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Author Topic: Nightfall: The Destruction of Abdeel  (Read 2407 times)

Offline Archdemon Stu

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Nightfall: The Destruction of Abdeel
« on: December 02, 2010, 08:35:01 PM »
Well, I got a writing itch, and I don't want to finish Jorumn's story in his application until the character guidelines are up, so I decided to provide a little more on the back-back-story for any willing readers.  There will be a part 2 later on.

EDIT: Also, I thought I'd post it here instead of the Board Battle forum since Jorumn isn't technically a board battle character yet.

____________________________________________________________________


Fires broke out as lightning shattered the homes of the shrieking citizens of Abdeel.  Houses of commoners in the slums burned swiftly to the ground, while the highest towers of the nobles were torn from their estates by the fierce winds overhead.  Armored high elves sprinted through the streets and alleyways, cutting down the human vermin that ran for their lives, reddening their silvery blades.  With each crack of thunder, the night sky illuminated and revealed the silhouette of a great serpent above the clouds; the Dragon God, Azurigal.

"Seth!  I said the back entrance!" Jorumn called out to his friend, hardly audible over the wind and thunder.  They were barely adolescent, spoiled nobles, and quickly gave into the confusion.
"I'm going after my dad!  He went for the main gate!" Sethir yelled in a panic, dashing through the main halls of the castle.
"Your training won't be of any avail here; you can't face the elves!"
"I can't leave him!  You know that better than anyone!"
Jorumn paused.  What he said was true.  After all, he had done the same thing as Sethir already, and gone looking for his only family.  His mentor and caretaker was gone without a trace, having found nothing but a cryptic note to Jorumn in his study, now tucked away in his pocket. 

He sighed.  "If he's not there, we leave immediately!  Got it?!" Jorumn demanded.

Sethir didn't respond.  He simply turned, and began running for the main gate.  Jorumn muttered curses to his headstrong fool of a friend, tightened his grip on his staff, and ran after him.  They left the steadily crumbling halls, and quickly found themselves at the courtyard before the main gate. 

They stopped in their tracks.

Unsure of whether to be mortified or relieved, various limbs and bodies of high elves and castle guards were strewn about the courtyard.  The eyes of decapitated wide-eyed elves stared at the young men as they passed by.  Blood dyed the water in the fountains, spotted with bits of sliced armor and what appeared to be assorted internal organs that had spilled from the bellies of the slain.  Sethir and Jorumn looked at each other skeptically;  whoever-- whatever caused this massacre, it appeared to be the only thing capable of standing up to the centuries of swordsmanship and sorcery the elves had mastered.

"There is no possibility of a handful of guards standing up to this many elves... what did this?" Jorumn's curiosity was piqued.
"Let's hurry!" Sethir leaped forward toward the gate connecting the castle and the rest of Abdeel.

"Seth, there's no time!  We have to get out of here!" Jorumn only thought to himself.  However, his curiosity would not allow him to say it aloud, and even if he did... his childhood friend would not listen, and he knew it.

As they passed the gate, they immediately recoiled backward behind the courtyard wall.  "Did you see that?" Sethir's whisper was not audible beyond the violent torrents of wind, but Jorumn knew exactly what was going on in both of their heads.  Just outside of the gate, there was a handful of highly decorated elves-- no doubt their elite-- and a creature.  Lightning coursed through its feathers, and its many eyes beyond its ebon beak illuminated the area with white light.  Its six black talons dug into the cobblestone streets, and its elegant and unusual wings spanned many paces past each street corner.  There was a lone man in front of the winged beast that Sethir recognized immediately.

"Dad?" he whispered to himself.

 The creature spoke.

"You fought honorably.  What is your name, warrior?" its booming voice echoed through the streets even through the tempest. 
The human lord was hesitant. "...Lord Benedict Skybrand." 
"In your short lifespan, you have mastered swordplay beyond that of my most skilled warriors.  However, your mortal body begins to fade.  It is a waste that the creators cursed your spirit with such a host."
Sethir's father was leaning on his sword, exhausted beyond recovery.  His skin was burned badly, no doubt the work of the beast before him.  He was clinging to life by a thread.  "What are you waiting for arch druid?  You came here for murder... why do you hesitate?"
"The reasoning for our presence here means nothing to the dead.  You will join your peers soon enough." the feathered serpent's wings began to glow, and a high pitched hum began to emanate, the electricity becoming more erratic.  "However, I feel the worth of your life is far greater than that of your peers. Perhaps... a final request before I free you of your frail visage?"

Sethir grabbed a blade from the nearest corpse, and began to charge forward to save his father.  Jorumn quickly bludgeoned him with his staff, knocking his friend out instantly... and saving his life.  "I'm sorry Seth... you may never forgive me, but we can't die here.  Not now.  Not to them." The young wizard now looked on toward Benedict's final moments.  Sethir was like family to Jorumn, which in turn, made Benedict akin to something like an uncle, or even another father figure in his life.  Despite this, he had to make a difficult decision:  he chose Sethir's life.  Clutching his staff, he began to attempt a spell his mentor had taught him with great esteem-- and that Jorumn, until now, had ignored:  Bliss.

Lord Benedict-- after a brief moment of thought-- spoke.  "...Spare the lives of--"
"No." the arch druid interrupted. "I'm afraid to spare any of the citizens or lore of this city would be sacrilege against Azurigal."
"Then..." Lord Benedict began before taking a brief moment to think.  He looked to the eyes of the beast. "...Bury me at the Cliffs of Ascendancy where the ocean's waves reach highest... and my sword with me."
"Your request is reasonable.  You will be given a burial worthy of nobility, Lord Benedict Skybrand." A flash came through the sky as the arch druid's wings lit up.  "Though this city may fall, and its history may vanish... your valor, I will not soon forget."

The lightning temporarily blinded Jorumn, and as his sight returned, little more than armor and a sword remained of Lord Skybrand.  He stifled his tears as he held his unconscious friend, waiting for an opportunity to escape as he hid within the courtyard.  The young wizard could hear the feathered beast take to the skies with one mighty flap of its wings.  The high elf elites that accompanied him scattered, continuing their campaign of genocide.  Screams of the helpless pierced through the raging winds.  "I..." he whimpered silently, "Nothing... there is nothing I can do..."

Hours passed, and the massacre still raged on.  Jorumn had managed to carry his friend to the outskirts before he began to wake.  "Jorumn... where... are we?"
Jorumn set Sethir down, exhausted.  "We're heading west.  We're going across the plains to Veresaad."
"What... wait, what about the castle?"
"It's gone, Seth.  Everything... everyone... gone."
Sethir's eyes went wide as he recalled seeing his father.  "Where is my dad?"
Jorumn sobbed, and attempted to regain his composure.  "There... was nothing I could do."

The silence was more deafening than the raging winds, fires, and thunder put together as Sethir looked to Jorumn in horror and disbelief, and his friend gazed back in shame and disappointment.  Everything had been taken from them.  Sethir, raised to be the heir of lordship, was now orphaned.  Jorumn, the disciple of a royal archmage, told he could conjure meteors from the sky and turn coal to fine jewelry, could do nothing but watch as everything he knew was destroyed.  All they had now was a beaten sword, a wooden staff, and each other.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2011, 04:27:00 AM by Jorumn Fargazer »

Offline Archdemon Stu

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Re: The Destruction of Abdeel
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2010, 04:27:47 AM »
(This will be the last I post in this topic.  Please feel free to post comments or feedback afterward.)

--------------------------------------------------------

Sethir and Jorumn had crossed vast distances over several days of travel.  It was not an easy task to survive outside of the castle walls, even with Jorumn's magic to assist them.  Dirt and small spots of blood covered their clothes, likely caused by thorns and small animals.  They hunted, killed, and cooked their own food for the first time; only Jorumn had the "fortitude" to finish the creatures once subdued.  One such instance occurred again, and Jorumn was becoming fed up.

"Damn it Seth, just kill it!" Jorumn snapped.

"Go prod yourself, I'm working on it!" Sethir retorted as he glared down a measly hare he had pinned to the ground, the blade of his sword to its throat.

"You were just fine with bringing our other meals to me and having me kill them!  What's the difference?  Either way, you essentially killed them!  That's how all living things survive, they kill each other!  Get over it!" The stresses of survival were getting to both of them.

Sethir looked angrily to Jorumn. "You know what?" he released the animal, and it sped off as fast as its legs would carry it. "I'll starve before I become as cold as you."

"You ungrateful little pixie!" Jorumn picked up his staff, and quickly blasted the creature into oblivion with a bolt of lightning before it could disappear in the grassy terrain.

"What in the Hells was that about?!" Sethir grabbed the mage by his dirtied collar.

"Now it's dead, and it's inedible." the butt of his staff slammed into the ground furiously.  "If it's your conscience that starves us, then so be it!  Now it's up to you whether or not they die in vain you little fairy!  Which will it be?  Survival, or murder?!"

Jorumn had found the breaking point.

Sethir released Jorumn's collar, and delivered a swift kick to his friend's gut, causing the mage to arch over gasping for air.  Sethir wrenched Jorumn's staff from his hands, and discarded it swiftly where the young wizard could not reach it.  A fist came from above the arched over boy, striking him across the cheek and throwing him to the ground.  Once the mage had stopped seeing stars, he came to the realization that he had a sword pointed to his throat.

"Quit talking down to me!  You aren't horse piss without your stick, yet you have the balls to treat everyone like you're better than them!" Sethir scolded.  "If Lord Fargazer can't keep you in line anymore, I will!"

Jorumn laughed lightly, looking to the sky in a daze.  "Keep me in line?  We're starving to the point of delirium, and you just let our first meal all day go, and then proceed to assault me... yet, I'm the one that needs to be kept in line.  Perhaps I hit you harder than I thought..."

"Hit me?" Sethir was confused.

Jorumn said nothing.  A slip of the words may have revealed too much to his friend.  He had not yet told Sethir that it was he who knocked him out when they found Sethir's father.  At this point, what could he say?

"...You... it was you."

"...Seth..."

"I could've saved him!"

"If you went after him, you would have--"

"There you go again!  I am not helpless!  You look at everyone as though they're insects to you!" Sethir threw his sword to the side and crushed the grass next to Jorumn's face with a punch.  "Fine then.  If I'm helpless, where were you?  If you're so powerful, why didn't you just stop them?!  You had your damned stick then, didn't you?!"
They both fell silent.  Sethir's words dug deep.  Jorumn was speechless as he lay sprawled out, helpless.  His eyes began to well up with tears as he refused to let it run.  Sethir withdrew as well, realizing his own fault in caving to the pressures of starvation.  He stood up, paused, then hesitantly reached a hand toward his fallen friend.

"You two are rather noisy, aren't you?" an unfamiliar voice came from a thin line of trees nearby.  A man clad in leathers and expensive looking trinkets emerged, with a thin-- extremely expensive-- sword in hand. "And my my, what fancy belongings you have!  Not the sort of garb peasant children would have lying around, now is it?" he raised a brow, and smirked. 

"Now... empty your pockets."

They'd drawn the attention of bandits. 

Jorumn dove for his staff, only to have his hand crushed under the lead bandit's heel.  He screamed in pain. "There's no one left to deliver a ransom!"

"My my, a staff?" the fanciful brute said quizzically.  More bandits began to show, the noise drawing their attention.  Two more... three more... soon, there were upward of eight lightly armored men with varying sizes of blades at their side.  "It appears we've got ourselves a mage!" the bandit drew his finely crafted sword and gently slid it across Jorumn's neck without puncturing the skin.  "You don't seem to have any of the cultist insignias on you... though, I'd better turn you in to the inquisition nonetheless.  If you're not worth a ransom, then you're at least worth a bounty." he chuckled.

Sethir yelled ferociously, raising his blade and taking a battle stance. "Get away from him!"  His sword was shaking.  He was desperate... and above all, terrified.  He had never confronted anyone in life or death battle before.  "He's all I have left."

"Sorry boy, but I have mouths to feed.  However, I have no reason to kill you, so please empty your pockets, and we'll be on our way.  Who knows?  Your friend's death may be more merciful than your..." the bandit looked at the young noble's dirtied clothing, "...current predicament.   You can still come out on top boy.  Put the sword down, and at least one of you can make it out alive."

"Seth, we're outnumbered!  I'll escape, I promise, just back off!" Jorumn shouted pleadingly.

Sethir clenched his teeth as he ignored Jorumn, stepped forward, and gave the assailants another warning, nearly stuttering as he did so. "Get away from him, or die."

The decorated bandit sighed, "If only this could have been done peacefully." He shrugged.  "Kill him."

A furry hulk of a bandit strolled calmly toward Sethir, putting both of his hands on his bastard sword and raising it above his head.  "Should've kept yer' mouth shut, lad." Sethir looked upward as if he was looking upon the visage of death itself.  As the bandit's blade closed in on him, his memories flashed before him... fond images of him and his father drowned out Jorumn screaming out, demanding that he run for his life.  Sethir could only see himself and his father... they were sparring together in the castle garden, as they always did.  His father's voice was so clear... so vivid.

His father laughed.  "Too slow, Seth!  Quicker!" he instructed as the training sword lightly tapped him on the top of the head.

The bandit's blood spat forth from his gut, his intestines spilling from the gaping wound Sethir's dulled blade tore wide open.  The brute dropped his sword, screaming in confusion as his life faded.  The bandits, Jorumn, nor Sethir knew what they just saw.  Snapping out of their confused haze in anger, the bandits poured in toward the boy.

The memories came back in flashes, muffling the sound of the bandit leader barking orders to his underlings in a startle.  His father smiled as Sethir stopped to gather his breath, exhausted from their playful sparring. "Keep moving, boy!  Your father's wrath waits for no man!" he warned, Sethir taking another tap to the belly.

Another spatter of blood burst forth as another bandit fell, his life gushing away through his throat.  There was no clashing of steel, no dancing about to size one another up.  It was instant, as though the young swordsman was acting by reflex alone.

His father chastised him once gain, "Your arms alone are weak!  Use every fiber of your being.  From your toes to your neck!" he barked, easily deflecting Sethir's light blows.

A torso slammed into the dirt, and the lower half of the body stumbled down directly afterward, the victim letting loose a blood curdling shout as red ichor poured from his sundered body.  The bandits had only barely started to draw their bowstrings, panicking as they hurriedly took aim.

Sethir was more confused than any of them.  "Back then... I'd though we were playing... dawdling about."

Another bandit fell.  He was silent, unable to scream as a wound in his chest gasped for air.

"Was he training me...?  I had heard tales of his encounters in battle... could they have been true...?"

Sethir dove for their leader with inhuman speed, forcing the eccentric to lift his sword from Jorumn in order to defend himself.  The bandit leader's face was smothered with horror and disbelief.

"These men... compared to him... they..." Sethir clenched his teeth, "...THEY ARE NOTHING!"

A hand and its respective sword fell to the ground, its previous owner unable to even feel the pain before his skull was removed from his jaw.  The bandit leader's clothing jingled as it met the grass below.

The archers remained within the tree line, however.  "Jorumn, your staff!" Sethir yelled.  But his friend did not move.  Jorumn was mumbling, staring at his uninjured hand.  "Jorumn?" he called out once again, concerned as to the extent of the damage done.

Lightning bolts blasted the nearby tree line from the sky, instantly setting it ablaze... along with any archers hiding within.  "It appears I won't be needing it anymore." Jorumn said with a chuckle, lightning arcing through his fingertips.  "And Seth... from now on, I'll kill however many rabbits you damn well need me to."


Hours later, a burned bandit limped along the beaten path toward the Holy City Veresaad in hopes of alerting the inquisition of the events that took place, in hopes they would forgive him of his sins in light of exposing a sorcerer.  He was stopped by the sight of a sword's blade pointed toward his face.  Startled at first, he followed the blade to the golden jewel encrusted hilt... his leader's sword.  He began to smile with relief, expecting to see his boss's skull still intact as he looked to the wielder.  "Boss!  I--" his words stopped immediately in realization of the new owner of the finely crafted weapon.  It was the very boy who slaughtered his brethren like they were infants in the cradle.  Beside him, was the wizard that torched the archers in hiding faster than one could blink an eye.

Sethir grinned widely, "Now... empty your pockets."

Offline Shadow Chorus

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Re: The Destruction of Abdeel
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2010, 11:47:22 AM »
Very interesting. I particularly liked the fight in the second post. The instinctive combat was really enthralling as you described how he was simply gutting soldiers upon reaction to his father's psychotraining.

Offline Archdemon Stu

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Re: The Destruction of Abdeel
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2010, 06:26:45 AM »
Yeah I'm pretty proud of that portion in particular, haha!  Glad somebody else liked reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.  More may come later in a future time frame. 

I intend to answer a lot more questions about Jorumn's history, and a lot of it will involve Sethir.  Might even throw the stories of other characters (villains and such) in this forum eventually.  There's a lot I need to improve on, but hopefully I'll be able to step up my writing as I go along.