Barteris-Shards of an Iron crown..

I. R. Shogun

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"Why... Why do things like them exist?" Amber said in a frightful tone. She was strong, and she'd tasted battle before, but never a true war. She was unfamiliar with the horrors of the world, and it seemed to Hex that she was going to have to learn very fast now.

Hex took a deep breathe to consider how to answer this question. This was her first time truly away from home, but she wasn't like the young warriors he'd encountered in the days of old, she didn't choose to go to war. She'd expected to find some bandits and seek retribution. With those young soldiers you faced horrors before you ever encountered a mutant, you were ready the first time you met them. Amber was a warrior, but she wasn't a soldier, not yet.

"They exist, because some people weren't content with simply having humans kill one another," said Hex. He suppressed a slight grin in remembering just how his sword became so swift, that wasn't something she needed to know, not for now. "Instead of just training humans to be better they stripped men of their souls, and granted them the bodies of monsters. They became better soldiers from what could be told, but in order to make beasts like this one must also sacrifice one's own spirit. Absolute ambition to gain absolute power. Ambition is much like power, it leads to corruption. They are perfect killers, and to gain such killers many many men had to give up their souls."

Hew looked at Amber, he could tell his answer didn't do anything to make her feel better. "It gets easier, every time, it gets easier," Hex said putting a hand on her shoulder. "The question is, will you be able to keep yourself through to the end."
 

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"...Ambition is much like power, it leads to corruption. They are perfect killers, and to gain such killers many, many men had to give up their souls. It gets easier, every time, it gets easier. The question is, will you be able to keep yourself through to the end." The old man was giving the girl a pep talk that had 'sappy' written all over it. He could almost throw up.

They had set sail for Necromancer Island. A real swell place by the sound of it? Mugen thought and laughed to himself.

"If anyone needs me, one, they can kiss my ass, and two, I'll be below looking for...er...'supplies'," Mugen headed down to look for a drink and to ponder his next move.

Below deck his worst fears were confirmed, no beer. He was really ticked now and not only because of the lack of ingredients for a good voyage, alcohol, women, ect., but because he'd just got run out of town by a bunch of ugly rodents.

"Perfect killing machines nothing. They were just overgrown monkeys with an attitude and no one even had the guts to try and fight!” Mugen kicked the wall and it cracked, "...damn"

He found something to patch it up and went to go find a place to lie down. Mugen walked around for a while and failed at finding a suitable cot but he did find an old map. It was marked ‘confidential’ and this intrigued him. He looked around and saw that no one was looking so Mugen casually picked it up and put it in a pocket.
 

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Creeping along on one of the lower decks, its better to keep moving. He heard muffles of voices above, the creeking of the floorboards. He moved up into a crevice in the middle of a support collumn. He spotted a 'confidential' document. It was bound with a red band. 'why would someone leave that lying around, convienient. Lets take a look...'

Just as he was about to jump down and swipe it, he heard someone... He stayed where he was and slowed his breathing. He held his knife under his cloak, and waited. He saw an old man, walk in. He looked like he was looking for something. mumbling to himself. 'no threat' he leased his grip on his knife and watched. The old man seemed to stop. He looked at the document that he was about to take a look at. The old man went up the the side slowly, and looked around. He took it, and was about to leave.

"Well well... we have a theif. Do not be alarmed, I won't tell..." The alien dropped down behind the old man from hiding in the middle of a multiple support collumn. 'Great hiding spot' he thought to himself.

"So wheres this ship heading? And don't try and shout for help. I had some potential business back at that other town, Id like to know if i could get back there, lets take a look at that aswell." motioning towards him in general, meaning the confidential book. He inched closer to the man.

'I wonder how the other one got along, at least iv lost him for now. But I still need to find out why he was here. He looked up and down the corridors of the ship, at least they were alone for a while.
 
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"Well, well... we have a thief. Do not be alarmed, I won't tell..." Asked the voice, Mugen didn't flinch, even though he couldn't see the origin of the voice, but put his hand on his sword.

There was a silent thud and Mugen turned around and saw the cloaked figure, "So where's this ship heading? And don't try and shout for help. I had some potential business back at that other town, Id like to know if I could get back there, let’s take a look at that aswell."

"Shout for help huh? That really isn't my style in the first place but ok," He rolled one shoulder, "Anyway; I think we're going to some hellhole called Necromancer Island or something like that,"

The figure seemed to nod to himself and shift his weight as if to relax a little, "You didn't answer all my questions,"

"And why the hell should I? But since you asked nicely I guess I can waste a few breaths on you.” Mugen snapped and then rolled his other shoulder, "I don't know if you can get back and I don't see why you'd want to,"

"What about the book?” The figure asked.

"Well he's persistent I’ll give him that," Mugen thought.

Mugen stepped up to the figure wich he could now tell was nearly half a foot taller than him, "I guess it's none of my concern if you look at it but if it's valuable I keep it!"
 
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His breath was labored, he had too hurry his master didn’t like to be kept waiting. Sweet dripped down his brownish green colored skin only to arrive at a single black eye brow that spread over both sunken eyes. His mouth harbored only a few last rotten and jagged teeth but it was quite typical of his smaller troll race. His feet pounded the stone floor as his ragged clothing flowed out behind him. Making his way through the maze of tunnels that occupied the lower reaches of dark fort he finely reached a set of large gold gilded doors. With out stopping the dirty little creature pushed on the doors with his hands.
The doors swung with ease on well oiled hinges stopping midway with the little troll bursting forth into the torch lit chamber. He fell to his knees blabbering apologies with his rubber like lips. The black polished stone floor grinded his boney knees as he dared to look at his master.

Sitting in a chair made of human bone a cloaked figure hidden in shadow looked upon his sniveling servant.

“I have failed my master, they escaped the city! I blame the humans they acted to slowly. Please forgive me!” the troll spread his arms and placed his face on the stone floor at his master’s feet begging for forgiveness.

“Silence,” Hissed a powerful voice. “Did you really thing that I expected you too succeed?”

After a moment of silence the troll nodded his head as best he could looking down.

“Fool! If I wished to capture them I would have never placed you in charge. No I only wished to force the next move. I know what they seek and wish it for myself. Now get out of my sight before I have you ripped apart.” His white elongated fingers taped the bone handle chair.

The troll backed out of the room quickly not wishing to anger his master. Devious laughter followed him echoing down the stone hallway.

Now the game begins thought the witch king as he laughter filled the room.

Darious cleaned himself in his cabin as fast as he could from his traveling pack. The ship rolled on the waves as he placed his cloak over his shoulder once again. He wished he had another but decided he would just need to clean it later. The bowl of blood soaked water he used to clean himself, he tosses into a wooded bucket located in the cabins corner. He made his way of his cabin and walked the deck trying to avoid the crew men who were trying to tie off ropes and set sails.

The vampire stood at the bow of the ship looking at the horizon. His hand rested on his hip but his thoughts was miles away.
 
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I. R. Shogun

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In time Amber retired to a small room below deck. Hex stayed up top, the night was still fairly young, and he needed to think. He hadn't had time to do that since he and Amber had broken up Beck's kidnapping. He could see his breath in the air, a welcome change from the flames that consumed the town that was still visible on the distant coast. It had been a long day, much more than he remembered any of the recent ones. How did things become this problematic? This morning he'd been a simple beggar, now he was on some voyage to run from the mutant horde.

He noticed the vampire, Darius, standing on board as well. Perhaps he had some idea of what those creatures had wanted in a place like Dead Town. Hex toyed with the idea of speaking to him, but ultimately didn't see much point. If Darius knew anything he was unlikely to share it with anyone just yet. He considered where the other vagrants, the ones he'd met at the pub, would be, and more interestingly what they were doing, there was almost and infinity of possibilities. He was interested but doubted he'd find anything useful from them at this point.

He sighed and leaned against the cabin of the ship staring into the stars. It seemed he was destined to combat, it had sought him out at every point in his life after all. Yet somehow this felt bigger than the past wars. It almost felt like if he lost like he usually did in things beyond personal battles the consequences wouldn't be a simple wanted poster, things would be far more dangerous at this point. He didn't like being in this position, it meant there'd be no going back to living the low profile way until things were all sorted out.
 

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Necromancer Island? By the sound of it, it could not possibly be any worse than Dead Town.

Sucking in the moist sea air, dT took a looking around the ship. It wasn't a palace, but when was the last time he had seen one of those? I mean, it floated, which was better than a majority of the ships dT had seen in his life. No dead people visible on the deck.. hell, this could be the best ship he'd ever been on!

The man named Hex talked for a while, and dT only half-listened. If it was anything of importance, it wouldn't be the last time he heard it. He was just happy to be out on the sea, even if the water did look dark and menacing in the light. At least he was out of that cess-pool. He left off with that thought as he went to follow Mugen, who had just announced his intentions to the crew.

He was about to greet the man, when he sensed another presense, which questioned Mugen. He figured he'd stay out of sight until they were done with their chat.
 

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"Agreed," said the figure before twisting around as if he sensed someone, "I must go!" he whispered and trotted off into the lower decks of the ship.

"Well, well looks like I get to keep my little book to myself," Mugen muttered.

Although he wondered why the cloaked creature fled and if he’d be seen again. It didn't matter, Mugen was going to find a room now...again. Mugen sniffled and coughed on the damp, stale air of the ship and walked on, wondering about the papers.
 

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Walking bellow deck Amber soon found her way to a small cabin, it wasn't anything special but it was a room with a door, a lock and a hammock. Walking inside she locked the door behind her leaning her Ax up against the wall near by so she could grab it at a moments notice before climbing into the hammock. crossing her legs at the ankles she leaned back and closed her eyes.

" Can i keep myself together?" she asked in a hushed voice. she half expected an anser but shrugged her shoulders when one didn't come.

Closing her eyes she tried to fall asleep but there was none to be found " Damn it!" she muttered after a while of rolling (carefully) back and forth in the swinging bed "Is it always this cold?" she asked. Placing her left leg down onto the deck bellow her she sat up "I need to find something warm!" with that she stood up and walked over to the door leaving her Ax behind.
 

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