. Shit. Xerxes desperately looks around him. Nathaniel is a no go. Silas would kill him anyway. "Well, if I'm going to die..." Xerxes points at Eliza. And armour pieces emerge from roof tops, six in all... the other six are who knows where? The six on the roofs, however, are holding someone. No... somethings. As Eliza looks up, a charred corpse smashes into her head. She throws it to the side, but soon, the armour pieces throw dozens of them. They start to bury Eliza, and Xerxes grabs Nathaniel's head, still unconscious. Xerxes throws Nathaniel into the pile, hundreds of bodies soon piling above Eliza. They start to tumble off the pile, and eventually, although Brawly hacks desperately away with his spade, the five are trapped under a pile of bodies. Xerxes hears one of the palace windows smash. And as he does, a halfling soars out of it, landing with a thud next to Xerxes. It's Dante, and he immediately lunges for Xerxes... only to go straight through. Xerxes shrugs. "You can't kill me, Dante. How can you, if you can't even touch me?" Dante snarls, tearing at Xerxes, only to run straight through him again. "Give up already. Just leave while you still can." Dante looks at Xerxes, smirking. "I've survived sitting on Azdromath's head. You think I'm going to give up?" Xerxes shrugs, as Dante is grabbed by six armour pieces from behind, restraining his arms. Xerxes casually strolls up to Dante, giving him a pitying look. "You know, it's unfortunate what happened to that.. boyfriend of yours." Dante tenses. "Don't." Xerxes tilts his head. "Should I punish you for being unfaithful to Canonism?" "Why do you care." "Well, I believe that Savoy tended to crucify people. Could be wrong though..." While two armour sets hold Dante down, four set about making a cross. When they finished, they set it up, and grabbed Dante's arm.. "STOP!" Xerxes turned around, and saw Delra, gripping her slayersteel dagger, with a determination that Xerxes would rather avoid. @Pinks Delra watched Dante jump out of the window. She wasn't even able to get a word in, he'd just nodded at her, before leaping through. She stared at the window in shock for a few seconds, before running down the steps. There was a massive pile of corpses, shouts seemingly coming from within... and six armour sets, attempting to crucify Dante. They'd already pinned his non-cursed arm, and Dante was writhing, kicking, but to no avail. "STOP!" Xerxes turned to her, a bemused expression on his face. "Make me." @ThatTromboneGuy Silas saw Eliza get piled over by charred corpses. He lunged at them, tearing them off, but soon, they dropped onto him as well. Daylight was quickly being blotted out by the bodies... Silas was going to need to be creative if he wanted to get out of this. @Tk4522 Brawly tries to bat away the rapidly appearing bodies, but they fall thick and fast. Brawly's just about to continue, until he looks up, seeing a child. And that split second hesitation is all it takes, and he's soon buried under piles of piles of piles of bodies... He looks around him, trying to move. He's not being crushed, only because plenty of the bodies had massive holes in them, and the skin is burned off in several places. Brawly strengthens his grip on his shovel, slowly starting to hack away around him, rage slowly quickening his pace... @alexdraganoid The Olog never thinks twice. As the bodies start to fall, he quickly notes the fastest route, and dashes. He climbs up the palace, lithely jumping onto the roofs. He easily destroys the armour pieces, smashing them inwards. It's far too late to stop the flow of bodies, however, and Eliza, Silas, and Brawly are trapped underneath. However, he sees Xerxes trying to crucify Dante... He can either save the group, or save Dante and kill Xerxes. @gurlpirate As Eliza is dogpiled, there's a small moment where she regrets her choice of words. Because, she considered, what made Rozania, Rozania, was it's people. And it's people were dead, that much was clear... as she was simply buried under charred corpses. The smell was abominable, and everywhere she looked, she saw nothing but death, horror, her people, her friends, all gone... But she also saw a speck of light at the top of the pile. And as Nathaniel went tumbling into the pile, that light was soon replaced with a blue hand, reaching down, trying to pull her up... @ohbother1 Nadia follows Delra, seeing her friends be dogpiled by corpses. But she only has mind for revenge, and that focus is centred on Xerxes. She sneaks around the suits of armour, smiling to herself, gripping the sword that Dante had tossed to the side of the room. It was going to be over for Xerxes, she could feel it.
  5. The Burning of Rozania Nadia is laughing. Wait, no, XERXES is laughing. All those in the throne room, Brawly, Eliza, Dante, William, Silas, Nadia, Nathaniel, Delra... They all hear Nadia screaming in laughter. The armour pieces grab the torches, then scuttle out through the windows, save two, into the cold, dark night. The room is plunged into complete darkness, Nadia, holding a torch in her hand. "You fools..." It started with a crackle, over by the tavern. There was a great Crash, as the fireplace fell on itself. Soon, the whole building was ablaze, and the fire only spread from there. It next hit the bank and auction house. Confused and frightened clerics gaped, as the roof collapsed, instantly crushing them. Soon, the whole housing district was ablaze. Nothing was spared, and everything burnt. That night, screamed echoed around Rozania, as the civilians were burnt alive. Those that tried to escape were slaughtered by the armour pieces. It was genocide, unlike anything that Rozania had seen before. Even Oisin hadn't gone this far. There was simply no one left. The smoke cloud was visible for miles, even from Yong Ping. People gaped, pointing at the cloud. After the fire finally stopped, there was an eerie atmosphere. The smoke acted as a fog, and a suffocating atmosphere covered the city. All that was left was the Palace, and the walls... an empty shell of a once beautiful town. The bright orange and red flames lit up the room, as people watched, shocked. Nadia turned back to the group. The pieces of armour scooped up William and Dante, and started to climb out of the window. "This is where I leave. Pinemaw next, probably." Nadia waved at them, grinning. She turned to leave, but... She turned back to them. "Oh, if any of you so much as think of moving for the next ten minutes, Dante and William will be crushed, and it will be up to you to clean the blood." She turned, touching the throne. "I hope you know it was ME, William, ME, who destroyed Rozania for good. Not Oisin, not Savoy, not Sedan... ME, XERXES CALDING." @gurlpirate Nadia motions at Eliza. "Come on, you're coming with. Through the window." But she doesn't move. She simply stares, looking out of the window, watching her city burn. How did it come to this? She can hear the cries, the slaughter, the madness... and all because a Ghost wanted revenge. But finally, she does move. But to where? @Pinks Delra can hear the screaming. It will haunt her for the rest of her days, the screaming of hundreds burning, with a city. The orange flames illuminate the windows, and light shines through. Nathaniel stands next to her, shell shocked, a face of guilt clearly visible on his face. A voice whispers in his mind, hurried, panicked, saddened. "I didn't know he would do this. I'm so sorry, this is all my fault. I should have killed him." How does she reply? @ThatTromboneGuy Nadia looks at Silas. "You. You're good at fighting. Why don't you fight that Olog?" She points at Mal, a wide smile on her face. "I enjoy this. I can make you do whatever I want, or two people die." Silas does not move. "Go on! Fight! Battle to the death! One life is worth less then two, no?" @alexdraganoid The Olog watches. He can smell the panic on the air. He can smell the blood, the charred corpses. It's a ghastly stench, that fills the air. Burned flesh is not pleasent. The Olog also watches Xerxes tell Silas to fight him. Nadia turns to the Olog. "Same to you, if you even care." Silas turns to the Olog, with a troubled expression on his face.... @Tk4522 "You know, I've always found you fascinating Brawly." Brawly snaps himself out of the horrified trance he was in, watching Rozania burn. "You've never taken me seriously. You dismissed my threat as trivial, and you claimed that you would scourge me from the face of the Earth... yet here I am, alive. For all your threats, I live, and Rozania doesn't." Nadia winks at Brawly. "Hope you'll take me seriously now." And as she turns to go, a sick feeling of rage enters Brawly... but he knows that if he so much as moves, the two die. But is he angry enough to discard that thought? @titanicbomber The image changes again, but now, he's in a mountain hut. There's a relaxing atmosphere. He's sitting in a rocking chair, a blanket covering him and a cup of steaming hot chocolate next to him. This new reality seems to blot out his old one. Xerxes is beside him, sitting in a similar chair, reading a book. He looks up at William, and gives him a soft smile. "The real world is horrifying, isn't it?" He gets up, placing the book on the ground, and sitting back down. "You asked what made you, you. And I know the answer, William... people made you what you are." "People are always remarkably quick to condemn horrid people, but never stop to ask why they're so horrid. If people actually delved into reasoning, past, pain, trauma..." He sighed, taking a sip of the hot chocolate. "The world would be a lot less dangerous. Because in the end, everyone starts out the same. Sure, we may be different species, different looks, but we all start out with a blank slate." He leans forward. "And people colour in that white space, William. Who's your mother?" And he thinks. "Eliza." "Yes. She brought you up, and although you had already suffered before then, she still grew you into what you are today, a broken individual." Xerxes sighed. "I'm sorry that this has happened to you. If I knew how to heal trauma, I would do so instantly... but I can't do that. I can only do that to myself, and to those who permit me control over their mind." And he disappears, leaving William on that beautiful mountain range, to think. Dante Lo's mind is screaming. Dante is driving himself insane, to get rid of Xerxes. And Xerxes is trying to stop him... and it's resulted in a fist fight between the two. Dante, despite being a halfling, is incredibly talented at this. He's spent half his life fighting. Xerxes, on the other hand, is far less experienced at this. The two grapple, Dante landing punches and Xerxes trying to block them, until Xerxes finally wins the mental battle. Dante finds himself unable to move. "What have you done?" "I've won, that's what I've done." Xerxes stands up, panting slightly. He throws out a hand, and Dante seemingly falls through his mind, landing on a pile of bones. "You wanted to drive yourself insane. Fine. I'll drive you insane, instead." And suddenly, Dante is swept away in a river, full of corpses, all cut in half for some strange reason... He looks at one of the corpses, and pales. His boyfriend, Tirilith... He screams. He tries to leave the river, but he can't. There's no bank, and he keeps on bumping into the floating leftovers of the Elvenesse disaster... Until he spots a water fall. He falls off, falling deep into the abyss, until he lands in soft grass. He looks up, and his best friend, John, gets his head ripped off by a bear, it rolling to a stop in his hands. The insides are ripped apart, blood flying everywhere... Dante clutches his head, his sanity slowly breaking as Xerxes makes him relive his worst memories, a thousand times worse...
  6. Guilt Nathaniel Calding watches William rush to the pair on the throne, pulling them back. He reaches out a hand, "DON'T TOUCH THEM!" But once again, his warning is too late. Far too late, as the mist spreads up William's arm, and William collapses to the ground, his eyes glazed over. Nathaniel stumbles away, mumbling, 'No, no, no, no, no, NO!' What's the point? He'll never eradicate Xerxes, and all of this is his fault. He's too weak, and Xerxes is too strong, for him at least. He'd have to rely on Dante and Nadia's strength; and when has relying on other people ever worked? Nathaniel then falls to the ground, his legs not working for some reason. Why couldn't he move his legs? And it comes to him - he hasn't actually walked for a decade. Xerxes did it for him, and Nathaniel is now stuck in the middle of the room, dragging himself to the throne, trying his best to control the emerging chaos... Dante Lo smiles slightly at Xerxes's reflection in his metal prison. "You know what happened here, right?" "Of course. That Ice Witch drove you insane, made you tear out your eye." Dante closes his eyes, and thinks back to the memory. He focus's on the traumatic events, and the room that he's in starts to... bend. Xerxes appears behind Dante. "What are you doing?" Dante shrugs, still focusing on the memories. "Driving my self insane. Your whole... thing relies on a sane host to corrupt, right? You drove Eliza insane because you never intended to actually keep control over her." Xerxes roughly grabs Dante's shoulder, a look of panic on his face. "Stop it!" But Dante gives Xerxes an unnatural grin. "Let me show you why I'm still alive, Xerxes. Let me show you..." Dante lunges at Xerxes, and the two tussle, while Dante's mind falls around them. @Tk4522 Brawly would see an apparition of Nathaniel's, a panicked look on his face. "Brawly, come as fast as you can. Xerxes is possessing Nadia and William Raven, as well as a halfling..." He then disappears, in a whirlwind of whispers. But another apparition appears, this one of Dante Lo, the halfling. It's red, and purely chaotic. It speaks with Xerxes's voice, however. "Brawly, stay away if you wan-" But as Dante applies the pressure, the apparition shimmers slightly, distorting in the air, a hole slowly consuming the apparition from the head. There's a great wind, a scream, and it's gone. What's going on over there? @alexdraganoid The orc observes the same apparitions as Brawly. He starts to head to Rozania, being proactive like that. When he arrives, he finds the place nearly full to the brim with empty armour stands, somehow moving. The windows to the throne room have been smashed by something, and a general feeling of unease emanates from the place. @titanicbomber William does not wake in a prison of his own mind. "I just thought it's a bit overdone, you know?" He wakes in a burning village, people falling to the sword and fire around him. It's a raid, and the village is being massacred. People run, screaming, terrified of death - but it comes all the same. Xerxes points at a certain figure. "Look at you go!" William turns around, and sees his past self murder a family, brutally cutting them down. "You were brilliant! That was some amazing swordsmanship. What happened?" Suddenly, the image changes, and instead of Will cutting a family down, it's Gazigazh. Then it's Eliza, then it's his mother... "That's you. What made you like you are now? What changed you?" @ThatTromboneGuy Even as he says this, heavy slams come from outside. Armour stands are trying to break in through the door. Silas runs to the door and bolts it, but they start to smash through the windows, crawling in like insects! But they make no move. They simply stand next to the throne, forming lines around Nadia, Dante and the now collapsed William. One walks up to Silas, and speaks in a low, growl. "You will leave the throne room. The Self Declared King Xerxes of Rozania has declared it." @gurlpirate "Nothing." Eliza watches the armour pieces scuttle in, and hears the same words. But then, the armour looks to Eliza, and says, 'Although, the King wishes an audience with you. Walk forward.' A path is formed, and she sees Nadia sitting on the throne, but it's clearly Xerxes in control. William still lies sleeping, and Dante is clutching his head, clearly in agony. Nadia speaks. "Say, Eliza. You did some real damage to that halfling over there. And to me, to Silas... to everyone you've ever met, actually." Nadia shrugs. "You seem to spread fear and misery wherever you go. Would the world not be better off without you?" She makes no move after that, simply staring at Eliza. @ohbother1 "This is your new home! I can change it up, if you want." The design changes, now almost exactly the same as her real home, save that there is no door, and the rooms seem to go on forever. Nadia stares at her bedroom, specifically at another door. That wasn't there before, was it? She opens it up, and walks through to her bedroom. What? She turns around, but the door is gone. She sees another door, this time a trapdoor. She climbs down, and this time lands in her attic. What the- Nadia wanders around, trying to find a way out, growing steadily more frustrated. Xerxes let's out a, 'phew.' "While she's distracted..."
  7. Over The Edge Nathaniel Calding finally rests, having fixed Eliza's mind. She'd still have the same memories, and undoubtedly an incredible amount of guilt for what she had done, but at least she was safe now. Xerxes sits in the darkness, unable to do anything, waiting for Nathaniel to finish. Nathaniel finally returns. "What took you so long?" "Unlike me, you're actually good at destroying someone's mind. I'm just good at repairing it." Xerxes chuckles. "You should become a medic... like that Brawly fellow. Then you'd be able to put your talents to use." "More like a Mental Asylum, I think..." They both laugh. Despite hating each other's guts, they're still laughing together... But Nathaniel stops. "Brawly." "What about him?" "That Orc, Brawly, and that figure on the hill are all together now. And if they head for Rozania, then there's nothing that can stop them. You've lost, Xerxes." Xerxes irritably flicks his head, as if a fly had buzzed around it. "And what? If I die, you die. If they stab us with a golden blade, then we both die." Nathaniel thinks for a bit. "But Brawly knows about you. What about him? And Eliza will probably understand, if I tell her." Xerxes did not think of that. He sits on the floor, moodily looking at the floor. It's like he doesn't really care about dying, at all. Until he has an idea. "I can't mess with Eliza anymore. There are still... several people in Rozania who I could mess with. Nadia, that halfling..." Nathaniel sighs. "It won't change the fact that Brawly is coming..." "And ME." Xerxes savagely lunges at Nathaniel, attempting to hold him down while he starts to bring down... his own mind! "I don't care if I go insane, or die... but I'd rather die then see you take control again." Nathaniel's eyes widen, and he throws Xerxes off him, slowly reaching into his own mind, putting the pieces back together. Nathaniel reaches deep into Xerxes, pulling out his very soul, picking him up... Xerxes gives Nathaniel one last grin. "This isn't over, you know." "No doubt." And Nathaniel looks weary, tired, done with dealing with Xerxes. He deposits him on the throne. No one will sit there, anyways, right? Xerxes condenses onto the throne. He can't survive too much exposure to the real world, and he's likely to die, as no one is going to touch him. Until... *** Nadia bursts in, bumping into the armour pieces holding Dante by the arms. Dante seems to be unconscious. Nadia stumbles back, but the armour piece grabs her leg, swinging her to the throne. She desperately tries to grab onto Dante's leg, but instead, the two simply go flying together. Nathaniel turns around, and sees them both being catapulted towards the throne. His eyes widen, and he stretches out a hand - "NO ONE TOUCH THE THRONE!" But it's too late, as the two smash into said throne. Nadia and Dante are knocked unconscious, a red mist slowly settling over them... @Setsuko_ Edward coughs, lifting himself to his feet. Below him, there's devastation. The armour pieces are burning to pieces, and yet... there's an Orc, caught in the tanglefoot potion! "GEEET DIIIIZZ ZKAAAHH OOOFFF. OORR MIII WIIILL FLAAATT LAAATT NEEXXZZTT." Edward notes that the orc just threatened him. @Tk4522 Brawly watches the Orc, chuckling.. until Nathaniel whispers into Brawly's mind. "It's done. Xerxes is gone. But you should still probably head over, just in case. Besides, you need to argue my case, so that I don't instantly die." There's a light laugh. Brawly turns to Edward, and the Orc. No doubt, they would be a great help to fighting off any armour. Edward is currently struggling, though, and the Orc is trapped in a tanglefoot potion. What to do? @alexdraganoid The Orc tries to free himself from the tanglefoot, but is unable to - instead, he lifts up the ground that the potion is connected to! He stumbles around for a bit, before rolling down the hill. He gets to his feet in a rush, annoyed at the fact that he had tripped over. @ThatTromboneGuy Silas removes the knife from Eliza's grasp, and notes that her face becomes a lot calmer, more relaxed, more like Eliza. But the last few pieces of armour surround Silas. He grabs Eliza's knife, slashing through all of them, easily crippling them. In the corner, Nathaniel stumbles off the throne, and seems to turn completely blue, leaving a red orb on the throne. Just looking at it would cause whisperings of evil to enter his mind... until Dante and Nadia are flung directly towards it. Silas shivers despite himself, as the red seemingly merges with the two. They both unconscious on the throne, and Silas can't help but be concerned. Nathaniel stumbles towards Eliza, Silas, throwing the remaining armour stands to the side of the room with but a flick of his finger. "What have I done..." @gurlpirate They slowly come back to her. William, Nadia, Silas... the memories return, drowning out the memories of the bad times, restoring her to who she was. She can remember them all now, she can remember the laughs, the thrills, the good times. Nathaniel, not Xerxes, slowly whispers to her. "Life is not hopeless. It's only hopeless if we decided it is so." Eliza slowly opens her eyes, and sees a concerned Silas, and a terrified Nathaniel, standing over her. Nathaniel gasps in relief, sitting back down on the ground. But his voice continues to speak. "You are the Duchess of Rozania. Your aim isn't to make a change; it's to ensure that there doesn't need to be one." Eliza slowly gets to her feet, and the whispering abates. @titanicbomber William Raven enters the city. He looks around, unable to see if anything is going on. He spots a woman charging up the steps to the palace, and inside, he can hear the sounds of conflict. He runs after her, bursting into the palace. He sees Eliza, bleeding, being held by Silas and Nathaniel, concerned looks on their faces. A halfling is lying on the throne, along with Nadia, both bleeding from the head, a red, shimmering mist slowly enveloping them... Where does he go? @ohbother1 Nadia slumps over the throne, knocked stone cold. But although she sleeps, in her mind, she is seated in a cold, black room, which looks like... nothing. It looks, and feels like nothing, and yet it has substance. A voice behind her scares her. "Nadia Buckfort." She jumps, turning around, scared. "Who are you?" He looks like Nathaniel, but he's clearly not. The Blue Nathaniel that she saw looked kind, warm, gentle. A good person. This Nathaniel looks evil. With twisted features, a cold smile, and an aura of danger. "I am Xerxes Calding. And I am here to make you an offer." He sits down, giving her a smile that made her shiver in her spine. "How would you say your life has been going?" Dante Lo wakes in his mind, gasping and shivering. He doesn't know what's happening. How could he? He's just a halfling who's seem too much. "Far too much." Dante whips around, and sees Xerxes standing in front of him. "What do you want." "Well, I want your body. Your mind. Your soul. Deal?" ". . .No?" "Shame." Xerxes walks up to Dante. "I can just take it by force, you know." Dante kicks Xerxes's leg, causing him to fall onto the ground. "Try me." Xerxes chuckles, standing up, and vanishing in a chorus of whispers. And Dante collapses, holding his head as an ear-splitting chorus of voices nearly makes him go deaf, and he soon will- Xerxes appears again, and the voices disappear with his appearance. "Ready to talk?" Dante slowly gets to his feet, his mouth a hard slash of a line. "I saw what you did to Nathaniel. Why would I let you do it to me?" Xerxes thinks for a bit, and then he disappears. Dante is suddenly in the little cottage in Haense, the one in which he encountered that Frost Witch. He suddenly stops. "No." He pounds on the door, but of course it doesn't open. He punches the windows, but they hold fast. "No!" He tries to climb up the chimney, but it's blocked off at the top. He sits down at the desk, that oh so familiar desk, and stares out of the window, where he sees a reflection, but not of himself... of Xerxes Calding, grinning at him. "Checkmate."
  8. Conflict Nathaniel suddenly gasps, as three of his apparitions are killed nearly simultaneously. He flips his head back. Things aren't going well for him... He was going to have to move. He suddenly stood up, motioning for Delra and Nadia to do the same. "Actually, no talk. We've got to move." He takes a quick peek into Eliza's mind, and gives himself a satisfied nod. He checks on Brawly, and also nods, though a little uncertainly. He decides to mess around with him a bit, he's had it too easy. He then quickly walks to the old tent site, and sees Brawly, with an... apparition? He frowns, attempting to move it, or even have sway over it, but it doesn't move a jot. "Brawly." @ohbother1 Nadia suddenly receives a whispering in her mind. It's Nathaniel's voice, but far less evil. It's the blue version of him, the one standing next to Brawly. "Listen. Things are going to get messy, it's best you head to Rozania and stop Eliza from causing any more harm." Suddenly, hands grow from the ground beneath Brawly and the Apparitions feet. The hands grab Brawly, attempting to hold him in place, while the Apparition starts to be dragged into the sand! Nadia takes the chance, and dashes away, heading to Rozania. *** Nadia arrives at Rozania, and sees a great mass; ONE HUNDRED armour stands, seemingly moving on their own, are leaving the city, while another fifty are slowly encircling the castle, Silas inside. Yet, she hears Eliza, yelling something in a house... to the top left? "Emb... the pa....." Nadia runs after Eliza, and sees Eliza, standing over the shaking form of Dante Lo, curled into a ball, looking at Eliza with a tear stricken face. @Setsuko_ Nathaniel seems to have vanished, screaming in pain as he is obliterated. Yet, far off in the distance, a great clanking can be heard. Edward turns around, and sees a mass of fifty armour suits, seemingly moving on their own, running towards Edward with axes! Nathaniel suddenly appears behind again Edward again, another Apparition. It grins at Edward, gesturing with his hands. "Enjoy." @ThatTromboneGuy Behind Silas, a faint knocking can be heard on the door, along with the loud sound of clanking. As well as Nathaniel's voice. "It is you, who is the fool." Suddenly, the door is broken down, sets of armour, seemingly empty, pouring in, filling all the empty space in the room, surrounding him. They move to attack him. @alexdraganoid The Orc soon gets what he was looking for. An Apparition appears behind the Orc, of Nathaniel, in an apologetic tone. "Apologies, but that's it, you're dying." Fifty armour suits surround the orc, each the size of an average sized Orc themselves! Each is armed with crude, ferrum swords, and no shields. One moves to attack, and suddenly they all rush him, seeking to simply chop him to bits. @gurlpirate Eliza turns around, seeing Nadia at the window. Nadia, her friend, is standing at the window... although of course, she isn't a friend anymore. Dante quietly sobs, pushing himself away from Eliza. Although she doesn't know it, there's a trapdoor at the roof of the building that would allow Dante to leave... but she does know about it, he asked her if it was allowed. What does she do? Talk to Nadia, or stop Dante from escaping? Dante Lo is edging away from Eliza. He doesn't know what's wrong with her, but she's making him feel like nothing, and he doesn't think that he is nothing - so he attempts to edge away from her, aiming for the trapdoor in the attic...
  9. Insanity Nathaniel grins as Eliza breaks. "Headway. Finally." He replaces her empty memories with ones of hatred, anger, and bitterness. He emphasises her memories of other's trauma. He then releases her, leaving her body, an empty shell save for hatred. He then speaks one word. "Rozania." Eliza takes off, running straight for Rozania, far outstripping Nathaniel or Nadia's speed. God help anyone who she came across. Nathaniel turns to Nadia, tilting his head slightly. "I trust that you won't try anything funny?" He turns back to the road. Giggling. Chuckling, and it eventually devolves to a laugh, as Nathaniel Calding screams out laughter, relishing the pain that Eliza and Rozania were about to go through. The corruption had well and truly pierced through his very soul. @Suicidium Suddenly, behind him, an image of Eliza appears. The Eliza gives him a look of hatred, before dashing into the forest, leaving a trail of smoke... @ThatTromboneGuy Nathaniel frowns at the mans concentration. He stares at the black ball, frowning slightly. "What are you doing?" He backs away, then turning to look out the window, seeing a halfling traveller enter the city.... @gurlpirate Eliza can feel nothing but pain. There's nothing else in life. Happy memories? Those didn't happen to her. Her life was now one of hatred, disgust, fear, pain... And her biggest wish was to offload that onto Rozania. As she nears the entrance to the city, she spots a halfling, waving at her. "Hey Eliza! What's up?" Dante. A halfling who's already discoursed to her all his personal trauma, and there's a lot. The perfect target. @Pinks Nathaniel groans, and turns to Delra. "Listen. Eliza is gone now. It's just you, me, and Nadia. So you know what?" He suddenly sits down, motioning for them to do the same. "Let's have a chat." @alexdraganoid Nathaniel frowns, an apparition watching the man leave. "Who the hell even is he?" He sends an apparition, which appears in front of the Orc suddenly, smiling slightly. "Hey! What do you want." @Setsuko_ Nathaniel grins at the man. "Aw... I upset you?" The Eliza in the image suddenly has it's throat slashed. She coughs out blood, collapsing to the ground. But almost as quickly as it happened, she's alright again, acting like nothing happened. Nathaniel raises his dagger to Edwards face. "Next time, it's for real. Lay off." @Tk4522 Brawly arrives at the tent site, but can hear Nathaniel cursing over the wind. He's no where near by... maybe it's not the wind. A seemingly rouge apparition of Nathaniel appears in front of Brawly's horse, distorted and glitching, seemingly fighting off something in his mind. "Brawly. You saw what happened. The corruption hasn't completely taken over yet, there's a part of his soul that's still alive... that's me. We need to stop him, Eliza, or something..." His face pales, but he shakes himself. "Come on. We need to catch Nathaniel. He's at the old te-" But he suddenly screams, his body starting to slowly turn red... Dante Lo finally arrives at Rozania. He sees Eliza tearing towards Rozania, almost like a demon in the wind. Is there something happening, he wonders? Either way, can't hurt to wave... right? He waves, grinning. At least she's alright! @Javert Oisin sees Brawly run off on his horse. He follows, confused as to what's going on. Eventually, he comes to a stop, as seemingly the final hulking suit of armour stands in his way. "Prepare to face your punishment for your crimes, Oisin."
  10. Weakness and failure Nathaniel frowns, Eliza's head twitching slightly as Nathaniel... ELIZA, suddenly collapses to her knees, gasping slightly. The suit of armour encasing Sionnach suddenly collapses, leaving her free. She gives Nathaniel a disgusted look, and runs at full speed back to Rozania. Kane would notice the suits of armour collapsing around him, completely freeing the exit. He gives the images a contemptuous glance, leaving the sewers. Above, Sionnach and Kane reunite... and Nathaniel can no longer see them, the suits of armour, his vantage point, completely gone. He's not strong enough to maintain all this. All those who saw an image of the girl, instead see Eliza kneeling on the ground at the old tent site, screaming into the ground. "Damn it. Damn it, damn it, damn it all!" Eliza shrieks, getting to her feet. The traveller on the hill doesn't care about the girl.. and she's gone anyways. All his leverage, his plan, it's crumbling in front of his eyes... unless. Eliza unsheathes her dagger, holding it to her throat, giving Nadia a hideous smile. "I don't need leverage. I just need Eliza... and you, gullible fool, definition of failure." There's still room for success. But he has to move, they will have spotted his position. Still holding the knife to her throat, Eliza motions to the others. "Come on. We're moving. And don't try anything, or.. well, that's fairly obvious, isn't it?" @Tk4522 The suits of armour blocking off the exit seemingly crumble, the image quickly flickering to Eliza kneeling at the old tent site, screaming into the ground, while Delra and Nadia look on, concerned... but quickly flickering back. They're at the tent site. @Setsuko_ The man would observe the image, previously a girl in armour, but now Eliza kneeling on the ground, screaming, while Nadia and Delra look on, concerned. They're at the tent site. @gurlpirate Nate screamed in her mind, producing an earsplitting noise that nearly broke her mind on it's own. Nathaniel delved deep, smashing through her walls, completely breaking any form of defence that she may have been keeping up. He finally arrives upon Silas, searching, frowning slightly, until she shakily gives a response - "Let me go. I can be more free useful. And if anyone finds out what you've done... I don't think it will go well for you." Nathaniel stops what he's doing. Eliza is trapped in a black space in her mind. Nathaniel appears in front of her, but it's not Nathaniel, it's Silas. And he cuts his throat, his blood pouring to the ground. Eliza cries out, leaping forward. But as she reaches Silas, he disappears, and she falls, deep, deep, deep into her mind, spinning round, round, making her dizzy, as a cold voice cuts through her mind. "It is you who is in trouble Eliza. And I will ensure that no such outburst happens again." She lands finally, slowly getting up, her bones, limbs, mind, soul aching. And suddenly, she screams, Nathaniel now, instead of tearing down walls, tearing down her mind, leaving nothing left but the memories of which caused her pain and fear... breaking her. @ThatTromboneGuy Nathaniel's apparition frowns. He thinks for a bit, then slightly smiles. "Well, I'll put it to you another way. You stay out of my way, or Eliza dies. Get it?" He casually walks over to the man, seemingly ignoring the aura of his weapon. "Nice weapon by the way. Shame that I don't need one to kill your lover..." @Pinks Eliza turns towards Delra, grinning slightly. "Nothing to fear Delra. If you want you can go, I don't really need you anymore. Do what you want." @Suicidium Nathaniel frowns. An image of smoke arises, of Eliza holding a knife to her throat, with Nathaniel resting his chin on her shoulder. "Try to rescue her, and she dies." He grins, an evil grin. "Your move." @Javert Oisin finally arrives in Rozania, and finds the place empty, save for a man entering Eliza's house, followed by an apparition!
  11. The Multiplication of Foes Nathaniel, Eliza, frowns, caught off guard by something. A bead of sweat traces down Eliza's forehead, as she looks at Nadia, her plan slowly coming apart. "You've got a lot of friends, Nadia. Too many... I may have to get rid of some." Just then, a set of armour comes clanking over the horizon, as a suit of armour comes clanking towards them, as if possessed. Eliza quickly opens up the visor, and sees a girl, looking starved. She frowns. "Not where you should be, are we..." She slowly breathes in, intaking the result of her mental battle with the suit. A loss for her. Eliza's face slowly grows into a smile, as Nathaniel realises that he may have to do some quick thinking. "Although it may be better this way." @gurlpirate Nathaniel descends deep into Eliza's mind, angered. "You called Silas? Who even is he?" He storms around her mind, tearing through it, ripping out her most secret of memories, until he finally stumbles across Silas. Nathaniel exhales, slowly thinking his situation through. Brawly is inspecting the sewers, along with Kane. Oisin is heading to Rozania. Kane's daughter is trapped in the armour set, in the tent site. Delra is in the tent site, along with Nadia. Eliza is trapped. That weirdo on the hill is starting to move to Rozania. That Knight in the forest is demanding to know where he is. Out of those people, only Kane had any reason to head back to the tent site - to pick up the book. Therefore, it made sense to neutralise Kane first, and threaten the unnecessary ones. It was doable... just. Nathaniel reassures himself, 'It'll be alright... I have leverage now.' On the other hand, he doesn't want Brawly snooping around... and it looks like he's not fighting Oisin. He has to keep Brawly out of that sewer. What happened in that cave cannot be seen... but he feels that it is already too late. @Javert This time, a singular note flies into Oisin's hands, with a note... with Eliza's handwriting? "Things are alright. I've got it under control. Don't go to Rozania, otherwise Brawly will kill you." What does he do? @Setsuko_ A phantom of reality blows in front of the man... an image of the tent site, portraying Sionnach trapped inside the suit of armour. Cold words wrap around Edward's camp, all hearing his ultimatum. "Do not interfere, or she dies." What does he do? @Tk4522 It seems like there is nothing in the cave, until the phantom events happening in front of Kane seemingly bloom into detail. Brawly watches the events of the Ames raid unfolding before him, the full reason of Nathaniel's acts finally exposed. For before these events, Nathaniel, Delra and a few others sook to solve the Poltergeist problem. From the start of the raid, Nathaniel seemed troubled. But the full extent of his corruption became clear when he was faced with several armour stands, seemingly moving on their own. Nathaniel tore through them, an uncharacteristic rage and anger, only growing the closer he got to the centre, to Ames. Ames himself was protected by four, hulking sets, each as large as an orc, and only more strong. When Nathaniel attempted to take them on, one simply picked him up, throwing him to the side of the cave, clearly injuring Nathaniel, severely. When he finally rose, charging at the spectre controlling the whole thing, the spectre simply spoke the word to him, Sleep. And Nathaniel slept. A red, shimmering mist slowly crept over Nathaniel, covering his body, his soul, his mind in it's evil. And the images stopped. @Suicidium The voice sounds amused at Eugoe's request. "Even if I could, or wanted to, how would I? We're in completely different places.. though, I may give you a small clue, along with some information." A shimmering image appears, portraying Nathaniel, Nadia, a distressed looking female dark elf, and a set of armour... with a girl, trapped inside. "Stop snooping around, or she dies. If you try to find me, she dies. If you inquire about my doings, you die. Understand?" @ThatTromboneGuy Nathaniel does not know how to react to this, this new figure of which he knew nothing about. A figure appears in front of Silas. Although he looks solid enough, one glance is enough to tell that he's an apparition. The figure has scruffy black hair, a blue shirt, and black trousers. He greets Silas, giving him a warm smile. This must be what Nathaniel looked like. He speaks. "Good to meet you Silas! I'm Nathaniel. Listen, we may have gotten off on the wrong foot... but I can assure you, no harm will come to Eliza. I'm simply... borrowing her for a while, to ensure that Nadia, and Delra don't try anything funny." The meaning of his words strangely clash with his pleasant appearance. @sciencepants2 Sionnach feels drained. The humid armour, the lack of water, and mental onslaught have reduced her strength to.. near none. Nathaniel takes a quite moment to slowly flip through her memories, intaking them, gently smiling as he does so. He can connect with this child, he can connect with the principle of mental abuse. A voice rattles around inside the armour. "Sion." "I want to... show you something. What really happened in your life." And he gets to work, rewriting her memories, controlling her thoughts, making her think that Kane was her abuser, completely rewriting her perception of her life. She again, sees Kane torture Ivar... but this time, Kane's the evil one. He slowly tortures him, blood spurting from Ivar's body, his screams piercing through Sionnach, destroying her mind... @Pinks Delra watches as Eliza, no, Nathaniel turns towards her, giving her a warm smile. "Delra. So good to see you again." Eliza, Nathaniel walks over to her, and slides the dagger back into it's sheath. "Just sit tight, and watch the show. I promise it'll be worth it." @Peralien Nathaniel takes the moment to send a visage to Peralien, an image of what he was before he died. "Peralien. Oisin walks to Rozania. Now is your chance to exact revenge... as I shall." And it vanishes, as quickly as it came.
  12. Fool me Twice Nathaniel finishes telling his story. He gets up, his face looking like he's being mentally tortured. Which he is. He motions to Nadia, and the two stand up. Nathaniel runs out of the house, running away from the place, and Nadia follows, confused. "Where are we going?" "Away from here. To the old tent site." "Why?" "I left my diary. I didn't mean to. I can't make it too obvious, or I'm dead. You wouldn't want that, would you?" But as they round the corner, they run smack dab into Delra. Nathaniel's eyes widen. ". . .Hey?" @Javert Oisin receives a letter, seemingly written in blood, that only spoke one word. "Murderer." @Tk4522 Brawly heads into the keep, where a special message has been written just for Brawly, on the wall. Obviously. "You locked me out, but the damage was done. Now, I'll do the same to you." What did it mean? Has Brawly had any prior experience with Nathaniel? @Robin01_boy Upon arriving to the city, Kane would find that Eliza had already left; no one seems to know why. Upon looking for her, Kane would stumble into the sewers, where a few dejected, broken sets of armour lay. The place still had an eerie atmosphere, and anyone who entered the centre of the room next to the fireplace would note whisperings of pain and torture entering their minds, reminding them of their worst memories. Whenever the replay of the memory finished, the voices seemed to say, 'That's nothing.' Putting on the sets of armour is probably a bad idea. @gurlpirate Eliza would find the same book that Kane found, outlining the same events. What she made of this was her decision, but... there might be a run in if she stayed long enough. @Suicidium Clearly, this was not the easier path to choose. Another tree would be found at the end of the road; approaching it would make one more... bloodthirsty then usual. Slashed onto the tree would be the words; "At least I can kill her." It would be a very bad idea to touch the tree. Especially as Eugeo was such a skilled fighter.
  13. The light at the end of the tunnel Nathaniel is regretting his deal with Nadia. "So you want to find William Buckfort?" Nadia nods, still watching the man with a concerned expression. Nathaniel walks away, staring out of the window. Lutoris has told Nathaniel that William doesn't take him seriously enough... or at least, that was back at the tents. How times change. Nathaniel walks back into the room with Nadia. "I said that I would tell you my story. And I will." And he does. And the sheer... pain, suffering and misunderstanding of it will haunt Nadia's memories for the rest of her days. For Nathaniel feels genuine pain. He doesn't want to do this. But he has to... he thinks. @Robin01_boy Kane arrives upon the old tent site. There's nothing there, but a small hole, in which a book can be found. If he were to read said book, the contents would be revealing. It tells a story of a child, made to murder his whole family for the sake of another's enjoyment. This child would go on to move to Haelun'or, trying to leave it all behind him. But at Haelun'or, he found no comfort, only pain, and death. It is at Haelun'or where this child died. But he rose again, seven times, as at first a Revenant, until he pushed a certain Peralien off Ando Alur, when it still rose from the earth. And many times, he attempted to attack Peralien, driving her son insane. Yet he was cured of his pain, for someone named as 'Mr Smile' delivered salvation to his poor, tortured soul. And this ghost became spectre, until... until what? The diary is completely scribbled out after this, only a single word discernible from the blots. "Eliza." Perhaps it would be a good idea to talk to Eliza about Nathaniel? @Tk4522 Brawly enters the city; immediately noting the gloomy atmosphere surrounding the city. Rozania is in a state of slight shock; their duchess has been kidnapped, and bloody, disturbing notes have been left by a ghost that was thought to have changed for the better. What he decided to do was up to him... Although it may be a good idea to ask around about @Suicidium On their ride, they come across a dense forest. They can choose either one of two paths; they can split up, or they can go together down one. On the left, a most sombre and forlorn atmosphere emerges; and from the other, a strange, warped feeling of hope. Which way they decided to go was up to them. @Pinks Upon her travels, Delra would come across a small set of graves, hidden deep within the frosty mountains. They are dedicated to, in succession, "Tirith Calding, May he rest in peace, the peace that he strived for." Another, for "Amelia Calding, May she finally rest," one for "Albus Calding, may he attain what he seeked." And one for... Nathaniel Calding? "Nathaniel Calding, May his strings be cut." His strings be cut? What did it mean? @gurlpirate Eliza, upon inspecting the room, would find only one detail. An address has been torn to pieces, written on parchment. If she fit the pieces together, she could locate the exact location of the house, along with the phase, "Go alone." Did she? @Javert Oisin receives a letter, seemingly written in blood, that only spoke one word. "Murderer."
  14. We must all go back to where it began... Nadia Buckfort gasps as she wakes. Nathaniel, a red ghost is standing over her with a concerned look on his face. She's in a cold, small shack. Snow is falling outside, and far off in the distance, a cry of 'Krusae Zwy Kongzem!' can be heard. Nathaniel sighs in relief, seeing that she's awake. He sits down on the floor across her. Although he's kidnapped her, and brought her halfway across Almaris... there's a look of pain and suffering on his face that speaks more words then words ever could. "Tell me your story, and I'll tell you mine." And she does. @gurlpirate Eliza, upon trying the doorknob to Nadia's room, would find it unlocked. Blood would be stained on the wall, writing: "We must all go back to where it began." @Suicidium@MrIronThing An eerie atmosphere covers the city, at Eugo's entry; the entire city having received such terrible letters. The pair would not have received the letters, but the letters in question covered the wall, Nathaniel not wanting anyone to miss out on his idea of fun. It would be easy to find one of the letters. @Robin01_boy Kane, upon entering the forest, would find a tree in the near centre of the forest. A phrase has been smashed into the wood, in a sort of slanted, clearly panicked writing. 'I left it on the beach.' Perhaps the beach of the original tent site?
  15. [!] The cocoon of evil covering the slums of Rozania has lifted. Nathaniel has vanished, along with Nadia Buckfort! A strange message is written on the wall of the Duchess's, written in... blood. Members of Rozania have been sent letters too, written in the same blood. The messages read, We must all go back to where it began.
  16. FOREGOING BLISS [i] A painting of Eleanora Amador in mourning attire. Eleanora sat. It seemed all she did was sit, sit and remember. One simple word shattered her whole world. Cancer. What an ugly, horrible word. Eleanora could again feel her lungs scream for air and it was only then she realized she’d stopped breathing as if Kaustantin had told her just yesterday. She’d barely seen through her tears as she crashed to her knees. Someone had been wailing. A decrepit, crackling sound that seemed to pierce through Reinmar, and she recalled realizing it was her. Her voice. She was making that awful sound as she tore her hands through her hair. An endless list of questions had echoed through her mind. Why hadn’t he told her? Wasn’t she trustworthy enough? Hadn’t she done everything he’d asked of her to the best of her ability? Hadn’t she sacrificed everything for his trust? For his affection? For his praise? What could he have possibly gained from keeping it from her? Why wasn’t she enough? What use did he have for lies now that one foot was set in the grave? Eventually, the questions narrowed down. Why? The memory changed, and Eleanora placed a trembling gloved hand on an opulent coffin. He was gone, lost to the heavens until she herself met her end. Unhealthily pale cheeks were wet with tears as she struggled to keep herself upright. It felt like a piece of her soul had been torn from her, as if the world had been pulled out from underneath her feet. Her heart was empty, as black as coal as she stared at that coffin. No matter how much she begged and pleaded and prayed, she’d never see his strained smile or hear affirming words. No matter how terribly she wanted him to rise, he would not. She again asked the same question in her mind. Why? It seemed so meaningless now. What was the point of living if those you loved were ripped from you so cruelly? What was the point? There had to be a reason, though she could find none. And so, she sat. Eleanora sat on the balcony overlooking Aurveldt’s courtyard, amidst the potted plants and flowers. She sat as the sun rose and fell and as she was coaxed inside for restless sleep and meager meals. She sat, and she remembered. Sometimes, if it got worse, if the questions were too much to bear, she cried. She screamed into the night sky and clenched her fists till her nails sliced her palms to shreds. She wailed until she was hoarse, forbidding herself even the smallest drop of water that would soothe the pain in her throat. The physical pain was barely even a drop compared to what lingered in her heart. It was like a disease, the same disease that took her father from her. The same question rang through. Why? She remained inconsolable. Time passed and she found herself painting him, so she wouldn’t forget. Every little detail she could remember was drawn, every wrinkle and every stray hair. Not as he had been at the end of his life, gaunt and thin with illness. But as he had been when she was young, strong and sure. The man he had been when he’d let her cling to his sleeve when she was afraid, the man he had been when he hung her watercolor paintings in the hall of the family wing. Every waking hour was spent sketching, erasing, painting. She didn’t speak, she barely ate. She spent all her time covered in charcoal and paint and horsehair from the bristles of her brushes. She didn’t rest once she finished, only allowing herself a shuddering breath as she collapsed once the portrait was framed and hung. In the end, she still sat on the balcony. She hadn’t received an answer to her questions, nor had her grief ebbed any, but she forced herself to shed the black that had accompanied her unrestrained mourning and forced her grief into the little box she kept in her heart, pulling herself from the visible signs of despair. The bruises beneath her eyes faded and left, even if she still stared up at the stars and shouted into oblivion when no one could hear her. She’d barely put her mourning clothes away when word arrived. “Mea lady?” A maid murmured, and Eleanora looked up to spot the shaking girl. With a practiced, gentle smile, she beckoned the maid closer. “Mea lady, i-it’s vyr mamej.” The resulting sobbed wail from a chamber within Aurveldt seemed to echo for miles. Why?
  17. As Andria slowly succumbs to her wounds; she calls for paper and a quill. Slowly she writes letters to few she cared for. Andria smiles, her time on earth drawing to a close as she breathes her last breath in the place she hates the most; Savoy. She dies there on the tavern bench with Leo by her side after being attacked by a bandit with an axe. Now she is finally at peace, her mind swimming with memories of people she holds dearly. She's with Tori now, watching everyone with a sad smile. OOC: Andria Dreth was a character I had played the longest, she was my favorite but of course, all good things must end. My time with her has now ended. Goodbye Andria Dreth, you were fun. And to the ones who formed a relationship with her; I'm so sorry it was so sudden. You all made me so happy and I regret seeing it end but I hope you will understand, I love you all <3 https://open.spotify.com/playlist/53VnxZ3LSNdvrg8tqEHV3J?si=TOJOFBsnSJGO_BnLeXYjlA&dl_branch=1 -A playlist I made for Andria
  18. A Crow’s Farewell The sun was slowly raising as the first lights of the morning bathed Rozania in light gold and the dew on the leaves sparkled lightly under this gentle light, the duchy was calm and only wind and leaves rustling could be heard. A dark elven man in golden plated armour would be seen pack his last baggages onto his trusted mare, fastening the belts placed onto the saddle with decisive movements with a thoughtful expression on his face as he sighed heavily to himself in a stressed manner. “Are we really leaving?” A young and delicate voice said behind Zirath’s back, he slowly turned his head as his golden eyes met the figure of his beloved daughter, Delra that was looking at him with furrowed brows and light sorrow in her eyes. Zirath’s serious expression softened as he approached his daughter and moved her bangs from her forehead to give her a light loving peck between her eyebrows “Aye we are goin’ back to da Hollow” he said with his horrible distorted dwarven accent as he fixed her hair. “But why? Didn’t you hate that place?” Delra sadly chanted with a worried expression on her face, her father gave her a smile as he turned to his mare and lightly caressed her soft and silky snout with his only left hand “Ah hav’ to... for ye and da’ clan” he paused as he turned his head to Delra, her expression unchanged “Donnae worreh, ah got thes” he said to reassure her, it didn’t seem like it worked. The dark elven man sighed as he approached Delra once more as he said softly “Rhaella’s goin’ ta be ther’, so realleh... donnae worreh” he smiled to his daughter, her expression softened slowly as she nodded and quietly approached the mare “I would kiss your cheek but I hate how your beard feels!” She said to tease him. Zirath chuckled as he touched his bushy beard “fockin’ scoundrel” he then turned to look at his house one last time, he looked slightly pained as he ran through the memories. He came to Rozania in his darkest time, he was a soul full of sorrow, desperation and wrath, he succumbed to his madness and damaged his elven home with wrathful fire, harmed many people and fleed to this shelter out of shameful cowardice. He felt sick at that thought, he felt disgusted he became what he hated the most, he became the ones he wanted to destroy and instead destroyed himself, just to avenge someone that did not deserve to be avenged, but he was blind. All those wrongdoings came back as a poisoned arrow to stab his now fleeble heart, letting him fall more and more... and more. Until he guided his old steel companion through his guts, with a hope to end this spiralling fall to misery. That guilt rose in his chest, he felt like he could not breathe anymore, that force building up was released as his only fist impacted against the wooden sign hung on his house’s door, as he did that he snapped back to reality, he panted and looked at the now broken sign “Clan R’Ikarth” written on it. His expression softened as he brushed splinters off his bruised knuckles “Roight” the man whispered to himself as he ran his hand through his long and rebellious silver hair, he nodded and turned around to look as his daughter that was far away she was near the gates waiting for him, an angelic sight to his eyes “for ye and Aesar, for da clan” he continued to whisper to himself like a crazy man. Thanks to this place he was able to recover, heal himself with the help of old friends and family. In fact he decided to go on, to leave his past behind, to be strong, not only for him but for his family, for the people that supported him and that still do, he now smiled as he took off the signs from the now empty home and approached his daughter. “Ye ready?” He asked to Delra, she nodded “aye” she tried to imitate his accent. Zirath pouted and bluntly said “get on da horse” she then mounted on the mare as he took the reins and guided the animal through the gate onto the path, starting a long walk to the Urguan vassal Stygian Hollow, his true home The crow opened his wings of soot and soared into the endless sky leaving an ashen trail, Farewell Rozania. [ooc: thank you for the time spent together! I really enjoyed the stay with you guys even if some things happened, but that’s alright. I love you all and I hope to continue role playing with you guys even if we will be far away. You helped me develop my character more and add something MORE to him, Zirath has come a long way and so did I! It official has been a year for me on this server and i am very happy that last year I chose to join you guys. I have so many memories on this server and many friends now and I am very very happy, my friends helped me and are helping me through bad times in real life as they are helping my character in role play. This is not enough to say how thankful I am. I love you all! Thank you!]
  19. [!] On the tenth of Amber’s Cold the Scath family vacated their family home on raven road. Brawly and Ezra carried one baby each as they made their way through the deserted streets of the moon lit duchy. Zahira clung tightly to her father’s leg as they walked past the gallows and down toward the gate. Ser Dr. Brawly Scath beckoned to the guard who manned the gate who operated the mechanism and afterwards offered a traditional two finger salute to the veteran and his sizable family and Brawly returned this salute along with his son Yerro. The entourage marched out the gate with the patriarch holding his one-year-old daughter, followed by Mellena whose arm was clung to by Yerro. Ezra brought up the rear holding the newest addition, an eleven-month-old human baby named Callum by his adopted parents. The parade of the Scath family would pass the tree from which a noose swung listlessly. Brawly looked to the hangman's knot with a somber expression. Ezra looked to him from the back “Nub.” Brawly turned to her “Wut?” Ezra looked to him with a stern expression “Dwo nub evun gruk about et.” Brawly sighed as he responded “Ah wuzzen. Ah kuld nevur leave yall.” He offers a reassuring smile to his family. Ezra nodded to him “Hozh. Lat haz ben fheelyng dauwn laytelee. Mi uzt wanted dub mayke zur.” Brawly turned to face forward “Ah wus ust rememberin’.” He takes a pause. Ezra doesn’t press the issue further and the rest of the family remained silent, save Callum’s babbling. The party eventually makes their way to the docks of Yong Ping. They board a ship chartered for an unknown location. As Brawly ascended the gang plank Zahira looked to him with an uneasy expression. “Where are we going, daddy?” Brawly was unable to answer for a short moment. He shook his head in his silence as he reached the deck of the ship. “Away frum 'ere…” he breathed. Zahira piped up again as she ran to hug Brawly’s leg “When will we be back?” Before Brawly could answer, the rest of the Scath family boarded the vessel and shared in the second youngest daughter’s question. Tears filled the eyes of both the patriarch and the baby he carried. “Ah… Ah don kno…” Hours later the anchor of the sailing ship was lifted, and the sails lowered. Brawly stood at the bow, alone as the sun began to rise over the horizon, bathing his bearded face in a warm orange light. His face bore a hesitant smile as he basked in the beauty of this moment. Ezra moved from the quarters to join her husband at the bow of the ship. She stood beside her husband, reaching an arm up to wrap around his waist before she buried her head into his side. Brawly reached down to run his fingers through her hair. Although their future was uncertain, Brawly took solace knowing that he would not be alone during this voyage. He had come a long way from the scared and angry young man who had roamed the streets of Talons port. His goal to never be alone again had long been accomplished and he had his sizable family and a multitude of friends that would surely miss him. Brawly still held onto the hope that maybe one day, he would be able to return. He held hope… Hope that he would return to the home he had helped to create… The home he had toiled and sacrificed for… The home he loved… Rozania forever!
  20. The death of Thalion Araen Drakon 12th of the deep cold, 1836 ⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎ He wrote on a page... " Pure white lands sweeping across the horizon, untouched by agents of evil. Deep-dark towers of bark covered in dark greens, sprouting out of this desolate terrain. Bright blue icicles reaching onwards towards a starry-night sky, crystals gleeming and refracting beams of starlight outwards as if a performance for only my eyes to see. Wildlife having left prints in the snow, directed the way to their burrows and nests as if inviting me along. A single lit fire illuminating the folliage around itself, hues of red & orange obsorbed by the overwhelmingly white territory. " White lands always reminded him of his home in Atlas yet that was taken from him. Dark trees reminded him of his hunting trips with father yet he was taken from him. The blue icicles reminded him of the Ivae'Fenn, his own role within it over the countless wars and conflicts, yet it was all taken from him. Wildlife leaving imprints in the snow reminded him of the once-competant leadership of his people, always creating paths for others to recognise & follow yet that competant leadership was taken from them. A single lit fire reminded him of the brothers and sisters he made along his way through the past three-hundred years of life, each one of their deaths engained within memory, they were all taken from him. With a large sigh the Fenn' said: "Of all the atrocities committed, none are soo brutal as those originating from incompetance" giving into the idea that although he gave his utmost, it was all still his own incompetance which led to these numerous outcomes. Drinking through the night and feeding into his affinity with Ikurn'Valai, the Fenn' unbuttoned his clothes by the fire revealing the numerious scars, injuries and missing parts of flesh healed over by skin, incurred through nearly three-hundred years of perpetual war. His breathing was shaky at-best, the pain in his body had been growing more and more for a year now, he was certain his time would soon come. On the eve of the next day he painstakingly placed his armour on, grasping onto his trident and using it as leverage to stand up. Once fully equiped he set out through the wilderness, taking on the many different beasts of the cold north, each time becoming a little more worse off, each time gaining more injuries, each time incuring damage upon his Drakon armour... Muttering to himself once more through the gasps for breath: "none... soo brutal... as those... originating... from incompetance" falling onto a knee in the face of a large white bear, the Drakon contemplated his choice for a single second as the bear rose itself up on two feet, yet still, gaining a decisive look upon his face he'd jab up and catch the bear in the neck with the three prongs of his trident, losing his own strength to hold the weight of such a beast, the bottom of the trident fell and dug deep into the ground, a white bear hung from atop its prongs. The Drakon would set himself upright gasping for air and severely wounded, leaning against the corpse and smacking the side of the white bear a few times, he'd say: "A shame... that..." he'd cough up some blood before continuing "would've made... a nice rug... for the bathroom" his breath continued to slow as the large Elf, dawned in ruined armour, leaned against a large body of white fur, the ruined metal parts of the armour now bent inwards and pierced him. witnessing the Pure-white lands infront of him, the dark-bark trees, the bright-blue icicles and the now burnt-out fire... the Mali'Fenn drew his last breath. ⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎ Knowing his time to be running out, he left a series of notes days prior, the first to his wife, left at her bedside: (( @Starlight)) " Dearest Estelle, We both know the difficulties that faced our kin daily, and I hope you remember each one of those difficulties not for the tough times they created, but rather each of those that I faced head-strong, and at times alone. You know of my numerous injuries, you've seen them countless times and aside from that you still believed me invincible, yet you also knew a Drakon plans to die in service to his kin. Unfortunitely, I am not invincible and I will die, perhaps not in military service, yet still a death in service to our people. I was saved in vain, I tell you now that my injuries will take me soon and I sense you have also known for a while now, perhaps by the time you find this note I will have already passed. Yet even so, do not fall into disarray, I will not allow my death to be one of shame. For this is the last time I dawn my armour, for this the last time I wield my weapon, any & all hostile beasts I encounter lurking near the Fennic' Remnant will perish at my feet and eventually, I too will perish at the feet of one of these beasts, yet I will go honourably, taking many beasts with me, and succeeding in making our lands that little bit more safe for our kin and for our daughter. I must apologize to you Estelle, I will be spending my last moments alone, as much as one wishes to die in the company of love and comfort: I will not allow you nor anyone else to witness the unsightly view of witnessing yet another prideful-Drakon in his last moments of life, I welcome death and I will welcome you when it is your time to join me in Fin’ciwn when Wyrvun judges you worthy. Signed, Thalion" ⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐ A second note was left in the room of the Matriarch of the Drakon bloodline: (( @Sygnus_ @Little_Lulah)) " Honoured leader of the Drakon bloodline, I write to you as a notice, I am Thalion Araen Drakon and I bid you warning. It is known that I did not join the reformed Ivae'Fenn under Vytrek, nor did I stay in the new settlement, and yet still I have served more time in rank and as an officer than anyone else, yet I will not recieve military honours for my death. I fulfilled my responsibilities and what was due, and just like you I once served as the leader of the bloodline and for many Elven-years I built us up as one of, if not the strongest of all the families, so I demand of you: Do not let all that has been built fall into disarray, do not forget our values, our traditions. We are loyal, we are truthful, we are honourable and we are natural-born leaders, guide onto better tomorrows. Even now, as you read this letter I am assuring that my last moments are ones of honour, I will not fail our blood and I will not bring shame to our name. No matter what you hear of me, remember all that I have done, whilst it may not have been perfect, I did my utmost and encurred great loss in the process. Should you fail to uphold our bloodline I am certain Wyrvun will judge you unworthy and to your own fortune you would avoid encurring my wrath upon arriving in Fin'ciwn. Recover my body in the forests to the west, lead our people well and perhaps host a party or two to lighten hearts. Signed, Thalion-Araen of the Drakon Bloodline retired Sentinel of the Ivae'Fenn" ⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎ A third note was placed under the door of Vytrek Tundraks personal room: (( @Monkee)) " Chosen of Wyrvun, I, Thalion-Araen of the Drakon line call upon your resolve, do not follow in your fathers footsteps, do not yet again thrust us into more pointless war on the behalf of those who would not do the same for us. Of all those we aided and protected in the past, none have cared to return the good faith, even now as our Princedom devolves into a remnant they dare not show their face to you, they dare not after soo long tempt you with shallow excuses of their poor faith. As a Drakon I can only emphasize our traditional views; If war is inevitable then let it be upon all those who have foresaken us, the other Elven-kin care little for us, let war wage against those who talk of their might but fail to field enough military might to fend off common bandits. Though we spoke rarely, you were one of character and I do not believe you nor your brothers care to walk the path of your deranged father. Im sure you will hear word of my actions and their repercussions, yet do not think me a fool. I set the standard for all Drakon who come after me, right now resolve & duty must take precedence. Do not fail them. Signed, Thalion-Araen of the Drakon Bloodline retired Sentinel of the Ivae'Fenn" ⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐ The fourth note was slid under the Sylric manor door, meant for a friend (( @GrimDeValhalla)) " Mister old & ugly, Taveric, I have done something idiotic and impulsive once again, im sure you will find out soon enough. I'll be seeing our comrades in Fin'ciwn soon, im sure you'll end up here soon too with your old age. Right now I face down my last day of battle, my old injuries ache though my resolve has never been stronger than now. I may not have been present during the past few years but im sure with your own resolve you may once again pull your bloodline out of obscurity. Im sure your time will come and you will come face-to-face with Wyvrun, if he judges you too ugly to enter I would completely understand his decision, though I am also sure that if you mentioned the great Thalion Drakon Sentinel in the Ivae'Fenn of the Princedom of Fenn, and your role as my trusty-side kick, he'll be sure to let you in. I don't believe much needs to be said, I figured it was best that you found out this way than through someone else. Make sure whoever leads Drakon went I am gone, that they recover my body and I am not left to rot. Get to me before the animals strip my bones of flesh and ideally do it with haste, with your age you may never know how soon you'll keel over and with a face like that you may just be killed for no reason at all. Do be safe, and send Velatha my regards. Signed, Thalion retired Sentinel of the Ivae'Fenn" ⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎ (( OOC disclaimer: )) (( If you haven't gotten a letter or been told by someone who has, then you don't know about his death. ))
  21. 11th of the First Seed Bloodlust answered with Dwarven Ire The Moon rose into the black sky as the sun fell back behind the orcish city. As the orcs and their slaves alike gathered in the Krugmar square, huddling around the lit campfire for warmth the generals of Krug stood around ready to give a speech. Urguani Forces led by Grand King Levian’Tol Grandaxe and Bakir Ireheart moved into the city with a company of 90, made up of Dwarven Legionnaires, Men of Blackwald, The Rustlers, and the GOATS, with compliments of the The Silver Lubba band. They charged the square quickly, cornering one of the Krugmarian Generals, the Urgani force was quickly surrounded by 135 Urks of Krugmar. The Urguani forces slammed their swords and axes together preparing for Battle. Bakir stepped forward asking the cornered general “Where is your Rex? Bring him to us.” Some orcs in the group surrounding them chuckled and awaited the response of their Targoth. The Krugmar General simply responded “Our Rex is dead, died of a heart attack” Bakir shrugged, going to lift his axe pointing it at the throat of the orc “Then we shall take you instead.” With that an orc war cry rang out, the circle of orcish warriors collapsing on the group of 90 dwarves surrounding the Grand King and the Krugmar General. Battle ensued, Urguani and Krugmar forces clashing, the sound of battle filling the streets of the city. The Orcs were quickly driven back into their own gatehouse, orc bodies filling the square with not one dwarf being scathed. The remaining warriors of Krug and with their two Generals hid in the gatehouse expecting to be safe from the dwarves that were waiting inside. The Warriors of Sedan and Silver Lubba suddenly pushed into the gates where the orcs were hiding, quickly overcoming them and dealing with them easily. Axes and swords were raised into the air and thereafter, Urguan War Cries filled the Orcish square as the corpses of Krug’s kin began to rot. The Raid party then returned to Kal'Darakaan. Victorious, hauling a sack of orcish heads behind him.
  22. A lonesome Uruk, clad in pale-red steel. Once youthful, vibrant, and naive. Now weary, tired, and wise. Though he had met many enemies throughout his long life, he knew that time would always be his greatest challenge. He made his way down the winding path towards Krugmar, having once again decided to return home - just to visit one last time. Though he could not call himself the most loyal of Orcs, he still knew - deep in his heart - that Krugmar: a land of blood, combat and death, would always be where he came from and where he would return to no matter what. Though his vision faded, and the world around him continued to turn black, he urged onwards towards the gates of Krugmar. Lifting his helmet, now just a bucket of rust, off of his head: he dropped it to the dirt beneath him. Onwards he stumbled. Unclasping his trusty chestplate, he allowed it to fall behind him like a snake would shed its skin: feeling free for the first time in many years. Onwards he stumbled. His back would bend no more; he could not find the strength to remove the rest of his broken, fragile armour. So, onwards he stumbled. He gazed around at the many heads decorating the bridge to Krugmar: his eyes matching their petrified gaze, with their mouth agape - serving to remind him of the life he had led, like many other Uruks. He coughed once, blood seeping onto his red skin as he tried to cover his mouth: attempting to keep any remaining vitality inside his wretched body from leaving. His ears perked at the sound of a roaring forge, not far from the gates he had just entered. Onwards he stumbled, his gaze and mind affixed upon the open forge: its smoke rising into the night sky. Making his way down the steps, slowly, he found himself looking around for any fellow Uruks: perhaps intending to rely on his brothers for once in his lonesome life, but found only the comfort of cawing crows and the call of the fire ahead. Onwards he stumbled, finally finding himself where he had spent much of his time. Kneeling down before the soothing orange flames, his arm resting on the anvil beside him to support his aged bones. He stared deep into the flames, as he had many times before, but for once he thought not of crafting; not of steel; nor of blood. His mind raced as he instead thought back on his companions. His teacher, Shagarath. His friend and respected warrior, Wud. His first and most respected Rex, Kharak. He frowned as the faces he conjured in his mind faded: struggling to picture those who had grown alongside. “I’m sorry, brothers.” He could feel his heart beginning to slow. His eyes begged to rest, but he continued to vigilantly stare into the fire of the forge. His back slumped, but his head continued to face forwards as it had always done. “I’m coming… To reunite with you all at last.” His heart slowed and performed its final symphony: one last slow beat. The colour in his eyes had now faded, overtaken by the bright orange of the forge. Gukdan was finally home.
  23. V A H A S T R A BLACK GNOSIS A homebrew, late-antiquity, fantasy nations FRP Over a millennium ago, a lowly petty king of a backwater state on the Taloxatlan island was struck with a sudden drive. As legends go, the man would journey to the highest peak on the island, and there he waited. And prayed. And waited. Many days and nights past, all bringing new challenges - scorching heat, buzzards, and soon thirst, and hunger. But this man stood firm. His body began to fail, his mind began to doubt, but he did not move. Just as his eyes began to force themselves shut, perhaps forever, they were stirred by the passing of a great shadow. A thunderous crash rang out across the peak, and the earth shuddered in anticipation. The man looked up, and his gaze was met with that of an ancient golden dragon. But he did not quiver, for he knew this was his purpose. His hand instinctively placed itself on his snout, and the dragon bowed before him. “Let the world behold, and let darkness tremble! Our great work begins, and peace and prosperity shall follow forevermore - under the light of the Sun!” These legendary words spoken by Lightbringer Arkhelon, senior to the mountains themselves, to Kaloratlon - Firstborn of the Sun - were the genesis of a new world. Together, the man and the dragon took flight across the Mesogean, and through fire and light they laid the foundation of the next thousand years. The Anakhta Elraion had been forged. Founding Myth of the Elraic Empire —- (Music:) Map of the known world, featuring the Elraic Empire. (Red Areas are outside spawn) For over a millennium, civilisation around the Mesogean Sea has been under the shadow of the Anakhta Elraion - the Elraic Empire. From their position on the northern coast of Hekoretlos, their influence is felt on all the shores of the heart of the west. By no means has it gone unchallenged, but in the centuries of its slow and steady expansion, there have been very few true threats to the Empire - not with the might of the Lightbringer to defend it, as he has since its birth. However, a great many things can prosper under a shadow, as they have both on Hekoretlos and the northern wilds of Gerakunos. From the ashen mage-lords of Satyghrios, to the blood-drinking, demon-worshipping kings of Taloxatla, and the seaborne city-states all along the coasts that grow fat under the Elraic Peace, many have made their stake in the world, and none would give it up easily. On the fringes, the Empire may be ignored, even entirely unknown. But where civilisation is centred, all have been forced to make their own way of dealing with the preeminent power, whether it be with gold, supplication, or fierce resistance. And while doing so, they fight bitterly over that which the Empire does not yet deign to touch. It is into this rhythm that the world has settled, where lives are traded back and forth over fragments of an unreceding shadow. Many, especially within the Empire, see this as the natural state and fate of mortalkind. But change always comes, as it has many times even within the Empire, as well as those seeking to seize the reins of it. The year is 1048, the Year of the Fool, the year of new beginnings, of latent potential, of freedom - and of the precipice. It is an age where blood, glory, and wonder flow bountifully. One where a single, overlooked finger on the scales of fate may tip the balance, and the face of Vahastra be once again changed forevermore. —- Vahastra is a fantasy nations roleplay set in an eponymous homebrew world in its own version of Late Antiquity. The known part of this world is that to the west and north of the Elraic Empire, an ancient empire that venerates the Immortal Sun, Sehula, and the Emperors and Empresses that descend from her according to legend. This Empire is analogous to the Roman Empire at its height in terms of its geopolitical position, though not in structure. While most players will be outside the Empire, there are multiple spaces for those who may want to play within it as a “province”. The Empire is a patchwork in terms of its provincial governance, with appointed governors, integrated client kings, holy orders, and others all being present as internal stakeholders, and represented in an Imperial Council. However, most of the known world exists outside the Empire, and while it's presence is felt at least somewhat across it, there is a great deal of room for the independent agendas and needs of the many free kingdoms, tribes, and cities, who will be formed out of the majority of players and NPCs. Vahastra is heavily shaped by the multiple magics present in it, and the associated faiths and practices of the cultures that use them. Each magic type splits into two branches halfway up the tree, with each branch representing divergent schools, faiths, or practices that share a common origin. Chief among these are the light magics of what is commonly seen as a divine pair - the Sun Goddess, known in the empire as Sehula, and the Moon God, commonly known as Mehnos. However, across the known world every culture will have its own commonly practiced sorceries, and their own traditions and tales to explain them or venerate their use. With this being the case, while some nations are fully devoted to one magic, many have minorities or syncretisms that result in another magic of an entirely different sort also being utilised. To the end of representing this, players get one main magic branch, and one secondary branch. The world of Vahastra is also host to three races of humanoid - humans, and Dusii and Dawekii. Dusii are a less populous race shunned by many, for their origin is believed to come from the Stygioi. Their appearance tends not to help this, having flesh like stone, with more socially prominent ones boasting crests and floating, fiery symbols on their heads. They also boast an affinity with magic, though their bodies are a little more frail than those of their fleshier brethren. Dawekii are the stark opposite - though a little shorter than humans, they are far bulkier and more robust. They lack capability with magics other than Shamanism, Druidism, and the Stygian Arts, and they tend to be less capable of the more specialised skills of civilisation, though are by no means less intelligent. Both are by and large seen and treated as second-class citizens or worse in human civilisations, including the Empire, with Dusii tending to either live in that state or in reclusive, isolated city-states reflecting their low population, while Dawekii tend to live outside civilisation in Iron-Age tribes in the areas closer to the known world's frontier. Rules: No metagaming, powergaming, etc Persistent or targeted OOC toxicity will be punished If you have an issue with modding, take it up with the mod first Add the codeword ‘boink’ to the end of your application Try to avoid obnoxiously memey names for characters or places or whatever. As a rule of thumb for what’s obnoxious, if it being a meme isn’t obvious at first glance, it’s fine. Magic: As previously stated, you pick two magic branches - a main and a secondary. As seen in the above image, there are 10 magic trees, each of which have two sub-branches, all with an equal number of spells ranging in power from T1 to T5. These spells are cast by Adepts, who can cast T1-T3 spells, and Mages, who can cast up to T5 (with each individual able to cast only one sub-branch). Both of your choices are specifically of one sub-branch of a tree - you are able to recruit mages for your main branch, and you can also recruit them for your secondary if your sub-branch is in the same tree. For example, if your main branch is the Immortal Sun branch of Solar Magic, and your secondary is the Raging Sun branch, you are able to recruit both mages and adepts for both. However, if your secondary is outside your main branch's tree, such as having Immortal Sun as a main and Eternal Moon as a secondary, you can only recruit adepts for the secondary branch, and therefore only cast up to T3 spells in it. Almost all combinations are fine, except the following: Lunar Magic - Necromancy Lunar Magic - Stygian Arts Solar Magic - Necromancy Solar Magic - Stygian Arts Shamanism - Stygian Arts Vice versa applies When the game starts, you will start with only your magics' T1 and T2 spells unlocked, which can be seen on the below mechanics sheet. Progression will be explained in Discord, and feel free to ask away in there for any questions you have so you can pick your magics. Mechanics: Mechanics and Rules Sheet The mechanics may appear daunting at first, but please don’t be put off if they do - other players and I will be more than happy to explain anything, and there’ll be a player spreadsheet that will allow you to not have to worry about figuring out everything about the rules or doing maths every turn for your nations. Here’s a brief breakdown of some core concepts: The map will be available on Discord to choose your starting position. Application: Discord name (PM if you wish): Nation Type: (Kingdom/City State/Tribal) Nation Flag (optional): Nation Name: Are you in the Elraic Empire? (If so state in what way you're a sub-region of the empire - client kingdom, appointed/hereditary governor, military order, etc) Nation Culture (Brief description): Nation History: Nation Race (Human, Dusii, Dawekii): Special Characters (Up to 3, generals/mages/agents may be added or included if purchased with starting funds): Primary Magic: Secondary Magic: Unique Point of Interest (Unique "wonder" building/location/artefact, natural or otherwise, that will confer a small bonus TBD):
  24. This is a series of entries in a journal that are written by a historian about Sirame Khel. They will be entered into the grand library of Dragur upon the event of Tide Falkmoor’s death or that of the order. (OOC: so you can't use this information until Tide Falkmoor has died) On the 15th of the deep cold, 1780, Sirame Khel was founded. There was no fanfare or celebration. This order would forever hide in the shadows, protecting itself from prying eyes. At the time there were only three dark elves whose only connection was their hope for the future and their belief in the honor of the Ashen Folk. Their names were Tide Falkmoor, Salaron Chaeydark, and Selmas Chaeydark. They pledged to change the world and the fate of their race. Salaron Chaeydark was a brazen, tall, and haughty ‘Ker. He believed that the dark elves should be proud and thought that an open assault upon the order of the realm would soon be necessary. He wore dark leather and carried with him a short sword. He spoke with great conviction of the plans of the order and was determined to see it as far as he could. Little did he know that his part in the story would end sooner then any would think. Selmas Chaeydark, the sister of Salaron Chaeydark, was a quiet, younger ‘Ker. She had a full and loving heart and wished to help the growth of Sirame Khel because her brother was invested and she believed in helping those poor and powerless. She would speak slowly as she then could not speak common as well as most but still understood more about the future of Sirame Khel then any other. Tide Falkmoor was a sly, quiet ‘Ker. He, unlike Salaron, believed that the authority of Sirame Khel and of the Ashen Folk could only be grown through slow and gradual growth. He was a poet, a singer, and an expert swordself. For Tide, the world changed through words and not actions. He considered fighting to be beneath him and through his methods, the power and influence of Sirame Khel would grow exponentially. His speech was always considered and careful. Yet beneath this veneer of genteel, cultured, intellectualism hid a vibrant, dangerous elf who, when faced with a challenge, would forge forward no matter what obstacles stood in his way. While not evil, Tide Falkmoor would never shrink from any method so long as he got what he wanted. This small group of dark elves immediately began building a network of elves and spies. At first success seemed inevitable. Elves flocked to join. Sirame Khel even made a deal with the leader of Ker’okarn to gain land in the city of Krugmar. There they began to build the tower of Sirame Khel. This would be the place where the members would meet met for many years. However, tragedy struck sooner than any would have expected. Salaron Chaeydark was slain during a moonless night by a faceless guard. This death destroyed Selmas Chaeydark. She had lost her father only a few years earlier. Now she was without family and for the Ashen Folk, family is everything. This also meant that the order of Sirame Khel had lost someone who was important to the cause. Tide Falkmoor was determined to continue the order in memory of his friend. He was now the sole leader of Sirame Khel and as a result, the methods of the order would from then on would follow only his philosophy of quiet subterfuge and would avoid antagonizing any group, race, or nation. However, Salaron would always remain at the heart of the order, leading it in his name. His excitable spirit would guide the order towards higher heights and would never be forgotten by those who followed the order. The Tide A poem written by Tide Falkmoor at this time. Roaring waves, Pouring over deep red stones. Slow water, Flowing into sharp wide cracks. For years, the tide has risen, Yet now waves lap on shores. Sparkling drops, Flying orange in bright rosy light. Streaming rays, Turns oceans to gold, Rocks to pillars, And fish to angels. When water hits a wall, Mountains move. Entry one of “The History of Sirame Khel and its Rise to Power” by Selion Drogon.
  25. This account is written by Selion Drogon. The information included is supposedly an exact account of the creation of Sirame Khel. Tide Falkmoor entered the gates of Ker’Okarn. His eyes flitted from side to side, taking in the surroundings. Was this place what he was looking for? Could this be the very place to bring his plans into action? His piercing red eyes roamed swiftly over the sandy walls. He breathed in. The sea air again rushed past his face. His white hair wafted in the wind. His tired eyes burned in the darkness of the late evening. The silhouette of broad walls fell on the ground. Shadows filled the corners giving the light from torches posted periodically a sinister gleam. They danced, endlessly fighting the darkness, or perhaps embracing it. Tide glanced slightly fearfully into the darkness. His footsteps rebounded off the walls echoing in the night. “Perhaps it’s abandoned,” he muttered to himself as much to quench his irrational fear of the dark then anything else. He then shook his head. A dark elf afraid of the dark, what joke. He laughed quietly at himself. He had spent too much time with forest elves. Then a sound burst from the shadows behind him. It was a sound that would have chilled any heart, of any race. For in the quiet, the dusk, the night that so quickly falls upon deserts like an axe on wood, there was a terrible growl. Tide froze. He hadn’t seen anything when he came into the city but he supposed that the shadows must have been too heavy. Tide’s hand fell to his sword hilt, sweat forming on his knuckles. Tide knew that there were many beasts in this realm for which his sword would have no purpose. If one of those creatures laid behind him, he would surely die. He now would have to lay his life into the hands of the ancestors. He took a deep breath, knowing that once he moved the creature would surely spring. His sword sprung from his sheath like water from a mountain spring. Tide whipped around, his sword blade diving forward like a spear, its point turned slightly downward. The sound of metal striking metal rang through the small city. A gruff but powerful voice rang across the square. “Trying to kill something, are you?” Tide immediately retracted his sword. He looked to who had spoken. It was a ‘Ker, tall and proud. He was also sheaving a beautiful and well-wrought sword in his leather sheaf. He gave Tide a suspicious look. “You don’t have to kill everything that moves, Illr.” He motioned to the shadows, “could have killed snowflake here.” Tide saw that the thing he had heard was an altogether harmless looking polar bear who was tied to a post. He let out a breathe. He had, after all, been frightened of nothing. “I’m truly sorry. I think the night may have made my mind believe in monsters that weren't there.” Tide glanced at the ‘Ker’s face, which was not unkind. In fact a small smile broke out at these words. “Ah ,even the best among us are still afraid of the night. The dark elves are not named such because of their affinity with that which is dark or evil!” The stranger paused before continuing “though some among us seem to have forgotten this.” The dark elf shook his head bringing himself back to the conversation. “So, what are you doing in Ker’Okarn at this time of night?” Tide walked forward, and gave the ‘Ker a slight bow. His eyes, however, never left the ‘Ker’s hand, which was still resting upon the jewel encrusted hilt of his sword. Tide had long ago learned not to take a friendly voice as proof of friendly intentions. “For the moment, Illr, I seek only a place to stay the night. Any conversations of my intent could wait until the morning couldn’t they?” The unknown ‘Ker frowned, his eyes also not straying from Tide. “Let us at least exchange names first. I can see you are tired from your journey...” the ‘Ker glanced at Tide’s sun-burned face and cracked skin, “and soon I can give you all that you might need, but I need to be sure that I can trust you. My name is Artius Morvayn, Patriarch of the Bands of Ker’Okarn and you are?” Tide glanced at the ‘Ker. He realized that he should have given his name earlier but his manners had abandoned him. His legs buckled, unable to hold his weight any longer. After the scare with the polar bear, any adrenaline that may have been fueling his ability to stand straight was no longer there. “Tide Falkmoor” the elf managed to mumble before his legs gave out and he fell to the ground. His eyes closed from exhaustion. The torchlight played on the backs of his eyelids. They laughed and cackled, their eyes black as coal. They stabbed each other, danced with each other to music only they could hear. Now they were carrying him, lifting him to the sky, to the light, and then Tide Falkmoor could remember no more. He awoke in a comfortable linen bed the next day. Poem written by Tide Falkmoor at this time: The water bubbled, Dark from dirty depths. Rising like many messages, Under the glow of a setting sun. The pond hid its face, Shy from prying light. It grumbled gently, As the bubbles popped. I stare as the sun does, To find a hidden gem. Deep below the surface, A secret must lie. I stood as the sun sinks, To slowly walk, The orange path, Away from little bubbles, Entry three of “The History of Sirame Khel and its Rise to Power” by Selion Drogon
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