Flames of Legacy
Posted 26 December 2010 - 01:09 AM
A shadow. That is what people called it. For that is the only thing people could describe it as, for shadows are shapeless, dark and above all things dangerous because no one could ever be certain of what lurked inside it. But as it spread through the land like a plague, people then referred to it as a curse when entire villages and towns died off in the dead of the night. The bodies of men, women and children, scattered in the streets and in their homes and as cold as the winter winds that blew once morning shined upon the desolate dwellings. It was only when horrible screams could be heard from other villages that it became commonly known as the terror. So it fell upon the leaders of the land to call upon their champions to do battle with this faceless demon. Men took to arms and with home made charms and blessed their swords in hopes of defeating whatever it was that brought such devastation to the land.
Their heroism was in vain, though their cowardice was not.
As the homegrown valiant fought desperately to fend off the dark reach of the shadow, falling one by one as their blood stained the earth they swore to protect, a select few were chosen to live that terrible night. Was it either their will to live of their fear of death, one may never know for sure. But to their homes and to their leaders those branded as cowards brought with them the identity of the one who has ravaged the land.
A wraith, a particular kind of shade known for maliciousness and unrelenting torment of the poor souls is chooses. But what was the most astonishing point about this creature was it's solitary nature, for no wraith traveled alone for they normally were servants to a greater evil, messengers of necromancers and evil sorcerers. For the dog to have no master was unbelievable and also most distressing for if their was no master behind the servant, this death would only continue. But what was most frightening was not the beast itself, but it's next location. Resden, the capital of the country and within the city was a population of over 10,000. More than any mere town or village, it was the city the country rested upon for commerce and protection. The fall of the capital would mean the end of the nation.
So it was decided that the people called for the champions of Verden, knights who marched under the emerald banner with the white castle. For years they used a portion of the land and called it home. Now after so many years it was time for them to repay the people for their kindness. Sornaiid called upon the Hall of Heroes for their protection and salvation. Without another word, they sent their fastest messenger to the mountain stronghold of the knights. He explained the terror to the best of his abilities, motivated by the fears of the people he became a grand orator to his audience. And upon quick deliberation, the White Council decided to send an entire legion of their strongest. The task of leading this soldiers was appointed to Pharos Incendia. A master mage who commanded an inferno of flame. His past valor and experience had made him an exceptional asset to the Hall, no one questioned his loyalties or his ability to command the knights. Incendia quickly agreed to the arrangement and half a day later marched that legion to Resden to prepare for the onslaught.
The lead knight of the council, Sir Jericho was furious of the idea of sending that many of their knights to protect the city in case of an attack by their enemies in the south. The remaining members of the council overturned the objections of their leader and permitted the use of their numbers. The weather grew dreadfully cold as the knights entered the city, fighting aganist those who wished to flee before the terror reached the city. The knights knew why they had been sent to protect this city, but the fear in the people's eyes and in the whispers in the air were unforeseen, even by Pharos himself who was far from a stranger of the tragic and turbulent times of this era. It took no time for the knights to take their places, watching over the city and inspecting the shadows for this demon. The skies grew dark from the east of the city, an ill omen or peculiar weather. Regardless, something was coming to Resden. However, no one expected that timing would be so perfect.
The wraith crept to the city that very night, uninterested in who dared to stand in it's way.
(Part II for Monday)
Posted 27 December 2010 - 06:59 PM
The knight reporting was Sir Ferdinand Einz, a senior knight that had accompanied Pharos on many expeditions and was one of the mages most trusted subordinates.
"We cannot be held responsible for those who have fled. Their lives are in their own hands now." The mage turned from Einz and looked back towards the dark clouds looming overhead from the east. He clenched his staff, a sort of habit he had developed in times of stress and worry.
"Have more knights positioned to the eastern wall."
Einz paused, confused by the sudden order.
"Pardon my rudeness sir, but for as long as I have known you sir, you always look to the strangest signs for clues or hints. What do those clouds tell you?"
Pharos turned back to Einz, almost reluctantly away from the dreary clouds.
"It isn't the clouds I am concerned with. It's a feeling they give me. Almost like a sort of . . . emptiness."
Einz bowed respectfully and turned back to fortify the east wall. Pharos briefly watched him go as his eyes turned back to the sky.
* * *
Night had finally come to the city of Resden, the streets lit by numerous torches to drive away as much darkness as possible. From what they had been told, this terror crept in the darkness before it struck and so it was imperative in their eyes to illuminate as much of the city as possible. The streets were barren, save for the Hall Knights that patrolled the streets as others kept watch over the city walls. As those on the eastern wall looked on patiently, a young knight noticed a peculiar detail in the darkness of the night.
"Where are the stars?"
The other knights looked to the sky and noticed that there were no stars to be seen in the sky. As panic was about to spread, a senior knight gracefully slapped the back of their heads.
"The city is too brightly lit to see the stars you dolts! The last thing we need is to cause such panic! Now keep quiet!"
The knights were silenced by the words of their senior knight and maintained watch over the darkness. Although each of them had an idea of what this terror was, no one knew precisely what it would appear as. It was then the the torches on the eastern wall all went dark and the stars in the sky shone brightly.
* * *
Soon after all light had left the east part of the city, the cries of knights could be heard from all corners of the city. It was as though a cloak had begun to envelope the city and from the infernal curtain was a multitude of grotesque and sickly arms, thin and black with hands that reached out with sharp and sickle-like fingers. The knights fought back as best they could, some managing to sever hands to retreat back as others were grabbed and tossed like rag dolls into walls and towers. Whatever damage inflicted on the wraith did not seem to affect it greatly as it's attacks did not cease in their viciousness.
"The second platoon has been completely wiped out, the first and third are doing their best to fight the demon off!"
"Any sign of reinforcements!?"
"I don't know! We have to hold it off before it takes anymore ground!"
The two knights were quickly grabbed in the sharp talons of their foe and dragged into the darkness. As the lights went out one by one, so did the knights who did what they could against their foe. It wasn't long before the wraith came towards the barracks that held inside of it the remaining citizens of the city. Within moments, it would devour them gluttonously as it approached the gates. Several knights remained as they prepared to fend off the demon, sir Einz standing with them to hold the line.
"DEMON! You shall not pass! Men, prepare yourselves!"
As it reached to strike them down, a massive wall of flames burst in front of its reach. The fire stood upon the grassy earth underneath, yet it did not ignite. The wraith turned around to find the source of the phenomenon as Pharos stood with his staff raised.
"SIR PHAROS! WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?" Cried Einz as the flames sealed him and the other knights back.
"I want you to trust me Sir Einz, the demon is beyond you. Please be ready to defend the barracks in case I should fall."
"Well played mortal. A good leader knows when to have his pawns withdraw from the slaughter." The shade replied.
Pharos, shocked by the revelation that it could speak.
"What witchery is this?" Pharos asked.
"Oh, I can do so much more than speak Sir Pharos Incendia of the Hall of Heroes. From the souls I have absorbed into myself I have gained such power. Such knowledge. So much so that I have become the "terror" of which these people speak of in hushed voices."
"You know my name?"
"Yes, I've had quite a good share of the souls of those knights you sent to protect the eastern wall. I should thank you for positioning them, fire mage."
Pharos winced as the wraith mocked him. Without another word, he pushed his hand forward and ignited a burst of fire that shot towards the wraith. Like a spider, it leaped above and out of the way as it landed behind the smoldering crater in the ground. This would be the beginning to a fight to the death that would shape both the wraith and Pharos.
(Part 3 tomorrow)
Posted 29 December 2010 - 12:14 AM
"Crafty mage, that's not ordinary fire." He said, several of his remaining hands beginning to glow brightly. From his clawed hands came the wraith counter as orbs of magic shot into the sky and from their elevated heights came crashing towards the earth like lightning. Pharos raised his staff, producing a shield of flames to protect himself, almost as though he raised a curtain of fire above himself. His defenses were in vain as the white and black lights pierced through the barrier, although the mage was quick enough to evade the attacks. The mage waved his staff, conjuring a mass of fire that he began churning in the air. With a mighty swing, he redirected the spinning flames towards the wraith as it took the form of a mighty dragon. The incoming inferno acted as if it were an actual beast rather than an enchantment, roaring and breathing flames viciously at the wraith.
The wraith was cast aflame as the fire dragon, a brilliant light that could be seen for miles. Pharos kept his staff raised as he controlled his flames, although he felt it was certain the wraith would perish. However, the many hands of the wraith pierced through the flames, the dragon dissipating into embers slowly as it fell to the ground. There, standing within the midst of that hellish scene it stood as its vaporous body waved gently in the flames. Pharos lowered his staff, considering other options.
"A conjurer of CHEAP TRICKS, that is all you are PHAROS INCENDIA!" Cried the wraith.
"Have you taken the souls of only the vain and arrogant, wraith? If you have taken the souls of the brave Hall Knights then you should know that my power has not been exercised in full!"
"And soon that power shall be mine!" The wraith shouted.
A multitude of arms grew from its body and the shade glided toward Pharos at an unruly speed. Pharos knew he could not evade the wraith's charge and followed through with raising his hand to create a pillar of flame to discourage its course. It worked, only to have the wraith change his angle only to attack from the side.
The wraith successfully managed to land several strikes at Pharos, his talon-like claws ripping his robes and flesh. Pharos quickly send several balls of fire shooting towards the wraith, also landing direct hits on the wraith and sending the unearthly demon away. The wraith vanished into the darkness, away from the fire and the light to use the cover of night to regroup and attack. Pharos, clenching his wounds as they ached in pain thought to remove the barrier around the knights but remaining uncertain as to whether or not it was truly safe enough to do such a thing. A section of fire extinguished, the knights running out to meet whatever waiting for them. In relief, they found that Pharos was still standing.
"Sir Pharos! You have defeated the demon!" Cried one of the knights.
They joyful expressions turned sour as they saw his wounded state. The mage raised his hand, telling them not to proceed.
"No, the battle for the city continues. The demon has taken to hiding in the shadows, this night is far from over."
The large sir Einz pushed aside the other knights that were coming through as he rushed to Pharos' side.
"Sir Pharos let us take to the streets! We can aid you in disposing of the blasted shade." Einz pleaded.
"No Sir Einz, I have told you that this demon is beyond any of you and because of my poor judgment we have lost many men in a sort span of time. I want you to take care of guarding the people of the city while I take after the wraith." Pharos said, looking around the area for anything sudden.
"But please let us-"
"Gather all remaining knights from the city walls. I'm placing you in charge in protecting them Einz. This is a direct order."
Unwillingly, Pharos began to close the larger wounds with the fire he conjured from his palm.
* * *
Hours had passed since the beginning of this battle. As lights danced from Pharos many attacks burst in the vacant streets as he hunted the wraith down, who had tried multiple sneak attacks from the shadows of the city in hopes of exploiting Pharos' blind spot. After the first few hits the wraith landed on the master mage, he refused to allow the same kind of negligence to occur again. Eventually, the sneak attacks and sudden counters lead the two to the center of Resden, a few blocks away from the barracks. Pharos had tried his best to keep the wraith from coming back too close to that spot in hopes of protecting the people it kept. However, it seemed as though the wraith had just be tiring Pharos out intentionally. The two faced off as the scorching fire around them illuminated the crashed and broken city steets.
"I must say I am very surprised Pharos Incendia, you are much stronger than I gave you credit for. But you have grown tired as you chased me throughout the city and it will not be long till I claim your soul . . ."
The wraith lunged forward, all his available arms reaching out to clench Pharos and rend him asunder. However, the mage had grown accustomed to his attacks and from the stone embedded in his staff came several steams of fire that shifted into the forms of arms themselves. The wraith wrestled with the various flames, clenching and pushing each other back until one of them would give out. As the flicking embers flying off the flames of his staff dancing past his amber eyes, Pharos did all he could to overpower the wraith. This stalemate would only serve to drain him of his strength, an ultimatum needed to be met.
Pharos held his staff with one of his hands as he pushed his free hand forward, shotting a burst of fire at the wraith's main body, making a direct hit on the shade. He shouted in agony as the rest of its body was engulfed in flames. As the wraith fell, Pharos took no time to follow up with another casting. He planted his staff on the ground, his second hand making a pointing gesture to the sky. The ground below him sparked and suddenly burst into flames, spinning around him to his waist as the stone in his staff began to glow a brilliant white. His eyes began to glow as he started chanting as flames began flying up into the sky.
The wraith slowly got back up, ready to strike as he began to hear the chanting. It was an old tongue, ancient words that were not so easily spoken. The wraith had learned some of this language in its many conquests across the land but it did not understand it all. Only one part was audible to it . . .
. . . AND AS I COME CRASHING FROM THE HEAVENS YOU SHALL KNOW MY FACE FOR I AM THE ARBITER OF JUDGMENT THAT CRIES YOUR NAME IN THE DARK AND THE LIGHT! ALL WHO COME BEFORE ME SHALL BE ERASED FROM THIS WORLD AND WHEN THAT TWILIGHT HOUR COMES YOU SHALL KNOW MY NAME FOR I AM FEAR! ALL POWERFUL, ALL ENCOMPASSING AND ALL CONSUMING! NOW: EMBRACE ETERNITY!
The wraith felt a sort of warmth on his body, a sudden glow coming from the sky. As it looked up he noticed a blinding white light, growing larger and larger at a startling speed. A massive sphere of white fire came hurtling down from the sky. The wraith changed his form, growing large and shapeless as it attempted to take hold of the massive attack.
From the barracks, all anyone could see was a blinding light from all sides. From the wilderness around the city, it appeared as though the moon had fallen.
* * *
OoC: Wow, this is taking a lot longer to write that I thought. Looks like it's a Christmas/New Years Special.
Edited by JRPomazon, 29 December 2010 - 12:16 AM.
Posted 01 January 2011 - 02:34 AM
However, the truth is not as glorified as one may believe.
The fire mage was exhausted, his robes in tatters and smoldering. The entire area for several blocks around him was burnt black, stone reduced to ash and the earth reduced to dust. If he had used this spell to its fullest potential, Resden would be decimated. There would have been numerous casualties if the city had been populated as usual. As he leaned on his staff for support, breathing heavily as he tried to gather enough strength to head back, he watched in horror as a grotesque shape began to glow and reform before his very eyes. Their was a sort of snapping, breaking noise followed with a sort of howl. The black mass that was the wraith was getting back up. Unbelievable as it was that this creature was able to survive the magnitude of that spell.
"Impossible . . . it still persists . . . " muttered the mage.
As its cold eyes stared straight at Pharos, the master mage was left with few options.
"Youuuuu . . . I'll killll youuuuuu . . . I cannot be destroyed by . . . you . . ."
The wraith began to shift into a larger shape, becoming a sort of black vapor.
"I, Crowe will become all powerful . . . so that even the GODS will bow to meeee . . . "
Pharos stood straight, using what little strength he had to get on his feet. He contemplated to himself what he was about to do. Had this creature been weaker, there would be no need for any of this. But just how much? 1 soul weaker? 100 souls weaker? Just when did this creature go beyond his reach? He shook his head and dismissed what could not be dealt with. There was no time now, the luxury of what ifs and future perspectives were far gone.
His staff began to glow, a brilliant light shining forth from the stone embedded inside the top. A large sigil appeared below the two of them, separate magic circles underneath their forms.
"I cannot allow such a grotesque future . . . even if it means sacrificing my own!"
The wraith found itself bound by magic, struggling in vain to even move its ephemeral body.
"NO! CURSE YOU! WHAT ARE YOU-"
Pharos raised his hand as his other held fast to the staff. The symbols that were glowing underneath their bodies rushed around the wraith and sank into its body, branded into it with seering fire. He shouted in horrible pain as Sir Einz and the other knights finally arrived on the scene.
"Infernal creature! Your ambition ends here! Now be sealed!"
Its body was being compressed into a sphere, glowing bright red and white with the sigil marks etched into it. The master mage called the sphere towards him, he raised arm pulling it. The sphere came to Pharos as it rushed into his chest. He had nowhere to seal it properly, so he used himself as a container. The lights faded instantly, twinkling away in the dark of the night as Pharos stood over the charred earth. He fell to his knees shortly after, the other knights rushing to him to carry him back to the barracks. The night was finally coming to an end.
* * *
The hall knights scrambled around looking for their superior officer who was missing from his room the following morning. They did not suspect fowl play from anyone in the barracks, although their fears did provoke such thoughts periodically. Outside, the fire mage sat on a outlook that was made to simulate an archer's tower for training purposes looking at the grey cloudy sky. When he awoke, his robes neatly folded on the chair next to what appeared to be his bed for the night. He looked down over his chest to find that the sigil marks were bore into his chest. The sealing was a success, the wraith was a prisoner within Pharos' body.
"Go tell the others, I found him."
Sir Ferdinand Einz, the first of the knights to locate him. As expected of the senior knight.
"I hope I have not worried you Sir Einz, I was merely taking in the morning air." Pharos called out.
"After all you've been through, I wouldn't be cruel and try to stop you." Einz replied.
The knight walked up to Pharos and stood to see the sky. A small tingle on the cheek, followed by another on the hand. Snowfall.
"What happened out there last night? You used that Holy spell for starters, and then that other spell, that sigil circle . . . I have never seen you preform that before."
Pharos remained silent.
"And those markings on your chest-"
"There are things Sir Einz that are far too old and too dangerous to discuss." Pharos interrupted.
"Last night could have spelled disaster for all of Verden, we were a hair's length away from destruction. We can never forget how everything can change in an instant and so we must be vigilant."
"Of course sir." Einz replied.
Pharos watched as a tiny snowflake fell onto his lap.
"Tell me sir Einz, what day is it today?" Pharos asked.
"It is the 25th day of the twelfth moon sir." Einz replied.
Pharos looked up at the sky once again.
"Today is a good day."
(fin: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year)