The PG-13 TS
You could hear the rain falling at rapid pace on the gravel road. The wind was cutting through the forests surrounding the roads and the only light that could be seen was the moonlight that one could see cast upon the many mudpuddles that had formed due to this constant rain.
It seemed like it was consistantly night. Saria had been running for a couple weeks, and had still yet to travel. The roads ahead of her were winding and looping, and had led her astray in her travels. Though her path wavered from side to side, the haunted expression that played out over her face read her soul clear as a bell.
Sleep was almost impossible. She was being hunted. It casts spells, it stabs in the dark, it attacks when it was the most psychologically inconvenient of times. She was starting to get worn down and out. She could only wish for the power that her ertzwhile companion DF possessed to keep him moving, motivated to strike whenever.
The wind would not let up, and the rain just kept pounding down. The weather had been drab for over a week, helping to highlight her already dreary journey with more drabness. Her clothes were soggy, muddy, and stiff. Where she hadnt developed rashes, there were cuts, and all the potions in the world wouldnt be able to lift the pounding haze that had been on her mind the past week.
'all your fault'
Where had this all gone wrong? Did something get reversed? Werent the heros and heroines supposed to have a cheerful ending after the tale had been told? They had been leaving and then suddenly, out of nowhere, all went to hell.
'As they reached the bottom, DF sensed something dark again, but he couldnt quite place it. He faced the forest at the bottom, and Saria stopped when she saw he wasnt moving...'
Saria started seeing flashes again. It always followed the same pattern. She kept seeing it happen again and again. Not death, but captivity, a vicious captivity as well.
'"Something is off" DF said "The forest looks more forboding than before"
"Well, we wont get anywhere without trying" Saria offered "Besides, we cant help them anymore, we should return to a town to see if any of them return. If they dont succeed, we might be able to find out where they left off"
"A plan, at least" DF answered'
Why had she convinced him on moving out? He obviously wasnt feeling comfortable with the situation but other than a gut feeling, he had nothing, and went against it.
'DF's face twisted in agony, howling in pain purer than fire and ice themselves. Saria quickly turned him, and met his eyes with her own. His face was darker, but his eyes retained their defiant radiance, despite the dark glowing starting to grow at the corners
"Hurry, g.g.g....get out of here" DF stammered "Use t.t.t..talisman to loc.c.cate avata.a.ara"
Saria looked into his eyes and saw as he started to fail....'
Flashes of the agony that came next, of the horrors that followed, and of her journey so far....
Icel was quite pleased. His plan had gone off without a hitch, but that annoying woman that seemed to hang around his mark seemed to escape the encounter.
Though it didnt need to be a downer on the whole of the party, it was still a loose end that was just itching at Icel as he looked over his forces at the ruins that he had conjured up the wraiths.
Suddenly, a plan brewed in his mind.
Since DF was taken, we have had to recoup here and restrategize. We never thought he would be taken without a loss, how fortunant Icel started to pick over his mind The main problem with the wraith is that its not really a warrior, but more a cloak and dagger type attacker. DF would always ruin my strategies by pointing out their locations to someone quicker than them Icel sat on a piece of ruined marble post so if I were to send one now, I could still nab her before she speaks of anything to anybody
As Icel continued to sit, he watched as his new companion was trying out different things. Focusing on this, charging that. Swinging new magics around seemed fun enough for his companion, but as for him, he had a job to do. Without words, he summoned one of the remaining six wraiths and silently gave it its marching orders. After he watched it disappear into the night, he cast a small spell and watched his minion do his bidding...
A loud screech quickly shocked Saria back from her reverie. She no longer fretted as she had done so many times these past couple weeks, but moved with the pure purpose and goal of survival. That screech was her unseen assailant for the past couple weeks. Saria did know it was a wraith, but she could never get her bearings on them before they glanced off again, again into the abyss. When she killed the one while with DF, it was not moving and trying to attack DF, so its defenses werent up towards her. This one was proving more crafty.
Always when she was near sleep. It somehow sensed when her breathing slowed. And every time it would be around when it slowed enough, it would attack. She had noted the pattern several days ago when it finally changed tactics on her again. Before she was starting to catch on and even knicked it a few times in previous battles, but she was unable to catch it now. Sleep was impossible, but necessary. Living was imperative, dying was unacceptable. She could not fall, not when she was so close.
Dodging from tree to tree, Saria's prenatural sense of the wooded areas aided her infinately in areas such as this, where visibility was low and she could see her attacker before any attack could hit. And finally, a glimmer. It had slipped, finally, and she had her chance. Without a moment's hesitation, she quickly drew an arrow and her bow, firing quickly and cursing when she realized she didnt fire a special arrow, which had disintegrated one of these suckers before. As she saw the arrow approach, she quickly knew what to do, and concentrated on the arrow.
The wraith was hit, bad. Not a killer strike, and nothing to get too confident on. In fact, it seemed to be goading Saria on. The holy and fire spells she used to accompany that arrow worked a bit like the shadow/lightning that DF had given her, but nowhere near the potency.
She tried to get a second shot in, but it disappeared as quickly as it had come.
"Hopefully it will stay away this time" Saria said quietly, quite aware nobody would hear her. She then pulled out the talisman that DF had given her. It was an odd little design. Looked like a miniture stylized M with flames jutting off of it. It seemed more of an oddity token, but it had oddly given her the path that she followed. She wasnt too good at reading it, but had become accustomed to it recently and her path was getting straighter.
She stared at the small M for a while thinking to herself.
He definately has a thought in mind, but as to what it is, I have no clue Saria looked up But I will do as he asked, and find his friend Avatara. Hopefully he can help unravel the problem lain before me
With that, Saria set off again, zipping through the forest as though she was being chased.
And she was...
The wraith knew its duty. The arrogant one known as Icel commanded them for now, but his days would soon be up, as soon as their leader finally manifested itself in the captured enemy. But even despite his aversion to his boss, he still knew his duty. He was to kill the one known as Saria. It had been attacking at night, as she slept, at times of great inconvenience to any person. It was relentless in its barrage of attacks. The only problem is that she seemed quite adept at avoiding such attacks and sneak suprises. If only she had kept herself down a few seconds more, that last time would have been perfect.
The arrow had struck, but nothing vital. It would survive, and survive it did. From there, with its twisted magics, it possessed a small pack of wolves.
shock troopers, set me up for good strike, then my task is complete
Saria soon sensed the paces of small beasts roaming with her through the forest already knew the beasts before they came into sight. She drew her bow, but did not let up on her pace, continuing forward while searing to the sides for foes.
The beasts leapt from different angles, but before they could reach their mark, an arrow pierced right through them, ceasing their existance. One after another after another fell until the leader finally crested the group. It leapt and avoided several attacks of hers, making it especially difficult to get a bead on again, all while snapping at her, trying to get her down as well.
Saria was confused for a moment until she saw the wraith again, but she was too busy, and too late.
As she finally felled the wolf leader, the broad attack of the wraith made its place as a slash across her side, causing a deep wound and knocking her to the ground too. She looked up as the wraith came back again, on attack vector to finish her off. Saria looked up, and saw nothing she could do....
DF felt himself contained. He had no sight, no sound, no scent, nothing at all. He felt nothing, and couldnt breathe. His mind was bottled up in a corner of his consciousness. Locked until something was done, but what? There was no way to contact anything. There was nothing anymore. This was death, the eternal peace had taken DF's soul and he was no more.
A bright flash of light suddenly illuminated the stormy battlefiend.
Waves of rain and lightning came crashing down to earth with such focus that one could miss the significance of the brilliant flash of light, or even more directly, its source.
Avatara had drawn his blade, and charged his better spells into it, sending it arcing right at the wraith in its attack vector towards Saria.
What happened next? The wraith was not to be seen. The blinding flash did something, though Avatara highly doubted that it finished off the nemesis that was tracking this person.
This person that was carrying a very interesting item. Very interesting indeed.
Before he could figure out what the item was, he first had to figure out the carrier. With his sword still drawn, Avatara lent it a bit of light and lifted Saria's chin, allowing her to gaze at him. What she saw was the shocked expression that only Avatara could muster before the sword fell to the ground, opaquing as quickly as it illuminated.
Quickly regaining his composure, Avatara gathered up his sword and sheathed it and lifted Saria, after noting her injury. After scanning the surrounding area, he then carried her to the establishment he was in before he detected the item moving his way.
Saria woke in the Odemia tavern, where Avatara was tending to her wounds with actual first aid instead of magic.
"Sometimes the best lessons you can gain are from wounds you gain in battle" Avatara explained "So therefore the most prominent ones should be displayed through normal means, rather than covered up with magic"
Saria stared at this strangely sagelike man giving her advice and bit her tongue for a moment to think it over before she realized the wisdom in the words and just nodded
"I have a few questions for you, if you dont mind, Saria?" Avatara started, knowing he probably wasnt going to like what was gonna be said.
"I dont know how much I can actually explain, but ill give my account on what was going on if you need" Saria responded, shivering as the flashes were coming fast to her mind.
"..." Avatara couldnt think of anything to say so he just sat there in the candlelight nodding for several odd seconds before he could respond
"Can I see the item in which he gave you?" Avatara inquired, gesturing for her to hand it to him. Saria quickly fished the talisman out of her pocket and dropped it into his waiting hand. Avatara then spent the next several minutes inspecting it, going over each inch, trying to find meaning before he finally projected his mind at it, getting a startling response...
A voice from life beaconed at DF. It seemed to be forever since he talked, or been able to in any form. Without hesitation, DF focused all he could on the surrounding voice...
"H...el..lo' the talisman radiated a mental wave, which both Saria and Avatara picked up.
"DF?!" Avatara was stunned. After hearing this story, DF's voice was the last thing he expected
"No..t much t.t.t...time to exp.l.llain." DF's voice came in and out
"Kn...ow w.hat t.t..they are pl..l..la...nnning" DF's voice wavered some more, but still came through
"Will t.t.try to f...oc...us m.m...m.mmmind bet..t....ter nex....t tim.e" DF's voice was going more and more by the moment
"K...ee.ep on the lookou...t for shado....ws, I w....il... b... wit...h you s...o..on" DF's voice faded bad then died off again.
DF was happy, his contingency plan, though quite a shot in the dark, was starting to form. Now his eternal rest can have a focus, a meaning...
Saria was quite stunned by what she just heard.
"Has it ever done that before?" Avatara inquired
".....no" Saria finally opened up
"Its a bit odd, definately, but then again, so was DF" Avatara thought it through "He probably has a direct link with that shard, forming the link in the final seconds on his own conscious thought, and was able to speak with us when I focused on it"
"But he was imprisoned, within his own body" Saria explained again "His mind is inside, not able to control him"
"Thats true, but he can still talk, project his image towards us and have us do what he needs" Avatara furthur explained
"Well, if thats true, what are his needs?" Saria was starting to get it
"He probably needs released from his prison" Avatara peered over at her, hoping shed get it.
Suddenly, she bursted out laughing. He joined in, enjoying the reverie it produced.
After the laughter died down, Avatara started again
"As the beginning of any fine journey, we do need one thing" Avatara said
"What would that be?" Saria inquired
"More people!" Avatara responded "We will now need to gather people for this journey."
Note: This story continues fromEchoes of the Past.
Medoc had fallen a sleep on the table, half a glass of beer in his hand, he suddenly woke up "Avatara!" he called out. A few seconds later the door to the tavern rooms opened and Avatara walked out into the bar.
"Its nice to see you again." Medoc said standing up and walking over to Avatara.
"Its nice to see you to, where is everyone?" Avatara asked.
"Selax has probably taken a room, other than that no one else has arrived yet but I suspect that people will start arriving soon, it always happens when there is a new quest."
"That it does."
"I am starting to remember why I don't drink often, I think I am going to have to go for a walk, out house seems like some place good"
"You only had half a glass."
Medoc started to gag and ran out of the tavern.
Half Truth, they are in the Odemia Tavern—the Alraeician Tavern is in Cademia.
"Actually, I haven't taken a room. I believe Wizard is on his way. I only just got here, although I fear I know why you are in need of help," said a voice that spoke from the air next to Avatara. The air wavered and Selax appeared.
"Something to do with your friend Desert Fox, I assume?"
Avatara nodded and told Selax the story. Selax was silent for a few moments before he spoke.
"I was afraid of that. I don't know where most of the others went, although I expect some probably made their way here. I wonder what he meant by 'shadows'. Hm. Will he contact us again or should we just leave in the morning. Well, I'll check around the grounds and watch, just in case. I'll be in and out but make sure to get me before you leave."
Selax headed towards the door. Just before he stepped out, the air around him wavered and he turned invisible again. The door seemed to open and close by itself, as he headed out into the rain and booming thunder.
Tej had followed Selax back to the Odemia Tavern. He was quite tired so he bought a room and fell asleep. His dreams were of his past, going from his home to Talryn's attack on him.
When he woke, he rubbed the scar that was left, and still felt his healing spell fixing up his second heart. Tej over to the bar and order a glass of water.
Talryn sat in his quaters and looked at his schedule. First he had some rune class then summoning creatures and then some attack spells, finally followed by a potion making class. My lord, Death King. I am about to begin my first day at Pynx. I will contact you after the evening meal. Since you have not sent new orders i am following the original plan.
Dark Jet, I think that (unless Desert Fox has some plan for integrating the Death King) he will not be in this story. Talryn, of course, is your character and you are free to use him as you wish. My plan is, after this TS is finished, to start the next TS which will deal with the Death King and events at Pnyx. Events at Pnyx could be done through the tavern if you want (I plan to post a small something there in a month or two anyway). I can also give you an outline of my plan using the messaging system, if you request it.
Selax hovered just above the ground next to one of the windows. The thunderstorm was still raging. The rain didn't bother him as it just passed through him. The flashes of lightning provided occasional illumination, so that he could see enough to catch anything visible that might come by.
This post has been edited by Selax : 23 January 2005 - 12:51 AM
Behind him, Selax heard a twig snap. Someone was coming from the wooded side of the tavern. Who could this be? he thought to himself. The tavern was situated in a corner of the small town. Though it was surrounded by a wall, there were some spots that were densely populated with trees. This was one.
"Hello," came an audible voice from behind a tree. Instantly, Selax whirled through flight to the other side of the trunk. He then saw who it was.
"I did not expect to see you so soon," Wizard stated with a friendly smile. Before Selax could say anything, Wizard was talking again. "Another quest have we? I expected as much. I've been waithing for a while. In case you're wondering, which I am sure you're not, I am not real. I am a mere illusion sent to greet you."
Around this time, inside the comfortable Odemia Tavern, Wizard was walking down the stairs. He went at a gentle pace, straightening the sleeves on the way down.
"Good evening, Sir," he said to the owner of the facility. "Is there a back exit? I need to go see a friend of mine outside, but I don't wish for him to see me immediately." The owner showed him to a back room and the two disappeared from view of the front.
"Actually, I must confess, I am the illusion that you saw at Cademia. My master summoned my image here."
"Where are you, Wizard?" Selax asked calmly.
"Here," the illusoin vanished as the true Wizard walked through it.
"It's good to see you," Selax continued.
"I suppose that it was worthwhile to stay here a bit longer. Another few days and I would have been heading home," Wizard said with a slight laugh. "Very comfortable here, though."
Selax disregarded the conversation and started his own, "Even though you just came outside to see me, I suggest you go inside and ask if you might join this new adventure."
"Hmm," Wizard was in thought for a moment then he asked, "What do you think of it?"
"I believe that there is immense danger that lies before us. We must be cautious at all times, even now, for I am certain there is something more to this than just Desert Fox. Something very serious is going on, but, although I have heard what has happened to Desert Fox after he departed from us, I have not heard what happened to him before that time."
"Interesting. I agree with your assessment of this quest. I hope to acertain Saria's account and whatever else she may know of this. I shall be going in now." With that, Mr. Wizard walked inside.
Once inside he strolled over to the small table where Avatara and Saria sat. Avatara had returned to his seat.
"Hello," Wizard said with a calm, welcoming voice. He gave a slight smile and stared into Saria's eyes. He continued the stare for a moment or so then broke it and leaned over on the table a little, resting his weight on his hands. "I hear there is another journey that we are soon to embark on. With your permission, I should like to accompany you."
Avatara nodded, "Certainly. We need any help we can get. Even though a search for one man seems a small thing to most people, this will be quite perilous."
"Indeed. Well, I shall do my best. I still have some bad scars from the last fight, but I have for the most part healed them," he finished and walked over by a window booth. He sat down and stared out the window, once again in thought.
Tej noticing the wizard, got up. He looked at his hand, whoops im scally better change to human and with that the alien looking Tej became a human looking Tej. He walked over greeted Wizard, Avatara, and Saria.
"So about this new quest... Is there a slight possiblity that we will run into, DK?" Tej asked, pulling up a seat. Tej pulled out an exilir and puored it into his empty mug, and added some red liqiud. "What? its cherry falvoring..." He started to drink it while waiting for an answer.
Selax: okay thx
OOC:Talryn will stay out of the story BIC:
Tej finished his drink and then looked up, only to find Avatara was staring at him. He shifted uncomfortably and looked down at his empty mug on the table.
Avatara brightened and turned to Saria, "You see? I told you if we just sit here, people will come to us. Rumors spread like wildfire!"
Saria nodded, a bit taken aback at how many people had already volunteered, despite the obvious danger involved.
"Well, we're just about ready. Since its so late, I'd suggest we stay here for tonight and leave early tomorrow morning. You especially need some sleep," Avatara pointed at Saria, who nodded silently.
The door opened and the air wavered as Selax appeared.
"It's quiet outside for now, although that might not mean much," he said.
Selax sat down at the table and Avatara told him of the plan to leave in the morning.
"Well, I shall get some sleep then. Wake me if anything new develops."
Having said this, he leaned against the wall, wavered, and disappeared.
The tavern door opened and Medoc walked in to see some new faces "I wasn't out that long was I?" he asked.
Medoc walked over to the fireplace to dry off a little, the storm was still raging outside, every so often a brilliant flash would brighten the whole tavern. "We seem to have most of the party here, when are we leaving?"
"Tomorrow morning" Avatara answered.
"I hope that the storm slows down over night, I don't really feel like walking in the rain to where ever we are going."
"Its doubtful, this doesn't seem like a natural storm." Tej said.
Hours later, the group had retired to their rooms upstairs, presumably making final preparations in order to debark smoothly the next day. They were leaving, but Avatara hadn't quite figured out where they would go. Desert Fox had told them to "Keep on the lookout for shadows," but that made little sense and revealed almost nothing about where he was being held captive, nor by who had imprisoned him.
For the fifth time that evening, he pulled out the talisman Saria had carried back, and held it out towards the lantern. Lamplight revealed the red gemlike M that dominated the center. The fine lines of the M were slightly marred by reddish-orange flames that twined outward, reflecting the light in a manner that made the charm appear to be burning. However, the metal was cool to the touch, and obnoxiously silent as he held it in his hand. Nothing.
Frustrated, Avatara threw it across the small room, ignoring the thump as it smacked against the wall and slid somewhere. Where was he supposed to go? What was he supposed to do? He clutched at his hair, annoyed that these answers still eluded him. He had a feeling he was missing something in front of his eyes.
Avatara began pacing while he ran another mental replay of what had happened earlier, trying to see if he perhaps had missed anything DF or Saria had told him. He couldn't find anything and clenched his teeth, irritated at himself. Running around blindly would solve nothing. He could wait here until DF managed to contact him again, but he had an ever-gnawing fear that he needed to do something, and if he stayed here he would miss it.
Realizing he was getting nowhere, Avatara moved over to his window and opened the shutters. The cool night air swirled in, a refreshing change from the stifling air inside. A breeze blew some of the sprinkling rain inside, getting the pale curtains wet. Outside was the dark of night, it was a new moon and the rain clouds concealed the stars, a sharp contrast to the flickering lamplight which illuminated the wooden room he was renting. Avatara moved back to the dresser to dim the burning lantern before returning to the window to relax in the soft rain pattering down.
Outside he could in the distance several moving points of light, guards were patrolling the walls, always on watch and ready for trouble. A few shielded lanterns far to his left and right illuminated several buildings to the sides. Oddly though, he could barely make out the dark outline of the small building lying several yards in front of him. He wondered if his eyes were playing tricks on him, he thought it had been brighter outside a minute ago. If memory served him...yes, if he leaned out far enough, he could make out the shape of a street-lamp on the corner of the tavern which should have been lit. Normally this was a well-patrolled area of town, there should be at least three guards below on watch at any time, to protect guests that stayed in the tavern from harm. Yet, strangely enough, no guards were visible.
Partly due to his now piqued curiosity, and partly due to having nothing better to do, Avatara scrounged around until he found his rope. He tied one end around a bed post, making sure it was secure before he fastened the other end around his waist. He perched on the windowsill for a moment, only slightly inconvenienced by being on the second floor. Carefully, he began to slowly rappel down the side of the inn, in an attempt to make as little noise as possible.
On the ground it was still dark, the surrounding lights only illuminating the top of the tavern wall behind him. He took a few quiet steps in the towards the road, his curiosity urged him on. Without warning, his foot came down on something soft and he fell forward, landing with a splash on the wet dirt. He scrabbled to his knees and looked at the dark shape he had just fallen over. The pain-stricken face of a guard stared back at him, eyes glazed over with death. The guard and several others nearby were bent in awkward positions, suggesting their spines had been shattered all at once. A broken lantern lay in front of Avatara, rain started to accumulate inside the split glass frame. From the road, he would not have been able to see the bodies.
Somewhat hesitantly, he reached out and felt the neck of the guard, not surprised to find the flesh was still warm. These men had been murdered minutes ago, meaning the killer was still nearby. Yet, in the dark it was hard to tell where they would have gone. He looked up at the rope dangling out of his wonder, contemplating whether he should wake up the others. It was by chance that the corner of his eye noticed the shutters on the room next to his were hanging limp at an odd angle, as if they were broken...or perhaps someone had forced their way into the room. Saria's room.
Suddenly remembering the attack on Saria in the forest, Avatara jumped to his feet and returned to the wall. His fingers scrabbled for purchase on the wet wood, yet he couldn't find a solid handhold. Instead, he attempted to climb back up the rope, ignoring the biting sensation of the woven twine against his palms. Avatara managed to gain enough altitude to hook an arm around the windowsill as he caught his breath. He didn't have the key to Saria's room, and it wouldn't do to break down her door and be proven wrong, not in her state. Why hadn't he heard anything? The only sounds he could hear were the sounds of rain and of his breathing. Maybe he was just paranoid. Still, it would be best to find out.
Readying himself, he pushed off the side of his window, swinging himself within reach of Saria's room. He reached up and grabbed at the frame, but his fingers slipped on the wood, and he found himself swinging back with a nasty splinter in his left hand. Ignoring it for now, he swung closer, this time pulling out his boot knife with his free hand, and ramming it into the crack joining the wood at the corner of the window frame. The knife slid in with a muffled thunk, and Avatara managed to stop his horizontal motion. He paused for a few heartbeats, listening for any noise inside before he swung his legs up and rolled inside.
The room was dark, the light from the wall in the distance barely lighting anything but shapes. He could see no immediate danger as he crouched down, so his silhouette wouldn't be easily visible to anyone in the room. A quick inspection revealed nothing was displaced, Saria was lying sound asleep in the bed. Everything seemed normal, so Avatara tiptoed in closer, careful to not cause any creaking of the boards underneath.
Now his eyes had adjusted to the darkness enough he could almost make out the shape of her rustled hair on the bed. She lay on her back, blankets tugged up snug. And she was not breathing.
Avatara cursed as he leaped forward, he hadn't brought his sword. A hiss filled the air as a dark shape, blacker than the darkness itself, swirled away from the bed and swooped to the far side of the room leaving no doubt in his mind.
It was the wraith.
Icel grinned ferally. This was a treat, not only was the wraith able to disable, albeit temporarily, the female, but it also had the male warlock that he had noticed earlier. The ability to fight with magics as well as weapons gave this man an edge in combat when trying to fight against any enemy.
Now to see if the wraith can pull off the advantage he had in the dark...
Avatara swore again to himself, not only did he leave his sword back in his own room, but even his knife was now stuck, after its use to get him into the room. Avatara quickly scanned the room for whatever he could see and what he could greatly discouraged him.
The bed was pressed against the long wall from the door to the window. It was on the left side of the room (from the window) in the corner of the window wall and the left wall. Not really that large, and with a dresser packing up another mass of space, it wasnt really easy to move around, much less fight.
As he attempted to square off with his mysterious opponent, Avatara figured a little light would help his case here, and ignited a running flame around his hand, spreading it forward to reveal his enemy a bit more clearly.
What was the case in the dark was completely untrue in the light. The bone white body reflected the light right back at him, which startled him for a moment. Its two bony wings effortlessly flapping, keeping the wraith levitated above the ground, giving a certain fluidity to its motions. Avatara quickly surmised that it was a spell of its own that kept it so cloaked, and now that it had been spotted, it wasnt so easy to go back into that state.
Even though he did figure that he wouldnt be able to cloak anyways, Avatara kept the light on his enemy as he saw it quickly move from left to right, trying to psyche him out. He took his chances and tried to land a fiery kick on his shadowy adversary. Choosing the corner of the room closest to the door and farthest from the bed, Avatara quickly lashed to the opposite corner with a spoof fire spell, and was quite satisfied to feel the crunch of the bony apparition as it juked back into his range.
The kick set off what could be described as an explosion, which whipped the wraith to the other side, cloaked in flame. It also set sparks and flames jittering all over the room, bathing it in flames that werent fully intended. Avatara, upon landing from his kick and intent on not spreading the flames around so far so fast, took the offensive by casting a low level flame spell to help enhance the flames encircling the wraith. He then charged a larger spell, gathering flame energy in front of himself until it reached his full height and size. At this point, the fires in the room were raging, and was so bright from all the fires around that it was again getting difficult to see, but this time Avatara was at the advantage. Taking his fiery wall, Av siphoned it into three seperate balls of flame, and sent them charging in a spiral at the wraith. After revolving around themselves for a few seconds, they suddenly hit the wraith, encasing it with several chains of fire and erupting many more flames from its body, also dropping it from flight to the ground, severely weakened by the assault.
Taking quick stock, Av diverted a few of the more fierce flames that were lapping up around the bed so that the one he was trying to save didnt die in the flames her rescuer created. When he looked back towards the wraith again, he was too late to stop it from escaping out the window. He quickly scanned the now brightly lit room and suddenly found something quite useful attached to Saria's ankle. He dashed to the corner where Saria slept and grabbed her survival knife, turned to the window, got his bearings on the escaping wraith, and let loose with the knife.
But before it could reach the wraith, it suddenly lost all color and reversed direction right back at Av. Av saw this and siphoned some of the flames that were raging around him back into path of the knife, knocking it back towards the shocked wraith, as the river of flame accompanying the steel dagger got closer and closer. .
The fiery blade pierced the facial area of the wraith, and dropped it down to the earth. Av focused a firey shot to see if he got the wraith, and saw the wraith making its eascape, and he also noticed the marrings and singes all over its being. Though the enemy was quite injured, Avatara knew he wouldnt be able to catch his adversary with the other task he now had to fulfill.
Using his mastery over fire, Av then collected the remaining fires that were prevailant throughout the room, and slowly condensed them all into one fiery shot. He then tossed it out of the window, detonating it far in the air for his own amusement. Revelling at the pop of fire in the air, he thought of it as his own little celebration.
Turning back to the room, he saw Saria starting to stir again. He then noticed that EVERYTHING in the room was burnt. Fortunantly, the bed didnt go up as bad as he feared it would, but still everything around was burnt. It almost looked like the bed area had been smacked with a large whip of fire, which occured when Avatara cast his power spell. He glanced around in the glow he was generating and noticed the dresser was almost just a burnt hulk, one which had a curious piece of dust on it.
Glancing in Saria's direction, Avatara summed her up as alright and went over to check that piece of dust. When he got to the dresser he heard the sound of someone waking, and as he suddenly realized what it was he was now holding, he saw two eyes at the other side of the room go from drowzy to blood red...
Icel was slightly stunned by the display he witnessed as his minion got the every loving crap beat out of him.
Every time his wraith tried to make a move, another bash or flare slowed it, and that masterpiece attack that almost finished the wraith was plain unexpected.
He would have to rethink his strategies when dealing with this annoyance. He started relaying his next orders to the wraith as it struggled to recover and get away at the same time.
before I only had one pest, now I have two Icel grumbled if things keep going like this, I may have to utilize my prize much sooner than I had intended
"Care to explain yourself before things start flying?" Saria challenged, showing a rage quite close to breaking its restraint
"Umm..." Avatara quickly whipped the half burnt bra behind his back "Nothing at all, in fact, I was just checking on you and since you are fine ill be...."
"What the hell happened in here?!!" Saria then exclaimed as she quickly sat up, viewing the damage throughout the room.
The curtains were nothing but ashes and holes, the dresser was so badly burnt she knew her clothes were all gone, and with that thought she looked down at her body and shrieked. The last thing you could see before the light went out was her gather what little cloth her sheets afforded around her and Avatara turning bright red.
Avatara offered the olive branch by being the gentleman and leaving his shirt and a small lamp right at the entrance, as well as a small note for her. A quick knock got her to come to the door, but by the time she opened it, he had left.
About an hour later, Saria sat down at the same table Avatara had brought her to earlier. Originally his intent was to have her meet in his room, but since he figured her to be a bit skiddish over the goings-on earlier, he thought it to be more tactful to be at the table.
"So, what is going on?" Saria asked as she eyed Avatara oddly
"Something was in your room a little while ago" Avatara earnestly replied, never lowering his gaze from her eyes
"What did it look like?" she asked of him, cocking her head to the side a bit
"It was pitch black before I shone some light on it, when it suddenly dropped what I think was a cloak and was made up of..." Avatara stopped, trying to figure out how to describe it
"Broken and battered bones." Saria finished, with Avatara nodding solemnly.
"Ok, and so you combated it with fire without waking me?" Saria queried, wanting to know though she already believed him
"It had you under a spell" Avatara answered "It was choking you when I came in. Without action, I knew you would die"
"And my knife?" Saria asked, noting her missing knife from its sheath
"I used that when it tried to get away" Av explained "If we check the spot where it fell, we may find it. If not, it is probably stuck in it"
"Was it finished off?" Saria continued the questioning, trying to learn a bit more on this attempt on her life
"No, it scuttled off before I can chase him" Av dropped his head "I do believe its healing and reporting in"
"Oh" Saria sighed, a bit disappointed
He frowned, not intending to make her any more upset "Well, as kind of a pennance for what I did to your room and your stuff, I insist that you use my room for the night. There are a few things I want to check up on your room tonight as well as a few people I wanted to meet up with." his gaze wandered around the room but ended back up on her, looking about a foot lower than before, before he quickly jerked his head back up, quite red in the face.
"Yes, I think ill take up that offer" Saria smiled, but looked oddly at Av again
"Erm....." Av shifted in his seat a bit before he flashed a sheepish grin and gave back the bra that he had forgot to set back down
"Sorry" he mumbled as he got up "and dont worry bout the shirt, you can keep it"
Saria smiled and gave Av a slight hug before she headed down to his room.
Avatara took the other path and arrived back at Saria's room, this time accompanied by Selax as he suddenly appeared from nowhere.
"So, thats what happened" Selax finally replied after listening to Av's story "You are kinda lucky she bought it, most women would have beat you senseless after finding their clothes burnt off in their sleep and you going through their most private privates"
"Bah, why do I bother talking to you" Av responded looking away "That was unintentional to its fullest meaning"
"Heh, I was only kidding" Selax "So how long till that thing comes back"
"Showing as it came back after only a few hours after last time, I would say in either one or two days. Three if its delayed" Av predicted
"By then, we should be prepared" Selax grimly replied, as he sifted through more of the room "Hey, look at this!" he suddenly exclaimed as he drew a bow from under the dresser
"Its Saria's bow!" Avatara explained "How is it still unscathed is beyond me"
"Wowza, how it even survived the flame is astouding" Selax announced as he went down to get a closer look at the spot it was in "The flames seemed to be worst in this area, almost specifically"
"Hrm, I didnt really give that area high regard, as you might notice from that burnt out hulk of a dresser" Avatara responded scratching his chin as he took the bow from Selax to examine it "Though I may have to ask Saria what all this stuff is for, and how it retained itself in those flames"
"Well, I dont see us being here as being necessary" Selax finally exclaimed after a few more minutes of scrounging around "so unless we were going to clean the ash and soot off all surfaces, I suggest we go think of this more over a drink"
Avatara hefted the bow and arrows up and slung em on his back, smiling goofishly at Selax while doing so
"I always thought it looked so cool when people did that" he explained, gesturing to the open doorway "lets go, that drink sounds perfect right about now"
This post has been edited by Desert Fox : 26 January 2005 - 04:38 AM
Selax looked at Avatara with a puzzled look on his face.
"What drink?" he asked in bewilderment.
"The drink that you offered to get me," Avatara responded, looking at Selax quizzically.
"I did? But why would I? I don't need to drink and don't carry money. This is most curious and disturbing. I have never had a memory lapse. Hmm. I must think."
Having said this, Selax stepped out the window and floated onto the ceiling.
It wasn't really a memory lapse, was it? Something caused me to act strange but what? he wondered. Not only that, he had slept longer and had responded slower than customary for him. He remembered Avatara's story and, then there was a buzzing, his attention focused automatically on something else, but he couldn't remember what. He had a bad feeling that something was wrong.
It's wonderful to be alive.
Gazing up at the night sky, the waxing moon a tiny sliver against the velvety blue background, the millions of stars glittering like so many shards of glass, Moonshadow was sure of that single fact.
Beating her snowy wings almost lazily, she rose even higher into the air, revelling in the feel of the wind rushing through her feathers and the sounds of the night as she rushed above and across the forest towards the city.
She still hadn't managed to figure out the business with the dragon, but it didn't matter all that much.
Below, her sharp eyes caught movement - pale white against the dirty brown of the ground. Suddenly, and almost blindingly to her night-accustomed eyes, a streak of blazing red-gold shot towards the white blur, disappearing as it hit, only to be followed up moments later by a second shot.
The unmistakable feel of magic about both the being and the unnatural fire would have had her lifting a curious eyebrow had she been in her natural form.
And somehow, the aura surrounding the fire seemed familiar to her.
Her interest piqued, she folded her wings slightly, dipping her head to begin her descent-
- and found herself immensely grateful to her instincts. Swerving sharply to the right, she just barely escaped being roasted alive by the fireball that rose unexpectedly into the night. Quickly folding her wings completely to gain more speed, she almost plummeted towards the ground to escape the explosion behind her.
However, having been that close to the magic fire, something clicked in her mind. Her eyes lit up as she headed downwards.
Bereft of this chance at a free drink, Avatara sighed somewhat dejectedly. You'd think he'd deserved one after his encounter with the wraith...
Thinking about which, he really ought to get his knife and rope back.
With that in mind, Avatara stepped outside into the cool night. Stretching and rolling his shoulders to get rid of the last tension from the fight, he stepped around the building -
- and stopped suddenly as sharp talons dug into his skin as a slight weight settled unexpectedly on his outstretched upper arm in a flurry of silvery-white feathers.
Before he had a chance to turn his head to have a better look, however, the bird of prey had already jumped off his arm, a bluish glow surrounding it and expanding outward, abruptly dissipating as it hit the ground, revealing a woman, back turned to him, crouching slightly and arms outstretched to balance herself after her landing.
His first impression was white: white clothing, braided hair, silvery-white and waist-length - strangely, it seemed to be singed at the tips - and pale hands with slender fingers, barely visible because of the long, flowing sleeves of her garment. The only different color seemed to be from a blue sash around the woman's waist.
Straightening, the figure rounded on him, revealing a familiar face - pointed ears, delicate features, amber eyes glaring at him above flushed cheeks, full lips parted slightly as she drew in a large breath...
"What the hell do you think you're doing?" She demanded in an angry yet melodious voice, pointing an accusing finger at him. "I don't know about you, but almost being turned into roast falcon by one of my best friends is not among my favorite past-time activities!" She put her free hand on her hip. "Now don't get me wrong, I like your fireworks, but not when I'm on the receiving end." She lowered her pointed finger, drawing in another breath, presumably to continue her tirade, and he quickly used the break to retort.
"Hey, it wasn't like I knew you were up there!" Avatara said sharply, yet keeping his voice low so as not to attract unnecessary attention. "I wasn't throwing fire around for my own enjoyment, and I certainly wasn't aiming at you. And since we're at it, I don't exactly appreciate being used as landing spot without any warning, those claws of yours aren't exactly dull."
"Hn. Consider it payback for my hair." She replied, though the anger was slowly fading from her voice and features. Cocking her head in that way he remembered so well, she sighed almost inaudibly. "It's just, that was too close for comfort," she offered apologetically.
Avatara nodded, accepting her words. "We're even then." He said, a smile appearing on his face as he added, "and it's good to see you, Moonshadow."
"Hn." Moonshadow tossed her braid back over her shoulder. Then she smiled, suddenly stepping forward and hugging him. "Good to see you too, Avatara."
This post has been edited by Moonshadow : 25 January 2005 - 04:00 PM
For a long time, Selax simply stood on the roof staring at the sky. The rain started again after a brief intermission. He tried to remember what had disturbed him so. That it wouldn't happen again was something he knew but didn't know how he knew. Then, a thought came to him—something had changed but what? He had felt a sensation that he hadn't felt in a long time.
Instantly, his thoughts centered on the one thing that could change and affect him so. The balance between the elements seemed to be about as stable as it ever was, as he focused on it. But he caught something—a dim echo of a presence that was trying to hide itself as much as possible. An echo that was eerily familar. He straightened up in shock and one thought came to him: Impossible!
If anyone could have seen him at that moment, they would have seen that the normal emotionless look on his face was replaced for just a few moments and that his emotions were plainly visible for just a few seconds. Then, his face resumed its emotionless expression and Selax stepped of off the roof and floated down to the ground by the door.
If he lives, then he has betrayed me and his own kind. For what he has done, he must not be allowed to live, he thought.
Several guards burst into the tavern.
"Halt!" Martel ordered, "Nobody move. We've had complaints of bright lights from this area."
"Excuse me," the Bartender asked, "But if I'm not mistaken, it is not common for members of the Royal Guard to answer disturbance of the peace complaints. What's really going on?" Several customers clamored in agreement.
"I cannot say." Martel replied. Again, there was a clamor from the patrons in the bar, calling for answers. "We are on official business. May we please inspect all of the rooms?"
"I guess... if you must." The bartender begrudgingly agreed.
Martel ordered two of the guards to watch the front door, to make sure nobody left. As they went around to different rooms, Martel left one guard in each, to inspect. Not long after they had come to the last room, there was a call for all inspecting guards in Saria's room.
They found the smouldering remains covered by a thick layer of ash. "This is it!" Martel called. The guards walked down the stairs, to meet a hostile, silent crowd waiting for them.
"So..." Martel began, "Who would like to tell us what happened here?"
1. It's good to be back. Thanks for the TS, DF.
2. Just Martel in this story. In case you have forgotten, he used to be captain of the guard at Pnyx. In the time since he last appeared, he has been appointed to a high ranking position in the Royal Guard. For other info, look up his (probably out of date) character profile. I think it's on page 3.
3. I did not follow the story of Echoes of the Past. Could someone summarize it for me?
"Uh...hi," Avatara said, somewhat surprised by Moonshadow's hug. He hugged her with one arm as he nursed the scratches she gave him behind her back. After a few seconds, they separated and he began sucking on several drops of blood dribbling out of his arm.
"So uhm...where is Flynn?" Avatara asked quietly.
Moonshadow frowned, narrowing her eyes. "I don't know." She replied somewhat angrily, though what her anger was directed at was unclear.
Avatara decided to play it safe anyway and change the subject. "Nice weather, isn't it?" ignoring the endless rain pattering down.
Moonshadow looked at him doubtfully, her anger dissipating a bit. "Actually, no. It's too wet," she informed him. Sighing, Moonshadow tilted her head back to look up at the sky, letting the rain run freely down her face. "Look, I.." She began, then hesitated. "I really don't want to talk about it. Suffice it to say we've had a.. disagreement.. and he's.." She hesitatated again, shaking her head angrily. "He's such a... oh, never mind. Sorry." She seemed to slump down a bit after those words, passing a hand across her eyes to wipe the water away, but remaining otherwise silent.
"How about a drink?" Avatara finally offered. Moonshadow nodded in reply, and they entered the tavern...only to be stopped up short by two guards blocking the entrance.
"You can't come in here," one of the men said, raising his weapon.
The door to the Tavern opened and Selax stepped inside. He walked up to one of the guards and said,"Excuse me, but are you part of the local law?"
The guard nodded and Selax continued,"Good, I am afraid I have to report the murders of several guards. The bodies are outside. I can show you to them if you wish. I believe they were killed by the same creature that attacked someone in that upstairs room that you wish to know about. I believe that Avatara can explain that more fully than I can. He is also outside."
The guard reported the situation to Martel and Selax opened the door ready to lead them out into the night. He stepped out and stopped abruptly. He looked up and then quickly stepped back inside, slamming the door.
"What are you doing?" one of the guards demanded.
"Trying to keep the murdered men outside."
Before anyone could ask him what he meant, the door shuddered under a blow. Selax pressed against the door, trying to hold it shut.
"I suggest you get ready for trouble," he said to the guards. Again, the door shuddered, but this time a crack formed. Selax shoved one of his swords through it and was rewarded with hissing. He peeked through the crack
"Great. They have no vital organs or vulnerable spots. We are going to have to kill the whole body to kill them."
The door was ripped off its hinges and pulled out into the night. Suddenly, everyone understood what Selax meant. In the door way stood the undead forms of the guards (obviously raised by the wraith), swelled to unnatural size by some hideous spell. The first paused in the doorway to give a howl. Selax grabbed a table and hurled it at the monster. The undead guard staggered but stayed on his feet, partially supported by the others behind him. They charged in, using their unnatural strength to batter apart everything in their way. As he prepared to charge one of the monsters, he spotted one of the barrels that the bartender used to refill drinks and he noticed one of the torches on the walls. An idea came to him, and he grabbed Martel and whispered in his ear,"I have a plan, but you need to hold them for a few minutes." He told Martel his plan and the man smiled and nodded. Selax turned back and hurried for one of the barrels to put his plan into action. I just hope the place doesn't burn down if this works , he thought.
Martel liked Selax's plan, but wasn't about to wait for it to be ready. Martel threw himself into the action, the giant troll's sword cleaving undead guards. Then, pausing. He stepped backwards sheathing his sword. Reaching into a pouch in his belt, he took a pinch of powder, and flung it at the first warrior, who immediately disentigrated. Selax looked at him inquisitively. "Truth powder. I've got a friend who hunts undead." Martel then unsheathed his sword, and coated it with the powder. "There we go..." he said, as he leapt back into the fray.
With a startled 'eep', Moonshadow jumped back as the undead suddenly appeared, bumping into Avatara in the process. How she despised undead creatures - and she'd not even noticed them coming.
Swiftly she started preparing a spell, noting out of the corner of her eye that Avatara seemed to be doing the same, but the undead ignored both of them. Instead, they seemed intent on breaking into the tavern. Moonshadow frowned. This is unusual.. normally undead would attack any living thing in sight...so does that mean...?
At that moment, the undead managed to break open the door and charged into the room. Moonshadow and Avatara followed suit swiftly. Standing near the threshold, she cast a quick look around to survey the room, noticing several patrons - a few of them familiar to her - had joined the fight, occupying the undead. With interest she noted the undead all seemed to be straining toward the back part of the tavern - the door leading toward the private rooms to be exact.
Hmmm... It didn't seem like she was needed here, so Moonshadow hurried through the room, dodging a wayward sword wielded by an apparently nervous guard; her mind was made up to find what - or who - the undead apparently wanted to reach.
Quickly she strode down the corridor from which all rooms were accessed, opening all the doors she passed and casting quick glances inside. One of the rooms appeared to be scorched badly. This must be where the fire came from earlier. She mused, but not seeing anything of interest, she continued down the corridor - until she came to a door that appeared to be barred from the inside. Pressing her ear to the wood, she heard the sound of slow, steady breathing, and someone snoring ever so slightly. She was about to turn away when the unmistakable noise of a window breaking came from the room. Moonshadow's thoughts raced. Somebody is breaking in - a coincidence? It was entirely possible of course, but it just didn't seem likely. Almost idly, an analytical voice in her mind remarked that the breaking window would not be heard in the main room due to the commotion caused by the undead. Her senses reported the distinct sound of someone trying to climb the outside wall, and she pounded on the door, loudly enough to hopefully wake the room's sleeping occupant, if the breaking window had not done that already. "Open up," she half-demanded, half-pleaded. To her surprise, she was obeyed almost immediately, and almost stumbled forward into the room the same time someone attempted to brush past her and toward the main room. Her hand shot out almost automatically to grab the stranger's wrist and stop her while she peered into the room. She gulped inaudibly as a head appeared above the windowsill, grotesquely swollen and followed after a few seconds by the rest of the undead's body. So it was a distraction. The analytical part of her mind noted, while the rest of her was more interested in what to do now. Avatara had not followed her here, and she didn't know how many undead were outside.
An insistent tugging on her hand snapped her out of her thoughts. "Hey, let me go!" the woman she had stopped demanded. Moonshadow cocked her head, looking the woman over and taking in her weary appearance, and the confusing fact she was apparently wearing a shirt several sizes too large for her.
"Can you fight?" She questioned as she released the other's hand, meeting her eyes for a second before casting a glance to the window. The first undead had just heaved itself inside and was wasting no time stumbling towards them. The woman had noted too, for she pushed Moonshadow out of the way almost roughly and slammed the door shut, leaning against it.
"I've about had enough," she complained softly. "The first time I've seen a bed in weeks, and I get attacked twice in a night!"
Moonshadow's eyebrows rose. Twice? She almost voiced the thought, but at that moment someone pushed against the door, reminding her sharply that this was not the place nor time for talk. Instead she repeated her former question. "Can you fight?"
The woman nodded, "Of course. But I don't have a weapon. Avatara took my dagger, and -" the winter elf's eyebrows rose another notch at that, but she unsheathed her dagger and offered it to the other woman, cutting her short. "Here. Take this for now."
The stranger wasted no time taking the dagger, her grip on the handle sure and experienced even as the door was shoved again, more violently this time.
"Ready?" Moonshadow questioned, a ball of ice forming in her right hand, and the other woman nodded. Together they stepped back from the door, keeping the part of the corridor that lead towards the main room at their back.
As the first undead stumbled out of the door, Moonshadow tossed her spell, freezing their attacker, and the stranger shot forward, swinging her dagger in a high arch to behead the undead. It toppled over slowly, and the sight might have been amusing if a second attacker hadn't appeared in the doorway at that moment. Moonshadow tossed a second ball of ice, but the other must have seen what happened to the first undead, because in a move that was uncharacteristically clever for an undead, it dodged the projectile, jumping back into the room.
"There's only that one left," the other woman informed her, charging after it with a determined gleam in her eyes, and Moonshadow followed her.
Despite her weariness, the stranger attacked the undead fiercely, cleanly slicing off one of its hands - perhaps seeking an outlet for the frustration of being kept from her well deserved rest not once, but twice in the same night.
Swiftly, Moonshadow prepared two more of her ice projectiles, one in each of her hands. She tossed the first, and almost as expected the undead jumped aside, only to be caught off guard by the second one. Again the other woman jumped in to behead her second attacker, and it fell over slowly, landing on the bed heavily. Moonshadow grimaced, her expression mirrored exactly by the stranger.
"That makes two rooms," the other remarked as she stepped gingerly over the severed hand and cleaned the dagger on the bed sheet before offering it back to Moonshadow.
At a loss for words, the elf just nodded, taking the dagger back and sheathing it again. "Oh," she extended her hand towards the other woman, a gesture she had seen used by the humans of this land occasionally, "my name is Moonshadow."
"Saria," the other replied, shaking her hand. "Nice to meet you."
"Same," Moonshadow replied. "Though the circumstances could have been better." She added wryly. "But come - there is an empty room just down the corridor, and.." She looked Saria up and down, ".. I have a spare change of clothes in my bag. You don't want to run around in only a shirt." A slight smile played across her features at those words.
"That would be nice," Saria smiled back. "I am sure Avatara would appreciate getting his shirt back."
"Uh.." Moonshadow blinked, first looking surprised. Been busy, Avatara? She wondered fleetingly. It must have shown on her face, for Saria turned a rather pretty shade of red. "No, nothing like that!" She exclaimed. "He just lent me his shirt because he burned off my clothes, and -"
Moonshadow coughed, biting back a laugh, and Saria blushed even more as she realized how that must have sounded.
Noticing the other's involuntary embarassment and cutting short further attempts at explanation for the time being, Moonshadow repeated softly: "There's an unused room down the corridor. How about we go there, you change into more appropriate clothes and then tell me what happened?"
Gratefully, Saria nodded. "That would be good," she agreed.
Together they headed towards the other room, Moonshadow rummaging in her back. Closing the door behind her, she took her spare clothes out of the bag. "I hope you like white," she remarked, handing them to Saria. Then she settled down on the windowsill, scanning the street below for any more threats, while Saria changed into an outfit identical to Moonshadow's, with the exception of the embroidery - no snowflakes, but tiny stylized birds - and the sash, which was dark red instead of blue, but with the same silver swirls.
Still looking out of the window, Moonshadow waited for an explanation.
This post has been edited by Moonshadow : 27 January 2005 - 07:59 AM