The Day the Wind Died
Posted 15 May 2011 - 04:17 PM
"Juvenal told me that the spears had to be wielded together or else they would be too dangerous to use. They have a strange power, one spear can switch to it's counterpart instantly. And to make matters worse, they look the same when they aren't being used. It's like they have a mind of their own. During the battle with Juvenal, he disarmed me of the black spear and used it against me. The white spear became increasingly lighter when I used it alone, light enough to be ripped out of my hands and tossed away. I suspect that something similar would happen if I used the black spear separately as well."
The truth was that Jordan knew very little about the spears themselves, where they came from or how to properly control them. Did they respond to his will in battle or did they perhaps operate on their own agenda? They were powerful, perhaps even too powerful for him to use by himself. But he would deal with that later.
On the horizon, a plume of smoke bellowed from the snowy mountainside. A fire? Maybe even a lodge for travelers. If it was, they could rest for a moment and warm up a bit, perhaps eat something.
The party stopped in their tracks, something felt of out place.
"What do you suppose that is?" Jordan asked, raising his arm to call out one of his spears.
Posted 16 May 2011 - 07:26 AM
Jara could hear the sound , and it sounded bad. Like something huge was lurking in the white, just waiting to pounce on them. Like it was about to strike any moment. Jara could see the party reading for battle so he stopped leaning on his stick and got in what seemed like the most appropriate position to wield it as a weapon. He felt the hair that he once had stand up on the back of his neck and he was at the alert, whatever this thing was he wasn't going to let it kill them, he had way too much to live for. Like the kiss of a somewhat attractive woman in the right light if you skew your eyes a little bit and like that kind of thing.
Then time stood still for a moment. It did. I promise you.
It was as if it just stopped and you could feel the slightest whisper of the wind on your back, and watch that leaf fall slowly from that tree, but even that was stuck in mid air. Jara was able to notice how white everything was, and look at the surrounds that he was in, the wildness of everything out here, from the smoke coming from what might have been that lodge, and that fire from inside it, and quietness of it out here compared to the constant rambling noise from inside the cavernous city they had been inside. and he looked at the expressions on the faces of his party, of the people that he hoped he'd be able to call his companions, from the fear on the look of some to the readiness in others and the obliviousness of the other. He was able to look at the tracks they'd made as they walked, and he could easily find his way back to a point where it hadn' been covered up by fresh snow, or washed away by the wind at night. It was as if for that instant he could see into time from an outsiders point of view and take a mental picture, and for that little moment he appreciated the ability to be out here in the wilderness with random strangers. It was really quite the romantic and precious moment in time that he hoped he'd carry to his grave.
.....and then the moment was gone as they turned around and saw the Grizzly Bear roar in anger or hunger or delight in seeing its next meal presented to it so conveniently. This thing was a huge mother of a bear, and Jara whilst crapping his pants was able to see the little bear cub in the distance ready to pick at its food because it wasn't the right flavour, or it didn't feel hungry yet. This is where Jara would find out if he'd really chosen the right people to go on this adventure with. He just hoped he'd packed that spare pair of underpants.
Posted 16 May 2011 - 11:12 AM
Shadow'll probably do that just to irk Solomon, anyway.
"I'll be in the glassblowing workshop on South Norcress. I've got the wires and runes all ready to go; I just have to blow the bulbs and install things. It's time consuming more than difficult, so you'll probably get done first."
Edited by Egann, 16 May 2011 - 11:14 AM.
Posted 17 May 2011 - 01:48 AM
The waiter came by for his payment, which Shadow obliged to give in Egann's stead. He did promise himself to pay for him since his bomb stockpile helped him and his men escape from the Spire. He got up from his seat.
"Well then, since time is of the essence, I'll get right to it. See you in a couple of hours or so."
He exited the bar, and addressed his men in the alleyway.
"Looks like those drinks I promised you all are going to have to wait. We have work to do tonight."
Their curiousity was immediately piqued.
(OoC: Couldn't think of much else to say. I'm tired. x_x)
Edited by SL the Pyro, 17 May 2011 - 01:49 AM.
Posted 20 May 2011 - 12:57 AM
"Will this be enough for ya?" The viking asked the metal man. Turtlelot looked at the sack the man had brought him, it was full of supplies for any survivors he happened to come across while in the Cursed Lands. He looked at the viking and replied "Yes, that will do."
"Are you sure you don't want anyone to accompany you on this mission?" the Calatian asked. Turtlelot paused for a brief moment, then replied "Yes, I'm sure. After the last mission into the Cursed Lands, we don't need anymore losses. I will handle fine by myself." The Calatian, looking a little frustrated, replied back "Well then suit yerself." he said before walking off. The metal man grabbed the sack and continued on his way.
It wasn't long after he had left the ruins when Turtlelot realized that he had no weapons, aside from the Sword of Diel. He had accidentally left them all back in the Labyrinth. Backtracking now would just waste more time, he needed to hurry up and be on his way before he was sidetracked again. He had wanted to leave and fetch Winston immediately after the battle, but he couldn't just leave the Calatians in that condition, a least a little morale boost was needed before leaving once again.
It was then that Turtlelot remembered that a small weapons shop had opened near the village, Thor's Hammer he recalled. He could just swing by and pick up a weapon on his way out of Calatia. Turtlelot's heavy feet crunched loudly in the snow as he made his way through the village. The villagers had finally gotten used to seeing the iron giant in the past few months, since he had come out of his isolation to help. They no longer stared in amazement or fear.
Turtlelot finally reached his destination on the edge of the village. As he entered the shop, he saw that nobody was there, but he did spot a small bell on the counter. He walked up to the bell and gave it a small ring. After a few moments, a man walked in from the back room, but to Turtlelot's surprise it was the man from Voodoo Island, Ikiosho.
"What are you doing here, I thought Selena assigned you to one of her personal archer units?" Turtlelot questioned. The man hesitated for a moment, then replied "To be honest, I'm not sure. I was waiting since we returned from the island, and I eventually just opened up this shop and started selling the weapons I had in that shed. I suppose they didn't need me afterall."
This news shocked Turtlelot, he had seen this man's abilities personally, he knew what potential he had. To allow this warrior's potential to go to waste would be absurd, and the metal man would not allow it. Perhaps it was a mixture of pity and nostalgia, since he once knew an Ikiosho back in his own time, but Turtlelot decided to go against his earlier decision.
"Well it just so happens that I am about to embark on another journey to the Cursed Lands." Turtlelot said "But I'm in need of some assistance." One of Ikiosho's eyebrows raised upward "Go on." he replied to the iron giant. "Well, I happened to have lost most of my weaponry on the first trip there, and I'm in need of some new ones, say perhaps... a halberd?" Ikiosho grinned "I've got just what you need." he said with a hint of eagerness in his voice. The young warrior rushed to the back room and came back with an impressive looking halberd. Spearhead top, nice smooth sharp axe blade, and a decently long handle. Turtlelot inspected the weapon and replied "How much?" "It's on the house." Ikiosho said. Turtlelot looked up "Is it now? Well then, my thanks to you." he replied as he started to head towards the door.
He stopped just short of the door. "Oh, and I also need one more thing." the metal man said while turning around. "I'll be needing a good assistant, if you think you'll be up to it." Joy overcame the young man's face. "I most certainly am." Ikiosho said with a grin. "Well then, get your stuff lad, we've got a journey ahead of us."
The two left the shop and began their journey out of Snowpeak and down the Calatian mountain.
Posted 20 May 2011 - 03:09 AM
"Jara! Move out of the way!"
He pushed the animal back, the bear landing on it's front paws as it roared fiercely at Jordan.
"Heh, not taking no for an answer then."
The bear charged, it's paws trampling over the white snow and sending it away like dust. Jordan readied himself and thrust his spear at the bear, striking it's side. The beast howled in pain as Jordan quickly pulled the spear from the beast's front right side. The grizzly recoiled and continued to howl and roar. Intimidation till the end. The bear backed away, it's blood falling on the white snow. Jordan stood, sticking his spear into the snow as he watched the bear and it's young cub walk off.
* * *
Solomon stood on a balcony, looking at the empire from the heights of the Arbiter's spire. He had much work ahead of him and it felt as though time was closing it's maw on him. A pressure, a sensation, not a inkling from the darkness resting in the back of his mind but a consumption, a raging and formidable, staring directly at him with cold, dead eyes. What was he doing? Was it right for him to take stewardship of the empire in the goddess' stead? Could he? His hands had long since been stained with blood, there were many even here in this glorious yet waning land who would never recognize Solomon as a true keeper of Koridai.
Kill them, they are in the way of progress. He must take charge because he is the last of the Goddess' inner circle, he must do it because there is not a soul left in this empire who can. It is the burden left to him and a burden he happily accepts.
Solomon left the view and returned inside. Why this doubt? Why always doubt? Why was he so plagued with this sensation? As he pondered these riddles, he held his head as if he were suffering from a great mental burden. The sounds of footsteps became more audible as he held his head.
"Lord Solomon . . . are you well sir?"
"I am fine." Solomon replied, lifting his head from his hand.
"Well sir, we've apprehended the suspect in question, the last person seen talking to former General Shadow before his betrayal."
"He is detained in the room I have requested?" Solomon asked, straightening himself out.
"Yes m'lord . . . she has."
She? The general arranged for a harlot before his farewell? Without saying another word, Solomon took leave the quaint room he resided in and headed towards the confinement room in question. Another conspirator perhaps, another link into the plot against his life. Oh this would be brilliant, he'd have the heads of each and every coward who sided with Shadow and display them in the city square, a reminder that all those against the empire would surely be wiped off the face of the earth. Solomon's hands were clenching and releasing tension in rhythm with every foot step and every beat of his heart. He needed something. Something to break this weary spell from his mind, to sharpen reality to a point. Cleave. Cleave. Cleave. Cleave. In his mind he repeated that word over and over, a mantra that he said like a charm in his mind. Cleave through each and every step and devour it. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes . . .
Solomon opened the door, entering the special room as the inquisitor waited outside. To Solomon's surprise, a woman in a white and gray robe sat quietly in a chair, her hands folded and her composure calm and collected. She showed no fear, at least outwardly. Her veil was taken off, revealing long, chestnut brown hair and her blue eyes. The nurse from before? He was curious about her before, this must explain her callous behavior from before.
"So we meet again, nurse." Solomon said.
She was silent. Solomon took his sword, wrapped in white cloth and placed it by the door. A sign of good will. A sign that he had no intention of murdering her with a blade.
"Do you know why you are here? Why I am personally taking the time to talk to you like this?"
She remained silent still. Solomon, in no mood to bother with such a lack of cooperation, walked over to the woman and grabbed her by the throat and tossed her out of the chair. She fell to the ground rather quickly, her hair tossed about and in her face.
"You will ANSWER me when I speak to you. I have no reserves about making you suffer for as long as I can." Solomon said, glaring at her from above. As she slowly got back up to her feet, he showed no signs of being swayed by Solomon's feat of strength. But it was nothing but a face. Solomon saw it, a small glimmer of fear in her eyes. She hid it well, but not well enough to go unnoticed by the Grand Marshal himself.
"Same question, do you know why you are here." Solomon asked.
"I am here because you believe I have committed a crime against you." She replied.
Solomon slapped the nurse across the face, sending her to the floor again.
"You are under suspicion of being a traitor to the empire by conspiring to kill me. How do you plead under these charges?"
As the nurse got to her feet, he realized that this wasn't an interrogation. This was a trial and Solomon was playing Judge, Jury and Executioner.
"I had no part in such a plot m'lord."
Solomon looked straight into her eyes. Nothing. Not a single tell in her voice or her actions that would give a single subtle hint of fabrication. But she was quite afraid. It was becoming more clear. Afraid of him? Afraid of being killed? Keep pressing.
"Then explain your relationship with former General Shadow." He asked.
"I met him several years ago in the former lands of Sornaiid, before the Cataclysm m'lord. I hadn't seen him until recently here in the Arbiter's Spire."
She was telling the truth.
"Sornaiid? Is that your native land?"
"Yes m'lord. They were once my home."
"Ah, so you are a survivor of the old world. Just like the former General."
Solomon grabbed her and slammed her to the wall. Her guard was broken, her fear was more than visible. Solomon's blood began to boil as their eyes locked.
"I once hailed from the southern deserts of Verden myself. Long, hot days underneath an unrelenting sun while the nights chilled men to the bone. Much harsher than any winter you might have seen up in your cozy seaside country. Not that it matters anymore, both countries are dead now. But back to business, why were you talking with the general?"
Solomon released her, taking a few steps back as the nurse attempted to gather her courage once more. But a torn curtain seldom veils anything after it has be compromised.
"Nothing. He said nothing of importance to-"
"DO NOT LIE TO ME WOMAN. WHAT DID YOU SPEAK OF?"
Her eyes grew wide with fear, trying her hardest not to step away and hold her ground.
"He told me to leave the empire . . . he said it wasn't safe here anymore . . ."
"And how did you reply to such a thing?" Solomon asked, his eyes glaring at her like that of a wolf.
"I told him I was grateful for the concern and left shortly after. I had no idea he was plotting to take your life m'lord-"
"What is your name?" Solomon asked.
She didn't want to reply at first, she had no idea how much he knew about her. Shadow had even expressed great concern as to whether or not Solomon knew the importance of her name. But with him, she couldn't just lie. He could tell. He had this way of knowing.
"Well the Gwen, I have an answer for your earlier question. The goddess will return to these lands. This I truly believe."
Solomon walked towards the other side of the room and grabbed his sword. Gwen looked on with terror, fearing that he knew who she was. But to her surprise and her relief, he merely placed the sword back through his belt. He headed outside the room and addressed the inquisitor who was waiting outside.
"Move her to a detailing cell, I'm not finished with this one just yet. Keep her under watch."
Solomon left the room as the inquisitor and templars moved to take Gwen to a proper cell. She lied, mostly out of fear. Her ignorance of the situation seemed genuine but there was still something she was hiding. As Solomon walked off to his other duties, inquisitor Gervais watched him the templars take Gwen away.
She looks valuable.
Posted 20 May 2011 - 09:36 PM
Days like when he was but a babe in his mother and fathers arms, and he saw the shouting and screaming going on ad couldn't understand what was going on but he knew it wasn't great so he screamed as loud as he could until his mother calmed him. He also went back to days when he was that much older and ready to go out in the yard and help his father work but feeling the stinging rebuke of his older siblings saying that he was indeed useless and one day might make a great living as a bale of hay. He was taken back to the first time he fell in love and the girl didn't feel the other way and laughed in his face while running away and telling her friends. He remembered the words "Freak" and "Useless" and the shame that he brought to his fathers face until the day he decided to up and leave and not hold them back anymore. He felt that shame, and carried it with him wherever he went, and now that he knew that his father was surely gone he still carried that guilt that he could never make his father proud.
His face was cold in the snow. He knew that he must surely lift it up and face whatever was next. All that was a lifetime ago. He was now in the twilight of his life, and could surely make something of himself now. He would be remembered for something great, and whatever this journey was about, it was sure to lead to something great.
Posted 24 May 2011 - 09:32 PM
"It wasn't going to attack again! Her cub will starve!" Eivor raised her hand to slap Synile in the face, but Synile simply caught her hand by the wrist and delivered a punch to her stomach. She coughed, and with the wind knocked out of her lungs she fell amongst the snow next to Jara.
"If the cub is hungry let it eat its' mother." Synile stormed off alone in the direction of the fire. If his memory served it was a lodge at the base of this mountain, and they had been on this mountainside for several hours already. Some rest would be welcomed.
OoC: I intended this to be longer. Hopefully my muse will return to me soon.
Posted 25 May 2011 - 04:59 AM
"Ignore him. He's without class and honor. He shall surely die a painful death. " He said as he tried to console the lady. Jara would deal with this injustice later, first he had to help the lady get her spirits back.
"Eivior, if I may use your name, Can you tell me how you came to join these two men? I wouldn't imagine such a delicate thing like you joining these for battles."
Maybe telling her story might get her spirits back.
Posted 25 May 2011 - 12:51 PM
Jara and Eivor got to their feet and began to follow the direction Synile took, Jordan followed close behind them as he could see the ronin psychopath walking towards the smoke in the distance.
You know what? SCREW IT.
Jara and Eivor felt a heavy gust come from behind them, Jordan dashing past them with immense speed towards Synile. The battle tempered veteran of the Labyrinth felt an oncoming pressure and turned around to draw his sword and block the silver pole arm held in Jordan's hands. Jordan leaped back quickly, giving some distance between the two to further shake up Synile.
"Listen, you can kill all the wildlife you want on your own damn time. Think about attacking the girl or anyone else again then you deal with me. Understand?"
Jordan then fell to the ground, an immense pain shooting throughout his body. As he slowly got back on his knees, he noticed that the spear he was holding had become pitch black. He grabbed Cain Kazen by accident. He tossed the spear aside, the pitch black spear returning to it's neutral appearance. Was this the side effect of wielding the black spear by itself? Damn it, he just had to make a statement to Synile right as he was vulnerable like this.
Posted 25 May 2011 - 06:07 PM
"Would you be her champion too? She's not but a harlot to the fledgling princess. He doesn't pay close attention to his surroundings. But I do pay attention, Whirlwind. Would you save this one, only to lose her amidst the chaos? Like... the other..?" Synile's smile grew wider. He raised the nodachi in his right hand, making sure the blade broke their eye contact. Jordan was forced to stare at the curved blade now. "We would love to taste your blood. That's no secret." It was no doubt the 'we' referred to the blade. Synile lowered the nodachi and stared into Jordan again. "But rats are meant to run in their mazes. So run. While we watch. And wait. And laugh."
The smile vanished from his face, and the light returned to Synile's eye. He had the look on his face akin to that of a drunkard realizing what he had done the night before. The look of the wolf was still in his eyes, but it was much more restrained. Synile's grip no longer felt full of the energy it once held. Synile set Jordan on his feet and returned the nodachi to its' scabbard. Remorse filled Synile's features, and the voice he spoke with now sounded world weary, and broken. "Just leave me be." Synile resumed his march ahead of the rest of the group.
"My life was never exciting," Eivor spoke to Jara, hesitation filling her every word. "Even when the Goddess cursed the lands... My parents died when I was young... And not too long after the curse Lady Selena found me. She brought me with her to Snowpeak. I became her... Well..." Eivor blushed. "I aided her. With whatever I could... Sometimes she would tell me stories. The lady had lived an abnormally long life. The tales she would tell were wonderful and fantastic... I rather envied them... Then one day, I heard word that Lady Selena wasn't coming back... For months I felt trapped in Snowpeak. And that's when Synile appeared. They used to be comrades, him and the lady... It was like one of her stories had come to life! It became apparent soon after meeting him that he was the ticket I needed. Finally, the adventure was mine to have! Synile only was mentioned briefly in the stories Lady Selena had told me. The way he spoke of him... he sounded like a fool. But I suppose a fool amongst demons should still be treated as a demon..." Eivor looked at Jara and smiled, but the sadness in her eyes betrayed her. "I hardly know either of these men. But I can't stay at Snowpeak any longer."
Posted 26 May 2011 - 02:09 AM
Jara loved ideas, the new things that change things around them, change the way people react to things and swap generalisations with new found facts. He loved bringing this change into the world, not through confrontation but through creativity and realisations. A new idea is like stepping into an icy pool of water on a frozen morning; it can't help but change what you see around you and the second you emerge from your chilly bath the world springs to life around you.
The girl, she was older than her years, and the sadness could be felt in her voice. Jara not knowing exactly what to do, but wanting to do something, saw a chance to make her smile.
"Snowpeak is behind you little lady. What lies ahead is unknown, like water running down a stream; the path that lies ahead will change and twist and turn, and the little drop of water will find itself in a rushing waterfall, full of life and energy, always pushing forwards. Adventure will never be far from you, and many journeys shall you take."
Jara surprised himself as he spoke. He wasn't afraid of words, but he didn't expect that to come out of his mouth.
Edited by Goose, 26 May 2011 - 02:12 AM.
Posted 27 May 2011 - 12:56 PM
Unless, of course, the item you're making is intended to be disposable. And being strapped to a seven pound wad of Big Boom namebrand explosives--Egann had read the dynamyte's label while they were being chased by a frigate--tends to have that effect.
Making the detonators was a reasonably simple affair. You need a lightning rune, a length of copper wire, and a wad of molten glass. Bend the copper wire into a U shape, twist it several times, flatten the top and stick the prongs into the rune and you have the base.
That's when things start to get difficult. To get the base into the glass bulb, you would blow the bulb, then slide the base down the blowing tube until the flattened top of the base stuck in the molten glass at the top. The old Alliance version just sealed that up, but Egann needed something with a bit more range and clarity. He went one step further and, after waiting for the glass to cool, poured quicksilver down the tube and let gravity, the weight of the quicksilver, and air pressure evacuate the bulb.
When the detonator went off, the copper wire would catch a flicker of energy, releasing the lightning rune's energy both back into the wire to send a signal to other receivers and into the explosives it would be attached to.
Simple doesn't mean easy to make, though. Now we just have to wait for Shadow to bring us the doozy and get this party started.
Posted 28 May 2011 - 01:02 AM
He looked down at the spear, covering in a dusting of snow and ice on the ground. It appeared completely normal, when either the white or black spears are released from their master's hold they assume this identical neutral appearance, making it almost impossible to tell them apart from each other. Jordan cautiously took the spear and placed it away with the others, not caring to see if the spear had changed to black or white. The idea of that pain, that paralyzing shock that shot through his system like a bolt of lightning, was that the cost of using the spear of betrayal on it's own? Without any intention to use it's counterpart? Just what would it take to master these artifacts? Jara and Eivor came up to him, heading down the mountain like Synile before them. No more time for questions, just keep moving.
The roles had been cast and the players took their places for the coming events.
The mad man, whose sword sang like a choir of madness compelled by bloodlust and darker demons who he drowned in gin. Trekking through the snow, descending towards the world below.
While the young woman is lost to herself and world seeking a peace that was always so beyond her grasp.
The bard who had known only scorn and insult by his fellow man, also seeking truths of life in this world while little knowing of the role he would play in this grand scheme.
The tactician, plotting to save his nation as he toils away in secret in hopes of preventing a tragedy. while the traitor, self serving and scornful, may yet find himself along side those who would prevent calamity
The general and his bird, rushing off to glory and victory as he and his men take to arms for one final mission.
The grievous fools, hiding behind their scarlet robes as they fancy themselves puppet masters of a nation.
The maiden in white, trapped in a collapsing empire no longer believing that the day would come that her savior would arrive to take her away. Her only comfort is in the hopelessness that has taken hold of her heart as she is filled with resentment and could have been happiness.
The faithful steward, holding onto the fragile belief that one day his goddess would return to him and this nation to the brink of madness. Common sense has become blasphemy as his mind is poisoned by his twisted faith in a shining future that will never be. He steps ever closer to the brink, coming all to close to a point in which there is no salvation. The loss of his shattered humanity and the coming of the purge.
And the Whirlwind Dragoon, the wayward wandering warrior driven by a vows and promises made long ago, who had faced monsters and devils to move forward and make right was was wronged, to seek that which was lost and to reclaim the past once again. Hiding the darkness in his very heart from even himself, he would soon come to realize that there is no running from the truth he had so desperately tried to ignore and forget. Whisked away by the wind, blissfully unaware that every breeze that took him higher and higher would only be followed by a great descent back towards the ground. And that force would split him apart like a leaf. Huddling in his cloak, following down the mountain slope that would lead him towards the land of the goddess. Taking him closer to that final hour.
Ever closer to the day the wind will die.
Edited by JRPomazon, 28 May 2011 - 01:16 AM.
Posted 28 May 2011 - 02:09 AM
Indeed, they had done splendidly, and now they stood before the secret stash of dynamyte in all of its glory. It was a dank, mid-sized room, where carefully-placed rows of the potent explosive reached the ceilings in some places. The thought of all of this being in one place... it was scary, especially to the one who had witnessed what just one stick of it could do, Shadow remembering the gaping hole blown into the hull of that New Alliance ship. If this all went off now...
It was best not to think about it.
Sure, it was tempting to take a bunch of it and them just detonate whatever remained to give Solomon a taste of what was to come, but he knew this wasn't the time. No, let him find out later that half of his stores were missing so then he couldn't do anything about it. That was better. "Well... let's dig in, boys." he said, adjusting his hat. "Take as much as you can fill the wagon with, and be damn careful not to throw it or drop it or something. Take it from someone who's seen it in action: you won't be getting back up after a blast from this stuff."
Warning taken to heart, everyone got to work. It took a few moments, but they worked like a well-oiled machine and got the dynamyte moving at an acceptable pace. The vault keepers and guards wouldn't be getting up anytime soon anyway, at least not if the ex-General had a say. It was carefully and neatly placed on an available wagon they were "borrowing" that had been attached to their carriage's back.
He had to wonder though: was this going to be worth it? There were many people in the Arbiter's Grounds who could be seriously hurt in what was to come... his mind flashed to Gwen for a brief moment. Jordan would literally hunt him down kill him if something happened to her as a result of his actions.
"You seem troubled."
Well, he could at least count on Phoenix to be someone to talk to about his more personal conflicts. They were kind of the same being now, after all. "I just can't help but think this might be overkill..."
"Perhaps so, however there are times where you cannot save absolutely everyone, and must think of what benefits the majority. This is one of those times."
Phoenix had cut right to the heart of the matter, and his host knew that the spirit of fire was correct. If the madness that was the coming Purge wasn't contained, Koridai's people would be no more. Koridai itself was already long dead as far as he was concerned, but there was no reason for its citizens to suffer still because of that madman's desires. As for those still in the Arbiter's Grounds... they were loyal to Solomon already, weren't they? Except for Gwen of course, at least he hoped so, but she was a smart and strong enough woman to survive the downfall of Koridai once. She could persevere again. He shook his head of the worries, rubbing the back of his hair in semi-frustration. "Damn, I'm glad I don't try to be a textbook hero. It really sucks sometimes."
It wasn't much longer before all of the required explosive -- plus a little for themselves to make use of for their own purposes after this was all over -- was packed up, concealed with a large cloth and tied down securely to the wagon. The guards and the vault keepers had been locked inside the dynamyte storage for safe measure, and after they had done their best to make it look like nothing had happened here, the group made their way back to the designated meeting place with the goods.
There was no turning back now.
Edited by SL the Pyro, 28 May 2011 - 02:12 AM.
Posted 30 May 2011 - 01:10 AM
A swarm of red armored sentries patrolled the entrances to the city. The north, south, east and west gates were completely fortified as the entire city was placed under marshal law. The bustling commerce of the city had been brought to a halt as well, many markets and shops at a complete stand still as soldiers patrolled the streets and notified to populace of what decisions had been made by the now ruling steward of Koridai. Despite this, some places continued on with their business, mostly the pubs and food shops who would rather face an imperial slap on the wrist than see their crop go bad before they could sell it. Even still, no one protested because they were unsure and afraid of what was happening in the city. All people knew was that something very big, something very very terribly important was happening.
Within the Arbiter's Spire, the grand white stone tower that stood high above the city where the goddess herself along with the leaders and nobles did reside to govern the empire, the Arch-Inquisitor Stragos Lucien awaited the arrival of one of his more "trusted" underlings as he made sure to finalize all the orders that were to be sent out to his division of inquisitors and templars as per the orders of his superior, the Grand Marshal of the Imperial Inquisition and Steward of Koridai. His officers were adorned in fine furniture and accented in deep red drapes and carpets as his walls were covered in tapestries and a small library of books and documents. Did the Arch-Inquisitor need such adornments to fulfill his daily tasks to the people of the goddess? Of course not, but that never stopped him from getting what he wanted.
A templar sentry entered the room as he finalized a document at his desk, the greying man looking up from the paper with a face of complete sternness.
"M'Lord Lucien, Inquisitor Gervais has come to see you sir." The templar replied, wearing his imperial crimson armor.
"Show him in." Lucien replied, dotting the 'I' on the document he was signing.
The templar quickly opened the door, Gervais rudely passing by the sentry without a thought to the soldier's personal well being. It was almost as though the inquisitor took pride in the face that he was higher in rank, almost in a sadistic sort of way. The templar thought nothing of this as it happened.
"You are dismissed, thank you." Lucien said, the templar saluting the arch-inquisitor and returning to his post.
"Inquisitor Gervais, I am afraid that circumstances do not leave me with much time for idle chit-chat at this moment." Lucien said, leaning back into his luxurious chair as he folded his hands together.
"Then allow me to be brisk. Intelligence has reported that former General Shadow was spotted with his men somewhere in the East district." Gervais said, getting comfortable in one of the chair across from Lucien.
"And Solomon has not been told this?" Lucien asked.
"As per your instruction. He's going to do something again. What should we do?"
"The general is of no importance to us any longer, his role as a scapegoat has been well executed. I doubt he has many friends left in this city so I sincerely doubt he'd be stupid enough to make a fuss when more than 7000 templars and soldiers have orders to kill him on sight."
"6000? I had no idea there were that many able bodies conscripted to duty." Gervais said, his surprise very underwhelming.
"The remaining soldiers of the army who returned after the battle at Calatia's borders were plentiful in number and we've been training a multitude of templars since Solomon's disgraceful return from his expedition into the cursed lands."
"Numbers aside, what is this great purge I hear so much about? All this chatter among soldiers and all this fuss with inquisitors going door to door all over the city. What is the Grand Marshal up to I wonder?"
Lucien was becoming fed up with Gervais' coy questioning.
"My time is being wasted Gervais, please focus on the questions that matter." Lucien stated coldly. Gervais, embarrassed to have been scolded clears his throat and goes on.
"Am I to remain silent about the detection of the general sir or should I allow Lord Solomon to be involved?" Gervais asked.
"Do as you see fit, Solomon is so caught up in his own little world at this point that another distraction wouldn't come to be much of a difference. Now, is that all Gervais?"
"Well, there is the matter about . . . that, sir." Gervais said.
Lucien's attention was completely on the inquisitor.
"You have found the candidate, as per your instruction?" Lucien asked, his voice hushed.
"Yes, although Lord Solomon has shown some negative interest in this one." Gervais said, hushed as well.
"That fact makes me all the more interested. Keep her alive long enough for me to see for myself, instruct the others to do the same."
Gervais left his seat and headed out the door, although stopping short of the knob.
"What is Lord Solomon planning sir? The city is terrified of what is going on. How long does he plan to keep this Marshal Law in effect?" Gervais asked.
"Your only worries are to follow my and only my instructions Gervais. Do not forget that." Lucien ordered.
Realizing that he wasn't going to earn a sufficient answer, he decided to leave the room. Lucien leaned over to his desk, his elbows resting on the table. In all honesty, he did not have any clue as to what it was Solomon was planning in his little head of his. He had assembled an army within the limited resources of this city and was planning to do this 'purge'. No doubt it was going to be something murderous, but he was counting on that. The people would come to hate Solomon and the people would beg for a savior. The fuse had long since been lit, now it all waited on Solomon to finalize his orders.
But it was strange for Solomon to not enact his plans without some sort of rashness. He was holding back, no, he was being patient. Waiting for what though? What did Solomon have in mind? As the inquisitors went across the city, going door to door into businesses and homes, they were gathering information, helping the preparations to this maddening plan. Despite Lucien's indifference to Solomon's devices, he couldn't help but wonder what it was exactly that he was going to allow happen?
Posted 05 June 2011 - 05:51 PM
The trek down the mountain was silent, nothing but the howls of the wind to break that frigid silence. Synile remained ahead of the others, no one brave enough to follow behind him too closely for fear that he would lash out. Even Jordan knew better than to enrage him now despite his shows of bravado and lack of tact before. They reached the source of the rising smoke, a lodge built by Calatia as a checkpoint for travelers. This was clearly not Selena's idea, it showed a sense of courtesy that was foreign to her personality.
The structure was a humble size, could fit maybe two dozen men without problem plus room for the lodgemaster and others who stayed here for maintenance. As the group approached the wooden shelter, they knew that one leg of their journey was over and now they could get out of the cold and rest. The sun was setting by that time, it couldn't have been better for them.
Posted 05 June 2011 - 07:52 PM
The trip over to South Norcress was a bit more stressful than the ex-General had expected. It was almost as if Solomon sensed something was wrong, because he could've sworn the number of Templars roaming the streets had doubled since his little dynamyte theft. It was either that, or preparations for Solomon's "purge" were nearing completion. Either way, he was running out of time.
Speaking of time, Shadow had managed to sneak his way to the glassblowing shop where Egann was working just in time to catch a demonstration of how the detonators were made and how they worked, something he took mental notes of for later. When they were all made, they wasted little time preparing the charges. Midnight was only three or four hours off, and combing the entire Arbiter's Grounds for every target and securing an escape route out of the madness would take a while. But even then Shadow believed they would make it with time to spare, but this was ignoring any unforeseen snags. Everything seemed to be planned out perfectly though, from the routes everyone would take to the rendezvous point they would all meet at, and where the ex-General and his ex-soldiers would exit from either before or during the chaos that was going to ensue. He had faith that his men would get the job done; they were trained well, plus they had the advantage of their faces not being known to the Templars.
Something big was going to happen in the Arbiter's Grounds tonight. Whether it would be a flood of red judgment from its borders or a circle of explosions that would cut it off from its own society however, time would only tell.
Edited by SL the Pyro, 05 June 2011 - 07:54 PM.
Posted 09 June 2011 - 10:08 AM
Except sneaking up isn't easy at all.
If, however, you can't use a knife, a garrote works almost as well. Even if you can't find a length of wire, any old leather boot-lace will make for a decent garrote. The catch? If you pull off using the thing perfectly so your opponent can't escape, it takes a bare minimum of eight seconds to take down the guard. Eight seconds is forever when the victim might, at any instant, pull a knife and cut the strap.
Now, the theory of using a chloroform rag is to put the rag to the victim's face so that their surprise makes them inhale the vapors involuntarily. Realistically, that only works for rapists with damsels who have never done anything interesting in their whole lives, and even there it takes no less than twenty seconds for the vapors to take effect. When you consider that guards are, well, on guard, and that even an instant's warning will mean the guard won't inhale immediately, but rather fight you while holding his breath. . . it will take a solid minute to take an ordinary guard down, and as long as three to take down some elite guards. Chloroform rag. Not easy.
One of the most reliable methods of getting the chloroform rag in is to actually not use it so much as start a real fight and then, when the opponent starts breathing deeply to keep pace with the fight, slap them across the face with the rag, soaking their nose and moth with chloroform. That's actually remarkably easy; compared to the range of your fist, the rag adds an additional ten inches of range that comes out of nowhere and will surprise even the most adept of guards.
And you, of course, have added a thickening agent to the chloroform, so slapping them with the rag is like covering their faces with knock-out slime rather than spraying it all over the place.
Egann patiently waited for the last guard to pass out on the bridge--seven others dressed just like him laid out across the span--before returning his sword to it's sheath. Away with the weapons, out with the charges to set and rope to tie the guards up with. At this rate, he'd be done in half the time he'd told Shadow he needed.
Posted 10 June 2011 - 08:15 AM
Things were going even more smoothly than Shadow had hoped, at least on his end. His dark clothing -- at least when he rolled back his white sleeves and tucked all of his hair into his hat -- allowed him to blend into the night with ease. The guards were as incompetent as ever, even moreso tonight since they had allowed their increased numbers to make themselves overconfident and clumsy.
It wasn't surprising to anyone that he decided to take on the task of rigging the Eastern exits with dynamyte, since they were the furthest away and, thanks to his unique abilities, he was the fleetest of foot among everyone involved. He wasn't too worried about himself, though. If anything he was worried for his men (and woman), especially the one who was brave enough to take on the tedious task of setting up charges at the Arbiter's Spire. Guards were one thing, but Templars weren't so stupid. Despite this however, he had faith in them. He'd worked with them for two years and knew their capabilities. If luck was on their side, everything would turn out just fine...
...And so it did.
Much earlier than anticipated, Shadow and Egann met in a predetermined meeting place, where one of the men had the mind to bring their carriage over to from South Norcress. It was not-so-common sense that they shouldn't meet in the same place every time, lest people get suspicious. It wasn't that much later, in fact only thirty minutes, before Shadow's cohorts all gathered there to meet them. "Back a little early, aren't we?" Shadow pointed out. "So how did it go?"
"Everything's set up on the South side." Simon informed him.
"Same with all the sewer exits." Jakob chipped in right after. "There's enough dynamyte under them to sink a fleet of ships... though maybe that's just because dynamyte is so powerful."
Ryu, the one who went after the Spire, followed up with, "The Spire's all set up too. I expected a lot more Templars, though... guess they're all resting up for their big mission in the morning."
Nia gave a thumbs up. "The Northern bridges are all rigged too."
Then that left Egann with the Western exits and Shadow himself with the Eastern ones, and since they were all here, everything must have went alright. "Excellent work, everyone. Looks like everything's all set." the ex-General congratulated his comrades. He then turned to Egann. "Alright then... if there's nothing else left to prepare, then we should probably get out of here before we get stuck here with Solomon."
Taking that as a cue, his soldiers started to pile into their carriage. Shadow stopped short of that, his foot leaning on the edge of the back entry, turning back to look at his friend.
"Oh, almost forgot." he said, reaching into his pockets, eventually pulling out a slip of paper that he immediately handed over to Egann. He'd taken the time to write on it while waiting for him to finish making his charges earlier. "You wanted the names of the conspirators in the Inquisition, so here you go. Hide it, burn it after reading or whatever you want to do with it; just make sure you memorize them, because I probably won't be back to refresh your memory."
With that taken care of, he fully hopped into the carriage.
"Still sure you want to stay here, Egann? If ever you wanted to escape the chaos about to ensue, this is probably your only chance."
Edited by SL the Pyro, 10 June 2011 - 10:54 PM.
Posted 10 June 2011 - 09:02 AM
Going to tamper a little bit in the bomb run, nothing that will mess with your plans too much but just enough to give myself some wiggle room for writing. Call me out on it if it's too much.
He was just minding his own business. He wasn't a templar, a guard, or any sort of military officer. He worked in the lower levels of the spire, an squire to the alchemists and the mechanics. He did runs, got materials and parts. He ran around the capital, day in day out for the variety of tasks that were at hand in the city of the Goddess. But he didn't do anything today. When the Marshal Law came into effect, he couldn't run and do errands since many of the other businesses were closed and the city was brought to a near grinding halt. Restaurants and taverns and inns were still operating, thank the goddess for that. He couldn't go home either, not with templars running around with Marshal Law in effect. Signs everywhere, getting the word out that Solomon was in charge and that there was a set time to be out and a set time to be back at home. He didn't want to be hassled, so he stayed behind.
But then he stumbled out and found a considerable number of guards lying on their bellies and backs in the storage room of the spire. He was just going to borrow a military cot or something in one of the other storage rooms and spend the night until things got a little easier outside. Then he found the bodies and then he began to panic. He ran out of the room, had to find an guard, an official, Solomon himself if he had to. Ugh, didn't like the thought of that. A few minutes later, he found two guards standing at attention when called out to them.
"Help! There are wounded men in the storage rooms!"
Another couple of minutes later, help arrived and the guards were taken away on stretchers as templars began to inspect the room. What was missing, what was taken? It didn't take them long to realize that it was the large store of dynamite was missing. And all the while, he was questioned by an inquisitor as to what he knew. The red-clad official didn't seem to think he was a vandal and it was proved that he did actually work for the alchemists and the mechanics so he was in the clear.
The templars continued to investigate and the man was free to go, escorted by a templar to his home so there would be no further trouble. It was strange though, to be escorted by a templar who wasn't going to arrest and detain you was definitely something one did not see. But then they saw a man in black rushing off in the distance. The templar stopped and so did his escorted civilian.
"We're taking a detour." The armored knight said, much to the disappointment of the man who just wanted to get home.
The templar did not follow the suspicious man, but decided to go where he may have been. Following around the side of the spire wall, he noticed a strange cluster of boxes in front of the white sandstone of the spire. This was a complete sacrilege, it was forbidden for anything to be touching the outside walls of the spires due to it being the holy home of the Goddess and her most faithful servants. The templar knocked the boxes away and found some of the dynamite, strangely unlit but covered in wires and other contraptions. The man had seen this kind of configuration before, he'd seen blueprints and schematics of something similar.
"Dynamite!" the man shouted.
He leaned in and examined the explosive.
"It's not lit, but it is wired to explode . . . not sure how though . . . this sort of technology is a bit foreign to me . . ."
"So, that's why they took the dynamite. They're planning to blow up the spire!" the templar said.
Saboteurs!? Oh lord, how could this day get any worse?
"Come with me, there's been a slight change of plans!" The templar exclaimed, grabbing the man's arm and dragging him to the spire.
Meanwhile, Solomon was seated in the charred offices of the inquisition, despite the fact that the room was in shambles he preferred the ruined area than the new replacement that was set aside. At lease his chair was intact. It didn't take long for him to hear the reports from the men below.
Missing Dynamite. Charges set all over the spire's perimeter. He had been waiting patiently for ex-general Shadow to make his next move and it seemed he finally did. This is probably why he decided to rescue his men. But something was definitely missing from this picture. He quickly ordered the charges be removed from the spire and to track down the ones who placed them there after they were secure once more. The crisis at hand would not halt Solomon's plans despite how pressing the threat was.
Edited by JRPomazon, 11 June 2011 - 09:45 PM.
Posted 19 June 2011 - 01:34 AM
Just kill them now. The old man and the woman will be easy prey. Groups are complicated. We told you this.
"With just you to keep me company I'll truly go mad."
You're a relic of an age long gone by. You hope to make friends now? Your only friends deserted you. They're the only ones on this earth that understand. You expect Whirlwind to understand what it's like to have lived as a warrior for hundreds of years? Without something like the Labyrinth to support you, you can't justify your random acts of violence.
"I haven't been around so many humans in hundreds of years. I used to be like that. I've turned into a bloodthirsty monster."
And the humans don't let monsters become domestic. They slay them. You let the humans too close and they'll slay you. And you know we can't have that happen. Besides, why associate with their type? You've ascended to something greater long ago.
"Regardless, humans are useful to keep around. ... People are useful to keep around. You've got me speaking like Juvenal. I am human after all.
"So what, am I not human anymore? Does time suddenly turn what was human into something else?"
You lack human emotion. Many humans hate the sight of blood. They aspire to living out their short pointless lives tied to one woman, on one patch of land, with no conflict. You can't tell us that is something you desire?
Synile had enough of the voices and their bizarre logic, but mostly he hated the fact that he couldn't deny any of the points that had been brought up. The cabin door was directly in front of him now. Synile opened the door and entered the room. Had he been holding anything he'd have dropped it. The interior used to be a nice wide opened foyer. All the furniture was destroyed. Several bodies lay about the room in bloody pieces. Blood had covered the walls and painted a vivid image of struggle. Synile immediately drew his nodachi and charged deeper into the room. His mind liked to play tricks on him, and hallucinating a sight like this wasn't uncommon. It was better to be prepared incase his eyes were being honest. From deeper into the main chamber Synile could easily see the bodies had been hacked apart by a very sharp implement. Blood had sprayed everywhere. The slashes had to have hit main arteries first. There was even blood coating the ledger at the front desk.
It was then that the rest of the party out of Calatia arrived.
Eivor walked into the room cautiously and saw that Synile had drawn his nodachi. "Synile..?"
(OoC: Is Synile hallucinating this grim scene? Iunno. Thought it'd be fun to leave it open ended. Goose or JR, whoever responds next, you decide! I'll react accordingly! Sounds fun. )
Posted 24 June 2011 - 07:24 PM
"You there! Freeze!"
Unfortunately, what Egann's reply would've been would forever remain a mystery.
"Oh dear." Shadow muttered; this wasn't good at all. They had been followed. Maybe they even found the explosive charges as a result. If they found Egann with the detonator, the whole plan would turn pear-shaped.
If Egann had it...
The lightbulb turned on in Shadow's head. Egann surely wouldn't like this one bit, but... surely he would agree that it was a better alternative to being labelled as the villain and suffering Solomon's wrath. He spotted the bulge of the detonator in one of Egann's pockets and lunged for it. "EgannI'msorrybutthisisforyourowngood!" he whispered to him hurriedly, successfully wrenching the detonator from his pocket...
...and then blasting him back with a large fireball. He didn't put a whole lot of power into it -- he didn't want to actually hurt Egann after all -- but he did make it look large and flashy to give the soldiers that illusion.
Key item in tow, the ex-General hopped back into the wagon and said "Go go go go go!" to the one holding the reigns of the horses. They were off like a gunshot just as the Templars began to swarm onto the scene. He let loose a barrage of fireballs to stall the ones behind him for the miniscule amount of time it took for the wagon to get out of there. A couple of unfortunate Templars approaching from the front had even been run over.
It was time to get out of this city. He just hoped that the charges hadn't been moved yet.
Edited by SL the Pyro, 24 June 2011 - 07:25 PM.
Posted 27 June 2011 - 02:17 PM
OoC: I decided i wanted to start RPing again and Turtle said that this would be a good thread to jump in on. Sorry Synile dont mean to pick on you just seemed like a good jump in part with my characters profile and all. If anyone minds my approach to jumping in just let me know and ill change it. Oh and Synile im sure that it was a hallucination now lol.
Posted 01 July 2011 - 01:01 PM
Jordan entered though the door of the lodge, finding Synile with his sword drawn and his expression frenzied and mad. He raised his arm back, signaling to the other to stay back. Something was ticking in the mad man's head, perhaps he was still irritable from last time. It was hard to tell with him. A man came rushing out, slamming Synile to the wall as the swordsman dropped his sword as he fell to the ground. Wait, he knew this guy from somewhere . . .
Jordan ran over to the two, hoping that the big would take the hint that they weren't here to brawl and to hopefully prevent Synile from killing anything else today.
"Woah! Woah! Woah! What is this?" he cried, getting in between the big guy and Synile.
"Alright, I know you from that trip to VooDoo Isle. Name escapes me right now but that's not the point. We don't mean any harm here, take it down a notch!"
Jara and Eivor came into the lodge from the cold, closing the door behind them.
"We're traveling down, heading to the western borders. We're just here to rest." He said.
He looked around to find that there was no one else here. No lodgemaster, no other travelers. Just the five in the entrance hall. It was odd though, usually these public utilities had someone staying here at all times. A couple of vikings or something. Not the case this time around. Synile was still sitting on the floor, looking like he'd just seen a ghost. Probably best to leave him be. A loud grumbling noise echoed in the room, coming from Eivor's direction. She began to blush and broke eye contact with everyone as soon as she could.
"Right then, what's on the menu?" Jordan asked, looking for a hearth or a stove.
Posted 11 July 2011 - 04:00 PM
The charges had been scattered around the base of the spire, all obscured and hidden behind any nook or spot Shadow's men could find. Because of this, the templars and guards assigned to the spire's protection where running around the perimeter of the massive structure thoroughly seeking out any and all charges. Solomon, who had received word of the most recent developments was oddly calm about the entire affair. Against the wishes of his retainers and commanders, he refused to leave the spire despite all threats facing him currently. He retired to the mirror chamber, the highest point of the entire spire and waited there for things to proceed. His arms crossed as he leaned against the large pedestal stairway that held up the large mirror, tapping his finger gingerly on his arm and looking down at the sky. The crimson and vermillion sunset was calming, although it was clear to everyone that knew him that Solomon shared no taste in scenic beauty. Sunset was the key. The general was holding off lighting the explosives for a reason. Either he wanted to be flashy or perhaps he was waiting for something else but it had to do with the setting sun.
It had only been three days since he took stewardship and yet so much as happened since then.
He stood up properly and began to walk around a little longer, his imperial garb matching the red of the sun as night began to veil the sky.
"Hurry up now. Let's see what your move is."
Elsewhere, Gwen remained in her small cell quietly contemplating her situation as she sat on a wooden bench. Her hands were crossed as if she had been praying or was about to pray, the young woman looking tired and weary of solitude. Surrounded by white walls and a single barred window there was not much to stimulate her senses. The large door of the cell made a loud "crack", the hinges being moved from the other side as the noise dragged. On the other side of the portal it was Inquisitor Gervais, dressed in red and silver garbs smiled most suspiciously as though he attempted to poorly hide the fact that he had a motive. Gwen looked up to see this man as looked away, uninterested in whatever affairs he was involved with.
The inquisitor, neatly groomed and trimmed walked into the cell and with a wave of his hands ordered the few remaining guards to close the massive cell door.
"My my, what an odd place to have you. That door could easily hold back a orge of a man and yet here we have a dainty woman sitting here all by her lonesome." The inquisitor started, looking around his new surroundings.
Gwen remained silent, ignoring his obnoxious comments. Gervais kindly took the hint and cleared his throat.
"My apologies, I did not mean to objectify you young miss. I am here at the orders of my superior."
"I'm sure whatever Lord Solomon is requesting of you can wait. There has been some commotion from what I gather." She said, maintaining a cold dislike for Gervais.
"My lady, I am not here by orders of the Grand Marshal. I have been sent here to offer you an escape from this cell so that you may talk to someone who is very interested in meeting you." Gervais said, playing to his pandering tone of voice and false kindness.
"See me? And who might this 'superior' be?" Gwen asked, curious as to who would want any business with a lowly nurse.
"All questions answered in time my lady. I fear we must take leave for now, there is some mess on the bottom levels of the spire involving some sort of nasty explosives. The templars are rushing around in and out as we speak to find them all."
Gervais reached out his hand to help Gwen up, trying to be as charming as possible as the cell doors opened once more. Gwen promptly responded to his tactic by coldly ignoring him and slowly walking towards the exit.
* * *
There was little food left in the lodge, Tsume had taken the liberties to devastate the stores during his stay but there was still enough for the night at the very least. The hearth was warm, the mountain cold melting off their cloaks and clothing as they rested on hay covered in large blankets and pelts. Jara, Tsume and Eivor got to socializing quickly enough, better than being worried about Synile. As for the crazed swordsman himself, he seemed horribly spooked the entire time after walking in here and decided to keep to him self in the far corner away from the hearth and the light. It was an unanimous decision to let him do what he wanted for the time being, until the group could better deal with his particular "charms."
Jordan himself rested by the fire, although his mind was also concerned for other matters that had plagued him. In the corner of his eye was the large bundle that held his spears, resting against the wall and lit by the dancing flames coming from the hearth on the other end of the room. He was remembering his fight with Synile and Cain Kazen. It was all he could think about, despite how much he tried to ignore it.
The hour drew later and some of the others decided to call it a night and retired in front of the hearth. Jordan remained awake as well, his mind fixated on the black spear in his possession as he tossed and turned to sleep. After struggling, he decided that it was folly to try and sleep in this condition and gave into his urges. Rustling from the pelts and blankets, he crawled out and grabbed his cloak and threw bundle of spears over his shoulder. He wasn't going far and he wasn't going to be gone long. He needed to settle his uncertainty, if not for himself then at least so he might get some sleep.
Edited by JRPomazon, 11 July 2011 - 04:08 PM.
Posted 11 July 2011 - 06:33 PM
~ * ~
He trudged through the wilderness. A man with long, wild hair, white like the snow on which he trekked. Beneath his gray cloak were the white and indigo robes of a Roslen shaman, soiled to more earthen tones by long travel. Upon his face was a stylized mask of blanched wood, shaped to resemble a wolf. Upon his back were two peace-bound blades, one small and one large.
He stared up at the sky as it began to grow dark with the night. His eyes grew somber as the stars came out. Another unfulfilled day had gone by.
As he continued through the night, he saw a lodge off in the distance. He drew forward out of curiosity, but stopped when a sort of shyness brought itself out in the man. It had been so long since he actually associated with other people.
What was another night in the cold?
The man cleared some snow away from the ground of a nearby tree, sitting down in a cross-legged meditative pose, almost blending into the tree as he leaned back.. His body became stock-still, practically unmoving.
After awhile, he heard the sound of someone exiting the lodge, opening an eye to look. This one looked familiar somehow.
Despite the recognition, the man felt no need to disturb himself from his position. This one was a friend, an ally―yet finally seeing him again since the islands seemed to inspire no strong feeling.
Posted 11 July 2011 - 10:01 PM
The Inky redcoat ignored the prisoner on the other side of the iron bars, favoring his own mumblings to entertain himself with as he sifted through the flotsum before lifting the wet rag and giving it a sniff. "Chloroform? I seem to remember hearing that earlier this evening a few of the city's guards got knocked out with something like this."
Egann swallowed. News was already trickling back to Arbiter's Spire. Talking out of this was going to be harder than he thought. "I wouldn't know. That guy who flung that fireball at me right as you guys showed up shoved a bunch of stuff into my pockets, so of course it's suspicious."
"Even if I thought you were innocent, I wouldn't let you go. Too much liability. Now what's this slip of paper?" The redcoat snatched up Shadow's list.
"I don't know. What's on it?"
"Names," the Inky sighed. "Names of some inquisitors. Some are pretty highly ranking, actually."
"Probably a knock-list for assasinations, then," Egann shrugged. "The guy was obviously up to nothing helpful."
"How do you know?"
Egann opened his mouth, then closed it. This inquisitor whas clearly good at his job. It all came down to tone of voice; most neophyte inquisitors would try to use their voices to beat down the victim into fear, but this guy? Smooth and disarming, cool and curious. It was more like he was trying to have a conversation. Let the victim casually inform the inquisitor; he might not even let you on if he did get your tongue to slip.
In this case, informing the Inky you're ex-Vanguard would most certainly not help your cause. Have something as suspicious as a chloroform rag in your pocket and possibly marching to a different banner? Not good.
"I dunno. Just a hunch." It was ironic. Egann knew exactly what was that list was, but Shadow had barely handed him the thing when he was caught. The inquisitor knew--well, had read--the names, but didn't have a clue what it was a list of.
"In any case, I'll take it to my captain. Maybe he'll know something we don't, seeing as he's on the list."
Egann's eyes popped like the eyes of a cooked fish. If his commanding officer was really on that list....
Yeah, I bet he'll draw the common thread.
The Inquisitor closed the great wooden door behind him. He was probably a dead man walking, and if Egann hadn't escaped by the time the captain find out, he was a dead man, too.
Posted 12 July 2011 - 01:34 AM
"Well, it was that or watch him be taken straight to jail! I had to make it look like he wasn't on my side!"
"Yes, but a fireball!?"
"We were in a hurry! And we still are, in case you forgot!"
The ex-general and his only female ex-soldier were in a heated argument about his last-minute treatment of Egann as their carriage, with all of it's unused dynamyte in tow, thundered down the streets of the Arbiter's Grounds. The commotion in the middie of the night was more than enough to attract whatever soldiers happened to be nearby, although the vehicle was too fast for any of them to reliably catch -- anyone who tried were quickly knocked off by those not having to tend to the horses. Mounted units that were on patrol were deterred by Shadow's fireballs, which freaked everyone out whenever he used one because of the chance that he might hit the explosives in the back.
"I wish you would stop doing that! I'm going to die of a heart attack eventually if I don't get blown to pieces first!"
"Well, where the hell is your bow and arrow then!?"
"Those damn Templars confiscated everything we had, remember!?"
Suffice it to say, the stress was starting to wear on them both.
"We're almost to the bridge!"
Oh, thank Diel! Those words coming from the driver's mouth were music to everyone's ears. Just a little further and they'd be out of this eventual deathtrap.
Making sure no one was behind them anymore, Shadow turned his attention to the front. There was the bridge, just as said... and there were also soldiers there. Lots of soldiers, no doubt piling up on the bridge in response to them being knocked out earlier. "Uh oh..." Jakob muttered.
"Shit... I can't blast them from here, I might set off the bridge." Shadow muttered. Simply charging through them wasn't a good idea either; he didn't want to take the chance that some brave idiot would manage to stab one of their horses and stall the carriage where no one wanted it to be stalled. "Keep going straight, I'll see if I can scatter them!"
He ran up to the front of the carriage and, with an explosive push from his fire magic, launched himself forward at a great velocity. It was a good thing he could move faster than the burdened horses. A direct attack from the ex-General himself was a move no one guarding the bridge was expecting, and most of them lost their confidence when they realized just who they were fighting. And he didn't let their faltering go unpunished; the black metal of his sword danced through and around the unprepared and inexperienced soldiers. The fact that it was a black-clothed assailant moving around in the night didn't help them at all; it was nearly impossible to identify him in the crowd.
And eventually, the distraction he was causing paid off. No one had any time to do anything when the carriage charged onto the bridge, and if they did, Shadow was quick to make sure it never happened. He grabbed the side of the carriage as it rushed by, and just a few seconds later, the bridge was safely crossed.
Shadow and his band of defectors were out of the Arbiter's Grounds.
Which meant the ex-General wasn't wasting any more time, pulling the detonator out of his pocket without hesitation.
"Hey morons! You might want to get the hell off that bridge!" he shouted out to the Koridian soldiers. And then he triggered the detonator.
It wasn't even a second before the bridge was replaced with a blast of dirt and flame... were the sound not so loud, he would've heard the explosions caused by the other charges shaking and reverberating throughout the capital of Koridai.
Sweet freedom. And it was glorious.
Edited by SL the Pyro, 12 July 2011 - 01:36 AM.
Posted 13 July 2011 - 01:57 AM
A symphony of light met with the sound of the earth shattering, a noise that deafened the ears and explosions that blinded the eyes. Guards of the city entrances were caught in the blasts, engulfed in the flames, crushed by the projectile debris as it rose and crashed in all directions or were tossed in the air like ragdolls only to come falling down again into the flames and shattered earth. As per their masterful plan, the city walls collapsed upon themselves as fire danced high into the night sky from the wreckage. The few who remained alive howled in agony, their bodies torn and beaten in the aftermath, looking to the Spire, which was also ablaze.
The Spire too was struck with a heavy blow, despite the best efforts of the templars and guards who ran frantically to prevent chaos. To their merit, many of the charges had been deactivated and destroyed and prevented the full force of the blast from damaging the spire. The structure stood, but it's white stone exterior was scarred and damaged as it burned. Everyone in the city that night felt the blast and every man, woman and child in the Arbiter's ground that night left their homes despite the Marshal Law and watched the former residence of the goddess smoulder shamefully.
Inside the structure, many people were slowly getting on their feet after the explosion as others who could not called for help or just didn't call at all. Inquisitor Gervais, along with the escorted Gwen dusted themselves off as they managed to live through the blasts.
"Are you alright?" Gervais asked, coughing loudly.
"Yes . . . I'm fine." She replied, trying to figure out what was going on. She suspected Gervais may have known something about what was going to happen, but kept silent. There was no time for accusation now.
The sounds of the wounded echoed from the halls, wails and cries shouting out for anyone to respond. Gwen rose to her feet and headed toward the noise.
"You are still in the custody of the imperial inquisition, you are coming with me as per my instructions." Gervais said, quickly getting to his feet.
Gwen looked back, showing an expression of cold contempt for her retainer left him in a state of further shock as her blue eyes flickered with a cool sort of rage.
"I am a nurse and there are people who need me. I'll be damned if I'm going to let some stuck up prick stop me from doing my part to help whoever is out there." The woman replied, her white nurse’s gown lightly blowing as she walked towards the rubble.
Gervais, recollecting himself from her outburst followed after her.
A half hour later, red clad templar dashed through the halls and corridors to reach the summit of the spire, the Mirror Chamber. Despite it's frail appearance and the fact that the room only composed of a tall walls and pillars surrounding the mirror and it's pedestal with no roof,the area was still in tact. The surprise was completely overlooked as the templar quickly located Solomon, who looked down at the city below and witnessed the west gate's current state. A pile of rocks.
"M'Lord! You are well!" The templar shouted, relieved to find his superior alive and well. Solomon paid no attention to the templar and continued to watch over the city. The templar began to report, defaulting to what he knew best in awkward quiet replies from his superiors.
"The spire, it wasn't the ex-general's only target. All exits in the city are completely destoryed, the rubble is piled so high that it will take days, weeks to clear it all and rebuild it. As for the spire, the lower floors were completely destroyed, many of the alchemists and civil workers who resided there are all dead. Many are wounded as well and if we don't do something the city is going to fall into panic!"
He let his opinion slip into the report, a terrible move to make in the inquisition. He knew he had goofed and was terrified to see what would happen next. But nothing came of it. Solomon remained fixed on the city. Then, there was a noise. It was soft at first, barely noticeable. Then it started to grow. It was almost . . . a chuckle.
"M'Lord . . ." The templar softly asked.
The chuckle continued, growing a little louder in every moment past. Then it was laughter. Laughter. Echoing into the night, the Grand Marshal of the Imperial Inquisition and Steward of all of Koridai was laughing at the sight of the damaged city. The city of the Goddess was brought down deeper into the depths of despair as his howls of manic rage and humor were shouted from the hallowed ground he stood on. The templar was now terrified beyond all hope, paralyzed by fear and duty in the place he stood. He turned around, laughing and laughing as he placed his hand over on his forehead as he leaned back against a nearby stone support. He slowly calmed himself, his manic laughter dying away.
"The damages . . . do not include the barracks and courtyard . . . correct?" Solomon asked, lowering his hand from his head and leaning away from the support. The templar quickly regained his words.
"Y-yes M'Lord. Those areas were spared any damages from the blasts."
Solomon slowly walked from the support and towards the exit of the mirror chamber.
"I want every able bodied man in our ranks ready to sortie and march at my command within the next ten minutes." Solomon said.
He turned to the templar, his green eyes so loud and piercing it was almost as though they were glowing. The templar considered asking about the state of affairs, the wounded, the people. He tried to speak, only to be interrupted.
"Get moving." Solomon ordered viciously.
The templar rushed without a moment's notice. Solomon began to chuckle again, laughing his way down to the courtyard.
Edited by JRPOmanyte, 13 July 2011 - 02:09 AM.