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Author Topic: Chapter I: Nyermersys  (Read 45727 times)
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« Reply #90 on: February 22, 2012, 02:08:59 PM »

The wind never stops--

Flowing constantly, with all her essence carried in her slender, lengthening movement, she presses on: around buildings and over streets and through the chorus of leaves that rustles her arrival--and departure. All life is momentum. As the woman pressed toward the rat, her twilight eyes noticed that the creature multiplied; three, then nine, and at last twelve beasts appeared before her, caught in the path of her current. One of the beasts bared its teeth and dove at her with bestial rage, claws ready for collision.

The pillar to life,
The rodent tide surges
And then giant rats--first as one then six pairs.
With a gaze like a knife,
A slim shadow emerges
With a soul of a hue a shade darker than theirs.

But wind never stops--: and so in one swift jump, her body left the cobblestone street, and her form was a delicate arc in the moonlight, with a flourish of flip--like the rising melody of a song, like the swelling waves on a tide, her path lifted and fell gracefully, and when she landed, her feet found the ground that no rodents had claimed as their own, crouched to absorb the harsh reality of the earth, and glanced behind her. The giant rat, quickly overcoming the momentary confusion caused by her aerial acrobatics, rushed toward her. It looked strong, but awkward--and it was ill equipped to match her swiftness.

She stood, armoured fan opened at her side, the blades like petals of a deadly flower. The rat pounced at her and she dodged, slicing the creature with a flit of her wrist. The rat squealed and grunted with pain or rage--or both--and turned to come at her again. It could make no mark upon her, for she was like the shifting pools of light on the forest floor when zephyrs shake the canopy.

A step without sound,
A form in the night,
A movement as light as the stars' serenades--
The rat-waves abound
And yet showing bright,
The sharpness and gleam that alights on her blades.

And wind never stops. But sometimes hearts do.

Her twilight eyes then fell upon the form of a Cyhallrhim not far off. And she froze--like the gelid winds of the lands from whence they both had come, like the white-gray sky that blanketed Cyhalloi, like the icy shores that both of them had left to eventually find themselves here, in this death-ridden town in the Kingdom of Santharia. Her eyes noticed the long, delicate ears. She could just make out the white eyes. And there was no denying his slim elven form. And all these observations coalesced within the hollow space in her chest, producing something that felt cold and desperate and breaking.

So overwhelmed was she but to lose all notion of her attacker--and it came at her with a terrible slash across her torso with its honed claws, followed by a tremendous blow from its hairy arm. She flew back, her body slamming against the side of a building. Was that a crack? She shook it off, for perhaps it was only the fragment of her heart shaken loose. She looked up with cold eyes to the rat approaching her with strange, increasing celerity. Ignited with the success of his offensive, he pursued her with surprising speed--an acceleration that carried all his momentum with it. Regaining herself, she had only to step forward, and with a delicate side-step, used the beast's speed to drive his neck into her blossomed armoured fan. The blades sank deep in the rodent's jugular. The spattering of crimson on the wall against which she had been thrown was like a two-winged butterfly. And the rodent fell before it, like an apostate praying to a pagan goddess, lifeless in worship.

As quick as a bird
Carried swift on the wing
She moves like a song on the night's airy breath
In footsteps unheard
And motions that sing
A delicate shadow makes beauty of death.

She rose as her opponent fell, wiping away the few drops of blood that found her despite her movements to avoid the spray. She did not look to the Cyhallrhim, as though pretending the sight of him had been merely illusion or half-remembered dream. Her eyes instead rested on the fleeing form of a boy on a donkey. She leapt up to a nearby awning, but at the first jump, winced and nearly doubled-over. Perhaps it was more than her heart that had cracked against the blood-butterfly wall. But the response was merely one of surprise--and she quickly recovered to leap again to the roof, like a tree cat pouncing to a higher bough.

In towns like Nyermersys, the crowded buildings construct a road high above the streets--one occasionally quicker than those closer to the earth (like so many things!), and this was the path she took in pursuit of the boy and his donkey. When she had caught up with the red-haired child, he had jumped off his mount with admirable skill and landed upon the beast pursuing him.

The woman found a sill to help bring her to the street, with the silence and speed of a shadow. And yet, her movement was like a song (always like a song!). From the silence of her feet upon the cobblestone, she rose like a wayward tune--one that seemed to awaken all-at-once to life--for with a charge like a crescendo, she came at the rat and slashed her blade at its exposed neck, aiming to depose of this one in the same manner as she had the last. As she did, her body sang deftly to one side, to avoid the claws of the beast and any blood that might burst forth from her cut. And her arm was curved like a melody, and her fan gleamed like a chime, and she was all movement and harmony and swiftness--a symphony in the melodic midst of its third movement.

Untold Story
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« Reply #91 on: February 24, 2012, 04:39:14 AM »

Still the multitude of little rats were swarming over the seated Movash, still his motionless figure was clothed in a live pelt of whirling chaos. Movash hardly felt the rats. He was dreaming.

A giant Movash, swollen with rage, towers over a tiny city. He steps onto the houses and crushes them under the soles of his shoes. He kicks the bridges away, so that the stonework scatters for hundreds of peds around. He breaks off towers with one hand, and tosses them far away, so that they land in the distant hills. He spits into a street, and his spittle becomes a flood that sweeps away dozens of people, a horse and its cart, a handful of dogs. There is only one thing in this city that escapes his wrath, only one thing that he will not touch. It is a pillar of stone in the centre of a large square. The pillar is made of beautiful grey granite, and its form is composed of rats, skulls, and bones. This pillar is holy, and wonderful, and will be the only thing standing once Movash will be finished with his work of destruction.

When the master pulled his arm, Movash felt it but faintly, like a distant memory, and forgot the sensation almost immediately. His only thought, as he watched his giant dream self stamp Nyermersys into the ground: This is not me. Not my rage.

But then he did feel something. The pain came suddenly, and yet seemed oddly familiar, as though he had expected it. Something had stabbed his arm. Still in the thralls of his dream, Movash could not move to feel for the wound; but he smelt the sweet metal of his own blood, and felt its gentle trickle inside his shirt sleeve. At the same moment, the rats that had covered his body began to leave him. Jumping, scurrying, falling, they dropped off his body twice as quickly as they had come. Soon they had disappeared in the general chaos of the square, whether to crawl into their rat holes or to join the ghostly battle, Movash could not tell. He only felt their departure, and did not see it, since he could not, at first, open his eyes. His eyelids were still weighed down by the visions that he had seen on their insides.

When he did eventually manage to tear himself away from his dream, and to pull up his eyelids, which felt as heavy as two drawbridges, it was too late. Already a giant rat was leaping towards him. By the time he had fully realized what was happening, the rat had reached him and had barged into his seated body, toppling it over. Its paws were in his face, and its mouth was open, its glowing yellow teeth ready to bite.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2012, 04:41:05 AM by Movash » Logged

Fu Luft
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« Reply #92 on: February 24, 2012, 06:00:10 AM »

When Azalahn cut off the arm that held Gurrant, the wriggling movement of the pillar stopped for a blink. The severed arm fell to the ground, Gurrant was free, and Azalahn turned and fought gigantic rats. At the pillar, where the arm had protruded, there was now a blackness – or rather, there was an absence, a hole in the world, an impossible sphere of nothing surrounded by stone and air. It may be that nobody had time to watch what happened next, busy as they were fighting off rats small and monstrous. Yet if someone did  see, the memory would not leave them for the rest of their days.

Out of the sphere of nothing, like a kraken squeezing through the porthole of a sunken ship, there wriggled a body. It was made of skin and fire, shaped like a man, and as large as any of the men who were fighting on the square that night. The creature had only one arm – the right one was missing – and the fingers of its left hand were thorns as long as snakes. Its eyes had no pupils, and it never blinked. Its mouth was leering, exposing the fiery redness of its maw. All over its body, its skin shone with a flickering glow, and the creature's presence cast over the market square a menacing light, eerier than any darkness.

It staggered into the square as if it was drunk, and began to wail in a cruel imitation of the voice of the one-armed man with whom this story began:

" 'elp me! 'elp me!“ it cried. “I've just seen Queprur. She's returned to take us all."

Despite its swaying, unsteady gait, the creature moved surprisingly quickly on its long legs. Soon it had caught up with Gurrant, who had been trying to put some distance between himself and the terrible pillar. A gangly arm, red-hot like metal in a fire, extended towards the fleeing man, and long flame-like fingers reached for Gurrant's hair.

« Last Edit: February 24, 2012, 06:07:30 AM by Fu Luft » Logged

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« Reply #93 on: February 24, 2012, 10:06:49 AM »

Azalahn rolled towards the fire and the dwarf. Right after he had managed to call out to the dwarf he saw a ball of fire coming towards him and the rat he was wrestling with. He had less than the blink of an eye to react or he would be engulfed in fire with the rat, a bit more than he had intended. He put his feet on the rat's chest and kicked off. He flew up into the air, and barely got out of the way, actually his feet caught a bit of the fire and he could feel his greaves become uncomfortable hot. But the rat below him was engulfed in the fireball. It screamed in pain, got up on two legs and took a few steps forwards, while still on fire. Then if fell silent to the ground. The body continued to burn although it was now dead.

Azalahn's exit from the grapple had not been as controlled as he would have liked it to be. He landed on all four when he hit the ground again, more like an animal than a humanoid. He rolled over and got up on his legs again immediately though.

The dwarf had saved his life, but at a heavy price. Now the dwarf was fighting for his own life. Azalahn quickly got over to the pair of them. Luckily it was focusing on the dwarf and didn't take any actions against Azalahn who came at it from the flank. With one sword he chopped off both of its small forelegs and claws, the sword continued towards the belly region of the rat and made a minor cut there as well. He thrust his second sword trough its neck and kicked it off the dwarf. The violent kick crushed some ribs and sent it flying a ped or two away while the sword buried in the neck tore out the throat.

Azalahn reached out his hand to the dwarf. "Are you all right Master dwarf? I Commander Dél’Raguierá am, your name inquire about all right?"

" 'elp me! 'elp me!“ it cried. “I've just seen Queprur. She's returned to take us all."

Azalahn turned his dead towards the sound, and froze in terror. The rats were overgrown monsters, but this was an abomination beyond that. A mockery of both nature, and life itself. He looked back at the dwarf, blinked a few times and then back at the creature, it was still there. 

His face turned almost white. He pointed towards the creature and said: "In Yvan's name. Master Dwarf, what I am seeing, see too?"  His voice was a low and ice cold whisper. The cold cynicism of a military commander trying to conceal fear, but the fear was definitely there.

Seh'nara Celebrindal
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« Reply #94 on: February 25, 2012, 02:59:17 AM »

Seh'nara's arms were tiring, having repeatedly flung her Scourge to keep the rodents at bay. Silver's jaws were flecked with copper, his teeth shining black with the rats' blood. And even then, when the two had repelled back what seemed a thousand of the infernal things, more seemed to appear. For every one they sent back hissing, three took its place, biting and snapping at the night air; though yet afraid to come near the elfess' lethal whip.

Of course, the disturbingly large rat that seemed to materilise out of thin air had no qualms at rushing where its tiny brethen would not.


Seh'nara's reflexes were slower than usual; her lack of sleep since early morn and the fatigue of keeping the rats at bay taking its toll. She couldn't duck in time, nor bring her Scourge to defend herself. The rat seemed to fly in slow-motion towards her, the adrendaline rushing through her veins making everything seem crystal clear; her doom doubly so. Silver was far quicker on the uptake than his tired mistress. Tensing, the wolf leapt, teeth bared at the rat, managing to knock it off its trajectory towards Seh'nara.

The wolf tore at the throat of the rat, the two animals engaging in fierce combat right in front of the astonished elfess. There wasn't time to rest though. Already, the smaller, weaker rats were gathering, sensing the weakening of the larger predator. Strength in numbers, and it's Silver against a thousand. Seh'nara wouldn't stand for it.

The rats at the moment were occupied with the clawing and biting of the large rat and the silver wolf, and with them distracted, Seh'nara managed to hoist herself up onto a nearby crate, climbing up the stack until she stood two stories above the ground. Level with her was a crude sign with a pair of cleavers etched on both sides. It was too dark to see the carved letters, but Seh could remember it clearly. Samson's Meat. After all, she had only sold her wares there that very morning.

She remembered, as well, the state of disrepair the sign was in. The owner of the humble establishment hadn't bothered to change the sign, and the post it was hanging from had almost rotted away with age and weather. A strong wind would have blown it down, much less a full grown elfess. That was what the elf was betting her wolf's life on. With a flick of her wrist, her Scourge was slung around her, and she was ready.

The elfess launched herself off the stack of crates and precisely onto the sign. A loud snap echoed around the square, drowned out by a large thump seconds after. The sign, along with the elfess, landed squarely into the fray, crushing part of the abnormally large rat's body and freeing Silver from its jaws. The wolf wriggled himself free, before bounding away, along with his agile mistress, who had absorbed the impact by rolling away, neatly pushing herself up onto her knees a little ways from the crash site.

The smaller rats had scurried aside for the moment, startled as they were with the collapse of the sign, leaving the area clear of them. For a second, there were no rats around, the monstrous one lying motionless on the floor, its guts slowly staining the cobblestone black. Perhaps it is time to take a brief respite.

" 'elp me! 'elp me! I've just seen Queprur. She's returned to take us all."

Of course not. Seh'nara turned her head at the sudden explosion of light, her eyes widening in horror at the new sight. The abommination of... oh, she had no words for the filthy thing. Myth, they were. Mythical undead, dead flesh and living soul fused into a shambling perversion of life. Something that Queprur would command, and probably did. The undead reached out to grasp wildly at the fleeing drunkard, who, in his efforts to escape the square, was running for his life to the nearest alleyway out. Which, of course, was the very one Seh'nara was kneeling at.

Oh, bullspit.

In one swift moment, Seh'nara pushed herself off the ground, pulling herself up fully. She could easily sidestep the man and the creature; they  were still a good five peds away. Though at the speed at which they were running, they would reach her in less than a minute. A weapon would be a smart idea too, she thought, fingering her daggers. Insurance in case of -- "OH BULLSPIT!"

Seh'nara's leg siezed up, the muscles cramping in rhythm to the thumping of the man's flurried footsteps. Too quick, too much, too fast, she inwardly cursed her own stupidity. Overexerting herself was something she was prone to do, her natural confidence blinding her to her own physical limits. Normally, it was a tiny lesson learnt, but in cases like this, it was fatal. The elfess fell to one knee, kneading her leg in a futile attempt to ease the pain. Any movement was torture to her nerves, and she was effectively paralysed.

Silver, sensitive to her distress, whined, a tiny sound of sympathy, before placing himself between his handicapped mistress and the oncoming danger. There wasn't much Seh could do at this point besides helplessly looking at the hellish pair that were running headlong into their path.

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« Reply #95 on: February 26, 2012, 01:24:12 AM »

The sudden removal of the heavy load on his staff followed by the splash of blood to his face told Thorgas that his struggle with death had been staved off. His eyes had been closed tightly for a long time, and upon opening them he was greeted by the elf that requested his help earlier with another giant rat. He stared at his unlikely savior for a moment, then let his gaze fall on the rodent corpse lying a few peds away from his position. The hand-like paws had been severed and a small cut graces its belly. Then he saw the deathblow -- a slash on the neck of the rodent. Blood was gushing forth from the wound and in a few blinks the rat became still from the loss of blood.

He looked up and saw the elf offering his hand. After the tedious task of wrestling an overgrown mouse he was glad of the aid. He picked himself up with the help of the stranger and brushed off the bits of fur and ashes that clung to his robe from the ensuing scuffle. They are safe for the time being, since most of the giant rats are preoccupied with the others. Perfect, the sorcerer thought. This would be a good chance to escape.

"Are you all right Master dwarf? I Commander Dél’Raguierá am, your name inquire about all right?"

Thorgas managed to stare at the elf with a confused look in his face. What's the matter with him? Here they are in danger of having dangerously large monster munchers chomp off a goodly amount of their flesh and he's asking for the dwarf's name? Before he could answer though, the elf followed through with another question in the same calm tone he used a while ago.

"In Yvan's name. Master Dwarf, what I am seeing, see too?"

The dwarf didn't answer, but looked at the area where the elf pointed at. And at that very moment he almost wished he didn't..

He had no idea where it came from nor did he care, but from its features it looked like it was spawned from the realm of demons. It had long legs and arms, and its gait was surprisingly quick for its appearance. Its skin glows like the forges of Kor Mithrid, but instead of a warm, comforting aura, this one reeks of the stench of death. Then it bellowed a most unholy sound, Thorgas was almost compelled to cover his ears for fear of hearing its demonic voice.

" 'elp me! 'elp me! I've just seen Queprur. She's returned to take us all."


The dwarf backed away in panic, tripped, and landed on his ass. The creature then chased the fleeing burly man, it's unnaturally long fingers reaching out to grab the drunken sot.

He scampered away a little in order to get behind the elf and said in a hoarse, shaky voice, "Ye say that thing's name be Yvan? Then tell it ta go away, by the beards of me ancestors!" Buri was awaken by the sounds and saw the thing. Like its master, he scurried away to hide behind the dwarf while giving out terrified squeals. Thorgas hugged the pig, reassuring him that everything will be fine, but his voice betrayed his false confidence.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2012, 09:10:10 PM by Thorgas Ironforge » Logged

A weak mind is a deadly foe.
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Calron Moonsilver
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« Reply #96 on: February 28, 2012, 07:11:39 AM »

It happened very quickly, and if not for his training he would have surely died. One moment he was sweeping his sword along the ground, and stabbing out at a carpet of rats that threatened to engulf him. The next moment he found himself staring into the beady eyes of a horribly large rat the like of which he had never seen before. The smell that peeled off the creature was enough to make him retch, and it took a good bit of will power to stop him from doing just that. It was ugly, to say the least, and was easily the size of a human being.

The creature came at him, teeth snapping in a manner that disgusted him at his core, but Calron had seen battles before. Granted, they hadn't involved such estranged creatures, but he was not a green youth when it came to combat. With a blinding speed, he sheathed his short sword and loosed his long sword, catching the creatures' teeth against the flat of his blade. The sword slid into the creatures mouth, and for a moment he could feel that moist breath of the beast on his sword hand. A moment later, the sensation was covered up by the blood that spewed from the creatures' mouth.

Releasing a shrill screech, the enormous rat fell back it's lower jaw hanging by several tendons that had not been severed by Calron's sword. The beady eyes of the creature were filled with a mixture of loathing and pain, but his sharp sword was not enough for the creature to leave off the nobleman. With a cry that sent a shiver down his spine, the rat slashed at Calron with it's clawed hands. In that moment the world seemed to slow down for him.

Erpheronian knights often called it battle calm. In that instant Calron felt absolutely nothing as he methodologically lashed out at the creature. With a flick of his sword, he severed the creatures' right hand, and with a blur off motion he incapacitated rat. As the creature slid free of his longsword, Calron calmly surveyed his surroundings though the world seemed to have become incredibly still in his eyes. Vaguely, he could feel blood and adrenaline pounding through his system as he took in the charred man who advanced upon the crowd. Things were definitely not looking good for the people of this city.

Garth Avery
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« Reply #97 on: February 28, 2012, 10:26:28 PM »

When the rat felt the unfamiliar weight on its back, it trashed this way and that to try and dislodge the little man. Mouse held on tight, holding his breath against the smell of rat. It reared up on its hind legs, its front paws waving in the air though they were too small to reach him. Now, however, he was at a loss what to do next. They had reached an impasse - the rat could not dislodge him, but from here he could do nothing else to get rid of the rat.

His problem was unexpectedly solved by help seeming to descend from up above. A movement in the corner of his eye, a seeming whirlwind for a moment, and the rat toppled over with a slashed throat. For a moment Mouse stayed where he was lying on top of the monster, then he looked up to see an elfess, whose silvery white hair glistened despite the darkness of night around them. Her effortless grace made his own acrobatics look almost forced, or so it felt to him. But at least he had distracted the rat, which might otherwise have caused her more trouble.

Scrambling up, he gave her a slight bow, though it felt somewhat out of place in the middle of a street in the dark of night and after having just dispatched a monstrous rat. It was just that he did not know what else to do. "Thank you." he said simply. Then he looked around. Pepik was nowhere in sight, so it looked as if she had at least escaped the small variant of rats. With those critters in mind, he looked the other way, back in the direction of the plaza with the pest pillar, just in time to see some... thing, seemingly made from fire, stretching out its hand towards the bully. Mouse was unsure what to do. Go closer, and risk catching the thing's attention? He could not even have handled the rat if the white-haired elfess had not helped him. Go away and look for Pepik? But then he would not see what happened next. Curse his curious nature! Unable to make a decision either way, he stayed where he was near the dead rat, trying to see the next move.

Ease of laughter comes so fast when you're not in the jester's shoes...

Garth Avery
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« Reply #98 on: March 01, 2012, 08:55:34 PM »

The world was a blur of colours. Nothing more, nothing less. At least, until some very aggressive movements caught the elf's attention. It was another one of those blasted giant rats, moving in to attack the boy he had caught earlier. That wasn't very fair! Attacking helpless little children is a cowardly act. If the rat had any honour to begin with, its actions had removed all that.

"Kid, watch out!"

His warning, it seems, did not manage to get to the boy on time. Naturally, the only sensible thing to do was to run to his aid. Reaching into his target's mind, the magician quickly scatterred the pattern of water ounia that affects the rat's attention to buy himself - and the boy - a little time. His next move was to thrust the pointed end of his blade into the rat's right eye, as hard as he could.  The resulting sensation of metal piercing the thin cells of the rat's eyeball, allowing Ava-knows-what to escape from the insides and spill out onto the ground, all over the rat's face and the pointed end of the rapier. But the rat was still alive. And angry. It was injured, though, and the process of pulling the rapier out gave it pains that nobody should ever have to experience. The rat had been wounded. There was a little bit of time left before it recovers from the pain, but time enough.

"Are you okay there, kid?"

"Everything is a game - some people just don't realise that."
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« Reply #99 on: March 04, 2012, 09:54:21 AM »

Calm descended with the giant rat, and with the gargling, blood-soaked sound of his last breath came the last note in her third movement. She stood with her armoured fan open, its panels wet and glistening like flower petals after a night rain. She listened. From the distance arose the squeaks of multitudes of rodents, the shouts and shrieks of fighters and victims, the slick sounds of death--but these were all whispers compared to the stentorian silence within her. There was a wind blowing, and it pressed against her cheek as though it knew her.

There is nothing but the call
to fly or fall
where day and night trade over the skies
With Queprur choosing who lives or dies,
Her dark gaze passing over all.

Her twilight eyes caught the movement of the child as he scrambled to his feet. He bowed to her, and her expression, distant as it was, must have seemed as thought she did not know what he did or what he was, as though he was of a different world entirely. When he spoke his thanks, it almost seemed as though she didn't understand, or that the utterance might have been superfluous, as she hardly seemed to acknowledge it. Still, there was no unkindness in her face.

She glanced up to where activity circled the pest pillar, as though it was the central star of a restless universe, and its light was a curse from which terror swelled like procellous seas. And if the giant rats were its rays, then all of these fighters--these mages and warriors and children--had become its planets, prisoner-satellites raging against its glare. But now a new light was dawning, for from the pillar emerged a demon whose fiery orbs and red skin made him look half-flame.

The woman was not bothered by being a prisoner of the pillar's gravity, but if she could not leave it, she wished to be a rogue satellite with the benefit of swiftness and shadows to aid her. And if the battle was to rage, than she would ensure that she had all the means to be a force within the maelstrom. Closing her armoured fan, she glanced back at the young lad only briefly, then ascended, like a black cat, from an awning to a sill and back to the roof, vanishing from sight of all but the moon and stars.

There is nothing but the gloom
the shadow-bloom,
Within in the darkness of the night,
Where stars are only whispered light
and all the world's a darkened room.

She traveled like wind along the uneven roof-road that longs for sky, that knows no other shadow but night. If her broken rib caused her pain, it submerged itself into the obscure twilight of her eyes. She descended upon a roof not far from the tavern-inn where, hidden in a corner, was a bag of supplies and a sheathed blade. She knelt by these hidden parcels and rummaged through the pack, removing a few moonstars to keep at her belt, next to where her armoured fan securely rested at her right thigh. After a sip of water from her canteen, she took up the sword, which curved like a siren's song: her moonblade.

There is nothing but the flight
from fight to fight
The heart that dives into the fray
Without a moment's still or stay
with no oppression from the night.

The wind was moving, and so was she--on the elevated byways, back to where the pillar stood and the demon stood and the fighters stood like the stillness before the storm. She paused at the corner of a rooftop over-looking all, her eyes steady on the demon, her pointed ears eager and listening...

There is nothing but the dance,
the death-romance
of metal stars and silver blades
and crimson stains and shifting shades--
of grim and glory, ...choice and chance.

... and waiting for the next movement.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2012, 10:11:35 AM by Ayaelia » Logged

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« Reply #100 on: March 05, 2012, 05:01:23 AM »

His feet rising further from the ground, Gurrant reached his hands onto his head, trying to hold down his scalp, as it felt like it was pulling from his skull with is entire weight being lifted by his hair.

But, even as he held onto his head, he could not help but struggle against the disembodied hand that held him.  As he did, he could feel the warm flow of blood running down the back of his neck.

In his panic, he saw that the guard he had been mocking had scampered up to help.  "Lift me up!  Lift me up 'afore it pulls me scalp off."

Before anyone could react, however, the horror was only accented by giant rats now spewing forth; giant rats that stood on their hind legs and had the eyes of a mortal.  There was an intelligence behind those eyes; a set of those eyes that stared at him.

Gurrant saw the danger in those eyes.  If he stayed hanging by his hair, the rat would have no trouble killing him.  With this as incentive, he struggled even harder.  Then he heard, more so than felt, a sickening tear, and suddenly he was deposited unceremoniously onto the ground.  Had the hand let go of him?  Or had he lost his scalp?  

Looking up, he saw that the arm had been severed in two.  Instinctively, his hand went to his long locks, where he felt a weight.  Pulling it around to the front, he saw that the hand still gripped his hair.  Quickly he extricated the remaining hair from the deathlike grip of the  hand, which to his horror continued to wriggle.

Hearing the elf barking orders at him only added to his foul mood.  He glared at the pointy eared male.  "Canna ye see ahm bleedin', ya daft bugger!"

He reached up and felt the new bald spot on the back section of his head.  But as his fingers felt about, he could tell that what he was feeling was not merely a bald spot, but rather was the very bone of his skull.  Though terrified, he refused to cry out.  Instead, he continued to feel to see how large it was, until he felt the flap of flesh hanging.  At least it hadn't been torn completely away.  There was a chance to save it.

Seeing that the elf who had saved him was busily fighting off the giant rat, Gurrant struggled to his feet and started toward the nearest alleyway.  He didn't care where he was going, as long as it was away from the pillar.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2012, 06:21:37 AM by Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin » Logged

Favorite Cartoon Quotes
"It was a dark and stormy night."  - Snoopy
"Ack!" - Bill the Cat
"I did not have sex with that woman, Monica Lewinski." - President Bill Clinton

My Character can be viewed @Angelina Jolie's house.  But knock first, in case I'm in my underwear.
Untold Story
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Feyfolk, Maeverhim & Black Butterfly Rover

« Reply #101 on: March 06, 2012, 02:02:22 AM »

“Are you okay there, kid?”

Movash was lying on his back, stunned by fear and pain, and looked up into the kindly face of the elf – the same who had caught and questioned him outside the tavern earlier. He had been Movash's enemy then, but now he had saved his life. How the elf had got the giant rat off Movash's body, whether he had pulled or pushed or lifted or slashed with his rapier, Movash did not know. Yet if ever eyes wide and helpless with terror could express gratitude, Movash's did so now.

But the moment did not last long, and before he could think even so much as bow his head to the elf, the din of battle came over the boy like a malicious wave, and caused him to look around in fright. The rat that had attacked him was still alive. It had lost an eye, and was struggling to stand up. But stand up it did, and showed Movash and the elf its teeth. It  was ready to pounce again, its ferocity increased by its pain, its desire to kill made absolute by the closeness of its own death. Movash, too weak yet to stand up himself, held his hands out before him, a shield so absurd and soft and penetrable that the rat might have laughed. But it would not have laughed long.

Suddenly the rat fell sideways, and began to struggle and squeak. A black, frantic, swirling ball of fierceness was hanging at its throat, toppling it over, forcing it onto its back. The ball was an animal: naked it was, dog-like, but long-tailed, and instead of a mouth, it had a beak, which was shaped like the snout of a giant fox. Curling itself around the gigantic rat's fat throat, the attacker looked small – but in fact it was large as a warg, although leaner and with longer legs.

Movash almost yelped. He feared for the life of this mysterious animal, this ferocious whirlwind, who had come as if from nowhere and had made straight for rat, a monster twice her size in bulk. For this was Humbaba, the only friend that Movash had in the world.

The two animals rolled around the square, locked in a deadly embrace. Sometimes Humbaba was on top, her beak dug into the rat's throat, shaking her head in wild movements to tear out pieces of fur and flesh. Then the rat was on top, crushing Humbaba with its weight, scratching at her body with its claws. But the serrated edges of Humbaba's beak were sharp and strong, and they had a ferocious hold. Eventually the rat, already weakened by the elf's blows, collapsed under Humbaba's onslaught. Its limbs flagged, its head fell backwards onto the cobble stones, and its one remaining eye cracked. Humbaba continued to tear at the rat for another few blinks, as if carried forward by a momentum too strong for her to stop. Then she let go, and looked over to Movash.

The boy had struggled onto his feet, and ran over to his friend. Her furless body had suffered under the rat's claws. Streaks of blood flowed down her flanks. But she was panting healthily, her long tongue hanging over the side of her beak. On reaching her, Movash slung his arms around her, and held her as tight as he could. Then he looked round at the elf, who had saved his life. This is my friend , Movash's eyes said.

Fu Luft
Befuddled Spellblower
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Human, Avennorian/ Eyelian

« Reply #102 on: March 09, 2012, 07:06:13 AM »

Meanwhile the one-armed fire demon continued its pursuit of the panicking Gurrant. While the man was running at the top of his heavy body's speed, the demon's legs moved slowly, ponderously, like those of an aristocrat on an evening stroll. And yet the demon progressed twice as fast as Gurrant. It seemed to float along over the cobblestones, as if space and time were not the same for it as for beings born this side of the border to the Netherworlds, as indeed they weren't. Gurrant had just entered the alleyway in whose shadows Seh'nara kneeled – paralysed by pain, protected only by her wolf – when the demon caught up with him.

The finger nails of the demon's one remaining hand were as long and hard as stilettos. Like a five-headed snake, they swam forward, extended beyond the demon body's fireglow and into the dark air of the alley, where they felt for Gurrant's coat and hooked themselves into the collar just behind his neck. Gurrant stuttered in his run, throttled by his own collar. Behind him, the demon halted – went from movement to stillness without transition, without seemingly even noticing it. It was assured of its prey. The hooks of its finger nails began to draw Gurrant towards the demon's fire body. They were glowing themselves now, those finger nails, and even those who stood far away could feel  the heat that flowed through them, eagerly, nervously, charged like a thunder sky ready to spark. Already, smoke was beginning to float up from Gurrant's coat. Any blink now it would burst into flames. And then the sword hit the demon.

It was one of the guards under Sergeant Targin's command. While his fellows were fending off the attack of three giant rats, this guard had found no space to join the battle, and had staid behind the first line of defence. Thus he had a freer view of the square and all that went on, and was one of the first to see the demon and its pursuit of Gurrant. The guard had run diagonally over the square, at an angle to Gurrant's and the demon's path, and had thus come up just behind the demon when it had entered the alleyway. When the guard saw the demon attack Gurrant, he had not hesitated, and hacked at the flame-engulfed body with his sword.

The demon's fingers let go of Gurrant, and the demon turned around. Once again, its movements looked slow to the eye, yet took only a fraction of a blink to be accomplished. Flames shot out of the demon's open mouth as it faced the guard. Then it reached out, and its hand touched the sword. Almost instantly, the blade began to glow, and the guard could feel his weapon grow white-hot from the sharp tip to the hilt. The process was so quick that the skin on his hand was smoking by the time he managed to let go. The sword fell to the ground with a clang.

The demon's fingers had already moved on, and the finger nail hooks were snaking over the guard's head. They descended on the man like the bars of a cage that was being lowered to capture him. Paralyzed by pain, and maybe by the embers in the demon's eyes, the guard had no chance of escape. The demon nails touched his hair, his shoulders, the skin on his face. His body stiffened, and he stood like a log of wood ready to be kindled. The man's skin turned red, then purple, then white. Soon, red steam rose from his mouth. The seams of his clothes turned dark and curled outwards like smouldering paper. Then his hair erupted in flames. Within a few blinks, the brave guard's body was a bonfire. It lit up the entrance to the little alleyway, more brightly than ten lanterns. Even after all life had left it, the guard's body did not collapse, but stood upright like a burning wooden pillar, until it gradually – but far quicker than through any ordinary fire – turned to ashes, which danced in the wind and floated downwards like black snow until they setted on the cobblestones.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2012, 08:05:16 AM by Fu Luft » Logged

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« Reply #103 on: March 09, 2012, 09:38:13 AM »

The fray below on the street appeared like a tempest. Waves of rodents lifted and shivered in angry squeals. The large rats rained down their grunts of rage and swiped like monstrous gales. And the fighters, all of them, were like tiny ships upon the sea, dexterously holding their sails against the pillar's minions. Though many of the giant rats had been dispatched, a few still snarled on, seeking victims with blood-red eyes and tainting the air with their breath. One was headed toward a woman with dark hair and skin darkened to a rich hue, another sniffed the air and seemed to have just rested eyes upon its victim.

From on high, a woman watched--her hair like shadowed starlight, her face as distant and dream-like as the face of the moon, her eyes like a newly-born night sky. But though the wind caressed her and drove the wayward tendrils of hair across her face, there was restlessness in her, and in every touch of wind was the whisper of: But now!--

'Come,' calls the midnight wind blowing
Through the restless trees,
its voice the howl in empty streets,
its song the sough of the leaves.

She filled her lungs with the darkness around her and leapt from the roof of the building to an awning, where her feet hardly touched before she leapt again to the ground below. Did she feel the break in her rib? It must have been in every breath she took, in every turn of her torso, in every silent step of her thinly-covered feet. And yet her face was as impregnable and enigmatic as a distant star. She built speed to match the speed of the frenzy and, in an elegant spinning leap that looked like the arch of a scythe, landed behind the rat whose eyes had been upon the dark-haired woman. In that single aerial feat she had undergone a unseen and yet incandescent transformation--for in battle, all her soul bared and fulgurated, and her movements became lightning in the deep black storm.

'Come,' calls the pale moon shining
across the darkened lands
draped like a cloak of spun milk
o'er where the pest pillar stands.

She took up her armoured fan and it blossomed as her arm extended into a song that slashed the beast's back. Her victim's ululation blended into the melody of the woman's dance--which, now begun, carried on like an enchanting symphony, belying the danger and death and blades that swept and scintillated in brief glints. The beast turned and squealed wrathfully, lunging after her. In a turn and side-sweep, she dodged and sliced the beast on his side as he passed. Using the momentum of her turn, she sent a moonstar flying at the beast that had been heading toward a group of three individuals. She regarded them only as forms in the night, but they included a trim aristocrat, a young child, and the elf whose air was touched with the the snow of a distant land.

The moonstar struck its target, and the beast grunted with displeasure and confusion. It turned and shrieked, quickly losing notion of its first target. It bounded after her, joining the original rat in pursuit--but she seemed hardly to notice the closing gaze of the four eyes boiling with avarice and bloodlust. She had lost herself--or rather, transcended herself. She was all momentum and wind and shadow now--all blades and quiet music. Movement gave her wings, and she took to the air and spun: rapid, tight circles, so fast that she looked like a blur, so quick that her outstretched fan appeared like a single deadly ring around her. Her pursuers became victims to it, slicing themselves in her bladed spin.

'Come,' calls the starlight gleaming
furiously in the sky
their eyes all aglow on the field
where mortal souls flitter and fly.

She landed gracefully, concluding her spin by returning her armoured fan to her side and unsheathing her moonblade: another instrument in the orchestra of this, her fourth movement. Her back now to the group of three, she raised her eyes to the injured beasts. They, too, were movement now. Wasn't everything? The beating of the heart, the pattern of breath, the turning of the seasons and the trees and all life. All of these seemed to echo in her steps, which moved forward into the oncoming rats. In a side-step, she dodged one while pressing her curved blade into the rodent's neck, nearly severing the head entirely. She turned back quickly and bounded after the other, whose awkward momentum could not shift as quickly as hers. In a leap, she came down upon the beast, her blade pointed to the earth and traveling along the creature's spine to the get there. It had not even time to squeal its death. It collapsed, sliding off her blade like water.

'Come,' calls the black-cloaked Goddess
the smell of blood on her breath,
'for night is dark and the battle is good
and many are ready for death.'

It was here she looked up to again set her eyes upon the Cyhallrhim, and she turned still again. She was like a song that ends suddenly--or with the slightest crack--like the sound of a heartbreak. Her eyes flashed with sorrow, though her face kept its secrets from emotive display, and it was as though she saw a ghost, as though a memory had forced its way into her mind. She spoke not a word, but merely stood with moonblade in hand, a tear still in her side where she had been slashed in her second movement, with the first giant rat. Now four had been felled by her hand, and yet she had no defense against the presence before her.

'Come,' calls the blue-skinned God
whose voice sounds like a drum,
'Too long have you hidden your sorrow,
so come, night-wind daughter, come.'

Behind her, near the ally, a fire lightened the night, and she turned, shaken, to see it burn in clouded confusion.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2012, 10:00:22 PM by Ayaelia » Logged

Garth Avery
Agile Harlequin
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Human, Helcrani

« Reply #104 on: March 10, 2012, 02:21:10 AM »

Seemingly without acknowledging his thanks, the woman who had saved him took off again, back in the direction of the square and into danger. Mouse could not bring himself to follow her. He had no weapon, no fighting skills - and if that demonic thing in the square was anything to go by, without these things he was toast. Literally. He was not sure what exactly got him moving, but some click inside his head got him to first start walking, and then running - back in the direction of the inn from which they had all come.

There was no actual conscious decision to go there, no reasoning out a logical sequence that led to an actual reason. There was just a vague hope that since such a number of fighters had come, answering the call of the one-armed man, there might still be some left there. As he ran, he swayed in a peculiar motion due to the shortness of his legs. He just hoped that the demon thing would be preoccupied with people who actually wanted to fight him, and that it would leave him alone.

He reached the door of the inn, panting and totally out of breath - winded as much from the running as from trying to suppress a rising panic. He jammed open the door, and very nearly collided with - with - his eyes rose up and up, until he was craning his neck. The man was gigantic! He very nearly lost his balance from stopping so abruptly. But he saw just what he had hoped to see - weapons, all sorts of weapons, and too many to see them all in one glance, or at least that's what it felt like. So there was still a fighter left!

Fighting to keep the panic out of his voice - and failing miserably - he addressed the man. "We need more fighters on the square with the pillar! Please help us, sir!" Still panting, Mouse looked up at the giant, hoping that the answer would be positive.

Ease of laughter comes so fast when you're not in the jester's shoes...

Garth Avery
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