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 Post subject: Re: New Changes. Old Demons.
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 3:51 am 

Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 11:55 pm
Posts: 258
Pt. 6

New Changes …

[Moments ago]

Ar’Kelos was helplessly held by his throat. Already in pain from the torture he had received during the past three months, he laid there, awaiting the inevitable. The reptilian looked at the helpless being within his grasp as if scrutinizing its worth to live or not. ‘One liiife for anotherrr. My debt to you isssss paid, Eloriiii.’ it clamored as it tore the chains and placed Ar’Kelos back down. Ar’Kelos looked back up at the Ss’rresen and nodded ‘Now, we can deal on equal terms.’ The large Ss’rresen nodded back in agreement as well …

[Presently]

‘How did you escape?’ she growled ‘That useless lizard!’ as she howled in pain from being lit on fire again. As the blaze began to die down, the damage started to heal. She began to laugh ‘I am immortal, you foolish Magi. That which you damage will be regenerated away, and eventually you will ware yourself out!’ she cackled. It the midst of her mad chortle, a series of sigils and runic circles flashed under her.

‘Let us see just how immortal you truly are.’ Ar’Kelos responded in his creepy, low, monotone, voice. With a hand gesture, the naked woman was engulfed in fire once more, darkening her skin. She screamed in agony as the fires consumed her flesh down to her muscle. Yet as the damage came, so did her lycanthric regeneration do its job – muscle tissue reforming and skin re-growing. Another gesture and she flared up even more as the damage was worse than the last. She darkened more, and began to regenerate, but the rate was slower this time. Fear dominated her face for possibly the first time as the realization started to settle in. Despite the agony of enduring the effigy she was becoming, she pressed forward to attack as she changed into her gifted form at last only to be thwarted as her legs refused to obey her. The were-hyena looked down. At her feet spun a runic circle of a Halt spell. She looked back up at the Elorii with hatred and was blasted with fire once again.

Yelping in pain, the lycan endured one more blast when the Halt spell finally ended. She dashed forward to close the gap between her and the Elorii. Her skin becoming a blackened mess of charred skin and molten fur as she took on another hit from the Elorii’s fiery onslaught. But her speed was sufficient enough. One more spring forward and she was within reach to strike down her assailant. She extended her claws toward his face. Her strike would land true …

Ar’Kelos performed one last gesture in hopes to end it all. Opening his palm at her, he focused his inner spirit and a wave of brimstone and fire poured out from him. The were-hyena stopped cold, her claws mere millimeters from his eye. Her charred body began to change. Ar’Kelos thought he failed as she began to regenerate before him. But heal she did not, reverting back to her human form instead. ‘You … I cannot believe you did it.’ she looked up at him with hatred and lust. His glacial gaze affixed upon her. ‘I love how coldly you stare at me during the moments of my final breathe.’ she coughed. ‘I pray you remain longed lived. I will haunt you from the afterlife till your time’s end.’ as she closed her eyes. Her skin blacked even more, slowly disintegrating as her ashes crumbled away from the mountainous cold wind.

Ar’Kelos knees buckled before him as he spat blood from his mouth and trickled from his nose as he dropped down, the strain from all that casting and the accumulated three months of torture claimed their price.

From the opposite side of the jail cell entrance, came four ratmen into the courtyard. Upon seeing the Eloran escapee, they growled and readied to attack. As they launched toward Ar’Kelos, the entrance they came out from exploded as a humongous Ss’ressen leaped forward destroying the structure of the area. Swinging his shield, it bashed two of the ratment away, knocking them unconscious. The creature faced the other two and roared at them with the ferocity of a primal reptile of pre-history. The two remaining ratment looked at each other, dropped their weapons, and ran.

‘You took your time.’ rasped Ar’kelos.

‘Find my toyssss.’ responded the Ss’ressen holding up his shield and axe.

‘Please, release them from their bonds.’ Ar’Kelos pleaded as he pointed at the three individuals bound to their posts.

The Ss’ressen moved toward them and sliced their bindings from Tabithna first.

‘You’re the Vuldroag from before?’ she asked curiously.

‘Pretty one hasss good memory.’ as it removed cut off the last rope.

Ar’Kelos plopped onto the ground. {‘Your embrace has never felt so welcoming, Maroke.’} he thought laying there against the earth. {‘Just a bit longer .... let me cradle you just a bit longer.’}. He looked ahead of him as Eifraien and Tabithna ran toward him. Ar’Kelos closed his eyes as his senses faded away …

Ar’Kelos awoke to the sound of wood crackling on a campfire. As his senses began to regain their focus, he noticed his comrades surrounding the fire as they were exchanging stories of their adventures with the Ss’ressen. He sat up. He felt pain surge through him as he did, noticing he’s been bandaged up and his arm was set in a sling.

‘Hurts, doesn’t it?’ stabbed Plish verbally. ‘That’s what you get for going off on your own, you rouge-haired mule.’

‘How … how much time has elapsed?’ Ar’Kelos asked.

‘A day at most.’ replied Eifraien

Ar’Kelos began to get up.

‘Where do you think you’re going?’ demanded Tabithna. ‘You’re on bed rest for at least a week.’

‘There is still time. I need to finish what I started.’ Ar’Kelos replied as he began looking around for his effects.

‘What?! Ranth, lend me your axe, I need to administer around round of anesthesia on this idiot.’ she threatened as she extended her hand toward the large Ss’ressen.

‘You’re not going anywhere Ar’Kelos, not in your condition.’ interjected Eifraien. ‘Your wounds were pretty severe.’

‘This is something I need to get done.’ began Ar’Kelos.

‘No.’ interrupted Eifraien. ‘Enough of this fool's errand and you have a LOT to answer for.’

‘I’m calling in my favors with you.’ interrupted Ar’Kelos. ‘So much will be lost – time, lives, all of it for nothing if this is not done.’

Eifraien pondered and sighed. ‘Tell us first.’

‘One last motion to set off, at a pier off the Sea of Lanterns.’ replied Ar’Kelos.

‘And we go home from there?’ stated Eifraien, more demand than inquiry.

Ar’Kelos nodded.

‘Fine, but consider all of your favors with us used and we wait till day light to move.’ Each agreed.

Morning came. The group gathered their effects and rode off toward the sea. They traveled at a pace to match that of the Ss’ressen as he was horseless due to his sheer size and lack of an additional horse. It didn’t take long to reach the location Ar’Kelos stated - an abandoned pier roughly 30 foot long. The morning’s fog still covered most of the waters.

The Elorii stopped and addressed the party. ‘I need several things from you.’ as he trotted to face the group. ‘First, whatever takes place here, whatever you see, do … not … interfere nor make your presence known.’

He dismounted from his horse and began to walk toward the pier. Upon reaching it, he raised hand and released an arcane flare. ‘Ranth, remember our conversation, and take care of them. They are the kind that are worth dying for. They in turn will take care of you.’ he yelled. ‘Lastly Eifraien, let them know this had to be done.’

‘What the hell is he yapping about?’ whispered Plish to the group. As if on queue the fog began to roll back when Plish finished his inquiry. Coming from the fog a shadow formed, moving toward the shore. As the fog continued to recede further back, the shadow took its form – the unmistakable dark ship of every arcane caster’s nightmare.

‘Ymadragore.’ stated Tabithna with trepidation.

The ship anchored itself at the end of the pier. Six individuals exited the ship when the rampart was dropped, taking guard. Ar’Kelos proceeded to head toward the ship. As he approached, the six guards welcomed the Elorii and boarded with him. The ship sailed off toward the fog as it rolled back toward the shore. The party watched in suspended trepidation as their long time friend sailed away into oblivion.

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


… Old Demons

The three Elorii readied for the Voei charge. Arialas casting several blessings upon her brethren, donning her bow when done. Erothlos still stood in position to protect his sister from oncoming attacks. Talendos dashed forward to meet the rampaging assailants.

The Voei were caught off guard from Elorii approaching them. His speed covered a lot of ground in short time and use of his acrobatics landed him in the center of the opposing group. Taking advantage of the Voei’s confusion, he raised his sword toward the sky as he shouted ‘OSALÍAN!’ Thunder crashed down upon his location striking the Voei surrounding him, whom now stood semi-unconscious as lighting arced through them stunning all but one. It took a swing at the Osalikene, but missed as the Tal’Kanath dodged his strike with ease. Smiling, Talendos taunted the Voei with a passing strike and dashed off toward his siblings. The Voei, angry at the taunted strike, foolishly followed.

Seeing his rouse worked, he turned about to await his chaser, whispering to his weapons, several runes lighting up in the process, and stood in pose.

The Voei caught up, charging at Elorii. It swung his axe with ferocious might as he jumped. His weapon sank deep into the ground where he landed as he missed. Talendos responded to the attack by sidestepping to his left, striking the Voei’s side. The gash worsened by the avalanche rune flaring with the hit. Spinning about, he sliced at its back with his follow up attack, confirming a solid puncture in the creature's back. The Voei roared in pain as he turned to face the Elorii. Taking another swing, he landed a good hit onto Talendos’ shoulder. It grinned with satisfaction as it raised its shield to bash the Osalikene senseless. An arrow through its throat thwarted the creature’s plan.

The other Voei began to shake off the effects of the stun, again charging toward the Elorii. Talendos intercepted one of them. Erothlos moved forward to fend off the others. One of them attacked the Marokene forcing the Champion’s attention onto it alone. The remaining three went after Arialas.

Arialas raised her bow which began to shine with a divine glow and issued a word of command upon casting the spell Awe – ‘REVERE!’. The force of her voice so potent, it was like the fabric of reality in the immediate area reeled from the effect. Even the other Voei and Elorii engaged with each other were startled briefly from her booming voice. The three Voei dropped to their knees in the presence of the Ardahiri, unable to disobey. The might of her command weighed so heavily that they bled from their eyes and ears as they complied.

Talendos dropped one of his swords and quickly drew out a dagger, stabbing the Voei he was facing on the foot, pinning him down deeply to the ground. It growled at him in return. Talendos then ran to Erothlos’ aid picking up the weapon he dropped along the way.

Erothlos deflected several attacks from his assailant, but it still managed to land in a couple of good hits. The Marokene slammed it with his shield knocking the creature down. It let loose howl as the death strokes landed from both Erothlos’ and Talendos’ following attacks.

The pinned Voei struggled with the dagger for a moment. When it got loose, it saw the other three Voei who were still forcibly revering the hooded Elorii. It began to flee. Talendos took notice and was ready to throw his blade upon the wind. Erothlos quickly stopped him. ‘No, eil. Novaras.’ The flame in Talendos’ eyes died down as he sheathed his weapons, letting his target escape.

As the Awe’s effects wore off. Arialas pointed at the Voei and then deeper into the hills. The Voei looked at each other, got up, and proceeded to walk off. One of them stopped, growled as he spun around and attacked. Arialas commanded ‘Agonize!’. The ground in the area shook from the force of her edict. The other two stopped and witnessed in terror as their comrade crumbled up in pain, howled in agony, and dropped lifelessly to the ground. They simply ran.

Recovering his dagger, Talendos commented ‘Well, we got a long walk ahead of us.’

‘Shouldn’t take long by horses, eil.’ stated Erothlos.

‘What horses?’ replied Talendos as he pointed to the makeshift post now in laying in shambles. The force of Arialas’ voice destroyed it, scaring off their rides in the process.

After attending their wounds, they began their trek back to the First City. They stayed near the mountain’s edge which had many slopes that lead toward ledges and paths leading up the side. ‘I hope the other group was successful and found Ar’Kelos.’ began as they engaged in conversation. So engulfed they were with chat that the three did not become aware they were being observed …

From one of the ledges stood a figure gazing upon the traveling three. As the party walked off into the distance she whispered a name unspoken in over several millennia - ‘Faladin.’ Though she spoke faintly, it echoed throughout the basin …

The three immediately stopped upon hearing that name. Erothlos and Arialas both turned to Talendos who turned to face the caller. About two hundred paces stood a woman on a ledge roughly fifteen feet up, holding her broad sword hilt up with the blade toward the ground.

Talendos immediately dashed towards her. Arialas attempted to reach out to Talendos, but it was too late. He closed the distance in a matter of one simple run. ‘My Goddess, he’s become so swift!’ Erothlos stated surprisingly. Both he and Arialas began to run after their hasty brother.

With the momentum gained from his run, Taleandos easily cleared the leap up toward the ledge where the woman stood. Like two souls ready to merge once again after being ripped apart so long ago, Talendos was ready to embrace his caller. As he closed in, he quickly drew his weapons, striking the female’s sword as she deflected his attack.

The force of his leap caused him to slide and spin about. He whispered to his blades, their runes lighting up on command. He affixed his gaze with the eloran woman as she turned to face him. ‘Hello, my love.’ he greeted ...

Fin …(for now)

_________________
Talendos, the Shadow Raven
2.7 Expert, Soldier of Retribution, Assassin
"When you do something right, it's as if you didn't do it at all ..."

Echo
B-lister, Super Human, Brawler
"Bringing the noise!"


Last edited by EddieS on Tue May 17, 2016 4:45 am, edited 10 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: New Changes. Old Demons.
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 3:55 am 

Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 11:55 pm
Posts: 258
Thank you all for reading, I do hope everyone enjoyed it. Also, feel free to comment or ask about the story, characters, or (especially) writing style. I want to improve. Any constructive criticism will be welcomed. And by no means is the story over, just this 'episode' ;)


Thank you again,


Eddie S.

_________________
Talendos, the Shadow Raven
2.7 Expert, Soldier of Retribution, Assassin
"When you do something right, it's as if you didn't do it at all ..."

Echo
B-lister, Super Human, Brawler
"Bringing the noise!"


Last edited by EddieS on Sun Apr 03, 2016 11:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: New Changes. Old Demons.
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 11:15 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 12:46 pm
Posts: 1278
Hi Eddie,

First let me say, very enjoyable story. Keep writing. Full stop.

Next, you asked for constructive criticism and questions, very well.

1. The various characters were adamant that Ar'Kelos was up to really bad stuff and needed to be stopped. Once it was clear they had caught up to him and that he wasn't finished they seemed to barely put up any resistance and accepted he just needed to do it. Why? If your intent is to hold the reveal for the surprise ending at the pier, there are other ways you could have gotten to the same conclusion. Something like "Ar'Kelos explained what he was trying to accomplish which resulted in an argument that lasted for hours. Each argument painstakingly made; each alternative raised by his friends critically taken apart leaving his plan as ridiculous as it sounded as the only one with a shot at success." Then you could still do the reveal at the end knowing that it's simply the readers in the dark, not the characters.

2. The save by the Ss'ressen at the end felt a bit too deus ex machina. If it was part of Ar'Kelos' plan, some calling out in advance would be good. At a minimum it might have been nice to have some further reference to the favor owed. It's a story and fate always intervenes, so really this is a minor point as opposed to in a mod where it would feel more contrived.

3. The story doesn't feel finished given that the reader still doesn't know what Ar'Kelos' plan was or why he needed to board a black ship - as an arcane caster - to achieve it, nor what happened to the others. Your "Fin...?" is rejected. Back to work! :P

I may come up with other thoughts, but those are the immediate ones.

With a sweep of his hat,

Paul


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