Private Tales The Last Resort

Discussion in 'The Chronicles' started by Draedamyr, May 24, 2019.

  1. Seska the Dragonslayer

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    "This place has an abundance of natural mana," the woman replied, voice tired. She laid a hand upon the man, and allowed her Art to delve into his flesh. His face went white as a ghost, the unpleasant sound of bone fragments shifting barely audible. That has to hurt like hell, she thought to herself in sympathy, knowing that the pain was merely the beginning of the old one's troubles with that wound. "We do not try anything until morning, yes?"

    She stumbled, and nearly fell as she stepped back from her current patient. She had done far too much in just reaching this place with her hide intact, and that plus this new burden was showing. "I will require some rest before we try anything, anyway," she said breathlessly. "What I wouldn't give to have my staff with me," she added in a murmur. The properties of that ancient weapon focused her power, and made her weaves stronger, with less effort.

    Knuckling her back as though she had been scrubbing floors, she looked around the room. "Is there anyone else that requires my Art? If not I must...rest..."
     
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  2. Draedamyr

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    Draedamyr had his angular face pressed close to the bottle of red. He peeked around it at her questions.

    "Nothing until morning," he confirmed. "And I've looked and I can't see anything that says these contain mana," he replied. Humour barely graced his voice and certainly didn't cross his expression. Draedamyr was a man of restrain when it came to showing any emotion, even when attempting dry humour. He suspected this was going to be a long night and was looking for anything to keep his thoughts from what lay outside these walls.

    Any trace of humour was wiped away when he saw the discomfort she was in. As far as he could tell this was the only good bottle in the inn. Everything else was swill. Some minor moral push had kept him from rooting around down in the cellars where the children were trying to rest.

    Draedamyr poured another glass and held it out for Seska. There was hardly a drop left now.

    "It's dark down in the cellar," he said.
     
  3. Seska the Dragonslayer

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    Inscrutable eyes regarded the man and the glass, dark circles underscoring her eyes. She was not sure if the man was jesting or not, about the the magic or the drink. Frankly, she no longer cared. With visibly trembling hands, she took the glass, offering a murmur of appreciation before finding a wall to slide down and sit against.

    She almost felt embarrassed to have faltered so quickly. It was not as if healing was a tasking ordeal, but ripping the street up was. Tearing trees down and flinging them at her pursuit was too, especially since direct attacks had seemingly little effect. Fire would have been nice, as would lightning - the proper retort of sorcerers since there were such things - but the creatures of the mists seemed to have a great deal of resistance.

    "I just need a moment to collect myself," she said tiredly. It seemed a few of the others here were finding what rest they could. "Don't want to try stairs at the moment." Truthfully, she could have slept right there, but for the fact that something wouldn't let her. Vexing.

    Letting out a slow, ragged breath, the Sidhe indulged in wine, eyes closed. "How far is Kratos Town," she asked. Maybe Draedmyr would know, or the man that had originally spoken of it. She feared the answer would be far, already preparing herself for a particularly unpleasant time.
     
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  4. Draedamyr

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    Draedamyr continued a fruitless search for another bottle of good wine. If he was going to die tonight it seemed a waste to drink acrid, cheap wine just because it was there.

    "An hour's walk," Ken replied to her question.

    "Maybe high ground would get us above the mist?"

    Draedamyr turned to see a young man. He assumed it was the blacksmith's apprentice from his build. Someone had found him a hammer used to tap beer barrels as a weapon.

    "That's one of the most logical things I've heard today," Draedamyr acknowledge. He looked slightly bemused at where it had come from.
     
  5. Seska the Dragonslayer

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    An hour's walk...

    It was close. Far closer than she had hoped for, but despite the richness of this area, the abundance of the magic that seemed to sift through soil and air, from all the living things here...

    She wasn't sure it was enough. And she was certain that it would require more than the spare amounts that she had used in this tavern, performing minor miracles to help people who might very well have preferred her to save that strength for more pressing business, such as the beasts that threatened to kill and maim them all. She couldn't have known that the elf digging through the storage spaces of the common room had those very same thoughts, but for a very different reason. She was not, after all, at the limit of her resources yet.

    But the price became exceptionally steep from here moving forward. How many days or weeks would she be lost to the world, laid up and ill beyond measure? This world...was a prison. For her and her kind especially, used to feats far greater than the world would allow for. Or, at least, without a terrible cost. How much was she willing to sacrifice for people that she barely knew? Short-lived people who would perhaps appreciate the effort she gave for their well being. Or perhaps not. Though she did not often think of things as such, mortals were fickle creatures (for all that they would call her fickle as well!).

    Memories that were so ancient that they had simply lost all frame of reference, their edges eaten away by the sands of time, they told her of the things she had done in the past that required penance. Dark deeds, done in the name of one cause or another. The price of civilization, of being directly involved in the world. These were the reasons she often inserted herself into the lives of those who would not even remember her a year later, and in a hundred years would not even be alive anymore. Perhaps letting them have those few years as worthy enough of the sacrifice.

    "Logic," she murmurred, "is a tricky thing." She opened those pale eyes of hers, and took a deep drink without any real enjoyment. "The chi...boy has a point." The Sidhe shifted in her seat, but could not find the strength to rise. "Perhaps we should leave the others behind, and take the boy and someone who knows the lay of the land. In the morning, look for high ground and answer that question." And, proving that point correct, perhaps decrease the amount of time we must rely upon your sword to protect us. For I do not know that I will have the strength to protect everyone.

    Without a price.
     
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  6. Draedamyr

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    Ken turned to them very slowly. He eyed all three of them in turn. Draedamyr didn't need any magic to understand what was going through his head. He had the remains of a town to try and protect, likely some of them family. In his midst was a strange halfling mage and an elven swordsman. Outsiders. Outsiders offering to take a guide and leave. Logic could be tricky, but little of it was required to see that the man suspected they were going to abandon him.

    The elf didn't think it matter whether they went for the high ground or the next town. The direction didn't really matter. If they were lucky then the beasts would have moved on. If they weren't lucky then they would be food before they made it beyond the walls of the town. Draedamyr despised being in a situation when there was a point where his skill could never be enough. That was the point of experience: avoiding those situations. That was how he had lived for so long. Despite their natural lifespans few elves lived beyond four centuries. There were too many dangers in this world.

    He cast a glance towards Seska. Careful there, he tried to say with his eyes. In part the warning was to try and avoid any conflict with the townsfolk. There was some self preservation there too. He'd already sensed 'the elf looks quick on his feet to go and look around' coming.

    "Maybe we'll wait and see if people are ready to leave in the morning?" Draedamyr offered. Giving up his search for decent wine he pulled his sword and scabbard free from his waist and took the patch of wall beside Seska.

    Not everything was as it seemed to him. There was less chance involved. They had not gone undisturbed because the beasts had wondered away. The demons out there knew exactly where the last of the townsfolk had gone. There was one reason they waited and watched: Seska. Powerful, old magic. The kind they needed to reclaim if they wanted to take back these lands. They waited because a creature of a high Ascension was coming to ensure they did not lose it.
     
  7. Seska the Dragonslayer

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    She took another drink, and would probably have upended the thing if she'd not been so damned tired. Her body ached for rest, and her eyelids were two ton weights that she couldn't keep open even if she had the desire to do so, which she most certainly did not.

    Still, she was not so far gone, nor so stupid, as to miss the subtle undertone of Draedmyr's words. She did not think the caution was really warranted. But then, humans were strange creatures at the best of times. She had long, long since given up on trying to understand them or their ways.

    "The morning sounds....nice..." she murmured in response to the elf's words. The cup in her hand tilted a little, and then a few moments later fell from her grasp to clatter on the floor, a few ruby drops glistening on floor nearby. The silver-haired head had slumped forward, the slow, even breaths of deep sleep her only motion.

    -

    "The time has come, sorceress, to reclaim these lands."

    The words were harsh, rasping. Above all else, they conveyed a sense of ancient, visceral anger that the Dragonslayer knew and understood all too well. Was it not the reason she had shed her mortal coil in the first place, a seemingly pointless act for one that was to live forever anyway? Pale, cold fingers wrapped around a staff, climbing vines entwined around it so craftily that they appeared to be alive, more than mere carvings.

    "You must go forth, and cleanse these lands of those that would stand against us."

    Eyes opened, dulled in death but no less sharp than in life, to look upon the one speaking. The Great Lord, seated upon a thrown, bound in chains that could not be broken - yet, at least - and regarding her with hollow eyes. The flesh had melted away from that human frame, until nothing but sinewy bones remained, all unmoving except for the mouth. He had been imprisoned here for many, many thousands of years. Seeking escape from the ties that bound him, and never finding one strong enough to do the deed.

    "My Lord," she replied in a murmur, an inclination of her head. More than most upon those lands would receive from her. In truth, she would die - had, in fact, died - in service of this cruel master.
    The took the halls of Draconis from me, and killed everyone. Destroyed everything. Left me with nothing. That rage yet burned in her heart, cold and still, and she wished to deliver to all the pain that she herself felt for the loss. For the one she had loved, doomed to die before her anyway, and yet taken from her much too soon. Before the consumation of the joining of their hearts. Was it the Great Lord that had killed her, or had the fall of that which she loved done it first? Whatever the case, she had willingingly embraced death for the obscene power it gave her.

    Retribution. Delivered in fiery, violent fashion.

    "Give in to it. There is no other way..."

    -

    The sorceress' eyes snapped open. She had fallen asleep without realizing it, and her head bounced off the wall as she snapped it up, momentarily panicking as she tried to get her bearings. The events of the previous night surged up, as well as the price she had paid for the previous days' excess. With a strangled groan, she stirred, muscles stiff and protesting even that much motion.

    Dim light came from around the boarded up windows and the door, and she could see the soldier - Ken? - staring at her. Her eyes searched for the one she had spoken to the night before, if it was indeed morning already.
     
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  8. Draedamyr

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    Ken had refused to let them light the fire so a harsh chill battled the warmth of some many bodies. With no fire they were eating the last of the dried meat and breads. Someone had mixed a great vat of cold porridge, which Draedamyr had steered clear of.

    There was a clink from behind the bar before Draedamyr emerged. Ken turned his gaze towards the elf and then returned to talking to one of the families.

    Noticing Seska, Draedamyr offered a nod and walked over. He sat cross-legged on the stone ground before her and dropped a small sack and mug of ale between them. Inside the sack was a chunk of bread, coarsely buttered where it had been cut off.

    "Saved you some food, there's some sort of...gruel if you're really hungry." Draedamyr did his species proud with the way he turned his nose up.

    "Mood has changed," he said, dropping his voice. "The dawn makes some of them think it's over. It isn't." He turned towards the window. They were still out there. Occasionally he heard them moving around the town. More than that, he could feel the strange magic they seemed to draw around themselves.
     
  9. Seska the Dragonslayer

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    She looked at the food, and decided it wouldn't taste particularly good. "Thanks for the offer, but I do not require much food. I get my sustenance from other sources," she said absently as she continued to gather her senses.

    Despite the state of her body, the night had done enough. She wouldn't be bringing down small cities any time soon, but she could likely protect herself and perhaps a few others as well provided they were not reckless and did not go off trying to get themselves killed.

    At his comment, she closed her eyes, and quested outward. She could, in many ways, 'see' better with her senses of magic than she could with her eyes. The subject of what she saw might be a bit different, but no less telling in some circumstances.

    She she could feel the strange magic that abounded now, as before. There were some subtle differences, though, as though something powerful had drawn near. And, surprisingly, the flavor of this magic was different from anything she could even remember. That meant it was either exceedingly rare....or new. And something new always intrigued the Sidhe, who had seen too much and forgotten more than she she could currently remember.

    "Now the question is...what do we do?" The question itself was many layered, having to do with more than the simple in-the-moment question.
     
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  10. Draedamyr

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    "Good question. I think they'll find the idea of us taking a guide and leaving a bit on the suspicious side."

    He dragged the sack back closer to himself having decided that he would eat half of her portion before offering the rest to the families downstairs. He was going to need his strength.

    His eyes narrowed a fraction as he considered the person before him. She certainly wasn't a halfling, which begged the obvious question.

    "What are you?" he asked plainly. Draedamyr appeared genuinely curious now. The answer wasn't important in the situation, but now he wanted to know what kind of species survived off something other than food.
     
  11. Seska the Dragonslayer

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    She was quiet for a moment, considering the situation. What he said was certainly true, but she didn't think that the mortals here had really considered their situation too closely. If they thought that the threat had passed, it merely illustrated their lack of necessary skills to survive. Aside from Ken, and the blacksmith boy, it would fall up herself and Draedmyr to get these people free of the mess they were in.

    She blinked at the question, but bit back a biting remark. She and her kind were not natives of Arethil, after all, and were rare besides. And reclusive as a whole.

    "I am a Sidhe," she replied quietly. She thought, perhaps, that would not be enough of an answer, though. "We have some relation to pixies and sprites. Nymphs, Selkies. It was once posited that we were a faerie of some kind once, but that would have had to have been so long ago as to be lost to time. We may live a long time, but memory is not forever." She sounded particularly sad about that, and rightly so. She could barely remember the land of her birth, and could no longer remember the face of her parents, or even their names. Time ground infinitely finely over the centuries, and everything eventually failed and faded before its mighty turnings.

    "We are creatures of magic," she added. That might not be wise to admit, because there were things that could be done to her that could not be done to him. But it was only fair, as there were things that could be done to him that would be pointless with her. Such as starvation. "You probably have not heard of us. We are very few on this world."
     
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  12. Draedamyr

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    Sometimes Draedamyr wished he could forget the older memories. They were all still there. Even if they were buried under layers and layers of new ones. When he took the time to delve into them and draw them back together or have something trigger them, even the oldest could come back in exquisite detail.

    He could not recall the name Sidhe. That didn't mean that it wasnt wrapped in those layers somewhere.

    "I don't think I've ever encountered one of your kind," Draedamyr said. His gaze turned towards the door. He wasn't usually prone to humour. It spoke of how agitated he was that he said: "If I meet another fae being powered by magic and booze I'll be sure to remember the name."
     
  13. Seska the Dragonslayer

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    The grin she gave him was rueful. She shook her head slowly in response. "Booze just helps deal with the price I pay for using my Art too heavily. I am a prisoner of this world, not of it." Was there a touch of bitterness there? Perhaps there was. The bitterness of the wanderlust denied the ability to wander, to be nailed down to one spot regardless of desire to move about.

    "Your kind are as ubiquitous and prolific as the humans, after your own fashion. My people are....rare. We were once numerous, but we learned our lesson a long time ago. The hard way." Blood, death, and madness. some memories could not be erased, no matter how long ago the atrocities were committed. The stain of hundreds of thousands of innocent souls was still on her soul, their blood on her hands. No amount of penance, no amount of scrubbing, would ever cleanse it from her mind. "And in any case, we do not form nations or kingdoms or even villages like your kind do. Community leads to strife, eventually. And then to violence." And ultimately, to the end of all things. Gods above, if that wasn't a melancholy thought, but then the ancient woman was prone to that melancholy. A price for having seen.
     
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  14. Draedamyr

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    "Your world sounds terrible," he declared bluntly. "I would lose my mind forced to spend my days in a..." he stopped himself before he say backwars country town like this.

    "...small village. Every city has its downsides. There's also enough going on that you never grow bored. Could spend a lifetime in Elbion and never know every corner, community or language there."

    He turned away from the door, now more interested in Seska than their escape plans.

    "I know an immortal creature who seeks out and guards the passages back to her realm. I don't think you come from the Vale however."
     
  15. Seska the Dragonslayer

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    "We do not guard the gate to Tonan," she said simply. "What would be the point? It is a realm of ash and death. The seas have boiled away, and the land is barren, gray, and devoid of even the simplest life. Buried in the ashes that cover that entire world is the bones of that world." She shivered, recalling the calamitous day of the Fall, the death of the Gods and the subsequent death of everything else that lacked the ability to flee.

    "I can travel this world all I like, but I cannot leave it." She did not know how best to explain what was so horrifying about that. "I just cannot step foot off this world, not without going to places I would much rather not go. And the one place I long for is dead, and everyone I knew with it."

    Her interest was piqued, though, at the mention of a passage to another place. "This Vale, where is it?"
     
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  16. Draedamyr

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    "It's not for the likes of myself to know," he replied. "There was a race of immortals there who lived off the magic of their gardens. They died out too."

    There was one left of their race, but that secret wasn't his to tell either. Especially not to a stranger. Seska looked such a delicate creature to be an immortal. He wished Velaeri was here. She could have flown them far from this land and the wretched demons that now stalked it with a few beats of her wings. The Sidhe did not sound like the immortal species who had tended the Vale, but Seska certainly matched how Vela had described them to look.

    "No one would know the name of where I was born if I mentioned it either," he added. "But I could live a thousand lifetimes and not experience everything this world holds."

    His eyes turned towards the door once more. He took a bite of bread. "Though some experiences are not meant to last long."
     
  17. Seska the Dragonslayer

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    "It is not possible to experience everything in a world," the Sidhe said by way of explanation. "It takes many, many years to traverse it. By the time you return to a place..."

    It might not exist. "Nations rise and fall. People rise and fall. Water, wind, the moon and stars...nothing is permanent. All things are in flux. Everything comes full circle and ends." She stretched, muscles seeming to creak on her diminutive frame. "I have lived hundred of your lifetimes, and still not encountered everything this world - and others - can show me. Seeking new things has become my purpose. Such a fragile purpose, in the absence of ideology, faith, or the other tenets you mortals pursue."

    She cocked her head to one side. "And what memory troubles you so, Draedmyr?"
     
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  18. Draedamyr

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    "A recent one," he said. He paused to take a swig of the ale. It was watery stuff with barely any character, but he needed to drink something with his 'meal'.

    "I had to kill someone I loved."

    There was no point shying away from it. The memory was too freshly laid to be hidden. Like any deep wound it would always leave a scar that didn't sit well with the memories it was embedded with. It would never be hard to find.

    "And what were you seeking when you come through this part of the world?" he asked.

    There was no one action he observed around them that made him realise they were approaching the time of decision making. It was all the small changes in the people around them. They were restless. Ken would have to take charge and give direction. As an elf and an outsider, Draedamyr wasn't about to try.
     
  19. Seska the Dragonslayer

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    Seska winced at the answer. She had probably had to do likewise, sometime in the past...but love was a strange thing to her. Once, it had been an important thing, in the manner of all people. To have and to hold someone that was dearer than oneself might be, to hold someone in higher regard than themselves. Time had made her a bit jaded, or perhaps it was simply that it had been too long since she had interacted with anyone she could come to love.

    "I am sorry to hear of this, Draedmyr. I wish I could offer words of solace that didn't ring hollow, coming from a stranger, but I am afraid that is all my words could ever be." She looked again to the door. There was a certain degree of restlessness here, now, and it would not be long before someone leapt the chasm and decided it was time to do something rather than wallow about in misery and self-doubt.

    "As to me...I was looking for a friends. I have not spoken to Lia in at least two or three thousand years, but it appears she has either moved away from this place or else..." She trailed off, and then shrugged. Even her kind could die, after all. The loss would be a burden to her, if she could prove it. But ionly temporary. She had seen so many of the people she cared for pass beyond the mortal world that it was almost as if the thick armor of callous disregard had made her immune to that hurt.

    Almost. "Do we chivvy these humans into action, or strike out on our own? I feel better rested, now."
     
  20. Draedamyr

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    "Give them a moment," Draedamyr advised. He glanced over his shoulder with as much subtlety as possible. Ken had gone looking for someone downstairs. He assumed the other surviving guard.

    "And thank you for not trying to humour me. Time will help, not words."

    A light groan escaped him as he drew himself to his feet. A sign that age was now starting to catch up on him. He didn't look as if he was quite approaching forty in human terms but he was starting to feel the years.

    "Do you want to ask them about Lia before whatever happens next starts?"
     
  21. Seska the Dragonslayer

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    She shook her head lightly at his question. "If they know of her, it will be some legend. She was...distraught after Tonan was destroyed. Never was the same, after." Fairness would make me say that I, too, did not weather that storm unscathed. She did not wish to volunteer that, however. He had spoken his piece, and while she held unspoken sympathy for his plight, she very much doubted he would express that sentiment about her own ancient crime.

    There was commotion at the back of the room as Ken appeared at the top of the cellar stairs, an older man with him. Seska looked into his eyes and recognized that haunted look. The eye that had seen too much, more than any man should. Forced to do the unspeakable. For a moment, the ancient sorceress felt a deep disquiet. It was like looking into a mirror into the past, when such men were leaders among their peers. Fighting in a war without cease.

    "That man," she said slowly, "is a veteran. Of what war I know not, but I would wager my life on his blade before that of Ken's," she added in a low tone.

    And then, without asking permission, she opened herself, as before, and lay a hand on Draedmyr's arm. Mana bled from her flesh, flowing in an ardent stream through her flesh, through pathways carved a million times over. In the way of the Art, she took that chaotic flow - the essence of chaos itself - and created order out of it, creating the elements necessary for her craft.

    The simple pattern she overlaid on his body was designed to wash away his fatigue and slow its return at the cost of a more profound fatigue later. In keeping with The Laws (and these were not this world's laws), the price would be heavier for Draedmyr. But for a day, at least, he would have the stamina of youth.

    "It is not much, but it will help. Perhaps it will be enough to see us through," she said as the nameless man and Ken strode into the room with purpose, the heads of children appearing at the top of the cellar as well.
     
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  22. Draedamyr

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    Another time and he might have protested against the use of magic without his permission. He felt the aches and pains that came from the previous day's exertions starting to melt away. He too knew that there would be a cost from such magic. If he faltered in the hours ahead he knew that they would be paying the ultimate price.

    He stood tall and rolled his shoulders back. He tossed the rest of his bread towards a group of children at the stairs who tore into it with remarkable gusto.

    "We're going to make a move," Ken called out. "All of us. To the norther edge of town, then for the ridgeline, then we follow that along to Kratos town."

    "Can't rely on help making it," the veteran added in a low growl. "We do this together."

    "Elf, halfling you stick to the right of the group. I'll lead with Thomas," Ken said, turning to the blacksmith's lad. "Gerron takes the right, Mitch and Slaney keep the kids moving."

    Draedamyr didn't say anything. There was simply the softest whisper of Reverie being drawn from its sheath. A near silent whisper, but it spoke of death.
     
  23. Seska the Dragonslayer

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    Not for the first time, Seska wished for the blade that had given her the nickname Dragonslayer was still in her posession. That fearsome weapon had shattered long, long ago in the fight with The Lord, when she had shattered the chains that bound him, freeing Him...and then used that deadly weapon to slay Him as well. The crafting of that sword had required a dozen of the Sidhe High Mages, of which she herself had been a member of at the time. Such as that would never be forged again.

    Hooded eyes regarded the men issuing orders. She was not foolish enough to counter anything they said; they knew their business as she knew hers. Being referred to as a halfling was a little annoying, but she had been called worse.

    The flood of power within her had not ebbed, instead increasing as she held as much as she could. The sheer riotous amount of power and life was nearly enough to make her weak in the knees. Too much like the pure pleasure of sex, too seductive. Dangerous.

    She radiated an aura of unmitigated power now, and there was nothing she could do to conceal it. It might be a problem, and attract attention they did not want. But it would make her more swift to react, and right now that was good enough.

    An eye toward the children. Those, she would protect with her life. She took a deep breath, calming her emotions, as the men began to open the way outside.

    Once more, into the breach...
     
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  24. Draedamyr

    Member
    Draedamyr Mage Hunter

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2018
    Messages:
    114
    Character Biography:
    Bio
    Bring me the one that radiates power. The others do not matter.

    Their followers were spread across the area. A few had stayed to watch the stone building where the townsfolk had huddled, but most had gone searching for other prey.

    As a higher being they heard rumours from the other domains. Some had come here with instructions from G'thallan himself. To tempt a draw the creatures into their world. They did not try and grasp at the plan of a being of the Seventh. They only wanted to sow discord and watch the wretches who had taken their home suffer and die. And then the others had come to them with stories of an old, powerful magic.

    Now there was something they wanted for themselves. They would take it.

    [​IMG]

    It took some time to ease the nails out of the door frame without making much noise. The soldiers looked nervous. Not soldiers, Draedamyr reminded himself. They were town guards. Used to drunks and the occasional bandit.

    Shards of light cut through the mist. Visibility was certainly better. Draedamyr stepped out after the first two, turning his eyes towards the right as instructed. The town seemed peaceful but he knew better.

    "There," he murmured to Seska. He pointed towards a rooftop with the tip of his blade. Two of the black shapes moving slowly across it. He had the sense they were being watched now.
     
  25. Seska the Dragonslayer

    Member
    Seska the Dragonslayer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2019
    Messages:
    71
    Character Biography:
    Bio
    Chaos swirled within her, a tempest fit to challenge that of the angry seas or spring storms. She forced it to quiescence by will alone, the same indomitable will that had allowed her to live all those tens of thousands of years, through every manner of catastrophe she could imagine.

    Her eyes followed the direction of his sword, and those luminous orbs narrowed perceptibly. She could see them, but not what they were. The sense of watchfulness had intensified almost as soon as the door had been opened, and what Draedmyr had hinted at became plain as day to her, now. They were waiting for something they desired, and there was only one focus for that desire as she could see it. The beating heart of a sun, encased in het magically crafted flesh, was what they wanted.

    Another time she might have been flattered. Not now, though; all this managed was a deep seated unease within her. Clearly whatever it was had more resources than she did, and she had little doubt that it would use them to get at her.

    Although she knew it would be foolish on whatever it was' part. The Art could not be handled by any other than her people, although there were things that could be done to her that...

    ...she was not going to consider for now. The flavor of this mist, and the creatures within and of it. She knew now why they were familiar to her. They smacked of the demonesses realm, Eisheth's home. Memories, fragmented though they were, cascaded through her mind.

    "This will not be pleasant," she murmured. Power surging and ceding within, an endless thrashing and crashing. She held it, but did nothing.
     

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