|2011-03-09, 18:44||Link #1|
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: event horizon
Because contest threads apparently have to close, I can't edit entries. So to be able to "tweak" things, I'm just going to repost them here for further improvements. I expect most (if not all) will just be EMDAS entries along with parts that would not fit as contest entries. Though I don't plan on caring for the theme and word limit imposed by the contest so the versions here might be a little different then the contest counterpart.
Emperor of One
Knightmare is a prequel to Emperor of One. There is one major connection between the two, but I won’t tell you what it is; though eventually it may become obvious. Aside from that the stories are quite different. Knightmare is a magical story, while Emperor of One is a sci-fi story (with no magic elements). The universe is (technically) the same, and it’s called “Penumbra”.
Last edited by felix; 2011-09-20 at 15:14.
|2011-03-09, 18:45||Link #2|
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: event horizon
Emperor of One
Act I - Outlook
Out of the frying pan, into the fire
“The year is 39 PA (Post Apocalypse), current time 11:32 AM. My name is Kurou Kou, and I am a student at Kyu Kyoto North Highschool (KKN). The school is famous for its immaculate dirt, intellectual delinquents, and last but not least, its age. Who would have expected out of all the miracles of architecture, before and in the war, this towering matchbox would be the only thing still standing; good job pigeons.” For a moment Kou looks to his left at the crows on the nearby building. “So much for our friendly constipated pigeons.” he whispers to himself.
Several minutes pass but Kou fails to write even on more word.
“TEACHER!” he shoutsKou takes a glance at the sea of wires above the class.
“I was just wondering.” says Kou “Does writing this actually count for our grade?”The teacher then went back to reading his newspaper and the rest of the class diverted their attention back at the assignment. All but one, Mao Manami.
“Life, is a tale told by an idiot. Idiot.” she muttered as a gush of wind racked the glass and churned the trees outside.Kou takes a breath and with the sun falling behind the clouds continues writing.
“Today is just another day, like any other. Though I continue to lay still the groundwork of vulgar ignorance, of things impossible, of superstition, fanaticism and fabrication continues to swirl around me. Perhaps bad luck really doesn’t bring good luck, but more bad luck instead.”
“Before coming to this school I was a student at, another school. Because of unforeseen circumstances beyond my control I’ve ended dropping three years in a row. It was sad leaving the few friends I (still) had, but the looks and rumors were very compelling. Months ago I transfered to KKN in the hopes of starting anew in the presence of a gathering of people much stranger then myself; a choice not entirely of my will. It’s been one month since I transfered here and I’ve somehow managed to fit in. Good fortune willing my crappy attempt at kansai-ben earned me some humor points with everyone in class, and somehow I’ve fit in.” Kou looks towards the rest of class 0-N, most of which was diligently ignoring the assignment. “…or it could be they are just a bunch of uncaring people.” he whispers to himself
“My seat is near the window in the left corner, at the deep end of the class. The classroom is towards the sun and there are no trees that reach this high, so the rest of the row is empty. The whole building is like a tower. Most of of the class has positioned themselves on the left side in the shade. I am isolated, under less conspicuous context I might feel humbled by this arrangement, as an old fool on a mountain peak passing for a sage, but under the circumstances I feel more like a troll trapped in his cave; even more so with Mao behind me.” Kou looks at a reflection of Mao in the window, but the sun blinds him and adverts his eyes. “Her record of arguing with everyone speaks more then mine. Since I came here she’s given me the same look. For someone who doesn’t ever raise her voice her knack for arguing about everything is bewildering. Being too lazy and cool to speak with anything more then a whisper I have often been forced to repeat everything she says each time one of the geezers asks her something. I suppose me rephrasing her words might have something to do with her bad reputation, but sadly it’s quite hard for me to listen to her fast talking much less repeat it in all it’s redundancy—”
The teacher looks down at Kou.
“And who might these bastards be Mr. Kurou?” he asksKou remains silent and doesn’t look up.
“Well, in any case, after school come see me, again.”The time is 1:49 PM. Kou enters the office of Nicholas Lore. The scent of tobacco greets him at the door; the inside a big mess of papers, flour pots and cigarettes. Even though called a office there’s just a chair and a table and mountains of various student papers everywhere. The schools lost and found would probably be a more accurate description.
“How many times have I told you to remember to knock first.” said Nicholas while still reading some papers.Kou confused takes a few steps back and tries to turn around. In the corner of his eye he notices a picture of someone on a otherwise empty white wall. “It’s most likely a acquaintance of the the teacher by the looks of it.” he thinks to himself “Or, it could be the janitor’s so called mistress. He probably forgot it when he moved out of here and in with the cockroaches.”
Nicholas drops the piece of paper to the desk, “Wait idiot—” he shouts.Kou looks around.
“On the floor this time?” said KouKou pauses for a moment.
“Aside from the fact she has excellent grades in PE, and attends a stupid amount of clubs? Nothing.”A deep silence covers the room.
“Hahahaha—” laughs Nicholas hystericallyKou seems to want to reply, but keeps silent.
“Anyway back to the topic.” said Nicholas, getting a picture of Mao out.Kou takes a moment to take it all in, but all that’s going to his head and his longs is the smell of tobacco in the room.
“So what’s the catch?” replies KouNicholas doesn’t respond immediately and just keeps blowing more cigarette smoke.
“The better you the less points I’ll subtract.” said NicholasWith out another word from the teacher Kou just leaves to escape the smoke and confusion and slams the door behind him.
The time is now 2:07 PM. Some classes have started, along with club activities, but for Kou the day has ended.
War does not determine who is right, only who is left. All great wars had their weapons. Sometimes it was the weapons that made the war. After discovering the first forms of Velocity Altering Technology (VAT) humanity did not take long to convert it to military use. “Praetorian Guard” they came to be known. According to the (natural) laws of physics, as first discovered by Newton, every body remains in a state of constant velocity unless acted upon by an external unbalanced force. This simple law of nature indirectly makes bullets kill, explosions hurt and was the foundation for all weapons before the war. With the advent of the preatorian guard the threat of bullets was no more. Guns became nothing more then toys. It was not just guns that became obsolete, explosions relied on shock waves, shock waves relied on speed, velocity and speed went hand in hand, and so the shock wave was nullified by the guard and explosions became far less effective where guards were present.
Some thought this new technology heralded a new era of piece and prosperity. However, peace is not the absence of conflict but the ability to cope with it. As horrible as the old weapons were, they were part of the old balance. With them gone balance was lost, and the war began. It is lost to us when exactly the war started, or who started it. But what we do know is that it was in the name of freedom, and democracy that the first stone was flung. The flames of the endless hell were brought to consume this world. Men faught their wars everywhere. For many decades the great war didn’t even have anything that could be called sides, nor countries or alliances for that matter. It was all just chaos. Whatever framework to society there was before, was burned to ashes in nuclear fire. Death had no honor in those days, death had no purpose, it was all just for the great vain of the world and mankind’s arrogance fueled it ever onwards.
Inevitably chaos gave way to ordered chaos. Cities rose in the ruins of the old ones, build up on people’s fears. For protection great flying fortresses were build to guard against the madness of the world around them. Inevitably cities took over other cities, and in time two major factions emerged in one corner of the world. One called itself the Empire and preached order, another called itself the Republic and preached peace; yet both did not have either. In the end the Empire lost, and the world came to settle in a tangible peace, but the mighty Republic payed a heavy price for it’s victory and now stands as a mere shell of it’s former self.
Even now, death still lingers. The war was not kind. Many weapons were used, horrible weapons. And each day new horrors are discovered, relics from those dark day. One can not even walk outside the cities with out potentially falling prey to madmen or sleeping weapons, or worse. The majority of the population is living in cities, or ruins of old cities. The life expediency of anyone living outside the cities is not even a year. The rest of the world, the so called outside world, is split into yellow zones and red zones. The administration tries to clean out the old threat but judging by the death toll the efforts seem to be counter productive and more symbolic and political then anything.
Emperor of One
Act II - The Chaser
The current time is 4:13 PM. Several days have passed since Kou spoke with professor Nicholas. At the moment Kou is in the library, located not far from school, sitting in a room and waiting…
“You’ve been reading that piece of trivia for a while now, are you not done yet?” said KouIsolde puts the book down and grabs a cup of tea.
“I’m so sorry to have kept you waiting for so long. Would you like some tea?”Kou ignores her, and just heads to the nearby bookshelf. The top row is littered with archives of the war.
“Well, first let me introduce myself.” said IsoldeIsolde pours herself more tea.
“You may sit down, and talk to me, or you can talk to them. The choice is your.”Kou doesn’t say anything but his face shows he’s willing to talk.
“Before we get started, are you sure you don’t want some tea. I can have Walter bring you any flavor you wish in no time.” said IsoldeIsolde smiles in reply, and just sips more tea.
“Well, time is passing us by, so I’ll jump to the point.” said IsoldeKou pauses for a moment.
“Very well. But don’t blame me if this is a waste of your time counselor.” said KouKou sits back down on the couch and prepares to start, while Isolde pours herself a full cup of tea. As she finishes pouring a tremor hits. Some books fall off, and the broken glass in the window shakes loose and breaks on the floor. Not even a quarter of a minute passes and it stops.
“One moment please.” said Isolde as she moves into the forest of bookshelvesIsolde then returns to Kou and picks up her full cup of tea, much to Kou’s disbelief.
“Is there something wrong Mr. Kurou?” said IsoldeKou continues to look at the cup as dust keeps raining from the ceiling but any logical explanation escapes him, so he decides to just leave it be.
“Where do you want me to start counselor?” said Kou“It was right after school, and as you know already, I was persuaded to follow Mao. Everything seemed pretty straight forward. I already knew all of her friends so I just did the obvious thing, I asked them…”
“And they just, answered?” asked Isolde“Afterwards I checked the club schedule. The times she got off were very discouraging. I was planning on just accidentally leaving school at the same time and accidentally going the same direction home.”
“Couldn’t you have pretended anyway.” said Isolde“Tailing her in the evening, on almost empty streets would be a pain. To make matters worse, that day they stayed up longer. By the time she left it was getting dark, and all the shops were closed. Bumping into her under those circumstances would draw too much attention. So, I did the only thing to do. I ran.”
“You went home?” said Isolde“Normally I would trail her using the crowd, noise, and such; however this time non of that was feasible. So what I thought to myself was, ‘what methods have now become feasible that weren’t earlier’, and so I came up with the method of running. I went and changed to my sportswear at school and ran two blocks in front of her to the nearest intersection. I waited a while until she was near me, gave her a look, then ran forward towards the next intersection.”
“What if, she does’t go forward.” asks Isolde“After pulling off this little dance about four times, I lost her. So now the normal conclusion here would be, that I found her home. However, the buildings in the area dead. They not just merely unsafe, they are uninhabitable, nobody could live there even if they wished to. I looked over map when I got home, in hopes of finding some information on the buildings, however what I found instead filled me with dread. It’s not immediately apparent when you simply walk initially into the area, but out of the roads, only two lead into and out of it. Even more so, the one she used was only recently cleared, so previously the one I had used was the only entrance and exist out of tha area. I could pretend I was jogging if she asks, but it would be very strange if I was just randomly wondering, and that place is no place anyone would plan as a route. In other words the little witch got me into checkmate position and then vanished.”
“So anyway that’s the story, can I go now?” said Kou“After that bitter defeat, I had Mercury—think of her as the equivalent to your Walter—make some tracking devices, like cameras and sensors, from the usual trash she picks up. And it shames me to admit it but she did it again, that day she simply went the complete opposite way she went the day before. So I had Mercury make even more devices, and covered both paths. I thought that would stop her but no, she again went a completely random path.”
“At this point I didn’t care about the Nicholas bastard anymore, it was personal. Seeing as all the direct attacks failed miserably, the obvious rational thing to do is to change strategy to more indirect attacks. However, my pride wouldn’t take it. So, rational planning aside, I yet again went with a direct approach. It took a full three days to prepare but I was sure it would not fail again. What I had done is create a super scent. To our primitive nose it would be unnoticeable, but given the right equipment you could follow a fly if it had just an ounce of the stuff a thousand kilometers away. The problem now was simply delivering it, so that’s how I joined the martial arts clubs she was in. Initially I joined only one; sadly she kicked my ass the first day, and then the second day as well. So I stated all the others she was in, Now, I don’t even recall if that decision was rational. It makes sense to do that, but after getting several bruises all over my body, all I could think at the time was how much I wanted to win against her in a match. On the weapons at best I got a tie, but barely. And out of all the others I only managed to best her at hand to hand combat. But it was enough, I had accomplished my goal. What do you think happened counselor?”
“I don’t suppose your plan worked this time?” said Isolde“Up to the middle of the second week nothing really happened, not until that day.”
“Ah yes, that unfortunate incident.” said Isolde filling her cup back up
Last edited by felix; 2011-05-11 at 20:45.
|2011-03-14, 06:03||Link #5|
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: event horizon
Act I - Penumbra
“My name is Lilet Vampyren, the name was given to me by my father, the Demon Hunter Fenix Vampyren. I am a witch, but I’ve never used magic. The name my mother gave me was Hekate. I don’t know much about my mother. All I know was she was a witch as well and hid her magic. Like all witches I have no father, when Fenix met my mother I was already born into this world. What the current date is I have forgotten, but it makes no difference, I’m not long for this world. My respectable father, is dead. I’m innocent but hideous rumors spread and now I have been accused of patricide, the evil witch who betrayed her loving father.”
The crowds in the middle of the town square roar and call for the witch’s death.
“Silence.” said the announcerSeveral important people walk in and sit down at a table.
“Lord Warwind, are you sure about this?” whispered the church representativeFrom the crowd screams could be heard.
“Kill the witch!”A short moment of silence then follows and a women screams.
“But there’s a witness to the crime!”The crowd mumbles in confusion.
“What is Lord Warwind thinking?” whispered one of the representatives to the headWarwind thus continues his speech.
“I say, we change this from an execution to a test of witchcraft.”The crowd mumbles to themselves, and a disbelief falls on the representatives. A few moments later the crowd starts to speak up yelling “Fire! Fire! Fire!” and so Lilet is taken and tied to a pole near the lake side. Lord Warwind asks to go hear her last wish, in the eventuality she die from the test.
“Listen to me girl, just as flames don’t burn, a witch can walk on water if she wants to.”Lilet pauses for a second and then cold as she was whispers “Y-Yes!” and waves her head. Warwind then approaches the tribunal and tells the representatives, she said she doesn’t have a wish. A fire is lit under her, part of her clothes start to burn but being a gift from her father, not all of them burn. Then Warwind tells the executioners the fire is not enough, the test requires it be made bigger, and so it is done. The fire raised higher and higher and soon it was up to her neck. Soon Lilet could feel the ropes loosening from the flame burning the fibers. Her feet were already loose enough but waited more for her hands. And soon they were and Lilet jumped into the lake and embracing courage started running over the water, to freedom.
As Warwind told her, she ran north and then east. Because most of the town was at the execution the streets were empty, however at her back she could hear the soldiers metal crossing the bridge. As she was running east with what little breath she had left a man whispered at her from the shadows of a alley “Girl I’m with Warwind, over here! Quickly!” and so Lilet was taken outside the town of Oasis though a subterranean passage.
Night of the Execution
The evening of the execution came to pass, and night came. Warwind left the guards to search for Lilet and went to retire for the day, or so the tribunal thought. That night, accompanied by his men, he went outside town and in the forest met with Lilet. He explained how the guards will figure out she had escaped the town and will broaden their search soon. He threw to her his father’s lantern. Warwind then told her how she can use it to pierce the fog of the Sealed Forest and venture into a place known as the Castle of the Silver Moon, where nobody would be able to chase her. He would escort her there to make sure there is nothing with any thread. And so, lacking choice in the matter, Lilet followed with Warwind’s suggestion.
The road towards the castle was rough track though the forest with only the red and white light of the lantern to guide the way. Aside from the trees, grass and the smell of the bog, no living thing stood in front of them. It felt like they had walked for half a day, but when they reached the castle and exited the fog it was still night.
The castle was covered in thorns. Warwind’s party took a short break, then told Lilet they need to grasp the element of surprise, now. She paused, and then just gave a nod in agreement, and so they ventured in. It was not long and they came to a room with a sword implanted in a painting on the wall. At first glance the painting showed a giant dog, beasts of fire, darkness falling from the sky, a sea monster with nine heads, the ground dying, and seas boiling. Warwind approaches the sword and attempted to pull it out of the wall. He tried several times but the sword did not budge. He calls several of his men to pull together, to no avail.
“Lilet, come here and try to pull it out.” said WarwindAnd so she approaches the sword and grabs it.
“I feel energy coming from the grip.” she saysAnd so she pulls on the sword, with all her might. The sword doesn’t budge but the walls shake.
“Try again Lilet.” says WarwindAnd she does. She pulls and she pulls, and the castle shakes. And eventually as she pulls spikes impale her hand from the grip. She wants to let go but the sword compels her to pull harder and the castle shakes more violently. Then the sword edge cracks and the long shaft which was the swords grip breaks off and Lilet rolls on the floor still hanging onto the grip, or rather the grip still holding to her hand. She tries to get up, but her feet won’t hold her, and she sways around until she hits the window on the opposite wall. Her hand is now covered in blood.
Warwind and one of his men heads to the blades remains, their faces perplexed.
“Lord Warwind.” said LiletWarwind pushes him back and yells.
“Enough.”Lilet smiled, stood up and said “Yes, I shall protect the foolish as well.” and charged towards Warwind with the grip of the weapon still in hand. Warwind aimed for her legs but Lilet blocked by forcing the grip into the floor and countered with a kick to his abdomen, knocking him back and on his knees. She then leaned on the shaft forward to loosen it from the floor and with her right hand grabbed the bottom of it, and swung it from the back, over her head, forward; just like an axe. But the shaft did not connect with Warwind’s head. One of his soldiers parried the blow with his spear, while another lanced her heart from behind. As the soldier jerked the spear out, Lilet fell to her knees while leaning on the shaft.
As her life fled from her lungs, magic runes and smoke appeared on the shaft, and more blood continued to drip from her hand. Everyone took several steps back, weapons ready to strike. Lilet could not see the markings, as her vision had faded to darkness long before her knee touched the ground. She looked up but saw only darkness, she looked down and then a scream chilling as the winter wind yelled “DON’T look down!” As she lifted her head a giant phantom had appeared before her at no more then an arms length.
“W-Who…W-What are thow?” asked LiletLilet was confused for a moment but the chill in the air tour to her very soul and dragged the words out from the bottom of her heart, as if her life depended on it; and who knows, maybe it did.
“What is this… sword?” asked LiletOblivion
As Lilet woke Warwind and his goons stood there in disbelief.
“Lilet, give me the sword.” said Warwind as he slowly moved forwardShe pulled the shaft out of the floor. As she budged it out the shaft pulsed with power and a smoking sword emerged as if carved from diamond. She then swung it at Warwind and as he ducked the sword carved out his right eye. The rest of his goons went crazy and arms in hand charged at her from all sides at once. She blocked one spear, cut another, but all the others pierce all the way though her. As they pulled their spears out Lilet fell to the ground—as it would seem, dead again. After a minute waiting on her to so even blink the men were convinced she was dead and put their arms at ease.
No sooner they took in a sigh of relief that one of them falls to the ground, dead. The others man their spears again and scream “The BITCH is still alive” but as they look towards her Lilet is still down, lifeless, motionless, and silent as a stone. As they all shake in fear Warwind, still recovering from the pain of losing his eye, screams and moans: “Behind you fools! Behind YOU!”, but his words were spoken a moment too late, as before they can even turn around three of them go down to a sword to the neck, much to all the other’s horror.
“Who are you bastard!” one of the man screams while shaking in his bootsAs the soldiers try to move forward their bones start to ache and their muscles hurt. One falls to the ground, shaking, another tries to lean on his broken spear, but his strength gives way and he nearly impales himself in it instead. Warwind runs out the door. As he goes though the halls he can hear the last of his men’s screams and pleads for their lives as the man from before finishes them off. “I’ll get my revenge… someday. They’ll see…” he thinks to himself. But as he approaches the exit the man falls down from the floor above and with sword wrenched in blood walks towards him.
“Wait… don’t kill me! Please! I have money, I can pay you!” pleads Warwind with as his legs give wayWarwind starts coughing blood.
“No… Nooo!” he yells as a tremedous pain surges though his entire bodyA day has passed. The blood of Warwind now adorns the halls like a rug and crows gather outside to the stench of rotting flesh. In the room where Lilet fell, the corpses of Warwind's, former, men are scattered all over, all with a piercing wound to the heart. All corpses lie rotting, all except for one, which is nowhere to be seen.
Several weeks pass, and in a mountain a collector meets with a cloaked man; one of his trusted supliers of exotic artifacts. On one hand the man has a scepter of some kind, or so the collector thought. The sceptor seemed old but the markings on it were very vivid, yet undecipherable. The man asks for the origin of the scepter to which the other man explains how it was once a weapon, a sword. It’s blade was this magnificinet dimond and the markings on it were burning red as if the fires of hell flowed though them, but when I tried to swing it to cut a piece of wood the magnficent blade of dimond shatterd, and in time the dimon melted and the water from it evaporated into nothingness. After a while the markings also started to fade. The collector nodds and petts his bear and asks of the swords origins. The man paused for a moment and then explains that he only knew of the swords last owner, a girl who wilded it, but that girl is dead, and her body was burned in holy fire because it did not rot. Now nothing remains of her, and the secrets of the blade probably died with her; so the man explains.
The collector did not ask any more questions afterwards and before long they had agreed on a fair price in silver and gold coin, and the shaft that had led Lilet to her doom was now just a set piece in a the empty house of some rich bastard in the northern mountain mining town of Six Forks, there it stood silent, and empty.
Last edited by felix; 2011-06-19 at 18:02.
|2011-03-16, 06:46||Link #6|
Minna no ojou-sama~♥
Thanks for addressing every detail of my retort and doing so with an honest and enlightening tone. I definitely overstepped my boundaries without having knowledge of every last detail, and I do apologize for that.
I also apologize that the competition can't pertain to your style of writing; all I can do is organize it in a way that allows anybody to step in and equally compete.
That said, your archive is a splendid idea and I am all for writing in continuation; this has inspired me to start a separate thread for my own story, as the limitation will return to haunt me should I post it with all of my other works.
Once again, apologies and thanks as well. What say you - thumbs up, handshake, and let bygones be bygones?
|2011-03-16, 07:12||Link #7|
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: event horizon
|2011-03-16, 13:01||Link #10|
Minna no ojou-sama~♥
Good luck with it, I should mention that I fumbled about with yesterday's error and I salvaged what I had written. I'm thankful Google Chrome is kind enough to keep cookies saved even when the page crashes; saved me a lot of time.^^
|2011-07-21, 06:52||Link #11|
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: event horizon
Act II - Night Eternal
Countless years passed since Lilet and her would be assailants died a pitiful death in Silver Moon Castle. Few in her home town of Oasis remembers that night, and nobody in the mountain town of Six Forks had even heard word of it; well, with the exception of one—but even in death he would not speak of it.
It is summer in the town of Six Forks, or at least what the locals would call summer. Being a northern mountain city summer just means a lower chance of blizzards, longer days in the chilling sunlight, tamer winds, and of course fewer avalanches. But all is not gloomy in town, because this year is special. This year is the 40th year in the kings reign and as tradition would have it, every ten years a festival is held. Lords and ladies from across the realm will gather and bring forth their champions, sons and on some occasions their daughters in a bid to gain favor for their house. The festival is not limited to nobility however, anyone may participate as long as they have acceptable coin in hand. Each festival many strange warriors from foreign lands joined in, poisoned by the allure of the grand prize, a hefty percent of all entry fees. In a past festivals a lowly mercenary recruited by the military even became a rich lord, all though application of brute force and a little bit of luck.
The festival has yet to begin but carriages and horses trample can be heard as the masses of participants squeeze though the narrow mountain passes and flooding into the town. A small boy, who goes by the nickname of Winter, no bigger or smarter then a plank, watches in awe the nobles passing though the gates and streets of town and riding towards the upper houses and fancy taverns though the the serpent road. The one and only road though the entire town. The boy, and his band of hooligans, know what the nobles want, they know how in a few moons all of these rich bastards will depart for the summit, at the end of the serpent, where they will battle in the ancient arena.
“We should go Winter.” said January pulling on Winters ragsJanuary moved back and the others, December and February, were left dumbfounded for a moment by his grand speech, but quickly followed with a shout of acknowledgement. Winter and the rest continued to admire the rich bastards for a few hours more but eventually they got hungry and returned to their secret base where they had burrowed some supplies from the orphanage. There they plotted of a way to get into the festival proceedings, and join the fray. None of them really thought about the part where they would have to fight and win, sadly thinking wasn’t one of Winters qualities as a leader. But still, the little runt came up with a plan, which by his own words was just stupid enough to actually work. The rest all exited by his little stroke of genius committed to it as well.
According to Winters plan they gather all their secret supplies of food and journey to the third peek. There a group of mercenaries was sent to recover a mountain lion tooth for a certain sorcerer. They will sneak up on them at night and steal the tooth then accept the reward from the sorcerer on their behalf. They took with them weapons, stolen a year and a half ago from the cellar of a burnt up house, they were all pretty much scrap metal as far as anyone was concerned but for Winter they were treasure.
Meanwhile as Winter and conspirators tracked though shortcuts in the mountain, deep deep down at the bottoms of the earth someone finally awoke. Heart still, voice cut, Lilet found herself in a giant pit with spikes all around her. There was no air, no feeling, just a still calmness and a sense of shifting. As she looked up black rocks seemingly floated above her, and a swirl of darkness covered the top, the only exit. As she moved forward and tried to grab on to a rock her hand just passed though. She tried again and in frustration with effort she finally was able to grab on. She slowly pulled herself out of the pit and went into the darkness at the top. As she come out a chill went though her spine as behind her the pit she had emerged from was filled with molten lava. She paused for a moment, took a deep breath and with an unnerving calm called Mephistos name.
“Awake at last I see.” said Mephisto echoing though her mindLilet did as Mephisto suggested and went to the pond. She placed both hands on the molten rock and surprisingly to her felt no fear and second thoughts in doing so. As she focused silver flowed into her and formed her bones and wove itself into gloves, chains and knightish gear around her. Ash formed into gloves, boots and covered part of her spirit hair, while various poisonous gases condensed and formed into skin.
“Feeling better?” said MephistoMephisto did not answer, instead a airy silence swept in. Lilet could feel he didn’t want to tell her, and after a few moments she asked another question instead.
“What happened to the sword?”Lilet paused for a moment and recollected on events past, a life lost. She took in the demon’s explanation but still thought more about the time which had passed since her death.
“Where are you?” said LiletLilet felt strange talking with the demon so much, and just proceeded to find the exit of the volcanic cave. She followed the gust of air and eventually after spinning around in circles a few times reached an exit. What she saw however made her wish she would have gotten lost forever. To her right forests of mushrooms and vines grew from the ceiling and reached heights even the largest of buildings she had seen in her lifetime could not contest with. In the distance she could see stalactite the size of mountains, but more terrifying of all was what was bellow her. An endless pit as large as an ocean and as deep as the sky. It was as if the world had been turned upside down, literally.
In the distance she could see a town, hanging from the great ceiling, surrounded by water falls. And so Lilet moved forward though the caves and eventually bridges made of vines and rock suspended on stalactite and various giant plants. Looking down was unnerving but at least her fear of height was nonexistent. At the same time Winter and the others made good progress though the mountains and were half way though.
Still far away from the city Lilet comes across strange banners. They didn't seem very elegant, mostly just a piece of material with some splattered paint on them.
“Might I make a suggestion.” said MephistoLilet froze as she realized the meaning behind the demon’s words. Her enthusiasm quelled she took to the demon’s advice and continued on, now more vigilant of the strange world around her.
Several hours pass and Winter and his gang of hooligans manage to track the mercenaries trail though the narrow gaps in the mountains. It was not easy tacking the shortcuts since the snow filled wind blows especially vicious in the narrows between cliffs, but it was worth it. As they reach the mercenaries they approach steadily and covertly and fortunately for them the wind changed direction while they were tripping their clogs and lent their clumsy movements some real cover.
“I think I heard something…” said one of the mercenaries from the rearThe old man in front wanted to reply but a cough stole his voice for a moment. The men on the left and middle started snikering and couldn’t help jocking about it as well.
“To get so many able men just for one bone lying on the ground in plain sight. This is some loonie rich bastard we got boys.” said a man in the middle ranksThe men track in silence for a while, all but the old man emerged in thoughts on how to get pay back on the client. This helps Winter keep a low profile, and pass unnoticed, but also also allows for certain other things to pass unnoticed too.
Meanwhile in the depths Lilet covered with the red banners from before, approaches the town on a wooden bridge over the endless abyss. Before her a giant door, for what seems to be a citadel. She’s anxious at first but as the thoughts fade she simply puts one hand on the door and shoves. Much to her surprise the door creeps open and dust falls from it’s hinges. As anyone could figure, the door had not been opened in a long long time. She walks forward climbs some stairs and before her a city. A dead city, an seemingly abandoned city. She walks around, but finds nothing, not even a sort of animal. She searches the houses but only finds dust. On one hand she’s relieved, yet at the same time the feeling of loneliness, of losing everything, of not having anything to even be afraid of, of being totally and utterly alone in the world, just grows ever deeper. She thus just stops, sits down and waits. Minutes pass, hours pass. Slowly she starts to fall asleep. And then a voice slowly begins to echo in her head, “wake up” and then louder “wake up now!”. She wakes up slightly but her eyes are still heavy, her thoughts still heavy. And then the voice echoes even louder “Have you forgotten what I said!”, “Louse yourself, and you’ll louse your life”. And hearing Mephisto’s words Lilet jumps back on her feet and starts to draw breath, uncontrollably, as if she’d had a near death experience all over again. She franticly asks Mephisto what just happens between breaths but he doesn’t answer her calling. Moments later she recovers fully but just as soon as she gets back fully on her feet a surge of pain raices though her whole body and she falls on her knee.
“Relax.” said Mephisto in her headMephisto goes silent after that. Lilet moans and groans but goes with the demon’s suggestion. Strangely enough she draws a strange looking circle and positions herself in the middle, after finishing it she wonders for a moment where she even learned to do that, but the thought fades quickly as the pain gets worse. She focuses and the pain suddenly goes away, as does her vision. Before her darkness. Slowly her vision comes to her, it’s then that she realizes she’s in water and sinking. Above her the sun is shining down into the depths. She feels relaxed, and as she looks to her left there’s a boy next to her, but sadly he’s already gone. Lilet is confused, but as her hearing starts to kick in and she reaches the bottom she can faintly hear the sound of metal banging. A familiar sound from the castle, and so the anger boils down deep, she gets on her feet and swims towards the surface. But what she finds is the merciless cowards like the one she faced but a few men fighting for dear life and tripping on the corpses of their comrades.
Out of what seems like a dozen, three remained fighting huge white beasts with four arms, a giant tail and teeth as big and sharp as horns. Before she can even blink one of the men gets crushed under a giant rock and another gets his head ripped right off. All that’s left is an old man bloodly and wounded he falls on his ass and as the beasts close the old man can taste his last breath in this world and starts whispering prayers to his gods and gripping the axe in his hand tighter and tighter. Slowly words of prayers turn to words of mercy and then words of desperation of a man at the end of his road: “There’s always tomorrow. There’s always tomorrow.” he repeats to himself in a scared voice. Lilet can feel the blood boiling in her and as she looks at her hand she sees the familiar handle. She races towards the white beasts, and as she does the repear’s medium materializes into a sword again. She chops one’s hand off and kicks another into the ground with her superhuman strength. As she does blood smears all over the snow, but it’s not the beast’s blood, it’s her blood. While her strength is limitless the body of the little girl she possessed is not. Between the trees she can sense ten more of the four eyed bests encroaching in. She pauses for a moment and then runs towards the old man at super speed and grabs him. And with him in hand runs even faster. As she runs the beasts chase and growl, and much to her misfortune more growls can be heard in the distance on both sides, as if in response.
“Are you… sent by the gods. Uhghu!” said the old coughing bloodLilet stairs at him with a slight frown. Slightly confused. The dark clouds from the storm ahead don’t really help the mood.
“No. You can’t be.” said the man in disbeliefBlack Rose
Lilet runs though the forest filled with the beasts. Slowly the beast howls get ever sharper, ever louder. The old man recovering asks Lilet where they were heading to, but she doesn’t reply, he then asks again but again she doesn’t reply. As they move forward the snow storm starts to get thiner and thiner as they approach a dry river bank, and just as soon as they start to feel relieved as the howls cease, they soon see the face of dread when they find out why they've ceased. On the other side of the frozen river on steep bank a whole pack of beasts lay poised to jump down, while the others slowly moved in from the rear crunching their teeth and drawing breath. The situation was hopeless, completely hopeless or so the old man mumbled bitting his tongue. Lilet gave him a short look but all he was doing was writing his last words in his journal, though more precisely his last word, as his pen and sanity fail him. She pays him no heed and just looks around, ganging the distance between her pursuers and ambushers and the layout of the terrain. Nothing much to look at, the water bed is a huge expand of frozen sand and logs on one side and rocks and slippery ice on the other.
A single grizzly howl can be heard from a distance, no doubt in Lilet's mind what that means. She looks at the man again grabs his journal and throws it away and gives him a big slap. He doesn't budge much, doesn't say a word either, in the moment, just looks back into her eyes.
“five minutes” said LiletWith log in one hand she grabs his hand and charges towards the front, towards the beasts on the high river bank. She aprouches with haste and breaks the ice with the heavy log. The rear beasts immediately charge but the ones at the cliff keep their ground and only howl down. She flings the old man into the air and crushes the remainder of the ice with a heavy stomp, breaking it completely and going under, into the freezing river.
A heavy horned beasts approaches. A lot of beasts growl at hole, but nothing is under. Not a moment passes and soon, lead by the alpha, all of them move swiftly to chase down river. The ice shakes as their claws dig into it, and a bits of ice flay everywhere. Even the fish bellow can feel their stampede, but barely can outrun it. Not much time passes and they reach a waterfall, bellow which the stream splits into small streams and disappears. And so they wait, and wait, but nothing drops, not even a corpse...
Several hours pass and the old man regains consciousness. He feels how he is tied to a pole. He can't see very well but in his ear he can hear dark evil whispers and bellow him he can feel heat, burning, ever stronger. He can feel it, soon his skin will peal off. He tries to cry for help but he has no strenth in his voice and barely a breath comes out. His vision starts to come back to him, but his eyes won't open fully. Before him he sees shapes, non human shapes, and as fear beckons strength he tries even harder to scream for help. Soon words start come off his tongue but relief is short lived as he soon find himself falling towards the ground and fire. He screams in terror...
“you done screaming” said Lilet pocking the old man with a stickLilet unties him from the pole. The man is too battered to take Lilet's words in, and just gets the piece of food and starts chewing. He finishes half of it quite quickly, and soon starts to feel a bit more normal; his strength finally coming back to him.
“We'll need to move miss... because of the fire the beasts will find us soon.” said the old manA little bit shaken, the old coat tries to find some opportunity for conversation to change the mood, and easy his disbelief.
“Uhm... Uh... the shelter is pretty... well made.” said the old man looking at the stacks of cut branches circling them.Bits of food fall out of the mans mouth as his jaw drops in disbelief.
Meanwhile on the opposite side of the mountains, in town, Winter and December approach Julia, the client. She's hesitant at first to even pay attention to them, but as soon as Winter takes the horn out and jumps in front of her she pulls the both of them into a nearby alley and slams them to the wall.
“Boy. How did you come in possession of this? Who sent you!” said Julia
Last edited by felix; 2011-09-20 at 15:07.