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Old 03-06-2015, 02:54 AM   #1
Lady Odette
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Darkness; finally it came, the routine if sleep striking her mentally exhausted body.

"Sleep?" Spoke a distant rasping voice.

"Perhaps..." Odette responded and paused for a moment before continuing. "Do we have anything else better to do?"

"Lets escap---" The raspy voice was suddenly interrupted by a slow building dark laughter, it grew louder and drew out longer, echoing through the empty halls.

Odette abruptly stopped laughing and whispered as if trying to not be heard, "After all this time, you're still trying to tell me that joke?"

"I didn't mean any harm by it." The raspy voice responded in a tone of embarrassment.

"You're not funny anymore, I'm going to sleep, maybe I'll get lucky and not wake up this time." She whispered into the empty room.
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Old 03-06-2015, 03:22 AM   #2
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"I hate these dead places. I really do. If they weren't dead, but alive, in the form of some Beast or something I could kill, I would gut them all right now."

He could, too, Calhoun knew. At one stroke. Well, maybe two, he reflected. These cursed wastelands WERE rather large, after all...shading his eyes with a small metal object that looked suspiciously like a throwing axe, he gazed off into the distance. Yeah, he thought. More like two strokes. Stretching off in every direction as far as even HIS eyes could see, there was simply nothing. Some crumbled rocks, a hidden gully here and there, and lots of sand. He scuffed his foot on the ground, sending up a small cloud of dust. Absolutely barren, when once this was the most verdant, lush, fertile valley anywhere.

His old home (as he thought of it) was just off....he looked up at the suns, then back down....in that direction. He was a mere 800 leagues away from the head of this valley, ending in the "v" those two mountain ranges created, he thought, looking off left and right at the barely visible gray lines on the horizon.

Calhoun sighed. Even he, The Weaponmaster, would never again dare to look upon that Castle...he snorted and pushed those thoughts as far from him as he currently was from safety. He stood silent for a moment, testing the air, testing the ground, the suns, the wind....everything. Next he closed his eyes, feeling the weights distributed all over his body, visualizing placement, making sure nothing was missing.

Satisfied at last, he muttered, "I don't know why I bother. I KNOW they are gonna be such a mess...again...I ought to just leave them all behind this time." He smiled a bit as he said this though. Those objects were his life's ongoing work, and each one was precious to him.

Calhoun half closed his eyes and his mouth became a tight, grim line. "It's time for some Practice."
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Old 03-06-2015, 09:10 AM   #3
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Old 03-06-2015, 05:47 PM   #4
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...So saying, Calhoun roared aloud, and stabbed the mighty sword in his hands deep into the earth. As the dust rose thick, he wrenched the sword out and whirled it in a circle around his body, faster and faster. The dust clouds revolved around him in a miniature storm as he spun. Suddenly he threw his arms and body straight up to the heavens, and stood straighter than any tree. The mini storm followed in its whirlwind pattern along the edges of his sword, and soon all the sand, all the dust, and nearly all the rocks from a circle about a half-league wide (including some boulders of a respectable size) were spiraling straight up into the sky a full league.

Satisfied for the present, Calhoun jammed the broadsword back into the now totally bare ground of the circle, in which the weapon was the exact center. As he strung his bow and made ready his shield, the ground started to reverberate. All around his Circle, dust rose in a veritable storm; but he still had clear visibility. All the debris from his Deception move was still circling at a half-leagues' distance above him.

As he drew back his first arrow to it's head, the Weaponmaster felt the familiar cold blast as his foes raced to the kill: Night-Wraiths. Although they were supposedly nocturnal hunters, Calhoun had long known otherwise. Even though they were somewhat weaker in the direct sunlight like this, they were also still servants of He who's mark was Black Fire, and as such deserved full attention. Men who had fallen in the futile War against the Nameless Presence long ago, they had been resurrected into servants of his will, though still dead, as punishment.

Ah, there was a glimpse of the front ranks now. "Time to start this..." He loosed his first arrow. A short, piercing shriek confirmed his accuracy at a full league: he'd struck his target through the heart...the only instant kill you were guaranteed on a NightWraith. As they were still nearly a half league off, Calhoun took his time picking targets...he allowed himself a full second before he fired each arrow. A minute later, the Wraiths were within normal bow shot. ...The Weaponmasters' bow was forged of iron.

Because of the closing distance, he switched to rapid fire, operating solely on muscle memory. He was now merely a delivery system, servicing the bow with arrows. He burned through both his quivers in a total of one minute and ten seconds from the time of his first shot. He laughed. "Good thing there are a handful left, or that would have been a total waste of my time." Calhoun dropped his bow and flung up his shield just in time. Good, he'd timed it perfectly: just as the front rank reached the edge of his Circle, the debris from his Deception move earlier began to rain down. By the Deep Races, he thought, that was good hang-time...he watched as a boulder his size crushed a Wraith, despite the shield it tried to hide behind. That was worth a chuckle, and a story later in any tavern he happened to pass by...time to move.

He threw himself backwards in something that extended into a diving roll, and came fully upright nearly 20 yards outside the cleared Circle; shield in hand and Blood Fire in his eye. Silently, the Weaponmaster let his cloak fall, and he made full use of the various throwing hatchets, knives, stars, and some odd-looking objects of his own creation that usually were sheathed there. He circled the dust plume, throwing as he went. Although more vicious than a Dragon with Mad Troll Sickness, NightWraiths become easily distracted. This attack from all sides positively bewildered them, and one or two blindly struck out; of course hitting nothing but other Wraiths.

Within a minute, they were all busily engaging each-other as Calhoun just stood back and smiled; amazed as always that anything so vicious could be so incredibly stupid. His grin vanished as his grim face set hard as stone: "Well that's just too bad, isn't it." This is what he did best, using all his considerable skill to cause his foes to destroy each-other...FOR him. He was used to doing that to much wiser opponents too.

As the dust settled somewhat, a Wraith caught sight of him, and the fight was on for real. The Weaponmaster needed all his skill now, for the main thing in a melee with NightWraiths was...not to get hit. Somewhat harder than it sounded, these creatures fought in a way that forces even the most experienced warrior to merely choose where he got hit; not if. Their method of attack was simple yet effective: the tallest Wraiths windmilled their weapons at head height, the next tallest at about chest height, and so on. When facing even five of these dark souls, the chances of surviving such a wall of flying steel was slim indeed.

Calhoun now faced nearly a score of Wraiths that had not yet fallen. He used all his skill, focusing his very soul on nothing but evading the wild swings. Gradually they formed a ring around him. Using his shield now, he silently counted to 60, making sure the circle was complete. When he was satisfied that it was, he held up his hand. A deep silence fell, and in it a Wraith whom the others seemed to show deference to came a pace forward. "We want nothing but your soul, traveler! Gold, powers, weapons, (even such as those you carry) not even the four suns can divert us from this purpose. Why then do you pause? Do you give your soul freely?"

The last echo of its voice, akin to the sound of a sword slowly slicing through flesh and bone, faded into the dusty heat. It was a strange sight: a lone Man in the center of a cleared Circle, ringed 'round with Night Wraiths, shield in hand, sword still stuck deep into the earth...The Weapon master spoke. "I do give my soul freely." A rush of freezing wind spoke to the Wraiths delight. The chieftain spoke again: "End your life then, warrior, and we will gladly harbor a soul as strong as we deem yours to be."

Checking one last time to make sure every single last Wraith was within the cleared Circle, Calhoun reached for the sword still stuck in the center. "I give my soul," he said slowly and in a voice choked with emotion, "I give my soul, not to you or any other created being...save the King." So saying he took up the sword as the Wraiths closed in and roared something in a forgotten tongue.

The earth shook. A mighty wind came up. A heavy rain lashed down. The very suns themselves were darkened. The chieftain looked on the figure now standing taller than him with perhaps a touch of fear in his eye. "Who or what are you!?" It rasped. For answer, Calhoun whirled his sword on high and a Blue Fire ran down the blade. He cried aloud, and a blazing White Fire erupted precisely where the edges of the Circle were, trapping the NightWraiths. With an immense shout that shook the very stones even through the tempest, he drove his sword up to the hilt in the earth. The White Fire drove inwards, and the Blue Fire shot outwards. Caught in between the two, the Wraiths could only scream helplessly as they vanished in the master's Cleansing Tide.

...A Traveler, cloaked and hooded with a shield slung over one shoulder, stood just outside a vast burnt area in a desert. Bowing his mighty head against the lashing rain, he whispered: "I am Calhoun, Weaponmaster to the Last King, who now rests in his glory." Turning his back on the now flooded wastelands, the cloaked figure stepped into the East.
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Old 03-06-2015, 10:18 PM   #5
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Re-opening her eyes, Odette shifted her gaze upwards to the ceiling; there was a large opening with no bars. The night sky was clear, and the moon beamed at half phase.

"Are you going to try it again?" The raspy voice returned.

Odette sat there for some time before responding, "No, there isn't enough room."

"You could always tell the master yes." It spoke again.

"Leave me alone.. just go away.." Odette's voice cracked a little as she brought her cold dirty hands up to cover her face. The chains that were attached to the shackles on her wrists clanked from the movement. Slowly she smoothed her hands down to wrap her arms around herself as she stared back up at the moon, swallowing back tears.

She didn't understand how she gotten here; playing back in her mind, she remembers falling asleep near a spring deep in the forest that mortals wouldn't explore.

Lowering her gaze, she studied about her person, seeing that her white gown was stained with grey mud of the cell. Pushing herself from the wall she was leaning on, she stood slowly and treaded over to the rain collected pool to stare down at her reflection. Reaching out a slender pale hand to cause a ripple in her image. As the water settled, no longer was it just her gazing into it. A black hooded figure towered behind her; seeing this caused her to freeze instantly. The figure shifted and outstretched a long thin hand that appeared as if it belonged to a skeleton. Seeing this, Odette spun around quickly to face the intruder. To her relief, nothing was there. She quickly went to the spot she was before, pressing her back to the wall firmly.

Some time went by before she was back to a state of ease. Removing her arms from holding herself, she collected some of her long threads of gold hair to untangle a knot that was collecting mud. Her eyes were finally growing heavy again; finally, she wanted to just sleep now. Sliding along the wall to lay beside it, she held herself again to keep warm, and rested her head upon her pile of hair that was scattered about.
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Old 03-07-2015, 12:09 AM   #6
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Exhausted from his efforts earlier in the day with the Wraiths, Calhoun found a shallow cave to sleep in. He had put the wastelands far behind him, so he did not fear more Wraiths or any other dark thing, but he had a thing about other humans...muttering to himself under his breath about the supreme idiocy of bandits...in these times, of all times!!...Calhoun drifted off to a deep sleep...

...Blackness. No sound. The darkest of nights. A sudden flash blinds the shadows into nothingness. A thundering crash. The outline of an immense monolith of rock is seen briefly. Blackness again as the light recedes and the shadows again resume their rightful places. Silence.

A second march of searing light against darkness; a second crash as light meets Night. The rock is seen clearer: It's an old ruin, resembling an ancient castle fallen from it's great pride of glory. It seems to rest at the head of a dry, dusty valley.

Is that a vast scorched circle burned deep into the earth off to the left, just a speck in the distance? Hmm. Darkness again prevails, and the light again recedes, a lesser power. A third rending of both darkness and silence.

Where once there was bare stone, now the ruins teem with masses of dark shadows, darker than the Night around them. The sky boils with wings. Light again proves the lesser Force. Still dead silence. Once more, the light makes a desperate attempt to search the blackness and reveal the shadows gathering behind its veil. The flash isn't as bright; the storm has moved farther off, to someplace where it's power is undisputed.

In the last dying rays, rebounding from the rocks, an apparition is now seen standing before the ruin. In the now total darkness, it is yet still seen as smoke blowing on the wind. An arm, blacker than any dark night, is raised and points East: towards the mouth of the valley. A collective breath; a moment as long as the world's agony of thought at the impending doom it upholds on it's crust.

The figure (..or is it just a shadow...?) takes a flowing step into the East. No sudden vain assault of light is needed to see now. The hosts follow, and from their eyes falls a red light; mixed from the oceans of both Dark Fire and blood that lies in their shattered souls. They stream East, and if they needed it they could have seen every rock as they marched by that foul Light.

Even those gleams however cannot sunder the Darkness that surrounds the Presence at their head. As it strides, it draws the very Night unto itself, storing up terror to unleash upon the waking world under the very Suns as they burn in the noon sky. Only a Black Fire smolders in it's eye. The World will change, for hell has been unleashed.

...Calhoun sat straight up on his cloak in a cold sweat. He'd seen that darkness once before, long ago, when the king still lived. Nap time was over. Rolling up his cloak, he fastened it about his broad shoulders once more, and printed off into the darkness. He, even he, THE Weaponmaster, was afraid.
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Old 01-20-2017, 03:37 AM   #7
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bump necro thread :/
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Old 01-25-2017, 06:23 PM   #8
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"Oh, so you've decided to wake up on your own..."

A modulated velvet husky voice penetrated and bounced off the walls of the cave.

"That's rather impressive, most don't."

There was a faint shuffle of footsteps about, but the exact location was unclear; Calhoun would begin to notice a familiar lead-heavy sensation overcome his body again; it was the cause of him passing out so quickly in the first place. Whom ever was there, took a few more steps about; any food that he had ate previously would start to feel as if it were about to erupt from his throat.

"I'm not one that enjoys needless killings, so I'm giving you the option to be fully honest here. If I deem you are telling the truth, I'll let you go, buut...." There was a short pause, accompanied with a quick laugh. "If I feel as though you are lying to me, I'm going to kill you. It would certainly save me the trouble of looking for food."
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Old 04-12-2017, 05:17 PM   #9
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...
Jerzy sat in the corner of the dark room watching you sleep. The Land O' Lakes unsalted butter he had smeared over his entire body in preparation for the rituals had started to film as it dried, but he wasn't worried because he still had some change from that $20 bill he stole from his grandma and Costco had a sale on butter. His only regret was not bringing more gasoline to huff on. He hoped he had remembered to tape that fishing show he liked so much, "Haulin' Bass". Hello darkness my old fren...
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