Loose Ends

IniarIniar AustraliaMember Posts: 3,208 ✭✭✭✭✭
I was clearing out my Dropbox and found this. I had written this when Esmyrsia first arrived, but I held off because I thought other people would jump at the chance of taking the roleplay further. So many empty promises were made to me, and when the last guy flaked out, I just didn't care anymore. Anyway, I have some private thoughts about this, but this following script could be played by anyone in any role except Esmyrsia. Enjoy (or not).

Loose Ends

Introduction

Lord Raykel Aertsen-Avrae swore bitterly, an oath spat in murderous vehemence on the unholy names of the fallen Nemesis and Anathema, as he watched the quickly disappearing back of the runner norrjin boy. How dearly he wished he had split the craven child in half, but one should not simply kill the bearer of bad news; one is then liable to run out of news-bearers. He stroked the gilded pommel of his sabre absentmindedly as he reminisced about the good old times: - in this god-forsaken Age, there were simply too many 'feelings' to deal with, too many niceties and politicking. Give him a trustworthy blade, a worthy foe and the sun behind his back any day. A terror-inducing scowl flashed across his aquiline face as he brought the news to fore in his mind. The message had come from the Director himself, Ihsan Nessaja, Son of War, warning every Ephor of the worrying acceleration in the spread of that dratted mist. Like the Nogba's, this infernal mist had the same cloying sense of rot and decay within it, yet unlike the Nogba's, Raykel recalled exactly where and when this damned thing had appeared. While it was certainly necromantic in nature, the combined efforts of the adept Malignists and Deathknights had been unable to exert any form of control over it. Even as his military mind pondered the veritable boon of controlling the damned thing had they succeeded, a deepening sense of apprehension grew within the nine chambers of his scaly heart. His scowl contorted into a deeply-lined rictus, he drew his keening blade and strode forth into the mist to once again do battle, even as the events of the last six months replayed themselves over in his head like a broken harmonic capture. As always, this series of unfortunate events had begun and revolved around that nexus of power - the Lady Esmyrsia. The entire Ephorate were all gathered in the council room of the greatest city on Aetherius - Stavenn...
***
"Singularity." He strode into the chamber, embers flicking maliciously from his blackened footprints. Iniar nodded slightly at the graceful form of the athletic tanari who headed the oldest guild in the continent, the Singularity Ellarynth Lokrien. Theirs was a paradox of relationships - he had ever been like an adopted son to her, and she the strong matriach of the Noctusari - in a sense, they were family not of blood, but forged from and through it. She smiled graciously, leaning forward from her reposed position, "What news do you bring, Imperator?"
"She has agreed," he scowled. A wave of superheated air smothered the room as he turned to face the head of the Noctusari. "You know my concerns about what we will try to do here, don't you?"
"Of course we do," a silvery voice rang out, clear as a crystal yet harsh in cadence. Three ghostly figures materialised alongside the tapestry dedicated to the memory of Sons of Trez, those bloodthirsty caterwauling legion of legend. Dressed in a flowing robe of embroidered aubergine-coloured silk, a slight sylayan lady with an aristocratic bearing stepped into the room. Sparks danced between the tips of her slender fingers, scintillating in brilliance before fading away and lending the three newcomers solidity in appearance.
"Arcana," muttered the tall, yet lithe, soldier on her right, his discomfiture showing as his reptilian eyes flashed around the hall and his right hand resting on the pommel of a vicious looking sabre. "I never get used to it, Caitryn," he said, "You lot and your non-necromantic energies."
"You'll get the hang of it eventually, Raykel," she laughed liltingly, patting the large akrabi on his plated forearm. 

“Are we all gathered? There is one who seeks an audience with us,” the Scorched mutters, displeasure evident on his parched visage.

“Enter.”

Erupting from the chilled mosaics of the Tenebrum Sanctum, an unholy visage appeared. Black as the hearts of Lyncantha and as carmine as the pools of Scrag, luxurious hair cascaded down the back of the demon that appeared before them: the Lady Esmyrsia. Dressed in ethereal robes of Noctusari design, the demon lifted a single claw.

“Peace.” The demon smiled beatifically, expansive and beguiling.

“Say your piece, Esmyrsia. The Ephorate will make a decision, and I assure you we will not tarry when making these kind of decisions,” Iniar said quietly, the man deep in contemplative thought. A single tarot card danced along his spindly fingers, on occasion igniting briefly in a cerulean flame.

“Who is she, Iniar?” queried the third figure.

“My apologies, Lord Nessaja. I forgot you were away… This is the Lady Esmyrsia. She appeared to us when Lady Greyjoy attempted to have Cadmus’ curse reversed several months ago. She has been our guest up to this point, and she has a request for us, but I am talking too much. Esmyrsia.”

“Thank you, Imperator. As you said, I am Esmyrsia. I am here to ask for your assistance, Ephorate. I have made powerful enemies, but I also know that I am in possession of a unique knowledge.“ Her siren voice carried in the dead still of the chambers air. The demon laughed, her pleasure evident at having the full attention of Stavenn’s ruling elite. “I, however, have no recollection of what that knowledge is…”

“Really…” Raykel muttered, a histrionic smile on his face. “You would listen to this prattle, Imperator?”

“Pay attention, Avrae. There is always more than meets the eye.” Caitryn snarled in retort at the kohdon.

“Indeed, Lady Aertsen. I am in possession of knowledge that Golgotha, damned be his name, is pursuing me for. He has sent his elite beholders against my person, attempting to drain out my mind. Fortunately, I evaded capture, fleeing to the sixth realm and sheltered with the Crone for a while; though, as you would suspect, she sold me out fairly quickly. And now I am here, Ephorate, and I am requesting your assistance.”

“Assistance of what nature, demon?” The Singularity smiled gently, her eyes calculating and appraising the threat represented by the entity.

“Singularity. Let me say that I wish to retrieve my memories, and in exchange, I will share that knowledge with you. You Noctusari are singularly reknown for your inexhaustible thirst for hidden and forbidden knowledge. This, I can assure you, is such knowledge,” Esmyrsia said, as she sat herself down on an invisible platform.

“There is more.”

“In my time with Hecate, I learned that it was I who had slain the Eater of Souls. The Seventh was filled with fierce engagements and rumours about the demise of the Master’s Soul Keeper when I fled the beholders. Hecate laughed when she told me that her agents and Istria’s had seen me with Marduk right before he was murdered, and that my spoor lingered over his form. It is how, I suspect, I was able to lift the curse from the Lady Isadarr.”

“Perhaps I have his knowledge now. Perhaps I knew something only he had divulged to me. I simply do not remember.”
“I also don’t remember my station before I fled,” the demon creased her forehead in a gentle frown. Her amber eyes narrowed in concentration as she continued, “I no longer know why I killed Marduk, or why Golgotha is not simply dispatching the Fallen One against me. I don’t recall who I am, I don’t recall those I knew and how this all started and it is all becoming extremely FRUSTRATING.” The demon stood, a multitude of voices shouting out the last. Flames ignited all along the length of the chamber, leaping up to the ceiling in mirrored agony and searing the delicate murals. Runes flared in protest as the demonic empress flexed her power in frustration. Almost immediately, the Brethren rise to their feet, each incanting shadowy words of power and directing them at her power – in unison, Ellarynth, Caitryn and Iniar sealed the remnants of bleeding power with an ancient Hanyou spell. Light and shadow battled briefly before runes and flame extinguished, electric acridity now cloying the air.
“Calm yourself, Esmyrsia!” the Singularity ordered.

Raykel chuckled quietly. “Fierce, yes. A worthy ally.” His quiet bemusement seemed to defuse Esmyrsia, as the demon seated herself.

“Very well, we have heard your request. This is my deliberation: There is promise of unknown reward of which the Demon Emperor seeks. He has not as yet sought you out here, so we have time to attack your amnesia. While trust is still off the table, we, and if not we, then I as a private citizen, will proceed with assisting you – the potential loss of knowledge is worth the risk of a handful of lives, if that. What say you, Ephorate?”

“I concur.” Lady Caitryn murmured, her eyes lighting up deviously at the promise of secrets.

“As do I,” the Singularity said.

“I object, Iniar,” Raykel chuckled, “although she is indeed a fine specimen, finer than most of the things you deal with, Nullheart.”

“You may proceed with my assent, Nullheart,” Ihsan said. “We will see where this leads us, and I will behead you myself if it turns out badly.”

Iniar laughed, “Very well, Nessaja. Welcome to the Empire, Esmyrsia.”

***
wit beyond measure is a Sidhe's greatest treasure
RaykelEllarynthIyrandar

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  • IniarIniar AustraliaMember Posts: 3,208 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2015
    Raykel smiled, his blade whistling as it struck clean right through the body of an araniun, the slimy body writhing in agony as its tentacles searched for the now displaced head. He laughed a vicious barking laugh as he kicked the six-eyed head out of reach of the misshapen demon before chanting a Diavlous war-curse and plunging the now glowing blade into the torso of the thrashing beast. He smiled again, remembering the folly (the multitude of follies, really) of the erstwhile Imperator - yet, in all fairness, none of the Ephorate had really asked the important question... 

    ***
    The Demon Empress smiled, her conquest of the Al’drym necromantic journals into neurological amnesia proving to be far more challenging than she had expected. Yet they did not provide answers, perhaps not unexpectedly so. She turned, her lithe form (the one she was wearing today) twisting to face Caitryn. This member of the Brethren had proven most adept at discovering obscurity in the plain, knowledge of psychic and neurological temperaments hidden in plain sight. Their joint efforts had seen success in returning some of her memories: of defying Golgotha, the Emperor of the Seventh and the Pit, of casting the disarticulation spell that had worked so surprisingly well against the former Eater of Souls, and of discovering Hecate’s inevitable betrayal. The tantalizing prize of the hidden knowledge she could feel in her head still lay out of reach though, slipping through the fingers just as she thought she had captured a hint of what they represented.

    Perhaps most importantly, (and she kept this from her new allies) was that she had realized that she was not a plebeian demon. Her power was drawn at her creation from the Pit as most did, but also from the Emperor, damned by his name, himself. In essence, she would have passed for his daughter, in the mortal view of things. She laughed a little inside. Already this knowledge had led her to testing things she would have otherwise foregone out of fear; a mortal spell here, a mortal spell there. 

    She rose languidly. “Caitryn, shall we?”

    “No, you go on ahead.”

    Esmyrsia smiled, her amusement at the bookishness of her official patron bubbling alongside the internal rage she held close to her core. On the surface, theirs was an uneasy arrangement: patron who held no dominion, and demon that exerted no overt power. The self-control she had had to develop was immensely impressive, even to herself. She still dreamed of incinerating several of the more impertinent proletarians, but that would not do as a guest.

    “That wouldn’t do at all,” she muttered to herself as her legs took unnaturally long strides along the hallway of the Aertsen mansion. Even now she felt bereft of the burning radiance of the Pit. She even found herself missing the unholy chill of the Fourth. Ah, but this was her plight now and she would deal with it. After all, wasn’t she the daughter of the Emperor, damned be his name, himself? She giggled.

    Wait.

    She turned slowly. A dread sensation began rising as she leaned backwards over the large glass pane, her mind hastily rewinding.

    Nothing. 

    She cursed her overactive imagination, and as she turned away, the glass burst outward in a violent spray, shards slamming into her form and shredding exposed skin. Hands, large reptilian hands, reached out grasping for her neck. She screeched, jerking backwards and unleashing a fury of energy, incinerating whatever had attacked her. The assailant punched a scaly talon through her right arm, pinioning her to the cold marble of the hallway. She struck out, turning her hand into a vile blade and hacked again and again at the demon: for that was what she now recognised, that stench of Lyncantha’s minions, unholy hounds of War bred for the purpose of pursuit and capture of foes. Calming herself, she prepared a spell of disintegration even as her power bled through the hound’s talon, exhausting her.

    “Adarale.” The word of power burst forth from the slender form of the regal sylayan, who stood at the entrance of the hallway. Mystic symbols flashed towards the creature and consumed its form in an adumbral nimbus. A ripping sound fills the air before a howl of anguish ends in an unquenchable silence, save the breathing of both ladies.

    “Thank you, Caitryn.”

    “Come.”
    ***
    “A Hound?” he asked, “You are certain of this?”

    “Yes, Nessaja. I killed it myself.” Caitryn said, her voice rising in indignation.

    “Very well, very well.”

    “And you say it used the glass to get to you,” the image gurgled as it wavered in the chartreuse flame. Iniar frowned as he concentrated, the flame burning brighter. The voice of the Tzolkin guildmaster piped louder, “And it did not touch another reflective surface after?”

    “No, Kanthari.”

    “Then the likelihood of back transmission is low.”

    “Thank you, Guildmaster,” the Imperator frowned, turning to face his Ephorate. “The situation is escalated. If Lyncantha is sending his Hounds through ether then Golgotha is expending significant resources in locating Esmyrsia. At this time, we will reinforce the guard with more of the Diavlous and the Brethren. In terms of what we will…”

    “I have a solution.”

    “Oh?”

    “I can construct a veil. Something to hide me.”

    “Why didn’t you do this before?”

    “I assumed the magicks of Stavenn were sufficient to protect me. It appears that it is not enough to hide me. The other reason I have waited this long is to ask for your permission, and with your agreement, I can also go a step further.”

    “A step further?”

    “Don’t listen to it, Iniar. Let me kill her already, she is more trouble than she is worth.”

    “We will listen, Nessaja.”

    “I want no part of this, I am leaving.” He focused briefly, before disappearing in a flash of necromantic energy.

    “Tell us, demon.”

    “I can extend the power of the veil to protect Stavenn. It will hide access ways, the visible and the invisible. It will confound and beguile those who bear you ill will and turn them away.”

    “Prove it.”

    “It is a permanent augmentation of this spell on a scale never done in this mortal realm. Observe.”

    The demon prepared herself, summoning a scaley imp and shrank it down to fit on her palm. With an elongated talon, she etched a maze on a shred of desiccated tanari skin and marked it with rune of obliviousness. Whispering, she cast an incantation and laid the skin on the floor gingerly, turning it to point the rune at Raykel.

    “Kill Raykel,” she whispered into the ear of the alert imp. It shrieked, cackling in miniature glee and waved its diminutive sword around. She gave it a little prod in the back and the imp stopped. Turning, it started walking towards Raykel, murderous intent in its eyes. About midway, the little devil stopped. A glazed look took possession and it started walking in a pattern, seemingly random at first but then taking the imp in circles, never bringing it closer to its intended target. It shrieked, coming out of its tranced and charged at Raykel again, with the same results. It tried again, before the demon empress put it out of its misery.

    “This works on anyone who falls within the sphere of the map’s influence. Obviously, the power needed is much greater…”

    Snarling, Iniar drew his knife and thrust it at Raykel’s neck. His blade turned before it struck home, spurned by an unseen power. Raykel narrowed his eyes, partially unsheathing his sabre.
    "Very well. What do you need?" 
    "Firstly, I will need six defilers. There are six unique stones we must acquire..."
    ***
    wit beyond measure is a Sidhe's greatest treasure
    RaykelEllarynth
  • IniarIniar AustraliaMember Posts: 3,208 ✭✭✭✭✭
    But that is a story for another time; a long story indeed. Raykel grimaced as a sharpened tibial shard jammed itself frightfully close to his femoral artery. The damned thing had been hurled by an imp of a child from several yards away. But this child was no ordinary child. It bore the shape of a malformed xiurling, yet had the wings of an arel and the tail of an akrabi. Yet most disturbingly, its eyes glowered a malevolent baleful stare in Raykel's direction. One hand rose, palm toward Raykel: a trickle of dust burst forth from the tiny palm before another bony shard hurtled in his direction, seeking his mortal destruction. He sighed… It all started when that damned thing malfunctioned…

    ***
    Boom.

    “What was that?”
    Boom.

    “****. Go find out what that is.” Iniar barked at an idle guard.

    Cccreeeeeekkkkkkkkkkkkksssssshhhhhh.

    Raykel looked up, his hands smattered with the bile juices of his hapless victim. The unfocused look on his face cleared quickly, “What in the Seven Levels of Beelzebub is that infernal racket?!”

    “It must be the veil, Thanatos damn it, let’s go,” Iniar said, clearly irritated.

    They sprinted towards the village centre, a plume of white smoke clearly marking where the veil stood. On arrival, they saw Esmyrsia mouthing words of magick and several other Noctusari casting containment spells.

    “Out of my way. What is going on? Esmyrsia? Caitryn?”

    “The veil, it has been tampered with, something’s gone wrong…” the Ephor stammered, “One of the stones is missing or disintegrated, we can’t tell.”

    “No ****,” Iniar said. He narrowed his eyes as a tendril of mist snaked its way around his ankle.

    “What do we do now, Esmyrsia? Singularity, good of you to come, we need your experience,” Raykel said.

    The luminous material began to waver, its integrity beginning to falter. The gathered drew back as one, several casting defensive shields. A sharp crack filled the air and a deep rend ripped its way through the ethereal fabric of the veil, ripping it halfway down. A blast of energy flooded forth throwing the Stavennites to their knees. A howling scream drowns the air, and a hideous monstrosity emerges from a blackness from behind Caitryn. Ihsan scrambled to his feet, interposing himself between Caitryn and the beast, unsheathing his blade in readiness.

    Violent blasts of energy turned the ghast to dust. Indigo flame lit the hands of the ruling Council, their power exercised in defense of their Ephor.

    “What have we done, Esmyrsia?” Iniar said.

    ***

    The battles began in earnest that evening. The veil was still tearing, every so often unleashing a tormented wail across the Modin valley.

    A deep swirling mist began to rise from the hearts of the swamplands, the valley, the hills and even the city itself. A blue coruscant mist, it would sweep forth into crevices and cracks where it could find them.

    Some said they could hear the cry of the damned in the fog, see shadows that reached out to them.

    These mists would ever so often coalesce into something more. A being would form.

    ***

    They were gathered in the council chambers, poring over maps of the incursion. The mist had not retreated and the veil had finally fallen, yet the undead kept coming. Even the might of the necromancers of the Revenants could not turn these undead away, something that unsettled all of them.

    “We should try to assault the north eastern quadrant, there was reports of another lich there, maybe that could be the one we are after?” Ellarynth offered wearily.
    “We’ve already tried that, damn it,” Iniar said. “We need something else, something to find the root of this problem and remove it permanently.”

    “Maybe we should kill her,” Ihsan said. Raykel nodded slowly.

    “No, she is a guest of the Empire. There is no evidence that killing her would do us any good,” Iniar replied.

    “Nor can you be so sure that you could kill me,” Esmyrsia said, stepping out from a portal.

    “Why you impertinent little…” Ihsan started unsheathing his blade.

    “Stand down, Nessaja,” Iniar said.

    “You would stand by and defend this demon? In fact, if you’re so keen on the idea, why don’t we talk about you approved the construction of this wretched disaster?!” 

    “Nobody is more to blame than I, but it will not resolve our problem, Nessaja.”

    “And yet, where is our solution? Where is the leadership,” he remarks with a sneer, “that we need dearly?”


    <bla bla bla legal proceedings> 

    “You are relieved of your office, Nullheart.”

    “So it is like this, Nessaja?”

    “Yes, it is. I told you there would be consequences for failure. Take him away.”
    ***
    wit beyond measure is a Sidhe's greatest treasure
    RaykelEllarynthIyrandar
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