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The Road of War
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Lucius DeAuster
Old Wyrm
Old Wyrm


Joined: 14 May 2006
Posts: 450
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Can Be Found: Gharnholme or Cisroe in Carowyn
10557.36 Silver Crowns

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

“Fall Back!” The normally low voice of Lucius rose above the din as the first arrows began to fall amongst the ragged ranks of his men. “Away from the walls!” Lord Unthor, looking back from the last of the cannon crew he and his entourage had just slaughtered, frowned slightly. The bloodlust that was the hallmark of the berserkers was in full bloom, and his soul cried out at the idea of retreating. However, managing to beat back the overwhelming urge to continue hacking the bodies apart, he started yelling for his men to start back, giving more than one a swift kick or hard shove to get them moving.

Terrak also started to pull his warband back, no so much because of the volleys of arrows but to give the Bloodbound room to maneuver. He recognized the glazed look in those eyes, and knew that at the moment they could attack their own to sate the bloodlust. Bodies jostled against one another as the barbarians began to give ground to the beat of the hide-covered drums. Pausing a moment to stare up at the battlements looming above, he raised a defiant fist, gritting back the pain of his wounded shoulder.

The bit of bravado done, he turned back to getting his warband back into a semblance of order. Many had taken advantage of the trench dug by the Terranth, with others starting to line up beyond. Down the line, he caught sight of his twin Jerrak helping a young barbarian scramble out of the trench. As if sensing the look Jerrak glanced up, and a smile split his features as he held up three fingers. Terrak snorted as he held up two fingers for his kills, and the scowl deepened at his twin’s roar of laughter.

Reigning Dante up, Lucius also glared up at the walls, but his was a predatory snarl as he set the next part of his plan into motion.

Now!
_________________
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 3:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Lucius DeAuster
Old Wyrm
Old Wyrm


Joined: 14 May 2006
Posts: 450
See this user's pet
Can Be Found: Gharnholme or Cisroe in Carowyn
10557.36 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

“He's ready.” Daniel DeAuster blinked in the low lights cast by flickering torches, and turned to his shorter companion. Jarl Korb Fellcrevice grunted softly, his grip tightening slightly on the haft of his urgosh he carried.

“’Bout time too.” The gravelly voice was impossibly deep in tone, almost out of place for the thin dwarf. Like most duegar Fellcrevice kept his bald palate bare of helm or cap, preferring the feel of the dark tunnel air. His bushy white beard nearly covered his chestplate, and was tucked into his weapons belt in the manner of most dwarves going into battle. To the young half-elf the duegar resembled a small armored rock, full of vinegar and spite.“You sure tha’ this plan is gonna work?” Daniel glanced down the passage the stubby jarl had pointed and nodded.
“My father believes it will.” That brought another low grunt from Fellcrevice.

“Me and tha’ boys’ll do our share.” With that, the dwarf stomped off down a smaller side passage. Daniel turned and hurried down the main passage in the opposite direction, nearly sliding around a corner in his haste and into a large cavern.

The cavern was not a natural occurrence, but rather an excavation of the grey dwarves. As winter and early spring harried the surface and the forces of Gharnholme exhibited to keep the attention of the Cisran armies the duegar had dug out this cavern and a series of tunnels under the walls of the city. The cavern now was filled with steel drums, each filled with some noxious liquid that stung Daniel’s sensitive nose. Wires covered the drums, the tangle leading to a single small box, over which a stooped figure worked feverishly. As Daniel approached, he could hear the man muttering softly.

“Dammit, Bert, I’m telling ya it’s blue to the left, and red to the right,” The muttering brought a small smile to Daniel, as it was a sign that Maddock Malign was in top form. The ‘Maddman” was tying the last of the wires together, and abruptly stood up, bumping into Daniel. “Bert, get outa the way!”

“Excuse me, Mr. Maddock.” Daniel started to speak, but was almost immediately cut off.

“No time, no time!” With no pause whatsoever Maddock bustled over to one of the large drums, and stooped to check a small rectangular object resting next to it. “We’re on a schedule here!” Daniel watched the frantic activity for a second, and then cleared his throat.

“Dad’s ready for you.” His words echoed in the chamber, and brought Maddock around to look at him, eyes glinting with a manic energy.

“Hell, why didn’t you say so?” Grabbing the end of the tangle of wires Maddock started down the corridor, glancing back as he did so. “C’mon. We’re on a schedule here!” Eyes rolling in an effort not to betray the amusement he felt, Daniel followed the explosives expert to a bend in the corridor.

Maddock was already kneeling, hurriedly tightening the wires into the contacts of a small plunger. As Daniel crouched beside him, he looked over and chuckled. “This is gonna be good!” Daniel covered his ears and closed his eyes as the pyromaniac, his own eyes also squeezed shut, jammed the plunger down. Silence reigned, and in that stillness, one of Maddock’s eyes popped open, then the next. Daniel also cautiously opened his eyes, looking at Maddock curiously. “Ok, this is gonna be good!” Repeating the mantra, he brought the plunger up, and jammed it down as both men again closed their eyes in anticipation of the explosion to follow.

Nothing happened.

Exasperated grunts escaped Maddock as he slammed the plunger against his forehead several times, before giving the handle a savage jerk to push it down again. “Ah, Dammit!” He screamed as he threw the plunger to the floor and rose to stand. “Wait here!” He ordered Daniel, and took off down the corridor. The youth peered around the corner to see Maddock fiddling with the wires leading to the piles. “I told you Bert, blue left, red right!”

Daniel leaned back against the passage wall as he listened to Maddock hurry back, fervently hoping the delay would not cost the army dearly above. Red duster billowing around him, Maddock slid to a stop and picked up the plunger. “Ok, THIS is gonna be good!” Smile bordering on the insanely happy, he pushed the plunger into the box.
_________________
Fate whispered to the Warrior
"You cannot withstand the storm"

And the Warrior whispered back
"I am the storm"

-Anon
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Lucius DeAuster
Old Wyrm
Old Wyrm


Joined: 14 May 2006
Posts: 450
See this user's pet
Can Be Found: Gharnholme or Cisroe in Carowyn
10557.36 Silver Crowns

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nothing happened.

For a second Maddock's expression was akin to a child who had just broken his favorite toy, but quickly changed to a look of determination. “Alright, plan B!” Throwing the plunger down he took off around the corner again, Daniel following close behind.

“What’s Plan B?” He called out as he chased after the running Maddock.

“Watch!” He replied hurriedly, snatching up a small can and quickly unscrewing the cap. Fumes stung Daniel’s sensitive nose again as the older man began to splash the liquid all about, concentrating on the small packages. “Thing about C-2 you have to remember, is that it’ll detonate with a good enough kick!” Daniel nodded as he listened and watched, though most of Maddock’s babbling was going over his head. Maddock threw the can he held aside as it ran empty, and grabbed another and opened it.

“Is this going to work?” Daniel had a worried look, as this was the linchpin for the whole siege. He felt the building rage of his father as the moments passed, and could only imagine the venue above. Maddock nodded with all confidence as he poured a small trail of the noxious liquid up the passage.

“Oh yeah, this’ll work.” He flashed Daniel a toothy grin. “Remember, when in doubt, fire works every time!” Heaving the can back down the passage, he started to fish in his pockets.

“I hope so.” The young half-elf muttered in reply as he glanced toward the low ceiling, as though he could pierce the layers of rock above to see the battle waging above as well as say a quick prayer.

“Like I said, this is gonna be good.” A soft click and a tiny point of flame leapt from the small lighter. Smile beaming, Maddock dropped the lighter onto the trail he had poured, and with a soft ‘whoosh’ fire washed back along the trail, disappearing around the bend. Daniel started to crouch down and cover his ears, but Maddock grabbed his shoulder to stop him. “Bert said we better run.” His tone brooked no argument, and the two sprinted down the corridor. Behind them, the fire reached the pile, leaping high as it hit the pools of gasoline Maddock had spread about the drums. Flash-heated by the sudden flame-up the C-2 exploded with the roar of a waking predator. The detonations split open the drums of fuel as well as sending shock-waves into the timbers holding up the cavern roof, each rolling burst of flame and sound greater than the last.

The shock of the first explosions hurled Daniel and Maddock to the ground, each curling into as small a ball as possible as flames roared down the passage. The timbers that were not shattered outright caught fire, white-hot flames eating at the sturdy wood quickly. Even more significant, two large cracks sprouted in the cavern ceiling, one spidering along the ceiling while the other split a short passage into another cavern abutting the first. As Daniel and Maddock started to regain their feet a low rumbling sound was growing, heralding the first falling rocks from above.

“C’mon, let’s get out of here!” Daniel yelled to be heard over the growing din, holding an arm up to ward away falling stones. Maddock, however, seemed intent on trying to move back down the corridor. Growling, Daniel grabbed Maddocks shoulder and pulled hard, causing the two to tumble back against the wall and disappear into a patch of shadow.
_________________
Fate whispered to the Warrior
"You cannot withstand the storm"

And the Warrior whispered back
"I am the storm"

-Anon
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Lucius DeAuster
Old Wyrm
Old Wyrm


Joined: 14 May 2006
Posts: 450
See this user's pet
Can Be Found: Gharnholme or Cisroe in Carowyn
10557.36 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the surface, the immediate hint of what was happening below was a large cloud of dust that suddenly bloomed along the bottom of one section of the outer wall. Captain Morgan, who was trying to fathom the sudden pullback of the horde below, felt a tremor run through the thick granite under his hands. A brow quirked in puzzlement, he glanced around trying to puzzle out this new mystery. Another tremor, this time accompanied by a sharp cracking sound, drew his attention toward the section of wall to the right of the gate tower. Daring to lean over the parapet, his eyes widened at the sight of two large cracks shooting up the hard granite. “No….“

A grating creaking noise began to fill the air as stone sagged against stone. Holes appeared both before and behind the walls as the ground fell away into the chambers below, allowing billowing black smoke to escape into the air. Morgan ran to the opening leading to the battlements along that section of the wall, waving frantically. “Get off the wall!” He screamed, grabbing the soldier nearest him and bodily yanking him onto the tower. Other men, seeing the growing danger, started yelling to others, in many cases pushing or pulling them to get them moving. Several were trampled in the mad rush to escape.

The ground gave way under the wall nearest the tower opposite Morgan, and that section of wall descended straight into the earth. The rest of the wall followed in a slow-motion domino effect, sending a cloud of dust billowing outward onto the field and choking off the inner bailey. Morgan could only watch in horror as the chain collapse neared him, the tower he was on shaking as the wall tore away to collapse far below. The cunning dwarfs had designed the sap to collapse the wall deep underground, leaving little rubble for the barbarians to have to climb over on the surface.

Even as this disaster registered in the captain’s mind, another shout of warning dragged his attention to the tower across from him. The ground under the edges was falling into another cavern below, destabilizing the tower and leaning it slowly over the fallen wall. Soldiers were trying to reach the next wall section, some leaping desperately toward the stone battlement, while others could only clutch at the merlons of the tower. The men on the bottom floor were the luckiest, able to get out the door before the opening was destroyed, though one was caught by falling stone just inside the entry.

Again moving as though time itself was dragging the seconds by, the tower leaned further, the weakened cavern roof below caving in under the increasing press of the tower’s weight until gravity sent the building crashing down. The top of the tower slammed into the watchtower upon which the captain stood, sending Morgan and everyone else to their knees from the force of the impact. Stone exploded outward from the watchtower as a section was torn away to fall in the settling remains of the tower, revealing the interior and the dazed soldiers within.

Lucius clenched his fist in triumph as he watched the wall start to collapse, but the elation turned into alarm as the tower began to first lean, and then collapse into the watchtower across from it. The resulting pile of rubble was a greater obstacle than had first been planned, and it only took a glance to realize that his cavalry would now be useless. He quickly turned to one of the barbarians standing near him, also watching the collapse of the wall and tower in amazement.

“Send word to Bailneth. Have the cavalry dismount and take up arms.” One of the barbarians snapped out of his stupor and nodded, turning to run off in search of the priest. Dismounting, Lucius dismissed Dante with a single command, and then started forward, Drachmel held high in his right hand. As he headed for the ruins of the wall he could hear a clarion call from well behind the lines, and smiled grimly behind his dusty helm as the second signal was given.

“Northras! Over the walls! Ride the fire!!” He didn’t bother to wait for a response, but charged toward the rubble. Nearing the smoking piles of rock he leaped, the supernatural strength carrying him high to make an ungainly landing near the apex. Behind him, Unthor led his screaming berserkers to the fallen wall, the crimson-armored warriors scrambling up as quickly as they could behind the champion of Pandemonium.

In the shadows of an archway leading to the city Daniel and Maddock had watched the fruits of Maddocks handiwork. Daniel had whistled low in amazement as he watched the stone rain down, sending soldiers running about to try to escape flying rocks and fight the fires breaking out from spilled hot oil. He heard Maddock mutter something, and turned to look at the older man as he continued to talk softly. The pyromaniac had a look of almost disappointment on his features.

“Yeah, I know Bert. I thought there would be more damage also.” And then, a sudden brightening, with his almost-manic grin back in place. “Yeah! Next time we’ll use the Engine!”
_________________
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 3:16 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Lucius DeAuster
Old Wyrm
Old Wyrm


Joined: 14 May 2006
Posts: 450
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Can Be Found: Gharnholme or Cisroe in Carowyn
10557.36 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2011 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Well I’ll be damned. The bastard actually pulled it off. “ Lieance DeCort sat in the saddle, holding a spyglass and watching the fight to the north. Situated on a hillock just off the road heading south into Malirid he and his force had a good view of the city and bay. Many could see the smoke rising over the buildings and walls, and those who had not known the plans of DeAuster wondered what fate had befallen the city. Lieance himself had expressed doubts when Lucius had explained his ambitious plan, remembering his own grandfather’s attempt at taking the port city.

“Aye, milord. His men should be entering the city now.” Jarrevik DuBoise was a grizzled veteran of many smaller wars of territory, and sat impassively beside DeCort. Like his lord, DuBoise was clad in full plate mail, prepared for combat in this, the taking of his leigelord’s enemy. Unlike DeCort, however, he did not seem impressed with the breaching of the wall. Off in the distance, a horn sounded, a low keening that rolled through the valleys around the city.

With the prearranged signal that the wall had been successfully breached, DeCort lowered the spyglass and turned in the saddle to nod to a young knight beside him. “Sound the advance.”
The knight raised a horn and blew a long clear note, the sound fading as men along the Malirid battleline took up the commands of the general. Behind DeCort and DuBoise the column of men-at-arms started forward, swords drawn and shields gripped determinedly. Behind the footmen cavalry in gleaming armor rode slowly with lances braced into stirrups, their pennants fluttered in the low breeze.

“Milord!” DeCort’s and Duboise’s slowed as a runner came running down the road toward the column. The young man was breathing heavy from his run, and it took a second to get his breath enough to speak. “Milord, scouts report a line of warriors in front of us, commanding the intersection.”

“Who are they?” DuBoise snapped, and the runner shook his head.

“Unknown milord. They have no livery” DuBoise glanced to DeCort, who shook his head slowly.

“Tell Reynelf to prepare his archers. We move forward.” The runner quickly saluted, and turned to run back into the lines, weaving between the slowly-moving knights. “I wonder where Urevan managed to get help.”

“No doubt a mercenary company, Milord.” Jarrevik spat in disgust. Like most in the myriad knightly orders, he had a low opinion of men who would not fight for honor, but for gold. “Paid to guard the back door.” The craggy warrior half-turned in the saddle to look to DeCort. “My lord DeCort, I request permission to lead your knights forward.”

Not even bothering to hide his smile at the formality his second displayed at the request DeCort nodded in reply. “Permission granted, Commander.” His gaze moved back to the city, and the plume of dust rising into the angry clouds above. “Clear me a path to Cisroe.”
_________________
Fate whispered to the Warrior
"You cannot withstand the storm"

And the Warrior whispered back
"I am the storm"

-Anon
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Lucius DeAuster
Old Wyrm
Old Wyrm


Joined: 14 May 2006
Posts: 450
See this user's pet
Can Be Found: Gharnholme or Cisroe in Carowyn
10557.36 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2011 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At the first warning from Tasha, Indigo hadn’t bothered to wait. Instead she had taken off towards the camp at full speed, knowing only to well how undefended it was. The sky above rumbled with her own dark mood, the clouds building in intensity with every running step she took. Her years of street fighting and gang wars made her well prepared for just about anything, including such old fashion means of war. There was a whispered slicing of air as the deceptive looking Elvin rapier was drawn and snapped to the ready, the steel glowed dark blue as she darted in fast. A saber was parried deftly, the hand then just as nimbly severed. Indigo was a blur of movement, dancing away gracefully from the deadly hooves of frightened horses and leaping easily over fallen bodies. Around her, the air grew thick with the stench of blood and in the distance, the soft song of the Banshees echoed in her ears.

She had counted about 30 in all, but against healers, that number could be devastating as many of those were not skilled in armed combat after all. Luc had only left perhaps 15 guards behind to hold the lines here and as she knew none of the scouts had spotted a single sign to warn of such a tactic, his decision had been correct. Of course, she was aware these were not ordinary soldiers thus making them a far bigger threat then even she cared for. A sizzling bolt of blue light surged downwards, slamming forcefully into the earth and unsettling several of the riders, evening the odds just a little more as the terrified horses fled from the fury of Nature.

A fast spinning kick sent one enemy stumbling back right into the unexpected blade of an arriving guard. Senses screaming as more entered the fray, she launched herself upwards right into one of the last remaining riders, taking a stinging gouge to her side even as his head went sailing off to roll in the dirt and followed by the sagging slide of his body. A quick glance down and she pressed an already gore-stained hand to the wound, hissing softly before her head lifted again with hair flying wildly under the gusts of harsh wind. Glowing dark eyes sought the leader for this troop and soon found him, shouting orders while the glint of red eyes behind the faceplate flashed in rage. Giving a sharp wheeling yank to the reins, the horse stumbled under the command then righted itself and both went flying towards that single figure with a determined setting of her chin.

***

Elbows deep in wounded men, Kaelyn could only glance up at the warning calls and her movements went into high gear, using herbs and bandages to stop the bleeding in one man’s leg and her own powers on another to close the hole in his chest. More of the injured were coming, this she knew, but if they couldn’t stop that aggressive force coming at them, it would do little good to seek to save any of the new arrivals anyway. Her hand moved downwards, unsnapping the collection of throwing blades from one boot while the other tugged those bladed stars Fiona had taught her to use. Into the screaming wild conflict she then moved, skirting the edge of the melee as she looked to help as she could. Behind her, she caught the warning shouts but missed the fact that a number of the back line of Luc’s forces was now coming up the hill.

Staying mostly to the outside, her thrown blades and spinning stars took down about 2 but the dense armor made her attempts far more difficult, but she still had to at least try. Catching sight of Indigo, her eyes widened at the sight of the blood covered woman and the sheer ferocity in her battle tactics. The elvin woman had seemed so calm and serene before the battle but seeing her decapitate a man without even batting an eye was stunning sight.

Distracted for that moment and it was only another shout behind her that yanked her out of it. “Kaely! Down!” She didn’t think but just hit the ground and rolled, a man she hadn’t even noticed collapsing with several little bolts protruding from his throat. The next moment a small hand touched her shoulder. “You alright?” Tasha asked breathlessly. Giving a short nod, she knocked her braid back and rose quickly to her feet, covered in dust and blood but thus far unharmed.

Still on her knees, the young Trueblood set about slamming more of those deadly quarrels into the loader then glanced back with a faint grin growing on her blood streaked face. “Looks like the cavalry has arrived. Ya might want to just head for the tents again, got more wounded coming in from both sides now.” The words barely out of her mouth and the girl was off again, sending shots flying outwards and slowing down some of those attackers.

Again, time just seemed to go all strange to Kaelyn as it seemed like only a moment had gone by and yet the number of the enemy forces was already greatly reduced. Her wide blue gaze swept over those still in the thick of it, but the sight of one of the healers staggering out broke her stillness and she was hurrying towards them, and in no time at all was back working on helping the injured best she could.
_________________
Fate whispered to the Warrior
"You cannot withstand the storm"

And the Warrior whispered back
"I am the storm"

-Anon
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Lucius DeAuster
Old Wyrm
Old Wyrm


Joined: 14 May 2006
Posts: 450
See this user's pet
Can Be Found: Gharnholme or Cisroe in Carowyn
10557.36 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

“Crow! F%@ker! S&#t! Crow!” A steady stream of cursing filled the small courtyard as Lusiphur lashed out at the city guard pressing against him. Each curse came as a new cut opened on an arm or leg, the elvin assassin already bearing several such small wounds. Many guardsmen paid the price for such small victories, either falling back clutching at a wound or lying still on the cobblestones.

Lusiphur was a small island of whirling motion among the soldiers, darting and weaving almost too fast for the eye to follow. He was acting on pure instinct, and never even saw the spear that he ducked under, the tip grazing one long upturned ear. His furious assault carried him across the alley, where he put his back to the cool brick and readied for the next attack. It was about this time he realized a new player had entered the game.

Or several new players, to be precise. The small courtyard he had become trapped in was filled with a swirling melee, militiamen locked in battle with a ragtag mob. Outnumbered nearly three to one, the militia was quickly overwhelmed by the Cisran citizens, several throwing down their weapons and running rather than fight their fellow townspeople. As the skirmish dwindled several of the now-armed citizens patted Lusiphur on a shoulder as he watched in surprised wonder, congratulating him on the fight.. “Heh. Well I’ll be damned…” he muttered to himself at the turn of events.

“The wall! They breached the wall!” The cry brought everyone’s attention to a young boy running down the street, his arms waving wildly as he ran past the courtyard. The news roused the men and women milling about, and as one the mob surged forward, heading for the curtain wall surrounding the city proper. Lusiphur, having been trying to make his way back around the edge of the courtyard, found himself swept along by the wave of bodies, his renewed cursing lost in the din of the roused citizenry.

******

It was wild. It was crazy as well, but Tasha was also starting to find this rather fun as bolts flew in rapid succession from her crossbow. Having figured out fast that most were heavily protected, she simply aimed higher, towards any exposed skin she could find and impale. Later she reminded herself to remember the one who went down with one of her deadly little darts sticking out of an eye socket under a helm, as that had been one of her best shots ever! A glance upwards and she then squeaked and ducked, as a rather large fellow swung towards her with a huge sword, diving fast in a tumbling roll right into his legs. His bellowing just before he toppled over hadn’t brought him any help however, as several of the gore adorned healers and guards started lashing at him with their own various weapons.

“So far, so good!” she thought as she darted out of the fray to get her bearings and catch a few deep breaths of less blood-tainted air. The smell was starting to really bug her but she refused to admit it, even as her tummy rolled with a touch of nausea. The sight mingled with the falling rain and mud wasn’t to hard to take, since it all sort of started to blend into each other, but that still didn’t fully cover the stink of the stuff.

Then, just as fast as it had started, all the action dwindled to a stop and she blinked curiously. Behind them, the cries of the wounded could be heard, but none seemed to notice. Attention obviously caught by something going on ahead. Tasha tried jumping to see what had caught so many in its hold, but most towered over her. Swiping a mud caked hand against her leathers, she muttered at her lack of stature, and then moved around the edge to find out just what the heck was going on and in moments, she stumbled to a stop to see Indigo facing off against a rather nasty looking soldier.

Even though it hadn’t seemed possible, Tasha was sure the sky had grown even darker with another threatening rumble of thunder high above and all she could do was watch and worry. The slow dance began with the large one lunging out with one of the two blades he was wielding, but the weight of his armor was little match against the light step of the willowy woman. She sidestepped back gracefully, almost floating and then her own rapier darted in. The glowing tip sliced like butter into that thick heavy mail, drawing a growl from the beast and a careless swinging of an arm.

Blood dotted silver and blue hair fluttered wildly with the chilled wind as Indigo spun neatly out of the way of that attempt and simply dropped without a single warning and the Elven blade slammed home into the side of his leg, again the dense protection covering him seemed to show little resistance to it’s bite. “I gotta get one of those.” Tasha muttered to herself and got a nod beside her by one of the guards thinking the very same thing.

A howl of rage cut that unsettling silence as the man lunged in hard and driven by rage, managing to knock the slight female back. Blood seeping from her arm, she merely tossed the rapier into the other hand and before she even rose up, deftly parried another blow and sent both boots into her opponent’s legs.

Tasha was nearly ready to chew on dirty nails as the fight progressed, and every injury Indi took made her wince, but she couldn’t seem to drag her eyes away. It was a curious sight. Both well matched for skill, but soon the one wearing the heavy cumbersome mail started to look winded. Where as Indigo was still moving with liquid grace, and gave no mercy, pressing her advantage and her speed to the limits. Becoming aware of this, the large warrior made one last attempt to take her down, charging at her full force with blades swinging and sent her stumbling back with a hiss and a sudden shrieking cry that made every one watching wince at the sharp pain in their ears. Gasping as she saw the blood and tears in the black leather, Tasha just squinted, while nails bit into the palms of her hands. She wanted to stop this, take the enemy down, but knew that this was a matter of honor so forced herself to stay still.

In a sudden blurring of motion, the Elven woman sprang forward, snarling with the feral flashing of near black eyes and the glowing rapier weaving patterns into the dim air. What followed, to Tasha as she watched, was as if everything slowed down, every second was more like a minute. First, the head sailed clean off, rolling and bouncing like a ball and finally stopped just in front of the watching spectators, red eyes fading under the hard face shield. It was only then, the body teetered, slowly rocking before it finally crashed down beside the swaying form of Indi, who was pressing a bloody hand to her own neck and looking like a satisfied cat.

The silence was then broken by the sudden cheer which finally shook Tasha from her own moment of stunned awe. She quickly ran towards her fellow Trueblood and fumbling for some Goldenrod. She reached Indi just as the sky above opened up and caught the taller woman before she went face first to the ground. “Oh bloody Hell!”

Staggering under the weight, she didn’t suffer too long as some of the healers hurried over to help. Of course Tasha stayed near, making sure they didn’t make things worse and forcing them to use the salve so common for her kind. So wrapped up in trying to help Indi, she very nearly missed the signal. The growling of her own waiting forces finally drew her attention and much to the relief of those seeking to render assistance to Indigo, the small elf ran off towards the Cliff edge again, while swarms of her undead army flowed like glowing water down the incline and right into the raging forces below.
_________________
Fate whispered to the Warrior
"You cannot withstand the storm"

And the Warrior whispered back
"I am the storm"

-Anon
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Lucius DeAuster
Old Wyrm
Old Wyrm


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Howling in fury, Lucius sprang from the top of the rubble as Unthor clambered up beside him, to land with slightly bent knees at the bottom of the collapsed tower. The soldiers of Cisroe were charging toward the ruined wall, some pausing to fire crossbows and bows at the barbarians swarming through the breach while others sought to put up a wall of steel to meet the invaders. Some fell as a bolt pierced through a weaker joint in the plate armor, while others shrugged off their wounds, blood-lust overriding the body’s pain.

The first of these defenders came at Lucius at a full run, sword arcing over his head in a wild slash only to be knocked away by the Drachmel’s haft. The butt end of the weapon slammed first into the soldier’s stomach then upward into his chin, dropping him to the ground. Already reversing the movement of the heavy weapon, Lucius sent the axe-head around to disembowel a second attacker coming at him from his right. Using the momentum he brought the greataxe up and over his head, burying it within the chest of the first he had dropped.

Yanking the weapon from the corpse Lucius howled again, a cry taken up by the berserkers as they began to spread through the inner bailey. Wielding matched pairs of axes, each was wild-eyed in the frenzy and filled with the simple desire to kill. Though the swordsmen were as hard pressed as their ranged brethren to find a soft spot in the body-encompassing armor they were able to initially hold their own by weight of numbers. It was an advantage that swiftly melted away as the first wave of marauders gained the summit of the rubble, Jerrak leading the charge.

Bowmen desperately fired into the massed horde passing through the breach and spread out behind them waiting to enter the city. Not enough of the enemy was falling to the arrows, and the trebuchets quickly stilled as their crews snatched up weapons to defend themselves and the inner bailey. Worse still for the defenders two of the gates leading to the city proper were jammed open, the men assigned to close them already lying dead against the gates. Horns began to blow wildly, calling reinforcements from other sections of the wall to help contain the incursion.

One of the tribesmen near the summit of the rubble, Welvgren by name, paused and looked about in confusion. All about him his tribesmen were moving past to join the battle below, but he swore he had heard someone speak his name. He started upward thinking it his imagination, but again stopped, this time clearly hearing his name spoken. Welvgren of the Kargash, the blessings of Guillaer are upon you. He looked about again, his mind not registering the arrow that nearly took him in the shoulder. Only screaming tribesmen moving down the piles of granite surrounded him. Think of the carnage we could make, you and I… The voice was guttural, yet soft to his mind. All we need do is join, and the blessing of Guillaer will flow…

Welvgren screamed with delight, recognizing what was happening. Such events were whispered about around the fires of the tribes, of men chosen by the dark gods for their ‘blessings’, but none had been chosen among the Northras for well over a century. Spreading his arms wide, he howled his acceptance, and the last conscious thing he heard was the soft laughter of the abyss. Immediately his body convulsed, bending him over as pain such as he had never known poured through his body. Bones snapped, and flesh split as the muscles and skeletal structure underneath grew at an exponential rate. Snarling, the barbarian brought up his hands, watching as steel-tough talons thrust through the flaking fingernails, blood flowing down his arms almost like a living second skin. Another howl, this of unbridled fury, split the air as the guillaersk ripped itself fully into the mortal plane, it’s weapons smoldering in the morning sun. A monster of even it's own kind and towering over the tallest of the barbarians it spread its bat-wings and sprang into the air.

Landing on the crumbling edge of the wall, the guillaersk brought a shout of pure terror from the nearest bowman, a heartbeat before the warrior was split literally in two by the infernal axe the daemonkin wielded. Others turned to run, while a brave few turned their aim toward the monster. Many arrows burst into flames as they neared the guillaersk, the few managing to hit the monster drawing little attention as it slowly began to stalk along the walls, killing any who got in its way.

Further down the walls, men were hurrying in the direction of the breach when the wave of spirit hosts washed over the crenellations. Bearing iridescent blades, the host set upon the soldiers in a frenzy. Those fortunate to draw hand swords to strike had a second of surprised terror as their blade would pass through the host, before being cut down themselves by the incorporeal weapons. Others farther away from the initial attacks watched in horror as the spirits of their companions faded into view over his or her corpse, and joined the host in attacking their still-living companions.
_________________
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 3:13 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lucius walked in a sea of bloodshed, striking out to either side as he slowly moved through the press of bodies. All around his men slammed into the defenders of the city, and the sheer scale of the battle brought a snarl of pleasure from him. The Beast within reveled in the energies being released, drawing it in and filling him with coursing power. Pausing in his hunt, his eyes caught a flash of movement, a splash of green amongst the browns of the Cisran defenders. Nearby was one wearing a form-fitting suit of scale mail, also wading through the tumult. With each measured blow of his fists, a marauder fell back, clutching at their chest or suddenly useless arm. Eyes narrowing behind the full helm, Lucius started in that direction, bringing his axe up as he charged. The other saw him coming, and a smile grew in the face of the pandemonium lord's approach. Lucius swung as he neared, a blow designed to cleave the Terranthi officer in twain.

His target's left hand shot out, catching Drachmel’s haft and stopping the blow cold. Lucius’s eyes widened in shock, the only reaction he had time to make before his opponent’s free hand came up to slam into his chest, the force of the blow ripping the greataxe from his hands as he was flung back several feet, bowling over combatants as he slid and rolled across the turf before coming to a hard stop at the base of the watchtower. Groaning, Lucius slowly rolled up to one knee, his hands struggling to undo the clasps holding his helm in place as the Terranthi casually tossed Drachmel aside and started toward him.

Stopping a few feet away, he crouched slightly with fingers tightened into a clawing shape as Lucius came to his feet. Tossing his helm aside the champion of Pandemonium also dropped into a ready stance, twin blades snapping into place from the back of his ensorcelled battle-gauntlets as his fists closed. The Terranthi smiled, a finger crooking to beckon Lucius forward. “Come, barbarian.”

With a roar Lucius did just that, one fist coming in a haymaker toward his enemy’s jaw, the left fist jabbing just after toward the solar plexus. His opponent grabbed his right wrist, stopping it in an iron grip, while batting away the left with a fast forearm block. Lucius turned the move into a snatch-grab of his own, and the two spun in place, heaving and twisting in the other’s grip.
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Fate whispered to the Warrior
"You cannot withstand the storm"

And the Warrior whispered back
"I am the storm"

-Anon
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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

“That’s it!” Cieara looked back to Delana, a smile coming even as she began to slip into the battle-meditations Fiona had taught her. The two young women had listened to the din of battle coming from the walls for nearly an hour, both wincing at the thunder of collapsing stone. As the tremors died away the two young women heard the sound they had been waiting for, the low warbling drone of the signal horn echoing from the hills beyond. Standing, Cieara gripped Vestia tightly, the sentient dagger hissing with anticipation of the meal to come. “You ready?” She asked while looking up at the guardhouse again, wincing as a new sound, the wild clambering of a alarm bell, drifted in on the winds. Her companion, having fitted an arrow to her bow, looked at her and nodded.

“Ready.” Delana said simply, and Ceiara reached back and took hold of her shoulder, easing them into the shadowy niche. The girls faded back into view inside the watchtower, where two guards were starting up the stairs to the second level. Delana reacted immediately; dropping to one knee as she smoothly drew back and let the arrow fly. The guardsman on the left cried out, hands flailing toward his back where the arrow had struck as he fell backward. As his companion spun around in surprise, Delana reached down and quickly pulled another arrow from her leg-quiver, setting it as the guard completed his turn and started back down the stairs. She pulled back without aiming and fired, the hasty shot catching him in the lower stomach. Crying out, he tripped over his fallen comrade and landed with a thud. Delana was on him in a second, her shortsword snapped out and stabbed downward with a low growl. React, without conscious thought. The words of her teachers served her well.

Cieara had hopped into the shadows again as Delana knelt, reappearing in the second floor of the tower where another guardsman was starting to turn a large crank set near the corner of the room. Looking like the pilot wheel of a sailing ship, the crank operated the gates that would seal the manor grounds. The young DeAuster leaped ahead, barreling into the much larger man, her speed enough to knock him away from the crank. His curse turned into a yelp of pain as Vestia slashed along his side. Cieara danced back as he drew his broardsword and started toward her.

He was fast, but crude, slashing almost indiscriminately at Cieara, who easily evaded the first blows. On the third such attack she darted in, Vestia piercing the light leather armor he wore easily and biting deep into his side. Her attack put her within arms reach, and his backhanded blow sent her staggering, the breath blasted from her lungs by his clublike forearm. Seeing her falter he charged in, eager to land a killing blow on this foolhardy girl. Gasping for air, Cieara stepped back again, and as he reached for her, she leaped, grabbing the rafter above and swinging her legs up out of reach. Unable to stop his momentum the guardsman hit the railing by the stairs, flipping over it and falling into the stairwell.

Dropping back to the floor, Cieara winced at the twinge of pain in her sternum where the guard had struck her. Muttering, she moved quickly around the side, to help Delana with the beefy guardsman. She need not had worried, for the man was lying atop the other two, his head at an impossible angle. The sight made Cieara wince again; being something she had not been witness to before. “Delana, you ok down there?”

“Yeah!” The words were accompanied by the scraping of wood, and sheathing her dagger Cieara slipped down the stairs, ducking into the shadows to avoid the bodies on the bottom of the stairs. Delana was struggling to drag the large table toward the door, and Cieara quickly moved to help. The girls stacked chairs as quickly as they could atop the table, and started to pull barrels behind the table, setting three in place before Cieara paused, her keen hearing catching the faint sounds of shouting.

“De, c’mon!” Grabbing her friend’s hand, she took them to the second floor with its windows overlooking the courtyard. Someone had finally noticed the gates were not closed, and a pair of guards was trotting in their direction. Taking cover next to the windowsill, Delana took quick aim and fired. While not hitting either man, the arrow made them pause for a critical few seconds, far long enough to let her aim her second arrow, catching the left guard in the shoulder. He staggered back, clutching at the shaft buried in his chest, the other leaped for cover behind a barrel as a second arrow blossomed in his companion’s chest as Cieara, having grabbed a bow from the wall, joined in the defense. “This should be easy enough…” the half-elf muttered as she drew back and loosed another arrow, forcing the guard to continue huddling behind the barrels.

“Let’s hope so.” Delana glanced around the courtyard, taking aim at another guard sprinting across the grounds, and fired. Her arrow sped just behind the guard, who ducked into a doorway. She fitted another arrow to the bow, and then jerked her head back with a hiss as a crossbow bolt slammed into the windowsill by her cheek, sending splinters flying and drawing a droplet of blood. “Yeah, easy…” she growled under her breath as she moved back to again fire into the courtyard below.
_________________
Fate whispered to the Warrior
"You cannot withstand the storm"

And the Warrior whispered back
"I am the storm"

-Anon
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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

“Your Excellency, we are ready to cast off.” Deggarant slowly turned his hooded gaze to the nearby captain of the Terranthi warship Helm’s Victory. He nodded slowly in acknowledgment, the piercing glare turning back to the city. Nearly a mile from the breach, the harbor only afforded a view of the dust rising above the roofs toward the storm clouds hanging over the battlefield. Only the faintest of sounds of battle, the calling of horns, could be heard over the lapping of water against the piers, and people still moved about the streets of the ward, albeit warily.

“Set sail immediately, Captain.” He commanded, still looking out over the rooftops. The Victory’s captain scowled slightly, but held firm at his position.

“What about Garis?” Again, slowly, Deggarant moved his gaze to the captain, eyes narrowed slightly in his displeasure at the captain’s impertinence.

“He is engaging the enemy, captain.” The answer did nothing to satisfy the captain, but Deggarant would not give him time to argue. “Sir, I am aboard. It’s time to cast off.”

“Aye, Excellency.” Snapping stiffly to attention, the captain saluted smartly, and turned away, shouting commands to the Victory’s crew. As they started to bustle about, preparing to cast off from the pier, Deggarant looked back to the city, sneering softly as he considered the fates of the day. Cisroe could fall for all he cared. Indeed, he couldn’t fathom why the fate of one of the realms of Kaylieth would bother the Emperor, or even attract his notice. But it was not his to wonder about such things. Emperor Terranth would make his mind known should he wish it. For now, his job was done, and Deggarant now looked to return home with some satisfaction.
_________________
Fate whispered to the Warrior
"You cannot withstand the storm"

And the Warrior whispered back
"I am the storm"

-Anon
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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was immediately clear that the foreigner was stronger, as Lucius’s arms were slowly forced to either side. Teeth gritted in determination, he strained against the inexorable pull but then found another avenue of attack, snapping his head forward to slam his forehead into the other’s nose. Each released their hold as they staggered back, Lucius wincing at the sudden headache, and his opponent holding his nose to staunch the flow of blood. The Pandemonium lord immediately moved back to the offensive, but his punch was avoided by a swift duck backward. That move away though put the Terranthi in line with the heavy boot that rose to slam into his torso. Deggarant’s aide, Garis by name, growled softly as he dropped into a crouch, one hand on the ground as he swept his leg out to force Lucius into leaping over the attack. Landing, he was off-balance to Garis’s rabbit-jab into his side, a hit that sent a jolt of pain down his side.

Snarling, Lucius brought his forearm down hard, clubbing Garis across the right shoulder, the loud clang of armor meeting armor ringing in the ears. Garis’s return strike caught Lucius in the upper chestplate, taking him off his feet again. As he struggled to rise Lucius caught a glimpse of his enemy then his breath was lost as a savage kick landed on his side. The blow carried enough strength to flip him into the air to land on hands and knees several feet away. White-hot pain flared through his body, proof that at least one rib had snapped, and continuing pressure against the area told him the armor had been dented by the kick.

Garis stalked forward, reaching Lucius as he sucked in much-needed air. He quickly straddled the kneeling lord of Pandemonium, his arm snaking around Lucius’s neck and blocking off his air supply again. Lucius’s hands rose, trying to pry the arm away, but the grip was firm. Garis used his height advantage to keep Lucius on his knees, kicking away his foot whenever it gained purchase. Fighting to breath, some idle part of Lucius’s mind noticed that, up close like this, Gariss arm almost looked as though it was covered with fine scales. “Barbarian scum…” Garis hissed as he struggled with Lucius, his head held near the others so his breath washed across Lucius’s ear. “You should know better that to interfere in the affairs of your betters.”

“Do not hate me, as I’m merely the tool of my lord and master.” The words had been soft as Corbane leaned in close, as if to impart a secret. “Lord Glashion had a last message for you.” The assassin’s eyes narrowed, even as he broke a small smile. “Never get in the way of your betters.” The memory hovered in the oxygen-deprived mind, and Garis missed the sudden flaring in Lucius’s eyes. Those words sent a flaring surge of strength through Lucius and, pain forgotten, he heaved upward, gaining first one, and then the other foot.

Garis gritted his teeth and tightened the choke hold despite Lucius’s efforts to dislodge his arm. Abruptly Lucius changed tactics, his right arm shooting backward to slam an armored elbow into his stronger opponent’s side. One, two, and then three more followed in rapid succession, and on the last, he felt the hold give just a bit. Growling, he twisted in the hold, his right arm coming around to connect hard with Garis’s side, the blades of his battlegauntlets biting deep into rock-hard flesh.

His elation at hearing the cry of pain was short-lived, as a heavy forearm thudded into the side of Lucius’s head, knocking him senseless for a few seconds, more than long enough for Garis to rip away the hand from his side and sending black blood flying. His fists were a furious flurry of blows, several long scratches opening on Lucius’s cheeks and forehead from the wicked fingernails on each hand, other blows taking the air from his lungs and driving him back. The coup-de-gras was a heavy boot arcing around, again catching Lucius’s forehead and sending him tumbling into the granite inner wall.
_________________
Fate whispered to the Warrior
"You cannot withstand the storm"

And the Warrior whispered back
"I am the storm"

-Anon
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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blinking rapidly, he tried to regain focus as Garis slowly walked toward him, shaking his left arm from where Lucius had managed to connect during the brief trading of blows. He slowed just long enough to pick up a heavy post, part of one of the ruined trebuchets, as he stalked forward. His eyes met Lucius’s own, and death was promised in that bloodshot stare as he raised his arm, intent on bashing in the fallen man’s skull. His hand rose as if to ward away the blow, but Lucius was acting on another plan of action. From his fingertips a noxious combination of fluids and filth sprayed, catching Garis full in the face. The foul mess drove him back, sputtering and spitting as he tried to block his face from the attack.

The stream ended almost as quickly as he called it, as Lucius’s concentration wavered, still struggling to shake of the effects of the blows Garis had inflicted. The Terranthi, meanwhile, was desperately trying to wipe his vision clear when a smaller form slammed into him, rocking him back on his heels and sending him off-balance. Blinking again as he half-turned to grab the wall and haul himself to his feet, Lucius was surprised to see his son facing off with the foreign warrior.

Daniel had watched alongside Maddock as the barbarians started to flow through the breech into the inner bailey. The two men had separated as the two armies clashed, with Maddock slipping into the city itself and Daniel striking out into the bailey. Two had faced off against him as he worked along the edges of the battle, the first being taken quickly. The second put up a better fight, forcing Daniel into a protracted duel before he could cut the feet from under the other and move on. He had spotted his father amongst the melee, and had watched as the two men fought. It was when his father had been driven back against the wall that he had charged in, to buy Lucius time to recover.

Steel bit cleanly into the heavy wood, sending wood splinters flying from the impact. Daniel wielded the longsword with skill against the larger Terranthi as Garis fell back, using the remains of the post to block Deathlight and sending occasional jabs toward the youth, but never following up when it was batted away. Daniel pressed his attack, seeking a quick cut to try to put the other at a disadvantage. Garis feinted left, then right, each time ducking back as the gleaming longsword arced through the spot where he should have been, and only Daniel’s quickness got his weapon back around in time to keep the larger man from taking advantage.

The younger DeAuster slashed out, spinning the weapon around and quickly jabbing toward Garis’s solar plexus. Turning to the side, the warrior sidestepped the thrust and swung his arm around, catching Daniel across his upper chest and sending him flying. Lucius had shaken out the cobwebs as Garis leaped to the side, landing near Daniel’s sprawled form. The young man had been slow in trying to stand, opening himself dangerously, and with a sadistic grin of delight Garis brought his boot down hard on Daniel’s chest. Blood burst from his mouth and nose, and Daniel’s cry of pain was choked off as his breath was forced from him in a sheet of blinding agony.

A red haze dropped across Lucius’s vision, and he didn’t consciously register the howl that rang across the battlefield. Men on both sides nearest them paused, looking back at the inhuman cry that was both anguish and pure rage.

The Beast was unleashed.
_________________
Fate whispered to the Warrior
"You cannot withstand the storm"

And the Warrior whispered back
"I am the storm"

-Anon
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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cieara gasped as sudden pain shot throughout her entire nervous system, dropping her to her knees. Her bow clattered to the floor as she clutched both hands to her chest and fell back against the wall. “Cie?” Delana glanced over quickly, worried that her friend had been hit by one of the bolts arcing toward the windows. Not seeing any evident wounds, she looked back to the courtyard, loosing the arrow she had already drawn. “Cie!”

“Ahh..it’s..Danny!” Cieara gasped out, gritting her teeth as her brother’s agony threatened to overwhelm her. Delana cursed as she fired again, glancing back as she yanked another arrow from her quiver.

“Cie, snap out of it!” Not knowing exactly what was going on with her friend, Delana looked back out into the courtyard to draw a bead on a scrambling guard. Her fingers were releasing the shot when the world exploded through her shoulder. Her shot went wild as she fell back, dropping the bow to grasp the bolt embedded in her shoulder. Delana’s scream pulled Cieara from the well of pain threatening to overwhelm her, and the redhead blinked rapidly, looking over to her friend rolling onto her side, clutching at her wound.

“De!” Fighting back the nausea she scrambled over, wincing at the sight of blood rapidly staining the tunic. Wrapping an arm around Delana’s chest Cieara hauled her away from the window, to sit up against the wall.

“Oh gods…” Delana managed to hiss between clenched teeth, her fingers clutching at the buried bolt. Cieara was about to reply when a loud bang echoed up the stairs, and then a second.

“Oh, hells…”

***

Daniel’s world narrowed to the crushing foot driving him into the earth, his vision dimming as the pain threatened to force him into unconsciousness. His hands wrapped weakly around the ankle of the monster standing over him, a feeble attempt to dislodge Garis. When the brute suddenly vanished from atop him he did not question, but tried desperately to suck in much-needed air.

Lucius had plowed into Garis, lifting the Terranthi from his son and flinging him several feet away, where he landed hard on the stairwell heading toward the battlements above. Shaking his head, Garis hopped back to his feet, sallow eyes locking on Lucius’s crimson eyes as father stood over son. Arms flung to either side, Lucius howled in bestial rage, and combatants from both sides scrambled back when his lower jaw split and folded backward, revealing rows of inward-canted teeth as his body twisting under the forces waging within him. Thick leather straps creaked under the strain of warping muscle-mass, and the shoulder guards peeled back as two fleshy protuberances drove through the heavy metal, unfolding into two large bat-like wings. Leather was also tearing as talons ripped through the fingertips of the gauntlets, gleaming black in the light as his fingers flexed in rage.

Charging forward, Lucius leaped into the air, the new wings lifting him higher before snapping closer to his body, dropping him to the stairs below. Garis hopped upward, avoiding the fist aimed at his temple by a fortunate slip. Talons scored the granite from the errant blow as Lucius landed heavily on the lower stairs, then glared up at his enemy as he started in pursuit. Garis braced himself with a hand on the stair’s edge, slitted eyes looking down at Lucius while he drew in a deep breath. As Lucius reached out to grab him Garis’s mouth opened wide, and with a sudden crash of thunder a brilliant bolt of lightning lashed out, slamming into Lucius’s chest at pointblank range.

The lightning bolt threw Lucius back down the stairs, arcs of electricity flowing all around his body as he landed heavy on the intermediate landing. Garis leaped down the stairs to follow up his attack, only to have a boot slam into his stomach, doubling him over in a 'whoosh' of lost air. Gasping and holding his side, he stumbled back up the stairs as Lucius struggled to his feet and started after him.
_________________
Fate whispered to the Warrior
"You cannot withstand the storm"

And the Warrior whispered back
"I am the storm"

-Anon
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2011 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

“Ships ho!” The watch in the crow’s nest brought Kitian Albaelia’s attention toward the opening of Cisroe’s bay. Two galleons were coming into view, oars working the water hard. Peering through her spyglass the young woman could see the crews swarming over the masts, preparing to hoist sails. Both were sporting the colors of the Empire of Terranth, and if her information was correct these would be the Helm’s Victory and the Covenant.

“Looks like Lucius may have been right to worry” Karl, the Enyala Kuru’s pilot for many years merely grunted as Kitian turned toward the main deck. “Kar, get ready!” Her younger brother and first mate Karenthesis waved to her from his position near the fore deck, and then turned to start barking orders to the crew of the Kuru. The men and women hopped to their tasks immediately, having been ready for the call for some time. The cannon were loaded and primed, and Karenthesis helped two crewmen prepare the forward-mounted ballista.

“Captain, the Axe” Karl was pointing starboard, where the Axe, under the command of the pirate Lynch, had been sitting. The ship had dropped oars and was starting forward to meet the closer of the two Terranthi ships.

“What the hell is he doing?” Kitian cursed silently, and leaned over the poop deck railing. “Kar, hoist the mizzen’s! We’re moving in!”

“We’re WHAT?” Karenthesis’s started cry was ignored as Kitian again brought the spyglass up to get a better view of the two ships. Karenthesis nether less had the crew up from the cannons and a few moments later heavy canvas was raised along the smaller of the Kuru’s two masts. Billowing as they caught the winds of the unnatural storm, the agile ship fairly leaped forward, following the larger Axe.

Lynch was angling into the Covenant from port and for a second both ships were obscured by billowing clouds of smoke as each galleon fired cannon on each other. Wood flew as the heavy cannonballs smashed into the ships, though the hits were not enough to seriously damage either ship. The Terranthi captain shouted orders, ordering his men to take arms as the Axe closed in. He looked on with horror as the pirate ship plowed into the side of the galleon, the steel-reinforced bow splintering the heavy timbers with a sickening crunching sound. The crew of the Axe swarmed over the railings and swung down on ropes to the deck of the Terranthi ship, sending the deck into swirling chaos.

Kitian growled softly as smoke billowed from the side of the Victory, two of the cannonballs smashing into the upper planks of her beloved ship. Her crew, well trained and practiced in ship-to-ship warfare, held their fire, waiting for the distance to close between them and their prey. She gripped the railing as the Kuru tilted into a sweeping turn behind the galleon, canvas billowing as the Kuru moved parallel with the Victory. At this distance she could see the cannon crews working feverishly to reload the cannon, and a grim smile came to her as she turned to lean over the rail again. “Fire!”

“Fire port batteries!” Karenthesis slashed his arm down, and the Kuru shuddered as its cannon roared to life. Holes appeared in the side of the Victory, and the ship visibly shook as flames roared suddenly from amidships, testament to one of her munitions stores being set off by the Kuru’s barrage. The explosion sent many on the deck tumbling, and the Victory veered sharply to starboard, slamming into the Kuru’s side.

Fighting to keep her balance Kitian screamed orders to the crew, many of which were already drawing weapons to repel the foreign sailors starting to leap over the railings. She saw a brief flash of red hair as Karenthesis led the charge, and then she was jumping into the fray, her cutlass flashing in the morning light peeking through the storm clouds. She lashed out left and right through the enemy, standing her ground at the foot of the stairs leading to the poop deck. Karenthesis stood near the bow, back to back with another of the Kuru’s crewmen as the Terranthis tried to swarm them. Luckily for the smaller galleon only part of the Victory’s crew had crossed over, the others remaining to try to disengage the two ships. The creaking of the hulls was nearly drowned out by the shouts and screams of the fight, but he, and Kitian near the aft deck, winced at the sound even as they fought to save the Kuru.
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Fate whispered to the Warrior
"You cannot withstand the storm"

And the Warrior whispered back
"I am the storm"

-Anon
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Lucius DeAuster
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2011 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two of the Terranthi had pushed through the melee, intent on getting to a hatch leading to the hold in an attempt to set off the powder stores of the Kuru’s cannons. Throwing open the hatch, the first came face to face with Kitian’s secret weapon: a berserker of Guillaer in full battle armor, wielding a battleaxe in each hand. Before he could shout a warning the sailor was nearly hacked in twain, his companion barely able to turn to run before he was cut down, his spine severed by the wicked edge of the duegar-forged weapons.

Five of the Northras berserkers had been lurking in the Kuru’s hold, and now they swarmed onto the deck, hacking at any wearing the colors of the Terranthi navy. The Kuru’s crew gave the armored warriors plenty of room, but the five quickly charged the rail and leaped onto the deck of the Victory, setting on the remaining sailors there with gleeful abandon. Kitian’s crew cheered even as they beat back the Terranthi, and Karenthesis prepared to lead a charge onto the Victory.

Kitian, having slain a third sailor and finding no others nearby, started back up the stairs, but movement in the corner of her eye made her pause and look back toward the bow. Behind Karenthesis and his assembled crewmen one of the enemies stirred on the deck, struggling to pull himself up against the wheel upon which the Kuru’s starboard anchor was coiled. A flash of horrified insight had Kitian leaping back down the stairs. “Kar, stop him!” Her brother, unable to hear her over the din, looked at her in puzzlement, but at her frantic pointing he darted a look behind, his own eyes widening in surprise. He turned and started to pull a crewman to the side to start that way even as his sister charged over the deck.

A shaking hand grabbed the release for the anchor, and the weight of a rapidly-dying body pulled it down, sending the anchor splashing to the water and downward. Even as Karenthesis’s hand touched the release to yank it up the anchor reached the bottom and snagged on the bed of the bay. With a shriek of ripping wood the two ships parted, the Kuru nearly standing on her nose as the anchor stopped her abruptly, her momentum carrying the stern out of the water and nearly half around, the ship wallowing deep into the ocean to end up facing the way she had just come. Men and women tumbled in all directions, some thrown into the water as the Kuru settled back with a large splash.

Dazed, Kitian slowly came to one knee, blinking her eyes rapidly as she focused her swimming vision. Karenthesis lay sprawled near her, one leg hanging off the deck where he had been thrown against the railing. Cursing softly, she watched the Victory as it headed for the mouth of the bay, picking up speed as her sails caught the wind. Sails that were suddenly perforated, the main topgallant mast slamming to the deck as it was blown in two. Belatedly Kitian realized that she was hearing the loud reports of cannon, and for a second thought Lynch was giving pursuit to the escaping ship.

“Ship to starboard!” One of her crewmen yelled, pointing toward the small peninsula that formed one edge of the bay’s mouth. Lurking there, hidden by the trees on the peninsula until the Kuru and the Victory had moved so far out, another ship was moving to intercept the Victory. Not a galleon, this ship was a full-rigged ship of the line with three decks of cannon, all of which were wreathing the Victory in fire. Adding to the din was the loud hiss of superheated air as a fireball raced across the space between the two ships, exploding at the mid-ship waterline.

Two volleys and the Terranthi ship was already noticeably sinking, her crew struggling to launch life rafts and abandon the doomed ship. Kitian took another look at the warship, and with a start recognized the colors flying as those of the navy of Dragons Land. That raised more questions in the young noblewoman, but questions would have to wait. The fight had died down on the Kuru, the few Terranthi left alive being herded around the mainsail to be bound. “Karl!” She shouted up toward the grizzled pilot. “Get us back to the Axe!”
_________________
Fate whispered to the Warrior
"You cannot withstand the storm"

And the Warrior whispered back
"I am the storm"

-Anon
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Lucius DeAuster
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fiona faded into view by the wall and immediately knelt beside Daniel, resting his head on her lap. “Breath, Daniel, breath…” As she worked to calm her son, Fiona pulled a softly glowing gem from a belt pouch. The sounds of battle faded from her consciousness as she concentrated, crushing the gem between her fingers and letting the mist trapped within to flow over Daniel. A faint sound, akin to a faraway scream, touched her ears as the mist settled over Daniel’s chest, fading through clothing and skin as his body absorbed the vapors.

Daniel gasped immediately, a ragged inhale of much-needed breath as the gem’s powers kick-started his own regenerative powers. Clouded blue eyes found her ice-green as fine fingers smoothed his hair back from his brow. “Don’t move.” She whispered to him, continuing her calming tone, ignoring those few daring to come closer. “Let your body heal.” Daniel nodded silently, his eyes closing as the pain started to abate. Noting that his body was easing out of its rigid tightness, Fiona looked up, sending the curious back with an icy glare. Her attention, however, was focused on her husband.

Lucius and Garis were locked together, trading blow for blow on the stairs. The Terranthi’s left eye was already swollen shut, and blood flowed from a gash across Lucius’s cheek, smoking where it dripped on the stone. A raised arm blocked the foreign soldier’s fist, and the Lord of Pandemonium suddenly pressed close, hands grabbing at his opponent as he drove the other back up the stairs. Garis clawed at Lucius’s face in desperation, but failed to stop the headlong charge up the stairs, stairs that ended abruptly near the top for the rest had been torn away by the collapse of the wall.

Garis felt his foot leave the stone, and scrabbled for any kind of handhold. Growling like a wounded animal Lucius pumped his legs, forcing Garis backward over the drop. His own momentum carried him over the edge also, wings snapping open at the last second to keep him aloft, where he watched his enemy crash to the stones below. Not content with merely watching Garis fall, leathery wings folded closer, sending Lucius plummeting downward where his boots slammed into the Terranthi’s battered body, forcing the chest to collapse with an audible popping sound.

Chest heaving, he stared at the corpse for a long second, before raising his face to the sky and letting out a howl of triumph. The call was joined a second later by the nearest Northras, who had watched the fight in awed silence. More joined in, and soon the inner bailey rang with the cries of the barbarians, the cries echoing off the walls and roofs beyond.

Leaving the corpse in the rubble Lucius began to stalk toward where Fiona crouched with Daniel, but a large shadow made him draw back in time to avoid being flattened by the guillaersk. The infernal beast loomed over Lucius, sizzling spittle falling from bared fangs as it snarled down at him. He growled in return, his talons flexing as he prepared to attack, but movement behind the beast gave him pause. From out of the guillaersk’s shadow strode a form clad in blue billowing robes, its hands hidden within the voluminous sleeves and features obscured by a drawn hood. It moved to stand sedately beside the slavering demonoid as a second figure moved opposite. Similarly clad in all-encompassing robes of deep amethyst, this one moved with a languid grace that was a marked contrast with the last to emerge. Shuffling as though each step was agonizing, the body twisted and hunched under its green robes as it came to stand beside it’s blue-robed compatriot.

The quartet arrayed themselves in a semicircle around Lucius, who looked slowly at each in turn. There was a feel of familiarity with the newcomers, and he only stepped back when, as one, the four bowed slowly to him. As they did so each dissolved into a mist that wrapped around the Pandemonium Lord, surrounding him in a vortex of dust and multicolored motes of light. Those nearest stepped back as the winds howled higher and faster, shielding their eyes from the uplifted dust caught in the unnatural tornado. Fiona threw up an arm to guard her eyes as she leaned over Daniel while others turned away to ward off the grit pelting them.

The twisting funnel lifted finally into the air and dissipating in a slow fall of dust and small debris around those within the bailey, revealing Lucius still standing where he had been, eyes closed and arms held at his sides as though in benediction. Slowly he took in a deep breath and then exhaled, the air seeming to expand and then contract around him with the innocuous movement. His eyes snapped open, the crimson gaze locking on his wife and son, and he started in that direction at a jog. Fiona looked up as he approached, and her eyes narrowed slightly as she felt the primal rage radiating from her husband. “Lucius…” When he did not reply her eyes narrowed more, and again she said his name, this time putting the power of her will behind the word. He stopped short, towering over her and Daniel, slitted eyes glowing in the morning light. “Lucius, finish it.” Her gaze never wavered from his, and slowly Lucius nodded to her.

“My Lady.” His words were soft, growled as his gaze shifted to Daniel. Fiona brought a hand up and gently touched his forearm, and he turned away, bellowing for his commanders. Lord Unthor and his berzerkers would defend the break in the wall while Terrak led his warband around the inner bailey toward the southern gate. Jerrak fell in beside Lucius as the Pandemonium lord headed for the archway leading into the city proper, slowing only to scoop Drachmel from where it had been tossed by Garis earlier.
_________________
Fate whispered to the Warrior
"You cannot withstand the storm"

And the Warrior whispered back
"I am the storm"

-Anon
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Lucius DeAuster
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cursing, Lusiphur was dragged along with the mob as they crashed through the city streets. Some guardsmen had tried to stop the mob as it surged toward the noble quarter, but after the second troupe had been dragged down, their weapons appropriated by the rampaging citizens, they had pulled back, sealing the grounds of the manor houses as quick as they could. Repeatedly the elf had tried to slip away, only to be dragged back by the exuberant men and women. As the head of the mob started to pass though an open courtyard the assassin saw his chance and leaped onto the lip of a small fountain. Revolver in hand, he aimed toward the sky and pulled the trigger several times, making those nearest him draw back in sudden fear, creating a bottleneck in the alley behind.

“Hey, you slags!” He yelled, further drawing their attention to him. Using the gun as a prop, he pointed toward an open gate across the courtyard. “They’re the one’s that took your money! They’re the one’s that kept you in the slums!” A feral smile grew as he watched their eyes move to that open gate, and he pressed on, the anarchist in him reveling in the stirring of the mobs emotions. “Why let them live in luxury? Take back what’s yours! Take back your money!”

“Hey, he’s right!” A cry from the crowd, and a general murmur of agreement quickly grew into a wave of outrage. Like a single living being the mob turned and streamed toward the gates of the manor house, leaving Lusiphur safely perched on the fountain cackling in malicious glee.

***

Cieara reached the first floor as the table was forced back by the opening door. Pushing back against the table, she tried to force the door closed again, but fought a loosing battle against the guardsmen shoving against the door. Seeing the eventual result Cieara hopped back from the table and drew Vestia as the door was forced open far enough to allow the guards entry.

The first had no chance, the dagger slipping past a swiping hand to bite deep into his neck, the fine edge opening the flesh as though it was paper. The guard grasped at his neck to stop the wash of blood, and fell forward, blocking the door open with his body. Vestia banged against the blade of a broadsword as the second guard pushed past the first, but he was not able to stop the second stab, cursing as the dagger was buried in his upper chest.

Cieara pulled back, and a glimpse out the door sent her diving back, crossbow bolts whistling over her curling body. Immediately another guard pushed through the open door, already moving toward Cieara as she hopped back to her feet. She ducked the first slash, her return strike knocked away by a beefy forearm. The guard was quick, bringing his sword back around in a complete circle over his hand to slash again at her. The blade thudded into a wood column, cutting off some of Cieara’s chestnut mane as she dodged to the side, rolling to her feet across the room.

Vestia had been switched to her left hand, and her right hand now held her coiled whip, having grabbed it from her belt during the tumble. A loud crack split the air as the whip coiled around the guard’s neck. Cieara tried to pull him off his feet, but the guard set his feet and grabbed at the whip, giving it a hard jerk. Cieara stumbled forward, and used the momentum to slip into the shadows, reappearing balanced on the rafter above the guard. With a sly giggle, she stepped from the rafter, holding the whip with both hands. Her weight yanked the guard from his feet and pulled him into the air, until his forehead slammed against the rafter with a sickening crunch just as Cieara’s feet reached the floor. She let the whip go, and the body fell to the floor with a hard thud.

Something brushed her side, and Cieara whirled back toward the door to see another guard standing just inside the doorway, reloading a small crossbow. Cieara started forward, but her strength seemed to leech from her as her foot came down. Breathing was becoming difficult, and the young woman went down to one knee, a hand to her side trying to ease the sudden pressure. Emerald eyes widened at feeling the flechettes of a bolt deep in her side.

The guard, having slipped a bolt into her weapon, raised the crossbow and took aim on Cieara. She closed her eyes, but they shot open again as a cry of pain and rage startled both her and the guard. Delana, who had crept down the stairs during the fight, launched herself at the guard, who instinctively tightened her finger on the crossbow’s trigger. The bolt hissed by Cieara’s cheek as her friend slammed into the other female and sent both tumbling. Delana hit the wall hard, losing her breath and nearly her stomach at the wave of pain from her shoulder. Their assailant came to her feet quickly, drawing a shortsword and raising it high, intent on driving it into Delana’s defenseless form.

The blow never fell, as a small hand wrapped around the woman’s wrist. She started to turn, but another hand clasped her neck, lifting her into the air and shaking her like a rag doll. The grip tightened, and a brief struggle ended with a wet snapping of vertebrae. The body was dropped to the floor with a contemptuous snort, and through hazy eyes Cieara made out a dark-clad form standing over her friend. “Mom?” She whispered, trying to stand, but instead slumped further back. She felt arms wrapping around her, easing her back against the wood column.

“Nay, not Fiona.” The words held a primal edge, and Cieara fought to focus her eyes. Black fur swam into focus, resolving into the panther-like features of Sidra. “She’ll be along soon, but I’m thinking you need a bit of a rest.” The felinoid was already drawing several small vials from her belt, pouring the first over the wound at Cieara’s side. She immediately went numb there, and made barely a sound as Sidra pushed the bolt through and out, another healing potion being applied to stop the flow of blood. Cieara let her eyes slip halfway closed as Sidra worked on her, a fog surrounding her and nearly blocking out the sounds of fighting filtering in from the outside. For the moment her part in the battle was over. And she had done it! A part of her mind was shouting triumphantly. See, big brother? Told you I could do it!
_________________
Fate whispered to the Warrior
"You cannot withstand the storm"

And the Warrior whispered back
"I am the storm"

-Anon
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Lucius DeAuster
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

“They’re running!” DuBoise’s cry of triumph mirrored the savage grin on DeCort’s features as the mercenary troops broke ranks, fleeing toward the woods beyond. They had put up a hard struggle, standing in the face of concentrated volleys from his bowmen, but the charge of the Malirid knights had shaken their resolve. The regimented blocks of infantry bearing down on them had sent many into flight, most being run down by the circling cavalry. Lieance had joined that second push, slashed down with his glowing longsword, nearly separating an arm from a shoulder, and then kicked out to send his assailant spinning away, blood spraying into the air.

Twisting in his saddle, DeCort looked back behind him, where the bowmen were moving forward to join the footmen. DuBoise led another charge into the fleeing mercenaries, the heavily armored knights wielding their swords with deadly, practiced precision. His footmen, leaving the pursuit for the faster horsemen, were rebuilding their ranks, commanders shouting orders to be heard over the cries of the wounded and sporadic clash of arms.

“Commander!” he held his sword up as he called out, and in a moment DuBoise galloped to him, his horse rearing as he reigned it to a quick stop beside DeCort.

“Your Grace, the sellswords are fleeing toward the bay.” he reported breathlessly, raising his sword in salute to his liegelord. DeCort nodded, and looked to the north again and the walls that loomed close as DuBoise continued. “The road is now open!” DeCort held fast to his reigns as he looked back around the lines of his troops again.

“Commander, lead the army forward.” He used his blade to point toward the main gates of the city, and the makeshift barriers that had been erected before them. “It’s time to join DeAuster in the city.”


***

“Sire, we must go.” The head of Nickolas Urevan’s personal guard stood at attention behind his lord, as both watched the chaos unfold in the front yards of his manor house from one of the upper story balconies. Urevan had ordered the gates sealed long ago, but somehow a small group of enemy snipers had infiltrated the gatehouse, pinning his men down until an unruly rabble could invade the grounds of his manor. Now, his personal guard was fighting hard to hold the mob at bay, but with fur-clad barbarians starting to join the fray, defeat seemed certain. “Sire?”

“Yes, yes, I heard you!” Urevan snapped, whirling back toward the guard captain, and then passing him as he headed down the hallway. The portraits of Urevan’s past stared accusingly down at the scion of the House Urevan, silently mocking the impending fall of the proud man. Urevan paid them no heed, his thoughts on making his escape from the jaws of the trap closing around him. Curses were leveled against the DeAusters, the Decorts of Malirid, The Terranthi, and the ungrateful peons assaulting his home. Now, he had to flee, like a beggar in the night.

Urevan’s plan was simple: escape to the holdings of his ally Argus Torvien to the north and begin planning the reconquering of his realm. It had been some time since he had truly practiced the politics of war, as his jiggling belly attested, but this uncouth barbarian would learn he had been trained by the best. And then, what he would do to that bitch wife of his would make the orb that he had received some months before pale by comparison. Even now he couldn’t help the sadistic smile that grew at the thought of the DeAuster woman laid out on the torturer’s table, waiting for his eager ‘pleasures’. Oh yes, she would scream…until her mouth and tongue was put to other uses…

Pressing a latch cleverly hidden within the frame of the portrait of his grandfather, Urevan waited for a small section of the wall to slide aside and he followed the captain down a narrow staircase into the bowels of the manor house. He had planned on this eventuality, and below was a small chamber, with a sealed passage leading to an escape route through the drainage system. Two servants waited for the two in the chamber, each laden with a heavy sack. Such a small pittance of his personal wealth, but it would be enough for the bribes and payments needed to start his revenge.

“Captain, when I am safely away, you will see to the escape of my wife and children.” Urevan did not wait for a reply, and expected none, so used to being obeyed without question. A distasteful look came over the captain’s face, but he said nothing as he moved to the door to begin opening it. Urevan waited impatiently as the myriad locks were undone, his fingers flexing as the captain straightened from the bottom lock and opened the door in preparation to step beyond. That wait grew longer, and finally his temper boiled over as the captain just stood there in the doorway. “Damnation, what are you…”

He trailed off as the captain slumped to the floor, and Urevan’s eyes widened in shock and fear at the crimson gleam at the throat of his handpicked man. A soft white glow from a well-worn gauntlet illuminated a bloody blade in the darkness beyond, and the nobleman took a hasty step back as a stranger moved into the small chamber, his coal-black hair framing a lean body clad in black leathers. His hard eyes were locked on Urevan’s, and a sinister half-smile crossed the lean pale features of the intruder.

“Greetin's, ‘Yer Majesty’…” That soft voice sent a shiver down the noble’s back as the intruder mockingly half-bowed, and in his haste to back away Urevan tripped over a chest, falling to the floor where he continued to crawl backward. The two servants, being in no way desirous of a fight, dropped the bags they held and ran up the stairs, leaving Urevan by himself. The intruder stalked slowly forward, the blade twirling in his fingers. “Don’ thin' tae be leavin’ so soon. M’sister be lookin’ forwar' tae meetin’ yeh again.”
_________________
Fate whispered to the Warrior
"You cannot withstand the storm"

And the Warrior whispered back
"I am the storm"

-Anon
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Lucius DeAuster
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lucius strode through the archway and onto the manor-grounds, Jerrak and skeletal warriors of Sir Herzog trailing just behind, and paused at the sight in front of him. Most of the guards in Urevan’s employ had been slain during the fight for the yard and the few remaining were being guarded by what looked to be the citizens of the city. The Northras stood in control of the gate and the doors to the manor house, also watching this turn warily. “Ah, I see the little revolt came to fruition.” Fiona’s soft voice brought his gaze around, where she was walking beside him. In his surprise at seeing those gathered he had not even noticed her arrival, though even had he been actively searching for her, it was unlikely he would have then. “I told ye a surprise awaited ye in the walls.”

“Daniel?” At his question Fiona smiled for just a second, a leather-clad hand reaching up to pat the heavy pauldron covering his shoulder.

“Safe, and in the capable hands of Myri and Kaelyn.” As the fighting had died down on the fields and the inner bailey the healers had moved toward the city, and Fiona had waited for them to take Daniel into their care before she had left to join Lucius. “Cieara needs us now, my love.” Lucius nodded, feeling the pain of their daughter through the link the family shared, but his attentions were needed elsewhere for the moment. Fiona melted into the crowd in search of her daughter as he headed toward the stairs to take charge of the situation.

Several of the Northras stood in a ring around the base of the stairs, allowing none of the Cisran citizens to approach any closer. Others had entered the manor house to clean out pockets of resistance, and the barbarians were leading a steady stream of prisoners to the head of the stairs. Servants were allowed to leave, and were fleeing into the crowd as quickly as they were able. The Lady Urevan and her two children knelt on the stairs, spears trained on them from all sides by the glowering barbarians. The noblewoman sported a growing bruise on her cheek, gained when she had spat on Jerrak’s ko-khan upon being taken prisoner.

“I’m thinkin’ ye came fer this, Lucius.” It was amazing how such a low voice could carry so well, as Lorcain stepped through the doorway and between the parting Northras dragging the portly Urevan along with him. The quivering nobleman was tossed unceremoniously down the stairs to land at the Lord of Pandemonium’s feet, and Lucius noted with a soft chuckle of satisfaction the many bruises and cuts on his enemy. Reaching down, Lucius grabbed the front of Urevan’s tunic and hauled him into the air as easily as he would a child. Hands clasped at Lucius’s wrist, trying to break the hold, but the feeble attempts were ignored as Urevan was brought eye-to-crimson-eye with Lucius.

“Urevan…” The soft hiss was a counterpoint to his fearsome visage, blending with the soft laughter coming from Lorcain standing just beside them. “I warned you what would happen, and I am a man of my word.” Heaving the nobleman backwards toward the small knot of family he nodded toward Jerrak’s men, who closed ranks and forced Urevan up the stairs, weapons leveled and ready. “Well done, Lorcain.” He said softly, looking toward his brother-in-law who nodded once, slowly.

“I hope Torvien be givin’ a bit more challenge.” There was no denying the edge in Lorcain’s words, and Lucius again laughed softly as he turned to look out over the milling people in the courtyard. Off in the distance low booms rolled, and he listened to the soft sounds for a second before his attention was again drawn away. Fiona was exiting the gatehouse supporting Cieara. Behind her came Sidra and Delana, the young woman sporting a bloody bandage across her forehead. He longed to rush over to his family but the day was not yet done and there were more immediate concerns.

“Put them in the cells of the manor house.” Jerrak half-turned and started barking orders in his native tongue, and in short order Urevan and his family was dragged into the manor house, the Lady Urevan kicking and screaming like her children all the way. For his part, The Lord Urevan stared daggers at Lucius as he was forced inside but Lucius paid the nobleman no mind, instead moving to the group of Cisran’s milling near the archway. The men and women gathered a bit closer together as he approached, the weapons they bore held awkwardly by many.

“It would be best for you to return to your homes.” Lucius tried to make his voice calm, for these were not his enemy. Indeed, they had been quite useful distracting the local militias within the city, but could as easily become a hindrance to his plans. “I cannot promise your safety if you remain in the streets.”

“We want to help!” one of the men near the front shouted, a cheer that was quickly voiced by the others in the group. Lucius glanced to those about him and then nodded slowly.

“Very well. I need you to pick someone who will speak for you, and send him over there.” He pointed behind him in the general direction of the gatehouse, and then turned to head that way before any could reply. For the moment all was now forgotten as he approached his family and knelt beside Cieara across from Fiona.

“She took a bolt to the side, my love.” Fiona said softly, who was holding Cieara carefully. “She be needing Myri’s touch.”

“Four, daddy!” Cieara added quickly, holding onto her parents for the moment. “I got four!” Lucius gave her a warm smile, then leaned over to place a kiss to her forehead.

“You did very well, little sweet. I’m very proud of you.” He saw Fiona’s eyes flicker upward over his shoulder and Lucius took that cue to straighten and turn to face the Cisran who had come up behind him. It was the one who had spoken up a moment before, holding one of the captured shortswords. “And you are?”

“George Compton, m’lord.” He held out a hand which Lucius shook after a second. “The people elected me to speak for them.” Lucius nodded slowly, then stepped to the side, his arm sweeping to take in the small group behind him.

“If you wish to help, then I ask you to escort my wife and daughter to the breach we have made in the wall.” He saw Fiona’s eyes widen in surprise in his peripheral vision as he continued. “We have healers there who can tend her, as well as your own wounded. But our position here is tenuous and we can be overrun by a counterattack at any time. If you wish to help, than this is how.” George’s eyes moved between Lucius and the rest of his family, and then he nodded.

“Be ye certain about this?” Fiona asked as the Cisran’s began to gather around, and Lucius nodded once while helping Cieara to her feet.

“Sir Herzog will be with you, love, as well as some of Jerrak’s men.” Makeshift hammocks were being prepared, Delana already being helped into one by Sidra. Lucius gently eased Cieara into another. “Between them and yourself, I have no doubt that Cieara and Delana will be safe.” His fingers brushed his daughter’s forehead, and then he turned to press a kiss to Fiona’s cheek.

“Very well, m’heart.” There was no mistaking the reservation in her tone, but she leaned up to return the kiss softly. “I will return to ye as soon as the children are safe.” Lucius nodded in reply, his grasp tightening on Drachmel’s haft as the group started for the manor gates, seven of Jerrak’s tribesmen leading the way into the streets and the undead knights following.

“They’ll be fine.” Lorcain’s voice was barely above a whisper, but carried over the shouts in the courtyard as he stepped up beside Lucius. The Pandemonium Lord looked back at him and the certainty in those soft-spoken words, and then jerked his head toward the gate.

“It’s time to finish this.”
_________________
Fate whispered to the Warrior
"You cannot withstand the storm"

And the Warrior whispered back
"I am the storm"

-Anon
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Lucius DeAuster
Old Wyrm
Old Wyrm


Joined: 14 May 2006
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Can Be Found: Gharnholme or Cisroe in Carowyn
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Epilogue

The fight at the south gate was a bloody affair. The soldiers tasked with holding the gate had prepared well for an attack from the outside, with overturned wagons staggered along the road to break up the movement of cavalry or large infantry formations and tiger traps along the road’s edge to force the approaching enemy into a narrow corridor. The warriors of Malirid were forced to approach slowly, shields held high by the outer ranks to try to protect the inner soldiers carrying an oaken ram from the hail of arrows coming from the walls.

The Cisran defenders were unprepared for the Northras coming from the northwest, the wily Terrak ordering his men to remain quiet until the first of the columns slammed into the rear ranks of the defenders manning the trebuchets. The defense quickly dissolved into chaos, the captain on site ordering his men to barricade the gatetowers to protect the counterweight system operating the gates. The tactic worked for over an hour, until the remnants of Tasha’s spectral army swept along the top of the walls killing the militia holding overwatch. Terrak quickly sent several barbarians up an adjacent tower and along the wall in a second assault. In another bloody hour the gatetowers were cleared, and Leiance led his men into the city.

Out on the water an uneasy stalemate had settled. Three frigates of the Cisran navy sallied from the dock, forcing the Axe to disengage from its fight with the Covenant. The pirate galleon limped for the open water while the Enyala Kuru huddled next to its larger cousin the Valorous. The captains of the frigates seemed unwilling to engage the warship from Dragons Land, instead moving into formation with the Covenant as the galleon slowly moved back toward the docks. With the mouth of the bay effectively blockaded for the moment, Karenthesis and Lynch saw to the hurried repairs of their respective ships while Kitian ferried over to the Valorous to speak to her captain.

With the wild magic unleashed by Tasha and Indigo still playing havoc with the black powder weapons the Terranthi had armed the militia the fighting in the streets bogged down into a protracted melee. With the two battle lines of Northras and Malirid converging on the edge of the manor district the commander overseeing the defense of the city ceded the western and southern districts to the invaders, setting their lines with an anchor on the walls separating the manor district from the mercantile district. For nearly four hours the two forces gave no quarter, battering each other in the deadliest of combat environs. Slowly the Northras started to curl the defenders lines back on itself, Lord Unthor’s berserkers pushing from the northwest while Lucius and Leiance led a second strong thrust from the south.

As the afternoon shadows began to lengthen word began to filter back that a white flag had been spotted, and within the hour a meeting was arranged, to be held in Dauphin Plaza, the largest square of Cisroe’s mercantile district. Dominated by a fountain dedicated to Lorina, the Kayliethian goddess of the sea, the plaza made the ideal spot for parley. Warriors from both sides lined the edges of the plaza, watching as the Cisran representatives moved with their flagbearer to stand beside the fountain.

“The shorter of the two is Author Crane, the mayor of Cisroe.” Lucius and Leiance looked to the man standing to the left of the Pandemonium Lord, then back toward the fountain and the men standing there. Johan Farriss rested a hand on his sword pommel as he slowly moved behind Lucius to stand between the two. “The one in plate looks to be Jonathan Harte, the Duke of Blackcrest.”

“Makes sense. Blackcrest is the closest ducal seat to Cisroe.” Leiance slowly looked over to Lucius, then to Farriss. “What about the flagman? He looks to be a bit high up the food chain.”

“That would be William Gerard, the official commander of Cisroe’s militia and constabulary.” There was no mistaking the stream of venom in Farriss’s tone, and both looked to him as he spit on the ground. “He’s Urevan’s hand-picked bully-boy and the one that sent me and my men to Duke Torvien.” Leather creaked as Lucius’s grip on Drachmel’s haft tightened, but his voice was carefully controlled.

“Let’s get this over with.” He nodded to the young man Farriss had picked to carry their own flag of parley, and the three fell in behind. It was strangely quiet as they walked toward the fountain, almost as though the air itself was holding its breath during this meeting. There was a long moment of silence after the two groups arrived at the fountain, each sizing up the other.
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"You cannot withstand the storm"

And the Warrior whispered back
"I am the storm"

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

“Johan Farriss…and here I was thinking you had finally decided to fade into obscurity.” Gerard was the first to break the silence, his words drawing the look of everyone present. Johan shook his head slowly, his eyes narrowing slightly even though a wry smile graced his features.

“Sorry to disappoint you William, but I found the taste of assassinating children not to my liking.” He jauntily inclined his head to Gerard, who looked decidedly cross with his reply. Any further remarks were stopped by Crane, who held up a hand, finger extended, to silence Gerard.

“Gentlemen, that is not the business at hand.” The mayor lowered his hand as he looked to Lucius and Leiance again. “I believe we all know who the others are, or can guess, so perhaps we can dispense with the pleasantries?” Lucius faintly smiled, and slowly nodded in reply. “Good. I believe His Grace the Duke has a question for you before we begin.” Harte took a step forward, his fury hanging about him like the thunderheads still looming overhead.

“I would know about my sister, the Lady Urevan. We know she and her children did not make it out of their manor, and that you hold them prisoner.”

“Aye, I do have her and her family safely in my care.” Lucius was biting back the growl, the Beast roiling in his chest with the desire to eviscerate the pompous ass in front of him, but the rational part of his conscious held firm. “And they will remain so for the time being. Though, to ease Your Grace’s worries, they will not be harmed.”

“And you just expect me to take the word of a barbarian out of the wilderness?”

“Then take my word, Your Grace.” Leiance stepped up now, glittering eyes locked on the dukes when he turned toward his Maliridian equal. “I will have my men watching over your sister and her children also, and they will not be harmed while in DeAuster’s care.” Lucius glanced toward his companion, and after a few seconds Harte nodded once, stepping back to his spot just behind Crane. The mayor of Cisroe watched the duke as he moved, then turned to look back to the others.

“Thank you Your Grace…my lord.” The portly mayor sighed softly, as he was unused to such situations and was very uncomfortable with what he had to say next. He looked to Gerard and then Harte before he spoke again. “It’s conceded that eventually you will take the city, though it will be at a high cost to both sides. It’s also conceded that to retake the city will be even more destructive, so I am empowered to now ask you for your terms.” That last was a bitter pill, and Lucius almost felt sorry for the man. He waited several seconds before replying, letting the nobles before him wait for his answer. It was a tactic suggested by Leiance, the better to show who held the upper hand. He slowly smiled and finally spoke.

“My terms…” Trialing off a moment, Lucius let the word hang, the smile fading into more of a predatory smirk. “The militia defending Cisroe will return to their barracks and places of enrollment. They do not have to disarm, but they will assemble under the guard of my people.” He could see Gerard stiffen in his peripheral vision, but he kept his gaze focused on Crane. “I know that a majority of the realm’s nobility are currently in Cisroe, trapped here when the siege began. They will be allowed to remain in their homes and manors for the time being, but the gates will be opened and their personal guard disarmed.” Harte looked to interrupt, but Crane held up a hand to forestall any outburst, a gesture that earned him a scathing glare from the duke.

“The safety of the nobility and the city is assured if these terms are met. If not…”Again Lucius trailed off, the implied consequences an ominous unspoken caveat.

With hushed somber tones, the Cisran nobles came together to speak quietly amongst each other, while Lucius, Leiance and Johan did the same. After a few moments Crane and Harte stepped back up, this time the duke speaking. “We will send word for the militia to pull back, and messengers will be sent to the manors and villas. We cannot promise that the nobles will accept your terms.” Lucius nodded slowly to Harte when he had finished, since he and Leiance had expected such a reply.

“I understand, Your Grace. Any that refuse will be kept in their manors under watch, and those that try to flee will be dealt with.” Harte looked as though he was swallowing a lemon, but he inclined his head in acceptance. Lucius turned his gaze back to Crane. “In the morning I suggest all of us reconvene here, to discuss our next steps.” He paused, looking to the two noblemen, purposefully ignoring Gerard. “And we will see then how farsighted everyone can be.”
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"You cannot withstand the storm"

And the Warrior whispered back
"I am the storm"

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 10:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Antetion Palace, Cisroe, Mercivya

The main audience hall was filled with the soft sounds of conversation between the gathered nobles of Mercivya. It had been nearly a week since the invasion, and most had been kept within their manors under watch from the soldiers of Malirid. The various nobles had been kept abreast of the talks between The Duke of Blackcrest and the leader of the barbarians by messenger, while servants were allowed to venture to the markets for food, bringing back stories and rumors of their own. Each day grew more tales, from foreign armadas filling the bay to gibbets of sacrifices being erected in the market squares, each holding an empty noose for a royal neck.

As dawn rose brilliant over the waters of Cisroe Bay pages began to arrive at doors throughout the manor district. “Your presence is requested and directed for this afternoon by the fifteenth hour in the Halls of Antetion.” While undersigned by the Duke of Blackcrest, the wording gave many pause and new fear. But, the conclave had been called, and they were honor bound to attend. And thus, under a bright afternoon sun carriages clattered down the cobblestone streets toward the palace that dominated the northern corner of the manor district. Each was escorted by four knights of Malirid, their armor and weapons, having been reconditioned after the battle days prior, gleaming in the sunlight.

Gathering in the main audience hall, the ruling elite were able to finally talk to their peers and begin to gather nuggets of truthful news. For one, there was no armada sitting off the coast, but rather the Valorous remained on station near the mouth of the bay. The bodies of those killed during the street battles had been cleared away, and none of the reported blood madness was in evidence. Two of the barons that had been trapped within Cisroe refused to attend, and were being kept under tight house arrest. Of the nobility that had been outside the city when the battle had broken out outside only two had refused to come in the intervening days. One, Baron Clynne of Rosecliff, had already fled by galleon with what wealth he and his family could pack. The Duke of Valdell, Roger Chamberlayne, had reportedly closed himself within Valdell Keep, which was even now being surrounded by the Black Tiger clan.

Of more immediate interest were the changes to the audience hall itself. The banners that bore the crest of Urevan’s family arms had been removed, replaced by black and green-edged livery bearing a stylized armored fist clutching an eight-pointed ring. The courtyard and outer halls were guarded by the soldiers of Malirid, but the men-at-arms stationed near the door and at points along the perimeter of the room bore the same livery. In the past Urevan sat alone on the dais at the end of the hall, his wife relegated to a simple seat at the foot of the stairs, subservient to her husband’s power when allowed to attend him in court at all. Now, that gilded throne had been removed and replaced by a simpler heavy oak chair, two smaller chairs of the same material on either side.

Movement near the arched entry to the hall first gained the attention of those nearest it, and the subtle fading of conversation took hold within the room as the gathering turned toward the doors. A court page stood at attention his ceremonial staff coming down three times to call for silence. “His Grace The Duke of Cyprien Drathwar, Leiance DeCort of Malirid and Captain Reginald Martyn of Dragons Land.” Leiance fought hard to suppress the soft chuckle at the looks as he and his companions entered the hall. To his left was Captain Martyn, dressed in the brown and white uniform of the naval arm of Dragons Land’s military and contrasting with the sky blue and silver doublet he had changed into after the battles and subsequent negotiations. Behind the two walked DeCort’s second, Commander Jarrevik DuBoise, his armor repaired and buffed to a brilliant sheen. The quartet moved down the aisle created by the gathered nobles to a spot prepared near the front, where they joined Johan Farriss.

“Greetings, Your Grace.” Johan nodded slowly as they settled beside him, the commander’s eyes flicking slowly over the subdued crowd. He looked uncharacteristically uncomfortable in the doublet he wore, a hand resting near his belt as though ready to grasp the hilt that wasn’t there. “This should be interesting, to say the least.”

“The endgames usually are.” Leiance replied, movement spotted in his peripheral vision bringing his attention back toward the doors where the page again struck his ornate staff against the marble floor.

“The Right Honorable The Earl of Falldale Lorcain DeWil and The Lady Kitian Albaelia.” The taller of the two standing in the doorway was all black, though the well-worn leather armor had been put aside for a rich silk doublet and overcoat. Lorcain’s hair was pulled back in a ponytail that gleamed in the light coming in from the windows, a severe look that contrasted with the more conservative styles currently in fashion with the court. Kitian stood with her arm entwined with his, resplendent in a blue velvet dress, the silver trim matching her hair in the afternoon sun. While she would have preferred to be overseeing the last of the repairs to the Enyara Kuru her older brother Morguian had requested that she represent the Albaelia family for this event. Fiona and Myrialla had stepped in to help her prepare since her wardrobe on-board the Kuru was limited and Lorcain had, in his own style, offered to escort her. She now offered a soft smile to those they passed as they walked along the carpet to take their spot beside Leiance, the small group exchanging the quiet greetings of friends forged on the field as the soft murmurs again filled the hall.

“I don’t see any of the Northras.” Kitian leaned closer to Leiance while softly speaking, her eyes darting about the parts of the crowd she could see without being blatant. Leiance chuckled softly, and leaned her way, their heads almost touching.

“DeAuster thought it best that they not be here, so as not to upset the nobles unduly.” His gaze cut to the solemn Farriss as he continued. “They have been moved to the outskirts and outside the city and Commander Farriss’s men have been brought forward to take over the duties of security.”

“All fer tha air of civility…” Lorcain grumbled softly from the other side of Kitian, drawing a raised brow from Leiance and an amused soft chuckle from Kitian who patted his arm gently. She leaned closer into him for a second, all watching the doors again as several pike-wielding men-at-arms entered and moved up the central aisle to take positions along its edge. The page rapped the butt of his ornate staff against the marble tile, glanced to the doorway once, then looked back to the assemblage.

“The Lord Marshal of Raven’s Fast, former ambassador and Bellor Perdifictor of the church of Leorn, Member of the Order of Maestelle and Orklar Okaalkec, Lord Lucius DeAuster.” The figure that stepped into the doorway started a new round of whispers, for it was not the butcher that had been widely speculated about for the last several days. The armor had been left behind in the camp outside the city, set aside for a black silk shirt and overcoat, the edges lined with the green that made up part of his heraldry. His auburn hair was pulled back and tied by a beaded leather strap, a gift from Jerrak’s wife on the eve of the battle that took the city. The one constant, however, was the great-axe slung across his back, the haft angling over his left shoulder

Lucius stood quietly for several seconds, his arms folded behind him as his steel-gray eyes flicking over the assembled as they took him in. The thought of the use of those titles and the sour taste it would bring the representatives of the religious orders amused him, and in fact was a carefully-calculated move, to impress upon the peerage gathered that each newcomer belonged amongst their number. The right corner of his mouth twitched upward in a sardonic smile as he slowly brought up his right hand to chest level, palm upward, prompting the page to speak again. “Arch-Mage of the Eleventh Tier of Carowyn, Knight of the Obsidian Blade for the Courts of Zymire, and Marchioness of Crystalshade Coast, The Most Honorable Marchioness Fiona Juree DeWil DeAuster.” Fiona glided into view from the right side of the doorway, her gloved fingers curling around Lucius’s as she took her place beside him. Her dress was a polar opposite of Lucius’s outfit, the green velvet being offset with a fall of diamonds that, like the diadem she wore, caught the light as she moved. Lucius and Fiona shared a glance, her lips curling in a smile that held just a touch of warmth, and he brought up his left hand in mirror of the right.

“The Lady Myrialla Tamsina VasDailar.” Peach silk rustled softly as Myrialla joined Lucius and Fiona, a vibrant counterpoint to their muted colors that flowed out behind her in a train of cloth. Her smile was serene as she looked about those nearest the trio, a disarming gesture that came so easy to the woman the Northras had christened their angel. Exchanging last glance between the two Lucius looked ahead and as one the three stepped forward, moving down the aisle toward the dais. The room had quieted as they walked, and as they passed the last two guardsmen the eight turned as one to face the dais. Fiona glanced to the side as they passed their gathered friends, and the smile she wore mirrored that of her brother Lorcain.

Lucius stopped at the bottom of the dais, extending his arms as Fiona and Myrialla continued upward to stand before the two smaller chairs and releasing their hands as they turned to face the assemblage. Lucius paused for a few seconds more, then reached back and drew Drachmel from its harness, spinning the weapon effortlessly and bringing the butt of the haft down hard, sending marble chips flying as the spikes ringing the base of the haft bit deep to hold the greataxe in a standing position when his hand left it. The act was a statement as loud as it had been shouted, the same sentiments that had rang out over the myriad realms and multiverses for time immemorial:

With this axe, do I rule.
_________________
Fate whispered to the Warrior
"You cannot withstand the storm"

And the Warrior whispered back
"I am the storm"

-Anon
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Turning in front of the central throne to look out over the assembled Lucius nodded slowly to himself. He had been privately briefed before coming in on who was in attendance and, more importantly, who wasn’t. The words he had spoken to his son back in Gharnholme echoed in his thoughts as he looked out over the nobles in attendance: This is a battle, just as any on the field.

“Lords and Ladies, I wish to thank you for attending this afternoon.” He paused for a second, his gaze roaming over the small sea of faces before he continued. “We are here in the hopes to put the troubled week and months behind us, and to start anew. But, before we can do that, there is a bit of unfinished business to resolve.” From near the front Leiance nodded once, almost imperceptibly, at the methodical cadence in which Lucius was speaking. He had been spending the evenings alongside Fiona in preparing the Pandemonium Lord for this moment, knowing that it wasn’t just the words but the nuances that could make or break his bid to solidify support amongst the nobility.

Lucius swept an arm out toward the double doors in the back of the hall, and as everyone turned to look in that direction two men-at-arms stepped through, their longswords held in a cross-body position. Both wore the double golden lions of the DeCorts of Malirid. Behind the two stood the Lady Eliane Urevan, flanked on the left by her daughter Anne-Eliece and on the right by the youngest, Marlon. The darkness on Eliane’s cheek had lightened considerably in the week following the capture of her and her family, and she bore the light discoloration remaining like a badge of honor, her head held high and defiant. Her daughter, while trying to emulate her mother, bore more of the haughtiness with which she and her father were famed. Marlon, on the other hand, stared around him with the bright-eyed shocked look of the young.

Reaching to either side Lady Eliane took the hands of the two children and the three started forward behind the two guards, two more falling in step behind the trio. The small group moved up the aisle to the dais, where the guards stepped crisply to take positions on either side. Lucius brought both hands up in a gesture of salutation, bowing his head slightly to Lady Eliane. “Your Majesty.” The words were a soft rumble, and both they and the gesture caught her by surprise. Her gaze flickered past Lucius to first Fiona and then Myrialla sitting behind him, and was met with a regard of polar opposite; Fiona’s was cold, calculating, while Myrialla looked upon Eliane with a smile both warming and serene. Finally she looked back to Lucius and returned his nod in kind.

“Lord DeAuster.” The acknowledgment brought a hint of a smile again, and Lucius again looked to the door. There was no need for any kind of gesture, for the clanking of chains and cursing coming from the door was more than enough to draw everyone’s attention. The soft murmuring started again to fill the room as Nickolas Urevan was pushed through the door by two soldiers in the livery of Gharnholme. The nobleman nearly fell, for his arms were bound to his side by the heavy loops of iron, some of which came close to tripping him as they hung near his legs. The two on either side were not gentle in forcing him up the aisle, followed behind by the silent quintet of Sir Herzog and his skeletal warriors. Those on either side edged back as they passed, the otherworldly pall hanging over the undead making most uneasy at an instinctual level.

Lucius watched as the erst-while ruler of Mercivya was forced to stand before the dais but apart from his family. He noted with an almost clinical detachment the reactions to Urevan’s state, though undoubtedly many had seen similar before during his rule. He still wore the fine silks in which he had been captured, though the grime of the dungeons had dulled the vibrant blue and darker splotches now marred the material where the chains pressed hard into the flesh. Even in defeat Urevan was defiant, needing a hard blow to the back of the knee to be forced to kneel.

“Urevan.” The word was almost a spit curse as Lucius glared at the other, his rage building slowly within him even with his enemy bowed before him. “I warned you, two years ago, that this day would come.” He couldn’t help the small rumble of amusement that accompanied the grim half-smile. “You sought to take all that is mine, but in the end it is I who stands in victory before you and those who served as your court. Perhaps you should have better learned the lessons of Vladimir Glashion.”

“You miserable bastard!” Urevan surged forward, and almost succeeded in falling forward as he struggled. It took both of his living guards to keep him in his place as he shouted. “How dare you act as though you are our equal, or that you are worthy to stand up there with your bitch and this new whore!” The Beast roared within Lucius, and he had just started to move when cold laughter behind him stopped him in his tracks from descending and tearing out Urevan’s throat with his bare hands. The sound of Fiona’s laughter also quelled Urevan’s rants, and all eyes turned to the raven-haired half-elf, sitting calmly watching the proceedings.

“Ah, but Your Majesty…” Even though she held no outward sarcasm, there was no respect at all in Fiona’s use of Urevan’s former title. “…I can assure ye that I nae bear a tail nor go around on all fours. And I can attest that Myrialla is of strong Riori blood, and has nae haunted any street-corners.” Fiona looked to her red-headed counterpart as she spoke, and Myrialla resisted the urge to laugh on seeing the quick wink. Lucius inclined his head slowly to his wife when she had finished speaking and then turned back to lock glares with Urevan.

“Nickolas Urevan, by Latha en’Kathishk I have taken your lands, properties and titles.” He slowly moved his arm to take in the hall and, by rote, Cisroe and the land beyond as he spoke. “And now, in my first act as Sovereign, I dispense with you and yours.” Urevan again went into a shouting frenzy, his cursing running on for a long moment as he struggled in the grips of his guards. As Lucius let him rant the assembled nobles started to talk among themselves, allowing Kitian a chance to lean closer to Leiance again.

Latha en’Kathishk? I’ve not heard of that before.” The Maliridian noble looked to her, a grim smile playing along his clean-shaven features.

“It’s a rather esoteric custom, dating back to the Time before Memory. It means ‘Rite of Conquest.’” It had been another suggestion from Leiance to Lucius, the latter having planned to use the Northras equivalent. Leiance had felt it prudent to ‘be as civilized as possible’, a comment that had brought laughter from the Pandemonium Lord at the time. Kitian nodded, and straightened as Lucius began to speak over Urevan, who had finally come to a sputtering halt in his vitriolic rant.

“Ma’am.” He looked to Urevan’s wife, who had until this point stood quietly by with her children. She paled, and gave a squeeze to her children’s hands before stepping forward, the guards keeping Anne-Eliece and Marlon where they stood. Lucius looked to her for several seconds before continuing to speak. “During my negotiations this week the Duke of Blackcrest has offered a petition on your behalf. And in the interest of fostering good relations I have agreed.” The fragile resignation that Eliane wore faded into puzzlement, for she had expected to hear a death sentence. “Lady Eliane, I render you into the care of His Grace, to be a part of the household of Harte.” Lucius half-turned, accepting a rolled-up parchment from Myrialla and turned back, offering the parchment to Eliane.

“This is a decree of dissolution, signed by my hand and sealed by the Arch-Canoness of Aista, which releases you from any vows of marriage you currently hold.” Lucius ignored the roar of outrage from Urevan, raising his own tone to be heard. “It also returns the name of Harte to you, along with all titles and properties you held before your marriage.” Now the voices of the nobles joined that of Urevan, a current of disbelief spreading through the hall. Harte stepped forward, moving around the two children to stand beside Eliane, who was staring at Lucius, eyes wide. Lucius waited, offering up the scroll and with a trembling hand the once-Queen of Mercivya reached out and took it from his hand. Lucius inclined his head to her as she was quietly led away by her brother to stand near the edge of the assembly. The guards standing behind Anne-Eliece and Marlon kept the two from joining their mother, the young boy struggling desperately in his attempts to reach Eliane. She started to try to return to them, but was stopped by her brother, who shook his head slightly when she turned her eyes to him.
_________________
Fate whispered to the Warrior
"You cannot withstand the storm"

And the Warrior whispered back
"I am the storm"

-Anon
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

((Reader advisory for adult situations. NSFW))


Looking over to cursing Urevan Lucius smirked, shaking his head in mock sorrow before his gaze moved back to his daughter. “Anne-Eliece, your reputation precedes you.” He made to bow slightly as the young woman drew herself up, bringing a soft rumbling chuckle. “And am I correct in presuming that you expect a similar disposition as your mother has received?”

“I have done nothing against you or yours, sir.” Anne-Eliece’s voice held no fear as she returned Lucius’s gaze evenly. “Given that, as well as to the humane and generous way you have treated my mother, I would hope to also avail myself on your mercy.” A russet brow rose fractionally as Lucius regarded her, prompting the young woman to continue. “After all, you are not the barbarian that rumor and courtly innuendo has made you out to be.”

And just how many naive young men have been seduced by that glib tongue? The thought sprang into Lucius’s mind before he could stop it, and the haunting echo of Fiona’s mental laughter somehow kept him from chortling openly himself. Outwardly he made no movement for several seconds, finally nodding once, slowly. “Well spoken, Your Royal Highness.” He watched Anne-Eliece carefully, caught the shadow of a smile and again had to resist the urge to laugh aloud. “Well spoken indeed.” He stepped forward; coming off the dais to stand slightly to Anne-Eliece’s left and turning his head to look at her. “It’s too bad though, that you are wrong.”

At that verbal cue the guards shifted, the Maliridian soldiers stepping back, one pulling Marlon with him, as the Gharnholmian men-at-arms left Urevan and grabbed Anne-Eliece by the arms. Steel flashed in the light streaming through the bay windows as keen-edged daggers were brought to bear. The screams of Urevan’s daughter mingled with those of shock coming from the watching ladies in the hall as the daggers descended, cutting the dress away from her as skillful as a hunter skinning a stag. The dress and chemise underneath was quickly reduced to a pile of torn cloth around the struggling woman’s feet, even the delicate stockings being sliced from kicking legs to leave her naked before the eyes of the room.

Lucius had watched the assembled nobles in his peripheral vision, and noted that while several of the men had shouted their outrage none had dared the ready guards that lined the aisle and perimeter. Urevan had tried to lunge forward again, but Sir Herzog had stepped forward and laid a hand on his shoulder, forcing the defeated monarch to fall onto his side with a scream of agony as the unnatural chill bit deep. Writhing on the marble floor he could only watch as Anne-Eliece was held in place, her arms held outward to prevent her from saving her last vestiges of modesty. Even Kitian was surprised by the display, though behind and above Lucius Fiona and Myrialla watched the proceedings as though it was nothing more than a recalcitrant slave being punished, and Lorcain held a decidedly and staged bored expression.

“You are indeed beautiful, just as the stories have said.” Lucius admitted as he stepped in front of the struggling Anne-Eliece. The young woman hissed at him and lashed forward, a glob of spittle landing on Lucius’s neck in the act. He chuckled softly, a hand rising up so two fingers could wipe away the offensive saliva. “And spirited. Good, that will serve you well where you are going.” He stepped closer, chest to breast with Anne-Eliece, and she suddenly screamed and twisted at feeling his hand covering her mons, a finger slipping between her labia and deeper within. After a second he stepped back, holding up his hand to show the gleam of moisture staining the leather-clad fingertips. “Such a pity though, that you are not pure. It will cut the final price somewhat.” His gaze left her shocked features, looking to the guards holding her. “I want her collared and on her way to Ivory Flails by sunrise.”

“Bastard! Mongrel!” Urevan struggled up to one knee as his daughter was dragged screaming toward the doors, only to be forced down again by Sir Herzog. He was practically frothing as he raged, putting to voice the shock and outrage radiating in the room. His words were cut short as Lucius whirled on him, crimson flashing in his eyes as he pointed toward the bound noble.

“Spare me your indignant hypocrisy, Urevan!” Lucius snarled, but his next words were cut off by a voice from behind him. It was loud enough to catch everyone’s attention and bring it to Myrialla who now held a crumpled piece of parchment in her hands. Her gaze flitted between the paper and Urevan as she read aloud the letter, and those who knew her could not quite recall ever seeing her eyes look so cold.

“I do believe the loss of the two would be a mortal strike in the hearts of our shared enemy. While the boy is of no use and can be disposed at your leisure, the girl holds some beauty and grace and will fetch a fine price in Ivory Flails or Darkovan.” Lowering the parchment Myrialla glared at the fallen Urevan. “Your own words, ‘my lord’, in correspondence with your ally Argus Torvien of Bastien.” Farriss did not attempt to hide his smile as Lucius stepped closer to Urevan, his hands slowly flexing as they felt the need to grapple Urevan’s throat. As for Fiona, her expression was unreadable and that was perhaps even worse, for the ones who knew her had seen the same expression in times past during her years as an assassin for the various guilds and Duibh Order.

“Remember what I told you when all this began, Urevan.” Lucius’s voice had dropped in timbre as he stared down at the chained nobleman. In truth he was struggling to keep The Beast in check and not become what Urevan had claimed. “I told you I would do to you what you wished of me.” Lucius turned his head slightly to look toward the Lady Eliane, standing beside and supported by her brother, as well as the young Marlon. His expression hardened as he looked back to his enemy. “And, as I remember, you wanted to take my lands, take my wife as your personal slave, sell my daughter into slavery…” A hand had been held up where most could see, a finger curling into the palm with each item on his list. He paused for effect before growling the last of the sentence, the final finger dropping to form a clenched fist. “…and you wanted to kill my boy.”
_________________
Fate whispered to the Warrior
"You cannot withstand the storm"

And the Warrior whispered back
"I am the storm"

-Anon
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