Something Wicked This Way Comes (SO/open)

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Postby Maledict » Tue Sep 30, 2003 9:10 am

Her footfalls echoed ever-so-quietly in his ears and so he knew she was there even before she drew breath to speak. Even so, he didn't look back but continued with his solemn vigil beside Ebony. The power of the temple had lifted all thoughts of lust from him, allowing his mind to clear and returning his ability to reason. Something was not right with this whole situation, that much he knew, but the details escaped him. The Sidhe Witch had been a guest of Ebony when he had retreated into the mountains to cure himself of the taint that her blood had left in his body, and now, upon his return Ebony lay in a state that could be mistaken for death, yet Lyssia, Lyssia now takes charge of the desert realm. It was wrong, it was all wrong and he would solve the puzzle.

The poisonous words of the Witch prowled through the cool air of the temple before slithering into his ears and clawing at his mind. He placed the flats of his hands upon the altar and lifted himself to his feet, hands still resting against the altar so that his body was stooped over Ebony. The Torturer lowered his head as she mocked him, anger burnt up in his belly, a torrid fire that rose until it flashed across his eyes. Talons unsheathed and scraped against the surface of the altar as he clenched his fists, the shrill echo of talon against stone ripped into the air with all the ferocity of a leopard pouncing upon its prey.

It must have been difficult for you, Even though the words were whispered, they could be clearly heard within the solemn surroundings. Striking down my body, effectively murdering me only to find out later that I still existed, that all you had really done was cause me a little.. inconvenience. A low chuckle rumbled deep in his gut. How embarassing that must have been for you. Did the thought of my existence trouble your sleep, Witch? Did I cause any pain to your oh-so-delicate conscience?

As he uttered the last word he spun around with speed that rivalled the wings of a humming bird and raced toward her, long fingers curled around her throat and he raised his arm until her feet were just out of reach of the floor, careful not to choke her, but allowing the talon of his thumb to graze her just beneath the chin. Tiny specks of blood dotted around the graze, it's scent was to him better than any flower, better than the bouquet of any fine wine for this scent signified life, and the power he had over it.

Before we continue with this arrangement I should warn you of the rules. His voice was raised a little higher than a whisper now and every word dripped with menace. If you ever presume to speak to me like that again, I will snap this pretty little neck of yours. His fingers gave just enough pressure around her neck to prove that he was able to carry out the threat. Don't forget, Witch, you are merely flesh and blood which means that I can destroy you. A grin scythed across his cruel thin lips, no matter how much she struggled, she would never break his grip, nobody could. He then pulled back his arm until her face was level with his. The last time we were this close you stuck a blade into me. I haven't forgotten what you are so do not mistake my current hospitality for weakness. I am Darden's Torturer, you would do well to remember that, Sidhe. He then loosened his grip and pushed her down onto the floor.

Now, He said as he turned away from her and walked back up to the altar. You say that your art cannot bring her back and that you cannot tell where her spirit wanders . Cannot, or will not?
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Postby lucius_Belial » Wed Oct 01, 2003 3:46 am

the diffrence of the heat from the now warmed sands to the cool chill of the stone steps of the temple tickled the child's bare feet as he followed quietly the pale locked male and the strange Sidhe female. both seemed as if he should know them, the one from nature the other from power yet his teachers had said nothing of either during his stay in the temple.

feelings took form of cool colors from both figures blinding the child in visions he had never experienced so vividly drawing him closer and closer to the room they had stopped in. having peeking around the corner the child now wondered what the cause of the wierd floating feeling in his inners was caused by as well as the terror that shook his shadow now hiding deep within the folds of his blood stained robes.

hearing whispers low and unhuman the child turned from the entrance to the room with the strangers and headed down the corridor depper within the temple so much like the one of his beginning. reading the writings in blood upon the walls made it feel so much like the time of the fall of the priests of the father and his leaving of the temple. the priests there hadn't covered the walls in their blood as these did but had been slaughtered and had heathen warriors paint the walls with the blood of the slaughtered priests.

was the slaughted priests who taught me calling to me now shadow? only time would tell he thought as he continued into the darkness of the temple with the frightened whispers of his shadow behind his eyes as he walked.
[center]The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world I don't exist.
~Dementia


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Postby Lyssia » Wed Oct 01, 2003 6:27 am

She glared in anger at the demon's back, one hand raised instinctively to hold her throat. How dare he do such a thing to her? How dare a...a demon like him presume to touch her? Her own, normally hidden, rage swelled within her heart, urging her to lash out at him, to bring the demon to heel with the Art. She might not be able to strike down his flesh with the magic at her command but she could hurt him, she could make him realise that crossing one of the few Sidhe left in the isle was a mistake. The Art in her blood seemed to almost bubble and boil, tempting her with visions of what she could do, urging her to pay him back for the slight against her.

But now, that could not be, not now. Lyssia, as much as she hated to admit it, needed the demon and his alliance of fanatics and zealots. Only they could provide her with the power and the reach to harm those outside the faith that she felt had wronged her. As part of the Officium she could cause a great deal more trouble to the Isonian and Foretians than she could ever hope to achieve by herself. The Sanctum Officium had a reputation, a fierce and terrible reputation, those that wronged them were rarely forgiven. Those that wronged the Officium always found their mistakes coming back to haunt them when they least expected it. Yes she needed the guild and its demon leader, it would be the perfect tool to set against her enemies when the time came.

And once her foes outside the faith were done with, then the sorceress would be able to turn her attention to those who were followers of Darden. When that time came then Maledict would pay, she would make sure that she learnt the error of his ways. But not now, now was not the right time, she had to gain power and influence within the alliance first. That would be a troublesome task considering how others within the alliance viewed her, especially the girl-child Demetria. Well once thing at a time.

Besides the Torturer's outburst had let something slip, it seemed that the demon wasn't as well-informed about her as he'd probably like to think he was. Flesh and bone was she? Did he really think that just snapped her neck would put an end to her life? The sorceress's glare turned to a smirk as she let her fingers run along her neck, brushing along the network of thin, silvery scars that marred the skin there. Oh no she might not be a shape-stealer as he once was but that did not mean that she would die as easily as a human child.

Long ago in another land Lyssia had made a bargain, one that had bound her soul with that of another creature; Kara, the blue phoenix. The same Kara that Maledict had had a hand in killing all those ages ago in a search for a simple book. Kara's death had tore the sorceress's soul in two, one half living, one half dead, practically tearing her from sanity, or so she believed. But in dying Kara had left her own egg behind, one that had in time brought the phoenix back to life, though much weakened, nothing more than a shadow of her former self. With Kara's ressurection, the second half of Lyssia's soul had also been reborn inthe phoenix, and while one half lived the other could not truly die.

Yes let the demon think that he could kill her, she had more than a few tricks up her sleeve to turn the tables back upon him. So long as he never realised that Kara had been reborn he would remain ignorant of the problem in killing the Sidhe. And even if he did find out that the magpie phoenix still lived, she would make sure that he never found out where she nested. Not just for Lyssia's safety but also because the bird, and the one who she now protected, knew too much information that the sorceress could not allow to fall into Maledict's hands.

I know exactly what you are Maledict, she muttered, her expression returning to the cold mask that seemed easiest to present to the world. And I cannot heal her of whatever ails her. I have tried ever since she fell into this state, all the time that you have been absent I have tried. Speak to the priests of the temple if you do not believe me, they will tell you exactly what I have.
SO - Into darkness...
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Postby Sorentio » Wed Oct 01, 2003 3:42 pm

The Sidhe followed Maledict inside the temple, with Lyssia not far behind. He immediately found himself a dark corner and attempted to blend into the shadows. He didn't particularly want to be noticed during the confrontation that would come--as far as he knew, Maledict knew nothing of whatever ailment had afflicted Ebony, and his reaction was not likely to be a pleasant one.

He was not disappointed. It was all he could do not to strike out of his own when the Torturer lifted Lyssia by the throat, drawing blood with the talon of his thumb. The Sidhe knew that there was nothing he could do--or should do, for that matter. If Maledict had meant to kill Lyssia, he would have tried to do so long ago, though he may not have had as much success as he might think. The Torturer was simply establishing his authority--a strangely human thing for him to do, the Sidhe noted. He hoped that Lyssia, too, would possess enough sense not to just instinctively lash out against the demon.

For a moment, the Sidhe thought that Lyssia might just do it, that she might lash out with her magics and cause whatever pain she might to the Torturer. Yet she maintained some outer semblance of calm, a cold mask returning to her face, and the Sidhe almost let out his breath in an audible sigh of relief. He turned his attention to the blind seeress sprawled upon the altar. He knew little of the situation himself, beyond that shortly after Maledict had retreated from Maxim's affairs and disbanded the Officium, Ebony had fallen into a coma, leaving Lyssia suddenly in charge of the desert realm, somehow. While the Sidhe had offered RKoR's newly-raised banners to Lyssia and the desert realm for protection, he knew nothing of why Lyssia was the one now in charge.

He was growing almost bored, just watching the confrontation, while both parties seemed to ignore him. The Sidhe wondered when other members of the Officium might begin to arrive.
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Postby Demetria » Mon Oct 06, 2003 11:45 am

It had taken her a little longer than normal to reach the village, but that was still faster than most human young women. She did have an excuse- the child was heavier than it appeared at first glance. She would have put the youngster down to walk on its own if she hadn't been positive it would fall behind. She knew Dementia would have preferred to put the child out of all their misery, but she had plans. She couldn't put those plans into words exactly, because the plans were as yet still very hazy in her head. Even so, she felt it important that the child make it to the red desert with her. She'd worry about explaining her muddied thoughts later.

They were finally here, however, and as she stepped out of the brambles and briars into the clearing of what she remembered as a haven of some of Darden's non-human chosen, she placed the girl on her own feet and looked around. It was silent as death and empty of life. Frowning she walked down the street glancing around her. Doors hung on broken hinges and shutters had been torn off of windows, leaving the building open to invading vermin. Belongings lay scattered in haphazard piles as if whoever had done the damage had been in a hurry and didn't much care about what was being labeled as trash. She walked over to a still smoldering pile, taking a stick and stirring in the ashes. These weren't the ashes of burnt property. These were the ashes of whoever had owned the property. She wrinkled her nose slightly and let her gaze wander to all the other still smoldering piles.

Many of your kind, died here Dementia. Whoever was not killed, has fled the scene....

She frowned. Who had done this? Whoever it had been, it was something that Maledict needed to know. He needed to know of it quickly.


(ooc: I and those accompanying me will be moving to this thread HERE to complete a side-quest.)
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Postby Ethan » Tue Oct 07, 2003 8:22 am

He had tried to be careful, tried not to get any of the blood on himself and when his blade had sliced across the throat of the carriage driver Ethan had been sure to stay behind the man when the blood spurted up and outwards, a hot red geyser of life giving fluid exploding from the severed carotid artery. Everything had been taken into account, the direction that the blood would go and the human shield that was his victim. Still, the cruel fates had decided otherwise and the direction of the wind suddenly changed so that huge goblets of fresh vitae blew back at him and spattered noisily onto his face.

He cursed the fates as he walked away from the carriage and it's now dead driver who's body slumped at an awkward angle over his horses. The desert realm was not far now and he didn't want to show up with his face covered in blood. The people there respected him, some even revered him, or at least they had done before the.. episode. So it wouldn't fill them with trust to see their long lost priest return looking like some crazed murderer, whether or not he was one was beside the point.. he didn't have to look like one.


Are you sure they know nothing of me? His voice boomed through the almost silent desert so much that he lowered it to a whisper. I mean absolutely sure, because if I'm walking into hostile territory then we all lose.

Stop worrying, forgotten one. All will be well.

The sun blazed down onto the red sands, heat rising up in waves that would make a normal man hallucinate, but Ethan was no ordinary man, he had lived in these climes for age upon age, tending to the needs of his Mistress Ebony and the spiritual needs of her people. The heat had no effect on him, in fact he felt comfortable as his sandled feet trudged across the hot sands. He was going home.

No. The voice ripped into his mind, tearing at his brain and causing him to double over, holding his head in a futile effort to ease the pain. Not home. Not home. They are the enemy now, forgotten one. Not your people.. hers. Hers. Enemy.

As soon as the voice had quietened the pain subsided allowing the drown priest to stand upright and continue his journey. Ethan nodded his head solemnly and said, I know.

Never forget. You are the forgotten one. Never forget what they did to you.

I won't.

The heat soon dried the blood onto his face and he was able to rub it off with the heel of his hand, fingers picking at any of the stray or stubborn crusted blood scabs. Good. He would be able to arrive with a clean face. The sun hadn't even began it's submission to the night when Ethan saw the low buildings of the desert realm. He couldn't help smiling and feeling a small amount of joy at seeing them, but then he remembered why he had come here and the feeling quickly sank into despair.

Keep the smile, forgotten one. Let them think your return is a happy event for all concerned. We are too close now, do not fail us.

Again, the priest nodded solemnly and forced the smile to return, hoping beyond hope that it didn't look false, that his act would fool them all. A woman was the first to spot him, at first she wore a look of disbelief and shook her head as though trying to dislodge a hallucination, a trick of the light. The look of disbelief soon turned into one of joy when she realised that it truly was who she had first thought it to be.

Ethan! She yelled his name out which made others stop their daily chores and look at the drow. He has returned to us! The drow priest has returned to us! Praise Darden!

Yes. He had returned, although Darden had had nothing to do with it.
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Postby Eskil » Tue Oct 07, 2003 11:26 am

Eskil knelt before the pitted surface of the cavern beneath the red temple, offering his prayers to the Lord. Some of the pits in the carvern's walls contained small pots of ash, all that remained of those members of the priesthood who had already journeyed onwards to the judgment of Darden. It was Eskil's task to oversee the funeral rites of those priests that died in their Lord's service, to light their pyres, gather their ahes and set them to their final rest. Some would have thought it a gruesome task to be left with, to meet with as often as he did. But to Eskil it was no chore, no hated burden, it was what the Lord had set him to do and so he would do it gladly.

Brother Dnard had perished during the last heathen incursions by the heathens, giving his life freely to protect the blind, white serpant had lived in the dry well before the temple. It was the symbol of the red desert lands, a holy creture, not one to perish by tainted heathen hands. Dnard had realised that and had left the safety of the temple to protect it, dying in its place just as the warriors of the Nibinbrethian tribe had managed to push back the invaders. They had carried his body back to the temple with reverence, knowing that he had given up everything to hold true to his beliefs.

They had brought him to Eskil, knowing that he would tend to the dead man and prepare his body for its final rest. For three days he had laboured over his fellow priest's body, washing it and anointing it, preparing it for its final cleansing by fire. He read prayers over the corpse and kept a vigil through the days and the nights, making sure that none but himself touched Dnard. The dead priest's soul had already moved on, going forth from the physical world to behold Darden in His greatness. But Dnard's flesh had to be cared for, purified so that the soul had no ties to the land when it finally was judged by the Lord of Sorrows.

Then just before the night's middling hour Eskil had accompanied Dnard's body on its final journey into the desert. There in the twilight he had set the body wrapped in its final garments upon a pyre and lit it. The flames had risen into the sky, bright enough to fool the scavenger birds on the western border mountains into thinking that dawn had already arrived. Now he knelt before the cavern wall having placed Dnard's ashes with his brethern, knowing that sooner or later there would be another call upon his services.

And one day there would be another priest kneeling where he now did, having just placed his own ashes to rest.

But not today, he said, getting to his feet, knowing that soon enough the rest of the priesthood would pressure him into taking one of the novices to train as his successor. Death comes to us all as the Lord wishes it, one day He'll call me to Him and I shall go gladly. Till then though-He broke off, hearing a quiet pad of footsteps through the cavern behind him. There shouldn't have been any other soul down there, none but him knew the correct sequence of steps to take to make it safely through. In Darden's name who dares walk these sacred grounds?, he called out, pulling himself up to his full height.

Eskil was originally of the Nibinbrethian tribe that settled about the central settlement. Though his skin was pale from rarely being out in Intop's light his features still marked him as a member of the tribe. he was however taller by far than any member of his tribe, some even said that he was taller than any member of the tribes. He towered over his fellows in the temple though it was not for that reason that they had turned to him for leadership when Ethan had disappeared. He had not wanted the responsibility that they had offered him when the drow had vanished, he had believed that Ethan was still alive, that the Lord had yet to call him to His judgment. Though many now treated him as high priest of the sands he refused the position and any calling him by such a title had soon learnt their mistake.

It's Noral, Father Eskil, I bring news, a voice called back, a young boy's voice, one that still had not broken. Noral...the name evoked a handful of vague memories in Eskil...thin temple novice whose hair always seemed too long and voice always seemed too loud. It's Father Ethan...they say he's been seen on the outskirts of the settlement.

Ethan?, he whispered in a voice filled with disbelief, Could it really be you? He had been waiting for this day to arrive for several ages but now that it was here it seemed difficult to believe. Go back the way you came novice and take a care not to step off your path. He bowed his head in farewell to the pots of ashes in their pits, knowing that it probably wouldn't be too long before he made the trek back beneath the temple again.

***********

It didn't take Eskil long to climb the path back to the main level of the temple. He knew the path well enough to have done it blind-folded if necessary. The human priest pulled up his robe's hood to protect himself against Intop's rays, knowing that the light of the Lord was not for the priest caste. By the temple's entrance the novice Noral waited, practically hopping from one foot to the other in his eagerness to see the truth of what had been rumoured. Where did they say they saw him novice? Where exactly?

I'll show you Father Eskil, this way, the two robed figures set out across the small settlement that the desert people claimed as their capital. A few people whispered softly as they passed by, surprised to see one of the priests of the temple about in daylight.

And then...there he was.

Ethan.
[center]If Faith we humans do profess,
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Postby Chaston » Sun Oct 12, 2003 6:53 pm

It had been so long, so very long. The priest wrung his hands with nervousness as he crept among the slowly reviving town's streets. The Officium had come back and now the people were returning. Just as he had returned.

He didn't know why he had come back. As far as he knew if the Torturer found him here he would....well, he would probably kill him. Kill him if he recognized him. But the demon had a way of knowing things. Chaston really didn't think he could hide his identity from that one.

He had spent the time after the destruction of The Thirteen and Sacris's death wandering the countryside. It had not all been bad. He had met some fine young men and had taught them the love of Darden. He was ever faithful to his God. Surely Darden would let no harm come to him, he had survived this long.....and surely there was more work for him to do. He had started back here with pride for surving so long on his own. Pride that his God must be pleased with him. He had donned his robes once again and worn them proudly as he traveled.

But now, now he was finally here and the Onyx Temple was before him. He stood behind a still deserted hovel and watched as Maledict, the Sidhe Witch and another entered. A chill passed through his body and even in the desert heat he pulled his robes closer round his frame.

No, not that way. I will not enter through the front doors. I do not wish for him to see me just yet.

There was a back entrance, one which led to the many tunnels and chambers beneath the temple. He would go there and enter. The priests would surely welcome him back....he would make sure they welcomed him back.
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Postby Voice Evangeline » Mon Oct 13, 2003 8:35 am

Next thread, please!
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where you're damned for plain hard luck
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