Tales from Evanotia: Episode 1-The Mirror IC

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Re: Tales from Evanotia: Episode 1-The Mirror IC

Post by Ruu on Mon Aug 22, 2011 6:42 pm

Alexander staggered back, finally sheathing the sword before looking around with a rather dazed expression. He couldn't believe what had just happened. What would his friends think of him after that? Where had it come from?

"I...I'm sorry...I don't know what came over me," he whispered, looking at the others.

It was then that he noticed Marik and Briek were having an argument. Was it something about him? Fortunately, they seemed to resolve their conflict fairly quickly. Unfortunately, it was that moment that the roof began to cave in. His eyes widened as their exit was cut off. Nothing for it but to continue on. He was terrified as they ran lest a falling rock should impale a party member or a wall collapse on the group completely. Miraculously, they reached a copper tunnel. Alexander breathed a sigh of relief...until he realized what they were wading through. He had to concentrate on keeping the smell from reaching his nostrils. Suddenly Briek admitted they were lost. Marik suggested they headed west in order to keep a distance between themselves and the patrols. Alexander hated to disagree with the one who had saved his life but...he couldn't shake Galuma's words from his head.

"Actually....I...I think we should head North," he said hesitantly, "There is...a mission for me to complete there."

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Re: Tales from Evanotia: Episode 1-The Mirror IC

Post by striDer on Wed Aug 24, 2011 3:19 am

Examining each of the pathways, Alester stepped forward.

-I'm heading west.- he said, walking towards the left-most entrance -I need to go back to Tallon. There's something I must take care of.-

Looking over his shoulder at the young prince, Alester nodded slightly.

-Don't worry; I'll catch up with you later.-

Mariel looked over in that direction. She knew she shouldn't leave them. But her soul called her home. She sighed heavily.

"I will accompany him...I also have some business to handle."

The assassin halted his march after listening to Mariel.

-If you go to Tallon, you do so on your own. I won’t have anyone slowing me down.-
"I don't think I've slowed anyone down so far, Alester." she replied complacently. "And I wish you would stop speaking to me as if I was a child"

Letting out a huffed chuckle, Alester turned back forward and kept walking.

-Whatever you say, shorty.-
"Now that's just being childish" She replied

The witch followed him.

"What part of Tallon? I'm from the south...on the edge of the desert.”

Without replying, the assassin picked up the pace and quickly gained some distance from Briek and the others. Once they were far enough, Alester responded.

-I'm not going to Tallon.-
"The hell are you doing, then? Running?"

Suddenly, a grim shadow crossed Alester's expression.

-I'm going after “him”...to get some answers.-
"Oh yeah, because that'll do you any good. You can figure shit out later AFTER we make sure the kid's safe!"

Stopping dead on his tracks again, the assassin glared at the young witch; rage like fire in his eyes.

-You don't know me.- he grunted -You don't know anything about me. The only reason I'm tagging along with you people is because of my link to the boy. If it wasn't for that, I wouldn't give a rat's ass about any of you, so stop addressing me like we're comrades!-

Treading past her, Alester didn't even look back as he stomped away.

-Other people just slow me down. That's why I'm leaving without them...without you.-

She followed him.

"You don't have to close off you know. You're allowed to care about people"
-I DON'T WANT TO CARE ABOUT PEOPLE!- he finally exploded, slamming his fist against the wall. His expression was filled with anger in that instant, but his wrath slowly turned into remorse as he realized how brash he was being.
-I...I'm sorry. This is not your fault.- reclining against the wall, Alester leaned his head on his forearm -But…I need this. I need to find out who I am. My past is all I have left...-

Mariel sighed a little, she smiled gently and sat down beside him.

"Alester...I know it's important to you...but sometimes our own needs take a backseat. Alex needs you, whether you like it or not. Marik and Briek can't defend him and Clytie on their own." She said gently, resting her hand on his shoulder.

Turning his head briefly to take a glance at her hand, Alester returned his gaze to the front and spoke.

-Have you ever had to make sacrifices as well? Do you know what it is to give up everything for the greater good?-
"It's my calling as a witch, Alester. The greater good goes before any one witch's life or happiness."
-But is that what you want?-
"I am happy with my lot in life. Besides, it's all I've ever known."

Peering into her eyes, Alester examined Mariel's features carefully. For the briefest of moments, he didn't see her as a child, but as the young courageous woman she was. However, as he lowered his gaze a bit, the assassin took notice of the oak wood pendant which peeked out slightly from the neck of her shirt.

"What are you looking at?" She said carefully. There was a note of warning in her voice.
-That pendant.- he clarified -Where did you get it?-

She pulled it out of her shirt.

"They're given to witches when they pass the Ordeal of Witchcraft. It marks us as a true witch and a servant of the mother goddess. Why?"

The oak bear pendant seemed to gleam; it looked as if she took very good care of it.

"Each one is unique to the witch who wears it"

Leaning against the wall, Alester contemplated the wooden pendant intently.

-Here...- he said, reaching into a small pouch that hung at the side of his belt. Moments later, the assassin pulled out a series of small wooden figurines, carved to the likeness of a hawk, a snake, and a horse -Tallonites make them for their children. I thought maybe yours was similar, but I guess I was wrong.-

She smiled gently. "They mean something to you?"
Her mind drifted back a bit, she remembered similar toys she had as a child. She seemed to get a little sad, thinking about it.

-I made them for my daughter.- he replied with a smile, staring at the figurines intently, though it was obvious his mind was somewhere else -My wife was pregnant at the time. She and I...we used to have this argument. She was so sure it was a girl, but I wanted a boy so badly...-

Closing his fingers over the figurines, Alester put them away before standing straight again. When he spoke, his voice was back to its cold and calculating tone.

-We should get going. Tallon is a ways ahead.-
"So we are going to Tallon?" she said with a smile "What about the others?"
-I need some time to think, away from all these political conspiracies and quests to save nations. I guess going back home is not such a bad idea after all. Besides, something tells me Alex and the others will be fine without me, at least for a while. I know I promised to train him, but...-
-Neither of you is going anywhere.-

Out of the blue, a woman's voice reached their ears as it bounced on the walls of the tunnel, coming from nowhere in particular.

-Who is there?!- Alester questioned as he reached for his sword. However, before his fingers could even touch the hilt, a bright sliver of light crossed his wrist horizontally, severing his hand clean off his arm. This happened so fast, Alester was still in shock when the lost limb reached the floor and rolled up to his feet. It was not until a few seconds later, when the sharp pain shot up to his brain, that the assassin clutched the bleeding stump and groaned with affliction.

"Well that just won't do will it. Alester keep that above your heart....try not to go into shock.”

Mariel had her staff out, blades fully extended. She looked around for someone.

"Show yourself!"
-I'm feeling generous today.- the voice spoke again, still from no discernible direction -So I'm going to let you choose.-
"Choose what?"

Letting out a single chuckle, the assailant answered Mariel's question with an ominous tone.

-I’m going to let you choose which of you is going to die.-

The young woman slowly put her staff behind her back. She went over to Alester to help him and his injury.

"Come again?"

This time around, the woman's voice sounded dead serious.

-You have four seconds to pick which of you two is gonna walk out of here alive. Four...-
-Dammit! If I die, Alex will...- Alester looked at Mariel with concern.
-No! Get out of here!- Alester told the young witch as he tried to stand up.
"Shush" the young woman put her hand over the stump to heal it. She whispered the words of a healing spell. The stump slowly healed over, the bleeding stopped. The woman smiled. "Now go."
She seemed weaker now, sitting down fully. A spell like that takes a lot out of someone. If he looked into her eyes he would see that they were filled with complete terror as she told him to run.

-Time's up.-
-MARIEL!- yelling to the top of his lungs, Alester sensed something coming at them swiftly; more specifically, at the witch. Another bright sliver crossed the air and blood splattered the wall. Just like that, everything was over within the blink of an eye.

-Mariel...- embracing the witch, fine strings of blood ran down the assassin's chin; the tip of a jousting lance coming out of his chest -...if he's still alive...tell Alex...I'm sorry.-

Though the weapon had managed to pierce Alester enough to also wound Mariel, her injury was only superficial.

-Idiot.- the assailant said condescendingly, her voice reaching Mariel from behind Alester. At this point, all the young witch could see over was a white armor veiled in darkness -Go on, girl; return to your friends. Tell 'em the white knights are coming.-

Mariel looked up, tears in her eyes. The young witch slowly stood up (with a kind of grace that Mariel normally did not possess) and faced the White Knight. Her dark brown eyes glistened with more that just her tears.

"Corrupt....you’re corrupt...and bring corruption to everything you touch..."

Essence began to whip through the air, magic rose from the very earth as she spoke. Her words seem to echo as a thousand voices, both ancient and wise. The magic in the air thickened and crackled as she continued.

"Death....you bring death...and destruction to all you see…"

The knight began to stumble back; the armor seemed to almost begin to crack under the pressure. The knight seemed to be in a lot of pain.

"Pay...you must pay...you must pay for your crimes against the earth."

Plants shot up from the soil beneath their feet and wrapped themselves around the knight’s limbs.

"And burn....you will burn...you will burn in hell..."

The young woman looked directly at the knight as the knight burst into flames.

"For all eternity."

At the end the echoes in the young woman's voice seemed to meld into one voice, that of an old and wise sounding woman. Magic and fire surged into the knight, on whom the magic snapped and rebounded.
The young witch sank to her knees.


The white knight shrieked as her skin peeled and burned, her body and armor yielding under the power of Mariel's spell. However, as the white knight was about to perish, the jousting lance she held seemed to activate with glowing arcane symbols which spun all over the weapon's surface, making it look like a small twister. Moments later, the lance began to absorb all traces of essence and fire in the atmosphere, healing the white knight's injuries with unbelievable speed. This was obviously one of the legendary Excella Armas which only the highest ranking white knights had access to. However, the damage inflicted by Mariel was far too great and the essence absorbed was barely enough to keep the white knight alive.

-I won't forget this!- she exclaimed, limping her way through the tunnel and out of sight.

The young witch, completely drained, fell to the ground beside Alester.

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Re: Tales from Evanotia: Episode 1-The Mirror IC

Post by Ruu on Wed Aug 24, 2011 10:17 pm

Alexander looked at Alester in surprise after the assassin said he was going to Tallon. After everything they had gone through...Alex didn't want him to leave. He had to tell him about Galuma. They were bonded and he felt that the assassin had the right to know. But before he could do anything, Alester was gone. Mariel quickly followed him, and the young Prince felt an ache in his heart. Two people he cared about...and with the danger he might never see them again...Alex hesitated a moment before shaking his head. How could he have been so selfish? Alester had the right to do what he pleased, even if they were bonded. In fact, he shouldn't have assumed the others would go with him to the North. They all had their own lives and goals.

"I-I'm sorry..." he stammered, "I've been selfish. I shouldn't have assumed you would all go with me. You've done so much for me already. Perhaps it is for the best if we should all split up. Maybe then you won't be harassed by those...White Knights any longer."

While he was speaking, he could feel conflicting emotions inside of him. Anger...hurt...sorrow...Were they even his own? Without warning, a surge of pain sliced through his wrist. He cried out, looking wildly around for an assailant, but seeing none. He looked down, half expecting to see his hand dismembered. Nothing was wrong with it, however, but it still continued to ache. The bond...He could feel Alester's confusion, pain, anger...This was a foe that he and Mariel could not face together. They needed help! Without waiting, he dashed into the western passage behind them, trying to ignore his throbbing wrist. He had to get there in time! He felt the urgency in the bond...Alester and Mariel were in a life or death situation. And then...it felt as if someone had impaled him in the chest and he collapsed to the ground, sobbing. The life force began to ebb from his body as the bond continued to react.

"N-no...Alester..." he whispered.

It was a strange feeling, for though he was not physically injured, he felt as if he were in the throes of death. He gritted his teeth, trying to get to his feet, but was unable to do so. As he moved, however, his hand brushed against Leviathan. It began to glow softly, the Soulstones attempting to pour pure Essence into his body, trying to force it to live though the Essence could not find any visible wound. With newfound strength, Alexander pulled himself to his feet, staggering forward until he reached Mariel and Alester's prone forms. His eyes widened in shock as he took a few more steps and collapsed before his friend.

"N-no...no...Alester...Mariel..." he sobbed, "Please...please be alright..."

Light began to shimmer around his body, the power of the sword coursing through his veins. The Essence called out to him, willing him to touch it, to wield it to its full extent. He nearly did so, and then remembered what had happened last time. He had nearly lost control. Yet if he didn't do so, his friends might die...And so he allowed the Essence to course through his body, and everything became awash in a brilliant explosion of light. Alexander moved as if by rote to touch Alester wound with a glowing hand, the wound seeming to close of its own accord. His other hand moved to gently touch Mariel's wound, bestowing the healing power upon her limp form. Moments after that, the light died down and disappeared as Alexander lost consciousness. Would this be enough, or had the young Prince been too late?

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Re: Tales from Evanotia: Episode 1-The Mirror IC

Post by Artorius on Fri Aug 26, 2011 2:13 am

Slowly, the party fragmented. First, Alester and Mariel went their separate ways. Alex was quick to follow. In a matter of minutes, Briek and Marik, along with Dyala and Clytie were left to themselves in the cold, malodorous, wet sewer. Marik quickly chased after Alex, without hesitation. Briek turned to Dyala and Clytie.

“We must go, but be cautious, I do not know what we may meet in that tun-“

Before he could finish, Briek found that Dyala and Clytie were already on their way down the tunnel. The mysterious wanderer unsheathed his blade before pursuing his comrades. Each step he took kicked up dirty sewer water, soiling his trousers. Running at a sprint he found Marik on his knees holding the lifeless body of Alester, while an unconscious Alex and very weak Mariel lay nearby. Dyala tried to absorb essence from the atmosphere but found herself unable to cling on to Alester’s life force. Swiftly, Briek rummaged through a small pouch on his belt and fished out the water from the Lake of Tears. He removed the stopper and knelt opposite of Marik on a single knee. The wanderer then propped Alester’s head on his shoulder before pouring the water into his mouth. Though the party could not see, its magical healing properties were already at work. It would be painful, but Alester’s sternum was beginning to fuse, and his heart and lungs likewise would painfully repair, layer by layer, cell by cell. Fresh blood began to flow through his veins once more and fresh oxygen entered his airways. The assassin was alive, but he’d need time to truly heal from his wounds. The magic of the water and Leviathan put together had barely saved his life.

Though for the most part his body was reconstructed, he was still in need of real recovery. He’d no doubt have bruises, soreness, and other minor injuries, but his life was no longer threatened. However, neither Leviathan, nor the water from the Lake of Tears could save Alester’s hand. With Mariel, Alex, and Alester incapacitated, it seemed that the party would need somewhere to lodge. An inn was out of the question. Briek figured, if they continued west down the sewer passage, they’d likely reach some kind of outlet, meaning an exit was sure to present itself. With all their strength, Briek and Marik hoisted Mariel and Alex over their shoulders, respectively. Dyala and Clytie were charged with carrying Alester, not an easy task for two relatively scrawny women. If Alester would be sore before they moved him, his soreness would more than double at a later time. Clytie and Dyala carried him to the best of their ability, but the best of their ability included a couple drops. Good thing the assassin was unconscious.

Within the hour, the party reached a ladder which seemed to lead above ground. Briek laid Mariel down in the putrid sewer water, before climbing the ladder to investigate.

“I will return in a moment. Keep your guard up.”

Briek climbed the ladder in a mere three minutes before coming to a sewer grate. He was able to lift it with one hand; it had seemed somebody else passed through recently. As Briek poked his head above ground, he would notice a horse drawn carriage charging towards him. Quickly, the wanderer retreated back into the safety of the sewer. After a few short moments he looked again to find himself in a town much like Dandill. It was definitely a border town, as a thin forest was visible on the horizon. Briek looked down before making his way back to the party. With a splash he landed right next to Mariel’s unconscious body. He gently placed the witch over his shoulder before beckoning the rest of the party to follow.

Avoiding the suspicious eye of the townspeople, the party continued on foot to the edge of the forest. The burden of three unconscious party members was beginning to take its toll. Briek, Marik, Dyala, and Clytie were growing weary. The frost covered vegetation near the forest did nothing to soothe their weary bodies. As the four conscious group members trudged on through the snow covered forest, fatigue began to set in. Marik, as much as he’d like to say he was fully recovered, he still had quite a ways to go to return to full strength. Both Briek’s and Marik’s muscles began to cramp. As night closed in, Tallonite civilization was nowhere to be found. In its place were decimated cities, entire sections of the forest mowed down, and Enolan flags. The situation in Tallon was certainly direr than they could have ever expected.

However, as the weary adventurers journeyed on, just on the brink of collapsing, they would spot lights in the distance. Marik picked up his tired feet, and walked just a little faster toward the man-made light. As the group neared the assumed city, misfortune would befall them. In the blink of an eye, a simple trap captured them. A net hidden under the snow and attached to a sturdy tree branch scooped up Marik and Alex. Similarly, Briek and Mariel were swept up into a net as well. Dyala, Clytie and Alester escaped this fate, but like shadows, Tallonite men and women closed in on the group, bows in hand and at the ready. As Clytie and Dyala attempted to release their friends from the trap, the Tallonites revealed themselves. They spoke in their unique tongue, only Alester, Dyala, or Mariel would understand. These natives recognized Dyala as a Nazerian, a forest keeper and their ally. They welcomed her into their fold. Alester would not be recognized so easily, and Mariel was entrapped in one of their hunting nets.

The Tallonite men and women carried the nets on long wooden poles which were sturdy enough to carry big game, much larger than humans. Clytie was escorted at arrow point, her hands bound with thick rope while Alester was carried by a tall, muscular Tallonite. The natives trudged on through the frozen forest. They knew the way home, for they had traversed it many times before. It was a swift journey, they arrived by the third night at their forest home.

Dyala did her best to calm the natives down, after which they released the trapped party members and helped them into their sanctuary. It was a grand sight. The tall, healthy trees eclipsed all glimpses of the night sky, but it was okay because the grandeur of the forest sanctuary was greater than any the night sky could ever hope to produce. There were really no houses, most of the population lay on the bare ground. All of the forest sanctuaries were built on or near natural essence wells. This was the singular reason the trees of Tallon were so thick and tall, and also why the sanctuaries maintained a constant temperature, year around.

Though housing was not truly present, each family within Tallon owned a lavish structure built high up in the branches of Tallon’s great trees. These structures were built of the very trees in which they rested, the wooden abodes were quite large and contained at least three stories. Each one looked the same, but was differentiated by the animal which was carved above the entranceway. The buildings above the ground created a great city that stretched for a couple miles. However, at the heart of this particular sanctuary was a great tree. It no doubt held unimaginable amounts of essence within the entirety of its branches, trunk, and roots. This was easily discernable because, not only could the party feel the essence surge through the massive tree, they could SEE the essence. The tree glowed green, and looked to be on fire, yet should any of the party touch they would find the tree was quite cool. This was no ordinary sanctuary, this was the heart of Tallon, and this was the sanctuary of the Tree of Life.

Yet, for the time being, the party could not marvel at the grandeur of the sanctuary, they required rest, and much like the Lake of Tears, the Tree of Life would assure they rested quite well and comfortably. Though the injuries of Alester, and Mariel, and to a lesser extent, Briek and Marik would not be healed, they would feel a soothing force running through them, lessening their pain and easing their mind. There was nothing but peace here.

Nightfall- Enola, White Knight Loft in the Royal Palace

A tall man was sitting in a torch lit cream colored chamber, and his cracked white plate mail was cast to the side near a weapons rack filled with miscellaneous arms. He was smoking from a wooden pipe, seated in a cushioned armchair, as the wounded woman entered the room.

“You’ve returned…”

Leaning on her lance like a crutch, the knight who almost got killed by Mariel approached the man. Her clothes were in tatters, barely covering her chest and noble parts. Also, her head remained concealed in the shadows at all times; only the faint glint of her eyes was visible.

-Glad to see your powers of observation are at their best.- she replied, not all too amiably.
The knight got to his feet and aided his comrade.

"How did this happen?"

The knight seemed to have a hint of concern in his voice. This was unusual for him, no doubt the woman was taken aback.

-What's with you?- she complained, pushing him off her -I'm fine; just had a little run in with some bitch. It won't happen again-

The man raised his brow.

"A woman? What did she look like?"

Clearly, the unarmored knight was quite interested in what his comrade had to say.

-She was with them; small stature, brown hair, and a terrible fashion sense. Gotta say, though, I thought Eyre's age had finally gotten to her, but maybe these people are more dangerous than we thought. Brant, Gilbert, and Zein are dead as well.-

The man sighed before scratching his head.

"Damn, those three were new, but I thought they'd be able to handle a couple of kids. As for Eyre, I suppose you're right. That witch is a problem, her magic is too strong. I thought it was her... I just had to be sure."

Leaning against the wall, the woman took a deep breath.

-So what now, Ego? Any more bright ideas of sending us one on one to our deaths?-

Ego shook his head, before drawing in a large amount of smoke. He formed smoke rings as it exited his mouth.

"I've hired a man they call the Witch Hunter. He refused to give me his name, but I'm sure you know of him. He wears a red mask. He's very theatrical that one."

The woman squinted her eyes at the mention of hired help.

-So this is what the proud white knighs have stooped to; hiring help to take care of our affairs. Grand Regent Skoll not paying you enough, Ego? Or is it you lack what your name stands for?-

The one named Ego didn't flinch as he was insulted. Instead he took in and released another cloud of smoke before continuing.

"Its been winter for so long... do you remember the last time you saw a summer?"

-Don't go all poetical on me; you know I hate pussy-footing around matters of importance. And what's important right now is: how are we going to explain the loss of four white knights and a whole squad of soldiers, all in the same day, and not come back with his majesty's price?-

"We won't need to. He WILL kill that witch. Then, we just need to step in to take the boy. Its that simple. I can't afford to lose anymore of our own to that... that... witch! This war has already claimed too many Enolan lives. Believe me, I've mulled over other options. I was going to send Caligula... but since he fought that wizard in the Badlands, he hasn't been right. I saw him talking to his horse the other day for crying out loud. You will see... this will prove a worthy investment."

-Do we even know where they're going?-

-Of courze ve do.- interrupted another voice. As they looked in his direction, Alester approached with his usual shit-eating grin -Zorry if I interrupt, but I heard from a very reliable zource zat zey might be heading norz, to ze Argonian Mountainz. Juzt zought you might vant to know.-

Ego looked over at Alester, not his favorite person in the whole world. He clenched his teeth as he vocalized his thanks.

"Thank you very much, Treshire. We leave tomorrow. I need you to be ready, Selina. They have at least a couple days advantage on us. Only we will go, Caligula must stay here. The others are busy tracking another lead, something Skoll seems to think is very important.”

-Not that again.- the woman complained -He should know by now, it's only a fairy tale!-

Glancing between the two white knights, Alester seemed a little confused.

-Vat iz it? Vat iz Grand Regent Skoll looking for?-

“The Mirror…”
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Re: Tales from Evanotia: Episode 1-The Mirror IC

Post by striDer on Wed Aug 31, 2011 2:39 am

Voices. Mariel could hear voices. Muffled, wordless, speech that had no words or meaning. Her brain felt foggy, the thick barrier between herself and the world outside was too much. She tumbled through a state of half conscious dreams of home and such. Her family stood around her, trying to hug her.

"Come home Mari, we miss you."

They said to her. She tried to promise that she'd come home but she couldn't speak. Then the dream changed. Now it was turbulent colors and lights. Her family disappeared. She felt tired, so tired. Mariel watched as the chaos settled into a vast land, most of it destroyed by war. People starved in villages that were cut off by supply lines. Even those who were not starving were dying of disease and war. She could feel all their pain in her heart and in her gut. She felt sick. Suddenly it went turbulent again and everything changed. It stayed like that. She could feel herself being moved, but the heaviness in her muscles and her mind kept her from waking fully. She waited and listened to the wordless voices from outside her own mind. Then slowly she felt her strength return and her eyes opened. Suddenly everything rushed back, the last thing she remembered was Alester jumping in front of her, to save her.


She sat straight up and gasped for breath. An old woman who's faced was marked with age wrung a soaked towel. She hushed Mariel as she shot up and gently pressured Mariel to lay down with her index finger. The woman was motherly, caring. She dabbed Mariel's forehead with the cool, wet cloth. She spoke to her in the native tongue. She communicated that Mariel's friends were in an adjoining building.
Mariel immediately tried to get up, but her legs gave out under her.

"Um...Can you…damn it's been so long since I've heard...um.."

She spoke in a broken form of the woman's language (witches gotta learn these things) to get Briek.
The woman chuckled a sweet, weak chuckle before heading out of the building. She was amused by Mariel's broken Na’h P’ahli dialect (Tallonite language). After several moments, she returned, but with Alester, aided by a crutch and a young man. It appeared she had misunderstood.

-I see you've returned to us, shorty.- the assassin greeted with his usual cynicism.
The young woman got up with great difficulty and hugged Alester tightly.

"NEVER do that again."

Groaning a bit, the assassin patted her on the back. However, by the afflicted look on his face, it was obvious Mariel's embrace was hurting him. Even so, he didn't say anything, just trying to smile the best he could.

-I'll do my best.-
"Oh! I'm sorry!"

The young woman stumbled back, she had felt him in pain. Mariel fell back onto the bed and remained seated this time.

"Please...never do that again...promise me…"

Staring quietly at her for a few moments, Alester turned his gaze away before replying.

-I can't do that.-

Just as Mariel likely prepared for a response, Briek walked in. He was clearly in no celebratory mood.

"Nobody can. You'd be a fool to think otherwise. People die... I'm glad to see you're both okay though. It also seems like Alex is going to make it, although his hand seems to be suffering from recurring tremors."
"No, you promise me...right now. You could have died! ALEX could have died! Alester...I TOLD you to run! She said only one of us would have to die, and I told YOU to run!"- she then turned her attention to Briek “....how the hell are we both alive...I just remember you jumping in front of me...and you falling...that’s it…" she frowned.

Raising up the stump where his hand used to be, Alester let out a huffed chuckle.

-Most seasoned warriors would be thankful to have escaped with just one hand short from a battle like ours.-

Looking at Mariel, the slight smile he'd offered Briek vanished.

-And I told you already; I can't promise that. People die, even if you don't want them to.
"What I'm saying is, Alester, if you're ever given the choice between living or dying, I suggest you choose life instead of throwing yourself in the way of something meant for me. Okay?"

She sighed and shook her head a bit. She was still a bit groggy.

"Now...how are we both alive...what happened?"
"From what I saw Alester took the brunt of the hit. Young Alex felt it through the bond I suppose and went chasing after you two. It seemed Leviathan had a little power stored up which managed to heal some of Alester's wounds, I used the lake water to save him, ultimately. Consider yourselves lucky, you almost got a future king killed."

There Briek went again, focused only on the boy's life. Was it simply that he was cold, over-protective, or maybe he did think as he had said: "everyone else is expendable."
"Except she told us one of us could go back to the others and one would die. SOMEBODY decided to get heroic and almost get both of us killed." Mariel snapped. “Both of us, AND Alex. Not...that I am not grateful for him saving my life...' She said a bit more gently.

A shadow crossed over Alester's eyes.

-This is exactly why I wanted to get away from all of you. You're just burdens weighing down on my shoulders. And to be honest...I am a burden weighing down on yours.-

Glancing at Briek with apathy, the assassin limped towards the exit.

-I curse the day I met you and the boy, Briek. I was doing just fine until our paths crossed. If I help Alex, it is because I have no other choice. But make no mistake; I'll find a way to get rid of the spell. Just you wait...-

With those last words, Alester left the hut.


Mariel got up and walked outside, she still used the walls to support herself.

"Alester, come back here!"

Stopping dead on his tracks, Alester didn't turn around or speak. He simply remained silent, waiting for Mariel to say something.

"Don't go....you know just as well as I do that you don't mean that."

Turning his profile towards her, the assassin replied with calm.

-The only reason I saved you was because...- lowering his gaze, Alester's eyes fell on the pouch hanging from his belt -It was because your eyes remind me of hers.-

Looking back at her, the assassin's face expressed only a deep melancholy.

-But you're not her. Cuan is gone, and so is the man who loved her.-

Mariel sighed a bit, a grim smile on her face.

"I can't begin to say I understand...I've never lost a spouse. Lost my parents, my grandparents, my aunt and my uncles...but it's hardly the same thing."

She walked slowly up to him.

"But sometimes....the only thing that can keep someone going...is to make sure it never happens to anyone else."

Alester let out a huffed chuckle.

-The only thing that keeps me going…is revenge.-

Turning away from her, the assassin limped further and further into the hanging village.

-Do not seek me or think of me as a friend. If you want comforting words and a warm embrace, look for Clytie or Alexander.-
"I never said I wanted comforting words or a hug. But a friend, perhaps.”

She followed him with a bit of difficulty.

-Stop following me, you're just over-exerting yourself needlessly!- he ordered, halting his march with obvious concern.
"Stop running away, you're over-exerting yourself needlessly." Mariel responded with a smirk.
Alester frowned angrily at the witch's mockery.

-Do as you wish. I've got no time to babysit children.-
"You're not babysitting children, though I am considered a child in my own culture. Not the point, in yours I am considered an adult. Your own experiences do not make you older than me. Ten years is nothing." Mariel walked closer to him. "Babysitting children is your job now, what of Alex?"

The assassin took a few steps back as she approached.

-Everyone keeps calling him a child, but I think he can take better care of himself than most people think. He's been in more danger because of our bond than anything else.-
"He's still young. He needs protection and guidance. He can't stand a chance against those white knights. None of us do..." Mariel said softly.
-What do you want, Mariel? I already told you to stay away. How much clearer than that can I be?-

As he kept backing away, Alester's back suddenly bumped into a wooden railing which kept him from falling off the platform.

"Alester you're going to fall, that railing can't be stable.”

The assassin glanced behind him quickly before returning his attention to her.

-Just...go back to the hut! You have not made a full recovery yet.-
"The fresh air is good for me. I can feel the trees out here" she replied gently, still approaching.

-Stop! Don't come any closer.-
"What’s wrong?" she asked.

Alester could feel his heart racing more and more with each step the witch took. Just what was it that he was feeling? Why did he want her so far...and so close?

-I have to go...-

Trying to leave in a hurry, the assassin accidentally dropped his crutch, reason why he had to find support on the railing so he wouldn't fall.

"Alester, what's wrong?" She went and grabbed his crutch to give it to him.
As he reached for it, their fingers touched and Alester's gaze fell on hers. Mariel's eyes...they were so alike.

-I...- not knowing what else to tell her, the assassin stumbled over his words.
"Are you feeling okay?" Mariel asked, though her voice sounded a bit breathless. Her upbringing, as always, shined through. Mariel's heart had begun to race as she looked down a bit shyly.
Losing himself completely in her gaze, Alester leaned slowly towards her; their faces coming closer and closer with each passing moment. It was an instant that seemed to last forever, but just as he was about to reach her, the screams of a woman coming from below yanked the assassin's attention.


Racing through the forest at ground level, a young woman seemed to be running from a group of Enolan soldiers.


Tripping over a stone, the hapless damsel was left at the mercy of her pursuers.

-Stealing from the duke's vault, eh lassie?- scoffed one of them as he leered at the maiden -What do ya say, boys? Should we teach her a lesson?-

Snickering and laughing, the soldiers nodded at each other.

-Get 'er, boys!-

Grabbing her by the arms, two of the guards picked the girl up, bringing her to their leader.

-Brace yourself, lass. You might even like it!-

Mariel snarled and went to stand up fully. But she stumbled a bit, still weak. She leaned into a tree truck a few feet from them. She drew strength from the ancient tree. This energy went immediately to the plants surrounding the soldiers. Vines rose up and pulled them away from the woman. The young witch sagged into the tree, but kept her concentration. Both she and (probably) Alester, knew she shouldn't be doing magic in her condition.

In no condition to intervene himself, Alester called out to Briek.
The weary warrior sprinted out of the building which he had been in to find Mariel and Alester getting into trouble. He frowned at the quickness with which they had done so. They were in no condition to fight Enolan soldiers right now. The warrior robed in black drew his White Knight longsword and dropped onto the leader of the trio from above. The leader likely had broken a few bones. The woman would fall forward towards the other two soldiers who were wound up in vines. Briek was quick to attack and he made short work of the lowly infantry. He helped the woman to her feet before turning towards Mariel and Alester.

"How do you do it?"

Mariel was on her knees and still leaned on the tree. The vines were released from her hold and she breathed heavily. Slowly the young witch stood up and smiled.

"Is she okay?"

Sighing, Alester simply leaned on his crutch again.

-Thank you!- the young woman exclaimed as she embraced Briek with tears in her eyes -Thank you so much!-

Removing the cowl which covered her head, the woman revealed her long black hair to them, along with her gorgeous blue eyes and features. However, what identified her most was her lightly tanned skin and heavy eastern accent.

-My name is Selina Al' Dagher. I am a slave, traded from the Badlands to an Enolian noble. However, you saved my life, sire, therefore you may do with it as you please.-

As she pronounced these last words, Selina bowed respectfully to her new master.
Mariel made a face, if she had the energy she would spit at the ground in distaste. Witches were fully against slavery.
Briek just looked at Selina as she bowed; she was quite something to look at. She was beautiful, graceful almost in her movement. Yet Briek controlled himself.

"I cannot accept this..."
-If you do not, I will have no other choice but to return to my master, and be sure, he will kill me for what has transpired here. Please, sire, I have no one else to turn to!-
"Be free, just find a job in this village and be your own woman." Mariel said weakly.
Briek grimaced. It was not often his conscience came into play, but he figured it couldn't hurt to have another party member. After all, their accepting attitude had proved very beneficial so far and only served to strengthen the party.

"I... suppose... I shall accept this gift."

Briek looked over at Mariel. A freed slave was a useless one.
In her stead, the witch gave him a look, but remained silent. She supposed it would at least help the poor girl get started in the world. She'd make Briek release her later.

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Re: Tales from Evanotia: Episode 1-The Mirror IC

Post by Ruu on Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:28 pm

Alexander's dreams were troubled...They began rather innocently. Days spent in the forest with the woodland creatures...Lessons from the ever patient Caeus...The emerald beauty of the sanctuary...And then they turned much darker. The White Knights storming into the once safe haven...The flight to Fossa...His friends hurt and in trouble...And then they became strange...An old man looking defiantly into the distance...a shining city...the eye of Galuma, piercing and powerful...and a strange darkness that swirled to form a figure, hooded and cloaked, so that only blood red eyes could be seen....

It was pain that brought Alexander back to reality, though he wasn't sure whether the pain was his or Alester's. His insides felt as if they had been skewered and stitched up again and a dull ache spread through his chest. His hand felt strangely numb, though every so often tremors would cause it to shake wildly. His leg had started to act up again as well, his body unable to cope with the multiple wounds he had received over the past few weeks, though many of them had not been his own...

After acknowledging the pain, Alexander noticed a motherly woman tending to him, gently smoothing his hair back from his feverish eyes.

"W-who...who are you?" he whispered, his eyes widening when he remembered where he had been last, "Mariel? Sir Alester? I need to find them! Are they alright?"

The woman put a finger to her lips and motioned for him to rest. She told him in a soothing tone that they were all fine, just resting in other Tallonite buildings. For now, he needed to conserve his strength. He had passed through the worst of it, but using such potent magic had drained his body of its natural defenses, and the pain through the bond that he felt was not helping, though the woman did not know of this. As it was he had a fever and was still slightly dizzy and disoriented.

"P-please...let me see my friends..." he whispered, trying to keep the tears from flowing.

Why was he crying? Everyone was safe, right? Then why was there this sense of loss in the pit of stomach? Was it even his own? His body surged with adrenaline as he felt Alester's emotions become heightened.

"W-what's going on outside? I gotta...help..." he mumbled, trying to stay alert.

"Shhh...everything will be taken care of. Just rest," whispered the woman.

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Re: Tales from Evanotia: Episode 1-The Mirror IC

Post by Mojave Wanderer on Sat Sep 03, 2011 10:30 pm

After reaching the Sanctuary, Dyala felt uncertain of the amount of actual safety that this sanctuary provided. She stared out into the endless trees, so much like home yet so far away. I can’t return now, she thought as she looked at the rest of her party, who where all weary after what had happened earlier. The group was not even close to reaching the end of the forest, and with times as they were, a Nazerian was about the only way you could reach the other side.
On her way in, Dyala noticed many terrified expressions from the natives. Although a certain amount of caution is needed to protect the sanctuary, Dyala knew this was not something she would have seen a few years ago. Many of these Tallonites were either forced from their homes or watched what happened to all the nearby villages. Usually she would not doubt the safety of forest sanctuaries, but in times of war, no place is safe.

Dyala looked out one last time only to see Briek, the wanderer who seemed to lead the group, standing out on his own. She made her way out of the Tallonite building towards Briek. She approached him calling out his name, “Briek!” He turned towards her remaining silent.

“If we are ever to reach the other side of this forest, we must speak to someone who has made a recent trip. I need to know the safest route, the forest has not been safe, and I will not risk our lives again.” She wasn’t quite sure if he would agree with her plan of going straight through the forest, but it was the fastest route and the least likely route to run into any more of those men that tried to kill the group earlier.

“Dyala, rest now, we will talk later,” responded Briek as he moved towards a Tallonite structure.

She wasn’t prepared to argue with him, after all, she was still alive and could use some sleep. She feared something wasn’t right here but did as Briek had stated and returned to her quarters.
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Re: Tales from Evanotia: Episode 1-The Mirror IC

Post by Rusty Wings on Sat Sep 03, 2011 11:19 pm

Clytie had no dreams. She had fallen asleep before her head had even hit her pillow, her physical and emotional exhaustion from thinking they’d lost Alester, having Alester brought back, and then having to carry their weakened comrade through the bitterly cold snow more than she could handle all at once. When they were captured by the Tallonites she couldn’t remember ever having been in so much physical discomfort. Then finally, mercifully, they had led her to a bed and she had crashed, all thoughts shutting down to make way for a restorative rest.

When she awoke that morning her muscles were even sorer than they’d been the night before. She groaned, not wanting to move. Then the events of the day before slowly began trickling back; Alester, Mariel, Alex…

She opened her eyes, anxiety twisting her face. No one was in the room with her. She sat up, grimacing as her muscles protested, and carefully walked to the door and opened it.

“Hello?” she called. “Anybody?”

She wandered out of the room, looking around for someone she knew.

If she would look towards one of the huts to her left she'd notice Marik before he called out to her.


The swordsman waved at his young comrade.

Clytie jumped at the sound of her name, then smiled at the tall warrior, making her way over to him. "Good morning, Marik! Er," she glanced around, wondering for the first time how long she'd slept. "It is still morning, isn't it?"

Marik scratched his head before replying.

"Well, the tree tops cover the sky here, so its hard to tell. Its definitely day, beyond that, being here I've lost my sense of time. Its almost as if this place exists outside of time."

Marik smiled at Clytie.

The girl laughed, but her laughter died prematurely as she remembered why she had forced herself out of bed in the first place. "Where are the others?" she asked without preamble. "Are they alright?"

Marik's smile faded as he answered her inquiry.

"For the most part, yes. Alex seems fine, Briek is just fatigued, Mariel is sore, but quite alright, Alester lost his hand, but seems okay, and Dyala is unscathed."

"Are they awake? Can we see them?" she asked with growing urgency. She trusted Marik, but she wasn't going to believe that her friends were okay until she saw for herself; it was too often that her elders had bent the truth to make her feel better, thinking her too fainthearted and female for the truth.

Marik was about to answer when some ruckus occured below. He ran over to observe what was going on, hoping Clytie would follow. By the time he got there it had seemed Briek had controlled the situation. Briek, Mariel, and Alester stood below along with three daed, or unconcious Enolan soldiers and a slave girl. Marik looked on towards the girl. Something about her made him uneasy, but he dismissed it. Marik turned towards Clytie.

"Does that answer your questions?"

Fear clutching the girl’s heart once more, she ignored the groaning of her joints and ran after Marik, but by the time she made it to the others the woman was clinging thankfully to Briek, sobbing into his cloak.

“What’s going on?” she asked, looking around at the troubled faces of Briek, Mariel, and, to her pleasant surprise, Alester. In spite of the things they'd weathered together, she felt oddly closed off from these three, especially this morning. Something important had happened here… or almost happened.

Marik turned to his comrade. "I really don't know, I guess we could make our way down there to find out, if you want."

Clytie nodded, leading the way. "What happened?" she asked Briek once they'd reached the others, already growing tired of asking that question. Her eyes turned sympathetic when they fell upon the slave woman; she could imagine that she felt much the same way Clytie had felt the several times she'd been rescued from what had seemed like certain death.

Briek looked towards Clytie before answering. "Um, well my... I mean Selina here was being attacked and we just gave her a hand," replied Briek.

"I see," Clytie said, approaching the woman with a gentle smile. "It's nice to meet you, Selina," she said kindly.
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Re: Tales from Evanotia: Episode 1-The Mirror IC

Post by striDer on Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:02 am

Looking in Clytie's direction, Selina smiled brightly as she was greeted.

-Sali alei!- she replied, greeting Clytie in her native tongue. However, before she became any more acquainted with the girl, Alester interrupted.

-Where did you say you were from?-
-The Badlands.- Selina answered, turning her attention towards the assassin.
-No kidding? I've been in the Badlands myself. Which city are you from?-

Staring at Alester intently, Selina's smile widened up.

-From Yabu.-
-Yabu...- Alester murmured to himself, offering her a feign smile -That's strange; Yabu's name was changed to Ilehai after the Battle of Enu. Of course, how could you know this? It only happened a little over 50 years ago.-

By that point, it was becoming pretty obvious to everyone that the assassin didn't trust the newly arrived. However, smiling calmly, Selina explained herself.

-I know, but most foreigners do not. Ever since the laws of Abu Den were passed, the Badlands' policies have been very strict towards foreigners, to the point where they have isolated themselves from the rest of Karnak (the continent’s name). Hence, Ilehai would not show up in most foreign maps. I was just trying to simplify things for you, sire. Forgive me if I have offended you in any way.-

Briek stepped in just as tension was beginning to build.

"No offense taken, I'm sure. It’s been a while since I've stepped foot in those treacherous sands bu-"

Marik quickly butted in, he had spent a good deal of his life in Mari-Iblis, the City of Shadowed Bliss. He was excited to learn someone else had emerged out of slavery from the treacherous Confederation. Perhaps he felt sympathy, or some kind of connection, he didn't know. All that Marik knew at that moment was he wanted to talk to this beautiful and mysterious woman.

"Selina was it? I'm Marik of Kieran. I too was a slave to desert slave drivers. I was forced into the arena at Mari-Iblis, do you know it?"

Briek shot an angry glare at Marik, but let the conversation continue.

-Of course!- Selina commented excitedly –That is where the Raven's legend was born.-
"Y-yes! Exactly! I've experienced the evils of the slave trade in the Confederation. If you ever needed to talk, I'm here."

Giggling, Selina spoke playfully with a sly smile.

-Thanks. I will keep it in mind, Marik of Kieran.-

Marik returned Selina's smiled, content with what he had done. However, just as the smile reached its greatest point, Briek interrupted.

"Selina, are you originally from the Badlands?" asked Briek.
-Forgive me, master, for I cannot provide you with an answer. My whole life I was raised to be a slave. I do not know what happened to my parents; ever since I can remember, I have been an orphan.-
-Probably killed in some raid, like every other slave's.- Alester expressed bluntly.

Briek frowned slightly, though probably nor noticeable against his stoic expression. It was not unusual for slaves to be born as such. Bandit raids were common outside of the larger empires as well.

"Very well, then. Selina, do you recall the path you took to get here? It's amazing the natives did not capture, or find you. Such a path might be useful for a quick escape perhaps."

Briek figured that the White Knights could appear any moment, so why not be on the safe side.

-I am sorry, master. My life was in peril and I could only concentrate on getting away from the soldiers.-
-Funny.- Alester scoffed -The great Briek, easily ambushed by Tallonites. However, here comes a noisy damsel in distress, not even a sentry picking up her presence, or the soldiers' for that matter.-

Briek shifted uneasily, but decided against further questions.

"Selina, I will be back in that hut over there."

Briek pointed to one of the huts.

"When you are done here, meet me in there."

Nodding, Selina bowed respectfully to her new master.

-As you wish.-

Limping to catch up with Briek, Alester walked side by side with him.

-This is a mistake; you're being too trusting, Briek. I mean, do you even know who these people are? Clytie, Dyala, Marik, Mariel…me. You’ve accepted us with barely any inquiry or hesitation. Have you ever thought that any of us might be a threat to Alex? That one of us might be a spy or…-

Alester held his tongue on those last words; knowing all too well what an assassin was.
Briek turned towards the injured assassin. He was visibly annoyed.

"Don't lecture me about trust, Alester. You know why you can't hurt Alex. As for the others, Mariel's a witch, Clytie is a lost young woman. I sleep with a knife in my boot every night and another under my pillow. You and I WILL protect the boy and find Mercury's Mirror. All the others don't matter, and frankly Alester I'd much rather sleep with a dagger under my pillow than be the first line of defense against the White Knights. That’s what the others are for. "

Suddenly, Alester stopped.

-Real nice, Briek. Let their blades rip a small girl apart. You know, maybe you should've brought Lawrence along; a big man like him would've taken at least a dozen spears and who knows how many arrows.- the assassin scoffed sarcastically.

"Don't mistake folly for courage, Alester. Alex is the key to everything. Those White Knights have been trained for this very moment in time, for when Alex reveals himself. They will stop at nothing to see him captured and stored in an ivory tower as some puppet king for Skoll. All others are expendable; you'd do well to remember that, assassin."

Alester's expression turned cold as he saw their group leader walk away.

-Why do you care so much about the boy, Briek? This war's none of your business. Why does it matter to you who rules this land?-

Briek's walk came to a halt just outside of the hut. He looked halfway over his shoulder before resuming his walk. He turned around in the hut's large doorway.

"You should get some rest, Alester... We can't linger here."

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Re: Tales from Evanotia: Episode 1-The Mirror IC

Post by Artorius on Tue Sep 13, 2011 2:53 am

Once Briek was gone, Selina approached Clytie with a friendly disposition.

-So, do you live here, sweetie?-

The girl smiled, pushing a rogue strand of hair behind her ear.

"Nah, 'm from Llyr," she said bashfully "It's this harbor town south of here. It's much warmer," she added with a little laugh.

-What are you doing here, then?- the slave asked with concern, as if Clytie was but a lost child.

"Well, my family... they're all sort of... dead now," she explained, averting her eyes as grief lanced her heart. She shoved the feelings down. "And Mariel, and Marik, and all them have sort of... taken me in." Grief gave way to happiness at feeling, at least, that she had a place where she belonged.

-You poor thing!- Selina expressed as she embraced the girl -Is it not dangerous? They do not seem like the type of company a child should be hanging around with!-

Clytie's feathers ruffled a little at being called a child, but she found she couldn't stay annoyed with the kind, emotive woman. "I'm nearly of age," she said. "And besides, I've got Marik to look after me!" She cast the imposing warrior an adoring grin.

Selina's smile widened as she witnessed the display of comradeship among them.

-Are there any other young ones like you?-

"Well, I think Alex's seventeen or eighteen," she said slowly. "But he's the only other really close to my age."

-Really? Where is he?- the slave inquired, looking around for the aforementioned young man.

At this, Clytie's face darkened. "I, er, don't know...still in bed, I think. He's... he's been through quite a lot." Her stomach twisted uneasily. She wished she could see him, just so she could know beyond a doubt that he was all right.

-I am sorry to hear that.- Selina said, trying to sympathize with her.

Clytie shrugged. "We're alive and resting. That's what matters, right?" she said with a sunny smile.

Selina nodded and returned the gesture.

-Well, I better excuse myself now. Master is waiting. It was nice meeting you, Clytie.-

With a respectful bow, the slave was on her way to Briek's hut.

Finally, when Selina reached her master's quarters, she would walk in and see Briek carving a chess piece out of a fine piece of neleel wood(a black colored wood). He abruptly stopped when Selina entered the hut, and as soon as he saw her, she bowed down respectfully.

-You wanted to see me, master?-

"Oh, good, you're here. Come, take a seat." Briek gestured toward a spot next to him on the bed.

Doing as she was told, the slave approached him.

-What is your desire, master?-

Briek took his carving knife and blew the wood shavings off the surface. He continued to look at his chess piece as he talked to Selina.

"How long did you dwell in the Badlands?"

-Nine years, maybe less. Why?-

Briek turned towards Selina, a strange fire in his eyes.

"I've done something, something I cannot tell the others. You will keep this secret, do you understand?"

The slave nodded, looking at her master with a solemn gaze.

-My vow obliges me to do so, under punishment of death.-

"The boy who travels with us, he wields a weapon of amazing power. Yet, he has drained it of its sustenance in just its first use. It contains a demon's soul, that of a great dragon. It requires souls to function or it will devour that of its master. The boy will not take to killing the defenseless, or easy to slay. I fear the demon will reveal itself to him soon. We must quench its thirst, somehow. In the east there is now a beast which will appease the demon for a suitable time. I need someone who can lead us through that treacherous desert, for I do not know the best path."

Moving behind Briek, Selina placed one hand on each of his shoulders; her touch was warm and delicate.

-The others may not see this, master, but I notice lassitude in your eyes. Have your travels made you weary? When was the last time you slept a proper night's sleep? -

Briek felt himself relax and grow uneasy all at once.

"Um, it’s been many nights. I'm sure you are quite weary. Maybe you should get some rest, I'm sure the Tallonites will provide for you."

Briek pulled away, tentatively. However, leaning her head on his back, the slave's fingers slipped barely underneath the collar of his shirt, caressing his neck and collarbones. The scent she gave off was that of lilacs and fresh spring.

-I see. Pray tell then, master...- slipping her hand further underneath his clothes, Selina felt Briek's strong chest; her touch a delightful indulgence to the senses as she whispered her next words to his ear-When was the last time you had a woman?-

Briek ground his teeth together; the temptation of her implied offer was simply overtaking all logic. Briek's body called for him to give in. He'd known only the rough pleasures of a man's world- slaying his enemies, indulging in alcohol, and carving his playing pieces.

"...long ago... Selina... this must stay professional... I cannot afford anything more."

Laying Briek on his back with a sudden tug, the slave crossed one of her legs over his body to seat on him. As he immediately found out, Selina was very light, though her weight pressed down on him enough to make Briek feel her over him.

-"A servant and a master can only be that: a servant and a master". This is an important lesson they teach us slaves in our upbringing.-

Reaching for his hand, Selina lifted it up to her cheek, kissing the very rim of his thumb. Thereafter, she guided his hand behind her neck, to the clasp which held her dress over her torso.

-You do not have to do anything you disapprove of, master, and I know you understand better than anyone, that being a slave like me is not about abdicating freedom. Just like you trained yourself in the art of combat, I was trained to serve. I do not think myself to be lowly or inferior. I simply serve because it is what I know to do. So please do not think of me as a lover or a significant other; such things have no place in a slave's life. Instead, know that I do only what I am meant to, and I do so gladly.-

Smiling warmly at him, Selina's eyes almost seemed to sparkle like sapphires under the evening sun that came in through the window. As Briek felt Selina's clasp within his hand, he pondered upon the consequences of entering himself into such a relationship. His body was deprived, but could he sacrifice his neutrality, his cold image, for one night of pleasure. Could he make himself this vulnerable? Oh, was he not human, fate would have favored him that day. As he tore the clasp from Selina's gown, Briek opened himself to a shameful affair, something that would see him so open, so susceptible to control. He knew it; he knew the dangers and accepted them.

When Briek took Selina to him, and invited her within his heart, something grew at his core. It was a sprout, that when nurtured, would grow fiercely. This sprout was contrary to his nature, something so weak within him, just waiting to be exploited. With each second of earthly pleasure, Briek could feel his self-control beginning to fail him. When he finally gave in, Briek melted into human ecstasy.
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Re: Tales from Evanotia: Episode 1-The Mirror IC

Post by Torturous Flame on Sun Sep 18, 2011 11:41 pm

Mariel walked back to the hut, still very weak. She soon found the old women who had cared for her.

“Excuse me,” She said in her own dialect of Tallonite, which she hoped the women would understand. “But aren’t there any witches in this village?”

The woman shook her head.

“No, they went to aid a coven in a village east of here, Cardes Villiage.”

Mariel paled at the mention of her own hometown, she frowned a bit.


The old woman shrugged. “I do not know, my dear.”

“Th..thank you ma’am”

Mariel turned and left. She walked out of the hut and looked visibly shaken.

Staring at her from some distance, Alester remained silent as he stood on a hanging bridge. He didn't make any effort to approach her, but his attention was obviously on her. Mariel put her head in her arms, she was curled up in a ball. It is probably one of the first times he's seen her look anything near vulnerable. The other time being when she thought she was about to die.

-So, are you going to talk to her or what?-

Turning to the side, the assassin saw Selina walking towards him across the bridge.

-Still your tongue, slave. You'd do right minding your own business and leaving me to my own.-

Selina smiled playfully as she listened Alester's harsh words.

-With all due respect, ser Alester, you are fooling no one if you want them to think that you do not care. It is clear that you feel for them, especially the girl.-

Giving the slave a stern glare, the assassin promptly turned his head to look at Mariel.

-You are right, ser Alester. We should each mind our own business. Question is, why are you not minding yours?-

Alester's features softened up as he listened to Selina. Then, limping towards the witch, he tread away from the slave without speaking another word. Eventually, the assassin reached Mariel and sat beside her.

-You're looking rather grim today, shorty.- he said, feigning indifference the best he could.

Looking at her profile through the corner of his eye, Alester sighed deeply. He knew she was hiding something, but the assassin was not a people person.

-Well...better get some rest, then.-

"I can't sleep... Since when do you care anyway?!" She snapped, which was very unlike her.

Frowning as he pulled back a bit, Alester stared at her for a few moments before standing up to limp away.

-You're right. This was a mistake.-

Mariel blinked. "Wait...sorry"

Stopping dead on his tracks, Alester stood a few feet away from her without moving.

-You know; I have not talked about it with Briek, let alone with anyone, but the truth is...I'm rather useless now. I lost my fending hand, which means I won't be able to wield a sword properly, at least not to match the kind of enemy we're facing. Ironic, isn't it? After all that talk about you getting in my way...-

"You're not useless...Alester..you can use your other hand. Your experiance in battle alone will be helpful..." The young woman walked up to him and put her hand on his shoulder

The assassin glanced at her with a faint smile.

-Must be nice being able to use magic.-

"Your hand isn't the be all end all...Alester. You can learn to fight without it. Don't worry...you'll never be useless" Mariel said softly.

Letting out a huffed chuckle, Alester turned around to look at her.

-Ready to tell me what's wrong?-

Mariel looked down.

"I asked why there were no witches here....theres a coven in every town thats as large as this one....The woman said they had left a few weeks ago...to aid a coven to the east...in Cardes Villiage, where my coven is..." She said.

-How is that so terrible?- He asked

"They've heard nothing back....and no ones come back...in all that time..” Mariel whispered. “When I was out...I kept having a nightmare...that something terrible had happened"

Alester showed concern as she said this.

-How far to the east is this coven of yours?-

"I don't know....ten miles maybe?” She said "I never came here as a child.."

Mariel looked up at him, her big brown eyes showed her worry.

Pondering on the situation, Alester looked in the direction of their leader's hut. The lingering sensation of their last conversation still nagged at him.

-I'll talk to Briek, see what we can do.-

"It...it's nothing to bother them with....my concerns can be pushed aside for now..." She said softly.

-We'll see. For now, try to rest.-

"I can't..." Mariel replied.

-Try.- he said again, treading towards Briek's hut as night closed in on the forest.

Mariel nodded and walked back to the hut where she was staying, to try and rest a little bit.
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Re: Tales from Evanotia: Episode 1-The Mirror IC

Post by Artorius on Mon Sep 19, 2011 2:02 am

As Selina walked away, Briek clung onto every memory of their encounter. Tender kisses, warm embraces, clawing, and biting, it all melded together at the forefront of his memory. He shook himself from his boyish stupor. As he slipped on his pants, Briek’s thoughts reverted back to Selina. She smelled like water lilies, sweet water lilies. Briek put on his left shoe. Her skin was as soft as silk. Briek fitted his right boot on his foot which was wrapped in dirty rags. He fastened his boot, and went to reach for his tunic when Alester hobbled in.

-Briek, we need to talk.-

Briek turned towards Alester, his bare chest displayed scars from many battles.

"I've told you everything I have to say to you, Alester. What more do you want?"
Pacing around the room, the assassin found a suitable spot to lean on the wall and rest his sore leg.

-There are two things I need to talk to you about, Briek. First, I need to know if you'd allow me to take Marik and Mariel on a short trip east, to Cardes Village.-

Briek was a bit skeptical, but he saw reason to stay in the village a little while longer. Perhaps it would be fine if the three left for a short while.

“East? What for?"

-I have good reason to believe the enemy might be setting an ambush for us, but I need to go to Cardes Village to confirm this. Mariel knows the terrain, but I'm in no fighting condition. That's why I ask Marik to come with us.-

Briek slipped his tunic over his head before replying to Alester.

"Take Marik with you. I'll keep close watch over the boy. It is strange, I have not seen Dyala for quite some time... have you?"

Glancing towards the hut's entrance, the assassin answered apathetically.

-You know how I feel, Briek. If I were you, I wouldn't even trust me. I think it was a little too convenient that she was there to warn us about the dangers of the forest.-

"Aye. I know you think I've taken some liberties in putting this group together, but trust me my eye is on the boy's safety at all times. Be careful Alester, you two are linked and don't you forget that. Marik will be a valuable companion. He's one of the best warriors I've ever seen, but his heart is kinder than his appearance. You need not worry about him."

Nodding, Alester turned his gaze back to Briek.

-There's also another matter I'd like to discuss. I think Alex is hiding something from us, something important.-

Briek perked up at Alester's suggestion.

"What are you implying?"

-The Enolian captain who took him back at the crypt, he could've just taken Alexander to Skoll if he wanted to, but he didn't. Don't you think that's a little strange?-

"Things happened so quickly, I didn't bother to consider it. Yes, I'll talk to the boy, Alester. You know... when you aren't whining you make a valuable ally."

-I'm just trying to keep myself alive.-

Limping towards the exit, Alester took his leave, but not before saying a few last words.

-That's a nice perfume you're wearing, by the way.-

Briek turned away from Alester. Silence was his only reply.

Briek walked around the village, yet something was off. His clothing was different than before. Additionally, he didn't possess the White Knight's sword. He quietly slipped into one of the huts. This was the Briek to which Dyala had talked. An altogether different man, with a sinister purpose. He drew a dagger as he approached the bed of who he thought was one of the party members. He raised his knife to strike a killing blow. Although he would find his knife met flesh, it was that of Dyala, not the real Briek, or Marik. Dyala would feel intense pain as the dagger ripped through her side. Furious at his mistake, the fake Briek dropped retrieved his dagger from the Nazerian's side before exiting the hut. He hid the bloodied weapon in his cloak at the Nazerian screamed in agony. The dagger was tipped with poison, derived from a rare breed of fish found at the deepest depths of the eastern sea. Dyala would feel as if the flesh was being rendered from her bones. It was a crippling affliction, one which would see her bed ridden for weeks, possibly years.

Cursing under his breath, the fake Briek scouted around, looking for Marik, the muscle behind this group. From there on, his associate, the witch hunter would take care of Mariel, another ally of his would assassinate Briek, and the White Knights would swoop in and capture Alex. So far, the plan wasn't working as smoothly as his client, Ego, would have liked. Only time would tell if success lie in his future.
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Re: Tales from Evanotia: Episode 1-The Mirror IC

Post by Ruu on Fri Sep 23, 2011 10:22 pm

Hours later, Alexander awoke, crystal blue eyes lucid for the first time in a while. He wasn't completely healed, perhaps he would never be, but it was the best he felt for a while. The commotion outside seemed to have died down outside, for Alester's emotions were under a tight control once again. Looking around, Alexander saw that the woman from before had left. He pushed back the blankets that covered his body and stood up, unsteady at first but growing in surety. His heart leaped to his throat when he remembered Leviathan. Where was the sword? It would be terrible to lose it after all the hardships they had endured to find it. He breathed a sigh of relief when he saw it, untouched by its bedside, gleaming in its jewel encrusted sheath. He gently picked up the scabbard, fastening it around his waist and wrapping Caeus' cloak around his shoulders. For some reason, however, his body felt heavier as he donned the sword. Something was different, not quite right...There was a menacing air about it, and yet he felt somehow possessive of it, as if he could never lose it from his sight again. Shaking his head, he walked to the entrance of the tent of the looked outside, hoping for a glimpse of his friends.

Alex would notice his friends congregating down on the forest floor. They had just finished conversing with Selina. Marik stood with Clytie and Mariel, he was the first to see the young prince.

"Come on down!" Marik gestured to fit with his words.

As Alex heard Marik call for him to join him, Mariel could be seen walking away. Yet, it was something else that would catch the boy's attention. Alex's heart felt heavy as words echoed in his mind.

I am Leviathan, serpent of the Praetorian throne. You have awoken me in my hunger. I must have more... souls...

Suddenly, Alex would feel dread. This sword, it was truly evil. It was a weapon of war, not peace. Alex's thoughts would soon be interrupted by Marik who called to him again.


Alex smiled as Marik motioned him over and waved to his three friends. As he was about to head towards them, a feeling of terror possessed his very soul, and a serpentine voice echoed in his mind. Alexander's mind reeled at the words. Leviathan...the sword...it was possessed by a spirit, a spirit that hungered for souls? But how could a sword of one of his great forefathers be so terrible? Why had Briek wanted him to free such a terrible sword? Perhaps it had been sealed for a reason...Had Briek even known? Had anyone known of this? What was he to do? He could not and would not harm innocents. But what would happen if the spirit was not satiated. He tried to hide his concern from his friends, but it was clear his step was not as light, the sparkle in his eyes a little less bright. When he reached Clytie and Marik, as Mariel had walked away, he tried to smile.

"I'm so happy to see you again. It seems like it's been ages," he whispered, giving them each a brief hug before they could react.

He hesitated a moment before deciding to come clean with them. Neither of them would have known of the sword's destructive power. They couldn't have deceived him.

"Marik...Clytie...I need to tell you something....I-I'm scared...even more than I ever have been before..." he whispered, stumbling over his words.

Boy... do not fear, what thou do not yet know...

I will enlighten thee in the arts of war...

I will teach thee the ways of King Ferdinand "Hammer of the North"...

And for mine service I ask but for souls as nourishment...

This shall be payment for the glory which thee shalt heap upon thy house...

Thou shalt ne'er meet defeat on the plane of battle, all of thine days...

Nor shalt thou see thine companions fall at hostile blades...

But I require... more... souls...

"No...no...no..." sobbed Alex out loud, not realizing how crazy he sounded, "I won't allow that to happen! I won't give you more souls! Stop! Get out of my head! I only want to stop Skoll...I don't want to destroy anyone's souls, not even my enemies!"

He looked up at Marik and Clytie with tear-stained eyes, "This weapon...it's a sword of destruction and evil...." he whispered, "It...it talked to me...told me...please...make it stop! I don't know what to do...If I cast it away, someone will find it and it will do even more evil...But if I keep it...it might cause me to do evil..."

Ah... dost thou see, now?

Thy friends have spurned thee...

Put thy faith in I, Leviathan, and thou shalt ne'er be disappointed...

Whole nations of men shall bow to thee...

Trust me... Alexander...

"No...no...that's not true..." breathed Alex, though he couldn't understand why he could not hear his friends.

Nor could he see them, for that matter. A thick haze had surrounded his vision, the mist obscuring his sight. What was happening? Alex was terrified, frightened of what the spirit of the serpent could do...What if it took over his body, forcing him to become a killing machine?

"I-I won't help you...I don't trust you! Just leave me alone!" cried the young prince.

As the boy cried out in protest, Marik grabbed hold of him, Alex was now screaming.

"Calm yourself! Get a grip, Alexander! What's going on?"

Marik shook Alex vigorously.

Alex blinked, looking around in confusion. What had just happened? His mind felt hazy, as if struck with some kind of illness. There was something he had to tell his friends...but the thoughts melted away...Something about the sword...evil...Alex shook his head, holding onto Marik tightly, and trying not to sob.

"W-what's wrong with me, Marik?" he whispered, "I-I don't understand..."

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Re: Tales from Evanotia: Episode 1-The Mirror IC

Post by Artorius on Wed Sep 28, 2011 2:17 am

Marik looked to the boy, something was terribly amiss.

“Alex, I think you jumped to your feet too soon. Go back to bed, I’m sure the nurse will continue tending to you.”

Marik began to escort Alex back up a winding wooden staircase that wound around a thick tree trunk. As the two ascended the stairs, Alex could make out faint whispers in the depths of his mind.


Must have…


This mantra went on and on. Soon enough, it would be as if Alex himself desired such things. The day passed and night crept over the tree-top city. If Alex slept, his dreams would turn to nightmares, and his mind would be filled with visions of a great serpent twined around a golden throne. Leviathan’s eyes burned red with fire as they pierced into Alex’s very soul. Ironically, that which he most desired was the souls of Alex’s enemies. Yet if he was not appeased, Leviathan could easily betray the boy. The power of the elder dragon almost overwhelmed the boy as he slept. As Alex tossed fitfully in his sleep, the nurse wet his forehead with a lukewarm towel.

Later that night...

Marik sat in his hut, something was troubling him. He decided it was best he receive some rest as well, though sleep would not come. He stared at the ceiling above his bed, visions of war casting a bloody haze over his sight. He would not by any means, receive a restful night’s sleep. The aroma of fire, blood, and sweat invaded Marik’s nostrils. His mouth moved as he uttered what words he could remember from that fateful day. It all began early that morning.


“… for your lives! The Empire is at an end! We must leave before the Regent calls upon his Reardonian lap dogs to exterminate us!”

A young Marik walked alongside his mother whom was dressed in an elegant gown. Indeed, she was an aristocrat, a part of the elite of the Akuersos Empire. She could afford such lavish luxuries. Marik was no more shabbily dressed, he possessed a tunic of the finest silk, and cotton pants tailored to his frame. On his feet were leather shoes, also enviously fitted. This was the life of nobility. The finely dressed young man stared at the doomsayer as he walked towards the beautiful castle in which the Akeurson Emperor dwelled. Already eighteen, Marik was expected to appear at all of the royal courts feasts and meetings. As the teenage boy entered the palace with his mother, he expressed his explicit opinion to her.

“What a fool that man was, mother. The Akeursos Empire will never fall. If anything, it is the Regent who should fear us!”

Marik’s mother sighed, before delivering her own opinion to her son. “My boy, long had our nation benefitted from the alliance with our brother country, Enola. We have not been an Empire since the days of King Hadrian. Though our soldiers are strong, I fear Enolan and Reardonian might will be the end of us. This meeting will decide our fate, son and you have been asked to represent our household while your father is organizing the Emperor’s royal guard.”

Marik mulled over his mother’s words. She was right, as much as he hated to admit it. They entered a circular chamber filled with representatives from each noble house. At the head of the council was Emperor Alberti Drakenguard I, Supreme Ruler of the Akuersos Empire. In his right hand was a golden scepter, and in his left a silver shepherd’s crook. He was known as the wisest judge in Akuersos, and a benevolent shepherd of the people.

“Order! Order!” called a whiny voice as the representatives quarreled amongst one another.

The Emperor’s right hand, called for order in the assembly. Quickly, the chamber fell silent. The Emperor’s right hand called upon one of the noble families to argue for or against surrender and secession and absorption into the Enolan Empire. The representative was an old man, he quivered as he delivered his opinion.

“Long have we shared ties with the Enolan Empire. Indeed, our king’s shared a common bloodline. Yet, treachery destroyed that bond of blood. Trentian assassins the messengers say, yet I know this to be false in the very deepest depths of my soul! The day the Arkenhand name entered the chambers of Drakenguards, was the day we lost Enola. For, is it not by the Fasatune bloodline that Arkenhand was born!? I promise you, before I breathe my last breath, Gornada will spread across this continent like wildfire, and Arkenhand and Fasatune will join in perpetual tyranny over the free peoples of this continent! We must stand against this tyranny! We must fight!”

As the old man took his seat, shouts and applause filled the chamber. Again, the whiny voice called for order. He called upon another representative to voice his concerns, it was the young Marik. He sweat as he stood and his heart beat unusually fast within his chest. Never had he spoken before the assembly, or the Emperor.

“These are d-d-dangerous time…times…”

A number of older representatives whispered among themselves, others smiled, and still more tried to contain laughter as Marik stuttered. The young man took a deep breathe and the silence that followed became very uneasy, some felt pity for the young man.

“Well,” voiced the Emperor’s right hand, “let us move o-“ he was soon interrupted by Marik’s booming voice.

“These are dangerous times! Reardon encroaches on our borders from the north, Enola from the east. Even within our own borders there are rebels! Indeed, in my folly I believed we could stand against the combined forces of Reardon and Enola. But what does that possibility rest upon? False hope! The Akuersos Empire is waning!”

A number of representatives shouted at the young man and the Emperor shifted uneasily in his throne. The Emperor’s closest advisor once again called for order.

“We are not as strong as we once were! I beg of you, most holy Emperor, take your leave of this death-trap and preserve what is left of the Drakenguard bloodline! Your relatives lie slain in your family crypt, and yes, in a just world you would sit upon the Enolan throne, but this is not a just world! There is a genocide occurring, a movement to destroy every last bit of your bloodline, my majesty. A movement that would see centuries of a formidable, honorable, and just bloodline wiped from this planet! I implore you, LEAVE NOW!”

With that final word, Marik took his seat. His mother rested her hand on his shoulder as the assembly erupted in outrage. Marik inherently felt as passionate about protecting the Drakenguard bloodline as his own house. Indeed, that would be his duty one day, as it was his father’s, to be head of the royal guard. Or it would have been, had treachery not struck that day.

Ripping Marik from his thoughts, Alester walked into the warrior's hut without warning.

-Good; you're awake.- said the assassin, pacing around the room to close the windows' drapes.

Marik's head shot up at the sound of Alester's voice. He didn't think anyone else was awake at such an hour.

"Alester, what are you doing awake?"

-We need to talk.-

Treading up to a wall, the assassin leaned against it to rest his leg. This would make Marik wonder about the injury, since Alester had already been healed by the miraculous water of the lake; plus, he knew Alester was a tough man, so tough he wouldn't let the soreness of some bumps affect him. Sure, Clytie and Dyala had dropped him a few times, but was that really enough to make him limp that way?

-Mariel and I are departing for Cardes Village first thing in the morning. I've already told Briek you're coming with us.-

"But... Alex... he has tremors in his hand... and I'm not even sure he's mentally recovered from the attack yet."

Marik looked at the assassin. The injuries he had sustained were great. Yet, was his leg as severely injured as it looked? Perhaps Alester's pride was hurt as well as his body.

-How does that concern you?- Alester asked, curious about Marik's concern for the boy.

"I... long ago... I made an oath Alester. That's all you need to know."

Staring quietly at Marik for what seemed like ages, the assassin finally replied.

-Briek will take care of the boy, you need not worry.-

"I... suppose you're right. I'll be ready, Alester. By the way, how's the leg?"

The assassin seemed taken aback by the question.

-I...it's fine.-

Taking his leave, Alester stopped at the entrance.

-That boy deals with a lot of pain. None of us should underestimate him.-
The next morning...

Briek lay in his bed as he thought of Selina. Why had she pervaded his thoughts so thoroughly?She had completely enamored him. The desires of his flesh had coincided with the desires of his soul- he secretly longed for a companion, some sort of emotional bond. Certainly, Briek had acquaintances, but no one he considered a friend, he couldn't afford such bonds. They weighed one down, and made his work hard. Briek needed to escape this relationship before it was too late. He schemed, and planned, but ultimately decided against any immediate action. He would see where this road took him. Perhaps, it would work for the best.

He rolled towards the edge of the bed before getting to his feet. He slipped on his tunic, pants, and boots before wandering around the village.
A couple hours later...

Briek grabbed Selina by her waist as she attempted to walk past him. He held her in one arm as he stroked her hair with another.

-Sorry, Ego; you might look like him, but that stinking swine stench of yours is unmistakable. Just follows you around like bad karma. - The slave complained as she pushed herself away from

The leader of the White Knights cackled. Indeed, he resembled Briek quite well in form, yet his clothing was a bit off. He sniffed his underarms as Selina pushed away from him.

"Shadows are a beautiful thing, formless, able to mirror any action. But you already knew about my copy-cat technique I suppose. Marik slipped away from me today. Seems I crippled someone a little less important. How goes the mission, darling?"

Ego talked to Selina as if she were a daughter, or some kind of younger woman. His male schovanism was quite apparent.

-Apparently, three of them will depart on some kind of mission tomorrow; didn't catch the details all too well. This is good news, however, considering only Briek and Clytie will be left to protect little Alex.-

Ego ran his fingers through his hair, he'd returned to his own form for the time being. The change was almost instant, Selina would notice it happened in the blink of an eye.

"This is very good. The time to strike is near. I just need some time. Once I find the boy I need you to distract Briek while I take Alex."

-Say, Ego...- Selina's mood suddenly changed; she seemed playful now, almost mischiveous. -Have you ever thought that maybe we could use the boy to our advantage? I mean, how desperate must Skoll be to send his best warriors after him?-

Ego eyed Selina as she implied the power they had over Skoll. To possess the boy, was to truly rule Enola.

"Go on..."

-Imagine...- she said suggestively, circling around her companion as her hand caressed his shoulders and neck -We're Skoll's strongest force: the white knights. If we held the prince against his will, who in Enola would stop us?-

As she walked, Selina's appearance began to change drastically. Her tanned skin became pale, her eyes turned from a deep blue to a faded gray, her hair shifted from jet black to platinum blonde, and a scar crossed her face from cheekbone to cheekbone, right over the bridge her nose.

-Not only that, but Enola's enemies could be on our side as well! Think about it, once they learned that the throne's rightful heir is with us, we would become unstoppable! Even greater than Reardon! We could end this war and unite the continent under a single banner; our banner!-

Ego's lips curled into a sinister smile. He was proud of Selina, she had done well.

"I like the way you think. I guess you're smarter than you look." As Selina blinked she'd notice Ego looked like Briek again. "Like I said, once I find the boy, I'll need a distraction. Take that as you will. You're doing good, Selina. This war is almost over."

Turning her attention towards the tree of life, the now transforming slave smiled as well.

-Don't worry. "Life" can be a bitch sometimes.-

Ego extended a sort of half smile to his fellow White Knight. Before walking past her, he communicated a small thought.

“I’d be careful if I were you. Things don’t always turn out the way we plan them.”

With that last statement, Ego continued his search for Alexander. As the morning sun began to peek through the tree-tops the leader of the White Knights stepped into a hut. An old woman was tending to a young man. A decorative sword lie near his bed, and the emblem of the Drakenguard bloodline hung from a necklace around the boy’s neck. With a swipe of his dagger, the Tallonite woman fell to the floor of the hut, dead. In one quick motion Ego placed his dagger at the Enolan prince’s throat while his other hand was cupped over the boy’s mouth.

“Guess who,” quipped Ego, now revealing his true form.

Tis a wicked soul who now accosts us…

Feed me, my liege…
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Re: Tales from Evanotia: Episode 1-The Mirror IC

Post by Ruu on Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:41 pm

The nights were horrendous...terrible dreams of the serpent, the serpent of the sword who had become almost like a haunting presence, a possessive spirit. Days weren't much better, for it was if he were walking in a living nightmare. With Marik, Mariel, and Alester gone on their own mission, the party had quietly dwindled. Only Briek and Clytie remained. Something terrible had happened to Dyala...Briek was increasingly distant, for something was on his mind. Alex didn't know who to turn to, who to trust any longer. The whispers of the snake had poisoned his mind...His very soul felt somehow connected to the ancient beast, as if the creature could sever it at any moment, consume it completely. And yet it waited...biding its time for the bloodlust that would take long to awaken in a boy like the young heir to the throne.

Alex despised the sword, and yet he couldn't be without it. He would glance over at the jeweled encrusted scabbard, lovingly touched the handle, always jealous if anyone so much as glanced at it. But there were times he wished to throw it to the bottom of the sea, to melt it with intense hit, to discard it in some abandoned cave...And yet, not only was he loathe to part with it, he knew if it got into the wrong hands, it could become a weapon of mass destruction. But who was to say his own hands wouldn't soon be bloodied?

On another day of waking nightmares, it seemed as if a shadowy figure haunted his dream. A gasp...and a terrified soul fled to the afterlife, the victim of a sudden violent act. Alexander's eyes snapped open at that, for he was completely in tune to the souls of others now...The sword desired him those souls, yet his own heart ached with a terrible pain when another precious life was destroyed. They were conflicting emotions that were turning his body inside out. He vaguely wondered if Alester was feeling any of this. Only Alester could truly understand, yet he was gone for now...As the young prince took in his surroundings, he thought for a moment Briek stood above him, knife at his throat. His stomach clenched with fear and despair...If he could not trust even Briek, who could he trust? But it appeared his hallucinations had gotten the better of him as the man spoke in a voice that was not the hardened traveler's...And even at that moment the illusion lifted and a completely different person appeared.

"Guess who?" said the man, as Alex's eyes widened in terror.

His first instinct was to grab at the sword by the bedside, ignoring his own peril. With the power of Leviathan he could strike a killing blow and heal himself of any wound the leader of the White Knights could devise. Leviathan's voice prompted him, begging to be fed. But...what happened to the souls of those the serpent fed on? That would surely be the complete end of their existence...How could Alex do something so evil, even to one as terrible as the White Knights. His hand trembled as it began to reach for the sword of its own accord.

"I will give you one chance," he said in a wavering voice, "Leave me in peace and never return, or your soul shall be consigned to oblivion."

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Re: Tales from Evanotia: Episode 1-The Mirror IC

Post by striDer on Fri Sep 30, 2011 4:28 am

Approaching Mariel's hut, Alester hesitated as soon as he was about to knock on the door. It was pretty late already, well past midnight, and it was probable the witch wasn't awake anymore. She was up of course, he could probably hear her whispers. It sounded like she was praying or something. Mariel was sitting on her floor, among a few lit candles.

Knocking on the door three times, Alester didn't even wait for a reply before coming into the room.

-Sorry if I'm interrupting something important.- he apologized before closing the door behind him.
Mariel jumped a bit in suprise.

"Oh...um..no...Do you need anything?"

The assassin took a seat on the edge of her bed before replying.

-I spoke to Briek about letting us go to Cardes Village. Marik will accompany us. We leave first thing in the morning.-

"Oh? Briek is letting us go on a mission for purely selfish reasons"
-I...kinda told him we were scouting for an ambush.-

Alester didn't seem too proud of himself as he revealed this, turning his gaze away from Mariel's.

-At any rate, what's done is done. I just came here to let you know so you could prepare yourself for tomorrow. Now that that's done, I better get going; it's late and we have a long walk ahead of us. You should get some rest as well.-
"Alester, wait"

Mariel stood up, the candles rose a bit as she did.

-What is it?-
"Thanks...for doing that for me. Alester. And I still can't sleep."

Standing near the door, the assassin looked intently at her.

-What's wrong?-
"I don't know, I just can't sleep, but it's not your problem..."

Alester lowered his gaze before replying.

-Could I stay here with you for a while? I...don't think I'll be able to sleep either.-
"Um..yeah. You can if you want to."

Sitting on the floor near the window, Alester leaned against the wall; his eyes reflecting the exhaustion he felt. In her stead, Mariel sat among the candles again, her big brown eyes were on him. Her hair was out of its usual ponytail. It was naturally curly, and fell in earthy brown ringlets around her round face. Suddenly, a question left Alester's lips which took her by surprise.

-What will you do if the worst has already happened? What if your family, the sisters of your coven...-
"I....I don't know...” Mariel chose her words carefully, she seemed to think about every statement. "According to law I'd be Mariel Verde-Ursa of The Lost...but I never thought about...I mean...most witches think me leaving my family to travel was crazy...we are so..bound to our brothers and sisters within our coven..."
-You haven't answered my question. What will you do?- Alester repeated.
"I...I don't know" Mariel said softly. "B..but I'm sure they're all fine!" She said hurriedly.

The assassin didn't reply. He just looked at her silently, sitting across the room.
Mariel looked down a bit, slightly nervous. She tried to get the thought out of her mind. She couldn't even consider losing her family like that. A witch's identity was based off the coven. His stare was making her nervous, but not in the concrete 'heeby-jeeby' sort of way.

-Tell me about them, your coven.- Alester suddenly asked, his eyes fixed on her with apathy.
Mariel seemed a bit caught off guard by his questions. She faltered then quietly answered.

"Well...when I was a little kid...there were twenty of us all together....Mom and Dad...Mom's two sisters and three brothers...well only two of them stayed with us...the other married another witch so he went to her coven of course...but my two uncles married humans..so they stayed with us. But then...the war really came here and...they went off to help the healers. They never came home...I was ten. Then it was the ten of us…the kids...I was in the middle...my little bother was six...my little cousins were from nine to only a year old. My older cousin Samantha became the witchmother by law. She was eighteen and had just passed her Ordeal. So there is Sam...Evon...Christopher...me...Carmen...my brother James...Isabelle...Marcell...Kimberly...and baby Emmet" Mariel said, looking up at him. As she could see, there was a smile on the assassin's face, not with the usual smugness, but sincere.

-Does a witch ever get to live a happy, normal life?-
"Of course we live happy lives. We are called to serve The Mother's children."
-That's not what I meant.-
"We live out happy lives, Alester. But perhaps our definition is different from yours."
-You don't seem all that happy to me, especially as of late.-
"Again, I feel our definitions are different. No one lives out their life in bliss." Mariel said softly, smiling at him. The young woman was fairly pretty, though her round features and darker skin did not conform to normal Enolan standards of beauty. The young witch watched him. She WAS quite curious as to why he was acting like this.

-Have you ever considered having a family of your own, Mariel? You know...with the right person?-
"Um...yeah..I thought about it.." Mariel said softly. She looked down at the floor, the candles still flickered in the darkness, which cast a warm glow on her face.
However, before anything else could be said, Alester stood up and walked to the door so he could take his leave.

-I hope you find him, Mariel. When this is all over, you’ll be able to build a home for yourself.-
"Where are you going?" Mariel asked, standing up. "Besides, who knows if I'll even survive all this."
-We will…just have a little faith.-

Upon exiting the hut, Alester looked over his shoulder one last time. There was something in his face, that deep sadness. Even though he wanted to believe, he knew it was far too late for him.

As soon as the dawn broke on the day of their departure, Alester was already awake and ready, sitting on the edge of his bed in deep thought. He'd found it incredibly difficult to rest the night before since most of his thoughts were focused on recent events. Most of all, he couldn't take his mind off what had happened with Mariel the day before, back at that bridge.

-~She's just a girl.~- he thought, wondering most of all if he just wanted to take advantage of her; to be comforted in his pain -Cuan...- he whispered, thinking about his wife as he pronounced her name.

Mariel rose from her bed and stretched like a cat. She'd awoken from yet another nightmare that had left her tired and tensed. She sighed audibly. The young witch looked around for her coat, her mind drifting through the events of the past week. Her thoughts lingered on the moment with Alester on the bridge.

'He's hurt in ways you can't heal.' Mariel told herself. Thereafter, she got her coat on and pulled her hair up. The young woman walked out of her hut.

The cold black steel of Slaughterer’s Star rested across Marik’s thighs. The sword was massive, absolutely gargantuan. However, in Marik’s hands it felt as light as any other sword. Maybe it was the properties of the black steel, or of the sword itself. Marik had heard legends of the sword’s power when wielded by Akeurson masters-at-arms. Yet, he had only ever used it’s physical strength. Something prevented him from unlocking it’s true potential. Perhaps, it was the need for vengeance that Marik tucked deep inside. A need he neglected, and buried, a need to take Skoll’s life, the man who ordered the genocide of his people. Tears escaped the warrior’s eyes as he recounted the screams of his countrymen, and family.

He recalled the last dying word of his father, a royal knight, and loyal servant to the king. "... vengeance..." The word echoed in Marik's mind as if it was a cave. The man had not the stomach to confront it. He harbored no ill will, he had already taken his fair share of lives. Fathers and sons, and slave and free. Only now did he have a true purpose to fight, to kill. He would see Alex restored, and Skoll's head cleaved from his shoulders.

After emerging from his hut, the first thing Alester did was protect his eyes from the bright light of the morning sun using his only hand. His other arm rested on a home-made sling, concealed under the black longcoat which now replaced his tattered clothes and armor. Once his eyes became adjusted to the brightness, the assassin looked around for his companions.

Mariel looked up at him, she seemed grateful that they were going to check on her family. Even if Marik didn't know that.

"Good morning"

Marik placed his sword on his back before taking leave of his hut. As he emerged, he could smell the morning air, pure and sweet. He wiped the moisture from his face and began to descend the staircase nearest his hut. As he reached the forest floor, he'd notice Alester from the corner of his vision. He turned around to face the man, who was still among the tree-tops. He waved as if reading Alester's mind.

"Good morning Marik" Mariel said, smiling at the two. "We'd best be on our way!"

Nodding, the assassin led them towards the lift which would take them down to the forest floor. His leg seemed to be much better than the day before.

-It'll take us about half a day's travel if we don't stop too much. Worst thing we can come across is a platoon of enolian soldiers, but I trust you guys can take care of that.-

Marik chuckled and scratched his head. He was excited about this journey, excited to help. He knew that he wasn't exactly the most liked man within the group, Mariel had already scolded him, however, he was determined to do right by Alester and Mariel. And although he did not know the way, he would lead the group while Mariel, or Alester guided him. He wanted to be at the forefront of the group as a cautionary measure, not so much a leader.

Take the eastern exit" Mariel said. She adjusted her bag and smiled at Alester and Marik.

Mariek took the lead, Mariel and Alester side-by-side behind him. Mariel directed the warrior as they traveled east throiugh miles of Tallon forestry. Slowly, but surely, the thick forest began to thin. Large patches of sunlight, and later moonlight began to filter through the tree-tops. Indeed, the trees seemed to grow smaller as they approached the forest edge as well. Also, the wildlife of Tallon- deer, rabbits, birds, and others- began to disappear with the trees.

Soon enough, the black soil, and green grass beneath the trio's feet would transform into yellow grassland and rough, grey dirt. As the sun began to sink behind the horizon on the fourth day of their journey, they'd find themselves surrounded by the yellow grassland with rolling sands on the very edge of the horizon.
Marik trudged on, he was quite weary. As the searing sun floated overhead, he could only imagine his companions felt much worse.

"Mariel, where are we going?”
“Well I planned on stopping for the night in my villiage, it's near here." Mariel smiled. She seemed to be thriving in the heat that she grew up in.

"I can't stand this heat... even after years in the eastern deserts, one never gets used to it."

She laughed. "I love this heat! I grew up here, the cold just kills me!"

"Well how uncomfortable you must be, the continent has not seen a summer since before I was born. The east is the only place left for heat to flourish. What are your thoughts, Alester?"

The assassin seemed quieter than usual. He hadn't said a word since they left.

-I don't mind the weather. We should get moving.-

Marik continued his march eastward, checking behind him every once and a while. Alester was being quite solemn, and keeping to himself quite well. The assassin hadn't even made eye contact with Marik thus far. Marik just chose to let it go for the time being. He then glanced at Mariel, she seemed quite amused by coming home.

"We're here!"
Mariel went to run forward.

-Wait.- Alester warned, taking hold of her wrist to prevent her from running off -Something's not right. Marik, scout the area.-
"C'mon!" Mariel tugged at Alester to let her go.

Marik walked through the village's main gate. It was a tall wooden door reinforced with steel. Under normal circumstances, only a watchman could grant entrance, but seeing as this once locked gate stood wide open, Marik waltzed right in. He could smell burning flesh. Cautiously, the warrior drew his massive blade. The village was small, consisting of a handful of dwelling places, a temple, and a meeting hall. Small pens of domesticated chickens, goats, and the occasional ass were connected to a few homes. Most of them were in surprisingly pristine condition.

Marik approached one of the homes; it was made of adobe brick and straw. As he entered the small home, he encountered only a disheveled living space. Still, that smell of burning flesh accosted his smelling sense. The warrior checked every house, finding no one. Even the meeting hall held little of note.


Marik beckoned to his comrades as he kicked down the doors to the village temple a rather elaborate structure compared to the rest. It was made of limestone and possessed a style similar to Enolan architecture. Upon entering Marik quickly turned away and pushed his comrades back out of the religious establishment.

"Let's go."

Holding Mariel back with his only good arm, Alester stepped forward.

-What is it?-
Mariel was frozen stiff, responding only marginally to Alester's firm grip. She had begun to shake.

"Oh goddess..."

Marik shook his head.

"You do not want to know, Alester. Let's leave this place.”

With a surprising amount of strength, Mariel tore her arm from Alester and ran inside the temple.

The witch would be confronted with an overwhelming smell of burning flesh. It would invade her nostrils and linger there for some time. Meanwhile, her eyes were assaulted by the charred remains of men, women, and children. Among the dead were a couple witches. Yet, this was not the worst of the slaughter. Several men hung from the rafters of the temple by rope. Finally, a single woman lay on the sacrificial altar near the back of the temple. She gasped for air, still living. However, she was drenched in blood, whether it was hers or that of others was impossible to tell.

"SAMMY!" Mariel screamed. She ran to the back of the temple and knelt beside the woman. "Sam..what happened...?"

Sam reached a bloody hand towards Mariel's face. Her hand quivered as she placed it on the witch's cheek.

"Mari," she coughed, "It was horrible..." On a second cough blood spurt from her mouth. "He came... and they turned on each other. Some even killed themselves."

At this point, Sam began to cry. Her tears would wash some blood from her face. She cried into Mariel's bosom, lamenting the death of her beloved village and coven.

Mari hugged Sam tightly.

"I'm sorry I wasn't here...I'm sorry I left...who did this? Where are the soldiers?"
"There's nothing you could have done, Mari. The soldiers, they left. A judge from the eastern deserts came to the village, he warned of Gornadan troops approaching from the north and asked them to hold off the invaders until reinforcements could arrive. Then HE came... he claimed he was a bard wandering the countryside. All I remember is... he wore a red mask..." Sam paused for several seconds squeezing Mariel tightly. "GAH!"

She writhed in pain and clutched the sides of her head. She seemed to have recovered and looked up at Mariel, panting heavily.

"Sam...let me try to heal you! You'll be better. I can fix it!" Mariel whispered desperately.

Sam looked at Mariel before a fire erupted in her eyes.

"You BASTARD!" she screamed.

She ran at Mariel and placed her hands around her cousin's throat.


Marik frantically tried to respond to Alester's call for help. He threw his sword to the temple floor and promptly aided Alester in holding back Sammy. Both of his arms were aiding in keeping Sammy's arms pinned, while Marik's body weight rested on top of Mariel's cousin.

"Sam! What are you doing?!"

Sammy thrashed about under Marik's body weight before responding.

"He took EVERYTHING from me!"
"Sammy...Sammy...please…" Mariel whispered soothingly.
"Don't you say my name you murderous bastard! Mariel's coming! You'll see! She'll take care of you!"

Sam continued wriggling and resisting Marik and Alester, yet her strength was simply not enough. Finally, she calmed down. She coughed up yet more blood. Her breathing became increasingly more shallow.

"She's coming... you'll see.. you'll see..."

Mariel's face was blank.
On the edge of death, Sammy called out to her cousin, seemingly come out of her hallucination.

"Mariel... I told him you'd come... I-I-"

Sammy continued coughing, now, even talking was a chore.

"Shh...c'mon Sam..you've been a good witchmother....you deserve a rest...just close your eyes.."

Sam slowly closed her eyes, one last tear escaped, as she breathed her last breath.

"mBeannaí an bandia tú [“The Goddess be with you”]... Mariel... you are... the mother now..."

With her final words, her soul passed away, and her natural Essence seeped into the air, the ground, the wind.
Mariel stood up slowly, her face blank and looking at the body of the woman who had practically raised her.
Alester simply stood by her side, not knowing what to say. Likewise, Marik kneeled beside Sammy's body, in silence. However, he took her corpse into his arms and began to walk out of the temple. This desecrated place of worship was no place to keep a body.
Finally Mariel did something. She turned and walked out of the temple, when she reached the door she stopped and put her hand on the broken hinge, her back to her companions and to the corpses. The young woman looked out onto the grassy plain.

"To hell with the goddess."

The young woman looked around to see the smoke on the horizon.


There is an old wives tale taught to every young child in the world. Every mother, grandmother warn their child of one thing. No one knows how it started but one thing is for sure, almost everyone follows the one rule:

Do not mess with witches.

Slowly, Alester made his way to Mariel.

-C'mon, we should head back to Briek and the others. There’s nothing else we can do here.-

Mariel didn't move. She was looking out onto the plane, at the smoke. Marik stood behind her; a wind blew from the west. The warrior placed Sammy's body in the center of the village. He then entered the temple one more time to retrieve his sword before talking to Mariel.

"Should we cremate her? Or would you like to bury her?"

"Just cremate them all....so scavengers don't get them...I have more important things to do"
The young woman started walking in the direction of the smoke.

-We don't have time for this.- Alester insisted, reaching for the witch's arm again.
"Don't touch me." Mariel snapped.

Lagging behind, Marik was unaware of the tension beginning to build between Mariel and Alester. The two were also likely oblivious to when Marik set the temple aflame. Smoke billowed from that great structure and the fire spread to the whole of the village. However, the stone walls encasing the village ensured the fire would not spread further.
Cautiously, Alester glanced in Marik's direction, as if telling him to be ready.

-If you go there, Mariel, they'll kill you. Even a powerful witch like you doesn't stand a chance against an army, I won't let you do this.-

Mariel ignored him and kept walking, she was walking faster now.

-You leave me no choice, then.-

Pulling out a blowgun, Tallonite-made, from his coat, Alester pointed it at the witch before blowing a dart her way. However, a vine rose from the ground and swatted it.

"Get the hell away from me, Alester!"

Leaping into action, Alester ran towards Mariel, intending to stop her at any cost.
The witch broke into a run as well. The camp honestly wasn't that far away, it just seemed like it because of a ravine that kept the harsh wind off the camp. She immediately took a path she seemed to know well, to get to the bottom.

Marik ran towards the two, emerging from the burning village that was once home to Mariel's coven. After Mariel darted off, he broke into a sprint.

"Mariel! Come back!"

She scaled down the rocks and entered the Gornadan camp. She walked to the center. There were only maybe 500 soldiers in that force. Alester and Marik would see the storm clouds gathering. It was eerie.
The soldiers all saw her there and looked confused. Mariel smirked a bit.

"Witch killers....innocent killers…"

The dark maliciousness in her eyes was enough to scare anybody, but especially Alester and Marik, who knew her.

The storm cloud threw dim light over the landscape. The young witch almost seemed to glow in the dimness.

"The voice of my family's blood...cries to me from the ground....I curse that ground, and I curse you…be fugitives and vagabonds, all your damned lived. And should another being dare take you as a spouse, I curse them too...You...children of chaos...ridden with guilt and shame...All concourse with them is forever more forbidden. Shun them...like the vampire and the moles…And so my sisters and brothers may know you, I set this mark."

The magic in the air seemed to hum and churn. Lightning flashed and hit the ground in the center of the camp, right before her. Suddenly Alester and Marik heard screams of pain. The soldiers fell, holding their faces. Mariel walked over to a soldier and stepped on his throat.

"The man who helped you kill the coven...where did he go?"

"I-I-I DON'T KNOW! Please!"
Across the man's face was an upside down black pentagram. The universal symbol among all nations for Witch Killer. Most people would shun the soldiers for that act.
“D-d-don't hurt me anymore, please!"

She stepped down harder.

"Tell me where he went!"

The soldier grabbed at Mariel's ankle. He struggled for his breath.

"Stop Mariel! You're going to klll him!" yelled Marik as he finally caught up to the witch.
"....so what.."

Mariel glared down at the soldier. She had begun to shake. Suddenly, however, before Mariel could claim the soldier’s life, Alester stepped forward and held her in a tight embrace.

Mariel froze in shock and blinked. After a moment she pulled away and looked down at the soldier.

"When you see him...tell him his days are numbered."

Marik, stared in disbelief as Mariel pulled away from Alester.


As soon as the witch turned to look at Marik, a sharp pain shot up from the side of her stomach. Looking down, she would discover a dagger lodged deep into her torso.

-I'm sorry...- the assassin apologized, his face lowered, concealed in shadows.

"...You b..bastard!"

The young woman, way too pissed at this point to really feel pain, tackled Alester.

Marik rushed to the aid of the witch, but saw the Gornadan soldier was attempting to escape. Deciding to prioritize him over Mariel for a moment, Marik tackled the soldier. He drew his giant sword and feigned a killing blow before the soldier gave him all he needed to know.

"Okay okay! The witch said 'the map lies in the black dragon's nest'! Leave me alone, please!"

With that, Marik placed his sword on his back and backtracked to Alester and Mariel. He pulled Mariel off of Alester and placed her on her back to rest.

"Just rest. I know you're absolutely fuming right now, but calm down. It'll do you a world of good."
"But he...." Mariel said. Then she stopped, and sighed. "Do you want me dead too?"
"No, you just stay here," said Marik in a calming tone.

The assassin didn't even struggle to get up as he lied on the ground; Mariel's blood staining his hand. He'd seen what she was capable of, how powerless they were before her might. What if she lost it around them? What if she found a reason to turn against them? Not even Marik would be able to stop her.

-Get rid of her.- he said coldly, standing up as he looked at her with glacier eyes.

Mariel looked up at him; her big warm brown eyes looked scared again. She'd trusted him, she'd (tried to) sacrifice her life for him.

"You-" Marik cut himself off.

It was not often the level-headed warrior lost his temper, but this instance was an exception. The arena legend pounced on Alester, sending him to the ground again. He delivered several harsh punches to the assassin's face.

"She gave her life for yours."

In the midst of another punch, Marik stopped himself. He got up and walked over to Mariel. He picked her up and started walking. However, he talked to Alester just before he walked away.

"Just stay away from us, Alester. We don't need men like you teaching and protecting Alex. I thought you were a different kind of man."

Kneeling up as he wiped the blood from his chin, Alester looked at them apathetically.

-She's a danger to the boy, and you know it! Briek would agree with me after what we saw here today.-

Marik stopped in his tracks. He needed to get Mariel some medical attention. What could he do? Abandon his duty, or abandon Mariel?

"The soldier said... the map lies in the black dragons' nest... there is a city in the eastern deserts called Mari-Iblis. Further east of that is a great cave called the Dragon's Nest... I'm done, Alester. I wish you Briek, and especially Alex and Clytie the best of luck. Long live the Drakenguard bloodline."

With those final words Marik intently walked northwest. The village of the Tree of Life was exactly west. Marik planned to find Mariel a place to rest, and ultimately, take her to the Lake of Tears to heal her wounds completely.
"M..Marik…Alex needs you."
"You need me."

As he saw them walk away, Alester remembered the moment he and Mariel had spent together last night.

We will…just have a little faith.

It was all a lie.

Join date : 2011-06-22
Posts : 33

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Re: Tales from Evanotia: Episode 1-The Mirror IC

Post by Rusty Wings on Sun Oct 02, 2011 12:38 pm

Clytie couldn't sleep.

It seemed that every time things got a little better they turned around and got a thousand times worse. They'd been together, they'd been safe, they'd been healing. Now everything was wrong again. She clutched a pillow to her, frowning as she remembered Alex earlier, his wild eyes, his tears.

"This weapon... it's a sword of destruction and evil... It... it talked to me..."

She shifted so she was lying on her other side. This sword that they'd all risked their lives to obtain was driving Alex mad, speaking to him in his head, asking him to do unspeakable things. How were they supposed to deal with that?

To top it all off, Mariel, Alester, and Marik had left. She'd tried to believe that they'd be fine without the bulk of their muscle, that this was a safe haven and no harm would befall them while the others were off on their scouting expedition, but... well, someone had already gotten to Dyala... and though she was loath to admit it, something was just off about Briek...

She pulled the covers disconsolately over her head. She had never felt so alone in her life.

She was finally beginning to drift off to sleep when a distant sound snapped her eyes open. She sat up. She couldn't be sure, but she thought she heard a muffled voice down the hall. She squinted into the darkness, listening. There was another voice, and she recognized it as Alex's. She bit her lip, wondering if she should check it out. It could be nothing. It was probably nothing. And yet...

She slid lightly out of her bed and took a knife from the belt she'd hung on her headboard before padding silently down the hall toward Alex's room. The door was open, so when she reached it she peered around the frame. She bit back a gasp when she realized what she was seeing. A tall figure bent over the prince, pointing a blade at the boy's throat. She had to act now.

With a little grunt she hurled her knife at the stranger, then she withdrew back behind the door frame, flattening herself against the wall. A dull panic spread through her veins as she wondered what she would do if her knife missed its mark; it wasn't like she'd brought another one.
Rusty Wings

Join date : 2009-07-17

Posts : 172
Age : 25
Location : Arlington, VA


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Re: Tales from Evanotia: Episode 1-The Mirror IC

Post by Ruu on Mon Oct 03, 2011 8:22 pm

Ego laughed at Alex's threat. He would not expect the boy to harm him in any shape or form.

"What can you do to me, boy?"

Suddenly, a knife flew by Ego's head. The White Knight grew distracted and looked towards it's source. If ever there was a time for Alex to attack, it was now.

"You should have run when you had the chance," whispered Alex, yet it was not the young Prince's voice.

It was a voice, deep and terrifying, filled with a strange and twisted delight at the prospect of finally satiating its hunger. Inside, Alex screamed, trying to stop the act, the first death by his own hands, but the hunger of the wyrm was too great. In one swift motion, a movement almost too fast to see, Leviathan was in the young Prince's hands. But another second more, and the sword was suddenly piercing Ego's heart, driving the breath from his body and striking for his very soul. The leader of the White Knights looked ready to say something, when his body convulsed and a strange light played about his form before being absorbed into the sword. The sword slid effortlessly from the man's broken body, and clattered to the floor as Alex lost his grip at the horror of what he had done. His eyes were wide and unblinking as tears began to touch them, the magnitude of his actions abhorrent to him. He had been spared his first glance of death earlier, but now...the sword's unimaginable hunger had driven him to an act he would never have dared to perpetrate at any other time.

Yes...we are fed! Rejoice with me, young Prince! Do you not feel the power?

"N-no...no...it's not what I wanted..." sobbed Alex, "Leave me alone! Leave me alone! What have you done? What...have I done?"

Alex wanted to get up and run. Surely Clytie had seen the horrible act. Even if the White Knight was their enemy, destroying his soul had surely been too much of a punishment. But the Prince no longer had the strength to rise. His body felt weak, and it took all his strength to avert his eyes from the corpse, which had become like a dried husk, devoid of everything that had once made it human.

Join date : 2010-09-25

Posts : 758
Age : 29
Location : Home

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Re: Tales from Evanotia: Episode 1-The Mirror IC

Post by Artorius on Wed Oct 05, 2011 1:22 am

It was early morning when a group of Tallonite men came into Briek's hut, armed and geared up for battle. The look on their faces was stern, especially that of the man who stepped up to speak.

-You must get out here while you can. Take the boy and your friends and leave the village.-
Briek got to his feet and approached the leader of the Tallonite warriors.

"I did not know there were others who spoke my language in this village. What's going on?"
The rushed footsteps of the villagers could be heard outside, along with the commotion of their mixed words and whispers.

-My name is Kendal; I'm acquainted with your friend, Alester. He explained everything to me about the boy. However, as we speak, Enolan soldiers are moving on our position. My men spotted them not an hour ago and I'm afraid we won't be able to hold 'em off. They're way too many, more then we've ever seen. I suspect they come for the boy, so you must leave. We'll do our best to delay their arrival.-

Briek hurriedly got dressed and strapped his sword sheath to his waist. He then pulled on his boots and stuck his dagger in an ankle sheath. Finally, Briek pulled his black cloak over his shoulders.

"Kendal, you have my thanks. I must go now, the boy needs me."

Briek proceeded to shake Kendal's hand before rushing out of the hut and traveling to the dwelling place of Alex. When he arrived, he found the boy staring blankly at the floor with Leviathan in hand. However, upon closer inspection, Briek would notice the body of a man sprawled across the hut's floor. He would not inquire as to the circumstances of the situation.

"Alex, lets go."

A few seconds later, Selina arrived right behind Briek.

-Master, what is going on?-

Briek turned to his slave, Selina, before replying.

"We need to go, its no longer safe here."

Alex and Selina in tow, Briek ran over to the lift leading to the forest floor.

"Let's go!" urged Briek.

The wanderer was clearly worried. Enola was closing in; soon the nation of Tallon would cease to exist. However, Alex would be long gone before the conquest occurred.

-Wait!- Selina said as she stopped and turned towards the village -Dyala is still around here somewhere! We have to go back and get her!-

Briek stopped in his tracks, he wanted to just leave and forget completely about the Nazerian, but that would send the wrong message to Alex. He didn’t want to subject him to his true self just yet.

“I have to get Alex to safety. Get Dyala, then meet us to the east, on the desert outskirts.”

-I will. Please be safe, master.-

Heading back to the village, Selina made sure Briek and Alex were out of sight before she entered the boy's hut again. Thereafter, she approached Ego's body and crouched beside it, speaking with feign sadness as the glamour cast on her appearance vanished.

-I'm sorry, Ego. Looks like there's only place for a queen on this Great Continent.-

Selina kissed her fallen comrade´s cheek and stood up as her Excella Arma materialized in her hand from green flames.

-It's showtime.-

As Alex, Clytie, and Briek fled the village, the first signs of the Enolan infantry began to appear. A volley of arrows whistled through the thick forest and took several Tallonite citizens by surprise. Some were lucky to survival this first assault, others were crippled with pain, and still others were fatally struck. With Kendal in the lead, a large group of Tallonite soldiers rushed to the defense of their countrymen.

A garrison stood in a strong formation with their primitive wooden shields and iron-headed spears to their front. It seemed like an eternity of silence followed behind the deadly archer attack. The ground began to vibrate intensely.

"Hold!" called a Tallonite commander.

In a matter of seconds, Enolan soldiers rushed the defenses of the village. A wave of seemingly giant men rushed forward with enormous broadswords and huge steel shields; they were prepared to sacrifice their lives. They crashed into the Tallonite front lines with great force, knocking over several men each.

Then, while the Tallonites attempted to recover and regain their footing a group of lighter soldiers wielding thinner long swords rushed forward. They cut through the Tallonite defenses with ease, moving into the village and setting fire to some homes. Other homes were ransacked, and then the women were taken so they could travel with the troops. All others were killed, or shackled to be sold as slaves. This destruction would continue as long as there were lives to be ruined in Tallon.

Making her way towards the Tree of Life, Selina paced through the village already attired in a full set of armor. Since she could only shift very particular characteristics of her appearance such as hair, eye, and skin color, the white knight took precautions to remain anonymous by wearing a helmet shaped in the semblance of a dragon’s head. Once Kendal took notice of the threat she posed to their precious grove, the Tallonite leader ordered his men to hold the front line while he and small squad of his most trusted lieutenants headed back to stop her.

-Hold it right there!- he exclaimed, blocking off the path to the bridge which led to the tree.

Eyeing her opponents, the white knight rested the tip of her jousting lance on the ground while holding the hilt with her hand.

-How brave...- she commented, though her tone was that of mockery –I’d tip my hat to you, gentlemen, if only such boldness was not derived from ignorance. Obviously you don’t know who it is that you stand before. If so, none of you would remain to face their demise.-

Stepping forward, Kendal signaled his comrades to stand ready, tensing the strings of their bows while others readied their lances.

-We’ve dealt with your kind before, white knight. We are not afraid.-

Selina exchanged a lingering stare with Kendal as tension grew thick in the air, looking into each man’s eyes before realizing they were telling the truth.

-My, look at you: monkeys with teeth and claws…- raising her lance to point at them, the white knight spoke without a hint of mercy in her voice –Come, then; we’ve exchanged words long enough.-

Without a moment’s hesitation, the Tallonites charged at her while the archers released their arrows. The projectiles zoomed in swiftly on their mark; however, before they could even graze the surface of her armor, Selina had already summoned a wave of wind essence to deflect them with ease. Kendal’s sword was the first to meet the steel of his opponent, exchanging strikes with her with leveled proficiency. The white knight had to parry swords, dodge spears, and deflect arrows from all sides, doing so with unparalleled dexterity. But not even that was enough to match their combined strength. Eventually, Kendal managed to put a dent in her armor, slashing the right eye orifice of her helmet vertically across. Selina had to back away from them.

-Yield.- demanded the Tallonite leader, closing in on her with his men.

Bumping into the platform’s rail, Selina looked over her shoulder at the fall that awaited her behind. She was cornered, with no possibility of escape.

-Hear me out, white knight: tell your men to turn tail and never come back! Spare both sides from needless bloodshed and tell your master we’re no longer interested in his war!-

Standing up straight, Selina chuckled maliciously.

-No longer interested in his war you say? Ha ha ha, fool! This ceased to be “his” war a long time ago! This is now everyone’s war!-

Raising her lance towards the sky, the archaic symbols on the white knight’s Excella Arma lit up fiercely. Within the blink of an eye, a cyclone of essence engulfed the weapon and began to absorb the tree’s green particles of energy into it.

-Stop her!-

Lunging themselves at her, the Tallonite warriors were repelled like flies by the ever growing typhoon. Once the Excella Arma had been activated near such a massive amount of essence, it was already too late.


Selina’s voice boomed throughout forest as the very earth at the trees’ foundations shook with violent intensity. In a matter of seconds, the night sky was lit a fiery green as the power of the tree grew unstable, concentrated at a single point; all that infinite energy, a limitless amount of essence. Kendal and his men could only watch in terror as the white knight’s power grew to unimaginable heights, bright flashes of jade-toned energy seeping from each of her armor’s grooves; even the eye orifices on her helmet spat fire like a demon.


As the gathered essence was unleashed into a gargantuan blast of energy, the shrilling screams of all Tallonites were suddenly silenced by the deafening outburst which razed the land. From a distance, Briek, Alex, Clytie, Alester, and even Marik and Mariel would be able to witness the desolation and destruction of a rising curtain of green fire which obliterated half of the forest, distant mountains, and even the Tree of Life itself. All that would remain afterwards would be the countless particles of essence drifting through the night like a beautiful spectacle of northern lights.

The next morning...

As Tallon ceased to exist as a nation, and the first specks of light began to peak over the horizon, Marik had traversed a long distance. He traveled so long without sleep. He'd acquired a horse from a traveling merchant in exchange for his unique wrist-blade. This shortened the journey considerably. However, as the arena warrior and witch neared the outskirts of Angsbad, their horse collapsed from exhaustion, and as Marik and Mariel slammed to the dirt road leading towards Angsbad, Marik struggled to even keep his eyes open. Yet, the warrior got to his knees, and then his feet. With what strength was left in him, Marik lifted Mariel from the dry, dirt road and struggled onwards towards Angsbad.

"We'll get there, don't worry."

Marik whispered to an unconscious Mariel, but really, he reassured himself. As he approached the defensive walls surrounding Angsbad, Marik was admitted by a familiar face- Lawrence Dabu. However, there was no time for explanations or greetings. Lawrence knew Mariel, and that was Marik's collateral and ticket into Angsbad. Lawrence guided the arena legend to the Lake of Tears.

Once Marik arrived at the crystal clear, blue lake he stepped into its soothing waters. Instantly, his body was rejuvenated and he felt extremely rested. However, his mission wasn't complete. As he stepped deeper into the lake, Mariel's whole body was submerged as she lay in Marik's arms.

They'd gotten there just in time. Mariel stayed limp for a moment then twitched a bit. The young woman could feel the healing water rush to her wound. She took in a deep breath, which no longer hurt, and sighed a bit. After quite a while, the young witch opened her eyes and struggled into a sitting position. She was exhausted, though she could feel the water giving her energy and soothing her aching muscles. The young witch looked around, a little confused, and looked up at Marik.

"Whats going on?"

Marik smiled, and there seemed something brilliant and glowing about his smile. He talked to Mariel as he walked out onto the cobblestone street, his clothes, and Mariel's were soaked.

"I brought us to Angsbad, to the Lake of Tears."

"Marik! What on earth..." She sighed a bit. "Why even bother?"

Marik's smile faded at the butt end of Mariel's question.

"Because I couldn't stand to have another comrade die in my arms."

"Well..thank you..."

Mariel seemed different. The sparkle in her eyes had disappeared. She seemed smaller than she had been before, her shoulders hunched instead of back. Her hands where in her pockets, one made sure her staff was still in its proper place on her coat. It was. Marik offered a half smile to Mariel, but could tell something was different, she was changed. He set her down on her feet, letting her use his shoulder as support.

"Well... what should we do now?"

Marik hadn't planned past saving Mariel's life, and he had not even a single tin to his name. Staying in an Angsbad inn wasn't an option.

"We can seek shelter at the home of the coven here.." She said softly. "That’s where I was staying...when I met the others..."

"Okay, well, though the lake rejuvenated me temporarily, I need rest. Perhaps we can head there now?"

Mariel lead him through the city, walking down street after street until they reached a house. Mariel, exhausted, knocked on the door. The coven answered the door and they brought them in. She proceeded to ask for a room for both of them.

"Of course sweetheart...what’s your name?"

"Mariel Verde-Ursa...Of the Lost"

The witches all blinked and things got uncomfortable very fast.

"Oh...we're so sorry..."

Mariel nodded and the witches all showed them to their own rooms. Some time would pass, and night fell over Angsbad. Despite the dire conditions outside the city walls, there were many festivities as was accustomed. Marik shifted uncomfortably between his bed sheets before rising. Fireworks exploded outside of his bedroom. The kind-hearted warrior got dressed before heading out of his room. He knocked on Mariel's door.

She had become very isolated and distant from him and the other witches. She stayed in her room a lot, with the door closed. After a few minutes she stood up and walked over to the door and opened it.

"Yes Marik?"

Marik appeared before Mariel with a huge smile. He outstretched his hand towards the reclusive witch.

"C'mon, I want to show you something."

Mariel looked up at him, her eyes still very dull. She shrugged and took his hand.

"Sure...what is it?"

"You'll see."


She followed him.

Marik led Mariel out onto the city streets. He took her down winding alleys and bustling boulevards before they reached a tall building. Marik had noticed it with a passing glance when they first arrived in Angsbad. After some searching Marik found a ladder, it had been propped up against the building earlier that day. As Marik set the ladder against the side of the building he beckoned to Mariel.

"Hurry up," he teased.

She raised an eyebrow at him and went up the ladder.

"You're strange."

"Correction, I'm fun, and you're a hermit."

As Marik reached the top of the ladder he sat upon the roof. He patted a spot near to him.


She sat down. Marik then smiled at Mariel once again. The party below sounded lively, fun, peaceful. It was as if Angsbad was a totally different world. Yet still, Mariel was so sullen. The betrayal of Alester and death of her coven was probably more than her heart could bear.

"Why are you so quiet?" asked Marik.

She shrugged a bit and stared out at the horizon.

"Whats to talk about?"

Marik's smile once again faded.

"It's them isn't it, your family?"

Mariel looked down at the ground, her brown eyes looked dull. She sighed a bit and shrugged.

"I think...we should go find Alex, Briek, and Clytie"

Marik looked towards the sky, this too weighed heavy on his heart. He disregarded Mariel's last words.

"You know, when I was much younger, I too lost my family. The whole of my people were wiped out or enslaved in a single night. My father died in my arms, much the way your sister died. He told me to save the Drakenguards, but... I failed in that regard... you can tell me Mariel, how you feel."

"She was my cousin...actually, but it’s the same thing...she raised me"

"I see." Marik sighed, "My mother... she naturally raised me. She wanted me to be like my sister... scholarly, a politician... but I wanted to be like father, a warrior, a protector, a guardian."

Mariel smiled a bit.

"Can you really understand...Marik? To witches...a coven is more than just your family...it is everything. It’s home. Home is not a place, it’s where your coven is. I am Mariel Verd-Ursa of The Lost now....I have no home, and I have no family."

She looked down

"You saw how the witches reacted to me when we arrived....the idea terrifies them. Witches are pack animals by nature, someone like me going off on their own is very uncommon and most think it’s just unnatural."

"You know... the Akeursos Empire was once greater than Enola, greater than Gornada, it rivaled the ancient Praetorian Empire. Skoll betrayed us, Mariel. There is nothing left of my people, nothing left of my home. I know how it feels to be alone. I know how it feels to be scared Mariel. I can see it in your eyes, you're scared. You don't have to face this alone."
"I am alone, and it’s my fault they're dead...'

Marik scooted a little closer to Mariel.

"You know... I once thought the same thing. Then I realized... there's certain thing’s that can't be prevented... Look!"

Marik pointed towards the sky as a white streak rose higher and higher. Unimpressively, it seemed to fizzle out after reaching its highest point.

"But this is my fault....I saw the image of the man in her mind, Marik. It was a witch hunter... They only kill when hired...and the only person in the coven who has made powerful people angry is me."

Marik frowned before pointing to the sky.

"Did you see that?"

She looked up. "Yes...it fizzled."

A couple more seconds passed in silence.

"People die, Mariel, and that leaves a veil of darkness. But their memories..."

Suddenly, a brilliant fountain of bright white fireworks exploded in a beautiful symphony of sounds. The explosions were almost musical.

"...those live on in our hearts and minds. A source of light, when there is no other. Mourn them, remember them, but never stop living. Because those memories, those people, they're alive and well in you."

With the last of his words, the medley of music and lights ceased. Less spectacular showings followed.

"It isn't just about my family and my village...Marik.."

She watched the people walk beneath them. She seemed to look at them with what looked like annoyance. Marik wasn't sure he'd ever SEEN Mariel annoyed.

"Well... whatever it is... I'm here, Mariel. It's not everyday I abandon my quest for someone," joked Marik.

He laughed before nudging the annoyed witch.

"Why'd you even bother... Just go back to protect Alex....we both should.. I bet if we do I'll find that hunter"

Marik sighed.

"Revenge is a dark road, Mariel. I've been down it. It will not bring you peace."

"I'm not looking for peace"

As Mariel uttered those words, a group of knights pushed their way through the crowded streets. Where they went, entire groups of Vialan and human merry-makers fell silent. It was a group of White Knights. Marik became suddenly on edge.

"What are they doing here?!" he exclaimed.

Mariel seemed to pale a little bit, she reached for the staff that hung inside her coat. The young witch growled a little bit. Then, Marik stayed her hand.

"Not yet, let's follow them," suggested Marik.

Mariel nodded. Sticking to the rooftops Marik and Mariel sneakily followed behind the unit of five White Knights. Strangely enough the five halted at the Lake of Tears. Sticking to the shadows, Mariel and Marik observed the five.

"Why are we here?" The smallest knight whined as she bounced on the balls of her feet.

The obvious leader of the group spoke out against the knight smallest in stature.

"We must talk to Elder Skye, only he knows the true whereabouts of Mercury's Mirror."

"Come on, we all know that’s a little kids story"

“We’ll see soon enough, Rosalind.”

With a wave of his hand, the unit leader seemed to part the lake. Placed in the center was a large stone staircase. It didn't seem newly made by any means. In fact, it looked ancient in design. The staircase was cracked and misshapen from years of wear and tear. With haste, the White Knights descended that ancient staircase into the lake. When there grew a reasonable distance between Marik and Mariel, and the White Knights Marik led his witch friend into the lake. Quietly, the two continued to tail the white knights. In anticipation Mariel’s fist balled up around her staff.

Soon, the five knights met the bottom of the stairs and walked into a spacious chamber. Within this chamber were many old relics of note, however, what was most striking was a cell composed of essence. Inside sat the sullen figure of a broken, old man.

"Get up," ordered the leader of the White Knights.

Marik quietly drew his sword.

"What should we do?" he asked nervously.

Mariel looked up. She'd contemplated death a few times during the past weeks, but she needed to find the hunter. She shrugged. Consequently, Marik shook his head.

"We'll watch."

The old man in the essence cage struggled to gain his footing. He was frail, and it seemed he was recently beaten. Dried blood and bruises covered his naked body. The dampness and coolness of the cave only magnified his pain. He was Elder Skye, the un-appointed leader of Angsbad and oldest living human in Evanotian history.

"Have you decided to tell us, old man?" inquired the White Knight.

Elder Skye quivered from the coldness of the cave as he answered the leader of the White Knight unit.

"I will... just let me go... please," pleaded the elder.

Even heroes have their limits and Elder Skye had just about reached his. He had spent weeks in the dank cave, starving, beaten, and tortured. Rosalind bounced up and down gleefully as she watched Elder Skye Beg.

"Oh, Oh, can I take more of his essence Id? Please, please, please!?" The little woman's eyes lit up madly.

"If you must..."

Id wasn't very fond of his vampire associate. She was always energetic and oftentimes essence dominated the majority of her thoughts and words.

"Which reminds me… Lump! Dictate while he speaks, we mustn't forget a single, little, detail."

Trying to grasp the quill with his big fat fingers, Lump only managed to pierce the parchment upon which he was to redact the old man's words.

-Uh...might have a problem here, boss.- said the massive knight who was completely clad in armor from head to toe. The reason why they called him Lump became obvious when people acknowledged his impressive height and build.

As Rosalind sapped Elder Skye's essence, he screamed in agony. Meanwhile, Marik grimaced as he observed the scene. However, he knew there were things to be learned if he stayed restrained for the moment.

"STOP! I'll tell!" gasped Elder Skye.

Rosalind backed off, looking dejected.

"Awwwwwwwwww! I wanted to get full!"

Rosalind sat down in a corner and got out some bottles. She tied a tourniquet off on her arm and injected a glowing liquid into it. She shivered as the viscous liquid filtered into her veins. Mariel cringed from behind Marik. She recognized manufactured essence when she saw it. She heard that vampires got hooked on it, though they claimed natural essence gave them a 'better buzz'. In the meantime, Elder Skye fell to his knees. With his long, white hair covering his face, he spoke to the White Knights.

"Listen closely... this is no short tale..."

“Long ago, the great Praetorian Empire expanded across the entirety of the Great Continent. It’s capital rested in what is today known as Fossa in the Gaseous Mountains. The first emperor of this great empire was named Mercury, and was said to be descended from a human mother and the god, Fate. Indeed, it would seem Fate favored Mercury as he conquered the whole of the known world during his lifetime. However, at the height of his power, Mercury was confronted by Fate’s brother… Chance. Chance offered Mercury a power so great, he would not only control the physical plain, but time and space as well. He would no longer be bound by the exploits of a single world, but be allowed to rule over many dimensions and worlds. However, upon receiving this power, Mercury did not know that he would spurn his father, Fate. In destroying the continuity and certainty of a single timeline, Chance had bested his brother. However, this time was short lived.

Soon after creating several worlds over which to rule, Mercury was struck down by Fate, and his son Sent ascended to the throne. Having exhausted most of his divine power in giving of such a great gift as he gave Mercury, Chance was forced to terminate the many parallel universes he so loved as, without the iron fist of Mercury, they descended into chaos. Returning to a single timeline in which Sent had succeeded Mercury, Chance devised a plan, a final rebellion against his stronger brother Fate.

With the help of Sent, Chance relinquished his divine powers and placed them in a relic, a mirror. This mirror would be a mirror for all of Evanotia, opening another universe. However, it was a universe of darkness, an alternate world in which the prosperity of the Praetorian empire was reversed. Strange monsters never birthed in Evanotia were formed in this new world. So, seeking to create a perfect world, in his human form, Chance attempted to shatter the mirror, which would create mirror shards, and essentially infinitely more mirror universes of Evanotia. However, Fate learned of his plan.

In his anger at being defied, Fate seized the mirror from Chance and his human ally Sent, who was the only man who could activate the mirror. From the parallel world, Fate pulled a fearsome race of monsters, came to be known as dragons, these beasts would guard the relic. Fate then took his own human ally, Raymond and named him “Dragon Friend” later to be Drakenguard. Together the dragons and this royal bloodline would protect the mirror.
And to ensure should it be found it would be further protected they distributed its powers between three sources that represented mirrors in nature- A great crystal in the north, a clear blue lake in the center, and a great tree in the south, which mirrored the beauty of nature. With these three seals, the power of the mirror was sapped. Fate had won, and Chance was banished beyond the southern seas, never to die, but to live in exile. “

At the conclusion of his lengthy tale, Id seemed unimpressed.

“So, where is it, Skye?” asked Id.

“The Mirror will not reveal itself until the three seals are released. Even then, the ancient guardians of the mirror will reveal themselves, and you will have unlocked the true power of the Drakenguards and ancient dragons.”

Id turned to Lump.

“Did you write that down?”

Having scribbled all over his armor, Lump did the best he could to keep up with the story.

-I guess...-

Id glanced at his subordinate before smacking his palm against his forehead.

“I suppose we are lucky our armor is white…”

Id patted Elder Skye on the shoulder.

“You know, Skye, I really respect you. You’ve done so much, and learnt more knowledge than any living man could hope to acquire. Too bad you’re a loose end-“

With a single fluid motion, Id drew his sword, swiped with deadly accuracy toward Elder Skye and sheathed his sword. For many seconds, it seemed as if no damage was done, however, the oldest human in Evanotian history fell to the cave floor and a pool of blood accumulated under his body.

“Let’s go, our business is done here.”

Marik and Mariel stuck to the shadows, and as the White Knights ascended the staircase to Angsbad, the witch and warrior stayed behind. After the White Knights left, Marik ran to the Elder’s side. The man struggled to speak, he also raised his hand. His frail, wrinkly index finger pointed towards Marik’s sword.

“The sword… Leviathan and Slaughterer’s Star… together, they can kill him… don’t let Chance prevail… Mercury’s Mirror… lies… in… the Dragon’s Nest…”

Elder Skye breathed his last breath at the conclusion of his sentence. Marik and Mariel would escape from the underground cavern. They had to reach the Dragon’s Nest before Briek, Alex, Clytie, and Alester.
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Re: Tales from Evanotia: Episode 1-The Mirror IC

Post by Torturous Flame on Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:02 am

Mariel was sitting on her ledge of the window in her bedroom. She stared out onto the city, thinking a bit. Then, Marik walked into Mariel's bedroom, she had left the door open. He knew it would probably startle her, but he began talking while she stared out onto the landscape outside her window. They’d returned to the coven after leaving the cave beneath the lake the night before.
"What are you looking at?" he asked.
She jumped a bit and looked back.
"Oh hey....um...just the city."
Marik smiled.
"Didn't mean to startle you. These witches are really nice."
"It's...part of the culture..."
"THE culture?"
"Wiccan culture. We're a priestess race"
"They are bound to help anyone who needs it....Goddess' law.."
"Oh, I didn't know that. Back in Akeursos, we had this saying, 'Fate helps those who help themselves.' Harsh, but... that was my culture."
"Ah. Sounds sensible..." Her voice didn't sound like her, it sounded distant and soft, but not soft in a good way, soft as if she wasn't all there.
“In a lot of ways, I used to agree with it, but I like your saying better."
Marik looked towards Mariel, his eyes had an unusual sparkle, and his smile an unusual sheen.
"My saying?"
"Well your culture, anyways. Thats a lot of responsibility... does it leave anything for yourselves?"
The young woman continued to look out the window. She looked up at a bird, gliding over the streets. She sighed.
“Ever watched an eagle...an wonder why it got to be free?"
"No, but I can tell you have... find an answer yet?"
"I was created to be a slave..Marik"
"You know... I was a slave once."
"Were you?"
"Yes. Rich men paid money to see me bite, scratch, and claw for my life."
"Do you want to know how I came to be free?"
"I killed my competition, one by one..."
"I thought it'd feel great you know, being free, but I guess I never truly will be huh?"
"Why not?"
"Those people... I've always wondered whether I deserved it more than they did... if they had better things to return to."
Mariel shrugged a bit. She kept looking out onto the city. Her brown eyes seemed dim, her head rested against the window pane. Marik approached the window in which Mariel had positioned herself. Hesitantly, he placed his hand on her shoulder.
"What do you believe in, Mariel?"
She didn't respond for a while, she just kept looking out on the city.
"I don't know anymore"
“So, you lost that too?" asked Marik.
Mariel nodded absently, a certain sorrow in the movement.
"You know, you're really pathetic."
She blinked and looked at him.
“Shut the hell up Marik"
"No! You're sitting here preaching about losing everything, when there's way more to live for!"
"Then go live it. Why stay here and tell me what I should and shouldn't do?"
"Because! You! You! Gah!" Marik yelled in frustration.
"You're the one who's asking me all these questions..."
"You're so self-righteous! You think you're the only one who lost everything in this war?!"
"Then what gives?!"
"What do you want me to do Marik?"
She stood and looked at him, she seemed visibly upset by his anger and frustration.
"I want you to! I want you to-"
Marik balled his fists and looked at Mariel with fire in his eyes. She simply stared up at him blankly. She just seemed dead now, tired.
"I want-"
Marik’s voice seemed softer.
"What? What do you want from me Marik?"
Marik pounced on Mariel, bringing her into a tight embrace and pressing his lips against hers. It was a strange, impulsive kiss. It was the type of maneuver Marik never expected himself to attempt. Yet, something within him was drawn to the witch. He'd saved her life for a reason. He felt something for her. Mariel blinked, entirely thrown off by Marik's actions. But yet it felt right to her, much more right than the awkward and tense moments with Alester. The part of her that made her attracted to Alester died with her family. But something she could not identify made her melt in his arms and kiss Marik in return. Her cheeks were red. They shared a passionate kiss, one that ended as Marik slowly pulled away. His hands were placed on Mariel's arms and he looked down on her in silence. Several seconds passed before Marik said a word.
Mariel blushed bright red and her big brown eyes look up at Marik.

Marik let go of Mariel's arms and turned from her. He too was a bit flustered by what had transpired.
"Um..." he took a deep breath, "...have you had lunch yet?"
"Um, no, I haven't eaten today." She replied nervously, she still blushed. In fact, she'd barely been eating at all recently.
Marik turned back towards Mariel and looked at her flushed features.
"Would you like to go eat some lunch?" Marik nervously asked.
Mariel blushed a bit more as she looked up at him. She bit her lip a bit, a nervous reaction with attractive results. Awkwardly, Marik led Mariel out of the coven house. With some searching, he found a bazaar. Marik traded some finely crafted throwing daggers for several dozen tins. With the money garnered he managed to afford a hearty meal of skewered meats and fresh fruits for Mariel and himself.
"You didn't have to trade your things...Marik. The witches can feed us."
"Eh, its nothing." he replied. "Besides, I kinda wanted to get away from them."
"Me too..." Mariel ate quietly.
"I could tell."
Through his chewing, Mariel would be able to see he was smiling.
"They were giving you all kinds of weird glances. I thought maybe you should get away from that."
"I scare them..."
Mariel looked down at her food sadly. Marik chewed off a big chunk of meat from his skewer.
"You scare me sometimes," he joked. "At any rate, I don't think that’s a good place for you to be. Maybe we should find somewhere else to stay." suggested Marik.
"Where? We don't have any money...and we need to get going anyway..."
“Perfect. We'll sleep on the road." commented Marik.
Marik rushed to pack his things, though he did not have many. Mainly, he just fit his weapons on his leather armor and draped his cloak about his shoulders.
"We should hurry, the others are a couple days ahead of us, but they do not know the desert as we do; we can beat them there."
Mariel nodded and threw together her things and some supplies. She thanked the witches for their kindness and their supply of food for their trip. Then she set out with Marik. The two took a quick route, taking rest only for meals and sleep. They covered a great distance in three days, coming just about even with where Alester, Briek, Alex, Selina, and Clytie should have been. Within the next couple of days, they would outpace them. As night devoured the sun, and a harsh sandstorm was making its way through the desert, Marik and Mariel were forced to take shelter in a small cave. Mariel helped Marik block the entrance off to keep out the sand and the wind and sat down with a sigh of relief. She was a bit worn from the journey, but had loved the heat of the desert. Also she hadn't even had to think about her moment with Marik. However, as the two sat around a campfire Marik had prepared, the warrior would bring the event fresh into her mind.
"Mariel, I think we should talk about... what happened."
Mariel blushed a bit at the thought and looked down at the fire. Moving so fast had also kept her from thinking about what had happened at her village and with Alester. The knot in her stomach gained full force.
"I know the last week or so has been kind of rough, but... did you feel anything?"
Mariel blushed a bit and thought for a moment about the kiss. She remembered a jumble of emotions rising to the surface of her general emotional turbulence. Finally she nodded.
"Y...yeah" She whispered nervously.
"Anything... positive?"
Mariel looked down at the layer of sand beneath her feet, absently playing in it. Upon receiving the reply, Marik was taken aback. He too began to blush, but moved from across Mariel, to right at her side, where he sat down.
"Um... are you hungry?" asked Marik, seemingly changing the subject entirely.
"Um...yeah I guess.." She said shyly.
"Um, I'm sorry... did you not feel… good about it?"
Marik looked at Mariel and their eyes met dead center. He kissed her again before replying.
"Does that answer your question?"
She blinked and nodded. There it was, that breathless feeling again. She blushed right red and smiled nervously.
She blushed a bit and looked over at him. Marik looked at the flustered Mariel, himself somewhat flustered.
"Are you cold?"
"A bit."
Marik scooted closer to Mariel and cast his cloak around both of them before wrapping the witch in a warm embrace. She blushed a bit then inched closer to him to snuggle against his side.
"Mariel, why did you come on this mission?" asked Marik.
Marik hugged his companion tighter.
"Why did you choose to help Alex?"
"It looked like you needed help...someone to heal...I'd been looking for my purpose...it's why I left my coven to travel. I guess going with you did show me truth. It was all a lie..."
"Well, maybe you can have a new purpose now..."
“What's the point, Marik?"
"For the longest time I asked myself the same thing... I think I've found it..."
Marik paused for several seconds, then gulped before replying.
"Maybe after all this is over, we can start something."
Mariel was silent for a moment, she stared into the fire. She sighed a bit and looked up at him.
"I don't really intend to survive all this."
Resting his head on the witch's shoulder, Marik had but one thing to say.
She was silent again for a while.
"How can I be sure anymore...that was the good thing about being a witch...there were no guessing games...there what was right and what was wrong..."
Mariel looked up at him. Marik seemed to be staring at the fire.
"It's flickering, I should tend to the it."
Marik got to his feet, but left his cloak around Mariel's shoulders. While Mariel sat close by, Marik kindled the flames of their small fire. He thought about what Mariel had said. Meanwhile, she watched him tend to the fire, feeling a bit bad. Marik then threw a casual smile towards Mariel.
"We'll find it, someday soon, your purpose.
She smiled back a bit but sighed.
"I loved helping people...doing the goddesses work, but how can I worship a goddess that created me to be a slave to all others...to have power but whenever it is used, bad things happen"
Marik walked over to Mariel's side and placed her hands in his.
"It doesn't have to be that way. I can protect you Mariel. Together, we can save countless lives."
"I'm not allowed to defend myself; it's ridiculous, and when something happens to you?"
"Look, you're a strong woman, Mariel. And as long as Skoll still lives, you won't see the end of me."
Mariel saw something she hadn't seen in Marik's face before, cold determination. She blinked and kept watching him.
”Skoll has wronged too many people, no matter what direction this journey takes us... I am resolved to see him dead."
“And I want that witch-hunter dead"
A little surprised even by what he had said, Marik fell to his knees.
"Mariel, it's so hard... I want to live the life I have told you is possible... but... this revenge... I'm scared of it, what it will make me, what it will make us. I've seen too much death to convince myself this will end well."
Mariel looked up at Marik.
"I understand."
Marik lay on the soft sand near the campfire and rested his head on a mound of sand he had piled up.
"I think we should get some sleep. We still have a few days journey left."
Mariel sat up, awake and looking into the fire. She wasn't quite sure what to do at this point about any of this. She could barely feel anything these days, but when she was with Marik she felt something. Not that she was sure what it was at the moment. She sighed heavily. Next thing she knew, a strange wind blew into the cave, upsetting the fire. Marik simply murmured in his sleep and turned over, with his back to the fire. Just seconds later, strange whispers filled the cave.
"Marik," she uttered nervously.
"Hmm?" he grumbled.
The witch stood up and pulled her staff from her coat. She twisted the grip to reveal the blades.
"Something's wrong..."
The whispers grew louder and Marik became startled and jumped to his feet.
"What's going on?"
"I don't know..."
The witch readied herself for an attack and assumed an ideal stance. Her eyes darted from left to right while she cautiously listened. Soon, the whispers in the cave were overwhelming and consumed the hearing of both adventurers.
"What the hell!"
Then, the witch and the warrior would notice something strange about the sand; it seemed to be moving in waves, slithering under their feet.
"What the hell is this?"
With that one word, Marik was pulled under the sand in an instant. Mariel, would see his hand reaching towards her before he was gone.
The witch immediately dove in after him.
At the last second, Marik grasped her hand; however, it was too late to pull him from the sand. She was taken down below the sand with the arena legend, their hands intertwined. Mariel fought against the sand with all her might, trying to pull him with her. To no avail; the two would find themselves dropped into a cell. Meanwhile, their jailers talked to them in an ugly language consisting of grunts, groans, and the like. Mariel looked over to Marik.
”Marik are you alright?" She whispered.
"Yeah," Marik replied. "I think we've been taken by Melesians- they're mole people. They live in underground caverns. They're similar to the holy cities of the Desert Confederation, I don't know if you've heard of those."
The witch growled. "Oh I know of them, that’s how I met Clytie."
"Wait... what?!"
"Those cult-ish desert were trying to take her and sacrifice her."
"Well, that's interesting. At any rate, they've left us with our weapons and they don't understand our speech, we could try to break out, but..."
"But what Marik?"
Mariel looked up at him, her hair all sandy and her eyes determined.
"The Melesians are a people of tradition. They'll give us a trial in which we can earn our freedom."
"They hate my kind....that might not apply to me I'll get burned at the stake or something here."
Marik thought for a second before replying.
"Since their blind, I doubt they'll recognize you as a witch right away, but they're going to take us to a judge. It's your choice Mariel."
"They'll know... they always seem to. They say we have a distinct smell about us…"
"Like I said, its your choice."
"What do you think..?"
“I think their tradition will overcome their prejudices, but that’s taking a chance, but I think that's a better chance than breaking out and trying to reach the surface before they catch us."
“Mariel, I think that its safer is all I'm trying to say. We're in their territory, its going to be hard to outrun them."
"You're right...I'm just scared once they figure out what I am."
Marik hugged Mariel.
"I'll fight to the last breath to make sure you make it out of here."
Mariel smiled a little.
"Don't do that. Just get out of here alive."
Mariel looked up at him.
“No promises," Marik smiled at the witch.
Not long after, a few melesians came to the cell and unlocked it. They would lead Marik and Mariel through massive caverns filled with stone dwellings. Finally, they entered a large tower consisting of dozens of floors. The melesians used a lift and pulley elevator system. In no time, the group was on the thirtieth floor, a circular court room filled on all sides with judges. Yet, these judges were not of the melesian race. They wore elaborate suits of silver armor, and seemed to be human. Yet, silver masks, each unique to their owner hid their faces. Mariel was stoic, but secretly terrified. She prayed that her necklace had stayed in her shirt and that they didn't know. She hadn't even realized they'd gotten to this part of the desert. They'd been moving so fast. There was a reason that this race were the only ones without witches. It was said that they were blind because the first melesians had refused to save a little witch girl who had fallen down one of their pits. The first coven had blinded them in retribution.
Marik stepped forward to the center of the judging ring. In unison, all judges turned their eyes towards Marik. From amidst their crowd, one of them stood up, he wore a blue cape around his shoulders. He spoke in the common tongue when addressing the two.
"You have been sentenced to four decades of imprisonment for trespassing on Melesian lands, how do you plead?"
The judge's voice echoed through chamber, he was a great orator and his voice was extremely deep. Mariel just stayed silent, watching them all. She followed Marik forward, keeping her head ducked low. She hoped they didn't notice that she was a witch. The judge pointed at Mariel.
"You- you are hereby accused of being a witch, and trespassing on melesian lands. How do you plead?"
Marik stepped in front of Mariel.
"We both plead, not guilty."
She immediately felt guilt wash through her. One law of witches is to never deny that you are one. Mariel ignored it, there was no way she was going to die for something she wasn't even sure she believed in anymore. The judge sat down. As he did so, his next words rang throughout the "courtroom."
"Let the trial begin!"
Mariel looked up at Marik, a hint of fear in her eyes. Suddenly, a steel cage dropped around Marik and Mariel with a loud, resounding boom. In no time at all, the floor beneath them began to rise and it turned out that they were standing on another lift. They were whisked away. As they elevated higher and higher, they crashed through the tower top, which was the surface, and found themselves above ground yet again. Marik found himself blinded by the bright sun, having had his eyes adjust to the underground. He had to use his forearm to block the searing sun. Mariel hid her face and waited for her own eyes to adjust.
"What the hell..."
Then, all around them, an arena sprout up from the sand and the spectators were all the judges from the sub-terrain courtroom. The cage seemed to collapse before falling once more below the sands.
“Mariel, I do not know what is happening."
"Whatever it is, I blame you."
The witch pulled out her staff and clicked it. The blades extended.
"Well, let’s hope we get off scot-free then."
"This is because of me and you know it, Marik'
“Let's just hope it turns out okay."
Then, something rose out of the ground, it stood taller than the entire arena, and seemed to block out the sun. Sand rained down on Marik and Mariel as it rose from the earth. It was a giant serpent, devoid of arms or legs, but possessing four lethal fangs.
"Well shit..."
The snake hissed before lunging at Marik, attempting to swallow him whole, luckily, the warrior rolled to the side, simultaneously dodging the attack and drawing his massive sword. Subsequently, Mariel ducked out of the way as well. She wasn't sure if she should use magic, considering then they'd know she was a witch.
Mariik strafed around the snake as it tracked Mariel and slashed at it's exposed tail. He severed the beast's considerably large tail and attempted to cleave it in half when the beast turned to strike. Marik deflected the serpent's mighty fangs, but the force tossed him right into the arena walls.
Mariel sank her staff into the snake to distract it from Marik. She used it to try and climb up.
She watched the snake, trying to get to it's neck so she could kill it. As she scaled the serpent's body, it roared in disapproval and shook violently to try and dismount Mariel. As the snake was distracted, Marik took a chance, he sprinted towards the monster and impaled it straight through it's midsection. It thrashed violently, trying to kill Marik. It was much faster than he was, but luckily, Mariel helped to slow it down as she continued to stab the snake. However, the environment proved to be Marik's enemy as he tripped in the sand.
She kept trying to stab at the snake, she was trying to break through the scales and the muscle to get to the snake's spine. She didn't see Marik fall. Marik was doomed as the snake swallowed him whole.
Mariel froze for a moment, her eyes going dark. She didn't even stop to think about the consequences. A spell began to leave her lips and the whole world seemed to darken. The men in the robes all jumped up to yell something about her being a witch. She kept the spell up and suddenly the serpent split with a flash of light. It disintegrated into the sand and Marik was laying on the gory remains of the beast. The sand rose up around them in spirals as Mariel finished her spell.
"For Becca of the edge lands, the pits were her fate. To the sands you are as well, to enter hell's gate"
The area collapsed into the sands, the humans yelling in panic. Mariel, weakened from the spell, tried to get Marik up.
"Marik...Marik please.."
She could feel her energy fading fast, but she fought it to get him up.
Marik lay in Mariel's arms and his body lay limp. He was covered in the serpent's saliva and small specks of digestive juices were burning his leather armor. However, they were of little consequence as he hadn't begun to really be digested. The juices acted like weak acids, only singing Marik's things, not disintegrating them. Yet, Mariel could feel herself fading, she had to sleep and rest. The spell had taken a lot out of her and now that the adrenaline was fading she was feeling it.
"Marik please wake up...I can't...I can't carry you.."
Still, Marik's body lay motionless in her arms. Also, movement began to be seen in the sand. A few judges were beginning to stir and work their way out of their sandy prisons.
The young woman rose, her legs shaking. She grabbed his coat and arms and did her best to drag him towards the mountains. She needed somewhere sheltered to set up one of her tents. However, as Marik's head began to bounce along the sands, Mariel would hear him coughing. She kept trying to pull him, supporting his head best she could. Marik's eyes opened.
He saw the sky moving as she dragged him through the sands.
The warrior smiled at Mariel from his position below her. Then the woman stopped and fell to her hands and knees, she breathed heavily.
"So, I guess I didn't die, eh?"
Marik laughed weakly.
"That's good. Where's my sword?" asked Marik.
“I have it..."
She pulled it from her cloak and put it beside him. Then she hit the ground, still struggling to stay conscious.
"Oh man," Marik sat up, "I'm surprised you were able to carry it... but don't worry now, just rest."
Mariel closed her eyes and felt her consciousness fade into the dream realm. Marik was too weak to carry her, but placed his cloak over them as make-shift protection from the desert winds. After some hours, she awoke.
Marik's cloak was ripped from atop the pair and they'd see a strange animal standing over them. It was a chec, a four-legged beast of burden, which looked like a cross between a dear and an elephant. It had a long trunk, and was quite tall and wide, but shared more aesthetically with a deer.
"What the..."
As the witch considered the beast, she'd notice three men dressed in white robes atop the chec. First, they spoke in their tongue, but when Mariel and Marik failed to reply, they spoke in the common tongue.
"This desert brings strange winds these days. First, the judges are seen above the sands and then, a man and a woman sleep in the middle of this harsh desert. What brings you here?"
She rose and shook the sand from her hair.
"Traveling...trying to get acrossed the desert."
"We were making good time until this storm hit."
Marik just nodded as his witch companion talked. The three men looked down and then looked to each other, they discussed in hard to hear whispers. Then, after deliberating, they turned to the witch and arena champion.
"We are going to Mari-Iblis, to bet on the games. It is farther east. If you were planning on taking that route, our chec here can more than handle five people."
Mariel looked over at Marik.
“What do you think?"
Marik thought of his days in Mari-Iblis, long ago. However, he wouldn't let his bad experience cloud his judgement. The chec would allow for a smooth and expedient ride across the desert. Mariel watched for his reaction, though she could sense his discomfort.
“Let's ride with them," replied Marik.
Mariel nodded. She then stood up and helped Marik up as well. Then, the two boarded the chec and rode towards Mari-Iblis.
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Re: Tales from Evanotia: Episode 1-The Mirror IC

Post by Ruu on Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:20 am

The young Prince stumbled after Briek as the hardened warrior urged him forward. The magnitude of his deed was only just beginning to dawn upon him, even the serpent continued to whisper poisoned words.

Yess....yess....we love it! We want more! Feed your enemies to me, my Prince, and you will never want for anything!

It appeared the small group escaped the village just in time as a wave of emerald fire obliterated a large portion of the area. Alex suddenly stopped, looking back on the destruction with wide eyes. So much death...so much anger...He couldn't take it anymore...He sunk to his knees, trying to ignore the words of the serpent.

"Briek....did you know..." he whispered, though his voice was becoming louder by the second, "Did you know about the sword? Its thirst for souls? Why didn't you tell me? Why would you want me to use a thing of such...such evil? I won't be part of this anymore...I don't want to destroy anyone, even if it means I won't get my throne back...I just want..."

He stopped when he realized what he was about to say. He just wanted things to return to the way they were, but he knew that was an impossible dream. The White Knights would never stop hunting him until they took him to become a mere puppet, or worse...Leviathan whispered of the White Knights themselves, seeking the power that his youth held...

"Get up, Alexander." Briek urged as he witnessed the distant massacre with apparent indifference. However, his heart raced at the thought that Selina might've not made it in time "We can discuss this later, but right now we have to keep moving. The desert is a day's travel ahead of us and the white knights will be stepping on our heels. We've barely got any provisions and no guide to take us through the sands. This is no time to waste your energy with soreness and regret, so save your breath and c'mon!"

Taking hold of the boy's arm, Briek helped him up again. He knew their time was growing short, so he had to make sure Alex would cooperate the rest of the way.

"If not for me or yourself, then do it for Clytie. She needs us right now. We need you."

Alex flinched as Briek pulled him to his feet. Hurt and betrayal touched his eyes, though he desperately wanted to believe in the mercenary. They had been through so much together. He couldn't believe Briek would purposely lie to him...And Clytie...she hadn't done anything to him, and neither had Briek for that matter. It wasn't fair to turn his back on them. But the poisonous voice continued to whisper in his ears, whether it was the serpent's or the seeds of doubt in his own mind, he was no longer sure.

"How can...can I trust you about anything?" he whispered, trying to hold back tears unsuccessfully, "How do I know any of you need me? What if everything you've told me is a lie? What if I'm setting up myself against my own people? How can you expect me to just go with you after all of this?"

Though he spoke the words, he knew Briek would convince him eventually, but he just had to get the questions into the open.

“Alex, you are a child. There have been tales about the sword, I guess some of them were true, but you’re being selfish. Things can NEVER go back to how they were. You’d do best to remember that fact.”

Alex flinched a little at Briek's words, knowing they were true.

"I...know things have completely changed...but...but how do I know my path is the right one? I have so many people telling me different things..." he whispered, eyes downcast.

Briek placed his hand on Alex's shoulder and looked him in the eye. There was something determined in his stare.

"Look at me Alex. Trust me, and I will lead you down the right path."

Alex looked quietly into Briek's eyes, nodding slowly. He suddenly threw his arms around Briek, trying not to cry. He truly did look like a lost child, even younger than his eighteen years.

"I-I do trust you Briek..." he whispered, "I-I'm sorry....I-I shouldn't doubt you after everything you've done for me. It's just this...I've been a mess...I think my mind is hurt even more than my body. Sometimes I don't even know what's real anymore...."

Briek extended his arms and pushed Alex away from him.

"No more of this Alex. It's time to check your tears and become the king you are destined to be! Take charge of the sword, take charge of your kingdom, take charge of your destiny! Let's go. We cannot linger here any longer."

Alex nodded at Briek's words, wiping away the stray tears from his face. They sounded much like Caeus' own words. That's what Caeus would have wanted, right? For him to be strong and not to fear.

"Alright...let's go..." he whispered, walking forward.

The ever dwindling group made its way east, towards the vast and lonely desert. Their pursuers, however, were not far behind...

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Re: Tales from Evanotia: Episode 1-The Mirror IC

Post by Artorius on Wed Nov 23, 2011 5:41 am

The journey through the harsh desert had been dangerous to say the least. Yet, Briek, Alex, and Clytie had made it to the Dragon's nest. Selina and Alester had never caught up with the group. The seasoned warrior and two young adults entered the ominous chamber. The Dragon's Nest was an imposing cave; the entrance stretched higher than the height of three men. As the trio entered the imposing cave, a stale wind escaped from within it's confines. There was a certain moisture in the air which was suffocating, and restricting to the sense of smell. The whole of the cave smelt of wet stone. As the three entered further into the cave, they'd traverse small lakes and forests of luminescent, crystalline cylinders. These strange cylinders had a peculiar property of being warm to the touch, and changed color from a soothing blue, to a fiery red upon contact with human skin. Briek discovered also, by experience, that the crystals had repulsive qualities towards all metal. These strange characteristics served to heighten Briek's sense of apprehension and wonder. This Dragon's Nest, was an unfamiliar and curious place.

When Briek, Alex, and Clytie passed from the small ponds, and through the crystalline forest, they emerged into a sunlit chamber. For, in the center of the cave ceiling was a massive aperture. Beneath this fissure lay a beast of ample size. To Briek, Alex, and even Clytie, its appearance would be all too familiar. A black dragon lay, bathed in sunlight in the middle of that great chamber. It's front legs crossed, its majestic wings wrapped around the creature as if to protect it. Yet the real majesty lie in the dragon's scales; brilliantly, lustrous, obsidian like scales layered over the dragon's hide, like lacquer armor over warriors of the great northern states. These magnificent scales were tougher than the sturdiest steel of human make.

After marveling at the magnificence of the monumental black dragon, Briek directed Alex and Clytie to follow him. The three hid behind a boulder which shielded them from the view of the dragon. They could hear, see, feel, and smell the beast's breathing. As the black dragon exhaled and inhaled. Alex could hear the musings of Leviathan in his head as the sword rattled in it's sheath. His destiny was close at hand. Just then, the black dragon woke from its slumber. A deep, guttural roar sounded throughout the chamber. Then-

A Drakenguard?

The black dragon shifted where it lay, and the ground quivered beneath him.

I have long waited for this day.

Then, the black dragon rose to its feet nearly as tall as the cave ceiling. Its obsidianesque scales shone with tremendous beauty in the sunlight. It was as if each scale was a tiny, black mirror.

There is no need to hide, young king. You share a special bond with dragon kin. No doubt, you have sensed me, as I have sensed you. Yet, I sense you are with another... it feels like my brother, yet, he has long been dead. Since before I entered my great sleep. What brings you here, monarch of Fate?
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Re: Tales from Evanotia: Episode 1-The Mirror IC

Post by Ruu on Thu Dec 01, 2011 6:46 pm

The journey through the desert had been harsh, and Alexander had not fared well. Though healed in body, his mind was still a fragile thing. He desperately tried to hide it for Briek had told him to be strong. He wished there was some kind of potion that imbued courage in an individual. He really needed it at the moment. And the incessant whisper of Leviathan continued to haunt his mind. But he continued to press on with his companions, not daring to show weakness, building a block in his mind to keep unnecessary and wayward thoughts away.

When they finally reached the Dragon's nest, the young Prince could only look around in awe. It was grand and majestic, and yet he felt somehow at home, or at least that he knew the place. Leviathan itself seemed to take a deep breath, as if it were a fresh spring breeze. The forests and cylinders held a strange, almost other-worldly beauty, as if an alien race had created the place. Too quickly was the beauteous scene replaced by a single chamber, sunlit, yet something dark moved within. Alexander nearly cried out when he saw what the creature was. All too well he remembered the accursed city where they had fought the priests of the occult, feeding live sacrifices to this beast. Why had Briek led him here? What was going on? He was completely confused.

Leviathan continued its whispers, louder and louder, until the dragon whispered words of power in his mind, telling him not to fear and asking their purpose. It was obvious they could not hide from the dragon's penetrating gaze, so Alex cautiously stepped forward.

"We've come...for something special...something Briek believes will help us in our fight against Skoll. Will...you help us?" he asked, eyes wide, unable to hide his discomfort.

The majestic beast saw the boy, the young king he had referred to- Alex. In a booming voice which echoed throughout the young boy's mind, the Black Dragon spoke to Alexander.

Help you? Young king, what you seek I cannot give. You wield Leviathan, your birthright, containing the soul of my hungry brother. Likewise, I can see my other brother the Dragon Lord Galuma's mark upon you- the fire seal, which you cannot yet see. I am Tanmale of the east. I guard Mercury's Mirror, a relic which you too are sworn to protect. I cannot grant it to you, for that may only be done with the consent of the fourth- Atriiz, guardian of the Drakenguards. Awake Galuma, and receive the fire seal of Atriiz, then you will be granted the Mirror. I can take you far north, to the Argonian Peaks. There, the power of Leviathan, my fire seal and the fire seal of Galuma can begin the process of waking him. Is this your wish Drakenguard?

Alexander could not hide the awe in his eyes as he beheld the dragon, speaking to his mind no less. Why was he so special? He was still so very confused. Briek had promised him that as long as he stayed with the mercenary, his path would be true.

The young prince hesitated once again before replying mentally.

I do wish to be brought to Galuma. I made a promise to him that I would find him and awake him to receive my destiny. But...I must ask. Why is your brother...Leviathan...so hungry for souls? Is there not...a less destructive way to satisfy his hunger? His words burn my dreams every night....I cannot stand it for much longer.

If the dragon was angered for speaking so of his brother, Alexander thought not of it. Besides, if the dragons needed him to break these seals, would they not at least listen to his words?

Young king, you are so naive. All dragons thirst for souls. Whilst I was fed souls, I was content and slumbered. But for many years, I was neglected by my servants, for they had forgotten who had carved out their great tunnels. It was I, in times long past. Only when I had woken and voiced my anger, did they attempt to appease me. It was already too late. Galuma is bones and dust, because he neglected his hunger. Leviathan's story is long, but he is the foremost among us in power. My brother Leviathan fueled the rise of the Drakenguard's and he too will fuel their rebirth. Only through acceptance, and appeasement, will his influence give way to control. Now, young king, what is your decision? Do you dare travel to the Argonian Peaks?

Alex hesitated at the words of the dragon. Acceptance and appeasement... This would mean that he would have to accept the destruction of souls...The very essence of humanity...The only part that lived on after death. How could he willingly accept this? Briek had said to trust him, that he would lead the young prince on the right path. But how could any path that relied on the destruction of the core of humanity be the right one?

I....I...cannot accept that the destruction of souls, even for the appeasement of dragons, can lead to anything but chaos. But I also understand that Skoll cannot be allowed to reign unopposed. Is there not any other way to stop him?

"The ways of dragon kin have been such for time immemorial. We cannot change. As for this Skoll you speak of, the pretender; your claim to the throne, and your legitimacy may only be proven by mastery of Leviathan, and restoration of the dragon lords. To restore us four, the power of the mirror must be tapped into. Do you understand? With our help, you can take back your birthright. There are times for peace, my young king, and times for war. In times of peace, weapons of destruction and power are scorned and locked away. In times of war, they are necessary evils. The time will come when you must accept this terrible gift bestowed upon you. For it was by blood that Enola was born, and it will be by blood that it is reborn. If this is not your wish, then leave this place. The dragons will fade into memory and the tyranny of the pretender will reign supreme. What is your choice?"

Alexander hesitated, taking a deep breath. It was a terrible choice, and none of Caeus' words could have prepared him for such a decision. But for Skoll to remain on the throne was unthinkable. Skoll had already done so many terrible things. What other crimes would he perpetrate if left unchallenged? Besides...Alexander would not allow any innocents to be harmed, and if they were, he would immediately defend them, even against the dragons if he must.

I will go with you. I will no longer allow the pretender to sit on the throne.

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Re: Tales from Evanotia: Episode 1-The Mirror IC

Post by Torturous Flame on Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:48 am

The journey to the famous oasis city was a lax one. The three owners of the beast of burden spoke to the witch and the warrior, imparting on them desert tales and personal anecdotes. When they had to set up for camp, or sleep for the night, the three provided water and food for Mariel and Marik. They were rich men, there was no doubt about it- only rich men bet on the games. As the sun rose on the third day of their journey, the group arrived in the beautiful city of Mari-Iblis. It's majesty was unmatched in the eastern deserts. The whole of the city was made of white limestone, and dwelling places made up the bulk of the front of the city. However, as the five traveled deeper into Mari-Iblis, they'd arrive in the commerce center. Tents both small and large lined a paved road leading deeper into Mari-Iblis. Each tent was its own shop and bore colorful designs in its fabric ranging from maroon fabric highlighted by brown and white geometrical shapes, to white tents adorned with black animal prints. As the chec continued through the market place, Marik spoke to his three hosts.

"Thank you so much for what you have done for us, but we must now take our leave."

The three men protested, and offered to pay for lodging and food for the two should they stay with them, however, Marik declined.

"We must go, my friends. We have special business to attend to."

Reluctantly, the man at the reins of the chec brought the beast to a halt and let Marik off. The warrior extended a hand to Mariel to help her off the beast as well. The two exchanged goodbyes with their gracious hosts before the chec and the three rich men rode towards the great coliseum.

"So, I figure the Dragon's Nest is about two day's journey on foot from here, but we could probably "borrow" a couple horses."

Mariel smirked. She had been very quiet the past few days while they traveled. Her brown eyes scanned the market place thoughtfully. Her first instict said that what Marik was saying was not the right thing to do. But then she reminded herself that she didn;t really think the goddess' teaching were anything worthwhile. So she decided that since it was important, who cared.

"Yeah..." She said

Mariel seemed distant still. Marik looked to her.

"I think we should find some horses right away. This city makes me nervous."

She nodded absently as she looked around at the buildings.

"There's a vendor over there...we can wait for a distraction...somehow"

"Hmm... I have it. Wait here."

Mariel frowned a bit and watched him go

Marik made his way over to the tent adjacent of the horse vendor. He browsed the merchant's wares as the shop owner tried to convince him to buy things. This particular merchant sold fireworks. Marik smiled as he bartered with the merchant, giving up one of his throwing daggers for a loud fire cracker. He walked back to Mariel and presented her with the small fire cracker.

"Okay?" She said.

Mariel looked up at him incredulously.

"Well... seeing as I don't have a lighter or essence, I was thinking you could light it."

She looked up at him, almost unsure. Before how she had used spells, written by witches to use the Godesses' given power. But she wondered if she really needed the incantation. Mariel sighed and muttered the incantation anyway. The firecracker popped to life.

“Wait a sec-“

All Marik could think to do was get the small projectile out of his hands as soon as possible. It dropped onto the street and shot out horizontally, dragging along the various rugs and tent bottoms of the bazaar. One by one, they caught fire. The fires were small and contained, so there was no real danger, however, the ensuing chaos and confusion was just enough that Marik could steal some horses without a ruckus. Helping Mariel onto her horse before jumping onto his, the two rode off towards the east- towards the Dragon’s Nest. As they did so, a troupe of guards entered the bazaar. Two outsiders galloping away at full speed didn’t exactly spell innocence. The troupe immediately pursued Marik and Mariel.
Mariel easily mounted the horse, she was a country girl after all.

"You know, I could have just figured out a spell instead of ruining people's livelyhoods!"

She glanced behind them at the troupe who was chasing them. She threw the reigns at Marik.

"I'm going to see if there are any plants in this desert!" She yelled over.

Mariel closed her eyes and leaned into the horse's mane. She could feel the cactus seedlings under the sand as the horses's hooves pounded over the sand. She reached into them and forced energy through them. The cactuses grew at an expedited rate and created a barracade between Mariel and Marik and their pursuers.

Marik stole a glance behind him as the troupe of city guards was brought to a skidding halt when faced with a wall of cacti. Marik smirked as he turned back around.

"Thats a pretty great move right there."

She looked tired, still leaning on the horse's neck.

"Not supposed to grow that fast...hurts me...its draining..."

Marik looked at Mariel with sympathy.

"Just rest. I'll wake you up when we get there."


Mariel closed her eyes and immediately fell asleep. As night crept upon the two, Marik and Mariel had arrived at the Dragon's Nest. Marik shook his companion and then dismounted the horse and tethered it to a rock at the cave's entrance. Mariel awoke and jumped off her horse. She rubbed her eyes and tethered her horse along with Marik's. Then the two entered the cavern, cautious, and unaware of what they were about to encounter.
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Re: Tales from Evanotia: Episode 1-The Mirror IC

Post by Artorius on Fri Dec 23, 2011 4:17 am

The flight past Gornada and to the city of Argon nestled between the frozen Argonian Peaks was smooth and uneventful. As the black dragon, Tanmale, descended upon the ancient city where Galuma’s remains rested, the wind died down. In fact, there wasn’t much of anything in the way of sights and sounds. The party of three stood outside of the massive walled fortress of Argon, upon a snow covered plain, while the black dragon laid down to rest. He spoke to Alex through their telepathic connection.

Go on, Alexander Drakenguard, and fulfill your destiny. I will wait here for your return.

Briek beheld the walled city of Argon, the great centerpiece and namesake of the Argonian Empire. In times long forgotten, they had opposed the mighty Praetorian Empire, successfully. Briek was markedly glad to have been in possession of a decent cloak, it protected him from the cold. He noted that Clytie was reaching for her throwing knives, indeed the city projected a feeling of unease; however, he waived with his hand nearest her, gesturing for her to put them away.

“Put them away, you don’t need them here. Nothing will hurt you.”

Clytie looked at Briek, his order was clear enough, but cryptic in its implications. Nevertheless, she obeyed. As Briek approached the tall wooden gates of Argon, flashes of his encounter with Selina flooded his mind. No doubt, the seeds of passion had been sown, and though simply saplings, Briek worried about her fate. He hoped, subconsciously, that she was alive, and that he could return to her. Yet, he returned to the present; the task at hand commanded his immediate and full attention. Instead of petitioning for entrance to the grand city, Briek simply pushed the gate. He was joined by Clytie and Alex as they managed to open the unlocked city. As the three stepped into the magnificent metropolis that was Argon, Clytie was suddenly very suspicious.

“Where is everybody?”

Undeniably, the city was quiet, and deserted. Nothing made a sound. Not the air, not the party’s footsteps, nor any other creature, or object. As the party walked through the city of gleaming bronze pillars, fountains filled with the purest water, and strange contraptions made up of gears, accordion-like structures, and strange cylindrical tubes, Briek spoke to his young companions.

“Argon… it’s a kingdom forgotten by Evanotia. It was erased from the annals of history. Perhaps the best words to describe what this city is, require a bit of an explanation. All but a few even know this city exists. You see, long ago, before your time, Argon was a bustling city, and the Argonian Empire was as grand as any today, perhaps grander. For, Argon rivaled even Old Praetoria. Argon was the only kingdom in history to have ever successfully repelled Praetorian invasion. They possessed superior technology, this whole city, centuries ago, was powered by manufactured essence and utilized special machines. For these feats, and their defeat of the Praetorian Empire, they were cursed by Fate. The city is dead, Clytie. Now it stands as the greatest monument to Fate’s tyranny.”

The young half breed looked to Briek. The concept of the city itself being dead was strange. She couldn’t grasp onto it. Perhaps it was because she had seen too little of the city to understand. No matter, she followed Briek as he led them to the heart of the city. A gleaming bronze citadel towered over the three companions, several stories higher than the Golden Palace of Fossa. A few paces from the intricately carved stone steps leading to the royal abode was erected a golden monument, it was the image of the sun, held in a bronze masculine hand bigger than the three travelers. It symbolized the worldview of the Argonians- they held the very power of the sun in their hands. Yet, it was not to be. As quickly as it had risen, the sun had set on the Argonian Empire centuries ago. Clytie ran her hands along the giant monument to Argon’s glory before Briek beckoned.

“Lets go!”

The three ascended the massive staircase leading towards the even larger palace. They saw the first signs that there ever was life in Argon- armored palace guard, halberds in hand, wearing strange metal and leather helmets with a large cup over their mouths with protruding tubing leading to a large metal can which lay on their back. These helmets were in actuality gas masks and oxygen tanks, which protected the palace guard from the noxious fumes of the dragon lord Galuma. His intimidating throne room lay before the three travelers. As the three of them struggled to move the massive throne room door, a screeching sound of the metal door scraping against the stone floor invaded their ears. Like the dwelling of Tanmale, Galuma’s throne room was nothing to scoff at. A long, red, velvet carpet stretched across the throne room floor until it reached the foot of the massive throne upon which was seated the hallow corpse of a once proud king. On both sides of the giant king’s throne was a drakonian knight, dressed in golden armor and wielding fearsome halberds, they too were frozen like the men guarding the throne room. Lining the path to the giant king’s throne were stone pillars, gilded with intricate designs and pictographs and upon which were placed the banner of Argon.

After examining the massive throne room filled with stain glass windows depicting scenes of war and religious significance, Briek marched forward with Alex and Clytie at his back. As the trio drew close to the throne, Leviathan began to vibrate. When Briek was but a few feet from the throne, he ran into an invisible wall and fell to the cold, stone floor.

“What the hell…”

Briek rubbed his nose and forehead; both were causing him some pain at the moment. The wanderer got to his feet and pressed his hand against the invisible barrier.

“I did not expect this,” commented Briek. “Alex… I-I don’t know what to do.”

For once in a long time, Briek had no knowledge of where to go from here. They’d come so far, but now, an invisible barrier threatened to end their quest.

"Briek... I know what to do." whispered Alex.

"What?" asked Briek.

Alex stepped forward. His hand entered the invisible barrier, and his body soon followed. What lay beyond the barrier, no one could know. Alex had entered Mercury's Mirror.
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Re: Tales from Evanotia: Episode 1-The Mirror IC

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