Mist

Pull out your pack and head on down to the Prancing Pony for some great Role Playing (try to stay in character)!

Postby atalantea » Sun Aug 21, 2005 11:54 pm

Callasandra followed the group as they moved, aware of the sounds surrounding them. She could hear the scampering of rats. Retched creatures that only knew two things; eat and mate. She was glad they did nothing but stare balefully at her and scurry off.

They entered tunnel after tunnel and soon they were all dripping with sweat. She was relatively dry. It was a lifetime ago since she experienced sweating. She tilted her head as the leader chose another tunnel, seemingly at random, seemingly at whim. He should have gone that way... A thought that wasn't knew to her anymore. She had been thinking these things since a while ago but opted to shut her mouth and keep these thoughts to herself. She didn't even know how she knew these things.

She heard her heart beat faster everytime they passed a tunnel mouth although she did not know how. She blinked several times as her eyes seemed to blur before her but clear and become more vivid that before. The light from the lantern seemed obcene to her now and it hurt her eyes, as if burning her everytime her gaze happened to stray that way and it strayed there often enough since the tunnel was not really wide enough to permit any more.

She hummed under her breath, hearing music that soothed and disturbed her at the same time. The melody played, seemingly stronger with each step she took, each step they all took going deeper into the tunnel. There were times when the music became softer then louder then louder then softer than her breath and heartbeat... but it was always there... never being completely gone.

They came to a stop when the mage turned and inquired "Do you believe in elves?"

Elves were of a time of peace and valour and beauty. When people of Middle-Earth were in a state of prosperity, where the thought of darkness was still something one could easily overcome.

Such a time was merely myth to her now. Such a time was simply inconceivable to her. She shook her head. Soon her whole body was trembling in mirthless laughter. She knew only the counter-part of elves. The twisted and tormented form of them. She met them and lived with them for so long she felt like she was one of them.

"Yes," she whispered quietly. "I do,"
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Postby MouseofMordor » Thu Aug 25, 2005 7:04 pm

Camiel felt like he had been walkin for days straight now. It was like every step he took was getting heavier. All the time he felt his full body weight resting upon his feet. Camiel walked near the end of the line still. Trying to get a good perspective on everybody as they walked on. Guilt and Brelgor were now in front with Paul. Guilt looked worried, even moreso then ever before. Suddenly they stopped and Guilt turned around to face them.

"Something is attracting this daemon," he said "And that same thing is attracting me. Or rather, the sorcerous energies composing my body, as you can see its reactions. It is... the antithesis of magic." He paused for a while and then suddenly asked, "Do you believe in elves?"

Camiel was thrown off guard by this question. Did he believe in elves? He had certainly heard the lore of old that told stories of beautiful elf maidens and wise but strong elf lords. But that was a time long past and elves were, be it not by choice, a dying race. That is if you were to believe in them. There were very few of them left in Middle-Earth. After king Aragorn had taken the thrown of Gondor Most elves had chosen the safe route to the undying lands.

Then Camiel remembered and old friend of his. On one of his journeys he had met a traveler named Bríon. Bríon was a bard, a storyteller that roamed the Earth trying to find a new exciting adventure. He told great stories of elves too. He always told he had been to Rivendell once. It had not been as beautiful as in the old days, when Lord Elrond was still there, but it was still magnificent in Bríon's eyes. Not many elves live there anymore now. But those that remained were very friendly and generous.

Camiel smiled when he thought about the story called 'The elf that talked too much'. The bottom line to the story was that the elf learned the value of silence in the end. It was a great story and Camiel remembered it well because the story made him realize that sometimes silence is gold. But Camiel as well as anybody else also knew that silence can be a very dangerous companion.

Camiel thoughts and the silence after Guilt's question were interrupted when Callasandra whispered quietly, "Yes, I do." and then she added "believe in elves i mean."

Camiel then said "Me too, i've heard stories about them and the magic they sometimes used. Isn't that what you were getting at Guilt?"

Guilt stared back at Camiel in silence not answering the question but seeming to think real hard. Camiel decided it as better to let it rest.

And although, having that all said, Camiel was relieved, he was also worried about what was to come. For why would Guilt ask if they believed in elves? And why didn't he answer his question? Maybe there was something ahead worse them? And if there was, then what was it?
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Postby Quimrill_Renctar » Fri Aug 26, 2005 1:04 pm

The tunnel stretched on for what seemed like forever. The darkness pressed in on them like a tangible wet blanket, giving the illusion of trying to smother with hostile intent. The reek of death and rotting flesh permeated the air. Paul passed the bottle of scented oil on when it was given to him, the smell was bad, but it was not the worst he had smelled.

They had only been walking a short time when Camiel came up behind him.

“Lord Paladin,” He said tentively. Paul was gratified to hear that there was none of the fear and very little of the uneasiness he was accustomed to when being addressed by anybody of lower rank, “The Callasandra said this would help with any muscle pain you have.”

Paul raised an eyebrow and looked askance at the small bottle. He couldn’t think of any circumstance where it was wise to drink something that came from a questionable source, and he was fairly sure that an unidentifiable elixir given by an inherently poisonous yet incredibly beautiful woman was just a little questionable. For the most part a Paladin’s metabolism could process almost any poison with only slight side affects, but coming from a woman of such apparent potency, he would be a fool to believe that she had only basic poisons as her disposal.

Of course the whole idea that she would try to poison him was ridiculous. She was part of their group, fighting for them as much as Paul himself was. There was nothing really not to trust, it wasn’t her fault that she existed in such a compromising state. But such things did not happen to a person without leaving a mark; there was no telling what she was capable of.

Paul’s muscles had fully stiffened. Now that he was simply walking and doing nothing more strenuous his muscles had tightened, “Did she say anything about it?”

“She said to drink a quarter of it,” Camiel squinted down at the liquid, then looked up at the Paladin and shrugged, “I trust her”

“Yes,” Paul nodded and turned back to walking. Cameil went back to the rear of the group. Paul contemplated the vial for a moment more then did as he was supposed to. It took a few minutes before he felt any difference whatsoever. The Metabolism and immune system of a Paladin was considerable, it would reject almost any foreign body except those sanctioned by their order. He had been right, this woman carried nothing of only minute potency if even this “medicine” was powerful enough to overwhelm his defense.

Slowly his muscles eased and unknotted. Paul flexed his muscles and noted that while the pain was not gone it had subsided and his body no longer fought his movement. He tucked what was left of the elixir in his battered gauntlet where it would be secure and safer. Perhaps when he returned to Gondor he would have the physicians analyze it and perhaps produce it for the use by the rest of the Paladin’s, it really was a rather incredible discovery.

They trekked for many more minutes, through several more tunnel branches, always following the blacksmith and the daemon. So it happened that after some time they came to yet another fork. They stood for a moment deciding which way the daemon seemed to feel would make it happier when the walls and tunnel in both directions were suddenly illuminated by a bright blue light.

Paul’s head jerked around to see Jason holding his sword nonchalantly. Funny, He didn’t seem the type to draw without need. Paul took a closer look at his surroundings trying to find the source of the danger the young warrior might have detected. Nothing. Wait, what was that they were saying? The young woman Tarin was trying to convince Jason that his sword glowed blue. It seemed a bit obvious so Paul assumed it was just the younger warriors making a bit of fun for themselves. Paul turned his attention back on the path in front of them.

Something was coming; he could hear the skittering of small feet and smell a familiar stench. Paul knew it was rats almost immediately, but down here anything could be dangerous. Unfortunately his own bulk was cutting off a great deal of the light that might have illuminated the tunnel in front of them. Paul turned and took the lantern from Tarin, who gave it up willingly enough, and held it above his head. The halo of light crept out further to illuminate a tide of typical rats as they swarmed down the tunnel. Paul moved to the side of the tunnel as everybody else had. Rats didn’t bother him, but he didn’t want the little beasts defecating on his armor. Paladins might be entirely devoted to the selfless service of the God King but they still managed to hold on to some small measure of pride.

The rats passed without incident but it was all too obvious why they had come swarming down this passage. Rats rarely moved with such definite purpose, there had to be something rather unpleasant down here.

They walked on a bit further after the rats had passed until faintly Paul began to detect something new in the scents around them. It was something… natural, clean even. Paul filed through his memory trying to put a name to this new scent but to now avail. He turned to council with Guilt on the matter and his eyes widened in amazement. The Acolytes hair had started to change its color. Not slowly but quickly, already it was shot through with black.

The blacksmith seemed to notice as well as he said something about it just then to the mage. Paul quite forgot about the new smell in light of this recent turn of events and walked on trying to sort out this occurrence in his mind. What could have caused this? The Two orders of Mages and Paladins worked closely in battle and keeping the peace, often coordinating attacks and skirmishes together. What went on behind their own order’s walls however, was of the deepest secrecy. As much as the orders relied on each other there were those, especially among the elder of both orders that did not think highly of their counterparts. Many elderly Paladins thought the mages meddlesome fools, dabbling in dangerous arts that they had no business in. Many an ancient Mage thought the Paladins reckless muscle bound ofes incapable of a rational decision.

The truth of the matter was, there was not great exchange of lore or practice between the two orders. So it was that Paul was left to wonder what the this change in Guilt might forebode without the slightest idea of what to expect.

“Trees,” said Brelgor

"So it would seem." Paul replied slowly, now that Brelgor mentioned it he found it a simple matter to reconcile the smell with memory. "But how do you detect it so easily? Even my enhanced senses have difficulty picking it out."

There was silence again as they walked until Guilt suddenly called a halt. “Listen Well”

Paul turned to look at Guilt again, startled by the severe change that had been affected in such a short time. He refused to show his unease, but stood steady as ever. He had been in far more perilous situations before, in his opinion, but always the solution was usually found with the mighty swing of a broadsword; here Paul was getting the sinking feeling there was more than steel could sunder. Not that it mattered, he was a Paladin, sworn in defense of Gondor, nothing, not even death- especially not death- mattered beside doing his duty.

"Something is attracting this daemon," Guilt pointed to Brelgor's cage where the creature was now mewling pitifully, eager to go towards the end of the tunnel. "And that same thing is attracting me. Or rather, the sorcerous energies composing my body, as you can see its reactions. It is... the antithesis of magic."

Paul allowed himself a grimace but that was all.

“Do you believe in elves?” Guilt suddenly asked them

Paul simply stood behind the Acolyte. More like a giant stone sentinel then ever. This question was not for him. Very few questions were ever asked by member of the mage’s order to a Paladin or vise versa. The Paladin’s were versed in matters of magic and ancient lore, if not proficient, and the same held true for Mages in the area of warfare. There was little the orders did not understand about each other or the world around them as it pertained to them on the surface. Guilt already knew that Paul had been taught of elves briefly. Only so much as to say that they existed and had power beyond reckoning at their call, but that it had not saved them in the end and they had all but flown from this continent. Whether they may still exist on this plane was irrelevant as far as the knights were concerned, it had no affect on their creed and service. Such was Paul’s stand, though the very fact that Guilt had asked the questions told him he might possibly be shifting that stand shortly.
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Postby Lilim » Sat Aug 27, 2005 9:01 pm

As he listened to their questions, Guilt gauged the reactions of the group he led. All of them seemed to have at least some measure of belief in Elves, if he read them rightly. Some like the Paladin, no doubt regarded it as general knowledge. But others, and here Guilt glanced towards Brelgor, possibly had personal experiences that convinced them more than any book of history could. The mage had his suspicions, but he was no mind reader. No doubt there were tales to be told, but not now. Now, it was enough they believed.

Guilt held up his hands to Camiel and Callasandra. "What we face... is not exactly an elf," he amended. "Not in a true sense. It was an elf at one point, and now it is... "

The acolyte grasped for words. His tongue felt heavy and awkward, his mouth dry. Taking a deep breath and letting go, the mage silently shook his head. For a minute or two he merely took some sips from his waterskin, gathering his thoughts. Finally, he spoke again.

"Perhaps my teacher's words are best, for the moment." he said, closing his eyes and bowing his head slightly. "It was several years ago..."

---

He stretched out his hands, making as if to grab one of the fat, rolling clouds travelling along the light blue sky. A cool breeze made ripples in the soft, lush grass he lay on, carressing his tan skin teasingly. And all the while, the summer sun laid its warmth over the land like a light, comfortable blanket. It was a good day to lie down and drowse away the hours looking into the sky so blue.

"Little one... "

It was a good day to do absolutely nothing at all. A plum tree was nearby, the fruit plump and full of juice to quench both hunger and thirst. And there was the shade in case he ever got tired of the sun, which seemed unlikely.

"...little one, come here..."

No worries, no troubles, no obligations. He was at peace with the world and the world was at peace with him. He could already feel his eyelids growing heavier, as if the gentle rays of the sun were closing his eyes for him.

Then suddenly, his entire body stiffened. Without thought or will, his body moved for him. He stood abruptly and turned towards the plum tree. Underneath the shade sat a lady of many respectable years. And she wore them well, all considering. Despite being clad in a simple purple robe, she exuded an elegance he would never quite find in most of the so-called nobility. With a simple wave of her fingers, he was suddenly pulled towards her, and with another casual gesture, he sat down heavily in front of the woman.

"Please pay attention when I call you, Guilt," she spoke. Her voice was deeper than usual for a woman, but it only added to the aura of elegance and power that surrounded her. "I am afraid my patience grew short."

Once released of the compulsion, Guilt took to a knee and bowed his head. "Forgive me, my lady. I thought I had heard a voice, but I did not think it was for me."

A sad little smile appeared on the woman's soft face. "I too am sorry, Guilt. You are not my 'little one' any longer."

As a Senior Mage of the Order, Lissa had taken many apprentices through their formative "gray" years, when they wore the gray clothes of Novice. At twelve years of age, Guilt was ending his white cloth days and would in another year take up the red of Acolyte. And he would soon begin learning under a different master.

"They grow up quickly in these dark days... " she murmured to herself. Putting away the stray thoughts, she brought out a few books from her satchel. "We may as well study here since you are so fond of summer days," she said.

Guilt sighed briefly. So much for drowsing the day away in the sun...

---

"... and they did battle with the traitorous cabal and their unholy summoning. Many great mages perished that day. Galvain of the White Fire, Enaeys of the Four Hands, and Omorin the Noble Hart of Mirkwood are counted among their number. In the end, the Bright One was slain, but at a terrible cost. When at last Lord Ryva came, after being delayed countless times by the chaotic hordes of the Void, he found he was too late. Not a single man remained standing, be they traitor or mage of the Kingdom.
"It is said the horror of the scene stunned the First Mage into complete silence, and that he did not utter another word for one whole year. Not even to the God-King, whom he revered as a father, would he speak. And after a year, he would still not reveal fully the account of that fateful day. It may be that in mercy, his mind erased such memories... "

Lady Lissa closed the book of lore and stared thoughtfully at the snowy haired young man in front of her. "Is something the matter, Guilt?"

"I don't believe it," he stated flatly, green eyes defiant. "I can't believe it. It doesn't sound like something the First Mage would do."

"Oh?"

Guilt closed his eyes, focusing his thoughts. "Lord Ryva... before he gained the title of First Mage, he was called the Mage of Blades. All the histories speak of him as a warrior-wizard, with a heart of steel. All the lectures in the academy talk about his courage and wisdom. But this passage does not fit in with any of it. Am I to believe he was stunned into silence by some Void-spawn? That he would withold critical information on one of the deadliest foes from the Void because he was shocked by remains on the battlefield? He was already fifty years old by then, a veteran. Either this book is covering something up or this is the only true account of Lord Ryva and all the rest are just fanciful fairy tales."

Lissa narrowed her eyes. "Do not speak of the battlefield when you have never been near one."

Reprimanded, Guilt bowed his head and remained silent.

"The Bright One... " Lady Lissa began in a hushed tone. "... was once an Elf, it is true. Do you know what that means, Guilt? The Elven race was the greatest that dwelled in Arda."

At Guilt's shocked expression, she scoffed laughingly. "Before you send me off to the Inquisitors, young Novice, listen well. Even the God-King, blessed be his name, said this. But those who make the books cover it up, just as they cover the truth of what Lord Ryva saw... or found out that day. It may be something the current regime does not care for, perhaps something the Priests do not see fitting into their sermons of eternal war against the absolute evil of the Void.
"The Bright One was no daemon. It was no twisted Void-spawn. It was something new, Guilt, just born into the world. How was it born? How did it live? How did it die? Did it say anything? I find it hard to believe that nothing was found, just the same as you. In fact, I don't believe it."

"My lady, are you saying that even now, there may be people-"

"In our very Order, Guilt," she said coldly. "Our friends, the Paladins, the Inquisitors... they too have their dark secrets. Hidden even from others of their same Order. Believe that. If the King was still on the Throne, maybe these secrets would finally find the light of day, but as things are..."

Guilt stared at her intently. "And you, my lady. You are one of the eldest mage of the Order. Do you too have your secrets?"

She smiled slyly. "But of course. We mages are nothing if not a collection of mysteries."

"Tell me about the Bright One. About the Elves."

Lady Lissa sighed and looked at the setting sun. "... not from me, my little one. Our time together is over and it is time to hand you off to a new teacher. Perhaps you may learn more then."

She smiled faintly, wistfully. "But be careful Guilt. The truth is oftentimes painful. You may not like what you find out about this world... "


---


It seemed all too recent, and yet all too distant, those memories of a long-ago childhood.

"What I have learned of the Bright Ones amounts to little, I will confess," said Guilt. "As I said, the Bright One was once an Elf who may have died ages ago, alone and forgotten to the world. Yet even its bones hold the ancient power of the Elven race, a trace of it. Somehow, someway, it becomes Void-touched. It may be the design of a monsterous daemon-mage, at least that is my theory. It may even be the same daemon who raised up the Bright One hundreds of years ago. One thing is absolutely certain, however. You all know the stories or have seen pictures of Elves walking in the woods, a flock of woodland creatures trailing in its wake. For Elven magic is the essence of Life and even Men are naturally attracted by it.
"But that same magic is twisted, made malleable by the Void until it becomes almost an opposite. Thus... daemons trail in the wake of a Bright One, much like the caged one here. And those touched by the Void are also affected."

Like myself. he added silently. It was perhaps a little disturbing how mages had connection with daemons.

"Given enough time, more and more daemons will simply keep coming here under the Inn. Already I suspect there will be hundreds by now. All waiting for the Bright One to awaken from its slumber, ready to follow it anywhere, tearing down anything standing in its way. And I believe it will awaken soon. We at least stand a chance of cutting it down while it sleeps."

"But the daemons... hundreds of them... "

Guilt shook his head curtly and pointed to the caged daemon. "Look how docile it has become. While the Bright One sleeps, the other daemons may be in a similiar state. But I will not lie to you. There are a lot of 'mays' and 'ifs'. This is why I must go on and at least learn something of the foe, if not kill it. The Lord Paladin too, is duty bound to slay this threat. But the rest of you have a chance. I will say the same thing I said above in the Inn when we first met. None of you who choose to stay behind now are cowards. What we face is perhaps even more dangerous than daemons and wights. What we face... is the Unknown. However, know that if we fail here, there is no safe place left on this island. In a day, perhaps less, the Inn will be overrun with daemons. In a week, there will not be a safe place left on Tolfalas."

The mage held the gaze of everyone in the group. "I have made my choice. I await to see who will accompany myself and the Lord Paladin into the light beyond."
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Postby celebalqua » Mon Aug 29, 2005 5:26 am

Brelgor’s head was reeling; the smell was not just of trees. Although completely indiscernible to most in this party, it overpowered his senses. As so often with familiar scents, Brelgor’s mind brought images rushing back.

”The blade must be cooled slowly, but it must not be allowed to get cold, you need to feed its life from your own, hold it close to your cheek. When you can no longer sense it near your skin, then it is time to return it to the coals.”

The tall elf stood a good foot higher than Brelgor, his dark eyes intent on the young boy. They glowed with warmth that Brelgor cherished. He worked hard to justify the pride his grandfather showed in him, he listened carefully to his instruction and checked his enthusiasm regularly. Brelgor knew that patience was the key to the best blades.

He held the red-hot blade next to his cheek as his grandfather came as close and held his cheek to the other side. Aldarin hummed a low melody and Brelgor closed his eye and lost himself in the deep vibrations. The blades heat had faded as Breglor shook himself, as if from a trance, to see his grandfather watching him patiently.

“Goheno anim” he muttered returning Aldarin’s gaze.

“No, forgive me” Aldarin smiled, “you are right to focus on the blade”.




Brelgor smiled to himself at the memory; that had been the first sword he had made, and it had been a fine blade. He had been eleven or twelve, he could not recall exactly. Holding the sword while it cooled had challenged his undeveloped muscles. His arm had ached for days after, but that first sword had given him good service, it was light, but expertly balanced, the blade kept sharp for far longer than the blades his father produced. And his grandfather had worked an inscription along the blade that became his motto in life: Marth mílanna i 'ûr istol

"Do you believe in elves?" the Mage was asking the others. It seemed such a strange thing to say. Breglor was often taken aback at the mystery that so many now gave to the Eldar, as if somehow their existence was doubtful. But these days were strange and the lore that for him as a child was part of growing up, had been lost to the religious fervour for the God-King. Brelgor did not often voice his regret at this loss; he had lived in these times too long to question the policies of the Paladin and Mage Orders. He understood the need to incite the blind following for the God-King within the masses. The very fate of man’s existence was in the balance. But he grieved for what man would become if the lore of both his races were lost in this fight.

Brelgor changed the weight of the cage in his grasp. The daemon now seemed quite submissive as if in some kind of trance. Brelgor gave it a shake, but this elicited no more that weak cry of despair rather than outrage. This was very strange, thought Breglor, and a fear that had been quiet for the last half hour now rose sharply in his throat. The strange smell that seemed wholesome and familiar was mixed with a scent of darkest evil. All at once he knew what they were facing, and from the sound of it, the Mage clearly knew as well.

"What we face... is not exactly an elf," he amended. "Not in a true sense. It was an elf at one point, and now it is... "

Brelgor had heard many stories of the Bright Ones. Most he deemed fanciful tales from men who had heard only snippets from others. But one tale, he had not dismissed as fiction. He remembered the face of one who had escaped an horrific battle. He had been sent by his commander with a small company to bring news of the battle to their Orders. After their escape had been blocked by Daemons, they had turned back and came to a battlefield completely decimated. Hundreds of their kindred lay slain and injured. From those still able to speak, they were able to piece together the horror that had taken place.

The battle had been hard fought, many daemons and men had been slain, but the wind had changed and the men felt a new presence on the ground. Out of a particularly brutal fight strode a tall being. He had slain many daemons and several companies seemed to be following him and praising his name. The survivors described this thing as a man but not a man. He was tall and strong, his hair silver white. He carried a long bow and a magnificent sword that sang as it cut through the air. His aura swept up all the men about him; they became self-assured and foolhardy.

And they followed him. He led them into a strong hold of daemons, buoyed by his confidence; they fought with fervour unknown to them, and at the start they overcame their enemies. But just as it looked that they would prevail, the strange being gave out a harrowing cry, a cry that rang through their very beings, a cry that brought down on them more daemons than they had ever faced. As one, the men turned to their new leader for guidance, to find him turning his bow on them. With a laugh of such malice that all who heard cringed in fear, he cut them down.

The pallor of the speaker’s face and the horror in his eyes told Brelgor of the truth of this tale. When he had inquired further as to what it was those men had called this being, the story-teller had spoken so quietly Brelgor was never truly sure he had heard it correctly. Now as Guilt told his tale, Brelgor heard himself whisper the name as the Mage spoke it.

“The Bright Ones” Once elves now, horror beyond words. Yes, Brelgor had heard the stories of their origin. And indeed the recount he had heard fit such an origin. But what could turn one of the race of Firstborn to such evil? Brelgor was not as naïve as most of this age when it came to the Elves. He had seen as much cruelty and jealousy in their race as in any other. But such vices were the bane of all Children of Ilúvatar. The Mage’s explanation that perhaps the Bright One’s had risen from the remains of the Eldar did not sit well with Brelgor, but what ever the explanation, he knew some link between the Bright Ones and his kindred existed.

The Mage was calling for them to follow him, to investigate and perhaps attack this evil thing in its slumber. Brelgor did not need to think about this decision. Something from within him was calling him. The scent on the air called to him in a way he had never experienced. And although he was utterly convinced of its evil, his whole being yearned to meet this foe. Brelgor checked himself and shook the thoughts from his mind. Somehow this thing had some sway over him. He could become a liability if he did not rein in this feeling.

He turned to the Mage and spoke quietly.
“Whatever it is that lurks in the darkness, calls to my being in a way I may not be able to control, I am willing to follow you down this path, but are you willing to have me? The Eldar runs one quarter in my veins and this thing stirs within a trepidation that is unknown to me.”
Last edited by celebalqua on Wed Aug 31, 2005 5:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Lilim » Tue Aug 30, 2005 8:29 pm

"I suspected there was something about you," Guilt replied to Brelgor. "Nonetheless, I would have you at our side. What capabilities the Bright One possesses, what its extents... I know nothing. It may very well be able to influence any one of us. But while it sleeps, that may not be a factor we will have to face."

A sudden hardness entered the mage's green eyes as he looked on at the smith. "However, I will keep your warning in mind, Brelgor of Dale. Should you falter, I promise you my sword will not hesitate. Just as your own blade shall not should it prove to be I who falters."

Almost, it seemed as if the acolyte was a new person. Whether it was the gradual returning of his full powers as a mage-soldier of Gondor, or the intensity that surrounded him like an aura, it was clear this was an unseen side of Guilt. The acolyte turned to face the band he had gathered.
"I do not expect to sneak in and slit the Bright One's throat, then slip away like a thief. We may be facing a fight far harsher than the one in the cellar. When you fought then, you were all individuals, tentative to one another. Now I see alliances form."

He spared a glance towards Jason and Tarin, then another quick look towards Callasandra and Camiel.

"Some more effective than others," he said wryly, almost smirking for a moment. "And yet, this may prove to be the deciding factor. To watch each other's backs. It may sound like a small thing in the face of a hundred daemons... but if history classes have taught me anything, it is oftentimes the small things that can change the fortunes of war. Now, prepare yourselves in whatever way you deem neccesary."

Guilt stalked off some distance from the rest, and when he felt he was fairly secluded, he knelt on the rough surface, a hand clasped to his breast, a fist on the ground.

"In your name, Anacrion, God-King of Mankind, give us the strength to conquer your enemies, to stand fast against the lure of accursed Void, until your Return. In your name, Ryva, First Mage of the Order, lend this weak acolyte a portion of your heart, strong as the steel of your countless blades."

The silent prayer was said with all earnestness, but felt strangely empty to Guilt. The oppressive darkness seemed to grow even as he uttered the words, as if in mockery. Like ash on the tongue, the words fell away.
For a moment, Guilt was certain it was an omen, and not a good one.

But with a fierce shake of his head, he scattered such concerns to the wind. It was time to go. Everything that needed to be said had been said. There was but one thing left, the light at the end of the tunnel...

---

Like knives piercing through my eyes and into my skull, thought Guilt as he walked out of the tunnel and faced the glow. The bright light was still a little ways off, probably in the center of this strange chamber. The acolyte couldn't see just how large or small the chamber was. For the light of the Bright One seemed not to reveal anything. When the sun's light spread over the sky, it lightened everything. But the unnatural Void-Light only shined for itself.
Guilt felt like running into that light, lunging in sword first and killing whatever lay in the glow. His body was literally surging with conflicting energies. It was like his sorcerous power was trying to leap out of this body which constrained it so.

He kept a fair enough rein on those emotions, though, as he warily inspected the chamber around him along with the others in the party. For the most part, with the exception of the bright glow, the chamber seemed empty. There were no hundred daemons in sight.

"It appears I have been mistaken in some of my assumptions... " Guilt said in a low voice, as he moved slightly ahead, feeling his way with his hands. "Possibly I- "

A new voice, quiet and sinister, cut in. "The Loci told us to expect you..."

Suddenly, Guilt's hand grasped onto something very thin, like a flat piece of rope coming from the ceiling. Except this rope was very sticky and its edges razor sharp. Guilt tried pulling his hand back, but the thing stuck to him fast. Without any warning, the "rope" twitched into motion and wrapped itself around him, scoring several shallow cuts around Guilt's clothes and skin in the process.

He had only enough to time to cry out in a stifled voice, "Above you!"

And then he felt himself violently jerked upwards, something pulling him in incredibly quickly. The acolyte looked upwards and suddenly the entire roof of the chamber blossomed into a field of eyes. Hundreds of tiny eyes... and black, gaping maws that resembled hideous mouths, rather like the ones on the caged daemon but on a much larger scale and getting closer every second as the mage rushed towards the ceiling.

Meanwhile below, the light of the lantern sputtered, then flared for a brief moment. And all around them, the party saw similiar thin, black tongues, beginning to twitch back and forth, seeking out flesh.

And all the while, slow-blinking eyes watched them blearily from above...
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Postby atalantea » Wed Aug 31, 2005 2:46 am

Callasandra knew it was time to turn back. Her head all but screamed it. She had to leave. There was nothing beyond there for her. Nothing to benefit her should they survive... and that was a very big improbability. She surprised herself by taking a step forward. It meant more to her than to anybody else in the room. It was not a choice her concious thought made. She felt, needed to get close... closer.

She stopped herself and took a deep breath. Trying to regain equilibrium, to regain a single moment of control. She blinked as she felt a little more like herself again. She felt a warm hand on her arm. "What is wrong?"

She jerked her hand free of Camiel. "I can't..." she shook her head and cleared her throat. "I don't think I could... leave unchanged,"

"What do you mean?" Concern and caution crossed his features.

"Nothing... she said blankly and catching a look of their kneeling leader, composed herself and smiled at Camiel. "You should be a little more careful around me young man, I'm starting to think you like my kisses more than you hate the discomfort it brings,"

Camiel grinned and shook his head. "I am unsure myself, but yes, I'll be more carefull,"

"Excuse me then, I need to talk to our leader," she blew him a kiss before moving towards the leader. She was about to call him but they stepped into the chamber of light and everything seemed to have happened so fast.

Above you!

Ropes of what seemed to be snakes encircled them, eliciting grunts and cries from the group. She felt the slither of one by her arm, her thighs, one deadly caress around her throat. She immediately reached for her swords but found that her elbows were strung tight against her.

She was jerked upwards and she felt the cuts as the scales lacerated her skin. Just a little more and she would be able to reach her sword and free herslef or their leader. He would know what to do...
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Postby MouseofMordor » Wed Aug 31, 2005 12:20 pm

Camiel’s head was a blur. Brelgor, the smith from dale, had only just revealed he was part eldar. Although Camiel was shocked by this confession it all seemed to make more sense now than it did before. Brelgor’s senses were stronger than those of ordinary humans like himself. His senses had been almost as sharp as Guilt’s. At least it seemed so in Camiel’s eyes.

They saw a light at the end of the tunnel. It was unlike any light Camiel had ever seen. Callasandra looked eager enough to get towards it. It was like an invisible force grabbed her and pulled her towards the light.

"What is wrong?" camiel asked her. She jerked her hand free of Camiel. "I can't..." she shook her head and cleared her throat. "I don't think I could... leave unchanged,"

Her comment seemed almost as unclear as her attitude. She was already changing in Camiel’s eyes, changing into a new person. Although Camiel couldn’t quite figure out if that change was a good thing.

"What do you mean?" He asked Callasandra. He was concerned with her because although she was the one that had endangered his life once, she was also the person that saved him and if she was in trouble he might be able to return that favour. And maybe then he could get angry with her.

“Nothing” she said and she gazed over towards Guilt, she then pulled herself together and smiled at Camiel.
"You should be a little more careful around me young man, I'm starting to think you like my kisses more than you hate the discomfort it brings,"

Camiel grinned and shook his head. "I am unsure myself, but yes, I'll be more carefull,"


Camiel thought to himself, “Am I that much of an open book to her? Am I realy that easy to understand and figure out?” He wasn’t going to get any answers soon cause Callasandra excused herself, "Excuse me then, I need to talk to our leader," She blew Camiel a kiss and walked away.

“Above you!” Guilt’s voice sounded loud and clear. Callasandra, Paul and Brelgor were in the room with Guilt. Jason and Tarin rushed in there with Camiel right behind them.

What Camiel saw there was unlike anything he had ever witnessed in his short, but exciting, life. Creatures extended their tongues, or something like that, towards the floor to grab them. It looked like huge ropes that were trying to grab onto anything they could get a grip on. Camiel was able to doge one or two and he managed to load up his crossbow in the process. At that moment he noticed the shining eyes up on the ceiling. They were gazing down at them. Camiel had a clear shot after dodging another one of the ropes and he shot. A screech sounded throughout the room and for a while the things stopped moving. Brelgor, Paul, Jason and Tarin stopped hacking away and they covered their ears from the horrible sound the creature made after being hit by an arrow. When the sound died away Camiel looked around and found himself surrounded by hundreds of small daemons. They looked like the mouth daemons they had seen earlier at the inn but bigger and they had sharper teeth. As Camiel looked around some more he figured out where they were coming from. There was a big hole in the ceiling which now released lots of the little creatures.

Camiel was scared to death and he was to scared to move. Silence cut through the light room and suddenly Camiel smiled. He looked up at callasandra and he saw she grabbed her sword. She was one cut away from freeing Guilt. But Camiel also knew that if callasandra were to hack off the rope-thing, that was holding and choking Guilt, they were in for open warfare with the other daemons. It wouldn’t look pretty.
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Postby Aduial » Wed Aug 31, 2005 6:29 pm

“Do you believe in elves?”

Tarin’s blue-green eyes lit up and darted upwards, bringing her up her lower eyelids in that expression of curious excitement which often graces determined youth. Elves? Yes, a thousand times yes she believed in elves. Her mind was filled with stories of them, with wishes of discussing them. Never had anyone spoken to her about elves save storytellers. Sensing her excitement, the scythe tingled in her palm.

She reduced her eagerness so that it shown through only slightly, as if filtered. She sensed what Guilt had to say about elves was not going to be a pleasant type of story.

Bright Ones… Bright Ones… Nefertari searched her mind, scratching it for any memory of the word. Her short-term memory was infamously weak, but often it seemed her long term memory was no better. Perhaps Mierlocke had talked of Bright Ones.

"I have made my choice. I await to see who will accompany myself and the Lord Paladin into the light beyond." Guilt had spoken his ultimatum. It was here and now that the decisions were to be decided.

Decisions were always difficult, but making one over the other occurred so smoothly it seemed it could scarcely have been thought over enough. Such was the manner of decision making.

Nefertari stepped forward and swept off her hat.

“If you would pardon what naiveties that youth allows, I would gladly join you, Guilt, and the lord Paladin. I am neither ignorant nor unskilled, and I would use what traits I have to help stop anything of the Void. My woods are no longer safe to hunt in. I have nothing but the future, and that I know I must make for myself. You have my scythe and my mind, be what they are worth.”

Before putting her hat back on her head, Tarin tied a sash around its base that was of a shade of red almost as deep as her hair. A small mannerism, yes, but it was the one signal that she was devoted to something. The frayed ends of the sash dangled limply off the side of her wide brim. She smiled briefly at how silly she must have looked, a short girl declaring her cause and tying a warrior scarf boldly to her hat. She had not meant to seem so official.

Tarin glanced at Brelgor as he shifted the weight of the cage. She was surprised to hear he was at least partially elf. No wonder he seemed so interesting, she thought, but almost instantly countered herself; the man himself seemed to be intriguing, not just the blood in his veins.

Guild spoke once more to them. He seemed different than when she had first seem him in the inn. He talked of alliances, and the fight to come.

Tarin remembered vaguely the other battles she had been in. How she mimicked her master’s skin by painting half of her face a dark blue-black, from her forehead to the bridge of her nose and across to above her ears. She felt at home in that mask. But there was no time now for such traditions; perhaps if they survived the battle to come she would take out the bottle of black indigo dye and mask herself once more.

Tarin and Jason gave each other grim half-smiles as Guilt finished talking. It was indeed nice to have someone to trust. Tari also felt like she trusted Guilt much more than she should have, despite his mysterious character, his young face on an old soul. His devotion to the God-King. Ah, there was a spot Tarin had not mentioned yet. She was used to not mentioning it, as for the little amount of time she spent with people, the Inquisitors would have dragged her off. She had given Anacrion her respect, though not her bound faith and soul.

As Guilt began speaking again, near the end of the tunnel, Tarin contracted a very strange feeling. It was like walking through the woods, trying not to walk into any spider webs. The hairs on the back of her neck tingled, her hunter’s sense acute.

“Above you!” Came Guilt’s shout, as his body was pulled upwards. The Paladin made a swift move, causing the lantern to fall and go out.
Something hit the brim of Tarin’s hat, and she felt the hat lifting off her head. Not the hat! she thought idiotically, and, even more stupidly, grabbed it back. She knew the mistakes she had made as soon as they happened, but she turned them into an advantage for herself. Since she was not being stung by the ropes, she had free movement. As the things lifted her hat, she jack-knifed her body upwards and swung out the scythe.

The weapon cut down about five of the living ropes, but she could not swing it outright. Besides the danger of hitting someone else, swinging the scythe full circle would mean that part of the shaft would hit the strange tentacles without cutting them. Tarin would not risk her scythe being taken from her.

The swing had severed those holding her hat, causing Tarin to fall heavily on her side. She looked up to a myriad of eyes, all blinking down.

“Guilt!” she yelled at the upside-down abyss of eyes, trying to look where he had been pulled up. The ropes fell, however, groping towards her body as it lay on the ground. I hope he can get out of there, she thought as she slashed the slithered ropes and righted herself. A blue light had suddenly filled the room as Jason drew his sword. The light allowed them to see the “ropes” as they fell, so it was easier to avoid.

With a jump Tarin remembered Jason couldn’t see the light, and consequently couldn’t see the danger that well. He swung at the air around him. Remembering what Guilt had said about watching each others’ backs, Tarin went over to help him.

“Keep your sword out of that sheath, because it’s helping the rest of us!” She told him over her shoulder. He paused briefly, still no doubt confused about the veracity of his glowing sword, but continued none the less.

As they fought, Tarin risked a glance back to make sure no cords were sneaking up on them, when a creature from above took advantage of her split attention. A long tendril snaked swiftly around her arm. Fortunately, her wrist-guard kept it from lacerating her, but her shoulder was nearly pulled out as she was jerked upwards. To Tarin’s utter dismay, the wrist that had been grabbed held her scythe, and it clattered to the ground as she ascended. A brief, wild panic and need set in to have the scythe in her hand. It was perhaps this need more than her safety that drove Tarin to get down in whatever way possible.

As the eyes grew closer, Tarin looked down. Jason had swung around, looking for Tarin, and his blade caught the flat side of her blade as it lay on the ground.

The strong glare bounced up, shedding painful light on the creature pulling her. Tarin grabbed a knife from her boot and swung it hard into the center of the creature. It let out a terrible shriek and released Tarin. She fell from its grasp, but even as she did so other ropes slung out at her. They caught her just before she hit the ground, so she was cradled in a hammock of sticky needles. Her bare upper arms caught most of the brunt, the rest of her being mildly protected.

The scythe was just below her, if she could only reach it…..
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Postby Lilim » Fri Sep 02, 2005 8:12 pm

The acolyte gritted his teeth and struggled frantically. Even as he had sensed the barest tug on his hand, Guilt had jerked his sword-arm down and across his body, just inches away from the grip. It didn't look like it was going to go any further, however, no matter how desperately he stretched his fingers.

From the corner of his eyes he glanced at the thing on the ceiling. The young mage was half expecting an enormous mouth, ringed with pointy little teeth. But from the faint light of Jason's sword, he caught glimpses a roughly pyramid shaped, amorphous looking block of slime, ending in a black, jelly-like hole that expanded hideously wide. Numerous, beady eyes glowed from the rim of that maw. And Guilt was quickly being dragged into its dark center.

Glancing downwards, he saw Callasandra not far behind him. A rough plan took shape in the acolyte's mind in the few seconds he had remaining. She was going to reach one of her swords, he could tell that much. But instead of freeing herself, Callasandra seemed more intent on freeing him.
With another quick glance down, the acolyte saw why that might be. Both of them were now too far above the ground to risk a freefall. Perhaps she was hoping the wizard would have some plan up his sleeve on gettiong them down without broken bones.

Guilt suddenly surged against his restraint in one mighty heave, cutting himself badly. But the tongue gave pause for half a moment, enabling Callasandra to shoot up closer beside him. The pale woman just barely managed to get her sword free, cutting at Guilt's restraint with a desperate slash. It didn't have much force, due to the lack of leverage, but it was enough to loosen the tongue's hold on the acolyte's sword arm.

He glared fiercely, the only warning he could afford to give the pale woman. With a single, fluid blur of movement, Guilt drew his blade and slashed downwards. For a moment, he met Callasandra's eyes and saw surprise. Then pain as a dark crimson line appeard from the tip of her shoulder to mid-bicep. Blood blossomed up and outwards, striking Guilt and the tongues of the creatures that held them. Immediately, the tongues halted. Some started twitching randomly, while others violently spasmed and went limp as the potent poison of the pale woman's blood sunk in.

With his restraints sufficiently loosed, the acolyte quickly dropped to Callasandra's level, grabbing her around the waist with his sword arm, while his other grasped onto the razor sharp tongue holding her. The tongues quickly started descending and they went into a freefall, rushing towards the ground. Guilt braced himself, but this was going to hurt. Bad.

With a savage jerk, the tongue reached its limit, stopping just short of the ground. The acolyte cried out briefly as his hand was brutally cut. He and the pale woman fell roughly a short ways as his blood streaked hand lost its grip. A hot pain spread through his left hand, reaching out to the wrist and his forearms. Guilt lifted his head up and caught sight of a small thing lying on the ground in front of him. A finger.

A glance at his bloody hand, now short a middle finger, confirmed it. All in all, it wasn't too bad, the acolyte thought. He could've lost his whole hand, and at least it wasn't his swordarm.
Sparing a brief look over Callasandra, Guilt saw she was more or less okay. The cut he had given her was still bleeding, but it was a very shallow wound, as shallow as he could manage given the circumstances. He had used only the uttermost tip of his blade.

His red coat was stained where the poisonous blood had splattered, but as Guilt had shielded his face, he himself was untouched since he was more or less covered well everywhere else. It had been the best plan he could up with to save both of them, as well as halting many of the ceiling dwellers attacks. Nonetheless, he had the feeling Callasandra would not think very highly of him in the future. It would not hinder her movements, but it definitely stung.

Guilt got up shakily, clutching his left hand to his chest, and looked around. Nearby, the Paladin had just grabbed a few of the dangling tongues, and with a savage yank, pulled down five of the ceiling dwellers. Others in the group were faring as best as they could manage. Camiel had been using his crossbow to good effect, but now seemed hesitant.
Tarin was in a bind, literally, as she struggled to free herself from a tangle of the black creepers. Brelgor and Jason rushed to her aid. Several of the mouth daemons were scattered about on the ground, but they seemed sluggish and posed only minor threat if one strayed too near. But they were not actively attacking. Even the ceiling dwellers did not seem extremely alert. Guilt had been right to an extent, these daemons were in a torpor, but they had been roused recently into action.

But what awoke them? Guilt thought uneasily. Has the Bright One awoken?

As if in answer to his thoughts, a shadow stretched along the ground. Standing in front of the Bright One's glow was a thin silohouette. Shielding his eyes, the acolyte peered at the black figure. It was man-like, but its proportions were clearly unnatural. It was hideously thin, despite a height of nearly eight feet. Ribs plaintively stood out and the stomach was caved in. The shabby, rotten cloak that the figure wore could not hide it. The thing resembled a skeleton with only the barest of skin stretched tightly over it. It was a deathly blue in pallor and its wide, fish-like eyes seemed to glow white. A wide brimmed hat covered its oblong head.

A Lesser Lord. Once a man, now a Void twisted half-daemon. It was not quite as powerful as a full Daemon Lord, but was a devious and cunning opponent all the same. For the Lesser Lord never fought alone.

It cocked its head, wide white eyes lolling in its skull. A weak whimpering sound was heard. With an amused grin, the Lesser held up its hand. Long, thin fingers, nearly three feet in length and ending in knife-like nails, carried a bloodied mouth daemon, its limbs showing signs of being gnawed off. It struggled weakly as the Lesser brought it towards its own maw, which was opening impossibly wide. With a flick of his wrist, the Lesser tossed the mouth daemon inside and swallowed it whole.

Guilt felt bile rising in his throat. The Lesser Lords were disgusting things, depraved and sadistic. They embodied the worst qualities of the rulers of Men.

"The Loci warned us," it rasped, smiling with malice. "The girl with the burning blood. The treasure hunter. The white haired wizard. I know you all. Though perhaps you should be called the nine-fingered wizard now."

Suddenly, dark, foreboding shapes rose up alongside the Lesser. Heavy thudding and the clanking of metal on stone echoed off the walls.

Guilt stared the Lesser down. "Your words mean nothing to me, Void-spawn" he said, deadly calmness in his voice. "I do not care if this 'Loci' warned you. It will avail you little. We've come to slay the Bright One and the rest of your kind."

"Is that so?" the daemon grinned, holding up its long, knife-like fingers. "Because I have come to slay you and your kind."

With a blur, it streaked towards Guilt and Callasandra.
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Postby celebalqua » Sun Sep 04, 2005 9:17 pm

The hairs on the back of his neck stood up instantly as Brelgor entered the chamber. Without out thought, he dropped the Daemon. His hand moved to his sword. The soft chime as he drew it was only slightly reassuring.

“Above you” the warning from Guilt was fortuitous, giving Brelgor time to leap aside as another of the long thin tentacles, if that’s what they were, searched the space he had just occupied. Brelgor swept his sword through it and a length of about a metre fell to the ground, the rest recoiled, spraying dark blood like a hose. The caged Daemon screamed as it was sprayed with the muck. Brelgor drove his sword through the creature, it had served its purpose and he was sick of it. He drew his sword back and tapped the mechanism at the top of the cage. Instantly it sprang open and using his boot, Breglor shoved the dead creatures body free. As soon as the obstruction of the daemon was removed the cage collapsed in on itself and became a small ball again. In one fluid motion, Brelgor scooped it up and stored it safely in his pack.

The Mage, and now Callasandra, had been ensnared by the tentacles. They were held fast and from what Breglor could see, they cut deep into the captives flesh. Brelgor’s gaze followed the tentacles up to the ceiling. In that instant the lantern flared and a horror of eyes and mouths was revealed. The flair, although revealing much, had ruined his vision and Brelgor caught a glancing blow by a tentacle. His sword made quick work of it, but not before it had slid across his neck and face leaving a long but superficial gash.

Camiel and Tarin had entered. Quick thinking, Camiel let loose some well placed shots with his crossbow. It was effective, the long tentacles stopped their searching and the thing above gave out an horrendous scream. Something changed. Brelgor could feel a new presence about him. Their was movement about him and he realised that more daemons were filing into the space. He moved his sword effortlessly through them taking out half a dozen. They gave little resistance, but seemed to spit and hiss at them rather than fight. These were a diversion, he thought. They kept coming, in unbelievable numbers, but these were not the threat he felt.

He searched for Guilt and caught a glimpse as he brought his sword across Callassandra’s arm. Brelgor flinched, not just for the wound that Guilt had inflicted but from the look of surprise on the woman’s face. It was a clever move and as her poisonous blood sprayed onto the tentacles, they both had the opportunity to escape their hold. But now they were falling fast and as Brelgor made his way toward where they would finally land, he was hindered by the many small daemons that blocked his path. His sword moved quickly and expertly, cutting down the retched beast, but he was still a good metre away when he saw Guilt’s grasp reach the end of the rope and both he and Callassandra came to an abrupt halt just above the ground.

Guilt’s cry of pained, confirmed the Brelgor’s fears as he had watched the event unfold before him. These things were razor sharp and no one could grasp such thing without paying the price. However, before Brelgor could reach Guilt, he saw Tarin struggling with frustration as the tentacles bound her tight. He was close and from the opposite direct came Jason. With some swift cuts, Brelgor separated the tentacles from the ceiling while Jason worked quickly with his blade to free Tarin. She had a couple of nasty cuts from where she had struggled against the things, but as she stood she gave them a reassuring smile. Jason beamed back at her and Brelgor had to turn quickly so they could not see his rye smile.

As he turned he saw Guilt facing a new foe. It was thin, manlike but not a man. At once Brelgor heard the words of the eyewitness he had spoken to about the Bright Ones. But instantly he knew it was not. This thing was a walking skeleton, it’s height was accentuated by a wide brimmed had. Its skin was had sickly hue of blue and stretched like a drum skin across its torso. Its eyes were fixed on Guilt as its rasping voice spat out its words. Brelgor knew these creatures. It revolted him that such a thing had once breathed the same air as he did. An abomination to all Ilúvatar’s children, this thing that had once been a man, who had whored himself to the Void, this Lesser Lord.

The thing started to charge at guilt and Callssandra. Bregor spat at the ground and made his own charge in their defence. The Paladin, who had also watched the exchange, was doing the same from their other side.
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Postby Lilim » Mon Sep 05, 2005 7:04 pm

Five... perhaps four seconds. That was the amount of time Guilt had remaining to him to make a decision. It was generous, all things considered. Closing the distance rapidly was the Lesser. This particular daemon was no mindless creature like the mouth beasts and the ceiling dwellers. It too was calculating even as it rushed towards the mage with blurring speed.

Not daring to to take his eyes off the Lesser, Guilt felt more than saw two figures quickly moving towards his sides. From the heavy steps, he discerned the first was the Paladin. He was fast. But faster than this daemon, Guilt was less sure of. The other had been closer to him, was it Brelgor? The acolyte searched his memory for the group's relative positions before the daemons struck. Yes, it was the smith. Probably.

Three seconds... or two.

Now the question was, who would reach Guilt first? The mage's razor sharp mind churned madly, though perhaps not as efficiently as it might have as the pain of his severed finger threatened to cloud his thoughts. His best guess was Brelgor, though the Paladin would only be seconds behind. The Lesser Lord, having a better view of the situation was probably aware of this. Though it didn't look like it, the Lesser was one of the more cunning fighters in the daemon hierarchy. Still, it could not hope to prevail against three combatants.
Four, if he counted the pale woman behind him, but Callasandra had not stirred. She might have taken the fall worse than Guilt did.

The Lesser might have been counting on the three to protect Callasandra thus being hindered by trying to avoid her venomous blood. But no, it wouldn't gamble on such a slim chance. There was something else to this, something the acolyte was missing.

One second... or maybe none.

Clank!

Guilt's eyes widened. He had heard it before, that metallic sound, like steel striking the ground. A Herald? No, he could hear something faint behind the clanking, a subtle hiss as of metal scraped against stone.

The Lesser Lords never fought alone. And this one had a most deadly ally.

He heard the sudden rattle, saw one dull black link of the chain that shot out from the shadows, and he knew.

In that moment, Guilt tensed... and was suddenly gone.

The mage was there one moment, standing his ground against the rush of the Lesser Lord. In the next, Guilt was behind the daemon. He paused for less than a second, making sure he was sufficently clear of the Lesser, then launched himself with all the speed he could muster towards the light of the Bright One.

And in that brief space of time, numerous things happened at once. A seemingly infinite chain sprang from behind the Paladin. Paul dropped to a knee without hesitation, lowering his head to dodge the heavy links. It whistled past his helm, scratching the blessed steel. Without warning, it snaked around back. Again the knight countered, lauching himself sideways with his free foot and bringing his shield arm up. The chain wrapped itself around his vambrace and the lower half of the shield instead of his neck as originally intended. It was a spur of the moment manuever that turned the tables on Paul's hidden assailant, stretching the chain taut. With a mighty heave, the Paladin pulled the chain forward, hoping to yank his foe along with it. But despite the lengths and lengths of dull black iron links flying out from the shadows, there came no sign of its wielder, nor of its end.

Then, as if the darkness itself had sprouted limbs, a long, sinuous arm blacker than the night came forth and wrapped a long fingered hand around the Paladin's face, pulling him bodily into the shadows. The Hands in the Dark, the daemoniacal assassins of the Void. Few lived to see its true form and even Guilt could not recall any concrete information of its shape or size. The acolyte and possibly even the Paladin were out of their depths against such a killer. Guilt could not imagine why it was working with a Lesser Lord. Normally the two had little to do with each other. The Hands were Men for the most part, made daemoniacal, but not truly daemons. They had their own will and seldom submitted to a base creature like the Lesser.
The whole thing stank of a setup formed by something far greater than either of the two. Again, was it the Bright One?

Then it was more neccesary than ever to slay it. Guilt took no chances. He had deliberately waited half a moment longer than was neccesary, just to be sure the Hand would intercept the Paladin. And for Brelgor to intercept the Lesser...

The smith moved into the space Guilt had vacated and met the Lesser Lord head on. Finely forged steel clashed against daemonic limbs. It was as if Brelgor had taken an axe to a petrified tree, so tough was the Lesser's skin and bone. Much like the faintest touch by an insect sets off a Venus flytrap, so too did Brelgor's blow cause the Lesser to instantly display its unique ability. The arms of the daemon snapped backwards at the elbows. Then snapped backwards again in the forearms. So too did its knees snap backwards, along with its shin. And then, like the jaws of the predatory plant, the long limbs of the lesser wrapped itself around the smith's body, ensaring his arms and legs. The claws of the daemon locked themselves into a deathgrip that would not be pried apart by mere strength alone. Multi-jointed and infinitely flexible, the Lesser Lord had pounced bodily onto Brelgor and binded him with its own limbs.

"Quite the situation we have here... " the daemon hissed playfully into Brelgor's ears. It tightened its hold around the smith, a small cracking sound being heard. "A shame, really. After giving your trust to the whelp, what does he do? He uses you as bait and tosses you away. That's how these noble soldiers truly work. Mages most of all. They'll stop at nothing to reach their goals, even tossing their own allies in front of them to be slaughtered. But then... you already knew that, didn't you?"

It chuckled, low and sinister. "A very sad end for such a venerable old man. But if you must curse someone, it is the fool who led you here... and the fool who trusted in him."

Further away, Guilt could hear the faint laughter of the Lesser Lord. By now it was in combat with Brelgor. And the Paladin would be doing battle with the Hand.

Or they might already be dead..., a faint voice within the mage whispered.

Gritting his teeth, Guilt confronted the bitter truth. He had deliberately escaped at just the time needed for both Smith and Paladin to intercept the Void-spawn. Thus he secured his path to the Bright One, but endangered the lives of his allies. Paul would likely understand, but Brelgor...

Well, it mattered naught if he failed to stop the Bright One. The light stung now that he was so close. Guilt could feel it, thin lancets boring into his eyes. The pain in his wounded hand seemed to radiate through his forearms. If it was still asleep, he stood a chance. If not... perhaps he could hold out long enough for the others to come and lend him aid. If they still lived...
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Postby Leslie-ElfWarrior » Mon Sep 05, 2005 9:57 pm

What had happened? What went wrong? It was a mere scout mission, she the mercenary sent to assist should the two scouts she had come with find anything. They were to find out what happened to the previous group sent by Gondor, find out what was going on, then report back. She stood a moment wondering why she hadn't decided to check the reports going on by the Misty Mountain, or gone a vacation with sounded much better. The tiny voice of her mother answered these questions: 'You are Declynn reborn.' When she was tiny she thought Declynn to be the twelve foot unstoppable fighter that vanquished evil without breaking a sweat, now she knew it wasn't true it took a spoiled brat catching her off guard after her training to show her just how weak and vulnaerable she trully was and how her ancestor had been caught off guard many times. So why was she always looking for trouble? Why not hide until the creatures of the void go away? Did evil just go away for her ancestor? No, and it would not just go away now. She felt honor bound to uphold her families last wishes, hunt the daemons and creatures of the void down one by one be her Declynn reborn or no. It is after all what her ancestor would have done, and had done with evil in her time. Sighing to herself she guessed she was just grumpy mercenaries often were, and this mist was not helping.

Glancing about the village all but seemed abadoned, perhaps they were hiding in their homes, but from what? Then her question was quickly answered as the three heard the slurping sound and jumpted drawing their weapons.

"What is going on?! What was that noise?!" The scout on her right demanded his fear clearly heard, Rain forced her own fears away losing control would not be good right now; she could not black out this time and let the plague take over it would be too dangerous. Rain stared hard into the mist but even her elven senses or what little she had could not peer in. Then the soft thousand whispers of the plague buzzed around her mind like an annoying fly. 'Do you want to see? It is there, coming.... I can show you.' Determined she mumbled the words "Show me." In response a black liquid covered her eyes and allowed her to see a little better, but not completely. "Your not helping..." Rain mumbled agitated, this was new usually she had no problem seeing into dark or hard to see places. This time however the plague in it's continual whispering told her it could not do anything more. Agitated she stepped towards the mist to get a better look which helped, but only helped to let her see what lie within the mist. Luckily she stopped just short of stepping on a tenticle lying in front of her, then looked up. To her horror she saw a sea tenticles in front of her, how far this sea went or where they all led to she did not want to know. She was left in shock whatever it was somehow her and her comrades were going unnoticed. As her gaze swept over the tenticles just in front of her she spotted just a few feet in front of her a little boy. The poor boy was caught in the tenticles and was in such deep pain he could not bring himself to scream, but still he was trying to get free. It was plain to see when she looked the boy over he was being drained of blood, muscle, fat, even moisture. From his chest down he was drained to the bones. A thin layer of grey dry skin clung tightly to his bones, his left hand was stuck to a tenticle and was being drained as well. Rain felt for certain she would be sick. Seeing someone that might be able to help him the boy went on the most basic instinct to get help and get free, he yanked at his left arm trying to get it free, but all it warranted was a bone chilling cracking sound as his arm snapped like dry wood and was left hanging to the tenticle. Still the poor boy must have been in too much pain to notice this or feel it, for the boy continued and soon more snapping sounds were heard. As he crawled she noticed what had snapped, his legs were gone as well. The boy gave a pleading look that would forever haunt her, and then another tenticle snatched him back to be drained further. The strangled screams and cut cries from the boy racked like nails on a chalk board against her ears. She knew she could never get to him not with that many tenticles, tearfully she drew one of her small throwing dagger from her belt and looked up at the boy. He seemed to understand for he closed his eyes waiting for the end to his pain.

"You'll want to start running now..." She said to the scouts whom had followed her but a few feet into the mist. The two seemed to take her advice as the backed away and started to run, then she threw the dagger with deadly accuracy ending the poor boy's pain. Almost immediately the tenticles took notice as if some of them had been asleep and now woke, she quickly turned and bolted.

"Head for the docks! We need to get out of here!" She screamed.

The three took off running but as she was smaller and more agile she got ahead of them. One of the men's screams alerted her to the fact he had been taken, no time to turn back though she hated that fact. The slurping sound was on her heels. She felt a breeze as something hit the air she had just occupied, but did not hear the second man be taken she thought he was right behind her. Soon the docks came into sight the man left to tend to the boat was not there! Where is he?! She heard a bunch of clicking noises and dared a glance to her left. The man was covered in small mouthed creatures they were eating him. By the looks of it he was already dead, for he was not moving. Cursing in any language she knew she took a sharp turn to the right along the beach side as she heard the slurping noise hard behind her. Her thoughts screamed, 'a place to hide come on! Give me a place to hide!'

Then it seemed her prayers were answered for a dark cave hopefully with no foul creatures was just ahead and to her right. "Hurry!" She screamed at her comrade that she thought was behind her, "Into that cave!"

Dashing inside she ran a good ways, and soon heard the large crashing noise as the cave entrance colapsed behind her. Tripping on a rock sticking up she fell to the ground and relaxed there a moment to catch her breath. she gave a shaky laugh her humor always a weird one. "Well we need not worry about anything following us, right?"

When she rose and looked back she found herself alone in the cave, and knew her comrade must of been taken by that thing. She leaned against the cave wall shakily at least she did not panic and let the plague take over. Perhaps saving the boy from the pain he felt had been a mistake it seemed to of cost to other poor men's lives which would make her feel even more guilt. Finally calming herself she gave a hiss as she realised the thing had sctratched her. Her tunic was torn away some revealing her flat stomach; she must of gotten snagged by one of the tenticles. Sighing she was relieved to had done one thing right all three of them had brought a survival pack for incase they found injured people, and she still had her yet and her weapons. Sighing she walked through the dark cave hoping to find an exit and with less horrors. She had not walked two feet then the ground gave way beneath her feet and she fell into a lower tunnel. 'Great! so much for elven senses or a plague, not even a 'look out!'" She grumbled getting back to her feet.

Choosing to go left or right she picked right, and so began her trek through the tunnels. She had walked for what seemed like hours; when she heard voices and odd noises up ahead. She almost let the word: Hello? slip when she bit it back she didn't know what was ahead. Slowly she moved closer and peeked out to see the situation and was caught dumbstruck. There were others in this maze of tunnels? Of course survivors no wonder the village seemed abandoned, and now they fought some disgusting creatures. One man struggled with a disgusting human form that had turned intself into a trap of some kind and was crushing him, the other a big guy struggled in the shadows with something, and more people were further back in the tunnels. A girl at the tunnels entrance seemed to be out cold, and an acolyte wizard stood obviously trying to make some sort of decision.

Seeing other survivors instinct that 'to stay alive one would need alies' kicked in; she tossed the survival pack to the side nearby the battling group. Rushing in to help the closest one, the man caught in a trap with the human looking deamon or whatever it was. Pulling her swords she knew what she'd try to do as she dropped down to her knees and skidded to a halt behind the creature. Trying to make sure she didn't cut the man she tried to cut off the creature's right arm which was wrapped tightly around the man's neck and would be cutting off his air possibly.
Last edited by Leslie-ElfWarrior on Thu Sep 08, 2005 10:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Lilim » Thu Sep 08, 2005 8:46 pm

The sounds of battle faded behind him, step by step. The glimmer of lanterns winked out and Guilt found himself alone in the darkness and the silence.

Not darkness... he reminded himself, eyes averted from the Bright One's glow. And yet, for all the light shed by the mysterious being, the acolyte still felt swallowed by darkness.

While walking, he held one end of a bandage with his teeth, binding it onto the bloody stump of what was left of his middle finger. Pain flared in sharp waves, the nerve endings still had not registered the digit as gone. Unlike stray ruminations, the raw sensation of pain was far more difficult to shake off.

Guilt glanced around, straining his eyes to see into the darkness. He had warned those he gathered of hundreds of daemons, slaves to the will of the Bright One. But asides from the those near the chamber's entrance, the young mage had not seen one. It was not entirely surprising, just the same. Information on the Bright One had always been sketchy at best, made worse by the passage of time and endless war. It was not so much because of the Bright One that Guilt's apprehension grew as he drew nearer to the light. It was the lack of knowledge concerning the creature, rather. He was not facing a Bright One as much as he was confronting the Unknown.

Suddenly, Guilt's feet snagged on something, sending the acolyte forward head first. With a sure-footed step, he recovered himself just in time. Yet that was unusual for him, a wizard seldom lost his footing. Being this close to the Bright One was doubtless wreaking havoc on the sixth sense he relied upon so much. But as he continued walking, Guilt noticed the texture of the ground he walked upon had grown strange. It felt less like stone now, though not exactly soft, and it was greatly uneven in many spots. Pausing, the acolyte considered lighting up the immediate area, at least briefly. That brought its own risks, however. The Void knew its own.
But curiosity eventually won over natural caution. There was such a strange feeling all around him, not just the ground. It would probably be safer to see just where he was to confront the Bright One.

With a few low words, Guilt's body suddenly glowed, faint at first, but soon growing brighter. It was a white light, more pure than the glow of the Bright One, but a hint of taint was also in the acolyte's sorcery. He saw then, the briefest of glimpses. Immediately, he cut the spell, sweat breaking out anew on his brow. His legs nearly gave, but he held on, refusing to panic at the sight he had just beheld.

For all around the acolyte were daemons. Even his very feet were standing upon a multitude of arms and legs and other appendages, wrapped around each other in a gruesome embrace. There were no hundreds of daemons. There were thousands. Behind the Bright One, they went on as far as the eye could see and beyond; all lying dormant, thickly layered on top of one another in a pile of limbs and bodies. If Guilt had made the light any brighter, if it had revealed anymore than that merest of fragments, he might very well have gone raving mad. The acolyte had the urge to laugh out loud then. It was not a good thing for the mind to face too many daemons at once.

Guilt fervently thanked the God-King, his patrons, and just about anyone else listening that it was so dark. A blessing in disguise, to be sure. With a renewed sense of urgency, he set off at a run. If the daemons hadn't been disturbed thus far, Guilt decided they wouldn't mind overmuch now if he ran across them.
The young mage slowed down as he approached the light. A wavy nimbus of sorcerous power began emnating faintly from the air around Guilt. His sword was ready at his side. Green eyes blazed forth, challenging the Void-tainted light of the Bright One with their own fervent brightness. He thought he could feel a stirring beneath his feet, a disturbance in the air around him. Perhaps it was just his nerves, stretched taut to the breaking point, but regardless, he needed to end the threat of the Bright One quickly, regardless of what happened in the aftermatch. A creature that could attract so many daemons with just its presence... it could not be allowed to walk upon this world. With sword held high, Guilt entered the light. And once more, he was shocked into silence.

The beast, the daemon, the evil spawn of the Void... was a young girl, younger than he by a few years. Not a girl... the acolyte thought, eyes falling upon her head golden hair and the softly pointed ears peeking out of them.

An elf, in the flesh.

She slept, hugging her knees to her chest. All around her lay sleeping daemons, their limbs wrapped almost tenderly around her. Pale of skin, a hint of rose coloring her cheeks, the softest of lips slightly parted in slumber, she was the very picture of a maiden in bloom. The light in Guilt's eyes died away, the sorcerous energies playing around him faded. Without conscious thought, he took a step closer, kneeling next to her. He could smell her scent, a wild fragrance that reminded him of the deep woods, of the lushness of grass after rain, the rich soil of the earth. Almost, the acolyte could hear the sound of a bubbling brook in the distance, birds chirping in a blue sky, the faint and innocent laughter of children at play.
He wanted to lose himself in these ... memories? Illusions? Whatever they were, they were far more attractive than the grim reality of endless daemons and the eternal battles against them that was Guilt's fate. He felt his head nodding, the voices becoming clearer, the scents growing fuller. He wanted nothing more than to lie down next to this Elven maiden and sleep in bliss.

Suddenly, even as he drew close to her lips, Guilt smiled cruelly. A perfect trap, indeed. The acolyte stood up then, a strange glow in his eyes. No matter if the Bright One was a maiden. No matter if it was a crying child. He would not be deceived.

He raised his sword up high. One blow to the heart, she would never wake up. It would be over quickly. It was more mercy than any spawn of the Void deserved.

Wasn't it?

Yet, the acolyte kept hearing his teacher's words. ... it is not a daemon... it is something new to the world... just born...

The mage narrowed his eyes. It didn't matter. The Bright One was capable of slaying thirty three wizards possessing powers far greater than a mere acolyte like Guilt. This was the chance to prevent such a tragedy. And Void-spawn or no, thousands of daemons would bend to this girl's will. She... no, it had to be killed. Regardless of how innocent it looked.

And yet Guilt paused, the sword hanging in the air.

"Die... " he whispered, and tearing all concept of mercy from his soul, Guilt plunged the blade down.

The razor fine edge of the sword carved a path through the air, whistling towards the neck of the Bright One. And stopped!

The blade had stopped mere centimeters from the maiden's throat. It was not as if Guilt had hit a barrier of some sort, that was not the feeling he got. The blade itself just would not move further, no matter how hard he tried. Even his hands would stop just short of touching the Bright One.

Gritting his teeth, Guilt willed the sorcerous energies within himself to expand. If brute force would not work, perhaps magic would. A bright, white glow surrounded his body and concentrated along the edge of his sword. Again, killing any compassion within him, Guilt raised the sword up high and plunged downwards. But just before the killing blow landed... the eyes of the Bright One flickered open.

In the next moment, Guilt felt himself slam violently backwards against a stalagmite. Blood spewed from the back of his head and his vision turned into a hazy orange. In the last moments before he lost consciousness altogether, he just barely made out the Bright One across from him, rising forth and slowly making its way towards him...
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Postby celebalqua » Sat Sep 10, 2005 6:56 am

As Brelgor made for Guilt’s position, he again pulled his pack to the front and plunged his free hand inside. In that instant, his world changed. Guilt had disappeared and before he could take another breath the Lesser was upon him. Brelgor swung ferociously with a blow that should rightly have cut the thing in two. Instead his blade rebounded, sending a jarring blow through Brelgor’s arm. Before he could recover the thing was on him. It seemed double-jointed and clasped him bodily. Brelgor caught a glimpse of the Mage’s back heading up a tunnel and bit down a curse. He was a fool to expect anything else and as if reading his mind the daemon voiced this in its gloating rasp.

Brelgor was not about to take such bait. He was clearly aware of the peril he now faced and thanked the Valar for small mercies. Although caught tight, his hand was still inside his pack. Within has grasp he had just the thing for this nasty but there was no way he could get enough leverage to set it running. The Lesser squeezed him tighter and a shot of pain in his side accompanied by a small crack confirmed to him a rib had broken under the pressure. Brelgor took as deep a breath as possible, riding the pain and forced his muscles to relax. He only needed a few centimetres to manoeuvre his fingers around the mechanism in his pack.

He collapsed to the floor, still held tightly within the Lesser’s grasp. It had not expected this capitulation so quickly and its slow reaction of a few seconds was all the time Brelgor needed. He finger’s moved expertly. He rotated the device so that it now pointed directly up into the creature’s rib cage. The risk now was not getting caught by it himself, he thought. The Lesser sensed a change in Brelgor.

“What are you up to old man?” it whispered in his ear. But at that moment someone from behind came down on it with a mighty blow. The force of it winded Brelgor, but had little physical affect on the daemon. It did however distract it from Brelgor’s plan.

Gasping for breath, Brelgor counted down silently, preparing every muscle. To have any chance of avoiding major injury himself he would have to try and make a space between himself and the things chest. His fingers strained around the device, moving carefully to its bottom. His fingernail caught the catch and dragged it down. Inside his pack, the strange device the size and shape of a large carrot immediately sprung several razor sharp wings that protruded from the main body by about a centimetre. He then clasped the handle tightly. Bracing his arm, Brelgor suddenly rammed his knees up against his elbow with all the force he could muster. In that same instant he triggered the second mechanism which released a tightly wound coil.

The Lesser realised too late that it had missed something. Brelgor let out a satisfying gasp as his knees forced his elbow and arm into the things torso. The device drilled into its chest cavity. This was the point where Brelgor new he was in danger. He had counted two seconds, the Lesser, though surprised had not loosened its grip. Three, four… Brelgor pushed out in a last ditch effort to give himself at least a few centimetres from what was to follow. Another blow fell from somewhere outside Brelgor’s field of vision. This time it was well planted and the Lesser’s grip failed on one arm. It was all Brelgor needed. Six, seven…. There was a muffled pop. A shooting pain through his arm told Brelgor he had not found a safe distance, but luckily it was only this one arm.

As for the Lesser, it hissed madly and released him. Brelgor sucked in air madly. The Lesser stepped back and Brelgor could see the result of his handy work. The device had made a hole about five centimetres just above its abdomen and small silver shards could be seen protruding at all angles from its chest. With his release, blood rushed back to Brelgor’s extremities and with it crippling pain. Each breath was agonizing and the gash in his arm was bleeding seriously.

The person who had come to his aide was now facing the Lesser and he heard the voices of the others joining the battle. Strange, he did not recognise this woman, she turned to him throwing something at him.
“Bind that wound quickly or your efforts may be in vain” she called. The pain dulled his reactions but his instinct for self-preservation took over and he immediately heeded her warning. Binding his arm tightly he was able to stay the blood flow to some extent.

Searching widely he spied his fallen sword a little way off. Moving gingerly he retrieved it and turned to see the Lesser had be defeated. By whom he was not sure, but the others now were in a fierce battle to save the Paladin who had been pulled into the shadows and was fighting frantically.
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Postby Aduial » Sat Sep 10, 2005 11:20 am

As Tarin struggled fruitlessly with the vines, she saw a silver flash above her. Her body fell the few inches to the ground, landing her on top of her scythe. She could barely flash a look of gratitude to the smith who had freed her, when the pain of trying to free herself from the sharp ropes set in. This time it was Jason who came to her aid and helped her up. She grabbed his hand and jumped up, kicking the scythe and her hat up with a boot.

Jason’s sword light glinted off Callasandra’s shoulder, as well as shiny liquid that seemed to be covering Guilt. Even in the blue light, Tarin could tell it was blood. Just who’s blood she was not sure, but there was a goodly amount of it. At least both Callasandra and Guilt had made it down from the thing.

With a jerk Tarin realized she had let down her guard… but the creatures were no longer actively attacking. She had not been pulled or hit in the last thirty seconds. Tarin looked to where Guilt stood, holding his bleeding hand against his chest, and staring at something in the light. A shadow had appeared.

The grotesque form of a Lesser Lord had come to the scene, tall and menacing as it towered even over the Paladin Knight. With little warning it shot for Guilt and Callasandra. The Paladin and Brelgor moved to defend.

Tarin stood still momentarily, trying to assess how best she could help, when the world around them changed with streaking speed. Before anyone could register what had happened, Guilt was away from the Lesser and bolting up the tunnel, disappearing into the unnatural light. The Lesser was on Brelgor, and black hands and chains had the Paladin in a fierce bind.

Jason and Tarin were left, a couple of short heads in the midst of large-scale assault. For now, they went unnattacked, but they were left with the decision of what to do. Should they follow the acolyte? Help the Paladin? Wake Callasandra? Fight the Lesser with Brelgor? Tarin saw Camiel a little ways away, confronted with the same problem.

Well, right now we’re not helping anyone Tarin though angrily. “Damn decisions!” She muttered, unfurling her scythe and looking to Jason. He nodded and ran to see what he could do to help Sir Paul, or at least how to distract the Hand. Tarin could not catch Camiel’s eye, so she left him to do what he would.

The Lesser Lord had practically engulfed the smith. Tarin had seen how little of an effect a blade, even driven by arms as powerful as Brelgor’s, had had on the Lesser. She knew she could not slice it, but perhaps a few blows would provide some aid. Hopefully Brelgor had some trick up his sleeve.

With fluid, cat-like movement, Tarin shot for the Lesser. She spun on the edge of her boot full-circle, adding momentum, and brought the scythe across its back. It had the expected effect of bouncing off – a jarring fury that caught Tarin’s breath, but she landed with stability and hoped it had helped. Despite its thin structure, the scythe did not bear any mark of breaking, despite the blow. The stretched skin of the Lesser rippled distractedly, but it kept its tight hold on the smith. A sudden fury exploded into Tarin’s head when the scythe did not find its mark. She harnessed it and waited.

To Tarin’s utter surprise, a woman she had never seen before had charged into the fray. Expertly, she pulled out two swords and hacked at the Lesser’s arm. In that moment, Brelgor pushed himself from the Lesser’s grip and silver shards seem to shoot through the creature’s body, coming from a central location. A mad hiss filled the cavern.

The Lesser stood, shocked, staring at the hole in its chest. Its limbs twitched with jarred. This was Tarin’s chance. As the stranger helped Brelgor, Tarin resumed her attack. The Lesser was weak and near death thanks to Brelgor, but it just needed a little tipping off. It took no notice of Tarin, who stood behind it. A shrill whistle filled the air and Tarin’s scythe, at full speed, swept upwards. The curved point caught the hole in the Lesser’s chest and ripped upwards, finalizing the daemon’s defeat.

The rest of the company was now helping the Knight, who was held in a black death grip of shadows. Tarin ran her hand along the brim of her wide hat and pulled up her scythe, but she hesitated before going to the Paladin. A nagging curiosity drove her towards the demonic light, where Guilt had gone. She reasoned the acolyte was plenty fine on his own, but still…. Before she even realized it, Tarin was stepping backwards toward the light. With a final glance at the Paladin’s battle, she turned and ran forward.

Running into the light was one of the strangest experiences she had had. Once turned, the world seemed plunged into darkness, and yet too bright at the same time. She could see nothing, as if swimming in a black void, but light hurt her eyes. It was the same sensation as being hit over the head – slipping to blackness amidst jarring light.

Tarin brought the hat brim farther down over her eyes and placed the scythe on her back. She would have to rely on her forest sense, even if that was jarred as well. As skillfully as she could, Tarin ran through the tunnel, wondering if it still was a tunnel. Her senses told her that the ground was no longer the ground, but she did not stop to ponder what it was. She knew she did not want to find out. She tripped several times, each time feeling the strange spiny ground with her fingertips as she pulled herself up.

The light was just ahead. Just before she entered it, a strange tightness entered her body. The redhead felt as if something was pressing her at all sides, subtly. Like there was too much energy, too much power in the air. Tarin gripped her scythe, not even realizing she had taken it from her back. Its smooth, cool touch reassured her and she pressed on, wishing fiercely that there was a shadow she could lurk in. She entered the light.

With an audible gasp, Tarin was greeted by a beautiful face framed in golden hair. The face smiled at her playfully.

An Elf.

Never had Tarin seen an elf. She would have loved the encounter, had not her hunter’s sense given her a strange feeling. Tarin backed up slightly, and the elf cocked her head. Tarin tripped over something behind her, something soft, and fell. Her hand had blood on it – not her own blood. She looked at what she had tripped over and realized it was an arm.

Slouched against a stalagmite lay Guilt, blood running from the back of his head and sprayed all over the rock. It sopped through his black hair. Reality set in rather fast from that point. Tarin grabbed Guilt’s arm and tried to pull. That head wound was no minor scratch, and it had left him unconscious. The elf smiled and walked towards them.

If the elf had done that to Guilt… and hadn’t touched Tarin yet… it meant that she was only being played with. The game was soon to be continued. Without so much as a second glance from the elf, Tarin was shoved backwards. The belt around her hips pulled with a yank, putting crushing pressure on her hips. “Guilt!” she yelled, feebly hoping to rouse him. Any more words, however, were silenced by a lock of her own crimson hair, pulled tight across her mouth. What’s more, she could not free her hands from her scythe. After a moment of panic, Tarin shuttled her thoughts into a drain. As long as she held the scythe, there was a cool plane to draw from. She knew she could do no damage to this… Bright One, without help from the others. Hopefully they would come soon, if they could ever get the Paladin away from that Hand.
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Postby MouseofMordor » Sun Sep 11, 2005 5:46 am

Camiel was fighting daemons all around. The only thing he couldn’t figure out was where they came from. The answer was soon to be answered as he noticed a small opening in the wall. Camiel rushed towards it, ignoring the daemons on the way there. When Camiel arrived at the gap in the wall he couldn’t believe his eyes. He could smell the air form outside but it wasn’t the same as it had always been. It smelled rotten and dead. He killed some daemons, that appeared to be the last ones, and he looked through the gap. The mist was still everywhere. Although the tentacles he had seen earlier seemed to have gone elsewhere.

Camiel pulled himself together. “No need to panic or to find a way out, yet.” He thought to himself. He looked around, the acolyte Guilt had vanished. Camiel could see Brelgor was fighting the lesser that had, only moments before, attacked Guilt and Callasandra. As it turned out, the Paladin had rescued Guilt and Jason had released Callasandra from her captor as well. Paul was out of sight but he could hear his sword bashing from time to time.

Looking a bit further through the room, Tarin seemed to have the same trouble as Camiel had. Who to help first? It was a hard question for Camiel. There were several logical options at hand here. Should he go after Guilt, whom he considered to be their leader and whom he would trust perhaps even with his life? Should he help Brelgor, the smith who seemed very wise and would be the only person in this room right now with even the slightest ability to lead under a lot of pressure without breaking apart? Or should he take care of Callasandra. Even though she almost killed him before he really did kind of like her. Going after Guilt when there were still so many daemons present in the room seemed unfair to the others. Therefore Camiel decided to stay in the room at the least.

As Tarin had decided to help Brelgor it left Camiel with only one obvious choice, he had to stay and look after Callasandra. Even though she had been acting very strange lately. The closer they appeared to be to the bright one, the more restless she became. Camiel had not been able to stand her presence in the last few paces before they entered this room. But now that she was hurt and didn’t have the ability to look out for herself he just had to do it for her. Because Camiel had once learned that you always look out for your friends.

In the heat of the moment Camiel had totally forgotten there were daemons in the room. Although the weird thing was that the closer he stayed to Callasandra the more the daemons kept their distance. Camiel pulled out his crossbow again and attempted to shoot some arrows at the small daemons in the room. Then he noticed a strange face in the room. A woman was helping Brelgor defeat the lesser lord. Tarin had moved to chase Guilt.

A glance at Callasandra showed Camiel that she was awake. Although she wasn’t fully present in the world just yet. Camiel searched for something like water to give to her so that she would at leats get something to drink before she had to fight daemons again. But water was nowhere to be found. Camiel saw Brelgor and the stranger had defeated the lesser lord and she was helping him take care of his injury. Camiel sat dwon next to Callasandra and said, “Are you allright? We got to move quickly if we are to catch Guilt and the others before they meet this so-called Bright one.

She said nothing but stared blankly at the walls around her. She wasn’t even near ready to face something that powerful.
Last edited by MouseofMordor on Fri Sep 16, 2005 4:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby atalantea » Sun Sep 11, 2005 8:49 pm

Callasandra landed hard. The wound from Guilt's blade did not bother her as much as the fall did. She shook her head in time to see what was left of the finger of their leader. She shook her head again in a vain attempt to stop the room from spinning. It wasn't working.

Her ears were ringing too. Something was whispering, calling, some were shouting, it seemed they were all closing in on her and yet she was sure that not all the voices adressed her. One voice stood out though.. Beckoning, seducing, calling out to her. She shook her head again and the world, the dark walls swirled into blackness.

"Are you allright? We got to move quickly if we are to catch Guilt and the others before they meet this so-called Bright one." a voice broke into her nightmares.

She swayed as she again, became concious. Camiel's gaze bore into hers. "Can you hear me?" he said, pat-slapping her cheeks to rouse her.

"Yes," she said. It took little more than a second to realize where she was and why she was there. It didn't take long either for her to realize that she had been lost to the world again. She struggled to her feet. "The Valars damn it!!!!" she screeched. "Did I blank out again?"

"You were out cold for a while, c'mon, you landed hard," he did not address the word again.

They faced the room at large, looking for the others. She picked up her sword hesitated as she saw Guilt's finger. Did he want to keep it? She was about to pick it up when a boot staggered her way and it rolled away from her reach.

A wheezing Brelgor came into view. "What happened to you?" she asked as she automatically assesed his injuries. Bruises and contussions showed and judging by the way he flinched with each breath, a broken rib or two.

The man looked at her increadolously, how could she have missed it he seemed to ask. He waved away her hands that started feeling for the rib.

"I will not kill you," she said. "I'm trying to find your brok-" a claw reached for both of them and was stopped by Camiel's sword.

"You had better not... it makes no difference anyway, we're all dying in this damn maze," he said and hissed when she found the rib. "We don't have much time, we have to help the paladin, Guilt,"

She let go of him reluctantly and nodded. She held her swords ready again and found herself staring at another woman, holding twin swords too. Is it a daemon in human form, she searched the woman's form to see any sign of it and found none. She inclined her head at the new comer.

"Thank you," came the man Brelgor.

"Where's Tarin?" Camiel said as he attacked another approaching creature. "Where are the others?"

Callasandra tensed as she caught sight of several daemons moving towards them. Why weren't they attacking? They seemed to be watching, waiting for something. Another furball flew and missed them. She smiled grimly as they all started towards them. It seemed the wait was over.
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Postby Leslie-ElfWarrior » Mon Sep 12, 2005 1:12 am

Rain barely noticed what went on around her, but from what she pieced togeather she could make a series of events that seemed to unfold like a preformed act. Of course this was no act, and if it was she would either come to regret joining this fight or this whole incident was one big nightmare. After hitting the creature's arm the man pulled away from the creature's grip just enough to release some sort of weapon. Whatever it was the lesser lord gave a mad hiss and had stood and turned enough to show a big gapping hole in it's chest. The silver shards made the wound look like an odd shapped mouth with lots of silver teeth. Taking advantage Rain began to move towards the creature but it seemed another woman in the group was one step ahead of her. The woman was quick and her move deadly in finishing the lesser lord off, Rain stood there a minute admiring her handy work. Then worried about the man and how he had faired after releasing such a device she turned back to him quickly and soon caught sight of the nasty gash on his arm, no doubt a bad result of using the device up close like that. Moving quickly she snatched up her heavy pack and tossed it to land only a few inches away from where he sat. Inside it were six large unbreakable bottles wrapped it leather pouches of what looked like water but was a cleaning and disinfectant solution for wounds, also the pack contained many large and small bandages and cleainging cloths, altogeather it was a heavy pack designed to take on any rang of injury and included a hot patches when applied they would quartrize severe wounds.

"Bind that wound quickly or your efforts may be in vain."

Glancing back at the woman that had dealt the final blow to the lesser lord, Rain only caught a glimpse of the woman as she headed into the oddly lit tunnel. Hearing someone behind her she turned back to see the other woman had woken up and a man stood next to her. This woman seemed to be studying her, then the man she had helped said. "Thank you."

"No problem," Rain answered, then looked back at the other two the man didn't look seriously injured, but this woman looked like she also needed to see to her arm. "There is a lot of bandages and cleaning solutions in that pack for your arm, feel free."

Before much else could be said more daemons arrived, and it was time to fight again. Still the questions managed to reach her ears. "Where's Tarin? Where is the others?"

"The one that looks like a knight from what I could see is fighting that shadow creature over there...." Rain answered as she beheaded a daemon then pointed one of her swords towards the struggling paladin fighting the shadow creature. "That guy is helping...."

Her words were paused as she cut donw a couple of onrushing daemons that looked like deformed children. "And I think the others went down the creepy tunnel of light."

From there Rain paid more attention to fighting and less talking. Since the knight had only one other aiding in trying to help him, Rain cut a path towards them to help the struggling knight. The closer she got the less the daemons paid attention to her, perhaps they figured the shadow creature would kill her then so why bother with her? When she finally got to the knight and other man she was suddenly unsure what she hoped to accomplish unlikely she and this other man would be able to pull the paladin from it's grip, but still why not try. Sheathing one of her swords she kept the other in hand incase of a surprise and waited for her chance to grab hold of the knight. Finally her keen eyes caught a glimmer from his armor and grabbed hold her hand working around until she held the knight's armoured arm and was trying to pull him free as the other man was. Both pulled franctically, she should of known not just the two of them could pull him free they needed help and so she yelled.

"Help! We need help!"
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Postby celebalqua » Tue Sep 20, 2005 9:44 pm

Paul dodged the swinging chain and knew he was in trouble. A glimpse of the scene behind him revealed Guilt disappearing from the grasp of the Lesser to be replaced by the smith, Brelgor. But he could not have concerns for them now; this was going to require his full strength and cunning.

He darted left and right as the links slammed down far too close for comfort. Paul shifted his weight warily as the chain snaked toward him with a mind of its own. Reading its target, but unable to get clear, Paul was just able to shield his neck from strangulation as the chain wrapped itself about him. With strength well beyond that of a normal man the Paladin pulled back on the chain, hoping to reveal the wielder of this weapon. However his efforts only resulted in lengths of chain flying from the shadows with no sign of an end.

Before he could do much more than loosen the links about his neck, Paul felt a cold shadow drop over him. The air about him became stale and claustrophobic. The Hand, a lost soul of a man, clambered at him and dragged him into the shadows. Paul lashed out fiercely at first but then steadied his hand, he knew that to allow the fear that screamed within his mind to take hold, would be certain death. This evil could not be defeated with a blade alone, but through will and faith.

”You are spent, give in now, you cannot hope to defeat us. Join us, you would be a great ally and would be handsomely rewarded”

The voice was soft and unthreatening. It had a resonance that seemed to ring true to his reason. Paul concentrated, centred his thoughts, he had faced such an enemy before and knew he could win. He allowed himself to be taken deeper into the tunnel. He knew to lash out at this point would be fruitless. The Hands were cowards; this one would not endanger itself by attacking in the open. It would use its Voice to ensnare him and once overcome by the irresistible reasoning he would be slaughtered unceremoniously.

Paul cleared his mind; he had been trained to bury his thoughts well beyond the probe of such creatures. He let part of his consciousness crave the thing seducing him; he would not be able to get close enough without this. But it was risky. He walked the fine line of control, releasing more of his consciousness to the will of the daemon. He could not allow his will to surface; he had to appear to submit completely.

“Yes, come to me, come to me” the voice tempted him.

Engulfed in stagnant air, Paul sensed the proximity of the daemon. His hands hung slack, his muscles released from tension, but Paul was now confident this daemon was not long for this world. Paul sensed the change, the daemon needed to lower its grasp on his mind to make its deathblow. Paul moved like lightning. As he removed its head from its torso, the daemon’s surprised eyes searched the Paladin for explanation.

“The God-king is all, glory to those who fight in his name” was the Paladin’s response.

In this same instant someone grabbed at the Paladin from behind. Released from the daemons grasp, Paul was flung backwards onto his rescuers.

“Help! We need help!” a strange voice called from beneath him.

Yes I would call for help too, thought Paul, if I had just been crushed by over a hundred and fifty kilos of Paladin warrior and his armour. Paul dragged himself up uncertain of who was below him. Sprawled on the ground were Jason and a stranger. Paul offered his hand to the young man who grasped it firmly and allowed the Paladin to lift him to his feet.

“Just in the knick of time” Jason commented grimly, rubbing his back.

Paul turned to the stranger and again offered his hand. The woman took it and righted herself gingerly.

“My apologies Sir Knight, I thought you may have been in need assistance, I was mistaken”. She dipped her head in a small bow. “I am know as Rain”

“Thankyou for the assistance, it is welcome. I do not know how you have come to join our merry band but I fear we cannot dally now for formal introductions”

Paul turned back to see the others approaching. Camiel was offering his support to Brelgor and Callassandra. The Paladin turned to them and quickly appraised the situation.

“Where is Tarin?” Paul asked his eyes searching the chamber for some glimpse of her.

“She followed the other into the tunnel” the new woman, Rain replied.

“And so must I” Paul stated, already moving toward the tunnel entrance.

As the others turned to follow, he turned back to Brelgor and Callassandra.

“This vial is still more than half full,” he said presenting the bottle that Callassandra had passed to him earlier.

“Be not sceptical master smith” he said to Brelgor, reading his expression correctly, “I will vouch for the value of the elixir, it will aid your failing strength”.

With that he turned back and took point, leading the group into the tunnel.
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Postby MouseofMordor » Wed Sep 28, 2005 4:59 pm

As Paul walked into the tunnel with a steady pace, Camiel was in doubt. He wasn’t sure it was the right thing to do, follow Guilt to the end. Maybe it was supposed to be Guilt’s fight and his fight only. Camiel didn’t want to interfere in something he had no business interfering in.

Still the situation was clear as crystal. Guilt went off to fight the bright one. Tarin had followed him. And now, Paul went in that same tunnel leading the rest of the group to aid Guilt.

Right behind Paul was Jason, behind Jason was the new woman, Rain, with right behind her Brelgor and Callasandra. Camiel stopped when he hesitated again. Callasandra turned around and looked him in the eyes. Camiel looked back and he knew that she understood what he was going through. She had probably already seen the pain in Camiel’s eyes when he saw those innocent people getting slayed by foul daemons. Or when they saw dead bodies all over the floor and even though they didn’t know these people it still hurt.

Camiel recognized the doubt from before, earlier in his life.

Camiel couldn’t have been more than twelve years old, when his cousin Leonard had come over to stay with Camiel and his Mentor. Leonard had this way of getting others into trouble he should have been in. This time was no different. Leonard came by early in the morning. Camiel as really excited at first. He hadn’t seen his cousin in a while. And after a few of the daily lessons Camiel got from his Mentor, who was also Leonard’s uncle, Camiel and Leonard got some time off to play or hike or make trouble. The last thing Camiel wanted was to get into trouble. Unfortunately Leonard’s specialty was to get others into a mess. They came across a cave, Camiel told Leonard that Orcs had been seen camping in that cave before. Leonard didn’t hesitate for a second and went in. Camiel felt doubt, he had to go in and make sure Leonard is all right. But he had to stay all right himself too. If orcs were really camping in here, than he should go get his mentor. The choice was simpler than he thought. Leonard came running out of the cave screaming help. An arrow flew right over his head and landed in a tree next to Camiel. Camiel didn’t hesitate now and he got his sword and chopped the orcs head off. Turning to Leonard he asked, “Are there more?” Leonard smiled and said, “How should I know, I ran at the first sight off an orc.” Camiel said, “Maybe we should get out of here and warn the village. If there is one orc there is bound to be more in the neighbourhood.” Leonard replied with, “have you got any idea how many refugee orcs there have been after the fall off Mordor and Isengard? If you assume there is more than one orc every time just one orc sprints after you out of a cave you are bound to be wrong. There is probably just one. And if this is the only one then why are we arguing?” With that Leonard walked into the cave again saying, “I want to see if the orc had a treasure.” Camiel doubted again. But there really was no decision possible other than, He had to go and make sure his cousin was safe.”

The story could go on for quite some time in such a way, Camiel being the sensible of the two and Leonard the reckless and dangerous one. Compared to today Camiel had the same doubt. He couldn’t leave his friends alone at this point. Hesitantly he started moving again. He accelerated until he could join the group again. Callasandra smiled, she probably knew all along he would come by and join up with them again.

Off course Camiel knew that by joining this party off warriors he had not only lost his neutral position in this war, he had also made sure the enemy saw him as one of their enemies too. Camiel sighed one more time before entering a great room that was filled with a bright light. In the distance Camiel could see the shaped of three people, probably Guilt, Tarin and the bright one. Camiel walked up to the front of the group and asked Paul, “So we’re here, now what?”

And with that he knew that he had asked the inevitable question that would decide their fate.
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Postby celebalqua » Wed Sep 28, 2005 6:46 pm

Brelgor stood gingerly and accepted the help offered by Camiel. The pain in his side stabbed with each breath and though his arm was tightly bound and no longer bleeding, its movement was severely restricted. There was no way he could continue on in this state.

As they moved toward the now free Paladin, Brelgor started looking at his options. To continue on with this troop would be suicide, not only for him, but also for the others who would no doubt risk themselves to keep him safe. Yet with each step he felt his strength returning. As they came up to Jason and the Paladin, Brelgor’s eyes once again laid upon the new woman. She was introducing herself as Rain. Brelgor noted the knight assessing the others, taking note of their injuries.

“Where is Tarin?” Paul asked his eyes searching the chamber for some glimpse of her.
“She followed the other into the tunnel” the new woman, Rain replied.
“And so must I” Paul stated


No it was not over, thought Brelgor, indeed the real battle was still ahead of them. The knight obviously read Brelgor’s thoughts as he offered the vial that Callasandra had passed up to him earlier. Brelgor opened his mouth to refuse when the Palladin added:

“Be not sceptical master smith, I will vouch for the value of the elixir, it will aid your failing strength”.

Brelogr accepted the vial though he was still not convinced that it would help him. His injuries needed days of rest and a good stiff drink probably wouldn’t go astray either! He brought the vial to his lips, with a deep and painful breath he took a long gulp of the elixir. Instantly, warmth spread from his throat and stomach. It reached into his injuries and lessened his pain. It brought a new energy to his exhausted muscles. Brelgor stood up straighter, a new light burning in his eyes. What a fool he was to doubt the Paladin and more so, to be so untrusting of Callasandra.

He turned to her now “I owe you my gratitude and an apology young lady” he said guiltily. He passed the bottle back to its owner, who no doubt was in need of its healing qualities. She emptied the bottle and allowed herself a few moments for the elixir to do its work. Then turning back to Brelgor she smiled slightly and said:

“The affect is only a temporary, perhaps an hour before your injuries reassert themselves, let me bind your chest, the added support will enable the healing process to start.”

Brelgor nodded his assent and Callasandra’s deft hands worked a bandage around and under his coat. He winced as she pulled it firm but was immediately grateful when she stepped back and he tested his agility. Yes his movement was a bit limited but the bandage supported his broken ribs well and with shallow breaths the pain was quite bearable.

The Paladin was disappearing up the tunnel following Guilt’s and Tarin’s course. The others followed and Brelgor and Callasandra caught them just as they stepped into the tunnel. The light was strange; it seemed bright but did not illuminate their path. Underfoot was uneven and Brelgor’s instincts warned him he was not treading on ground. They moved cautiously through the tunnel, using each other for balance when they lost their footing. The Paladin set a striking pace and seemed unperturbed by the uneven floor.

The light called to Brelgor, the smell of trees and earth once again filled his senses. What ever lay a head somehow knew Brelgor, knew his ancestry, knew his people. He shook his head and almost ran into Jason and the new woman Rain who had stopped. Looking beyond them he saw the Paladin stooping down over what could only be bodies. One of them moved slightly and immediately the Paladin started dragging both bodies back into the tunnel. The others surged forward to assist and in an instant, the Paladin’s face was close to theirs whispering with urgency.

“It is awake, the Bright One is awake”. He said turning the body of Guilt over and assessing his injuries. Tarin lay next to Guilt, her eyes darting wildly and her hands fiercely gripping her scythe. But a tinge of blue about her lips indicated that her breath was caught and without assistance she would surely die. Callasandra was quick to move, her knife slipped nimbly beneath Tarin’s belt and made little work of slicing it through. Tarin gasped and sucked in air furiously.

“It had turned its back, when I got to them” the Paladin was continuing “It is toying with us”
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Postby Leslie-ElfWarrior » Thu Sep 29, 2005 12:59 am

Before Rain knew it the paladin knight was free and on her and the other man so that her cries for help turned out to be cries for help in him getting off of her before she was crushed. Of course the paladin knight was soon up and helping her and the other man up. Briefly she introduced herself and got a fairly good idea on the names of those in the immediate group. The paladin was named Paul, the man the had helped in trying to pull him free was Jason. The other lady was Cassandra, the older man she had helped earlier was Brelgor, and the other young man was Camiel. At least she hoped she had gotten the names right in that short time. Still there would be no resting for the moment two others an lady named Tarin and an Guilt had wondered on ahead to face a bright one, and so without little else to say or do the group headed for the tunnel. Rain was quick to follow, her best chances was in a large group not alone, and if anyone was to survive despite what they faced they'd need to stick togeather. Rushing over she snatched up the survival pack that had been laid next to Brelgor earlier, it was a little lighter but not by much, latching the heavy pack she rushed back to the group and followed them into the tunnel.

Rain had the misfortune of elven heritage and a plague from her ancestor both served her eyes a great deal and so when she looked at the ground she knew what she was stepping on and immediately looked up ahead trying to keep her eyes focused on the light up ahead. It would be the first time she would regret having such keen eyes. Why her? she wondered as she stepped on an arm not liking it at all and afraid to look down again What had she done to deserve this? a part of her wanted to turn back instead she gritted her teeth and went on.


"I would sure like to know what we're walking on." Camiel whispered glumly.

"Believe me you would not." Rain whispered knowing full well he would not want to see the ground either. That was a big mistake on her part, they'd probably ask later if they survived how she saw in the dark, but for now she was glad they didn't there was little ways in telling them she had an ancient plague that should of died out long ago. Perhaps she got some looking at her funny or wondering what she saw on the ground nevertheless they kept moving and for a moment her eyes took time to adjust to the bright light filling they drew closerr to, wait was that the smell of her mother's garden? She shook off the feeling the plague whispering warnings that were on the edge of hearing warnings drowned out by the brightness; she picked up small praises and realised this place messed with her senses as she was certain it messed with the others as well. It seemed to pick up on happy memories and use them to lure people in, bright ones, she guessed they were very disceitful.

Glancing down she finally saw the paldin drag back two bodies into the tunnel just out of view of the bright one. One was a woman, Tarin she queesed whom Cassandra cut her belt to allow air back into the woman. The other an unconscious acolyte wizard with a nasty blow to the back of the head. Rain didn't waste any time she came forward to the wizard and set her pack down next to her. Checking to make sure he was alive she pulled a bottle from the bag he was bleeding pretty badly the wound would need to be bound as soon as possible. Uncorking the bottle she poured the cleaning solution on the back of his head if he had been awake he might of screamed, the cleaning solution was also a disinfectant too. Using some linen cloth to clean the back of his head she cleaned away most of the blood, then getting some fresh cloth she began to bind the wound to stop the flow of blood.


"That was a nasty blow to the head he got..." She whispered, as she checked for other injuries and to make sure he yet lived again for certainty.
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