Call of the Darkness (Closed.)Replies: 3 / 16 days 7 hours 50 minutes 54 seconds
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[center [font consolas In the Lands to the North, something has stirred. A darkness unlike any other in it's thickness.]]
[center [font consolas And it spreads, leaking and devouring.]]
[center [font consolas Dark magic, a cult has arisen with a heathen at it's forefront and this will not stand. Together in the South, a Council decide to task two 'magicks' with the task of undoing this dark Cult that threatens the world as they know it.]]
[center [font consolas Magicks, more commonly known as warlocks or witches, are trained at a young age. Most of the time they have their own given strength, whether it be an element such as fire or water, other times they can shape-shift, heal or something of the likes. It differs from person to person. Much of the time, apprentices stick with their Masters and they live in a sort of mutual respect of each other. Magicks age slower, and it is not uncommon for them to be hermits. Although, they are somewhat of local celebrities in their towns. The more powerful Magicks can have intense magic within them. The battle of light and dark has begun, and it will only end with the death of one of them.]]
[center [font consolas The Cult calls itself the Divine, believing themselves to do the world mercy by 'cleansing' the lands. At their head is a creature born from darkness, taking on whatever form it pleases at the time. This darkness ebbs into everything. The puppet master pulls the strings of those under its influence, making it a substantial foe. Divine members bear a deep mark embedded in their skin like inky tendrils. Creatures and humans alike, but these markings make for a new puppet and now and then the Lord in the North speaks through his vessels. Do not touch the dark puppets, or suffer his mark and become his newest toy.]]
[center [font consolas Cut off the head of the snake. Rip up the source root and stem, or are they on the wrong side? Faint whispers and voices enrapture the Magicks, all the whole dripping poison in their minds. Whispers of how they are being lied to, of how the other is plotting a betrayal. ]]
[center [font consolas Crafted by the old Councils, from the Elders who had once predicted such a darkness would come, a metal made from light to be used to take down the Lord in the North. If they make it that far, surrounded by sickening shadows that foam at the mouth. The Lord in the North won’t risk his throne so easily. ]]
[center [font consolas End the bad guy and return to their tower heroes of the world, simple. ]]
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[b [font consolas Message me for any interest.]]
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The door opened and Ashrain turned her vivid eyes to watch the Male that walked in. He was foreign to her, as many were and she eyed the Elders with their sneering remarks but it didn’t seem to elicit any reaction from her as she watched the stranger with interest. She had heard of his kind but never had the ‘pleasure’ of meeting them before, especially recently with so much going on. She didn’t react when it was motioned about respect, in her humble opinion she believed in the All Mother, and the natural way of things. The elders were not natural in any way, defying death and how they treated those around them. She glanced to the man and evidently he held a lot more respect for the creatures than she did. But she wouldn’t let such a thing show so openly. The Elders could have her put to death, banished or worse if she let her distaste for them show so openly.
Her eyebrow however did quirk when he spoke of her. She gave a bow of her head towards him and looked almost half bemused at his comment. Who knew the lands songs better than her? She had seen first hand this spreading darkness and she had seen what it did to the creatures who succumbed to such a fate. She was perhaps not as well versed with combat as this man was, that much she would admit readily. She didn’t speak for some time, mulling over what response to give. The Elders has set their eyes on her rather expectantly, reptiles the lot of them! She couldn’t help but feel somewhat defensive because it was eerily apparent that this Salim hadn’t warmed up to her and the Elders clearly had their favourite of the two.
“I have known the songs of the lands since I was a child, I have seen first hand the damage and crimes committed by this darkness. Perhaps I am not well equipped for combat as the great Salim from the south. But I know these lands and their creatures.” She said to them, rather boldly but she figured there was a limited amount of knowledge she would reveal before these creatures.
[i “Bah! Songs and such, folklore if you ask me.”] A creature quipped and waved a disregarding, clawed hand.
[i “But the magician knows the land, that much is true. And those who follow the All Mother say she is the strongest amongst them. And expendable.”] Slit eyes looked to the man with a knowing and almost joking fashion. A great warrior would be a terrible loss, a simple magician however was of no bother to these creatures.
[i “You will depart in the morning. I’m sure you have much to discuss.”] The Head if the Elders finally spoke calmly, neutrally almost as he rose, his haggard form limping off only to be followed by the others as the little round faced dwarves started to clear away the feast.
[i “Ah! Leave it, let our guests eat. I’m sure they will need their strength.”] one barked and the little creatures shrank away and Ashrain turned her gaze to them fondly.
She watched the hunched figures shrug out of the room, painfully slowly and glanced to Salim. She eyed the food that was left and recognised some of the nourishment but some was foreign to her. Sweet bread, however, she did know. A bread laced with sweet berries and nuts, simple but delicious all the same. She eyed the little creatures who lined the walls, quivering almost as she plucked a loaf off and handed it to one of them and eyed the hall for any watchful eyes. It was like giving a juicy steak to a hungry pack of wolves as they tore pieces off. They were not graceful creatures in the least but at least it was good. She looked to the musicians next and lifted a hand for them to cease playing because this music was irksome to her.
She didn’t trust anything from the table, nor would it feel right whilst the city starved to indulge herself. She had no right feasting whilst others died outside on empty bellies.
“You are southern, are you not?” She remarked as she lazily walked the great hall, brushing her fingertips by the cold marble. It seemed like such a long time since it had seen true life. She seemed a touch more at ease with the Elders gone.
“Born of the Sun, no?” She added as she paused in her wistful traversing of the gall to watch him. There had been the odd traveller from the south she had watched from a distance but she had always known better than to go south, knowing full well her kind were not welcome.
“How badly has the south been affected?” She dared to ask. She was not asking to find out how weakened they were, despite it perhaps coming across like that. Earth magicians were quite literally carers for the lands, even the lands that didn’t belong to them. Her eyes trailed to the gem-eyed serpent head that marked his pommel. There were different snakes to conquer, she thought.
The question was met with the croaked cackling of the Elders around the feast, faces still half stuffed and their twisted forms writhing and curling in places that seemed entirely unnatural in their mirth. The Elder in a rare display of movement, leant forward across her wide platter of exotic foods to regard the woman before her, like a parent amused by her child saying something particularly stupid.
[i "Why, one who will get things done of course,"] she said bemused, as if the answer to her question was obvious, [i "Magicians must be kept in line, lest they get their own ideas. Would you not agree?"] Though the question asked was entirely rhetorical. Reclining back, the Elder spread her long, twisted fingers towards the far door and screeched for their second guest to be allowed in.
The guards heaved the doors to part and in stepped a man who looked entirely out of place; from the way his rugged boots seemed to point in a subtle upwards curve, to the sweeping, scimitar like blade inlaid with gold and iconography of desert snakes that hung loose from his hip. The candles around the room fluttered and seemed to increase in intensity, causing their wax housings to weep in trickling streams. Weathered, tanned features beaten by the unending desert sun telling of his origins.
Upon approaching the table of Elders, he bowed low at the waist and crossed both his arms across his chest.
"Gracious Elders, I thank you on behalf of the Sultanate for giving us the opportunity to seek your council." He spoke, voice like grinding sandstone no doubt caused by the thick scar that ran across one side of his throat. It carried a distinct accent known from the folk of the Red Desert. Lifting himself from his bow, he unfolded his arms and regarded Ashrain up and down momentarily, "the Sultan knows cooperation is key with these trying times and as such I am at your service."
The Elders cooed low to themselves around the table and some even dipped their heads in response, cawing among themselves. Shooting Ashrain a venomous look, an Elder spread his misshapen mouth into what could have been called a smile, or perhaps a grimace.
[i "Do you see my child, this is how you show respect?"] He gestured to the newcomer to continue.
"I am Firestrider Salim akh-Mirzaii Ab Salim of the Temple of Eridu's Spear," Salim introduced himself before continuing, each word met with a sweep of his hands, apparently a very animated individual despite his appearance. "Both the Almighty Sultan and the temple Am-Rabh see the spreading disease upon our lands and know it is only a matter of time before it taints the Heart of the desert waters. I am here to offer my blade and Magics to cut the taint from the land. I will offer it to the Blessed Eridu myself and all will be cleansed, this I declare my Oath."
The man was met with appraisal from the table of Elders, some even going so far as to clap their [i talons] in joy.
[i "Yes yes, very good Firestrider, the Sultan knows how to impress he does. This is the Earth Magician who shall be journeying with-"] one of the less impressed Elders spoke, cut short by Salim raising a hand and finally focusing his gaze on the woman beside him.
"With no desire to harm your Honours great Elders, but the Sultan was promised I would be accompanied by one of your best warriors. What use is an... Earth Magician on such a perilous task?" Salim asked, disdain clear in his voice as his left hand came to rest atop the engraved snake head of his pomel, it's eyes glinting with gems. It was no secret that the Umanian Sultanate of the south viewed any magicks other than those born of the Sun as lesser.
It came down in thick droplets, splattering upon the ground in a rhythmic melody. The citadel stood tall and proud within the run down city around it. It was rare there was ever meetings called but then again, they had never had to contend with such forces. Born of the Earth, Ashrain stood at the gates of the citadel. Somehow rust had been kept at bay and she set her piercing eyes around from beneath the veil of her hood. This was mostly likely not going to go down well. The Elders of their land would convene and a plan would be set into motion. Of course the arthritic elders shivering in their cloaks would not be sent to deal with the threats of the land.
Ashrain was a magician highly talented in the earths ways. Not powerful sounding and certainly not as powerful as other magicians out there but she was not to be underestimated. She nodded briefly to the guard as she passed through the open gates and stepped into the marble patterned halls of the citadel. The walk to such a place was saddening, people living in dark and damp conditions, skinny and begging for food. Since the spread of the darkened tendrils, more people had flooded the city and sought refuge. But the city couldn’t feed them all and with such close living conditions came death and disease. Ashrain shed her cloak in a delicate flourish of material and eyed the halls as she walked. There was faint music and chatter from somewhere up ahead and she stepped into the room.
It was grand with tapestries and her stomach turned at seeing the feast the elders were chowing down on. The city starved whilst they feasted. She didn’t speak a word though, the elders were twisted in unnatural shapes from their long lives. They had once been brave warriors and magicians themselves but now they lived unnaturally long and such an amount of time made them pale shadows of what they had once been. But they were still powerful and not a force to be tested. Cool and refined violet eyes turned around the room as she entered. The room was huge, she looked like a speck as she approached the table, giving a polite curtesy.
“My lords.” A soft voice, melodic and gentle as it fell from rich lips.
[i “The Earth Magician joins us!”] One crooned and Ashrain turned her gaze to him. At least she supposed it was a ‘him’.
[i “How fares the Earth, my dear? The caves and the forests?”] He continued as he slurped on meat.
“Dying.” Ashrain remarked as she moved her white blond hair which had been scraped back from her face.
“The creatures die with the trees. The caves remain somewhat untouched for now.” The lands were usually filled with bright life, creatures who were colourful and different races brimming with potential. Now many had fled the forests. The elders knew this, their painful attempt at conversation sank like a stone with the woman. Although she did notice their lack of invitation to their table. Not that she would have accepted.
With their twisted forms, they towered over her five foot four stance. She was a thin whippet of a woman, bright eyes and white blond hair. She was no match for any of these creatures, some of their forms towering to seven foot. Bones jutted out in unnatural ways, their bodies contorted and stretched beyond recognition. Ashrain couldn’t help but wonder if this was what fate had in store for her some day, to grow unrecognisable as the years trudged on.
“Your people are dying on the streets.” She said with an equal tone of simple conversation as she stood before the table.
[i “We do not have enough to feed them. We have sheltered them from the oncoming storm, child.”] One grumbled, rather ironically with a mouth stuffed with rich fruits, the juices dribbling out of the maw of had created itself.
“Of course, your kindness is heard of across the lands.” She quipped, respectfully but her words were as empty as the stomachs on the streets of the city. There was a silence filled only with the chewing and gruffing of the Elders before her. Ashrain eyed the thick marble pillars, once this place might have been beautiful and exquisite to behold but there was a certain haunting quality. The music didn’t help, little dwarf like creatures strumming strings and blowing pipes, looking depressed in their dank balcony.
[i “Right, yes! On with business.”] zone squawked at her and she eyed the probably female amongst them.
[i “I am sure you know of the ailments of the land and we have information. A powerful immortal hidden and using the darkness as puppetry. Yes, quite sad. Very sad.”] She chirped like it was a simple chat about the rain falling outside.
[i “We will send you and another to track him down and bring us his head.”] As simple as that, huh? Ashrain raised an eyebrow but said nothing. Earth magicians were supposed to be gentle, caring for the Land and all its creatures. She was no murderer but she did know if left unchecked, the land would succumb to darkness and decay.
“Very well, and who will accompany me?”
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