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The Story of Palis A continuing story of worlds trapped in war, where their only hope are Heroes from other worlds.

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Old 10-06-2005, 01:18 AM   #1
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Chapter 4: Domination

The echo of cannons in the distance made everyone on the ship anxious for the coming battle. Four days had passed and the thought of getting off the airship was a promise of something in the lines of amusement.

Malice stood at the front of the deck with a set of binoculars in hand. He could just make out the smoke over the mountain they were about to come over.

Several minutes passed. Slowly the mountains gave way to the view of the battle below. Malice smiled and jumped off the ship falling at great speeds towards the ground until he conjured the wind to slow him and turn in to the monster her just attacked.

Glen and Magus took too ropes and belied down to the battle as well. Magus unleashing devastating dark magic and Glenn hacking limbs off with the simple and elegant swings of his sword, the demons fell left and right by the dozens.

Even Beliel and Osirus had the spark of gratification in getting into battle. Beliel blasting several demons at a time with a limited unmaking blast and Osirus letting the demons unmake themselves from words of carnage.

Syne waited until the ship had gotten into a safe height for Titania to get off before getting off herself. Oversized sword in hand she began to bludgeon down demons as fast as she could swing. Seas of demon corpses were beginning to form where the heroes had landed.

Several hours passed and the first wave was dead, thoroughly slaughtered.

“We cleared the beginning of them but as some of us know they will be back.” Malice said looking around at everyone.

A few soldier from the town approached the group. “We can’t thank you enough for helping us. Please come inside the town walls. We’ll give you food and whatever you need.”

“Sounds good let’s follow them and come up with some sort of a preparation on how to hold the advancements off. “ Malice said motioning to follow.

Once inside the city walls everyone was given food and a room. Shortly after finishing their food a loud explosion came from outside the town walls. Everyone hurried to see what it was.

Just outside the city Kain and Kani stood. “I see you pathetic excuses for Heroes are here.”

“It seems they plan on foiling our plans to recover your body my lord.” Kain hissed.

“So it would seem. I’ll leave you in charge of getting it back.” With that Kani disappeared.

Kain threw down a large black crystal. From it came a large warp spawning of demons.

Invent a new time, a new life, a new reason to fight.
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Old 10-08-2005, 01:03 AM   #2
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Re: Chapter 4: Domination

The demons were mere childsplay. Each member of the party had felled tens of thousands of the same demonic species before, and now was no exception. The side gates of the town were opened, and the party quickly slipped out the side, alongside 2 full regiments of mythril-clad soliders. There was no time to check weapons; thus was the way of chaos.

Though Magus was the first to reach the ever reaching lines of the demon horde, it was Titania who lay the first to waste, holding her staff high and eminating a large ray of light that seared through the lines of the demons, leaving only an ashen trail. The party hit with full force. Magus barrelled through the lines, slashing violently with his scythe. His armor was pierced by demons claws, but he did not relent. The battle once again raged on.

Upon reaching the lines, Malice quickly unsheathed both daggers and hurled them forward. They embedded themselves elegantly in the demon's chest and were quickly returned by a small gust of wind that rustled the settling ash. As soon as the daggers met his hands, they were active, slashing side to side at the grotesque creatures that blocked his path. He too was suddenly engulfed in the enemy lines, and he fought wave after wave of the demonic pawns as they threw themselves relentlessly at him, rushing to death at the hands of an ungrateful master.

Glenn and Syne broke the lines last, as if figureheading the soldiers. Together with the retainers, they slashed at the front of the demon lines, their sword always one step ahead of the enemies weapons. Glenn looked sideways at Syne, and nodded, and the two came together, entwined in the graceful dance of battle. Glenn grabbed his female counterparts arm and spun around, launching her blade-first into an oncoming line of demons. The demons toppled, and Glenn rushed forward to aide his comrade in arms.

Malice spun left, barely dodging an oncoming spear. He grabbed the spear and yanked it forward, causing the demon to lose his balance and fall forward. It was reduced to ash as it fell upon the serpentine stylings of his dagger. The demons squeezed Malice tightly for space, and Malice said a quick prayer to the wind goddess. He dematerialized and shot up into the air, halting the attack of the demons as they were tossed aside effortlessly by the gale. Malice looked down at the battle. Glenn and Syne still fought back to back, slicing down demon after demon. Magus stood atop an ashen hill, and a bright blast released from his body indicated that he needed no assistance. Belial and Osiris also fought together, leaving huge spaces when enemies had stood only seconds before. No ash lay at their feet; their victims plainly ceased to exist.

It was then that Malice noticed a light blast coming from the treeline. Titania was slowly being forced backwards by an oncoming barrage of demons. Soon, she would be among the trees, where the demons could move freely and attack with greater force and stealth. Malice quickly pushed off his current and glided towards Titania. With another quick prayer, he uncloaked. Air gathered around his fists as he flew towards Titania. He landed smoothly, and quickly turned, the gathered air still cascading delicately around his lower arm. Malice opened his palms, focusing the wind into the center of his hand. He placed his hands together in the centre of his body, and slowly brought them apart, sending a ripple through the battlefield, and seperating the lines directly in front of them.

Malice turned around to Titania, who smiled at him gratefully.

"Nice of you to show up," she said, wiping the sweat from her brow.

"I'm never late," said Malice, winking.
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Old 10-08-2005, 01:51 PM   #3
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Re: Chapter 4: Domination

A smile appeared on Titania’s face, as she sensed some of Malice’s old carefree attitude return. Perhaps the battle was an escape; a hole in the ice from whence he could escape the frigid waters of his looming burden.

Yet while his careless and simple words did bring her joy, another part of her seemed to resent them.

Never late!? How’s six hundred and ninety nine years?

Wherever the strange impulse came from, she shook it off and smiled at her friend.

“What do you say we try something to really make these demons run?”

He smirked and nodded “Just what I was thinking.”

Her hands slowly moving apart, she formed a burst of white fire between them, before raising it up. With his usual speed, Malice, moved backward, and held out his palms, his fingers spread wide from each other. With precision, a spiral of wind shot from his hands and coursed through the orb Titania had formed. In less than a second, the magic burst into a million pieces, carried by sharp and bitter winds. Demons screamed and cried as the new and mysterious spell flew at them like dragons and cut through their flesh like knives.

As if both pleased and surprised by their own accomplishments, the two smiled at each other and continued to fight. For a moment it seemed as if as long as they were nearby, the demons could not advance, and as long as they stood strongly together, they could not be killed.


“Sir!” cried one of the wretched to his commander.

Pulling his eyes away from the battle, General Hige Toboe turned to stare at his addresser “What is it? Can’t you see I’m busy?”

“The city seems to have called reinforcements. We’re going to have to retreat if they continue on like this!”

Hige was silent for a moment, knowing that every moment he spent thinking would be a moment where more men met their deaths.

“Which direction is the wind blowing?” he asked after a while.

“Excuse me?”

“Which direction is the wind blowing!?”

“…west, sir.”

“Light as many fires as possible in the eastern wood. Humans may have the advantage in their own land, but they have weak eyesight compared to our men, and cannot survive long in smoke.”


Syne thrust her sword forward, its heavy blade adding to her own inherent strength.

“This is thy first battle in this world?” asked Glenn.

“It is…” Syne answered, bluntly, her concentration so heavily given to the fight.

“Save thy energy. The soldiers with whom we battle are only the lowest of their men. There are greater monsters that they are waiting to release.”

Syne nodded as she drove her blade into an enemy’s skull, cutting him down the centre before turning him to ash.

“What was the pervert doing here earlier?” she shouted to Glenn, sure to be loud so he could hear her.

“Mine own mind has not an idea.”

“Why isn’t he here now? Shouldn’t he be?”

“He is hiding.”

“Why? He has plenty of skills! Wouldn’t it make more sense for him to be here?”

Glenn paused in realization, blood on his dry lips “…it would…”


“A good distraction, my lord.” Hector said as he watched the battle with his master “They will be so busy they will never notice. And what’s more, with the smoke that’s coming, they’ll never see what you’ve done until it’s too late.”

Kani nodded, and laughed “Tell the soldiers at the shore that there will be so many human bodies on the ground by nightfall, they’ll only have to walk steps to find their supper.”


Titania coughed as the air became hazy and stung at her eyes “Malice, are you still here?”

“I am!” he shouted, the smoke eating away at him from the inside so that he could not breath properly.

“Where are you? I can’t see!”

He raised his hand to summon the wind, but no matter how strong the gust, the smoke simply re-gathered.

“Get out of here or you’ll choke!” he shouted, coughing, as he began to stumble away, his feet sliding in the wet mud "Forget about finding me, just g-!"

Suddenly, he received a heavy blow to the stomach. By impulse, he raised his eyes, taking in the shadowy and terrible sight of Kani.

Last edited by Zerlina; 10-09-2005 at 12:01 AM.
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Old 10-08-2005, 10:25 PM   #4
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Re: Chapter 4: Domination

Kirby's Introduction


Deep in a forest, on the side of a river, a gray-skinned man in a black suit, with half white and half black hair, sat in front of an easel. His brow was furrowed in concentration, eyes shifting from the river to the easel, several times. Taking a pencil from a giant sack on the ground, he began sketching wildly, the birds, plants, and what looked like a turtle eating a cucumber from the surface of the water, all in vivid detail, on his paper.


He tore of the page from the tablet, and put the pad back in his bag, then the easel too, into his bag, and it didn't seem to increase in size at all.

The man took the sheet of paper with his left hand, and with the right, pressed two fingers against its surface. A brilliant flash of multicolored light burst from the paper, and many birds flew from it (identical to the ones he drew) and even the kappa, which joined his doppelganger in the water, had flew out. The kappas and birds seemed in perfect harmony. But...

"NO NO NO!! THIS JUST ISN'T WORKING AT ALL!!!" screamed the man, who by now was very flushed.

"Why?...Have I lost my touch? It's only been about...say...a few hundred years since my last publication, what's wrong?! Where's my...inspiration?" the man asked. "And why am I talking to myself?! WHY?!!- a stone just hit the man's head.

"Rr...Nyoan, stop mopin', Kirby!" a gray tabby that just came from behind the bushes said.

"But...but Dude, you know that I haven't been able to draw anything for almost a millenia now!" said Kirby.

"Rr...Nya, sounds like a personal problem teh me." said Dude. "Sneaky and Misty should be here right about now, the fish in this reality don't taste very good..."

A white cat and a black tom came through the bushes just then. "Nya, I just don't know why you don't like the kraken, Misty." said the tom. "Bleh, it's all...rubbery and gross!" exclaimed Misty, the white female cat. "Oh, there's Kirby and Dude, nyao!"

"Hello everyone" said Kirby. "What're we doin' next, Kirb?" asked Sneaky. "Well, I just can't seem to find any inspiration in this're going to go to another one!" explained Kirby. "Nyaa?! Again?! But we just got to this one!" said Misty. "You know those dimensional rifts aren't good for my heart, Kirby!" said Dude, who had just layed down.

"Aww....but I don't like this's so smoky here...hey...wait a minute...where did all this smoke just come from?" inquired Kirby. "Nya-cough-I don't know, but it seems an elderly cat just can't seem to get any peace and quiet..."

"Alright everyone, now get in the bag" said Kirby. The three cats jumped into the sack, still apparently empty and light as a feather. Kirby pulled an eraser from his coat pocket, and began erasing the smoke.

"Cough....I hate smoke" stated Kirby.

And Kirby, clearing a visible path through the smoke, picked up the sack and began walking off into the distance, feeling a sense of foreboding, and yet, like a kitten, curious as to why it appeared.

Of course, we all know what happened to the over-curious cat, now don't we?

Last edited by Zeromus_X; 10-08-2005 at 10:28 PM.
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Old 10-10-2005, 06:02 PM   #5
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Re: Chapter 4: Domination

Malice's first instinct was to punch back, but as he looked around, he could tell that he would not prosper in this fight with brute force alone. The smoke lay dormant, covering the field like a blanket. Trying frantically to free the smog that encroached on him, Malice pushed outwards at both sides of his body, pushing the smoke free through a small burst of air. Just like the foul ranks of the demons, the smoke returned and covered over the space that had just been cleared, as if swallowing the air and bringing plague about the world.

Malice breathed in slowly, clear air. The wind goddess was protecting him, giving him a fighting chance in the brutal haze. Again he breathed in, savouring the clean air as it danced down his dry throat. He tried to clear the smoke once again, and once again the smoke lingered back into its undefiled ranks. Try after try he cleared the smoke, forcing all his energy into stalling the foreboding fog from advancing and obscuring his vision. Each time he was met with failure. Becoming increasingly frustrated, Malice continued sending blast after furious blast of wind forward only to be swallowed and forgotten in the fog. Each new blast was instilled with ever-increasing frustration.

'There is nothing you can do, Theirian Mage. Your efforts are futile,' came a voice through the fog.

Malice cleared the path from which eminated the voice, but to no avail. The voice echoed through the fog as the ripples of air pierced its hide. A shrill laugh attacked Malice through the fog that was now stinging Malice's eyes.

'You see boy, you are no match for the fog. And it is in this fog that you will meet your untimely death,' said the voice once more. 'And you will rest in its bowels as you are forgotten by those you love.'

The voice laughed again, a haunting laugh that resonated all around him. As Malice focused on the source, he was jarred forward by a large boot. Sprawling forward, he met dirt. Sensing another attack, Malice pushed air towards the ground, sending his feet over his head, rolling into a flip. He landed on the ground just as the same large boot smashed into the earth where he'd just lay. At that moment, the sound of a large conch shell split the silence. This was the signal to fall back to the castle.

'You've won this round,' said Malice into the fog, trying not to show just how relieved he was. 'But rest assured, I will be back.'

He bolted upward on a thermal until he was free of the fog. The sun met his gaze and he winced, his eyes unattoned to the light. He saw the party, Titania included, running back to the castle, fending of the demons that persued. Malice glided gently back towards the castle, enjoying the feel of the free air against his eyes, and wondering what news would come from the General, and how he planned on lifting the fog that held the battle at a stalemate.

And throughout the night, as both sides planned the strategies for the coming dawn, the fog lingered, a cadaverous foresight of the pandemonium to come.
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Old 10-10-2005, 11:28 PM   #6
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Re: Chapter 4: Domination

Seeing even Malice come out of the fog made Syne uneasy. She could tell the smoke was unnaturally thick. This didn’t pose much of a problem for her; the bandanna that was on her shoulder was moved to her mouth.

Syne caught a glimpse of a large glittering ball in the sky. The ball slowly started taking shape as it fell closer to Syne. A fifteen foot tall greater demon clad in brigand Mitheral armor came crashing to the ground right in front of Syne, a 25 foot long sword landed blade first in the ground directly next to it. Ripping it from the ground the monster let out a loud hissing roar of rage.

“Everyone get back, this is not a normal demon this thing will not fall easy.” Syne said as she dodges the first swing of its massive blade.

“Can you handle it?” Malice asked quickly

“Yes I can please just get inside the city for now. I’ll hold it off.” Syne said drawing out her sword and gaining a strong offensive stance.

Malice led the others in to the city where multiple demons came crashing from the sky into the city. “Looks like we have our own jobs guys split up and take them down.”

Syne watched as three flashes came out of the smoke, like cannons firing into the city, only the ammunition was the demons themselves. So that was their trick they were covering the ground with smoke to hide the locations of their assault cannons.

The large blade landed just right of her. She looked up at the demon standing over her. “You’re going to regret this.” She said jumping into the air swinging hard at the hilt of the demons sword and then using the blade of the demon sword to launch her into the air, falling back down with great speed towards the demons helmet. The massive blade hit her broad sided and sent her flying across the ground. She recovers a few yards away, the blow knocked the wind out of her and it took a moment to regain her balance, just in time she was able to move out of the way of the crashing blow that came down right where her head had been a second ago.

Once again gaining a good offensive footing she came at the monster full charge. Faking an attack she then rolled between the legs of the giant and leapt up to attack it in the back but was unable to pierce the armor. A fist the size of her chest backhanded her away with little effort. Syne burned with rage. ‘Time to pull out all the stops’ she thought. Just like Nichi had done so long ago she removed her training weights and released her true strength, once again she gained her footing and raised her sword to her clans special attack formation. Launching her forwards with great speed she continued her assault on the gain creature, this time managing to hit the armor of the great beast many times but unable to even scratch it. The creature caught up with her speed and managed to catch her once again with the broad side of the sword sending her flying into the outer wall of the city. Syne lay in the crater that had been made by her landing unconscious. The demon made its way towards its fallen prey reading for the final blow.

Meanwhile Syne ran though her dream world running from the demon in fear. For the first time ever she had been faced with a monster she could not kill or even hurt for that matter. She kept running until she made out Nichi in the distance and ran to him.

“Help me Nichi I cant kill it and the others have to save the city. I don’t want to loose to this thing, I have to defeat it, for them.” Syne cried in Nichi’s arms.

“Don’t worry, when you wake up you’ll be able to kill him.” Nichi hugged his counterpart close and started uttering a pact of confinement. “Goodbye Syne, CONFINE!”

Syne woke up looking at her hands feeling a new power surge through her body. The tattoos that Nichi had now appeared on her arms, her eyes went white she could see things that she never could see before. “Thank you Nichi.”

Getting to her feet with the demon only a couple of yards away now, its giant sword landing next to her, she used her new found power to freeze the blade of the sword to the ground and started running up the its blade. She could now see the weak points of the demons armor landing her blade smack across the side of the demons head, shattering its helmet. Its giant fist once again caught her and threw her but this time she managed to land on her feet and spring right back towards it. Holding her hands in front of her she started to cast something, not really knowing what, just by gut feelings, and from her hands came a giant ball of glistening white, “Oblivion of Ice”. Firing off this ball of whiteness the monster turned a glistening blue as it froze stiff as if dumping a thousand gallons of nitroglycerine on it. Raising her sword she then hit the demon full force shattering it into nothingness.

Syne didn’t have time to rest she ran into the town and helped the others fight of the bombarding demons. The newly released power gave a feeling of euphoria. The battle was just starting, and she was ready for the party.
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Old 10-11-2005, 12:03 AM   #7
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Re: Chapter 4: Domination

The smoke filled the air, and so the demons seemed to come out of nowhere, appearing before their victims like phantoms and in the same way, stealing away their lives. It was a terrifying and gruesome scene; the heavy air, the sweat and heat beneath the cheap layers of armour, the feeling of dirt in one’s already dry throat, and that last terror filled sight as an un-fathomable monster raised its sword before you and turned the world to nothing.

The carnage was unbelievable, and as Malice watched, his mind was flooded with images that had burned and seered their way into his brain- the torture and death that had befallen Gracia, and that no doubt had grown in the months passed. There’s no time he reminded himself, pulling his daggers out from an aggressor.

Surviving would prove to be great enough a challenge, and yet while they all tried to do this, they all could see the truth- that they had failed before they’d even arrived. No matter how many enemies they slew, there would always be those who could not defend themselves. And as a reminder, these people fell around them, only the luckiest being able to emit a scream before the darkened blades plunged through their chests.

Titania ran up the steps to the ramparts of the city, kicking a demon in the chest as he tried to follow her. With all the speed of the phoenix, she hurried to the cloisters. An idea had hit her, and she was determined to see it through.

Too scared to turn and see if there was anyone behind her, she flung open the wooden door which served as a poor guard to the bells. Without so much as a thought, she ran in, crashing into someone who had beaten her there. Whatever it was, it wore the colours of the side, and so she brought up her hands, letting a surge of magic hit the creature. It made a muffled noise, giving away its shadowy cover and letting her know of his demon heritage.

“Get out now…” she said to the creature which stayed in the corner “Get out or I’ll push you from this tower…”

The creature seemed to sulk, and raised itself from its spot, revealing its large build. It was no use running at this point, and so she kept her composure, but left plenty of room to make a path to the door.

Arrogantly, the thing laughed, but still she did not strike it. Slowly and confidently it slinked away, using its posture to show that it was truly not scared “You are so predictable.” It muttered and was gone.

The creature sent a coldness through her body and even as the thing left, the feeling did not dissipate. Shakily, she resumed her work, quickly pulling up the ropes which held the bells to the roof. She looked up at the rafters, observing how there was a gap just large enough near the top.

Her plan was cruel but effective. With some difficulty, she climbed to the top of the building and threw the ropes along the rafters to create a pulley. With as much strength as she could mustre, she pulled at them until the bells tilted upward. That finished, she carefully, slipped through the gap in the roof, and took hold of the gutters which, given the technology, had been designed to save water with the idea that it would later be used for bathing. She turned the gutters, letting them spill into the bells, and then –once that was finished- she used her fire to heat the objects. It was not long before the water began to bubble and steam.

“Perfect…” she mumbled out loud.

It all made sense in her head. The stairs were curved downward and the tower lay just at the top of them. All she had to do was lure the demons onto the steps and they would be done for.

"Hey!" she called out loud from her spot on the roof. It was true that the others would be able to hear her, but as demons were the only ones who could see through the smoke, they'd be the only ones who would be able to find her. Not only did the smoke help her in this way but it also disguised the steam which rose from the boiling water in the bells.
"We will never step down!" she cried, pretending to be from the town "So long as I hold the treasure of our country you will never truly defeat us!"

There. That should do it.

To make the deal more enticing, she drew a random stone from her pocket and held it out to them, before faking a quick loss of balance. Steadying herself, she looked at them with an arrogance that burned at their tempers.

"Think you can defeat me?" she laughed, staring them down, while preparing her feet to flee for the awaiting bells.

Last edited by Zerlina; 10-11-2005 at 08:52 PM.
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Old 10-15-2005, 12:40 AM   #8
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Re: Chapter 4: Domination

Once again Malice was thrust into the centre of a gruesome battle as demon after demon was launched out of the fog and into the castle walls. The city guards, though noble to their cause, just couldn't amass the power to out-muscle the new wave of attackers. The large demons cut through their lines effortlessly, trampling anything in their paths. Malice watched at villagers fled in directions unknown to them, like labrats in a maze with no prize to guide them. They had but one thing on their mind; to escape from the large demons that were spawning throughout the city.

Malice did his best to fight the demons and keep the people safe. He flew towards the nearest demon, who was wreaking havoc on the west end of the marketplace. The demon swung his large broadsword towards a building, where people stood screaming in the windows. Malice pushed forward on his current, and with all his might he kicked the blade aside. The demon staggered backward, still firmly gripping the blade, and Malice landed gently on the ground, hands on his sheaths. The demon rose once again, and looked down at his minute attacker. The demon grunted through its iron helmet, and raised its sword, ready to strike.

The sun shone from behind the demon, ushering in the midday. Malice's view was slightly obscurred by the flaming light, but he stood steadfast. The demon grunted, then began the slow process of bringing his sword upon Malice. Malice caught a clear view of the sword as the sun was covered for a split second, not by the demon, but by another ghastly silhouette. And then the demon staggered and fell, bracing itself on its large sword. With the demon on its knees, Malice could vaguely make out the shape of Glenn standing on the demons shoulder, sword sticking out of its neck. Malice effortlessly kicked away the sword, and as the demon fell, he leapt upwards, thrusting the dagger through the holes in its mask. Glenn casually jumped off its shoulder as it turned to ash. The armour fell to the ground, a shell of its former self.

'Thanks Glenn,' said Malice, nodding to the young knight with gratification.

Glenn bowed gallantly. 'T'is always a pleasure to serve.'

A scream erupted from the end end of the market. Glenn turned to run, but Malice stopped him.

'Glenn, I need you to stay here and help the people,' he said, staring right into Glenn's eyes. 'Clear them out of the area, and then help those in the east market.'

Glenn nodded. 'T'is always an honour to serve you m'lord.' And with that, he turned and ran.

Malice turned in the direction of the screen, slightly perturbed at Glenn's comment. He quickly shook it off, telling himself that it was neither the place nor the time for such foolish thoughts. He veiled himself, and quickly headed towards the next demon.

The same mithril-clad giant awaited him. Its attention was diverted to the cluster of panicked civilians below as it swiped its large gauntlet towards them, scooping them up and then crushing them within its powerful grasp. Malice hurried towards the people, and when the glove came down for another batch of the helpless townsfolk, Malice uncloaked and grabbed them himself, ushering them out of the way. The demon looked towards Malice, as if confused by what had taken its meal. Malice set down the civilians and attacked the demon with all his might. In under a minute, Malice stood on the helmet that lay propped upon the pile of ash.

With the immediate threats out of the way, Malice headed back to the Kings chamber alone. As he knocked on the door he received a confident welcome, and thus stepped inside the chamber.

'Your heighness, I have news from the front,' he said as he bowed to pay his respect to the monarch.

'And what news bring ye?' replied the King, unerred.

'Sir, the greater demons have been cleared out of the city. All that remains are the small spawns, which are currently being taken care of by my men. Something troubles me though. That attack seemed too short and too weak to be anything but a rouse. I believe there is worse to come, and I believe that it will show itself when that smoke lifts itself in the near future.'

The king raised an eyebrow, interested in the mages report. 'And what do you suggest we do about it?'

'Sir, I say we move all the civilians into a safer place. Get all able bodies to the armoury to be equipped. If they can wield a sword, I want them fighting. I would like to request a regiment of your finest soldiers to fight alongisde my party and I at the head. I do not wish your soldiers to die in vain, for I believe that my friends and I are prepared to meet the challenges that present themselves from the enemy.'

The king waited a moment, and then spoke. 'Very well, you will have the full support of my troops. Tell the soldiers to regroup at the moment, but keep your party alert in case of any trouble.'

'Very well sir,' said Malice, and he bowed. He quickly turned to leave.


The soldiers had withdrawn to their barracks for replenishing, both in body and morale. Malice and the others stood watch over the city, waiting for the demons to present themselves.

Suddenly, Syne propped up from her slouch. 'Look,' she said, pointing out onto the battlefield. 'The smoke is lifting.'

As the smoke cleared, the warriors were shocked at what they saw. Two dozen large cannons were mounted at the base of the treeline, and at their base rested greater demons. The cannons stood ominously, as if waiting for the castle walls to make the first attack.

'So that's how the demons have been getting over the city walls,' said Magus, shedding light on the situation. 'They've been hiding in the smoke the whole time, readying their cannons.'

The cannons suddenly went off with a tremendous bang, shooting more demons at the party. Titania acted quickly, creating a celestial light that pierced the skin of some of the oncoming attackers. The cannonfire landed in the centre of town once again, spawning a new line of demons. These demons resembled large cats. They were jet black, shadows almost, but they bore distinct claws and fangs. As they sprang to life, they slowly stalked the city, pouncing on anything that moved. Though they were unaware of the party's presence, the group saw their amazing power and speed and they toyed with the items of the town.

Just as the party was about to engage this new enemy, the cannons fired again. The demons that unfurled from these cannon blasts were different though. They stood upon four sturdy legs, like those of a grasshopper. They looked humanoid from the waist up, carrying long katana styled swords in both of their hands.

'Alright,' said Malice. 'We have no support right now, so be cautious. We don't yet know the power of these demons, so conserve your energy, and fight to survive as well as to win.'

The whole party nodded, and then sprung into action to engage the enemy.

*((-Sorry for the weak post guys, I'm really tired, but I felt it was my turn-))*
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Old 10-16-2005, 05:22 PM   #9
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Re: Chapter 4: Domination

Kani watched the battle form within his fortress atop the black spire. Everything seemed to be going just as he had planned. The Hero’s all seemed to be much occupied with the battle, not even noticing the group that had circled the city and started digging under the city.

Meanwhile near the battle.

Five Siege equipped demos dug away at the underground passage they were making. They were only a few feet from their target. After only a few moments they had hit the stone foundation of the resting place of Kani’s body. They blasted through and stormed in to retrieve the body and were quickly out and ready to leave. They formed a chanting circle and created a warp portal to the spire and were gone.

Meanwhile the smoke from the explosion they made to enter the tomb caught Syne’s attention; she broke of combat with one of the catlike demons and took off to investigate. She came just in time to see the five demons and Kani’s body disappear into the warp.

She felt the only thing she could do now was get back into the battle and try to get everyone through this alive so that they might be strong enough to beat Kani with his new body.

Back in the Spire.

Kani stood over his body almost drooling. “Get the damn priests now! I want back my body!”

Three dozen Black robed demon priests came in and circled around the great body of Kani’s. Along with that came six of Ishia’s holy knights all bound and marked with various symbols. Kani sat in his thrown and watched as the preparations were made. The clouds above the spire cleared and opened up to the sky for the first time in seven hundred years, even without the clouds though the lightning and rain continued.

Valmarus came up to Kani and gave a report of the situation on the battlefield. “The preparations are also complete sire.”

Kani came forward and disrobed and stood next to his body. The Priests started to chant a spell. The Rain turned to blood; the clouds outside the spire turned black and started forming giant tornadoes. Slowly the Holy swordsmen died off and their bodies turned into blackened mummified corpses. Kani also started to become like them. Then just as it seemed Kani would die a colossal bolt of lightning came crashing down hitting all the priests and Kani, all their bodies burst showering the true body of Kani with blood. The lightning crashed again, this time on the body of Kani.

The body of Kani sprang to life; he stood up and started to laugh an evil and threateningly terrible laugh. The clouds went back to how they were. Until Kani released a small example of his power, the blast of power cleared the skies and sent a wind though the tress that made them snap like twigs.

Kani laughed again. “Just wait till I get my hands on those little so called heroes.”

Meanwhile back on the battle field a strong wind came through the area, bringing dark clouds that passed by in only a matter of moments as though the clouds themselves had someplace important to be going to. Everyone knew something bad had just happened; only Syne knew the truth.
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Old 10-16-2005, 05:47 PM   #10
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Re: Chapter 4: Domination

Kirby's Discovery

"Sigh..this really is alot of smoke." said Kirby.

By now, Kirby had walked a few miles, still erasing the smoke. His eraser was black as ash, and could hardly erase anymore.

"Oh, fine then, I'll just throw it away!" he said as he tossed the eraser; which landed on top of what looked like a mutilated demon corpse.

"Um...Dude, what's that?" asked Kirby. "I tried tellin' ya' about a mile back to stop!!" yelled Dude. "The Maneki Neko is gonna' be angry if you keep messin' around here! Besides, didn't you see all the thunder?!"

"I also wondered when he would notice..." commented Sneaky. "Yeah, I'm definitely not coming out of the bag until I'm sure it's absolutely safe!", said Misty.

Kirby let out a sigh. "Still, this dimension is absolutely fascinating! Why...the colors, the texture, the tints and tones!! I must simply draw this scene! The way the light bursts through the clouds during the rain, the thousands of demon cadavres, it all must be captured on canvas!"

Kirby pulled out a green ruler from his pocket. "Better measure it though.."

"Rr Nyaon...he just doesn't get it..." said Dude. "Let's just take a nap, guys."
"Yeah!" seconded Sneaky and Misty.

(Was that better? My entries are alot shorter then every one else's though...)

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Old 10-16-2005, 07:20 PM   #11
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Re: Chapter 4: Domination

Though it was midday, the air was cold, and the sky, dark, as if it were only morning. The sudden storm was felt not only at the black spire, but across all of Palis, turning meadows to swamps, farms to rivers, and the already bloody battlefield to mud. The only assuring thing that came that hour was the fleeting smoke- all but a thin layer had already left, and what remained flickered into the sky like steam.

It was the first of winter, and the northern territory did not make the adjustment any easier, especially for Malice who was more accustomed to his southern homeland. He coughed, sending out a sudden whisp of breath into the greedy air; painfully, his red and hardened fingers shook in the frigid wind. His cheeks and ears burned in the relentless fire, and even the mud on his feet and lower legs seemed like icy leeches.

He thrust his daggers forward with all his power, and with a constant accuracy, sliced at a demon’s throat. The creature wailed, pushing its arms forward and knocking its opponents hands with its armour, before disappearing into ash. Malice winced as the normally light blow shot pain through his fingers and up through his arm.

Ignoring the throbbing, he drove his elbow backward, hitting an approaching demon in the chest, before turning around and slicing at its face with his dagger. Though it stung at his skin like knives, he called the wind to lighten his step. With a slightly burdened agility, he began to run until he was able to jump. With energy, he took off, breaking away from the sticky mud. Then, with all his power, he let himself fall downward into a new crowd of demons. Easily, they fell as the unexpected attacker sliced through their necks and burned through their skin with frigid wind.

Not far off, Titania struggled with the weather as well. What skill she had learned came from her time at the temple, and her training with Malice. Because of the former, she never allowed her heels to touch the ground, and because of the latter she used this to keep a light stance; one which could be left swiftly and effortlessly in order to achieve a more agile strike. This whole method disagreed with the slippery battlefield, and so she found herself either constantly trying to free her feet from the mud or trying to keep upward balance.

A bit awkwardly, Titania closed her fan and drove it forward into an enemy. It brought up its blade and knocked the object away before slicing it in half, narrowly missing her fingers. She took up the fallen weapon’s sister, and prepared to strike, but the creature knocked this from her hand before striking her cheek with the side of its blade. She cried out and without thought, grasped at the injury. The demon took advantage of this, and struck her once more, this time driving the heavy hilt of its sword into her temple. She hit the ground, defeated, blood in her hair and dripping over her face. She was angry, but at the same time confused; for some reason, this creature was delaying her death. It could so easily raise its blade and take off her head, but it didn’t. Was this some kind of order? Or was this beast showing compassion?

She raised her eyes to stare up at her attacker. Though her vision was somewhat blurred, she could see him hesitating. Slowly, he lowered his sword, and she saw on it a familiar pattern. It was of Gracian making.

For a while, the thing did not move, until finally it caught her wrist and dragged her away from the fight. With her free hand, she grabbed at the mud and tried to run, but it was no use. Silently, he pulled her to the steps of an abandoned store, where the battle had yet to reach.

“Forgive me…” came a voice, when finally she was let go.

For a moment, she stared at this strange soldier, then, defeated, lowered her head.

“Perhaps you are scared of someone taking your kill... well then…go ahead! Give me a warrior’s death…”

She closed her eyes and prepared for the worst, but still the soldier did not move.

“You fought for my city.” Came his voice, suddenly “You and your comrades tried to help us.”

She stared up and watched as he lifted his helmet, revealing human features.

“You are a traitor to your people then…” she muttered, bitterly.

“No.” he said, shaking his head “They have my family. And many others too. It is not just demons that you fight now. They have taken slaves from our city.”

A pain hit her as she realized that human blood might stain her hands. As quickly as possible, she thought back to those she had slain in the last day- had all their corpses turned to ash? Or had they merely sunken into the mud?

“You are being forced to fight?” she asked, quietly, her head still throbbing with pain and flowing with blood.

“We are. But not for Drasonia. For our wives and children. Were they not in the situation, many of us would have chosen death over this slavery…”

“Is there no way to save them without betraying your late queen?”

“They have given us no choice. They tell us stories of what they will do to our families if we do not comply. When one man did not believe the truth, they cut off his daughter’s hands and burned her in front of him. There’s nothing we can do but damn ourselves to eternal punishment.”

“You have no choice...” She said, “Your actions must be forgiven because you have no alternative but to shed more innocent blood. This is war, and your salvation is in your hesitation. I commend you for your unwillingness to kill.”

The man faltered “Forgive me, priestess, but I have killed…” he muttered “I could not destroy you because you are a maiden of the gods. Were I to spill your blood, creatures greater than the Drasonian army would place grudge against my soul.”

The air fell cold as the man stood in silence. He wanted to cry out for forgiveness and beg for the salvation of his spirit, yet he could not. His heart was too heavy and his hands too stained with blood.

“Your soul is safe…” she muttered, faintly, trying to calm the desperate man, despite the pain of her wounds “Do not fear for its condition any longer…men in your position are given no choice…”

He nodded but guilt still infested his heart. Uneasily, he watched as his victim’s breathing slowed and her eyes closed. Carefully, he lifted her from the ground and placed her on the steps of an abandoned shop, pushing a crate forward so that she would not be easily seen by the demons. For a moment he stared at what he had done; at this young girl who now lay unconscious, with blood running so heavily over her face and hair that it was almost impossible to tell she was alive. He wanted to take his blade and run it through his heart- not only for his latest victim, but for all of those who lay dead in his tracks; all of those who did not deserve to have their lives stolen away from them. Above all things, he hated his new masters and all they stood for. This war was evil, and pointless, committed only for the greed of one man. Because of this loathsome and hate-filled creature, he and his comrades were doomed to give their lives to a cause they did not believe in.

They would never see home again.

Gods forgive me…” he muttered, as he returned to the darkened battle.


Syne forced her way across the field, trying desperately to find one of the others. If her assumptions were right, then Kani had found his true form and he was now more of a danger than ever.

“Glenn!” she cried, catching sight of the knight who stood over a pile of muddy ash.

“Syne? What troubles thee?” he asked, exasperated.

Mud tugging at her small feet, she ran toward her friend “Kani’s old body has been found! He has his power back!”

“What dost thou mean?” cried Glenn “Thou speak’st nonsense! After seven hundred years would not his body be but dust and bone?”

“No…” Syne protested, “The Four made sure his body would survive! I think he’s used the souls of the living to help restore his flesh.”

Glenn began to respond, but his eyes moved to an oncoming attacker “M’lady!”

A soldier approached and swung its sword at Syne. With expert timing, she dodged it and Glenn drove his sword through the holes of its helmet. He removed the weapon and stared at it in surprise and horror.

“Blood…” muttered Syne as she ran her finger along the crimson which dripped from the sword’s edge.

“Tis impossible!” cried Glenn, “Unless…”

They stared down at the ground where the fallen soldier struggled before becoming motionless. It did not turn to ash.

Last edited by Zerlina; 10-16-2005 at 09:49 PM.
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Old 10-19-2005, 04:58 PM   #12
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Re: Chapter 4: Domination

As the initial shock of drawing blood subsided, a new feeling of confusion swept over Malice. Gracian troops, fighting a battle in a city miles away from their own, and what more, fighting for who seemed to be the enemy. It just made no sense. Malice even recognized some of the warriors who half-heartedly threw themselves upon him, and so he hesitated on a quick stab, and landed a swift uppercut with his elbow instead to the nearest human adversary. He quickly sheathed both his daggers, and went to work, fending off his opponents in the most non-lethal ways he could think of.

A soldier caught Malice off guard from behind, slicing through his armour and grazing the skin. Malice yelped in pain, and without thinking, turned and shot the soldier backwards. The soldier sprawled backwards, suppressed by the air that pushed against him. Two of his companions, who had been conversing rather than engaging their enemy, caught their fellow soldier as he finally fell. Malice panted in a quick realization of what he'd just done, but before he had time to feel sorry for the soldier, he was attacked again, this time by a demon. It fell into ashes a moment later after witnessing the flash of his blade.

Malice fought back demon after demon, carefully kicking aside each of the Gracian military that approached him. His daggers flashed in and out of his sheaths at lightning speeds, exerting great control in his killcount. He slowly cut his way to Magus, who, while still taking heed to the Gracian's, was exorcising much less caution as he wildly swung his scythe.

'Malice,' Magus called out as his friends image appeared through the veil of black smoking ash. 'These guys are...'

'Yeah I know Magus,' Malive replied, as he forcefully drove a Gracian soldier to the stone walkway with his gauntlet. Another attacked quickly, and Malice unleashed a blast of air that sent him sprawling against a horde of demons, who cut the poor soldier down as they advanced on Malice. 'These guys are the Gracian army. How do you figure...'

Magus cut him off this time, his voice showing the strain the battle was having on him. 'Kani used... slaves,' he said as he cut down another 2 demons, injuring a human in the process.

'We need to regroup and discuss this.'

With that, Malice took action. He leapt quickly to Magus' side. 'Get ready,' he uttered, and he dug his feet into the dirt to brace himself. With hands at his side, Malice uttered a quick prayer to the wind goddess, and sent the prayer to ride the wind to the heavens. With that, he slowly started waving his arms, first in small circles, but soon into large circles. The wind that eminated from those circles grew too with each rotation, and soon enough it swelled around his whole body. With one final exhalation, Malice let loose the wind. It pushed demon and human alike within a 100 metre radius backward against the fierce currents. Before the soldiers had time to wipe the ash from their bodies and regroup, Malice and Magus were gone along with the wind.
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Old 10-19-2005, 09:18 PM   #13
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Re: Chapter 4: Domination

In a second Magus had been pulled from the safety of the earth and thrown into a seemingly uncontrollable vortex. He inhaled the cold ambrosia and let it infest his body, and fill every crevice with its chilled sensation. When finally they touched ground, Magus’ head was light and his vision spun, though he would not admit nor let on to it. What he had tasted was the nectar of freedom, and the joy of not being bound to the earth. This made him begin to wonder- how was it possible that Malice could sustain such powers and still have the ability to do battle with steady reasoning? Perhaps for him the joy in such things had been lost long ago, as many good things are. Or perhaps it truly was his only escape- his only way of breaking free from the cruel chains which bound him to the demoniac world.

Though he never spoke of it, Magus had to admire his comrade and how he had grown from a stubbourn and careless child into a loyal and vigilant leader. Were he to turn back time and find the boy who first came on a messenger’s duty to Gracia, he never would have thought that that child was the same as the man who stood before him.

Such thoughts pass in a second, and so only one had passed when Magus had finished these musings. Turning slowly to his comrade, he sighed.

“These demon bastards have taken slaves from Gracia…” he muttered “Human or not, Gracians are loyal people, devoted to their queen. They would not fight against their own kind unless they were being controlled, or there were consequence.”

“I should have guessed.” Malice said with disgust “There is no such thing as honour for these monsters. They are probably forcing the soldiers to battle against their own will.”

“This makes it all the more difficult. How will we tell the difference between the enemy and our allies now? It is no longer so simple as looking at their face.”

“Humans fought wars with each other ages before the demons reduced their numbers. It is possible to see who the enemy is even if they do look similar. Keep this in mind- we are now in the north where the winters are longer and the sun is less harsh. Gracians are from the south of the continent. Their skin will be dark while the soldiers from this city will be fair.

Still, we must try not to harm the Gracian soldiers unless it is necessary. They have no say in what they do, and perhaps they still have families who await them.”

Magus shook his head “It is unfortunate. See how much blood stains the ground now? If there is any one race that suffers, it shall be the humans. No matter who wins this war.”

Malice nodded and stared down at the frozen, crimson stream, whose path (though long stopped) still stained the ground he stood upon. Beside him, against the city wall, he saw a line of crates, and an outstretched hand coming from behind, its motionless palm turned upward toward the sky. He assumed this was where the blood came from and for a moment stared at it, and at the gold bracelets which still remained along its wrist, their value showing only through small gaps in the blood.

“I feel sorry most for the townspeople.” He muttered, turning away from the gruesome sight “They could not even defend themselves.”

“We shall at least do them one last honour.” Magus began “Afterwards, we shall properly bury them and go through the right ceremonies to ensure their souls find their way home. It is what everyone wants and deserves.”

Malice nodded “It is a shame…what place will their spirit have to live? With no family to care for their souls and no place to dwell?”

“We have not lost the battle yet.” Magus reminded him “There may yet still be a place for the dead to go.”


“Hige…” muttered Kain “How are the preparations for the next attack?”

“They are in place, sir.” Hige replied, unable to look the demon in the eye “But I must continue to protest. This form of warfare is…is dishonourable! It is too cruel.”

Kain laughed “Is that not why we are doing it? You have grown to question my authority much in these last days and I am becoming sick of it. It is time you learn your place and your duty! We have done you a favour giving you this position. We could easily switch you to the rack if you’d prefer.”

Hige fell silent and nodded “I will do as you say…”


Glenn removed his gauntlets and plunged his hands into the icy water of a stream while Syne watched.

“At least we’ve cleared the grounds out here a little.” She muttered, “I wonder how they’re doing inside the walls.”

“Do not give it such thought, m’lady.” Glenn said “Thy temperament begins to resemble that of a woman’s!”

“Well that’s what I am!” Syne retorted “And men can worry if they wish. It is a natural human emotion.”

“Nay, fair maid.” Laughed Glenn “Perhaps a man may care for the safety of his comrades, but he will never vocalize it in the way that a woman does.”


“Shhh!” Glenn interrupted her.

He pointed toward the woods, which now were charred and black as coal.

“Something moves in yonder trees…” he warned, unable to tell what it was amongst the smoke, which still slithered along the grounds.

Slowly, Syne drew her sword and braced herself for whatever might emerge from the woods.

Last edited by Zerlina; 10-19-2005 at 10:23 PM.
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Old 10-19-2005, 10:05 PM   #14
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Re: Chapter 4: Domination

Syne and Glenn crouched down to see a man walk out of the woods carrying several bags and looking around like he was lost. Two demons came out of the woods server feet behind him. He seemed completely oblivious to his followers. Then from under his jacket he pulled out a small piece of paper and start making some weird jesters. A second later a medium sized golem formed from the paper and turned to smash in the helmets of the following demons.

“What a bother, I do hate persistent fans.” The man said wondering on towards the city.

Syne got up form where she was hiding and came to greet the man. “I wouldn’t go that way if I were you.” Syne said motioning towards the city.

“Stand back! I’m not giving you any of my art don’t try to take it, it’s my life’s work not yours!” The man said jumping back and waving the Golem to come forward.

“Whoa!” Syne said blocking a punch from the large earthen creature. “I’m not after any artwork. I’m just trying to keep you from getting killed.”

“Oh I see, stop attacking!” The golem looked back and began to sulk. “So you say I’d be loosing my life by going that way, what is it that is going on?”

“War, we are in the middle of a war, where have you been?” Syne said looking at the man a bit closer. “Oh wait, you probably have no idea where you are. You must have been warped here just recently.”

“Well I’m not really sure what happened but I have no clue where I am right now, my name is Kirby, artist.” Kirby said taking a shallow bow.

“My name is Syne and my friend down by the stream is Glenn.” Glenn waved from the side of the stream. “We are both warriors fighting to save this town.”

Several demons caught sight of Syne and Glenn and started rushing over to attack them. “Well looks like formalities are cut short lets get these guys Glenn.”

Syne and Glenn each took on two of the assaulting demons and Kirby and his golem took on two of them as well.

Syne cut down both of them in a single solid sweep of his sword. Glenn speared one through the chest with his sword and bashed the others head in with his shield. Kirby’s Golem started off attacking one of the demons while Kirby showed a great example of what it is to be quick on your feet and ran and evaded every oncoming blow from the demon until his golem smashed in its head.

“Do you have a weapon Kirby?” Syne said wiping the soot off her eyes.

“Not at the moment though it does seem like a good idea to get one. Let me see what I can get.” Pulling open his jacket he looked through some papers and pulled out one and made the proper hand motions to release it. A compact repeating crossbow appeared on the ground. “This should work for me just fine.”

Syne looked at the crossbow poking it to see if it was real. “That’s a pretty sweat power you got. I haven’t ever seen anything like that before.”

Glenn pointed towards the city gates. “That isn’t good is it?”

Syne looked over to see the ten foot tall body of Kani walk though the gates of the city. “That could be really bad, let’s go try to warn the others that he’s here before something bad happens.”
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Old 10-23-2005, 05:23 PM   #15
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Re: Chapter 4: Domination

The world is white, hazy, and it is only now that smoke gives way to what has remained hidden. They say you can never forget your life, you can only hide from it. Every thought, every feeling is the present, and though time may pass, you never truly lose yourself, for it is only your actions that slip into the eternal past.

Now is the dawn of a new eternity. One where chaos will end and the pieces of our once divided continent shall finally be placed together.

I sit now, upon the throne of the Oracle, waiting for news from the southern king. He is to send a messenger with tales of his newest reasoning. Of course, I already know what he will say, for Isthar -the goddess of the moon- has shown me reflections of the future in her Blessed Pool, which lies in front of me. I can see her visions freely, whenever I desire. Yet even as this is so, I know that the celestial maiden has not told me of all that is to come. That is the way her truth is sometimes- bright and clear, yet elusive and unreachable like a distant reflection. I understand this and it is this understanding that sets me apart from the rest of the world. Though I will never speak of it, I know that many of the souls would be able to see the truth too, if only they looked in the right places. But that is the way of humanity, I suppose, they always believe in and follow what is false.

My name is Llideah, and I am the oracle and priestess of Ishtar’s Temple. Men speak of my birth as if it were something miraculous. They tell tales of how I descended from the sky as a child, having once been a shooting star. I was supposedly found afterward by a kindly woman in a field whom the gods later rewarded and raised to salvation. This is of course, untrue, yet this mythmaking is also part of the nature of man.

In truth, I was born in a mountain town and abandoned when the northerners destroyed my parents’ land. I was sent down to the countryside at the base of the mountain, where an old woman took me in and taught me to work in the fields. When I was thirteen years old, she left this world, but she gave me the greatest of all teachings: seek not the material as men do, but desire a higher understanding and so find salvation. This salvation peace and joy in the afterlife- is what I crave for even now. For through the Blessed Pool I have seen many of my lives and know only of the suffering that I have endured. If it is the will of the goddess, then I hope once I finish my duties in this world, my soul will be allowed to become part of the great eternal.

That is all very far off, hopefully, though nothing is for certain. I have not seen my death, and I do not wish to. They say that such visions can plague weak souls, and turn what was once pure into darkness. My soul is weak. Most are. The trick lies in pretending that you are greater- to survive as a venom-less snake one must play the python or else be devoured by a hawk.

It is evening and Kain, the messenger, still has yet to come. I begin to become impatient, though I sit as still and expressionless as marble.

Unfortunately, even marble must crack sometimes. And so it is as I see the familiar cloak enter from the furthest passage. I do not even have to ask who is under it.

“Greetings, Gadriel.” I say as he approaches, leaving rainy footprints on the stone floor.

The room is a long passage, marked with rows of milky pillars on each side. In the half of the room I sit in, the ceiling is adorned with bas relief- images of the goddess and stories of her triumphs. The half where Gadriel enters from has no roof so the rain still falls steadily upon him. Through this ceiling-less half I can always see the greenery of the surrounding forest. The temple sits on a hill, and the area opposite to me is lower than where I sit. It is made this way because of days like this, when it rains; if it were to be faced the other way, then the rain should always spill toward me; a bad sign. Along two sides of the floor there are lowered paths to catch the water and send it out. Though I have sat here every day for two years now, I always wonder at the design of the temple. It was built and designed by peasants ages ago, and yet it is so beautiful and intelligently constructed.

I am pulled out of my musings as the echo of Gadriel’s footsteps tell me he is close.

“Fair day to you, Priestess Llideah…” he says, as he bows his head, a sign of respect to the goddess Ishtar.

“What is it that you seek today?” I ask, formality masking my desire to speak to him more personally.

He smiled and raised his head “Shouldn’t you know?”

“It is not the place of mortals to jest within the home of a goddess.” I tell him, knowing he is referring to my power of foresight “I ask you only as a formality. You are here on your father’s behalf.”

“That is an interesting way to put it.” The comment has struck a nerve.

“He was a good man.” I remind him “And his spirit has already returned to the home you’ve made for him. Do not fear for his soul.”

Gadriel nodded “Your words are comfort, yet that is not why I have come.”


“I wish to know the nature of his death. How it was that he was healthy one day and cold the next.”

“It is not the place of mortals to question the decision of the gods.”

“Please tell me…”

“I cannot. It is their will that he die and that is all that I can tell you. Return home, Gadriel. There is nothing you can do.”

“That’s a lie and you know it!” he cried, his sudden rage catching me off-guard.

Something was not right. He must have been angry the whole time to explode so quickly. Yes, that was it. His earlier respect had only been a mask to hide his true feelings. Gadriel was such a clever man, yet even with all this he could not hide from me. It was as useless as lying beneath glass.

But even as I knew this man, inside and out, I found myself watching helplessly, as he committed the greatest crime, and walked straight through Ishtar’s Blessed Pool- the one thing, which had always kept me separate from the common people. For a moment I faltered but it was only a second before I resumed my position. He now stood on the steps in front of me, his shoes soaked with the water of disrespect.

“Why do you hide things from me, Llideah?” he asked.

Such disrespect in the temple…

“Priestess Llideah…” I corrected.

Llideah.” he repeated.

What was I to do? Not to answer would be to deny a man the information he longed for most. To speak would be to condone his behaviour and bring my own self down. For a while I was quiet, uncomfortable with the idea that he had crossed the boundary of respect and now stood too close before me.

“Y-your father was a lord of great power…” I said finally, hearing my once perfect voice become shaky and afraid “His fate was delivered from the hands of King Dokri.”

There was a silence before Gadriel smiled and laughed; I could see his lips were tight and his eyes glossy. This was not the laugh of a man who did not care. It was the laugh of a man who did not know how to react.

“Such an easy thing for him to do! To so quickly steal a man away from his kingdom and his son!”

“I’m sorry, Gadriel.”

“Why didn’t you tell me, Llideah?” he asked “You knew this was going to happen! Why the hell didn’t you warn me?”

This was my fault now? He had not come for counsel and so I had not obliged him. If he did not come then it was not the will of the gods to have his father saved. I couldn’t have played a part in this man’s death. I couldn’t have.

Finally, I spoke up, my demeanor once more like seamless marble. This was how I wanted to be. Marble statues were beautiful and admired. They were perfect, untouchable, haunting and strong. There is nothing you can do to break them, for they are art and art is immortal.

“It was not my place to warn you.” I said, coldly, for that is also a trait for marble.

I could see the hurt in his eyes, the way that his soul tore at the very words. I pitied him and yet I became afraid. We were alone and he was now a man of fire- one consumed by the heat of rage and sorrow. Even the gentlest of beasts become fierce when they are tormented with unbearable pain. In cold and invisible fear, I looked upon him not knowing what he would do.

He raised his head and stared at me, his eyes like painful chisels. Moving further up the steps, he grabbed my wrist and pulled me down the stairs, in a second marble crumbled and I fought him back. Something was wrong, and for once I did not understand it. Was he going to kill me? Did he wish to avenge his father this way? He led me down the stairs and brought me to the floor so that my face was over Ishtar’s pool. He held my head there so I could not look away.

Of course, this was his game. Gadriel was angry, but he would not ever hurt me. He was a good man and dishonour was beyond the ability of his soul. It was information he wanted, for he was afraid. It was that same fear that consumed Kani; the kind that ensured he would never break free from the wheels of life. I sometimes wonder if I should be consumed by this fear too. If it is only because I can see so easily that I am not afraid.

“What do you see?” he asked, and I knew the very action of holding my head down was causing him pain “Tell me what you see and why you could not tell me earlier! My father is dead! Do you not understand? He is dead! And all you can say is that it wasn’t your ‘place’ to warn me! I know your heart is cold, and yet your cruelness surprises me…how could you, Llideah?”

((con'td next page))

Last edited by Zerlina; 10-26-2005 at 11:26 PM.
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