Deus Ex Chronica

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Deus Ex Chronica

Post by Banshee on 28th February 2018, 7:24 pm


Time.

It is unending, unwavering. It ceases for no man, no woman, no being. No thing controls it, no spoken word is understood by its intangible form. One may dip their fingers in, bask within its surface- but time, time is endless. Infinite.

One may say it flows like a river, cascades like a waterfall- but time is an ocean. Expanding, ebbing, flowing. Happening all at once, in different orders, lines.

It has laid waste to kingdoms, great loves, fearsome beasts, families, hopes and dreams. Time rots everything, reader mine. It takes, and it takes, and it takes.

Yet if we ignore it, like a child blocking their ears and closing their eyes, it persists, ever stronger.

So let us venture back, further than any mortal eye is keen to see, reader mine.

And sharpen our blades and minds upon the fangs of the past.

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Re: Deus Ex Chronica

Post by Banshee on 28th February 2018, 7:32 pm

[DATE: UNKNOWN, A FORGOTTEN PAST]

Prince Narvinian's cloak was now covered in splats of blood, but this was his hunting cloak, so he supposed it didn't matter. He was tired, bored, and sick of being sent on the most ridiculous of chores. He knew that his father did it simply to get rid of him, like always. He wanted the crown to look good and him doing pest control with a few of the city's soldiers was always great for him with public relations. Still, despite his lack of joy or enthusiasm towards slaying smaller pests throughout the wilds within Transuria, as well as his lack of exaltation towards his princely duties, he did enjoy time with the two soldiers that fought at his side, on this day.

Kovros and Hale, both of which he liked immensely, were two troublemakers that made up part of his life in a way that completed it. His family sapped him of his energy, his responsibilities soul sucking. These two gave back into that void, providing sustenance into his life that most others could not--and not just because they were casual and uncaring of his position, but also because they were casual and uncaring towards his parents, the local dictators of supreme superiority.

"That wraps that lot up," He said, "The last of the Doltrats within this sector, not onto....what was on the list? Oh! We have to kill the Water Rats, too. By the riverside. They've been messing with the boat trades."

Hale flipped his dagger around in his hand. Soldiering, fighting, roving- it was all sport to him. But wasn't sport meant to be fun? He supposed the company could be worse, Kovros and Narvinian were amply entertaining company- two of the only people he could regularly stand, never grow bored of.

"Aren't beasties supposed to have intimidating names," Hale's voice drolled out, a tone of whimsy edging the gravly sound. "'Water Rats' sound like we could just stick them in a barrell and let them drown, hm? But no, they're like to just such the water from you like someone sucking up juice through a straw. Right terrible." He slung his arm over Kovros' shoulder, leaning in to his friend dramatically, fingers splayed across his chest. "I don't know about you gentlemen, but my looks are far too striking to be wasted being turned into a deflated juice pouch."

Kovros grinned as the Prince snickered and said, "Oh, is that so? If you're so striking, why haven't you bagged that girl you're drooling over, yet? What was her name? That sultry lady with the perky breasts."

Kovros cleared his throat overly-loudly, "Such speech is unbecoming of a Prince or a King. You should speak better, lest someone overhear you." Normally, Kovros didn't correct the Prince, nor Hale. Especially on most things. However, on some matters that made him uncomfortable or shy, he would definitely use it as a tool to change the subject. Sometimes it worked, other times it did not.

Hale's gaze flickered downward, as he jovially pat Kovros on the chest. "Now, now, Kov- he's among friends, here. And, for the record, princie-darling, Ahlendria bagged me. We just need to wait for that dreadful band of roving- ehh, what did they call themselves? Hm, the whomevers- to stop tossing around town looking for revenge for their fallen duke and we'll tie the knot. I don't take kindly to wedding crashers- unless I'm the one doing the crashing." A sly grin crossed his face as he winked at his royal friend.

"Speaking of my crashing weddings- how goes things with your sweet little betrothed? I've caught an ample few looks at her, sweet prince. She looks to be a delicious little thing, hm? Or are you going to get all indignant on me because Kovros thinks we're being too saucy." He jostled his friend with an amiable grin.

"Betrothed," The Prince replies unhappily, "That's how things are going. I'm stuck with her and she's stuck with me. That's all there is to say."

Kovros frowns, "I doubt she feels the same way. Why are you so begrudging about this? You've barely spoken two words to her and she may just be a delight."

The Prince shakes his head, continuing their walk towards the next sector without paying much attention to his surroundings, "No. No, I don't want to be assigned to someone. Besides that, she's the damned Oracle! She's more powerful than all of us combined. She could crush us like the tiny ants we are at her feet--"

Kovros laughs, waving his hand dismissively, "Sounds hot."

"I, for one," Hale smoothly detaches himself from Kovros' side, 'hanging' himseld dramatically over the Prince's shoulders. "Would love to be crushed like an ant beneath the foot of the Oracle that you're betrothed to. You think if I asked her reaaaaaalllllyyyyyy nicely she'd wear heels? Red ones, preferably. Maybe something with spikes..."

Hale winked discreetly at Kovros, he was giving The Prince shit, and he knew it. Hale never missed an oppertunity to properly screw with his friends.

"But come on, Princey- Darling. It's unbecoming of a man of your stature to feel immasculated because your betrothed could crush you in one fell swoop. Look at this way, at least you'll feel safe in her arms." Hale coiled his arms around the Prince from behind, locking him in a gentle, loving, comical embrace.

The Prince scowls, shoving Hale off of him with annoyance as he tries to whack him in the head before he moves away too far. He misses. The damned annoying fool. He decides to change the subject, "And you, Kovros? I get the Oracle, Hale stole his wench, so where's yours?"

Kovros didn't like that direction change one bit, but only because it was repetitive. He gave him the same answer that he has always given him: "You already know that I do not seek the warmth of a woman's love. Maybe her bed, on occasion, but never her heart. I am too busy with other priorities. Glory! Battle! I will have it all, victories and more! You should stack them all up under your name, as I will be doing. I'm going to bring a longer peace to Transuria; I'm going to make changes."

The Prince rolls his eyes, "You're such a dreamer. Fighting isn't all there is to life, Kovros."

Hale giggled as he leapt out of the way of the Prince's swipe, sliding his way back over to Kovros.

"Ahhhhhhh, Kovros, you beautiful, beautiful fool. Beautiful, lonely fool. Before I met my beloved, my darling, I thought I'd spend my days hopping from bed to bed, never falling in love, getting my thrills where I pleased before moving on. I'd die alone, with the only words left about me said in tones of spite, horror and awe." He flourished a hand up dramatically. "I must say, Kov. I agree with Princey here. Fighting isn't all there is to life. One day you will wake up in an empty bed with an empty heart and wish you had found someone to share your knight errantly life with."

"Besides," Hale grinned. "One man vs. the world is never a fight where the odds favor the man."

They were rising up onto a hill's top, just at the top of a cliff on its other side, risen sharply against the valley below. This valley met with the great river below. They would climb down and make their way, to be sure. Kovros looked at Hale and then at the Prince as they said the things that they did and their wisdom sank into him, but only for so deep. He didn't feel what they felt, he didn't understand it. Why bother, why rush into things? He has hundreds of years to live, more time to get to that point, should he desire.

He is about to reply to them with his impatience on the mater, but they are reaching the top of the cliffside, ready to look down into the valley below them and begin a descent. He steps up to the cliff's edge and is immediately pushed downward with Hale at his side, the Prince following as the force of air brushes against them with immense force. as a giant creature rises up into the air, having followed the cliff upwards into the sky--a colossal crystal dragon of the silver variety with all of its splendor.

Having landed, he struggles to stand back up against the gravity of the steep hill as he looks upwards at the great creature, it's distance still rather close within the air as it reveals to his mind just how small he is in the grand scale of the world. This creature is not only massive in size and intimidating, powerful....it's loud! The very wind movement from its flight pushed him around like a paperweight and he can barely believe it. His eyes finally dart around for the Prince--he should be protecting him.

Hale is burst from his feet by an impressive force- Kovros at his side. He thinks quick, eyes cast upward to see.

"Shit-" The word an exhale of surprise, nothing more, all he could manage as he is thrown downward, backward by what had to be one of the most impressive creatures he'd ever seen. Big, loud, striking, intimidating- a bit like himself, sans the volume. He tried to catch a grip on either Kov or the Prince, to try to weigh one of them down- his grasp fell on one, pulling them into his chest, his back slamming against the dirt, rolling him backwards once more.

Hale righted himself, fingers in the dirt, with a grace and swagger typical of him; releasing whoever he had had his hands on- the prince, probably. Kovros was heavier.

"Might I speak for all of us, gentleman-" Hale started, the air still knocked out of him. "Holy shit.

The Prince is pale, "Let's not piss that off. We should go."

Hale stands, dusting himself off with a shrug. "Eh," He looks ponderously at the sky. "Me and Kov could take it. Right, Kov?" His gaze shifted over to his friend with a smile.

"Damn right, let's kill it, take it as a trophy," Kovros says greedily.

"Woah," The Prince says, backing away, "You two suicidal fucks...no. That's not happening. Water rats, remember?"

The maniacle look that darkens Hale's face only lasts a flicker of a second before turning into one of indignant, puppy-eyed disappointment.

"But- but!" His hands gesture up at the sky. "Dragon! Big, big dragon! It'd be fun! Come oooooooonnnnnn!" Hale's impish whine is almost comical as he tries to convince his princely friend that hunting a dragon is a good idea.

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Re: Deus Ex Chronica

Post by Banshee on 28th February 2018, 8:45 pm

[DATE: TBA]

A blonde haired, short man shambles drunkenly at his post, visible as day underneath the full moon that lights up the sky with assistance from the stars due to the lack of cloud cover. Within the Kingdom of Transuria, there is a lovely Capitol called Idarica where thousands reside and live as most would within a "paradise." As it is the home of the King and Queen, however, it is surrounded by an inner city wall where many of the Crownsguard and city guard take watch to protect those of higher bloodlines. Living within these walls is as rich as one's lifestyle can get, though it is his first night within the place and he's already on guard duty, standing on top of the wall while being entirely plastered and half naked.

Adalrik Gharan Reinhold had his shirt half opened and his entire left sleeve torn off...somehow. He couldn't remember how that one happened. Hale wasn't joking about making him work after they partied, but he could have....gone easy on him if that was going to be the case. How is a man meant to work properly within these conditions? Regardless, Hale is the boss and if he wants him to do his job while he stumbles about like an idiot on a wall, then that's just what he'll do. He giggles to himself, his eyes closing just a short time as he remembered the fountain of wyvern tears and wine that had poured down over his bare chest while the ladies had danced around them in their drunken haze.

As he opened his eyes, that water kept pouring down from above him, his gaze shifting towards that night sky as they seemed to shine against the moonlight as any liquid substance should have. At first, the light off of the sprinkling surfaces seemed to flicker, as would a fire--but he was sure that this was just the wine. When one is properly under the influence, one sees many things. A lesson taught by Hale, of course, the hard way. He inhaled sharply with surprise, his eyes opening (he closed his eyes?) to the realization that one of the water drops had splashed on him and it hurt.

The painful burn brought his eyes downward to his chest as he realized that the water drop wasn't a water drop at all. It was a flame arrow, piercing his lower abdomen with just a bit of blood flowing underneath. Reinhold blinked. He touched the blood, giggling as he realized that people around him were laughing--no. THey weren't laughing. They were calling out in alarm. Fires were lighting along the wall--the fire pits. It's an attack. He cleared his throat, forcing any existing sober thoughts to the surface of his mind as best he could.

He took more of his blood in his fingers, whatever had answered the call of gravity and bent over to draw a circle around him. Then he started to add details as the magic within the blood began to glow. At some point, the blood was not necessary and his finger was just a magical glowing writing tool with which he created a masterpiece, one that he had made many times before. The summoning circle became quite big in size, but it had to be and it took him quite some minutes to fully create it with what energy he had. His bleeding was increasing, his vision blurring. Should he be moving that much? Ah, well. Maybe he'll summon a Tanturellus, instead. They love blood. And fire. What happened to the fire on his arrow? He didn't have time to check it or his wound, but the burning had stopped.

The circle is complete and way overdone for a simple Tanturellus, though. What was he going to summon, again? He could hear screaming, battle, and chaos in his surroundings--but he wouldn't be distracted, now. The alcohol was especially useful for drawing up a symbol to keep away from distractions if you didn't get too intoxicated to actually draw the damned thing up properly. Luckily for Rein, however, this symbol was muscle reflex. He'd done it so many times. Too many times. He smiled as he drew the very last line, the magic flowing from him as the symbol clicked through the air with a satisfactory, silent pop. He could feel the air tug inwards towards that symbol briefly as the magical component was completed and he sighed with drunken relief. The hard part was over.

"Khalidarras venArti, I summon thee," Reinhold says, tossing in some blood from his stomach by dipping in his fingers and flicking them outwards into the circle. Most summons didn't require blood of any kind--but summoning a dragon always does. Not because they even like blood--in fact, they don't generally give a shit about blood and they generally have little taste for blood hunting or any kind of blood sporting, so it's all just...weird that way.

A very large dragon, coppery and brilliant, appeared above the now brilliantly glowing, neon symbol by hundreds of feet within the air. It flew beneath the stars, its shadows hinting at a great threat unknown to many as it awaited his command. He knew that she would be able to hear him, so he simply smiled and whispered, "Protect the Capitol. Protect the wall." It was all he could manage before he collapsed onto the ground, his body hitting the gravel with a lot of discomfort and pain, the pain searing up within his abdomen once more from the arrow wound upon the impact. Who was attacking the inner city and why? WHy did it have to be tonight? His very first night....

Reinhold was supposed to have joined the Crownsguard officially tomorrow...the big leagues. Hale had just passed him a few hours ago and this was how it was going to end? He would die from regular fucking guard duty before his real work had ever began? As he dozed off from the world of the conscious, his memories returned to the fountain, reality waving in and out of his perception while his body grew numb and his eyes closed against the world of chaotic noise around him. He woke a couple of times--once to hear about the dragon. They have realized she's an ally. Good. Another time, he could tell he was being carried...they are taking him to Nyx? Who the hell is...? He falls into a deep and painful sleep, groaning from the discomfort of the movement.


--

"This will only hurt for a minute..."

Words she had grown accustomed to saying. As hunched beside the wounded warrior, red staining a dark, muscular arm- the woman's sharp inhilation of breath before Nyx had even touched her. Screwing her eyes shit, gritting her teeth. Nyx found it endearing. No matter how old, or battle hardened humans became- in the fact of a Doctor, most of them melted back to being children again.

Nyx's long, gloved fingers gently held the woman's arm in place, her bright, Silverite tools gleaming as she moved to extract the wooden shrapnel from the wound. She let out a motherly 'tut' as the muscular woman shrank away from the cold touch of the instrument.

"Shh, shh, shh.....Now, now, you're alright. Just let me take this out of your arm, and you'll be all patched up. Alright?" Her voice tumbled out of her mouth like warm milk; the husk and depth to it lulling the woman down. She'd need to work fast; compassion and bedside manner only kept people calm for so long. Her thumb stroked the womans skin as she went in with her tool- a rather intimidating set of shining, silver, tongs- used for extractions.

Nyx was good; damnably good- in a deft motion she had gotten a grip on the sizable, pointed shard of wood. In another, she pulled- as quickly as she had gone in, she was out, the bloody residue staining the farthest edges of her tool. The woman had barely any time to acknowledge what Nyx was doing- managing a short, quiet cry, and barely even a flinch before Nyx smiled in satisfaction. She had done her best, practiced and honed her technique- to avoid pain. Sometime's it was unavoidable yes. But if she could, at the very least, minimize- then it was worth it to her.

She smiled at the woman, her eyes shining as she raised the tong triumphantly for the briefest of moments.

"See? Not so bad. And now it's all over." She gently laid down her medical tongs, splinter still tightly in their grip, on the tray beside her. She grabbed a clean, white cloth- and a glass bottle. She clasped the cloth over the open mouth of the bottle, turning it over briefly to dampen it- before setting it back down. Nyx turned her attention back to the woman before her, reaching out- and being welcomed with a disposition much more trusting- not a single flinch! She cleaned the blood off her arm, around the wound, careful with its edges; dancing around it with a gentle touch, a precise touch.

Once the wound had been satisfactorily cleaned, Nyx hummed out a light, airy, "There." Setting the now bloodied cloth down beside her.

"Now." Nyx tugged at the middle finger of her glove, revealing long, pale fingers, light scars riddling her fingertips, her knuckles. The hands of a healer were never pristine; and they were seldom clean. At least not for very long.

Golden magic formed at her fingers- she was a fantastic doctor, but sometimes wounds required a more magical touch.

She reached out, her warm, soft hand gently covering the wound, embracing it.

The woman closed her eyes once more, this time, in contentment. Nyx felt the warmth grow underneath her hand as the woman let out a sigh of calm, comfort, bliss. Few knew a feeling so comforting as the healing magic Nyx had; she'd heard it described in many ways over her years as a medic. Each more full of embellishments than the last. It amused her each time. But still, she was grateful to it, grateful for the comfort and contentment it brought the wounded and the sick.

The woman hung there, basking in the feeling, even after Nyx had moved her hand away. The healer allowed her to stay that way as she tugged her glove back on, letting her stay in her tranquil state for a few moments longer.

"Now," Nyx finally interrupted her after she had regathered herself, holding the same tone as an amused, loving, but concerned and chastising mother. "What are we not going to do from now on?"

The woman snapped back down to reality, a deep blush radiating across her face as she looked down at her feet. What was she more embarrassed by, Nyx wondered, her reaction to her healing or how she got here in the first place?

"Spar when we're drunk." The woman muttered lowly, regret and shame tinging her voice. Nyx smiled warmly, quirking an eyebrow.

"Especially not with Lysette; who, from what I've seen, has the upper body strength of a young dragon. Who has also been outside fretting over you since you got here." Nyx knew romance when she saw it-

'Ah, young love,' She thought; as if she wasn't young herself. But still. 'Driving people to do foolish things to impress their object of affection. Ah, young love- the reason so many new recruits end up in my clinic.'

"Ah, s-she has?" The woman peeped up at Nyx, who in turn nodded.

"Indeed. Now I do believe you've kept her waiting long enough." Nyx stood, gathering her tools to get them cleaned.

"A-ah- And do I owe you anything for the-?"

Nyx shook her head, warm smile still on her face. "No. Now, shoo shoo, the night is still young- and I'm sure you both have your duties to attend to."

'Barely.'

The woman smiled at her bashfully, nodding in appreciation as she hopped off her table and strode quickly out of the room.
As Nyx watched her leave, she couldn't help but smile and shake her head.

'Ah, young love.'

"Lady Nyx! I-"

She jumped, wheeling around, palm at the ready to slam into someone's throat- ferocity in her eyes and a heart rate that pounded its way up to join the stars.

Recognition barely kicked in before she could slam her fist into her new company's throat.

"Viago..." She sighed, leaning back, her body sagging as all the tension left it. The man held his hands up placatingly, a regretful look on his face. Viago, once of her assistants, fresh out of the academy, eager to help- but oh, so-

"Sorry to scare you Nyx! I was waiting for you to get done with your patient. Recruits, eh? Anyway, that medication you gave me for my headaches is working absolute wonders! I was, however, concerned that it might be addictive- so I ran some tests- turns out the addictive properties are low but that's just in mice and I know better than to experiment on people- so I think I can safely say it's not dangerous to humans either but I'm still using myself as a psuedo lab rat so the jury's still out on that one. But to the point I ran out so I was wondering if you had anymore?"

Talkative.

Nyx smiled sympathetically. "Viago, you know how I feel about you testing on animals; and yes, people are absolutely out of the question. You shouldn't have even needed to run any tests; I formulated it myself, tested it. I would have never put you in danger." She turned, moving to walk and talk; the bright lanterns illuminating her black clad figure against the predominantly white room; her skirts casting a dancing shadow as she moved. "But yes, I can get you more- I'll have it delivered to you once I finish it." She set her tray down on the counter for the cleaning staff to manage; they knew her tools- Nyx was the head of the medical staff here; alongside being in the Crownsguard. Her cohorts had joked that she was 'overfacted'; but what was the harm in doing two things you knew you were good at? The only downside to the Crownsguard was that she had to put up with her father and his antics- but it was worth it. Namely because of Kovros. A warm smile came to her face as she thought of him. He'd been having headaches too, lately. Maybe because of stress...She should make some for him, as well. He might even actually take some, if she was lucky. She neared the door, reaching out for its gracefully cast handle, out onto the wall. "And Viago I do think you should get some sleep my medicine is just a temporary-"

The air was cut by a blood curdling scream.

Nyx did not hesitate to lurch through the door.

Fire.

Fire was everywhere.

Arrows rained down upon the wall, peppering it with flame, sparks. She saw people dragging their scorched and wounded friends to the small infirmary on the wall.

She looked to her left and saw a man dragging his friend towards the door- the latter had an arrow in his shoulder and was wailing in pain.

She jumped out of their way, beckoning them through the doorway.

"Inside!" She shouted, motioning for Viago to help them, but he was already on it, ducking his head under the mans other arm and helping cart him inside.

"Lady Nyx-" She turned, one of the head guardsman, Bianca stood before her, looking frazzled- arrows stuck out of her shield, scorchmarks marred her plate.

"Bianca- status. Who's attacking us? How many injured?" Nyx's voice cut through the air, still soft, but raised due to the backdrop of frantic shouting.

"No idea; and too many. Most of the infirmary's peppering the wall are full. They caught us by surprise when they-"

A deafening roar cut the air, and Nyx turned around in a whip like motion, eyes wide and towards the sky- beholding a large, coppery-

"Pardon my language, Bianca," Her eyes were wide as saucers, catching the reflection of the fire in their stormy gaze. Was it friend? Was it foe? Fuck- she might very well be alone on the wall tonight. She was going to have to fight it alone. "But can someone explain the fucking dragon?"

A voice, further away.

"Reinhold, my lady! Reinhold summoned it!" The two women looked at the man who was huffing and puffing from exertion.

"Reinhold?" They spoke at the same time, with two very different kinds of confusion to their voices.

Nyx looked back to Bianca. "Who is- do you know him?"

"Reinhold, my lady. The young man recently promoted to the crownsguard."

Ah, him. She was supposed to meet him tomorrow. Well, if he could summon dragons he had certainly more than earned his place.

Even if he was one that her father had selected- who generally ranged from conmen to brigands to loose canons. But...

To think.

A dragon.

That was...

Impressive.

"Where is he, then? Is he still fighting on the wall?"

She looked back at the man, who shook his head sheepishly.

"No, ma'am, he's-"

"NYX!!!"

A voice thundered across the wall for her. Two more men. Carrying...

"Let me guess." She muttered, already quickening her pace to meet them. "The injured one is Reinhold."

"Indeed it-" Bianca started, but Nyx couldn't hear the rest of it.

Of course it was.

Her walk evolved into a run as she met them. 'Reinhold' was a young man, seemingly around her age, with blonde hair- two thirds of an unbuttoned shirt, and an arrow sticking out of him.

She saw from how much he was bleeding if she didn't get to him soon, he was going to die. Right here on the wall.

She looked back to the infirmary she had just come out of, to the people ushering into its doors.

Shit.

She looked back at the two men carrying him.

"We need to hurry and get him down to the main medical hall. He's already lost a lot of-"

"INCOMING!" Nyx looked up; and saw another array of arrows descending down upon them. There was no way they could move back to cover in time, not with Reinhold's limp body in their arms.

With eyes full of steely determination, she stepped in front of them, hand outstreched.

Healing magic hadn't been the only thing she'd learned.

"Kaffas Nir Noche." The words dripped from her lips like a hushed secret.

Before her, layer of ash sprang up before them in a curved wall. She heard the sandy noise of the arrows making dull contact- with the few that had made it through- as ashen, broken fragments, falling to pieces when they met her clothing- skittering into sandy chunks as they hit the stone floor.

After a few seconds, the wall dissipated, and she looked back at those behind her, standing behind her with awed eyes.

"Hurry-" She spoke frantically, eyes wide- that was all it took to get them back on the double-quick.

She kept stride with them, pulling her glove off and putting her bare hand down on the mans wound- golden mist emanating from her fingertips as she used her magic to stem the bleeding.

His face looked so...serene. They all did, when they were on deaths door. It made it hard to tell when they slipped away.

"Reinhold." She called down to him as they walked into the stairwell, now only basking in the muffled chaos of the wall. "Reinhold can you hear me? I need you to wake up." Her voice was urgent, soft, smooth and mildly panicked all at the same time. No matter how many patients she had- she'd never react any less emotionally to the idea of them dying. She reached her free, gloved hand down to the side of his face, leaning over him. "I need you to stay awake with me."

Reinhold can hear a voice calling his name, speaking with beautiful, melodic urgency with a rich tone that tugs at his heartstrings even as he lay without clarity or comprehension of his true surroundings. He struggles to breathe as his eyes flutter open, just for a moment. Dark skin, dark clothes, well framed with the posture of a Goddess of Mercy that stood over him. Such fine hair that grew atop her head, darker and rich, matching that dusky voice of such sweet comfort. And those eyes! Gazing into his very soul as his heart leaped from his physical body and into the air, beating loudly within his ears. Was this heaven? Had he finally passed on?

He smiles, relief flooding through his pained body, eager to allow that numbing emptiness to follow so that this dark angel of light could take him into the other world, whatever it is that lies after. He cannot resist, mustering what little energy he has in an attempt to feel that fine hair as he says, "What a babe." He starts to doze off again.

Nyx gazes down at him with a quirked eyebrow and a slight, amused, yet horrified smile. What word would it have been- ah- haggardly, the closest simile to the combination of relief and disdain she feels at those three words being his only response.

She hears a snicker behind her as one of the men is absolutely laughing. She couldn't blame him per se- if a mans life wasn't on the line she might find it funny too.

"Reinhold- Reinhold." Her gloved hand gently 'paps' the side of his face repeatedly to keep his eyes open. "No sleeping on the job." She grimaces slightly. "Especially after a promotion- what would Shahaeyl think?"

In all honestly he wouldn't care but here's hoping he doesn't know that.

The trio skittered down through the door into the main hall, where guardsmen were frantically scurrying about- trying to get up to the wall to help their bretherin against this assault.

Luckily, everyone knew where the medical hall was; and everybody working there recognized Nyx. The large, silvery doors were immediatly cast wide open for her- and the calm atmosphere cultivated inside, despite the injured, was broken as they thundered inside.

"Get him up on a table," She spoked in a hushed tone to the two men with her. Her eyes cast to the side, looking at one of the medical staff. "Get me my tools." The woman nodded, moving away, to the back of the room, with speed and purpose. The two men lifted the smaller young man onto the table. She would have told them to remove his short but it seemed as though he had already done them that courtesy, whether he intended to or not.

"No," Reinhold mumbles drunkenly, not even moving, "It's fine, you're right. Just toss me back up on the wall. Hale won't even notice I was gone."

"Ah, no, no. I really, really don't think that's a good idea." Nyx was too preoccupied trying to stop him from bleeding to death on her table to think of an excuse as to why that wasn't a good idea outside of simply telling the man he'd be dead if he did so. "Flaming arrows, screaming, a dragon. Much too rowdy for someone in your condition." The two guardsmen backed away once they had situated him on the table, Nyx nodded that it was okay for them to leave and they backed out of the room, reluctantly, flecked with Reinhold's blood.

She was out of breath, moving a small table around as her assistant put her instruments on it.

"Speaking of- dragon, I've been told that was your doing?" 'Yes, Nyx. Keep him talking.' She reached out, snapping the arrow midway through- made it smaller, easier to work with. She was still going to have to pull it out.

She was afraid to move away her golden hand- fearing she wouldn't be able to work quickly enough to stem the bleeding, her hand searching her table for the correct tool- Ah! Yes, that would help dislodge it. She grabbed a pair of tongs- different from the ones she had used at the infirmary on the wall. Used for a different purpose.

Reinhold coughed and it hurt. His hand shook, wanting to move to the wound but it was moved back away from it. He grimaced, but finally replied, "You met Khali. Yeah, she's an adult Copper. Acid breath weapon. Super climbing earth dragoness badass. You'll like her, Goddess. She's fierce, like you."

Ah, blood loss enduced delerium. It made people, men, namely, say the most peculiar things. Nyx couldn't help but smile, pushing back a laugh as she looked down at him.

"Khali- that's a lovely name, for a lovely, albeit intimidating creature." Her breath stuck as she moved her tool closer to the wound. This was going to hurt. She didn't have time to get him into surgery, and she hoped her magic would be able to take enough of an edge off the pain. "But, Reinhold, you do not yet know me. But I hope that you will. You seem rather....interesting."

'As does every man that lands on my table bleeding and reeking of hooch. But, none of them managed to summon a dragon, so he had that going for him, she supposed.'

"I know this is going to hurt but I need you to stay very, very still. Can you do that for me?"

"A kiss from your soft lips would make any pain bearable, your will would become mine," Reinhold promises.

Nyx wants to sigh, but she can't help but laugh, though it grows tired as it leaves her lips, dying amidst concern. He was dying, bleeding out on her table. And he was hitting on her?

Seriously?

"Extorting affection from your Doctor is terrible bedside manner, I'll have you know." But maybe....

She had an idea.

"But. A peck wouldn't hurt. One kiss. On the cheek. Would this suffice for you, Reinhold?" Her eyes flickered up to her table, looking at the positioning of her other tongs, extractors. She painted the picture clearly in her head, she'd have to work fast if this worked.

Reinhold moaned, "Abssssolutely. If I die, promise to kiss the other cheek. So it's equal."

"I promise. But, I assure you that won't happen." Nyx's body coiled like a spring, ready to leap into action. She shuffled herself closer to Reinhold's head, standing at the halfway point between his face and his wound, nudging the table closer with her foot.

'Ah, Nyx! Have you met the newest member of the Crownsguard?'

'Yes. He was drunk and bleeding out on my operating table last night, and I saved him by kissing him!'

'To the void with me,' Nyx thought. 'If I don't make this work I will look, and feel, like a moron. They might as well revoke my graduate status from the academy, kick me out of the Crownsguard. Shahaeyl will have a field day with it.'

The cool metal of the tool was milimeters away from his skin. She was ready to dive into action. Any moment now, Nyx.

Any moment.

"Fantastic," Reinhold slurred out, trying not to cough again, "And if I live, please promise to kiss my other cheek. To make it equal."

Nyx manages an airy chuckle, with a shake of her head.

"Sure, Reinhold. You have my word." She moves her head up, lips hovering over his cheek as her tool positions itself around the wound, ready to flex it open so she can pull the arrow out. In unison, her lips meet his cheek, golden magic spiraling out of them as a healing wave hits his body, filling him with a calming, blissful wave as she pulls the skin around his wound open. Her free, ungloved hand zips for her tongs, she peeps down at the action with one eye. If she moved her mouth her healing magic would leave him, and with it, the only thing keeping him from total agony. She reaches down- hoping, praying that she's able to pull it out in one go.

The silvery tongs find the hard surfact of the arrowhead; and in one, deft, precise movement, she pulls.


--

Reinhold remembers pain. He remembers being clear-headed for the first time in hours because of that horrible pain that he wished had killed him only briefly before it was followed by blackness. And as he wakes, he remembers her. A beautiful woman that he had made a fool of himself for. He was lying down in a bed--in the infirmary. He groans, forcing myself to try to sit up as he wonders how he's going to get himself out of this one. He's got to get up. The dragon will remain until she knows he is well and until he dismisses her. She's too loyal to vanish on him during this condition.

"Ah, ah," Nyx's pale, soft, cool hand finds his forehead. Pushing him gently back down into the infirmary bed.

She'd stayed with him even after he'd passed out from pain- fretting over his unconcious body even after he'd been patched up- occasionally grabbing onto his arm and hitting him with yet another wave of soothing healing magic.

The fighting had since died down- she'd made little point of keeping track of the time, perhaps the fighting had died down quicker due to Reinhold's summoning? Or perhaps more time had passed than she thought.

"You lie down. You need to rest." Her voice was soft, calming, despite her inner anxiousness and now, relief, that he seemed to be fine and out of the woods. "But I'm glad you've rejoined us." She smiled at him, letting go of a breath she didn't know she was holding as she relaxed back into her chair.

His beloved--she saved his life! And what is more, that voice was not a magical delusion of a dying mind. He was grinning and he forced the stupid expression from his face as swiftly as he realized it was there. Khali is nearby--waiting. He can feel the thrum of her presence within him, reverberating throughout his core. It was comforting in a familiar way.

"My, I must thank you, Lady," Reinhold said somewhat stiffly, his politeness returning to him with his sobriety, "I am indebted to your hospitality and grace."

Nyx couldn't help but chuckle at the brief, quickly muffled grin on his face.

"It looks as though you've regained your senses, Reinhold. I must say, as terrible as your prior condition was, hearing you talk was rather amusing." She returned her hand to her lap, her smile brightening. "Besides, there is no need for such stiffness. Let me be one of the first, or, perhaps, the last, to welcome you to the Crownsguard. Seems I get to meet you before all the rest."

Reinhold's face flushes, an awful sinking sensation sitting into his gut as he hoped his prior words wouldn't remain a topic of discussion, "Um, you're in the crownsguard? Wow, I guess that means we will be working together. I will have an opportunity to repay you for saving my life, then. All the better. Have you seen Ha--Shaheayl? He must be furious with me..."

Nyx waves her hand as if to brush away the suggestion. "There is nothing to repay. Is it not human to save someone that needs saving? Besides, I'm sure that dragon of yours, Khali, saved plenty of lifes as well thanks to your intervention." Nyx's face shows a flicker of something akin to sourness. "Shahaeyl probably hasn't even noticed you were gone, probably too distracted by the fire, mayhem, and your 'acid breath' dragon."

"Ah," Nyx looks down at him. "We have not been properly introduced." She offers out her hand. "I am Nyx, Head Physician to the royal family and member of the crownsguard. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance."

Reinhold takes her hand, gentlemanly like, kissing the back of it and savoring the feel of her skin for just a moment before laying his head back down upon the bed and smiling, "A pleasure to meet you, Nyx. Reinhold, as you already know. Khali is actually how I bought my way in--so to speak. Hale likes his entertainment, that's for sure. I had to jump through a lot more hoops for Kovros, but this is worth it. I've wanted to be crownsguard for as long as I can remember."

Nyx. Nyyyyyx. The name sat on his tongue and at the tip of his mind like the taste of one's favorite dessert, just at the moment of first contact as it passes the lips. Delicious perfection. It's definitely a name he'll remember. "About twenty years, actually. Which I suppose isn't 'too' long, but it certainly has felt like forever." Great. Now I'm rambling.

Nyx quirks her eyebrow; she'd expected him to shake her hand. Not kiss it. Not that she minded, particularly. Now that he had a better look at him, he was rather handsome- a pretty face, and his eyes were very-

Ah, no, definitely not running with that train of thought! Absolutely not. Why did her face feel so warm? Was she blus- Ah, of course. She was blushing. Fantastic.

"It's admirable, Reinhold. Chasing your dream. I'm glad you're able to join us; and I am unsurprised that a dragon is how you managed to win over Shahaeyl. He is a simple man dedicated to chaos, mayhem, and 'fun', if you could even call it that. Kovros is interested in your dedication, the quality of your heart, and your ability to do your job. Not too many hoops, I'm sure." Her tone shifted between Hale and Kovros. A sourness tinged her tone when speaking of her father, a sense of contentment and pride when she spoke of Kovros.

Reinhold's hope built up within his chest. Promising for any future that involved romance? Doubtful, but maybe he could survive trying. Possibly. Would the Goddess care to be wooed by one simpleton such as him?

"Well, I look forward to getting to know all of the Crownsguard," Reinhold said, nodding his head, "Especially you. And how long am I lucky enough to stay here and be cared after? I like getting a day off."

A smile traced her lips as she tilted her head curiously to the side, a chuckle escaping her lips as she quirked an eyebrow. Was the smile from amusement, fondness that was common from Nyx? The young man before her couldn't be sure.

"I'm sure you will. You've met Hale, he's easily the most dividing." As she speaks her long, slender fingers reach out and grap the now cleaned and sanitized arrowhead from the table beside her. She traces its edges as she leans forward in her seat. "As for your question, until I'm sure you're up in fighting condition. As chief of medical staff, my opinion is generally trusted- and pulling this frightful little thing from your abdomen did do some damage to the muscle- magical healing or no." She leans forward, pressing the cold piece of metal into his hand, her face shifting to a somewhat scolding expression. "And while I have you here, I feel inclined to ask why you were drunk and patrolling the wall?"

Reinhold grins sheepishly from ear to ear, "Hale insisted on it."

I hope he did that to the other new guy. I heard he had a stick up his ass. God, she's gorgeous....but who attacked the wall? Are we at war? He listened carefully, but Reinhold couldn't hear any sounds of battle and from here, he certainly should have, if there was any going on. So at least it was over...for now. He could sense his summons nearby and she was getting restless. She probably wished to get home soon.

"I do thank you for this souvenir. I'll keep it as a memory of the debt that I owe you." Reinhold added, grasping the arrow head carefully.

Nyx's expression shifts from calm, relative scolding, to absolute hellfire in a fraction of a second.

"He what?" Her voice did not raise in volume, but the intensity was palpable. She was going to roast him! How dare he risk the new recruits life- risk other peoples lives? For what? For a laugh?

Nyx stood up, her shoulders squared, rage clear on her face for a second before it just- melted. Giving way to the same composure, the same compassion, the same calm that had encompassed her before. Her hand reached out, gently grasping his shoulder as she leaned over him, looking him in the eye.

"The next time Shahaeyl gives you an instruction that could directly risk your life or someone elses life for something stupid, vapid, and entirely petty. I implore you, come to Kovros or I. Hale brays like an ass, and is fluent in nonsnese, despite his supposed lethality." Nyx closes her eyes briefly, letting out a light sigh, envisioning all the ways she could cram one of her fathers daggers up his rectum. "Anyway, Khali. I assume you need to...de-summon her? Let her know you're alive, hm?" Her eyes open once more, and a smile reinstates itself on her face.

Reinhold was surprised by the woman's hot, quick anger--yet, somehow, not surprised. She was mysterious, yet so open in her own contradictory way. He felt this from her by the way she held herself--but at this point, he's just judging her by how she appears. He inwardly reminds himself to never piss her off, though...just in case. How dangerous is this healer?

"Yes, Khali!" Reinhold says, moving slowly as he appreciates the change of subject, "She knows I'm alive and well. We are linked during the--well, she just knows. I'll be sure to give her your regards, but you should really meet her, sometime. I think you'd like her. Until next time?"

Nyx, smiles, nodding, briefly considering her next course of action. "Of course, I'd love to meet her, especially from how you've spoken of her." Her eyes fix for a moment her smile softening. In one swift motion she plants a kiss on his cheek, the opposite cheek, steadying herself on the bed itself before righting herself.

"And I believe that fulfills my promise, Reinhold. Now, you're not standing, that would irritate the wound, one of my assistants will help wheel you up to the wall. I expect you back so I can make sure it's healing properly, agreed?"

Reinhold's hand covers over his cheek, hold the kiss dear to his heart...well, palm, as he nods his agreement for assistance. He has no doubt he'll be fighting fit in no time, but he really will be restless during the whole resting part. Ah, such as it is. However, any excuse to return to the lady... It's worth it. Satisfied, he takes his leave, but is interrupted at the door and the assistant is forced back into the room with him as messenger meets them. It's a messenger of the crown.

"Hello, Nyx. Reinhold, I believe?" THe messenger greets, waving in Transuria traditional fashion, "A Crownsguard meeting has been called. It's about the attack and all."

"Oooh!" Reinhold says excitedly, "Please tell me I can bring my dragon!"

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



Set made by the lovely and talented JerriLeah7
I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.
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Banshee
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Re: Deus Ex Chronica

Post by Banshee on 28th February 2018, 8:52 pm

[DATE: TBA, The Actual Apocalypse]

The Queen's stride was long and her pace was hurried as she strode down the very long and narrow, stone passage way that was slanting downward and deeper into the planet's crust. Torches adorned the walls here and there, providing just enough light as they lit up all by themselves just a few seconds before she passed. She could hear her footsteps echo around her, as well as the footfalls of those behind her--her daughter and another of the Crownsguard. She felt safe down here, always, usually.

This time, however, she could hear the hissing and the scratches in the distance. The Inanis would eventually make their way in, brute force giving way through the stone that had protected them for so long against the enemies of Transuria of generations past. This was the first time that an enemy had made it this far within the City's center. This was the Queen's inner sanctum, her private place for Communing as the Oracle--not even her lovely Phaedira had gotten this far, before. The thought of this place being corrupted by those twisted, black enemies chilled her to the bone.

As they reached the dead end, the Queen halted her steps, turning slightly to the two that followed her with an expression of anxiety and a slight reassurance as she whispered, "We're almost there." Her hand caressed her essence crystal that was protruding from her stomach, drawing inner strength from it as she used her magic to activate the hidden door and the wall rippled to life, as would the surface of disturbed water.

Phaedira's eyes looked upon the wall with wonder and the Queen smiled at her sweetly, happy to see the girl with any other expression outside of stoic depression. She'd been stalwart against the Inanis, thus far, but she'd been broken over the loss of her father. The girl had been struggling to keep up with her pace, breathing arduously as she gazed upon the invisible door and the Queen suddenly felt sheepish and apologetic for having rushed the poor dear. She often forgot how much shorter her daughter really was.

"What's back here, mother?" Phaedira asks curiously, her eyes directed to Vaelus with uncertainty. No one had been back within the Oracle's quarters, before. Save for her father, of course. Phaedira had often wondered what her mother did back here, but she didn't ever come too often--only when she wished to commune with their God Antar.

"What you see here," The Queen replies as her gaze shifts from Phaedira to Vaelus, "You will never speak of to any other."

Vaelus kept pace with the Queen, long, even strides, a practiced and steady gait. He was an outsider in this trio, Phaedira, their strategist, and her mother, The Queen, two of the most powerful and influential women in the kingdom- or rather, what was currently left of it. Everything had fallen to rubble, refuse, garbage. Countless humans had died, they were the last few left. Kovros, Shahaeyl, Reinhold, the twins, Nyx...He had been chosen to come along, and found great honor in that.

His constructs flanked him, their long, limber legs shifting and moving with mechanical precision, their long, shining, bladed arms held placidly at their sides, unmoving as they walked. Their metallic clicking and the gentle metallic 'whrrr' they exuded the only sound outside of their footsteps and Phaedira's somewhat labored breathing. In a sense, it brought Vaelus comfort. Not much, but a small bit of peace in a rather chaotic time was still something worthy of appreciation.

Vaelus halts, his eyes already on the Queen as her gaze falls to him. He nods, bowing his head respecfully, hands behind his back. "You have my word, your majesty."

The Queen then stepped through the wall and it rippled once more against her flesh until she vanished behind it and Phaedira reached out a hand to touch it with uncertainty before following. "Woah," the Girl had whispered, impressed. She then pushed herself through, feeling herself sucked through the portal and suddenly dizzied by it. Her mother had been waiting on the other side, taking her arms to steady her and keep her from falling after losing her balance.

"Thank you," Phaedira says, steadying herself. The Queen does the same for Vaelus, but Phaedira's eyes are now on the room. Her jaw dropped, her eyes wandering around the underground cavern of stone and upon the wonders within it. At the room's center, a shallow pool of water was sunken into the stone as a perfect circle and surrounded by a five foot stone pathway that was then surrounded by another circle that sunk into the stone, once more. This, too, could be shallow, but Phaedira would never know. This was not water, but some kind of magical lava--or at least it appeared to be. It didn't melt the stone's surfaces around it, but the red, slow moving emberous substance slowly streamed in a circle around the inner oasis of clear, clean water, turning clockwise.

However, this was just the magical nonsense at the room's center. The "lava" lit up the room's center, but all else would have been dark without the massive, decorated braziers around the edges of the outer corners along with very large, elliptical structures that seemed to come out of the room's floor, also made from stone. These strange....obstructions or wreaths that just popped up and flared into the room were so massive in size, but beautiful and perfect as they orbited the room's center.

The oasis within the room's center was orbited by stone, surrounded by lava, moving in a constant motion of magic, and emanating power and energy. It was like nothing that Phaedira had ever before seen in this world or within her entire life. It was beautiful, precise, perfect....powerful. It both amazed her and scared her in all of the brief few seconds that she had to gaze upon its glory. It took her a minute to realize that the Queen was already walking upon the floor, moving around the orbiting stone wreaths toward the shallow pool at its center. She quickly stepped forward to catch up.

"Mother, what is this place? What are these things?" Phaedira asks, pointing to the orbiting constructs of stone that rose up from the floor on the outer edges of the room with confusion. Was it art?

"They keep the vibrations of the room and resonate with the energy that comes from the center where I work." The Queen answers as she begins to take off her shoes, "Take them off."

Phaedira obeys, taking off her shoes immediately. She smiles slightly as she feels the vibrations and the hums through the stone floor at her feet. She can feel the vibrations with ease and she visibly relaxes as the thrumming melts through her entire muscular system and massages her body. Wow! What it must be like to lay or rest here....

Vaelus followed the lead of the two women, as did his constructs. As he goes through the portal, steadied by the queen, the brief wave of shame, embaressment, perhaps- he feels is replaced by curiosity and awe. Awe at the marvel of magic and nature before him. His construcys touchdown beside him with light 'clanks'; but he pays little mind at first. Until he notices something...strange. Like the magical thread connecting him to his constructs was stronger, tougher. He raised his hand, and they moved instantaneously. Their reflexes were quick, normally, he'd been perfecting his magic for years. But this- this was....

He looked back up to the two women, trailing after them, quickly, as he scanned the room, not letting his awe show through in his expression.

At the Queens behest, he removed his shoes, sliding them off and placing them tidily beside him. He felt a bit naked without them, but the Queens word mattered more to him than any of his ingrained social or personal graces. Not to mention he was infinitely more....relaxed here. Though if he said that out loud, he was sure Phaedira might have laughed. Him, Vaelus, relaxed? Chickens might start raining from the sky. Though, he'd take chickens and other such foolery over Inanis any day.

"Your majesty, is the resonation in this room infinite? A self contained enviorment? Or is it being pulled from somewhere?" Vaelus' question was quick, even. Would even this fall away on them once it was spent?

"This is the heartbeat of Antar," The Queen stated, smiling happily, "A connection that he has left me so that I may speak with him. Through this small magical space that he has left, I can communicate with him where he rests at the planet's core."

"Woah," Phaedira instantly reacted, surprised. She knew the Oracle spoke the words of Antar, delivered his messages and his guidance to them all--but she never knew or understood how. "Why did he choose you to be his Oracle? Was it because of your essence crystal?"

"No," The Queen said, "I was chosen for the exact same reason of how I have an extended essence crystal to begin with: I am Antar's daughter."

Phaedira blinked. Say what?! She watched the Queen, fullly clothed, step into the water's center and begin to lie down into it, preparing to do her usual....Oracle ritual stuff. Whatever that may be. Did she just say....we're related to Antar?!

'That's one way to 'keep it in the family', I suppose.' Vaelus thought, raising his eyebrows as I looked between Phaedira and the Queen.

"I believed Antar to be a non corporeal entity, yet you- if you'll pardon my obvious statement, your majesty- are a very tangible, physical being. How is this possible?" This defied most rational houses of Vaelus' thought. However, having worked with magic for as long as he had, Vaelus knew that some things just had to be believed, rather than question. But his itching mind demanded he asked.

The Queen shrugs, "I didn't ask. Would you want to know if your dad banged some random mortal woman? I don't even know my mother and who knows what went down to make me happen."

Phaedira laughed loudly, probably for the very first time in a long time. She'd never heard her mother speak like this, not so casually nor about such a subject. Her laughter echoed throughout the chamber--or at least, she thought it did. Did it? She was uncertain. "Okay, okay. So, now what?"

"Now, I sleep, of a sort. I'll be defenseless, but you said Vaelus would keep me safe, so I trust him with my body while I commune." The Queen answered. She had stopped herself from lying down completely within the waters. She gestured for Phaedira to come near and she did. They embraced each other, as best as they could with Phaedira leaning down over the small pool and trying not to get wet. Her mother's eyes watered. Would this be the last time they saw each other alive? Would Phaedira make it out and survive the front lines with the others?

When they pull apart, the Queen looked to Vaelus very seriously, "Nothing can disturb my body. I cannot be touched during this process. If I am interrupted, my soul will be lost and unable to return to my body. My life will be in your hands, Vaelus."

Vaelus blinked, never in his life had he heard the Queen speak so...crassly. He looked over as Phaedira laughed; a small smile lightly tracing his lips- easy to ignore. It didn't elude him that he might be witnessing the last time Phaedira and the Queen, a daughter and her mother, would speak, see each other, embrace. The sancticity of their bond was not lost on him.

Vaelus nodded as he was mentioned, stepping slightly closer, surveying the enviorment- assessing tactical advantages his constructs might have. As he looks back at the Queen, and she looks at him, he notes the tears in the Queens eyes- he could hardly blame her.

"I promise you, your majesty, nothing will touch you. You have my word, as a man and as a member of the Crownsguard." 'Whatever weight that holds anymore.' His stoic expression, the steely determination in his eyes, the poise of his voice. Vaelus meant every syllabel; even if it killed him, the Queen would remain unharmed. His gaze shifted to Phaedira. How she must feel, leaving her mothers life in his hands. Of course, they'd worked together, she knew what Vaelus was capable of, she'd given him her vote of confidence. But that didn't factor in the human equation. The fear, the anxiety. If Vaelus could ease his sister-in-arms fears, he would. But he doubt anything would comfort her in the moment.

As the Queen laid down fully to rest, her eyes closing and her arms floating up tot he water's surface, Phaedira turned to look at Vaelus with an expression of anxiety of her own. Her eye darted back to the door where they came from. Castor had foreseen them break through with is sight--the Inanis would come here. It was of no doubt. Yet, he could not tell if there was any warrior that could keep her from death's door. Nor was it seen that she would die this day....or live. She was needed at the front. She needed to be out before they came through....yet, she was pulled here, not wanting to leave her mother at all.

"I..." Phaedira's hands move to Vaelus' and she takes hold of his in hers. She'd honestly never touched the man before. This was odd. Awkward, almost, but her need had overridden her strange awkwardness and behavior, "She's all I have left, Vae. I know we were never close and I have no right to ask much of you...but I need you. I need this."

This is....awkward. He had grown accustomed to Nyx's overly compassionate touches, Shahaeyl's hanging off him, he had grown accustomed to Polluexia's overly physical camraderie, and to Kovros' familial slaps on the shoulder. Even Reinhold, had he enough liquor in him, had invaded his personal space. But Phaedira? She'd never come close to any sort of physical contact. Her hands are small compared to his, to be expected- he's about a head taller than her. But she holds onto them like a lifeline. Like someone desperately trying to punctuate an already dire sentence.

She's needed on the field; she was their strategist after all. He knows this, she knows this. The mutual understanding of what must be done was never lost on them. If he were to die today, in this room, he would die proud of having served alongside a woman like her- proud that he could call her his sister in arms.

"I know, Phae." A familiar name that never much left his lips, on a voice much too soft to be his. But this was their weakest hour, and if there was any time for him to show compassion, it would be now. He knows not what compells him; but he remembers the stories his sister once loved and forced him to read to her- of knights laying down their lives against dragons, beasts, and other such monstrocities. Such tales spoke far more to Kovros than to him. But still, whatever compulsion, he dropped to his knee, with no sword to swear by. "I know and I promise you, I will keep her safe. No matter the cost, Phae. All that I have to give, I give today. To you, to her, to the others up top, to whatever hope we still have. As your brother-in-arms, as your companion, I promise this."

His constructs, as if illustrating the point, kneel on either side of him, laying down their blades on the hard floor, optical nerves facing downward.

Phaedira cries silently, her heart feeling safer as Vaelus promises to keep her mother alive. She has never known the man to break his word. She was relieved, but also sad and worried. She didn't want anything to happen to either of them. Still, he had promised his sword to the Crown just as she had and there was no way for any of them to get out of this. It was only a matter of time before they all fell and the only question that lingered on Phaedira's mind was: Which of the Crownsguard would fall last?

"Thank you, Vae," Phaedira says, after recovering from her grief, "I'll owe you after this is all over."

Vaelus stands, moving one hand to her shoulder, he could see her internal turmoil all over her face.

"Speak not of owing me anything, Phae. This is what we swore ourselves too, isn't it?" He smiles softly at her; he remembered his sister. How often she'd cry, and fret, and worry herself sick. But Phaedira was not famous for worrying; and a strategist with a clouded mind was never a good thing. "The others need their strategist- and I'm sure neither of us trusts those fools on their own. Remember when Hale convinced Reinhold and Polluexia to drink themselves into a stupor at that diplomatic banquet? What a mess that was." His eyes flickered towards the door as he managed a light laugh, trying to get her to remember something happy. They were waiting for her, he knew. "And I'm sure after this, there'll be plenty more messes for us to deal with. So go, Phaedira. 'To victory', as I'm sure Kovros would say."

Phaedira nods, pushing herself away, her eyes watering, but smiling at the same time. She looks at the door, then to her mother, then to Vaelus. She breathes deeply and pulls him back up into a stand so she can hug him, too. "I trust you." She rushes away, taking her swift exit with the dire need to hide her blushing as she wonders what in the world she would do with such sentimentality. These things were not in her life in so long. This war had taken too much from her and all it had taken was a hug from Vaelus to make her realize just how little she enjoyed herself, anymore.

Vaelus accepts the quick, surprising hug, barely managing to reciprocate as she dashes away.

"See you on the other side," He says, not shouting, or whispering, unsure if she could even hear him. His smile faded back to his usual stoic expression as his constructs straightened themselves.

"Well then," He hummed to himself, his eyes glazing over a milky white as his consctructs 'whrrr'd at attention, their blades cracking together above their heads in symbiotic unison. "Now there's work to be done."

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I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.
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Banshee
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Re: Deus Ex Chronica

Post by Banshee on 28th February 2018, 8:58 pm

[DATE: A Forgotten Time]

In the backyard, there was a rectangular pond that was at least fifteen feet in depth. The pond was separated from the earth that it was embraced by with an obsidian casing. Obsidian pillars surrounded it, also, although they were circular in contrast to the pond's angular shape. They made their own pattern of decorative archways that cast shadows upon the water's surface--and although it looked black and was not easy to view into, the water was clear. The obsidian's illusion made the water seem like ink. Or liquefied death.

Within the pond's center, there were two inner pads--think of them as lily pads, except that these were perfect squares of obsidian black that floated with magic of their own. They stayed upon the surface, unmoving, and while Castor stood upon one of those squares with impatience building up throughout his core, his sister simply waited outside of the pond's outer edges, free from the curse of this water's trappings and the lessons that he was being forcefully taught here.

Polluexia had already learned this lesson--better yet, she had already mastered it. Castor was still failing it, drastically. And as his mother doted over him, regardless, his father grew more and more disappointed and impatient by the day. He stared at the still water that surrounded him with such inner frustration that it threatened to boil over out of his skin and into anger. He wished that it would leak from him and make the pond's water boil as his blood did, so that at least then, he could jump in and find sweet release from this torturous responsibility of family expectation.

He pushed his anger down. Again. Closed his eyes. Reaching out for the calm, he focused and then opened his eyes again. He looked upon his reflections--both the reflection of his form within the water's surface and within the shining, smooth surface of the pad that he stood upon , the polished stone granting him just as much clarity of his detailed shoes as the water granted him details of his frustrated expression. He gazed at himself for about the millionth time and tried so hard, but nothing happened. Nothing changed. The spell would not come.

"Your sister will demonstrate," His father's voice came from behind him, "One last time."

He jumped, almost tumbling from the small pad beneath his feet. His heart now hammering within his chest, his hand goes up to it, feeling his pulse through his shame as he turns slightly to find his father looking upon him with disapproval. The man's towering height of ten feet does not help with the intimidation factor at all. He inhaled deeply, nodded, and then turned to Polluexia. She looked at him with a sense of hope before she walked towards the bond and stepped into the pond's water.

Polluexia sank through the water's surface, but she did not disturb the water's body at all. It did not ripple. It did not waver. Instead, as she vanished through the portal of the water's reflection, she reappeared upon the other pad next to him within the pond's center, rising up from it masterfully. Her father claps from behind and Castor clenches his teeth and his fists, but he cannot bring himself to hate her. It isn't her fault that she's better. It's his fault.

"Castor," His father said cooly, "You will stay out here until you have mastered this. It's been far too long--"

He snapped. Vanishing into a cloud of smoke of black, he reappeared into another shroud of shadow before his father and lashed out, ready to land a hit onto the man that was far larger than he ever could dream to be. As his attack hit home, his father dispersed into darkness of his own. Castor called out in rage, but his father was already behind him, striking him down by pushing him into the ground, sinking him into it with earth magic until only his shoulders, neck, and head were visible. Castor had dug himself into a hole. Literally.

When his father was gone, Castor looked upon his sister with an inner helpless as he asked her, "Are you disappointed in me?"

It took all the self control Polluexia possessed within her not to spring on their father. Yeah, yeah. She got it, Castor was angry, Castor was volatile, but so what? Anger was good. Anger got shit done. Anger didn't need to be shamed, and poked and goaded and- UUuuuggghhh.

Once their father was gone, Polluexia scampered up to her brother, crouching down next to him. That helpless look in his eyes broke her heart, and made her want to rip their dad a new asshole. She reached out, gently ruffling his hair.

"Nah. Why, should I be? You been kicking puppies for fun? Know something I don't?" She smiled down at him, a big, shining grin. "You're golden in my eyes, Cas. Just got some practicing to do, is all. Now, need me to dig you out? I'm sure I could manage in a couple hours, if I'm being careful." Earth magic was her weakest suit. Never did suit her- but if her brother needed burrowing out, she'd claw her way through dirt in a heartbeat.

Relief flooded over him and Castor wondered if he'd ever be free of his obligations or of this place. He wondered if he and Polluexia would ever be able to escape. The only time they could be themselves was when their father wasn't around. This stupid Kingdom could rot. He hated here, he always hated it for as long as he could remember.

"Let's play Commoner," Castor says. It was a game they played often--and it was simple. They simply started listing things off, goals and aspirations they had and things they would complete--if they had been born commoners with free lives to do as they pleased. As naive as they were, money was still no object...somehow. At least, sometimes. Sometimes, it was more realistic. Other times, it was not. "You go first."

Polluexia quirked her head. If he wanted to stay in the dirt, she'd be fine to wait until he asked her to claw him out.

She plopped herself down beside him, back against the ground, hands behind her head, wiggling comfortably into the dirt, letting her feet dance between the cool grass.

"Hmmm," Her brows furrowed. "I'd want toooooo-" Her lips pursed for a moment, an array of strange, eccentric expressions dashing across her face- maybe just to amuse her brother. Sue her. "Ah! I'd want to sail the ocean. On a big beautiful boat. With a loyal crew! Picture it now, Captain Polluexia and her loyal, if not slightly curmudgeony First Mate, Castor! Touring foreign ports, finding teasure- and plenty of sword fights, of course. Maybe Nyxie and Hale could come along too!" She paused for a moment. "Would probably lose Hale on the first port, though." She turned to look at him, wagging her eyebrows expectantly. "What about you?"

"Ugh," Castor replies, grossed out, "You and boats. I choose....I choose...I choose to bring down this whole place down. I wish to set it all ablaze and to topple over every last block of stone, marble, and-and--I would just watch it burn! As a Commoner! I'd laugh it off!"

--

[DATE: The Time Of Progenitors]

Castor stands over the empty pond, the platforms now floating above it within the air. Their surfaces no longer polished or clean, cracked and withered by time, they seem foreign to him. THe pillars have mostly fallen, toppled and crumbled, but bits of them remain. Ah, obsidian, ever lasting to remind him of such prior unpleasantries. Oh, the irony of his memory. He darkly pushes it from his mind as he watches Polluexia find the pond. Will she remember it?

Anaranthema is in flames, burning and scorched, black and twisted. The dark veins of the Inanis have overgrown his childhood home and it is nothing but regret and shame that presses against his chest as he realizes that his childhood dreams have come true--at least, the ones he wished out of anger. He watches his sister closely...watching her every move, her every expression. He has no doubt something will seem....similar here. As of yet, they haven't found any survivors, but he has yet to search thoroughly. He must keep an eye on her, for her memory's sake.

Polluexia came, at her brothers behest. She was usually emotional- but inaliable. She felt deeply but nothing had ever really...crawled under her skin the way this place did. She'd walked here before, but did it have a name? When had she walked here? Who with? She remembered her brothers head, just his head. A shadow that moved at ten feet tall- anger, so much anger. She remembered- looking at that pond, amidst burning and rubble and wrongness she [b]remembered[/i]-

And it hurt.

Her head sank between her hands.

"HHhhhhhfffu-" She cursed. The word spitting out from between her lips. She remembered pirate ships, laughter, but anger- all of it, stained in anger. "Cas-" Her voice came out husky, cracked, she cleared her throat. "Cas what are we doing here- Again? Again." Had he told her? Her head was fuzzy, she righted herself, turning back to look at him. They'd at this pond. Together. He was angry. Why? Was it with himself?

Castor's eyes darken, "Yes. Again. You've been here before. It was... a long time ago. You're better off not remembering."

He glances around at the slain remnants of Inanis bodies that litter the ground. Black blood everywhere, just oozing. This isn't his home, anymore. It barely resembles what it used to be. Time has not been kind and perhaps that is a good thing. It is dangerous for his sister to remember too much. Memory is such a painful thing.

"Why?" She looks back at him, craning her head up. "You were angry- why were you angry? Did I do something? Did I-" Memories crack, and move faster than she can grab at them and drag them down. Words die on her lips. She cracks a smile, tries to lighten the mood. "Did I pull you into the water again?" She laughs through her nose, through her big, toothy grin. "You always hate when I do that- must be a tradition, eh?" He knows her, she was sure. Knew her well enough to see through her nigh jossed attempt at lightening the mood, moving on from something she didn't quite know. It killed her- the not knowing.

The unknown had more of a presence in her life than what she actually knew. Why was she better off not remembering?

To the void- she hated it when her brother pulled his cryptic shit.

THey had come, they had fought, and conquered. The purebred was downed with her help and yet, after all that effort, after all the cleaning up they had just done...she didn't even know why. His heart ached, remembering how she did pull him into the water. Many times. It was always upsetting, because the spell only worked on smooth water's surface--all that rippling had to be stilled before he could try the spell again and father wouldn't let her magically calm it. He had to just stand and wait, dragging the entire practice out. Just how father liked it.

After slaying the purebred, he remembered dispersing the shadow bow, falling to his knees and screaming out so loud as the taste of death permeated the air. His body was so cold, everything was cold in the Fields of the Inanis. He could barely feel his fingers or his face. Yet his rage had heated him enough, kept him warm as he slaughtered all of what had remained without hesitation at his sister's side. She deserved this. She deserved this and more.

"I lost my temper again," Castor says, his mind flashing to the screaming and the killing...and then to his raging attack upon his father by the pond's edge, "Are you disappointed in me?"

His words hit her, like a bolt through the heart.

'Are you disappointed in me?'

She looked thunderstruck for a moment. She remembered, a game of 'commoner', her fingers in his hair. The thing he could never get right. What was it? What was it? Someone was mad- someone who wasn't her brother. She...she was mad at him? The shadow. The shadow that was angry, so angry with her brother. Always. She felt it bubbling inside her again before- Her brother. She needed to answer her brother. She smiled at him again, turning, walking up to him, shaking her head loosely. She reaches up- up, up. Had he always been this much taller than her? She remembered, he hadn't- had he?

She ruffled his hair, again. Again? Gently, fondly. Like she always had.

"Why would I be? You know something I don't?" An echo. An echo of something, the past, leaving her lips. What lied beyond her fingers? Beyond her tongue? What evaded her?

Relief flooded through Castor once more, a sad smile shifted up as he met her gaze and took her hand within his, moving her a little closer to the empty pond, a simple obsidian pit filled with Inanis blood and old leaves and twigs. He looks down into it, glad that his father is no longer home, but sad that he is gone. "Let's play Commoner."

Polluexia grinned. She...remembered this. This game. "I start?" As always. She latched her other hand onto his arm, tightening her grip on his hand; pulling them both down onto the scorched earth- landing on her butt with a light 'oof'. "Let's see-" She leaned back onto her hands. "I want tooooooooooo-" Her voice droned on, until she cut her fading voice off with a rasberry and a giggle. "Hm. I want to-" Her smile saddened. "I want to wake up one day, in a world where the dead aren't a statistic. Where we don't have meetings with our quota of dead mages. People who were killed getting the world back. I want to wake up in a world where you and me can look out at the world we got back, and know how many people are living in it, unafraid, happy. I want to wake up with a world that's ours, Cas. That we can be proud of. Where you and me ain't just progenitors all the time. We get to be just Pol and Cas." She looked over at him, nudging him playfully with her elbow. "Your turn."

Castor looks up at the sky, unable to gaze at his sister when he speaks, "No Inanis for me, either. I'd have a family. I'd fall in love, have children, and you would spoil them. We'd let them do whatever they wanted and we'd teach them how to move and breathe within the shadows--the fun way. We'd grow old. We'd die, but not before teaching our family members to be badasses, like us."

Pol looked at her brother, joining his gaze up into the sky, something stinging at her eyes. "Shit, man. Can I add that on to mine? Or is that cheating?" She grinned at the stars. "But yeah..." Her voice crackled, and all the feelings about what they'd never get, memories she'd never get back. A past and a future that were never going to exist for her, for him, threatened to implode on her.

"I'd be the best auntie ever."

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Set made by the lovely and talented JerriLeah7
I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.
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