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Title: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on May 29, 2011, 01:23:53 PM
Last thread closed due to length. Here's a new thread!
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on May 29, 2011, 03:46:52 PM
   Archer's lips are little more than a tight line of irritation. "If it's such a long story you had better
start telling it because my patience is wearing thin. I want answers Aras! Why did you disappear from the front
lines? What have you been doing out here?"

   Dennan grunts in agreement.

   Aras sighs heavily. He casts a questioning glance to the Lady who gives a silent nod in reply.

   "Fine." Aras begins to pace back and forth in front of the Lady's throne. "I was stationed on the
frontlines with my company, the Shar'ada. It was nearing my time to depart with the Archon and his company, but I felt we were gaining ground and did not want to leave. The Archon orchestrated another movement forward, saying that at its completion, it would be time for the General to replace him."

        "I found myself engaged with a small group of the Adversary's creatures, but a Lykaon fell upon us and killed five of my men. I could not allow my mortal charges to be obliterated, so I ordered Antiman to take the rest of the Shar'ada and fall back.I did battle with the Lykaon, but before I could dispatch it, I was set upon by Marrok The Tearer, a Forsaken under the command of Lieutenant Cauter."

   "We fought for some time, but eventually, the Tearer got the better of me and I found myself upon my back
with the end of his spear embedded through my shoulder. He had me pinned to the ground and was about to use the dagger sheathed at his side to strike at my Death Wound, but as luck would have it, the Archon himself appeared beside me and let out a roar so mighty that Marrok was thrown back several yards. With a nod to me, the Archon waded into the front lines and I gathered my wits about me again. I watched as he and his company charged forward, obliterating everything in their path."

   "Unfortunately, my near brush with death had deeply unsettled me." Aras paused beside Archer and placed
his hand upon her elbow. "My thoughts drifted to Avalon... to... to you."

   Archer averts her gaze and pulls her elbow from his grasp. "Continue your story."

   The expression upon Aras's face is one of pain as he backs away from Archer and continues to walk back and forth in front of the Lady's throne. "I was vulnerable. My emotions had gotten the better of me and my Willpower had suffered substantially. I was unaware that a Carnis, Lai, was nearby, and the creature used the opportunity to act against me. My efforts to resist him were too little, too late. He dragged me back to the Forsaken encampment."

   "From there, I was removed from the battlefield and returned to the land of the mortals. I was taken to a
Forsaken outpost near Il'adoul where I endured..." Aras shakes his head as if the memories are too painful to
discuss. "I endured a great deal of agony at the hands of our enemies. All the while, Lai remained within me,
ensuring I did not escape."
   "After some time, the creature's taunts turned into questions of curiosity. Lai wanted to know why I
continued to cling to hope when my body was broken and my flesh torn. He wanted to know why I simply did not give the Forsaken what they wanted and either convert to their cause, or at the very least endure a quick death. I told him of the grandeur of Avalon and the beauty..." Again he stops in front of Archer. "The beauty within our city."
   "Soon, Lai felt something for me that resembled friendship. I was the only creature who had ever regarded
him with the remotest amount of kindness, and he expressed his desire to help me. I was in no position to turn him down. Lai managed to acquire a key, which he gifted to me, then proceeded to deceive my guards with an illusion, so that they believed I was still present in my cell. I was able to escape, and as soon as I was free, Lai blew my cell to bits before rejoining me again."

   "I knew I had to seek a way home, but I knew of no way to contact the Bulwark without an orb. I knew
someone would be able to track me down eventually, so Lai and I hid ourselves away in the woods. One night, as we slept on the banks of a small pond, the Lady appeared to me and..."

   "And that is a tale for another time," interrupts the Lady quickly. "There? Are you satisfied?"
   "Not in the least! Why will you not return with us?" demands Archer.
   "That's a bit of a complicated answer," mutters Aras.

   "Then un-complicate it for me!" shouts Archer.

   "I'm no longer an Ageless, Archer. Avalon is no longer my home. I cannot return," replies Aras quietly.

   "This is madness, Aras! How? How can you no longer be an Ageless? I don't understand!" Archer's
exasperation is growing.

   The Lady of Shadows rises from her throne. "That is not for you to know, Gladia Archer. Suffice it to say

that Aras no longer receives the Blessings of the Divine."

   "Then where does his power come? From you? You think yourself equal to the Divine?" questions Constancy.

   His questions are merely answered with a silent smirk. Before you can press her any further, she vanishes
into the shadows. It seems that the Lady of Shadows has earned her name.

   Dennan sniffs the air. "Where did she go? She is no longer present here."

   "Yeah... She... she does that," responds Aras. "Look, I'm going to level with you: the Otaktay may only be
mortals, but they've gotten pretty adept at finding ways to incapacitate Ageless and Forsaken alike. I really
can't go into it, but I need your help."

   Billowing black shapes begin to form in the corner of the room and the Lady of Shadows reappears with an
orb in her hands.

   "What do you want from us, Aras?" asks Archer reluctantly.

   The Lady does not give him the opportunity to answer and she responds in his stead. "It is not enough to
simply drive off the Otaktay. They must be destroyed." 

   "The Ageless do not kill humans!" snarls Dennan.

   "Yeah!" agrees Constancy. "Do you have us confused with Forsaken!"
   "There is no other way," responds the Lady firmly. "As long as the Otaktay live, they will remain a threat
to your people."

   "There is always another way," speaks Dennan resolutely.



   "...How does one fight a spirit?"

   Lai's voice can be heard from somewhere beside Fiorin. "That... is a very complicated question to answer.
Excuse me for a moment while I settle in."

   Moments later, you see a glimmer in the air, much like you would see the imprints of heat rising from a
flame. Slowly the form begins to take shape, and you find yourself face to face with a tall, immensely muscular
gentleman with long, silky locks of blonde hair. His eyes are a piercing shade of blue and he is clad in the
vestments of a warrior. Fiorin has seen Lai take this shape before. It was the form of a young man that Fiorin had
once fought side by side with, a man who Fiorin may have even regarded as a friend. Fiorin watched him die years ago, but Lai had an uncanny way of knowing that Fiorin may be comforted by a familiar face. Not only did it give him a focal point to address when speaking of Lai, but it reminded Fiorin of his time in the lands of the Ebonmane Clan.

   The illusion that Lai is currently portraying seats himself upon a large cushion beside you. He crosses
his legs and rests his elbows on his knees as he looks to you. "You fear possession." His words are more of a
statement than a question. He already knows the answer to this.

   "You have not yet mastered such a skill, but there are some among your brethren, the Ageless, who have the power to resist possession. The Elders of your people, like the Archon and the esteemed General Fury would be some who could stave off a spirit."

   "The big man that was with Depheir, he is called Dennan in Depheir's mind, possesses such a skill as well.
I know. I tried to possess him, not knowing what he was, and I was repelled with incredible force. This is most
curious as he is obviously not an Elder Immortalis." Lai seems to ponder this for a moment but shrugs when he
cannot account for why such a young Immortalis would be able to do what many of his Elders could not. To avoid
being possessed by a spirit, one must have exceptional WILLPOWER, and even then, it must be a skill that is honed over time through battle."

   "Spirits cannot be destroyed, however, it is possible that we may be captured and confined against our
will. It is exceedingly difficult to do so, but I have seen it done once or twice." 


   Blood allows Sig to dress, then bids for him to follow her to the Bulwark Headquarters. She explains that
they will be joining Archer and her party, but to do so, they must see the help of Cleo Seer. When you come upon
Cleo, you find her in a rather agitated state. She and Dethys are in front of the closed doors to the General's

   "The General won't tell me anything!" exclaims Cleo.

   Dethys, clad in dark brown robes, stands beside her. "Then there must be a reason."

   "Dethys, I CANNOT SEE HIM! I am blind to where Fenwick is right now! One moment he was there, and now I can't perceive him at all. Constancy's power to shroud the group is not that advanced. What if they've been

   Dethys sighs. "Nothing new has been recorded in the book."

   General Fury can be seen making her way down the central corridor and towards you. "They have not been
captured, though they are certainly hidden. I went to the Cathedral to seek answers from the Divine. However, I was assured through his spirit that they are safe, at least for now."

   Dethys raises an eyebrow. "And?"

   "The Father is silent. You know he does not seek to directly interfere in our affairs," reminds Fury.
"Cleo, send Blood and Sig to their last known whereabouts."

   "What if we're sending them into a trap?" asks Dethys.

   "I've foiled traps before. We can handle it," assures Blood.

   Fury nods. "Cleo, make haste. Send them through the gate."

   You follow Blood and Cleo to the main gates of Avalon and the latter brings into being a strange, swirling
mass of light and energy. This "gate" is not a mode of travel you are very familiar with, and when you enter, you
find yourself pulled, twisted, and turned every which way. Despite your impressive constitution, it is enough to
make your stomach lurch considerably.

   When you emerge on the other side, you find yourself on a dirt road. The road is flanked by stretches of forest on either side. The woods are dense, and you wonder how you will be able to find them in such a place, but you are reminded that Ageless can sense each other, and within moments, Blood informs you that they are not too far off. You make your way down the dirt road, but Blood freezes in her tracks. Ahead, you can see several human forms, clad in suits of leather and scale armor. You watch as their gazes fall upon you and they begin to speak amongst themselves. One of them raises his hand and points towards Blood, specifically the mark upon her forehead. The only word you can hear is "Death Wound."
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Archdemon Stu on May 30, 2011, 04:43:06 PM
The visage that Lai took on was indeed a familiar one.  It was the shape of Biornfir, Fiorin's rival, and his only capable sparring partner.  The two had shared many brawls in childhood, and were nearly inseparable in the battle front, and though neither would admit it, they were close friends.  It was raining when Biornfir died in the heat of combat, but there were some who said that through it all... Fiorin shed a tear at the loss of greatest rival.  It was then that he learned the pains of death, and though he continued to slay countless men, never again would he show pride in his work.

In spite of the painful memories it conjured, Lai's illusion brought Fiorin some small semblance of comfort.  However, it was such tricks of the mind that gave rise to these concerns about spirits.

"You fear possession." Lai stated.  The carnis could not have been more correct.  Lai could control men with these illusions well enough already, and do so even more forcibly by possessing them.  All of Fiorin's combat experience, his strength training, his ability to take the mightiest of blows... it would all become useless, and what's more, that power could be turned in any direction the spirit pleases.

Lai continued.  He spoke of Elder Immortalis being able to counter the effects through sheer will, but this was of no comfort.  How many years would Fiorin have to wait before he could even hope to resist such spells?  But then, the carnis mentioned another name...

"...he is called Dennan..."

Though he did not express it vocally, Lai could easily perceive Fiorin's gratitude.  Fiorin stood resolutely, separating himself from the image of Biornfir.  It had been some time since Depheir had arrived with Lai, and his comrades should not have been far behind.  He would meet the other Ageless, and seek out the one the spirit called 'Dennan.'

Fiorin glanced over to Depheir, "Warrior of Avalon, let us meet your allies." while his voice sounded angry by nature, he was indeed attempting to be friendly.  Besides, Depheir would know the trail that they would follow.  Little did he know that the other Ageless were much closer than he thought.

Perhaps the vision of Fiorin's fearsome rival was exactly what he needed to spur him into action.  The memories of his friend's death became vivid...

"Biornfir... never again."
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Depheir Kogthar on June 02, 2011, 08:03:41 PM
So, that one was called Fiorin.

He obviously didn't like to talk too much.

Depheir measured him for the last time. He was huge, strong, and obviously experienced in battle. The mage noticed the fact Fiorin represented different type of battle than him. Depheir prefered avoiding hostile attacks, while Fiorin looked like he would take almost every blow.

Depheir stopped glaring on him and continued to enjoy the scenery, meanwhile being somewhat aware of everything around him. He noticed Fiorin's question of methods of fighting the spirit.

 - That... is a very complicated question to answer - Lai replied to Fiorin. - Excuse me for a moment while I settle in.

Moment later, the air began to glimmer as if there was a heat from a flame. Slowly, the form took shape of a tall, muscular gentleman with long, silky locks of blonde hair. Depheir began to think the man was familiar to Fiorin, why else could Lai take such a form?

 - You fear possession - he stated.

Depheir locked his attention on an illusion, because he was curious of the methods of possession preventing, too.

Lai continued. He told about WILLPOWER, strong enough to shrug off the Carnis. He told about the Elder Immortalis, and about Dennan, who possessed such skill as well.

In the end, he summarized:

 - To avoid being possessed by a spirit, one must have exceptional WILLPOWER, and even then, it must be a skill that is honed over time through battle.

As Lai stopped talking, Fiorin glanced over to Depheir.

 - Warrior of Avalon, let us meet your allies - he told.

Depheir stood up and turned himself to face the exit.

 - Right - he nodded. - Let's move on.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Kitharsis on June 07, 2011, 06:10:27 PM
This was just terrible.  Each glance, each touch, each lingering smile...  Each moment Aras was close to Gladia was frustrating him further.  If his hood wasn't pulled down so far it would be clear that Sembas was scowling at the taller man.

He was grinding his teeth when he realized.  His mind was a torrent of anger.  Visions of flame and lightening igniting the man clouded his mind it hit him like a bucket of water being poured over his head.  The thought doused the flames of his anger and his eyes widened in recognition.

This was weakness.  This was performing a disservice to Gladia - a disservice to all of his present company.

This was not focusing on the weighty events unfolding around him. 

This unattention could cost him and his companions a great deal of pain, if not their lives.  He never had anyone he cared about so much in the field with him.  He usually worked alone with Faile, and she was more a part of him than another being.  Gladia was quickly becoming a distraction from his duties.  He needed to determine how to keep his wits about him in situations like this, and fast...

His cheeks color as shame and embarrassment creeps in.

Aras's story finally hits his ears and Sembas listens to his words rather than his actions.  "...One night, as we slept on the banks of a small pond, the Lady appeared to me and..."

"And that is a tale for another time," the Lady interrupts.  "There? Are you satisfied?"

Sembas nearly smacks himself in the head for his stupidity.  He caught bits and pieces, but the majority of the explanation was lost.  Hopefully Faile was paying attention more than he was.

The following conversation was shocking.  Kill these Otaktay?  He had sworn to protect humans, not slaughter them.  The Lady may have reign over Aras, but she did not determine what the Ageless do.

"Then they are a threat we will have to manage.  If we turn the offensive they will have even more of a reason to hunt us down.  But I do agree that we cannot just allow them to attack us without recourse.  Have the Ageless negotiated with the Otaktay before?"  He asks towards Archer and Dennan.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on June 21, 2011, 11:42:52 AM

Sig listens as Cleo and Dethys argue. Obviously they are having difficulty locating the party that Blood had previously been tasked to aid. Sig rolls his eyes. Had a Chosen of Alviss gone missing, the sons and daughters of Alviss would certainly not spend time debating about it. They would immediately set out to reclaim their kin. That was one of his biggest criticisms of the Ageless: too much thinking and talking and not enough action.

The General returns with the news that their god, this Divine, left their questions unanswered, and finally Blood and Sig are tasked with locating the missing party and ensuring their safe return. Sig has never used a portal before, and when the swirling mass of light and energy appears before him, he regards it with a wary eye. Blood disappears within, but Sig, not so quick to toss himself within, tentatively sticks his foot into the portal. A strange sensation envelops his boot and he withdraws it quickly, casting a glance back towards the Seer.

“Go on. It’s safe,” assures Cleo.

Sig shrugs, takes a running start, and dives through the portal. When Sig emerges on the other side, he finds himself on a dirt road in the middle of a forest. Blood indicates that her brethren are somewhere nearby, and Sig follows her down the path. After some time, they encounter human forms on the road. Sig hears the word “Death Wound” and knowing that humans have a funny way of reacting to Immortalis, instinctively reaches for his lute, ready to cast or attack as he should need to.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on June 21, 2011, 12:02:57 PM
   At Fiorin’s suggestion, he and Depheir set out to find Depheir’s companions. They do not need to venture far as they hear the sounds of a rather heated argument emanating from the main hall. The Lady of Shadows stands to the side, an orb in her hands. She appears disinterested in regards to the discussion occurring before her.

   Aras glances at Sembas as if noticing him for the first time. “There IS no negotiating with the Otaktay.”

   “He wasn’t asking that. He asked if anyone has TRIED,” interjects Archer sharply. “In which case, the answer is, ‘yes.’ Unfortunately, that was about a hundred years ago, and the leader of the Otaktay, Ulises Cael, was unwilling to meet with us.”

   “Then we should have forced them to listen!” responds Aras with feeling.

   Archer, her face red with anger, steps towards him. “And to what end? If you force anything, words or action, then you are essentially proving their point.”    

   “The past matters not,” speaks the Lady of Shadows. “The time for action has come. If you do not act soon, many Immortalis, Ageless and Forsaken alike, will fall to the Otaktay. There is no other way.”

   “WE... DO NOT… KILL HUMANS!” growls Dennan. “It is not our way!”

   “You refuse to accept that in order to preserve mankind you must preserve yourselves! I have never seen such blatant ignorance!” exclaims Aras. “Do you not understand the Lady’s words? The Otaktay have ways to remove us permanently without killing us. Do you wish to be taken captive by them? The time to reason with them is over. We must destroy them!”

   “You are asking us to go against everything we stand for!” cries Constancy in disbelief.

   “Gladia! You are a reasonable woman. You know I would not make this suggestion if there was another way!” pleads Aras. “Please! You know this is what must be done!”

   “Aras, I don’t even know what you are anymore! How can I trust you?” questions Archer.

   “Gladia… please. See reason,” Aras begs. “There truly is no other way.”
   Archer is quiet for several moments. “Even if it was the only way, we certainly don’t have the right to make that decision.”

   As if in response, the orb in the Lady’s hand flashes a brilliant orange light. “You will want to consult the Blood-Warden General, the Raven’s Bride.”

   “You should not even bother her with such a request!” shouts Dennan angrily. “My mother will not condone this madness!”

   “The Ageless take humans as allies do they not?” inquires the Lady of Shadows. It was obvious she already knew the answer to this question.

   “So? What does that have to do with slaughtering the Otaktay?” returns Constancy.

   “Many of them do not return.” The Lady of Shadows turns the orb in her hands. “They fight alongside you, and you allow it, knowing that many of them will die. You lead them to slaughter. What are a few more bodies to the pile?”

   “They do so because they choose to do so!” snarls Dennan. “We force them to do nothing. They choose to die for the sake of their people, but we do not aid them in doing so.”

   The lady sneers at Dennan. “Yes… you do… You place in their minds the illusion that they may actually succeed in driving back the Forsaken.”

   “And we will,” states Constancy firmly.

   “Foolish child. There must always be a balance… Where there is dark, there must be light. Too much light will cause the flower to wilt and die, but too much darkness will ensure that the flower never blossoms. Both are responsible for the premature death of the flower. However, in equal measure, the balance is maintained, and the flower thrives.” The Lady looks to Sembas.

   “What the bloody piss does that mean?!” cries Constancy.

   Dennan’s low, rumbling voice answers Constancy’s confusion. “She believes herself to be the balance.”

   Archer face echoes the sudden realization. “Yes… That is why the Lady never sides with the Ageless or the Forsaken. You fear the power of both.”

   “Hmph! I fear nothing, child,” the Lady responds dismissively. “But you are right… there must be a balance, and I ensure that the balance does not weigh too heavily for one or the other. The Otaktay are not only tipping the scales, they seek to overturn it… and they will if you do not heed my words.”

   Fenwick has been patiently listening to the discussion taking place before them. He recollects what Cleo had told him before, about certain parts of the future being static, while other events had the potential to be changed. “How do you know it is certain?”

   The Lady gives a derisive snort. “I have foreseen it!”

   “Can’t it be changed?” asks Fenwick. “Cleo said-”

   “The Seer? The Seer was not even powerful enough to see that Severan would betray your people. It had always been destined the Adversary would seek a champion. The Archon was foolish. He thought that if he led Severan to another path and allowed him to choose, that he would choose wisely. That is the folly of faith. Even now, you doubt my words and cling to the foolish beliefs that you Ageless hold dear. You claim to protect humanity, but your very existence perpetuates the existence of the Forsaken! If there is no ‘good’ there can be no ‘evil.’” The Lady sighs in exasperation. “This is like talking to a stone. Is there not one among you who can see reason?”  She glances towards the orb in her hands. “Very well. If you wish to see the might of the Otaktay, I will show you.”

The orb sparks and a huge projection of a scene appears in the air. There is a dirt road, that the party recognizes having traveled to get here, and upon that road they see Adia Blood and Sigurd Glorrack. Just down the path, there is a group of humans. One points an outstretched finger towards Blood and Sig.


   On the forest road, near the home of the Lady of Shadows, Blood and Sig both place their hands on their weapons, should they need to use them. Though many humans are friendly towards the Immortalis, the fact that these humans were so quick to recognize Blood’s Death Wound make the Captain uneasy. One of the humans, a tall, black-haired gentleman with pale skin and piercing blue eyes, emerges from the rear of the group. He steps forward, never taking his eyes off of Sig and Blood. He wears a suit of black platemail, and carries in his hand a well-made spear. 

   As he speaks, his voice is smooth and calm. “Adia Blood, Captain of the Blood-Wardens of Avalon and second-in-command to General Deya Fury, the Blood-Warden General. You are approximately 400 years of age and died at the age of 24. Your mortal name was Adia Ardith and you died at the hands of Severan Deceit in a raid upon the human city where you were a guard. Your Death Wound is upon your forehead and is your single point of vulnerability.”

   Blood frowns. “I know my own history. I don’t need you to tell it to me. The question is, how do you know so much about me?”

   “I have made it my personal duty to learn about you and your brethren as much as I can. I know who you are, I know who you were, and I know how you may die. I have spent years researching the Immortalis, and have committed much of my research to memory,” responds the man.

   “And who exactly are you?” questions Blood.

   “I am Bayard Cael,” the man replies with a bow. “I am the leader of the Defenders of Humanity...but we are known to you as the Otaktay.”

   Blood’s eyes widen in recognition.

   “And I shall enjoy this very much.” Bayard hurls his spear forward and the weapon hurtles towards Blood.
   However, she is far too quick to be taken down so easily and she deftly dodges to the side. Bayard gives a shout as he draws his longsword and urges his men to move forward. It dawns on Blood and Sig that they are outnumbered 6:1, but the Captain of the Blood-Wardens has defeated far more impossible odds before.

   Back in the abode of the Lady of Shadows, the others watch through the orb as Blood and Sig are surrounded by the group of Otaktay.

   “We have to go help them!” cries Constancy.

   “No. This is not your battle,” responds the Lady of Shadows. “You must witness the might of the Otaktay with your own eyes.” With a flick of her fingers, the door to the chamber slams shut and is enveloped by a mass of twisted roots and thorns. “Now, there will be no further discussion of going anywhere.”
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Archdemon Stu on June 21, 2011, 08:13:36 PM
Fiorin was surprised to see the Immortalis already within the Lady of Shadows' abode -- a sign of highly skilled trackers-- but as he heard Aras's angered replies, he felt it was not under the diplomatic conditions he had originally expected.  His search for the man named "Dennan" would have to wait.

 There was one thing he simply could not wrap his head around in this fierce exchange of words:

"WE... DO NOT... KILL HUMANS!" snarled a man comparable to Fiorin in size.

This was a confusing principle to Fiorin indeed.  Killing was no different from eating or sleeping to him; it was necessary for survival.   He had been soaking his blade in the blood of other warriors since before he had grown a single hair on his chest.  While he would never slaughter non-combatants, should he or any of his comrades be set upon by assailants, they would die.  It was that simple.  It was considered honorable -- nay, respectful -- to make it quick.

 “They do so because they choose to do so!” snarls Dennan. “We force them to do nothing. They choose to die for the sake of their people, but we do not aid them in doing so.”

Fiorin stepped forward toward the Immortalis.  "Do these 'Otaktay' not choose to fight of their own will as well?  Are they not warriors; men who have chosen to die for their ideals?" This was the law of the Ebonmane Clan.  When one drew a sword, he forfeits life, and will struggle to defend it from the moment he first does so.  Other clans of the north had typically shared this belief, so to hear such an extreme opposite cultural point of view was... interesting.

However, events quickly began to turn from a tense atmosphere to a much more fearful situation.  The vision the Lady of Shadows portrayed was worrisome.  While the thought of battle never concerned Fiorin, there was one thing that bothered him:  their leader was facing the Ageless head-on... the humans were certain of themselves.  Such confidence was always the first sign of true danger.  Something was wrong. 

He turned to the Lady of Shadows questioningly, "M'lady?" He knew of her powers of foresight... but, what was she planning?  She was no enemy of the Ageless.  After all, she'd gathered Fiorin to aid them.  Why did she now split their forces?  Was this all simply to illustrate a point?  It was true he had no personal attachment to the Ageless at this point, but for them to be snuffed out before he could learn of this "Avalon" he'd heard so much about... it was becoming difficult for him to sit still.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: john greymore on June 26, 2011, 05:55:08 AM
The events in the past hour or so had been tense, but nothing compared to what was happening before their eyes. The human that had spoken somehow knew about their biological data and history right down to when they had died.

That was impossible, or near impossible, Fenwick thought. Immediately, logical explanations flowed through his head. A chronicler? Possible, but Avalon most likely would've sought them out and silenced them somehow. A traitor? Not unheard of, and with enough charisma it would've been possible to rally many people to their side. An accident? Maybe it was one of those stories he had listened to when he was young, where the child would see his parents die in front of their eyes and they vowed revenge... or something.

Their knowledge already marked them as dangerous, but the way Beyard threw his spear confirmed that fact. They would've easily killed him in a one on one fight.

As much as he wanted to help them, they were currently in the hands of this Lady of Shadows. As such, Fenwick attempts to calm his mind enough to study his potential opponents...
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Depheir Kogthar on June 27, 2011, 04:23:34 PM
As Depheir led Fiorin to his companions, he became an observer of a rather interesting discussion between Aras and the Ageless. The argument was mainly about the newly discovered threat, the Otaktay, who attack every Immortalis, both Ageless and Forsaken alike. Depheir was surprised with even reckoning with that bunch of puny mortals, who seemingly think they can oppose the Immortalis, so he was shocked with the next statements:

 - The time for action has come - suddenly spoke the Lady of Shadows. - If you do not act soon, many Immortalis, Ageless and Forsaken alike, will fall to the Otaktay. There is no other way.

 - WE... DO NOT… KILL HUMANS! - growled Dennan. - It is not our way!

 - You refuse to accept that in order to preserve mankind you must preserve yourselves! I have never seen such blatant ignorance! - shouted Aras. - Do you not understand the Lady’s words? The Otaktay have ways to remove us permanently without killing us. Do you wish to be taken captive by them? The time to reason with them is over. We must destroy them!

 - You are asking us to go against everything we stand for! - cried Constancy.

Their saying was a bit odd, and Depheir was distasted with the Ageless' opinions.

" If something is really a threat, I simply try to get rid of it..."

Then he heard a weird statement of the Lady:

 - There must always be a balance… Where there is dark, there must be light. Too much light will cause the flower to wilt and die, but too much darkness will ensure that the flower never blossoms. Both are responsible for the premature death of the flower. However, in equal measure, the balance is maintained, and the flower thrives.

 - What the bloody piss does that mean?! - asked Constancy.

Dapheir had an urge of asking exactly the same, but, in the opposite of Constancy, Lady's statement about the balance thing was unclear in many ways for him even after Dennan's explanation. He tried to explain it in his own way.

"Doesn't that mean if we don't want that bloody "flower" she's talking about, namely the humanity, to die, then we, all Immortalis, should ally with the Lady and fight against the Otaktay? Won't that make humans feel thratened by us, and they will fight even more fiercely against us? For what, for that balance thing?  And what with our leaders?..."

His current point of view flipped upside down. He has grown horribly suspicious about the Lady.

"How did she persuade Aras to take her side, if the Ageless defend their goals so fiercely?... I don't want to know."

- You claim to protect humanity, but your very existence perpetuates the existence of the Forsaken! - said the Lady. - If there is no ‘good’ there can be no ‘evil’ - she sighed in exasperation. - This is like talking to a stone. Is there not one among you who can see reason? Very well. If you wish to see the might of the Otaktay, I will show you.

"And what if they are only her tool, to persuade us to ally with her? To... abandon our superiors? And THEN what?"

But, still, he said nothing. Instead, he glanced on the projection, which appeared in the air. There was a familiar road, and Sig, Blood, and a group of humans on it. One of them pointed towards the Ageless, and other one came closer to them, and began to speak:

 - Adia Blood, Captain of the Blood-Wardens of Avalon and second-in-command to General Deya Fury, the Blood-Warden General. You are approximately 400 years of age and died at the age of 24. Your mortal name was Adia Ardith and you died at the hands of Severan Deceit in a raid upon the human city where you were a guard. Your Death Wound is upon your forehead and is your single point of vulnerability.

"Whoa, whoa, whoa! Somebody has got good informations! Where can we buy some books about the Forsaken's Deathwounds, pleeeeeaaaaaase?"'

 - I have made it my personal duty to learn about you and your brethren as much as I can - continued the man. - I know who you are, I know who you were, and I know how you may die. I have spent years researching the Immortalis, and have committed much of my research to memory.

"Perharps somebody TOLD them about our Deathwounds? Somebody with the power of farsight, who can predict the birth of the Immortalis, and few other things? Perharps... the Lady of Shadows?"

 - I am the leader of the Defenders of Humanity...but we are known to you as the Otaktay. And I shall enjoy this very much - the human hurled his spear towards Blood, who deftly dodges the attack.

If Depheir wouldn't be locked inside the Lady's territory, he would go outside and teach those Otaktay few lessons about "Not Messing with the Immortalis". Especially when there is Sig. He is really good. Depheir had a pleasure of fighting against him before.

But, still, analyzing the fact of more than proper preparing for the battle of the Otaktay, Depheir implied that the Lady informed them before about missing and dispatched Ageless.

And would be very surprised if the Otaktay didn't capture them successfully. What else would convince unwilling Ageless to act, if not the urge of rescuing their friends?

"The scale won't sway if there is nothing in the middle...", he thought, setting his gaze on the Lady for a brief moment.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Kitharsis on June 27, 2011, 06:50:59 PM
The situation is quickly spiralling out of control.  It is difficult to determine the power of the Lady of Shadows.  Should they have to fight their way out of here it would prove to be... interesting. 

The Lady's motivations become clear.  She believes that she is they grey between the white and black of the Immortalis and the Forsaken.  But the grey is a result of the two colors mixing, not a seperate will.  Will she keep the balance forever?  If the Immortalis gain the upper hand will she interfere?  Same for the Forsaken?  Her drive for balance could become an obstacle the Immortalis will have to face in the future.

The events on the road are shown through the orb.  The door is shut and blocked.  The blood in Sembas's body boils.

"How can you force us to watch this?  Balance indeed!  You would tip your so-called balance to prove a point.  How can we be sure you won't continue to tip the balance to aid in your goals in the future?"  Sembas is clearly tiring of this situation, and his demeanor reflects as much.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Cameron on July 19, 2011, 11:23:07 PM
As Blood deftly dodges the spear thrown by the one called Bayard, Sig drops his axe to his side and takes his lute in both hands. He and his scary yet attractive escort are completely surrounded. Throwing himself at Bayard would be a foolhardy endeavor. They would just be swarmed by the others. No, better to let Blood focus on the leader. Her facial expression made it clear that she either knew this man personally or at least knew of him, and that gave her a tactical advantage over Sig. The Chosen of Alviss's task was clearly laid out in front of him. Keep Blood from being swarmed by enemies while she lands the first strike against Bayard. And the blessings of Alviss have provided Sig with just the song for the occasion.

Sig begins to rapidly strum his lute. A low bass line emits from the instrument. It starts out so quiet that it can barely be detected, but it grows louder and deeper as Sig's fingers increase their speed. Soon his fingers are a blur over the strings. The ground begins to tremble and shake from the force of the deep resounding chord. Sig's lute begins to glow brighter and brighter as the chord reaches it's apex.

And in an instant, Sig suddenly slams his hand down on the strings. (Wisdom: Spiritual Magic - CRESCENDO) The resulting sound is so loud that it can be heard across the forest. The powerful burst of chaotic noise is powerful enough to crack the ground around Sig's feet. The energy built up in the lute is suddenly released in a whirlwind of destruction that radiates out from the Chosen of Alviss in a perfect circle. It passes over Blood without so much as stirring a hair on her head, but anyone else caught in this blast of raw power will be thrown backwards with an impossible amount of force, and those close enough to Sig will find themselves being ripped apart by the sheer power of the blast.

Only Blood can hear Sig's laughter over the chaos.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on July 23, 2011, 11:36:57 PM
   When Fiorin speaks, he draws the attention of all the Immortalis around him. Dennan sniffs the air and glances towards Archer.
   “A whelp,” says the mountainous man.
   Archer moves towards Fiorin with a cautious glance to Dennan. “A Childer Immortalis? Are you sure Dennan?”
   Dennan grunts in reply.
   Archer shakes her head in confusion “Then why is he-”
   However, the conversation is cut short as the Lady of Shadows forces the Immortalis to watch as the Otaktay descend upon Blood and Sig.
   Sembas vocally disapproves of the Lady’s action. "How can you force us to watch this?  Balance indeed!  You would tip your so-called balance to prove a point.  How can we be sure you won't continue to tip the balance to aid in your goals in the future?"
   “It seems you will not be swayed without some motivation,” responds the Lady coolly. “You must see for yourself.”
   “You would hold us captive!” demands Archer.  “You’d make us stand idly by while our friends are assaulted?”
   “Yes,” replies the Lady simply.

   Within the orb, the Otaktay had plenty of experience dealing with Immortalis, but none had ever come upon one of the Chosen of Alviss, as few people ever have. They are completely blindsided by the powerful attack that Sig unleashes upon them. The ground before Sig cracks and the huge wave of energy that explodes outward from Sig’s location catches them entirely off-guard. Several are violently expelled backwards, and the few unlucky souls that were closest to the Chosen when he began his attack are instantly torn to shreds. Bits of bone, flesh and a smattering of blood are all that are left of these unfortunate mortals. Bayard Cael freezes in his tracks and even Blood appears aghast at what she has just seen.

        Even the Lady of Shadows, back in her lair, is rendered momentarily speechless. In all of her visions of what was to come, the presence of a Chosen of Alviss had not been revealed to her.

    Cael, spurred to action by the utter obliteration of three of his men turns his ire towards Blood. He reaches for the longsword sheathed upon his back and hurtles forward, far faster than any human has the capacity to do. Blood closes with him, her own sword flashing in the sunlight, as she brings the flat of the blade down upon his skull, not to kill, but surely to incapacitate.
   However, the space where Cael was a mere instant ago is vacant, and when he reappears behind Blood, he strikes forward with his blade.
    Meanwhile, Sig finds himself surrounded by four more men, each determined to have their revenge for the deaths of their comrades. One of the men, slams the head of his warhammer down upon Sig who will have mere moments to defend himself before it comes crashing upon him.

   “ENOUGH!” Dennan slams his fists upon the ground before him and the marbled floor of the main hall is besmirched by long, ragged cracks. Without another word, he makes his way towards the door. He begins to tear at the thick wall of roots and vines. The jagged thorns tear at the flesh upon his hands sending smatters of blood spilling across the ground. Dennan, undeterred continues to tear and pull at the obstacle before him.
   The Lady rolls her eyes, annoyed by his lack of obedience and with a flick of her hand, the vines wrap around Dennan’s wrists, binding him inexorably.
   “Let him go, you witch!” shouts Archer rounding on the Lady of Shadows.
   Aras grabs her by the shoulders. “Leave her, Gladia. She means you no ill will. But nothing can be gained if you do not see for yourself the power of the Otaktay.”
   Another roar explodes from Dennan’s throat as his massive muscles flex to their full extent and shred the vines wrapped upon his arms. He lowers his shoulder and thunders forward, his shoulder connecting with the great door buried beneath the vines. There is an earsplitting crack as the door gives way to Dennan’s charging form and splinters beneath the force of the blow. What is left of the door skitters across the ground. His chest heaves as he glares menacingly upon the Lady of Shadows in defiance.
   A scowl marks the Lady’s lovely face as she regards Dennan in disgust. “Fine, Son of the Blood Raven… have it your way. But heed my words, if the Otaktay remain, so shall your people fail- both Ageless and Forsaken alike. Perhaps it will be a better world when you are all struck from the earth. I will leave you to your fates.”
   Wordlessly, Dennan turns towards the corridor that leads back to the surface. He glances towards Fensten who seems to understand his meaning and the two disappear down the hallway.  Constancy follows close behind.
   Archer turns to leave. “Aras… ” She makes no attempt to finish her request, because she seems to already know the answer.
   “My place is here, Archer,” he replies firmly. “I hope you will consider what the Lady has said.”
   Archer regards the remaining members of her party. “Let’s go. We’ve wasted enough time. We got what we came for,” a look of disappointment crosses her face as she looks upon Aras. Without another word, she too disappears through the door with Constancy following close behind. Dennan leads all of you back to the road, save for Fiorin who remains in the Lady’s company.
   The Lady turns her gaze to Fiorin. “Your time with me is done, Fiorin. Where you decide to go from here is entirely up to you. As you can see, the Ageless are stubborn to a fault and refuse to listen to reason. They are strong, but I fear it is their compassion that will be their downfall. Still… I know in my heart that your place is with them. I shall keep my eye on you, Fiorin of the Ebonmane… two when I can spare them.”
   With that, the Lady of Shadows clasps Aras’s hand in her own. You have always known Aras to appear strong and resolute, but it is easy to see that his interaction with his former love has left him quite unhinged.
   “Be still, Aras,” speaks the Lady soothingly.
   Aras shakes his head. “This better be worth it, my Lady. You have no idea what I have sacrificed to aid you.”
   “I do, Aras. And that is what makes you so valuable. Goodbye, Fiorin.” Dark, black shadows begin to shift and swirl around the Lady’s feet. They rise upward, becoming faster as they ascend and envelope the Lady and Aras completely.
   Fiorin is left alone in the Great Hall.
   “Damn it!”
   Or so he thinks.
   Fiorin can feel the presence of Lai nearby, and the spirit seems quite disgruntled by the fact he’s been left behind.
   “I get why she left you, but why me?” whines Lai. “I’ve no place running about with Ageless. As you can see, they usually don’t take kindly to my kind.”

        Constancy's spells allow the party of Ageless to accelerate their movements and they quickly find themselves upon the dirt road. Up ahead, they can see Blood and Sig engaged in battle with the Otaktay. Blood has closed with the leader of the Otaktay, and Sig has managed to dispatch a few of them himself, but there are still a dozen advancing upon them, not counting the four gathered around Sig.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Archdemon Stu on July 26, 2011, 03:35:42 PM
A man who was so civil one moment, pleading for the lives of others, then proceeded to tear apart his own flesh as he shattered the chamber door, roaring violently as he willed through the pain the thorns inflicted.  One moment a stoic, watchful man, and another... a beast.  He and Fiorin shared two very different views, yet it would seem in many ways, they were alike. 

Soon, he and the other Ageless took flight as the Lady permitted them.

“Your time with me is done, Fiorin. Where you decide to go from here is entirely up to you. As you can see, the Ageless are stubborn to a fault and refuse to listen to reason. They are strong, but I fear it is their compassion that will be their downfall. Still… I know in my heart that your place is with them. I shall keep my eye on you, Fiorin of the Ebonmane… two when I can spare them.”

Good-byes never did suit Fiorin well.  However, with the Lady, he found himself having to mask the fact he would miss the company of Aras, Lai, and herself in his more dire of times.  With no family, no friends, no comrades, and no enemies... he was purposeless.  It was because of her actions, that someday, he may experience fighting with a purpose once more as he did against the Thundercaller.  He would eternally grateful to her, no matter what her shrouded intentions were.

She began to fade into the shadows as they wrapped around her and Aras. Hesitantly, almost inaudibly, Fiorin uttered words few had the honor of hearing... "Thank you, m'Lady."

The Lady of Shadows was gone, and once again, Fiorin was alone...

"Damn it!"

Fiorin was just as surprised as Lai was.

“I get why she left you, but why me?  I’ve no place running about with Ageless. As you can see, they usually don’t take kindly to my kind.”

The barbarian stifled a smile, but a small crack on one side of his face gave him away.  It was strange to know just how relieved he was that Lai was still with him.  Surely, it would earn him the ire of the other Ageless, but the Lady's workings were often so enigmatic as this; who was he to question them?  There wasn't a doubt in Fiorin's mind that Lai would be a valuable asset. 

Fiorin turned to the exit.  "Come, Lai.  I shall grant you swift legs to travel upon."

Still failing to hide his smirk, the warrior leaped forward, his STRENGTH - ATHLETICS launching him swiftly to battle.  He had catching up to do.

"Lai," Fiorin spoke mentally with the spirit, "That man who shattered the door... that was him, wasn't it?"
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on July 26, 2011, 05:58:13 PM
In answer to his offer, Fiorin feels something latch onto his back. The sensation is something like claws digging into his flesh, coupled with a bothersome itch in the back of his mind, but within moments, the strange feeling dilutes as Lai becomes comfortable in Fiorin's skin. He is perfectly content to allow you to take the lead and becomes a passenger in your mortal vessel.

His voice echoes in your mind as you ask about the feral man who managed to open the way for the Ageless. "Yes... That is Dennan Justice, son of the Archon and the Blood-Warden General. He and his brothers are a bit of an anomaly amongst your people. As you saw, he is quite powerful, even more than many of his elders. He is scarcely older than you by Ageless standards. When I tried to take him, I felt myself violently expelled. It was impossible to exact my will upon him. He healed very quickly, too. I blew him up, you know."

Lai's voice sounds almost smug in regards to his last statement. From your frequent interactions with him in the house of the Lady of Shadows, you have come to realize that he has always been eager for approval, much like a housecat bringing a dead bird to his master. Though stubborn, he is extremely loyal to those whom he respects, and it seems he has formed a sort of respect towards you already.

"Here... Let me help." Your muscles grow hot and seem to expand as your legs propel you forward. Lai is granting you the gift of speed, so that you may keep pace with your Ageless brethren.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Kitharsis on August 01, 2011, 05:22:35 PM
“You’d make us stand idly by while our friends are assaulted?”  Archer demands.  “Yes,” replies the Lady simply.

What control Sembas is maintaining over himself in this situation is waning.  Being forced to watch his allies in battle against overwhelming numbers is the last straw...

Yet the sudden outburst from Sig within the orb startles him.  This Son of Alvis was full of surprises.  Watching his style of battle gave Sembas an idea for another spell for Faile, but that would have to wait until later.

Dennan does what Sembas should have, and charges over to the door and tears away at the vines.

With a glance to Archer, Sembas quickly follows after Dennan as Faile flies ahead.  But not before hearing the final exchange between Archer and Aras.  He didn't trust that man.  Not one bit.  And the thought of him only fuels his anger.

The urgency of the situation is already quickening their steps and Constancy's spells push them towards the battle even faster.  As they sprint and fly plumes of smoke begin to escape from Faile's beak (WISDOM SPELL: FireBreath).  Before they reach the road she pulls up and into the air.  The canopy giving her cover as she approaches the Otaktay from the sky.  Sembas unstraps his spear once he reaches the dirt road.

There were twelve Otaktay quickly closing around Sig and Blood.  With both of them tangled up already they were entirely too vulnerable.  Sembas yanks his hood back off of his head as he squints his golden eyes at the Otaktay.  He grits his teeth and takes a step forward.

A wave of emotions comes washing through the bond from Faile.  His anger subsides enough for him to stop and think about what was going on here.

The Lady of the Shadows had requested for the annihilation of the Otaktay, which was met by vehement opposition to such an idea.  He himself was quite vocal about the matter. 

And now they are doing exactly what the Lady desires.

You're right, Faile, we need to try and reason with them.  But how?  They seem intent on destroying us.  And they are incredibly dangerous, with knowledge about deathwounds combined with their skill.

"This is exactly what the Lady wants!  Can we try and neutralize them?  Outright destroying them will only fuel their conquest.  Save our friends first!  Then give these fools a second chance!"

There isn't enough time to wait for a reaction.  His companions know his stance on the matter.  With a yell he charges down the road, spear poised in hands and Faile waiting in the air above.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Depheir Kogthar on August 02, 2011, 03:08:08 PM

Dennan cracked the floor before him and began to tear the way towards the door from the roots and vines. The Lady of Shadows was obviously annoyed by his actions. She rolled her eyes and magically commanded the vines with a hand gesture to wrap around Dennan's wrists.

-Let him go, you witch! - shouted Archer angrily towards the Lady.

-Leave her, Gladia - Aras grabbed her by the shoulders. - She means you no ill will. But nothing can be gained if you do not see for yourself the power of the Otaktay.

"Power! What "power" can be representated by a bunch of mortals?? It's just good information, element of surprise and outnumbering, that's all!"

Dennan roared and flexed his muscles to full extent to rip the vines wrapped on his arms. He charged at the door, slamming them with his shoulder. The door splintered and fell on the ground.

-Fine, Son of the Blood Raven - the Lady regarded Dennan in disgust. - have it your way. But heed my words, if the Otaktay remain, so shall your people fail- both Ageless and Forsaken alike. Perhaps it will be a better world when you are all struck from the earth. I will leave you to your fates.

Dennan turned towards the corridor leading back to the surface, glanced towards Fensten, and lead the way to exit.

Constancy casted a hastening spell which allowed the party to arrive to the battlefield in no time.

There was a dozen of mortals, closing around Sig and Blood. The Son of Alviss made an impressive display of his combat skills and his lute's inner powers. The booming sound of the strings knocked few of Otaktay away, and those foolish enough to come close to him felt the force ripping them apart.

But there were others running straightly at them.

That situation gave Depheir an idea.

He crouched, buried his palms in the ground and drove the ground in wide area around Sig unstable by a sudden surge of his magical force (Wisdom: Spellcasting - Tremor).

Surely the Otaktay will find it hard to get balance when the spell will set in. The fellow Ageless, on the other hand, won't notice the earth moving beneath their feet.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Cameron on September 15, 2011, 11:28:41 PM
    Cael, spurred to action by the utter obliteration of three of his men turns his ire towards Blood. He reaches for the longsword sheathed upon his back and hurtles forward, far faster than any human has the capacity to do. Blood closes with him, her own sword flashing in the sunlight, as she brings the flat of the blade down upon his skull, not to kill, but surely to incapacitate.
   However, the space where Cael was a mere instant ago is vacant, and when he reappears behind Blood, he strikes forward with his blade.
    Meanwhile, Sig finds himself surrounded by four more men, each determined to have their revenge for the deaths of their comrades. One of the men, slams the head of his warhammer down upon Sig who will have mere moments to defend himself before it comes crashing upon him.

Sig has been in many a barroom brawl, and the same logic used there applies in most situations where a large group of people is attempting to bash your brains in with things. The trick is to never allow yourself to be backed into a defensive stance. Most people, when outnumbered by a large group, react in one of three ways. They cower and attempt to evade, attempt to block the incoming attacks, or simply attempt to flee. These usually lead to the same result. The person being assaulted can usually evade, block, or escape the first few strikes, but eventually they take a blow and falter. Then they get the shit kicked out of them.

The trick is to do the one thing they're not expecting you to do, which is to immediately go on the offensive and hurt the leading attacker as badly as possible.

Sig sucks in a lungful of air and feels the power of Alviss well up within him. With only a split second to spare before the warhammer splits his skull, Sig lets loose a powerful shout. (Wisdom: Spiritual Magic - STRIKING BALLAD) A fist shaped mass of raw energy slams into the oncoming attacker. Without waiting to see if the blow lands, Sig immediately counter-attacks. The Chosen of Alviss leaps forward and yanks his axe back into his hand, lashing out with a powerful strike meant to lacerate the throat of his would-be assailant. The blow might even decapitate the man if Sig is fortunate enough. The more damage done, the better Sig's chances are of throwing the others off their stride.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on July 30, 2013, 03:44:52 PM
The sounds of battle resonate as Sig and Blood battle the Otaktay on a seemingly insignificant dirt road. However, history has shown us that astounding events can turn a mundane location into a place of legend, a landmark that either boasts the magnanimity of the victor, or the wretchedness of the defeated. 

Bayard Cael and the Otaktay had not anticipated the resistance they would meet , especially from the Chosen of Alviss. Ageless doctrine prevented the benevolent Immortalis from killing humans, but the Chosen of Alviss had no such qualms.  The Defenders of Humanity knew they were in trouble, and were even more taken aback when a larger party of Immortalis closed in to aid their allies. Bayard Cael watches as a mass of raw energy slams into one of his men. The soldier is knocked backward, with no time to recover, as the Chosen of Alviss decapitates him in one swift movement. Simultaneously, the ground begins to tremble as Depheir casts Tremor. Sembas lunges forward with his spear. Dennan, Archer, Constancy, and Fjorin (Fiorin) arrive on the scene and prepare to take action. Bayard Cael is no fool. He knows when he has been beaten. Only one of his allies remains. He seizes the man roughly by the arm. Cael’s form erupts in a dense, purple glow and his body accelerates forward, dragging his hapless companion behind him, their forms moving at a breakneck speed.

Constancy looks on with curiosity. “Magic? First the teleporting, now this. The Otaktay have never used magic before. The imprint of the magic is odd. I have never seen its like before.” This was an interesting revelation. Certainly some mortals had access to magic, the Otaktay generally abhorred anything “unnatural” and they felt magic was an aberration of nature.

Dennan moves to chase after them but Archer firmly plants a hand upon his chest. “Leave them, my friend. Though I do not trust the Lady of Shadows, I believe we should ask the General to consult the Divine on this matter. If they truly do have a way to incapacitate us, then they could be leading us right into a trap. This is a fight for another day.”

“Are you insane!” shouts Blood. “We can’t just let them leave!”

Archer rounds on Blood. “And what would you suggest we do? We can’t kill them!” Archer sighs. “We got what we came for. Aras won’t be coming back.” She watches as the Otaktay disappear into the woods.

“What do you mean?” questions Blood in confusion.

“I will explain on the way.” Archer reaches into her pack and pulls a small, crystal ball from her bag. “Cleo…” When she speaks the name of the Seer, the miniature orb springs to light. “Bring us back.”

As the portal opens, Fjorin expresses his interest in joining the Ageless in Avalon, but it takes more than a little convincing to allow Lai passage. It is determined that Fjorin will be allowed to pass through to Cleo’s abode, but he will not be allowed to pass into Avalon until the General is consulted about this rather unique situation. Carnis were inherently evil, in fact, this one had even blown Dennan up, yet despite this fact, none of the Ageless could sense any ill-intent, and at the very least, this Carnis had awoken their curiosity. Worst case scenario, if Lai did turn on them, Cleo would easily be able to banish him. Fjorin receives the disclaimer from Fenwick: those not accustomed to this form of travel may find it a bit unnerving.

As the Ageless and the Chosen of Alviss prepare to pass through the portal, Dennan and Constancy keep vigilant watch at the rear of the party. In the distance, there is a sudden ripple in the air, much like you might see heat wavering from scorched ground. From this spot, a brilliant fireball, cloaked in billowing flames of crimson and orange careens towards the rear of the party with alarming speed. Reflexively, Constancy begins to mutter a shield spell. Dennan roars and slams his fist into the ground, sending up a high wall of earth to protect everyone. It is not until seconds later that the folly is realized. There is a harsh, gurgling sound emanating from behind Dennan, and the feral man spins around just in time to see Brogan Constancy kneeling upon the ground. There is blood pouring from his mouth, and the point of a spear protrudes through the front of his throat. It is with dawning horror that Archer and Blood see the pulsing blue aura of an electricity spell dance down the blade, through Constancy’s gaping wound, and down the back of the spear.  The spell itself would have been enough to end the life of Brogan Constancy. It was an electricity spell that had caused his first, and accidental, death at the hands of his own sister. The spear wound was an added insult, intended to make Dethys’s apprentice suffer a horrible, painful, second death.

The words of Bayard Cael echo in Blood’s head, “I have made it my personal duty to learn about you and your brethren as much as I can. I know who you are, I know who you were, and I know how you may die. I have spent years researching the Immortalis, and have committed much of my research to memory.”

The fireball had been a distraction, and as Archer and Blood rush forward to see if there was any way to save Constancy, the form of Bayard Cael, which had reappeared several yards down the road, once again blinks out of existence, as the leader of the Defenders of Humanity teleports away. As Constancy lay dying, it is then that a second revelation will take form: only an Immortalis can kill another Immortalis, yet Constancy is dying at the hands of Bayard Cael. The only logical conclusion was Bayard Cael had become an Immortalis.

History has shown us that astounding events can turn a mundane location into a place of legend, a landmark that either boasts the magnanimity of the victor, or the wretchedness of the defeated.  Upon that day, on a seemingly insignificant dirt road, Constancy drew his last breath, and all who looked upon him were affected with deep, unrelenting sadness as only the defeated can feel. Their folly had been the assumption that the Otaktay were all human, and it was for this reason that they had extended their mercy. They stayed their hands and let Bayard Cael escape, only to return to slay one of their own.

The crimson, stained, bit of earth that marked the spot where Brogan Constancy fell would serve as the official start of the war between the Ageless and the Otaktay. 
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Cameron on July 30, 2013, 04:25:40 PM
Sig attempts to play one of his restorative songs to try and heal Constancy, but even the Chosen of Alviss can tell that it is far to late to do anything that would be of much use. He instead shifts his tune to a quiet haunting melody, meant to ease Constancy's passage into the next world as well as to ease the sorrows of those gathered around him.

As his fingers masterfully pick out the notes on his lute, Sig stares in the direction that the Otaktay leader was last seen in. His face is unreadable, but his mind is alive with fury and resolve. The Immortalis will obviously rise to meet this new threat. And as long as Sig breathes and that man remains alive, at least one Chosen of Alivss will stand with them.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Archdemon Stu on July 31, 2013, 11:48:41 AM
Fjorin's combative instinct had proven itself once again; the Otaktay's leader was confident, and not without cause.  However, he did not predict that he would be an Immortalis.  What's more... he wielded the power of lightning.  Having experienced death once already from such means, it was difficult to maintain his composure.  Though Fjorin had no familiarity with Constancy, and his closeness with death had desensitized him since childhood, one thing he'd never gotten used to is the sorrow that followed from the ones who were close to the deceased; the cries of the mothers, wives, children... and friends of the fallen.

There was little he could do for the Ageless now.  Words or actions that would comfort warriors of the Ebonmane Clan would certainly fall short here.

Fjorin remained still, and silent.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Kitharsis on August 01, 2013, 05:08:43 PM
Bayard Cael, a man who only moments before was unknown, is now on Sembas's short list.  He is, infact, the first and only person on this list.  The falconer has never had need of it before this moment.

This is a list of people that Sembas intends to kill.

Brogan Constancy's life has been taken for the second, and final time.  The ill feelings Sembas first felt toward Constancy left shame in his heart.  He was a fellow Ageless, and as such an ally and friend.

Words fail to reach his lips.  Faile lightly touches down on his outstretched arm.  Falcon and Falconer stare unblinkingly at Constancy's body as if in a trance. 
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: john greymore on August 03, 2013, 08:37:49 AM
A dead body. A corpse.

Constancy was dead. Fenwick had heard of his parents' death and had died once, but never had he actually seen someone die in front of him.

He does not realise that his mouth has gaped opened, eyes stretched and painted with fear and horror.

Cold sweat begins to form on his forehead despite the burnt, electrified air.

Throughout his short time as an ageless, he had seen his fellow companion ripped into pieces by someone who could manipulate massive cleavers as if they were blades of grass. He had seen impossible feats of agility, will, strength and dexterity being performed, he had personally met the fabled Lady of Shadows and sensed her power. A scholar with time would be able to study and learn all that there was that this new immortal world had to offer.

But he had no time. Worst of all, now he was no scholar. He had been cast as a soldier, someone who had to battle. How could his repertoire of home-brewed spells, designed for human, mortal threats ever go up against beings that could shrug off attacks and enough trauma to maim, torture, and kill dozens of men?

He was a scholar. He was a... soldier? No... No no no... No he stood no chance. No. No.

I don't want to die, he thinks.

This thought manipulates the rest of his body, and it is quite clear to the others that he is visibly shaking.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on August 05, 2013, 11:43:44 AM
    All deal with death in their own ways, and this simple fact was exemplified upon your return to Avalon. Dennan dutifully took Constancy’s lifeless body within his arms, and with eyes downcast and heart heavy, he moved through the portal. One by one, the rest of you followed suit. On the other side of the portal, a stricken Dethys, his face pale and his lips taut, says nothing. He merely puts his outstretched fingers over Constancy’s eyes, frozen in a permanent state of terror, and he gently closes them. Cleo, her hand over her mouth to stifle her cries, fights back tears. No matter how many friends and allies she witnesses in death, she can never seem to get over the initial shock that they would truly be gone forever.

   You all follow behind Dennan. You do not know where you are going, but he seems to walk with sense of purpose, and as you look behind you, you realize that every Ageless within the city joins in the silent caravan of heavy steps and heavier hearts that will bear Brogan Constancy to his final resting place.

        As you pass the Bulwark, Corvus and Bran move to joing you. Corvus’s shaggy blonde hair falls over his moistened eyes. Bran, his face pale and his lip quivering, runs up to join his brother Dennan. Dennan had not once taken his eyes off the road ahead of him, completely engrossed in the importance of his task. Yet, once his young brother places his trembling hand upon Dennan’s shoulder in an attempt to comfort him, the mountainous man looks down upon him and forces a half-hearted, yet grim, smile.

        Dennan’s rumbling voice, low and steady as always, speaks only a few words. “He died honorably.”

        Bran nods in reply, as if taking in the meaning. To die with honor was the only way to die in Ageless society (unless you are Cardack, in which case dying with cowardice is expected.)

        In the center of town, near the elaborate fountain, General Fury awaits the procession. Beside her is an unfamiliar face. A young man, likely one of the Childer Immortalis Cleo had mentioned she was waiting for, falls into line beside the General. He had very recently arrived in Avalon, in fact, only shortly after the departure of the party to find Aras. He is adorned in a mortal set of plate armor, as real knights only wear plate armor, and upon his left hip is fastened a well-made flanged mace. Upon his back hangs a two-handed sword, and a shield that befits a true warrior in training.

        Hestia, Muse, and Calming follow suit as you continue past the tavern. Muses’s hands move to her lute, and she begin to strum upon the instrument, and soon, her voice adds to the melody. Another song in a long-forgotten language meant to ease the pain of sorrow. It is not until the procession moves past the home of Dethys Night that shrill, heartbreaking, gut-wrenching cries fill the air. Kneeling upon the ground, her hands clasped around her head in anguish, is Callidora Serenity, beloved sister of Brogan Constancy. Dethys’s wife, Caerina, places her hand upon Serenity’s shaking shoulders.

        Dennan freezes in his tracks, as does the procession behind him. “I’m sorry. Truly… I am.” He looks to Bran. “Help her, brother.”

        Bran moves forward and takes Serenity’s hand in his, but she is immobilized by grief. “Come, Serenity,” says Bran gently. “He would not want you to weep for him. He loved you more than anything. He would want you to be strong.”

        Serenity fights to collect her composure and Bran helps her to her feet. She stands beside Dennan and gently strokes the hair from her brother’s brow, before giving a silent nod and allowing the procession to continue. Forward, down the gilded roads of Avalon, and to east, past the homes of Dennan and Archer. Eventually, the procession moves past the waterfall and stream where Sembas and Archer had spent nights gazing upon the stars. Further down the path, farther than Sembas and Archer had ventured, the procession stops at the base of a glistening pool of crystal water. All around are weeping willows, and droplets of water trickle down the trees and into this crystal pool. The procession surrounds the pool and Dennan, still bearing Constancy in his arms, steps into the water until it is up to his waist. Serenity and Hestia join him, and they cleanse the wound upon Constancy’s throat.

        There is a flutter of wings, perhaps some large bird, but it must be the largest in existence because as it flaps above the treeline, the trees themselves bow out of the way. However, the creatures that appear are unlike any you have ever seen. There are five of them, winged maidens dressed in shining, golden plate armor. Each of them carries a spear in their hands and a shield upon their backs. One by one, they descend, until all of them hover just above the crystal pool. One of them stands in front of the rest. She is obviously their leader, and her stormy, grey eyes peer down at Dennan. Her long, light brown hair is tucked into her helm and she watches as Hestia and Serenity finish cleansing the body. You can all see that Constancy’s wound has disappeared, and his garments, once stained crimson with blood, are clean, as if new. In fact, despite being in the pool, his body is quite dry.

        Archer leans close to Sembas’s ear, speaking her first words since moving through the portal. “Valkyries… They take the Ageless to the realm of the Divine. It is there we will one day meet all those we have lost, both immortal and mortal. There is a great hall that would shame the beauty of Avalon. That is where Constancy’s road leads.”

        Dennan fixes his gaze upon the Valkyrie in front of him, but the Valkyrie is looking elsewhere. Her eyes are locked on those of General Fury. The Valkyrie gives a nod in acknowledgment and the General returns the motion.

        Wordlessly, Dennan holds Constancy’s body upward, eliciting another outburst of cries of distress from Serenity. The Valkyrie reaches out to accept Constancy’s body into her arms, but Serenity’s hand clasps the war-maiden’s wrist.

        “Please!” begs Serenity. “Please! Don’t take him from me! He’s my brother! He’s all I have! There is not a moment of my life that he has not been a part of! He has not left my side since his birth!” Please! Don’t take him! Please!” Her urgent pleas are met with silence from the Valkyrie.

        Hestia puts her arms around Serenity’s shoulders. “Child, there is nothing we can do. He belongs with the Divine now.”

        “No!” Serenity shouts. “It does not have to be like that.” She crosses to General Fury and looks up at her expectantly. “Do something! Intervene! You fought the Valkyries to have them spare the Archon, and you won! Don’t let them take my brother, please!”

        The head of the Valkyries frowns and gives Fury a meaningful look as if to say “you what you started?”

        Fury shakes her head sadly. “I can’t Serenity, by the Divine, I wish I could.”

        “But the Archon-” begins Serenity.

        “Was a different situation,” speaks Fury gently.

        “But he’s my brother! He can’t go! He can’t!” Again, Serenity falls upon her knees in grief, the shallow part of the pool lapping her white mourning gown.

        “It is time, Fury, I can tarry no longer,” speaks the Valkyrie.

        The entire crowd begins to murmur and all of you can hear mutterings of “She spoke! Valkyries do not speak! Unless! Could she be the same? The same that the General defeated in battle?”

        Fury nods in understanding. “Go then, Archiaste, Servant of the Divine.”

        The leader of the Valkyrie, Archiaste, and her companions alight and begin to ascend into the air. Again, the Valkyrie speaks, “Go now, you, the Children of the Divine. Do not long mourn the passing of Brogan Constancy, for he is now with the Divine.  Celebrate his life, and bring glory to his memory.” Within moments, borne upon the swift wings of the Valkyrie, Brogan Constancy is gone.

   The wake is held in tavern and the surrounding town square. It is there you join with your brethren in honoring the death of Brogan Constancy, but time stops for no man, not even the Ageless, and while Constancy is a constant topic of conversation, perhaps you feel the need to discuss other matters: to raise important questions, to seek answers, to make a new acquaintance, or to seek counsel or comfort with those you esteem.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: john greymore on August 05, 2013, 12:18:34 PM
The death ritual, a funeral, the first he had participated in, began with silence, continued with wailing, and ended with a broken bird and a flying angel.

His companions are near if not next to him, and somewhere in the corner of his eye he spots the stranger in armor. Yet Fenwick does not register him. His mind is on the death and the Death, occasionally picking up a few 'Who would've thought' and 'Poor Serenity' selectively, unconsciously.

He spends a minute or so pacing whatever floor space he can claim as his own within the area, brows furrowed, back slightly hunched and hands held firmly behind his back. It is obvious to anyone he is deep in thought.

At last, unable to resolve the tension between his disturbing thoughts and the uncaring neutrality of the world around him, he voices his excuse and steps out to a more secluded part of the town square. He looks out to nowhere in particular and imagines Avalon in its glory, the Divine above, and the likelihood of survival. There seems to be movement within his robes, but he pays no heed to it.

He feels a choice has to be made, if not now, then soon. Would he be able to overcome the forging flames that have yet to come and become the soldier? No... It seems unlikely; a scholar's life seems so much more suited to him. Yet if he chooses that, he feels himself a coward.

These two ideas and possible false dichotomy wages war between them; anyone who wishes to attempt conversation would realise that they would have to call out several times to reach through to him.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on August 05, 2013, 03:13:04 PM
   When Siron Entrima awakes and first stumbles to the banks of the river, he must take a moment to collect himself. His thoughts are scrambled, and a distant, nagging thought begins to swell and take form in the back of his mind: I should be dead. His fingers move to the ragged scar upon his throat, and it is then he remembers the betrayal of his brothers, surely Gustav, and if his eldest brother had been voicing the truth, then Catujel, too. Despite the nasty wound upon his neck, he feels no pain, save for the dull, droning, ache within his heart that serves as a poignant reminder of his father’s death.

He scans the area, his eyes still stinging and bleary from being submerged in the water for lord knows how long. He hears the sound of hoofbeats, and about fifty yards away, upon a well-trodden dirt road he can just make out the form of a tall, imposing figure clad in shining platemail, so bright it looks like it could have been forged from platinum. A knight!

In his reasonably short life, Siron had come to admire knights for their courage, valor, and strength. They were charged with protecting their lords, their people, and their countries, and the man upon this gallant, white steed was no exception. The knight’s head turns towards the direction of the river, and while Siron could not see his eyes through his helm, he could feel the knight’s gaze upon him. As the man draws closer, Siron can make out an emblem upon the knight’s pauldron: the head of a wolf, its teeth snarling, and its eyes filled with fury.

The knight stopped his horse in front of the drenched young man who had moments ago emerged from the river. “You’re late.”

Siron cannot mask his confusion. Late? He didn’t even plan on being in this situation, so how could he possibly be late? Furthermore, how could this man have possibly known he would be here? Perhaps he was mistaking him for someone else

“Here,” the knight reaches behind him and pulls a large blanket from his bundle. “Dry yourself off, lad.”

Siron does as directed, and the knight dismounts from his horse. “Nasty gash you have there,” the knight observes. As the knight lands beside, Siron, he moves his hand to his helm and removes it. Siron is shocked to find that he knows this man. Many years ago, this man had come to his father’s castle. Siron’s memory recalled that visit: even his father had stressed about what to wear and what should be served; he had fussed far more over this knight than he had any royal Siron could remember. This was the same man who had protected the estate as flames burned around him, yet not a single foe had been able to gain passage.

“You’ve grown since last I saw you,” speaks the knight, extending his gauntlet over Siron’s head as if measuring him. “Siron Entrima, son of Lord Tilbault. Your father was a great man, a true friend to the Ageless of Avalon, and he will be sorely missed by all who knew him.” Light, brown hair falls over the knight’s bright, blue eyes, and is quickly shoved aside. “I am Captain Lurien Honor of the Fierce Legion.” The knight kneels before Siron. “And I am at your service.”

Seeing Siron’s bedraggled state, Honor supplies the young man with dry clothes, a suit of well-made plate armor, and a few surplus weapons he carries on his horse. It could not be coincidence that these were the same style of weapons that Siron favors. Honor builds a fire and over the next several hours, he explains to Siron the nature of the Ageless, and how he came to know of Siron’s passing and seeming resurrection. “Dethys Night, he is our Scribe. He always knows when a new Immortalis will be blessed by the Divine, and he bid me come to collect you, and take you to Avalon.”

The journey there lasted nearly a week, and when they finally arrived in the Besel Woods, they encountered a small tent, that Siron would soon find was deceptively large on the inside. Within was an old crone, hunched over and withered of face.

“It’s okay, Cleo. I collected him myself,” explains Honor.

“You know the rules, Honor. We have to be sure,” responds the old woman. There is a sound of rushing air and a dim blue light, as the old, withered crone melts away to reveal a beautiful young woman in flowing white robes. Without another word, she presses her fingers to Siron’s eyes, sending shocks of electricity through him. Unsurprisingly, he survives.

“Are they back yet? The party that was send outside of Il’adoul?” questions Honor.

Cleo’s expression is grim. “No. We lost them. We are at a loss. There have been no updates to Dethys’s book, so we must assume they are all alive and well, but I have my concerns, my… Fenwick is with them.”

Honor puts his hand on Cleo’s shoulder. “He has you to come back to. I am sure he is just fine.”

Cleo opens the gate and Siron feels as if he is being, pushed, pulled, squeezed, and stretched in all directions. This certainly is not the most comfortable mode of travel, at least to those who are unaccustomed to it, but Cleo and Honor both move through the portal with Siron, each placing a hand upon his shoulders to steady him.

When Siron emerges on the other side, he sees the brilliant grandeur that is Avalon. High spires, gilded roads, massive gates, and massive buildings. However, the one that Honor leads him to is rather unassuming on the outside, but panoramic on the inside.

“General Fury will want to see you,” speaks Honor. Fury. It is a name Siron has heard before in conversation with Honor. She is the commander of all of the forces of the Bulwark of Heaven, a coalition of forces that Honor’s own unit, the Fierce Legion is allied with.

However, no sooner had they reached the gates to Blood-Warden Headquarters, when General Fury, flanked by several others, made their way out of the gates. She paused beside Honor, whose face was alive with concern.

“What is it?” asks Honor. “What’s happened?”

Fury stops in front of him and shakes her head. “A casualty.”

“Who?” cries Honor in disbelief.

“Constancy,” comes the grim reply. Fury’s gaze moves to the young man beside Honor. “Siron, I am most pleased that you have arrived here in Avalon, but unfortunately, our introductions must wait.”

Honor steers Siron towards General Fury and the group of Ageless who are leaving the headquarters of the Bulwark of Heaven. Among them is Honor’s commander, Lt. Cedric Fierce, second-in-command of the Bulwark of Heaven, and founder of the Fierce Legion. Back to the gilded streets of Avalon, Siron and the others swiftly make their way, and the young Ageless’s first true introduction to the inhabitants of Avalon, is through the funerary procession to convey one of their own to his final resting place. 
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Kitharsis on August 06, 2013, 11:00:39 AM
Sembas nods woodenly to Archer's explanation of the Valkyries.  Another wonder of The Divine.  Their presence gives him an uneasy feeling.  With a furrowed brow and crossed arms he watches as these beings descend.

His heart mourns for Serenity's pleas.  She is grasping at what she can, pleading and begging Fury to intervene.  He has seen people go into hysterics at funerals before.  It is a different scene when you can look the supposed angel of death in the face as they take your loved one away.  It is now that Sembas remembers that Fury fought off these Valkyries in order to save The Archon.

The following exchange between Fury, Serenity and the Valkyrie is difficult to watch.  The questions building in his head seem like dangerous ones to ask, given the current company.

This moment is sitting very off center with Sembas.  Watching Brogan Constancy's body being carried away by this servant of the Divine leaves a hollow in Sembas's stomach.  Not only for the loss of an Ageless, but also for the seeming indifference that The Divine shows for the death of one of their children.

Sembas sits next to Archer in the tavern.  He drains a mug of ale without a word, green hood pulled down low. 

With a light squeeze to Gladia's hand, Sembas expresses the want for a walk, and a bit of time to think.  He solemnly gives the rest of the table a farewell and makes a quiet exit.

Faile was waiting on the roof of the tavern and swoops down onto his shoulder a few paces away from the door.  His mind wanders and his legs carry him on their own accord.

He finds himself walking past the waterfall and stream, but he finds no comfort in its serenity.  He continues further down the path.

If The Divine can give life, an immortal life, why does it take it away?  How can it make an exception for The Archon, but no one else.  If it has such power to extend life indefinitely, why doesn't it do so for everyone?  If no Ageless fell permanently, the war would be over.

What is stopping The Forsaken from fighting off these Valkyries, if Fury was able to do so?

The Lady of Shadows seems to play with her own rules, on top of all this.  Could she really rival The Divine?

And how, on top of all of this, did Bayard Cael become an Immortalis?
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Radobe on August 06, 2013, 02:17:44 PM
During the funeral procession Siron didn’t not utter a word, the atmosphere was heavy and the only thing that was countering that, was a sad and beautiful song coming from the procession.  Siron can’t hide his surprise upon seeing the Valkyries decent. He quickly regains his composure and watches silently as a woman cries and begs for the life of her loved one.

At that point many thoughts go through the young man’s head. Everyone here (except for the Valkyries perhaps) mourned as one for the loss of their fellow citizen. Some cried while other silently gave their respect. He steered away from such thoughts before, but now there was no escaping them. Who would mourn his father’s passing? Will his death be made public? What of a funeral? Surely his brothers would not dare to do the same thing with their father, as they did with him! All this thoughts enraged Siron. His fists and teeth clenched his anger seeped out as he stood and watched. For a split second he directed his anger towards the pleading woman thinking “you have people to help you and mourn with you…”. Without even finishing his thought he lightly slams his palm in his head, ashamed of his thoughts, he calms down immediately.

A few weeks ago, the only thing going through the young knight to be’ head was graduating the academy, but now there was nothing. His father was dead, his brothers, he wished had been dead and to top it off, he himself died. The absurdity of it all made him let out a chuckle.

“Captain Honor” Siron tried to address the man politely and bowed slightly in respect, even though they spent more than a week traveling together, now they were in the presence of Lurien’s superiors and he would not dare address him informally. “Though it might be rude of me I have a request. Can I be given a location to store the equipment you gave me and take my leave for the rest of the day?”

His intent was to head over to a tavern and dry out their beer supply. A tavern’s atmosphere has always made the boy relax and this was his intent again. He knew right now this would most likely not be the case, but a dozen of drinks and a night spent to remember his father and days in the academy might do him good. Should dancing and singing be heard, he would undoubtedly attempt to join the source.

(Constitution: endurance) He might be young, but he is undoubtedly tough.  The nights he spend in the taverns chasing skirts and drinking with his fellow students, were long and usually lasted till after sunrise. Unless some unexpected events occur, he intends to be part of the group who still remains standing in the morning, with a beer in his hand of course.

Siron had made his mind, tonight was going to be his last carefree night. He will drink it away, along with all that has happened and in the morning his life as an Ageless will truly begin.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on August 07, 2013, 02:47:37 PM

Honor nods. "There are plenty of rooms in the guard barracks at the Fierce Legion headquarters."

"Really, Lurien? You would have this boy attempt rest in that drab place?" A beautiful red-headed woman with bright blue eyes places her hand on Honor's arm. "This is his first night in Avalon! Surely we can find him a more suitable environment!" There is a lute slung over her shoulder and you recognize her as the woman whose haunting melodies accompanied Constancy's wake.

"Muse, I assure you, the Fierce Legion headquarters is fine. I stay there all the-" begins Honor.

"Lurien, it is a well-known fact that you have never been able to stay in one place. You've been here over 200 years and you have yet to direct Dethys to construct you an abode!" replies Muse.

"Why distract Dethys with such a petty request, especially when he is already so... distractable. The barracks have made a fine enough home for me."

"As you will, but Siron, should you desire more comfortable lodgings, I have a spare room in my home. You are among friends in Avalon, and my door is always open," Muse gives you a wink before disappearing into the crowd and heading towards the tavern.

When you enter the tavern, you see Muse upon a small stage in the rear of the room. She begins to strum her lute in a lively tune meant to lift the spirits of those who have recently arrived from the funeral procession.

As you seat yourself at the bar, you are greeted by a tall, slender man with shaggy, brown hair. "What will it be then... uh... Siron, is it? The new lad? I'm Calming. Galenus Calming. Pick your poison and let us see your cares depart, shall we?"

"What's the point? Wears off too damn quick." You hear an almost growling tone to your left. There is a woman, clad in gleaming, silver chainmail. There is an odd, diamond-like scar in the center of her forehead, and in both hands she holds tankards of ale, sipping from one, then the other. She turns on the stool to look at you, and you see her eyes narrow as she sizes you up. After a moment of silence, she gestures for Galenus to bring two more rounds. When Calming returns, he sets one in front of her, and at her direction, sets the other in front of you.

A few of the Ageless begin to dance about wildly in response to another of Muse's rousing ballads. One nearly knocks into the woman sitting at the bar, but she raises her hand, and the frolicking man is instantly thrown back several yards.

"Give me my space, Smith, you dancing fool," grumbles the woman.

"Aye, lass," comes the reply from somewhere on the floor where the man has landed. "But would it kill ye to find the time to laugh and tell bawdy tales with the rest of us."

The woman gives him a withering look.

"Fine, Blood. Have it yer way then." The bald man upon the floor, Smith, dusts himself off and throws him back into his merry dancing and frolicking, this time taking a wide berth from Blood.

Blood returns her attention to you. "What would you like to try to drink away tonight, boy?"


You remain there in silence for quite some time, yet it seems you are not going to be able to continue your solace alone. Someone clears their throat behind you, and you find the giant of a man, Dennan, looking down at you. You don't know how long he has been watching you as your thoughts race in your head. Without a word, he sits next to you, and seems content to enjoy the silence.

Suddenly, Faile's attention is caught by a small stirring in the grass. Her hunting instincts take over and she prepares to strike, but Dennan waves her off. Through the tall grass hops a tiny field mouse, and Dennan places his open hand on the ground, allowing the creature to hop into it.


"Fenwick..." You feel a gentle tug at your sleeve, and a small, trembling voice brings you back to reality. You see brown eyes gazing at you from behind spectacles, and you recognize Callidora Serenity, sister of the recently deceased Brogan Constancy.

She quickly looks at the ground, and you can see that she is fighting back tears. "I don't even know if I want to know the answer... I saw the wound, and I can sense an electricity spell a mile away, but I need to know... I would ask the others but... I am not sure they would want me to know for fear of upsetting me, but I really must know..." She is speaking in circles, but coherence cannot exactly be expected from someone who has just lost a person dear to them. "Who killed my brother? I know you are with the Bulwark and I know that you may not be able to discuss the specifics of your mission, but I would appreciate anything you can tell me... And... Brogan... Did he... Did he suffer? Or by the mercy of the Divine did he die at once?"
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Cameron on August 07, 2013, 05:17:44 PM
Sig follows the funeral procession. He has never witnessed this kind of thing before outside of his own people. He was taught that other races to not return to the stone as the Chosen of Alviss do, But he is very unsure of what to expect as they approach the pool.

Needless to say, he is somewhat taken aback when the Valkyries arrive. He almost draws his weapon but thinks better of it. He marvels at the admission that Fury actually fought these creatures once. The stories he has heard of her were clearly not as exaggerated as he thought.

Upon the end of the ceremony, Sigurd makes his way to the only place he could possibly feel welcome in after witnessing such a sad turn of events. The Chosen of Alviss traditionally hold a three day wake after returning one of their own to the stone. Sig will see that Constancy is honored in the same way, even if he has to do it by himself.

But maybe he won't! By Alviss, it looks like most of Avalon is crammed into this tavern! Some of the funeral rites are obviously very different, but at least the Ageless know how to properly honor their valiant dead.

Sig scans the crowd and spies Blood sitting at the bar near a man he doesn't recognize. He purchases two pints of the strongest ale and makes his way over to her position. He was going to offer her one but the lass already has one in each hand! Sig knew that if any one could handle two-fisting brews with a Chosen of Alviss, it would be Blood. He keeps the second ale for himself and flops down on the nearest available barstool.

"Sad business, this all is. Looking forward to kicking the man responsible in the teeth once we're done honoring the fallen. Been a while since I've done a three day wake, but I can do 6 or even 9 for that poor lad if his sacrifice demands it."
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Archdemon Stu on August 07, 2013, 07:49:45 PM
Fjorin knew their pain well.  He had only months ago given his own father a burial; it was both a horrible burden to bear, and an extraordinary honor.  He could nearly feel the torrential downpour on his shoulders once again as he looked into the eyes of Brogan Constancy's comrades.

Truly, this burial was worthy of a mighty warrior of Avalon.  Yet, nothing could prepare Fjorin for what was to come.

"By the gods... Lai, are those...?" Fjorin's jaw fell helplessly as the Valkyries made their descent; beings he often wondered if he'd ever see.  He'd thought they were mere stories, just as everything else was - something for mourning mothers and children to seek comfort in when the Ebonmane Clan's warriors fell.  But here, before his very eyes.  All other thoughts faded, and his very soul found an indescribable calm, if even for just a moment.

Fjorin barely heard the details in his daze, but he could have sworn he heard that General Fury herself had defeated the Valkyries.  Now, more than ever, Fjorin realized he had walked life as a wolf in a rabbit's den... and that now, he treads among dragons.

As the whole of Avalon seemed to funnel toward the tavern, Fjorin could not help but look toward the warrior who had bested the Valkyries.  The Lady of Shadows, General Fury... what other marvels awaited him in this world he knew nothing of?  The call for battle grew within him; it sought to test the strength of these beings - no, to test his own against them.

Try as he might to fight it, the very core of his being seemed to move his body on its own as he approached the leader of Avalon's Blood-Wardens.  As he drew closer, every bone in his body could sense it... her power was palpable.

"General Fury..." he blatantly disregarded the chain of command" it true what they say?  About you and the Valkyries?"

After a brief pause, he had realized his rudeness, "Ah, forgive me, General.  I am Fjorin Halvar, of the Ebonmane."  With his head bowed, he clasped the hilt of his zweihander, and lightly touched the tip of the blade to the ground as he lowered a single knee to join it.  His blackened hair fell from his shoulders as he bowed his head.  The hilt was firmly held, and the blade was perfectly still.  "I am poor with words, and my etiquette is poorer still, but my actions speak as thunder."
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Kitharsis on August 08, 2013, 11:51:07 AM
The sound of someone clearing their throat shatters Sembas's thoughts like a hammer through glass.  He quickly turns to see who was shadowing him so far from Avalon.  Anger stains his face for being disturbed.


As soon as it came, the anger disappears.  Sembas gives a nod as Dennan takes a seat next to him.  He is grateful his friend does not pry as to what he was doing out here.  But Sembas feels that he already knows.

Faile stirs on his wrist as she leans towards some rustling in the grass.  She grips slightly tighter as she prepares to pounce, but Dennan's big hand shoos her away.  She balks, and watches with annoyance as a tiny field mouse hops into the large man's hand. 

Bored with the affairs of humans, Faile hops off of Sembas's hand and stalks through the grass.  She glances back at Dennan, then up to the night sky.  Those pesky owls hunt at night, and she won't let one of them get the drop on her.

Sembas peers down at the little field mouse in Dennan's hand.  He lets out a long sigh. 

The mouse surely has no idea what is happening.

Another mouse in the field will not be so lucky, if Faile has her way.  Yet this one was given a second chance.  If Dennan sets it down and leaves, it has the same chance as the others again.  And if it gets eaten, Dennan won't be able to simply pick it up again and send it on its way.

Sembas plucks a blade of grass and studies it as he twists it around his fingers.  Were they too dissimilar, he and the mouse?  He has been plucked up by the Divine's hand itself and given a second chance.  By all rights almost everyone in Avalon should be dead right now, including himself.

Faile leaps, talons outstretched.  She lands in a heavy thud, kicking up dirt and shredded blades of grass as her talons grasp for her prey.  She lifts her foot, filled with a rather large clump of dirt.  A worm wiggles out of it and falls to the ground.  Sheepishly, she looks over her shoulder at Sembas and Dennan. 

A smile cracks Sembas's heavy thoughts.  He lets out a short chuckle, but the distraction does not last for long.

"Does it ever get easier?"  He finally speaks.  "There so many mysteries here.  So many questions to drive one mad."

Sembas frowns as the blade of grass splits from his twisting.  He hadn't noticed how forcefully he was tugging at the small ribbon of earth.  It falls to the ground as he spreads his fingers.

"I don't like the feeling of helplessness, Dennan.  There are so many things that are above me that I seem no more than that field mouse in your hand.  I do not fancy myself a prey animal, and I do not enjoy the feeling.  I fear Faile might gobble me up if I continue on like this..."
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on August 08, 2013, 12:38:14 PM

Dennan shrugs. “I have called Avalon home since my birth, so I suppose it is different for me. Honestly, I try not to think about all the things I don’t know, and focus on those I do. Like this mouse. It knows where to gather its food, so it frets not for what tomorrow will bring, and should it ever find that its store no longer holds the gifts it desires, it frets not.”

The mouse bounds out of Dennan’s hand and runs up his arm before perching upon his shoulder. “But you are mistaken, Sembas. The mouse, it is not helpless. It is a creature that helps itself. If it desires something, it seeks it out. It does not question why it is hungry. In its heart, and stomach for that matter, it knows it is hungry. It does not simply let fate decide its course, it is relentless. It does not give up until it achieves that which it desires.” Dennan reaches into a pouch upon his waist and offers up a few morsels of stale bread to the little field mouse.

“Perhaps it is time you learn to see the world from a different perspective.” Dennan places his massive hand upon your shoulder and you feel a nagging tug somewhere within your mind. Soon, your thoughts are only of the little field mouse. Your eyes close as you take in this strange feeling, and when you reopen them, you realize a startling change has taken place. You realize that you are perched upon Dennan’s shoulder, and beside you sits the same little field mouse he held in his hands moments ago.

The mouse sniffs at you, its whiskers tickling your own. Dennan’s low, rumbling voice shakes the ground, or rather the shoulder, under your feet. “When you desire to change back to your true form, you will find me, and I will show you. But until then, fret not for tomorrow, and think on what you know. When the desire to return to yourself strikes you, you will be relentless. You will find your way to me, regardless of the obstacles you encounter.” With that, Dennan places you gently upon the ground. He gives Faile a parting whistle, likely a warning not to let her predatory nature take over and eat her own master. Faile sighs, glancing down at you ruefully.

Dennan stands, his large strides bearing his enormous frame farther away from you. From atop his shoulder, the little field mouse balances upon its back legs, and in your mind you can hear its parting, “Goodbye, Sembas! Goodbye! I hope you find what you’re looking for!”
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Radobe on August 08, 2013, 03:03:00 PM
Siron smiles and blushes a little hearing Muse's offer. Had he been his usual self, he would undoubtedly follow up on the red haired beauty's request. Unfortunately with all that had happened, he was far from his carefree ways and the thought did not even occur, instead he chose the familiar feel of the barracks and went there to leave his armor.

From the barracks he headed out in the streets, wondering and looking around through Avalon. Eventually he found his way to the tavern he sought after and entered without delay.

At first his attention was caught by Muse. She was performing on a stage in the tavern. This brought back so many memories. How many hours had he spent dancing to similar melodies? How many nights have gone by in an instant in the company of his friends and tavern wenches? In his thoughts Muse was a reminder of what he had lost... no, not lost! It was taken from him! Anger soared once more and he quickly moved to the bar to relieve it.

"What will it be then... uh... Siron, is it? The new lad? I'm Calming. Galenus Calming. Pick your poison and let us see your cares depart, shall we?"

"What's the point? Wears off too damn quick."

Siron looks at the woman clad in armor and the two tankards she is firmly holding in her hands. She had brown hair and grey eyes. Looked to be about the same age as him if not older. When he realized he was staring he quickly replied “That I agree with completely” he turns to the barkeep “ I want what she is having and keep it coming, it is going to be a long night friend.”

After a short exchange between the armored woman and a patron of the establishment, the woman's attention returns to him.

"What would you like to try to drink away tonight, boy?"

“Well let’s see, first I drink away...” he lifts his tankard and gobbles up its content “never seeing my friends again, second” he gets another tankard from Calming and repeats the procedure “letting my father die at the hands of my brothers,” he makes a gesture to the bartender and another tankard is served “and lastly, I will try to drink away my failure at protecting even myself.” At this point his anger is not directed towards his brothers, but at himself. Siron picks his fresh tankard and drinks till he sees the bottom. After a sigh of relief he looks at his drinking companion and asks “And what of you, what drives your ale down your throat?”
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on August 08, 2013, 09:35:17 PM

At the sound of your voice, Fury stops in her tracks, and listens silently as you question and apologize. She regards you quietly for a moment, her expression thoughtful.  When she finally speaks, you are surprised to hear her speak in Vithari, a dialect spoken by the ancestors of the Ebonmane Clan.

“Honor mega eini vera stofna í a dyggðugur dauði.”

It is a language that has not been spoken for hundreds of years, yet your father had instructed you to learn it, noting it was important to keep the traditions of your ancestors alive. You know its meaning instantly. “Honor may only be found in a virtuous death.”

“It is no surprise hailing from such a people as the Ebonmane Clan that you would have actions that resound as thunder. It is in your very blood. I have matters that require my attention, but I will be calling upon you soon. Especially if your… friend… intends to remain here.”

In your mind, Lai makes a nervous gulping sound. It is almost as if she is looking right through you and can see Lai as a separate entity.

“In fact… it should probably be sooner rather than later. Luckily for, Lai, as he is apparently called, Dennan has chosen to vouch for him, though I am bewildered as to why he would speak for a creature that blew him up. Yet, I trust my son’s discernment.” Fury sighs. "He claims Lai did it by accident... I don't know how you accidentally blow someone up. Normally explosions require some degree of intent!" She crosses her arms over her chest.

“While that creature remains in Avalon, you are responsible for his actions. Please, do not let me regret allowing him to stay here. This is… unprecedented… As such, I would feel much more at ease if he was monitored until I can speak to you at more length. When you are ready to retire for the evening, speak with Calming in the tavern. He will see that you have somewhere to rest.” 

With a nod of parting, Fury takes her leave of your company. Without looking back to you, you hear her speak. “And yes… the stories are true.”

@Siron and Sig:

Blood’s eyes narrow. She stares down at her fresh tankard and slides it towards you. “Sounds like you probably need it more than I do.” She shifts upon her stool. “And me? Nothing drives the ale down my throat. I send it down its merry way, and am kind enough to give it several dozen friends to keep it company.”

From behind the bar, Calming rolls his eyes. “Please! You know if Var-”

Blood gives Calming a warning look. “Drop it, Calming, or I’ll drop you. Do not dare to speak of him again.”

“You’ll do no such thing!” retorts Calming. “Just try it and I’ll have Sig here make you dance again.”

Blood rolls her eyes as a diminutive, yet solidly built man, sits down beside her. “Ah… speak of the devil. Hello, troll.”

The man is unfazed by Blood’s greeting. "Sad business, this all is. Looking forward to kicking the man responsible in the teeth once we're done honoring the fallen. Been a while since I've done a three day wake, but I can do 6 or even 9 for that poor lad if his sacrifice demands it."

“If we had a three day wake every time one of us met the Maker we’d spend our entire un-lives drunk, which is a feat, because generally Ageless have a very hard time even getting drunk.” mutters Blood. "But at any rate, your sentiment is appreciated, Sig." She turns her attention back to you. "So, you've said quite a bit... but talking doesn't amount to much of anything. It's obvious you're angry. Angry at your brothers, angry at yourself... But here's the important bit...What do you intend to do about it?"
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Archdemon Stu on August 09, 2013, 12:28:46 PM
“And yes… the stories are true.”

Fjorin's eyes went wide, as a child who had seen the vast oceans of the northern lands for the first time.

In his excitement, he spoke with Lai.  He was not sure how far the spirit delved into his mind, but he cared not.  "Even as a pup, grown warriors were my equal.  As I grew, they were dust before my fists, and ashes before my blade.  Bjornfir... he was swift, and more skilled than any man I had known - he could match me, but he could not best me.  Yet, here..." he smiled, something he had found himself doing more often as of late, "...there is no mortal coil to bar me, no limit.  Lai... I can see the ocean beyond the lake."

Lai could feel the drive growing within Fjorin.  His heart was beating quickly, and his gauntlets wrapped firmly around his zweihander.  The Thunder Caller's screams echoed in his mind - insurmountable odds, yet Fjorin rose as the victor, and defeated a foe beyond himself.  The warrior had thought he'd never face a foe such as him ever again, yet here, there were so many beings that were beyond even the Thunder Caller's power... so many beings to test his true strength.

"I hope spirits can hold their drink.  We've an ocean to sail, and no man should set sail without a fine mead to warm their belly!" For the first time in a long time, the pale beast of the north wished to celebrate.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Radobe on August 09, 2013, 01:51:01 PM
Siron catches the tankard and takes a pleasant sip out of it.

“And me? Nothing drives the ale down my throat. I send it down its merry way, and am kind enough to give it several dozen friends to keep it company.”
He knows better than to agree with such a statement. Having spent quite a few hours in taverns, he could tell with a glance if a man drank for pleasure or to forget and her case was the later. His curiosity was peaked, but he had no intention to look into it, at least not for now.

“Please! You know if Var-”...

...“Ah… speak of the devil. Hello, troll.”

As if just to prove his thoughts, the exchange with the tall barkeep reveals that the woman has her own sorrows to drown. It appears during that time a small man had joined the drinking company. The only remarkable thing about him, that the young knight noticed, was his astounding beard. A man could even put a tankard in there!

"So, you've said quite a bit... but talking doesn't amount to much of anything. It's obvious you're angry. Angry at your brothers, angry at yourself... But here's the important bit...What do you intend to do about it?"

Without looking at her directly he begins. “I will honor my father's death by making sure it does not go unpunished. I will request aid from your...” he stops for a second to rethink what he is saying and corrects himself “our general. When the time is right and the situation allows it I would like to see to it, that the ones responsible for his demise are punished accordingly,” before he continues he tosses a glance towards the woman to see if she is still listening “as of what I would personally do… I will move on. If I can leave everything good in my mortal life behind, than I will do the same with all the bad things.” Siron's anger is no more and an emptiness can be seen in his eyes “It won’t be easy, but the only thing I will keep from my past life will be the lessons I've learned.”  He straightens his back and turns to look at her directly “and this time, I will be stronger, I will not die helplessly and I will protect my second life and every one in it!” As his excitement subsides he smiles at Calming and says “You got some fine ale here friend!”

Siron gets off his stool and with a slight bow presents himself properly. “I am Siron Entrima from the house of Entrima and a proud almost graduate of the Strenua academy. It is a pleasure to meet you all.” her chainmail armor was well made and looked quite sturdy “You look like a seasoned warrior, can you advise me on where should I seek training to further my abilities,” a short pause in which to take another sip “after I am done here of course.”
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: john greymore on August 10, 2013, 10:29:54 AM
Callidora Serenity wasn't looking as serene as her namesake as she approached Fenwick with a few simple questions that masked and fought back the turmoil of grief. Who had killed her brother? Did he die quickly? Does she even want to know? Fenwick looks into her eyes and sees the sadness and the other emotions within but feels like an indifferent spectator. Alone despite, or because of, the pain of mourning.

"Bayard Cael. He was the one that killed Constancy. He killed him cunningly, tricking us, lowering our guard. Constancy died a... He... He died. I'm sorry. I don't know... I don't think he suffered much, if at all."

He offers no more, for there seemed little more to give to this immortalis in front of him.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on August 10, 2013, 12:02:04 PM

Lai ponders your question. “I am ashamed to admit that I have never had a host live long enough to partake in such pleasures. I am not sure how alcohol affects a spirit, but from what I have seen of the mortals and Forsaken, they tend to carouse in large numbers and lumber about awkwardly while making passes at others who are disinterested in them. If that’s what you wish, there’s a fair bit of noise over there.” Lai moves your feet in the direction of the tavern.

When you enter, it is much like what Lai described. Loud talking, awkward walking, and shameless bawdiness. You recognize quite a few of the patrons from your travelling party: the scout who had led the group to the lair of the Lady of Shadows, the surly woman called Blood, the stocky fellow named Sig, and a multitude of other Ageless who have not yet acquainted yourself with.


Blood shrugs. "A seasoned veteran? You assume much from a first glance, boy. Seasoned..." Blood chuckles. "You make me sound more like a joint of meat than a warrior of Avalon." You can tell she has taken no offense from your assumptions and is merely toying with you.

Blood wipes a dribble of ale from her lips. “Training? Well, it depends what you are looking for I suppose. If you want to make people behave like fools, you could probably ask Sig.” She shoots a mock contemptuous look at the stocky fellow next to her. “For military training, none compare to the Blood-Wardens; that is the company I serve under the esteemed General Fury. There is the Fierce Legion, led by Commander Cedric Fierce, who is also Lieutenant of the Bulwark of Heaven. There is the Archon’s company, but they are currently on the front lines. There are a few other factions among the Bulwark, but many of them are patrolling the mortal realm.”

“Such as the Crimson Wolves,” notes Calming.

Blood glares at him. “I told you not to-”

“I didn’t!” responds Calming raising his hands defensively


“Bayard Cael… Cael… I have read of that surname before. Ulises Cael was one of the mortal leaders of the Otaktay, humans bent on abolishing all Immortalis. You must be mistaken. Mortals cannot kill Ageless. Think harder, Fenwick. I must know who was responsible. I have to seek revenge for my brother. You’ll help me, won’t you? You have a kind heart… I can tell. You’ll help, right?” Serenity’s tone is pleading. “I know of a way we can find out the whereabouts of Constancy’s killer, but it will require access to Dethys’s laboratory. It will be hard to pull one over on him, but if we move quickly, if we go now, we can do it.”
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Archdemon Stu on August 10, 2013, 04:16:34 PM
Fjorin lets out a short breath through his nose, chuckling lightly at Lai's observations of humanity.  He and the carnis were similar.  "Aye, they imbibe a poison that seems to put them in a stupor; a strange way to develop closeness, though I never knew much about that either." Before he approached the counter to retrieve a drink, an idea occurred to him.

"You know, as the son of my clan's warlord, I was often expected to attend these... celebrations.  To say my arm had to be twisted to do so would be speaking lightly.  Over time though, I found that I saw sides to my brothers-in-arms that I would never normally see.  Their secrets, their dreams, their hopes, and their ambitions... all of it was open, if even for a night.  It brought us together.  It made us family." His eyes rolled to the upper-right of his head, as if attempting to look at Lai himself. "How about it, Lai?  If you prefer to stay comfortable, I have no objections, yet... it may bring our comrades in Avalon some comfort to see a face associated with the name 'Lai,' instead of simply 'the carnis inside of that barbarian's head.'"

Though Fjorin was not socially adept by any stretch of the imagination, his words spoke from experience.

"What do you say?  Pretend to enjoy some mead with a friend?"
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Radobe on August 11, 2013, 03:22:11 AM
Siron gives both of them curious look. It appears his first assumption might have been off the mark. Since his curiosity has risen yet again and the alcohol has made sure that there are plenty of holes in his tactfulness. After asking for another tankard he begins.

“Well” He begins after having another mouth full of ale. “Lurien did say that the Blood-Wardens are fierce combatants. Bah that will be something I will further ponder in the morning now however, I am curious” He takes a short pause looking at all of them, as if to see if he should continue. “Why do that “Var-” character and the Crimson Wolves rub you the wrong way? Siron holds in his smart-ass smirk, until he judges if he has gone too far.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Cameron on August 11, 2013, 10:38:38 AM
Sig snorts at Blood's remark. "There's more than one way to make a person look foolish, lass. With lute, axe, or fist in equal measure."

Sig sits back and takes a large swig of ale. When Siron makes his inquiry to Blood, Sig grins and finishes his first tankard in one fluid movement.

"You got some heavy brass on you there, lad. Careful no one takes it from you."

Sig continues grinning as he looks back to Blood. This is going to be good.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: john greymore on August 11, 2013, 10:40:59 AM
Anger, scorching and searing hot, ran through Fenwick's veins in reply to Serenity's doubt at Cael being the killer. To him, to deny the killer was to deny the event, just as to deny a window frame was to deny the window. He attempts to hold himself together, but in his emotional state, it is likely that some of his poisonous feelings have been betrayed by his body language.

Yet the suggestion that follows this denial is mad. Find Cael's whereabouts? Then what, go there and face certain death? But he was new. There was no way Cael would've any sources of information on him yet. A dangerous, seductive plan plays in his head where a trap is set up for the Otaktay, but it fails and Serenity is killed. Yet the information that would be gleaned from the trap, if properly planned, would be invaluable in overcoming the Immortalis' mortality.

A kind heart? Perhaps when viewed at an angle with the moonlight shining on his face as he speaks.

"My parents were murdered. I know your pain. Lead the way."
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on August 11, 2013, 12:59:50 PM

You can practically feel Lai squirming in the back of your mind. The suggestion makes him uncomfortable, but he does not seem to be entirely adverse to the idea. 

“I… I guess I could… maybe… do that…”

You feel a strong tugging in your skull, as if something with great suction is being removed from your brain. There is a swirling of air to your right, and within moments, a very attractive, blonde-haired, blue-eyed  beauty is at your side. Apparently in his transforming, Lai forgot to form himself clothes, and when the bald-headed Smith of Avalon exits the door of the tavern, he stands absolutely dumbstruck, staring open-mouthed at the creature.

He quickly averts his eyes with a quick, “Pardon, m’lady," before scurrying off in the opposite direction.

“Well that was mighty rude!” spoke Lai, crossing his arms over his breasts. “Oh… Right. Clothes. Just a tick.” There is another shifting within the winds, and Lai is dressed in a rather modest, yet beautiful, blue gown.

“In my experiences, women are usually treated with a bit more kindness in these drunken situations than men. The women sit back and watch the males make fools of themselves or stumble about wildly. I must say, I rarely see a woman drunk. Why is that?”

“Well, lead on, friend.” He/she links his/her arm through yours. Now that you think about it, as a spirit, does Lai even really have a gender? Granted, the few times he has assumed a human form it has mainly been in the guise of a male, making this both unusual and amusing for you.

“Oh… You know when I do this I can’t really act on objects. I need a human body for that. So you’re going to have to open the doors for me and pull out my chair and….” The rest of his rambling registers in your mind as blah, blah, blah, blah. He really is pulling off the part of a woman quite well!

You enter the tavern and perhaps find yourself, and your “companion,” somewhere to sit.


   In retrospect, you know provoking a caged lion probably wasn’t the wisest course of action, and this is reinforced to you as Blood stomps her foot on the ground. This rather unremarkable action produces an unforeseen result: it sends both you, and your barstool careening across the room. You are unceremoniously thrown to your back, while the barstool smashes into a wall, breaking into dozens of pieces.

   From your vantage on the ground, you see Calming smack his palm against his face and shake his head in disappointment. “Third blasted stool this week!”

Calming grumbles under his breath, but Blood merely shrugs, takes a final swig from her tankard, and without another word, departs through the tavern door. On her way out, she nearly knocks over a tall, beautiful, blonde woman whose arm is linked with an imposing gentleman you recall having seen at the funeral. Blood stops in her tracks, narrows her eyes and glances from the man to the woman. Blood scowls and vanishes from view.


   Serenity smiles, the first time you’ve seen her smile all day, and grabs your hand. “I know Dethys is meeting with General Fury right now. He likely won’t be back for hours. That will give us plenty of time. Come on!”

   She hurriedly guides you to Dethys’s clockwork home and is greeted with a wave by Caerina, Dethys’s wife. She holds her infant son in her arm and offers a slight smile as you enter. “Hello, Serenity. Fenwick.”

   “Hello, mistress,” responds Serenity. “Dethys sent me to gather some materials for him.”

   “He did?” Caerina frowns. “That was awfully daft of him. Given the circumstances, I assumed he would be sensible enough to give you some time off.”

   “No, no.” Serenity shakes her head. “I find it helps to keep distracted.”

   “Well, alright then.” Caerina smiles again before departing into the living room.

   You follow Serenity to Dethys’s laboratory where she begins to rapidly search through drawers. “I guess it would be more of a help if I told you what we are looking for. It’s an orb. A very small, green one. It can show you the location of anyone you wish. I have never seen Constancy’s killer, but you have. In your mind, you must have a clear image of what he looks like. You hold the orb in your hand as you do so, and it will show you where the person is. It is our best bet at getting revenge for my brother.”

   You both continue to search through the drawers and cabinets and it is you who is lucky enough to find it. Under a messy stack of papers, and an unusual looking key, your hand closes around a small green orb.

   At the lack of sound from your rummaging, Serenity hurries over. “You found it! Now quickly we have to-”

   You feel a hand upon your shoulder and you see that Serenity’s face has taken on a ghostly shade of white. You notice a second hand upon her shoulder, and then you see the face of Dethys Night lean forward to inspect the contents of your hand.

   His expression is unreadable. His lips are taut, but his voice is calm. “Have to what, exactly?” You’ve never seen Dethys Night angry, but you get the feeling you are about to.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Radobe on August 11, 2013, 02:44:24 PM
   Though some form of retaliation was expected, this was not in the list of anticipated responses. Siron is perplexed, as he lifts himself back up. Needless to say he is angry for this unwarranted kick, but still surpriced that only a stomp did that to him.

   “What the hell is wrong with you!” he screams at the woman stomping out of the building, after which he proceeds to dusting off his clothes and moves back to the bar. “Sorry for the stool, I have no idea what was wrong with her!” After a few seconds in thought, he points his finger towards Calming and says “Wait! Was that my fault?!” Moving his finger towards the door and gazing downwards. “Should I risk going out there to apologies?” Though it is said out loud, the question is directed more towards himself rather than Sig and the barkeep. “One last question.” His finger moves from the door towards the blonde woman and her companion. “Who are the people she chose not to stomp, didn’t I see one of them today?” Siron looks at Sig who is grinning. “And you! This was not funny!” He touches his aching back and gives off an angry, mixed with frustrated, expression on his face. “It kind of hurt…”
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on August 11, 2013, 04:23:22 PM

Calming shakes his head. "Boy, do you have a lot to learn." He slides you another tankard to nurse your injured pride. "Don't worry about the stool." Right on cue, Calming opens a door to the right of the bar. You can see that it is stacked from floor to ceiling with barstools. "Broken stools tend to happen a lot around here. In fact, it would be unusual if one didn't get broken while Blood was here. Lots of stress that one. If breaking a stool keeps her from bludgeoning Childer Immortalis such as yourself, she can keep on busting them up as she pleases."

"Though..." Calming chuckles. "You did kind of bring it on yourself. Shouldn't have mentioned Var-" His voice drops to a whisper. "Vartan." He resumes his normal tone. "Bit of a sore subject with her these days. His absence has been wearing her patience even thinner than usual. Honestly, she's a totally different person when he's around. Probably the only thing in this world she actually loves and no one has heard from him in weeks. Fury knows where he is, but she's not talking. Secret mission, Bulwark business and what-not. For future reference, best to avoid the topic of Vartan Crozier and the Crimson Wolves, at least when you're around Blood. Will likely save you a beating. You're fortunate, really. I've seen that woman literally snap a Forsaken in half. If the most you get is tossed across a room, count your lucky stars."

"As for apologizing, you could take your chances. I've found it's best to let her cool off a bit." His gaze moves to the couple who narrowly avoided Blood's wrath. Calming shrugs. "Well, the woman. I'm not too sure. Never seen her before. The lad there, Childer Immortalis, such as yourself. Fjorin he's called, or so I am told. Just arrived in Avalon."
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Cameron on August 11, 2013, 05:22:20 PM
Sig is no longer grinning. Instead, his deep rolling laugh rings out through the tavern.

"Oh, it was funny, lad! Just not for you."

Sig gives Siron a hard (probably too hard) slap on the back, quaffs his other tankard, throws some gold coin on the bar top, and swiftly exits the tavern. Once outside, he calls after the departing Blood.

"Leaving so soon, lass? I was hoping to have another drink off with you! I wager that I could probably fare a lot better this time!"
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: john greymore on August 11, 2013, 08:32:56 PM
Serenity had to be insane. Only an insane person could so smoothly go from near-tears to wearing a haggard, tired smile as they lie to a seemingly unsuspecting lady. Fenwick watches with casual care to pick up any signals that suggests suspicion.

But this wariness is unneeded as the two of them swiftly search the drawers and the orb is found by Fenwick. Shimmering with excitement, a hint of doubt paralyses him as he questions whether he truly wanted to proceed with this.

Time, however, waits for no man. The face of Dethys, strange, unreadable, suggested that an explanation was in order at once on pain of whatever tortures there were.

His hand forced earlier than expected, Fenwick pulls upon the charm he had learnt as a travelling merchant and tries to calm himself despite the adrenaline coursing through him. The result is drama.

"It doesn't matter, you are here now. Behold the being that murdered your apprentice!"

And he draws upon his trained ability to focus and keeps his mind on the one known as Baeyard Cael with all the spite and terror that he can muster.

Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on August 11, 2013, 10:01:44 PM

The orb in your hand springs to life and erupts with green light that swirls within the glass confines of the all-knowing sphere. Serenity watches with eager eyes. Her hand clasps your forearm as she impatiently stares at the orb, waiting for it to bring the image of Bayard Cael. There is an eruption within your hand, and suddenly


 After a few moments, a ghostly image of Dethys Night appears before you, a perfect likeness of the man you grasps your shoulder (save for the ghastly green glow of course.)

The ghost Dethys erupts in wicked laughter. “Mwahahahaha! You thought you had me, didn’t you, Fortuna! Well, I’ve got news for you! You… You… Don’t have me.” The ghostly Dethys appears uncertain as to what to say next. “Well… uh… your plan failed, better luck next time and all that. Ta for now.” Ghost Dethys disappears and the orb is once again silent.

“But-but…” Serenity is on the verge of tears again. You can tell that failing in ascertaining the whereabouts of her brother’s killer weight heavily upon her.
Suddenly, the orb erupts in light, and fake Dethys appears again. “Oh… and by the way… this orb self-destructs.”

“For pity’s sake!” cries out real Dethys. His hand still fastened upon both you and Serenity, he mutters a few quick word under his breath and you all are instantly transported from his laboratory to the living room.

Caerina stands, little Laertan still sleeping soundly in her arms. “Dethys, what is-”

Before she can finish her sentence, there is an enormous explosion that shakes the foundation of the entire house. Down the hallway, a gout of flame erupts from under the door leading to Dethys’s laboratory. Dethys mutters another spell under his breath and the flames are extinguished.

Dethys casts a nervous glance at the sleeping infant, and lets out a grateful “Whew, he’s still asleep.”

Serenity affected by the smoke still floating in the hallway sneezes, and little Laertan is suddenly awake, crying at the top of his lungs.

Dethys’s face is scarlet, and you can see his fists clench at his side. “You… you… You lie to my wife! You break into my laboratory! You attempt to steal from my personal belongings! And now! Now you wake the baby!” Masses of bright, green light pulse within his fists.

“Dethys, dear. Show mercy on them. Serenity just lost her-” pleads Caerina.

“All the more reason to be furious about this!” yells Dethys. His gaze turns to Serenity. “You really think Constancy would want you trying to track down his killer. No! Your brother has always done everything he can to keep you safe! To see you are taken care of! And you would disgrace his memory by throwing your life to the wolves!”

Serenity’s bottom lip trembled. “I’m sorry! I didn’t think-”

Dethys’s face softens considerably. “No… You didn’t think at all. I understand you are grieving, but slinking about behind my back and trying to take matters into your own hands will do nothing but get you killed. You, you’re not in your right mind. But you!” Dethys turns to face you, his features contorted with anger, his visage so terrifying in its sheer ire that you can feel your knees begin to tremble.

“You, Fenwick, are in your right mind. You have no excuse for what you have done tonight. You were supposed to be one of the smart ones! The Archon himself predicted greatness for you, and now you show yourself as a common thief, and don’t even try to explain otherwise, lest you forget that I know the nature of your heart, and can tell in an instant if you are lying. Really, the only one you are lying to is yourself. You still haven’t made peace with the death of your parents, and now you decide to throw caution to the wind and waste the chance the Divine himself gifted you with! He gave you a second chance at life and you would have gone with Serenity and both of you would have cast it aside!”

“And then! To come into my home! To lie to my wife! To search through my personal belongings! Serenity! You could have come to me! I would have helped you work through this! But instead, you go to this Childer Immortalis and put him and yourself in danger! You’ve both given me no choice!”

“Dethys!” shouts Caerina.

The green light that had been confined in the clenched hands of Dethys Night erupts from his palms and hits both you and Serenity full in the chest. It knocks the wind out of you, but save for that, doesn’t seem to have any lasting effects. Serenity lets out a deep sigh of relief.

“Don’t be too relieved just yet, Serenity. I’ve affected you and Fenwick with a Binding spell. Neither of you will be able to use any of your magic again until I see fit to remove the spell. Furthermore, you are both banned from leaving Avalon,” responds Dethys.

“Dethys, that isn’t fair!” exclaims Serenity.

“I think it is plenty fair. I could drag both of you before General Fury right now. I could likely even have you expelled from Avalon for this betrayal of my trust, but I have decided, given your fragile state, Serenity, to show some degree of mercy… but know this… If I EVER find out you two have entered my laboratory without my permission again, you can say goodbye to Avalon forever.”

“Dethys, are you sure this isn’t too harsh? You can’t just…” Caerina is interrupted by a fit of coughing, and Dethys’s expression of anger turns to one of concern. He gently places his arm around his wife’s shoulder and takes his son into his free arm. “Come, dear. Let us get you to bed.” He begins to lead his wife up to their bedroom. He casts a glance back to you. “I trust you know the way out. Serenity, I expect to see you first thing in the morning.”

Serenity takes you by the arm and steers you out of the front door, leaving you both standing in front of Dethys’s home.

“I am so sorry, Fenwick. This is all my fault,” apologizes Serenity. “But I can’t thank you enough for trying. I… I must be getting home. But before you go…” Serenity stands upon her toes and gently kisses you upon the lips. “This night, you have truly done me a great service, and one day, should you ever need my help, I stand ready to offer it. I will find a way to avenge my brother… despite what Dethys says. I know Constancy wouldn’t want me to be hurt, but he always worried too much for me. Goodnight, Fenwick.” Without another word, Serenity makes her way towards her home, not far from where Dethys resides. You see her vanish into her doorway, leaving you alone with your thoughts.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: john greymore on August 11, 2013, 11:06:27 PM
The plan fails, the bloodhaze clears. The consequences of his action are thrown upon him. Disbelieving, he attempts a spell among his arsenal, randomly grabbing one in an attempt to cast it. Nothing happens, as expected. Mistrusting reality, he sits down for a moment on a nearby chair.

He was in this state because he had been passive. In a sense, it was no different from the murder of Constancy. His recent actions had been dreamlike, as if he was not in control. But deep down he knew that the fuel behind this, the emotions, were all a part of him.

As a whole, however, he was secretly grateful. Behind a harsh punishment was the secret relief that the choice he had to make was nil for now. As an aside, he had gained the loyalty and friendship of Serenity... But at the cost of Dethys' trust. And he liked Dethys.

The question now was what to do and who to turn to? It was obvious that an apology was in order, but now was not the time. Still, a note was what he could do. He scrounges around for some writing material and writes the apology note:


I am sorry for my transgression. I should have taken more responsibility, and no excuses are allowed.


He leaves it on the table and leaves the place. There is no where to go, but he tries to find his way to Cleo's place. It is highly likely that he would not be travelling with his companions any time soon anyway.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Archdemon Stu on August 12, 2013, 01:43:56 AM
“I… I guess I could… maybe… do that…”

Fjorin was lucky he had not yet ordered a drink, or he would have lost a mouthful of it to the sight of Lai's latest form.  Instead, he seemed to choke on nothingness.  Of all the possible shapes Lai could take...

By no means was Fjorin unfamiliar with the female body, as many women in the Ebonmane Clan had attempted to sleep their way into royalty, but to see Lai's bare breasts was more than enough to befuddle the barbarian... and enough to cause him to make noises in his throat that sounded suspiciously close to laughter, as Lai had already managed to make an Immortalis scuttle off.  The power behind choosing a womanly form was already apparent.  Clever indeed.

“In my experiences, women are usually treated with a bit more kindness in these drunken situations than men. The women sit back and watch the males make fools of themselves or stumble about wildly. I must say, I rarely see a woman drunk. Why is that?”

Fjorin, finally having been able to gain the ability to look his spirit friend in the eye, responded, "It is simple; they are the wiser breed.  By choosing such a form alone, I think you've proven yourself clever enough to act as one." he half-jested.

As Lai feigned grasping Fjorin's arm, he suddenly became aware of just how committed to the guise Lai was.  After a moment, he responded with an awkward bow, smirking as he noted the ridiculousness of the situation, and proceeded to the celebr-

With a sudden crash, a chair shattered against the wall.  Fjorin raised a quizzical brow, but did not seem to react otherwise.  More startling, however, was the source - a scowling, grey-eyed, almond-maned woman came barreling toward the door, nearly running over Lai in the process - whether they made contact or not, he was not sure, but judging from her scowl, it appeared she either knew what Lai was, or was simply in a particularly bad mood.  Either way, it mattered little.  He felt it would be overboard to defend Lai's honor so early in the night.

He did know one thing though: there was a similar presence in that woman... similar to General Fury.  The determination of a martial expert, a will of fire, and eyes that had seen enough blood to sail upon.

Now was not the time to dwell on such things, however.  Though Fjorin's etiquette was abysmal, it was fortunate Lai had been babbling on long enough to give the Prince of the Ebonmane some semblance of what he was supposed to do in such a situation.  With a sigh, and a roll of his eyes, he drew a stool out from under the bar, and with a subtle gesture, "M'lady."

It would take him some time yet to adjust to Lai's antics, and the internal confusion that came with his... or her... shape.

They were seated next to an empty space - no doubt where the shattered stool originated - and near the barkeep, "Calming" General Fury called him.  For the sake of throwing Lai a curve ball... "Barkeep, how much for your finest mead?!" a line he learned to feign enthusiasm for well.

However, his plan quickly backfired as he reflexively reached for his pocket...

Two gold coins.  Each one worth more to him than any of the items in his possession combined - perhaps even his very limbs.  For a brief moment, he paused, and gave them one last look.  For that moment, it was as if he trapped in his memories.  As he held the coins, he could hear the voices of the comrades he left at the shore that fateful night.  He froze as the cold of the metal chilled his fingertips.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Radobe on August 12, 2013, 06:42:30 AM
The young knight’s eyes narrow as he looks at the short man laughing in front of him.

"Oh, it was funny, lad! Just not for you."

He gives off a rather distant impression, before he begins to laugh as well. “This reminds me of one time…” His thought is interrupted by a melancholic feeling, his smile slowly fading and suddenly returning as his eyes come back to life. “Well back than I wasn’t tossed around with a stomp, but otherwise it was pretty similar!” Sig gives Siron a hard slap on the back, before he finishes his tankard and chasses after Blood.

"Boy, do you have a lot to learn."…   …Just arrived in Avalon."

“Normally now I would offer the big guy a drink, but I think I’ve pissed off enough people for tonight,” After having a good long look at the woman accompanying Fjorin “ plus, he is in good hands I recon!” with a smile he looks at calming,  giving him the “ If you know what I mean!” look.  “I dare say I did not do badly for my first day. I witnessed some more death, pissed off a terrifying woman and I got a little tipsy.” Siron stands and checks out his clothes for any stains or remaining dust. “I can’t wait to see what the morning holds for me!” With a smile, he waves the tall man goodbye and leaves the tavern for the night.

Heading back to the barracks, Siron feels the tranquility, under the night sky of Avalon. The undisturbed noise of the insects, the moonlight showering the streets, an explosion in the distance… He looks in the direction the explosive sound came from and listens for a few seconds, to see if there will be a follow up. Nothing happens, so he shrugs and continues on his way, thinking his stay here might actually be enjoyable.

When in the barracks he finds no desire to sleep, instead he gets his gear and tries to find a training ground. He has been slacking with his practice, thanks to the events of the past week, so it was about time he did some good old fashioned training. Should he find a place to do so, he will train to the break of dawn and then retire for the night.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Kitharsis on August 12, 2013, 09:36:46 AM
"You look..."  Faile cocks her head to one side, then the other.  "Delicious."

Field mouse Sembas Filden squeaks as loud as his little lungs will allow.  This is followed by mile a minute chattering as he gives a long deposition on the reasons why he would taste horrible.

"You do realize that all your squabbling will attract every predator within a mile radius.  Not to mention the... alluring way your are flailing about that will surely catch the eye of any owls hunting the night."

Two little paws clamp his little mouth shut as he scurries between two ginormous blades of grass.

"This is not the way I saw myself spending the evening."  He mutters.  "Stupid field mouse..."  Without thinking he licks his paw and cleans his whiskers.

"But hey now, whats that smell?"  He scurries through the grass a few feet to find some crumbs from the stale bread that fell out of Dennan's hand.  His cheeks stretch as he stuffs a few rather large pieces into his mouth.

"Where did you go?"  Faile demands.  "Don't run off like that!  Its hard to keep track of you, you little morsel."

Sembas stops chewing as the realization hits him.  Nobody takes notice of a little mouse.  He could practically disappear if he wanted to, being so small.  This could be incredibly useful.

"Who's the new guy?"  A voice asks from the grass.

"Dunno, he smells funny though."  Another responds.

"You're one to talk."  Yet another.

What is even going on here?  Sembas swallows the rest of the bread stuck in his cheeks and looks around.  His nose tells him that there are other mice about.

"Hey!  Save some for me, pal."  A rather large mouse saunters past and starts stuffing his face with breadcrumbs.  Seeing that the coast is clear, two others skip past and join him.

"That dumb falcon can't even see us when its this dark out boys, don't even worry about it."  The large one says between bites, breadcrumbs clinging to its whiskers.

This is outright crazy.  Sembas can barely take it all.  He feels like his little heart will beat right out of his chest.

"Scatter!"  The fat one shrieks as it back peddles into thicker grass.  The two smaller mice are gone in an instant.  Dumbfounded, Sembas sits up on his hind legs, wobbles, then looks up.

An annoyed Falcon is staring down at him, eyes narrowing.

"Where did that fat one go?"  She fumes.

"He's gone, and you very rudely just interrupted social hour."

"Hmph, the world of mice is as foolish as the world of men."

Sembas watches as a pebble soars through the air.  It takes a high arc, and he nearly loses it for the stars.  He raises a paw and opens his mouth to speak, but a sly grin takes place of any words.

"What's so-" *Plink*

The pebble connects with Faile's head, and from the distance you can hear, "You big oaf of a chicken!  Now's your chance!  Run!"

These little mice were standing up to Faile.  Sembas stands flabbergasted.  They just met him, but they were risking life and limb just to save a stranger.  He is humbled.

"Promise me you won't eat them?"  Sembas pleads.  "I would like to have a few words with these fellows."

"You owe me a weeks worth of honey buns when we get back to Avalon."
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on August 12, 2013, 01:15:50 PM

You manage to easily get the attention of Blood as she retreats towards her home.

“Getting a bit too crowded in there for my tastes. Think it’s time to hit up my private reserve,” she says moodily. “But I’ll look like less of a drunk if someone is drinking with me, so you’re welcome to come if you wish.”

A Chosen of Alviss never turns down the chance at free booze, so you follow Blood back to her home. You’ve been inside once before (tied to a bed so as not to drunkenly wrestle inanimate objects.) However, as you were quite inebriated the last time you saw it (drunker than you’d likely been in a long time) you do not recall much of the outside

As you follow Blood, your eyes can make out a large home within the confines of a black, iron fence. It looks at least fleetingly familiar. Tall posts with lanterns affixed to the top line the walkway, spilling light over the front yard. There are blood-red rose bushes that dot the front of the house at precise, evenly spaced areas. The house itself is an off-white color, with criss-crossing sections of brown wood.

She leads you through the front door, down the hallway, and into a kitchen located in the back left of the first floor. This is a room that looks as if it has hardly even been used. She opens a closet that is lined with white brick and mortar on the inside. As you walk by it, you notice the room is surprisingly cold, then you realize why. There are casks of wine, bottles of liquor and kegs of ale and beer.

“Dethys owed me a favor. Enchanted the room.” She selects a dark brown bottle from her private stash, puts her teeth on the cork and gives it a mighty yank

“Keeps it nice and cold. Just the right temperature.” She takes a swig before offering it to you. “So what do we drink to, Sig?”


It is easy enough to find training grounds near the barracks, in fact, you can see them from the little window of the room you have selected to sleep in. When you make your way down to the training area, you find you are not alone. A large, imposing young man with shaggy, blonde hair and piercing blue eyes is hacking away at a dummy in the corner of the yards. The greatsword he holds in his hands glints in the torchlight that surrounds the yards. The young man wears a set of impressive golden chainmail and despite his furious swinging, he shows no sign of stopping.

However, your footsteps attract his attention and he turns to face you. The smile he gives is a welcoming and genuine one. There is a certain aura about him that immediately makes you like him.

“Oh, hello,” he greets you. “You’re one of the Childer, right? Uh… Fjorin… No! Siron! Siron, right?” He extends his hand out to you. “Corvus Virtue. Pleased to make your acquaintance. I don’t suppose you would be willing to spar with me. Want to keep my skills sharp between now and the time I return to the front lines. Don’t want to get soft, right?”


You owe a certain falcon a large quantity of honeycakes, but this new and exciting experience certainly may be worth it. With a promise to keep an eye on you from afar, Faile takes off, settling in a tree nearby.

The largest mouse moves forward. “Oy! What were you doing there? You were just staring at that flapping featherhead like you were scared to death! Don’t be scared of them. I’m sure not!” The large mouse wiggles his tiny pink nose and touches his whiskers to yours. Though he never says his name, you are somehow told what he is called through this action. “Boris.”

The second and third mouse repeat this action: “Paolo” and “Chico.” They look very similar, but on closer examination, you notice that Chico’s coat is slightly lighter in color than his companion.

“What’s with the ruckus, boys?” a fourth mouse bounds forward, stopping beside Boris.

“It’s a new guy, Cosette!” explains Chico excitedly.

“New guy, huh?” The mouse called Cosette comes forward to greet you. “Well, we can’t be letting ourselves out in the open like this for long. Those blasted birds will make a quick meal of us. Our home is nearby. You’re welcome to hide out there until you can find a place of your own,” offers Cosette. “What’s your name, friend?”

You’re about to respond when you hear a loud screeching and find yourself flat on your back, a massive talon wrapped around your chest. You look up into the eyes of a falcon, but not your dear friend, Faile.

“Gah!” You hear Faile shout in exasperation as she careens through the sky and slams her body into that of the other bird. Both of them go rolling away in the grass.

“Come on! Run!” cries Paolo as he drags you to your feet. They begin to lead you away from the field and towards a thick copse of trees.

Behind you, you can hear Faile admonishing the other falcon. “Besnik, you twit! You leave those mice alone!”

“Well, I was getting it for you!” snaps Besnik. “Aren’t you hungry? You have to stay nice and fat. Can’t keep the eggs warm with a scraggly body like that. My children aren’t going to catch their death because their mother didn’t have the decency to eat a good meal when she saw one!”

“Besnik! You-you! Get back to the nest right now! I’ll explain it to you there!” snarls Faile.

It seems your falcon friend has been keeping secrets from you. This mouse form is paying off already!


The bartender, a tall, slender, man with shaggy brown hair, brings you and Lai each a tankard of ale. "Don't worry about it. We don't deal in money. If I can get you anything else, just let me know. Calming's the name. Galenus Calming." He heads back to the bar to tend to his other customers.

"You're welcome!" calls Lai after him. He/she looks back to you. "That' correct, right? Someone gives you something and you say 'you're welcome.' I can never be sure. I know I heard Aras use it. Called it having 'manners.' Forsaken don't usually say those types of things. Not exactly a polite bunch, mind you. You give them something nice and they would say, 'Hey, Carnis! Where's the rest!' Blah, blah, blah. Anyway... They're a nasty sort. Especially that Lieutenant Cauter. He told me to take the form of General Fury once so he could pretend to paw at me and do other unmentionable things. I told him I had more self-respect than that and he had me confined for a year! A year! Stuck in that stupid Spirit Trap until Lord Severan took notice and demanded I be let out. Wasn't so much him being nice as he needed me to go interrogate Aras."
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Archdemon Stu on August 12, 2013, 03:17:30 PM
Calming's voice snapped him out of his daze, and back into the light and warmth of the tavern.  He quickly returned the coins to the comfort of his pocket, and took a mighty swig of his mead... it was like nothing he'd ever tasted before!  How did his fellow man even drink the horse swill they did when there was mead like this about?!

"You're welcome!"

In a strange way, it was a relief that Fjorin had the company of someone worse with formalities than he was.  After a relieved breath from the mead touching his belly, he answered gruffly, "Close enough."

It was nice to hear Lai speak of Aras.  In a way, Fjorin had adjusted nicely in the domain the Lady of Shadows dwelled.  Aras always was a gentleman, perhaps Fjorin could have learned a thing or two from him.

As Lai continued though, Fjorin had begun to see that he was not the only one with a past.

"Especially that Lieutenant Cauter. He told me to take the form of General Fury once so he could pretend to paw at me and do other unmentionable things. I told him I had more self-respect than that and he had me confined for a year! A year!"

The last of the Ebonmane had encountered many brutal opponents and tribes in his time, but he wondered if he had ever heard of such a twisted individual as this Lieutenant Cauter.  Fjorin dared not ask what Cauter asked of the carnis, as a part of him felt he already knew.  At least Fjorin knew now he was on the right side of the war.

Another thought came to him.  Lai knew much of the Forsaken.  Death wounds, locations, names, abilities, weaknesses, the information extracted from Aras... No.  Lai had been through enough.  He would not ask a single detail of these things.  He was familiar with prisoners of war, and he was always certain to show them the same respect.  The carnis had been used for people's personal gain enough; Fjorin would not lower himself to that of Deceit or Cauter.  Tonight was a night of comfort - to ease the mind.

[CONSTITUTION: SOAK] Fjorin downed the rest of his mead, and shortly after, Lai's.

"Well then, if you value your self-respect, you won't like what I'm about to ask you to do." it was clear the drink was already hitting Fjorin.  "Dance."  Fjorin looked to others in the bar, dancing to Muse's uplifting tune.  It was a strange ritual where in one flailed about indignantly in order to have some illusion of fun, something as strange to him as drinking... and yet here, he would do both.

Fjorin found it stupid, but long ago, Bjornfir took it upon himself to teach him the most basic of steps - ones even Fjorin could learn - claiming, "I'll not have you embarrass me in front of the lasses any longer!  Me blade needs sharpenin'!"

He stood abruptly, and put his arm out for Lai to grasp once more.  So, this was Fjorin when touched by the drink...

Should Lai accept the invitation, he continues the topic, though attempting to skip the less than favorable details, "How was it yourself and Aras came upon the Lady of Shadows after the Forsaken?"
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Radobe on August 12, 2013, 03:22:36 PM
Siron is a bit surprised at the sudden meeting.

“Oh, hello,”… Don’t want to get soft, right?”

“Hello” The blond man with blue eyes standing in front of him, has an air of importance around himself. If it wasn’t for the equipment alone, his presence was one emitted by royalty and leaders: intimidating, yet welcoming. “I am Siron Entrima from the house of Entrima. It is a pleasure to meet you.” He gives a small bow to show respect. “As for a spar,” A quick flashback takes him back on the floor of the tavern “from what I’ve seen, you people are everything else, but soft!” He says with a smile. “No worries though I don’t mind a spar, just give me a few moments to warm up and work the last of the ale out of my system.”

It takes only a few minutes, for the young knight to prepare himself physically for the challenge, but if someone asked if he was mentally prepared to be laid out on his ass again, that would be a definite no. Siron readies his sword and meticulously performs a few combination attacks on the dummies. With a series of small jumps and dashes, while holding his sword, he readies the rest of his body. Feeling the familiar feeling of blood rushing into his muscles, he gives Virtue a nod, telling him he is done warming up. He has left his shield and mace on the side, since his opponent and him wield a weapon, that he is proficient in using, he chooses to face him with the same weapon.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Kitharsis on August 13, 2013, 02:10:42 PM
Little legs can run quite quickly, Sembas finds.  If he thought his heart was beating fast before, he was woefully mistaken.  It is a small wonder that one of Besnik's talons didn't puncture anything important.  Sembas makes a note to double the amount of Faile's honey cakes upon his return. 

It is an even larger wonder to hear talk of eggs and mothers coming from Besnik's beak.  More than slightly overwhelmed, putting one paw in front of the other is all that Sembas can manage for the time being.

The mouse pack makes it to the treeline with swiftness.  They reach a large old pine tree who's roots have overgrown its base.  Boris leads the group through a hole between two of the twisting roots.  He stands at the entrance waving everyone through, giving a wink to Sembas as he runs past. 

Having ushered everyone into their den, Boris squeezes himself through the hole, shimmying his hind quarters for the tight fit.

"We made it!  What were those birds brains even doing?"  Paolo asks.

"Lovers quarrel, Paolo, didn't you hear them?  Going on about eggs and nests and all that nonsense."  Chico answers.

"Phooey, more chickens to worry about."  Boris spits.

"I think we'll be sticking to the woods for a while, fellas.  No sense in picking fights with a family of falcons."  Cosette nods his head matter of factly.

Is Faile... pregnant?  Or even worse, has she already laid eggs?  Sembas sits wided eyed, even for a mouse.

"Oy, lad.  It won't be that bad, we'll just stick to the tunnels."  Boris points behind him to a network of holes dotting the far wall.  "You'll see, it'll be fine."

"Hey that's right, we never caught your name buddy!"  Cosette looks on expectantly.

"Sembas, I'm called Sembas."  He replies.  "I must apologize for putting you all in such danger.  Thank you for helping me, but you see I'm actually-"

"Putting us in danger?!"  Boris erupts with laughter.  "Lad, we've brushed off more than that before breakfast."

"How?  How do you deal with it all?"

"Biting."  Paolo says plainly.

"Scratching."  Chico adds with a shrug.

"Whatever it takes, lad.  You cannot stop and you cannot give up.  And if you see a fellow mouse in danger you do all you can.  Because they would do the same for you."  Boris nods reverently.

"So, where are you from, Sembas?"  Cosette asks.  "Can't say we've seen you before." 

"I'm from Avalon, the city of the Immortalis."  Sembas replies, with a slathering of pride.

"The whosit's?  Can't say I've heard of it."  Boris says dismissively, deflating Sembas quite a bit.

"Must be that place where my dad got our old bed from."  Chico points to a large pile of fuzz in the corner.  "Says he got it from a big Human that smelled like a mouse."

Dennan!  As enjoyable as it is conversing with these mice, Sembas is more than ready to be home and back in his normal body. 

"How did he get there?"  Sembas asks with anticipation.

"The tunnel on the far left..."  Chico says, ominously.  The three other mice all turn and look at it.  "Nobody ever comes back from that tunnel.  Nobody except my dad, that is..."

He must get home.  But running along the path would be suicide, and Sembas does not want to spend the rest of eternity inside of something's belly.

"I have to get back to Avalon."  Sembas says, with a serious tone.  "I thank you all for the warm welcome, and the help that you've given me, but I need to return home."

Determined, Sembas scurries over to the far left tunnel.  He sticks his nose through the threshold before being inundated with squeaking and shuffling from behind him. 

"We can't let you go off alone like that!"  Cosette says chastizingly.  "Not after seeing what kind of trouble you get yourself in.  No, no.  We're coming with you."

"We need a new bed anyway!  Paolo stunk up that one already."  Chico explains.

"I keep saying, He's the one that smells funny!  Nobody ever listens!"


The tunnel is long.  He wishes Faile had not flown off with that buzzard Besnik.  No wonder she is keeping her distance.  They have a lot to talk about...

"You guys smell that?"  Paolo asks, a bit of concern marking his voice.

"Of course, I've been behind you the whole time.  Don't you wash, Paolo?"  Chico retorts.

"Feh, no, I think there's water up ahead.  I can hear it now too."

Sembas can hear it also.  After a short while the group of mice finds themselves at the end of the tunnel.  It opens up into a cavern housing a small stream.  A hollowed out log sits perched on the bank with a pebble keeping it from rolling into the water. 

Cosette examines the situation.  He sniffs at the log and the pebble before returning to the others.

"Its a boat!  Yes, a boat.  Chico's dad must have used it ages ago.  Lets go!"

The four mice all run into the log and look expectantly at Sembas.  There are obvious holes in Cosette's explanation, but he simply shrugs and hops on.  A mouse is relentless, after all.

Boris kicks out the pebble and they roll into the water.  The log is immediately taken by the current and swept downstream.  Before long the stream picks up in pace as it exits the cavern and opens into the early morning sky.  Sembas does not recognize the fields and forests that are rapidly passing by.  They must be outside Avalon somewhere.

"We're booking now boys!"  Boris shouts from the back of the log. 

"What is that up ahead?"  Paolo asks.  "It looks frothy."

Cosette scampers to the front of the log, peering out.  "Just some morning mist, Paolo."

Sembas sprints to the front, nearly bowling over Paolo and Cosette.  He knows where they are now.  And he knows that its not just mist.

"We need to get to the bank!  Now! Run!"  Sembas shouts desperately.

He starts running up the inside of the log and it slowly spins under his weight.  The others waste no time in joining.  The log begins rolling in the water, causing it to sluggishly veer off towards the bank.

Between heavy breaths Cosette yells, "What are we doing this for?  Whats wrong with that misty stuff?"

"Waterfall!"  Sembas yells as he grunts with determination.

The four other mice realize the direness of their situation and run even faster.  They grit their teeth as they run as fast as they can.

"Come on boys, I'm not in the mood for a swim today!"  Boris shouts in encouragement. 

The log bounces off of a rock.

It starts spinning wildly through the water.

The five mice scream as their boat careens over the edge of the waterfall.


Sembas's little lungs run out of breath for screaming so long.  Finding the need to inhale odd he opens his eyes.  He was in the middle of a mouse pile, each of them clinging tightly onto the other.  Blinking, he watches as clouds roll by the two openings of the log.

"You all are very loud."  Faile mutters from above.  "Also, your running total is three dozen honey buns."

"Faile!"  Sembas squeaks.  "Thank The Divine you caught us!  It's alright guys, she's my friend.  She'll take us straight to Avalon."

"Your friend!?"  Chico shouts.

"Told you he smelled funny!"  Paolo says accusingly.

The four mice hop away from Sembas and stare.  It seems that their new friend was not an ordinary field mouse.

"Oy lad, I think you owe us an explanation."  Boris says, quite sternly.

Cosette crosses his paws in front of him, clearly upset.

"Well, where to begin...  I'm not a field mouse, well not usually."  Sembas explains, hemming and hawing.  "I'm a human.  My friend Dennan changed me into a field mouse and left me in the field where I met you all."

"Come to think of it you do smell a kinda funny."  Cosette says, as if realizing it for the first time.

"I've been sayin!"  Paolo cries.

"Yes, well, Dennan said he'll turn me back into a human once I find him again.  I have responsibilities that I need to tend to.  I promise to return you all home once I change back, if that is what you want."  Sembas says, clearly despondent.

The four mice sit in silence for some time.  They aren't sure what to think.  Sembas feels like a heel.  These brave mice helped him a great deal.  He couldn't just leave them once he returned human. 

Faile conspicuously clears her throat and says, "We're almost to Dennan's house.  Hold tight."

Dennan watches as Faile comes flying towards him.  Curiously, she is carrying what looks like a hollowed out log.  He leans his axe against the chopping block he was working on and waits for her to land.

"What sort of trouble has little Sembas gotten himself into, girl?"  Dennan asks in his deep voice.  He leans down and peers inside the log.  Field Mouse Sembas Filden is staring up at him.

"Hi, Dennan."  He says, with a pause.  "Please give me a moment."  Dennan nods as he sees the four bewildered mice sitting in the middle of the log with Sembas.   He takes a seat a few feet away until his friend is ready.

Sembas turns and looks at his four friends.  "I should have told you all from the beginning.  I'm sorry for hiding what I really am.  You all have been so kind..."

Boris stands and paces over to Sembas, tickling their whiskers together.  "Sembas, as far as I'm concerned you're as much a mouse as any of us.  Just remember what I told you.  Us mice do whatever it takes, and if we see another mouse in danger, or that needs help, we do all that we can."

"I'll never forget, Boris."  Sembas says, with a catch in his throat.  "If there is ever anything you all need.  Please let me know and I'll do whatever I can."

Paolo, Chico and Cosette all run over in a chatter, saying good lucks, good byes and you're always welcomes.  After thanking each of them individually, Sembas calls over to Dennan.

"Ok, Dennan.  I'm ready.  I think I've found what I needed to."
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on August 13, 2013, 02:38:25 PM

Corvus takes a ready stance, and ever the gentleman, signals you to make the first move. 


Lai nervously accepts your invitation. “I… Uh… Don’t really know what I’m doing, but I’ll give it a try.” She sways to and fro, content to let you take the lead. Lai manages to stumble about convincingly enough, but when she falls and her hand passes through a nearby table, the stares from the other Ageless make her quite uncomfortable. They likely already know what Lai is. News travels quickly in Avalon, and strangers do not really exist. Given the countless Carnis they have likely faced on the battlefield, it is understandable the Ageless might be apprehensive about being in the company of one.

Lai contemplates your question, trying to determine how to best answer it. “I… I don’t know if I can really express what transpired. It would probably be better if I showed you.” Lai gestures towards a dark, unoccupied corner of the tavern. Once seated, she places her hands on top of yours. Though her hands look perfectly solid, she is just an illusion, and when her palms press against the backs of your hands, you feel a slight chill rather than the pressure that should accompany them.

“Close your eyes, Fjorin.”

You are looking at the ground, muddy and wet. Leaves stick to your brown leather boots. You hear noise behind you, and you turn to look.

“Lai, we must go faster. Get us as far away from her as fast as you can!” Aras’s voice.

You realize that you are Lai as he inhabits the body of Aras. This must be just after they escaped the Forsaken.

“I’m trying, Aras,” comes Lai’s voice. “I really am. I don’t want to go back there again, either!”

“I know, Lai. I know you’re doing the best you can, but we have to move faster!”

You see Aras’s legs begin to accelerate as you race through the woods, trying to lose the Forsaken pursuers. There is the sound of something sliding over the leaves, and suddenly, Aras is suspended upside down from a tree. Footsteps continue in the distance moving ever closer to Aras. His weapons had been taken from him during his imprisonment, and he has no means to protect himself.

“You’ve really managed to get yourself in a bind, haven’t you?” There’s a woman’s voice from below. Aras attempts to focus on the figure. A woman with bright red hair and clad in billowing robes of black. You immediately recognize her as the Lady of Shadows.

“Who are you?” asks Aras.

“That is none of your concern, Aras of the Shar’ada,” responds the Lady.

More footsteps.

“I will agree to set you free, but in return, you must promise to complete a task for me.”

Within Aras’s mind, you hear Lai speak. “Don’t do it, Aras. You don’t know who this woman is. What if she’s working with the Forsaken?”

“Then she wouldn’t be offering to help us, Lai,” returns Aras.

The footsteps of the Forsaken are even closer now. They would surely be there within moments.

The Lady crosses her arms over her chest. “Well, what will it be?”

“Fine! Just get us down!” concedes Aras.

The Lady snaps her fingers and the rope separates, sending Aras to the ground. She hurries forward, wrapping her cloak around Aras. “Now, be still and don’t speak a word.”

A group of 6 or 7 Forsaken pass within inches of the Lady, Aras, and by extension, Lai. One of them stops to examine the broken rope trap. “He was obviously here. He can’t have gotten far.”

“I don’t see any tracks leading away.”

“Well, look harder!”

Eventually the Forsaken abandon the area and head west, certain that is the path Aras had taken.

You open your eyes and find that your vision is a bit blurry, but they quickly adjust and you find yourself staring at Lai. 


Dennan reaches his massive hand out in front of you, laying it flat so that you may climb onto it.    Once you have scrambled onto his palm, he raises you to eye level with him.

“You must think of Sembas… Human Sembas. You must imagine your limbs growing back to their normal shape and size. You must think of the world as shrinking around you, until you find your own two feet back on the ground again. It seems a simple task, but when you have stayed in the form of an animal, especially for an extended time, it can become difficult to focus. I would caution you not to maintain a form for too long, at least not at first. Eventually, you may forget your true form, and if you do, you will be stuck as an animal forever.”
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Radobe on August 13, 2013, 05:12:18 PM
Siron takes his stance. Taking an “en garde” position, his legs form an L shape. The left foot is extended forward and the diagonal line of the L connects to his right foot. He holds his blade with his right hand, firmly grasping the area of the grip, directly under the cross guard and his left hand, tightened above the pommel. His sword lifted, so that the sword’s grip is on the level of his waist. The distance the sword holds from the body, is such so that the guard doesn’t go further than the tip of the left foot.

Normally he would be an aggressive combatant, but lacking the protection his shield offer and facing an unknown opponent, he chooses a slow and steady advance. He wants to feel out his enemy, it is very important to grasp the rhythm of his movement and the speed of his sword. His first attack doesn’t have much force behind it and its goal is to see how the ageless is going to take the attack. When his sword is almost in range of the enemy’s sword, he will make a quick small step forward and slash downwards towards the wrist of his sword arm. Should the strike connect, the armor he is wearing will be more than enough to take the force of the weak strike, so there is no danger, but had this been a powerful strike, depending on the armor worn, the wrist could suffer a cut or a fracture.

Siron will observe his opponents reaction and stay alert should he take the initiative.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on August 13, 2013, 05:41:48 PM
Corvus, having inherited DEXTERITY: CELERITY from his esteemed parents, quickly reacts to Siron's weak strike. Still holding his greatsword with only his left hand, he reaches out his right hand, slamming it into the tip of Siron's sword. The tip of the blade makes impact with his gauntlet, and the resulting force is so great that it sends the weapon backward. Due to the downward force of the initial strike, when the sword is forced backward, the pommel strikes Siron in the abdomen . As it is a defensive maneuver meant to throw the opponent off balance, it does not do lasting damage, but is enough to knock the wind out of Siron.

Corvus takes a step back to give Siron a moment to catch his breath. "Do not be timid, Siron. There is no room for fear when facing down Forsaken."
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Radobe on August 13, 2013, 06:38:26 PM
Even though lacking in power, his strike was not slow. Hitting a sword’s tip precisely and with such force, was something he had not seen in his lifetime. Were all Ageless and Forsaken this powerful? This are the thoughts that were going through his mind, the moment his air is knocked out of him. Siron takes a step back as he bends and catches his breath.

"Do not be timid, Siron. There is no room for fear when facing down Forsaken."

Corvus did not need to lecture Siron. He was not timid, he was cautious. Cautiousness which Siron saw the Ageless was lacking at the moment.

(STRENGTH: ATHLETICS) As soon as Corvus’ last word came out, the young knight went on the offensive. From his bent over position, completely naturally, Siron falls forward head first. This might not fool his opponent, into thinking he lost his balance, but confusing him for an instant will be enough. With his nose an inch away from the ground, he uses his legs to launch forward and cover the distance between them in an instant. Grabbing the back of his opponent’s knee, with his left arm, he pulls it up from the ground. Simultaneously, he plants his right foot, parallel to Corvus’ left leg, a step behind him and using his right arm, along with the gathered inertia from the dash, he slams his pommel into the man’s chest.

Should Siron’s tackle succeed, the Ageless will find himself lying on the ground in an instant. The knight will move away and allow his opponent to stand up.

Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on August 13, 2013, 06:54:24 PM
Siron's feint is an excellent strategy as he manages to catch Corvus relatively unaware. Though attempting to trip him is unsuccessful, as his opponent, a veteran in battle even at his young age, is firmly rooted to the ground. This is a tactic many foes have tried before, and it seems Corvus will not be easily tripped up. However, Corvus is not expecting Siron to strike him with the pommel, and he takes the blow to his chest.

Corvus, knowing it is necessary to keep an enemy at distance as much as possible lets out an earth-shaking roar (WISDOM: Combat Tactics- Battlecry.) Siron is immediately thrown violently backwards and lands heavily on the ground. Siron realizes this tactic seems very similar to the foot stomp that Blood used at the tavern.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Cameron on August 13, 2013, 09:22:02 PM
Sig grins when Blood asks him to join her. "Of course, lass! Drinkin's not  really a good solo activity. Best if I kept ya company."

Sig has vague memories of leaving Blood's house, but none of entering it. He gets a good look at the exterior as he heads in. He was never really sure why other races insisted upon these above ground houses when they were so less secure than living under the stone, but he had to admit that this one had some charm. As they enter the back kitchen, Sig makes the assumption that Blood doesn't cook or entertain guests that often. But when she opens the closet, all other thoughts cease.

"By the Father, what manner of sorcery is this?"

Sig marvels at the cold room with it's cold stash of booze. This could very easily become his favorite place in all of Avalon. It may have already. Sig can't help but grin when he is handed the bottle.

'What are we drinkin to? Hmmm... To friends. Both the ones still with us and the ones we've lost. And to all the teeth we're gonna kick in avenging em."

Sig takes a long pull from the bottle before offering it back to Blood.

Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Archdemon Stu on August 13, 2013, 11:50:55 PM
Lai feigned dance quite well, all things considered.  Fjorin was quite possibly the worse dancer, but confident enough in the simple steps he did know to lead.  Besides, nobody in a tavern full of drunks would notice... that is, until Lai's illusory hand faded through a table.  This was something Fjorin had anticipated though.  Fjorin was once considered a blood-thirsty maniac and little more, and hiding away in the castle did nothing to tame the rumors.  It was only once he showed his face to the people around him more often that understanding, and even respect, began.  With enough familiarity, the glares would fade in time.

In order to answer Fjorin's question, however, Lai resorts to communication that best suits the spirit.  The chilled touch of Lai's hands is like a northern breeze.  Following the strange sensation, a vision...

He opens his eyes, facing Lai.

What a strange experience.  To see from another's perspective was something few had a talent for, but to do so in such a literal way was absolutely unheard of.  Once again, Fjorin is impressed by Lai's powers.

"She is... a strange woman.  I'm not sure I'll ever understand her actions." He seemed deep in thought from the surreal experience.  "But, I am grateful for them."

He pondered for a moment; everything he tried to uplift the mood seemed to fall flat.  Though, there was one subject he knew Lai would enjoy.

"So, that Dennan fellow... he may well be one of the strongest warriors I've ever seen..." he looked side to side to make sure no one was in earshot, leaned inward, and with a raised brow and a smirk, " blew him up?"
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Radobe on August 14, 2013, 06:09:55 AM
Siron lands heavily on his behind once more.  For a second he ponders which is worst: being stomped or roared away? Either way, under the helmet, frustration was written all over the mans face. He stands up quickly and gets into his stance. How was he supposed to attack his opponent? His sword was brushed away with a hand, a successful surprise tackle only lead to him being roared away, it would seem that the knight was left with a few options. A frontal attack most likely wont work. thus another feint was necessary, but this time the opponent will be wary so he had to make it good.

(CHARISMA: INTIMIDATION)  Siron takes off his helmet and drops it on the ground, his eyes completely focused on his enemy. Braking his stance, he holds his sword with one hand and glares at his enemy. He walks forward slowly, his killing intent fills the air. With a roar he  grabs the weapon properly and launches forward, putting the force of his momentum and  the weight of the armor and sword behind his powerful blow. His intent is for Corvus to attempt to parry the blow. In the instant the swords are about to connect, he will push the grip with his left hand and make the sword vertical. Letting go of the grip with his right hand and moving it to grab the blade mid way, will give him enough control to pull the sword downwards and when low enough to bypass the parry, he will thrust the tip of the weapon into his opponent's throat.

Should his attack succeed, Siron's blade will stop shortly before penetrating the throat.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Kitharsis on August 14, 2013, 10:32:51 AM
"Human Sembas."  He mumbles as he pulls a spec of dirt from his whiskers.

Field Mouse Sembas Filden contemplates on Dennan's words.  There are worse things to be than a mouse, he thinks to himself...

He looks down from Dennan's palm.  Faile looks back up at him expectantly.  Sembas remembers what Besnik had said about their eggs and he fumes.

"Why didn't you tell me about you and Besnik?!"  He shouts from his lofty perch.  "We have a lot to discuss, young lady!"

He sticks out his arm for Faile to hop onto it, as he has done many times before.  But he frowns when a little mouse paw pokes out instead of his leather gauntlet.

In his mind he was stretching out his arm, willing it to be normal size, human size.  Not just willing, demanding.  He doesn't have time for mouse business right now. 

With a sudden urgency he runs to the edge of Dennan's hand and leaps off.  He visualizes his boots hitting the ground attached to his human legs.  He sees his palms planting on the ground to support his human body.  His muscles contract as they cushion his landing.  And he feels the earth fall away as he stands tall once again.

"Come here, Faile.  It's been too long since I've felt the weight of you on my arm."
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on August 14, 2013, 08:16:18 PM

Blood echoes your sentiment and takes another swig from the bottle.

“So, Sig… Why are you here in Avalon? Fury told me you were acting as a diplomat for the Chosen of Alviss, yet I sense there is greater purpose for you being here. You drink the tavern dry and your people run you off?”


Lai beams. “Yes! Well, obviously he got better again, though. Some of the Ageless have the ability to heal themselves very quickly. He must be even stronger than I thought if he possesses such a skill. I guess I should be thankful he did. I suppose General Fury probably wouldn’t have let me into Avalon if I would have killed her son. There is talk among the Forsaken that none of the Thane children have ever died, yet the eldest two are Ageless. It is something that vexes Lord Severan greatly. It is strange… though he hates the Ageless so fiercely, he has never once spoken ill of the Archon or his bride. That is strange isn’t it? I suppose it could be perfectly normal. How am I to know? Humans and Immortalis alike are a confusing lot.”


Faile immediately obliges to your request. “I was going to tell you… but it didn’t really seem like the right time. The day of the race… he flew wonderful arcs in the air and tossed me a delicious bit of trout. It’s far more practical than that flowers and romance and wooing you goofy humans do.”

“Perhaps when you are done scurrying about as a rodent, you will gain some sense and learn to fly like me. You can come see my nest. There are three eggs there. Three! Can you imagine three little me’s flying about. Besnik knows an owl who will sit on any old nest for the right price. Seemed a bit whorish to me to let some stranger sit on the nest while we were away on our mission. Next time, Besnik will just have to stay behind and keep our eggs warm. He’s a fool if he thinks I’m going to be a stay-on-nest mother!”


You easily find the way to Cleo’s home, but when you enter the front door, you are not met with expectant hugs and kisses applauding your safe return. Instead, you are met with an icy stare from the Seer.

“How could you!”

You correctly guess that Cleo, with her innate powers of relative omnipotence, has already figured out what you have done. She had mentioned to you before that certain things were predetermined by fate, and others were a matter of choice. Was going with Serenity a choice, or something you were destined to do?

“You STOLE from Dethys! Have you absolutely lost your mind! And not just that, but to take advantage of that grieving girl! To give in to her demands to pursue the foolhardy action to seek out her brother’s killer! You know had she found Cael she would have been killed, as would you! Do you have a death wish, Fenwick? Do you have any idea how worried I am for you? That explosion nearly shook the whole city! And there’s a child in that house! And to make matters worse, you let Serenity kiss you! Fenwick… Wicky… what is going on with you?”


You quickly realize that Corvus is impervious to any degree of intimidation (CHARISMA- Intimidation.)  You might have guessed that given his disarmingly charming personality he is quite charismatic himself.

As you lunge forward, you immediately realize your folly. This man wields a greatsword. Greatswords are not traditionally parrying weapons. They are meant for overpowering the enemy, so you are not completely surprised when he effortlessly dodges away from the blow (DEXTERITY- Dodge,) rather than attempting to parry it. He twists his body quickly to the left, and emerges behind you.

His right hand holds the pommel of his sword, while his left palm is placed against the flat of the blade. With one fluid movement, he slams the flat of the blade on the backs of your shoulders, causing you to stumble forward.

“You’ve used a greatsword before, haven’t you, Siron? Then stop trying to fence with me and thrusting it about like a rapier! Forget all your tactics for a moment. Use your instincts! That blade is not your only weapon.”
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Archdemon Stu on August 14, 2013, 11:55:49 PM
"Yes! Well, obviously he got better again, though. Some of the Ageless have the ability to heal themselves very quickly. He must be even stronger than I thought if he possesses such a skill. I guess I should be thankful he did."

In the past, Lai had taken many steps to ensure Fjorin felt comfortable in their previous dwelling, so it was good to see Lai's excitement if even for a moment when she was in a place unfamiliar to her.

Fjorin found Lai's knowledge of the Ageless and Forsaken fascinating, however.  "That is rare indeed.  Perhaps he respects them as enemies - worthy foes... or perhaps there was once a bond that I do not understand between them." He shrugged, "Or both."

Strange indeed.  Ageless could birth more Ageless?  The more Fjorin discovered, the bigger the ocean before him became.  "Being birthed as an Ageless... my entering of this world was not so gentle."

Yet another thought came to mind, "Lai, how did you come to be?"
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Radobe on August 15, 2013, 08:40:11 AM
Siron stumbles forward and almost loses his balance.

“You’ve used a greatsword before, haven’t you, Siron? Then stop trying to fence with me and thrusting it about like a rapier! Forget all your tactics for a moment. Use your instincts! That blade is not your only weapon.”

Siron’s face is expressionless. He has nothing. Speed, strength, technique, the man in front of him had it all! Honor spoke of the strength of the Ageless warriors, but this was out right ridiculous. Having the time to doge, go behind and strike him, was insane. Was he standing still in the eyes of his opponent? Even if Corvus didn’t say to forget it all, Siron has abandoned his knowledge of battle. He can’t trap the sword of the enemy or disarm him, he lacks in both strength and speed. Even after catching him off-guard he couldn’t tackle his opponent, so that was useless as well. They had still not clashed swords, but if they did, would he be able to even see the movement of the blade? They weren’t in different classes, they were living in different worlds. Though both might be immortal, Siron was nothing more than a mortal warrior.  It felt as if, there was an endless chasm between the two fighters. The more he stared into the darkness, the further away it stretched out.

Holding his sword with both hands, Siron puts it on his left shoulder and ducks slightly. The grip rests on his shoulder as the blade is suspended behind his back horizontally. Taking a deep breath, he charges forward, using his athletic ability to gain as much speed as possible. Upon reaching Corvus, he twists his torso and launches his sword in a diagonal swing, from right shoulder to right leg. Putting behind it all the strength he could muster. Originally he would use this kind of attack, to attempt to break an opponent’s weapon or use the overwhelming force to make them fall or loose balance, but not right now. Now he simply used the strongest swing he felt comfortable doing. There was no expectations, no intent and no foresight of what would happen. He simply swung his sword full force.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on August 15, 2013, 09:26:21 AM

As your blade slams downward, cutting diagonally through the air, it firmly connects with Corvus's torso and he stumbles back a step.

"Good! That's what I'm talking about! " he comments approvingly.

He quickly regains his balance and charges forward, his sword held aloft and to the right side of his body. He takes a massive swing, turning the blade so the flat is poised to strike you heavily upon the hip.

Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Kitharsis on August 15, 2013, 09:46:11 AM
As Faile lands on his arm he realizes that he actually did turn back into a human. 

But there wasn't any time to revel in his new skill, there were eggs to tend to.  And entrusting them with an owl!  Of all the things.

"I simply cannot imagine any more of you flying about."  Sembas says with a great deal of sarcasm.  He continues more seriously, "I think it is wonderful that you and Besnik have laid eggs, Faile.  But I'm not sure how I feel about you flying off to battle while your eggs are left behind.  It is not very motherly to leave your young behind while you put yourself in danger."

"I will ask Dennan to teach me the form of a falcon later, if he obliges.  As much as I would like to fly to your nest with you, I also have a debt to pay to my new friends."

Sembas crouches down in front of the hollowed out log.  It is a very odd feeling, seeing how small the hollow actually is.

"Boris, Paolo, Chico and Cosette."  He calls to his new friends individually.  "I promised that I would help you in any way that I can once I returned human.  You are welcome to stay with me in Avalon, or I can return you to your home in the woods with a new bed and a huge stockpile of food."

Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Radobe on August 15, 2013, 03:00:33 PM
Siron doesn’t react much to his strike landing, he lifts his sword and watches as his opponent stumbles. There is no rush of adrenalin, no anger and no desire. It is just him and his opponent. All else, but his fight, is meaningless now.

"Good! That's what I'm talking about! "

He sees the incoming charge and the swing motion. Almost instantly he reacts with, the quickest attack that can stop the charge. With a dash of his own, he sends his pommel towards a direct meeting with the head of the Ageless.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Cameron on August 15, 2013, 04:51:08 PM
Sig requests the bottle back and takes another swig before responding to Blood's question.

"Honestly, lass? The whole ambassador thing was a means to an end. They needed to send someone, and I was looking to leave. Most of my brethren get all chafed up at the very idea of havin to emerge from our halls, let alone take an extended vacation. But I wanted to travel. Always have. I've never really fit in with my brothers or sisters because of my interests. Playin music, wantin to travel...they find all that very odd. So it's almost like this ambassador gig was made for me."

Sig chuckles.

"And of course, all that's before the Father himself TOLD me I ought to go. He doesn't tell ya things for no good reason. If the All-father wants me here, than that means I'm needed here. Makes me feel like I'm helpin instead of just lollygagging about."
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on August 15, 2013, 08:01:48 PM

“Stay? Here?” asks Cosette, her face breaking into a wide grin.

“We could live like kings!” exclaims Chico, wiggling his whiskers in excitement.

Boris crosses his arms over his chest. “Are you forgetting something? We’re wild! Wild creatures! Not some common house pets!”

“Yeah! Wild!” agrees Paolo. He contorts his face into a feral expression and holds out his tiny paws in a poor attempt to appear intimidating.

Cosette and Chico seem to consider this for a moment. Each mouse looks one to the other and nods.

“Then we know what we have to do,” speaks Boris solemnly. “We must return to our home. But you may feel free to give us a ride.”

“And a new bed would be nice!” agrees Paolo.

“And food!” adds Cosette drooling.

“No,” says Chico firmly. “You can go if you want, but I’m staying with Sembas.”

The other mice stare at him incredulously.

Cosette grasps Chico’s arm. “Chico, you can’t.”

“Yes… I can. And I aim to! What if Sembas needs help? He’s just a goofy big person! He’s bound to get himself into all kinds of trouble. He needs someone to look out for him,” asserts Chico defiantly. “I’m staying.”

Regardless of the entreaties of his companions, Chico takes several broad steps forward and stops in front of your arm. With a little “Ooof!” he begins to climb his way up your arm and seats himself on your shoulder. “I’m staying with you, Sembas. You’ve got a friend for life. You’re stuck with me now!”

Cosette shakes her head. “I hope you know what you’re doing, Chico.”

“Nope!” beams Chico. “But that’s part of the fun! Not knowing!”


As you raise your pommel, you realize that Corvus isn’t slowing, and seconds later, the pommel connects firmly with his skull. Only...

The pommel and your hand pass straight through him.

It takes you only a moment to realize that Corvus has not actually moved an inch. He is still standing across from you. (Wisdom: Combat Tactics- Body Double) He holds his sides in laughter.

“Wow! You should see your face, Siron! Good one, huh? Drives my brother Dennan crazy! He hates it!” Corvus wipes tears of laughter from his eyes. “Maybe I’ll have to show you that one sometime.”


“Alviss speaks to you?” asks Blood. “Wow… I mean, the Divine talks to the Archon and the Fury at the cathedral, but no one has ever seen him, and he sure as hell never took the time to speak to me.” Blood shrugs. “I suppose it doesn’t matter who gets the orders though, as long as they are getting through somehow. Just might be nice if he actually told me himself that he’s there. I don’t doubt that he is, mind you. It would just be nice…” Blood trails off.


Lai considers your question. "I... I don't really know. I guess I haven't really thought about it. I remember being in a field.... A barren one. That was the first thing I saw. There were bodies everywhere. Dead Ageless and Forsaken alike. And there was... a voice. Deep... Resonating... It was everywhere. Above. Below. It was as if it surrounded me. It's voice was so deep, that it was hard to understand what it said."

"Then the next thing I know, I'm in this forest... Alone... I wandered around by myself for a bit. I don't know how long. Days, weeks, months, years. For me, there really is no sense of time. I stayed in the forest. Discovering things, imitating humans and animals. Then one day, I was in the woods sitting on a stump by a particularly chatty frog. We were having delightful conversation when a giant boot stomped down on him. He was squished and not moving... And I remember being... sad. I found I was surrounded by people. But none of them could see me if I didn't want them to. I could be invisible."

"Yet... I wasn't that day. None of them saw me until...there was this woman. Her eyes locked right on me. Like she saw me plain as day. Fortuna... that was what they called her... and of all the Forsaken I met, she was surely one of the most cruel. She did something to me... I don't know what... but it made it so I could no longer go where I pleased. She told me I belonged to her, and I would do whatever she or Lord Severan wished... And if I disobeyed..." Lai's eyes close and tears begin to form in the corners of her eyes. "If I refused... Then there was pain... So much pain."

"They took me back to Darastae. It is much like this place, but a dark, twisted, place. The roads are stained with blood. And instead of gold, the buildings are as black as soot." Lai shivers. "Pray you never see it, Fjorin. It was awful."
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Archdemon Stu on August 15, 2013, 09:30:38 PM
A field littered with corpses.  A peaceful forest.  Darastae.  Lai had been through much more than Fjorin had imagined.  She mentioned another name... Fortuna.  As he spoke with Lai, he steadily learned much of the enemy.  His new allies in the Ageless were great, but just what lay on the other side of the horizon?  If the Lady of Shadows retrieved a carnis and himself, only to be turned over to assist the Ageless... it meant that the scales favored the Forsaken.  Even when the Ageless had generals as powerful as Fury - a woman capable of defying the most commonly accepted law of nature with her blade alone.

Fortuna, Cauter, Severan... the warrior made a list in his head, and repeated their names to himself over and over again.  Fjorin was beginning to feel the true weight of the path before him.

"Pray you never see it, Fjorin. It was awful."

Fjorin thought on Lai's words for a moment, and let out a sigh, as if coming to some sort of acceptance.

"I will likely take many dangerous paths in my time with the Ageless, perhaps even Darastae... but know this, Lai: I will not ask you to follow.  Battle is all I know; but you are different.  You can find somewhere... another forest... this land is far from the reach of the Forsaken.  You can be at peace." He folded his arms on the table, his bracers making a dull thud, and his eyes gazed off to the side, feeling somewhat uncomfortable with sentiment, even toward a friend. "...I can... visit you."
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on August 15, 2013, 11:04:47 PM

"Stay?" A wide smile erupts over Lai's face. "Here? You mean to be... to be free? To be mastered by none?" Her eyes are bright at the suggestion, and she is visibly overwhelmed, but in a very positive way. But suddenly Lai's smile dissipates. "But... I... I can't. The Lady bid me to-" Lai quickly clasps her hand over her mouth. "I have an arrangement with her, and if I do not keep my part, then Aras will..." Lai shakes her head again. "Stupid, stupid, stupid! I can say no more, Fjorin. If I do, then surely the Lady will find out and she will not keep her word."

A forlorn expression takes the place of Lai's brief happiness. "No... I must ensure that the task is completed, and you are the best chance of achieving those ends. You are far stronger than you know. The Lady.... She spoke so highly of you. She believes you will be the one to restore the balance, though I know not how."
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: john greymore on August 16, 2013, 12:33:00 AM

Fenwick stood still, taking the onslaught of his seemingly omnipotent girlfriend. As an enemy, with just a flick of her hand or a random thought she could obliterate him twenty times over.

"I... Nothing will excuse me. I'm sorry. I need to... I have to... Perhaps I have a death wish." He shrugs as he finishes, shoulders drooped, now attempting to make eye contact, now avoiding it as much as he could. How could he face Cleo? All he required was patience to gain the required strength he needed. It was prophesied was it not?

Fenwick's mind races against such thoughts as part of him stood by his actions. No. Prophecy came true because of one's actions. He became a mage without formal training by his own willpower and discipline. He was destined to do great things; he was determined to fulfill that part.

With partial defiance, partial sorrow, he locks his eyes on Cleo's, brows frowed, lips curled in frustration, projecting all his determination and need to stand for himself. He projected them just as he did when he had slept with her not too long ago. A day? It felt like years... ages ago.

Every action had a consequence. Several, if one was lucky.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Kitharsis on August 16, 2013, 09:00:25 AM
"Friends for Life."  Sembas replies to Chico.  He offers his pointer finger and shakes Chico's paw in agreement.  Remembering himself, he gives a concerned look to Faile who is staring from her perch on his arm.  "A friend of mine is a friend of yours, girl.  Play nice."

Faile is quite indignant of this whole affair.  She gives a nod in response, even while eying Chico with annoyance.

Realizing that he has promised more than he actually has to give, Sembas sheepishly rubs the back of his head as he turns to Dennan.

"So, um...  Where do you think I could find a bed and some food for these three?  I would raid Archer's closet for pillows, but they all smell like Besnik.  I don't think they would appreciate falcon scented bedsheets."
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on August 16, 2013, 10:42:56 AM

"Fenwick, I do not desire apologies for foolish behavior. All I ask is that you desist in this madness! Someone could have gotten hurt!" She crosses the distance between the two of you and takes your hand in hers. "You could have gotten hurt, Wicky. I would be so... so lost without you. If something ever happened to you I would just go mad with grief. I know how strong you are, but if you keep putting yourself into these hazardous situations, then I truly fear for you. Dethys could have had you tossed out of Avalon for this offense. Or worse! It takes time to build trust within out people, and you just betrayed one of the few men who could have proven to be a huge asset to you."

The genuine concern is apparent in her eyes. "And for what, Wicky? For Serenity? To prove something to yourself? What? What has caused you to be so reckless?"


Dennan scratches his chin. "Well, I think there's someone here in town that would be able to provide a very suitable bed for your friend. Merchant. He has a shop not far from the city square. He offers all manner of goods. Mostly toys and trinkets he makes himself. I am sure he would have some rather life-like doll furniture that would probably do quite well. Or if you prefer something more simple, I am sure he could be convinced to offer you some of the fluff he uses to stuff his toys."

"Whatsit? A doll?" questions Boris. "Are they friendly? Or are they mean like those fluttering chickens?"

"Who cares!" cries Cosette. "A new bed, Boris!"

Paolo scratches his ears. "What's fluff? Sounds like a comfy word. Flllllluuuuuuuffffff. Just say it, Boris. Fluuuufffffff."

Boris cuffs him on the back of the head. "Ridiculous, Paolo. For just a moment, can't you act as if your brain is larger than a pea!"

Paolo shrugs. "Fine, but I'm not so sure it is. I have a small head. Unlike that think sitting upon your neck. Looks like a watermelon mounted on a twig."

Boris moves to cuff Paolo again, but Cosette inserts herself between them.

Dennan chuckles. "As for food, you are welcome to take your friends to my larders and pantry and allow them to help themselves. We have plenty of food here. It won't be missed."
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Archdemon Stu on August 16, 2013, 10:48:15 AM
Fjorin's eyes went wide with realization.  No, he only had speculations at this point, but if he was reading Lai's words correctly... The Lady of Shadows was even more dangerous than he had originally thought.

"But... I... I can't. The Lady bid me... I have an arrangement with her, and if I do not keep my part, then Aras will..."

The Lady of Shadows needed Lai to carry out a task.  What it was, he knew not, but if Lai did not comply, something would happen to Aras.  Pieces of the puzzle put themselves together, but Fjorin wondered if they were doing so correctly.  Lai also mentioned that The Lady believed Fjorin would bring balance... though, in what manner, he could not fathom.

No, he had to compose himself.  The more he figured out, the more he would distress Lai, and if Fjorin's suspicions were correct, Aras may come to harm - yet, even this was entirely an unconfirmed suspicion.  For now, he would be cooperative.  He was still missing many pieces, and it would be foolish to over-think the details.

He let out a heavy sigh, and relaxed his arms. "My apologies, M'lady.  I'm afraid I could hardly hear you over the merriment, and I believe the drink has gone to my head." he lied, and he was bad at it.  He looked Lai in the eyes, and reassured her, "Whatever was said though... I trust you, Lai.  And though you may not have a home in Avalon yet... you know you have one with me." This time, his eyes did not escape to the side.

Feeling somewhat awkward in his own flesh trying to comfort the spirit however, he hastily waved a hand to any server that may be available.  It was rare he showed sentiment, being raised in a clan of burly warriors, and he did not mind it, but it was difficult to do so without some form of anxiety.  Mead usually helped, and Fjorin was a large man... there was much drinking to do.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: john greymore on August 16, 2013, 11:47:04 AM
Her hand, soft and gentle, is a contrast to the harsh situation that they were in right now. She still trusted him, or at least had an inkling of trust left. If there was one that could understand, it was her. She could. Maybe. Mustering his courage, he gave words to the thoughts that had been plaguing him since their mission. They pour out with scarcely a pause.

"I'm scared! I'm scared of the Forsaken! I'm scared of the Shadow Lady! I'm scared of the Immortalis! I'm scared of my allies! I don't want to die!!! When I, along with the others, did our sparring, I did nothing! Could DO nothing!!!"

His hands flail about. Fear and madness wild, once buried within him, now burst forth clear as the day within eyes that dart now here, now there.

"I panicked then!!!! And that was just a SPAR! A PRACTICE!!!!!! Cael... He... He killed Constancy as if he were a fly! And he had others with him. Sig could do nothing. Blood could do nothing. And they have lived ages and ages!!!"

Thus was his internal steam vented, replaced slowly, part by part, with numbing apathy that searched his soul and found it wanting. Then apathy clashed with remnant passion and fused together as one and demanded release. This monster he gave life to with voice soft like a babe's.

"I felt alone. So alone. I have you and I have the others, but it felt so... ineffective. I don't know why I helped her. It was logical not to."

He does not know whether to continue. It could be dangerous. It would be dangerous.

But by all that is he had already crossed so many lines both obvious and invisible; what, then, was danger?

"Part of me wanted to see her die. I know it sounds evil, heartless. I don't know why... No. I do. It was some... sick and twisted desire for confirmation of our- of my helplessness. That part of me gave order and reasoned that her death would serve us better... It would have given us information, if set up correctly. And if all fails, well... I have already died once anyway."

He found himself on the floor, his breathing haggard and inconsistent, like a rabbit that knows it is about to die.

"Cleo. I have met you but for a few short days and already your power is apparent. Yet, I am not the powerful mage you see in your future... I am not worthy of your love..."

To him who had never felt romantic love, her love did seem so absurd, so unreal. But he knew about gratitude and thanks.

"Though you little know me and have seen the consequences of my actions, you have listened to me... Know that whatever you wish to do either for me or against me, I am grateful. And... and again, for whatever it's worth, I'm sorry."

In his mind, he puts himself on trial with his girlfriend as judge, jury, and, if necessary, executioner.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Radobe on August 16, 2013, 11:58:48 AM
Siron was stunned by the shock of his hand and pommel passing through the man’s head. It is only after seeing his opponent’s laughing visage that he regains his composure.

“Wow! You should see your face, Siron! Good one, huh? Drives my brother Dennan crazy! He hates it!” Corvus wipes tears of laughter from his eyes. “Maybe I’ll have to show you that one sometime.”

The young knight gives out a frustrated smile and a nod of agreement. “Yes you do that” Siron takes a deep breath “and when the time is right,” With a grin on his face he charges Corvus once more (STRENGTH: ATHLETICS).  “I will teach you the skill of falling on your ass!” Siron runs at him full throttle. When he closes in, he jumps and with his sword high above his head, he slams it down full force as he falls. The thought that he might hurt his ally does not even occur to him anymore. Though he realized there is no way for him win an exchange of any kind, it was fun to fight with all he had against the Ageless.

Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on August 16, 2013, 12:37:58 PM

Cleo appears aghast at the idea that you would be so willingly to sacrifice Serenity to the altar of knowledge. A vast array of expressions affect her face as your dizzying speech serves as both apology and confession. In her silence, her eyes betray anger, fear, sadness, and worry. When finally you decide to put your fate into her hands, she is silent for a moment, contemplative. Her expression changes again, this time to one of understanding and acceptance. Despite all you have done in the short time you arrived back in Avalon, and all the foolish decisions you have made, she cannot bring herself to judge you. Cleo, once Cleominae Kharis in her mortal life, had been robbed of her future by those who were so quick to pass judgment on her for matters beyond her control. The scars of their hatred and condemnation could still be seen upon her body in the passing shadows of the moonlight. You know in your heart she could never do the same to you.

She seats herself beside you and pulls her legs up to her chest, much like a child might do to comfort itself. She gently rocks back and forth in silence, choosing her words carefully, then abandoning any sense of forethought for purely speaking what is in her heart.

“The road you find yourself on now can only lead to darkness, Fenwick. It will only lead to tragedy. You were so quick to cast the lives of both Serenity and yourself aside for the sake of knowledge that can be obtained in other ways. I know not why you would so willingly waste the gifts the Divine has given you. We will find a way to defeat our enemies, but enough lives are lost on the front lines that throwing ourselves at death’s door will accomplish nothing. If anything ever happened to you… I would never forgive myself. And you… You were so quick to cast Serenity aside for your own gain. What if a greater sacrificed had been required for you to gain your knowledge? Would you have cast others into the flames? Your companions? Your friends? Even… me?”

“You treat your life as a curse! The Divine gave you a second chance! Don’t you see that? It’s because he saw something in you, the same thing that I saw the moment I met you. I knew right away that I would be an honored observer to the great man you will one day become. You’re not there yet, but you’ll find your way. One day you will realize just what you are capable of. You are both warrior and sage in the same vessel! Yet, if you cannot believe in yourself, how can you expect your brethren to? You must be stronger than this, Fenwick.”

“The Adversary and his ilk seem so strong, but really, they are wrought with weakness. They have such difficulty conquering us, so they seek to do so through our minds. All your fear, doubts, and insecurities, they are tools of the Adversary. He is attempting to sway you from the righteousness of the Divine.”

Cleo scoots closer to you, laying her head upon your shoulder. “I wish for the world I could take away all the pain and fear you feel. This is all new and frightening for you, and that’s okay, Wicky. It’s okay to be afraid. I have felt as you do, it is by good fortune and the will of the Divine that I am here. I should have perished in those flames! There have even been days, where I wish I had… Perhaps then I would be with my family. Yet, I know in my heart it is the will of the Divine that I serve some greater purpose. Had I died hundreds of years ago, then I would never have met you, and never would have loved as I do.”

“In the few short weeks I have known you, you have completely changed my life. I, too, had given into grief. I let my own guilt absorb me until there was very little Cleo left. It was only through you I was able to live and breathe again. Before, I was little more than a walking corpse, going through the motions of each day, stuck in some self-inflicted purgatory of my own sorrow. I do not wish for you to suffer the same.”

She reaches up her hand to gently brush the hair from your forehead. “I promise you, that this too shall pass. I do not know what darkens your faith. I cannot restore that to you… but I know someone who can help. You must just be patient, Fenwick. All will be revealed to you in time, that I assure you, and until then, you must take these unfortunate events, and learn from them.”
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on August 16, 2013, 12:57:47 PM

Corvus’s eyes widen at as your barrel towards him and he has only moments to react to the onslaught you intend to unleash upon him.

“Yikes!” He quickly manages to dodge out of your path (DEXTERITY: Dodge) but you have managed to surprise him with your tenacity. Unable to collect himself fast enough to react with his weapon, he lashes out with a mighty kick towards your torso, connecting with your chest. It causes you to stumble backwards, but you are able to maintain enough balance that you do not fall to the ground.

“Well, I’ve got to give it to you, Siron. You have a whole lot of power bottled up in there. As for teaching me to fall on my ass, you haven’t met my brother yet, have you? Believe me! I’ve been bested by him in just about any form he can muster! He once even managed to best me as a squirrel if you can believe that!”

A voice calls out from near the fence that surrounds the training yard. “Corvus!”

You can see a young man, likely in his early teens. His shaggy black hair falls over his piercing blue eyes and he is dressed in black pants, finely made boots, and a black doublet. You notice they have very similar features. Brothers, perhaps?

“Corvus!” he calls again.

Corvus glances towards him, but never fully takes his eyes off you, in case you attempt a surprise attack. “Yes, Bran?”

The young man leans on the fence. “Mother sent me to get you. She says you should come home for dinner. You and Dennan are both late.”

“Tell her 10 more minutes!” pleads Corvus.

The young man, Bran, shakes his head. “Unh-unh. I’m not telling her anything. You want to stay out here and mess around you tell her yourself,” he replies firmly.

“Fine,” Corvus sighs in exasperation. He turns his attention back to you. “You don’t say no to the General. Well, I suppose you could but… it usually doesn’t end very pleasant. It’s family tradition. Even now that we’re grown we still have dinner with our mother once a week. I don’t suppose you’d want to come with, would you, Siron? You were kind enough to spar with me. It’s the least I can do.” Corvus looks back to Bran for confirmation.

Bran nods in agreement. “Mom won’t mind. You’re welcome to come. There’s always room for more.”

Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Kitharsis on August 16, 2013, 01:35:05 PM
Sembas chuckles along with Dennan while the mice carry on and bicker between themselves.

"Lets go and pay Merchant a visit."  He motions for them to join Chico on his shoulder.  Luckily his leather shoulder pad is wide enough to accommodate 4 excited mice.

"We'll raid your pantry on the way back, Dennan.  No sense carrying mountains of food with us through the town square."  Sembas says with a wink to his shoulder dwelling company.

"Mountains made out of food?"  Paolo exclaims.  Even Boris can't hold in his excitement at the thought.

"Lets get this bed business out of the way so we can tend to these larders, eh?  Chop chop!"  He claps his paws together with authority.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Radobe on August 16, 2013, 02:08:49 PM
“Tch!” Siron exclaims, as his sword hits the ground beneath Corvus’s feet. He takes a quick glance, while tightening his grip and getting ready to follow up his attack. Instead, however, he gets a powerful kick in the chest. It was a good thing that the knight didn’t have time to stand up, otherwise rather than stumbling backwards a few steps, he would have found himself in a nasty predicament. Though he could endure the damage of a lot of blows, the very thought of getting one to the groin brings a tear to the eye.

“Yikes!”… “He once even managed to best me as a squirrel if you can believe that!”

The image of Corvus Virtue, with his golden hair, jumping around in his armor and trying to get rid of a squirrel, which is going up and down his body, makes the young knight shake with laughter.  “Ha-ha-ha! That I have to see!”


A sudden voice is heard and for a split second draws Siron’s attention away. After which he quickly turns towards Corvus, hoping to get another opportunity to jump the man unexpected, but alas his opponent does not take his eyes off from the knight again. The unfamiliar voice comes from the back of the surrounding fence. The young man at the fence holds remarkable resemblance to Virtue.

“Corvus!”… “You were kind enough to spar with me. It’s the least I can do.”

Though most of the time he spent with his father, was during his childhood, he had learned quite a lot from him. One of the things he learned was to not refuse a chance to get acquainted with the higher echelons of society. Though until now he did not know, that the boy was the general’s son, he knew he was not just anybody.

“I would be honored to accept your invitation, if you would have me at your table.” Says Siron with a slight bow. “Though I am not certain if I should notify captain Honor of my absence before we depart.  After all, it is my first night in Avalon, perhaps he shall be worried if I am nowhere to be found.”

After they depart Siron ask the brothers a question.

“During our travel here, captain Honor mentioned the general. Though he did not speak at length I was left with the impression that she is a remarkable person and yet” Siron looks at them both before continuing. “I haven’t heard much at all about the Archon. If it isn’t too rude and personnel of me to ask, do you mind telling me what kind of a man your father is?” His voice has changed, from the erratic and fun having tone he had during the spar, to a more monotone one, devoid of emotion and full of respect.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Cameron on August 16, 2013, 02:50:05 PM
Sigurd thinks back to his audience with the All-father as Blood trails off.

"Now don't get me wrong, lass. It's not like we're all off havin a pint with dear old dad every day. He's got a very busy schedule. Constantly building and inventing new things when he's not busy makin more of us. That's how all of us are. We build and create and mine... well, 'cept for me. I can make things fine... better at it drunk than sober, but my real gift is my music. The father loves my music so much that he channels his power through it when I play. That's why everyone was dancin that time we were sparring. And that's why he took time out of his busy schedule to talk to me personally."

Sig had produced his lute while he as speaking and now idly strums a few chords on it. He (and probably Blood) can feel the power building in even those few random chords.

"And that's why he sent me here, lass. I am not just an ambassador of my people. I am an extension of the will of Alviss himself. And I plan on makin him proud."
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on August 16, 2013, 02:51:13 PM

Bran shakes his head in bewilderment. “You even have to ask? What kind of a man is Dad? He’s the… uh… best kind!” Despite the awkwardness of his comment, his words come out in an almost reverent tone. You can tell that there is certainly some hero worship as far as his father is concerned.

On the other hand, Corvus simply shrugs dismissively. “Enh… He’s okay.”

Bran’s face immediately reddens and he appears as if he is about to say something he may regret.

Corvus raises his hands in defense. “I’m kidding, I’m kidding! Nah, Dad’s great. But that’s just it. Growing up, I never really knew my Dad was so important… to Avalon, to all the Ageless, to our society as a whole. It’s as if all of our people draw strength and hope from him. I was probably about five when it hit me that he was really something special. Until then, he was just Dad.”

“It’s hard not having him here all the time,” adds Bran.

Corvus nods in agreement. “It’s been like that for the past couple decades now. Ever since the Forsaken began to gain strength. It’s been even worse this past year. It’s kind of the rule of things. The three of us have grown accustomed to how it works. Mom and Dad are easily the two most powerful Ageless the Divine ever created. Makes sense because they were the first two to ever exist. But, to ensure the Forsaken don’t manage to gain ground, one of them is always here in Avalon to protect the city, and one is always on the front lines. We get to see the two of them together for a few days at a time, but rarely more than that. It was different when we were kids. They both had the chance to be home with us. Now it seems it is either or.”

“It’s got to be hard for them,” says Bran. “Being away from each other like that. Has to be hard to be parted from the person you love.”

Corvus’s entire expression changes and you can see his typically jovial attitude dissipate into a cloud of grief and sorrow.

Bran immediately regrets his comment, but does not elaborate. He merely puts a hand on his brother’s shoulder. “The Archon is everything the Ageless stand for. He is just and honorable. He is compassionate, yet fierce in battle. He shows mercy, yet he has the power to fell Forsaken and their creatures of darkness with ease. Not to mention, he is one of the sole people the Divine will speak to directly.”

“Yeah, Divine isn’t exactly a chatty fellow.” You can see Corvus’s smile has returned. “He doesn’t speak to his children much directly, but when he needs to, it is usually Dad he calls upon. Mom, too, when the occasion warrants it.”

Bran continues. “Dad tells us we have to protect those weaker than us, so we’re often sent to help in the human realm.”

“That is really the whole point of the Ageless,” comments Corvus. “If you ask Dad, we’re here to protect mortals. If the Adversary were to be able to get his army through the front lines, a living nightmare would fall upon the Earth. It is the actions of the Ageless on the frontlines that ensure the Adversary cannot come through. The Adversary can’t get through on his own. That’s why he needs his soldiers: the Forsaken, the Carnis, the Lykaon, all these awful beings that are bent on destroying what is good in the world.”

“It won’t happen, though,” assures Bran. “Dad would never let it happen.”

Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: john greymore on August 18, 2013, 11:53:22 AM
Would he sacrifice Cleo? Would he? That was a question for which he had no answers. Frightening images of her screaming as she died because of some action he had done imprinted his mind and molded it with fear.

But that was not reality. For now, Cleo's head was on his shoulder. It was a physical weight that he could feel and comprehend instantly. Perhaps she would also be the one to hold him down in spirit.

This fact allays his fears, but does not vanquish it completely. Still... Cleo... Cleo needed him. The danger, while visible, still remained in the distance. Still...

"I...I don't know what to do. I'm scared, but I'll continue on as it is. Still, I am bound to Avalon."

Again, that was both a problem and a relief. The problem of choice, to choose whether to join his friends and risk dying again or staying here, had been removed. Now he had to find a way to proceed from his station, disadvantaged as he was.

"I'm sorry Cleo. Solitude has guided your steps through your years and has worn you down. I need some of that solitude now to gather my thoughts. Again... Thank you."

He tries to move away, to make his way towards the library, hoping to maybe find more information on either the Forsaken or the Shadow Lady. To anyone looking, however, it is evident that he is about to physically collapse.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Radobe on August 18, 2013, 04:02:01 PM
Siron walked silently and listened. He was absorbing the information they were giving him. His question was motivated by his desire to know who those that lead the Bulwark of Heaven are. It was true that he did not expect anything but praise from his sons, but still they were the one who knew him best, so he listened carefully.

“You even have to ask? What kind of a man is Dad?... Dad would never let it happen.”

“From what I hear, I gather that your father and mother are the ones holding this city together.” he waits a second to see an approving look in their eyes. “I see that you know him very well and that you hold him in very high regard.” He gives a warm smile as he speaks. His emotionless and respectful voice begins to change, to one filled with warmth and something akin to joy. “Then again, he does sound like a man everyone would admire.” He give both of them a small bow. “Thank you for telling me all this. Perhaps someday I would have the opportunity to see the Archon on the front lines myself.”

Protecting those weaker than yourself is truly a noble goal, one Siron can stand behind. Even though he had heard plenty about the Bulwark of Heaven and had made his mind to join it, he was still confused with all that had happened. Though he said he will move on in the pub, as soon as something familiar happened, his thoughts still drifted to his mortal life. The admiration the brothers had for their father reminded him, how little he knew about his. He loved his father a lot, but he was never part of his affairs. Thinking on that made the knight rather sad. His face remained the same, though his smile now was not so convincing.

“We should hurry, we don’t want to make the general wait.” Said Siron with smooth voice.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on August 23, 2013, 11:04:12 AM

Merchant’s shop is easy enough to find being not far from the city square. The storefront has a single large window to display a few of his wares. There is a large, brown, stuffed bear, so intricately constructed in its detail that it looks as if it could come alive at any moment. There are flowers sculpted from glass and crystal, gorgeous gold filigree rings, jeweled pendants, and a small tin insect that would move if the crank was turned. Above the doorway is a large brown sign with gold writing proclaiming the place to be Merchant’s Curiosities and General Goods.

As you enter the store, you find the name is apropos: it is a wild mix of the mundane and magnificent. The shopkeeper, presumably Merchant himself, is bent over a crafting table on the right side of the store. Despite the fact when you entered it triggered a little bell to alert him of your presence, he does not look up from his work. Bronze-colored goggles with seemingly opaque black lenses hide his eyes from view, and little sparks erupt from the tool in his hands. It is apparent his attention is consumed by his work, but after several minutes he looks up as if noticing you for the first time.

“Ah! Hello!” He removes the goggles from his head, revealing dark brown eyes. His soot black hair is short and unkempt, and there is a certain wildness and excitement in his expression. He quickly notices your tiny companions. “Mice! Mice!” He rushes forward, scoops up Cosette and holds her at eye level.

“Perfect! Perfect! I have this teeny tiny gear that for the life of me I just can’t keep in place. You’ll do just fine!” He carries Cosette over to the table and shows her how to hold the gear in place. He then crosses to a box of minute tools, extracts one, and attaches the gear in place.

“What is it?” questions Cosette, tilting her head from side to side.

“Ah! It’s a horse! A little horse that can walk with but a press of this button!” He turns the horse over and presses the button to demonstrate it. You realize that if he can speak to the animals then he, too, must possess some knowledge of Shapeshifting.

“You can understand us?” asks Boris.

“An acquired feat. As a child, mice were my best friends! Much friendlier than the rats that lived in the sewers of Onostaal. Very good company. Very good,” says Merchant agreeably. So he’s not a shapeshifter… just… crazy.

You have heard of the near legendary kingdom of Onostaal. However, you also know that Onostaal has not existed for at least 200 years. It was destroyed by the Aglicans, from the neighboring country of Aglica. The people of Onostaal had been far from militant. They had not even had an army!  The war had been an absolute massacre, and by the end of it, very few inhabitants of the peaceful city of Onostaal remained. What had once been the kingdom of Onostaal was not controlled by the Aglicans.

“Ooooh!” responds Cosette in awe. “I love it! It’s brilliant!”

“Why thank you, my dear! Here. You can give it a go!” He picks up Cosette and places her on the horse. “Just hit the button, little one. Oh! Let’s get you on to the floor, though. It would be a nasty fall if you’d go galloping off this counter.” He sets Cosette and the tiny horse upon the floor, allowing the little mouse to race laps around the entire store.

“Come on, Cosette! Let us try!” pleads Paolo.

“Pshaw! I’m not getting on that thing!” cries Boris. “I can barely trust my own two feet, let alone some miniature steed!”

Merchant turns his attention to you. “So… What can I do for you, good sir?”


   You follow the brothers toward their family home, located on the north side of the town. On the way there, you see a man harboring a cluster of tiny field mice as he makes his way to a place called Merchant’s Curiosities and General Goods.

   When you finally arrive at the home of the Archon and the General, you are greeted with a sight unlike any you have ever seen before. You have heard of homes like these in distant lands, but nowhere you have ever ventured. Every aspect of the place is accented in brilliant golds, deep crimson reds, and onyx black. As you draw nearer to the abode, in the distance you can see a beautiful waterfall that feeds into a pond where large fish swim. They are magnificent creatures in vibrant hues of orange, gold, silver, white and black. Small, red-leafed trees can be seen throughout the property, and on the path that leads to the front door, two, large, pink cherry blossom trees flank either side. Two intricately carved guardians, something between dragons and large cats, diligently stand watch just before entrance to the porch, and tiny, potted trees rest upon the banisters.

   You follow Corvus and Bran through the front doors and are greeted with the vast amount of weapons, armor, and décor that line the hallways. Having studied the art of the knight, you realize that this is not the plate or chain armor you would find in these parts of the world. There are sets that look much like fish scales bound together, and a very impressive crimson set of armor constructed from connected plates and a chestpiece of an obsidian-colored steel. The helmet has a fearsome demon-like appearance, and horns adorn the top.

   There are several swords upon the wall, all very unique from the typical swords that had been found in your kingdom. These blades are slender with a noticeable curve and appear to be sharpened on only one side. You have heard of warriors that would wear such armor and wield these weapons: Saburau. They were much like many of the knights you have met, adhering to a strict code of discipline and honor.

   “Dad had all this sent here from Mom’s country. She says it reminds her of home,” explains Corvus.

   You follow Corvus and Bran through the house and to a large dining room in the east wing. There is a massive table on the floor, but you quickly notice it does not seem to be the right height. The chairs that surround it have no legs and rest firmly on the floor, and interspersed between these seats are large, comfortable pillows.

   General Fury can be heard in another room, speaking with another Ageless.

   “Sounds like Uncle is here,” speaks Bran.

   Corvus and Bran seat themselves at the table, and Corvus gestures for you to sit next to him.

   Fury enters the dining room and she looks vastly different than your last encounter. You get the impression she is a woman who is rarely seen without her armor, which makes her appearance all the more intriguing. She is dressed in a plain, black, full-length robe made of silk. Her dark brown hair cascades over her shoulders, and her remaining eye passes from each of her children to you. In this more casual attire, you realize that the General is exceedingly beautiful. It is no wonder that the Archon chose her for his bride. Despite her beauty, there is still a certain aura of intimidation in her presence. You have seen the man beside her before, at the funeral in fact. He has long, pale, blonde hair and piercing green eyes. He is dressed in long sage and cream-colored mage's robes.

   “Hi, Uncle Dethys,” greets Corvus.

   “Are you staying for dinner?” asks Bran hopefully.

   “Oh, hello boys,” Dethys responds, returning their greeting. “I’m afraid it has been a rather stressful day, so I won’t be joining you all for dinner this evening. I fear one of our new Childer Immortalis, Fenwick, has landed himself in quite a mess. His behavior this evening has me at an absolute loss for words.”

   “You’re never at a loss for words, Uncle,” jests Corvus.

   “Ha! Right you are,” says Dethys, clapping him on the shoulder. “But I must be going. Have a pleasant evening boys, and you as well, Siron.” He winks at you. Strange that he should know who you are, but then you recall Honor had mentioned him by name. In fact, had he not been the one who had sent Honor to fetch you? “I’m supposing Honor might not know where you are. I’ll let him know you are here. Good night, Deya.”

   “Good night, Dethys,” responds Fury as he disappears out the door.

   She seats herself at the table and frowns as her gaze falls upon her sons. “I told you… No weapons and armor at the table.”

   “Yes, mother,” resonds her sons simultaneously.

Corvus and Bran vanish into other rooms in the house, and when they return they are both dressed in far simpler attire. Corvus wears a fine, white, linen shirt and trousers, and Bran is dressed identically, except for his shirt is black instead of white.

“What about Siron?” asks Corvus. “He’s wearing armor.”

“He is a guest and can wear whatever he pleases,” replies Fury.

The doors burst open and three massive dire wolves bound into the room. The one at the front of the pack stops at the end of the table while the other two, a large black wolf and an even bigger white wolf, run into the kitchen. Seconds later, you watch as the dire wolf at the table transforms into a massive Ageless. He is nearly seven feet tall and his skin is adorned with thick, black tribal tattoos. He wears a simple cotton shirt with a piece of leather fastening the top together, brown trousers, and a brown, leather doublet. He crosses the room and seats himself to the left of General Fury. He kisses her upon the cheek and sets his gaze at the empty plate in front of him.

“I’m not late, am I, mother?” he asks. “Tell me Bran hasn’t cleaned us out of dumplings.”

“No, Denny, you’re right on time,” replies Corvus.

“Good!” responds Dennan with a grin. His gaze falls to you. “One of the Childer?” he asks Corvus.

Corvus nods. “Siron of the House of Entrima.”

Dennan’s expression becomes somber. “My condolences on the passing of your father,” offers Dennan. “I met him once while I was traveling with my own father and Captain Honor. He seemed a great man.”

Fury nods in agreement. “He was, indeed. He was a great friend to the Ageless of Avalon, and it is my hope that we will be able to return his kindness to his son. I am sorry we did not have a chance to speak at more length. Unfortunately there were extenuating circumstances.”

“Has anyone talked to Serenity yet?” questions Bran. “I hope she is doing okay.”

“I’ll pop over there after dinner. Go check in on her,” offers Corvus.

“I think that would be a good gesture,” agrees Fury. “You boys must be famished. Good thing Jonas cooked more than necessary.”

Right on cue, a massive man with dark brown skin enters the dining room. He looks more like a warrior than a chef, but as your gaze falls upon his belt that holds an enormous butcher’s blade and a large knife, it is not inconceivable that he is both. His arms are overflowing with plates of food and pitchers of drinks. He quickly arranges everything on the table.

Bran begins to heap food upon his plate. “Thank you so much, Jonas! Your cooking is always a special treat!”

General Fury pours herself a cup of tea. “Yes, thank you Philosophy.”

“The pleasure is mine,” replies Jonas. “Now, I must be getting back to my apprentice. I just had him practice dicing the smallest peppers I could find. It’s a precision exercise. Knowing Faran, he has likely done an excellent job… or accidentally hacked into his thumb again. It’s really hit or miss with that young man. Good evening to you all.” Jonas quickly excuses himself.    

Everyone at the table begins to select from the numerous plates in front of them. There are marinated bits of chicken and beef, long, brown noodles in some kind of sauce, white rice, a plate of raw, pink fish. All of it looks and smells delicious.

“So, Siron, what do you aim to do now that you have another chance at life?” asks Corvus.

“Yes… What do you intend to do?” wonders Fury.


   “And what exactly brings glory to Alviss?” questions Blood. “Truth be told, we know so little about him. Tell me of Adalstein, Sig. What’s it like? No mortal or Immortalis has ever been invited in its halls.”


   The streets are beginning to quiet down as Ageless find their way from the tavern back to their homes. The gilded roads of Avalon are empty, save for Muse and Lurien Honor who walk arm and arm away from the tavern. There is still plenty of carousing going on within Calming’s establishment, but it seems it is far less crowded than it had been earlier. You continue on your way towards the library. There is only one other Ageless present, a man you recognize as Aloysius Keeper. He is seated at a table with a stack of books arranged in front of him. He gives you a nod of acknowledgment as you enter, but does not redirect his focus from the book he is reading.

   At first, you’re not really sure where to start. The library is massive and it is difficult to ascertain the arrangement of the shelves. Searching for information on the Lady of Shadows is like searching for a needle in a haystack. However, after wandering around for a bit, you locate a tome dedicated to some explanation of the Forsaken. By looking at the cover, you realize that you know the author, Jonas Philosophy. The book contains a great deal of general information about the Forsaken. It details a few of the high-ranking members of their society, Severan Deceit, being chief among them. You are reminded that he was not always called Deceit. In fact, the Archon, so sure that Severan could be swayed from his fate, had been given the heart’s name Severan Victor. Was Severan’s fate truly predetermined? Or was his turn to evil a matter of choice? Even Cleo had not been able to confirm the event would be static? Had Severan remained an Ageless, so much pain could have been avoided.

   You realize that while the book does not give you as much information as you would like, one of the best resources on the Forsaken is in this very city: Jonas Philosophy. Was he not a Forsaken at one point? He would have intimate knowledge of the inner-workings of the Forsaken.


Lai seems uneasy at first. You can tell that worry burdens her mind. Her experiences with both the Forsaken and the Lady of Shadows obviously had great effect on the spirit, yet she brightens considerably when you assure her of your trust, and the promise of your friendship.

“Fjorin… I am a bit nervous to have to speak with the General tomorrow. Promise you won’t let her send me away. I don’t want to leave. I can’t.”

A woman’s voice replies to Lai’s fears. “I don’t think you have to worry about that.” Gladia Archer appears behind you. “There is much knowledge to be gained from a Carnis… uh… from you, Lai. Though I must admit, these are very unusual circumstances. For one of your kind to even be allowed into Avalon is unprecedented.”

“I think if more of us were, you would see less of us on the field of battle,” responds Lai. “I have encountered others of my kind before, but only briefly. The Forsaken go to great lengths to ensure we do not have much time to discourse among ourselves. Perhaps they fear if we did, we would strive harder to change our situations. No… They prey upon our fear, and that is enough to keep us under their command. They inflict pain upon us, and since we cannot truly die, it is a pain that, should they will it, may never end.”

Archer considers this for a moment. “So you see yourselves as victims?”

Lai shrugs. “We do not choose to join the Forsaken. If we do things you perceive as wrong, it is only to spare ourselves agony. We are not simply born and decide to ruthlessly attack Ageless. That is not our true nature. If it were up to us, we would simply float about the earth taking in the sights and sounds, content to float along wherever the winds take us. If there was but a way to liberate my people from the clutches of the Forsaken, I am sure the majority of us would choose freedom over domination.”
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: john greymore on August 24, 2013, 05:56:04 AM
Fenwick stares into, and through, the tome before him. He had taken it down after realising that Jonas Philosophy was the author.

It was no use right now. He was both mentally and physically exhausted from what had happened and he needed to stop. Making a mental note of Jonas Philosophy's involvement, Fenwick grumbles a little as he tries to make what little sense he can from the tome as he fights sleep off for as long as he can.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Radobe on August 24, 2013, 11:47:06 AM
The rest of the walk to the general’s house is uneventful, for the exception of the short encounter of a man carrying mice to what seemed to be a general store.
Siron is surprised by the estate and the weapons and armors collection of the general. He had only heard of such houses and he had seen smithies that didn’t have even half as much gear as the hallways. At that point the young knight though there is nothing else to surprise him, but he was sorely mistaken. The general he had seen earlier, the fierce warrior he heard about, one of Avalon’s finest, was an astoundingly beautiful woman. The final surprise, for the time being, was the pack of dire wolfs and more precisely, the leading wolf’s transformation into Dennan. The man was easily one of the biggest humans Siron had ever seen. Remembering his recent conversation with Corvus, he looks at the blond man and gives a nod of understanding. That must have been one huge squirrel he faced.

“My condolences on the passing of your father,” ...  „Unfortunately there were extenuating circumstances.”

Siron nods in agreement, he witnessed himself the extenuating circumstances she was talking about.

“Has anyone talked to Serenity yet?” … “Yes… What do you intend to do?” wonders Fury.

Siron was in the middle of mixing together some of the pink fish and the white rice into his plate and took his time to finish before answering.

“At first” he begins slowly. “I wanted revenge. I hated and loathed my brothers, for what they did to my father, for betraying the House of Entrima, but most of all… for what they did to me.” He takes a short pause and thinks on what he is about to say. “A part of me wanted to cry and forget, but another part of me…” His eyes widened and his breath became slightly erratic. “It wanted me to slaughter them, to take the weapons and armor I was given, find them and kill them as they plead for mercy…”  The knight takes in a deep breath. “That part was… strong. I believe it was thanks to Captain Honor that I managed to overcome it. “His eyes begin to light up with excitement as he continues. “When I was at my academy, I could never truly become a knight. There it was a profession. The time I spent with Lurien and all he told me of, it rekindled my desires once more. The story of the Bulwark of Heaven and The Forsaken, The Divine who has given us a second chance and a few words about the brave General Fury. I felt like a small child watching as knights strode through our hallways.” With determination in his eyes and a smile on his face, Siron continues. “Until now I only studied how to be a knight, but in this conflict between Ageless and Forsaken, I intend to truly become a knight and prove that I am one!”

Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Kitharsis on August 26, 2013, 11:09:34 AM
A mechanical horse so tiny that it takes mouse hands to complete.  Sembas watches with great amusement as Cosette gallops through the shop.

It seems this Merchant fellow is yet another oddity of Avalon.  Speaking to the mice is second nature to him, something he picked up in... Onostaal?

The tragedy of Onostaal is one Sembas was taught when he first joined his town's militia.  The peaceful kingdom of Onostaal fell with barely a sword raised in defense.  A fate the militia would not allow to happen to their hometown.  The falconer takes a moment to consider the shopkeep's comment about the sewers paired with the fall of the kingdom.  A rough life.  No wonder he spends his time tinkering and making beautiful things.

Merchant turns his attention to Sembas. “So… What can I do for you, good sir?”

Sembas returns his question with a warm grin.  "I wager you are the one called Merchant."  He states while offering a handshake in greeting.  "I am Sembas Filden, one of the younger occupants of Avalon.  I owe these mice the promise of a new bed for their home in the woods, and Dennan said you were the man for the job.  Do you have a bit of fluff lying around that they could take back with them?"

With another smile he adds, "And if there is anything I can do for you in return, please do let me know."
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Archdemon Stu on August 26, 2013, 05:19:40 PM
Fjorin was relieved that one of the Ageless - though clearly with her doubts - decided to speak with Lai, and learn from her.  Lai spoke of the true nature of the carnis; that they are not beings of inherent evil.  How they are captured and forced into servitude.

Once again, Fjorin repeated the names Lai had given him in his head... as the spirit spoke of liberation, his thoughts traveled to Darastae, and Fortuna.  If she was the one who had captured Lai, there was a good chance that seeking more information on "Fortuna" would reveal more important information on the carnis and their slavery.

Now was not the time, however.  He stood up to address the Ageless.  He recognized her from the Lady of Shadow's lair.

When Fiorin speaks, he draws the attention of all the Immortalis around him. Dennan sniffs the air and glances towards Archer.
   “A whelp,” says the mountainous man.
   Archer moves towards Fjorin with a cautious glance to Dennan. “A Childer Immortalis? Are you sure Dennan?”
   Dennan grunts in reply.
   Archer shakes her head in confusion “Then why is he-”

"I am Fjorin of the Ebonmane.  It is regretful we had to meet under such circumstances." Fjorin seemed thoughtful for a moment, and continued, "Yourself, and Dennan seemed confused by my presence.  I know little of this world and its laws... what was it that troubled you?"


As the night winded down, and the mead settled, Fjorin refused the comfort of a room.  The warmth of a bed is not home to a man who spends his life in the field.  He sought an area of isolation... a high rooftop, a field, a garden... it mattered little, as long as the sky was open above him, and the breeze combed gently through his hair.  As of this night, he had learned that his body's guest, Lai, may enjoy such a thing as well. 

Having found a satisfactory spot, he took his sword, and embedded it firmly into the ground beneath him.  He gazed upward at the stars, and wondered if his kin was with the Valkyries.  Perhaps it was they who died the honorable deaths; perhaps he was given a second chance to do so, and follow his brethren to the worlds beyond.

He lowered his eyes, and gazed upon Avalon... it was truly a wondrous place, and a sight to behold.

Satisfied, he wrapped his elbow around the hilt of his sword, and lowered his head.  His eyes closed, and his breath slowed, where he entered some state of battle meditation.  Even at rest, all he saw were swords and war.  Visions of people he had fought, and had yet to fight... predicting their movements, reacting, failing, and reevaluating his own movements... this was what brought him peace, and what rocked his mind gently to sleep night by night.  "Cauter... Fortuna... Severan... Cauter... Fortuna... Severan..."

There was one more name that came to mind... one that stifled his rest:  The Lady of Shadows.  She was up to something, and whatever it was, Fjorin could not inform the Ageless - their movements would adjust, and she would become aware, though he knew not how. 

For now, he would have to trust in Lai's judgement, and occupy his mind elsewhere, lest he act suspiciously.

With that, his mind calmed, and his head bowed further into a light slumber...
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on August 26, 2013, 06:19:36 PM

Merchant gladly shakes your hand, then at the mention of your question, thoughtfully rubs his stubbled chin. It is strange for a man to look both exhilarated and exhausted at the same time, but Merchant wears it well. His eyes light up and he crosses the room towards a tiny dollhouse. “Dennan told you right. Fluff I have in spades. Yet, are such creatures as this, little mousey mouse, worthy of but a bit of fluff, or might they be better served with one of these exquisite beds?”
Within the dollhouse are several miniature beds, made for dolls but quite suitable for headstrong little mice. They are elaborately carved from carefully crafted pieces of mahogany, and inlaid with what appears to be gold.

“They are pretty,” observes Paolo.

Before you can answer if you would like them or not, Boris calls out from beneath the tiny covers. “We’ll take ‘em.” He lets out a big yawn, turns over, and begins to snore loudly.

“So much for being wild animals,” mutters Paolo. “Big old layabout.”

“Maybe staying here in Avalon would not be so bad,” ponders Cosette aloud.

“Well you can’t all have Sembas. He’s mine!” squeaks Chico. “Get your own big people!”

“Well…” Merchant runs a hand through his dark, unkempt hair. “I am in need of an apprentice or two… or three, I suppose. Little mice, you have seen the beautiful things I make, but I think I could make them much better and faster if I had but a bit of help. You are welcome to stay. I will see to your food and lodging if you will but help me in my tasks. What do you say?”

Paolo and Cosette exchange glances.

“I like it here,” says Cosette.

Paolo nods. “I would like to take a ride on that horse, too,” mentions Paolo. He hops onto the back of the tiny mechanical horse behind Cosette.

“Boris! What do you think?” asks Cosette.

Boris is startled awake. “Mrmrhrm. Being wild is for flying chickens. Beds are for mice. Nice, cozy…” Boris quickly falls asleep again.

Cosette crosses her hands over her chest. “Well, I guess that settles it. We’ll stay here… at least for now.”

“Wonderful! Wonderful!” Merchant extends his index finger for Cosette to shake. “You have a deal. I must thank you for my new apprentices, Sembas. Please, please! Let me give you something in return.” Merchant crosses the room again and collects a dusty old book from the back of the room. “There might be something useful in here for you.”


   Though Ageless do not tire nearly as quickly as humans, the stress of the recent hardships you have borne witness to eventually lead you to a table in the library where you soon drift off to sleep. However, it seems you are not destined to remain there. In the middle of the night you are awoken by a soft touch upon your forehead, and you find yourself in the home of Cleo Seer. She has somehow, through magic or muscle, likely the former, transported you to her home. She pulls the blankets up over your shoulder and places a gentle kiss upon your cheek. She slips into the bed beside you and soon is met with sleep. 


Archer nods. “Yes… I must admit that your presence was a bit unnerving. Not you specifically, but rather that you were with the Lady of Shadows. Tales of her go back thousands of years, even before the Archon’s time. Yet, so little is known about her. As you are a Childer Immortalis, Dethys should have been able to locate you with his book. He would have known of your creation, and hopefully, how to find you. Yet, there was no mention of you before our meeting. I doubt Dethys would have overlooked such a thing, so we were simply surprised that you had somehow escaped our notice, and that the Lady had personally collected you. It was very… unusual… to say the least.”

When you leave the tavern, Lai seems content to remain in her insubstantial, yet very human form. She stretches out beside you on the grass, gazing up at the stars. She says nothing, perfectly happy to take in the sights and silence around her, and when a slight chill has seized the evening air, she curls up next to you, her hand passing through your chest. It feels cold, and tingly, as if some charge is coursing through your veins. Though spirits have no need to sleep, it is obvious Lai does not mind the prospect of rest, and she closes her eyes as your thoughts race through your head. Eventually, sleep, or something resembling it, affects you both.


General Fury appears thoughtful for a moment. She leans forward in her chair and rests her elbow upon the table, her head pressed against her hand. “I was not always General Fury. Many, many years ago, over 1,500 years in fact, I was Deya Akeldama, daughter of Lord Haemon Akeldama.”

In your research of knights, and your fleeting glimpses of text on the saburau, or known more commonly as samurai, the name Akeldama was exceedingly renowned. They were a noble family who had a rather expansive estate near the Kin Ocean, very far from where you had grown up. In fact, you can recall a small bit of text that referenced “the Holy Ancestor,” a female deity called Deya Akeldama who was revered as a god in her culture. The Akeldama worshiped their ancestors and continued to pay respects to her through celebrations and martial feats held every year on the date of her “ascension.” Yet now it is obvious, Deya Akeldama was not a god, at least not in the traditional sense, and her ascension had not been to the afterlife, but to Avalon, where she served as the General of the Bulwark of Heaven.

“I watched as my elder brother, Taro, fell victim to the sweet whispers of the Droaqa, the Adversary. He gave into his own greed and vanity. He was possessed by something unholy, something terribly evil, and it drove him to madness. He insulted my father and attempted to entice him into striking at him. My father was a good and honorable man… He would not dare harm his eldest son. So Taro gutted him… murdered him in cold blood. He led beings of darkness against our people, and when I defied him…” Her hand moves to the armor-plated eyepatch that covers her left eye. “He shoved a sword through my skull. I should have died then and there, but the Divine gave me a second chance.”

Though her children have probably heard this story before, all three are silent, almost reverent, and their attention is rapt.

“I achieved the vengeance I sought. In one blow, I severed his head from his body. Yet… there was no honor in my victory. In his final moments, the cloud of hatred that had consumed him dissipated, and the last look upon his face was one of sorrow, pain, and regret. He had been possessed by a Carnis and in those days, we knew very little of such creatures. If I knew then what I know now, I may have even been able to help him… to cast the spirit out. I should have captured him and sought more knowledge, but I was consumed by my own sorrow and want for justice.”

“My brother’s will was weak, which is why he fell victim to the Droaqa… He was an unwitting pawn in the Adversary’s much greater plan. It is so very tempting to seek a path of fury and revenge, but takes a much stronger warrior to learn honor and civility. Your brothers will one day be judged for their crimes, but it must be the Divine examines their hearts. It is too great a task for mortals, or even Ageless to bear. The path of vengeance is the way of the Forsaken… the path of redemption is what the Ageless seek.” 

Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Cameron on August 27, 2013, 01:15:52 AM
Sig is silent for a moment, lost in thought. He reaches under his shirt and pulls out a chain, which is run through a piece of stone. The stone feels warm under his fingers as he examines it.

"Adalstein. Words cannot truly describe it property. It is a fantastic city of stone, carved from the living rock. Just as we are. Huge caverns. beautiful buildings. Miles upon miles of mines to support our creations, as well as the All-father's creations. Some of our structures are so tall that you can stand at the bottom of them and be unable to see the top. Special floating platforms are needed just to get up and down! And deep below everything else, the great forges. Fueled by rivers of magma that flow from deep beneath the mountain. Wondrous creations are forged there. It is... you'd have to see it for yourself. I can't do it justice."

Sig stows the stone on the chain back under his shirt and takes another swig of drink.

"Maybe someday I can take you there, and you can see the works of the All-father for yourself."
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Radobe on August 27, 2013, 02:42:46 PM
“I was not always General Fury. Many, many years ago, over 1,500 years in fact, I was Deya Akeldama, daughter of Lord Haemon Akeldama.”

Siron recognizes the name immediately. The samurais from Akeldama were legendary and if his memory was correct Deya Akeldama was revered as a god. The general was a living legend. For a few brief seconds, his thoughts wondered and his imagination jumped into full throttle. He imagined the general wearing the red armor he saw earlier in the corridor, without an eye patch, sitting in a seiza position. Her sword laying bare in front of her knees and behind the demonic helmet a burning gaze ready to strike at any time. A few drops of cold sweat, could be seen on the young knight's face, thanks to the few seconds in which his imagination flared. The female warrior standing before him was an enigma yes, but one thing was certain, she was incredibly powerful.

“I watched as my elder brother... the path of redemption is what the Ageless seek.”

There is a moment of silence before Siron responds. “I understand... even justice can be blind.” After a quick glance around the table, he continues. “However, I will still seek it. I will not stand idly imprisoned by fear of failure. I will act when I must and I will live with the consequences of my actions!” Siron pauses and lowers his tone “Just like you, who have lived with the consequences of yours.” He glares at Fury for a few seconds. “And I will do that not as Siron Entrima from the House of Entrima, but as a knight who stands for justice. I cannot promise that I will forgive my brothers, but I will neither seek vengeance, nor hold a grudge. When the time is right and the situation allows it, I will ask for your help in apprehending them, not for revenge, but for justice.”
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Kitharsis on August 28, 2013, 09:31:48 AM
Sembas chuckles as Chico lay's claim to him again.  It seems Boris has already settled in, and Paolo and Cosette are coming around as well.  These little mice are a hoot.  He is glad to be able to call them his friends.

They make their decision, and Merchant is ecstatic.  Grateful for his new apprentices, Merchant gives Sembas an old dusty book.  The falconer flips through the pages, his golden eyes lighting up as he realizes what is held within.

"Very useful!  Thank you Merchant!  I will definitely be able to put this to good use."  He gives the man another hearty handshake.  "I am glad my new friends have all found a place here.  They helped me out a great deal... Long story, you see..."

Quickly changing the subject, Sembas continues, "I will stop by and visit when I can, you three.  I'm sure Chico wouldn't mind a visit on occasion," he says with a wink to his shoulder mouse.  "Now, I would love to stay, but I have a nest and a few eggs to visit.  Thank you again, Merchant."

After exchanging goodbyes with Merchant and the three mice Sembas steps outside.  He is barely out the door before an agitated falcon lands the opposite shoulder from Chico.

"You dawdle too much!  Besnik has been in a fit cleaning up the nest ever since he heard that you were going to stop by.  He's nearly driving me mad!"  She squawks.

"I'm sorry, Faile.  I owed our new friends for the help that they gave me.  Now that its done, lets head over to your nest.  I can't wait to see your eggs!"

He thinks for a moment, "Do you think we have time for Dennan to teach me how be a falcon?  Or would you like to give Chico and I a ride?"
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on August 30, 2013, 01:16:10 PM
   The night of the wake, you all eventually find your way to rest. When Fenwick awakes, he finds himself in the calming embrace of the omnipotent Cleo Seer. Fjorin and Lai find themselves in fields of rustling, purple heather with the sounds of a brook babbling somewhere nearby. Siron, who spent his evening enjoying a fine meal and all manner of questions from Bran about the mortal realm and his kingdom, awakes in one of the large guestrooms in the home of General Fury. Sembas, after leading his rodent fan club to gainful employment, eventually retires to Archer’s home, after having promised to visit Faile’s nest the following day. Blood eventually drinks herself into a stupor, and Sig, ever the gentleman, dumps her into her bed before retiring in one of the spare rooms. It is there he awakes the following morning.


   Fenwick has scarcely opened his eyes when a knock came upon the front door of Cleo’s abode.

   “I’ll get it,” says Cleo. She wears a loose, sheer white gown which leaves very little to the imagination. She crosses to her wardrobe and fetches a robe, which she wraps around her tightly before vanishing out of the bedroom door.

   You hear conversation downstairs, and when Cleo returns, she informs you that you have been summoned to the Bulwark Headquarters.


   When you wake, you find an enormous male form standing above you, his well-muscled arms crossed over his chest. You recognize the young man from the Lady’s lair. It is the same, powerful being that somehow managed to repel Lai.

   His voice is deep and resounding. “Fjorin. You have been summoned by General Fury to the Bulwark of Heaven. Come. You and your… friend… may follow me.”


   When you leave your comfortable lodgings, you find heaping piles of breakfast laid out upon the table. There is fresh squeezed juice, piles of sausage, bacon, and ham, a bowl of eggs, sweet rolls, and a tray of breads and cheeses.

   Bran has already tucked in and is shoveling spoonfuls of eggs and bacon into his mouth. He wipes his mouth with his sleeve when he notices you and quickly swallows his food.

   “Ah! Siron! You’re up! Mom says you are to meet her at the Bulwark Headquarters. Grab something to eat and when you’re done, I’ll take you there.”


   When you open your eyes, you find that Archer is nestled against you, her head resting upon your shoulder. As you roll to your back, you feel a weight drop upon your chest and as your eyes focus, you find Besnik sitting upon your chest. Over the years, you have come to recognize the subtle changes in the facial expressions of falcons. His seems to be one of annoyance.

   He begins to squawk at you, but since the Shapeshifting lessons you received from Dennan, you find that you can easily make out what he’s saying.
   “Come on you, lout. Stop laying about and get out of bed! And while you’re at it, you’re welcome to take your hands off my mistress!”

   Besnik is obviously not a morning falcon. “Faile is seeing to the young ones. She said you promised you would come by later today, but first, you have business with the Bulwark. General Fury asked that I fetch you. So come on! Up, up, up! Let’s go. Go splash your face in some water and put on those ridiculous pieces of cloth that cover all your fleshy bits. Honestly! I don’t see why you humans bother! Don’t they make you less aerodynamic? Then again, I suppose you have little need for flight speed when what should be wings are those long, wormy looking appendages that hang out of your torso. Come, come!”

   Archer rubs her eyes. “Besi, don’t be such a grouch. Give Sembas a chance to wake up.”

   “Oh! You’re awake! I am so very sorry, mistress. I did not mean to wake you,” apologizes Besnik.

   “Where’s my apology!” squeaks Chico from the bedside table. Despite your offer to give him more comfortable lodgings, he emerges from the top of your boot and looks quite well-rested.

   “You don’t get one,” shoots Besnik. “You should be thanking me for not eating you.”

   “I’d like to see you try!” challenges Chico. “My friend Sembas would shake you about your scrawny little bird neck if you tried it!”

   “Now listen here you-” begins Besnik.

   “Boy! Enough!” demands Archer. “Besi, thank you for the message. Now, I am sure that you have other matters to tend to. Chico, why don’t you help me get some breakfast together.” She plucks him from your boot and allows him to ride upon her shoulder to the kitchen.

   Once you’ve finished breakfast, Archer and Chico accompany you to the Bulwark Headquarters.


   You are roused from your slumber by a knock upon the front door. You make your way to Blood’s room to let her know someone is knocking, but it is obvious she is still sound asleep and has no intention of moving. You decide to see who it is and find Bran and the new Childer Immortalis at the door.

   “Mum wants to see you,” says Bran. “Up at the Headquarters. Where’s Blood?” he asks glancing from side to side.

   “I’m right here,” comes the reply. Blood has managed to become coherent enough to quickly dress herself in a pair of black pants, a long-sleeved cotton shirt, and a black doublet. Her boots she attempts to pull onto her feet as she hops down the stairs, and in the process, nearly falls over the railing.


   You all find your way to the headquarters of the Bulwark of Heaven. You are greeted at the main gates by Corvus who guides you to the General’s offices in the Blood-Warden base. Several of you have been here before, but for those of you who have not, the grandeur within the building is quite jarring, especially given the rather unremarkable and mundane stone structure of the outside.

The Blood-Warden base is an impressive structure, every inch elaborately decorated in deep crimson, glittering gold, and onyx black. As you enter the reception room, you see the Blood-Warden flag is suspended over the entrance. It depicts a clenched, gauntleted, black fist closed over the hilt of a sword. At the top of the staircase is an immense gold and ivory shield that is adorned with the image of a tower upon a hill. You correctly surmise that this is the symbol for The Bulwark of Heaven. Those of you who are already members of the Bulwark are asked to wait in the reception room while the newest of the Childer Immortalis are directed upstairs by Bran.

@Fjorin and Siron:

You are led up to General Fury’s office at the top of the staircase, and you find the veteran leader leaning against a large obsidian desk. The walls are adorned with all manner of retired weaponry, and a black orb rests in the corner of the room. Your feet click against the glossy, black, marble tiles as you make your way towards her.

Lai’s hand rests upon Fjorin’s arm and it is obvious she is very uncomfortable to be here. “Fjorin… I’m scared,” whispers Lai.

“You have nothing to fear of me, Lai of the Carnis,” speaks General Fury. “Please… Sit.”

There are three chairs in front of the desk, each one plush and comfortable. Lai waits for Fjorin to pull hers out before she attempts to seat herself.

Fury glances from Fjorin to Siron. “You two are strangers right now, but little do you know that your fates are inextricably interwoven. Both of you have already lost much to the Forsaken. You have lost your homes… you have lost your fathers.” Fury’s typically hardened expression is one of sadness and sympathy. “You have paid a great cost in a terrible war beyond your comprehension, one that has been waged for ages between the people of Avalon and the Forsaken of Darastae.”

Fury turns to face the once and future king of the noble Ebonmane Clan. “Fjorin, you have shown great strength despite your youth. Though you were once lost to our gaze, your past has been shown to us upon the pages of the sacred tome. The man you called the Thunder Caller was a servant of the Adversary, and as any great Ageless could hope to do, you dispatched him. To match the strength of a veteran in your youth shows exceptional aptitude and martial prowess, and it is my hope that you may lend your sword and your loyalty to the cause of the Ageless… to ensure that those such as monster you have slain cannot cause harm in the mortal realm. This is the duty of the Ageless, and the calling of the Bulwark of Heaven. I would be honored to have a great warrior such as yourself as a brother in our cause.”

“As for you, Lai of the Carnis…” General Fury rests her hand upon Lai’s shoulder. A soft, golden glow affects the General’s palm and spreads outward through Lai’s form, as if the spirit is a conduit of the emanating light. Lai shivers, and as she clutches your arm tighter, you realize that her grasp upon you is no longer a suggestion, but a solid and very tangible touch.

“What have… what is this?” questions Lai, her eyes wild with confusion.

“I will not lie… your presence in Avalon was not an easy thing for me to accept,” admits Fury. “Your kind have always been used as a plague upon my people and the mortals we protect. Yet, late last night, Gladia Archer came to call upon me. She expressed to me all you said in the tavern, and your desire to know freedom… your desire to break away from the yoke that the Forsaken have pressed upon you.”

“I went to the cathedral and asked the Divine for wisdom and discernment, and he told me that the Carnis were not intended to be creatures of darkness, but guardian spirits of the mortal realm, protectors of nature itself. He quieted my concerns and assured me that your birth at the hands of the Adversary did not go unnoticed by his eyes. It is not the Adversary that creates the Carnis, it is simply that he corrupts their will. The Carnis come from something far more primal in this world, beyond even my comprehension. They are the rise and fall of the breath of the earth.”

“I will not condemn you if you desire redemption, and you will be allowed to remain in Avalon. But know this, should you stray from the path of righteousness, if you come to harm any of my people, I will have you banished to the darkest depths of the world imaginable. Is that clear?”

Lai nods. “Yes… yes, General Fury! I promise you won’t regret this! You have my word!”

“There is one more thing I require from you, Lai. I must know all that you can tell me about the Lady of Shadows and her purpose regarding the Otaktay.”

Lai appears immensely uncomfortable. “If I tell… then the Lady will hurt Aras. She won’t give him his soul back!”

Fury’s eyes narrow. “I feared as much. Then it is true… Aras is now longer an Ageless… He has given his soul to the Lady of Shadows. Lai…” Fury kneels beside the Carnis. “I know this is difficult, but you must tell me… what does the Lady want? Why did she need Aras’s soul? Do not fear her vengeance. You are beyond her hand here, and as for Aras…” Fury shakes her head in sorrow. “If the Lady truly means to keep his soul, she will. No actions on your part will be able to change her mind.”

Lai whimpers and tears begin to well in her eyes. “The Otaktay… Bayard Cael was meant to preserve the balance. They are neither friend of the Ageless nor the Forsaken. The Lady made a deal with him. She said it was obvious the Ageless would soon destroy the Forsaken, but if either side won the ancient war, the world itself would be torn asunder. The balance needed to be preserved. If he would do her bidding and help to preserve the balance between the Ageless and the Forsaken, she would grant him immortality. He would be neither Ageless nor Forsaken, but would still be granted eternal life. But Cael… he had no intention of doing the Lady’s bidding. He began to seek out all of the Immortalis, and since they mistook him for a mere mortal, he slaughtered all he encountered.”

“So Cael is an Immortalis, but neither of the Adversary nor the Divine. Why did the Lady not dispatch simply dispatch him?” questions Fury.

“She made a mistake by interfering in the first place. She feared if she destroyed him it would upset the balance even worse!” explains Lai.

Fury shakes her head, obviously finding the logic of the Lady of Shadows simply ludicrous. “And what of Aras?”

“The Lady told him that his beloved was fated to die at the hands of Severan Deceit,” answers Lai.

Fury’s eyes widen. “Archer?”

Lai nods. “She said that if he pledged his loyalty to her, if he agreed to serve her, she would see that no harm came to Archer. To do so, Aras needed to forsake the touch of the Divine. He would have to give up his soul. He would be like Cael, neither Ageless nor Forsaken. Instead, his immortality would be gifted from the Lady.”

“No wonder we had such difficulty locating Aras… He is no longer a child of the Divine,” Fury’s tone is one of great disappointment. “So in attempting to preserve the balance, she, herself, tipped the scales. It is obvious that Cael must be dispatched."

"Yes," agrees Lai. "That's what the Lady said, too. Cael has to be killed. But he is very powerful. Since Aras now belongs to the Lady, he can't kill Cael. The children of the Lady are unable to dispatch their own. But an Ageless! An Ageless could kill Cael. She needed someone really strong, so she found Fjorin. She said fate had shown her he would be the one to kill Cael, but he would need to be stronger, and for that to happen, I needed to see he got to Avalon. She told me to help him however I could!"

"You have done very well in your task, Lai," commends the General.

Lai beams, quite proud of herself.

"Thank you, Lai. Do not worry. We will see that Aras has his soul returned to him. Even if I have to hunt the Lady down myself to ensure she returns it to him,” assures Fury. “In return for your honesty, the Divine has asked that I gift you with the touch of the Ageless. You shall be a Carnis no longer, but one of his own. However, it comes with a price. No longer shall you know the life of a Carnis. You will live as an Ageless, in this vessel, and you will aid us in our fight against the Forsaken.  If you choose to do so, I promise that I will do all I can to ensure your people are freed.”

Lai flexes her fingers as she considers this offer. She touches her hair, able to feel it for the first time. She touches her lips, feeling the breath escape from her lungs, and gasps slightly at the sensation. She reaches out her hand and touches the side of Fjorin’s face, drawing back her fingers quickly. “I may no longer float about as a spirit, as was my initial wish… yet, I feel that this form will be suitable. I can still come and go as I please. Perhaps, even more so, because no Forsaken can bind me to its will. I shall do as the Divine has so generously offered. But an Ageless… an Ageless may still die at the hands of the Forsaken.”

Fury nods solemnly. “Yes, an Ageless can die, but you have no wound. No Immortalis, Ageless, Forsaken or being of the Lady can kill you, unless it is willed of the Divine. You are only the third creature to have such a power. The other two are my own sons.”

“Thank… thank you, General. I am very sorry for any pain I may have caused your people, but I promise I will make it up to you,” assures Lai.

Fury turns her attention to the last heir of the Entrima. “Siron. I knew your father since he was a child, and your grandfather, and his father before him. The name Entrima is one that the Ageless respect, as they may have been mere mortals, but they had the strength and wisdom of the Ageless. Now, you, have joined the ranks of an Immortalis, and it is only fitting that we honor your father’s legacy by allowing you to prove yourself in the Bulwark of Heaven. In the short time you have been here, your wisdom has already grown. You have abandoned your foolish quest for vengeance in place of one of justice, and your brethren would be honored to aid you in such a task.”

“I feel there is far more at work here than what you may see. The souls of mortals are easily corrupted, and it would not surprise me in the slightest if your brothers made a bargain for the opportunity to rid themselves of you and your father. Your father was a wise man. If treason had been in their hearts for long, I would believe he would have seen it. And why now? Why of all times? Your father was ageing. In another few years, he would have passed on his throne. Custom dictates it would have even been to your oldest brother. Why did your brothers force their hands faster, and soil them with the blood of their own father? Why not simply wait, and if the need came, dispatch you then? Some cruel hatred seized them to go to such lengths, and while we cannot seek vengeance, we will bring them to justice. Join us, Siron, and I can assure you that your father’s spirit may rest with the knowledge his son returned honor to the name Entrima.”
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Radobe on August 31, 2013, 08:59:33 AM
After waking up, Siron receives a breakfast invitation to which he gladly obliges. Because they have to depart for the Bulwark's headquarters afterwards, he is mowing down eggs, with some bread and ham on the side and quickly stuffs himself full.

On the way to see the general, they make a quick stop at a house surrounded by a black fence and with quite a few red rose bushes out front.

“Mum wants to see you,” … “I’m right here,”

He was surprised to see the female warrior clad in glimmering silver chain mail, who he met at the tavern, rushing out of the house. As she goes down the stairs, she attempts a very complicated maneuver involving great amounts of strength, exceptional dexterity and tremendous focus. Lacking even one of these crucial elements may lead her to a terrible result. He watches as she almost falls, while hoping on one leg and putting her boots on. The knight ponders if this would be a good time to apologize for the event at the tavern or if she even remembers about it. He shrugs and leaves it for later.

Their small party joins a larger one at what seems to be the entrance to the general's headquarters. He recognizes the faces from the procession and gives them a nod to greet them.  Shortly afterwards, he and the couple he saw at the tavern are taken to see the general.

She addresses the couple first.

“You have nothing to fear of me, Lai of the Carnis,” …  but I promise I will make it up to you,”

Up until the end of the conversation Siron could not understand what they were talking about. When the general mentions the dead wound, the cut on his throat aches a little. It was also a surprise to learn, that the brothers and now Lai, are truly immortal.

“Siron. I knew your father since he was a child,... returned honor to the name Entrima.”

Siron falls on one knee, with his head lowered and arm bend in front of his chest he answers. “There is nothing more I could wish for. It would be an honor to be counted amongst your ranks!”
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Archdemon Stu on August 31, 2013, 11:25:14 PM
As Fjorin entered, he lost a breath at the various armors and weapons on display.  Their craftsmanship was flawless, and their blades appeared sturdier than any he had yet to wield.  Lai was clearly nervous, but General Fury was quick to comfort her.

After Fjorin moves the beautifully crafted chair for Lai, he finds himself sitting next to a well-armored knight.  "Siron" they called him.  With a single glance, Fjorin could tell he was a man that held himself well.  Though lacking ferocity, he was confident in his own strength and convictions.  Fjorin and this knight, Siron, were compared to one another by General Fury, and it was far from an insult.

General Fury praised Fjorin's feats, but it was difficult to swallow, knowing he was in the presence of the woman who dared challenge the Valkyries.  He truly was still just a whelp.

His introspection was quickly interrupted as a strange warmth wrapped around his arms as General Fury's light flowed through Lai.  Even though he saw it with his own eyes, the barbarian prince was still unable to comprehend what was happening as quickly as it did.  Lai was... tangible?  So many questions ran through his mind, but as General Fury and Lai continued their conversation, Fjorin found little time to process it all.

What surprised him most of all though, was Fjorin's fate which the Lady had foreseen.

That's right.  He had been forgetting one more important name on his list:  Bayard Cael.  Fjorin had only seen glimpses of the man.  He was fast, he was clever, and... he wielded the power of lightning; the one thing that could kill Fjorin once and for all.

His heart raced, and his blood boiled in his chest.  Something awoke inside Fjorin that he had not sensed since his mortal days... a thrill that only facing death itself could bring.

Fjorin's thoughts were interrupted as warmth pressed against his cheek.  It was Lai's hand.  Her hands were gentler than silk - entirely unmarred by the physical plane.  Lai made her choice, and Fjorin was somewhat surprised at her eagerness to become an Ageless.  Every moment he spent with his friend seemed to birth more surprises.

Sir Siron of the House Entrima spoke, and swore his allegiance to the Ageless with a bent knee.

Fjorin stood, and with his zweihander clutched in his fist, he turned it upward, laying the blade across the back of his opposing arm.  He then opened his palms, and lowered his knee, as if offering his very soul forward.  As he bowed his head, his eyes were barely visible as his hair draped past his cheeks.

His voice rumbled lowly, "Your hospitality will not be forgotten." After a brief pause, he made an oath:

"Bayard Cael... shall be one of many."
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Cameron on September 05, 2013, 05:16:12 PM
Sig wakes up in a strange bed to a knock on a door below him. He gets up and looks around. One of Blood's guest rooms. Content that he is not in any danger, he throws his clothes on and gathers his weapon, pack, and lute. Upon slipping the lute into it's sling on his back and taking a quick swig from a skin on his belt, he notices that the knocking hasn't stopped.

"Hah. The lass must still be crashed out. Guess I better be attending to that."

Sig makes his way downstairs and opens the front door to reveal Bran and another kid he doesn't recognize. Sig realizes far too late how awkward it must be for Bran to find the Chosen of Alviss in Blood's house. He is about to answer Bran's question when Blood's reply comes from behind him.

Sig turns and looks at Blood with a bemused look on his face. "I didn't figure ye'd be up until at least mid-afternoon, lass!" Sig takes a step towards the railing when it looks like Blood might fall, but stops as she rights herself. "Might wanna watch those stairs. They can sneak up on ya."

Sig follows the Chosen to the Blood-warden base. He lets out a whistle of appreciation as he steps inside. "Very nice. I was expectin something a bit more quaint." He has a seat in the reception room, where he alternates between idly strumming a tune on his lute and drinking. he pauses once to offer Blood a drink but is otherwise content to continue his strumming/drinking combo until he is summoned.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Kitharsis on September 06, 2013, 08:58:26 AM
Sembas wakes up in a small panic.  An owl had been tracking him in his dreams all night, and he was stuck in mouse form.  A quick mental assessment of his body sets him at ease.  With a quiet yawn he rolls onto his back and closes his eyes once again.

A weight drops on his chest and he groggily focuses on it.  Besnik.  He goes on a tirade, some of it warranted for his tardiness to visit the nest, and some not.

The falconer simply lays his head back onto the pillow as everyone squabbles around him.  Life, his second life, has become quite different than it had been.  He looks to his old militia spear hanging on the wall.  The day he was given the weapon was one of the proudest of his life before becoming an Immortalis.  Now it sits unused, a relic of his past collecting dust.

He finds his mind wandering too far, his eyes watering as he longs to see his family again. 

It is time to get up.


Sembas takes a seat in the reception room.  Chico bounces up and down his arms, across his shoulders, and anywhere else his little mouse legs can reach.

"I suggest you be on your best behavior for the General, Chico.  Avalon isn't always fun and games."

The tune Sig is strumming away at is pleasant.  Sembas nods at the Son of Alvis in greeting.  "I'm glad you chose to play something a little less... inspiring... than you did during our sparring match, Sig."  He says with a wink.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Cameron on September 06, 2013, 12:43:22 PM
Sig grins at Sembas as he comments on his song.

"This would hardly be the best time or place for that, lad! Wouldn't want the kids upstairs to suddenly break into song and dance durin their important meeting, would we? Although that would definitely get a good chuckle out of me!"
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on September 06, 2013, 06:52:26 PM
Siron, ever enthusiastic and eager to excel, and Fjorin, stoic and strong, are formally recognized as members of the Bulwark of Heaven.

“So shall it be. On behalf of the Bulwark of Heaven, it is my honor to welcome you to our ranks.”

Fury crosses to the massive doors of her office and beckons for the others to enter. Within moments, there is a host of Immortalis within the office. Blood bristles as Fenwick bumps into her on his way into the office, but Cleo, his Seer companion, offers the Captain a meek smile, and Blood’s general grumpiness is downgraded to a scowl. Faile is perched atop Archer’s  shoulder as her normal resting place upon Sembas is currently occupied by a bouncy field mouse. Besnik,  presumably fussing about the nest again, is nowhere to be seen. Dennan and Bran have been joined by Corvus, and the three brothers stand shoulder to shoulder near the rear of the room. Sig, the sole Chosen of Alviss, and emissary of his creator, has been asked to the meeting as well.

   Fury glances at the group assembled before her. The other Immortalis have all taken notice of Lai’s corporeal form, and there is a strange assortment of expressions to be found around the room. Blood looks fit to be tied and Archer appears relatively pleased with this development. Cleo narrows her eyes, her gaze wary and apprehensive. Dennan, who likely has plenty of reason to dislike her, given the fact she blew him up, moves towards her, places his hand gently upon her shoulder, and whispers “Welcome” into her ear. Corvus’s expression is blank, but his gaze is fixed firmly upon her. Anyone taking notice of this would see Bran grasp his brother’s arm and speak to him soothingly, though what he says cannot be readily discerned.

   "Some months ago, a group of our mortal allies, the Crimson Wolves, embarked on a mission to the Sanguine Fields,” begins Fury.
Blood’s face pales considerably at the mention of the Crimson Wolves.

“As many of you Elder Immortalis know, the Marrow has been very… unstable… as of late. We had reason to believe that the source of the disturbance was somewhere in the Sanguine Fields,” continues Fury.

“Fortuna…” mutters Cleo.

Fury nods grimly. “Yes… So we thought. What we found was more than we had bargained for. The Forsaken are attempting to harvest the blood from the fields to create an abomination that would bear the power of every Immortalis that died upon that ground.”

“How is that even possible?” questions Archer.

“Magic,” answers Cleo simply. “Blood magic is a form of conjuration… it is one of the most potent forms of dark magic there is.”

“The Crimson Wolves had been sending a great deal of information from the blood fields. They had been observing the area for some time, and documenting who came and went, how they were attempting to harvest the blood… but their communications have ceased,” Fury glances towards Blood whose face has reddened considerably. Her fists are clenched at her side and her teeth are gritted in an attempt to suppress her rage.

“They shouldn’t have been sent alone!” growls Blood. “You should have sent me!”

Fury’s eyes blaze in anger, and she appears as if she is about to give Blood a sound verbal lashing, but thinks better of it. “You know very well why I didn’t send you, or any other Immortalis for that matter. It would be unwise for us to tarry in the Sanguine Fields. It is far too close to the Marrow.”

“The Marrow presents the same danger for mortals,” responds Blood.

Cleo snorts in derision. “Hardly! Given our history with the Marrow, the Forgotten would be far more sympathetic to a human than an Immortalis. We haven’t exactly gotten on very well with them in the past, you know.”

“Yes, but now the Forgotten may be our best bet to ensure the Forsaken do not succeed in their task. Even they will realize the danger such a creature would present. I need to dispatch a party to ensure the safe return of the Crimson Wolves. The Forsaken likely assume we are not aware yet of their intentions, and if this is so, they are not likely to have a large force at the Sanguine Fields. They are too busy scrambling for footholds in the mortal world that their forces are spread rather thin. In addition…” Fury opens a drawer in her desk and pulls out a burlap sack. There is certainly something within it, but the bag is doing an adequate job of masking what it is. Her gaze moves to each person around the room before finally settling on Fjorin. “You… You shall carry it. As you are a friend to Lai, she should be able to grant you safe passage through the most treacherous parts of the Marrow. The Forgotten are more likely to accept our offering should a spirit, even a former one, vouch for our good intentions. This will serve as a gesture of peace between our people. But warn them… this is a gift that will not last forever. Once it is activated, they will only have a few days to cleanse the fields.”

“You mean to cleanse the fields?” wonders Cleo aloud. “Is that even possible?”

Fury nods. “It is the will of the Divine. Too long have the Sanguine Fields been soaked in the blood of the Immortalis. If this is not done, then the Forsaken may attempt this madness again. The fields must be cleansed.”

“What if they refuse our terms?” questions Blood.

“They won’t,” assures Fury. “The Forgotten do not wish to remain in the Marrow. They will take any chance they can to escape it.”

Blood shakes her head in disbelief. “What if they turn on us? The Forgotten were bound to the Marrow for a reason.”

“Time has the power to heal, Blood. There may be peace between our people yet. The Forgotten wished only to live in the ways they had before. We cannot fault them for such a desire. Yet, I understand your concern. They cannot be free to roam in the world of mortals. They still pose too much of a danger, so this shall be a grand test for them. Should they do as we ask, perhaps I may petition the Divine to grant them a boon.”

Archer frowns. “They spat on any offer of peace before. The Divine offered them rest and they rejected it.” 

“Perhaps their solitude has improved their disposition,” offers Fury.

“Or made them even more loathsome,” mutters Cleo.

“Why does the Divine not cleanse the fields himself?” questions Bran.

“That is not the way of the Divine, son. He attempts to restrain himself from interference as much as he can. Perhaps, if he did not think us capable of it, he would consider doing so himself, but trial builds character, and the Father wishes for us to stand on our own,” explains Fury patiently. “Now, I shall leave the decision to you as to who shall go, but it must be done quickly. You must depart in tomorrow at first light.”

“Why wait?” asks Blood. “If the Crimson Wolves are in danger…”

“I do not believe that they are. I merely said that their communications have ceased,” Fury puts a hand on Blood’s shoulder to comfort her. “I am sure they are fine. Nevertheless, this is an issue that must be dealt with promptly. The last time I spoke with Vartan he told me that he and the others in his party had managed to set Fortuna back a great deal. He bought us time.”

“Well, then I volunteer,” speaks Blood.

   “As do I,” speaks Corvus.

   “And I,” agrees Dennan.

   “Archer, I will require your services here in Avalon. The Archon has asked that I map out some tactics for the frontlines, and your keen eye will give us a great advantage,” speaks Fury.

   Archer nods.

   “And as for you…” Fury fixes her gaze upon Fenwick. “Cleo has spoken to Dethys regarding the binding of your powers and your confinement in Avalon. He has agreed to release you on the condition that you seek him out before you depart.” Fury’s eyes narrow and it is almost as if she is examining Fenwick’s soul. “Whether you choose to accept his offer is up to you.”

        Fenwick can hear Cardack's voice from somewhere in the back of his mind. "This really isn't a grand idea. Granted, you've been the king of ill-informed decisions lately, but the Marrow! The Marrow is a dangerous place! You want no part of it!"
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Radobe on September 07, 2013, 03:40:41 AM
Upon being accepted into the Bulwark of Heaven, the knight rises to his feet. The rest of the people he met outside and an important conversation take place between all present and the general.

“Corvus can give you an assessment of what I can offer. If you find my abilities are up to the task, I am ready and willing to join!”
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on September 07, 2013, 09:34:03 AM
@Siron: Corvus steps forward and claps you on the back. "We'd be honored to have you, brother. Not even the Marrow will be a match for us."
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Cameron on September 07, 2013, 11:03:47 AM
Sigurd steps out from behind Blood and claps a meaty fist to his chest in a salute. He looks more serious than he has at any time since his arrival, save possibly the funeral.

"In my capacity as an official emissary of my people, the Chosen of Alviss, I pledge myself to this task. I offer my aid as a sign of our people's alliance with the Legion and the Bulwark."
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on September 07, 2013, 12:54:57 PM
@Sig: Blood's eyes are downcast and you can tell her thoughts are elsewhere. However, when you offer to assist with the task at hand, her eyes lock upon you and her words come out so quietly that no one else seem to hear her.

"Thank you."

It's the first time you have ever heard her say it, but you can tell she means it and takes great personal interest in this quest.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Archdemon Stu on September 07, 2013, 06:18:25 PM
Fjorin's still face betrayed his surprise.  He was only now declared an Ageless, and they were willing to entrust him with such an object of importance.  Though, General Fury's logic was fair if what she said about Lai was correct.  He approached the desk to retrieve the item, and took a brief peek within to see exactly what it was he was assigned to carry.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on September 07, 2013, 09:23:40 PM
@Fjorin: You clutch the edges of the bag and move to draw it open. Your first perceptions is the contents of the bag consist of some round shape, much like the size of the communication orb in the back of the General's office. Yet, the bag seems absolutely weightless. However, you find that,  despite your strength and the best of your efforts, no amount of force can pull it open. Lai's hand grasps your forearm with urgency.
"Stop that! If it was meant to be seen, it wouldn't be in a bag, now would it?"
Blood smirks. "So the Carnis is smarter than it seems."
Fury gives Blood a warning glance. "Yes, LAI is quite correct."  The General deliberately emphasizes Lai's name. "To open it now would be most unwise, and more so, extremely dangerous. What you carry is very fragile. It must reach the Marrow intact."
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Archdemon Stu on September 09, 2013, 01:17:25 AM
Once again, Fjorin was somewhat surprised.  He had simply assumed the bag was for convenience of holding it one's person.  He often understood why scrolls or parchments may be secret from the one who guarded it, but he had never come across an object wherein looking upon it would disrupt the mission.  This was a world filled with many strange and mystical things indeed, and it seemed he was still adapting. 

He nodded his head to those that objected, and without question: "Understood.  It shall not be scathed under my watch."

Fjorin turned to Lai.  He wanted to say so many things.  "Are you sure?" "You don't have to come." "They cannot control you." "We will be fine."  Fjorin instead halted his words before they left his throat.  Lai was a willing and powerful asset, and somehow, he doubted her new form changed any of that.

With a light exhale, he let go of these foolish thoughts.

"Lai, the Diplomat." he said with a smirk. "Interesting."
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Kitharsis on September 09, 2013, 03:22:53 PM
Sembas cannot help but glance at Archer when General Fury asks her to stay behind for this mission.  He almost requests to stay behind, but his desire to be in her company is overridden by his sense of duty.  There will be time for lying about in moonlight fields later.

"I will help in any way that I can."  Hesitantly he adds,  "I'm... not sure if Faile will be able to join us though, considering the full nest she has waiting for her."  He does not look forward to the tongue lashing he will receive from her later.  Even Chico looks at him quizzically.

"Before we start preparations, I would like to know more about what we are walking into?  What are the Sanguine Fields and the Marrow?  I understand that a great deal of Ageless have fallen there.  Was there a great battle?  Also these Forgotten, what do they have to play in all of this?  This mission seems substantially more dangerous than our last."  As he asks his questions he half expects an agitated falcon to give him a good wing buffering out of frustration.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on September 10, 2013, 06:55:02 PM
   Fury regards Sembas quietly for a moment. Her expression is indecisive, as if she is debating whether it would be prudent to even discuss the origin of the Sanguine Fields.

“It is almost as if simply speaking the name of that bloody battlefield brings back a host of unpleasant memories… Vestiges of countless lives lost, and the agony of the injured and dying. However, in the end, it is you that must make the journey, and it would be wise to know what you will be up against, and the history of violence that haunts the place.” 

Fury takes a deep breath. “The Sanguine Fields have been uninhabited for several hundreds of years. No one would dare settle there now due to the nature of the place. I have walked the earth over 1,500 years, and for as long as I can remember, that area has held an unusual power over the supernatural. The place has a resonating power all its own, something bone deep… something incredible.  Because of this strange energy, it is called the Marrow of the Earth.”

“When a mortal dies, there are several places it may go. The righteous will walk amongst the Valkyries, the Ageless, and all the Divine’s heavenly host. It is there they will come face to face with the holy father, and will spend an eternity knowing peace. Those who have wickedness in their hearts fall prey to the Adversary, and it is in his realm their damnation is recognized. Yet, some spirits, for many a reason, never leave the earth. Many of them were slain unjustly. They wait about the mortal realm waiting for their passing to be resolved. Some of them are unaware they are even dead, and still others refuse to leave out of defiance, convinced that if they can but remain in the mortal realm, if they refuse to accept death, they can remain alive forever.”

“There was a time when the spirits of the deceased walked freely amongst the living. For the most part, they caused no harm, but around 400 years ago, the Forsaken entered the Marrow, and used an artifact of immense power to call all of the restless spirits to that very spot. They felt they could overpower the Ageless by harnessing the souls, converting them into energy, and using them to power machines of immense destruction. The denizens of the Marrow, or ghosts as the mortals call them, were driven to frenzy. Panic was rampant, and those spirits did anything they could to escape the Marrow, even using any human they could latch themselves onto. A rather unfortunate side effect, is when a restless spirit inhabits a human’s body, it will then consume the soul of that host to sustain itself. Innocent mortals were destroyed.”

“We, of course, did all we could to set things right. We fought against the Forsaken, and their horrific machines, but much blood was spilled on the fields and for miles and miles in all directions, the soil was stained crimson with the lives of fallen Immortalis and mortals alike. To this day, that place is called the Sanguine Fields for the color of the earth, and for the lives that were claimed there.”

“By the grace of the Divine, and with the Archon leading us, we managed to overpower the Forsaken there. We drove them out. However, the spirits that remained, had suffered much at the hands of the Forsaken. The Divine offered them rest, but they refused. They wished to continue to go back to their old ways, to roam the world freely. But this simply could not be. The majority of them, due to the tortures the Forsaken inflicted upon them, had become unstable… ravenous… driven to see to the destruction of all things. They slaughtered humans mercilessly. They would whisper darkness in their ears and drive them to commit all manner of atrocities, or would simply cause them to go insane and take their own lives, so they, too, would becomes restless spirits.”

“The Divine offered them one last chance, and again they refused. So the Archon was tasked with binding them to the Marrow, so they could not cause harm to mortals again. Needless to say, many of them are still bitter about their imprisonment. They began to call themselves the Forgotten, convinced no one cared about their plight, when nothing could be further from the truth."

"I was recently visited by one of our allies, Andel, a cath-palug, who brought a message on behalf of one of the spirits…” Fury’s gaze shifts to Fenwick. “Someone you know quite well… Letholdus Hux… your father. He assured me that the spirits of the Marrow are willing to negotiate terms for their release.”

“The contents of that bag have the power to release the spirits of the Marrow, to allow them to cleanse the fields so the Forsaken cannot harvest the blood of the fallen. Should all go well, the Divine has agreed to entertain their terms for release, but should they still hold hatred in their hearts and madness in their souls, they will forever remain in the Marrow. The artifact you will carry with you will grant them a conditional release; it will not be permanent. It will last a few days at best, and in that time, the Divine will determine whether or not the restless spirits shall be given the chance to be freed from their confinement.”

"Lai will serve as our emissary. They will be reluctant to have dealings with us, as they are mistrustful due to the horrors the Forsaken wrought upon them. The Forgotten are not the only dangers. Fortuna, a Forsaken of great power, has been sighted there. She is certainly not one to be underestimated. Many believe that Lt. Cauter is the right hand of Severan Deceit, but I believe that Fortuna has far greater sway over the leader of the Forsaken."

"Those who venture to the Sanguine Fields, those who chance the Marrow, take great care to steel your resolve. It is likely you will be put to trial for deeds done and undone. Do not fall prey to the illusions of that place. Not all that seems real should be taken as truth."
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: john greymore on September 12, 2013, 01:41:53 PM

Fenwick has remained silent throughout the induction and the briefing. To the former, he had no reason to object to their joining. To the latter, it was a simple matter of pure habit.

Fjorin wisely tries to check the contents of the article he would be carrying upon his person, yet is harshly rebuked for even trying to sneak a peak inside. Sembas asks his question, and clarity is poured unto them.

While Fenwick picks up and categorises each piece of information, everything halts for a brief period as Letholdus Hux is mentioned. He inhales deeply, eyebrows frowning. His parents had died by the hands of others, and this was plain confirmation of that fact. He hadn't even been able to say his goodbyes. This was his chance to sort things out.

But was he ready to face his parents? Or even just parent? If he continued down this path, it would no doubt lead to more consequences that would definitely be unpleasant to say the least. Still, was the peace of knowing worth it?

Not all that seems real should be taken as truth.

And there were many things to doubt. The tormented spirits either drove people to murder others or drove them to suicide. Was his parents one of them?

Why would his father negotiate for release? A message? Did he know about the Immortalis? He would have to go then. Was it because he wanted release from the bindings of an 'incomplete' suicide? If that was the case... What... What exactly could he do?

He sighed. His book seemed heavier, as if Cardack had somehow added weight in his incorporeal form. This wasn't the plan. He had agreed with Cardack. He would have stayed, done research, stayed away from the danger. The danger. Death, the sole enemy.

He sighs once more, but the stress of choice does not release its grip upon him. Ill-informed decisions he had been making, for sure, but they were decisions nontheless. He had to make one now. Still, that didn't exclude him from asking for a bit more.

"Will... Will I be allowed to speak to my father? Or has his nature changed such that he would shun contact with his own son? Regardless, I shall go. I have to see him."

By all accounts, this was definitely not the logical decision. Fenwick just hopes it can be the right one.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on September 12, 2013, 10:04:09 PM
Fury carefully considers Fenwick's questions. "I wish I could give you a simple answer, Fenwick, but in truth, I do not know. The Bulwark's knowledge of our own is limitless. Even humans and beasts of the mortal realm are well-documented in Avalon. However, what has transpired in the Marrow since the confinement of the Forgotten is not easily known to us. There is much about that place that eludes us."

"The Forgotten are not even the only inhabitants of the Marrow. We have reason to believe there is a far more primordial presence there. We know it is sentient, but whatever its purpose, it does not seem to desire to communicate with anyone or anything. It simply observes... almost as if you are constantly under the watchful eye of some unseen creature. I believe it to be too powerful to be a spirit, but I cannot ascertain what its true nature may be. There is still so much we do not know about the Marrow, so I cannot begin to speculate how your father would receive you. It is doubtful he knows you are counted among our ranks."

 Fury puts her hand upon Fenwick's shoulder. "But as a parent, were I separated from my children, I would want nothing more than to see them again, however fleeting it may be. Your parents were murdered, their lives unfinished. That is likely your father's reason for becoming a denizen of the Marrow. Perhaps your father desires justice; perhaps he simply yearns for rest."
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Kitharsis on September 13, 2013, 05:24:53 PM
The Sanguine Fields and The Marrow are more fraught with dangers than he had first imagined.  Yet his sense of duty will not be swayed so easily.  Sembas thanks Fury for her explanation, and allows Fenwick his due time to work through the news of his father.

It clearly affects the young mage to hear of his father's involvement in this, as it would anyone.  Such a turbulent time for Fenwick.  Sembas had heard mentions of Fenwick's actions of the past few days and the repercussions that resulted.  Probably just hasty plans of revenge, fueled by Serenity's mourning.  Would he have acted differently if Serenity's pleas were directed towards him?  Not knowing the entire story, it is difficult to say.

While Sembas carries on with mice in the fields, others are walking quite a more gritty and heavy road.  Perhaps it was time to buckle down, lest he add in number to the collective troubles of the younger Immortalis.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Radobe on September 13, 2013, 07:34:52 PM
“Uhm,” caught in the atmosphere of the open conversation, Siron did not think twice before he opened his mouth.  “From what I gather, we will have quite a few tasks at our hands and a questionable amount of time to do them,” he stops for a second to pick his words, takes a step forward and then carries on. “If we split into two teams and priorities on the less dangerous task we can buy ourselves some time. Reestablishing communication with the Crimson Wolfs and opening the negotiation with the Forgotten should be our main goals. Both will hold information on this Fortuna’s activities. Also moving in two small groups’ means we are less likely to be spotted by scouts and we could cover our tracks easier. Furthermore, “maybe it was because he spent the night dining with the general and her sons, or the friendly atmosphere had led the knights slip out of place. Only know it sank in that he was talking to warriors far more experienced than him and a one thousand and five hundred years old general. In a heartbeat his cheeks flushed red and sweat broke out on his face. He quickly stepped back into place. “I apologies… I spoke out of place, I am sorry!”

This was a bad habit he had since his academy’s days, he would often speak out, even if not asked, just because he thought he knew the answer. Getting scolded often about it, did not teach him a lesson and now he felt embarrassed enough to regret not listening to his teachers.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on September 13, 2013, 10:47:04 PM
Blood rolls her eyes and firmly smacks the palm of her head against her forehead. "Impetuous little prat," she mutters under her breath.

Corvus snickers behind you. "Well, I suppose we shall have to take your vast wisdom into consideration. How did we ever get along without you here, Siron?" You can tell his ribbing is meant to be more brotherly teasing than mean-spirited condescension.

Fury shoots them both a warning look and they quickly clam up.

"Sorry, Siron. Just joking," apologizes Corvus quietly.

"You are not speaking out of place, Siron," assures Fury. "You have just as much stake in the success of this mission that any of us do. Your opinion is always welcome. Though I appreciate your observations, to divide our forces would be exceptionally unwise. This is your first time in battle, and I am regretful that a mission of such severity should serve as your introduction to our ranks. However, desperate times call for desperate measures. You know little of Fortuna or the degree of the danger you will all face. Fortuna on her own is an immense threat. She is a sorceress of nearly unparalleled power. Even our own Dethys Night would have a difficult time defeating her on his own, and he is one of the most powerful Ageless in Avalon."

"Don't let Dethys hear you say that," speaks Blood. "He'll sulk for weeks."

"Well, his attention has admittedly been elsewhere of late. One could hardly blame him. Unfortunately, Fortuna has had an ample amount of time to focus on cultivating her powers. It is no surprise; Dethys was an excellent mentor to her. As such, she is truly a force to be reckoned with. Add to that any additional forces she may command. As Severan's closest ally, she will likely have at least a small dispatch of powerful Forsaken with her. It will likely not be a large force, but what they will lack in number, they will surely make up for in power."

"As for the Forgotten, we will need the collective efforts of each one of you to make it through the treacherous terrain of the outer limits of the Marrow. Though it is likely Fortuna will have security measures in place, she has always had a certain hubris about her. I doubt she would have a dedicated scout. She thinks too much of her own abilities to protect her interests. However, our scouts will prove quite an advantage. Dennan is the best tracker among us, and I know Archer has been showing Sembas a few tricks of the trade. Between the two of them, you should have no problem getting an accurate read of the environment. As it seems Fenwick may be accompanying you, Dethys could certainly instruct him in a suitable cloaking spell to mask your movements."

"As for the Crimson Wolves, I would guess that it is far more likely they will find you. Vartan and his companions are very good at remaining unseen. Even Fortuna would be hard-pressed to find them if they were sitting right in front of her nose."
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Archdemon Stu on September 17, 2013, 10:53:25 PM
The road ahead of them would be difficult; a trial by fire for the new recruits.  The odds seemed stacked heavily against them as he learned more about Fortuna.  The party would need as many advantages as they could get.  Weapons, armor, positioning, and knowledge.

"If we are to face the Forsaken, it is vital that we Childer know more of the death wounds upon on our foes." Fjorin looked about the room to those who would be facing the trials of the Sanguine Fields.  "I feel we shall use this information shortly."

With those present in the room, the pool of information to be had on the Forsaken would no doubt be extensive.  It was possible there was too much to share in such a small amount of time.  He turned to General Fury and Blood, "Perhaps we can strategize on the journey.  Do Avalon's archives have parchments or scrolls regarding the death wounds?"
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Kitharsis on September 18, 2013, 08:55:23 AM
Sembas's golden eyes focus on Fjorin.  His idea is sound, and one that had never crossed the Falconer's mind.  Upon hearing it, he nearly curses for his own foolishness.

"You have a good idea there, Fjorin.  If I recall correctly, Jonas Philosophy used to actually be a Forsaken.  If there is enough time we should ask him for any information he can give us."

He hesitates for a moment, a tinge of nervousness hitting him.  "If he mutters the word, Flay, well... Run like hell."

The skinning of Faran rushes through his mind.  A solemn reminder of what might be waiting for them from the hands of the Forsaken.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on September 18, 2013, 10:41:59 AM
Fury and Blood exchange glances.

"Did Vartan send any information on specific Forsaken, other than Fortuna herself?"

Fury nods. "A few. He confirmed Cauter has not been seen there... yet anyway. He would likely be the greatest threat other than Fortuna herself."

"Cauter..." Blood spits out the name as if it is something distasteful. "Even if they don't think we have found out about this scheme, I doubt Severan would make the mistake of leaving Fortuna alone for long."

"Vartan confirmed at least a few who have come and gone. Azazel Punisher, Navar Coward, and a Childer Immortalis, Ravana Blackheart. Interestingly enough, I believe it is the Childer we should be most wary of. Fortuna has taken her on as her own apprentice. There is likely a small dispatch of guards meant to protect Fortuna, but Vartan did not confirm if they are Forsaken or other creatures of the Adversary," explains Fury.

Fury looks to Fjorin. "You remain here, Fjorin of the Ebonmane. I will show you to the Bulwark archives. Dethys has been cataloging information on the Death Wounds of the Forsaken." She looks to Sembas next. "Your idea is a sound one. You are correct; it would be advantageous to see what Jonas may be able to tell us. Though be advised, do not press him too hard for information. His empathy is such that merely recounting those times can cause him great pain. You should be able to find him in his home. He mentioned he would be training with Faran today." Fury crosses to Corvus and puts her hand on her son's shoulder. "Take Siron to Smith's armory. He will need improved weapons and armor for this mission. Fenwick, I would advise you seek out Dethys in his home. He will want to speak with you immediately. Sig, you and Blood head to the tavern to speak with Calming. He has some materials that may be able to help us on this mission."
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Cameron on September 19, 2013, 09:18:50 AM
"A sound tactical decision, sendin me to the tavern! One of my areas of expertise, that is."

If Sig is worried about any of the things he has just heard or concerned about the upcoming mission, he does not show it. Sig did a lot of reading of human literature about bards before coming here, and he knows that part of the bard's role in a group is to keep spirits raised. He won't be able to do that if he's acting like a frightened dormouse. But when he looks up at Blood, she can see his grin falter for a split second before he speaks.

"Well, lass? How about it? Shall we head out?"
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Kitharsis on September 19, 2013, 09:58:04 AM
It has been a while since he had heard word from Faran.  It is good to hear that he is up and training with Jonas.  The last time he saw the Singer he was in quite a sad state.

"We will check in with Jonas."

As the group disperses Sembas makes a point to talk with Archer and Dennan before he leaves. 

"I'll ask Faile where I can find you later."  He says to Archer, waiting for her response before tapping Dennan on the shoulder.

"If we have time, I think learning to be a falcon would be a useful tool for this mission.  And I think Chico would finally like to set his eyes on your larders."

"Can't go adventuring on an empty stomach!"  Chico adds.

With a grin Sembas makes his exit.  Faile hops from Archer's shoulder onto his wrist as he walks by.  Once they exit the building she catches a thermal and locates Jonas Philosophy. 

Sembas makes his way towards his direction as Faile tips her wings and flies toward her and Besnik's nest.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on September 20, 2013, 05:34:31 PM

Archer nods, but you can sense underlying tones of her unease. It does not take a genius to figure out that she is not exactly thrilled you are going to what she likely perceives as one of the most dangerous places in the mortal realm. Yet, you also know she would never try to sway you from your path. “Hurry back,” she says, placing a soft kiss upon your cheek. 

Dennan, too, seems distracted. He stands with his tree trunk arms crossed over his chest, and a distant look affects his face. At your request to learn to take the form of a falcon, he responds with a grunt. The particular inflection of this grunt, you have come to know, means yes. Dennan has always been a bit of an enigma, and an anomaly even among his own people. He has never been one to express fear or apprehension, so you doubt that is what is tugging at his attention, but surely it must be important to make him appear so unsettled.

Jonas is easy enough to find. You’ve seen his home before. It is rather unremarkable on the outside, certainly not as opulent as many of the other abodes in Avalon. The front yard is covered in tall brown grasses, and in the left corner of the yard is a very unusual tree. Its trunk is incredibly thick, being many feet around, yet its branches are short and stocky. Another tree adorns the right corner of the yard. Its trunk is not very tall, but its branches are long and similar in length, making it appear as if the tree holds a flat green table of leaves at the top of its branches.

You raise your fist to knock upon the door, but before you can, the door opens and you find yourself staring up at the enormous, dark skinned chef you know as Jonas Philosophy.

“Hello, Sembas! So good to see you! Come in, man, come in!” Jonas ushers you into his house. You follow him down the hallway and into his sitting room. He gestures for you to have a sit in an enormous chair that looks like it was woven of some thick, course wood. Upon it is a dark, brown cushion that is incredibly comfortable. Beneath the chair is what appears to be a rather strange animal pelt. It is unlike anything you have ever seen before having strange stripes of black and white, yet appearing as if it came from some kind of horse.

Upon the wall is a variety of weapons, mostly spears, machetes, and knives. Beside them are strange, brown, oblong masks carved of wood. Some of them are painted with red, black, yellow, and white, and some are unadorned.

“So, what brings you to my humble home, Sembas?” Though Jonas asks this question, you somehow get the impression he already knows why you are there. That much you have come to know of Jonas; he is amazingly perceptive. “I wish you had been a bit sooner. You just missed Faran. I am sure he would have loved to see you. Perhaps he will be back before you leave,” smiles Jonas broadly.


   Corvus beckons for you to follow him. He leads you out of the Blood-Warden base and down a path to the left. Ahead you can see a rather large building where curls of smoke pour out of the roof.

   “Smith’s the finest armorer and weaponsmith you will ever meet,” speaks Corvus. “He will surely have some weapons and armor suited to you.”
   You enter the main doors of Smith’s shop and find yourself surrounded by masses of weapons and armor. Every inch of the walls are covered in something made to stab, slash, smash, bludgeon, pierce, or protect. Behind the counter is a stocky bald man whose hands are covered in soot. He wipes his arm across his brow, leaving a streak of black upon his forehead.

   “Ah. Hello there, lads. What brings ye to me part of the world?” greets Smith.

   “My friend here needs new weapons and armor. Mom asked that I bring him down here to find something suitable,” responds Corvus.

   “Suitable!” Smith snorts in mock derision. “Ye’d be more hard pressed to find something ye don’t deem ‘suitable.’” He smirks. “I don’t do just plain suitable, lad. Ye know that. I craft perfection, or at least as close to it as the Divine will let me get. So that is what ye are here for. The perfect weapons and armor for yer friend.” Smith extends his hand to you. “Armen Smith. Welcome to Avalon, lad.”


   After the meeting, Cleo leads you outside. “Do you want me to go with you… to see Dethys?” She places her hand upon your arm. “I have to be honest with you, Wicky. I really don’t think this is a good idea. I know you must see your father, but… I fear what you may find in the shadow of the Marrow, my love. That place is nothing but wickedness, and it can corrupt the best of us. Your heart has been waging a great war with your mind, and that place will prey upon both. I don’t want to see anything bad happen to you, Wicky.” You can tell her concern is genuine, and her shining blue eyes seem moments away from breaking into tears. “I respect your wishes, and I understand if you must go, but please consider this carefully, Wicky. That man may no longer be the father you remember.”


   “So, to the tavern then,” says Blood, gesturing for you to follow her. She leads you out of the Blood-Warden base, and after a short time, you arrive in the town square of Avalon.

   “What could Calming have that we would need?” wonders Blood aloud. “He does not see much action on the front lines. He was never much of a warrior. I don’t doubt he could kill someone with that glorified stick if he needed to, or staff as he calls it. I have never known Calming to fight. He seems to find his way out of trouble with his words. Believe it or not, during a brief stay in the human realm, he ran into Lieutenant Cauter. Calming was captured, and he actually talked Cauter into letting him go. I don’t know how he did it, but Cauter let him walk right out of there. Perhaps he has some magical item we can use.”

   As you enter the tavern, you are immediately greeted by Calming who quickly fills two pints and slides them in front of each of you. “Hello, Blood. Sig. Honestly surprised to see you back here after last night. Figured you’d still be sleeping it off, Adia,” he says with a wink. “So, I take it you’re not just here for the booze and the company.”

   “We’re leaving for the Marrow tomorrow. The General said you might have something that could help us,” speaks Blood.

   “I might,” responds Calming. “Yet, you know nothing is free.”

   Blood frowns. “Actually, everything in Avalon is free.”

   Calming chuckles. “Not this. I’ll give you something to help you in the Marrow, but it’s going to cost you first.”

   Blood crosses her arms over her chest. “Galenus, I don’t have time for this.”

   “Sure you do,” says Calming as he runs his long fingers through his shaggy brown hair. “I want you to tell Sig what you told me last night.”

   Blood’s face is a testament of her namesake; her cheeks take on a deep shade of crimson. “What?”

   “You told me something about Sig last night, before he came to the tavern. I want you to repeat to him what you said to me,” insists Calming.

   Though it seemed impossible moments ago, Blood grows even redder. Her eyes narrow and you can’t tell if she is embarrassed, enraged, or perhaps both.

   “Galenus… I don’t know what you’re talking about,” replies Blood stubbornly.

   “Yes… You do… And personally, I think it would be very therapeutic for you to say it to him,” responds Calming.

   “Stay out of it, Calming,” snarls Blood.

   Calming shakes his head. “You know, Adia… One of these days, you’re going to have to come clean, I just hope you manage to do it before it’s too late.” Calming places both hands upon the bar and seems to debate for a few moments. “I can see you’re not going to budge, so fine… I was going to give it to you anyway. Come on.”

   Calming leads you and Blood upstairs to his apartment. You’re not entirely unsurprised his living space is above the bar. Come to think of it, you don’t recall ever seeing Calming out of the bar. You make your way up creaky wooden steps and into Calming’s modest apartment. Kegs and bottles of all shapes sizes and colors line the left side of the room. You get the feeling these are likely Calming’s private reserves. There is a fireplace in the corner, and above it a mantle. Upon the mantle is a single, wooden tankard. It is beautifully carved, and it seems the shelf is dedicated to that item alone. Perhaps it has some significance to the barkeep.

   “Have a seat.” Calming gestures to two comfortable brown armchairs. Blood immediately flops onto one of them.

   Calming leaves the room and you can hear him in another room loudly rifling through his belongings as he attempts to locate this mysterious item of great importance.


   Once the others have departed, Fury gestures for you and Lai to follow her. She crosses to the far wall of the room, near where the communication orb is. You watch as she presses her hands against the wall. Inexplicably, her fingers and palm seem to sink into the smooth stone. You hear a loud clicking sound and watch as the wall opens to a secret passage.

   As you follow Fury down the hidden corridor, you note several rooms on either side, but your destination is straight ahead at the end of the hallway: the Bulwark Archives. It is an enormous library, and the walls are covered from floor to ceiling in tomes, scrolls, and stacks of papers.

   “Not every Ageless is a member of the Bulwark, and there are certain secrets that are so great we cannot even trust them among our own people,” explains Fury.

She crosses to a shelf, her eye scanning the titles until she arrives at the one she desires. It is a large book bound in bright, red leather. “Ah…Here it is.” She gestures to a table in the center of the room where the three of you seat yourselves. She places the book in front of you. “As you know, some Death Wounds are very obvious.” She gestures to her own eye. “Yet others…” Her gaze locks upon you. “Are not so easily found.”

“Many of us go to great lengths to keep our Death Wounds a secret. In truth, only those who have access to the sacred tome of the Immortalis, the chronicle of the birth, journey, and death of every Immortalis, would have access to such information, and even then the information may be sparse. Only one such book exists, and that is in the care of the First Scribe of the Sacred Order, Dethys Night. Long have the Forsaken sought to replicate the book, yet to my knowledge, they have been unable to do so. Knowledge of Death Wounds is one of our greatest advantages, yet it is information we do not freely share with all Immortalis. The reason being, in the unlikely case that one of our people turns to the side of the Forsaken, they will take with them the knowledge of all of our weaknesses.”

“However, you are correct in saying it would benefit you to know of the Death Wounds of the Forsaken. This book does not discriminate by faction; there are Wounds listed for both Ageless and Forsaken alike. I ask that you look only at the pages on the Forsaken. The Forsaken are listed under the section labeled Darastae.” Fury opens to a section and points at the page. “Take great care to examine Fortuna’s. She guards her weakness well, and even attempting to strike at it may hold its own hazard for you.”
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Cameron on September 20, 2013, 10:02:54 PM
Sigurd follows Blood to the tavern. He listens intently as Blood discusses Calming.

"Sounds like a pretty smooth talker. But I guess he'd have to be to run a bar for a bunch of immortals, eh? Hey! Maybe it's a magical brew that protects us from spirits! That would be incredibly helpful. And tasty too."

Sig is very happy to be greeted by a fresh pint upon reaching the tavern. He is busy drinking it when Calming tells Blood his price for his help. He sputters in mid drink as Calming mentions Sig.

"Now wait a minute-" he tries to interject before Blood cuts him off with a snarl, insisting that Calming "stay out of it." He remains silent as Calming and Blood finish their conversation and they are led upstairs.

"An apartment above a tavern. Now here's something I can get behind. And impeccably furnished too!"

Sig makes a note to ask Calming about the lone tankard as soon as he returns from fetching this item. But while they have a moment to themselves, Sig turns and speaks to Blood in a low voice.

"So, lass. What was that little scene about?"
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Radobe on September 21, 2013, 09:01:43 AM
“Smith’s the finest armorer and weaponsmith you will ever meet,” speaks Corvus. “He will surely have some weapons and armor suited to you.”

Siron nods in agreement. He did not deem his armor unsuitable, but he could not hold back his curiosity, thinking what else could Avalon offer?

“Ah. Hello there, lads. What brings ye to me part of the world?”…  “Armen Smith. Welcome to Avalon, lad.”

The knight’s mouth had been replaced by a huge gaping hole.  Even though he insists on plate armor for himself, Siron has spent a commendable amount of time to learn about and understand all aspects of armor and weaponry.  As a knight, he needs to be prepared when facing an enemy and not being aware of the properties of their equipment could prove to be deadly. It was that knowledge that had led his face to its current transformation.

Siron didn’t pay any notice to what any one was saying.  With his mouth still wide open he went to the wall and grabbed a shield. “This looks so sturdy, yet it is so light,” leaving the shield back on the wall he picks a mace next. “Incredible! This is so well balanced, how was it even made?” He flips the mace in his hand and tosses it from one arm to the other. Leaving the weapon back in its place, the knight admires the wall for a few more seconds before he notices a back room. Without delay Siron goes into the room.

“THIS IS AWESOME!”  The boy screamed at the top of his lungs, his voice could have easily been heard outside.  He slowly backs out of the room and looks at the smith, pointing his finger at him. “Did you… alone... how did you… how many… “In each gap of his speech he gasps for air, excitement had taken over and his heart was beating at an incredible pace. “Who are you man?” As soon as he says that he goes back into the room and starts rummaging through the gear, admiring each item he pulls out.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Kitharsis on September 23, 2013, 11:42:19 AM
The demeanor of his two closest friends in Avalon is striking.  Seeing both of them so unsettled after hearing of the mission into The Marrow hits him in the pit of his stomach.  He steels himself as he makes his way out of the Bulwark, but as he exits the building his courageous facade fades.

"I haven't seen them so worried before, not at the mere mention of a place."  He says to Chico.  "I would not think General Fury would send us to our doom.  She must think us capable, otherwise we would not have been chosen."

Faile was giving him the silent treatment after his mention of possibly not bringing her along.  He waves as she becomes a dot in the sky high above.


Jonas's house is fronted by two oddly shaped trees.  Sembas considers them for a moment before approaching the Chef's door.  It opens before his knock, and Jonas invites him in.  Sembas stammers a bit, being thrown off guard, before accepting his invitation.  Jonas's warm greeting is disarming, and the ominous feeling that had settled in his gut begins to subside.

The Chef's house holds some rather interesting features.  He admires the spears and blades hanging from the wall, favoring the weapons himself.  Upon seeing a particularly sharp looking knife Sembas's mind wanders back to the sparring day.  Cold bony fingers tickle his back and he can't help but shudder. 

He meekly turns to Jonas as he asks him why he came by.

Clearing his throat, he responds.  "I would have liked to have seen Faran.  It has been some time.  I...  I hope his training is going well?"  As stubborn as The Singer is, he also has a great deal of strength.  Sembas is still sorry to see that Faran has not joined the Bulwark yet, but we all must walk our own path.

Gathering more nerve, Sembas continues.  "I have to say, your house is quite pleasant.  Your personal style surely shines through.  I haven't seen trees like the ones in your yard before.  And the animal skin on this chair is unfamiliar to me.  May I ask, where are you from originally, Jonas?"

Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on September 23, 2013, 07:14:53 PM

Jonas beams at your mention of his prize pupil. “Faran is brilliant. Very powerful and full of potential.” Jonas leans closer to whisper conspiratorially. “But don’t tell him I said that.” He leans back in his chair again, crossing his arms over his chest. “He is also very stubborn, easily offended, and easily the most headstrong person I have ever met! He would tell you the sky is green for the sake of argument!” Jonas chuckles. “But I believe his training is going quite well. I must admit I have a great affection for the boy. His boldness reminds me somewhat of myself. I suppose the likeness is both annoying and endearing.”

At your mention of the trees that grace his yard, he smiles widely. “Ah! The thick squat one, in my country, we call it baobab. Its trunks and roots are very strong, but it’s branches lack the span of the trees you see in these lands. Yet it is hardy… sturdy… It must be so. Had it the small trunk and wide branches of the woods in these lands, it would surely die in my home country.”

“The thin tree, we call that acacia. It looks inviting. It provides food and is quite fragrant. Yet, it is one to be wary of, for its thorns can inflict great pain upon any unsuspecting foe.”

As you mention the animal skin upon the floor, he smiles sadly. “Punda milia in my native language. A rather gentle beast that travels in herds. Its black and white stripes, somehow, help it to hide in the tall grasses of our lands. Its meat has a very soft flavor and is a rare delight amongst the tribes of my homeland.”

When you ask where Jonas hails from, his smile falters ever so slightly. “I know your true purpose, Sembas… you mean to ask me about the Forsaken. Yet, the path of questioning you have chosen is a wise decision. So much of the self is formed by the past. I was a Forsaken, a truth that pains me more than I can begin to express, yet at the time, I thought I fought with righteousness on my side. I thought what I was doing was somehow right. It was only once the Divine truly opened my eyes did I see the error of my ways.”

Jonas sighs heavily. “I will tell you my tale, though it pains me to even share it. Yet, I know if you are to be successful in your mission, this is the way it must be. I owe the Divine and my fellow Ageless that much.”

“I come from the lands in the far south. We call it Chiamaka. It means ‘god is beautiful.’ My tribe was called the Olatunde. Before I was Jonas Philosophy, my name was Ayo Amadi.  In my language, Ayo means ‘most beloved,’ and believe me, I truly was. I was the light of my mother’s life. However, Amadi means ‘to seem destined to die at birth.’ I was an only child, and very sickly. No one thought I would survive. Yet my mother held on to the hope I would thrive. My father was a warrior, and he was not around much, so I was all she had. Perhaps the Divine saw fit to answer her prayers. I lived.”

   “As I grew I did not have the strength of my peers, but what I lacked in body, I made up for with my mind. This impressed the Elders of my tribe. I remember many times the village Chief would exclaim, ‘This boy would be a great warrior if it were not for his unfortunate size!’ If only he could see me now!” Jonas has a deep, resonating laugh.

   “Then… something odd happened. In my eighth year, I began to grow at an alarming rate. By the time I was twelve, I was already six feet tall and my formerly weak limbs were thick with enormous muscles.”

   “The warriors who had once scoffed at me eagerly accepted me as their brother. I was trained to wield a spear and javelin for the purposes of both hunting and combat, and by the time I reached my fourteenth year, I was the most skillful warrior in our tribe. Not even our war chiefs could stand against me in battle.”

   “Around that time, my father informed me I would undergo the traditional rite of passage. I would have to lead a raid against another tribe. I was never particularly fond of warfare. Despite my strength and skill, I always felt more could be gained with diplomacy. Years of warfare had crippled our numbers. Too much blood had been spilled. I felt we could spare ourselves the horrors of war by working through peace. The village elders politely listened, as I was quite well-spoken, and honestly they were a bit frightened of me. I believed that peace was the only way to resolve conflict.”

“For years, I kept this dream alive, and we managed to unify our people with several other tribes. I fell in love with a woman of the Bolade tribe. Her name was Adanna… and she was the keeper of my heart. She bore me a daughter, Adaeze and a son, Azubuike. I felt so very blessed. I doted upon them. She, my beautiful princess, and he, my strong warrior. They took such delight in the smallest of things. I would carve them creatures from wood. For my daughter, a bird, and for my son, a great cat with an enormous mane, a lion, as they are called by the white man.”

“But the time of peace we worked so hard for would be splintered like a tree by lightning. My father, along with many of our strongest warriors, vanished into thin air. They had left to scout a herd of beasts, and they never returned. To make matters worse, my village was invaded by northern barbarian tribes. They had never ventured that far south before.”

   Jonas sighs heavily. “We fought bravely, and many warriors died, I myself was upon death’s door when they took me. The barbarians gathered as many of us as they could. They took me, my wife… our children. They packed us like cattle into their ships, took us back to their lands, and sold us to the highest bidder.”

“Our master… he was a terrible man. He kept us through fear, separating husbands from wives under the promise that if the men attempted to rise against him, he would kill our wives and children. I loved my wife and children more than the air I breathe. I could not let harm come to them.”

“Because we were separated at the compound, I saw my family very infrequently. One day, I was surprised and elated to see my wife, our growing children clasping each of her hands. She smiled at me, and despite the fact she knew it would cause her trouble, she ran towards me and wrapped her arms around me. She couldn’t bear to be parted from me, nor I from her.”

“This act was seen by the owner’s son. Long had I watched him gaze upon my wife with indecency in his eyes. He came to her one night, telling her he would not tell his father she had defied the rules. He would keep quiet if she would but lay with him. He held her down upon the cot as my children screamed for me to help their mother.”

Jonas’s hands clench at his sides and his knuckles grow white with the memory. “ I…”

You notice that blood has begun to trickle from his ear, but he is committed to sharing his tale. “I forced my way into the hut moments before he could force his way into my wife. Bruises covered her face and arms. She had tried to fight against him, but he was determined to take all he could of her. I picked up a woodsman’s axe from the floor and I buried it into his back.”

   Jonas grits his teeth and you can tell that simply recounting his acts of violence are beginning to cause him physical pain. “I took my wife and children, and we ran as far and for as long as we could. Yet there were so many looking for us as ‘some ruthless slave had murdered the master’s son.’ They promised freedom to any slave that aided in our capture, so we were hunted by the barbarians and our own. I killed many that day, but in the end, we were captured and forced to return.”

   “The owner had other sons and they whipped me until I could scarcely see. There was so much blood… so much pain… But it could not compare to what they did next.” Jonas fights back tears. “They made my wife kneel before me, and the master raised an axe over his head… the same one I had used to kill his son, and he brought it down upon my wife’s back. He wanted me to watch her die.”

   “Still, my pain was not great enough. The whipping continued, until more blood had poured from my wounds than my body could bear. My children watched both their parents die that day.”

“The Divine saw fit to give me a second chance, and I used that chance to obliterate anything in my path. I killed the rest of the master’s sons, yet the master himself managed to escape… with my children. His wealth was limitless, and despite the fact I pursued him for years, chasing shadows and whispers of his whereabouts, he always managed to elude me.”

“I became consumed by my hatred. How could a loving god, how could the Divine, give me a second chance to only bring me more pain? The loss of my wife was great, and the loss of my children hardened my heart until there was nothing left. I was in such a state when I was found by Severan Deceit. He promised to help me seek my revenge in exchange for my loyalty.” Jonas winces and his cheeks redden as if he was just slapped. “The crimes I committed in his name scarred my soul. I became that which I hated. I killed without mercy, destroyed without purpose, and punished without cause. Men, women, children… it did not matter. Nothing could fill the gaping hole in my heart.” Jonas clasps his hands to his head and you can see fresh, crimson, tears trickle down his cheeks in sanguine rivulets.

Jonas groans. “Severan was true to his word. I don’t know how he did it, perhaps his pact with the Adversary himself, but one day, he arrived with a slip of paper, and upon it, an address where I could find my old master. I paid him a visit. He claimed he did not fear me. He told me he had taken personal satisfaction in watching as my children were worked to death.”

“As for my master… I made him pay for what he did. Severan trusted me with many of his secrets. He watched me transform from a blithering mess into a heartless executioner, and it was he who taught me the word flay. I flayed my master alive, but unlike I did with Faran, I completed the task. By the time I was done with him, he was little more than piles of skin, flesh, and shattered bones.”

   “My revenge complete, I committed myself to aiding Severan, the man who had helped me to bring justice upon my old enemy. One day, Severan ordered me to lead an assault on a port town. They were all mortals. It would be an easy task. I left destruction and chaos in my wake and slaughtered those that begged for mercy upon their knees. Yet… there was a small group of local guards, led by a strong, able-bodied young man. He did not fear me, and that just made me want to slaughter him even more. He was a worthy foe, and at one point, he managed to graze the scars upon my back. They bled uncontrollably, and I thought I just might die again that day. Eventually, I managed to overpower him, and in his final moments, he struck me upon the cheek so hard that it knocked the helm from my head.”

   Blood pours down Jonas’s face and you see fresh wounds open upon his arms, soaking his wrists and the backs of his palms. “I saw recognition in his eyes and I heard him gasping as he struggled to pull a small trinket from his pocket. Nothing could mask my horror as he thrust a small, wooden lion into my hands. Azubuike had grown into the brave warrior I had always hoped he would be. In his final moments, he told me where I could find his sister… my daughter… my little princess, Adaeze. He bid me bring the trinket to her, so she knew of his passing.”

   Jonas clutches his chest in agony as tears of blood continue to stream down his face. “I held my son in my arms as he died. Nothing could move me from that spot. Nothing. Not Lt. Cauter who asked, then threatened me, then demanded I move at once. Not even the Ageless who arrived to drive out the Forsaken. I had battled the Ageless before. I was sure they would kill me, and I would welcome it. The Butcher of Darastae had killed so many of them. It was only just they take my life for all I had done.”

   Jonas takes several deep breaths and his breathing begins to slow. The blood that pours from his eyes and from the seemingly impossible wounds upon his body, begins to recede from where it came. “But there came a warrior beyond compare, one of a name I had heard only in hushed whispers in Darastae. He was clad in golden armor, his hair was raven black, and his piercing blue eyes locked onto mine. He knelt beside me and he whispered in my ear. What he said…” Jonas shakes his head. “Is for me alone to know. I have been loyal to the Archon, the Divine, and my fellow Ageless ever since that day. For the most part, I remain in Avalon, as there is little I could do on the front lines. My blessing was my redemption, but my curse is such that if I even think of causing harm to someone, I endure great pain, thus, I rarely leave Avalon. When I do, it is for the purpose of diplomacy or to aid the unfortunate in the mortal realm.”

   Jonas rests his chin upon his fist. “I did as my son asked. I found Adaeze. She was living well in a small town to the east of where Azubuike met his end. She was but a toddler when we had been parted. She did not recognize me, and I was too burdened with the shame of what I had done to reveal myself to her. To this day, it is my greatest regret. I wish I had the courage to tell her who I was… to wrap her in my arms and place a kiss upon her head as I had done when she was a child.”

   “I tell you all this so you know the truth of the Forsaken… They are as vulnerable as you or I, and despite all their ills, they are not incapable of redemption. They just need the right motivating factors to turn back to the light. I still believe peace can be achieved, even after all the blood that has spilled between the Ageless and the Forsaken. You, Sembas, just need to find out what it is that keeps the Forsaken from the arms of the Divine. If the wounds of their hearts can be healed, then there is hope for them yet.”
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: john greymore on September 24, 2013, 06:32:59 AM
Fenwick considers Cleo's offer. He had offended Dethys not too long ago... But his father, his father!! Maybe she was right though... Maybe his father wasn't the same man he was before.

But that was all conjecture at this stage.

"I... I will go with you Cleo. Let us see Dethys. But I must see my father. This diversion cannot take too long."
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Archdemon Stu on September 24, 2013, 01:42:33 PM
Fury's gaze fixed on Fjorin as she mentioned death wounds.  Indeed, Fjorin was fortunate, though for reasons even he didn't know.  While his death wound was easily hidden, it was even more fortuitous that his existence had somehow passed unnoticed to all except the Lady of Shadows.  Even this "Dethys" would not know his wound, and Fjorin intended to keep it that way, from both Forsaken and Ageless alike.  Bayard Cael had a source somewhere, whether it be another tome, an ability... or an informant.

He obediently sifted through the pages of the Forsaken and the Forsaken alone.  Azazel Punisher, Navar Coward, Ravana Blackheart, Fortuna.

As Fjorin scanned through the pages, General Fury and Lai likely noticed that his pace was somewhat... "steady."

First, he located Blackheart.  He stared at the page for a moment before letting out a sigh, letting loose his pride.  "My apologies, I learned little of written word before my mother was captured.  Lai, would you mind?" he asked, making room for his fellow Ageless.  Should Lai accept the small task, he would ask of Punisher, Coward, Fortuna, Cauter, and Deceit as well.

As he shifted for Lai, Fjorin looked to General Fury.  "Do we yet have any ideas as to how Bayard Cael has such vast knowledge of the death wounds of Ageless?"
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Kitharsis on September 24, 2013, 03:34:54 PM
“I know your true purpose, Sembas… you mean to ask me about the Forsaken..."

Jonas, ever perceptive, has probably known his intentions before he even tried to knock on the man's door.  Sembas returns a nervous smile.  He wasn't sure what to expect from the man.  The story Jonas goes on to tell, and the physical manifestations of his painful memories are almost too much to bear.

Sembas is barely fighting back tears while Jonas speaks of his wife's torturous death.  The Forsaken took advantage of Jonas, that much is clear.  He can hardly blame him, having gone through so much tragedy at the hands of other human beings.  Anything that could have saved him would have been welcome.

The Falconer winces when Jonas mentions the word flay.  What empathy Sembas had for the large man in front of him began to fade as he recounts his deeds as a Forsaken. 

Emotions wax and wane within him.  Here before him is a man who has slaughtered mercilessly.  But the slaughter was not from any direction from within the man himself, rather the lack of it.  Having lost everything, he clung to the first cause that gave his life meaning. 

But in being a gruesome champion for such a cause, he only proceeded to lose everything once again.  His children were delivered into his hands, only to leave one dead, and one never knowing her father.  Never knowing him, save for the man that returned a keepsake from her deceased brother.

Tears threaten once more, and Sembas raises his thickly leathered hand to cover his eyes.

"...You, Sembas, just need to find out what it is that keeps the Forsaken from the arms of the Divine. If the wounds of their hearts can be healed, then there is hope for them yet.”

"Jonas I..."  Sembas says, almost in a whisper.  He removes his hand from his face.  His eyes are red, and it is hard to say if it is from his hidden tears, or for the hard leather of his glove.  It is a safe bet to assume it is a combination of the two.

"I cannot imagine, even after listening to... and watching... your re-telling of your past, the burden that weighs on your heart.  I am honored that you find me a worthy audience.  And at the same time I must apologize for making you relive those days.  Your message is clear, be assured."

He leans forward, placing his elbows on his knees and resting his chin in his open palms.

"Yet, how could I possibly heal wounds such as these, Jonas?  I am barely able to discern the heart of the Ageless here within Avalon.  You must have been well aware how apprehensive I felt around you until even a few moments ago."

Sembas sits back and runs a hand through his hair.  "Perhaps the thought that struck me earlier today was more relevant than I thought.  I must put more effort into my training.  Not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as well.  I only know the information that others have given freely.  Of course they will paint the Forsaken as our enemies.  I barely can spell their names, and here I go headstrong into the Sanguine Fields to meet them in battle like a fool."

The Falconer hangs his head.  Jonas's story is still working through his mind, tugging at his emotions.  The man's faith in him, his charge to attempt to mend the hearts of the Forsaken carries heavy weight.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on September 25, 2013, 07:34:36 PM

Corvus snickers. "Great Divine! He truly is a whelp! Like a newborn puppy! I hope he's at least trained to go outside..."

Smith chuckles at the young knight's obvious enthusiasm for his work. "Whoa, lad! Calm ye down a tad! I am honored by your admiration for me work, boy. As for who I am, just an ol' smith that likes to tinker a bit too much for me good. Got a bum leg. Can't get around like I used to, so it gives me plenty o' time for lashing together bits and bobs and smelting like a madman."

Smith narrows his eyes as if inspecting you to see what would be the ideal fit for your weapons and armor. He rubs his bearded chin. "Hmm..." Crossing to the wall, he selects two maces. One is heavy with razor sharp points at the end. The handle is made of some strange, dark metal. The second one appears lighter and the end is smooth, almost like a large steel ball at the end of a finely made wooden handle. "Now, this one..." He raises the ominous brutal weapon. "This will put a hurting on yer enemies for sure. You give them a good wallop and there's a fine chance that you'll cripple 'em well and good. Even a Forsaken will have trouble healing from a wound from this here. Only magic would be able to heal the target. Now this one..." Smith raises the second mace, the one with the smooth end. "Now this is a handy piece here. It'll still do the job as far as damagin' but, it's a personal favorite of mine, because ye can never be disarmed. No matter how hard someone tries to pry this weapon from your hands, unless you decide to let go, it ain't budging!"

Smith crosses to the far wall. "Hmm... Don't have anything too special in the way of shields, not yet anyway. Mind ye, I could whip up whatever ye want, but for now, one of these will do the job. Yer part of the Bulwark now, lad. Do ye have an inkling of yer leanings? Warrior like yerself is bound for the front lines, which means ye will probably be serving with a company."

He gestures to three shields upon the wall. The one on the far left is a large, red shield with a gauntleted, black fist closed over the hilt of a sword. There are beautifully ornate gold details throughout the border of the shield. “Now, there is the Blood-Wardens, that's General Fury's company. Her champion would be the lovely (though I use the term loosely) Captain Blood. This scalawag..." He gestures to Corvus. "Serves his mama's company, as does little Bran Thane.”

He gestures to the second shield, a large gray steel shield bearing the emblem of a wolf’s head. “I hear Lurien Honor was the man who fetched ye, that would be ol' Cedric Fierce's company, the Fierce Legion.”

He gestures to the final shield, a medium-sized golden shield with ornate carvings, and bearing the charge of a black raven with its wings spread wide. “The last shield here…that's for the Archon's personal guard. Might take he a while to make it there, but it is worth it to serve with the Archon."

Smith shrugs. “All depends on your preference I suppose. The Blood-Wardens are a find mix of brute force and fine tactics. Even balance of attack and defense. The General is likely the greatest strategist among us, even the Archon will admit he lacks the finesse and keen eye of his wife. The Fierce Legion are as hard-nosed as they come. Very disciplined, but ol’ Fierce was one of them Northern Barbarians. Got a wild side to him. His company is full of berserkers. Wild damage dealers, but they don’t quite have the planning that Fury has. The Archon’s guard, you have to work your way up to. Do right by either Fury or Fierce, and they may just give you a recommendation for the Archon’s guard.”

“Or if you’d rather sleep on it, I have just a plain shield in the back. Not the flashiest thing, but it’ll do the job. Keep yer meaty bits intact. Strong and durable. Fashioned out of blue steel. That’s one of me materials of choice.”

“As for armor…” Smith makes his way to the back room and emerges with two full suits of plate. They should be pretty heavy, but Smith carries them both in one arm as if they weigh nothing. “Nothing fancy, but each of these has some neat tricks. This one…” He shows you a set of shining, silver plate armor. “This helps to keep those casters on their toes. Has a chance to resist magic. This one…” Smith holds up the other set. It appears to be steel but has a strange, blue tint to it. “This one has a chance to reflect damage. Someone gets a good smack in with their weapon, this beauty has a chance to give them a taste of their own medicine. Only works on melee weapons though, bear in mind.”
“So, what’s yer fancy, lad?”
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on September 26, 2013, 10:36:22 AM
@ Sembas:

"Make no mistake... The Forsaken are truly as terrible as they sound. Their hearts and minds have fallen prey to the Adversary. But hearts and minds can be changed Sembas. You must remember you are not alone. Lean on your brethren to aid you. If you can, then it is not such an impossible task."

"I admit I know far from everything, but I can tell you what I know. Lieutenant Cauter is Severan's fiercest warrior. His weakness is his love for General Fury. He had always admired her, but as she is the Archon's bride, his yearning for her affection remained unrequited. To this day, I have even seen him demand that the Carnis of Darastae take her form so he may find some small way to be with her."

"For Fortuna, it is her fear of weakness and her lust of power and knowledge that are her bane. I doubt she truly loves Severan, but I know he cares for her."

"As for Severan himself, his greatest regret is striking down the Archon, and his shame bars him from repentance. In addition, I noticed something rather odd. In his journey to conquer the human realm, he avoided a place called Hearthwood Falls. He besieged everything around it, but not that place. Dethys says it was once the home of Severan, and I can't help but to think he is hiding something there."

"I will try to provide you with a more comprehensive list, perhaps upon your return from the Sanguine Fields."
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on September 26, 2013, 05:18:32 PM

Blood’s face is scarlet at your questioning. “Listen here, hobgoblin… I don’t have to answer to the likes of you! The very nerve of you, questioning me about… about the… uh…ergha” Blood stammers unintelligibly. It is obvious the Captain is at a loss for words and speech has failed her at this particular moment. Whatever has her knickers in a twist, she is obviously keeping to herself.

Calming returns with a sack of some type of indiscernible item.  He glances at Blood, smirks and plops down on the floor beside her. “Well, well, well… Never thought the day I would see Adia Blood at a loss for words. I must admit… I rather like this look on you. You know… The silent, non-abrasive one.”
Blood cuffs him on the back of the head and he winces in pain.

“Ow! What did you do that for?” grumbles Calming.

Blood gives him a warning look, but says nothing. Calming simply rolls his eyes before turning his attention to the bag on the floor.
The barkeep rubs his hands together. “Alright then.” He reaches into the bag and pulls out something that looks like a torch. Strangely enough, it is already lit. This torch is certainly a curiosity. Eerie blue flames dance around Calming’s knuckles as he holds it aloft. What’s more is, despite the fact it is aflame, the bag is perfectly intact.

“This little beauty, makes what is unseen seen,” explains Calming. “I’ve had more than my share of run-ins with those spooky, incorporeal types. They have a way of… sneaking up on you.”

He tosses the torch to you. “This little device belonged to a friend of mine. It is doubly useful. First of all, the spirits have the ability to make themselves invisible. Hold this up, day or night, and it will allow you to see any in the vicinity. Secondly, the Marrow is full of odd twists and turns. Up is down, right is left, above is below, you get the gist. This torch leaves a trail that is visible only to the person carrying it. Shows you where you’ve been, so you can figure out where you are going.”
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on September 26, 2013, 05:53:29 PM

Fury watches with curiosity as you trudge through the maze of written words upon the page. As you explain your steady pace, she nods in understanding. “There is no shame in that. Dennan was a rather difficult pupil when it came to reading. To this day, he avoids it whenever he can. Perhaps this is something I can assist you with, Fjorin. You have the makings of a fine general. You’re disciplined, strong, cautious… The only thing you lack is the ability to easily discern words on a page. That can easily be addressed.” 

As you motion for Lai to assist you in this task, you find that her cheeks have reddened considerably. “Spirits have… we don’t have much need for written words. The Forsaken don’t exactly take the time to help us learn.”

Fury shrugs and seats herself across from you and Lai. “As for how Bayard Cael knows so much about the Immortalis, I believe it is a combination of two factors. He comes from a long-line of hunters of the Immortalis. It would not be inconceivable that there is some written record. However, upon consulting with the Divine, I do have another theory.” Fury’s eyes lock on Lai. “I have reason to suspect that the Lady of Shadows may have something to do with his current condition. He was not created by the will of the Divine, and the Adversary can only corrupt that which already exists. He cannot create Immortalis. Alviss the All-Father takes pride in creating, but he forms only his Chosen of Alviss, such as Sig. Thus, the Lady of Shadows is likely the only being I can think of that would have the power to create an Immortalis.”

Fury points to the section on Azazel Punisher. “Now, as for the Death Wounds… Azazel the Punisher. He never made it to Avalon. Severan intercepted him before we could get to him. In life he was an executioner, and a damn good one. But one day, he neglected to fulfill his task. A very fetching noblewoman accused of killing her husband was sentenced to death by beheading. Azazel faltered and assisted her in escaping. Rumor has it the woman was innocent and he guarded the path allowing her to flee. He killed many guards in the process, and as punishment, the king had Punisher decapitated with his own axe. His death wound is located on his neck. He is not a fool and generally guards his wound quite well. Expect enchanted armor over the area.”

Fury points to a second page. “Navar Coward. He is true to his name. When Severan cornered him on the frontlines, he turned tail faster than you could blink. His wound, unsurprisingly, is located on his back, just above his left shoulder. Apparently, as a mortal, he attempted to desert his company. Spear did him in. Went clean through. He wasn’t always such a prat, in fact he showed great potential, but his fear got the best of him.”

“Ravana Blackheart. Her, you will want to take a wide berth from. If she is Fortuna’s pupil, then she will be as her master… a very powerful sorceress. Ravana had a taste of the supernatural. Dethys’s  book states she had great command over the elements. She was another Childer that was intercepted by the Forsaken. Fortuna collected her personally from the gallows. The townsfolk didn’t particularly care for her interest in magic, so they hung her. Her wound is around the neck. Unlike Azazel, she can’t be killed by a well-placed strike. Strangulation would be the only way.”

“Finally… Fortuna.” Fury shakes her head. “There is not a day that goes by that I do not regret her departure from our ranks. There was a time you couldn’t find an Ageless with a bigger heart. Perhaps, that is why she took such a shine to Severan. His fate caused him to become quite an outcast by the harsher judges of Avalon society. But Fortuna… just like I did… just like the Archon did… She saw something in him… Something special. When Severan left, she went with him.”

“In her mortal life, Fortuna was the daughter of a farmer. Their lands were taken by a rather forceful lord, who demanded allegiance in exchange for protection. Fortuna’s father would not swear fealty to him, so the lord burned his crops, his home, and his wife and children with it, Fortuna included. When we found her, she was holding the remains of her dead siblings in her arms. Three children… two boys and a girl. She found her father in the middle of one of the burning fields. He was tied to a post… Made to look like a scarecrow. Because of her wound, there was nothing she could do to save him. She watched him burn. Fire… Fire is Fortuna’s bane.”

Fury shakes her head to banish the memory. “Fortuna’s failing was her fear of weakness. She had determined on that day that she would never let anyone overpower her again. Her lust for knowledge was unquenchable. She was once the pupil of Dethys Night and proved herself to be an exceedingly powerful sorceress. Her power was second to Dethys alone, and an equal match for even Cleo Seer. Had she remained in Avalon, I do not doubt she could have done much good, maybe even convinced Severan to abandon this madness. Instead, she followed Severan and helped him to establish Darastae.”

Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on September 27, 2013, 05:54:04 PM

Cleo takes you by the hand and walks with you to the abode of Dethys Night. She makes no further attempts to dissuade you from your course of action. She, of all people, understands your need to see your departed loved one, but you sense a certain restlessness within her, likely worry for your well-being.

Soon, Dethys's clockwork abode looms in the distance, and Cleo does not give you the option to deliberate upon whether to enter or not. She does not even so much as knock before she leads you into Dethys's home. Perhaps as Dethys's former pupil she may come and go as she pleases, or perhaps in all her years of isolation she has forgotten simple etiquette such as announcing one's entry into another's home.

As you make your way to the living room, you see Dethys, his long, blonde hair falling over his eyes, with his hands pressed against his eyes. His son, Laertan is sleeping soundly upon the couch next to him. You see no sign of his wife, Caerina, but you hear coughing and restless movements coming from the master bedroom. His hands move away from his face, revealing bloodshot eyes. His gaze, usually piercing, and his irises, usually green, are marred by exhaustion and the same careworn appearance that shrouds his entire face. Ageless do not tire easily, so it is likely that the First Scribe of the Sacred Order has been burning the candle at both ends.

Dethys gestures for both of you to sit, and you see little Laertan begin to stir beside his father. Dethys moves to pick him up, but Cleo swoops in, taking the infant in her arms before it can let out a cry. Laertan snuggles up against the Seer's chest and soundly drifts back to sleep.

"Why don't I leave you gentleman to it? I'll see to the baby," offers Cleo. She disappears from view, heading in the direction of Laertan's nursery.

Dethys is quiet for several moments and evaluates you silently. "I had a mind to leave you bound for at least a good decade, Fenwick. I must be out of my mind to ease your punishment after a single day. I don't think I need to sit here and lecture you about how very moronic and dangerous your actions were. Yet, Cleo seems to believe that your actions are not a result of innate stupidity, but rather a reaction to certain undue stresses. While I sympathize with your struggles, many will come and go in your life, Fenwick. Mortal, Ageless, friend and foe. It is one of the few drawbacks to the immortal condition. We may live forever, but we shall also live to see many die."

"I shall do as the Seer and the General have asked, and I will unbind your powers, but know this... should you ever betray my trust again, or for that matter, any of the Ageless of Avalon, I will see you personally banished from this realm, never to return, and with not another chance. I hazard to say you have far too much to lose, Fenwick, to make such a foolish mistake again." Dethys glances in the direction that Cleo had taken.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Radobe on September 28, 2013, 07:55:54 AM
Siron leaves the back room, obviously satisfied with his rummaging and joins the other two ageless.

"Great Divine! He truly is a whelp! Like a newborn puppy! I hope he's at least trained to go outside..."
Siron replies with a huge smile and a proud tone of voice. “Trained, ready and willing!”

"Whoa, lad!... So, what’s yer fancy, lad?” 

The young knight takes a few moments to look at each piece of equipment the smith has presented to him. He pays special attention to the maces. Picks them in turn and makes a few swings with each. Obviously struggling to decide, he moves on to the armors and leaves the maces for last.

“Heh, nice,” exclaims the young man, as he moves his palm on top of the armor and feels the surface of the blue tined armor. After repeating the same motion on the other armor, he places an arm on his chin and crosses the other under it.“Right, I will take the silver plate armor. I know little to nothing in the ways of magic, so this will undoubtedly help. Plus if it has a chance to stop people from shouting me to my ass I will take it,” he tosses a triumphant look at Corvus, as if he will never toss him on his ass again. “Odds are I might need it sooner than I would like to. Thank you it is perfect!”

Putting the armor aside, he moves to the shields and looks at all of them. “They look marvelous,” Siron says finally after spending a minute with them. “Unfortunately,” the knight gives out a deep sigh. “I have not earned the right to carry any of them. From what I’ve seen so far I can tell they will most likely accept me with open arms, but even for my own peace of mind, I want to know I have down something to deserve carrying one. So for now I will take you up on your offer of a plain shield.” Before he moves back to the maces he stops in front of and looks at the shield of the Blood-Wardens. “I hope when we return, I will pick this one without a second thought.”

“And I am back where I started…” It is clear he is struggling even more than the first time. “Guess I will take this one,” his hand picks up the mace with the smooth end and his eyes focus on the ominous one. “Though the other one can help a great deal to intimidate foes, plus the weight and the characteristics of the weapon would prove tremendously useful, though…” a few scenarios run through the knights head and he makes his pick. “Ok, glued to my hand it is!” Picking it up a thought pops up and he turns to face the blacksmith. “When you say never be disarmed, does that include magical attempts at disarming?”

“Thanks for the weapons and armor, I will make sure to visit again, but next time I do, we are going to the tavern and we are drinking until you tell me all about your finest crafts!” 

Siron waves smith goodbye and he and Corvus head towards the barracks, so that Siron can put his gear in order and prepare for the mission. On the way there the knight opens a conversation with his companion.

“There is something I wanted to ask… Though it might be a bit too personal, so I don’t mind if you don’t want to answer, heck I don’t think I should be asking in the first place, but I know so little I won’t be hesitating to ask,” Siron gives Corvus a quick glance to see his reaction and continues. “The thing is, General Fury mentioned something rather interesting. Well at least I find it interesting,” he quickly corrects his statement. “About yours and Bran’s death wounds and more precisely about the lack of said wounds. So yeah, how does that work? Also can we tell Honor what is happening, I don’t want to keep him in the dark if possible?”
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on September 28, 2013, 11:40:25 AM

At your assertion that your armor will keep you from getting knocked on your tail, Corvus snickers. “Do I look like a mage to you? That’s not magic, Siron. Combat Tactics. Nothing magical about it. It’s all about manipulating your foe and your surroundings. I admit, I am not as adept as I would like to be. I know enough to get by, but mom is really the master when it comes to Combat Tactics. Dad, too. Me and Denny know a bit. I know enough that I could probably show you a few techniques if you want.”

When you mention that you hope to earn right to one of the companies, Smith nods in agreement. “A wise decision, lad. Spoken like a true warrior. Either company would probably be pleased to have you, but I think your choice is a sound one.”

When you question your new mace’s power, Smith nods in the affirmative. “Aye, lad. Both melee and magical means. Once that mace is in your hand, nothing will be able to cast it aside, save for your own choice to do so.”

Smith collects your weapons and armor and heaps them into your arms before you depart. “Aye, lad. Come back again whenever ye like. I’ve a mind to find me a new ‘prentice should ye ever wish to learn the art,” says Smith with a wink.

Once you leave Smith’s establishment, Corvus listens as you question his lack of Death Wound. “Well, as for Bran, he isn’t actually an Immortalis. He’s mortal. Just a kid really. Not even 16 yet. As for me and Denny…” Corvus shrugs. “To be honest, we’re a bit of an anomaly even among our own. First of all, you might have noticed the lack of children around here. Generally, Immortalis can’t bear children at all, though that possibility seems to improve if you are intimate with a mortal. Lieutenant Fierce has about half a dozen mortal daughters. In all our history, Denny and I are the only children of Immortalis to become Immortalis.”

“Secondly, the circumstances surrounding our birth were… unusual. Denny will try to tell you he was born first. Personally, I like to thing I got a toe out before he emerged.” Corvus chuckles. “They say we were born breach. Mom and Dad had no idea we would be twins. When we popped out, Denny’s arms were wrapped around me. He has always been very protective of me… even from birth.” Corvus shudders. “Ugh. I don’t like to think about it. How mom managed to push us both out at the same time… Amazing she can even walk.” Corvus gags. “And that’s enough of that.”

“Anyway…. I was about 25 when I just stopped aging. Denny, too. No rhyme or reason to it… we just stopped getting older. Neither of us had ever endured a Death Wound. I don’t know how it affects the rules. Kind of scary sometimes, actually. I often wonder if we are capable of dying, or what the circumstances may be that could finally do us in. Hestia, Dethys, Cleo… Everyone’s tried to figure it out. If Mom and Dad know, they aren’t saying anything. They are the only ones who talk to the Divine directly. If anyone would know, it would be our Lord…” Corvus shrugs. “I don’t know. I guess in the scheme of things it’s not that important. I don’t want to look a gift horse in the mouth. If the Divine thinks me fit to keep me young, there are certainly far worse things that could happen.”

“As for Bran… I don’t know what will become of him. Maybe he’ll be granted the same gift. Maybe he won’t. Mom and Dad have been alive for thousands of years. There’s got to be a reason they have only had three children in all that time. There’s got to be a reason for us, but what it is, I sure don’t know. I worry though… If Bran ends up a mortal and not an Immortalis… Watching him grow old and die while Denny and me stay young… that would be a fate worse than death." Corvus's gaze is downcast. "It's hard enough losing other Immortalis, and they at least have a chance to far longer lives than mortals.”

Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Radobe on September 28, 2013, 03:17:24 PM
“Thank you for sharing.” Siron pauses for a second and looks at Corvus. “I know it can’t be an easy subject for you,” the knight chuckles a bit before the next part. “But I also find it hard to believe that your mother gave birth to you and Dennan at the same time. It would be like having two pairs of testicles being kicked at the same time!” An obvious attempt at cheering up his companion, but pretty much all he can offer at the time.

“Seriously now, about those Combat Tactics you mentioned earlier, can you really teach me some of it? I mean if it isn’t magic then I can pull it off two right?”
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Cameron on September 29, 2013, 02:48:46 AM
Sig really doesn't know what to make of Blood's refusal to talk about... whatever this thing she told Calming was. It's one of the few times Sig has actually seen her reluctant to speak her mind. He also doesn't know what to think about being called a hobgoblin, but he lets that one slide. An amazing feat of will keeps Sig from laughing out loud when Calming makes his "silent, non-abrasive" crack, which more than likely saves him from Calming's fate. Which Sig DOES laugh at.

Sig marvels at the torch that Calming produces and almost drops it when it is thrown to him. He listens closely to it's description. He then turns around and holds the torch up high, to see if he can see his footprints leading into the room.

"Well, ain't this something! Now I can see more than just the spirits they put in bottles. How did you come across this little beauty?"
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Archdemon Stu on September 29, 2013, 07:12:17 PM
General Fury handles the situation well, and Fjorin seems somewhat comforted that he is not alone in his illiteracy.  "It would be an honor to learn written word." He let a light breath out through his nose as Fury praised him once again, smirking, "General Ebonmane... I have to admit, I prefer the sound of it to 'Prince.'" Already so many were putting their hopes on the last of the Ebonmane.  He was to be the slayer of Bayard Cael, and now a general.  While he was used to such praise in life, here, among these Ageless, men and women some mortals see as gods, and one of which dares to defy them... it was difficult to digest, but he would not argue.

Fjorin was learning much from the Blood-Warden General.  The Divine can create, the Adversary can corrupt, and the All-Father could only create chosen... upon mention of Sig, the warrior recalled as he stood witness to the Chosen of Alviss's power as he scattered and destroyed the Otaktay's forces.  She continues, and sums things up with a shocking theory.

"If the Lady of Shadows made Bayard Cael an Immortalis... with Lai's information, it would only be natural that I was not known to Dethys." Things started to come together as to why Fjorin differed so from the other Ageless.  For now, they were only theories, however.  He needed to focus on the task before him.  "My apologies, General.  Continue." he practiced his etiquette before General Fury read.

Azazel Punisher is first.  He is either an honorable man who fought to the death for someone he believed to be innocent... or simply an easily seduced guardsman.  His death wound is one Fjorin is confident he can manage.  Though, if it was well guarded, Fjorin would no doubt have to pick him apart first.  The warrior stifled the combative shadow dancing that meandered about in his head, and focused as the general continued.

Navar Coward.  At the mention of "Coward" Fjorin's eyes seem to dim.  There is no honor in defeating a man who has shit himself before he's drawn his sword.  At the very least, his wound is convenient.  It would be most difficult to kill the man if he were to actually face him and fight, no doubt.

Ravana Blackheart, however, is another story.  Mastery over the elements was indeed dangerous to Fjorin's newfound life.  Her death wound complicated things somewhat, as strangulation takes time.  If Fjorin were to face her, he would first have to cease her means of casting spells before attempting to finish her; another topic he would need to research.

Finally, Fortuna.  Her tale is a truly harrowing one.  Fjorin lost everyone he knew and loved in battle - scattered to the vast seas by a powerful shaman.  Fortuna lost everyone she had known and loved to murderers - to flames born of naught but cruelty.  He began to wonder if any Immortalis had died a peaceful death.

Fortuna's death wound was flame.  Should he face her in battle, Fjorin would simply need to create an opening for another, disable her, or find an improvised flame.

As the battles played out in his head, it was clear to him he had more preparations ahead than the scholarly pursuit.  Fjorin stowed away the names in his now lengthy list of Forsaken to be slain, and he burned the images of their death wounds to his mind.

His expression became solemn as he looked to the Blood-Warden General.  "By your good graces, I have armed myself with knowledge.  By your leave, General Fury, I shall arm myself with a new blade as well.  I'm afraid my arms are mere piecemeal scraps scavenged from the ruins of my old home."

From all he had learned of the Ageless so far, he knew they were compassionate... even toward those who seek their deaths, as Dennan yelled and fought to spare the lives of the Otaktay.  General Fury had fought the very laws of nature to save one of her own, and now she spoke of Fortuna with a hint of regret: "Had she remained."

"They are strong, but I fear it is their compassion that will be their downfall."

Perhaps the Lady of Shadows was right, yet... how could General Fury be weak, when she had slain so many, and yet still dares to feel such compassion?  How does she go on, allowing herself to feel the pains that come with the heart, and yet persevere?

Upon General Fury's approval, Fjorin would leave to find a good blacksmith, and arm himself well.  The tasks before him were mountainous.

"So, what's the newest Ageless going to arm herself with?" Fjorin asked Lai playfully, giving her a gentle nudge - still somewhat surprised that there is actual contact upon the action.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Kitharsis on October 01, 2013, 09:58:54 AM
Lieutenant Cauter's weakness is The Archon's wife.  Even if he could be persuaded to return, it seems dangerous to do so.  Sembas doesn't doubt The Archon and General Fury's love for each other, but he has seen what a jealous man can do to a relationship.  He even had to lock up that dolt Perry for a night when he wouldn't leave the Meada couple alone.  Some people just can't handle rejection.

Fortuna has a fear of weakness.  Something she and Sembas share.  He frowns upon hearing this.  If strength and knowledge were what you desired, he could think of no better place than Avalon.

Severan, his story is known to him.  Such a sad prophesy.  Sembas makes a mental note of Hearthwood Falls.  Should the opportunity strike, he will make a trip out there to gather information.

"Jonas, your counsel is invaluable.  I believe that these people can be saved.  I just hope I can share in your insight enough to be able to reach them."

Sembas stands and shakes the large man's hand.  As he makes his way through Jonas's house he says, "Thank you for everything Jonas.  I would like to pay you another visit once we return from our mission.  I hope I come back with good news.  Tell Faran hello for me, and that I wish him well."

With a wave Sembas walks off towards Dennan's house.  He flips open the flap on one of his shirt pockets.  Chico is lying on his back snoring.  Somehow the little mouse found some fuzz and made himself a little bed in there.

He hope's Dennan is at home.  As the Falconer walks he spreads his arms and wiggles his fingertips, feeling the air pass over them.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on October 01, 2013, 10:20:33 PM

Corvus shrugs. “I don’t see why not. Maybe when we get back from the Marrow we can take some time to train. I can show you a few things. It takes a lot of practice, but I think you could manage to pull it off.”

You follow Corvus to the headquarters of the Fierce Legion. After inquiring within, you are informed that the Captain is likely at his personal home. Corvus leads you out of the Bulwark Headquarters, through the city square, and towards the west side of Avalon. As you approach Honor’s home, you find that it is most befitting of a knight. It is certainly not as large as a castle, but the essence is there. There are battlements, wall walks, a bastion, and even a portcullis that bars entry from unwanted visitors. The portcullis is currently raised, allowing access to two massive, wooden doors.

Corvus strides up to the door and places his hand on an enormous iron ring that is suspended from the gaping mouth of a fierce, metal wolf. He bangs the ring against the door and moments later, one of the doors opens. Honor groggily rubs his eyes and pokes his head out of the door. He glances up at the sky and narrows his eyes. His hair is disheveled and his eyes a bit bleary.

“Rough night?” inquires Corvus with a smirk.

Honor opens the door wider and you see he is clad in a white, cotton tunic with a brown, leather belt cinched around his waist. “You know how it is. Late night battle plans with Lieutenant Fierce. Once the Archon arrives, we will be departing with the Blood-Wardens for the front lines.”

Corvus nods in understanding. “Seems my mother has decided I will be taking a bit of an extended leave from the frontlines.”

Honor nods. “I never got the chance to express my condolences for you loss. I was much aggrieved to hear of Dignity’s passing. I’m heartily sorry, my friend.” Honor puts a hand on Corvus’s shoulder.

Honor gestures for you both to come in and you follow the sounds of his brown leather riding boots down the hall. Despite the brightness outside, the hallways are rather dark and lit by torches. There do not seem to be many windows, at least until you enter the common area. The common area is much brighter and has a far livelier feel than the drafty corridors.

Honor gestures for you to take a seat. “So, to what do I owe the pleasure of your visit?”

Corvus clears his throat. “Siron thought it would be prudent to let you know of his impending departure tomorrow.”

Honor raises an eyebrow. “Oh? He just arrived in Avalon. What all-important Bulwark business has him departing so soon?” Honor lifts a tankard from a small, wooden table and takes a swig.

“We leave tomorrow for the Sanguine Fields and the Marrow,” responds Corvus.

Honor chokes upon his beverage. “You what?”

Corvus nods. “It’s true.”

Honor shakes his head in disbelief. He places his tankard back upon the table and takes a deep breath.  “I’d say it was madness if not for the fact I have heard rumor of unrest in the Marrow. It must be enough of a concern to warrant the General’s attention.” Honor glances towards you. “Are you sure it is wise to send a Childer Immortalis on such a hazardous mission?”

Corvus shrugs. “It doesn’t matter what I think. My mother seems to think he is capable, he agreed to the challenge, so we leave tomorrow.”

Honor frowns. “Well, I know you are capable, Siron. All I ask is that you be careful.”

“Well, unfortunately we cannot tarry. I just wanted to make sure you were aware, given the fact that Siron was your charge.” Corvus stands and makes his way back to the corridor.

“Well, I certainly appreciate the thought. Let me see you gentlemen out,” offers Honor.

You make your way towards the hallway to follow Corvus while Honor lingers with you in the sitting room. The Captain’s hand grips your forearm and he leans in towards your ear. “Be wary of the General’s son, Siron. There is much unrest in him since his lady’s passing, and I worry that it has left him a bit unhinged. Why Fury is event letting him go, I will never know. Yet know this, Corvus Virtue has not been himself since returning from the front lines. Take care, lad.” Honor embraces you and sends you after Corvus. His warning echoes in your head as you make your way out of the abode.

Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on October 03, 2013, 09:26:59 PM

   When you reach Dennan’s cottage you find the General’s feral son sitting on a tree stump across from the massive bear, Fensten.

   You see a mortar in Dennan’s hand and you note he is grinding something within it. As you draw closes, your nostrils are accosted by a strange, pungent smell.

Fensten groans loudly and clutches at his abdomen with his mighty paws. The noise is enough to startle Chico, who jumps so high he nearly topples out of your pocket before finding an edge to cling to.

Dennan frowns in response. “You’ve done this to yourself,” speaks Dennan unsympathetically. Dennan raises an eyebrow as he notes your approach. “I must apologize to you, Sembas. Archer had baked a bounty of honeycakes for your travels, but it seems Fensten decided to help himself. I am sure he will find some way to make it up to you.”

Fensten grumbles loudly in response.

“Open your mouth,” orders Dennan. Fensten does as instructed and Dennan scoops the foul-smelling mixture into the bear’s gaping mouth. It obviously tastes as awful as it smells; you never realized that a bear’s face could be so expressive.

With Fensten’s much-deserved bellyache tended to, Dennan turns his attention to you. “I know two falcons who are expecting your company, so we better get to it.”

Dennan whistles and Besnik comes swooping towards you at a breakneck speed. He just misses the crown of your head as he dips low and lands on Dennan’s outstretched arm. He plucks a feather from Besnik’s wing and offers it to you.

“I showed you the mouse form first because it is likely the easiest to assume,” begins Dennan.

“Hey! Who you calling easy?” demands Chico.

Besnik glowers at the little mouse. “Quiet, snack!”

“Why I never-!” Chico begins to clamber out of your pocket to take the fight to Besnik, but only manages to tumble to the ground where he lands in a pile of soft grass. Dennan scoops him up and places him in a pouch upon his belt.

“Follow me,” directs Dennan. It is a lengthy trek, but you eventually find yourself back at the waterfall where you spend a lovely evening with the fair Archer. You follow Dennan to the top of the waterfall and look down at the considerable distance between yourself and the pool below.

Dennan gestures to the feather in your hand. “Look closely at the formation of the feather, then close your eyes. Imagine your skin covered in this delicate plumage. Stretch your arms at your sides. Your feet become talons, and your arms become wings. Now on my count, you will jump.”

Chico whistles. “That’s a long way down, Sembas.”

“For a mouse, maybe,” returns Besnik.

“On three…” speaks Dennan. As you ready yourself to jump, you feel a firm shove from behind and hear Dennan shout, “Three!”

You feel the air whooshing around you, and you draw your knees in closer to your body. You can feel the slight change in temperature as the water below is colder than the air that surrounds it. You know you are drawing very close to the water when you manage to access all of your memories of Faile. In your mind’s eye, you see her swooping, cutting massive arcs in the sky as she descends and ascends until her heart’s content. As you recall your envy of her ability to defy gravity, you feel your feet twist and contort, and your whole body feels suddenly lighter. When you open your eyes, you find yourself hovering just above the water of the pool.

Besnik lets out a screech as he dive bombs the pool, deftly extracts a fish, and tosses it at your feathered head. You don’t quite have the hang of your new form yet and you can hear Besnik’s laughter as the fish smacks you in the side of the head.

   “You may look the part of a falcon, but you sure don’t have our speed!” taunts Besnik. He takes off in the direction of Archer’s home and urges you to follow as fast as you can. At first, you struggle to keep up, but soon you can nearly match Besnik’s speed.

In the upper branches of Archer’s massive tree, you see a large nest that has been painstakingly crafted for maximum support. Faile is perched on the nearest branch and she lets out a screech in greeting, obviously thrilled to see your new form. She flies in a great circle around you to welcome you to her abode, before alighting back on her branch.

Within the nest, you see three light brown eggs with mottled spots of a darker shade of brown.


   Calming winks at you in reply. “I have my ways.”

   “He stole it,” responds Blood curtly.

   “When you put it that way it sounds so callous. I like to think of it more as ‘borrowed without the intention of returning it,’” speaks Calming. “I liberated it from a bandit encampment. Besides, it can’t really be counted as stealing if it wasn’t theirs to begin with. A few hundred years ago, when I was a mortal, I was a procurer of rare items. My father was a yeoman. Not the most exciting occupation. He wanted me to take over the family custom, but I had other plans. I wanted to see the world.”

   “My travels lead me to a place called Knot’s Notch. Rumor has it, it used to be a burial ground for the ancient kings. They weren’t exactly using the items there, and I was actually there to find a golden goblet that could bring its owner innumerable riches. Needless to say, I didn't find it. However, I did find the adventure I was looking for. Well, when I got there, I found that most of the treasures had already been claimed, but the bandits weren’t exactly the brightest characters. I managed to knock one of them out and steal his garb. The bandits were getting ready to head east, so I assisted them in packing their belongings. While we were loading up the carts, I liberated this pretty thing.”

   “Well, upon some consideration, I thought, what better way to see the world than with some roaming bandits. I maintained my disguise until we reached the next city. When I was finally found out, their leader was so impressed with my subterfuge he allowed me to remain with their company. I stayed until I got bored with it all, and went about my merry way. This beauty came with me."
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Radobe on October 04, 2013, 01:11:28 AM
After meeting Honor, Siron was left with a lot of questions. Questions he is not sure he should seek the answers for.  Honor’s words brought a grim look on the knight’s face. Though he knew he was letting himself get dragged in by enchanting environment of Avalon, it was a pleasant feeling. That feeling has now left him. He is about to go to a battle field, to fight for a cause he chose of his own will, to help the people that helped him and answer their expectations. There was no room for foolishness and he knew it.

“When you mentioned the loss of other immortalis, I thought you referred to the young man who was killed recently. I see that I was wrong.  I would also like to express my sincere condolences on the passing of Dignity. I might not have known her but I am sure she must have been a remarkable woman, “says Siron after catching up with Corvus and leaving the compound.

“May I ask how many of the ageless and forsaken have passed away recently? I understand that the frontlines are a dangerous place, but I am sure that without the knowledge of dead wounds and with the skills of the ageless, the forsaken would have a difficult time killing the members of the Bulwark.”
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Kitharsis on October 04, 2013, 10:28:28 AM
Three eggs sit nestled in the large nest.  If a falcon could smile, Sembas's beak would be curved upwards as far as it could go.

He puts on his falconer hat (as if he ever takes it off) for a moment and inspects the eggs.  The eyes of a falcon are incredible, and he can see the smallest details on them without even squinting.  Satisfied, he turns to Faile and Besnik and calls out in excitement.

"Wonderful!"  His cry calls out across Avalon.  A little more composed he continues.  "These are three very strong and healthy eggs, you two.  Very well done.  And this is a very impressive nest, Besnik.  Quite sturdy, quite sturdy."  He repeats the last bit with a nod for emphasis.

"I am so very proud of you, Faile!"  Sembas exclaims.  "I can't wait to meet your eyases when they hatch."

The three of them converse and hop around the nest for some time.  Besnik even sits on the eggs for a spell while Faile and Sembas take a flight together.  The two of them dart and dive.  They catch a thermal and rise high into the air.  As they level out, Sembas finally speaks.

"It's like a dream, girl, flying up here with you."

"It really is.  Just don't make me turn into a human and walk on the dirt with you anytime soon."  Faile cracks back.

The two falcons laugh as they circle back around, finally landing back near the nest.

"I'll come and visit as often as I can.  I hope this mission doesn't take me away for too long..."  A tinge of sadness hits his voice.  Sembas looks to Faile and sighs.  "I don't know what to do, Faile.  We have always fought side by side, but I don't want you to miss your eggs hatching.  If this place is as dangerous as they say, we might be stuck there for a long time."

Sembas hangs his head a picks at a branch with his talons.  "It is your decision."
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on October 04, 2013, 06:44:04 PM

Upon your mention of Dignity, Corvus stops in his tracks. Since you met him, his expression has never strayed from one of jovial humor. He seems very much a carefree, easily approachable person… someone you can’t help but to trust and like. Yet, the heartbreak is evident upon his face, and his smile wanes, then dissipates entirely.

“Remarkable is an understatement.” His voice catches in his throat. “In my youth, I frolicked until my heart’s content and called many a strange bed my home for a night, maybe even two if it suited me. I have had my share of admirers, and can claim a countless amount as lovers. I have been called names by jealous husbands, and endured the wrath of many fathers...Lieutenant Fierce included." Corvus chuckles. "I'll never forget his face when I emerged stark naked from his eldest daughter's room."

The moment of levity quickly passes, and again his eyes are affected by pain. "Over the years, I have lain with a bounty of beauties.” You get the sense that he is not saying all this for the sake of stroking his own ego. There is certainly truth to his words. “But in all my life, in all my years, I never truly loved… until her.” His expression is absolutely broken, and you can clearly see just how much the loss of his beloved has affected him. "I had intended upon making her my wife... I had it all planned out. When we returned from the front lines, I would finally have the strength to ask her to be mine and mine alone. For from the first I laid eyes on her, my heart could only ever be hers."

He reaches into a pouch upon his belt and extracts a simple, gold ring. It is beautiful in its simplicity. "I would have given her a jewel big enough to cramp her finger, but she was always one for simplicity. She took pleasure in the overlooked joys of life. This... this is what I would have given her. She loved the ocean. She had grown up beside it in a kingdom by the sea. In her mortal life, she had been a serving girl, and any time she was not waiting upon her lady in the castle, she was out upon the beach with her toes in the sand and her head in the clouds. I had planned to bring her back to her homeland, to that same beach that had been a refuge from her harried life. Yet... it was not to be."

He returns the ring to its resting place. Corvus’s eyes are downcast and he takes a deep breath in an attempt to regain his composure. “The Forsaken are not the only threats to our survival, Siron. The Adversary attempts to claim us in many ways. On the front lines, there are horrors that I cannot begin to even put into words, save for nightmarish. They are creatures of innate evil with power beyond compare. Beasts, monsters, twisted abominations, shattered mirrors of things we know as living. While we may only be killed by other Immortalis, we may be injured, our bodies broken, our will destroyed, captured or otherwise incapacitated.”

“As for the numbers of the Immortalis who have died, that I cannot claim to have knowledge of. Dethys Night is the First Scribe of the Sacred Order, and the Keeper of the Tome of the Immortalis. It is a book that details the birth, death, and second death, of every Immortalis, Ageless and Forsaken alike. As I recall, there are only ever 300 Immortalis in existence. Before Severan, they were all loyal to the Divine. Severan was the first who fell from grace, and many like Fortuna and Cauter followed suit.”

“For a time, we still managed to command the majority of the Immortalis, but eventually Severan’s forces came to equal our own. Now, rumor has it, that the Forsaken have a slight advantage in numbers. However, while the Forsaken have the Adversary’s creatures to aid them, we have found aid within the human realm. People from all over the world united in a common goal: to ensure humanity may thrive, even in the shadow of the Adversary’s continuing quest for domination over all.”

“The members of the Bulwark are truly formidable. Not many of us have been claimed upon the front lines, yet, Dignity was once counted among our numbers, and she fell. Yet, despite the fact that our more recent recruits, yourself included, are comprised of Childer Immortalis, we also boast the most experienced and skilled of the Ageless."

“What is important for you to consider, is whenever an Immortalis dies, another one is made. As much as Dignity’s passing tears at every fiber of my heart and mind, I find some comfort in knowing her spirit was welcomed into the kingdom of the Divine. You are here because an Immortalis died. Perhaps you took your second breath the moment she passed. I know not nor care not who had to die so Siron Entrima could live. But know this: take to heart this second chance at life. Never forsake the great gift the Divine has given you.”


   A glance is exchanged between Besnik and Faile. You know this look. It is the same one Archer gave to you upon hearing you would be leaving for the Sanguine Fields. He is clearly worried for the survival of his mate, and you can see in his eyes a sense of pleading. He glances down at the nest, then back to Faile, and if falcons could attempt a half-hearted smile, then that is the expression he would wear upon his face.

“It must be your choice, Faile. We have a duty to our children, but your duty to Sembas was formed well before this. It will be okay, love. I will guard our nest. I will ensure our children are warm and safe. If they are anything like their mother, they will have your stubbornness and simply refuse to be born until your safe return,” jokes Besnik.

It is evident this is a difficult choice for Faile. She sits in silence for several moments, carefully weighing her options. “You’re right, Sembas. It is dangerous… all the more reason I should be with you. Yet…” Her gaze drifts to the eggs within the basket. “One of my fondest memories of my mother is the first I have of her. I remember when I emerged from my egg. I was the last of them. My brothers had managed to make their way out before me. I was also the smallest, so small that a lesser falcon may have even tossed me out of the nest and let nature claim me. Why waste one’s time with a sickly creature with two healthy young ones to feed? Yet, my mother, she pressed her head close to mine to let me know everything would be okay.” Faile’s gaze locks onto yours. “I don’t want to miss a moment of my children’s birth, yet if anything happened to you without me to take care of you, I could never forgive myself.”

There is a sudden movement of air around you, and you can hear the flutter of large wings, followed by an unfamiliar voice.

“Good thing you won’t have to.”

Letting out a wild screech in greeting, another falcon lands beside Faile. The newcomer bears a striking resemblance to Faile; even their markings are similar. However, it is slightly smaller than your companion.

Faile shakes her head in disbelief. “Anlaf!”

“Straight from the Raynar Mountains. I got here as fast as I could.” The newcomer peeks into the nest. “As I hear it, I am to be Uncle Anlaf. I must admit, I rather like the sound of it.”

Faile presses her head against the new falcon’s, Anlaf, as he is called. You recognize the name from some previous discussion with Archer, but at first you cannot place it. The recognition quickly dawns on you. Zarine, Faile’s mother, had three children. Faile, and her two brothers, Anlaf and Cuthbert. You recall Archer mentioning that Anlaf made his home in the Raynar Mountains.

“Not that I am complaining, but why are you here?” asks Faile.

“To spare you the hardship of a painful decision,” returns Anlaf. “Besnik got word to me this morning that you would be departing on a journey with your master. You now have other matters to tend to, so I will be happy to stand in your place, should your master have me.”

“How did you get here so quickly?” asks Faile.

Anlaf cocks his head to one side. “Ah… that is for me to know, and for you to never find out. The point is I am here.”

“I can’t let you take my place,” argues Faile. “If something happens to you, I would feel terrible! Sembas is my responsibility! He gets himself into all manner of troubles! One time, Archer had him pinned down fast and he was crying out something fierce. She had stolen his wriggly worm with her legs and I had to swoop down and scare her away so he could free himself!” Faile pauses. “You know he didn’t even say thank you! He was all waving about telling me I ‘killed the mood.’ Fine way to thank someone for saving your skin!”

Anlaf appears confused. “I have no idea what you are talking about.”

“The point is, it is my job to take care of Sembas,” rationalizes Faile. “He’s my responsibility. I decided when I took a human as a pet that I would take very good care of it, and I have. You’ve never even had a human, Anlaf.”

“I’ve never had the desire to shackle myself in such a way. I come and go as I please without anyone to answer to. It’s well and good if you and Cuthbert take it upon yourselves to endure such a bore, but I like to think there are better things to do with my time. However, I am willing to babysit your human just this once. Your responsibility is in that nest,” states Anlaf firmly. “There will be plenty of time for journeying about once your young ones have arrived. Please, sister, it is the least I can do after all the jesting you endured as a chick.”

“I know you were only joking,” states Faile.

“I was. Cuthbert really meant for you to get stuck in that jam jar. Awful sense of humor that one.”

Faile is reluctant, but after much persuading by both Besnik and Anlaf, she finally relents and gives her blessing to the arrangement.

Anlaf turns to you. “Now, what do you say, human? Will you have me?”

“Of course he will!” interrupts Besnik as he shoos you on your way. "Now, off with you! We have much to discuss and you best be seeing my mistress before you leave.”

In all your time with Faile, you have found it is useless to argue with a falcon, so you swoop down to the little window in Archer’s kitchen to seek out your lady.

Archer is sitting at the breakfast table with a book in her hand and a large map unfolded on the table in front of her.

“Hello, dear one,” speaks Archer without raising her eyes from her book. “I take it you’ve met Anlaf. I hope you are not offended that he has offered his services to you. I know you would much rather have Faile at your side, but I assure you he is just as capable of performing the same tasks she would. Even I was forced to give Zarine some space when she was tending to her eggs. Her mate belonged to another Immortalis, an Ageless falconer named Zep. Both he and his master perished on the front lines, and Zarine had to tend to the nest alone. It was difficult without her. At least you have another falcon to serve with you. In her absence, I had to make do with a rather foul-tempered crow.” Archer frowns at the memory. “Anyway. I found this book for you. It was given to me shortly after my arrival in Avalon and details the practices one should abide by to be an effective tracker. I felt it may benefit you in the field.”

Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: john greymore on October 05, 2013, 05:35:07 AM
There is a deafening silence once Dethys warns Fenwick, punctuated only by the coughing and ruffling of bed sheets in the bed room. The stress Dethys was feeling had painted a face utterly different to the one he held during their first arrival.

Even immortalis can tire, but never easily. They can die, but not conventionally.

Fenwick replies with a nod, shame and dignity (pride?) mixing together, preventing his mouth from forming words. How to proceed when one knows he has broken the social norms? When one decides that he is, in fact, right?

"Tell me what you've seen. Please." Fenwick finally asks. Experience, any sort at all, was sometimes worth more than any good in the world during his merchant days. Perhaps he could glean some information about the ageless, the forsaken, and all this mess going on.

As the coughing continues, Fenwick occasionally glances over to the source of the sound. Immortalis can die... But not conventionally. Did that mean...?

"How long...?" It is a touchy subject. Of course it was. It was the subject that made him willing to trespass, try to find knowledge of someone else, and theoretically sacrifice one of his fellow comrades.

Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on October 05, 2013, 12:04:52 PM

   Dethys is silent for several moments. He leans back upon the couch, his eyes closed. “I am so very… very… tired.” A slender hand pushes his long blonde hair from his face. “Your little… outburst… though not unfounded, is at best, likened to a tantrum from a petulant child. You are no longer mortal, Fenwick. The eventuality that is the human condition is now lost to you. You quake with fear because there is a chance you may die again.” Dethys shakes his head. “No, I can assure you that you WILL die. We all will. I don’t even think that the Archon and the General are beyond being affected by their eventual reunion with the Divine. At some time and in some place, we will all be as dust. But that should have no bearing on what we do while we are here.”

“You cry and moan because your parents were unjustly killed. At least you have the opportunity to see your father again. My parents were taken from me when I was very young. I have not seen them for over 1,000 years. You haven’t even been an Immortalis for one. You cannot fathom the unfortunate yet inevitable nature of the circle of life. I know that my wife lay in the next room dying. At any moment, she may breathe her last, for unlike me, she was not fortunate enough to become Immortal. Why would the Divine choose me, but not her? She is a far better person than I. She is kind, and good, and patient. None of these are qualities I may lay claim to. Yet, she is the one who is slowly dying. Even as a mortal, she should have decades left in her life, yet she is doomed to be taken far before her time, and when she leaves, I will lose the other half of my soul, and my very heart of hearts with her. It is I who will be left behind to care for our son, who in all likelihood will also be mortal. Perhaps I will be fortunate enough to spend the next eight decades or so with him, but he, too, will die.”

“You act as if you are afraid of dying, Fenwick Hux, but I don’t think that’s the case at all. I think you’re afraid of living. The Divine has granted you gift after gift. You have a woman that would do anything for you, friends that regard you highly, a mentor who granted you his trust (of which you betrayed and nearly threw a fellow Ageless to the wolves,) and a leader who thought you wise enough and brave enough to invite you into the Bulwark. Yet you… you who should be a giant among us, would much rather cower in a corner, rather than seek out the great power you can achieve, quake among the reeds merely skating by on what little you already know.”

Another fit of coughing affects Caerina and Dethys winces at the sound. All the while he is silent, his expression pained, until the coughing once again subsides. “I have done what I can to extend her life, but no spell, potion, herb or salve will keep her here forever. She fights valiantly, but her sickness will claim her, of that I am certain. As much as I mourn her eventual loss, while she remains I will do all I can to make her final days with me as close to Heaven as can be found on earth or in Avalon. I will dote upon her, I will pledge every waking moment that I may spare to her, and I will ensure that she feels love so totally and completely she may rest with ease.”

“You, Fenwick, are so lost in your own pain and plight, that you do not realize your hurt pales in comparison to the broken hearts and affected minds that can be found in Avalon. Yet, every day we soldier on, and greet each and every day as it may be our last. You, who have endured less than three decades of toil, cannot imagine what I have seen in my 1,000 years.”

“No, the pain never leaves, not entirely. Yet, it does get easier. You will watch many fall, some even before your very eyes. Yet, by being paralyzed by the fear of your eventual demise, you spit upon their corpses. We honor our dead by living. We honor our lives by loving. We cherish our moments through expressing. We face our days with courage. Even Cardack, perhaps the greatest pacifist to ever walk among us, knows the value of life, so much so he was willing to bind himself to a bloody book to remain. How can you value life when your fear of death is so much greater?”
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Radobe on October 06, 2013, 09:11:19 AM
“Remarkable is an understatement.”…” Never forsake the great gift the Divine has given you.”

“I would never forsake my life,” Siron looks at Corvus and meets his eyes. “But risking it is a different story. If I have the opportunity to protect those around me I would not hesitate to do so.” His tone gets slightly louder and his determination can clearly be heard. “I am going to be a knight and I will not spare myself any hardships to protect the needy and my allies, whatever the cost.” The Childer calms down and continues in a normal tone of voice. “As for love, I know nothing of it.” Siron taps his companion on the shoulder and smiles. “Despite that, I still know your feelings won’t get the best of you. You are a strong man Corvus Virtue. Amongst all this exceptional individuals, you might have lost sight of that, but I can see it clearly. I saw a glimpse of your strength when you faced me. There are no doubts that I will see more of it in the coming days. Because, Corvus Virtue, when strong men fall they stand back up. They stand for those they love and cherish, for those that love and cherish them and for those that they shall love and cherish! You my friend are no exception.”
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Kitharsis on October 07, 2013, 11:59:54 AM
Anlaf, Faile's brother.  Sembas gawks at him from the opposite branch.  He can't get a word in while they decide that Anlaf will accompany Sembas for the upcoming mission.  His beak hangs open in disbelief.  It is promptly shut as Besnik shoos him off of the branch.  He makes a pass by the nest as he circles down onto Archer's window.

“Hello, dear one,” Archer greets him.  It warms his heart.

Sembas looks at the floor and imagines human legs stretching down to it.  As he hops from the windowsill he envisions the heels of his leather boots stomping on the floor.  He opens his eyes, even though he doesn't remember closing them.  His vision is less precise, and he can't feel the wind dancing across his feathers anymore.  Instead of a beak, his fingers itch at his nose for a piece of dust that was tickling it.

"Yes, I have met Anlaf.  Male falcons are usually a tad smaller than the females, but they tend to be a little quicker on the wing.  They are just as stubborn as the females, I'm afraid.  I am very relieved that Faile will be able to stay with her eggs and watch them hatch.  I would have gone without her, even if she demanded to come along.  I am glad she chose to stay without me making her.  I believe Anlaf's arrival was more than a coincidence, but I can't prove it."  He rambles.

The Falconer stands at the window for a moment, considering Gladia as she pages through the book.  She seems distant, her presentation of the gift was rather wooden.  Sembas slides out a chair and sits next to her at the table.  He mock studies the map, mumbling the names of a few locations his eyes skim across.

Unable to keep up the facade of interest, Sembas gently takes the book from Archer's hands.  He places it upon the table, then wraps her hands up with his.  His golden eyes stare intently into hers.  The past few days have been a blur.  Constancy's death set him on a course of self discovery and change.  He has found what it feels like to crawl as a mouse, and to soar as a falcon.  But after his discussion with Jonas and even Merchant, his heart and mind have changed a great deal also.

"Thank you for the book, Gladia.  I will study it."  He taps his thumb on his knuckle as he searches for his next words.  "I'm sorry that I have been absent since the funeral.  Had I known I would be leaving so soon I would have spent more time with you."  He lets go of her hands and sits back in his chair.  The ominous feeling from after the meeting crept back into his stomach.  "I couldn't help but notice your expression after hearing about the mission to the Sanguine Fields.  Is this place really so terrible?  I haven't seen you so worried before."
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on October 07, 2013, 12:32:46 PM

Archer nods in understanding. "I, too, regret our lack of time together, but I am thankful for the moments we did share, however brief."

When you ask of the fields, Archer hesitates. "I wish I could tell you it is not as bad as it sounds, but I do not wish to lie to you. It is a place even the veterans fear to tread. My greatest regret is that I will not be there with you. That fact frightens me more than anything the Sanguine Fields could unleash upon me. You cannot trust your eyes and ears in such a place. You must trust your instincts. That place is so corrupt even your senses will betray you."

Archer slides closer to you and rests her head upon your shoulder. "I do not wish to spend our final moments together before your departure speaking of such troubling things. We have the rest of today yet and this evening to ensure we can make up for lost time. I do not know how long you will be gone but I pray to the Divine you find your way home soon."

Her hand reaches up and lovingly strokes your cheek. "Please be careful. Do not underestimate the dangers that can be found in the fields. Nothing can be trusted, not even your own companions. The fields have a way of turning one against another. And should you ever lose hope, remember what you have waiting for you here back in Avalon. You will encounter great despair but take heart... Think of me, as you know I will be thinking of you."

She wraps her arms around you in an affectionate embrace, and when she presses her lips to yours, you can see it is consuming all her strength to fight back tears.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Kitharsis on October 07, 2013, 03:24:05 PM
Sembas returns Archer's embrace, wrapping his arms around her just as affectionately.  As their lips part, he pulls her closer, hoping to curtail the threatening tears.

Seeing her so affected is frightening, but he will not last as an Immortalis if he succumbs to fear.  He closes his eyes and takes in the embrace.

"You are a pillar of my life, Gladia.  To lose you would mean a collapse of my being.  I will think on this moment in times of despair, and also in times of joy."

He holds the embrace for a time, but his mind begins to churn.  There are so many questions that Sembas has for Archer.  Aras was persistent that he still had feelings for her, but thankfully she did not return favor.  It is not his place, but the interaction has been in the back of his mind ever since.

Jonas's story has also been occupying a place in his mind.  Learning of the man's death and life was a somber lesson.  It also nagged at something in his thoughts.  He didn't know how Archer became an Immortalis, and he wasn't sure if she knew his entire story.  Dethys would probably not withhold such information, but he decided to retell it nonetheless.

Sembas relaxes his embrace and stands from the table.  He begins loosening straps and unbuttoning clasps on his armor.

"Do you know how I died?"  He asks, not waiting for a response.  "Faile and I were on patrol when she spotted a group of individuals who we thought were bandits.  Headstrong as always, she flew ahead while I sprinted behind her."

His heavy gauntlet hits the floor with a thud as he begins unhooking his chest piece.

"They knocked her out of the sky with a spell.  As I ran towards them I caught one with an arrow in the back.  She killed another with our lightning spell.  But then..."  He places his hand over the side of his ribs, a pained expression on his face.  "Then one of them fired an enchanted arrow.  It struck Faile faster than I could blink.  I fell to the ground, my legs having collapsed underneath me."

He removes the sheath at his thigh and pulls out his hunter's knife.  "When I came to, the one that fired the arrow was standing over me.  He was musing at our supposed deaths.  I surprised him when I ran him through with my knife."  He considers the weapon before sheathing it and placing it on the pile of his armor.

"Our bond is so great that when she was to die, we both would have perished.  I think that because I became an Immortalis, she was spared as well.  I only hope that if I perish, she will remain living.  But only The Divine knows what will happen if that day ever comes."

Sembas, pulls on a pair of linen pants he had stored in the closet.

"If wasn't long after that when she beckoned me to follow her to Avalon."  He sits down next to Archer again with a smile.  "And then I met you."  He holds her hand once again, this time without the layer of leather between them.

"We were speaking of death wounds earlier, and I realized that I did not know yours.  I cannot protect you from something I am ignorant of.  And it is my only wish to protect you and Faile, Gladia.  Lest I crumble and fall."
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on October 07, 2013, 06:42:13 PM

Archer listens intently, smiling at your words of love, and thoroughly gratified by your regard for her. As you begin to discuss your wound, her attention is rapt, and her voice silent. When you inquire after her own Death Wound, she says nothing for several moments. Just when you think she will deny your request for her story, it is then she begins to relate to you the tale of her second life.

“I told you once of my father and his passing. He had been killed by poachers who sought a rare and marvelous creature that resided in the Aldwen Pass, not far from our home. I was the one who found my father. It was uncommon for him to be out after nightfall, so I went to look for him. When I found him, his throat was slit from ear to ear, but that was not the worst of his wounds. They had tortured him first, likely for information on the whereabouts of the white owl. Its feathers were said to have healing properties, and it is rumored anyone that imbibes its blood could be granted immortality. It would truly be quite a find for treasure seekers.”

“I do truly believe my father knew where the creature lived, but I also know he took that secret to the grave with him. Even as a hunter, he taught me only to take what I needed, to use all an animal had sacrificed its life for, and to honor it as its death allowed us to live. Yet, a creature as rare as that owl, it had to be preserved.”

Archer’s hazel eyes glint with defiance. “It could not fall to human greed. My father knew that, and as much as his absence pained me, and pains me still, I know why he would rather die than part with such a secret.”

“I had become a very adept tracker. Poachers are typically clumsy oafs. They use make few attempts to cover their tracks. However, these poachers were quite professional. Even I had some difficulty in tracking them. I had not known they had a skilled tracker of their own with them.”

“I pursued them for quite some time, but eventually I managed to track them down. All the while, they had been ascending one of the mountains that bordered the Aldwen Pass. It was by far the highest peak in the area. I kept my distance to observe them, but I could not refrain from long. They had cornered the white owl in its nest. I was surprised to find this creature of legend, despite its rather large size, was really only an owlet. An enormous brown owl, its mother, was desperately trying to protect it. She, too, was a magnificent creature. To this day, I have never seen a bird so large. She stood nearly five feet high! It lacked the properties of its child, so the poachers did not hesitate to kill it. I ran forward to aid it, but I was not in time. The poor beast died protecting its child.”

“I would not let harm befall the owlet, so I ran forward, swords flashing and rained down a flurry of blows upon the poachers. Man after man fell to my blades. At one point, I found myself surrounded, but managed to dispatch them all. Only four or so remained of the dozen I had encountered. It was their leader, Tarak, who managed to take me by surprise. Tarak was well-known in our parts. He was as ruthless a man as they come, and the previous spring he had slaughtered an entire herd of Marasa for their horns.” 

“While my back was turned, Tarak thrust a sword through my back, just above my shoulder blades. It severed my spine completely, and when I fell, I found I could not move. I was paralyzed from the neck down.” You recall seeing several scars on Archer's back. She had grown up in the woods and endured her share of injuries, yet the scar she referred to had always managed to catch your eye during your most intimate of moments. In fact, you had once noted that upon running your fingers over said scar, Archer had recoiled a bit at the sensation. You had learned your lesson and had since been careful to avoid it during your caresses. It would not be a wound that could be easily found as she typically wore armor.

“Tarak found this turn of events incredibly humorous. He rolled me onto my back and began to unfasten his pants to take advantage of me while his remaining men began to load the owlet into a cage. All the while, I screamed for the men to change their hearts and minds, and allow the bird to go. One of them, a tall man with green eyes and dark hair looked straight at me. While the others ignored my pleas, only he stopped in his tracks. I watched him unsheathe his swords and he killed one of his own companions on the spot, allowing the owl to fly free. Next, he ran to my aid and knocked Tarak off balance before he could take my honor. He battled fiercely against his leader, but in the end, he was bested.”

“By listening to their discussion, I found that the man who had saved me, Aras as he was called, could slip free of any bind. Tarak wanted him to suffer for his insolence. So, he took two large tent spikes, and while his sole remaining man held Aras in place, Tarak took up one of these spikes. He held Aras’s hands above his head, he placed the spike in the center of his palms, and with a hammer, he drove the spike through Aras’s hands and into the tree.”

“The last thing I remembered before I drifted off was watching the leader and his surviving lackey walk off into the woods. I soon drifted off, and Aras slowly bled to death. I don’t know how long we were out for, but when I next opened my eyes, there was a large, white, feathered head with two sapphire blue eyes staring down at me. It was the owlet. As a benevolent creature of the Divine, he had petitioned his Lord to spare me. He also gave me a choice. He said it would be up to me if I should choose to bring back the poacher who had used his final moments to aid me.”

“Though I hated the man for his potential role in my father’s death, I know that deep down, we are all capable of good, and though this man had failed in his task, he had tried to save me…. And died horribly for it. I gave my blessing and Aras was also given a second chance at life.”

“Together, we managed to track down the other poachers. They had not gotten far, and as you can imagine, they were quite surprised to see us. However, when I achieved my revenge, when I shot that arrow through Tarak’s gullet, and when Aras ran his lackey through with his swords, I found that my soul was still restless… I could not find peace. Not on that mountain… Not in the shadow of my father’s death. Lucky for me, peace would find me. A very grumpy and forceful Captain of the Blood-Wardens managed to track Aras and me to a tavern in a small village not far from the Aldwen Pass. At Blood’s insistence, we came to Avalon, where I have been ever since.”

“For a long time, Aras and I were lovers, but part of me could never forgive him for his role in my father’s death. He had confessed to me shortly after our meeting, that it had been he who had taken the knife to my father’s throat. Despite the fact Aras had used his final moments to save me, every time I looked at him, I saw my father’s vacant eyes. Aras begged my forgiveness time and time again. He swore to me he was a changed man, and I truly believe he did change. Yet, I could never let it go. I could never completely forgive him for his past, and it created a great chasm between us.”

“I truly attempted to forgive him, and I remained with him as long as my conscience would allow it. 300 years is a very long time to carry that baggage around. However, about 100 years ago, I could bear it no longer. I cut ties with him completely. He left Avalon and recruited his own company, the Shar’ada. We’ve seen each other only in passing since then.”
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Kitharsis on October 07, 2013, 08:28:30 PM
Sembas is quiet for a long time.

Four hundred years is a long time to roam the world.  Three hundred years is a long time to call one a lover.  One hundred years is a long time to be alone.

A month or two, compared to Archer's many years must seem like mere seconds.

He pushes it aside as he speaks up, "I do recall you speaking of your father's death to poachers.  But I didn't realize that wasn't the end of the story.  I should have known, for I would have stopped at nothing to pay my retribution as well."

Sembas frowns as he says his next bit, "But you have a much larger heart than I do.  Were I in the same situation, I'm not sure what I would have done with Aras..."  He picks at a piece of fuzz on his pants.  "I do have to admit, as hard for you as it must have been, I am glad you decided to part ways with him.  For my sake, at least."  The last part is accompanied by a meek grin. 

"Thank you for sharing your past with me, Gladia.  And I am sorry to have requested the retelling of such sour memories."

He stands from the table and leans against the wall, looking out the window.  "Whenever I hear the Elder Immortalis's stories, I cannot help but feel the sting of youth.  It is as if I am a child seated at the grown up's table during the feast of Midsummer's Eve."

The young falconer turns back to Archer.  Seriousness hardens his features as he continues.  "But I am a member of The Bulwark.  I cannot traipse around like a child while my elder's toil for my protection.  I am seated at the table for a reason.  I need to be able to protect others and to stand for myself as an Immortalis.  So while I am away, I beg you do not pray for my safety.  Because safety means never venturing into the Sanguine Fields in the first place.  No, pray for my strength.  Pray for strength, so that when when safety is absent I have the power to defend my companions from harm."

"Pray for my strength, so that I have the power to return to you, no matter what chains may try and bind me."
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Cameron on October 09, 2013, 12:31:52 AM
Sig grins at Calming's story as he continues to marvel at the torch.

"Tis a fine story for a fine item. perhaps when I come back from our trip, I can hear more of it over a drink or twelve!"

Sig carefully tucks the torch into his pack, amazed that it does not burn anything. He closes the pack and stares at it for a moment, humming a wistful tune under his breath that pops into his head unbidden. He then turns to Blood.

"Well, lass? Shall we be off? The others are more than likely waitin on us."

As Sig and Blood part with Calming and make their way back down to the tavern, Sig finds himself humming that tune to himself again. He had never heard it before now. He suddenly turns to Blood.

"I'm thinkin I need to stop here for a minute. Alviss is putting something in my head and I need to see what it is."

Sig sits down at the bar and grabs his lute. He begins to play the song he was humming. Slowly at first, but eventually getting faster as he puts the chords together. Soon he has it sounding just right. He stops, satisfied.

"Ah, there we go. The Father obviously wanted me to have that one before we got goin. Maybe it'll be useful on the trip."

Sig grabs a nearby tankard and takes a pull off it before giving Blood a serious look.

"Are you sure you don't want to tell me what that thing with Calming was about, lass? Who knows what we're gonna get into in this place. This might be our last change to talk for a while."
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on October 09, 2013, 07:08:21 PM
Blood listens as you are moved by Alviss to compose a strange melody. She cocks her head to one side in what appears to be a mixture of confusion and amusement. “Well, I’ve never heard anything like that before. Alviss has a funny way of making music.”

In response to your questioning, Blood narrows her eyes, a look you have come to realize means “don’t ask me that again.” For a moment, she looks as if she is about to say something, but thinks better of it. “None of your damn business, hobgoblin. Now are you going to keep flapping your gums and let me drink you under the table, or are you at least going to come to your senses and put up a fight, as futile as it may be.” As Calming has not yet made his way downstairs, Blood helps herself to a tankard of ale filled from a keg behind the bar.

After a few rounds, Blood sneers. “I’m not about to head to the fields with this as the last drink in my belly, and I do use the term drink very loosely in this regard.” She casts a look at Calming. “This is starting to taste more and more like swill every day.”

She begins to make her way out of the tavern, and before you can either agree or object to coming with her, she clamps her hand on the back of your shirt and hauls you off your barstool, ushering you out the door.

Back at Blood’s home, the Captain delves into her private reserves. The two of you finish a bottle, then another, and finally another. Even with your impressive Constitution and your incredible tolerance to spirits, you begin to feel the effects of the strong beverages you consume. The last thing you can recall is watching as Blood pulls the final bottle from her private reserves. Everything after that is little more than a blur.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on October 09, 2013, 08:51:30 PM
When you awake the next morning, you find your bed partner is missing from your embrace. Instead, when you open your eyes you find yourself staring into the faces of three busybody falcons.

   Anlaf sits upon the headboard, his gold-rimmed eyes staring down at you. “This is really how you intend to start your day? You should have been preparing hours ago. There is much to do before our departure.”

“Have you even cleaned your weapons yet?” asks Faile. “Have you packed your bag and ensured you have provisions and supplies for your travels?”

Besnik sighs. “And for Divine’s sake, man! Put on some bloody clothes! I am glad to see you managed to wrench your dangly bits away from Archer.”

Faile shakes her head. “I certainly hope that’s not the first memory my children have. They can hear in there, you know! You and Archer all screaming about fit to wake the dead.”

For a moment, you question what possessed you to take a falcon as a companion. There’s no wonder there are so few falconers in the world.

You can hear Archer clattering about the kitchen busily preparing you a bountiful breakfast. Apparently she has help in her tasks, as you can hear Chico chattering away while he whisks some eggs in a bowl. The whisk eventually proves to be too much for him and you hear him cry out as he topples into the yolky mess.

You enjoy a fine breakfast with your loving mate before she insists on seeing you off to the gates.


   After spending the majority of the day before your departure exploring Avalon, you and Lai make your way to the tavern where the barkeep, Calming, provides you with a room. Lai is still getting accustomed to this new form, and petitions you to watch for a whole hour while she practices picking up objects and putting them down, as well as opening and closing doors. The fact that she is so easily amused is almost laughable, but at the same time, almost sad.

   When Lai’s stomach begins to protest loudly, you ask Calming where some food can be found. A request is sent and not even twenty minutes later, an enormous man, nearly as tall as yourself but twice as wide, appears at the door to your room. He introduces himself as Jonas Philosophy and proceeds to turn sideways in order to fit through the door. His arms are laden with food, more than you could ever eat. Jonas takes a few moments to lay out the spread upon the small table in the room. There is so much food that there isn’t even room to sit, so you and Lai load up your plates before sitting upon the comfortable beds the room has to offer. Jonas takes his leave, allowing you and Lai to enjoy your meal in peace.

   Through the course of this meal, you manage to teach Lai how to chew and drink, though early attempts result in much splattering and stained bedsheets. She finally manages to get the hang of this whole eating thing and proceeds to share that she loves this chewy animal muscle (meat) but is not overly fond of this tiny bushy tree (broccoli.) She thinks the mushy roots (potatoes) are delicious, but is not a fan of the river swimmers (fish.) When she takes a bite of the rich, chocolate cake that Jonas has graciously prepared, her eyes go wide and she declares she does not know how she managed to ever exist without such a thing in her life. After gorging herself, Lai passes out on the floor. A small, crusty roll is still clutched in her hand, and she mutters something unintelligible in her sleep.

   You, ever the gentleman, are kind enough to scoop her off the floor, place her in a bed, and pull the blankets up over her slender shoulders.

   When you awake, you find that Lai has gone conspicuously missing. Worried as to where she went, you gather your belongings and move to head out the door when instead it swings open, wrapping you firmly in the elbow.

   “Hi, Fjorin!” calls Lai cheerily as she makes her way through the door. “You will not believe this stuff I found. She thrusts a cup of some warm, brown steamy liquid into your hands. “It will wake you up so good! He called it choffa…. coughing… caffey… Oh! Coffee! Do they have coffee where you’re from? I like it so much! I’ve had four cups already. This is my fifth. It’s not as good as the cake, but I can feel my hair crawling on my head!”

   Lai smiles widely, proud of her find and her new command of sipping. She slurps a mouthful of coffee from the cup before prancing about the room happily. You make a mental note to inform Calming he is not to provide her with anymore coffee before 5 a.m.

After packing your weapons and few belongings, you and Lai make your way to the gates to the city.


   After speaking with Honor, Corvus spends the majority of the day showing you around the city. You get the impression he is incredibly well-liked as you can scarcely go five feet without greetings and well-wishes to the General’s son. You meet a dozen or so Ageless; some names you remember, others you don’t. You recall a kindly old woman, though just how old you can’t begin to guess. Corvus looks your age, but he’s 75. It’s hard to tell who here is truly old and who isn’t. The older woman’s name is Hestia. Corvus introduces her as the greatest healer (and chess player) in Avalon. With her is the pretty red-haired lady from the tavern. She’s a bard or minstrel of some sort. Muse! That was her name. There’s a fussy old gentleman in long gray robes who zooms by you without even offering a hello. Corvus points him out as Keeper. You vaguely remember seeing him upon your entry to Avalon. He seemed nice enough, albeit always on the move.

   Eventually, you and Corvus meander over to the tavern where you enjoy a couple rounds. The small, stocky fellow you saw at the tavern yesterday, Sig, is at the bar with the perpetually ill-tempered Captain Blood. They stay and drink for awhile before Blood grumbles something about swill, grabs her companion’s shirt, and hauls him out the door.

   When you’ve drank enough that your head feels as if its swimming, Corvus informs you he has some business to tend to before departing tomorrow. He takes you back to the barracks to bed down for the night. You enjoy a restful sleep, and when you awake, don your new armor and take up your new weapons. Corvus sends word for you just before dawn to meet the rest of the company at the main gates of Avalon.


   Your mind aches with the pressure and all-consuming stress that has been your daily existence since becoming an Immortalis. Even after speaking with Dethys, there are still so many questions to be answered, and still so much out there you cannot comprehend. Cleo, ever empathetic, seems content to sit with you in silence as you pour over your thoughts. After a meal so delightful even you have a hard time maintaining your angst, she takes you by the hand and leads you to her bedroom. She snuggles up against you, her embrace warm and her silken blonde hair falling over her bare shoulders.

   “You remember the first time we were… intimate?” Cleo giggles. “Well, you remember what I told you? When magic users are joined in such a way, there is often an exchange of power? It’s an excellent way to exchange useful spells without all the annoyance of trying to remember words, incantations, methods or techniques. Well, my Wicky-Wicky Woo. Why don’t you just lean back, relax, and let me teach you a thing or two. I know you’ve been nervous and upset, and all manner of other nasty emotions. Maybe I can give you something that will help you on your travels.”

   A beautiful woman wants to sleep with you and in the process give you powerful magic? Only a fool would protest that! The next hour is one fantastically amazing blur of moving bodies and firing synapses. Your heart is racing, and for at least a few moments, your elation is so complete you forget what you were fretting about to begin with. Sanguine Fields ain’t got nothing on Fenwick Hux!

When all is said and done and the gorgeous Seer is asleep upon your outstretched arm, you realize that you suddenly feel stronger. The fear is not as daunting as it once was, and when you awake the next morning, you find that Cleo did manage to transfer a few new tricks during your coupling. (See OOC)

The Seer insists upon seeing you off, even though you will be seeing the other “her” in just a few moments, as one of her various forms is still guarding the gates.


   When you awake, your vision is bleary and your head is throbbing. You’ve apparently been out for awhile, and you’re starting to feel the painful effects of being sober. The previous night is a blur and when your eyes begin to focus, you find yourself in an unfamiliar environment. You are laying upon an enormous four poster bed that is adorned with a blood red canopy. A glance to your left reveals your weapons, instrument, and clothes unceremoniously discarded upon the floor. Your arms and legs ache, and you realize that, once again, you are tied to a bed. The events of the previous evening slowly begin to come back to you, and you sigh as you realize you are still in Blood’s home and she likely tied you to the bed for trying to wrestle empty armor again

   Then, you feel a faint breath upon your outstretched right arm. You glance to your right to see Blood completely passed out on your forearm. You tilt your head up for further inspection and realize that the good Captain is completely naked. Upon closer examination, you realize that you are, too. More pieces of the puzzle align. That’s right! You’re not strapped to the bed because you were wrestling armor, though there certainly was some degree of wrestling involved. You are feeling quite smug when you feel the uncomfortable and penetrating gaze of two gray eyes upon you. Blood is awake…. And Blood is furious. She quickly recoils from the bed and stumbles backward, awkwardly grabbing the sheets to wrap around her naked body. Her fingers shake with anger as she pulls the blanket up over her ample bosom.

   “You- I can’t believe... I didn’t… You started… This is ridiculous… Why are you even still here? I am going to… it’s almost dawn! We have to go… go to a place… The fields! We need to depart to the fields! So get a move on hobgoblin! Let’s go! Stop laying about like some louse!”

   Blood stomps out of the room, her heavy footsteps echoing off the wooden floors. Your mind begins to piece together more of the previous evening’s events. You and Blood drank… a lot… an inordinate amount. Yet, despite this fact, you remember a good bit of what was said. She cracked open the last bottle of her private reserves. She muttered something about this Vartan fellow and began to cry. You didn’t even know Blood was capable of tears! You attempted to comfort her and she didn’t even slug you when you tried to embrace her. Then she began cursing about Calming and his big mouth. Then she… she kissed you. Hard and deliberate right on the lips. You remember your confusion. She grabbed you roughly by the collar and cursed your name for making her feel such a way about an impish hobgoblin, a word you have come to receive as being as close to a term of endearment as you are likely to get. You remember her hand upon your thigh. You remember the two of you stumbling up the stairs into her bedroom where you and the good Captain enjoyed a very lengthy workout before both of you passed out upon the bed.

   Your attention is drawn back to the current day. Moments after her departure, Blood returns with her hand over her eyes. It’s not like she hasn’t seen you naked before. After all, it was just last night. But apparently when her sobriety returned, so did both her modesty and her temper. She is fully clothed in her typical battle attire, and without even looking, her hands fumble around until they settle upon one of the ropes anchoring you to the bed. She gives it a sharp tug and the rope snaps in her hand, allowing you to free yourself from the rest of your binds. Without another word, Blood exits the room and makes her way downstairs.

   You can hear her cursing and yelling for the next half hour while you locate all of your clothes and gather your belongings. The walk to the gates is made in silence, at least on Blood's part. The Captain's gaze is downcast and her pace is hurried, while you take your leisurely time strolling behind her and strumming upon your instrument. Every now and then she grumbles at you to hurry up, but your song quickly turns from an instrumental to a loud and boisterous song about a Chosen of Alviss who managed to find his way into bed with a feisty human Captain. Whenever you get to the refrain that begins "Beauteous bosom and a booty to match/ I could be a pirate with all the treasure I've had," the red-faced Captain Blood moves at a breakneck pace through the city square and leaves you to your leisurely stroll. For the rest of your journey to the gates, there isn't another mention of hurrying up.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Cameron on October 14, 2013, 04:09:18 PM
Sig puts on a good show of looking incredulous as he lay strapped to Blood's bed while she yells at him. But inside, he is grinning. He begins grinning on the outside after she unties his bonds and leaves. He is grinning the entire time he spends locating his clothes. He almost makes it out the door before he feels the normal panic of sobriety set in, because he was grinning so hard that he FELT drunk. He quickly remedies the sobriety issue with a quick swig from his hidden beard flask. Thank Alviss she didn't locate THAT during her thorough search of his person last night, or the ale-filled skins he had thoughtfully set aside for their journey today! Otherwise an emergency trip to the tavern would be in order, and they would surely be late.

He is still grinning as he follows leisurely behind Blood. He is attempting to work more on his song from before, the one Alviss had sent into his head, but he keeps getting interrupted by Blood. One would think that this might annoy him, but it only makes his grin wider. He quickly composes some lyrics for the occasion, and begins to bellow them out while playing a jaunty pirate ditty he had picked up from one of the merchant dwarves.

This has the desired affect. As Blood storms off, Sig shouts after her.

"Oh, come on, lass! There's no need to be jealous! The song's about you!"

Sig, now left to his own devices, goes back to strumming the chords gifted to him by Alviss. He knows this song will be important. Every other song Alviss has ever gifted him with has ended up becoming a powerful ballad in his arsenal. He knows Alviss will reveal the use of this one in time. Until then, he must practice it so that he knows it by heart when the time comes. As he plays, he thinks back to the previous night. To the events before he was strapped to a bed. She was obviously upset about someone she had lost. Vartan. It seemed to have something to do with the place they were going. A place that unnerves even the fearless Captain that he had fallen so hard for.

Because that's what this was. No point in beating around the bush. Sig admits to himself that he is clearly enamored with this Ageless known as Captain Blood. Of all the other people he has met since coming here, no one carries themselves quite like her. And the brash, angry personality she wears to throw everyone else off... that's all it is. A cover. Beneath that, Blood is the most real, honest person he has ever met. Maybe it takes a personality that has already been tempered like steel to find that part of her. Or maybe it just takes a professional drunk. Either way, last night Sig saw that part of her, and it has only intensified his feelings for her. Despite how strong she is, she still needs help. And Sig knows that they will both help each other many times before this battle they are walking towards is through.

Sig steels his resolve. No matter what happens, the good Captain will not find him wanting. He will remain by her side as long as he stands. And the Chosen of Alviss do not fall down very often.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on October 14, 2013, 09:15:11 PM
   You all make your way through the city of Avalon and soon find yourself at the gates, where the General and her three sons await your arrival. Fury, equal parts beauty and tenacity, stands with her arms over her chest, her expression hardened. She greets each one of you, and as Sig continues his bawdy tune, the General fights back a sneaking smirk at Blood’s expense. The red-faced Captain Blood appears fit to be tied and threatens to break Sig’s lute over his head. A bleary-eyed Bran stands beside his mother while Corvus and Dennan are having an animated debate. The animation seems to be more on the side of Corvus, as Dennan is as unreadable as ever. As you draw closer, you can plainly hear that the two appear to be in some kind of dispute. Or rather, Corvus is disputing while Dennan stands stolidly, seemingly unaffected by his brother’s passionate arguments.

   “No,” comes Dennan’s rumbling voice.

   Corvus shakes his head in disagreement. “It makes no sense for you to go!”

   “You’ll never find her. You’re a shoddy tracker at best,” returns Dennan.

   “All the more reason you should be going to the fields with the Childer and Blood,” reasons Corvus. “Somebody has to go after Serenity before she does something stupid.”

   “And who will keep you from doing something stupid?” mutters Bran under his breath.

   Corvus ruffles his brother’s shaggy black hair. “Very funny, twerp.”

   Dennan turns to Fury. “Mother, will you please make him see how ridiculous he is being?” petitions Dennan. “With the frequency of Severan’s movements in the mortal realm, the last thing Corvus should be doing is heading out on his own.”

   Fury sighs. “Personally, I think it’s a fine idea. If I had my way neither of you would be leaving for the fields. Yet, Dennan, I know you are the best tracker we have, so I must reluctantly watch as you go.” The General turns to Corvus. “And I sincerely had to bite my tongue when you agreed to go to the fields in the first place. Given your recent…” Fury hesitates. “Given what happened with Dignity, the last place you should be is somewhere a malevolent spirit can latch on to that thick head of yours.”

   Corvus swallows hard, obviously fighting back emotion at the mention of his lost love’s name. “I would like to protest, but I know you are probably right.”

   “If Serenity doesn’t want to be found, she won’t be,” speaks Dennan. “Furthermore, you shouldn’t be going alone.”

   “She’ll listen to me. I know what she’s going through right now. She just lost her brother. When I lost dignity, I just felt… lost. They way I see it, she’s bound for one of two places. She’s either going to try to track down Cael, or she’s going somewhere that reminds her of Constancy. I’ll find her,” responds Corvus resolutely. “I’m already packed and ready to go, and I won’t be alone. Muse is going with me. And, you’re welcome, I’ve already found a replacement for the dispatch to the fields.”

   Right on cue, Lurien Honor can be seen making his way down the main road that leads to the gates. The lovely Muse has her arm looped through his.
   “Look, you know what Serenity is capable of. She’ll catch wind of us really fast if I take a search party. Then she’ll just use that stupid teleport orb to go somewhere else. We know damn well she’s not coming back here,” reasons Corvus.

   Dennan nods. “She might have gotten out with that orb, but no one can return to Avalon unless it’s through the gates.”

   Blood frowns. “I am going to have to talk to Dethys about keeping his blasted tools locked up. First Fenwick with that locating orb, now Serenity with that teleportation orb. How many damn orbs does that fool have? He can cast any spell he wants! Why does he need so many of them? I swear he leaves them out for foolish apprentices to get their hands on. Do you recall when Cardack stole that Blasting Powder from Dethys’s sock drawer?”

   Fury sighs. “We had to rebuild the city gates after that one.”

   In the back of Fenwick’s mind, the mage can hear Cardack weigh in on the aforementioned events. “That was… hilarious. One of my better ideas, really. I did kind of blow up the gate, but I learned a great deal about the practical applications of blasting powder. Quite fascinating really.”

   “Look, we can’t afford to wait, and neither can any of you,” reasons Corvus. “Let’s stop dawdling and be on our way.” Corvus wraps Dennan into an embrace that is promptly returned. Dennan lifts Corvus off the ground, leaving the latter’s feet dangling in the air. After several moments Dennan drops his brother who easily lands on his feet.

   “Be well, brother. And for Divine’s sake, be careful. Serenity is desperate. She may be young, but she is powerful. In her desperation, she may resort to measures she would not usually take,” states Dennan.

   “Pshaw. You worry too much, brother,” Corvus kisses his mother on the cheek and embraces Bran.

   Muse gifts Honor with a kiss that spans a very lengthy amount of time. Blood rolls her eyes as Muse makes all manner of passionate noises as she moves her tongue in the unsuspecting Honor’s mouth. The Lieutenant, usually serious and all business, grins from ear to ear.

“Goodbye, my dear. Come back in one piece, will you? Though if you must come back in pieces, keep those soft, delightful lips intact.” Muse winks at Honor as she slings the strap of her lute over her shoulder. “Goodbye, love.”

   Honor stares after her. “Fare thee well, milady. I shall count the seconds until you grace me with your presence again.”

   Blood doubles over as she makes noisy gagging sounds.

   Muse smirks. “Don’t pretend you’re so hard-hearted, Blood. There was a time even you were lost in love. I pray it finds you again.” As Muse passes by Sig, she gives a gentle tug to his beard.

   There is an eruption of swirling purple light as a portal suddenly materializes in front of Corvus and Muse. Corvus pauses to wave to his family and Muse blows a kiss to Honor, who pretends to snatch it from the air. Corvus takes Muse’s hand in his and the two disappear through the portal, which snaps shut behind them.

   Cleo wraps her arm around Fenwick’s waist before smothering his face in gentle kisses. “I will miss you so very very very very very very much, Wicky. I know you haven’t even left yet, but I already miss you. Remember, my love, if you need me… you know what to do. I’ll be there in an instant. But, I somehow doubt you will need me. You are far stronger than you give yourself credit for. You are so very very very very strong, Wicky.

   “Strong?” questions Cardack. “I’ve seen him trip over air and fall headfirst into a bucket of water he failed to carry more than five feet.”

Cleo ignores Cardack. “I don’t know why you can’t see that in yourself, Wicky, but I do. You are capable of so much!”

Nearby, Archer, Besnik and Faile say their goodbyes to Sembas. Archer wraps her arms around his neck and gently kisses him once upon the lips. It is a single kiss, but affected with emotion.

“I know you can handle it, but I still wish I was going with you,” confesses Archer. “Hurry home, Sembas. There is so much awaiting you here in Avalon. Remember what I told you, my love. Be wary of the fields, and,” her voice becomes a whisper. “Trust no one. Not even those in your party. The fields will twist and corrupt, but you, my love, must be above its influence. The Marrow will test you, but in times of darkness, think on me and the love I have for you.”
Anlaf is perched upon Sembas’s shoulder. He is lighter than Faile, and the falconer’s shoulder feels almost naked without his usual companion. Faile’s expression makes evident her heartbreak and regret at not accompanying Sembas.

No words are needed between the falconer and his feathered friend, but Sembas can plainly feel the worry and fear present in Faile. “Come home…” says Faile simply, and as an afterthought. “Please…” It’s not a word you hear from her often. Falcons, by nature, are unapologetic and not the most well-mannered of creatures.

“Well, I for one am not saying goodbye to you, meatbag,” states Besnik. “Because goodbye sounds far too permanent. I know you’ll be back. You better be. These eggs won’t wait forever…” Besnik’s tone softens to one of sincerity. “And it would be a shame if you weren’t here to see them hatch.”
Honor enlists Siron in helping him to ensure all of the supplies and provisions are prepared when their efforts are interrupted by an earth shaking roar. Hurtling towards the young knight is a massive bear. He has no time to react to the charging beast and when it is merely inches away, it quickly redirects its path and lunges at Dennan.

Dennan affectionately places his hands on the bear’s head. “I am sorry, my friend. The Marrow is no place for you.”

Fensten grumbles in response.

“There’s no use arguing,” speaks Dennan. “I’ll be just fine. Besides, I need someone to keep an eye on the place while I’m gone. You see what a shoddy job those badgers did last time. Lazy buggers let the hedgehogs raid the larders.”

Fensten whines, his enormous brown eyes pleading.

Dennan kisses the bear upon the head. “Chin up, Fensten. You don’t want the ladies seeing you in such a state.” He gestures to Archer. “She’s going to think you’re a big furry, baby. Is that what you want? They’ll say, ‘that lout Fensten. A common teddy bear is tougher than him.’”

Fensten protests again to which Dennan replies, “I know, my friend, but in this case, it is far wiser for you to remain. I’ll be back soon.”

Fensten, quite literally, bear hugs his master before loping towards General Fury and sitting at her side. The General pats the bear on his large head to comfort him. Dennan crosses to his mother, hugs her firmly, and proceeds to Bran whom he swings around in circles. When the young man can bear no more, Dennan sets the dizzy lad back down. Bran stumbles about awkwardly before falling into a bush nearby.

Suddenly, it feels as if all the air around you is electrified with intense energy. There is a loud whirring sound and a bright, crimson light flashes into existence. Shifting washes of dark gray and deep black swirl within the center of this new portal.

“Looks like Cleo was able to open up a primary portal,” observes Fury. “We thought she would have to transfer you to a secondary one from her tent, but it looks like she was able to bypass it. This will send you directly to the area outside the fields. Dethys gave her the instructions to cloak the portal’s entry efficiently, but you will need to move quickly. We can’t afford to leave it open long, so get through as soon as you can,” instructs Fury.

Blood grabs Sig by the hand. “Whatever you do, don’t let go of me. Portals are unsettling enough, but the one that leads to the Sanguine Fields isn’t exactly the most stable.”

Honor grabs Blood’s free hand, then takes Siron’s in the other. One by one each member of the party joins hands until only Fjorin remains. Fjorin moves to take Lai’s free hand, but he feels a hand upon his shoulder. As he turns, he finds himself facing the Blood-Warden General. Fury reaches her right hand over her left shoulder and unsheathes an enormous blade. Its craftsmanship is exquisite, and the blade itself is the color of obsidian with strange, red swirls mixed throughout. Fjorin has never seen such a blade, but had heard tell of weaponsmiths, unparalleled in skill, to the far East.

“It’s a souvenir I brought from my homeland,” explains Fury. “Though your mortal weapon is well-made, this is far more befitting of a warrior.” Fury hands Fjorin the belt and scabbard before laying the sword across both of her palms and, almost reverently, presenting it to the heir of the Ebonmane.

“This sword is well-attuned to the earth. Should you find yourself in a tight spot, thrust it into the dirt. Your way out will be revealed. While this sword is in your possession, none may disarm you. In addition, this sword cannot be blocked by normal means. Shields crumble and parries fail. As long as you connect, you will do great damage to your target.”

“Oh… and one more thing.” Fury reaches into a bag at her feet and extracts a large fur belt adorned with black hide and set with a large red stone. There is elaborate steel metalwork surrounding the gem. “Should someone manage to strike you, there is a chance their damage will be negated, and instead, reflected back at them threefold. Good luck, Fjorin, and remember to take care with that parcel.” Fury gestures to the Fjorin’s pack where the sack containing the mysterious object is stored. “Farewell, Lai.” Fury nods to the former Carnis who smiles back at her.

Dennan is at the front of the party, leading the chain of companions towards the portal. “Whatever you do, do not let go of the person in front of you. Should we become separated within the portal, there’s no telling where you may end up.”

Anlaf digs his talons into Sembas’s shoulder to gain a firm grip.

Slowly, you all draw closer and closer to the portal.

“Alright, you heard my mother. We need to be quick about this.” Dennan signals before he breaks into a quick sprint towards the portal. Dennan is the first to disappear through, and one by one, the rest of you follow. This portal is certainly more violent than any you’ve been through before. It feels as if the portal itself is trying to tear you away from one another. Despite the difficulty of maintaining your holds, all manage to adhere to the previous directions from the General’s bestial son. You all safely emerge on the other side of the portal.

You are violently expelled to the ground and the portal snaps shut behind you. Immediately your noses are accosted by the acrid smells of death and rot. The scent is powerful enough to make your stomachs lurch considerably and Lai nearly fails to maintain her breakfast. You manage to brush yourselves off and rise to your feet, and when you do, words cannot express the waking horrors that stretch out before you.

As far as the eye can see the soil is soaked with the blood of the fallen. There is far more blood than the land can even absorb, and wherever it cannot, the deep, sanguine liquid forms considerable pools. New life cannot grow here, and the trees that remain are twisted, appalling vestiges of their once former glory. Their roots are bulbous and hideous. Their trunks are gnarled and their branches withered and leafless. Even the sky appears scarred in this place. If you look behind you, in the distance you can make out blue sky and traces of rolling hills of wheat and green pastures. Yet, ahead of you, the sky is gray and bleak, the clouds black and ominous. Occasionally, the gray sky is momentarily illuminated by streaks of violent lightning.
“That’s not natural…” mutters Blood.

Dennan grunts in agreement. “Fortuna.”

“Or her new apprentice,” offers Lai.
“Where is the last known location of the Crimson Wolves?” questions Honor.

“You’re standing on it,” replies Blood. She kneels beside a charred bit of wood and holds it up to her nose. “It’s certainly not fresh. Dennan?” She offers it to their tracker.

Dennan crushes the bit of wood in his fist and tosses it into the air. He sniffs for a moment before his attention is drawn to the right of where you are. “Someone was here about three days ago… but I am sorry, Blood. It was not Vartan. It reeks of Forsaken.”

Blood’s face pales considerably. “You don’t think…” She does not finish her sentence, afraid of what may be confirmed.

Instead, Dennan shakes his head. “No. I don’t think he or his people have been injured. If I know Vartan, then he would not have risked putting himself in the open like this. The woods would provide considerable cover.” He gestures to a large stretch of dense, blackened trees to the east. “If I had to guess, Fortuna is probably due north of us.”

“Makes sense,” agrees Blood. “The worst of all the battles was fought at the foot of Hangman’s Hill. It was named for a Forsaken, Attor Hangman. His favored weapon was a bladed noose. He took the high ground and when our alliance charged, he made quick work of many skilled warriors, picking them off as they came.”

“Let’s be quick. We can’t evade Fortuna’s gaze forever,” speaks Dennan. He leads the party in the direction of the forest, but quickly freezes in his tracks. “GET-”

Dennan does not have the opportunity to finish his sentence. The ground begins to violently shake and deep cracks form in the earth. All around you, long skeletal fingers emerge from the cracks as two dozen skeletons rise from the depths of the Sanguine Fields. They haul their blood-stained bones from the confines of the earth. Their flesh has long since rotted away, and their eye sockets are vacant and hollow, yet they maintain a grip on their weapons, tools of destruction that could not even be rent from them in death. One lets out an earsplitting cry, and its fellows charge towards you, their swords, maces, and axes raised, ready to sacrifice more blood to the fields.

Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Archdemon Stu on October 15, 2013, 04:11:33 PM
Lai's antics made it difficult to believe that Fjorin would soon be in the Sanguine Fields.  How strange indeed, that a being with such capability to destroy, weave illusions and control minds seemed to glow as it scarfed down meat and potatoes for the first time, and seemed to battle against ordinary obstacles such as stairs.  All things considered, however, Lai was a quick learner for having only been born into a physical form.  He thanks the Ageless for their generosity in his own subtle ways.  Though he had forgotten to pack his new weaponry in all the festivity and chaos that Lai and the Ageless created, he regretted not a moment.

As they stood, readied for the Sanguine Fields at last, Fjorin did little but gaze forward.  While others may say he was mentally preparing himself, it was not so, for no man needs to prepare themselves for where they feel most at home.  For the Ebonmane prince, he was returning to a place where he was comfortable: in the midst of war.

Before he could move forward into the portal with his newborn Ageless friend, however, he was stopped.

General Fury presented a weapon the likes of which Fjorin had never laid eyes on.  To say it was a masterwork would be an insult to its craftsmanship.  Though Fjorin had already been trusted with so much by the highest ranks of Avalon, it was still difficult to believe that General Fury would simply hand over such a blade.  He took it, wrapped his hands about it firmly, and though he could not describe the feeling, his hands had never resonated so with a weapon.

As if it was not enough, the Blood-Warden General had yet one more gift for him.  Overwhelmed, honored, grateful, and humbled, no words escaped him.

With an intense and determined look in his eye, he nodded to General Fury as if to invoke their words from before: "My actions will resound as thunder."


After a disorienting trip through the portal, Fjorin picks himself and Lai back up to their feet.  As she wretches from the sight of the nearby landscape, he looks out into the vast wastes.  Perhaps he was not quite as at home here as he originally thought.  The tales of the Sanguine Fields, no matter how gruesome, could do its macabre nature little justice.  He calmly readied his blade, and paced about at the ready as he listened in on the conversation...


Dennan's senses were keen indeed.  The ground ruptured, and the clanking of bones were following by a horrific screech.

Like a starved beast upon its prey, Fjorin wasted no time.  The dirt beneath his feet shifted as his boots left the ground, his black mane flowing behind him, unable to keep up with his charge.  His eyes were alight with a fervor the group had yet to see of the last of the Ebonmane.  Approaching the nearest group of skeletons to the party, the barbarian pivoted his foot across the earth and grounded himself, then brought his blade forward in an arcing motion that seemed to blur his weapon.  One could hear the winds give way as the gift of the Blood-Warden General sliced through the air, intent on shattering the vulnerable spines of the fallen warriors and cleaving them in twain. (STRENGTH - DAMAGE)
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Radobe on October 15, 2013, 04:31:36 PM
Siron spends the rest of the day with Corvus. In the evening he goes to bed with the pleasant after taste of Calming’s ale on his lips.

The morning, after receiving the message from the general’s son, is mostly uneventful, with the exception of two things. The pleasant surprise that Honor and Dennan would be joining them and the even more pleasant surprise that he doesn’t not need a new pair of armor, after being “attacked” by a monster in a bear’s form.

The portal spits the group out and Siron lands on his knees and palms. He quickly gets up and begins to draw a deep breath. This action is quickly interrupted by a sudden twitch in his left eye and check, which descends and affects his torso and arms, as the knight utters a short sequence of illegible sounds.

“No wonder the general didn’t want to send us here, this place stinks!” Siron points his finger at Lai who is about to show everyone what she had for breakfast. “Ok, she knows what I am talking about!” It takes the young man a few seconds, but after looking around it becomes clear to him that the smell is not the worst thing about the Sanguine Fields.

“That’s not natural…” … “GET-”

Siron’s initial astonishment at seeing the walking dead, is quickly overtaken by the ear piercing realization that one of them can shout.

(STRENGTH: ATHLETICS) A little angry and very excited, Siron dashes towards the closest charging skeleton. His shield on his left and mace in his right, both resting in his tight grip, as he races towards his enemy. “Don’t you yell at me!” Shouts Siron as he places his right leg securely on the ground a meter away from the oncoming skeleton. He lets his momentum swing the left side of his body and as soon as his side is lined up with his advisory, plants his left leg with a crouch. Using both, his legs and his inertia, he launches his shield and shoulder in a diagonal shield bash directed upwards, meant to intercept his foe and send the light looking mass of bones, flying towards the shouting skeleton.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Kitharsis on October 15, 2013, 04:37:57 PM
"With Anlaf's help I am sure we will return."  Sembas replies to Faile.  He continues wearing his hardened facade, but in reality he was scared.  Even Faile is requesting him to come back safely, as if pleading with the Divine itself.

"I hope I am back in time to see you and Faile's eggs hatch, Besnik.  If I do not, I know you will watch over them.  Please keep both of my girls safe while I am gone."  He  says, punctuated with a wink.

"I will be on my guard, and I will stay true to my heart, Gladia."  He steals another long embrace before parting.

More goodbye's are said until everyone gathers and grasps hands before the portal.  Anlaf digs into the hard leather on his shoulder.  Sembas can feel the pressure through the thick material.

"I haven't had the chance to thank you personally yet, Anlaf.  The favor you are paying Faile and I is simply immense.  I am honored you chose to accompany me, and I am in your debt."

He notices a rustling in his breast pocket.  Little paws clutch at the leather inside.  Sembas pops open the pocket and finds Chico settled in for the trip.

"Close that!"  The little mouse shouts.  "Don't let me fall out in this... portal... thing."  Chico grabs the pocket flap, and with surprising strength yanks it out of his fingers and does up the button.

A muffled, "Here we go!" Comes from inside.  Sembas quickly grabs the person's hand in front of him, and the line of immortals and Alvis sprints through the portal.  It pulls and churns, threatening to separate them, but they all manage to make it through.

The portal snaps shut, leaving them with the macabre scene before them.  Pools of spent blood dot the crimson landscape.  The smell of death and rot stings his nose.  The dread he was feeling earlier sends pangs through his gut.

"Be on your guard."  He whispers to Anlaf.  The falcon shifts his weight on his shoulder, prying his talons out of the divots from his tight grasp in the portal.  Sembas's pocket pops open as Chico sticks his head out.  A tiny gasp escapes the mouse's mouth.  "You too Chico."

Sembas watches Dennan as he investigates the area.  He notices a few things mentioned in the book that Archer gifted him.  Dennan makes a far quicker assessment of the area and leads everyone towards the forest.

An earthquake?

The ground shakes and cracks, but instead of falling away into nothing, things emerge from below.  Blood stained skeletons haul themselves up from the cracks.  They clutch weapons in their bony hands as they shamble toward the group.  His leather gloves audibly flex as he clenches his fists in surprise.  He has never seen the bones of the fallen rising from the ground.  There is no time to process the fear surging through his body, as one of the skeletons lets out an earsplitting cry and they charge.

Anlaf launches off his shoulder and rapidly takes to the air.  Sembas unhooks his spear with a flourish and begins chanting a spell.  The diamond specks in the blue steel catch the lightning crackling in the distance as his weapon spins.  He continues flourishing his spear around him as he rushes to meet the charging skeletons.  He hopes to draw attention to himself and away from Anlaf as he flies above.

As the Falconer advances, he finishes chanting the Grow Falcon spell with Anlaf as its target.  His new falcon companion immediately grows in size by a large amount.  Anlaf is far overhead by now and has leveled out his ascent.

The bond he shares with Faile is so strong that they almost always know what the other is thinking.  In battle this is invaluable, as they can work together without words or signals.  Sembas is finding it much more difficult to communicate with Anlaf in the same manner.  The Falconer can feel a link between them, but it is fresh and weak.  It will take some time before they can convey more than simple thoughts through it.

Realizing this, Sembas points his spear at one of the advancing skeletons, and with his free hand gestures in a striking movement at the ground.  Through the fresh link with Anlaf he tries to shout, "DIVE! DIVE! DIVE!"  He is unsure if Anlaf will receive the message.

He regrips his spear and prepares to block the oncoming attack if Anlaf misunderstands his signal.

Skeletons are best combated by large, blunt objects used to smash them to bits.  Sembas's weapons pierce and slash, and he doesn't have time to use his Stonefall spell to harden his fists.  Instead, he decides to have Anlaf be his wrecking ball.  The now very large falcon will tuck in his wings and dive down with huge outstretched talons.  His target is the skeleton that Sembas has pointed to with his spear.  If Anlaf hits his mark, he should be diving fast enough and with enough force to crush the skeleton beneath him.  If the skeleton has enough sense to try and dodge, Anlaf should hopefully at least crush a few limbs.

As Anlaf is a sensible falcon, after landing and crushing whatever he can with talons and beak he will quickly take to the sky again.  This will prevent him from being stuck vulnerable on the ground.  Sembas will do whatever he can to provide him with a safe takeoff.

All the while, Chico is hanging on for dear life and screaming mousey battle cries at the advancing skeletons.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Cameron on October 16, 2013, 06:55:57 AM
Sigurd lets out a roar as skeletons charge his position. He shifts one foot backwards, digging a rut into the ground as he sets his stance. He will not be moved from this position. (Constitution- Fortitude of the All-Father) He makes a mental note of Blood's location as well as the position of his other allies as he draws his weapons: axe in the right hand, lute in the left. He flips his axe around so that the blunt end is out. No point in wasting a perfectly honed edge on enemies who have no flesh to speak of.

Sig knows his true benefit to the party comes from his music. But he won't be able to play if he's getting swarmed by angry undead. The first and most important order of business when setting up for a concert (other than drinking) is always clearing the rabble off the stage.

Sig swings both his weapons at the oncoming skeletons, hoping to land attacks before they have a chance to attack him. (Strength- Damage [One-handed Axe/Shield (Lute)])
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on October 18, 2013, 06:48:13 PM
   Siron, ever eager and exceedingly quick on his feet, dashes forward to initiate the fray. The force of Siron’s shield and shoulder send a charging skeleton flying. It careens helplessly through the air and slams into the skull of the screaming skeleton. The skeleton leader is knocked off balance, but quickly regains its composure as its once ally becomes a lifeless pile of bones at his feet. The skeleton leader launches itself forward with surprising speed. It closes the distance between itself and Siron. Its battleaxe moves with such quickness that it is practically a blur as it aims to behead the young knight before it.

Fjorin falls upon the closest group of skeletons and bits of broken bone rain upon the ground in the wake of his mighty blow. Normally, blunt weapons would be the primary choice in dealing with such enemies. However, Fjorin’s raw power and damage give any weapon the force of a battering ram. Two skeletons are instantly shattered, jagged shards littered upon the dirt the only indication they were ever there. A third skeleton raises its mace high above its head and aims a well-placed strike for Fjorin’s chest.

Meanwhile, Anlaf is a bit slow in discerning Sembas’s commands. However, once he comprehends what Sembas wants him to do, he quickly obeys his new master’s request. The skeleton is far too absorbed in attempting to take off Sembas’s head with his sword to pay any attention to the dangerous threat above. Anlaf descends upon the skeleton with the force of a boulder and instantly obliterates creature. Anlaf quickly changes course and shoots up into the air to await further directions from Sembas. Sembas has drawn the attention of a small group of three skeletons. They charge directly at him with their weapons raised. One of the skeletons raises a battleaxe over his head and lunges forward with the intent of cleaving Sembas in two. The second swings a heavy mace that is trained on Sembas’s knees. The third slices forward with a rusty blade aimed towards Sembas’s chest.

Sig strikes out with his axe and lute. His axe imbeds in the skull of one of the oncoming skeletons. The creature, now without its head, stumbles about wildly. Its skull is now firmly stuck on the head of Sig’s axe. The force behind Sig’s lute is enough to smash a skeleton in the chest. Its ribs and spine are instantly shattered to bits and the creature falls backward into a heap.  Two of its companions aim to make short work of the Chosen of Alviss. Both equipped with broadswords, one charges to Sig’s right, and the other to his left, aiming to skewer him where he stands.

The ground shakes again and twelve more skeleton soldiers erupt from the ground. Dennan’s right hand grasps the handle of the enormous greataxe upon his back. He takes up his weapon and swings it toward an oncoming group of 4 skeletons. The force of the blow instantly obliterates the creatures. However, suddenly, several skeleton hands reach up from the depths of the earth, grabbing for Dennan’s leather boots. Dennan pulls one of his legs free and uses the other to stomp upon the hands that attempt to ensnare him.

Six skeletons make their way towards the ferocious Captain Blood. Blood stamps her foot upon the ground, letting out an immense Battlecry. Four of them are knocked several yards backwards, and the two that remain swing at the Captain with their axes. Honor uses this opportunity to rush forward. He slams his shield into the bony back of one of Blood’s attackers, causing the creature to be reduced to little more than bonedust. Blood knows her broadsword will do little here, so she does not even bother to unsheathe it. Instead, she draws back her fist and sends it through the oncoming skeleton's skull. Her fingers emerge out the other side and she rends it from the creature's body. With a well-placed kick from her boot, the rest of its body is left in a pile of bony rubble.

Lai finds herself in the middle of a group of four skeletons. She has no weapon, and certainly no training in wielding one. Startled and frightened, she lets out a shrill, earsplitting scream. Her cries have no effect on her allies, but all the skeletons around hear begin to shake violently, unable to continue their movements toward her. The pitch of her voice increases and her would-be assailants explode in a display of bone shards and fine white powder.

Fenwick is startled by the sudden appearance of these creatures and finds two of the skeleton warriors bearing down upon him. He quickly mutters one of his spells, Protective Barrier, under his breath as he fumbles for his sling and something to load it with. The skeletons strike at him with their axes, but found themselves unable to damage Fenwick due to the barrier.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Radobe on October 19, 2013, 04:03:31 AM
Siron watches the quickly approaching skeleton and takes a defensive stance with his shield up front. The battle axe the skeleton wields is too fast for the young knight to follow so blocking becomes quite dangerous, so instead he chooses a more direct approach. (DEXTERITY: DODGE) Attempting both, to evade the attack and to gain an advantageous position, the knight dives forward and down to the right side. Tilting his body during the dive, he should fall on his back and using the gathered speed, make a quick roll on the ground, ending up a few meters behind the skeleton.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Kitharsis on October 22, 2013, 09:53:14 AM
Three skeletons approach, all very intent on paying him back for the destruction of their broken friend.  It seems that his distraction for Anlaf was a little too effective.

Sembas crouches and springs backwards, while leaning out of the path of the skeletons rapidly falling weapons (Dexterity - Dodge).  As he leaps away he swings the length of his spear in a large arc.  Typically such an action would be clumsy and flailing, but he relies on his unnatural Athletics gained from growing up bonded with Faile.  This makes what would have been a light swing in self defense into a mighty swipe of his weapon.

The Falconer screams through the bond once more, "AGAIN! AGAIN!"  He hopes Anlaf has caught on to the strategy by now.  Whatever the result is of his wild spear swing, the skeletons should have their backs exposed - prime for a surprise strike from behind.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Archdemon Stu on October 22, 2013, 03:49:37 PM
(Strength - Athleticism) Fjorin pushed off the ground with his legs and slammed his massive frame against the skeleton's.  Maces required full, precise swings in order to land deadly blows, and such a maneuver would break any sense of balance the skeleton might have had.  Should the skeleton be knocked back a significant distance, Fjorin would smash it to bits as he did the others, and immediately tend to his party members.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Cameron on October 23, 2013, 09:52:42 AM
Sig sees himself being the meat in a skeleton sandwich and is having none of it. He takes a step back, putting both skeletons in front of him. With a quick swing, he hurls his axe towards the skeleton on the left. (Strength - Damage) He quickly places both hands on his lute and strums a sweet note with a flourish, unleashing a powerful force into the skeleton on the right. (Wisdom - Spiritual Magic [Striking Ballad]) This should keep the skeleton on the right at bay long enough to get his axe back from the hopefully downed skeleton on the left.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on October 23, 2013, 05:33:06 PM
   Siron’s dexterity allows him to deftly roll out of the way of the skeleton leader’s attack, and he finds himself now behind the creature. The skeleton leader reacts quickly, and lunges forward. The creature lets out another earsplitting cry and more of his foes erupt from the ground. The newly arrived forces, six in total, charge towards Siron and attempt to aid their leader.

   Dennan, anticipating the young knight may be overwhelmed, rushes to aid Siron. He lowers his shoulder and thunders toward the his unsuspecting targets, who are firmly focused on the young man. Dennan’s massive form connects with three of the creatures, decimating them instantly, and leaving only three new arrivals and the skeleton leader in the vicinity.

   Sembas lashes out with a mighty swing of his spear. His movements are exceedingly deft and his natural athletics give him great force behind the blow. He manages to sunder one in half, shattering the creature at the knees and causing the top of its body to be severed from the bottom. Anlaf reacts far more quickly this time. He lets out a screech and hurtles towards the remaining to skeletons, whose backs are exposed. The attack connects and both creatures are reduced to a pile of dust.

   Fjorin’s athleticism prove too effective for the skeleton’s unwieldy mace. Its balance now off kilter, the creature stumbles backwards. The Ebonmane warrior makes quick work of him before being surrounded by three more creatures. Two of them are armed with swords, but the third is quite irregular. It has no weapon in hand, and lunges at Fjorin with its gaping, mouth, intent on sinking its teeth into the flesh upon the warrior’s face.

   There is an eruption of light behind the skeletons that attempt to attack Fjorin. One of the creatures wielding a sword is instantly vaporized by a well-placed strike of elemental force by Lai.

   Sig’s Striking Ballad launches the skeleton on the right off of his feet where he lands in a heap upon the ground. Still capable of inflicting damage, the skeleton scrambles for his weapon to attempt to strike Sig in the knees. The skeleton on the left is less fortunate. Sig cleaves the creature in two, and the thoughtless pile of bones crumbles to the ground, no longer a threat to the Chosen of Alviss.

   Blood and Honor are a flurry of furious movement as the two warriors battle against these undead abominations. Blood’s fist careens into skull after skull, leaving a path of destruction in her wake, while Honor slams his shield into the unprotected, bony torsos of his assailants.

   Fenwick continues to fumble with his sling. Now finding himself surrounded by four of these creatures, he maintains his Protective Barrier to buy himself more time.

Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Archdemon Stu on October 23, 2013, 06:36:03 PM
The skeleton that lunges for Fjorin is even more of a surprise to the Ebonmane than the other skeletons shambling out of the ground, but a welcome challenge of his fortitude.  His instincts call out to him:  should he allow himself to become entangled in a melee with this creature, it will create an opening for the others.  It must be dealt with swiftly.  As the aberrant skeleton lunges toward the warrior fearlessy, Fjorin releases the tight grip he has upon his weapon, and postures himself.  It closes in, and Fjorin rears his head backward...


Fjorin's forhead slams into the skull of his foe - the sheer weight of the Ebonmane warrior's strike proving to be quite a powerful counterattack.  Blood drips down his face at the point of impact as he soaks the damage, ignoring the pain, and executes follow-through.  Should it ground his assailant as anticipated, he would stomp in the spine of what remained, and sever the next two from whatever bonds tied them to this world of the living with the gift of the Blood-Warden General.

During the chaos, he began to wonder if the undead would continue to rise.  In a place where the dirt itself was stained with blood as far as the eye could see, the bodies would be innumerable.  Was the catalyst of such sorcery the screaming skeleton from before, or was there another cause?

No matter, they would surely find out soon enough.  For now, he focused on the task before him.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Radobe on October 26, 2013, 11:37:45 AM
   Siron’s excitement has reached a new level. His heart is beating like a drum and pumping adrenalin all over his body, his short, deep breaths make him feel lightheaded, his imagination running wild as images from stories about knights, flicker rapidly in his mind. This is it! This is the real deal, he is finally doing it! Having an adventure, becoming a knight, this is his dream and his moment. The young knight felt invincible at this moment. Under the helmet his smile was wider than his face.

   The skeleton leader makes a large movement to lunge at the knight, in reaction to his previous dodge. This was exactly what Siron wanted, an easy to read move he could aim for without difficulty.  Unfortunately, another shriek announces the appearance of six more skeletons, which immediately join the fray. Fortunately for the knight, Dennan assists and removes three of the assailants. Now he gives the screaming skeleton his undivided attention. Aiming at the oncoming weapon, he launches from his position (ATHLETICS: STRENGTH) and attempts to meet it head on with his shield. If strong enough, he should be able to block and push away the weapon leaving the skeleton open for a follow up. A swift mace strike, promptly delivered to the cranium area. Should Dennan be kind enough to prevent an interruption, from the three remaining skeletons, the union of mace and skull shall be glorious! Otherwise Siron will attempt to block the oncoming skeletons as well, if at all possible after the initial block.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Kitharsis on October 29, 2013, 10:24:07 AM
Sembas finds himself unoccupied in the midst of the battle.  His golden eyes quickly scan for anyone needing assistance.  They fall on a Protective Barrier being hammered on by four skeletons.

What is Fenwick doing?

The falconer stabs his spear into the ground beside him and unslings his bow.  He knocks an arrow and draws back.  While he does this he channels his Harris Arrow.  The essence of a cast of hawks fills the knocked arrow.  He aims between two of the skeletons and lets the arrow fly.

It streaks towards its target in a blur.  Once it is almost to the skeletons it bursts into a mass or ghostly hawks.  The cast splits, each half attacking a skeleton on either side.  Razor sharp talons and strong beaks slam into the two skeletons.  The attack should be enough to at least dismantle a good amount of bones from the skeletons bodies.  If he is lucky, they could pry and break away enough of them to incapacitate the bony warriors.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Cameron on October 29, 2013, 04:02:41 PM
Sig sees the remaining skeleton crawling towards it's weapon. Thinking quickly, he swings the chain attaching himself to his axe around his forearm once for leverage. He then gives a mighty tug. As the axe comes spinning back towards him, he puts two hands on the neck of his lute and winds up. Sig takes a two-handed swing just as his axe arrives. There is a crunch and the sound of metal on metal as sparks fly and the axe is sent directly at the crawling skeleton. (Strength - Damage [Improvised Fighting]) With luck, it will hit before the skeleton has time to stand back up.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on October 30, 2013, 02:33:36 PM
   Blood drips down Fjorin’s forehead from the mighty impact of his skull against that of the skeleton. The Ebonmane warrior is unfazed and is little worse for wear. The skull of his adversary, however, is left as little more than busted shards. What is left of the skeleton lands in a pile at Fjorin’s feet, and the warrior stomps on its spine for good measure. Fjorin continues to obliterate all of the enemies in his path, successfully striking out with his sword, and cleaving two more advancing skeletons in half.

   Sembas takes note of Fenwick’s precarious position. He sees the mage within, Fenwick’s brow beaded with sweat and the fear apparent upon his face. That barrier couldn’t hold for much longer. The falconer mounts an offense to assist his companion. His Harris Arrow flies straight and true, and shortly before impact, erupts in a flutter of wings and a loud screeching sound as phantasmal falcons are unleashed as a mighty weapon. These creatures manage to completely debilitate two of the skeletons by smashing their beaks against the skeletons’ brittle bones. Fenwick maintains his barrier, striving to resist the attacks of the remaining two skeletons.

   Sig keys on the skeleton that futilely attempts to crawl towards its weapon. However, its course is interrupted by the axe of the Chosen of Alviss. Sig’s axe impacts the skeleton with such force that the creature’s bones are shattered.

   Siron blasts forward with his shield, perfectly striking the skeleton leader’s weapon. The creature’s balance is thrown off considerably, allowing the young knight to follow up with a well-placed strike to the creature’s head. This skeleton seems to be considerably hardier than the others, and while noticeably damaged, fights to regain his grip on his weapon. The other three skeletons continue their advance towards Siron, but Dennan slams his greataxe into the ground, causing a small shockwave to ripple through the immediate area and knock the three attackers to the ground.

   The eyeless sockets of the skeleton leader are trained on Siron as the creature once again lifts its weapon and charges forward. A loud, rasping sound emanates from the skeleton’s gaping hole of a mouth. “A MARACET VIA SEVERA! DIA LE DIA LE LEPA DE FORTUNA!”

   Blood freezes in her track, her path of destruction coming to an abrupt halt. “What?” She whirls around, ignoring the advances of the other skeletons and charges in front of Siron to intercept the skeleton leader. As the skeleton leader brings his weapon crashing down towards Siron’s head, Blood raises her forearm to block the blow. There is a sharp scraping sound of metal against metal, followed by the flash of sparks that erupt from the impact.
   Blood shakes her head towards the skeleton leader. “Nea na! Nea! Osiris de Arala! If frienden! Adia de Aegea! Es frienden!”

   The skeleton leader shrieks loudly, and all of his companions suddenly stop in their tracks. It turns its eyeless sockets towards Blood. “Trea? Es Adia de Blut? De Aegea?”

   Blood nods her head firmly and places her right hand over her heart. “Yeha. Es mia. Osiris de Arala.” Blood kneels before the skeleton, then places her right hand upon the ground. “Quara el, Osiris. Fea ne para ses?”

   “What is going on?” demands Lai, her foot firmly pressed upon the skull of a squirming skeleton.

   Dennan grunts. “It’s the Old Speech. My dad taught me a bit of it. Old dialect of mortal language. Hasn’t been spoken for a couple hundred years. If what I’m hearing is right, then the creature Blood kneels before is Osiris of Arala, one of the greatest mortal warriors to have ever lived. He was slain in the battle of the Sanguine Fields. He and his company were obliterated by Forsaken. Their blood stained the fields, but we never found their bodies to perform their final rights.”

   The skeleton gives a wave of his hand, signaling his men to stand down. He extends his bony hand to Blood, who takes it in her own, and rises to her feet. “Mas ara. Et beyala Forsak. Severa y Fortuna. Shialis fielda.” He gestures to himself and his men. “Perao. Stepa es ria balta.”

   Blood turns to the rest of you. “He says this was a burial mound. He and his men slept for a long time, but the earth began to move and he awoke. He came to the surface alone and he saw Fortuna with a few of her companions. He feared Fortuna was up to no good, so they staged this trap. When we arrived, they thought we were Forsaken, as the Ageless have not ventured here since the old days. He apologizes heartily for attacking us.” Blood rises to her feet.

   The skeleton leader, Osiris nods. “Para stepa. Nia me liala. Sheya seraka.”

   Blood nods in understanding. “Their spirits are bound to this tainted earth.” She turns back to the skeleton leader. “Paira staya terra nia. Me cleara laya terra.”

   Whatever Blood has said, Osiris nods his head vigorously.

   “Para es meara stama alarum. Estapa Forsak. Lea rama.” The skeleton leader points in the direction of the unnatural lightning. “Nea Fortuna maya daya. Bera ebon ara mena. Doza mira mena. Lar hara fira nar.”

   Blood reaches to her belt and detaches a large, white, animal horn, which she then offers to the skeleton. Osiris bows slightly, graciously accepting it.
Blood looks back to the party again. “I told him of our intentions to cleanse the fields. He agrees it may allow them to rest. If Fortuna was here once, there is a good chance she will be here again. He says that he still has many forces below. He and his men will resume their trap, and if they encounter the Forsaken, they will sound an alarm and buy us some time. He does not think Fortuna has been here for a few days, but he says he lost a dozen men in a skirmish with a large Forsaken with long black hair. The man summoned a black horse from nowhere and charged off into the fields.”

“Have they seen or heard Vartan?” asks Dennan.

Blood puts her hand on Osiris’s bony shoulder. “Crea pakata nome Varta? Es lupo reda. Seva compa.”

Osiris shakes his head and Blood relates the message to the rest of you. “No. Apparently Vartan is even lighter on his feet than I gave him credit for. Osiris says he hasn’t seen or heard a trace of them.”

Blood gives a slight bow and the skeleton claps her on the back. Osiris raises his hand and there is a slight trembling of the earth. Large cracks open in the ground and one by one, the skeletons file back into the confines of their earthen tomb. Osiris waves his hand to Blood who returns the gesture. Dirt swirls in wide patterns around your feet and you notice that the shattered bones of the defeated skeletons become covered with dirt and reburied in the land.

Blood puts her hands on her hips. “I don’t know if it’s brave or foolish. Osiris knows he could never kill the Forsaken outright. Yet, he seemed to think that if he could capture them and pull them beneath the earth, they could be incapacitated.” She shrugs. “I guess it’s possible.”

“We’ve no time to waste.” Dennan gestures for the rest of you to follow him into the woods. You all find your way to the dark, unnerving trees of the Sanguine Fields, and the General’s son moves to lead you over the treacherous terrain. You walk single file towards the opening in the trees, but suddenly there is a whoosh of air so violent it knocks you off your feet. You all land hard in the dust and quickly collect yourself.

“What was that?” ponders Lai aloud.

“I don’t know if I want to stick around to find out,” mutters Blood.

Yet as you all find your way to your feet, you notice something amiss. Fenwick. Where once he had stood just slightly behind Sembas, there is little more than two footprints in the dirt to indicate where he had been.


   Fenwick stirs slightly, his eyes bleary as he tries to focus on where he is. His head pounds so terribly it makes his stomach lurch. He finds he is lying face down on a cot in a dimly lit room. He strains to pull himself to his elbows in the hopes of sitting up and getting a better look at his surroundings. His entire body aches, and as much as he wills his muscles to move, he can’t. He feels a sharp pain between his shoulders, and is quickly rendered unconscious again.

   “That will keep him out for awhile.” She is the picture of beauty with pale skin and deep red hair. Her green eyes glint in the dim light of the room like two luminescent rubies. Blood drips down one of her fingernails, leaving a trail of crimson trickling down her slender fingers. Fenwick’s blood.  “He’s stronger than I thought.”

   “You’ll have to show me how to do that,” breathes her companion.

   The red-haired woman smirks. “You are far too easily impressed, Ravana.” Her eyes drifts back to the unconscious young man upon the cot. “Much stronger than I thought. The first dose should have knocked him out for hours. I am hesitant to use any more than this.” She holds out a vial towards her companion. It is the same poison she coated her nail with. She preferred daggers for delivering poisons, but if she harmed the boy, Severan would be furious.

   “Nightshade?” questions Ravana. “That is truly potent, mistress! One dose would be enough to kill a mortal, or incapacitate an Ageless. Yet, this is his second!”

   There are footsteps approaching in the hallway. After hundreds of years in his company, she has come to know his gait. He is so light on his feet, yet there is that slight drag to his left leg, a wound from the General that never quite healed.

   The red-haired woman quickly rises to her feet. “My Lord.” She greets him as he enters the room.

   His complexion is pale and his long, black hair falls upon his shoulders in deep, black waves. His eyes, the color of a stormy sky sparkle with excitement, yet bags are easily seen under his eyes. He’d been up all night again. She had heard him cry out in his sleep last night… crying out the name of Oran Raven. Even in slumber, tears streamed down his face, confessing the shame of his past deeds. Yet, in his waking hours, when his heart was not heavy with the pain of his trespasses, he committed himself to the undoing of his former Ageless brethren.

   “Fortuna!” His eyes dart from her to the sleeping young man on the cot. “Is it truly him?”

   The red-haired woman, Fortuna, nods. “Yes, my lord. The trap worked. When the Ageless arrived, they inadvertently set off the grave mounds. This was to our benefit. While the others were battling, the Carnis was able to spirit Fenwick away, directly into our outstretched arms. I knew the idea of seeing Hux would be too great an allure. What son wouldn’t want to see his father?”

   Severan scowls as he kneels beside Fenwick’s sleeping form. “Indeed. Even a false father.” He stares at Fenwick in silence for several moments, taking in every bit of his features as he rests. Severan reaches down and gently pushes the hair from Fenwick’s forehead. Slowly, he leans forward, not wanting to awake the newly arrived Ageless. “Welcome home, my son.”

The Lord of the Forsaken gingerly places a kiss upon Fenwick’s brow. He reaches down to the foot of the cot and grasps the coarse blankets in his hands. He pulls them up over Fenwick’s shoulders. “This is no place for my child. He is our guest; not our prisoner. Prepare a room for him near my quarters, but take care to keep the room locked and guarded at all times. Who knows what nonsense the Ageless have filled his head with. He may rail against us, but once he learns the truth, I am confident he will see reason.”

Both Fortuna and Ravana bow their heads and respond in unison. “Yes, my lord.”

Severan Deceit makes his way towards the door of the room. “And Fortuna, after you have seen to him, take Ravana and Coward. Meet with the Executioner at the fields. We cannot let the Ageless interfere with our efforts.”
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Radobe on November 02, 2013, 08:53:18 AM
   Siron successfully pushes away the oncoming weapon and the skeleton leader is left open for a follow up. Thanks to Dennan’s interception of the rest of the charging skeletons, the young knight slams his mace in the skull of the bony leader. Much to his surprise, the undead endures, regains his stance and lunges at young ageless again.


   Siron gets firm grip of his mace and prepares to clash with the skeleton leader once more, determined to defeat the opponent before him. As he is about to leap into action, a cold chill goes down his spine and he stops in his track. An instant later blood’s arm flashes in front of him and his face is showered with sparks.

   The confused knight takes a few steps back and stares at the talking skeleton. After bloods explanation, he loosens up and takes a few deep breaths to calm down, before following Dennan into the woods. A sudden burst of air catches everyone off guard and knocks them over. Siron reaches for his shield and mace, as he quickly gets on his feet.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Kitharsis on November 02, 2013, 03:31:57 PM
Blood starts talking with the skeleton leader in a language unfamiliar to Sembas.  Dennan explains what is happening, and Blood elaborates on their conversation once she has an understanding of who the skeletons actually are.

So even the residents of the Sanguine fields have a hatred for the Forsaken.  During the conversation Anlaf returns to his normal size and flaps down to Sembas's waiting arm.

The earth opens and the skeletons crawl back into their resting place.  The Falconer feels a tinge of guilt for dispatching the ancient warriors.  He hopes they did not put too much of a damper in their numbers.  They could be a useful ally for battles to come.

As he follows Dennan into the woods Sembas talks with Anlaf, trying to convey his words through their growing bond along with his speech.

"You did very well, Anlaf.  I can tell our bond isn't as strong as Faile and I's, and that's to be expected.  But on the same line, thank you for accepting me as much as you are in such a short time."

A whoosh of air knocks Sembas off of his feet.  Anlaf nearly punctures his leather gauntlet as he clamps down to hold on.

"What in the blazes was that?!"  Chico squeaks, his head poking out of Sembas's pocket.

"I'm not sure."  Sembas replies as he lays on his back.

He pulls himself to his feet and flips his hood back over his head.  As he is shaking the dirt off of his cloak he feels like something is missing.

Where is Fenwick?

"Fenwick!  He was right behind me!"  He spins, looking in all directions.  Fenwick was struggling during the battle with the skeletons, and now he has completely disappeared.

"The wind must have taken him.  Is this the work of the Forsaken, or some other fiend from the Fields?"

He uses all of his knowledge of tracking, even attempting to use his Request to the Dirt spell, but there is no trace of him.  Two glowing footprints are all that remain.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Archdemon Stu on November 04, 2013, 08:47:31 PM
Despite the unfortunate events, Fjorin could not help but feel a sense of elation; he had tested his new blade, and it was by far greater than any he had ever wielded, or hoped to wield.  He pulled himself off the ground, and wiped the blood from his forehead with his gauntlet.  He quickly summed up the encounter with the skeletons as a lesson well learned.  He glanced over to Lai - it seemed she had fared better than Fjorin - and then his gaze moved on to the others.  Fenwick aside, everyone seemed to be in one piece.  With a brief bow to the fallen warriors as they sunk back into the earth, he addressed the party.

The first thing he notices is the one called Sembas having difficulty tracking the mage's presence.  "If we cannot track him, we will need information.  I doubt such a display was simply for killing him off." He slung the flat of his sword over his shoulder, and turned to Dennan and Blood.  "I suggest we continue the mission as intended."  Fjorin's words were as cold as Northerner steel.  While it was true he had no true attachment to Fenwick, one had to wonder if it was simply that he was anything more than a tool of war.  Suddenly, a small spark of warmth... "Perhaps when we speak with those who dwell here, we shall find our opportunity to extract the mage."
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Cameron on November 07, 2013, 07:02:21 PM
When everyone else is knocked over, Sig manages to barely keep his feet. (Constitution - Fortitude of the All-Father) He quickly looks around to check on the status of his companions. As he does this, he catches something out of the corner of his eye. Fenwick, the mage. One minute he is standing there, and then the next, he is gone. As the others get to his feet, Sig looks all around the clearing and sees no sign of him. He is lost in thought for a moment, but reacts when Sembas begins trying to track him.

"Yer not gonna be able to track him that way, lad. He didn't walk out of this clearing. He vanished. To where, I cannot say."

With nothing more useful to add, Sig wanders around the group, looking for anyone who may need the aid of the All-father.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on November 08, 2013, 06:59:30 PM
   Dennan claps Sembas on the back and nods approvingly at his attempt to use the Request to Dirt spell. “Normally, such a skill would work…”

   “Fjorin’s right,” agrees Honor. “There is no trace of Fenwick and our mission is far too important to jeopardize. We cannot tarry long in looking for him.”
   “You’re awfully quick to abandon hope in his retrieval,” speaks Blood with a frown.

   “No, you misunderstand, milady,” returns Honor. “But you know just as well as I, Captain, that though his disappearance may be unnerving under normal circumstances, we must remember where we are. Anything is possible in this place, and in the worst of ways.”

Dennan grunts. “Still, this is unusual to say the least.” He lumbers forward towards the area that Fenwick inexplicably disappeared from. He sniffs the air and closes his eyes, as if processing whatever information he has gained from this simple action. He glances towards Lai who returns his gaze evenly.

   “Carnis. The scent is fresh and very strong,” comments Dennan.

   “Don’t look at me!” cries Lai, raising her hands defensively. “I did one of those… what do you call it… baths! I took a bath! I was covered in crumbs and jelly after breakfast and Fjorin told me I needed a bath! I smell great! I don’t stink!” She says raising her arm into the air and thrusting her armpit towards Dennan.

   Dennan looks at her distastefully. “I never said it was coming from you. I know your scent, and this is not it.”

   Lai crosses her arms over her chest. “Thank you!” She tilts her head to the side. “Hey… Wait a minute. What do you mean ‘my scent?’”

   Dennan ignores her questions.  “Fenwick isn’t exactly the most strong-willed among us. It would be very easy for a Carnis to take possession of his body. That being said a Carnis cannot disappear into thin air.”

   “No,” agrees Blood. “But with the right tools it could easily take him away. I know for a fact Dethys has teleportation orbs. That’s how Serenity left Avalon without using the gate. And if Dethys has them…” Blood shakes her head, her face grim. “That means Fortuna might have access to it as well.”

   Dennan nods. “That seems a likely assumption. Whatever the case, I have no way to track him any further. We must return to the task at hand. We must find the Crimson Wolves and deliver the parcel Fjorin carries to the Marrow.” Dennan turns to Sembas. “I will lead us onward, but as you have been honing your abilities to track and perceive the world around you, I will trust your senses to keep our rear protected, Sembas. Whatever took Fenwick could just as easily take any one of us, and even in an abomination such as this place, I trust your growing wisdom of the wilds to keep our people safe.”

   Dennan is so often a man of few words that abandoning his brevity for the sake of lauding your skills could be perceived as a welcome vote of confidence. Dennan moves to the front of the party and beckons for the rest of you to follow.

   Lai marches silently beside Fjorin. It is apparent to the Ebonmane warrior that his new-found friend is ill-at-ease. Her arms are crossed over her chest and her thoughts seem distracted. One could infer that perhaps she knows more than she is willing to admit to the rest of your companions.

   The woods are dense, dark and deep, and the trees withered, gnarled and ominous. They stand as silent spectres, as if watching your advance with attention rapt. Branches scrape against your armor or exposed skin, sending chills down your spines and despair into your hearts. As you draw deeper into the woods, you can make out faint and strange whispers.

   “The Marrow,” mutters Dennan. “Whatever you may hear, pay it no heed.”

   There is no way to decipher the time of day, but you suspect that you have been walking for hours, and the very rare light to be found in this place begins to gradually fade until you can scarcely see two steps in front of you.

   Dennan seems unbothered by this change, but Honor nearly topples over after tripping on a branch, and Blood curses under her breath as a branch jabs her in the cheek.

   “Dennan, we can’t all see as well as you,” grumbles Blood.

   You can see the shadow of the mountainous Dennan nod. “Should we make camp?”

   “Yes, please! I’m still getting used to all these pieces I have now, and my feet are aching terribly,” moans Lai. “And this nonsense grows heavy.” She gestures to the lightweight leather armor Blood had brought her from the armory. You all know it is not at all heavy, but for someone whose form used to be that of a spirit, and is used to being completely unencumbered and seemingly unaffected by normal rules of gravity, you can assume it is an adjustment.

   The air is growing colder and Dennan finds a small clearing in the trees to make a fire. Even with Dennan’s outdoor skills, the fire seems to be struggling to thrive.

   Blood kneels by the fire. “We’ll start moving again as soon as we can get some daylight, or it grows a bit less dark at the very least.”

   Dennan grunts. “I’m going to get a better view.” In the blink of an eye, Dennan has quickly assumed the form of great horned owl. He quickly takes flight, his massive wings propelling him upwards until he vanishes through a small break in the limbs of the trees.

   Chico squeaks in Sembas’s pocket. “Great! More things that could eat me.”

   “It’s still Dennan, foolish mouse,” returns Anlaf. “He didn’t eat mouse as a human, so why would he eat them now?"

   “I don’t know why your kind sees my kind as a delicacy,” states Chico angrily.

   “Hmph! Delicacy!” Anlaf tilts his head. “You think a bit much of yourself! I have always preferred fish to mouse. Less fight and less fluff to deal with. Not to mention, your kind is a bit too chewy and not nearly filling for my tastes.”

   Honor meticulously inspects his arms and armor, rechecks the supplies in his pack, and seats himself by the fire. He glances towards Siron. “Those are some nice new weapons and armor you have there. I take it you were by old Smith’s before we left Avalon? Bit of an adjustment from mortal weapons.”

   He rests his hands upon his knees. “I haven’t had much chance to speak with you at length since you arrived in Avalon, Siron. How are you…” He pauses for a moment. “How are you doing with… with all this? Being an Immortalis… learning there is so much more to the world than what we knew as mortals?”

   Blood stares into the fire, but her expression is vacant. From time to time, she glances up to Sig as if she is about to say something, then quickly thinks better of it, and returns to staring at the fire again.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Radobe on November 12, 2013, 10:58:43 AM
   Siron listens to the conversation, feeling like he has nothing productive to add, he refrains from commenting. His elation from the earlier encounter has already left him. Even though he is trying to hide it, the more perceptive members of the party would easily see, that he is angry and frustrated after Fenwick's disappearance. Throughout the following march, the knight remains silent, apart from a few grunts after he himself trips in the darkness of the forest.

   After Dennan starts a fire, Siron sits on a log a few meters away from it. Dim light dances upon the knight’s armor, as he takes off his helmet and looks at his own reflection in it.

   “Those are some nice new weapons and armor you have there. I take it you were by old Smith’s before we left Avalon? Bit of an adjustment from mortal weapons.”

   The young man’s face lights up instantly. “You should have seen how much he has there! I only had a chance to look at them for a short while, but every item in there was incredible! It would take a mortal smith a lifetime to craft one and the guy had a roomful!” The knight finally lowers his voice and calms down. “Ahem, I was just saying he has a talent for smiting. Oh and when we go back he is definitely coming with us to the tavern.”

   “I haven’t had much chance to speak with you at length since you arrived in Avalon,... learning there is so much more to the world than what we knew as mortals?”

   Siron rests his helmet upon the log and takes a few seconds to arrange his thoughts. His cheerful face struggles to remain the same. “It has been a lot to take in. Everyone and everything in Avalon, is incredible.  That actually helped me though, it really did wonders to keep my mind off everything that happened.  The stuff before you met me in person, you know what I am talking about. I think I really managed to let go of it, leave it in the past and all that.” Siron looks directly at Honor, there is a bit of tension in his voice now. “When I think about what my brothers did, I still get frustrated and angry, but it I am handling it. Time will show how it will turn out.”

   The knight gives out a deep sigh and smiles whole heartedly again. “Enough with the gloomy stuff.  I never thanked you for all you have done for me, in my first life and in this one.” Siron takes his helm in his left hand, falls on one knee, lowers his head and presses his right fist on the left side of his chest. “Captain Lurien Honor of the Fierce Legion, in light of the recent events, I Siron Entrima wish to express my gratitude to all you have done for me. You saved me and my father. Your display of strength and valor, during that time, led to me becoming the man that I am today. For that you have my eternal gratitude!” The young man stands up and stretches his arms. “Well that lifted a weight off my shoulders.”

   Feeling a little bit embraced, the knight quickly tries to change the subject. “Recently I was thinking, which fraction I should aim to be in, the Blood Wardens, the Fierce Legion or any other fraction in Avalon, which would help me develop myself and use my abilities to the max. Do you have any suggestions?”
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Archdemon Stu on November 12, 2013, 06:35:25 PM
While Fjorin was used to larger treks than this, his large body allowed him no advantages in such a thick forest, and it was quick to exhaust his patience as the jagged branches beat him around.  He cannot help but feel his mind travel to darker thoughts as they progress, and his inner traumas begin to swell.  "Pay it no heed." They say.  It was more easily said than done.

Lai's mannerisms were familiar - not unlike how she was acting earlier at the tavern.  Fjorin found it a fine opportunity to distract himself from the surrounding evil.  As the group seems to settle down and make themselves as comfortable as they can in such a land, the Ebonmane warrior acts accordingly, and places himself next to Lai.  With his blade in the earth, and his arms rested upon the hilt, he stares into the fire.

"I have seen you act this way before, not long ago." Fjorin says, inaudible to the rest of the group, save those with exceptional senses.  "You are in good company, Lai.  Please, speak your mind."

Please.  A word the former carnis was sure she had not heard from the last of the Ebonmane.  It seemed Fjorin was at least making an attempt to improve his civility.  In all reality though, it just sounded plain silly coming out of his mouth.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on November 13, 2013, 04:45:10 PM
Honor chuckles in response to Siron’s enthusiasm regarding his new weapons and armor. “Yeah, Smith has had a long time to practice his art. His pieces are beyond compare.”

He nods in understanding when Siron discusses his adjustments to life as an Immortalis. “Your brothers’ actions teem with wickedness and greed, and if I have learned anything in my life, it is good things will happen for those with noble hearts and minds. Those who have wickedness in their souls, they will eventually come to get what they deserve. Though we may not know the way in which their judgment will be served, I am sure the Divine will see to that.”

Honor blushes considerably at Siron’s show of gratitude. He claps the young man on the back. “I am privileged to have known your father, Siron, and equally so to know you. But you owe me no thanks. Make no mistake; you are the man that you are because of the choices you have made. No one could have done that for you. You have carved out your own path, and I have no doubt that great deeds line your path. Still, I am honored to have held any degree of positive influence over you, Siron.”

Honor considers Siron’s question carefully. He is silent and thoughtful for quite some time. “Both companies are of equal merit. I suppose what it really comes down to is what is in your heart. When I first came to Avalon, I knew there would never be a better company for me than the Blood-Wardens. Yet, as you can see, that’s not where I am now.”

“When I first arrived in Avalon... I was…” Honor shifts uncomfortably and clears his throat. “Well, to be honest I was filled with anger over the many injustices done towards me, furious over all the hardship and pain life had delivered unto me. I had always wanted to be a champion of good, and so the Blood Wardens seemed a natural fit, but it was my anger that prevented me from achieving the degree of greatness I longed for. Mind you, my skills with nearly any melee weapon are difficult to beat, but what the Blood Wardens do… Well… One needs a certain clarity of mind, and mine was too clouded to focus on the General’s teachings. Yet, for me, Commander Fierce’s Legion was a perfect fit.”

“What you must understand is the Blood-Wardens are masters of both body and blade. They are all skilled with their chosen weapons, but they employ a certain type of wisdom, Combat Tactics. These are powerful techniques employed upon the battlefield, but only a chosen few can use them efficiently. They shape the tide of the battle, and every action is calculated and cunning. With a mere stomp of her foot, Blood can throw even the greatest warriors around like ragdolls without even touching them. I have seen General Fury slam her fist into the ground with such enormous power, the earth literally trembles!”

“So great are their powers with these techniques, that some don’t even use weapons in the traditional sense. Blood does, but if you’ve ever seen the General in action, and I guarantee you, it is a sight to behold, she takes up no arms. Instead, she relies on her tactics, her movements, and her unique fighting style to inflict damage. The Blood-Wardens are masterful strategists, thoughtful and methodical in their actions, and every move in the battlefield is flawlessly executed.”

“The Legion relies more upon strength and raw power. We mean to overpower our enemies as quickly as possible. Our company is often referred to as Berserkers, because our warriors thrive on anger and emotion. They work themselves into such a frenzy, that both friend and foe tremble in their presence. We utilize more traditional warfare. We seldom employ combat tactics, but show great mastery over our chosen weapons. Our style of war is brutal, head-on, and we show no mercy.”

"My dream is to join the Archon's Elite Guard. They are paladins of virtue, aiding the Archon on the frontlines. They are his most trusted allies, and creatures of evil rarely escape their wrath. They are warriors of the Divine, putting our God before all other things, risking life and limb to glorify his holy name."

"There are many other options beyond the three companies. Aras used to lead a group of humans called the Shar'ada, talented scouts and shadow troops. The Crimson Wolves are skilled shapeshifters, and there are many other factions that comprise the Bulwark of Heaven."
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Kitharsis on November 14, 2013, 09:05:08 AM
Sembas is honored at Dennan's trust in his abilities.  He returns a determined nod and an, "I'll do my best," in response. 

The dark woods are eerie.  The branches of the ominous trees reach out and scrape against his armor.  He Keeps Anlaf close to his chest, with his right arm protecting him from any of the branches that poke in too close.

As the group travels he keeps his senses sharp.  He even goes so far as to count everyone in front of him from time to time, making sure no one else is spirited away.

Before long, even his eyes are having a difficult time of seeing.  The whispers in his ears are unsettling in such dark.  They thankfully make camp, and a fire choked by the oppressing darkness struggles to light the area.

As Dennan shifts into an owl Chico squeaks his distaste.  He and Anlaf's discussion provides a welcome distraction.

"You know Anlaf, mice are quite hearty individuals.  Fearless too.  Chico and his friends once fought off Faile and Besnik when they mistook me for a field mouse."  He winks down at Chico in his pocket.  "Of course, I kind of was a field mouse at the time..."  He sort of drifts off.

The falconer snaps out of it and twitches his nose, making sure he doesn't have any whiskers attached to it.

"Now, Anlaf, what is your opinion of the owls?  Besnik seems to think they're no good layabouts.  I haven't spoken with any owls, personally.  So I am rather neutral on the whole matter."

He tries to not focus on the faint whispers that catch his ears from time to time.  Just the wind, he tells himself.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on November 15, 2013, 05:47:10 PM
   Lai moves closer to Fjorin, her features expressing a certain degree of confliction. Several times she appears as if she is about to say something, but quickly rethinks it and dismisses the thought.

   Finally, mustering her nerve, she leans her lips close to his ear, her words a hushed whisper. “I want to tell you Fjorin, but I am afraid. I’m afraid that the rest of these people will hate me for it. I think I know where their friend is… and why he was taken. What’s more… I know who took him.”

   She quickly pulls away. There is clearly more she wants to say, but it is evident that she is reluctant to talk about it with the rest of the party in such close proximity. 

   “I must thank you, Fjorin… For everything you have done for me,” speaks Lai sincerely.  “I never had a friend before, and I find this experience most pleasing.”

Anlaf snorts at Sembas’s kind words on behalf of mice-kind. “Hearty? Hardly! As for owls, I could take them or leave them. Besnik isn’t entirely wrong in thinking them layabouts, but I’ve met decent ones in my travels.”

Sembas can hear the whispers again, this time louder than before, yet the rest of the company appear unaffected, as if they are incapable of perceiving them. It starts off as unintelligible whispers, but eventually, words begin to take form.

“Go no further, Sembas!”

The voice is oddly familiar, yet you have difficulty placing it at first.

“Go no further, Sembas! Fenwick has been taken by the Forsaken! He was the key to the Marrow!  Go no further! Fortuna and her people! They know you are there! Tell the others. Turn around while there is still time!”

The second time, you realize with absolute certainty, that you are hearing the voice of your beloved Gladia Archer.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Radobe on November 16, 2013, 02:37:16 PM
Siron spreads his arms and shakes them and his head in disbelief.  “Wait, wait, wait! You were too angry? You?” Siron’s gaze shifts towards Blood than back at Honor. “How angry were you again? Because I really don’t think you can compare with captain Blood over there, no offence.”

“The Archon’s Elite Guard, Smith mentioned it as well. I wonder what the requirements are, if a captain from the Fierce Legion doesn’t meet them. Or is your commander keeping you for himself?”

Siron quiets down for a second, obviously in thought. “Now that I think about it, you told me stories about the Bulwark, but you never did tell me anything about your mortal life.” The knight’s head jumps back as he corrects himself again. “Not that you had to or anything! I am just being curious again.” He glances around to see if anyone is paying attention to them and then, in a low voice barely different from a whisper, he leans over and talks. “If you don’t mind me asking, who was Lurien before he became Honor?”
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Cameron on November 16, 2013, 03:10:41 PM
Sig keeps comfortable on a log near the fire. He spends most of his time meticulously mending the strings on his battle-lute while idly listening to the conversations of others. Multiple times he catches Blood looking towards him, but she never says anything. After the third or fourth instance of this, Sig's curiosity gets the better of him. He makes eye contact with Blood and there is a tinge of concern in his voice when he speaks.

"Aye, lass. Everything okay? Did you want to talk about something?"
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on November 17, 2013, 01:01:23 PM

   Honor chuckles. “Well, I guess that’s the difference between me and Blood. That woman’s anger does not inhibit her… it fuels her. I was never able to attune myself to Combat Tactics. Besides, don’t let Blood fool you; she may seem unapproachable and unable to tolerate others, yet she has one of the biggest hearts in Avalon. Her anger is a defense. It prevents people from getting too close.”

“As for my desire to join the Archon’s guard, I know that Commander Fierce would make the recommendation if I asked him, yet, he has done so much for me I would feel bad to even ask it of him. He has respectfully made me his second-in-command, a title which is not lightly given. Yet, I truly desire to serve the holy father, the great Divine, for all he has gifted to me.” 

Honor gazes into the fire again, his expression conflicted. “I don’t think Lurien was ever separate from Honor. Lurien was always Honor. However, the Honor you see before you wasn’t always of this demeanor. There was a time my hate and need for vengeance clouded my sight.”

“As a mortal, I was a peasant, not a noble. My father was a farmer and my mother a washwoman. In the kingdom where I lived, only nobles could be knights. Still, every time I watched the tournaments, I knew it was my greatest dream. I used to practice my swordplay in the fields, and my father, noting my enthusiasm, even fashioned a lance for me. I would practice on straw dummies for hours, from the time I finished my chores in the wee hours of the morning, until I evening when I could scarcely see two inches from my face.”

“Whenever it was time for the tournament jousts, my father would take me to watch. Those were some of the best times of my life. There was one, I was about 15 or so at the time, and I was so thrilled by what I had seen I immediately ran home to practice again. I knew the rules would never change; I would never be a true knight, but I fancied I had the heart of one.”

“Well, it so happened our farm was not far off from one of the main roads into town, and that evening, while I was practicing, I saw a carriage coming down the road. I thought nothing of it. It wasn’t illegal to run straw dummies through with a lance, and carriages came down our road all the time. Nothing seemed out of sort, until the carriage stopped in front of our home. Well, the next thing I know, my father comes charging into the field. He’s totally out of breath and he’s doubled over trying to suck in enough air to speak. He’s grinning ear to ear. Says Prince Eadmar has arrived and he has asked to see me. I was flummoxed as to why he would want to see me. We had never met, though I had seen him from afar at tournaments.”

“So I went in, and Prince Eadmar proceeds to tell me that he is feeling very put upon. His father wants him to become a proper warrior. Thinks he should start jousting. But Eadmar… he’s what you would call… Well, he was pretty soft for lack of better terms. He weighed about as much as my left leg and rumor around the kingdom had it he had been rather sickly as a child. He was about the thinnest young man you’d ever see. Practically disappeared if he turned sideways, but he was tall for his age, about as tall as me.”

“He had seen me practicing in the fields and came up with a grand plan to benefit us both. I would pose as him for the tournaments. In exchange, he would pay my family a weekly sum of gold. It seemed a decent arrangement, I would get to participate in the tournaments, and he would receive the honor that came from winning. In addition, he told me that when he became king, he would see to it that I was properly knighted. ‘Rules be damned, Lurien!’ he told me. ‘When I am king you can do as you please!’ It seemed a mighty fine idea."

“Well, I kept my word, and Eadmar was true to his. Every week, without fail, he would send a large sum of money to my family. The more I won, the bigger the sum would be, and over time, my family enjoyed a very comfortable life. Turns out I was a very adept knight, and brought Eadmar more glory than he could handle. He started to get a bit big-headed and became quite a braggart regarding his wins at the tournaments.”

Honor shakes his head sadly. “But… as with all good things, our arrangement would come to an abrupt end. Eadmar had no business taking that gold, and soon he became reckless. Well, his father’s accountants took notice. Two people were hung, accused of thievery, before they were able to track it to Eadmar. He was young… and foolish. When they accused him of taking the funds, he said he didn’t do it… But he knew who did. A farmer who lived not far from the castle. Eadmar claimed he had even seen the farmer break into the castle to take it, but he dared not tell for the farmer threatened his life should he ever tell the truth.”

Honor shakes his head. “The king’s guards arrived at our home the next day. They took my father away. They interrogated him. They tortured him. But my father knew, just as I knew, that impersonating a noble was a form of treason, and if the king learned the skilled son he had watched and cheered at the jousts was a farmer’s child, he would turn his ire to me.”

“Thievery was one thing, but threatening the king’s son was another charge entirely. It was treason, and punishable by extreme means. As my father was taken to the platform where he would meet his end, I yelled and screamed at the top of my lungs, telling the truth to the jeering crowd. But no one would hear me, and my father’s final words to me were to beg my silence and save myself. I watched as my father was drawn, quartered, and finally decapitated. His screams haunted me, as they did my mother, who soon after, took her own life.”

“As for Eadmar, soon after, he was forced to fight his own joust for once. Needless to say, he was obliterated by his competition. A lance punctured his armor and struck him in the left arm, rendering the limb practically unusable. His father declared a national day of mourning as his skilled son would never be able to joust again.”

“My world was torn asunder, and I was left alone. I swore that Eadmar would suffer for his crimes, but I knew my revenge must be carefully planned. For several years, I planned the nature of my revenge. I knew Eadmar would be affected by his guilt over my parents’ deaths. He would want to make amends. It was about ten years later when the old king died, and I received my summons to the castle. Eadmar had been true to his word, he invited me to be knighted. When I met with him in private, I pretended to accept his apologies. I do not doubt the sincerity of his words; he admitted he had been a foolish child, frightened of his own father, and he had given into his fear. Again and again he begged my forgiveness, even weeping upon his knees at my feet. I humored him. I told him he had brought me great pain, but all would be forgiven since he was keeping his word to me. When the night finally arrived for the joining ceremony, I smiled and carried on as if I was pleased and honored to serve such a great king.”

“I knelt before him, and when he placed the flat of the blade upon my shoulder, I seized it in my gauntleted hand. He had not grown in strength over the years, and I easily wrested the blade from his grasp. I turned the blade upon him, stabbing him through the heart and killing him instantly. It was a far more merciful death than my father had endured.”

“I had succeeded in my revenge, and as a result, thrown the entire country into turmoil. Within my new home in the dungeons of the castle, I could hear the sounds of battle echoing through the castle walls. By killing the new king, I had incited a revolution. Eadmar’s uncle, Claudius, was summoned from his lands, and when he took power, his first act as king was to make a public display of me. The last sound I heard was the executioner’s axe slicing through the air, then suddenly, excruciating pain on the back of my neck.” Honor gestures to a long, jagged scar on the back of his neck.

“But despite the executioner’s strength, the axe would not make it through the rest of my neck, and it was then the Archon himself arrived in the town square. Blood poured from my wound and I could scarcely see as he approached. I felt strong arms lifting me up and bearing me away, and when I came to, I found myself in Avalon.”

“Even though I had achieved my revenge, for a long time, I struggled with the anger and hate that had left me bitter and miserable. Unlike Blood, I could not harness my rage for any productive means.  I joined the Blood-Wardens, but could not control my emotions enough to use their Combat Tactics. It was around that time Commander Fierce came to visit General Fury. He had intently been watching my lack of progress in the Blood-Wardens, and asked that I be given leave to join my company. He was able to teach me how to use my anger in battle, a debt I shall never be able to repay to him.” 


Blood's hands are clasped in her lap. "I don't know... I don't know where we go from here, Sig. With... with us. If you haven't noticed, relationships are not really my forte. Getting close to people is not in my nature." She rises to her feet. "I think it best we forget about what happened. We write it off as a few drunken moments of pleasure, and thereby avoid what could be a great deal of pain later on." She takes her leave of her place by the fire, standing vigilant and alone on the outer area of the camp.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Cameron on November 18, 2013, 03:46:32 AM
Sig stares into the fire for a few moments while he ponders the situation. It would be fairly easy for him to just continue to sit here. To lose himself in his music. Maybe compose a new song. That's what he would have done back home. That's how he avoided most of his problems. Just retreated to where no one could find him and lost himself in his music. His gift from Alviss. But no one could hear this gift but him if he hid it from the world. Alviss doesn't want his gifts to be hidden. And alviss doesn't want him to avoid his problems. That's not how to be a proper Chosen of Alviss. Not at all.

As Blood stands at the outer edges of the camp and stares into the darkness, she hears footsteps behind her.

"No, lass. If I wanted to avoid pain and problems, I would have stayed under the mountain."

Sig falls in place beside Blood, staring out into the darkness with her.

'When you charge into combat, do you stop and think about what might happen if you fail? Probably not. hesitation gets ya in trouble. Gets ya killed. But it turns out life works that way as well, lass. You never accomplish anything great in life by hesitating. You gotta try things to find what you want, even if they might end in pain and tears."

Sig looks up at Blood.

"You can get by in life avoiding things cause they are hard or might not work out, but ya won't be happy. The best things are the things that you have to work at. The things you have to be brave to get. The things that are worth fightin for. And you, lass... you're worth fightin for."

A ghost of a grin crosses Sig's features.

"And I didn't have ya pegged as someone who just gives up on a challenge without tryin."
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Archdemon Stu on November 18, 2013, 12:04:59 PM
Fjorin was somewhat taken aback by Lai's words.  Thankful for what he had done for her?  In his eyes, it should be the other way around, though he saw no reason to protest a mutual gratitude.  He took a hand from the hilt of his blade and placed a hand on her shoulder with a firm pat, and smiled before he leaned in closely and whispered, his eyes still fixated on the flickering flames, "Aye, friendship is a rare and valuable thing.  I cannot possibly name all the men that have hated me, and cursed my name for taking their brothers and sons from them.  On the fields of battle... on the vast oceans... even in my own chambers... I have seen the eyes of men who wanted me dead; eyes filled with rage - with hate."

The Ebonmane prince gazed about the group suddenly, as if motioning Lai to follow.  "Do you see their eyes, Lai?" he took another moment to look over them once more.  "Do you see hate?"
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on November 18, 2013, 06:27:57 PM

Lai carefully considers your question, and her eyes seem to search the faces of all around the fire. Dennan is still perched in the trees above, and Blood and Sig are unaccounted for, save for a slight glimpse of their shadows near the edges of the camp. Sembas appears lost in thought while his animal companions squabble nearby. Honor is engaged in conversation with Siron, both too involved in their discussion to send any hate in the former Carnis’s direction.

Lai nods in understanding. “I suppose you are right. I must admit, I am surprised by how easily these Ageless give their trust. Forgive me, it has become my nature to second guess the motivations of the Immortalis. I have had to frequently remind myself that these immortals are not the same who bound my spirit for so long. I suppose just as all Carnis are not truly evil, so much must be the same for Immortalis.”

“Fjorin… Before I departed Darastae with Aras, I heard rumblings from other Carnis about Severan. He has been… unwell as of late, and rumor had it he had driven himself to distraction over a certain missing person. Apparently, this other person was unaware of Severan’s existence, and the Lord of Darastae was sparing nothing to search for him. Many of my kind were dispatched to track down this man… It was…” Lai shakes her head as if attempting to muster her courage to continue her tale. “It was a son. Severan is said to have sired a son among men. Needless to say, given his seeming hatred of humankind, this was quite the scandal. All I know is the man in question is a young Immortalis, recently welcomed into the ranks. Severan was having great difficulty finding him, and believed the Ageless must have gotten to the boy before he could.”

“When Fenwick was taken… I felt a presence. A familiar one. I knew right away it was a Carnis. I caught just a glimpse of the spirit before we were knocked aside. It was as close to a friend as I had in Darastae. It called itself Nao. I have no doubt your friends are right. Carnis cannot simply spirit people away. Yet, it could have quickly taken over Fenwick’s body and forced him to use the teleportation orb to send him to Darastae. There is no doubt in my mind that the mage has been taken by the Forsaken.”


Blood is silent. You can tell she is listening carefully to every word that emanates from the Chosen of Alviss’s lips, yet she makes no response. Not the slightest glimmer of interest in her eyes, nor the rage that seems to fuel the fires of her soul. Never before have you seen her so passive, so seemingly uncaring. You become instantly aware of the fact that in the outskirts of the camp, there would be no one to quickly intervene should she turn on you, and that is Blood as you have come to know her. One part human, one part immortal, and one part caged animal ready to pounce.

Eventually her silence becomes unnerving, and you are taken completely unaware as she seizes you roughly by the collar, slams you against the nearest tree, and kisses you hard upon the lips. She unclenches her hand, letting you drop to your feet, and without another word, makes her way back to the fire. From the unpredictable Captain Blood, this seems the closest thing to an answer you will get.


Several hours later, dim glimmers of light fight their way through the all encompassing branches that try their mightiest to blot out the sun.

Dennan rouses you all from your places around the fire and beckons for you to follow him. For hours you continue your trek through the forests. Several times you narrowly escape harm. At one point, Dennan carefully leads you through a vast expanse of strange red sands. He demonstrates with a rock that one misstep would result in the sands devouring you. Anlaf threatens to toss a squeaking Chico into the sands as the mouse, who slept very little, has been most disagreeable since last you camped.

Later in the day, Honor becomes ensnared by particularly vicious vines that embed their thorns deep into the exposed flesh of his face. Once embedded, the thorns only seem to push into the flesh deeper with any attempt to extract them. It is Blood who finally figures it out. It is only with a greater offering of blood that the thorns will release their prey, so the Captain finds a large, misshapen creature that barely passes for a squirrel. She quickly dispatches the creature and tosses it to the vines, which immediately drop their hold on Honor in favor of ravenously devouring the squirrel.

You make camp again that night, and once again, at first light, you continue your trek through the forests. It is on this third day that Dennan’s eyes grow wild as he catches a faint scent upon the air.

“I can’t be sure, but it certainly smells like Vartan,” comments Dennan. “I think I might have something.”

Yet, despite following a trail for several hours, the trace abruptly disappears, leaving the typically docile Dennan in a state of agitation as he frantically tries to find the trail again. With nothing else to follow, the General’s son resigns himself to leading you further through the forests and closer to the Marrow.

It is nearing evening when you reach a small clearing in the trees. In the center of this clearing is a large rock formation that juts out from the ground at a sharp angle. As you near the formation, you can hear a loud growling sound all around you, and you realize there are several creatures hidden in the brush around the outer areas of this clearing. To your surprise, an enormous beast emerges from the shadows. You realize it is a large dire wolf, the size of which dwarfs even those that Dennan calls friends.

Without warning, the wolf hurtles towards the party, yet when it draws closer, you see that its form shifts quite suddenly, and barreling towards you now is a man of average height, dressed in lightweight leather armor. He is an older gentleman, likely in his 50’s. His shaggy gray hair hangs over his icy blue eyes, and you realize he is making his way directly towards Blood. Despite this strange occurrence, the Captain does not shrink back or ready her weapon, rather, with arms outstretched she runs directly towards the man, scooping him up in a great embrace.

“Mama!” cries the stranger. “Mama!” His old, grizzled voice sounds strange to be speaking such childish words. “Mama!”

Blood squeezes him tightly, smattering his forehead in tender kisses. “Vartan, my dear sweet boy!” She lifts the man off his feet and twirls him in the air before gently setting him upon the ground again. "My son... Don't you ever, EVER, leave like that again!"  You can scarcely believe what you are seeing as the unthinkable happens: there are tears streaming down Blood’s face. She presses her weeping eyes into Vartan's shoulder, and for a moment, the rigid Captain Blood seems almost human.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Kitharsis on November 19, 2013, 11:56:53 AM
Go no further, Sembas!

This whisper is striking.  Until now they have been more like wavering sounds, coming and going like a gust of wind.  This one is clear, and hearing his name sets his back rigid.

Go no further, Sembas! Fenwick has been taken by the Forsaken! He was the key to the Marrow!  Go no further! Fortuna and her people! They know you are there! Tell the others. Turn around while there is still time!

Gladia.  His face goes white.  Is this actually her?  Or is it The Marrow testing him?  He looks around to the others.  None of them seem to be hearing anything aside from their own conversations.  Dennan is in the trees, keeping watch.  Surely Archer would have contacted Dennan or Blood before him.  Or perhaps she has, and they simply decided that it was The Marrow playing tricks on them.

Could the same be happening to him?  Gladia was back in Avalon, pouring over battle plans with the General, wasn't she?  How could she know that Fenwick was taken?  This must be The Marrow testing his will.

But on the other hand, Gladia was very upset that she would not be accompanying them here.  Could she be tracking them somehow?

If Fenwick has indeed been taken by the Forsaken, they couldn't just leave him.  And considering that the Forsaken have been here for some time, it wouldn't be too surprising that they knew they were here.  Gladia wouldn't opt for retreating in such a situation, would she?

It's decided.  This is merely The Marrow trying to break him.  It means nothing.  Just the wind...

Dennan taps him on the shoulder, motioning that it is time to leave.  Sembas blinks at him a few times.  Has it been that long? 

The Falconer takes the tail once again, trying to keep vigilant on his duties.  Gladia's voice haunts him, but he pushes it from his mind.  Chico and Anlaf bicker all the while, and Sembas half heartedly tries to play mediator.

"Remember what we've been told.  This place will test us.  Keep hold of yourselves."

They make camp again.  Then continue on.

They reach a clearing, and as an enormous dire wolf hurtles towards them Sembas prepares for the worst.  It shifts into a man who eagerly embraces Blood. 


This is an odd scene.  Captain Blood has tears streaming down her face as she is reunited with Vartan.  Sembas remembers Dennan telling him that when people stay shifted for too long they forget their human selves.  Perhaps this is what is happening here.  Otherwise this man seems much too old to be speaking this way. 

During the teary reunion, Sembas looks towards the mountainous man.  Gladia's voice still rings in his head, and he can't help but feel that he should tell Dennan about it.  He doesn't want to appear weak to his friend and mentor, but doubt nags at him.

The Falconer inconspicuously circles around the others until he reaches Dennan.  His golden eyes show his concern as he taps the man on his arm.

"I don't want to interrupt such a scene, but when we get a chance I would like to talk to you about something."
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Radobe on November 22, 2013, 10:20:43 AM
Siron is completely absorbed in Honor's story.  At the start he listens with excitement. That excitement shifts to anger upon the betrayal. At the end he has a confused look, which he can’t hide at all.

“You know, if my brothers had not killed me, all of this would not have happened. I would have been in a cell, rotting and cursing their names.  I would have been full of anger and hatred, praying for a chance to take their lives.” Siron looks Honor in the eyes. ”I would have been like you were.”  The knight is obviously having mixed feelings about all this.  He is fidgeting and doing a terrible job at attempting to look calm.  “Right now, if someone asked me, if there was an excuse to do what you did, starting a revolution, throwing a whole country into turmoil… the thousands of lives needlessly lost because of that,” the fidgeting disappears and his eyes sharpen for a few seconds. “I would not hesitate to say there are no excuses for such an act, yet it pains me to admit, that in your position I do not know what I would have done.” Siron takes a deep breath and exhales, while shifting his gaze towards the sky. “You didn’t think you would live long enough to see all the consequences of your actions, did you? Something like that would haunt me for the rest of my life, of that I am certain. No wonder your anger remained even after you exacted your revenge.”

The young man stands, stretches his limbs and lightly taps Honor on the shoulder. ”If I am good enough to learn some Combat Tactics, I will call upon you to give me a chance and test them against one of the Fierce Legion’s finest. For now we should get as much rest as possible, who knows what this place has in store for us.” With that Siron takes his leave and rests near the fire until Dennan calls upon them to continue the march.

Going deeper into to the forest, the following two days are largely uneventful. With the exception of, Honor being attacked by a vicious and blood thirsty plant. Upon their third day in the marsh, Dennan comes across a familiar scent and follows it for hours. Eventually the trail runs cold and they proceed further into the forest and come upon a clearing.

A shocking scene unfolds, moments after they enter the clearing. At first Siron is excited and draws his sword, eventually that excitement is replaced by confusion and from there he ends up speechless and a little bit disturbed.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Archdemon Stu on November 22, 2013, 01:12:28 PM
The sudden surge of information from Lai reveals many reasons that she would feel uncomfortable sharing the information.  The Marrow was a place of inner turmoil, and perhaps now was not the best of times to conflict the group.  They needed to focus on their mission, and yet... Severan's new vessel may be an even greater threat than that which lies in this bloodstained land.  Either way, the Ageless deserved to know, and Fjorin was not one to keep secrets from his brothers and sisters in arms.

It takes nearly the entire journey for such revelations to settle.

His voice low, Fjorin whispers to his spirit friend as they reach the clearing.  "We must tell the Ageless of this.  However, I am not certain now is the time."  It was then that a man over twice Fjorin's age embraced his Ageless mother.  As they held one another, the last of the Ebonmane fixed his gaze on Vartan with some measure of suspicion.  Clearly confused, he sighs, and continues speaking to Lai.  "In this place, I cannot seem to differ reality from illusion.  The sands threaten to swallow a man whole, and even my finest blade could not stand against the blood-drinking vines of this place." Fjorin exhales, defeated.  "My wisdom avails me nothing here.  I shall trust in yours, then.  We must tell them of the mage.  When or where we do so... I leave to you."
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Cameron on November 23, 2013, 08:57:03 PM
Sig is about to step in front of Blood to protect her from the oncoming wolf when she steps past him.

"Lass, what..."

Sig is stunned into silence by the scene that unfolds in front of him. This is now only the second time he has seen Blood in tears, and this time they were tears of joy. He was happy for her. She obviously cared a great deal about this Vartan fellow, and he was happy to see them reunited.

But what IS this Vartan fellow? He can't be an Ageless, can he? He appears to be much older than Blood, but that probably isn't true. But the way that he is acting makes him seem much younger than he should be. He certainly seems child-like. Sigurd doesn't know what to think.

After a few moments of indecision and a swig from his skin of ale, Sig decides the best thing to do is to try and figure this out directly. He approaches Blood and Vartan.

"So, lass! This is Vartan, is it? He uh... seems a little older than I was expecting... unless, um... maybe..."

Sig trails off. He was about to make a joke about Vartan aging in dog years. But is it possible that Vartan is a wolf who changes into a human, instead of the othr way around? But then what is his relationship to Blood?

Sig shrugs.

" any case, good too meet you, Vartan. Sigurd Glorrack, at your service."
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on November 27, 2013, 11:52:50 AM
Vartan and Blood can’t seem to bring themselves to let go of one another, but eventually, and with a degree of reluctance, they part.

Blood turns to the party, her arm still looped through Vartan’s. Her eyes linger upon Sig, and she blushes, almost guiltily. “This is my son, Vartan.” She introduces each one of you, save for the Elder Immortalis, as they already seem to know Vartan quite well.

Vartan bows respectfully. “Pleased to make your acquaintance. I apologize it’s not under more pleasant circumstances.”

Blood shakes her head disapprovingly. “You shouldn’t have left alone, Vartan. You’re not as young as you used to be. You’re getting older

“Pshaw!” Vartan scoffs. “Mother, you worry far too much. Despite the fact you admit I am getting older, you still look upon me as if I am a child. I am not a child anymore, and I haven’t been for decades. General Fury needed someone to scout this area, and you know my company and I were the best fit for this environment. We’re not Immortalis. The Forsaken can’t sense us the same way that they can sense Ageless. We were relatively successful in our task, and we gathered a great deal of information, but Askall accidentally busted the teleportation orb.”

Right on cue, there is movement in the bushes, and an enormous wolf with sleek, ebony hair emerges from the forest. As he moves towards you, his body shifts and he assume the form of an immense man, with long, black hair and glinting green eyes. You notice he is nearly as large as Dennan.

The man, presumably Askall, nods to the group in acknowledgment. “It was my fault, milady.” He bows before Blood. “We were set upon creatures of the fields. At one time they may have been bears, but whatever natural creature they were, they can claim such a name no longer. They were abominations. They scented us and sought us out for a quick meal. The orb was in my pack and one of them slammed against a tree. It destroyed the orb.” It is then you all notice his arm appears to be in a sling and his gait is irregular, as if his left leg is pained.

In the middle of the clearing, the enormous rock splits open revealing a concealed cave, and a third wolf emerges. It is more slender than its fellows and its coat is a reddish brown. As it nears the party, this wolf, too, transforms. Before you stands a beautiful, young, woman with reddish brown hair and comforting brown eyes.

Vartan gestures to the woman. “Mother, you remember Lene.”

Blood nods.

“We had no way to contact Avalon to let everyone know we were okay,” Vartan explains. “Luckily, Lene was able to find us a suitable hiding place.”

“Where is Ciar?” asks Dennan.

“Inside,” answers Lene. “Mixing poisons. I have a feeling we may need them.”

Vartan nods grimly. “I knew they’d send someone else eventually, and you arrived just in time. Our mission has become considerably more complicated.”

“What’s happened?” asks Blood.

“It would be a folly to talk of this in the open. Come.” Vartan gestures for the party to follow and the leader of the Crimson Wolves takes you through the opening of the rock and into a wide tunnel.

With a wave of her hand, Lene closes the rock opening behind you. It has become obvious she is some kind of caster, though of what nature you are not quite sure.

You follow Vartan downward and into an open chamber.

“We’re fairly certain this used to be an Ageless outpost,” explains Lene. “Dethys if I had to guess. It’s a wonder the Forsaken never stumbled upon it, but I guess he managed to keep some things secret, even from Fortuna.”

At a table in the center of the room, a thin man with black shaggy hair and a short, pointed beard, is focusing all of his attention on the glass vials and pouches that line the table. He does not raise his gaze from his task as you enter.

“Hello,” he says quietly. “Vartan. I think I’ve just about got it. This should pack enough of a punch to knock out even an Immortalis.”

“Vartan, what’s going on?” asks Blood.

Vartan sighs and seats himself upon a wooden stool in the corner of the room. “The Forsaken have taken two prisoners.”

“Who?” inquires Honor.

“One is a name you will surely recognize,” responds Vartan. He takes a deep breath. “We are quite certain it is Aeliana de Fonte Ebraldi.”

Vartan is right. It is a name you all recognize. Even if you lived under a rock (or in the case of Sig, under a mountain) rumor of this woman and her powers has reached you in one way or another. She is said to be a mortal arcanist with god-like powers, unrivaled in her ability to cultivate the use of magic to achieve incredible feats.

“Aeliana?” Blood shakes her head in disbelief. “I have a hard time believing even the Forsaken were able to get their hands on her. I met her only once, and her power over the magical arts created wonder in even Dethys Night.”

“Well, I assure you it wasn’t without a fight. In overhearing the discussions between Fortuna and her people, we learned that Aeliana had struck out on her on, with only one companion, her protector, Faustus Magnus Venator. A Forsaken susceptible to lightning lost his life in the fray, and two more were seriously injured. It took Fortuna herself to incapacitate her.”

“They’ve been holding her for about a week now… torturing her,” speaks Askall. “It took them a long time to break her. We only started to hear her screams yesterday.”

Lene nods. “She has endured bravely, but if we cannot intervene and soon, she is not long for this world. Azazel Punisher guards her, along with another Forsaken, likely a Childer, we have not encountered before. Even the Childer must be powerful in his own right, because he was charged with guarding Aeliana alone while Azazel was on assignment for Fortuna. The Punished just recently returned.”

"The man Osiris saw," mutters Blood.

“Vartan was fool enough to attempt to go after her alone,” adds Ciar. “Lene found him three hours later stuck in one of those sand pits.”

Vartan’s face reddens considerably. “I couldn’t just sit by while this poor woman was tortured.”

“Vartan,” Blood places her hand on the man’s shoulder. “I should thank that sandpit because if you had attempted her rescue alone, you easily would have gotten yourself killed.”

“We have to help her mother,” speaks Vartan.

“And we will,” promises Blood. “We cannot let Aeliana remain in the hands of the Forsaken.”

“But what about our mission? In the Marrow?” asks Honor.

“It will have to wait. General Fury would understand,” assures Blood.

“How are they holding her?” asks Dennan.

“Some kind of artifact we think,” explains Lene. “A woman of her powers would have easily escaped at this point, so we conjecture that said artifact blocks her from using her magic. Without her abilities, Aeliana, though cunning, is effectively powerless.”

“How far away is the place they’re holding her?” inquires Honor.

“That’s the other problem,” explains Vartan. “Their base is located at the top of Hangman’s Hill.”

“Of course it is,” mutters Blood. Blood plops her pack upon the ground and begins to sort through the contents until her hand closes around a map, which she extracts from her pack and places upon the ground in front of her. “Let me think on this…”

While Blood, Vartan, Honor and Lene crowd around the map, Ciar continues his work on his poisons.

Dennan, having studied a bit under Hestia, crosses to Askall and places his hands upon the man’s arm. A warm, soft light fills his hands, and he appears to be using his Wisdom to heal the mortal. After some time, you hear him say, “There. It’s about as best I can do. I’ve set the bone and it should help with the pain, but I fear my abilities aren’t as advanced as I would like them to be.”

“Thank you,” returns Askall gratefully.

“We had a gifted mage with us, but he… he disappeared shortly after our arrival,” explains Dennan.

“Perhaps they have taken him along with Aeliana,” offers Askall.

Lai glances to Fjorin. She appears conflicted, but after some contemplation, she moves to the center of the room so that all may hear her.

“No,” states Lai firmly. “I know where Fenwick is.”

Suddenly she has the attention of everyone in the room.

Lai shifts uncomfortably, perhaps reconsidering her decision to speak. “He was taken by a Carnis… to Darastae.”

Blood rises to her feet, her face a mask of confusion and anger. “And you’re just telling us about this now?! Fenwick is in Darastae and you didn’t think to mention that!”

Dennan steps forward, putting himself between Blood and Lai. “Calm down, Captain. She likely has her reasons for not telling us sooner.”

“I did not wish to distract from the task at hand, and feared you would judge me as I used to be a Carnis,” explains Lai. "I did not want to arise your suspicion of me."

The mouths of all the mortals drop open.

“You used to be a… a Carnis?” Lene shakes her head in disbelief. “How is that even…”

“Long story,” interrupts Blood. “Why was he taken?”

Lai’s expression is pained. “Severan likely believes him to be his… his son.”

Ciar falls off of his chair and lands on the floor in the heap. The table wobbles, precariously shifting the contents of the vials containing the very potent poison. Dennan reacts quicly and puts his hand upon the table to steady it.

“That… just… that doesn’t even make sense! Severan hates humans!” exclaims Blood.

Honor helps Ciar to his feet. The human smirks. “Well… maybe for a night he didn’t.”

Lene elbows her companion sharply. “Ciar!”

“Look… this is… we need to just… we need to take a moment!” Blood shouts. She returns her attention to the map, the wheels in her mind churning and turning so wildly you can practically see the smoke escaping from her ears.

Dennan sighs and pulls Sembas aside. “Well, what you have to say can’t be any worse than this. You wanted to speak with me. Let us tend to this now. What has been bothering you, Sembas? You’ve been distracted as of late.”

“Siron!” Honor calls. “Come here, lad. Help us plan our route.” Honor motions for the young knight to huddle around the map with him and the others.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Radobe on December 01, 2013, 09:53:06 AM
“This is my son, Vartan.”… “Pleased to make your acquaintance. I apologize it’s not under more pleasant circumstances.”

Siron takes off his helm and nods at the greeting from Vartan. “That was one huge wolf! I am glad you are on our side,” he smiles and tries to lighten up the mood.

The young man listens to the rest of the conversation and follows the group into the cave. He takes note of shape shifting, mage girl. It is odd that the Ageless have someone so young on such a mission, but then again he was young himself so whatever.

The knight’s attention is immediately caught by the thin man and his vials and pouches. When he hears it is poison, the young man frowns. He has always had mixed feelings about poison as a weapon. Sneaky and cowardly, that was not a way a knight would fight, but its effectiveness could not be denied. It is a weapon he will use, even if he does so reluctantly.

Hearing of the two prisoners, Siron quickly perks up and even smiles. The abduction of Fenwick bothered him quite a bit, even though he didn’t let it show, he would not have abandoned a fellow Ageless in this place.

“We are quite certain it is Aeliana de Fonte Ebraldi.”

Apart from her being a power full mage, some even saying too powerful, Siron did not know much of this woman. The people in the room began to discuss the mage captive and he listened with frustration. His arms crossed and fingers lightly tapping on his armor. The young man’s frustration only rose as the discussion continued in the same direction, until finally Dennan mentioned Fenwick.

“We had a gifted mage with us, but he… he disappeared shortly after our arrival,”

Spreading his arms in front of himself, the knight exclaims. “Yes! Fenwick! He must be the second prisoner, what have you heard of him?”

“No, I know where Fenwick is.”

“You what?!” At this moment Siron is both perplexed and speechless, at Lei’s statement. Blood’s anger can be felt in the atmosphere, so he remains silent not wanting to aggravate the situation. The rest of what Lei has to say is filled with even more surprises. He finds it hard to comprehend, why someone would keep such important information from his allies. Keeping in mind that it is not his place neither to judge nor to doubt his comrades and that Lei has little to no experience being a human, he chooses not think too deeply on this.

“Siron! Come here, lad. Help us plan our route.”

Before Siron goes to join Honor and the rest he looks at Lei with a disappointed look. “For the concept of thrust to work, it MUST be mutual.” With this done, he moves to join the group at the map.

“So… we need to take the hill… the best way would be if we had men on the inside, someone to take out their sentries so the bulk of our forces can advance and engage them within their camp.” The knight takes a quick glance over his shoulder and then around the group at the map. “Vartan’s squad managed to get close enough to Fortuna and her men to overhear them, I think they won’t have a problem going in close enough to take out any sentries that may spot our approach. If they use the poison they’ve been making here, we should have a clear way of going in. I assume we should be able to go up the hill fast enough, so that when they sense our approach we would have already negated their height advantage” He pauses to take in some air and continues. “The real problem is what happens with the prisoners? We need an infiltration party to secure them and I think I have the perfect idea for that!” Turning around he looks at Dennan and Sambas. “Dennan can fly! If he enters through the air he can get to the prisoners in no time! In the best case we would have been enough of a threat to lure the prison guards our way. Should Punisher and the Childer remain on their post, Anlaf can go with him and assist in freeing Miss Ebraldi and the second prisoner.” Realizing he has once again spoke past his station he quiets down and become as red as a tomato, but never the less he decided to finish up. “The last thing we won’t want to happen would be any one being spirited away like Fenwick or in a similar way. If we had some magic to stop that from happening that would be great…”
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Archdemon Stu on December 02, 2013, 01:15:00 AM
    Fjorin steps forward as quickly as Captain Blood rises to confront Lai, being instinctively protective of those he calls friend.  She backs down as Dennan calms her with relative success, and Fjorin relaxes in kind.  Shortly after, Sir Siron decides to chime in with words that could be considered both friendly and condescending.

    Fjorin claps Lai on the back comfortingly.  "You've done right by the Ageless.  Do not concern yourself with their words."


    With Fjorin's natural vantage point over the huddle surrounding the map, he began to visualize the plan in action.  Siron's plan was cautious, careful, and sound.  However, with the parties at play, he doubted things would go so smoothly. 

    Siron continued, and addressed the likelihood of facing the Forsaken.  Now that everyone had gathered, it was time to reveal the information he'd acquired with General Fury's trust.

    "If Lene's information is correct, the Childer immortalis will likely be Ravana Blackheart or Navar Coward.  Ravana's death wound is from a noose - hanged for being a witch.  Coward's is a puncturing wound from behind, above his left shoulder.  Ravana Blackheart is a powerful mage in her own right, and Navar Coward... though his name is fitting, cowards will do anything to survive; they can be dangerous when backed into a corner.  Azazel Punisher..." Fjorin's brow furrowed in thought.  The whole of Ageless he had met so far only wanted to protect others, and General Fury herself had shown a longing for Fortuna - one of the most dangerous of the Forsaken - to return to the Ageless.  Azazel's tale flashed in his mind.

    "His death wound is from beheading... for killing his brethren, and in turn, saving the life of an innocent woman.  He is an honorable man who made a difficult choice.  If we speak with him, we may be able to bring him to Avalon."
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on December 09, 2013, 03:48:52 PM

 Dennan patiently awaits Sembas’s response. He observes his friend in silence. The wheels in the falconer’s mind are turning and Dennan can tell his thoughts are heavy.

“Come, Sembas.” Dennan places a large, but gentle, hand on Sembas’s back and steers him towards a small table in the corner of the room.

There are two small stools nearby it and he gestures for Sembas to take a seat. He reaches into his pack and extracts a flask. As he unscrews the top, the faint smell of honey reaches your nostrils. The contents of the flask are so delightfully aromatic that you begin to salivate.

“Honey mead,” speaks Dennan. “I make it myself. Calms the nerves and soothes the mind.” He takes a swig then places the flask before you.

Dennan moves to seat himself, but as his herculean frame bears down upon the stool, the wood begins to tremble and creak. Dennan sighs. You get the feeling that this is a common, and unfortunate, side effect of Dennan’s massive size. He frowns, casting the stool aside in favor of a large barrel.

He says no more, content to wait for Sembas to speak what is on his mind.

@Siron and Fjorin:

The group around the map listens intently as Siron speaks. When Fjorin adds to the discussion, revealing the Death Wounds of some of their enemies Blood nods in approval.

“Well, well, well, Fjorin of the Ebonmane. Seems you’ve done your research.” She winks at the warrior. “That kind of knowledge will certainly help us in a fight, but I feel your thoughts on redeeming the Forsaken may be a bit of misplaced idealism.”

“Jonas was redeemed,” says Honor quietly.

“Jonas is an exception,” snaps Blood irritably.

“Wouldn’t hurt to try,” offers Vartan. “Plenty of people are capable of finding righteousness.” He looks to his mother, his expression almost sheepish. “You know… rumor has it Dad wasn’t always the most savory of characters back in the day. He changed.”

“And his past caught up with him,” responds Blood firmly.

Vartan gazes upon her sadly and Blood’s resolve falters.

The Captain smacks her palm against her forehead. “Divine, what fools these Childer be! Fine! You want to try to hug it out with the Punisher, have at it. I’ll pull your arses out of the fire .” She turns back to the rest of the group. “As for Siron’s plan… I don’t like it,” growls Blood. “Vartan and his companions are mortals. It would be far too risky to send them anywhere near that base.”

“Mother, you worry far too much! I’ll be fine,” assures Vartan.

Blood stubbornly crosses her arms over her chest. “You’re not going, and that’s final.”

Vartan stubbornly crosses his arms over his chest, and in that instant, despite the difference in their apparent and actual ages, the mother and son appear much alike. “I’m just saying, we could help!”

Bloods cheeks redden. “You’re not-”

“There are plenty of ways we can help from afar,” suggests Ciar wrapping one arm around Blood’s shoulders and the other around Vartan’s. Blood gives Ciar a warning look and the rogue quickly removes it.

“Besides,” speaks Vartan. “Sentries, there are none… At least, not in the traditional sense.” 

 “They don’t need guards. They have warding spells. Powerful ones,” Lene moves closer to the map, her eyes flicking occasionally from the map to Siron. “I’m adept with the arcane arts, but Fortuna is a master of the craft. She likely would have thought to protect the area from an assault by air.”

Honor is silent and appears lost in thought. Suddenly he smiles broadly. “Still… the boy might be on to something!” Honor looks to Blood. “Osiris was able to take us by surprise because he came from beneath us. Fortuna may have thought to guard against attacks from the air, but I doubt even she would have the forethought to protect from beneath.”

“What are you suggesting?” questions Blood.

“Siron’s plan is a sound one.” Honor grins at Siron and claps him on the shoulder. “Good thinking, lad. It’s a great idea, we just need to alter a few of the details. I know for a fact Dennan has quite a command over the earth. I’ve seen him cause avalanches and break apart the ground beneath my very feet. Instead of attacking from above, we come from beneath.”

“Yes! And perhaps once she is freed, Miss Ebraldi can dispel the wards and let the rest of us in as back up” agrees Lene. “Something has to be keeping her from using her magic. I know they didn’t kill her; she is worth far more alive. She can’t have been knocked out this whole time, and I know if she was able to she would have already blown the place to bits with her arts. I suspect an artifact of some sort. In my readings, I came upon a piece called Sorcerer’s Binds. They’re almost like a pair of handcuffs, but with large spikes on the inside. They bind the user’s magic through debilitating pain. If the wearer attempts to use magic, the spikes activate and dig deeper into the flesh.”

 “We have to help her, and quickly! There have to be more underground bunkers like these.” Honor crosses to a dusty old bookshelf in the corner. “I say we find one as close as we can to Headsman’s Hill. Furthermore, since we’re coming from below instead of above, it will be far more difficult for the Punisher to sense us. If we can find another place like this, but closer, we use it as a staging area. Maybe Dethys left something behind.”

Lene, Honor, and Ciar scour the bookshelves, looking for any maps or journals Dethys may have left behind that could pertain to such locations.
After some time, Blood speaks. “You’re looking in the wrong spot. Dethys is no fool; he wouldn’t put such an item in plain sight. That would be the first place a rational person would check, and one thing Dethys Night is NOT, is rational.” Her eyes scan the entirety of the room.

The chamber contains all manner of junk. There are stacks of boxes in various corners and along the walls. There is a wooden chest near the table where Dennan and Sembas sit in silence. There is a small table with a large hourglass, long since spent, and a hammer. There is a strange painting of a dour old king with a faded crown, a moth-eaten bedroll leaning in a corner, a large bucket of water with some strange, dark shape at the bottom of it. There are barrels and crates, bottles of very old wine, and a large box labeled DIRT.

“There’s a lot of junk here. Where do we start?” asks Ciar.

All of the stress of the day has had a sobering effect on Sig, one he would like to quickly dismiss. While the others talk, squabble, or strategize, the Chosen of Alviss takes a moment to dip into his private reserves.


Lai turns to Fjorin, looping her arm through his. “Thank you. I feel your understanding is the only reason I was able to speak up at all.”

She frowns. “I don’t think that young knight likes me very much. Personally, I think I’ve given your people just as much trust as they’ve given me. Perhaps more! They have no idea how hard it was to go to Avalon, knowing that the Elder Immortalis had the power to imprison me forever. Dethys Night could do the same thing Severan’s people can do to Carnis. They can confine us, and torment us, yet I went willingly!”

“Furthermore, I did not have to accept these terms. I did not have to help the Ageless! I did so on behalf of my friends! For Aras… For you… Having a body is all well and good, but never again will I have the freedom to wander as my spirit desires. I have sacrificed much to be of help to the Ageless, to accept the Divine’s blessing, but it seems there are still some among us who question my loyalty. I know you say not worry over their words, but I do! I want them to like me, Fjorin! I’m one of you now, but sometimes I’m scared they’ll never see me that way… That I’ll always be a Carnis to them… some strange thing of evil beyond their comprehension.” 

Lai plops down on the floor. “You’re right, you know… I believe Azazel Punisher can be redeemed. If I could be saved, I’m sure he could be, too. The Forsaken are not so unlike the Ageless in some ways. Yes, there are some who are cruel and terrible… yet… I have also seen a few who just seem to have… who seem to have lost their way. Perhaps he is not evil… Perhaps he is just lost.”
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on December 09, 2013, 04:49:21 PM

From Aeliana’s current perspective, Azazel Punisher was the most evil man she had ever met. He was not a man who was lost in his purpose. No, his purpose was clear to him. His purpose was to cause her pain, and his name, Punisher, had proven to be a very fitting one.

Her eyes are almost completely swollen shut, yet through the puffy slits she can make out a little of her surroundings. The room is small and dark. The only light that graces this place comes from two dying torches on either side of the room. If only she had the smallest bit of her magic accessible, she could likely use those torches to cause a conflagration, or perhaps even use her own spell, Blossoms of Fire, and somehow make her escape. Yet, her heart aches terribly, knowing that she has been forcibly separated from her arts. Whatever these contraptions, these strange cuffs are, they have managed to see to that. Since the Forsaken put these restraints on her, even the thought of using magic had been enough to cause the cuffs to tighten, driving the spikes further and further into her flesh. Even now, blood pours from the wounds around her wrists.

She strives to turn her head towards her companion. However, the slightest movement of her head causes her stomach to lurch. Her legs tremble with fatigue. She hasn’t had the luxury of sitting since she arrived, instead being chained to the wall by an iron collar attached to a chain. It is far too tight and creates an uncomfortable pressure upon her throat. This, added with the anguish of her own screams and acute dehydration, has left her throat feeling as if it is on fire. She would gladly give up a limb for even a drop of water upon her parched tongue.

She is not sure how long she has been here, but it feels like days, maybe even weeks, that she has been suffering at the hands of the Forsaken.  Yet, as great as her pain has been, she knows that Faustus suffers the same, and it is this thought that causes her the worst pain. He had been tortured far more than her. The Forsaken thought, perhaps, the only way to break the fearless Aeliana de Fonte Ebraldi was to use her greatest ally, the man she had been bonded to for years, Faustus Magnus Venator. So at first, Aeliana had not been torture herself. Instead, she had been forced to watch. She had to watch as the Punisher crushed Faustus’s fingers with a hammer. She had watched as the Punisher had made deep, jagged cuts with a knife in Faustus’s arms. He proceeded to hold aloft a wooden cup, filled with salt, and dumped it into his wounds. She watched as he was flogged with a whip, beaten with chains, and even had the soles of his feet burned with a hot iron poker. Last, but not least, she watched, helplessly, watched as his tongue had been cut from his mouth.

In truth, she marveled that he was still alive. How he managed to cling to the last remaining bits of his life she could not fathom. Yet, even as she pondered his resolve, she knew… He endured for her. She recalled the final words he had said to her, mere moments ago, seconds before he forever lost his ability to speak. He has been her guardian, her companion, and her truest of friends. Even without their bond, his loyalty and devotion to her knew no bounds. Over time, she could sense the depth of his feelings for her, such was the way of the bond. They could sense each other’s motivations. While she had always had an inkling of it, she stubbornly refused to believe the truth.

“Aeliana… I love you…” Those had been his last words to her, moments before the Punisher had arrived and relieved him of his ability to speak.

It was not a secret; she had always known. She knew the nature of his heart, and he knew the nature of hers. That is why he knew it would have been fruitless to ever vocalize his feelings for her. Her only love, the sole keeper of her heart, was her art; he could never compete with that. So, he had never burdened her with his thoughts, until he feared he would never have the chance to, and that is why he told her this day.

The Punisher loomed over them, his expression betraying nothing. All of his movements were precise, and clinical. Aeliana could not tell if he found any joy in this task. The expression of Azazel Punisher was too cold, too far removed, to allow her to determine anything. His face was more a mask than something to relate human features. There was never a smirk or a frown to be found, just the same distant expression.

It was obvious Aeliana was too resilient. Torturing her companion wasn’t giving the Forsaken the desired results. No matter what they did to Faustus or her, the brilliant and defiant mage refused to speak. She refused to share the secret she had learned in her travels: a way to break the shackles the Divine had placed upon the Adversary, and at last, give the dark lord the ability to enter the mortal realm without having to come through the hidden battlefield.

So the order had come: take the guardian’s tongue, and see if she will speak. If she refuses still, then kill him. Aeliana watches as the Punisher crosses the room. Time seems to slow as his fingers grip the handle of an enormous ebony axe. He moves towards his prisoners, and his ice blue eyes flick to Aeliana. She chokes back tears she didn’t know she had left, and in that moment, her torturer’s eyes almost appear pleading. His expression that has betrayed nothing, now reveals all: this act brings him no joy.

The question is simple, but the answer is far too complex. “Will you?” The Punisher’s voice is gravelly as if unaccustomed to use. In all this time of torturing her and Faustus, Azazel Punisher has only spoken when necessary, and only very few words.

Aeliana gazes upon Faustus, scarcely able to see him through her swollen eyes and the hot tears that stream down her face.

Again, the Punisher poses his question. “Will you? Will you open the gate?”

Blood pours from Faustus’s mouth and the anguish is apparent in his eyes. He knows what she is thinking. He knows her resolve is faltering due to seeing him like this; she is considering giving the Forsaken what they want. Faustus gives the slightest shake of his head, reminding her of the importance of keeping her silence.

Her words hoarse, and barely a whisper, yet in his final moments, she fights to make sure that he hears her words, that his last seconds on earth allow him to depart with some small joy.

“Magnus… I love you.” Whether she means them or not are unimportant; she can feel through their bond these words have brought him peace.

Aeliana’s emerald green eyes peek out from her red hair as she struggles to raise her head. Her eyes lock upon those of the Punisher. “No, I will not.”

“Very well.” The Punisher raises his axe and pulls back.

Aeliana screams, and for a moment, time screeches to a halt. The cuffs embed further in her wrists and she fights with all her might, to call upon every bit of magic she has to halt the blade in its path. The Punisher seems to suddenly struggle under the weight of his weapon. Blood pours down Aeliana’s wrists and the pain demolishes her concentration, freeing the weapon from her magic.

There is a dull thud somewhere near her feet. She cannot bear to look. Every aspect of her body, mind, and soul is completely engulfed with pain and grief as the bond is broken.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Daccio on December 10, 2013, 12:26:46 AM
     “Aeliana… I love you…” Those had been Faustis’ last words to her, moments before the Punisher had arrived and relieved him of his ability to speak. The words had jarred her to the bone. She knew he had always felt them, but never before had he deemed to speak them aloud. She had always held her arts above all else, leaving little room for love and the like. When he spoke those words, however, he had battered open a door she had thought closed forever. And then they took his tongue.

     Somehow, she knew that it was unlikely that either one of them would ever leave this place alive. If only she could access but a scrap of her power. She could heal almost anything… How she wanted to heal Faustis. The poor man had endured so much for her. Fighting against the restraints brought fresh pain to bear as the shackles at her wrists dug in deeper with every moment she tried to pull on her powers.
She peered at the punisher through swollen eyes, hardly able to see him as he approached Faustis. Holding a large ebony axe aloft, he spoke to her in a grating tone of voice.

     “Will you?” He questioned “Will you open the gate” His voice sounded like gravel, as he stood suspended before Faustis, axe at the ready. Her painful gaze jerks to Faustis. Blood dripped from his mouth in large, deep red globs. He seemed to sense her faltering resolve as hot tears leaked down her face. He gave a small jerk of his head, an indication that he did not want her to fold. For him, she would hold. Only he would ask her to do this in face of such pain and misery. Though she wasn’t sure if she actually meant it, she spoke to him to give him some comfort in his last moments in this world. Her voice sounded as if she had not had a drink in weeks, barely passing audibly through her lips as the collar of metal held her to the wall.

     “Magnus” she gasped to him “…I love you”. Even if she did not know if she truly meant the words, she knew what it would bring to him, and the confirmation flooded over her bond with him. He had peace, finally. She hoped that he would forever have peace where he was going, because she knew her answer next was going to be the death of him, and possibly herself. She drags her eyes back to the punisher and despite the pain, locks eyes with him.

     “No” She grated “I will not” She coughed violently against the collar, but forced herself to stop. Her emerald green eyes never left those of the punisher.

     “Very well” Says the voice of the punisher. He pulls back the axe and prepares to strike

     “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO” Aeliana screams in protest, voice hoarse. Regardless of the blinding pain she knew would come, she attempts to throw every iota of magical energy she can glean at the punisher, anything to stop that axe. The spikes on the cuffs dig painfully in to her wrists, deeper than they ever have before. Blood slopped from her arms to the floor in dangerous amounts as she struggled in vain to hurl anything she could at their captor. For just a moment, a brief sweet moment, she catches the axe with energy and a spark of hope ignites. Crushing pain overwhelms her sense before she knows it, snuffing out her connection with anything magic and the spark of hope extinguishes before it had flared into fruition. The large axe struck home and she heard a soft thump next to her.

     Aeliana gasps as her eyes squeeze shut; blinding pain, agony and grief try to devour her very being. The bond was broken so abruptly that it shocked her to the core. She screamed again and flailed against the restrains, before slumping up against the wall, sadness overwhelming her sense. Tears caress her cheeks and drop to the floor to mingle with the viscous lifeblood already there. Hanging there limply, she uttered a single word.

     “Why…?” More tears dripped from her chin “Why…?” she shook her head, despite the pain and nausea it caused. She looked up to look to Punisher “Why…?” Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?” With each utterance of the word, she jerked against her restraints, her grief and pain fueling her building rage. With each utterance of the word, she grasped at whatever scraps of energy she could. Blinding pain, trying to hurl energy at the punisher. Slumping against the wall, jerking forward, trying to access her arts, more pain. There was more pain this day that she had ever experienced in the rest of her life and it was not just physical pain. She realized then that she had truly meant those words she spoke to Faustis then, he had flowered love where she had thought that nothing could grow. This deepened the pain and sorrow.

     When finally any burst of energy she had gained from the rage, whether she had accomplished anything or not in trying to reach him with the magical energy, she slumped back against the wall, terrifyingly close to passing out maybe to never awake again. The collar and cuffs were the only thing holding her up at this point, causing her distress and difficulty breathing. Through the gasping breaths she choked out a few words, a little more coherent than her last.

     “How… could you…. do this? You hurt…without a care….” She coughed after getting her question out, wheezing as the collar threatened to choke her. It was obvious that she was in very poor shape. Blood ran down her arms and dropped to the floor, pooling. She refused to look down, unto the lifeless eyes that she had once known to be so full of life.

Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Radobe on December 14, 2013, 11:51:54 AM
“Jonas was redeemed,” says Honor quietly.

“Jonas is an exception,” snaps Blood irritably.

“I am afraid I will have to agree with captain Blood on this one, our priority must be securing prisoners.  I am not against second chances, but unless they wish for it, we should not seek something so far fetched.  If we hesitate to strike them down when such an opportunity arises, it may cost us dearly.“

“Vartan and his companions are mortals. It would be far too risky to send them anywhere near that base.”

Siron is obviously angry at this remark, but he tries to remain calm and not let his anger show too much, on his face or in his speech. “I am sorry captain but I must protest, these mortals have done an excellent job! If it was not for their work we would neither have known of the prisoners, nor of Dethys hideout.  They do not deserve to be treated as luggage! If anything they deserve a commendation for the outstanding performance of their mission!” At this point, the knight is obviously tensed and starting to sweat. It takes him a few deep breaths to reclaim his clam and recover his normal state. “I understand you only wish to protect them and I agree it would be too risky for them to join us when we face the forsaken. Even so we could still use them to watch the vicinity and alert us for any forsaken that might be returning to the camp.”

He listens to the adjustments of the plan and can’t hide his smile when Honor compliments him and claps him on the shoulder. Afterward he eagerly joins the search for the supposedly hidden information.

“There’s a lot of junk here. Where do we start?”

“Well the most irrational spot to hide paper would be water. The paper would soak making it fragile and prone to tear, the ink will also dissolve, in a normal situation of course. I guess I will check the bucket over there.”

Siron walks towards the bucket, crouches next to it and before he even touches it, the knight releases a deep sigh and murmurs, “what could possibly go wrong.” He plunges his hand into the bucket and tries to grab and pull out the black object at the bottom.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on December 14, 2013, 01:15:17 PM

“They do not deserve to be treated as luggage! If anything they deserve a commendation for the outstanding performance of their mission!... I understand you only wish to protect them…”

Blood flares at Siron’s comments. “Luggage?! You foolish boy! Is that what you think!” She gestures to Vartan. “He is my son! Not a handbag! You’re an idiot if you cannot make the distinction between mortal and Ageless life. The possibility of any of us dying is slim at most! The Crimson Wolves don’t have the luxury of immortality! You bristle at the idea of leaving them behind, yet you say we can ‘use them to watch the vicinity.’ Use them!” Blood stomps her foot in anger, a move Siron has seen before, and the young Ageless is sent flying through the air and lands hard upon his back.

Blood storms across the room and looms over him. “You forget yourself, Siron Entrima. I have been an Ageless for hundreds of years! You’ve been at this for scarcely a month! You have reeked of insolence since first I met you in the tavern. You claim to understand, but you know nothing! It is the duty of the Ageless to protect humanity! Even more, it is the duty of a mother to protect her child. I know Vartan is a capable warrior, but that does not mean I will allow him to needlessly put himself in harm’s way!”

Honor hurries to Siron’s side and lifts the young knight onto his feet. “He’s still a Childer, Blood. Forgive him for his boldness. What you perceive as insolence is but enthusiasm on his part. He only wants to help. I am sure he meant no offense.”

The anger floods from Blood’s face and she returns to the map.

Honor shakes his head. “We really need to work on your tact, Siron. I have never met someone so willing to poke a sleeping bear.”

They return to the task at hand. Siron seems pleased by Honor’s confidence and the plans are readjusted.

Siron reaches into the bucket. His logic is sound enough, yet “what could go wrong?” could certainly be perceived as famous last words. As his hand feels around the bottom of the bucket, he feels something move through the water towards his outstretched fingers. Before he can react, something sharp latches onto his hand. He pulls his hand from the bucket and finds a small, black snake has firmly dug its fangs into his fingers. Siron begins to shake his hand wildly.

“Olgrim! There you are!” cries Ciar. He hurries over to Siron and gently grasps the snake in his hands. The creature wraps around the rogue’s outstretched arm, happily returned to his master. “I was wondering where you got to! Taking a bit of a snooze in that bucket there, were you?”

Siron’s legs begin to tremble and Ciar’s eyes widen. “Oh dear…” mutters Ciar. “Um… sorry about that. He doesn’t take well to strangers. I’ll get an antidote for you.” He hurries over to the table and returns to Siron with a small vial. At this point the young knight’s lips feels as if they weigh a thousand pounds and he begins to drool from the corner of his mouth.

“Uh… Bottoms up!” says Ciar as he dumps the contents of the vial into Siron’s mouth. “Good thing I had this prepared. His bite is very potent. Causes deaths in mortals, but packs a punch against Ageless, too. In fact, some of Olgrim’s venom is used in that poison I was working on.”
The feeling begins to return to Siron’s legs and face.

Honor sighs. “Probably not the wisest decision you’ve made today, Siron.”

Blood stands with her arms crossed over her chest. “Why would he keep a box of dirt?” She moves to open the box, but at the last moment, thinks better of it and moves to the hourglass on the small table. She picks up the hammer and smashes the hourglass. Sand spills from the broken hourglass and shards of glass litter the table. Blood narrows her eyes and, with her gauntlet, sifts through the contents. Moments later, she extracts a rolled up bit of paper. Carefully, she unrolls the paper. The writing is miniscule.

There is a magnifying glass on the shelf and she holds it above the paper to examine it closer. “This is it. There are at least three other bunkers in the area. And this one…”

Blood moves to the corner of the room where the bedroll rests. She quickly tosses it aside, revealing a wooden hatch in the ground. “This should lead us to a burrow right under Headsman’s Hill. It seems the Archon’s forces did not capture the hill on their own accord. Dethys likely assisted in their efforts from below, though Divine knows how. Perhaps when we return to Avalon we can ask him.”
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Faidth on December 14, 2013, 01:51:13 PM

Punisher stands in silence, considering Aeliana’s questions of “why?” and “how?”

Something almost repentant glimmers in the corners of Punisher’s features: a slight downturn of his lips, a look of something shadowing pain in his eyes, his expression almost pitying. He shakes his head, dispelling this moment of weakness.

His voice is deep and gravelly. “Why do you ask questions you already know the answer to? He died because you would not consent to aid us. It brought me no joy to do this; he was an innocent. In my life, I was a deliverer of justice. I came to know the souls of men. I can say with certainty….” He gestures to Faustus’s decapitated head. “I know he was innocent. His only crime was loving you, and of that, he could not help himself.”

“You think I hurt without a care?” His expression is pained, as if her words have slapped him, leaving a bitter sting upon his cheek. “If it were only so simple! You see, fair maiden…” He grasps the chains that secure Aeliana to the wall. “Not all binds are so easily seen, and not all bonds are broken by death. Your guardian, it is unfortunate that he had to die, but it was a necessary evil. You do not know the importance of the information you have. You do not know the difference it could make!”

Punisher seats himself on a wooden stool. He is silent for some time. All the while, Aeliana’s cries grow louder. Punisher clasps his head in his hands. His eyes are wild and it is obvious Aeliana’s weeping and tears are weighing heavily upon his conscience. “You must stop that, milady. Cease your tears!” He begins to rock back and forth in the chair, his hands pressed against his ears to muffle her crying.

He growls as he reaches into the breast pocket of his black vest. Aeliana cannot see what he extracts from it. He quickly crosses the room and his face is inches from hers. “You must… you must cooperate! You must tell us what you have found! Please! Save yourself! You know not what is at stake!” His hand reaches up and she sees a white handkerchief in his outstretched hand. He presses the soft cloth against Aeliana’s cheeks in an attempt to dry her tears.

“Her screams…” Punisher’s voice is scarcely a whisper. “Her screams are so loud here, milady. She is so close, but the injustice of her death prevents her from leaving the Marrow. I must grant her peace. She must be at peace. If you will tell me what you know, I can tell Fortuna, and she promised me she would stop her pain. She would let her be at peace.”

"Please, Lady Ebraldi... I do not wish to hurt you any more. I do not want to kill you, but if you cannot be of use, then Fortuna will demand it. She will find some other way to get what she wants, perhaps even rip the memories from your dead body. One way or another... she will get the information she desires. The only difference is whether it will come from your lips or your corpse. She knows your power. She sees you as an asset; you are worth far more to her alive than dead."
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Daccio on December 14, 2013, 06:45:51 PM
     She hardly cried at all before this day, least of all where it was visible to others, but she could not help the tears flowing freely. The sorrow was so deep rooted in her soul that she could barely think. Even so, a thought floated across the void that this had to be something connected with the bond that her and her companion had shared, there was no way that being so in control of her emotions normally that she should be reduced to tears overwhelmingly.

     She looked into his eyes the best he could but as he spoke

     ”I know he was innocent. His only crime was loving you, and of that, he could not help himself” , she squeezed her eyes shut, tears leaking and her sobbing increasing. Why couldn’t she get a hold of herself? As he spoke to her comment of hurting without care, she returned her gaze to him and as he spoke of unseen bonds her lips curled into a snarl.

     “Who are you to speak of unseen bonds, you have no idea what you have done!” it was all she could do to get this out and even as she spoke she tasted the salty tears that fanned across her cheeks. Crusted blood flecked from her clothing and skin as she struggled to try to gain some dignity back, and stand.
Slumping against the wall, but at least triumphant in standing somewhat she glared at him as he took a seat on a wooden stool. In the silence that followed, she could not help but dwell on the broken bond and her friend’s last words to her. Steadily her sobs and crying grew louder, and the punisher takes his head in his hands, as if to block out what was happening.  Finally, he speaks

     “You must stop that, milady. Cease your tears!”

She but stared at him, almost incredulously. He had caused all of this pain, and he wanted her to stop crying? She wanted to stop crying too, gain some of her dignity back, but she could not force herself to stop. Her emotions were running away from her, as if trying to grasp smoke in the wind.
As he reached into his breast pocket and stormed across the room, Aeliana flinched, or rather, tried to flinch back from him as he thrust his face inches from hers

     “You must… you must cooperate! You must tell us what you have found! Please! Save yourself! You know not what is at stake!

     She tries to stop it, but a whimper escapes her throat as she tries to shrink back from the hand that reaches out. She was unsure what he was going to do, maybe take her tongue, gouge her eyes but at the feel of soft cotton on her face, tears fell faster in relief that no new pain was added. Her stomach twisted in disgust as he tried to dry her tears as if he were not the one who caused them. She could barely make out his whisper as he spoke to her.

     “Her screams… Her screams are so loud here, milady. She is so close, but the injustice of her death prevents her from leaving the Marrow. I must grant her peace. She must be at peace. If you will tell me what you know, I can tell Fortuna, and she promised me she would stop her pain. She would let her be at peace.”

     "Please, Lady Ebraldi... I do not wish to hurt you anymore. I do not want to kill you, but if you cannot be of use, then Fortuna will demand it. She will find some other way to get what she wants; perhaps even rip the memories from your dead body. One way or another... she will get the information she desires. The only difference is whether it will come from your lips or your corpse. She knows your power. She sees you as an asset; you are worth far more to her alive than dead."

     Her mouth nearly dropped open as he continued to speak. Given something else to concentrate on she managed to stem the flow of tears, at least for now as she listened to him talk. Every minute he talked was a minute she was not dying, not in even MORE pain. As she listened, and he spoke, something came to mind, a possible way out of this maddening situation. She knew it was impossible to get into the marrow to free a spirit. Well, as far as she knew it was. She had not done much research there as she had in other areas, but maybe…

     “I… Look.” She spoke quietly, near whispering herself. Tears were welling up in her eyes as she began to speak to him, her throat parched. “I cannot ever forgive you for what you have done. Despite your wish to not hurt me anymore” She coughed violently, wheezing as she caught her breath “What you have done will hurt me for a long time to come, more than anything you or your Fortuna could do to me…” She paused looking him in the eyes the best she could despite feeling like she was going to sick up. She wanted to make sure he was listening.

      “But you know of my power too. Fortuna knows of my power. You know I killed one of you while being captured and possible two others” She had to pause a moment to swallow “Maybe…just maybe…. If you help me… I can help you…” She did not know what was going to happen or if she really wanted to walk this path, but the cold logic in her head said this might be the only way out now. Faustus had wanted her to live and she was going to live if she could do anything about it.
Title: Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
Post by: Cameron on December 15, 2013, 02:52:12 PM
Closed for length.