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The Day the Wind Died


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#211 JRPomazon

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 01:32 AM

"I'll tell you. But not here. Later this evening." He said, keeping his answers concise.

"Let's go back for now."

The two left the noise and the cheers, the dancing and singing, the jubilation of weary people finally able to embrace the comforts of their lives again. Seeing all these people in such a happy mood, it was unheard of in the Alliance towns and cities within Verden. He thought back to what Steel had told him several months ago, how in all his years of serving kings and leaders he had never seen such things as he did in Koridai, an empire that knew only the joys of thriving. If this town was only a sample of the power Chikara had held over the land she called her own, he could only imagine what the Arbiter's Grounds must have been like during the prime of her rule. Shadow raised a strong point. If Chikara had returned and if she was in any way the same person as she was when he last saw her, then she would have done something a little more drastic to the kingdom of Calatia. Unless Selena would be back . . . no . . . no their game is over. The time of their rule over the kingdom and empire has come to an end, their competition ended in a stalemate. Besides, the power of Lazu was sealed away in the battle of the Labyrinth. If Chikara had returned, she wouldn't be the goddess anymore.

The questions built up in Jordan's head, his skull feeling like it was expanding with stress. And the old words of old friends ringing in his head.

You have not been in the Empire in some time, have you? The people are happy, Jordan. There are no food shortages, little crime, and education and science flourish. If Chikara was gone, if a civil war broke out, the old scourges of famine, disease, ignorance would break out again. She is like no other ruler I have ever seen, Jordan.


* * *

Lucien did not speak to Egann after his condescending introduction. As an inquisitor, he was able to study people from how they acted. Egann's movements and responses were limited due to his current imprisonment, but the arch-inquisitor could tell that the man knew a considerable amount of information concerning the matters he intended to keep in the dark. He didn't have any solid evidence to his hunch but he didn't let that affect his judgement on the matter. Despite this, he decided to throw salt onto the wounds.

"Do you know how I did it, Gauvin?" He asked softly. Egann did not look up.

"Of course you do. The same way you and I know that General Shadow was not guilty of the crimes he was charged for. That's how I know it was your plan to organize the attacks. To save the nation from Solomon and his madness. And because you saw a little glimpse at what I was up to. But I assure you, you don't even know the half of it. But tell me, did you really think you could play it safe in the shadows and not expect me to find you? Ever since I arrived here two years ago.\ I've been working my way up all this time and allowed myself to be looked down upon by those whom I eventually surpassed. And when I finally got to where I needed to be, right below the puppeteer and right next to the strings, I waited. Writing scenarios I could control and manipulate as I saw fit to ensure that I ended up where I needed to be. It's a shame about inquisitor Gervais, if only he had betrayed me to serve your little cause he might still have a purpose in all this."

Lucien cleared his throat.

"So since we've nothing to hide from each other, just let me know how much it is you know and maybe there is a chance you could take Gervais' place."

* * *

Jordan and Shadow returned to the carriage, not finding Leo or the others there. The horses and other mounts had been placed by feeding troths and the carraige parked properly on the side of the building. The supplies were emptied from the back. As the two of them inspected what had happened, Eivor came out from the inn wearing a new dress to replace her Calatian clothing. For a brief moment, Jordan realized that Leo either had dumb luck or impeccable taste in choosing clothing for women.

"We had enough gold to get a room for the night. We convinced the innkeeper to give us all one room." She said.

"We aren't staying here. Synile is still out there and we need to get going as soon as possible." Jordan protested.

"The animals need to rest and I need to sleep in a bed. I want to go too but we can't keep pushing ourselves like this."

She made a valid point. Shadow probably wanted a break from driving the carriage for 12+ hours a day as they hunted down carnage in hopes it would lead them to Synile.

"We leave early in the morning then." Jordan replied.

Eivor nodded and quietly left the two of them. Jordan looked around and then leaned against the parked carriage.

"We had traveled to a place called Voo Doo Isle in Korento, we being myself, Selena Nadir and others from the Kingdom of Calatia. We were told that a weapon that could seal Lazu and kill Chikara Nadir resided there. Naturally, we ended up making a hell of a ruckus in the jungle . . ."

Jordan quietly went on to explain everything to Shadow. Acquiring the sword of Diel, traveling to the ruins of the Labyrinth in the Cursed Lands, the separation of the many avatars of Lazu and how they fought them and won with Junvenal's various weapons and artifacts in the pits of the Labyrinth's main halls, the final battle with Juvenal who had wanted to control the cursed lands and the escape of Chikara and Selena into the darkness and to a place he imagined was far, far away. And as Jordan retold the evens of a few months ago, he began to piece together the facts about the goddess and what might be happening at the Arbiter's Grounds. The undead abomination in the wasteland, could it have been reanimated through the residual power of Chikara's curse? Or has Lazu's presence begun to seep back into the world? Despite his questions, he knew that whatever the case did not change his end goals. He was going to the heart of the Empire. He was going to find Gwen.

Edited by JRPomazon, 27 March 2012 - 01:33 AM.


#212 SL the Pyro

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 01:31 PM

With a much-needed canteen of water in hand, Shadow listened intently to Jordan's recounting of Chikara's "final" battle, filling in the missing pieces of the puzzle that was the great mystery of Chikara's disappearance.

"Well... that's kind of ironic, really."

Jordan looked at Shadow with a raised eyebrow.

"You would think that being possessed by a God of Chaos would turn a person completely and utterly evil... except I know enough about Chikara to know she was already completely and utterly evil. And yet all of Lazu's previous avatars still had some effect on her conscience... turned her into a good ruler who was legitimately loved by her people." He laughed lightly. "When you think about it, Lazu taking Chikara as an avatar might've been the best thing to ever happen to her... and as sad as that is, I can't help but laugh."

He then sighed with frustration.

"But then Selena brought her back to her old, jerkass self..." He looked down the street, in the direction of the people who were still partying. "There's no way Chikara is back. If she were, then she'd have retaken the throne as a tyrant instead of a Goddess... and that's something I doubt these people would be celebrating."

He drank from the canteen again.

"There is something very wrong happening at the capital, and Synile didn't even make it there yet... why is Koridai the center of disaster lately?"

#213 JRPomazon

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 04:28 PM

"Chikara Nadir was not a woman I can say was entirely evil or good. She served herself and her own purposes, she merely had the time and the power to accomplish them. But from what Steel told me about her, she did seem to legitimately care about the people who followed her out of Verden. Who knows just how close he was to her. If she had completely succumbed to the influence of Lazu or the other avatars in her head, the world as we know it might not even exist."

He resumed his people watching, almost absent minded as he saw the crowds shift and move across the street.

"Taking that all away from her, maybe that was the best thing that could happen to her."

Shadow drank from the canteen again.

"There is something very wrong happening at the capital, and Synile didn't even make it there yet... why is Koridai the center of disaster lately?"

"The empire solely relied on the support of Chikara as the goddess, without her things would get muddled up rather quickly. And they did it seems . . . until recently. That being said, I agree with you. I can't say for certain that this returned goddess is Chikara but someone found the need to bring a goddess back into the picture."

A thought came to mind.

"You mentioned Solomon when we met on the mountain pass. I'm surprised you did, since I thought I left him to die on Windfall Island. What was he up to when you left?"

#214 SL the Pyro

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 07:31 PM

"Ugh, so he was going off after you at the same time the empire was coming apart at the seams... typical."

He racked his brain for the events preceding his escape from the Arbiter's Grounds.

"From what I can tell... Solomon didn't take Koridai's condition well. You having done a number on him didn't help. When he saw all the destruction and desecration, I heard he lost his mind and locked himself in his room for a week or so... apparently it was enough to make the Inquisition want to take control. Tried to warn Solomon, don't know if I succeeded though. Didn't really get the chance to see either, since as soon as Solomon screwed his head back on straight, he went on his Marshal Law tangent... you know the story from there."

He drank again as he took a moment to think.

"You know... I don't think Solomon is behind this 'returned Goddess' business. Sure he was wholly devoted to Chikara, but... that's the thing, just Chikara. I've never seen him show an ounce of respect to anyone else in Koridai, not even Steel and certainly not me..."

He snapped his fingers in realization.

"You know what? I'll bet you anything this has to do with the Inquisition's takeover scheme."

Edited by SL the Pyro, 27 March 2012 - 07:32 PM.


#215 Crimson Lego

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 09:24 PM

“Who wanted the beer?” shouted out the innkeeper.

“That would be me,” said Leo in response, walking up to the counter. What his height didn’t show his axes made up for, and even the more drawly customers moved out of his way. Reaching up to take his glass, he dropped a few coins on the counter, said “Cheers” to the innkeeper, and made his way towards the assigned room. Opening the door, he saw all four of Shadow’s men snoring in what seemed to be a deep sleep. Running for days would exhaust you a lot, thought the dwarf amusedly. Deciding to leave his rifle and the Noreshang inside the room to lessen the weight he had to carry around, Leo closed the door quietly and made his way back outside.

Seeing as Jordan and Shadow were having their own conversation by the carriage (discussing what appeared to be Chikara’s return to Koridai), Leo went for a quiet stroll of his own through the imperial town. Can’t hurt to take a look. Taking a sip from his beer, the dwarf had to admit that living conditions were not at all what he had imagined Koridai to be like. As an Empire ruled by the woman who had nearly single-handedly, albeit with the help of the God of Darkness, wiped out thousands of homes in northern Verden, he had assumed an iron fist would be required to maintain order with its new citizens, most of whom would have been former inhabitants of said homes.

Here, though…everyone seemed fine. People were cheering at Chikara’s apparent return, (which Leo felt to be a hoax; from what he knew of Labyrinth history, there was no way Selena would have forgotten their ancient rivalry). While the people of Calatia had devoted the past few years to fight against the country set up by Chikara, these people were embracing what she had done, and had apparently forgotten everything about the past. Unless they’re all brainwashed, this is actually ridiculous. For Leo, the Lost Woods had been the only home he had ever known, and he had joined Calatia as a means to seek revenge upon Chikara. He had spent the past 3-4 years weathering the cold of the mountains and Snowpeak Ruins, hoping one day that his efforts would lead to the destruction of the harsh ‘Holy’ Empire that forced brutal living conditions upon its people and a military dictatorship at its head.



Now watching the children play with a ball in the field while drinking his beer, Leo wasn’t so sure about his past views of Koridai. Maybe I’ll see even more when we get to the Arbiter’s Grounds, he thought regretfully, turning and making his way back towards the inn. It was time to get some sleep before the group headed off again in pursuit of Synile.

#216 Ken the Wandering Soul

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 09:53 PM

Having never been part of the Calatian army to begin with, Ken fortunately had little to worry about in terms of looking like the enemy. That did not stop him from looking odd though. Between the wolf mask and the old fashioned clothes, Ken might as well have had a sign around his neck painted to say “DAMNED SUSPICIOUS WIERDO”. Naturally, when they finally got a room at the inn, he was one of the first ones rushed inside. At first, Ken picked a small corner to lay down for a while, but he found himself restless. He stood up and looked around the room, and eventually walked over to stare out the window.

It was strange, in a way. Ken could tell people were happy out there. Yet for him, he could not unsee the shadow of the world that used to be. These were not the lands of his birth, or the lands he traversed as he became a man. It made him wish in a way that he could be as happy as the people in the streets. But, he had lived his life tied to the traditions of his family, of his home. To simply be uprooted and replanted into prosperity would be impossible for him.

Ken looked down out the window to the carriage where Jordan and Shadow were discussing their next move. He was not sure what was happening exactly, but for what he did know, he was satisfied. Synile was still out there and needed to be stopped. And if stopping him meant more places like this could continue to live happily, Ken was okay with that.

Edited by Ken the Wandering Soul, 28 March 2012 - 09:32 AM.


#217 Sir Turtlelot

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 10:13 PM

Turtlelot sat in the stable with the mounts. He decided to stand guard for them while the others slept at the inn. Buying a room for him would have been pointless since he does not sleep. He also knew that he had to stay out of sight from the villagers, as to not draw unwanted attention to the group. Leo did a rather good job distracting the guards earlier, but it could only work once. Turtlelot was simply waiting for dawn's first light, so he could wake the others and leave this town.

The metal man decided to meditate to pass the time, but something was... wrong. Since entering the empire Turtlelot had a strange feeling in the back of his head, but he could not quite figure out what it was. Something about Koridai was not right, or perhaps it was something in Koridai that was bothering him. The android tried to shrug it off and continued his attempts in meditation.

#218 JRPomazon

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 01:07 AM

OoC: Shadow's men are no longer in the main party, they left sometime before the zombie dragon fight.

Jordan didn't say anything when Shadow mentioned a takeover. An internal struggle within the last remaining factions of the empire? Shadow's theory seemed plausible but in the end it was only a theory. Solomon wouldn't be so foolish as to be used so easily, he was a fanatic not an idiot. That's what made him a threat.

"Maybe. You being branded a traitor makes a little sense now if that were the case. But I'm not entirely concerned about sneaks and spooks hiding in the dark. If there is a goddess and even if she only has a fraction of the power Chikara did, we still have larger issues with that than dirty diplomacy."

He didn't want to shrug off Shadow's thoughts on Koridai and the inquisition. He figured it was important to him. But he didn't care for such things at that moment. He couldn't even remember the last time politics were as large of a concern to him in general. Because there would always be plots and those that plotted them, men who preferred to be connive and control over the world around them. And frankly, they were scum. As they would get closer to the capital, things would be clear. That's just how these things worked out most times, it's what he'd grown comfortable with when it comes to these journeys and travels. He looked to Shadow, who seemed deep in thought over his conviction and the inner workings of the imperial underbelly.

"You keep scrunching your face like that, it'll be stuck permanently you know." He replied with a lazy smile.

He got off from leaning on the carriage and reached back to scratch his his head and neck slowly, heading towards the inn.

"I need to get a bite to eat."

#219 SL the Pyro

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 02:12 AM

Shadow wordlessly watched Jordan reenter the inn, deciding to linger by the carriage for a little while longer. He looked to the night sky that was beginning to form. The stars were looking especially bright tonight...

He sighed depressedly, but still managed to chuckle. "Maybe I am just reading into it too much..."

Red light shone out of the corner of his eye. He didn't need to look at the source to know what the source was: the faded image of the flaming bird Phoenix, visible and audible only to him, its massive form perched atop the carriage.

"Figuring out how people's minds work is a lot harder than figuring out their bodies, isn't it?"

Moreso than one might expect. To successfully deduce someone's actions and motives before they execute them will not work every time. Intelligent beings always have the potential to attempt the unexpected.

"Attempt the unexpected..." Shadow repeated to himself, before chuckling a little louder. "I guess that's why I'm so bad at it. It requires luck, and luck always has the chance of not favouring you when you need it to."

Such is the reason one prepares for every outcome they can envision, rather than a single outcome. And, if possible, they manipulate those outcomes so that every instance will lead to a desired result.

It was an interesting notion. Shadow almost thought he heard it before... what was it the method was called? A "Xanatos Gambit?" Sounded right, though damned if he knew who "Xanatos" was.

It is not something everyone can do, and those who can are typically well-known, rightfully-feared and regardlessly-respected beings.

He could see the reasoning in that. People capable of pulling all the strings like that, exerting their influence in many different and beneficial ways at once, practically had the whole world at their fingertips. He was pretty sure the likes of Selena and Chikara fell into that category. No wonder they were so dangerous that they alone plunged this entire nation into civil war. It was unnerving to know that the both of them were at large again. "Do you think something like that is happening in Koridai right now?"

Right now, it is impossible to say. The best evidence is gathered from the source.

Shadow drank from his canteen again, this time emptying it. He let out a puff of air and said, "Things were so much easier when I was naive enough to think cutting down everything in my way was the best solution..."

The best accomplishments in life are rarely ever the easiest to achieve.

And how right the old bird was. Koridai was in ruins, that much was obvious. Saving this nation from what it had become obviously wouldn't be easy, given what it was founded on... but just because it wouldn't be easy didn't mean he had to give up. As he decided to head into the inn and retire for the night, he swore he would find a way.

He'd already lost the Woods and Ur'Almen... he'd be damned if he lost a third home.

Edited by SL the Pyro, 28 March 2012 - 03:54 PM.


#220 Crimson Lego

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 03:49 PM

ooc: Gah, my bad. Just pretend nobody was in the room before Ken’s character entered, then.

Having finished the entire beer and still not feeling tired, Leo spotted Turtlelot by the carriage and mounts, as though he were standing guard over the latter. I guess sleep’s one thing he doesn’t need either. Strange how there were such things as advanced as humanoid robots and androids in the world, but the dwarf was glad such a being was on his side. Turtlelot had proven himself over and over again in the fight against Koridai and, more specifically, Lazu.

Making his way towards Turtlelot, Leo gave him a nod of greeting. “You gonna stay out all night?” he asked, setting the beer glass on the ground and leaning against the carriage.

#221 Egann

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 11:33 PM

"So since we've nothing to hide from each other, just let me know how much it is you know and maybe there is a chance you could take Gervais' place."

Lucien. I should have figured.

Egann knew something funny was up when he felt remarkably at peace while being interrogated. He hated to be thusly honest with himself, but he was more the kind to squeal than to bide his time. Such patience and longsuffering was uncharacteristic of him. It was as if there was an aura around this place which he was drawing strength from. No, that wasn't quite right. Part of him felt that way, to be sure, but only the part that resembled the aura. The rest of him felt like it was drawing strength from anger. A reaction of sorts. It was very hard to understand.

In bed with you. Not terribly tempting.” Egann sighed and stood up to the bars. “If you were really interested in offering me a place, you would have offered this Gervais the same opportunity. After all, he was probably bought before you ever met him, right? No thank you.”

You just want me to join you just to bide your time to stick a knife in my back.

Besides, I know enough to put you on your heels, too. You're checkmated by fate. I recognized that girl you were talking to from before the explosions. Gwen, right? I also sensed a glimmer of chaotic power.”

You mean that I sensed chaotic power.

You've obviously found some way to preserve the Goddesses power with Gwen, and with that you can keep Solomon on a leash. But I doubt it'll work for long. Even now the power is degrading, in part because all you've got is a sliver...but primarily because Gwen was never a suitable vessel.”

What do you know? Tell me! Tell me now!” Lucien grabbed Egann's shirt-collar through the bars and yanked him closer in.

Her own goals with no sense of community. An ancient crustacean from the Labyrinth. No human can be a truly perfect avatar for Lazu, but Chikara came close. Gwen, however, is not Chikara. She has a strong sense of empathy and community. Her spirit is aligned with Diel much more than Lazu. Now you've given her a sliver of the power of the Goddess of Koridai in her. The end result is unstable; a spirit aligned with Diel can't house a power from Lazu, at least not of any power or for a significant period of time.”

Lucien let go of Egann and stepped away in disgust.

Gwen's spirit is slowly consuming and canceling Lazu's power like it's a poison. It's only a matter of time before Solomon notices 'the Goddess' is hardly godlike anymore.”

And if I find a way to infuse the rest of Lazu's power into that girl?”

It wouldn't save you. Only kill her.
It wouldn't save you. Only kill her.”

Edited by Egann, 28 March 2012 - 11:34 PM.


#222 JRPomazon

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 12:43 AM

Lucien looked down on Egann like an ant that had somehow pushed aside an elephant. Then consumed it. How? This man, how could someone of such a low rank possess this sharp a mind? How did he know about the transfer ceremony? How did he see all of Lucien's move with such foresight? How did he do it? And his words, his reasonings, they undermined Lucien's attempts for true, unchallenged power within the empire. The arch-inquisitor cursed himself inwardly for overlooking such a dangerous obstacle, but it was of no concern now. Egann was smart but he didn't know everything. He could only speculate as much as the arch-inquisitor himself could.

"You're deductions . . . I won't lie to you Egann Gauvin I am impressed that you've seen this situation with such clarity." He said, his demeanor as cool as he could make it.

"But the transfer ceremony was perfect in every way. Your threats of a goddess losing her power are nothing more than desperate speculation coming from a man in chains. She is the goddess in name and in power, I can assure you of this. But I must say that you've have certain grown to be a true thorn in my side. You'd be just as dangerous as Solomon is . . . if you were to be left alive. I should let you know that in a few days you will be executed in front of the people as one of the conspirators that sealed the city in so Solomon could commit his genocide. One last scapegoat to be a sacrifice to the goddess and the people will love her even more. And with that love will come my control, my guidance to a proper Koridai. It was a pleasure to finally meet someone with a grade of intelligence within these borders, although a pity I'll have to be rid of you."

Unwilling to even look down at Egann, Lucien turned around and knocked on the door. A guard opened it from the other side, Lucien quickly leaving Egann to himself. Lucien did not let Egann's words escape so easily from his mind. If anything he said had even the slightest amount of credibility he would need to consider new routes to take should the worse happen.

* * *

Jordan skipped dinner and retreated straight to the bedroom. The innkeepers, a young couple of well dressed people had been kind enough to show him where the room was. As he entered the room, he noticed that an entire corner of the room was filled with their weapons and valuable supplies. Ken sat by the window, taking notice of Jordan as he entered the room. Jordan gave him a tired wave, Ken nodded. It was good that the wanderer responded to simple gestures, he didn't seem like himself for a long time. There were three beds in the room and two mats placed out on the floor. Jordan was a little surprised that the innkeepers would let them have one large room like this, the kindness of strangers prevailed in strange lands.

 Not willing to bother with asking for a bed, he claimed one by falling on top of it and resting his head on a pillow. As he closed his eyes, he wondered whether he would dream during the night.

* * *

Solomon had been having the same dream every night since he had been defeated. The dream of him, standing in the mirror chamber with the others of Chikara Nadir's quadrate, looking up to the goddess herself by the mirror. He believed to know the meaning of the dream but every night it remained the same. His heart was devoid of rage or any other emotion he could think of, his will completely crushed at the hands of the new goddess . . . Chikara Nadir's usurper. It should at least irritate him that a false goddess stood where she did, commanding the empire and receiving the love of the people. But he felt nothing but defeat and weariness. Not even his sense of self-loathing and hatred could break free from the doldrums.

Night was coming soon to the empire. A night, full of stars in the sky and lights down below. He wondered why it was that he should remain alive? In the eyes of many, he was a fiend beyond reckoning. Lucien would command the people more if he were to be publicly executed. Why was the arch-inquisitor hesitating to finish him off? Had he decided that letting him live would prove to be a worse fate than death? Or perhaps it was a matter of how to kill him. But these thoughts soon gave way to the real troubles of his heart.

Koridai rejoiced. Koridai prospered again. And yet, this was not the world he set out to create with Chikara Nadir leading the way.

What had gone so wrong? Why? Why? Why had things go so wrong? Wasn't he strong enough? Wasn't his faith to the goddess true? Why? Why did Chikara Nadir leave? Why do the people not see that the new goddess was not the true goddess? How many people realized this? Did anyone realize this? No, this wasn't right. It wasn't right at all. THIS WASN'T RIGHT THIS WASN'T RIGHT THIS WASN'T RIGHT THIS WASN'T RIGHT THIS WASN'T RIGHT THIS WASN'T RIGHT THIS WASN'T RIGHT THIS WASN'T RIGHT THIS WASN'T RIGHT THIS WASN'T RIGHT THIS WASN'T RIGHT THIS WASN'T RIGHT THIS WASN'T RIGHT THIS WASN'T RIGHT.

This world had grown just as rotten as the last.

Then, a moment of insight within the madness of grief. THE MIRROR. Solomon opened his eyes through the haze of his own dread and remembered what it was that happened. Chikara Nadir disappeared in his dream, her reflection remained in the mirror. He rushed off his bed as far as his chains would let him. The guards on the other side, who had grown used to the quiet, were startled.

"I request to speak to the elder priest Faust." He said, his voice muffled from the other side of the door. The guards looked at each other, not entirely sure what it was he intended to do.

"Someone fetch the priest." A templar guard said softly.

"Are you mad? We can't submit to his demands, he's a prisoner!" Another said.

"He was never discharged from his position as Grand Marshal. I've followed his orders for two years and I can't help but think he'll come right out and beat us to an inch of our lives if we don't."

The others looked at the door and then at each other.

"We will seek him out." A templar said to Solomon.

Edited by Game Master JRPomazon, 04 January 2013 - 01:41 AM.


#223 Sir Turtlelot

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 09:39 AM

The sun had finally started to go down, as dusk rolled in. Soon it would be night, and Turtlelot would be able to move freely through the town, to an extent anyways. Then a familiar voice spoke to the android.

“You gonna stay out all night?”

The android looked over to see Leo and replied. "Seems to be the plan." Turtlelot rose to his feet to and said. "After all if something happens to the mounts we won't be going anywhere."

The metal man was somewhat confused by the dwarf's presence. Sleep was a necessity, and sometimes even a luxury of the mortals, at least it was to Turtlelot when he was a man. "So why are you not asleep, Leo? You know we've still got a long journey ahead of us, you could use it."

#224 Crimson Lego

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 06:49 PM

Not a bad idea, thought Leo after Turtlelot explained his presence. Lighting a pipe, he watched the setting sun and replied to the android’s question, “Thought about it, but I don’t feel too tired right now. Maybe in a couple minutes or so; I also find I don’t require much sleep in general, so there’s that.” Blowing a puff of smoke, the dwarf added, “With what happened earlier, stuff like that is hard to get off your mind.”

A few minutes of silence passed between the two of them, robot and dwarf; the majority of the town’s inhabitants had collected their children and headed in for the night. Partly to break the quietness, which he found unsettling, and out of his own curiosity, Leo turned back to Turtlelot with an indifferent expression on his face. “Turtlelot, have you ever thought about what’s going to happen to you once the next Avatar of Diel arises? Once he or she does come forth and reclaims the Sword, is your soul going to pass on to whatever occurs in death, or will you continue to possess this armour for eternity?

“I only ask because I personally feel that you’ve become an invaluable asset to Calatia, and, if I may say so, a good friend of mine as well.”

#225 Sir Turtlelot

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 10:22 AM

Turtlelot gave a small chuckle to Leo's question. "Ah, but General Crimson, I'm sure we are both well aware that nothing is for eternity. The next avatar will simply relieve me of my duty as sword bearer, assuming that they earn it of course. As for how long I shall possess this suit, that is an uncertainty, similar to how you are uncertain on how long the rest of your life will be."

Turtlelot found Leo's last comment to be very heartfelt, and even somewhat flattering. "I consider you to be a good friend as well Leo, perhaps one who worries a little too much though." The android said with a light sense of humor in his voice. "However, what’s important at the moment is our current mission, finding Synile before he can do more damage."

Turtlelot began to sift through the bags on Winston and on the carriage, and pulled out some food for the mounts. As he was feeding them, he asked “Leo, who is that strange fellow with us? I believe I overheard one of you calling him Shadow. What’s his story?”

#226 Crimson Lego

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 04:28 PM

At Turtlelot’s question, Leo couldn’t help but chuckle as he watched the android feed Winston. “That man is actually, formally, General Shadow of the Holy Empire of Koridai. He’s been one of the more well-known military commanders outside of those in the Quadrate. ” Pausing for a moment, the dwarf continued, “Fortunately for us, or at least me, he too came from the Lost Woods, which didn’t seem to make him like Chikara too much; that’s the reason I joined Calatia rather than Koridai, in any case.”

Lighting his pipe, Leo sat there smoking for a minute, and then made his way towards the inn. “Well, I think I’ll get that sleep now. See you in the morning,” he said with a nod. Opening the door to the loud and raucous shouts at the bar, the general extinguished his pipe to prevent a false fire alarm and made his way towards the assigned room.

Opening the door silently, he glanced at Jordan and Ken, both of whom seemed to be fast asleep, and chose a mat for himself. Pulling the covers over, Leo put his hands under his head and stared at the ceiling above him. So it seems that Chikara really has returned, he pondered, recalling the celebrations outside again. In that case, once the group had dealt with Synile, it would be nice to know what had happened to Selena; whether she was killed, still alive, or being held prisoner in the Arbiter’s Grounds.

Rolling over, Leo closed his eyes and let his mind drift away…




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