[left [pic https://i.imgur.com/ohxAnnG.jpg?1]] [Frank+Ruhl+Libre [size15 In the beginning, there was the almighty gods and nothingness It is said that the gods reached into the void to create a realm completely different from their own.They wished to create a world of living things; beautiful things that they could love and be loved b. When the first god Shouxian attempted to create the land, his creation was devoured by the void and him along with it. It was then when they realized that in order for their creation to live they would need to remove the nothing. To their surprise, it was not just a void of darkness but an entity. This entity announced it's presences and called it's self The Inanis. After years of struggle the gods were finally able to contain Inanis encasing it in a tomb locked by pieces of their essence, and thus from the empty void created the living realm and all of its wonders. Legends, prophecies, fables, and civilizations were born from their creation, and it flourished into the chaotic and miraculous sea of mankind.
[right [pic https://i.imgur.com/NLv3Ebr.jpg?1]] [Frank+Ruhl+Libre [size15 As the centuries passed and humans and their technology evolved they began to turn away from their faith and belief in the gods. With fewer followers, the gods and the powers began to fade As they began to dissipate their omnipotence began to diminish and with it. The locks of Inanis' cage grew weaker. Slowly, the bottomless void leaked from its imprisonment seeping into the living realm to take back what was taken from it. Devouring and infecting everything it comes in contact with. Out of all of their creations, the most incredible was that of the human soul.Pure energy is given by the god to humans. The Inanis found that it could not devour an unwilling soul, and resorted to illusions and trickery, to coerce the owner into its trap.Unable to fight back the gods must rely on the closest thing to them- Demigods. Forcing a prophecy that was told centuries ago.
Impressive and unnecessary summed up her families role in the world pretty well. She sighed as gave a shrug and lead them through the wine cellar to a thin spiral staircase that opened up to a thin door in the kitchen.
Chiara placed her finger on her lips signalling them to stay quiet. The best way to the tunnel system was through the back garden. There in the center stood a large well.
[+steelblue "Okay, just through these door and then down a well."] her voice hushed careful not to wake any of the kitchen workers.
The young woman moved carefully through the kitchen and cracked the door open. Although it wasn't exactly through the doors, it was fairly close. She waited for the thief to follow behind her before leading him around the corned and through an iron gate.
[+steelblue "See that well over there?"] she asked pointing to her old childhood play area. [+steelblue "That's our way out. From there we go left then straight for a mile I think."]
Although she wanted to go more than anything, she couldn't help but feel a twinge of doubt, what if this was a giant mistake, what she was simply chasing the dreams of a child who felt out of place. She glanced back at her home and took a deep breath in. She closed her eyes for a second and reassured herself that she needed to do this.
[+steelblue "After you."] she said waving her hand gently in the direction of the well.
[font "Book Antiqua" Blitzkrieg was a top rate thief. He stole from many nobles and many nobles hired him to steal from others. This was not his first time behind iron bars and it probably won't be his last. He had escaped prison before, but nothing like this. This was the first time one of his victims came to bail him out, no questions asked. He would ask why all he wanted, but that wouldn't get him out of this dingy cell any faster.]
[font "Book Antiqua" He grasped the cold bars waiting impatiently for this woman in fancy clothes to release him. Her hesitation was irritating, but completely understandable. He did rob her blind after all less than twenty-four hours ago. That probably put a bad name on her family's house. Honestly, it was a miracle she didn't want him dead right now. Nobles were like that. If a person did anything to stain the name of the noble family you disappeared and no one mentions your name again. It was almost worse than the underbelly of the city itself. With this fact constantly reminding himself to not yell at the girl, Blitz raised an eyebrow curious as to what she was thinking right now. This was no time to second guess her decision.]
[font "Book Antiqua" With a deep breath, she returned to her task. However, like most good things in life, it came with a price. “I am going to let you out. We are going to escape out of here and you will come with me to here.” She demanded as she revealed a scrap of paper with a familiar symbol on it. It was the pillar of mystery that Blitz saw in his dream. It was the exact same visual except this one didn't come with restless sleep and creepy whispers. Blitz's face grew cold and his head jerked back upon seeing that image. Since when do bad dreams become a reality?]
[font "Book Antiqua" The price for freedom and his life, the noblewoman simple asked her him to escort her to this pillar thing. She wanted him to keep his word. Blitz almost burst into fits of laughter at that statement. Keep his word? Did she realize to whom she was speaking to? Blitzkrieg, the shadow thief that robbed the rich so fast that it was like lightening war. Still, he had to admire her courage for risking her status for this...phallic monument of creepiness. Blitz looked around nervously before answering. [b [#006400 "Alright fine. I'll do whatever you want as long as you get me out of here. [i If] you can get me out."]] He stated as he griped the bars tighter. One flick of the wrist and he was out like it was nothing. ]
[font "Book Antiqua" This woman was either very confident or very daft to trust him on half promises. He was going to be dead in the morning, of course he would promise anything to her if she asked of it. Whether or not he would follow through is not guaranteed.]
[font "Book Antiqua" Once the door was open, Bltiz pushed past the woman and went straight to the office area where his stuff was held. The guards bragged about selling his armor and weapons, but it was a relief to know that they kept them safe in a locked chest. The key was hung prettily on a hook, almost waiting for Blitz to snag it. With his nervous on high alert, he wouldn't have time to put his armor on. He hastily strapped on his waist belt and looped the throwing knives across his chest. The dark armor was held under one arm sloppily while his short sword was unsheathed in the other hand. The white-haired noble told Blitz to grab his things and wait for her at the last cell? [b [#006400 "I hope you know what you're doing."]] Blitz murmured to himself as he gathered the rest of his things.
[font "Book Antiqua" He flinched at the noise of armored boots on stone floor. It was a bit further off still. He pressed his back against the office wall as he waited for the guard to pass him. "Lady Chiara, what is the meaning of this? Your father wasn't there." The guard demanded an explanation that would never came. Blitz snuck up behind the guard without a sound. The panicked look in her eyes signaled Blitz to take out the guard. Lifting his hilt up, he slammed in at the base of the neck, the exposed part of the helmet, leaving the poor sap to crumple to the floor.]
[font "Book Antiqua" When Blitz looked up, the noblewoman, Lady Chiara apparently, pressed in single brick among a sea of bricks. Gears and mechanisms groaned to reveal an old passageway that hadn't been used in about a century or two. Blitz whistled lowly briefly impressed by this woman's methods. [b [#006400 "Damn. I never would have thought of that."]] Blitz mumbled as he peered inside. The passageway was very dark, but that never seemed to bother him. He stepped aside and motioned for this Lady Chiara to lead the way. [b [#006400 "Ladies first."]] he spoke in mock respect. Once she entered, Blitz quickly looked around to make sure no one saw them exit. The passageway closed behind them just as he heard more movement coming from the upper floor.]
[font "Book Antiqua" [b [#006400 "I have to say, this wasn't what I pictured when you said escape, but this is way better than what I had planned."]] Blitz commented as Lady Chiara fumbled for a lighting tool. She had lite an old torch that hung on a cobwebbed covered metal claw attached to the wall. Blitz's eyes squinted at the sudden light. His eyes adjusted to dark areas much quicker than most. The light is what took time to get use to. The two traveled in single file through the narrow dusty hall. Blitz constantly checking the entrance for guards. [b [#006400 "How did you know about this place? Even I didn't know about secret passageways underneath the dungeon."]]]
[font "Book Antiqua" "Well I was raised pretty much to stand still and look pretty. So let's just say I sometimes get carried away with my curiosity." She stated bluntly.]
[font "Book Antiqua" Blitz pursed his lips as he thought on her answer. [b [#006400 "Fair enough."]] He replied. The two proceeded to walk in the dark tunnel before Blitz spoke up again. [b [#006400 "Not that I'm not grateful for your actions, but I am curious about one thing."]] He spoke up. She turned to look at him with inquisitive eyes. [b [#006400 "Why are you helping me? I robbed from your home. Stole precious valuables. Probably trashed your family's name. You are from the Luthirix noble house. You're practically richer than some kings. Why are you risking all that to help me and find this... pillar thing?"]]]
[font "Book Antiqua" She spoke her answer without wavering in fortitude. She truly believed the old gods called upon her and Blitz for some honorable quest. That this was their chance to do great things and save the world. So this woman must be the crazy one of the family. That explained a few things. Blitz pressed his lips together, dubious of her statement. He didn't believe in the old gods. He didn't believe in things he couldn't control and religion was one of them. Sure, the shadows were mystical and mysterious, but he could control them (somehow) That was all he needed or cared to know. [b [#006400 "Whatever you say, princess."]] He sighed as he proceeded forward.]
[font "Book Antiqua" The rest of the journey was silent. Blitz could feel Lady Chiara's disappointment in his skepticism. She must have grown up with people feeding her lies about the real world. She had no idea what things were like outside her alabaster walls. Blitz knew the truth, and he wasn't going to show his temporary rescuer that she was wrong. Not just yet. They two approached a stone wall with indentions of a door in the middle of it. The stone work looked to be different materials and newer than the rest of the tunnel. She told him that the tunnel lead to the wine cellar of her mansion, but he didn't think that she was actually telling the truth. [b [#006400 "Huh."]] He simple muttered as he mentally noted that fact. [b [#006400 "Your ancestor were into some weird stuff."]] He spoke as he pressed the button to move the stone door. He went first to peek out at the cellar, making sure that they were alone. [b [#006400 "It's clear of staff. Also, you have a lot of wine."]] He motioned with his head at the many rows of bottled wines and barrels of beverages. [b [#006400 "Impressive and unnecessary. This must be a noble's house."]] Blitz quipped.]
Nervously she pulled her hand away from the prisoner. As she stood there looking at him she wondered if this was too risky. After all, if he was to be executed he must have done things like this before or even more heinous acts.
Drawing in a deep breath she put her faith in the gods. They sent them together for a reason. Right? She readied the key once more before putting in the key. She looked towards the hall where the guard would be returning from. Still no sign of him.
[+lightsteelblue “Okay, I don’t know how much time we have but here is what is going to happen. I am going to let you out. We are going to escape out of here and you will come with me to here.”] Chiara unfolded a page she tore from the book with a drawn picture of the pillar that was in the dream. [+lightsteelblue “Before I unlock this door I need you to swear to me you will keep your word and come with me.”]
The man looked around nervously keeping an eye out for the guard, seemingly very interested in the deal Chiara presented him with, that was until she shown him the picture of the pillar. It seemed to have taken him back a little. Still, he agreed saying that he would do anything IF she got him out.
Chiara smiled, not thinking really about the situation she was getting into. From her perspective, she and this man were called by the gods to go to this pillar just like her dream. Finally, an adventure, something important she could be apart of other than standing still next to her father and brothers, dressed in ornate gowns. She didn’t think of it as what it was right there in the moment. She did not see the situation as her freeing an infamous criminal and asking him to follow her to some picture she seen in her dream basing his freedom on a promise made by a man set to die. It was her faith and her habit to trust people blindly that changed her view on this.
Distant sounds of armor clanking came from down the hall. The empty halls carried the sound of his movement quite well. While the hallway was long, and they had some time it wasn’t very much.
Quickly she unlocked the cell. [+lightblue “Grab what you need and meet me in the very last cell on the left. I will be right back.”]
Chiara ran towards the hall, a dark corner void from the light of torches she hid her bag, cloak along with her bow and quip of arrows. Gathering it as quickly as she could she heard the guard caught glimpse of her.
[+gray “Lady Chiara, what is the meaning of this? Your father wasn't there.”] the guard called quickening his step. Panicked she ran back toward the cells.
[+lightblue “Time’s up.”] she said to Blitz pushing in one of the bricks. The sound of gears shifting could be heard as a small door opened in the wall.
[font "Book Antiqua" A dozen torches lite up a back alley in Ark City. Several of it residents crowded around a with varies household objects in hand as emergency weapons. The people of this marine port mumbled to themselves unsure of what to do with the [i thing] trapped inside. The fire of the torches danced rhythmically against the evening sky as someone shouted "We have it cornered! Someone call a guard!". One older man stood in front of the shadowy corner of the alley with a pitchfork in hand. It was the only thing standing between him and the vicious creature hiding in the blackness. Not even the torches could extinguish the dark pit cluster in the corner of two brick buildings.]
[font "Book Antiqua" One woman joined the small crowd on the alley street and queried on the events taking place. Another older woman whispered to her, "some of the men found one of those 'things' that roam outside the city gates. You know those beasts that look human but are are dark and shifty. Like they don't belong in this world." The grey-haired lady shuttered at the image. "It's a good thing they found it when they did. I heard that those creatures swallow people whole and steal their face just to lure other people to it. Isn't that frightening?" Someone mumbled low just so the thing trapped in the corner couldn't hear.]
[font "Book Antiqua" "Stand aside everyone!" A guard shouted over the heads of people while making his way to the scene. The guard with a scar on his lip drew his sword and shield as he approached the corner. He eyed the dark shadows suspiciously and turned to the other gentleman that first arrived on the scene. "What happened here? You say you witnessed a shadow beast hide here?"]
[font "Book Antiqua" The man with the pitch fork stood to address the city guard. "Yes sir! It looked almost human, but his skin was all black and his eyes-gods-his eyes were glowing white! Just like those things over the wall!" The man paused before continuing his story. "I saw it jumping over the roofs with a bag. It fell off and landed in my back garden! I rushed out with my fork to pin it down but it jumped [i into] the shadow sir!" A sun-spotted hand gestured toward the eerily still mass of darkness. "It hasn't come out since."]
[font "Book Antiqua" The guard raised an eyebrow out of curiosity. He had never seen a shadow creature do something like that. They never held on to material things before. They usually swallow any living thing in sight. The guard nodded to the man. "Alright, I need everyone to stand back! These monsters are dangerous and should not be approached by any means." He said as he gestured for everyone in the alley to step away.]
[font "Book Antiqua" [b [#006400 "For the last time, I'm not a creature."]] The darkness spoke out. The crowd gasps in terror. The guard flinched into readied stance, shield covering most of his body. He didn't know that those things could talk!]
[font "Book Antiqua" "Come out of there creature! Or I will smite you where you stand!" The guard commanded with his sword raised. A heavy sigh echoed in the alley.]
[font "Book Antiqua" [b [#006400 "I just told you I'm not one of those things. I'm not a mindless glutton that swallows people whole. I have a more refined taste."]] The shadow quipped as as a silhouette stepped forth from the black embrace. As the figure strolled into the light of the torches with both hands raised, the black outer shells faded away to reveal a slim young man with striking pearl hair that stuck out in an unkempt manner. One dark eyebrow was cocked as the sharp juniper eyes darted between each individual present. His ivory face was fully exposed as the black clothe meant to cover his lower face was pulled down around the neck. This man wore dark leather armor to aid in his shadow camouflage. He appeared to be carrying an arsenal of knives on his person. Two belts of throwing knives were strapped crossed on his chest, knives with needle point tips in his boots, one dagger on the small of his back with a clip-point blade, as well as two long daggers on his hips for close quarter combat.]
[font "Book Antiqua" The guard whistled vaguely impressed that this man could carry all of these things and still move silently like death. This person, though was never seen face-to-face, is known by all guards as the shadow demon himself, Blitzkrieg. A reward for his capture was at ten thousand gold pieces. Unfortunately, Blitzkrieg stole the wrong family jewel one too many times. Now his capture means a public execution by noose. The guard, on the other hand, will be famous for bringing this poor soul in. "Well, well, well. If it ain't the famous "Blitzkrieg" 'emself. Your head will make me rich. Maybe even a promotion." The guard smirked as he loosened his stance more. He knew this thief won't attempted to fight, not while so many innocents were around. Too many people have seen his face now. "Shall we do this with what little dignity you have left or do ya want to brawl here and now?" The guard teased.]
[font "Book Antiqua" Blitz sighed as he reached out his wrist to admit defeat. The guard chuckled, happy to oblige the rogue in his arrest. Before the manacles could be clamped on, Blitz quickly thrust his palm upward breaking the guard's nose and jabbed him in the ribs. That brief moment of paralysis allowed the thief to slip past the guard and exit the other side of the alley. It was a real shame he didn't get very far. At the end of the alley, Blitz's face was met with a perfectly timed shovel, knocking the poor bastard to the ground unconscious.]
[right [pic https://i.pinimg.com/564x/2e/f5/63/2ef563f37b81a22e444e7f1f533a5a6d.jpg]]
[font "Book Antiqua" Even in the calm recesses of his mind, Blitz did not rest. A dream, no, a [i vision] began to plague his mind. The white-haired man found himself standing before a stone pillar. Roots like needles curved toward it like eager fingers. The rest of the environment was blurry and hard to make out, but it had a hazy image of a forest behind the monument. Green characters of a dead language glowed out of the hard surface. A cacophony of gentle whispers filled his ears and his mind. A female gasp could be heard to Blitz's right and once he caught a glimpse of the woman by his side, a loud bang startled the thief awake.]
[font "Book Antiqua" "Rise and shine, sleeping beauty. We have company." A gruff and smug voice spoke from behind iron bars. Blitz sat up only to instantly feel the black eye and bruised cheek on the left side of his face. The small barred window shone the cloudy morning sunlight to brighten the cell, however, it somehow seemed that Blitz was sitting in shadows. The captured criminal was stripped of his weapons and armor and left with a white undershirt and simple slacks. Blinking several times, he understood where he was and remembered what happened to him. He was caught and waiting to be executed. The guard from last night looked smug with the shadow thief behind bars, but it was hard to be humbled when there were bandages on his swollen nose.]
[font "Book Antiqua" [b [#006400 "Nice face."]] Blitz grumbled as he slowly stood up.]
[font "Book Antiqua" The guard huffed and replied, "Nice eye." Bringing forth this "guest" was Blitz's recent victims he stole from. More than likely these nobles had their stuff returned to them so no doubt they had a beef with him still. He didn't expect any pitiful looks on the dead man, but he certainly didn't expect [i her]. It was the woman from his dream. He barely caught a glimpse, but he knew with all his mind that this woman standing before him was the woman in his fever dream. The long white locks, the alabaster skin, the soul piercing grey eyes were all things he just saw for what seemed like moments ago. And even more frightening, she recognized him.]
[font "Book Antiqua" Their brief exchange of recognition faded as the noblewoman was ushered away. For some reason, Blitz felt lonely, like a pit in his black heart became noticeable. [b [#006400 "I have to get out of here."]] He mumbled under his breath.]
[font "Book Antiqua" Hours later, with the execution time ticking closer, Blitz was completely restless. He was never one for small spaces for long periods of time. Sleep was no longer an option since that fevered dream stormed his thoughts. With a guard standing close by, he couldn't try picking the locking, not that he had the tools to do so. He spent most of his time standing on his cot staring out the barred window at the evening streets below him. The darkness crept in the cells and Blitz could feel the shadows tether to him once again.]
[font "Book Antiqua" His ears picked up an out of place voice among the dreary world of the jail. A silky woman's voice chatted with the guard outside Blitz's cell. He turned curiously to see the same woman from before. Her charisma charmed the guard to leave his post and, unknowingly, allow her access to the cell keys. Blitz jumped down from his cot and approach the iron door.]
[font "Book Antiqua" "What is your name?" She asked as she nervously fumbled for the proper key.]
[font "Book Antiqua" Blitz's right brow raised as he hid the bruised side of his face away from the wall torch light. [b [#006400 "I'm called Blitzkrieg. My real name doesn't matter. What exactly are you doing? Not that I'm complaining."]] He said as he stuck one hand through the bars and selected one key out of the dozens on the ring. [b [#006400 "He used this one for my cell. What shall I call my glorious rescuer?"]]]
A droplet of water crawled down the back of her hand leaving behind a cold trail. The morning light illuminated the floor and the cold breeze dance with the draperies that decorated her window. It was too early in the morning, but She couldn’t go back to sleep, not after that dream. It was too vivid, too tangible for it to be only illusions of her subconscious.
The rain outside had picked up turning into a downpour, she loved the rain, it was so cleansing, washing away the filth of day, everything it touched could get a fresh start when it finished. The rain had started making its way into her room and freckled the floor beneath her feet.
Closing her eyes, she conjured the images of her dream back to her mind. The pillar so strong and bright, characters engraved on it gleaming with light that to come from an ethereal presence. She could recall loud whispers, there was more than one voice, and the only words she could remember were ones begging for her to go. A man stood beside her. She only had a chance to glance at him, but the image of the stranger’s face was so clear.
[+gray “Chiara!”] Marek called his voice short and annoyed. He had been calling her for a few minutes now. She hadn’t noticed, he had come into the room until then, she was entranced by the rain and the memory of her dream. Walking over to the window he closed the shutters. [+gray “You let the water get in. The floor is wet.”]
exasperated he sighed. [+gray “Get dressed, they recovered mother’s ring and the thief captured. Nobody steals from our family and gets away with it. I hear they are scheduling his execution for the early morning tomorrow.”] he left his sister to get ready.
After dressing she wandered into the kitchen, where Maria her favorite handmaiden usually could be found. She sat in the corner on a small wooden chair patching up an apron for one of the kitchen maids.
Maria had served the family for decades, once she was a gorgeous young woman now the woman was gray and wrinkled with age, but just looking at her you could tell of her past beauty.
[+gray “Good Morning Lady Chiara.”] Maria said setting aside the finished apron.
Chiara laughed, she always found it silly that Maria addressed her with so formally. [+lightsteelblue “I told you, you didn’t have to call me Lady Chiara. You are family to me.”]
They smiled, the young lady sat on the floor at Maria’s feet looking up to her like a daughter would to a mother as she told the old woman of her dream.
Reaching behind the chair Maria pulled a book from a pile. [+gray “Here, this should help you.”]
The book had no title, the binding was frayed, and pages yellowed. Chiara didn’t understand but she thanked the woman, hugging her gently.
The three of them were escorted by a guard through the dungeon passed the man’s cell. Uriah and Marek walked by barely glancing at him, intentionally averting their eyes. Curious Chiara stopped and looked at him. His face, his eyes her heart sunk, and she was speechless. He was the man in her dream.
[+gray “Come my lady. Don’t mind him, after midnight tonight he won’t be an issue anymore.”] the guard said guiding her down the hall.
After being handed back her mother’s ring the men spoke about execution. Chiara barely listened catching a few parts, but her attention on the man down the hall.
That night she studied the book Maria had given her searching through until she turned to a page that spoke of a prophecy.
[I “The daughter of the moon, and the son of shadow will go before the pillar of the gods…”] the rest of the page had been torn. Although it was a stretch there was a something telling her that’s what her dream was about and the man who would be executed in a few hours was apart of it.
She knew what she had to do. Her dreams of adventure finally becoming reality. Gathering what she could she headed back down towards the dungeon.
[+lightsteelblue “Excuse me.”] she said to the guard on duty. [+#a9b8d1 “My father is asking for you, he is in the stables and wants to speak with you right away.”]
Confused the guard opened his mouth to question the situation.
[+lightsteelblue “It’s late, and we both know how my father isn’t the most pleasant person when he is tried and kept waiting.”] Chiara said convincing the man to leave his post. Snatching the key from the table the guard so carelessly left she headed down to the man’s cell.
[+lightsteelblue “What is your name?”] she asked in a hushed tone.
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