Discussion in 'RPG #15 - The Artifact Of Kiri-Jolith' started by Nienor, Mar 14, 2006.
pls ignore this... my mistake
Darius' flesh began to burn as Luna's ray of light knocked him off his feet. The pale elf began to close in for a kill. The human wouldn't let that happen, the light made him unable to use the shadows. His hand closed as he began to struggle, then he realised what it was that his hands had closed around. As the pale elf drew near Darious tossed the dust and dirt into his eyes. Or so he thought, the elf seemed to have seen it coming and shook it off somehow.
This gave Darius the time he needed, Luna's spell ended. Darius vanished and reappeared behind Luna. He delivered what should have been a killing stroke to her neck. Yet much to his surprise the weapon bounced harmlessly off of her skin, and shattered as it hit her staff. Darius vanished again before she could turn in responce. He now had only one blade, but that should have been enough to take care of Luna's support team before he needed to use the artifact.
Then the pale elf appeared from the corner of his vision. Darius locked blades with him, the elf couldn't overpower him, even with his much larger frame. But Darius realised that wasn't his aim. The elf grabbed his hand and held him in place, Darius could almost feel the minotaur behind him. The human acted by instinct, using his shadow shifting ability he quickly slipped under Dack and then freed himself from the elf's grasp, just as the axe slammed down where he'd just been.
Darius had lost his other sword now, and he was backed into a corner. He didn't have any choice, the spikes and his nails couldn't carry him through all of these people. He had no other choice, he pulled out the artifact, and held it before him. Takhisis, show me the way... The artifact began to be pulled into his form and his body began to change. His frame grew larger, until he was on eye level with Chris. His face stretched and morphed until he looked more like a dog than a man. His nails grew and twisted until the better part of each of his fingers was a barbed and wicked claw. His lower body was obscured in shadow, but judging by the rest of him it was most unpleasant.
From the shadows twenty pairs of eyes appeared. Dack didn't think about that, He charged, being the first to regain his composure. Yet in one effeortless motion Darius tossed him aside with strength much greater than he'd already posessed. When Dack his the wall he felt several shadowy hands reach out and grab him. Dack quickly managed to struggle free, but everyone knew they had to shy away from the walls now. Darius speed wasn't affected in his transformation, but now there was much more of him to hit. Gods knew they were going to need it.
Aelor almost screamed as he watched the changing of their enemy into something obscure. Something between shadows and humanity, though his face looked like a dogs face. But Aelor noticed that the wall that he had been leaning on, started to grab him. Many hsadowy hands reaching out for him. Aelor fought back at them, but there seemed to be too many. He took a quick glance at Dyami, but he knew she couldn't help him for she had her own battle. Then he cried out for his brothers name.
As Svartnir saw the mutantic creature, he immediatly looked at his secret beloved, Lunalath. He saw her eyes glimmering of excitement as she watched Darius. He took few steps towards her, but then she turned her head, faster than she normally could have. Spell?, Svartnir thought. Luna's eyes were forbiting him to come any closer, they told him to take care of himself. Svartnir nod at her. He herd his brothers plea for help and joined his him, taking care of Aelors back.
The walls were danger, Luna noted to herself. She pressed her rowen staff against herself and prayed for Nuitari's power and presence aloud. The surface of her staff started to glow, silvery marks started to appear on it and it glowed black light which seemed to wind her in shadows. Even Darius, who now was part with the shadows thanks to his dark mistress was unable to see her properly. It wasn't Takhisis's black light, it was Nuitari's, the god of black magick's. And though he was Takhisis son, he wasn't in love with his mother...
Fastened by spells, Luna rushed towards Darius. Everything seemed slower in her eyes and when she saw Darius sending Dack into wall it seemed as she could have runned up to catch him. But she had more crusial things, Darius for starters. But this time she was the faster one. In time she normally could have made just one spell, she made two; first a force wave, so powerful that even a dragon couldn't have escaped of it, that pushed Darius against the wall and then a portal from which came an undead warrior. A knight it seemed, but it's armor was too damaged to find out who it had served. The undead started screaming from the bottom of it's hollow heart and the sound deafed everyone. Only Luna was protected from it's powers. Darius was only few meters from her.
''Give me the artifact Darius, your mistress can not save you this time'', she said to him at the same time as the dead warrior came at her left side. She held her staff high in her left hand and a bright energy ball in her right. She continued:
''I will save you from your curse if you do so. Takhisis wont reach you once you're dead.'' Her voice sounded rough and stronger, as her dark god Nuitari was talking with her mouth.
Darius' twisted face contorted into what one could only assume was a smile. Luna was finally showing her power. And the human seemed to be pondering just what to say about her offer. The god of dark magics made an offer to him about removing the curse that haunted him so. But Darius was no fool, he knew better than to trust any of the dark gods on their word. Furthermore, he was hesitant to allow Luna to get what she desired. The Darius remembered something very important about the artifact of Kiri-Jolith...
Dack wasn't entirely sure what was going on, but this whole situation just seemed to prove, things on Krynn were nothing like back home. No, people were much more serious around these parts, and the maes had something specific that their power came from. Dack had enough experience with gods to know Luna's was speaking through her, but he didn't think Darius was out of tricks just yet. He knew this was true when their enemy let out a deep laugh...
"Spare me your promises dark god, I think I'll keep the artifact as a momento during my stay in the abyss!," Darius said with renewed furvor. Dack felt his body pulled back against the wall with tenfold the force of before. Darius took in a horribly deep breath and then let out a scream that one thousand banshees could not match. The force of the cry sent many of the allies, flying back several feet in the cavern, including Luna's undead minion. The force of this burst used most of the energies in Darius' body, but he kept enough for one final act of spite.
The human used his last remaining breaths to take up the blade of his broken sword and attempted to plunge it deep into his chest. However something stopped him before he could. There was a flash, and a loud bang, and then there was darkness. When Dack awoke the shadow creatures were gone. On the ground layed the shriveled form of what used to be Darius. Lunalath was the only one Dack could see through his blurred vision, she seemed to be looking down at something that was in the center of Darius' body. Dack struggled to his feet and staggered over to where she stood. The artifact had killed Darius, just as the legends said it would. Dack guessed that was why he beat that war mage when she'd had it.
Now Dack had managed to learn a thing or two about relics of this artifact's nature on Krynn, and one of the biggest quirks about them was their shelf life. They could only be used a certain number of times before they became no different than an ordinary item of their sort. There were exceptions here and there, but Dack was hoping that this Kiri-Jolith in all his wisdom had blessed this artifact as such. Especially seeing as Luna could make short work of them in their current state. Granted Dack wouldn't be the most disappointed member of the party if this was all for nothing, but he for one valued his life over some money, no matter how much money it was. Dack wondered just what would happen next as he asked Luna, "So, does it still have the power for one more shot? Or, do we all walk away disappointed?" He held his breath a little as he waited for her responce.
"Spare me your promises dark god, I think I'll keep the artifact as a momento during my stay in the abyss!," Darius said with renewed furvor. Darius took in a horribly deep breath and then let out a scream that one thousand banshees could not match. The force of the cry sent many of the allies, flying back several feet in the cavern, including Luna's undead minion. The force of this burst used most of the energies in Darius' body, but he kept enough for one final act of spite.
The human used his last remaining breaths to take up the blade of his broken sword and attempted to plunge it deep into his chest.
But before Darius could do so, before Lunalath was able to stop him, the artifact made a huge white energy explosion that almost knocked Lunalath off her feet, despite all of her protections. This truly was an artifact of the gods.
As the blinding light finally relinquished, all that remained of the man once called Darius was a shapeless form. And in the middle of it, lied the artifact.
"So, does it still have the power for one more shot? Or, do we all walk away disappointed?" Dack said from near where the Kagonesti brothers were standing. She didn't look at them, but she could feel their eyes upon herself. And the artifact, she didn't even touch it and yet she could feel it humming with power.
Lunalath reached her hand at Svartnir and said:
''My beloved, my life and everything, will you join at my side?''
Aelor put his hand on his brothers shoulder and said:
''Svartnir, is this right? Is this what you want?'' But Svartnir just shooked his hand off and walked to Lunalath, taking his place at her side. He had come to a point in his life before where all that mattered was Luna and her love, despite the fact she was a black robed mage. He had no troubles choosing his own side. Svartnir smiled at his brother and said:
''It's not so black and white, Aelor, I thought you'd know that by now. This is what I want, and this is where I will stand. I'm sorry my friends and companions, but this is how it goes. My loyalty belongs to her.''
Aelor looked at his brother and felt as he was torn apart by the situation. In his mind he thought: Of course I know that! But this, this is too much...please forgive me!
Luna smiled the sweetest smile at Svartnir.
''One more shot, my friends?'', Lunalath said as she picked the artifact from the ground, ''Now you are underestimating the powers of the gods of this world. I don't know about the ones in your world, Dack Keeneyes, but ours wouldn't waste their time to make an artifact with limited abilities. I could lie to you about this artifact and say that it's as good as a stone, but that wouldn't be fun, now would it?''
With a laughter she rased her glance and looked directly at Dack's brown eyes with her own blue eyes, dark as the night sky. They were like two lakes, only reflecting the image of the one looking into them, showing nothing of the soul beneath them. She continued:
''It was very interesting to see how you came to our world, very...thouhgtful. I'd be glad to learn a portal spell that would send me through dimensions like that one. Oh, but what am I doing now, blabbering again, haha!''
Lunalath's undead warrior walked to her side and held his two hands sword firmly. It looked at his mistress and smiled, a smile that more resembled a twisted grin, but it's eyes shined of loyalty.
With a sigh, Lunalath continued once more:
''Now, it seems there still is something to fight for. Fight, yes, because I'm not going to give up of this object'', she said and looked at each of them at a turn, leaving her words hunging in the air as a thread.
I cannot give up this object. Gods be with them all if this fight must take place. And You, my dark lord Nuitari...watch my back, be with me and I wont dissapoint you, she thought to herself.
''So, will you fight me or will you not?''
Dyami and the chaos being clashed blades as the others charged after Darius… Dyami wished deeply she could see who was winning, but was forced to lock all her attention on her own opponent. She had never seen this being fight before, which was giving Dyami a disadvantage. The chaos being was amazingly fast, and with carnage all around, only seemed to grow in strength. Plus, the being had quite a bit of magic up her sleeve as well which she used whenever she could. A slash here, a nearly-missed curse there; if any fighter was there to witness the battle, they would have seen that Dyami, in fact, seemed to be losing.
But, with every strike, Dyami learned. The fighting style of the creature was much like her own: swift, merciless, and exact. And as the battle raged on, Dyami was able to slowly pick up speed and predict the movements of the shadow woman before she made them. Even magic was starting to fail as Dyami could sense when the shadow creature pulled forth her spiritual energy for such an attack. Now, they were evenly matched, both fighting with uncanny speed and agility, both inflicting slash upon slash to each other from their blades. But, that was the problem: chaos was still all around them, the chaos being healed unnaturally quickly… Dyami did not. If Dyami was going to end the battle with victory, she had better do it quickly.
Dyami desperately searched for something she could use to her advantage… After dodging and fighting to the best of her abilities, something finally did happen: Stag. This battle truly didn’t concern him, so he was unsure whether he should get involved. Obviously, he had decided to help after all. As the chaos being backed up, Stag tripped her up with his staff. Dyami gave a smile of thanks and they both lunged together. Dyami was an even match with the creature, with another’s help, it was a swift victory. Soon, the creature lay dead on the ground, a few daggers still in her chest. Before she could say a word of thanks to Stag, Dyami felt the now familiar surge of power from the artifact: Darius had placed it within his body.
Darius grew and contorted into a giant, warped version of what he once was. With his new instilled power, he sent a giant shockwave to throw everyone back. Dyami had only a second to react, and dove to the ground, plummeting a magically strengthened dagger into the ground. Even then, the force almost ripped the part-demon in half. With the blast finished, Dyami weakly lifted her head to see Darius take up his blade, ready to take his own life and the artifact with it… but he never had the chance. The artifact instead created some sort of explosion within Darius, sending him to his death without the item he struggled so hard to receive.
Of course! This was an artifact made by a Paladin God of light! Why would it lend its power fully to a being of darkness? This must be the cause of Firebane’s defeat as well. At least… at least it was over… or was it? Everyone walked forth, Dyami eyeing the being that was once Darius, everyone else wondering about the Artifact. "So, does it still have the power for one more shot? Or, do we all walk away disappointed?" Dack asked Luna lightly. Dyami could feel the energy resonating in the artifact… she could also feel a dark aura around Luna as well. Svartnir joined her side as she asked him to do so; Aelor seemed lost in sorrow and confusion. Dyami knew what Lunalath was about to say even as said it: Yes, the object still possessed power. No, she was not going to give it up without a fight…. What a surprise…. Dyami lifted her weapons in ready and waited for Dack’s signal to fight. She would go after Svartnir first, she would knock him unconscious instead of kill him outright…The same could be said for Aelor if he decided to join the other side. Dyami hated the idea of fighting either brother, especially her… friend… yes, friend, Aelor, and somehow knew both disserved to live through this.
“Fate… Guide my hands through the darkness…. Let’s end this now.”
Luna gave Dack a very strait foreward answer. It deffinately had power still, and she was more than prepaired to fight for it. Dack was suprised; a dark mage who told the truth. That was something he'd never had to fight before. Svartnir and Luna's dead knight took their places by her side. Aelor wore a look of confusion, Svartnir's heart belonged to Luna. Dack wondered what side he'd choose in what was invariably going to happen.
Dack knew now, that Aelor was undoubtedly this world's version of him. The difference was Aelor had a choice. He could stay with his brother, or have to fight him. Dack never had that choice, and he'd hated his brother ever since. Dack knew Aelor would be able to happily remember his brother after today, Dack envied him for that.
Dack could hear the sounds of weapons being rased behind him. Max and Rulta were back on their feet, and Stag was ready to fight as well. Dack was now faced with the hardest decision of his life. On the one hand, this was the type of fight he was used to, and given the group behind him he figured they stood a good chance at victory. Not to mention he still had his obligation to the paladin to keep in mind. Still, he didn't like not fully understanding what was driving Luna to be ready to fight them all. She didn't seem like the type who wanted only conquest, and he highly doubted genocide was on he agenda.
Finally Dack spoke up, although he didn't immediately choose what would happen. "Ain't it ironic? The mage, fully ready to jump into battle, while the warrior would prefer a diplomatic solution. Well, I can't say I blame you. I've never met a mage who shyed away from the chance at more power. Still, I wish this could have happened differently. Oh well, there's no changing your mind, and I won't go back on my word to Egrin. I just hope you won't take it personal when this is all over..." Dack drew his sword and prepaired for this new fight. "Here we go!"
"Ain't it ironic? The mage, fully ready to jump into battle, while the warrior would prefer a diplomatic solution. Well, I can't say I blame you. I've never met a mage who shyed away from the chance at more power. Still, I wish this could have happened differently. Oh well, there's no changing your mind, and I won't go back on my word to Egrin. I just hope you won't take it personal when this is all over...
Here we go!"
Those were the words Dack had said to her, not so to Svartnir. Everyone were armed behind him, ready to fight this evil. How ironic indeed. Was it always that some evil person had to rice against them before these races would fight united, fight together? It seemed so. But had they any idea why she had had to get the artifact? For more power? The fools! She and all of them had seen what happened to Darius when he tried to use it.. No, this wasn't for her to be used. This was a quest, set by her dark god. She couldn't fail him no matter what.
Lunalath smiled faintly as she chanted the words of magick, oh so dear to her! It filled her with joy, it climbed her spine and filled her heart; all that joy and pleasure ran from her as she released the energy barrier, closing herself, her warrior and Svartnir inside it. In fustration the others tried to hit the wall, but they couldn't. Rulta started to chant his spells, Luna knew he couldn't brake the barrier, but he could weaken it enough for them to force themselves through. She turned to her undead warrior:
''Protect me, this much you owe me then you'll be free as I promised''. The being said nothing, but just walked pass the barrier to face the ones threatening his mistresses's life. He fought impressingly well, wounding almost each of them, but soon he fell to the ground.
Farewell my friend, sweet dreams for you... Lunalath thought in her mind. Second one of Rulta's spells hit the barrier, Luna could see it's surface flickering. She knew it wouldn't take much more.. She whispered words to her staff and it turned into a whip whose heads were six living snakes! Poisonous all of them. She waved her hand and a another flail appeared into Svartnirs hands, copy of his own swan headed one, but this one was fully black. She hardened his naked skin with a spell, so that it was as if he too was wearing an armor.
Svartnir quickly kissed her and said he loved her in his home language and though all could imagine what he had just said, only Aelor truly understood. And he understood much more than just those words...
Then the barrier broke down.
Svartnir stood before Lunalath, ready to protect her from all of this world and beyond. And Luna was standing behind him, holding her deadly whip in other hand and a black energy ball in another.
Let them come, she thought and grinned. From the energy ball came three almost invisible creatures, chilling to the bone with long razor sharp swords. They gathered around their mistress.
Dack watched as Luna went behind her barrier, this wasn't right. He knew there was more to Luna's motives than just some megalomania. But Dack knew this was the only way it could be. It was better that she got it or lost it through combat and they at least tried, than if he'd just surrendered it to her. Dack only hoped that the others wouldn't hold a grudge, he was sorry that he'd failed to find a better solution.
He didn't show his inner turmoil, there were other things that he had to worry about. Luna's undead soldier came forth from the barrier and engaged them. Dead for how long he was he was still a fierce foe. Almost everyone felt his sword in some degree, but eventually he fell. As bad as Dack felt about this he at least took comfort knowing the undead soldier felt no pain as they cut him down. Soon thereafter Luna's shield disipated, and she and Svartnir came forth with new weapons.
Svartnir now had a flail to match that mace of his, and Luna weilded a whip of snakes. Dack gritted his teeth as he prepaired to fight them. He desided he'd keep Svartnir pre-occupied. Luna had her wily magics, and Dack had fought flail weilders in the past. They clashed one or twice, neither gaining an edge, finally Dack spoke, his smile returning to his face. "You know Svartnir, you made a promise back there, you said you'd buy the first round of drinks when we were done with this. I'm afraid I'll have to hunt you down forever until you make good on that promise." He couldn't see Svartnir's face in the dark, but it made Dack feel better to add some humor, he hoped it had lightened the mood for Svartnir too.
A part of Dyami wished bitterly that she pried deeper into this unknown situation with Luna then she had. She was filled with untrust and curiosity. Why did Svartnir turn sides? Why is Aelor even considering joining him? And what is the full story behind Luna. She surely didn't want the thing for herslef... Luna was far smarter then that... pity.... Dyami had wasted a oppertunity due to her own good faith and was now reaping the price of ignorance. Well, there was nothing she, or anyone could do now... Those on Dack's side had to fight the other or the artifact would be lost.
Behind the barrier Luna prepared herself and those who stood by her for battle. Dyami made note of every spell, making sure to adjust her fighting style accordingly… The barrier was slipping… Dyami could feel as Lunalath made one final spell: three creatures with wicked razor weapons… all nearly invisible to the eye. Dam!!! Only Dyami and Max could effectively fight creatures like that… She would have to trust someone else to fight Svartnir.
Finally, the barrier broke and Dyami sprang for the creatures. They were powerful, but luckily for Dyami, they were slow and their aura of coldness did not bother her in the least. Actually, the coldness was almost as healing as Stag’s voice. Heh. Yet another advantage of having a bit of ICE demon running through Dyami’s veins. Hopefully, everyone would see that Dyami could take care of these three creatures just fine by herself and go on and attack Luna.
Dack seemed to have fought people with flail's before, but Svartbir wasn't really worried still. He was used to fighting with two weapons and dancing with them around and around. His father had thought him that when he was a little boy and after that he had been practising nearly everyday of his long life. No, he wasn't worried, he was just warming up.
But he also wasn't so foolish that he would have underestimated Dack for this strange looking elf seemed to be more than what the eye behold.
Dack's humorous speak made Svartnir grin. He liked these guys, but he could not let them have Lunalath. No one was so important as she was.
''I would be glad to offer you a drink, Dack. I remember that some tribes drink blood, I hope that will do?''
Aelor was first confused and he didn't know what to do. When he saw the barrier Luna had casted upon her and Svartnir, he felt great releaf.
Svartnir is my brother!
The undead that marched against them all, seemed to get a taste of them all, except Aelor, he didn't know if anyone else noticed, but it seemed the undead didn't want to harm him. But he wasn't sure. Soon the barrier broke down and Lunalath and Svartnir stepped forward, Svartnir protecting Luna with himself, until Lunalath casted a spell which invited three misty soldiers forth. It seemed only Dyami was able to fight these. But Aelor still wanted to try his luck against them, who else could he have fought? His brother? His becoming wife who was too powerful to him anyway? To Aelor, fighting these soldiers sounded just fine. So He grabbed his swords and took his place next to Dyami, smiling at her heartly as she looked at him curiously.
[Prolly thinks I'm a big idiot[/i], he said to himself.
Only one who seemed to be willing to fight with Lunalath, was the redrobed mage. But Lunalath could see that he would not match her powers. This human was already shaking as he stepped forward. He had already casted several spells. Though Lunalath had casted twice as many but still was standing straight without a hint of tiredness.
Rulta started off with acid arrows and lighting balls, but they were all destroyed once they hit Lunalaths defence shields. Then she started to chant, quickly and silently, and released a wave that hit Rulta to the ground. He didn't rise from that again, for he was not dead, but in sleep. Luna had casted two spells in the same time, the wave and the sleeping spell. She grinned with please; one down, yet no casualties.
At her side, Svartnir was fighting with Dack and also having a conversation with him, that was atleast interesting to her. Her soldiers were fighting with Aelor and Dyami. It seemed one of them had already fallen.
She almost thought she would have a brake when the minotaur seemed to have picked her as a target. It came on to her and she attacked to him as a defence. The snake whip snapped and the snakes bit fast and hard. A bit of the minotaurs fur was left to one's mouth, but that really all. Her weapon bit as every whip would, but the minotaurs skin seemed to be too thick that the poison would reach his veins. Someone might have paniced, but not Luna. With cold confidence, she quickly chanted a spell and sent a small fire arrow to the minotaur. It hit his left shoulder.
Svartnir noticed the minotaur attacking Lunalath and felt an urge to go protect her. From that small moment of hesitation, he got a nasty cut to his side as a reward. He grinned with pain, but tried to push the pain away and thought that it could be healed later. Now he just had to deal with these people. He couldn't allow them to touch Lunalath.
Dyami never missed a beat as she danced her way between the three invisible warriors. Although she has not been able to make a proper kill yet, she knew it was all a matter of time… Too bad time was something she did not have. Then, she felt a new presence at her side and for a moment thought it was another enemy; maybe one of those undead creatures. As she turned with her blade raised, she realized it was Aelor, wearing a smile and ready to fight by her side… After all that anguish he seemed to be suffering… how angry he was towards her… Dyami was pleasantly surprised to see him here to say the least…. But, the cavern was dark; these creatures were nearly invisible in normal sunlight. There was no way Aelor could fight what he can’t see… unless…
Dyami turned and blocked the creatures then quickly backed off a distance and signaled Aelor to do the same. “Thank you, dear Aelor for coming to my aid; but if you truly want to help me, you will have to trust me.”
Aelor looked at her with a face touched with confusion and surprise. “What do you mean?”
The creatures were coming closer. Dyami and Aelor couldn’t avoid them for much longer. “Aelor, you can barely see our foes. If you trust your eyes while fighting, you will parish under their blades… You must fight them with your eyes closed.”
“An elf’s senses are more heightened then a man’s. Trust in them. The creatures are clumsy on their feet and they have an aura of coldness about them… Listen for them... feel their presence… then you’ll find your mark.” The creatures were upon them. Dyami fought defensively so that Aelor would be safe behind her.
“But… what about you?”
Dyami locked with one, turned her head and gave Aelor a genuine smile… something she rarely gives anyone. “You couldn’t hit me even if you tried.”
Dyami turned as she was forced back into combat against the three creatures. But, a little to her surprise, Aelor was soon back at her side… his eyes shut, his mind concentrating on the creatures. Dyami made sure to evade Aelor’s blades as well as the creatures as they both fought onward. Soon, with their combined effort, one of the creatures lay dead. Dyami could see poor Chris fighting alone against Lunalath; Rults must have already fallen. From her moment’s hesitation while checking the progress of the battle in general, Dyami could feel the bite of a blade slashing through her armor in the back…. It was Aelor, still with his eyes closed and fighting on. Hm.. Dyami promised him she would avoid his blade. Aelor was fast and had much potential, she should have been more careful. Dyami counted her blessings it wasn’t the creature as she leaped back into battle.
Soon, the other two invisible creatures lay dead as well and Dyami and Aelor grabbed a couple precious seconds to breath. Dyami could see the struggle between Chris and Luna… she knew she would have to help. “Aelor, my fight is not over yet. Although I do not know why Luna causes you such turmoil, I know enough to understand that you cannot fight her.” Dyami didn’t think as she moved towards Aelor… and wrapped him in an embrace. “Just do what you can to help the others…. Please stay with us after the end.” As Dyami loosened her grasp, she passed her lips by his cheek, and gave the elf a soft kiss. To Dyami, it was the only gift she could give him for his kindness and his friendship…. Aelor let out a small gasp. Damn frozen lips… She knew her skin was so cold… many of her peers in the Klan have jokingly stated that her temperature matched those of the dead more then those of the living… It didn’t matter now.
With one last smile, Dyami turned and started off at a run to face Luna with all her power and might.
'I would be glad to offer you a drink, Dack. I remember that some tribes drink blood, I hope that will do?''
"Better than nothing I guess..." Dack replied as Svartnir began to step up the pace. Flail and mace, he was spinning in a wild dance of death. It almost brought a tear to Dack's eye, he'd seen shadow dancers and blade singers do something similar, but they always used fairly light swords, Svartnir showed true skill and grace by using two heavy weapons in an almost identical fashion.
Despite the beuty of it the tactic was working perfectly, there was almost never an opening for Dack to strike, and when there was it was too small to risk. Dack knew he'd have to take matters into his own hand instead of leaving it to chance. He waited until the mace was moving toward him, leaving the flail on the other side of Svartnir.
He dropped his sword and stepped into Svartnir's attack arc, but too close for the mace to do him harm. Dack grabbed Svartnir's wrist and spun his body so that they were back to back, minimizing the flail's danger. Dack shifted his weight and flipped Svartnir over his shoulder, causing the elf to crash into the ground. Dack dashed back to avoid any ancle shots and grabbed his sword again.
Svartnir was quickly back on his feet and began his dance again. Dack picked his moment, dropped his sword, moved in, threw his opponent, moved back, and got ready for another attack. The throws weren't hurting Svartnir all that much, but they were making it clear Dack had found a way around the deadly dance, and that Svartnir would need to find another method of fighting if he planned on besting Dack. By this point both of them were starting to get tired. Those throws and that dance took a lot of energy against such skilled adversaries.
The fiery arrow hit Chris's sholder and made him stumble back. Lunalath send the same sleeping spell at him which had sent Rulta to the sleeping grounds. With a great thud the minotaur fell to her feet. She saw her creature's falling by Dyami and Aelor. Dack and Svartnir where also fighting, but now their dance had changed into a dance of some sort. For a moment she grasp her breat, for the tiredness was comiong at her... But then, she felt the artifact humming in the ground where she had placed it and she picked it up. And as she touched it, in the back of her head she herd a similar laughter and felt a precense in the artifact, evil's precense.
Hello darling one, you thought this artifact would destroy me like that? Well, you were mistaken, haha! I have power for one more attack, and you can be sure, it will take away all you care for.
You wouldn't dare! I wont allow you to - -
You can't stop me, you can try though, foolish elf. I hope this will hurt as much as it hurted when I murdered your brother!, Darius said in Lunalaths head and started to gather his powers inside the artifact. Lunalath knew he was right, somehow Darius had placed his etherial part inside the artifact when his body was persihed. And it seemed she couldn't stop him in anyway, the natural protection spells set upon the artifact were too powerful for Lunalath to dispell, but they had allowed Darius's soul to enter the object. She raised her face towards Svartnir and saw him lokking at her with a reliefed smile.
Suddenly the artifact launched off an energy spear towards Svartnir. The last revenge of Darius.
Lunalath could only scream and watch.
Aelor did just as Dyami had adviced him and closed his eyes. It truly seemed easier that way and it even wasn't as hard as he had thought it to be. He only worried that some of his wil spin attacks would harm her, but as the battle continued, no blood of Dyami's was spilled by hi, In few moments, all three icy creatures had fallen and Aelor opened his eyes again. Dyami came to him:
“Aelor, my fight is not over yet. Although I do not know why Luna causes you such turmoil, I know enough to understand that you cannot fight her,” she said as she came closer and wrapped him in her embrace, “Just do what you can to help the others…. Please stay with us after the end.” Then Dyami gave Aelor a soft kiss to the cheek. How cold yet burning it felt! Aelor felt heat rising up his cheeks and he was greatful for the shadowy cave that prevented her to see that. In one brief second that feeling passed and Aelor realized Dyami was going to attack Lunalath. He saw Lunalath picking up something from the ground. Artifact! And without even thinking, he jump at Dyami's back, pouring her to the ground. Aelor was on top of her trying to keep her still. She wrapped her tail around Aelors leg and reached for her weapons, trying to get rid of him. But before she could, Aelor cried out:
''She has the artefact! You can't attack her now, please don't or it will kill you too.. Only reason why Lunalath got away with it was because she had all those protection spells. Please Dyami, don't sacrifice yourself because of it!''
Underneath him, Dyami stopped moving. Aelor loosened his grip and waited for her words.
To Svartnir's annoyance, Dack had find a way to fight against him by throwing him over his shoulder. It was extra annoying to him because that was the only way he had been defeated while he was fighting like this. He had only lost this way once and he had never made up away to get away from that. Now he felt pissed off because of that mistake. So as Dack spinned his body again so that their backs were facing each other, he dropped his weapons and pulled his arm so that it was Dack instead of himself that flew to the ground. He grinned and grabbed his weapons from the ground. Then he turned around to look at Lunalath, to see if she was alright. He saw Chris lying in her feet and she holding the artifact. He let out a deep sigh, but then he saw from Lunalath's face that all was not fell, she looked terrified! Then a bright energy spear went through him, it came from the artifact.
He herd Lunalath screaming his name, herd her steps, felt her touch. His stomach felt like it was on fire, while as all other parts of his body seemed to get colder...too cold, too dark...voices, touches... Darkness and silence.
Svartnir had fallen into darkness of mind, but he was not yet dead. Lunalath held him in her arms and swinged him. Blood was all over him and her. Fighting had finally ended and only one had fallen. But that was too much, more than she had hoped for. She had hoped that the others would just escape, that they wouldn't risk loosing their lives in this place because of this artifact. But they never needed to run now, she would not fight anymore. Svartnir was badly wounded and it seemed that the artifact was silent too. There was no power left in it.
''How could I have been so foolish?'' she said more to herself than to the others. Aelor came beside her and took his brothers hand. He immediatly started to attend Svartnirs wound. He couldn't admit it, but he saw that he was dying. But he had to try, atleast try!
''It was Darius'', Lunalath continued, ''the artifact was and is useless! It was Darius I felt, he had placed himself inside it somehow and now he... He is gone now finally, but he desided to take Svartnir with him.'' She looked at the persons around her, her eyes swelled and wet. She said with a weaping voice:
''I will fight you no more''.
Luna was grabbing the artifact… Dyami would have to act quickly if she wanted to stop Luna from escaping with it. As Dyami ran toward Lunalath for battle, she felt someone leap onto her back, bringing her to the ground. Dyami thought the worst and maneuvered with her tail and body to of throw the enemy and kill him quickly… only to find (yet again) that it was Aelor. What was he doing?? Did he trying to distract Dyami so that Luna could get away??? Dyami continued to struggle, trying to kick him off when Aelor cried out.
''She has the artifact! You can't attack her now, please don't or it will kill you too.. Only reason why Lunalath got away with it was because she had all those protection spells. Please Dyami, don't sacrifice yourself because of it!'' … What??? He was worried? About her?? To Dyami, Aelor’s words were both a loving compliment, and a cruel insult. He seemed to care deeply for her (though Dyami still didn’t know why)… but obviously didn’t have enough trust in her abilities or her judgment. Did Aelor really think that Dyami would senselessly throw her life away?? After all he had seen her do… For a moment, Dyami stopped struggling as the urge to smile at Aelor’s innocent heart, and the urge to punch Aelor out, conflicted within her mind.
As Aelor’s grip loosened, Dyami sorted out her thoughts and turned to him with a serious gaze. “Do you really think Luna is fool enough to use that…?” Dyami stopped mid-sentence as she felt the artifact’s power pulsed with life once again. WAS Lunalath foolish enough to use the Artifact?! After what it did to Divida and… Darius… That energy… Dyami recognized it from the countless times Darius used it to teleport and his other spells… But that means! The realization took only seconds and Dyami twisted around and started to struggle once again to get back onto her feet and help.
To Dyami, time slipped into slow motion as her concentration peaked. She could see the horror on Lunalath’s face as Dyami felt the growing energy for a powerful spell. As Dyami drew her dagger to throw at Luna’s hand and avert the spell, she realized something else: Luna’s eyes were looking at the fighting Svartnir with a mixture of fearful pain and love… The spell was aiming for him… Dyami was only able to lift her blade as the power surged forth, sending a javelin of energy though Svartnir’s body… She was not fast enough… For all her speed… Dyami was not fast enough.
Time shifted back to normal as she heard Aelor’s voice in a choking whisper of shock. “Brother…” And as fast as he could, ran towards the fallen Svartnir. Luna was already there, holding Svartnir’s bloody upper body on her lap, tears running down her face…. She may be a dark mage… But Lunalath obviously loved Svartnir with all her shadowy heart. That was the secret. They were in love even before the group had met Svartnir… Oh fates, your cruel taste for irony knows no bounds. Dyami walked towards the tragedy, Aelor was trying hopelessly to treat his brother’s wound, and then Lunalath spoke up in a voice filled with pain.
''It was Darius. The artifact was and is useless! It was Darius I felt, he had placed himself inside it somehow and now he... He is gone now finally, but he decided to take Svartnir with him…I will fight you no more.” The fight was over, and like in many wars and battles, no one won. Dyami, an assassin, couldn’t help but think of the many lives she had ended, and the amount of sorrow she must have created in her wake… The same could probably be said about Luna…
Dyami kneeled down beside Aelor as he panickingly worked on, and placed a hand on his. He looked at her, saying nothing in words, but spoke volumes in frustration and sorrow with his face. Dyami knew now was not the time for words. Instead, she left Aelor’s healing herbs on the body where they were, and started bandaging the gaping hole that was ending Svartnir’s life… Silently, she was saying that there was nothing more they could do. After, she waited silently beside him while Aelor and Luna kneeled over their loved one… His soul was slipping… only Fate or the Gods themselves could save him. Dyami silently started to pray for the protection of Svartnir’s soul as he would soon be going to the beyond.
There was nothing anyone could do. After Svartnir had slipped away and a good amount of time had passed, Dyami would try to comfort Aelor (something she had no experience in) and suggest that everyone start a burial for the fallen… It was only a matter of time.
Dack slipped into position, ready to throw Svartnir again, however this time it wasn't quite how he'd expected it to be. He heard the faint sound of weapons drop, then felt his body pulled off the ground and crash into the dirt as Svartnir had managed to throw his instead. There was a burst of light, something was wrong, Svartnir fell before he could garb his weapons. What had just happned? Rulta had passed out some time ago, had Luna? No, there was no way, he looked over as he grabbed his sword, the artifact in Luna's hand was no longer the white color it had been moments ago, now black, drained of it's power.
What had just happened didn't sink in with Dack until he saw Luna's face. She had a look of utter disbelief, the artifact had acted on it's own, and struck Svartnir down. But that's not exactly what had happened, he didn't fully understand until Luna walked over to her fallen lover and spoke.
''It was Darius'', Lunalath said, ''the artifact was and is useless! It was Darius I felt, he had placed himself inside it somehow and now he... He is gone now finally, but he desided to take Svartnir with him... I will fight you no more."
Dack was at a loss for words for the first time ever. This was all wrong, Svartnir wasn't supposed to die, none of them were. Even if they had different agendas none of these people harbored ill will toward each other. Both sides had wanted this to be over, but not like this, they'd just wanted the others to escape somehow. Dack put his sword away as everyone gathered around the fallen warrior. Dynami did her best to tend his wounds, but it did no good. They couldn't save him.
Dack stood after some time had passed since Svartnir finally passed. He wasn't sure what to do. He'd only lost one friend in a way at all similar to this before, he hadn't been sure what to do they either. It was then that Dynami spoke up about burying the fallen. Dack nodded and began getting that done, outside that damn cave of coarse. He would get through this loss through work, the way he'd been taught on the steppes.
They carried Svartnir out of the cave, to the cooling shades of trees. There they set up a camp and rested for the night. Though hardly anyone slept. Lunalath and Aelor attended Svartnir the best they could, speaking elvish words to each other, after Aelor found out that Svartnir had tought kagonesti to Lunalath. There was hardly anything they could do. Atleast he was unconcious, so he felt no pain they thought.
Whe the sun finally rose after the long night, Svartnir had passed away.
All of his healing methods had failed him. He sat alone against a tree and thought of their life as it was years back. It was all so simple back then.. He saw trouble on Dyamis and Dack's faces. They were both out of words and actions. But that was just a relief for Aelor, he didn't want to speak of it now. Not to anyone. He felt anger and fustration, he had no one to kill for revenge.
To Lunalath, it all felt so unreal. Even though she felt the coldness on Svartnir's skin, it was hard to realize he was gone. She herd someone saying about burying him, but then Lunalath said, all joy left out of her voice:
''He must be burned. It's the elven way, we don't burry our dead ones'', as she saw protest rising on others faces, she continued, ''I can do it with my spells. We need not even gather wood.''
So it was set, Svartnir would be burned to ashes like the elven tradition demanded. Aelor set him on a high stone, which would be his bed and placed his weapons on his chest. But Lunalath held Aelors hand took the weapons back. She didn't want them to be burned.
Aelor almost slapped Lunalath when she took the weapons away, he would need them on his journey to come and he didn't want this woman to take them. Even though, he knew she was Svartnir's fiancee. But then Lunalath said to him:
''He will have them back later'' and that made Aelors heart jump.
Till noon, flames on Svartnir's body had seized and he was nomore. Then Lunalath turned to other's, gathering all her inner strength to be able to speak without trembling voice:
''I think you are all thinking 'what now'. We lost the artifact which was supposed to be a use for some of us. That means Egrin and Svartnir died for nothing. But, that is truly not the case...
I did not search for this artifact for it's own sake, it is not so powerful and it had limited abilities. No, I searched this item, because it is a key to another place, hidden in the south. I do not ask you to follow me, but to travel with me. I need you now and I have no intentions to kill or attack any of you, I never had.''
Aelor folded his arms and looked Lunalath suspiciously. He was the first one to say the protest:
''Why should we travel with you?''
Luna turned to Aelor and said:
''Because, in that hidden place, there lies many powerful objects. One of them with the ability to resurrect, one of them said to give you a chanse to talk to the gods, one with the ability of teleportation beyond planes and many more. Only one I desire. If youw ill let me have it, then I will reveal you the location and swear on my loved one's grave, right here, that I will not back stab any of you.
And please, do not think me as a BLACK robed. Think me just as a mage, maybe then you wont be so scared by my profession.. First we must travel back to Palanthas to gather suplies and information. I nede few maps from there before the journey can begin. Who of you will go with me?''
Aelor could see doubt linger on everyone's face. But they seemed interested. He himself felt excited, was this a way to bring Svartnir back?? If so, Aelor would do anything for that chanse.
''I will come,'' he said shily.
Dack heard all of what Luna was saying, but one thing in particular caught his attention. Teleportation beyond planes. Could that be possible? A way to get home was really within the realm of possibility. He wasn't sure what he should do. On the one hand they were all still riding the shock of Svartnir's passing, but on the other he was still an outlander here, and he'd love to be able to get back home.
That's when Aelor spoke up. His voice was almost, timid ashe agreed to join Luna on this quest. Dack thought over things quickly. This adventure had already been brutal so far, and it could only get more crazy if they went deeper. He'd had some wild times before, but this was deffinately one of the tougher quests.
Well, that settled it, "Alright, I'm in. After all, I can't let you guys go on this dangerous a mission without some supervision now can I?" Dack had finally regained his composure, and his sence of humor. It's not like he had anything better to do than keep going with this journey, and plus, he had taken quite a liking to these guys.
After a few moments, the others decided to make camp outside the cavern, and have everyone wait for Svartnir’s fall there. Dyami stayed with Aelor for hours afterwards, while he and Luna spoke to each other in their Elvish tongue. They were trying to be there for each other, comfort each other as their loved one lay dieing before them. After dressing the wounds that were gained by her and everyone during battle, Dyami could only sit with Aelor and wait, as she knew no words that could comfort her comrade. Such emotions… Pain… sorrow… especially over a loved one… although she seen these emotions and understood them through others… they still seemed so alien to Dyami on a personal level. True emotions were always difficult for Dyami to feel.
Luckily for her, Aelor caught on to Dyami’s awkward silence and told her it would be ok if she wanted to leave his side for awhile. Dyami thanked him, and went back inside the cavern, claiming the need to pick up a few missing daggers. Even though it was night outside and nothing but pitch within the cave, Dyami could see well enough. Finding the missing daggers was easy, especially since most were still impaling her slain victims. Then, she did something she knew none of the others would understand, let alone agree to: she gave the rights of death to the two fallen dark ones; Darkwind (she found out the name through Luna) and Darius. She dragged them so they were lying side by side, as they were such good partners in life, it would only be fitting in death. Still, something was missing… Darius; his body was only a pile of flesh now… although in Shadowblade tradition, the body was to be left as it was when it was slain, Dyami had a feeling that Darius would not want it to be this way. So, she took her old cloak, (the one she used for her makeshift bandages after her fight with him) and wrapped his body so it had some semblance to the shape it once was, and placed his mask on his bandaged face.
Then, she started the ceremony. “Blood shed for blood loss.” Dyami whispered in her eastern language. Then, she slit the palm of her hand with a dagger and let a small stream fall to the chests of both deceased. “With this blood I show that a part of you has become a part of me. Darkwind, sister of shadows, may the shadows embrace you once more. Darius, the being who could not die, although your suffering has just begun in the afterworld, I am glad the artifact granted you the wish of death you yearned for.” Then, Dyami left, and took the cloak she had left outside the cavern and hid herself once more.
As morning came, Svartnir slipped away. Dyami could see the frustration on Aelor’s face, and decided to leave him alone with his pain. Instead, she asked the others of what ritual would be most appropriate for Svartnir’s death. One suggest burial, Luna told that the most proper way was by the fire. And so it was, Aelor placed him on a high stone, and for a moment was disputing with Luna to whether or not give Svartnir’s weapons to the flames as well. While they conversed, Dyami stepped forward, beside Svartnir, and slit her palm once again. “Blood shed for blood loss.” She said in the local language this time. One of the members asked what she was doing as Dyami’s blood slid onto the dead elf. “It is a Shadowblade tradition. It’s a way to salute those who have affected us in life, but have passed on… Even if those people were our enemies or our victims; if a Shadowblade has learned about them, or from them, then they disserve our respect… ‘With this blood I show that a part of you has become a part of me.’… Svartnir, elf of the wilds, you were brave warrior who had great heart and a powerful sense of emotion. Wherever his spirit goes, he will rest well.” Dyami stepped down then and watched in silence as the burning took place in a display of fiery magic.
As the body burned, Dyami couldn’t help but wonder what will happen next. They had failed at their quest, and now there was no reason for the group to stay together. Maybe it was finally time for Dyami to head home. But as the fires died and Svartnir was no more, Lunalath spoke: ''I think you are all thinking 'what now'. We lost the artifact which was supposed to be a use for some of us. That means Egrin and Svartnir died for nothing. But, that is truly not the case...I did not search for this artifact for it's own sake, it is not so powerful and it had limited abilities. No, I searched this item, because it is a key to another place, hidden in the south. I do not ask you to follow me, but to travel with me. I need you now and I have no intentions to kill or attack any of you, I never had.''
Aelor folded his arms and looked Lunalath suspiciously. He was the first one to say the protest:
''Why should we travel with you?''
Luna turned to Aelor and said:
''Because, in that hidden place, there lies many powerful objects. One of them with the ability to resurrect, one of them said to give you a chanse to talk to the gods, one with the ability of teleportation beyond planes and many more. Only one I desire. If youw ill let me have it, then I will reveal you the location and swear on my loved one's grave, right here, that I will not back stab any of you.
And please, do not think me as a BLACK robed. Think me just as a mage, maybe then you wont be so scared by my profession.. First we must travel back to Palanthas to gather supplies and information. I need few maps from there before the journey can begin. Who of you will go with me?''
After a moment, Aelor spoke first in a quiet voice that he would go. Then Dack, in a much lighter tone stepped in and voiced that he would come as well. Hm. Dyami had no need for any magical items… she simply had a distaste for magic (she never cared for the color of a robe… it would be as ignorant as someone mistrusting her for being an assassin). But, she was still interested in these beings… she still didn’t know them fully, and such an adventure would answer a lot of her questions and maybe even allow her to meet other such unique people. “I shall go as well.” Dyami said, as she drew her hood over her head.
Yet, another journey will begin…. What has Fate in store for her now?
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