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Author Topic: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)  (Read 29183 times)

Offline Archdemon Stu

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Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
« Reply #20 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.

Offline Kitharsis

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Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
« Reply #21 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. 

Offline john greymore

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Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
« Reply #22 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.
Destruction begets Creation. Creation begets Interaction. Interaction begets Society. Society begets Use. Use begets Destruction.

Thus the cycle begins and ends.

Offline Faidth

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Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
« Reply #23 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.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2013, 11:46:09 AM by Faidth »

Offline john greymore

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Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
« Reply #24 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.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2013, 01:37:30 PM by john greymore »
Destruction begets Creation. Creation begets Interaction. Interaction begets Society. Society begets Use. Use begets Destruction.

Thus the cycle begins and ends.

Offline Faidth

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Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
« Reply #25 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. 
« Last Edit: August 05, 2013, 04:19:28 PM by Faidth »

Offline Kitharsis

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Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
« Reply #26 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?

Offline Radobe

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Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
« Reply #27 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.
An eye for two, a tooth for a jaw, a hair for a head! Fight to be respected!

Offline Faidth

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Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
« Reply #28 on: August 07, 2013, 02:47:37 PM »
@Siron:

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?"


@Sembas:

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:

"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?"
« Last Edit: August 07, 2013, 02:52:18 PM by Faidth »

Offline Cameron

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Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
« Reply #29 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."

Offline Archdemon Stu

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Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
« Reply #30 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"...is 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."
« Last Edit: August 08, 2013, 11:32:12 AM by Archdemon Stu »

Offline Kitharsis

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Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
« Reply #31 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.

Dennan.

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..."
« Last Edit: August 08, 2013, 12:16:45 PM by Kitharsis »

Offline Faidth

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Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
« Reply #32 on: August 08, 2013, 12:38:14 PM »
@Sembas:

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!”

Offline Radobe

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Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
« Reply #33 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?”
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Offline Faidth

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Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
« Reply #34 on: August 08, 2013, 09:35:17 PM »
@Fjorin:

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?"
« Last Edit: August 08, 2013, 09:43:52 PM by Faidth »

Offline Archdemon Stu

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Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
« Reply #35 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.

Offline Radobe

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Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
« Reply #36 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.”
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Offline john greymore

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Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
« Reply #37 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.
Destruction begets Creation. Creation begets Interaction. Interaction begets Society. Society begets Use. Use begets Destruction.

Thus the cycle begins and ends.

Offline Faidth

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Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
« Reply #38 on: August 10, 2013, 12:02:04 PM »
@Fjorin:

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.


@Siron:


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


@Fenwick:

“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.”

Offline Archdemon Stu

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Re: The Legion Immortalis: The Bulwark of Heaven (Part 4)
« Reply #39 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?"
« Last Edit: August 10, 2013, 07:13:43 PM by Archdemon Stu »