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 (CURRENT) Ascending Souls Era

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yanamari

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PostSubject: (CURRENT) Ascending Souls Era   Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:01 pm

Archimedes laid in a fitful sleep. Not since his exaltation had his bones and joints ached with a slow burning fire of age. Every nerve felt on fire with every move, screams in his throat not nearly as loud as the pleading of the voice within. How could he communicate with this thing within? Perhaps it was like the haunting dream they shared in Sijan, to learn of their past? Or possession? Vile Whisper taught him far more than any Lunar No Moon of the demons and underworld, of how they moved and what they needed.

This felt entirely different. Something grew in his stomach, like a festering tap worm, consuming everything he ate, and at times himself. Whatever the evil god Five Days Darkness laid in him clung to life through his own. He might have fared well, but not with Dane constantly seeking to cleanse him. Now he felt torn between two.

Hands pulled at Archimedes receiving what he felt was a stern grumble, but left him as a pathetic mewl. "No..."

"I do this for the Sun and to help you." Glorious sunlight filled the large muscle corded hands of Dane, driving back to horror that twisted his friend. He could feel it like a cancer, drawing on essence, and begging to be cut from this world and every other. Essence poured harder, deeper, a basking warmth of life...

...that drove the shard of Five Days Darkness deeper into Archimedes. His spine popped as he arched hard, eyes rolling back and mouth opening wide. Dry hoarse screams split the air as he begged yet again for his life. And within that scream....something else spoke.
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PostSubject: Re: (CURRENT) Ascending Souls Era   Sun Nov 25, 2012 7:26 pm

Theon wrapped the arm of Ivory around his shoulders, lugging her through the halls of the submarine with a smirk and a muttered curse. How many numerous days and nights had Jeeves done this for him? And his store manager? Far too many times to count. He would have loved nothing more than to indulge like the woman petting the side of his face haphazardly stuck in the world of the drugs he fashioned for her. But for once, they all depended on him. His quick tongue and ease with people, learning truths among lies, and having the only sane thoughts.

"Loook just...just toss me in your bed...and cuddle me with rabbits...I love rabbits..." Ivory giggled into his neck, straining the need of his loins and focus of his head.

"Not now. Not ever. You're getting tossed. And I'm finally getting....rest..."

As the door opened, Theon found a sight he feared would come. Archimedes looked deathly pale with shadows of black smoke filling his eyes, filling the small veins leaving lines across his face. A pallid hand raised with a shaking in the fingers, as those lips parted and a voice emitted.

"Save me...save us. Or we both die."

"Fuck me." Dropping Ivory to the floor, Theon rushed over to haul the old man to his bed from the floor where he collapsed. "Archimedes, what is happening. I don't understand. And Dane--"

The thing boned hand gripped into his clothing and pulled with surprising strength. "The knight seeks my death. Burning into me with his light. If I die, so does your friend. I brought you here..." His words cracked into coughs, spittled in black. His eyes strained, body arched and snapped as if in death throes.

"Stop talking. I don't know what's going on. But we'll figure it out. Ok?" Ivory began snoring from his feet, the old man wheezed, and in the other room Dane and the dragon-blood screamed at each other.

"I deserve a vacation after this."
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PostSubject: Re: (CURRENT) Ascending Souls Era   Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:32 pm

A year passed, nearly so, and I find myself remembering what brought me to this place. Yet why? None of the others speaks of it. The needle of those lost two days burns within me. A rough sound of thick glass breaking sheered around Archimedes, jarring his senses to grinding teeth and slitting his eyes. Yet he could not speak a word, only write them in this journal. Vile had offered him the gift when he returned from the depths of the labyrinth. Between the parchment and pantomine, they finally broke through the cursed silence.

Yet it was Archimedes who could not speak this time as Vile stood within a chamber of crystal crafted with aid of a demon and spellcraft. For months they labored upon this contraption, carving with the broken fang of an abaia eel sets of constellations within the interior. Archimedes kept quartz crystal within the brightness of the sun, traveling without end for days to keep them always lit.

While he remained in the light, Vile encased himself in the dark of a coffin of Sijan darkwood and earth from the Underworld. Whispers curled around him, filling his mind and body with layers of nightmares and horrors that left him shaking visibly when Archimedes finally released him.

The quartz crystals socketed within the casing exploded in light. A searing of flesh sizzled and popped within the casing as Vile stood within. He had not spoken, kept his mouth shut through sheer will alone. As the sun rose to its zenith, the rays of sunshine burned until the chamber literally glowed. Each side ground harder together, vibrating with intensity.

Archimedes rose from his seat far too quickly, the journal from his lap landing hard. Vile could no longer be seen within the chamber until a scream tore from his throat, raw and distorted. Inky blackness poured from his throat, warring against the brightness, forced forth from his body and the nightmares he experienced, his life, his very soul. Boney fingers clawed at the quartz until the blackness completely filled the case.

Eyes wide and wild, Archimedes searched for his dearest friend as shock and concern burned adrenaline through him. Essence ripped through his body almost too quickly to transition as he tried desperately to find the hands. One fell hard against the crystal again, banging to escape.

"VILE!" The one word screamed from Archimedes' throat sent a single crack through the crystal. They spidered quickly until the entire structure quaked and shattered. The old man flew back a few feet, thin lines of blood dripping down his skin from numerous splinters. With a shake of head, he stumbled and crawled toward the darkness that spiraled over Vile, coiling upward as smoke given life. Something of it awoke fright in Archimedes.

"No....no no..." His lips quivered with a fear he could not place. The darkness turned to him, no eyes within it yet the Lunar could feel consideration, curiosity, and hunger.

"Kthar'turak thai'lan-kar!" Lips spittle marked in dark blood, fingers scored through by sharded crystal, Vile expelled what breath remained in his lungs to call back to the creature given form in the ancient tongue of primordials. The mere usage heralded a need in Archimedes to fling back or strike.

The darkness careened around, spiraling down into the darkest recesses of the room and Vile's own armor. They laid there, both gulping for air and allowing the essence within them to heal what damage they had.

"Is it done then?" Old eyes peered towards Vile, to see a single nod.

"Yes...we learn...soon." The demonic eyes closed as sleep claimed him.
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PostSubject: Re: (CURRENT) Ascending Souls Era   Tue Dec 11, 2012 8:58 pm

Lilith stood before the crystal window, gazing upon a world of bones. The majestic stone roads, walls of homes and schools, remained while the people within the city had long since died. Eyes slitting, memories warred in Lilith's mind, burning holes into her chest that threatened tears. Despite so many killed, murdered and fallen, in the war of exalts, one ever remained outside of her reach.

Her stomach knotted remembering, but nothing could stop her from doing so. Nothing but the drugs in the Wyld and running away. Arms crossing, claws digging into her armor, the wisdom of her totem lost its way to the fury and pain in her chest.

Times past felt so painfully fresh....

Holding her body in a most painful pose, Lilith sought to hold it without shivering or moving. For months she trained, sinking claws into hearts and spear along spines. Few could ever stop the assassin, as she moved with the fluid power of Luna's shifting touch to end lives in seconds or slowly over days. And still she could smile, laugh, dance, and enjoy life as brightly as any other.

Yet she held to this one position, growling low in her throat.

"Balance, student." The delightful voice only infuriated Lilith more as she tossed flower petals at her charge. The Lunar brought Brigette no end of enjoyment, especially in these lessons.

"Why must I hold so still in this pose? Please explain this..." Her legs and arms twisted in strange positions, spine curved, holding a heavy stone. "And this stone?"

The plain woman with eyes like gems neared to run fingers along shaking limbs to place her better. "You will not hold a stone, but a chalice. Filled with precious waters. And I shall be summoning an elemental. I would rather not have us killed or involved in besting the creature. Earning its admiration would be best. Now--"

"Now...she is mine. My lady Brigette." The voice made every shivering muscle under Brigette's hands rigid with a stillness she had not witnessed before in Lilith.

Settling the stone upon the pedestal, Lilith leaped down into Desus' arms. A soft kiss, kind look, he brushed back her hair of his most prized possession. "And how is my lovely lady?"

"All the finer now, my lord." The shorn hair whispered through his fingers, feathers all the more prominent with the look he preferred. The smile he gave mirrored darkly in his eyes. A look she knew so well.

"Lady Brigette, I must ask to enjoy a final night with my wife before she travels at your side." His fingers curled around one feather tugging.

"Of course, Lord Desus. I shall see you in the morn, Lilith, at the eastern gate." The pair remained entwined as loving newlyweds.

Through the city of Rathess, they whispered softly with eager looks and laughter. Those watching the solar and lunar felt lighter in their own lives for their happiness. The truth...was coming...

...as the door closed, symbols flared with inner essence, dampening all sounds. Desus watched his lovely young wife twirl free of her scarves, leaving shoes in a tidy pile. His fingers wrapped tightly around her throat, his other arm forcing her hard over a low chair. The wood dug into her ribs as she tried to scream, yet no air escaped from his grasp. Cloth pulled, a hardness thrust against her, and she tried valiantly to send her mind away until he finished.

Knuckles careened her head back. "Stay with me...love." Essence forced her mind open to him, bringing to focus every fear she felt. Fists so tightly curled they cracked laid into her body as he took what he wanted.

Lilith sought to wrap an arm over her head, only to feel the bone pop. Blinding pain brought tears to her eyes as blood gushed from a cut lip and busted nose. She could not escape, only endure.


"No more." The memories felt as fresh now as when leaving the world with Brigette. She had not killed Desus. So many of her comrades believed she had something to do with it. Only Brigette understood why the woman cried, so very sad to lose her husband, and joyous to be free.

Grinding her teeth, she waited for Theon. Thinking of him helped loosen her muscles. "You are dead, Desus. You can't hurt me. No more."

The sound of feet signaled the arrival of others, and a hand laid so kindly to her arm. "find anything?" Theon peered at Lilith with true interest.

She wanted to smile, but could not. "Only remembering."
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PostSubject: Re: (CURRENT) Ascending Souls Era   Thu Dec 20, 2012 5:08 pm

Slipping away from the group took skill, but just the right moment finally arrived while most were asleep. The day seemed to drag on painfully as the group continued to travel the city, peering into places, forcing through doors, and finally following some sort of dinosaur that spoke. The steps were painfully high, forcing Lynn to contort and leap about, skinning her hands and knees. Yet nothing of her body's aches compared to the strange sensations from Theon.

Slumping out of sight of the others, one of them awake at their watch but content to let her have a moment, she felt over the places Theon had laid his hands and did something. It reminded her painfully of a time around Ivory in the past year. Something from him pushed into her, as if sh were a cup being filled. The hollow places so easy to handle when left alone became all the more prominent. Flickers of memories left her thoughts spinning, as she simply tried to piece together why.

For a brief moment, she remembered everything. Tomes and formula buzzed in her mind's eye, leaping all those disjointed fragments of information into solid thoughts. She knew how to fix the broken struts of Jakaou's ship. She could walk Theon through the complexities of his business. She even recalled a famous recipe for wyld goose pie for Archimedes. And as suddenly, it was gone.

Yet instead of happiness, she felt miserable and odd. Theon looked horrified then sad, wanting to say something yet unable to. And how she desperately needed comfort, unwilling to ask for it. She wanted something that moment she had not in ages.

"Mommie..." All the pent up frustration, the fears of being kidnapped, the hardship of being lost, and finally the kinship with a group of people that could never understand her loomed over every edge of her self control. One drop fell, splattering on her hand. Then another. Until the strong little girl cried.

Pulling her bony knees close to her chest, Lynn buried her head into her knees and hoped it would end. "What am I...I just don't understand."
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PostSubject: Re: (CURRENT) Ascending Souls Era   Thu Dec 20, 2012 6:01 pm

For months well into the year had Chejop Kejak remained apart and silent from those of the maidens. The silver of his hair and highlights of his artifacts seemed to tarnish with every passing day, his spine bending, fingers clutching in gnarled fists, as if a lifetime of age spun so suddenly through him. Never had he remained so long within the Loom of Fate, not since the great wars and Usurpation. Yet here he wasted away in a quiet pile of flesh, bones, and cloth, looking so much as his own keep Nara-O.

The soft sound of trailing fabric followed by a light thump of steps marked the arrival of the god of secrets. Yet something terribly strange seemed to have happened, a rent in the reality it knew. For what remained...was not entirely whole.

With a wave of hand, the doors opened to the loom, others nearing so quickly. For once, Sheppard of the North Star was early for an arrival. From the edges, he could only see a glimpse of what the others in the way of secrets wished hidden. Lines from the loom pulled tightly and through the form of a man that once taught him and so many others. Never was there a time they were without the aging lord of secrets. And even this painful state, he kept his words and thoughts hidden.

But something of the scene left him chilled. For he could swear the man had no eyes, seemed painfully thin, and only a husk. "Oh dear..." The words were breathed and his steps taking him from the chamber quickly enough he hoped to not be spied. But in Yu-Shan, no one can truly hide.
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PostSubject: Re: (CURRENT) Ascending Souls Era   Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:44 pm

Footfalls and rushing of wings filled the streets of Yu'shan, determined to find him no doubt. But what could Sheppard truly do? Step out and announce himself for no real offense he could discern? He had wandered among the factions in their endless war for ages, giving some sense of support yet never stating a firm yea or nay.

Pressed hard to the wall, Sheppard knew mere seconds could be a lifetime as the skies and world woke to frantic life. He would not be forgotten. Fingers twisting into difficult symbols, runes tossed into life recklessly, the destination far off and used often by many. The trick would be a second leap, then the third, and finally travel by his own feet.

A portal appeared, looking far more like an old stairwell along the side of a building in Nexus, a favorite of his. No sooner had he stepped through did two things happen. Two Sidereals of Secrets entered the byway between buildings. Sheppard's eyes rounded large to see them throw their essence to tarry the portal that winked to a close. The way would be followed, of that he held no doubt, until a pair of arms wrapped around him and yanked backwards from the rickety stairs he rested on.

Darkness and soot descended, searing into his throat and forcing his eyes closed. Panic set his arms to flinging until a sharp voice demanded his silence.

"You scream like a wee girl stabbed through the toe."

"Black Ice!" Twisting about, he tried to smack the man, unable to see him in the aching darkness. "Where in the hell are we."

"Aptly named, just there. Hell. Now tell me, why were you chased by the Secrets? Why are the gods rushing to Creation?"

By still waters placid and deep, Black Ice knew of no safer place than this for such words. Only ensuring their privacy did he raise the power that held his friend in check. With vision returned, Sheppard nearly fell to his side in the black sand still unsettled in this place.

His voiced hushed to that of a whisper, as if the world was pregnant in silence, swallowing sound. "A death. The eldest fallen, and I am entirely perplexed by it. He was...no other has died by age alone. His face, his eyes, sunken and hollowed as if drained from within. A horror unlike any other. The Unconquered Sun has seemed ...afraid. I have never known such a thing to be true."

The leather clad sidereal pulled away the mask he wore, allowing his pale skin to shine in this place freed of the world above. Here he felt whole, so close to the true mother. A hand grasped to Black Ice's, fingertips painful in their living heat.

"Where...where are we?" Likewise, he never heard Sheppard fearful of anything either.

"There is power in a name, so know it rightly. Cytherea, the Mother of Creation..."

Far from shore, a small ripple began.
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PostSubject: Re: (CURRENT) Ascending Souls Era   Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:02 pm

Little Harriet ran as fast as her small legs could carry her through the streets of the city. The dark things that slithered along the windows did not accept the meager tithe her mum left on the stoop. They pried at the window sills, forced wide cheap glass and shutters, until finally they gained admittance through screams and pain. Oh how delicious they were, trying to fight for a moment more of life. Only one was smart, the child.

So she had bolted the moment life gurgled wetly in the throat of her mum, streaking through the streets quiet in shock. But the things continued to chase once filled, not sated. Soon the thrashing limbs and seeking tentacles, eyes in rows, teeth misshapen, would crawl blindly down the lane to find this one morsel.

Turning to look over her shoulder, Harriet could not make out where shadow and flesh stopped and began. No sense of how far she traveled or if she could stop. Yet suddenly her careening run ended as she collided with a pair of legs. Hands laid on her shoulders, lifted and tossed her in the crook of arm. A flash of blade met the creature in pursuit.

"No, back you fiend." The voice once crafted melodies, regaling poor folk with golden tales. Now it spoke with authority, lethal and true. The further he fought in the streets to protect these people, his people of his soul if not blood, the more humanity left his body. Eyes rimmed in gold, the centers the plain china blue of his human guise, flared to unholy life of shaping. The thin cotton grey shirt sculpted into folds of lilies in dark shades, hard as metal and beautiful as heartache.

"Misther Sinclair!" The voice empowered him, as shakey as it was from the girl. "My mum! She's--"

"Hush child, close your eyes, and hold tight." His lips brushed her forhead, pushing her into sleep as his kingly sword of silvers and golds, fluid shapes that would drive a human mind mad, cut deeply into the demon of fear. "You go hungry this night. Move along. We've a pardon between us. I would hate for this to stir renegotiation."

A hundred voices hissed in the maw. "Yessss...passss....thiss time."

Spinning hard on his left, the sword cut through another set of grasping digits to leave them writhing on the cobbles. "All who enter the flame are protected by my bloodline. Suffer my gates, wiggle past the planks, and pay for eternity."

"Human more than fae...fall to your kneessssss..."

Further the clothing shifted, hair black as night and frayed from travel run through with golden lengths fairer than a dragonblooded concubine. He shifted the world around him, walls becoming thick and smokey crystal, burning brightly of gold within. "I am Raksha, and you intrude..."

Memories exploded through his mind as he gathered the girl closer, smashing through the lines of fiends to rejoin the raksha he gathered to his side. They did not believe their eyes or ears until the sword raised in Sinclair's hand and wyld magic renewed them all from the font. Their king, no other could awaken them. And he declared Nexus protected by the fair folk. Any who sought their walls would be safe, no hungers sated, no deaths, or he would end them rightly.

Side by side, the raksha fought with humanity, not a one exalted, as they worried the lines of demons to free those folk they attacked.

"I...can't be freed and tossed out in the world like this! They will find me, Sireeliar."

Dark locks as a raven's wing caught in the breezes to whisper past his fingers as he drank in the emotions of her. "If they come close, I shall consume you completely. Safe within me and no other, and with a thrust of sword, your life will cease."

Her hand reached forth as if to slap him, caught in the golden claw of his armored fist. "How dare you threaten death!"

"You entered. Death by my hands would be far easier than by theirs. You don't want to meet my mother! In this, trust."

Such hope and pain shimmered in her eyes, a single tear gathering at the corner which he caught and shaped into a fine mark deeper into her body. A shuddering of breath alone marked how close he came to killing her then, but such a thing had to happen. His magics forced every plane of skeleton and flesh into a mimicry of perfection.

"Sto..."

"No. Trust. You have slighted me, my people, and her that birthed me. You must seem as we to move back past the barriers she set against the Solars. Ah, to keep you an age, I would but I made promise. And now I feel duty bound to it." Her eyes opened then, as gems laid in a riverbed.

A steed of the elvar, purest silver and a lost dream of Luna neared in a rush of hooves and wind. In an eyeblink, his arm clasped to alight upon its back with Taeyrem of the Twilight. One of the few mortals to give him more than pause, with a dream shared from his own mind. For ages they shared the same dream, over and over through her recurring lives. A strange bit of fate their meeting.

Passing through the wyld, entering the battlefield far deeper into the land of raksha than they wished possible, Sireeliar wove their path amongst primoridals and fair folk, solars and lunas, and all the madness of war.


(Image of the moment.)


Last edited by yanamari on Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: (CURRENT) Ascending Souls Era   Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:24 pm

The sounds of laughter and music echoed through the halls and far into the Calibration darkness from the elaborate grounds of Cynis Maera. Floors below held levels of debauchery expected of the house, parties to rival year to year. But here on the top most, settled upon the balcony overlooking a sky filled with darkness, the true meaning of the party gathered.

One manservant moved among them, dependable as the seasons and dragons of the world. He filled the glasses and remained apart, yet closely did he listen eager for some news to pass along to his brethren. Opal might be a terrible Lunar, but he was a fantastic spy among the dragon-blooded.

"We need to know rightly what to expect. Dreams, visions, these are ridiculous things to base a war or shift in battle. Our path has remained strong for ages, what makes this so different?" Cathak Druis spoke brusquely, holding up a glass to be refilled.

"But her latest letter is so unlike her, so....concerned of things like visions. I've never know the woman to turn to such things as a precursor to action. Ejava is steeled to warfare, much as her grandmother, more so than any other." The others scoffed at Peleps Chekov to break forth such silly things among them.

They continued their discussions, twisting back and forth, youthful all of these men and women in attendance but they quickly aimed to power. Opal moved back and forth filling glasses and plates, taking notes as he realized someone watched him. The figure had been there for quite some time, small and hard to see until it moved closer to the lantern upon the table.

"Lords and ladies, pay attention to these dreams for they were granted not experienced." The entire table turned, armors and weapons rushing to hands to leave Opal shaking in abject terror. Strong tiny hands wrapped around Opal's arms to bring him forward with her. "And it is time we consider every option and opportunity. Come my friend, it is time you understand why we allow you to serve. And what we need from you."

Opal peered into the face of the small woman he had once met, that safeguarded his path from Whitewall, an old friend and enemy.

"Sesus Rafara...I thought you...you dead."

"And I you. Now, let's really discuss everything, anathema to Dragon lords."
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PostSubject: Re: (CURRENT) Ascending Souls Era   Sun Jan 13, 2013 12:17 am

A full day and night passed as Vile slept. Archimedes fed him fresh blood drawn from the veins of prisoners, and then himself when he seemed to need something far stronger. Knowing when the abyssal was whole again befuddled the man, unable to sense his life by touch or color. He had washed his decayed flesh, laid aside the bone mask to reveal a visage long ago eaten by rats, and bound what wounds remained with anointed wraps. So careful and loving, though he could never explain this adoration he held for the creature before him.

Again he offered by rubbing drops of blood upon the withered lips, hoping the warmth and salt would waken him. A deep sigh filled the old man's chest to whistle quietly betwixt his teeth. "Please, Vile, my friend, wake. Calibration has come. The darkness waits in the room. I do not wish this to be the end of our journey."

"You care for him. I could feel it within you, hoping to see him before the dawn killed us both."

Words of spells flew to Archimedes lips as he turned to see the darkness form and walk forward. Memories rose in him, words and thoughts, shared between them in a way far too intimate.

"Five Days Darkness...They may have to give you a new name at this rate." Every word spat with distaste. Stocky and loud, he moved his chair to keep himself between Vile and the darkness.

Yet Five Days could never hurt this man, not after he safeguarded him. Those moments in Hollow, the nights and days of the Labyrinth, and finally far in the underworld before the bower. His hands black upon black laid over Archimedes, drawing them to the body wracked by death and held so close. "Let me help."

Power shared through them again, as before, until Vile shivered and raised a hand. "We have a connection, as you with him. Different, but similar. I did not ask for this terror that plagues the world, Archimedes. You know this. But the expectations of the world..." His words become dreamy, wandering in syllables.

"They changed you regardless. Belief changes what you are inside, your choices made."

They shared a look between each other. "Yes, lunar. Yes. But you have changed everything."

"He'ss full of shit..."

The two peered down to Vile, as his eyes opened slowly. "Vile... I feared you left."

"No, when I go, I'll take you with me into hell."

Archimedes laughed, shaking his head. "But of course. Did you learn anything?"

"Why yes. But first, is this...it? that I heard soooo much about?" The two nodded. "Well then, not all for naught. Shall we truly begin then? The eye of hell spell won't be available for much longer."
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PostSubject: Re: (CURRENT) Ascending Souls Era   Sun Jan 13, 2013 11:45 am

Unlike the horrors visited upon the cities of Nexus and the Blessed Isle, that of Chaunta enjoyed a quieter Calibration unlike any other. Rain Deathflyer leaned upon the thick branches of their demense, peering over the kingdom of his home with an expectation that the worst would come with an army of death.

"Far too quiet, my love?" Silver Python slithered along the branches until wrapped around his feathered shoulders. Her long teal tongue flickered to check his emotions through scent and taste.

A clawed hand laid lightly upon her scales, finding a semblance of comfort. "Far too quiet. They must come, as they have for centuries. Why would this year be so different unless those who would attack have been gathered to war farther away."

"You worry about them? I'm sure Archimedes will help protect them. Theon has a quick mind. We could send Drokan, but he's finally healing after so many years hating himself. And their child." As she spoke, the clawed held a touch tighter. The subject still a sore one.

"They are a strong lot. Theon...will know what to do if the time comes. Lilith is with them."

The snake hissed in surprise, speaking only after a full minute. "I've never known her to attach so tightly to another and they not to die messily. And he's living still. She...do you think she's?"

Rain's feathered head nodded once, only looking over when Silver smacked him with her tail. "Yes, she's mated to him."

Silver unwound to slither away, pained and concerned as a myrid of flashes cascaded through her seer's mind. A fear pierced her heart then as the many symbols found purchase, the falling stars, with one lit so brightly then to die in an explosion.

Snake gave way to a war form as she sped faster through the halls, fear becoming certainty. "RAIN!"

A warning burned through him from the ring clasped around one finger. "Silver..." A blade of moonsilver and soulsteel appeared within his hand.

Arriving within the chamber of her babe's bower Silver stopped dead in her tracks. A figure robed heavily in trappings grey and dusted, only a mouth and jaw visible held her babe born of her womb and Dane's seed in her arms. An orb pure and bright laid in the figure's other hand.

Silver took a step forward, then another before stopping, hands raised in pleas. "Please...don't hurt her..."

No words were spoken from the figure, only the movement of orb to the babe as it raised chubby hands to grasp at the power provided. Rain arrived in a rush of war, giving a sharp cry.

Light exploded for a moment then waned to send soft glimmers, burning their eyes as Rain lunged forward to reclaim the babe and found nothing. Snarling and reaching with his power to stop whatever came into their home. Guards and birds exploded into the rooms, seeking what path they could follow. Only after a search had been completed did he return to Silver who stood in the same place, staring where the god and her babe once had, a strange sort of smile on her lips.

"She was chosen, and we shall never see her again, Rain. My duty to fate is done."

"Silver? We'll find--"

Her hand laid upon his beak, then his cheek. "No love. She has either exalted or been claimed by them. Time to accept, and enjoy our life together, a gift for the sacrifice."


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PostSubject: Re: (CURRENT) Ascending Souls Era   Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:07 pm

Together they gathered to perform an act of power. Archimedes clad in the red jade robes claimed in Sal Maneth, with comb laid into his hair, stood close before an altar. Long he toiled to find the right blacksmith anvil made of desecrated iron bled upon by the blood of a sinner and saint without the force to lay them upon it. Oh how Vile twisted the aspirations of one man against his fine child. A work of art he could not have brought himself to.

Looking across, he watched Vile raise his mask and lay it firmly over his ruined face. Robes of soulsteel flowed over his body as a second skin, consuming all light and reflecting none. Meticulously he pulled the mask tight until comfortable again. Two fingers laid into blood to paint a long symbol over the bone white, a drip falling from the mask upon the robe.

"You are prepared with your questions?" The voice held a cynical edge, viperous, ready to strike as warranted. But the look in those villainous eyes focused upon the specifics of spells and power, mustering the required will and strength.

"Aye, call forth the eye. Open wide the gates. We must see and know." Gnarled old fingers curled around ceremonial dagger and thick sheaf of parchment. "We left something in the labyrinth. And by damn, we will find it again."
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PostSubject: Re: (CURRENT) Ascending Souls Era   Tue Feb 05, 2013 3:49 pm

Runners arrived a month before the coming of calibration, carrying heavy packs of scrolls and enchanted parchments. They fell into the camp, drenched in sweat, eager to return to the road for Nexus than remain in the wilds, territory at war between exalts.

Flaps to tents opened to the putrid heat, men stumbling to a quicker pace to grab up the missives for passing among the others.

"MAIL CALL!" Garrett grinned wide seeing his fellow soldiers with the wrapped scarves and woven marks of plain scarlet cloth. One by one, men tossed up a hand to catch whatever their grizzled lieutenant would send their way, letters from family begging for a bit of jade, whores hoping to see their johns, and acknowledgement from their bookies and dealers. None of these men were held to lineages beyond the honor of their leader.

Fists smacked into his shoulders as he passed, the grin never leaving his face as his steps took him through the simple camp to a pavilion just as poor and lean as the others. The woman inside could wear silks and fine gemstones, lazily spending her days in the company of nobility, but Ejava chose this life in the field with men once branded for murder and rape, to war with anathema and enemies of the empire.

The darkness within held a heaviness of the heat outside, near stifling as the season of fire continued towards Calibration. "Roseblack."

"Garrett. Finally hear back from the whore of Lacklund?" Those piercing green eyes met his with a touch of humor.

Rubbing the back of his head, he laughed hard with a sharp nod. "Of course. The woman can't get enough of what I have to offer. HA! But I don't think I bring likewise news for you."

A rag fell from her hands on the armor she buffed and worked hard over, small black roses upon green jade, intricate and beautiful as the woman that wore it. Scarred hands took up the letters and scrolls, working through the simple tidings to those important pieces that would decided their fate.

"News for the boys?"

The first few held invitations and updates on policy. The last felt heavy and would take hours to review. It was the tucked, folded plain letter that sent her fingers moving to rip open and read. Ink melted and shifted, touching her essence and revising sensing the true reader held the parchment. Dropping her arms, she peered off into the depths of her tent.

"Get the men ready. Break camp."

* * *

Eyes watched from the confines of trees and grasses as the unit moved across fields, still wary regardless of how close they traveled to Nexus. Scouts advanced and waited, remaining in sight of their lines to ensure none would retaliate before they entered the Dynast rally point. Mortal men, one and all, and yet not a one had been lost. Ejava would not allow it, taking up arms to protect her own men if needed.

With the turning of season, she hoped to take her men closer to Sijan. Some itching of an idea kept creeping into her thoughts as to why Calibration had extended so long the year before, and threatened to do so yet again. None were sure if the year would end and begin as normal, but she refused to take a chance.

The letter changed everything.

Now she waited this damned guide to arrive and lead her people into one of the deadliest dens left from the First Age. Why she was called to slip between the holds of Ma Ha Suchi and Raksi, she would never understand. But if a unit was needed to brave such a journey, none other could complete this mission. The Vermillion Legion had one quality none other had. It was expendable.

Coming to a halt within the confines of gates and fortifications, other Dragonblooded units gave salute to the Roseblack. Of course she ignored that they lacked true respect for her. Let them underestimate her position. Better to be forgotten than remembered when hell erupted and the world tumbled upon itself, as she saw in the dreams by the woman she barely could see still in her mind's eye.

Staring into the distance, Ejava felt a hand on her arm, immobilizing her motion before she wheeled and careened a sword into the other. "Granddaughter."

"Grandfather." Bowing deeply, she quickly stepped in line with the aging Arda until they disappeared from sight of others. Once alone, they embraced as only family could. "I feared the worst receiving your letter. Why Nexus? This city will be the first overrun if Calibration lingers."

Steely eyes held hers as his mustache ruffled. "Too true. But I needed you here quickly. We won't be staying long."

Her brows shot up with the heat in her voice as the realization struck her. "You are NOT following me into the lion's den!"

"Oh yes, I will. And nothing you could say will stop me. You have orders. As does this Onyx of Ledaal. My path leads along with yours for reasons far different."

Her gear slammed into the packed earth and tapestry rugs of the pavilion. "Is that so--"

His voice felt hot against her ear, despite how much taller she towered over Arda. "Either we make peace and use the anathema, or all is lost."

Eyes sliding to his, she could only hiss between her teeth and slam her things into the ground again in anger. "I know. Tell me when Onyx arrives for this journey to Rathess. I am sleeping until then."
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PostSubject: Re: (CURRENT) Ascending Souls Era   Fri Feb 08, 2013 3:04 pm

The Roseblack paced along the shore, emotions running as highly as any other upon the field. What she faced now was a monster that threatened to unhinge her at every turn. Politics.

She had earned a famed place of power with a steady rise, bringing her to the rank of legion general. The capital showered her in favor for victories, and shunned her for a stunning defeat endured by her overzealous commander. Seeking the Wylds, Ejava had escaped a fate of death for one of martial excellence to reclaim the love of the empire. And yet here she stood on a shore in some distant land, far from warfare, with her rebellious grandfather and an old friend dabbling in terms with Anathema. What more could befall her, she would ask the dragons, but a deeper fear threatened to answer the hole could grow darker and farther down until it broke into hell. And hell it seemed was the intent.

Arada watched her move among the woodland, vines and trees responding to her wayward thoughts as they had when she first exalted. His dark flower that brought death in her wake without ever intending it. Perhaps it was a curse of her mother's warfare up to and through the pregnancy that left Ejava poisonous to the world. And yet, he loved her far more than any other in his family, more than the daughter that birthed the girl.

Eventually he brought his own steps near to her own, giving a slight tilt of chin as she glared and twisted her path. "This is madness."

"Patience. You have held your tongue and hand many times before, destroying your enemies. Do so again now."

A rock spun past his head. "It's not so simple, grandfather. Onyx clasped hands with the anathema that broke into my camp and stole my prisoner. He plays both sides for peace. A peace we know will never happen." Her finger pointed and stabbed to the dark far distance. "The regent will act to strip him of position the moment this is known. And I am to stomp into the capital yet again with a penalty of death awaiting me?"

"He risks much. But what do you know of these Anathema?" The next stone that flung he sidestepped to grasp her wrist in blinding speed. "The Bull taught me a great lesson, Ejava."

"I am not you. Nor am I Onyx. I have only known war."

"You feared exaltation, even running from it when the Immaculate monks proclaimed you for Wood. Are you that same child running from destiny?" The fight rose in her at that, jaw squaring and eyes fierce. "No, you are a dragon leader, once with a talon of two fifty, and more Wyld kills than any other I have known."

She yanked at her hand, unable to break the hold. "It makes no dif--"

"What are you afraid of, Ejava."

"You don't understand what I dreamed! You and Onyx like to think you know, but you don't! She told me...Great Grandmother is..."

The old man's brows furrowed deeper, pulling her closer as the fight left her cold and achy. "What woman?"

But the Roseblack only shook her head, pulling upon the power of the woodland within her. "We have created our own anathema. I can't take that throne. No one should. It's evil."
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PostSubject: Re: (CURRENT) Ascending Souls Era   Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:34 am

For long moments did he only watch the ever shifting moonsilver of his gloried weapon. Hackles raised with the loving glances and intense study, one claw curling reflexively to heft it again. The other claw holding fast to his journal. How close his steps came to the throne, to the lance eagerly waiting for duels and mortal combat.

With a harsh twist that left marks on stone, he settled at the base of the stairs leading to his throne. Flicking open the journal that grew to his size, his eyes slit as motes of essence burned through his body. The sexual encounters of the Age of Dreams disappeared to reveal his most prized possession...the family tree. Oh how it had grown over the many centuries. The long line of his fathered children through exalts flowed across page after page, intermingling of bloodlines, intersections of families. Ma Ha Suchi never wished to be a true father, but what a lovely conceit to have such a legacy!

Keenly the pages flipped, short pauses to follow a line and remark on names. Many lines simply snuffed out, no more ink to capture their children, especially in the time of the Great Contagion. But a bare few lived beyond.

And then it happened...something that had not in far too many ages. A soft blue white glow of a tiny dot began to hum in the top corner of every page. Extending his senses, ears aching to ensure he was blissfully alone, Ma Ha Suchi touched the dot.

Far too since our last conversation, logged in the Age of Dreams, concordant 237, sublination 12.

I apologize. My exile from the affairs of heaven could not be avoided.

My memory holds still many notations for your review; however, we would be in counsel far too long. Do you have a query to request against the history of messages retained?

Raising a claw, he tapped his chin wondering.

Yes, but first. I must ask, are you alone in Yu'Shan?

Not entirely, sir. Darkness has fallen as expected, but a general alarm called. Something in the protocols caused an error. A purging of the system was commenced.

A purging? Was this order decreed internally?

Yes.

And the source?

Diagnostics continue to--

Ma Ha Suchi sighed lightly, closing his eyes. In simpler terms...

Not known as of yet, sir.

One eye opened, then the other. And the goddess Luna?

Lost to our sight completely.

Closing the journal, he dropped the contact with I AM and reached for the direlance.
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PostSubject: Re: (CURRENT) Ascending Souls Era   Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:46 pm

Sinclair watched the retreating back of Keth Norai and Ivory Storm Hunter into the depths of milling militia, wounded men aiding with errands, and the Raksha far too wyld to send among mortals. For the fifth time, he cleared his throat and straightened his shirt far more rags now with the bindings and ties. But what would he say? That he was happy to see her? That she looked so pretty even in the middle of a war of calibration? That the burning of the fae trees shimmered lovely in her hair like fire and blood? That he dreamed about her and it frightened him terribly but he still liked her?

The first few steps held purpose, but they soon became fumbled and slow until a hand gripped his shoulder painfully. "Ah love. I would know that look more than any. And while war does hold a touch of romance, should you really be...you know...swooning?" Typhoon twirled his free hand in flirty circles as the pair disappeared entirely.

With a heavy sigh, the minstrel dropped his eyes to the muddied ground. "No. I should be aiding with the evacuations."

The hand clapped him hard enough to send him back towards the table. But for a moment, he wished the strength and tenacity of his ancient self was with him. Sireeliar would have claimed the woman he wanted, regardless of her birth or exaltation. But he was nothing more than a mere minstrel with a famed sword and a touch of glamour. What would the fair lady want with a wayward exile like himself?

Clenching his jaw, every thought forced away the golden hair until nothing but dirty, bloody uneven lengths of raven black hair hung around his face. Typhoon raised a brow, wondering just what the girl held over the fae to drive him from his nature. "Women..."

"What?"

"Oh nothing, so, what about moving through the sewers?"

* * *

Hours upon hours passed until even Sinclair dropped his head in the crook of his arm, cuddling his sword like a babe, and snoring lightly. With a sly little look, Typhoon gave a glance and nod to a few of his followers to take command while he slipped away. Part of his was just as mortal as the others, and it needed a damn break.

Entering a small home, the abyssal walked with direct strides to the cellar for the darkest of rooms behind a rough hewn door. A young man hung limply by cords, a tube running from his arms into a bottle dark with his blood. With a hum on his lips and skip in his step, he took the nearly full bottle and replaced it with another, tossing back a long gulp of hot blood.

Shaking his head with a growing smile, he could only smack his lips and sigh happy. "Nothing like a fresh draft from the tap."

A chill fogged his thoughts as he reached for the comfy chair waiting for his tired ass to fall into it. "Ah my great lord, how goes your eternal evening?"

The Mask of Winters whispered into his thoughts. Quaintly it continues. I have many to speak with, but you I seek first. How fares Nexus?

"Falling into line, just as I predicted. After the planning and even Lure of Ravens being seen by party fiends....the idiot...we still pulled off the greatest heist of all time. I must say, my lord, I love it when a plan comes together." A soft chuckle, another gulp, and he sought out a cigar to light and smoke.

I shall send reinforcements. Use them as you see fit. Perhaps a few ghosts to gather the others fallen. Has the Guild accepted our aid?

He set his heavy boots on a stool, leaning back with a groan. "Oh yes. Just a matter of time. After calibration, we may need to bring a few puppeteers to help rebuild. But carefully on that, for certain. Or they get a little..."

Suspicious. Of course. Whatever would I do without you?

Typhoon laughed hard and long, continuing to smoke and drink, until the damn elf would wake up demanding his help again.
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PostSubject: Re: (CURRENT) Ascending Souls Era   Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:01 am

Page in Lynn's Journal

There are some things a human body should not be able to do. And this is one of them. Now, I've seen horrors, like watching Vile and Archimedes summoning demons, battles between this circle and other men and creatures, even torture. But no one should ever see so many bare asses and legs wrapped in pretzel designs.

Keth taught me about how she saw love, but it seemed more preserving my health and honor when giving away my virginity. Strangest conversation I've ever had with an Exalt. Jakaou certainly is interested. The number of charms alone used is dizzying. His idea of love is this strange courtship of temptation that ends with body parts all over the place.

Archimedes and Vile share a sort of love, more friendship and caring. Funny, how the damned and the thrice damned can find happiness just sitting next to each other. Sure, they must have some sordid tales and hobbies. But how could that not be love?

And Theon with Lilith. Does he notice how she watches him? I can't put my finger on it, but it's so familiar. That woman may be ancient and crazy, but she would do anything for that man. I imagine they may have children someday.

So what about me? I mean, I do care about Icherus. I get this funny flighty feeling in my stomach, then it knots up, and I can't decide if I want to punch him or kiss him. As a DragonBlood, he could have a royal consort or may end up married to great houses. But he smiles at me, talks to me, not his family. He could have sought out his house in Nexus. Why didn't he?

All I know is that I can't let the others find out how we talk or what he left with me for emergencies. It's thrilling to have a secret of my own. And I can't wait to see him again. The others are entering the Wyld to seek out a goddess, Luna. She fell from the sky with others, as shining stars. What it could mean seems rather dire. And being left alone in the home of Ma-Ha-Suchi seems the perfect place to learn more. For once, I need them all to ignore me as I get to work with the rock. If any library would have the answers to these secrets, his might.
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PostSubject: Re: (CURRENT) Ascending Souls Era   Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:34 pm

Given the first possible opportunity, the realmsman who was a lunar pretending to be a human in the guise of a servant did the most sensible thing he could consider given his current predicament. He shifted into a bird and flew away fast as possible. Pinwheeling over the expanses of cities, farmlands, and massive palatial homes of dynast families, Opal tried desperately to calm his nerves and think this situation through.

The gathering of youthful nobles did not go as well as Rafara hoped. No sooner had she voiced opinions and outted him as a damned anathema she assumed they all knew of, did blades pull and charms roil over flesh. What in the abyss did she truly expect? That centuries of hatreds would simply sweep aside for these plans of her own, from an exiled mouth? Of course she held allies and sway, through various guises, but the way she went about it all was sheer lunacy. Even Opal knew this, as his blackened feathers splayed to catch drafts through the endless night.

Some remained to hear Rafara out. Others eyed Opal as if trying to pierce the illusion he held to. For once, his skills rebuffed their interest, but not the manacles laid on his wrists or watchful eyes as they determined what next to do. Thankfully, they could not hold him from shifting into a puppy or bar him from flying away. With a rush and thrill, he realized perhaps he was not so horribly outclassed as once he thought, a sheer testament of will and luck.

Angling west, he sought the home of his dearest family. In this alone he understood Dane, and not for the first time pondered how the others were faring this Calibration. Family meant so very much to the Lunar, as priceless as his own skin, even if they were of Dragon-Blooded descent. So few of his lineage had exalted, in fact none in three generations of his own family. But his cousin had broken through youth to finally exalt of air. Despite his own silver tattoos, Opal still played and enjoyed life with her with tales of his travels and secrets no other could understand. And she never once judged him anathema, only embracing him tightly and speaking of her fears in the darkest of nights.

But something strange pulled him from these thoughts as he spied a brightness unlike any other. Far, far into the sky, nearly lost if not for the darkness of Calibration, did the very top of Meru blaze.

The Unconquered Sun is in Meru?! What in heaven and earth has happened? Nearly missing a few needed flappings of his wings, Opal pinwheeled higher and higher to catch anything he could in his sight. Head turning this way and that, every muscle burned until he thought certainly he could rise no farther. Feathers gave way to fur, bird legs extended until long and hooved, and his voice rose in a strange musical cry as the bird became kirin.

I will find what this is. I will!
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PostSubject: Re: (CURRENT) Ascending Souls Era   Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:58 pm

Time seemed to slow into a single long moment that flowed like water and tasted of a gleaming sunset and cinnamon. Curled along Theon's side, Lilith studied every curve of muscle, curl of dark brown hair. Even in dreams, his eyes rove around in different directions that almost made her laugh loud enough to wake him. Tossing back her long black hair, white and grey mottled feathers settling in the lengths, she could only wonder what mad schemes or simple sights filled his mind, twisted most certainly by the wyld cocoon they shared.

Fingers slithered through his sweaty curls, scratching lazy circles over his chest until he murmured and shifted to pull her closer. Not away. Not under him. Such simple reactions even in a drugged sleep, the man adored her in a simple loving way. Loving. Fingers paused, shifting to thin long claws without conscious effort. He still remained quietly asleep, without waking from his artifact. Never had he felt in danger with her, even when the madness of the wyld's ancient touch burned and frayed her sanity, heaven judged him safe with her. And she with him.

Heaven finally freed her of every one of Desus' threats, horrors, and now it seemed his final curse as an eclipse. Another held her heart, not him. Another filled every waking thought, not the monster.

For once, such a blindingly beautiful smile curled her lips as she shifted entirely to true self. Ears lengthened to tapered points tufted in feathers, a motley of swirling charcoal, white, and black marks appeared down her spine, and a pair of large owl's wings laid across them both. Eyes large and ringed in numerous colors, blue to brown to gold to black and back again held Theon in their depths.

Leaning closer, she brushed her lips along his ear. "I love you, Theon." He smiled and pulled her tighter, mumbling something that could have replied in kind or asked for donuts, which only made her smile more.
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PostSubject: Re: (CURRENT) Ascending Souls Era   Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:25 pm

The many men and women groveled before each other, as if seeking some answer that would end the turmoil with a flash of lightening or snap of fingers. Could it not be so simple, so easy? Maron rubbed at her temples knowing all too well such an answer could come, but would incur the deepest of prices.

"How damned ridiculous..." Squinting her eyes tightly closed, she poured essence into forms and patterns long practiced among the merchants and politicians. Machinations sought to control the heart of Nexus, of this she knew most certainly. The interconnections of nobles and power unfolded throughout her mind until every mote brightened with a whispered name or position. On and on the essence filled her into the configurations as those tired eyes cracked open slightly, sunlight glimmering from her eyes and upon her cheeks.

They ignored her as they had for the past days, but the use of charms would soon leave her bathed in sunlight and burning with the anima of judgement. Then she would have far more than traders seeking her jade, but assassins her throat. Yet no matter how much essence she used or discussions she held, Maron could not deny something far deeper churned in the city.

I can feel your headache from here. The tones of Aramis' words could be felt easily through the artifact connection, just as fatigued but loving every minute of his warfare.

A pile of papers slid across a table to her for review and signing. Keeping her eyes on the sheaves, the assistant never saw the oddness filling the orbs from plain brown to mesmerizing gold. Her quill moved per her soul's judgement, as if sitting upon a grand throne determining the fate of those before her, though the shadows continued to swirl past.

A long day of days. At times, I wish I had your strength. A few of these people need to be smacked.

A chuckle curled the thoughts returned, a sense of pain below it all. Aramis had to be hurting by now, wounded but unwilling to admit defeat. When Calibration ends, and the guard has control, how about taking the skimmer for a trip after?

Maron could not help but purr in response, sailing a close second of favorite things she enjoyed most in the world. How could I refuse. But something truly is digging deeper into our city. It reminds me of Chiaroscuro.

What do you plan?

Perhaps the little trip can lead south. Between us, the TriKhan, and the others here in Nexus, I think we could chain together protection and uncover what it could be. For now, please stay safe.

Always.
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PostSubject: Re: (CURRENT) Ascending Souls Era   Sat Mar 16, 2013 10:26 pm

For once in his year of knowing these exalts, Vile found himself finally understanding them. The relationships confused him utterly for long days and nights, leaving him brooding with bony fingers tapping along his chin or ripping at his robes. They feigned appreciation and adoration all the while planting daggers through their hearts within their minds.

Hatred could be such a terrible artform. If felt while heated by anger, motions could be fueled to cause direct harm. If worming slowly through the heart, an ache would rise like a slow fever burning until boiling. And if embraced completely, designs to redeem others or bury them until lost forever could be drawn and followed unerring.

Hatred was love. Onyx spurred such a strange range of emotions. Beady-eyed, frozen in those seconds between a cast spell and painful bleeding, Vile Whisper considered each in turn. What blindness held these beautiful, fragile creatures!

Keth Norai judged death upon all DragonBlooded for something in her past. To know what this could be left him hungry to the point of bones grinding and aching. What could damn an entire people? Was it from her first age? Aysel held perfect memories of her past, could this woman do as well. This pain transformed into vengeance, filled with fierce determination and unerring aim to seek the heart and life of anyone siding with this enemy perceived and expected. Did she welcome and accept Onyx awaiting a moment to strike? Had she become exactly what her enemy was? He could almost clap his hands in excitement.

In a stranger turn, Ivory Storm Hunter continued her active desecration of his life without any seeming purpose or initial issue. He breathed. She seethed. To Vile, only madness of her brain could account for the need to kill. Unless Onyx did something in the depths of the Labyrinth? Yet, would she not have forgotten any slights during this time? Madness was a wild card, something not easily weighed and calculated. The pawn devoid of master.

Archimedes hated in a far colder way. So like the spider waiting within his web, the wise ancient man knew the purpose of all those in his presence. Not so much what they offered him, or served the world as a whole. The equations followed and evaluated by Archimedes had a tangential method that balanced everything. In some ways, he was as death itself. A thing hated he simply dealth with. Decisive and final. Either to embrace and direct, or judge and destroy. Vile had been welcomed. Onyx was not.

And Theon, so bound by his heart and passions, he had come to despise this need of trust and love enough to poison what remained in his chest. That delicate moment, the very edge of knife piercing him through, the way his eyes cracked along with his voice. Oh...glorious. And yet, something of it left Vile embarrassed.

Turning away without fanfare, he could not watch as Theon dug into the earth. He loved his parents, without question or consideration that what they felt for him was anything but simple and true. If he had remained a simpleton, their relationship may not have changed until he died. Perhaps by their own hands or in being sold away. He loved them, until he died. Their bodies and names had been forgotten by now in Nexus. Not worth noting in the least. Neither was he. The Mask of Winters gifted him with hatred, driving away love and caring.

Archimedes gave it back to him. Yes, he understood Theon and these others. A family divided. He should capitalize upon the moment, but something stopped Vile. And it ached not to know what that was.
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PostSubject: Re: (CURRENT) Ascending Souls Era   Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:06 pm

The world blurred as heat upon the horizon, the speed of Lilith's flight as legendary as the rage coursing through her veins. As the power of the forest drew close to the pack, horror itched across her emotions to feel the alien influence that once held her in thrall. The streams of air and essence collided with her form, so tiny as to be lost, until she hit speeds causing tremors against the air. Small booms could be heard in the wake of this journey, rippling the world with the air quakes.

Senses reeling, Lilith flung her arm before her, the length shivering in strain against forces unleashed by a god's gift. A rip formed in reality, opening to a realm so alive as to fill her lungs with waters and press close in a torrent of pollens potent even for the lunar. In a heartbeat, light formed between the cascading colors, opening wide into the realm of Creation that spawned her.

A form twisted sensing the impending doom upon her, almost too late bringing up a shaped arm wreathed in razorvine and ironbark. Chunks of wood spit free as a horrifying thunk of blade clove into the armor as Lilith shifted from near microscopic to full size in her beastman form. Muscles bunched against moonsilver bands, expanding in strangely grotesque patterns as flesh forced the fair one back.

The Raksha glared into Lilith, boring into owl eyes with ones ringed in layers of green and russet. Although taller than the Lunar, such a shaping left her a touch slower than the lithe assassin as she coiled inward to lay one armor-clad, clawed foot upon the length of moonsilver spear. Buffeting her wings upward, weight and claws downward, she forced the blade inch by inch deeper.

For a breath, fear flicked across the Raksha as recognition burst within a mind split between this fight and the other within the Dragon-Blooded. "Kinslayer. I shall glory in your demise." Arm flinging back, trees and vines, flowers and small fluttering butterflies all withered into pulpy masses of spongy death, covered in fungus and slime. A putrid scent assailed Lilith, causing the light nausea to rear threatening over her. She snorted hard, weaseling what essence she could to protect against a possible contagion. A mistake.

The power of the wyld pulled hard into the curling of claw to race the towering form through the air. Lilith could do little to twist and turn, her spear lodged deeply into the air. Glancing back, a tree raced forward giving only a moment to react. A victory cry sounding as the splitting of oak by lightening echoed through the wood with the careening crash. Leaning back while keeping force against the trunk, the Raksha's smug look fell...as claws thrust up through her ribcage covered in silvery blood.

Lilith held to two forms, legs and torso still flowing as moonsilver as liquid as molten metal, she chest pressed hard to the fae, arms thrust completely through. Pained laughter met her ears as the fair one began reshaping herself, ribs and body becoming hands to clasp round her claws. Cursing in a harsh chirp, she buffeted hard over and over with her wings, pulling and ripping backward to escape the prison. Vines exploded to reach for Lilith, the face of the Raksha grinning with the whirls of tree rings over lovely features.

"Join the forest. Return to us."

"No!" She screamed that snarled her features into deep lines of pain, twisting until her bones threatened to pop free of sockets. Tension pulled the fresh growth until tendrils snapped, only to be replaced by many more. The need for flight consumed Lilith in panic as she became as moonsilver again, flowing liquid metal seeking the canopies of trees and sky upward and around, still chased and caught through by vines and limbs. As the Lunar sought release, the fae forced her shaping into fresh trunk and bark curved downward to become a squat creation upon the wyld tainted earth. It gathered upon itself into an ever expanding bulbous mass, biding time through the sensations of pollen until just the right moment.

For a moment Lilith believed she may gain time to strike back when an explosion of sap covered her entirely, slowing her movements until she felt herself gathered into a ball. Thrashing within herself, what little breath she had still held. Pinpricks of light popped in her vision, yet through it she focused inward following the ancient paths trained to her.

"Oh what a sweetness this shall be, Kinslayer. I never expected to capture--" Pain lanced through the fair one as a blade sliced through her body, flying through to slam into the hardened sap. She raised the blade in confusion, peering at the chain leading from it, through her chest, as it popped open and pulled hard backwards. The strength nearly cut the fae in half as a pair of moonsilver claws, corroded through by darkened cracks of obsidian and gore awaited the delivery. Eyes burning in midnight hues slit as a maw opened and bit through the fair one, consuming the life's blood of the shaped creation. Silvery blood splattered upon the snout of Ma-Ha-Suchi, any ichor sliding away from fur and armor to land upon the grasses at his feet.

Jakaou and Avaku crashed forward to the orb of hardened amber, smashing blade and pistol shots to the weakened spot made by the ancient Lunar. Yet when pieces wrenched away to land upon the ground, they did not find Lilith within. Only a dribbling of her blood.

"Where..." The dragonblood glanced with his good eye to the solar.

Nonchalantly, he rested his firewand upon his shoulder. "Oh I imagine she's around. Tricksy woman, that."

Vines near them shivered to an explosion as a great snowy owl appeared to flap madly, alighting on the outstretched arm of Jakaou.

"All right there, lady dove?" She leaned close enough to nibble as his hair, wide eyes concerned, before taking flight again to seek Theon and the others.
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PostSubject: Re: (CURRENT) Ascending Souls Era   Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:38 pm

Hallways could hold so many hidden mysteries. Doorways where walls seemed to be. Etched walls revealed ancient figures of men and women, beasts and elementals, holding court in some strange pantomine. The images itched at the back of her thoughts like so many things of late. Tapping her fingers on her lips, Lynn could only rock back and forth on her heels in frustration.

"Why...why is this so familiar? It's as if I've seen this somewhere, or seen them elsewhere. Maybe a book or...I couldn't have actually seen them though. I mean...how could I?! GRR!" Kicking the wall, she hissed as her big toe began throbbing. With a hop and grab, she tried rubbing through the thick linen shoe, her other hand flying out to touch the wall.

A shiver ran through her hand to slam into her shoulder, flinging her across the floor to a skid. Knocked silly, Lynn shook her head as she spied her mother rushing down a corridor, bending to take her face in her hands. "Oh Lynnie, you have to be strong now. We have to hurry. Don't speak...just....don't--" With a blink, the image of her mother was gone.

"What...what was..." Then it fell into place. Eyes snapped to the wall as her limbs twisted until the girl stood again. "I have been here." Lynn drew closer, thrusting her hand into a pocket to grasp a plain stone. "Let's see what's behind here, shall we Ma Ha Suchi."

The stone laid in her hand, forming that perfect green glowing rune, translucent as glass, as it contacted the wall itself. Figures shifted into new configurations as a door formed and opened. Without hesitation, Lynn entered a chamber beyond not so stale of air or dark as she expected. Sunlight glimmered from slits high above, fresh air filled her lungs with the sweetness of lilies. Almost, too sweet. A few more steps, another breath, and Lynn knew the air itself held something to keep a body and mind enthrall. Brows furrowed, her steps continued deeply into the temple.

Shuffles and weak whimpers reached her ears. The long hall held doors with high tiny windows in the stone surface. Within the space were these thin bars, easy to bypass, if not drugged to the teeth by the air. Dancing around in a circle, she tried to find some way to look within, any possibility. Unfortunately, it could not be found.

Lynn gulped hard as something seemed to catch in her throat, the answer so simple and frightening all at once. She could open the door. Before she could move away, her hand thrust forward to connect stone to stone. The door clicked open, parting slowly to the shadows within.

What did she hope to find? Eyes widening, she backed away slowly, gripped the door, and slammed it closed. The lock fell as her heart thundered in her chest, echoing in her ears, like the pitiful voice of the girl not much older than herself in the prison before her. "...what is this..."
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PostSubject: Re: (CURRENT) Ascending Souls Era   Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:08 pm

Vile knew pain. Life was nothing but such physical trauma, most of it welcomed by the twisted little mind held in that oddly shaped cranium. Honestly, he did not mind at all. But this sort of pain thrust lengths of rib in a rather bent formation into his lungs. Again he closed his eyes, wishing terribly for true dark. The sweetling blood of the Solar aided more than he let on. Oh maybe she would feel terrible again and offer. He should trade information, some special wee tidbit of spell, then again, Vile was tired as hell.

Opening one eye, he peered at Archimedes. The old man traded a look back, eyes glimmering in a familiar way, face angry and downturned, hand touching his hidden by their thick robes. He let his eye close again, gripping his friend's hand in return. Safe. The Lunar would watch over him, hopefully long enough for regaining some semblance of strength.

Exhaustion loomed upon him, muscles burning and body shivering to just fall away. For a moment, he considered oblivion. But the capturing by those strange Raksha and the chance of such a thing happening again kept him from doing so. That was until the whispering...

Dark horrific whispers followed him whether awake or asleep, the hidden Neverborn ever with him since his first steps into undeath. But these whispers comforted, sung to him like his mother so long ago. Head drooping until his mask tucked onto his chest, arms crossed just enough not to fall over, Vile Whisper fell into a dream. Such a wonderful dream. For once, the Mask of Winters could not be heard, not felt. Nothing.

Arms pulled him close, murmured their soft lullaby of sailing on the ocean blue, and he could only smile within his mask and curl up closer. The Raksha thought they were saving him from common enemies. But this whispering voice differed completely.

Movement came then, arms helping him stand and stumble until he fell on his side in a soft cushion. His arm flung out, caught by Archimedes, as again deepest sleep claimed him. Tissue knitted through the power of his charm. As that charm slithered to life through his undead flesh, another whisper came.

This he expected. A great reptilian eye opened, ruby red as burning blood. And what filth of the abyss enters my realm?

Sneering in his sleep, Vile sought to remember this voice, the depths of that red eye. But he could not wake.
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PostSubject: Re: (CURRENT) Ascending Souls Era   Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:53 am

"So, you're leaving? A bit soon, hmm?"

Rolling up a few shirts around what meager possessions he had of any value, Sinclair packed messy yet fast. For long moments, he did not reply, just kept filling a worn leather pack that showed scores and mends from every journey across all of Creation. The damn pack had seen everything right along with him.

As Typhon neared, another voice spoke, female but not feminine. "He is. And you have business with me now. Let's move along, shall we?"

Sinclair grinned, hidden in the fall of messy dark hair. The pair bickered back and forth, the quaint charisma of the Abyssal getting absolutely no where with the frustrating Solar. If not for her arrival, he could not have left in good conscience. Slinging his pack over his shoulders, followed by a lute wrapped in leather, he faced the two in their stare down.

"I trust you both can handle the repairs of the city. But I must be on my way. Peace between you, Typhon, Maron. I shall have the flame work upon those trees, unless the city seems happy with the decor." The three did have to chuckle at the thought, decor indeed.

Typhon and Sinclair gripped each others' shoulder, sharing a sincere look between them. Despite their true allegiances and seemings, they had found a kinship...somehow. "When I return, I'll have a tale."

"Good luck finding your lady, friend."

* * ** * *

Kneeling along the riverside, Sinclair raked back his hair and knelt. Where the group could have gone left him dizzy trying to determine just the right path, constantly peering at the foliage and the world around him. The shimmering of their essence, the forking of paths, he could not help but see their touch here and there.

Fian provided some information, trading a few tales for a bit of gossip of Nexus, though he nearly made him a permanent guest within his great tree. Upon rushing from that freehold, he happened upon Glorious Jade Branch. One power he adored more than any other was this ancient treant, spinning tales for days without boredom. He spoke of concerns held in the north by Kola, escalations with Slulura, and the oddness of Calibration, listening intently to Sinclair's thoughts and advice, the declarations of Nexus, and the adventures of circles into the Wyld. It was this discussion that led to seeking the great eagles.

Upon the far mountain the bard fought his way to the top, no mean feat, and accepted a flight from the great eagles. So few sights could take his breath away, and soaring so close to the sky amazed him like nothing else had. Nothing in so very long.

He landed and set out to find the travelers, which brought him to this very moment. Sweat beaded through his hair, dripping down his back as anxiety tugged and twisted his heart around. How could he find Theon, Archimedes, Ivory, Keth, the others...so many others...when they walked into the very lands that exiled him. Well, far more a self-imposed exile, but a leave taking nonetheless.

"How do I get them a message..." A shadow moved among the trees, a figure far too large to ever move so quickly. As Sinclair turned, the air split with a demonic howl. Eyes widening, he dove behind a few shrubs. "...and what is that..."
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