Red Dragon Inn

Red Dragon Inn Home Red Dragon Inn - Dragon's Mark

Welcome, traveler!
( Member login. Not a member? Register here. )


Search    Memberlist    Usergroups    Forum Help   
Gallery    Shop    Jobs    Auctions    Pet Shop    Lottery   
Register    Log in 

Days of the Past - The Trials of Ascension

 
Post new topic   This topic is locked: you cannot edit posts or make replies.   printer-friendly view    Red Dragon Inn - Dragon's Mark Forum Index -> WestEnd -> Gharnholme
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Lucius DeAuster
Old Wyrm
Old Wyrm


Joined: 14 May 2006
Posts: 451
See this user's pet
Can Be Found: Gharnholme or Cisroe in Carowyn
10557.36 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 2:47 pm    Post subject: Days of the Past - The Trials of Ascension Reply with quote

Now I've told you this once before
You can't control me
If you try to take me down you're gonna break
Now I feel your every nothing that you're doing for me
I'm picking you outa me
you run away

I stand alone
Inside
I stand alone

You're always hiding behind your so called goddess
So what, you don't think that we can see your face
Resurrected back before the final fallen
now they've arrest until I can make my own way
I'm not afraid of fading

(Chorus)
I stand alone
Feeling your sting down inside of me
I'm not dying for it
I stand alone
Everything that I believe is fading
I stand alone
Inside
I stand alone

And now its my time (now its my time)
It's my time to dream (my time to dream)
Dream of the sky (dream of the sky)
Make me believe that this place is invaded
By the poison in me
Help me decide if my fire will burn out
Before you can breathe
Breathe into me

(Chorus)

I Stand Alone – Godsmack


The call had been undeniable, building in strength and insistence day after day. In moments when he found his thoughts straying, it was there. A need, but for what he could not say. It was cloyingly evasive, and maddening to try to figure out. It was a quiet buzzing in the back of his mind, a flitting brush of long-thought-dead emotion, trying to stir a sense of wanderlust in those still moments. It struck at odd times, leaving him on occasion with a sense of confusion, trying to remember if something had been said in a conversation just finished.

And it invaded his reverie. The near equivalent to the mortal need of sleep, reverie was a withdrawal into oneself, allowing the body to repair as needed as the conscious mind drifted. It was in those times of rest that Lucius rode the path of memory, the past focused on the minds eye and what had been. It was a tether, if you will, to his past, as well as reminder of what he had done and betrayed. At once a strength and punishment handed by Leorne and Myrkul. Yet now, teasing flickers of vision had begun to intermingle with the solid foundation of his recollections, snippets of voice and personage, vistas of snow-covered mountains and teeming pits of rancor. And the whispers continued, sliding within the words of the past, infecting conversations and intimacies.

Orange-red eyes blazed in the near-pitch black of the Sanctum Reverium, piercing the darkness as easily as a man could see on a clear summer’s day, and Lucius stood up with enough urgency to send the chair tumbling backwards on the floor. With no regard to the fallen seat the deathknight slipped into the Weave, storming back into view beside his throne in the Underhalls. Snatching his weapons-belt and the longsword it carried the deathknight stalked toward the stairs leading to the surface.

“Now, what could have precipitated such a rush?” As always, the ghostly voice preceded the spectre into view, and the mocking tone dragged a soft growl of irritation from the fallen paladin.

“Not now, Corbane.” Lucius didn’t pause to look to the undead assassin, and the spectre’s ghostly visage sneered as it followed with unnatural silence behind the deathknight.

“My, you ARE in a mood today.” Corbane could barely contain the soft snicker, and wisely remained far enough back so as to remain out of reach. The spectre never could resist a chance to needle the deathknight whenever he could, considering it one of the few joys of his incorporeal existence, but knew when the line was in danger of being crossed. Normally the intangible need not worry about physical attacks, but Lucius had proven on more than one occasion that deathknights were one of the exceptions to that rule.

“Inform the mage that I will be away for a time, perhaps for several days.” Stepping from the stairwell into what had been the sepulchers of Ravens Fast the fallen paladin brushed past the stone tombs without a glance, storming into the silent remains of the keep’s chapel. Sunlight filtered in through the broken remains of the windows, sending multi-colored riots of light over the toppled and charred remains of pews and banners. Corbane stopped near the entrance, preferring the comfort of the murk beyond the reach of the light.

“He will be most displeased.” Corbane said in a sullen tone, though disappointment was absent in the words. Lucius finally paused, the heavy wool hood shifting as he half-turned his head to glance back to the spectral seneschal, the eldritch blaze of his eyes flaring as anger radiated outward. At the scathing look Corbane appeared to half-bow, the movement a mockery of an obedient house-servant. “Oh, very well. I’ll tell him you are on a walkabout.” The translucent form started to fade from view, but a growl from Lucius stopped Corbane.

“I have prepared a letter to be sent to Fiona DeWil at the Association compound.” He paused, leather creaking softly as his hand tightened around Deathlight’s hilt. Several seconds passed before he moved, drawing the sword from its scabbard in a jerking motion, only to lay the sword across one of the piles of wood. “Insure that this is delivered with it.”

“It will be done.” The hollow words were said in all earnest, as Corbane realized that this was no mere temper tantrum of the deathknight’s, but something far more serious. Lucius turned away from the sword and ghostly undead, stalking toward the double doors and stairs leading to the courtyard outside.

Dante was already waiting, the nightmare sending up small puffs of dust by pawing at the hard-packed ground with a flaming hoof. Lucius patted the taut neck of the beast once before swinging up into the saddle and looking around the courtyard. The complex was quiet, with most of the Acolytes huddled within the refurbished barracks house. The grey walls of Gharnholme loomed in silent guard, the pensive atmosphere broken only by the creaking of chains hanging from one of the gibbets near the old blacksmith, and the cry of a lone hawk soaring on the thermals above the ghoul-hold. His thoughts drifted for a moment, remembering the black mane of hair and eyes icy as winter’s chill. He had penned a letter to Fiona, telling her about his impending journey, to be delivered to her at the SA Halls. He would have delivered it himself, but there would be questions, and answers he did not yet have.

With a soft snarl of determination Lucius reined Dante around, and the nightmare reared, pawing the air savagely before leaping forward, fading into the Astral Plane.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Daugolozan
Wyrmling
Wyrmling


Joined: 17 May 2006
Posts: 10
See this user's pet
Can Be Found: Wherever my plans take me
1709.56 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

“He WHAT?” The glass beaker shattered as the thin fingers tightened around the fragile container, sending the foul-smelling ochre within sloshing over Daugolozan’s robes and the worktable. He didn’t seem to notice, with the glare he sent toward the spectre floating just within the door.

“The master has taken leave, for a time undetermined.” Ghostly lips curled up in a amused smirk as he regarded the furious dracolich, and he couldn’t resist digging into that irritation. Infuriating the living and undead around Gharnholme was one of the few pleasures left to Corbane, and he indulged whenever he had an opportunity. “He thought you would be able to continue your experiments without him, but if his faith was misplaced…” The bottle sailed in deceptively fast; passing through Corbane’s head and shattering against the door behind. Hollow laughter echoed as he retreated, passing through the solid door and leaving behind a fuming Daugolozan.

Sibilant curses filled the air, several languages and dialects conveying the displeasure that the polymorphed dragon was currently experiencing. The hand that had held the beaker flexed, the embedded shards of glass seeming not to bother, or was unnoticed in his rage. Ignoring the wet silk clinging to his frame he stalked around the table, hands clasped behind him as he paced a circle around the workshop he had built.

“This is that shadow-bitch’s fault.” He snarled aloud, though none were around to hear. “First he forgets our primary focus by running off and joining those slavers, and now this!” His voice rose to nearly a shriek as he whirled around, sweeping his arm out to catch several of the jars sitting at the edge of the table and send them flying across the room. Droplets of noxious liquids and shards of glass radiated out in all directions, but just as quickly as he had lashed out Daugolozan was back to pacing, muttering under his breath as he considered the problem.

“She must be removed from the equation…” he finally said, stopping near the remains of the first beaker he had dropped. “Yesss…have her meet an unfortunate accident while DeAuster is away and his mind will return to the here and now.” The mercurial temper eased, the thoughts entertained bringing an unholy glee to the sadistic dracolich. “Now, the question is how to accomplish this?” But even as he uttered the words an idea began to form, and soon sibilant laughter filled the laboratory as he moved to begin his preparations.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Lucius DeAuster
Old Wyrm
Old Wyrm


Joined: 14 May 2006
Posts: 451
See this user's pet
Can Be Found: Gharnholme or Cisroe in Carowyn
10557.36 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Flaming hooves send up clouds of steam, and Dante snorted in irritation as the nightmare made its way through the deepening snow and ice. This far into the mountains the icepack was eternal, with only the hardiest of pines and ironwood braving the cold and ever-present wind. The occasional bear or elk were the only life to be seen, moving along the windbreaks formed by the tree line. The barbarians that called the Dawnsbreak Mountains home seldom ventured this far into the mountains, and even the resilient orcs found better hunting along the lower slopes.

The cold and wind did not directly harm Dante’s rider, for it would take much more extreme weather to affect one such as a deathknight. Reigning Dante to a halt Lucius glanced around the snowy vista slowly, holding a hand up to shade the soft-glowing eyes in a very mortal gesture. When he was alive he would have found the sight breathtaking, but now, he merely felt a sense of restless urgency. And that was more of an irritant than the dazzling sun reflecting off the packed snow.

He was traveling in the right direction. How he knew, he couldn’t say. He just knew. The whispering was ever-present, to the point that he found himself turning in the saddle to look at the trail behind, making certain he wasn’t being followed.

Is that uncertainty, or fear? Snarling, Lucius jerked at the reigns hard enough to make Dante rear up with an angry neighing, flaming hoofs pawing at the air. It took a moment to regain control of the nightmare, and the deathknight shook a fist at the mountains looming above him.

“I do not fear you!” he shouted, the words echoing back with a tiny fraction of its normal timbre, as though the sound itself was loath to disturb these high haunts.

All know fear, from the lowliest ant to the greatest god in vaulted palaces beyond the clouds. There was no mistaking that soft whisper, the same that had been with him so long ago, in his last few minutes in the world of the living. Gasping for air as the Akailis assailed his body, the soft voice had offered a chance at revenge, and with his dying breath Lucius had accepted. Now, over a century later, it had returned. For many, fear is the master, leaving the proud indecisive, and the pauper destitute, unable to better their lot in life.

“You know my will!” Lucius again shouted, his hand moving to the hilt of the sword he bore and drawing the blade. Not as ornate as Deathlight, it still gleamed in the sun, testament of the care given to it. “I will not turn away.”

Then continue, if you do not fear. Approach, if the will is strong and desire stronger.

Come.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Lucius DeAuster
Old Wyrm
Old Wyrm


Joined: 14 May 2006
Posts: 451
See this user's pet
Can Be Found: Gharnholme or Cisroe in Carowyn
10557.36 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having sent Dante back to its own plane as the snow grew deeper, Lucius continued ahead, plowing through the waist-high snowdrifts like a man possessed. And perhaps, were he to reflect on it, he was indeed that. Growling in determination, he pushed through a wind-sculpted ridge of snow as high as his chest, and then stopped short, his eyes flaring a bright orange in amazement.

Below him the ground dropped off rapidly into a bowel-shaped valley, the snow impossibly thinning as further down the sides one went. By the time Lucius had slid down to the bottom of the valley it had disappeared entirely, giving way to naked black granite. Rivulets of water poured into a deep chasm that split the valley in two, and across the gap lay a solid finger of rock, just wide enough for a man to cross. But all of this was taken in a second’s glance, for it was the monument across the valley that held Lucius’s attention.

A path wound from the bridge to a rocky rise, the top of which was carved into the shape of a leering skull. Black holes seemed to leer down at him, and the path led into the gaping maw, for all the world a gravelly tongue. “How positively Neolithic.” Lucius muttered to himself as he glared up at the edifice, a hand tightening around the hilt of his sword.

Outward appearances bear not for what lies ahead. The whisper that was his companion held a tinge of amusement, he would later swear.

“And what is within?” Lucius asked, the words spoken aloud, as if a companion stood beside him.

Destiny, should you decide to take it. The reply brought a soft snort of contempt, as the grip on his sword eased.

“Destiny is what you make.”

If you truly believe that, then you would not be here. A silky edge crept into the whisper, seductive as a touch, and Lucius could almost feel fingernails running lightly across his neck. Destiny brought you from the realm of death, and led you to this place. Every choice you make is a stone paving the path, every decision a roadmarker.

And now, is the time to again choose. Turn away and wallow in the darkness of longing, or go forward. But know this: Once you begin, there is no turning back. There is only success, or the darkness. Victory or destruction awaits you within.

The return and proclamation by the gravelly whisper brought a thin smile under the scarf, and Lucius turned back toward the edifice. “I have looked on the darkness, and spit in the face of death. I have faced the hordes of Tarterus, watching my friends die one by one under the claws of those that lurk there. I turned my back on the church that had been my life. I betrayed the one woman I every truly loved, and now I exist in the darkness between life and death. I have killed those I called friend, and become that which I once hunted.” The sepulchral voice rose in intensity as he stared at the skull before him, orange-red eyes blazing in fury and determination, his free hand slowly flexing in wont of a neck, preferrably belonging to the infernal whispers. “I have nothing more to lose, and you think a simple ultimatum will dissuade me?”

Steel flashed in the afternoon sun, and with the sword held high Lucius bellowed his defiance in one long rage-filled cry, before stalking forward to disappear into the gaping maw.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Lucius DeAuster
Old Wyrm
Old Wyrm


Joined: 14 May 2006
Posts: 451
See this user's pet
Can Be Found: Gharnholme or Cisroe in Carowyn
10557.36 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The stairs wound down, curving ever on into the oppressive darkness. Lucius had lost track of how long it had been since he stepped into the maw of the cavern, but part of him suspected that something about the place was playing tricks on him. He growled softly, shrugging off the idle thoughts, and continued down the unlit path. The monotonous descent proved enough to eventually numb even his senses to the point that, as the tunnel began to lighten with a soft rosy glow it was several minutes before he actually noticed. Slowing his pace, his hand tightened around the hilt of his sword as he eased around the last curve of the stair, finding himself before a stone archway opening into a larger chamber beyond. Pausing for a moment, he regarded the opening, eyes flickering around the edges as though to try to see who or what had made the entry. Finally he stepped over the threshold and into the chamber beyond.

The first impression was one of intense brightness, unlike anything he had seen from outside the archway. For a few seconds everything faded as the intense glare overwhelmed his vision, but cupping a hand over his temple seemed to help, the cavern slowly coming into focus around him. Typical of a subterranean grotto, the chamber was filled by several stalagmite pillars, stretching up toward the ceiling far above. There was no visible source for the ruddy light that illuminated the cavern, or for the fog that was forming, billowing up from the floor and slowly thickening enough to obscure the far end of the cavern.

Lucius took in the tableau in a slow glance, frowning behind the heavy scarf that hid his lower face at the strange scene unfolding before him. Taking a step forward, a crunching sound gave him pause and drew his attention downward. Not rock, but bones was underfoot, the entire floor around him being covered with the cadaverous remains. Upon closer inspection the stalagmites were also bone, piles of skulls that stretched upward, the innumerable blank eye sockets seeming to glare at the deathknight as he passed by.

And the walking dead enters the realm of death. The snarl echoed in his mind, bringing Lucius around, sword at the ready. But this should be a comfort to you, seeing as how you and death are old friends.

“Death comes for all of us eventually. No matter if it's human, demihuman or beast, man or woman. Even the gods themselves fade into the nether, as their followers leave them for the worship of another.” The undead knight slowly looked around the cavern, turning in place as he spoke. "Even beings such as I will one day find the Final Darkness, under the blade of our enemies or the weight of time."

Perhaps, but for what purpose does death hold? The question caught Lucius by surprise, and he slowly canted his head, considering that question. Why does the despot fall to the sword, or the babe to cholera? To what end do the endless wars that rage over countless fields or the poison sipped by a fallen savior of man fulfill? Lucius growled softly at the last, the anger slowly building into a cold rage within him at the pointed reminder of his own past.

“It removes obstacles from the paths of those who deal it.” He snapped back, slashing the air before him with his longsword in emphasis. “The despot falls to the rebel, who puts himself forward as a better ruler to the people. The death of a child weeds out the weak early in life, making room for the strong. War and poison opens new doorways to power.” The sepulchral words took on an eerie echoing sound as they bounced around the room, as though the myriad skulls were aping the deathknight’s repost. Lucius barely took notice, as he raged. “What is death? It’s a weapon, a tool to be wielded by those who know it best. A single murder can change the destiny of a man, or a nation! It is power!”

Yes, yes! You understand, to a point. Lucius swore there was a bit of mirth in that gravelly voice, and bit back the curses that were on the tip of his tongue. Death is also life. It feeds those who draw sustenance from it. It is a rapturous joy, an exquisite banquet, an offering transcendental when properly prepared.

“And so we come to it, demon.” Lucius would have spat on the cavern floor if he could, and again the longsword lashed out, this time out of his mounting frustration.

Not demon. We are much older than those simple beings from your underworld. The thread of self-superiority crept into the disembodied words, the revelation setting Lucius aback. He had been certain he was dealing with one of the infernal dwellers of the Nine Hells, or the Abyss all this time. No, we are not demon, or devil. We are not of the dichotomy of Law or Anarchy.

We are Pandemonium.


Last edited by Lucius DeAuster on Fri Apr 29, 2011 1:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Lucius DeAuster
Old Wyrm
Old Wyrm


Joined: 14 May 2006
Posts: 451
See this user's pet
Can Be Found: Gharnholme or Cisroe in Carowyn
10557.36 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

“Pandemonium?” Sword tip dipping toward the ground, Lucius slowly turned again in place, wishing that he could see the speaker, to throttle him if nothing else for the maddening riddles in which he spoke. “That would rule out demons then, and they prefer an hierarchy of law to their evil. The devils are chaotic in nature, not bearing any mode of order that can be discerned by a rational mind. And, they are right deceivers in their designs.”

Law, order…such a linear concept. There was no mistaking the amusement now, the voice taking on an almost condescending tone. The presumptuous idea of good and evil are merely ways to rationalize one’s actions while condemning the actions of others. The minister seeking to force his beliefs on any and all passing his little street-corner has convinced himself he is doing good, same as the heretic sowing discord amongst the selfsame flock. Each see’s the other as evil to their purposes. But each, on diametrically opposing sides of the coin, are the same. For it doesn’t matter if one is a saint or a sinner, for in the end, all serve Pandemonium.

“And how is that, pray tell?” Yes, Lucius said it in a snide tone, hoping to goad the mysterious voice into revealing more about itself. Knowledge was power, and as yet, he had precious little of it concerning what he was dealing with. “Pandemonium by its very being has no rhyme or reason.” He intended to say more, but a sound behind him brought him around, sword up at the ready. While he had been in the argument the fog had grown thicker in the cavern, and to the deathknight it seemed figures were moving within the ruddy mist.

You will learn the nature behind Pandemonium and Chaos, should you survive the trials ahead of you. Lucius growled softly, slowly looking from side to side as the mist curled around him. He started to slowly back for the archway from which he had entered, intending to get out of the vapors.

“And if I refuse?” There was no immediate answer, but the impact of something against his back brought him around in a whirl, ready to unleash upon his enemy. Instead he found himself staring at a solid wall where the arch had been, and he could find no sign of the passage or entryway.

Once you entered the cave, the Trials began. And the first one is quite simple. All you have to do is pass through the archway on the other side of the cavern. Snarling in anger and frustration Lucius turned back to the cavern and the mist, in time to see one of the figures move into focus. Humanoid, the thing stood easily as tall as Lucius, but the elongated cranium added a good foot to its height, the backswept horns giving it an even more impressive stature. Corded muscles rippled under the scarlet hide, fingers and toes ending in black talons that appeared capable of shredding flesh, bone and armor. But the immediate threat was the gleaming crimson blade it bore. For a mortal a greatsword to be wielded two-handed, but the creature swung it easily with just one. A guillaersk, warrior of Guillaer and servant of Pandemonium. It is they you must pass by in order to reach the other side.

Gritting his teeth, Lucius pointed at the creature, calling on the dark powers he possessed to hurl a fireball and incinerate the beast. His eyes flared to a nova-like intensity when nothing happened, and the deathknight stared at his hand in open astonishment, losing precious seconds in his disbelief. Ah, ah…what kind of a test of strength would this be if you were allowed to use arcane abilities, hmm?

There was no time to reply, as the guillaersk charged him with an inhuman howl, the greatsword raised for the attack. Lucius shifted to one side, bringing his longsword around in a circular parry, intercepting the other’s weapon in a loud shriek of metal. His entire arm jarred from the blow, and the longsword shattered just above the hilt, shard flying in all directions.

The guillaersk gave him no time to adjust; forcing Lucius back with a backhanded swipe of its empty hand, then around again with the sword. Ducking the second blow, Lucius lashed back, the blades of the ensorcelled battlegauntlets extending as he aimed an uppercut at the beast’s jaw, a blow that was deflected at the last second by a brush of the other’s arm. The greatsword was parried by his left hand, the force of the blow sidestepping him to the right. The beast was strong, and surprisingly fast, but there was no finesse, and when it drew back to swing at him again Lucius moved within it’s guard, his right fist cutting across the guillaersk's stomach in a backhanded slap, followed by his left fist burying itself in the solar plexus, the blades digging deep into it’s innards.

Jerking his hand back with a savage twist Lucius kicked the thing away, not bothering to watch it slump to the ground as he turned toward the cavern. Two more guillaersks had stepped from the mist, stalking toward him, and he could see more moving within the fog, indistinct shades moving to overwhelm him with sheer numbers.

“Feth!”


Last edited by Lucius DeAuster on Fri Apr 29, 2011 1:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Lucius DeAuster
Old Wyrm
Old Wyrm


Joined: 14 May 2006
Posts: 451
See this user's pet
Can Be Found: Gharnholme or Cisroe in Carowyn
10557.36 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Left…right…forward the guillaersk had come, and the deathknight quickly found himself the center of a snarling mass. The charge was en masse, and he had to sidestep quickly to avoid being bowled over by the first of the beasts. Giving it a sidelong kick as it hurtled by, he deflected a slash from the second with his battle-gauntlets, metal squealing in protest and sending sparks flying from the force of the blow and counter.

Sending the guillaersk back with a backhanded slap to a snapping jaw, Lucius aimed a kick at a third’s belly, giving himself just enough room to turn to again meet the second head-on. His hands locked on the wrists of his opponent, deflecting the overhead slash to the side and into the third of the daemons. The unearthly howl echoed off the ivory walls as it fell back, clutching at the gaping wound in it’s chest, but the deathknight had no time to reflect of be pleased with the result, for crimson arms wrapped around him, trapping his arms at his side and leaving him open for the second’s attack. With amazing quickness the guillaersk brought the heavy sword around in a move that would have decapitated Lucius.

Only the deathknight was not there to receive the blow. Knee’s bending; he allowed his weight to slump forward, catching his grappler unawares and dragging both toward the second daemon. The crimson sword cut through the guillaersk's skull like a knife through a warm pat of butter, sending gore and bone fragments flying. Twisting enough to send the corpse falling to the side Lucius plowed into the second of the beasts, trying to overwhelm him with a flurry of jabs and hooks, the blades of his gauntlets sending ichor flying with each blow.

In the desire to see this opponent down, he lost sight of his surroundings, and he was forcibly reminded of the fact that others were about when the barbed edge bit deep into his side, cutting through both metal plates and the pallid flesh underneath with equal ease. The outcry that was dragged from Lucius was more of pure shock than rage, as a feeling he had not experienced in much time slammed through his system. His left hand moved to his side as he staggered back, a reflexive action that brought his back against the bone-encrusted wall.

White-hot pain threatened to overload his senses, and the deathknight found himself in a second battle, this one to keep his focus as the two guillaersk stalked toward him. Behind the other shapes grew more distinct, more of the daemons coming closer, drawn by the clarion call of spilled blood and pain. Eyes blazing with the intensity of twin miniature stars as he came to the truth; he could not win. His tactics would fail, in the face of so many, and his bones would join those upon which they fought.

“Pandemonium…” he growled, teeth gritted behind the black scarf. Though a curse in usage, the oath gave him sudden insight, and pushing away from the wall, Lucius charged forward, the sepulchral voice lifted in a war-cry. The guillaersks came to a sudden stop, and the second swung out at the oncoming deathknight, its blade tearing the left pauldron from his shoulder, but Lucius paid no mind as he barreled into the third of the beasts he had faced, pummeling like a madman.

Time ceased to have any meaning for Lucius, as he gave himself to the rage that lurked close to the surface. He did not consciously register his opponents, the ranks of the daemons becoming a red blur as he twisted, dodged and slashed out in the swarming melee. His cloak was torn away, as was the scarf, and he never slowed. Any thoughts of an organized battleplan had been thrown aside, and he fought with an indiscriminate abandon that he had never experienced before. For every guillaersk he took down, two more would take its place, and at one point he was nearly overwhelmed and brought down by the sheer press. Both bracers were ripped from his body, and twice he took a hit that would have driven a mortal to his knees, but the undead knight never slowed in the assault he waged. What rational part of his mind still aware knew full well, if he slowed in his attack, if he paused for even a second, he was finished.

A guillaersk fell away, nearly cut in two by the greatsword he had picked up at some point, and Lucius dimly became aware that none had crowded in to take its place. Looking to either side the deathknight saw the press of daemons stepping back, giving him an ever-widening circle of space. The crimson blade was held ready as he slowly straightened, the crimson eyes slowly sweeping the crowd of softly-hissing beasts.

“Well, come on! What are you waiting for?” Ivory gleamed through the tear in his cheek, the result of a blow from one of his victims decades before, as he snarled, but the words did not spur the guillaersk into another rush. His brow furrowing, Lucius slowly turned his head to look back, the thought that something was perhaps behind him and causing the daemons to keep back, but only a gaping darkness did he behold.

Only then did he realize he had crossed the chamber.

Turning back to the milling horde of daemons Lucius held up the blade and snorted softly. And, with no more words, he turned and stepped into the beckoning darkness of the archway, leaving the chamber and its fading occupants behind.


Last edited by Lucius DeAuster on Fri Apr 29, 2011 2:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Lucius DeAuster
Old Wyrm
Old Wyrm


Joined: 14 May 2006
Posts: 451
See this user's pet
Can Be Found: Gharnholme or Cisroe in Carowyn
10557.36 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Light assaulted his senses, and the deathknight paused, his hand coming up to shield his eyes from the blinding light. As quick as the exposure had begun it faded, and Lucius saw that he was in a well-appointed study. The walls were lined with shelves, books of all sizes, thickness and covers filling the bowed wood to near toppling. A desk was to his left, overflowing with papers haphazardly stacked and candelabra that cast a soft glowing light over the room. Beside the desk stood a lectern, a large book resting atop it, and beyond, another archway leading into darkness. Looking back, he wasn't surprised to find the opening from which he had entered no longer there.

Yes, ever forward. You have survived the first test. The soft voice had changed, no longer holding the hard edge to it, but now carrying the tenor of one more scholarly, with a hint of superior arrogance. But then, such is not hard to do, when dealing with the minions of The War God. Straightforward, unyielding carnage. No elegance whatsoever in the offering.

“And I suppose you are different?” Lucius held a hand to his side, over the tear in his armor. No blood flowed, the vitae having long turned to dust, but the wound throbbed with the dull pain that he still found surprising.

As different as your present is from your past…or your future. A hint of amusement grated on the undead’s senses, and he took a further step into the room, slowly looking over the surroundings. In particular the lectern drew his attention, and a fingertip, the leather of the gauntlet still gleaming with the drying gore of his recent fight, brushed over the midnight-black binding of the book.

“The first trial was of strength and survival.” Lucius said at last, the orange-red eyes slowly looking up and around, as though to see the one that whispered to him. “And this…a test of the mind.”

Quite evident, of course, but some even fail to see that simple deduction. Again Lucius gritted his teeth in frustration and annoyance at the grating sarcasm that almost dripped from the soft words, but he bit back his retort. Any fool can pick up and wield a weapon, and some even find rewards from mindless brutality. But…couple the weapon with a wit…

“…And you have two weapons, each as potent as the other, and all the more together.” The soft growl brought a grunt of pain, his left hand pressing into his side again as Lucius turned back to the book in front of him.

Exactly! There was no denying now the edge of sarcastic pride. And a focused mind can draw upon powers unimagined. And here…now…we see if you possess such a focus.

Growling softly again as he drove the pain back, willing himself to move without letting it hinder him, Lucius turned slowly in a full circle. “I am no mage, to be slave to a pile of moldy books and pots of liquids fermenting on a table.” He slashed his hand through the air in a negating gesture as he spoke, teeth gleaming through the ruined cheek as he snarled in defiance. “I have not the patience of such pursuits. This…” and he held up the gore-stained sword as though for inspection as he continued. “…is what I know. Hand-to-hand combat, straight up and clear!”

Honest, forthwith in your declaration, but said from a position of ignorance. The laughter that filled the room was as dry as the very air, and seemed to grow more oppressive by the moment. You already know how to channel the power around you, the same as a priest or a mage tapping into the manna that permeates the material. You already employ said majicks without thought. The beginning of your first test, for example? Thinking back, Lucius reluctantly had to agree, remembering the astonishment felt when his call for the mystical fireball had failed so dismally. It was but one of the many he wielded as a deathknight, and upon which he had bcome unconciously accustomed to using. The source of the power you may soon harness, however, is much different from what you now access.

“Priests and clerics focus power given to them by their gods. The same with holy warriors such as the paladin.” Lucius glanced to the book again, the sallow forehead furrowing as he considered his reply. “That is…a divine power. And mages, as you said, use manna. That exists all around us, except in some cases not naturally occurring.” Again his fingertip tapped on the binding of the book as he worked to puzzle out where the conversation was headed. “Even with the myriad schools of magic, the sources of power come down to the two: arcane and divine.”

And there you are wrong. Pandemonium does not fall within the auspices of the material, nor does it look upon the prayers of the devout to dole out its blessings. The voice was circling, as though the master was walking around the student while dictating the lesson of the day. Our power comes from all…man and woman, nobleman and peasant, even your ‘good and evil’…We exist in the realm of hopes, dreams and nightmares, supping on the rampant feast given by the mortals. Base and sublime, this is what empowers.

“Emotions.” Lucius said at last, several moments after the soft voice had quieted. “You feed on the emotions of man, like an empathic vampire.”

Not quite. But the differences will be learned, if you succeed in the tests that follow. His head tilted slightly as he considered what he had been told, and then Lucius’s eyes suddenly flared as he looked to the side, toward one of the lines of book-laden shelves.

“You said the first test was of The God of War. Exactly how many of these ‘tests’ will I be facing?”

Inquisitive. Good. The voice lost a trace of the deprecating tone, as it came from behind Lucius now. Powers come and go, growing in stature for a time, then falling back into the Maelstrom. Such is the will of Pandemonium. But four…four are yet above, Together yet apart in goals and view. They test you this day. The first was Guillaer. A vulgar god, of murder and war, harnessing the rage and hate that lies within. Lucius nodded slowly, remembering the red haze that had befallen him earlier.

“And you?”

I am the holder of secrets hidden, the shadow of dark ambition that nudges and councils the powerful and goads the weak. Ancient hope and earthly schemes are my purview. And you, fallen one, may know me as K'posk.


Last edited by Lucius DeAuster on Fri Apr 29, 2011 2:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Lucius DeAuster
Old Wyrm
Old Wyrm


Joined: 14 May 2006
Posts: 451
See this user's pet
Can Be Found: Gharnholme or Cisroe in Carowyn
10557.36 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2011 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"And what is your test for me then?" Lucius looked around again, steadfastly avoiding looking into the mirror that lay in one corner. He had no desire to see himself without the heavy cloak and scarf that had become almost a second skin. And perhaps they had, in their own way.

It is quite simple really. All you need do is read the book.

"Read the book..." There was no denying the skepticism in his voice as Lucius's gaze moved to the lectern and the book laying there. Leaning the sword he had appropriated against the desk he moved to stand behind the lectern and examined the tome more closely. What he had first taken for leather upon closer inspection now appeared to be dried skin, runes skittering over it's surface like ants defending their hill. The deathknight moved to pull back the front cover but before he could touch it the heavy leaf blew open on it's own accord.

Stifling a low snort Lucius leaned over, struggling to make sense of the swimming runes before him. Both hands gripped the edges of the lectern as he stared intently, trying to remember everything he had learned in the past. Part of the goal of a wizard is to elevate themselves to a state of mental equability. The words of his old companion Sadoc Correll echoed softly, and Lucius sought to do just that. He studied the runes for a long moment, trying to decipher the enigmatic writing.

"Tha lev..." The words were hesitant, and Lucius winced suddenly, feeling... something in his temple. Again, it took several seconds for it to register; pain. He cursed aloud, and then read the next words that had come into focus. "tha keval ath'ol nathalakath..." He trailed off as the runes began their dance again, and the flash of pain returned, a touch more insistent this time.

"This is ridiculous." he growled to himself, the fingers of his right hand curling away from the lectern an instant before the deathknight was sent to his knees, screaming in agony as white-hot pain exploded throughout his body. Only the steely grip on the edges of the lectern kept him from falling completely.

Once you begin, you will either master or be mastered. A ragged snarl escaped Lucius as he again tried to let go of the ancient wood, sending another paroxysm though him. He was almost gasping as he knelt for several moments seeking to regain his mental focus and leveling curses on this K'Posk. It was trembling limbs that forced him to stand again, using the lectern almost as a crutch as he again forced himself to the task of deciphering the runes before him.

"o'shishti... nelathat.. thethal en haratha." Each time he paused Lucius felt the pain building, no longer a dull ache but a sharper cutting into his body and mind. The wounds suffered by the guillaersk's attacks earlier were brought into crystal clarity, threatening to distract him with the dual layers of throbbing and lancing spasms. And each time his attention wandered from the page the pain in his mind would magnify. And twisted within the pain wracking him was a building anger.

"O'shishti tha keval melehk tha keval." Speaking with more confidence, Lucius found himself standing straighter as he turned inward to the pain and anger. Emotions, the voice had intimated. Just as he had set aside his formal training and let himself fall into the red-hot well of bloodlust earlier, so now he had to forget the notion of reaching a state of mental balance. No, now he needed the fury building within him, formerly so slow to incite, to bring the damnable page into focus.

"Etho korath var'o ha eth tha nalath shtak athaketh thi keval!" The last words were bellowed as they snapped into clarity on the page, the runes stilled as their meaning was unraveled. "Tha lev tha keval ath'ol nathalakath o'shishti nelathat thethal en haratha. O'shishti tha keval melehk tha keval. Etho korath var'o ha eth tha nalath shtak athaketh thi keval!" Wood creaked under his grip as he raised his face toward the ceiling and shouted the words a third time. "To know the power at your fingertips you must forget the idea of balance. You must feel the power to taste the power. Only then will you be on the first step to attaining true power!"

As the last word was spoken there was a brilliant flash of light, sudden and violent enough to send Lucius stumbling black arms raised to ward off the blow. It was the belated realization that he was no longer forced to grip the lectern that had him looking around the room. Bare stone walls greeting his gaze, the chamber empty except for himself. Even the sword he had brought with him had vanished. Soft-glowing eyes looked first left, then right as he silently considered what had just occurred. Finally he turned and moved to the archway, disappearing into the darkness within.
_________________
Fate whispered to the Warrior
"You cannot withstand the storm"

And the Warrior whispered back
"I am the storm"

-Anon


Last edited by Lucius DeAuster on Fri Apr 29, 2011 2:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Lucius DeAuster
Old Wyrm
Old Wyrm


Joined: 14 May 2006
Posts: 451
See this user's pet
Can Be Found: Gharnholme or Cisroe in Carowyn
10557.36 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And was staring at a reflection of himself.

Lucius brought an arm up to cover his eyes, feeling an instant’s revulsion at what he had seen. Backing away he bumped into something hard, whirling to be confronted with another mirrored image. The deathknight twirled in place, but found himself confronted on all sides with the same vision. Snarling in rage he brought a fist up to smash the reflection he was facing.

With the sound of a thousand glasses breaking the mirror shattered, sending fragments flying in all directions as the larger pieces hit the floor and fractured. But the mirror still impossibly remained. Lucius reared back to again smash the mirror when his mind finally registered a sound over and above the sound of shattering glass. He looked around slowly, to find another impossible sight:

The reflections were laughing.

Not only were the reflections in the four mirrors surrounding him chortling, but the sound was joined by each splinter and piece on the floor. It was a cacophony that assaulted the deathknight’s senses, and he crouched down, holding his hands over his ears as four other Lucius’ towered over him. “Stop it…” he growled softly, closing his eyes as though shutting away the sight would stop the hideous mirth. “I said stop it! BE QUIET!” The last was roared as he rose to his full height, intending to smash the mirrors unto a million pieces if he had to, but was confronted by his own reflection, poised to to strike. The laughter was gone, the mocking reflections vanished as though never there.

The reflections of ourselves are seldom the way we would like to see. The voice was soft, carrying a thread of sensuality that Lucius had not heard in so many years he nearly missed it entirely. Most seek to warp and hide the truth inside, in the hopes that what they project will become the true self.

“I have no delusions of what I am.” Lucius waved to the mirror, ignoring the aped vision all around him as he spoke. “I am a monster, one of the undead.” He forced himself to step next to one of the mirrors and truly looked at himself for the first time in over a century. His skin was the color of pale tallow, sunken against the skull underneath. Eyes the color and brilliance of a winter sunrise stared back in suppressed fury, the jaw set in a determined scowl. Teeth gleamed where they could be seen through the tear in his cheek, an injury inflected by one of his victims decades past that had never regenerated. His hair hung limp around his shoulders, usually hidden by the hood and scarf that had been torn away by the guillaersk.

Perhaps, but you were not always so. Before his eyes Lucius’s reflection shifted, a subtle warping into the man he had once been. Instead of pallid flesh his skin was a healthy tanned, auburn tresses shining in the suffused light of the chamber. His features held the healthy glow of life, and the steel-gray eyes of the reflection widened in surprise, a mirror of his own. What happened to this man, hmm?

“He fell.” Lucius replied, his hand moving to brush leather-clad fingertips to the flat surface. His image did the same, aping the slow shaking of his head that sent the russet hair fanning over his shoulders. “He was killed by his pride and inattentiveness.”

Nay. His fall occurred much sooner than that did it not? The silky voice whispered, seemingly in his right ear. Lucius looked that way in reflex, but was not surprised to see nothing but another reflection. Let’s look at the truth, shall we? The mirror Lucius was looking at shimmered, his reflection disappearing as a mist rose in the depths. As he watched another scene slowly came into a focus, that of a bed in a well-appointed chamber. He knew without doubt who the two locked in the throes of passion was as the memory one of his secretly cherished. It was this night you stepped from the path of the holy, fallen one. The night that for you everything changed.

“Yes.” Lucius watched for a moment as the pair on the bed rolled, Fiona sitting astride him now, her fingers entwined with his own. “This night I gave myself to her, even if I spoke it not at the time.” He dared to reach out, but the second his fingertips met the resistance of the pane the image faded back into the mists roiling in the mirror. “Why do you show me this? How is this part of your damned test?”

Remember, fallen one, how you felt afterward. It wasn’t a question but a command, another vision shifting into focus. This one of a battlefield, his knights following as he hacked a path into the orc battle lines. The greenskin tribe was annihilated as he watched, followed by one of the barbarian tribes of the region surrounding Raven’s Fast. Each fight, each victory helped build his coffers and the fame of his name. You felt more powerful, more certain of yourself. And you reaped the rewards... and again, He and Fiona, her face a mask of ecstasy as she stood braced against a balcony railing, the setting sun tinting her pale skin with a crimson sheen as he held her from behind, driving them both toward that primal release.

Passion filled the soul, as did the desire of conquest. These have lingered in your soul since the early years. Another mirror slowly wavered, another memory reflected even as the first continued. Only in this one a very young Lucius watched his mother caring for his sibling as well as working to prepare the evening meal. Lines of fatigue lay under her eyes, for the days were long working in the marketplace to keep food on the table. As a young boy you dreamed of leading a life of wealth and luxury, even as you devoted yourself to the worship of a faceless god.

“And what do I have to show for such fantasies?” Lucius growled softly as he looked back and forth between the images.

You have followers now, even if they are undead. You have wealth taken from those you have defeated.

“But…is that all?” He looked back to the mirrors a last time, and then he turned away, refusing to look at the scenes of memory any longer. “You hint at rewards even if you speak not of them. But what more can I expect in this dark night?”

There are always differing paths into the future. There are always new rewards, new pleasures and treasures to sate the thirst and slack the lust. There was a hint of amusement in the soft voice, and the deathknight almost felt fingers running along his shoulders, the sensation sending an unwelcome shudder through the heavy frame. There are gratifications you have not even deigned to consider, believing them too base. But, as you open yourself more to the possibilities, you will find yourself luxuriating in the contentment of our grace. And your power will grow as the cycle turns.

“Enough.” He looked around the mirrors, each now holding his own reflection. He was growing tired of the seeming game being played with his past memories, and that frustration colored the tone of his words. “I will find my rewards as they come, forewarned or no.” He had not missed the fact that the sultry voice had not answered his question. “So then, what is your test, nameless one?”

My name is many, though favored, Mal'lren. And as for my test, you have already passed it the night you dared to step out of the path properly laid before you. Lucius nearly balked in surprise as soft laughter surrounded him. You, like many, are ever watched and tested, and you never even know. You give praise and further our cause with no intentions of doing so. Thus it has been, and thus it will be. But for you, here and now, only the last remains. Pass through the garden, and then your true test shall begin. Lucius snorted, a frown crossing his mangled features and accompanying the low snarl.

“More riddles. Damn and twice-damn these cursed riddles” Glancing around, he discovered that one of the mirrors was no longer in place, a yawning dark portal silently beckoning. He waited a moment for the soft voice to say anything else, but when no words were forthcoming he started forward and stepped into the waiting darkness.
_________________
Fate whispered to the Warrior
"You cannot withstand the storm"

And the Warrior whispered back
"I am the storm"

-Anon
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Lucius DeAuster
Old Wyrm
Old Wyrm


Joined: 14 May 2006
Posts: 451
See this user's pet
Can Be Found: Gharnholme or Cisroe in Carowyn
10557.36 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fog rolled around his ankles as Lucius stepped through the archway, his gaze drawn upward immediately at the sight of the large plant growth stretching toward the dim ceiling of the cavern. In the sickly green light that lit the place in a soft glow the plants pulsed with a malignant life. A thousand different noises assailed the deathknight’s senses, and he found that he could not put his finger on what was triggering this long-dormant sensation of unease. Everything about the place seemed…wrong.

Actually, everything here is as it should be. The corner of Lucius’s mouth drew back in a growl as his being was assailed by the voice, dripping with phlegm and untold sickness. What you see before you is a small representation of my domain. My garden, if you will.

“Lovely.” Sarcasm colored the muttered reply as Lucius glanced around his surroundings again, his muscles relaxing slightly as no immediate danger presented itself. “And what dangers are to be found in such a forest, unless it is from a ravening slug?” The rattling cough that was the reply reminded him of an old man he had once seen, many decades prior. Sitting in a rocking chair in the corner of an inn where he and his companions were seeking lodging for the evening, the elder had seemed to be on death’s door with each breath, the racking coughing fits shaking his frail form until one thought he would simply expire from the effort.

Danger comes in all forms. From a raging wyrm to the most innocuous bee sting does death lurk. The cough of a passing man on the street, or the meat only partially cooked upon the spit. There was a long pause before the words spoke again, giving the impression of air being laboriously inhaled by failing lungs. It wears many a guise, as you have already learned, and strikes when and how you least expect it. Even a drop of refreshing nectar from a nondescript flower, for instance. Lucius snarled in rage at the reminder of that dark day, his anger stoked by the hoarse voice.

“And ever since I have walked in death’s shadow, a proclaimed pox on the world.” The last words were growled through clenched teeth, as more than the other tests this one was making a temper normally held in icy check flare. Even more annoying, a memory he had long buried clawed its way to the forefront of his mind...

“You were once a great warrior for good.” Arvandor stepped around the chair at the head of the table, circling even as Lucius moved slowly to keep across from him. “You sat here, with Puma, Delgrid and Bahamiet. You were one of our leaders. Our FRIEND!” The handsome elf’s face contorted with rage as he pushed chairs aside, his thighs meeting the edge of the table and stopping his progress as he pointed to the deathknight. “I’ve seen what Raven’s Fast has become. You’re nothing now but a pox, to be stamped out!”

The melodic words echoed under the rasping laughter, and Lucius’s hands clenched in fury. A pox? Death’s shadow? You know nothing of death. Death is eternal, a never-ending darkness that snuffs out life, hope and dreams. Death evens all; pauper and king, Templar and heretic. More coughing grated around Lucius, the tenor almost being aped by the noise of the subterranean jungle. Death is the natural finality, indeed it is the final great journey. But you were too cowardly even to cross the river. You are a base parody of life, a mere shadow in the world.

“You know nothing!” the scream tore from a throat that had barely uttered anything over a soft word in a century and a half. “NOTHING!” Lucius raged for several minutes, cursing the faceless voices that had been prodding and torturing him, his fist slamming into unyielding stone in his blind anger. It was only when his ranting had trailed off into a muted growling did the voice return.

And so does life rail against the inevitable. So many go about their days never knowing how close the shadow lies, only to seek a godly respite when the chill falls upon their bones. Others try to avoid and put off the last journey, in an effort to continue their temporal existence. But eventually all must meet their destiny. And your destiny, fallen one, lies in the Garden of Bokkurus.

“Fine.” Lucius turned toward the forest, hands clenching as he regarded the edge formed by the tangled vines. “What do I need to do in this forest for your test?”

Merely make your way to the other side. The plegmy laughter echoed through the murk under the eaves as the deathknight quickly passed into the shadows of the forest.
_________________
Fate whispered to the Warrior
"You cannot withstand the storm"

And the Warrior whispered back
"I am the storm"

-Anon
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Lucius DeAuster
Old Wyrm
Old Wyrm


Joined: 14 May 2006
Posts: 451
See this user's pet
Can Be Found: Gharnholme or Cisroe in Carowyn
10557.36 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Each step seemed to bring another muttered growl or curse from Lucius as he stomped through the brambles under the forests boughs. He continually looked around him, expecting something, anything to jump out at him. He was assaulted by a cacophony of sound, his teeth gritting as he tried to block out the noise. And to make matters worse, there was a building pressure around him, as though the very air was catching him in a vice.

How heavy the air, how sweet the smell of decaying peat and animal spore. The voice echoed softly now, though the rasping undercurrent remained.

“A jungle is a jungle, no matter its location.” Lucius replied, stepping over a root and looked around the trunk of one of the trees. “And they all smell the same.” He didn’t even try to hide the irritation in his voice as he brought a hand up to rub at his chestplate, the cloying air almost a physical presence against him.

Oh yes, my garden is beautiful. So much life abounds, a symbiotic relationship with the death that surrounds you. Lucius shook his head, muttering again about the insanity of it all, and brought a hand up as he coughed. No, no, my young friend. T’griel has nothing to do with your test this day. The soft laughter rocked the deathknight as he coughed again, and then looked around.

“These tests, as you so…” Lucius trailed off and looked at his hand in shock. He was…coughing?

Pathogens can lie so dormant for years. Spores float around you every day, each one capable of springing to life with any number of diseases. Some can even affect one such as you by attacking the nervous system that still responds to stimuli.

Lucius went to ridicule the soft voice, mock it for trying to convince him of the impossible, but another series of racking coughs forced him to double over. The very fact that he was doing such nearly shocked him to insensibility, but he stumbled forward, an arm pressed against his side as though to will the hacking cough away. Another spasm sent him to his knees, his unused stomach heaving as though it still bore liquid contents, and it took every bit of his willpower to half-rise and move another few steps before collapsing again. The din of the jungle seemed to echo his choking, and his strength finally failed as Lucius collapsed, the heaving in his chest slowly dying away, leaving him lifeless on the jungle floor.

*
*
*

NO!


Eyes flared like a sudden sunrise as they snapped open, and Lucius forced his way back to his hands and knees with a snarl of defiance. His head bowed for several seconds as he coughed, each convulsion threatening to collapse him again.

I

Slowly he crawled forward, each move sending agony though a system unused to the amount of pain it was experiencing again. The brambles were thinning around him, and he could see a clearing ahead, and through the perpetual mist he could make out a rocky wall.

WILL

Using a low-lying branch to pull himself to his feet, Lucius leaned against the tree trunk as another spasm tightened his chest. Brown flecks of long-dried blood flecked off his lips with the force of the hacking cough, and he wiped at his mouth with a grimy gauntlet, his eyes locking on the cavern’s exit.

NOT

He stumbled away from the tree, and made it nearly halfway across the small clearing before he tripped over a dragging foot and fell with a loud banging of metal. Rolling onto his side, he clawed at the soft dirt, dragging himself toward the yawning black archway so tantalizing close.

SUBMIT!

His fingers hooked on the rock making up the arch, and with the last of his fading strength Lucius pulled himself forward, tumbling into the blackness that waited beyond.
_________________
Fate whispered to the Warrior
"You cannot withstand the storm"

And the Warrior whispered back
"I am the storm"

-Anon
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Lucius DeAuster
Old Wyrm
Old Wyrm


Joined: 14 May 2006
Posts: 451
See this user's pet
Can Be Found: Gharnholme or Cisroe in Carowyn
10557.36 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So he passed the trials.

He has shown strength of body and mind, even if his soul has been a bit…lacking.

And yet he stepped out of the path set before him, following his desires. There is nothing ‘lacking’ about that in the least.

Adaptability. It is what we have been seeking in the aspirants and would-be heralds in this world. It is surprising however, of the ones that answered the call so few managed to survive.

Patience. It has been long since the call of the old ways sang in the hearts of men of the world. So many look to the future and to the newer pantheons that He allowed to spring into being. If we are to expand our flock, we must be prepared to nurture the seeds already sowed.

And who venerates us now? Savages and brutes of the wilderlands who see us as primitive and brutish totems.

Be of ease, brother. We knew the rebirth would take time. After all, it has been long on the mortal plane since the fall of Kahadras and Iescalor, and we are no longer known as before. These new champions will bring the ways of the old back to the children of the new.

Let us hope that they do not come to the same end as the first.

Dregrel chose poorly his champion, and even now I sense the machinations of T’griel in his making. Not even our brother could have predicted his chosen would be so rash as to attempt to destroy the world.

He would have reveled in the chaos created, even if risking His displeasure.

Our trials should have weeded out such a disturbed individual. Should one of our chosen start down that path, we will make certain they come to a fitting end at the hands of another of their fraternity. And should this experiment fail, we will try again.

So we are in accordance?

Aye. Time for these upstarts to remember those who came before.

Yes. Let these, our new children, go into the world.

Aye.

So shall it be.

Now, let us prepare our chosen to take the word to the world of man.

_________________
Fate whispered to the Warrior
"You cannot withstand the storm"

And the Warrior whispered back
"I am the storm"

-Anon
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Lucius DeAuster
Old Wyrm
Old Wyrm


Joined: 14 May 2006
Posts: 451
See this user's pet
Can Be Found: Gharnholme or Cisroe in Carowyn
10557.36 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lucius’s eyes fluttered open, and he shifted his body with a low groan to lie on his side blinking in the face of the dazzling sun hanging high in the cloudless sky. He brought a hand up to shield his eyes and growled softly as snow fell on his cheek, stinging the flesh with its icy touch. Brushing away the irritating fall he rolled slowly to his knees and then stood, looking at his surroundings.

He stood in a basin some distance down from the entrance to the caves, next to a small brook that had yet to completely freeze over. The wind swirled among the rocks, snapping at his body as he slowly turned a full circle. He shivered in the frigid breeze as he ran over the last events he could remember in his mind. He was so wrapped up in his brooding that it took a moment for Lucius to register a simple truth: He was… cold!

He doubted his very sanity for several seconds, but his body was telling him things that he had not experienced for so long, the least of which was the goose bumps rising along his neck from the caress of the biting cold. Paying more attention now he could feel himself breathing, small puffs of steam visible each time he exhaled. The smells of the clean snow and pockets of fir and pine were sharp in his senses, threatening to overwhelm him as he yanked off his gauntlets. Trembling fingers pressed to the pale skin at his wrist, searching…searching…and there.

The steady thrumming of a heartbeat.

Lucius stood as still as a statue for a long moment feeling the strong pulsing under his fingertips. His eyes fell on the small brook, and he ran in that direction, sliding to a stop on his knees as he looked into the water. No gleaming orange stared back, only the steel-grey of his previous life. No teeth gleamed through the ragged tear in his cheek, for unmarred skin now met his gaze. The reflection’s hands moved over his chin and face in a slow inspection, before he threw his head back and screamed. No cry of anguish or anger was this, but one of pure surprise and delight echoing among the crags of the mountaintop.

Coming to his feet Lucius scooped up his discarded gauntlets from the snow and pulled them on to protect his hands from the cold. He gave a last look about the basin, his hair whipping around his features with the wind, before bending his will to summoning Dante. He needed to get back to Gharnholme, and try to make sense of what had happened. As he pulled himself into the saddle he thought he could hear light laughter on the breeze, a soft feminine sound that sent a shiver down his spine and made him pause. Reigns held in the right hand, he lifted his left and looked at it for several seconds, the fingers slowly flexing as he remembered the words in the hall of mirrored memory.

“Open yourself more to the possibilities…” His soft words were nearly lost in the gust of wind, but there was no hiding the smile that slowly grew as he did just that. With a jubilant cry he dug his heels into Dante’s flank, the nightmare rearing to paw at the air before leaping forward and fading from view, leaving the basin empty once again.

((To be continued in Days of the Past))
_________________
Fate whispered to the Warrior
"You cannot withstand the storm"

And the Warrior whispered back
"I am the storm"

-Anon
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   This topic is locked: you cannot edit posts or make replies.   printer-friendly view    Red Dragon Inn - Dragon's Mark Forum Index -> WestEnd -> Gharnholme All times are GMT - 4 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group

Dragon's Mark Producer - Rob Portinga
Original site design © 2005 by Nomad  •  Forum design © 2005 Isaura Simon