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PQ: J'ah and Ketarra: Torment
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 7:07 am    Post subject: PQ: J'ah and Ketarra: Torment Reply with quote

J'ah looked up. He looked but did not see at this moment. His mind was stuck in contemplation. He had been waiting for this moment for so long, and now it had come. The main source of his powers had risen to stand up and fight. The so called "heroes" of Darkness Incarnate.

Oh how often these heroes caused pain and torment upon one another, how they solved every petty squabble with fights to the death. How they fed him, nourished him, how they made him grow. And now they had come to fight him.

J'ah looked from within, and slowly examinated every persons pain and torment to great lengths.

Stag.... Stag the ninja. Filled with doubt, doubt about so many things. But mostly, hatred of his fellow ninja. The name Jaedin was his main source of Torment, Jaedin and the city. For many nights in his sleep he relived those moments and woke up in sweat. Jaedin.... J'ah made a mental note of it. Sowing doubt in minds of others was a simple but effective way to take them out. Torment was a powerful weapon...

Deciding he got his information, he averted his thoughts to the next person coming for him. Fudo....Fudo was an odd piece of the puzzle. His torment was not derived of mortal wishes. He was the creator of torment for others, Yet himself, he was devoid of emotion. Fudo was a mystery to J'ah, until it struck him. Fudo was cursed with Undeath. Fudo was no longer a mortal man, for he had no mortal wishes. An enigmatic puzzle and an interesting twist. For now, he decided to see what this warrior would choose. To let him walk his own path to damnation. For even those who brought more torment than they suffered fed J'ah, and made him more powerful. Fudo would be dealt with... sufficiently eventually.

With little answers from the undead husk, he decided to once more change his target. His focus flowed on Grimmar. Ah... Finally. True torment. This man is filled with it, overflowing in regret and reliving the past. A man on a quest for torment. Oddly enough several visions of a small man with rats were both visions of torment and of happyness... Dismissing this confusing image, he focused on the real pain. A single name struck home. Shrueston. J'ah smiled at the simplicity of his torment, yet the effect was so great. Jaedin, Shrueston, Fudo.... J'ah considered his options and waited.

He waited here, for he knew this was the location his final adversary had chosen. This would be the spot they would initiate their search for him. They need not search for Torment. If they want Torment, then they shall have it. J'ah thought, and something that resembled a smile ran away from his face as swiftly as a ray of light can be swallowed by dark thunderous clouds.

Ein.

Ein Weltal, the person he wanted most of all. The only person he had really wanted. The tormented one... The hated one. Ein Weltal had committed acts of unrelenting cruelty to achieve his goal. The irony of that was so tremendous it made J'ah laugh in a cold, bitter sound that scared off human life in audible range. Ein was a mysterious man to almost everybody. Except for J'ah. J'ah had followed him closely, studied him. For his torment was so great it fed J'ah every moment of the day. But not only his torment... J'ah had a secret to tell to Ein. A secret that would torment the man even more, and give J'ah such unbelievable power, and such incredible pain and anguish would befall the mage. The psionicist alone could ensure the dominance of torment in Darkness Incarnate. For Ein.... Ein was searching for an answer. An answer to a question that could only be answerred in a way he did not want to hear. Sakura. J'ah knew something that Ein would learn. Something that would tip the psionic master across his mental edge into insanity. Then, when he slay the man, he would have his power. His strength, his body.

He stopped his projection, as the 4 adventurers approached. Sitting upon Ketarra, J'ah gazed down. He spoke in a chilling voice, that was almost inaudible, yet perfectly understandable for each and every one. A voice that alone could chill to the bone....

"Ah... You have arrived. Stag...Grimmar....Ein....Fudo.... Why are you here? Do you not see, that I am not like you? I am no mere adventurer looking for fame, glory, answers or just the thrill of fighting. I am the embodyment of Torment, the soul that knows your inner secrets, that knows everybody's inner secrets. You cannot hide your fears and pains from me!" He moved his attention to stag, to him the next words were like thundering roars of piercing noise, while the others heard an inaudible whispering. "You are no match for me, you are a failure as a ninja, and a failure in life. You destroyed that town and still you lost. Jaedin is ten times better than you, and deep down you know it. So stop fighting, and submit...Submit to me so you can live...."

He continued his monologue and turned his attention to Grimmar. "Ah... Honour and Justice eh? Where were they, when you were cast out of your home? Where were they when you decided to go nap while Shrueston was ruined? Where were they, every time it mattered. You are not a warrior. You are a smith. Stop pretending, and return to your old profession. You will only find death here, and Shrueston can never be saved. Shrueston belongs to me now. Hear it's torment!" J'ah allowed the screams and terror of that day to be heard by Grimmar. To relive the moment that he had failed. To torment him once more....

As sudden as he had started it, he finished the screaming, and turned to Fudo. For the third time, one person heard him, while the others did not hear a thing except an inaudible whisper... "Fudo... Why must you bother yourself with such incompetent people. They have emotions that blind their thoughts, Memories that haunt them still. You are undead, you have no need for all this. Let go of your past and live in the present. Submit to me and serve. Let the fools die for their own stupidity, but I offer you a chance to join me. I'll give you the gift of unlife!"
J'ah did not wait for a response. He quickly carried on and turned his final attention on the man he wanted.

"Ah...Ein. We've been waiting for you. Did you know you're quite the hero for me. Your tormented soul has given me more strength and power than any other individual. Even Ketarra was less of a feed. I'll be blunt with you. You have no mortal rights. Not anymore. Soon you'll join that whore..Sakura. Together you may suffer eternally. Together you may experience the torment that Sakura now bears alone. Open your eyes, open your soul. She has always been there, and you know it. You can hear her scream still. Did you honestly think that was a memory? Those screams are present day. Sakura is dead, but her spirit lies in torment. Her screams are audible today. Just LISTEN" J'ah let the screams and torment of sakura go, for but a brief moment. He knew Ein would recognise the voice instantly. "I have come Ein. Now surrender, and let death take you. To live together forever....In torment. See this sphere?" he spoke as he held out a small black orb. "This little orb, this little ball... That's what you'll become. Now face me, Face me, and face death!"
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

An undead warrior, a dwarven ex-blacksmith, a cold-hearted assassin, and, me, the brooding psionicist...

It was a rag-tag force, at best, glued together at the seams by a strange combination of blood, gold, and common interest.

They each had their own unique motive for joining, and they all had something to gain from staying. Fudo, Grimmar, Stag...

Stag was the most recent addition to the team. A skilled ninja with an unclear past, bent on destroying the one known as 'Jaedin'... I wasn't too unfamiliar with the name, myself. I knew not his whereabouts, but I could, at least, offer a bit of information on the subject. In return, he would offer his strength. It was clear that he was trustworthy, at least to this extent. I saw a fire burning in his eyes that offered truth and nothing else; hired muscle, and he had agreed to the fee.


Ein threw the ninja a look to his right. If he had felt the gaze, he gave no indication. His eyes remained on the road ahead; his form moving undauntingly across the ground. Two scabbarded short swords rested at his sides. He had an angular face and a rough, chizzled jaw. He looked somewhat young, grief restlessly etched across the brunt of his face, making him seem older than he truly was.

He was a master of dual-blading and controlling the inner-energy known as 'Chi'. From what Stag said, he fought Jaedin in a rooftop battle only to be struck down by an unlucky streak. Ever since, he had spent his life killing and running in search for the man who defeated him. It was almost as if this young-man had a death wish...

Fudo...

Fudo was quite an enigma. Once my enemy, we had since joined forces for an increased chance of survival. He had been blessed, or cursed (I wasn't sure which), with unlife by someone unknown to him. It was a strange alliance. I don't trust him, and I'm certain that he doesn't trust me... however, in battle, we're both aware that our survival depends on one another; a life-line... a weak-link... whatever you wish to call it.


Fudo brought the group to a halt in front of the opening to a long Valley. He was a tall (former)man who kept in good shape for being undead. He had thick, wavy, black hair that was worn in a style that could remind someone of a pile of shredded paper. Major decay had grown around his stomach and thigh area, allowing a bit too much of his innards to show. It was likely that anyone squimish would be unable to look at him for too long.

He held an ornate spear and shield, named 'Nightmare' and 'Hallucination' respectively. With prior fights, Ein knew the abilities of both items. Nightmare had the strange ability to 'fire' its tip at an opponent and quick retract into the shaft to do it once again. Hallucination held hidden blades inside its circular design that could easily catch an opponent off-guard. Ruthless, unforgiving, and unrelenting, Fudo was easily the back-bone of the group.

Grimmar...

Grimmar, himself, was a unique case. Spite my strong disliking of short people, this dwarf has made quite the impact on me. He's a fighter, thirsting to avenge his destroyed home-town. He was once a trainee of mine, for enterance into the world, and has thus rejoined me in an attempt to learn a few skills. I'm hardly a teacher, but his will to learn and become stronger is admirable. I agreed to teach him whatever I could...


Short in stature, the grumbly dwarf would have a hard time keeping up with the others; his legs simply couldn't supply the distance needed for each step, forcing him to walk a little faster than normal to keep up. He wore leather armor and kept a shield attached to his right arm at all times. A thick beard sprouted from his face, red in color and his eyes were as droopy as his face was. He was the typical, stereotyped version of his race... with the strength, attitude, and demeanor to boot.

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

From beyond, in the distance, could be heard the cries of birds, a sound that rose into a high-pitched roar as they closed the distance to the once, proud Pegasi home.

Thousands of gulls and crows covered the ground, spilling over into the ditches and among the low, rough patches of rose and arrowroot. Beneath this churning sea of black and white ground was a sea of decay and dried blood. Here and there rose the ribbed humps of horses and among the squalling birds came the glint of iron weapons.

It was quite a sight to behold, this valley. Even after a hundred or more years, the bodies that were killed during the war were still decaying under the limited array of light that the sun provided. The smell of death lingered, clogging the senses enough to make a normal person cover their nose. However, these warriors were far beyond that point. They were as far from 'normal' as one could possibly be. Hardened through battle and facing death, they looked onward with a steeled resolve.

It had been a good idea at the start. They all decided to come in agreeance that something was bound to be found there. Fudo, for gold, Stag, for Jaedin, Grimmar, for power, and Ein... ... for Sakura.

The psionicist took the first step forward, the birds (left alone for centuries) were easily spooked by the movement. In a flurry of chess-colored spaces, they flew at the group flinging upon them small and large droplets of blood and decayed flesh, leaving behind only flat ground littered with the ancient remains of the dead.

Only a single tree stood... as massive as a redwood, it shot up from the valley and shrouded the entire area with a gloom that matched the macabre scene before them. It was hollowed, providing a unique structure made by, and for, a pegasus. It was Ketarra's former stronghold, now left under J'ah's control... who was obviously expecting them.

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

"Ah...Ein. We've been waiting for you. Did you know you're quite the hero for me. Your tormented soul has given me more strength and power than any other individual. Even Ketarra was less of a feed. I'll be blunt with you. You have no mortal rights. Not anymore. Soon you'll join that whore..Sakura. Together you may suffer eternally. Together you may experience the torment that Sakura now bears alone. Open your eyes, open your soul. She has always been there, and you know it. You can hear her scream still. Did you honestly think that was a memory? Those screams are present day. Sakura is dead, but her spirit lies in torment. Her screams are audible today. Just LISTEN"

It struck, initially, like a ton of bricks. The combined efforts of the voice and screams caused the psionicist's head feel like it was being split open, spilling its contents forth onto the ground. His grip tightened to a balled fist, fingernails pressing against the skin so tightly in his palm that it started to break, small lines of blood dripping out from both ends.

"Show yourself!!!" The blue-haired warrior screamed, his voice echoing loudly across the valley's expanse. He quivered, quite visually. It had been quite some time since anyone had even MENTIONED Sakura, let alone used her against him.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fudo had been walking for quite some time now, with his new 'friends', if that's what you want to call them. He was now a part of a group that had set out to see the home of the Pegasus. They advanced slowly.

To the right of him was the man who was most familiar to him; Ein. The Psionist that had once fought him, and fought beside him. He was a powerful one indeed, though he could hardly be trusted. For most of the trip Fudo had thought that it was a trap lain by Ein, perhaps by another, to either kill him or get some sort of revenge.

To his left was another man, by the name of Stag. Fudo had ridiculed him inside his head for being a ninja, which he nearly despised. He had apparently come to track down some sort of enemy... by the name of Jaedin. Fudo didn't recognize the name too well, but it must be someone pretty mean to get of Stag's dark side. He was proficient in using both of his short swords at the same time. Convenient and helpful in battle, but nothing beats a sword.

And coming slightly behind them all was Grimmar! The man who Fudo had battled before... gaining a wound. Fudo trusted this man, for he was all about Honor and Justice, and all that jazz, Fudo didn't understand what good stuff was supposed to be good for anyways. Still, he would be a great companion on the field of battle, using his mace and shield to beat down the enemies until they were no more.

They had been walking into a large valley, when Fudo had stopped the group. There were mounds of birds and bloody ground, which they proceeded to walk through. The group easily scared off the birds which had probably been feasting off of the rotting corpses for years; it was an easy meal. Fudo might have done it too.

As the birds flew overhead, it seemed to be raining blood. It was odd, though satisfactory; Fudo had said he wanted his fair share of blood. They scattered in many directions, and they weren't seen again for a while.

The blood stopped.

After walking out into the open, Ein started to look a bit... panicked. He balled his hands into fists, and started to make himself bleed from cutting himself with his fingernails. Fudo had been wondering what was happening, as he heard an unidentified voice speak to him, though it seemed like nobody else could hear.

"Fudo... Why must you bother yourself with such incompetent people. They have emotions that blind their thoughts, Memories that haunt them still. You are undead, you have no need for all this. Let go of your past and live in the present. Submit to me and serve. Let the fools die for their own stupidity, but I offer you a chance to join me. I'll give you the gift of unlife!"

Fudo whispered back to the man, knowing he could hear, but didn't want the others to hear their conversation.

"Perhaps," he said, "I'd rather spend my days helping incompetent people with their needs and have them reward me, no matter the cost, than to live serving someone who is such an idiot that he speaks to people without showing himself. It is quite obvious that you're not someone I'd like to be a slave, or even partner, with. Besides, you sound stupid."

He was suddenly interrupted when he looked at Ein. He must have had someone talk to him too, or he had read Fudo's mind. He hated it when the psionist did that. He was screaming to someone apparently now there.

"Show yourself!" Ein screamed with a look of hate and disgust on his face. He looked both terrified and angry at the same time, making this a challenge to whoever would accept it.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2007 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"You are no match for me, you are a failure as a ninja, and a failure in life. You destroyed that town and still you lost. Jaedin is ten times better than you, and deep down you know it." A thunderous voice booms from Jah the great harbinger of torment. The assassin?s insides felt like they were on fire. Everything Jah had said was true, Jaedin was stronger then any opponent he had ever faced, but still, though this man knew and understood his torment, he was still flawed in one aspect. He could not possibly understand Stag?s unpredictable behavior. Tormented though he was, Jah and him held one thing very much in common, they both thrived on fear, mutiny, and the pain that others suffered as a result of their actions. Stag could not lose, not after an insult like that. No, this was not the end. He refused to let that fool Jaedin get in his way ever again. Ja?h would simply be another step up the ladder to his actual rival.

?You?ll regret ever saying that you toad.? Stag mumbles under his breath to the long winded voice, unsheathing his 2 blades into a defensive position in front of him. His cheek props up smugly revealing his signature smirk. To his left, Stag briefly glanced over to Ein through his peripheral vision, not taking his eyes away from the road ahead. He wanted more then ever to rush in and beat the ever loving crap out of this living abomination, but he knew that in order to take an individual of his size and strength he would require the assistance of the others that came along with them. We?ll make you croak? twice.

Assessing the situation, Stag quickly noted his allies, filing them quickly through his mind. He had never seen any of these people before. What inner strengths did they hold? There was Fudo, the foul smelling definition of decay. Normally, the undead that he came across were frail boney things, but this one had some meat on his bones. Stag had not seen what this warrior could do, but he knew that to keep fresh guns like that on his arms, he would have to work them every day of his death.

There was the short stop running man Grimmar. He was not a tall man to say the least, but he held a mean looking mace and he didn?t seem to be any form of a push over. Maybe he was more of a kick over, depending on how you choose to look at it. Either way, this guy had a mean look in his eye and Stag would not want to test it by making rude comments. Why do that when you can think them?

Finally at last there was Ein, a tall attractive twig like Psionicist with blue hair and eloquent speech. It was obvious to Stag that this man did not look like he was the type of guy to take hits very well. He seemed dangerously intelligent and that was an asset worth having. Something about this man was very dark, and Stag could feel a shiver slide down the arch of his spine. Truly, he was a little more intimidating then this so called Ja'h was. Something about Ein?s intentions were crooked, and Stag feared the silent killer as opposed to the killer that flaunted his power. In a way, he was happy to be working under this man, and the information he had given was priceless.

The graveyard of the pegasus was silent and the stench of blood and carnage was thick in the air. Stag wondered from which direction the creature would approach if it did. Would it be from the back, the skies, or even from beneath the ground? This particular opponent could appear from literally anywhere. Despite Stag?s confidence, he fully understood that he did not hold the upper hand. On top of all of this, Jah clearly held the element of surprise.

A flock of crows and gulls flew at them after quickly devouring a meal, but Stag didn?t even waiver as they flew past. With a nervous caw, one of the twittering Tweetys even took a crap on the assassin?s shoulder. Quite a welcoming committee? Stag thinks to himself stepping through what was left of the bird?s meal with a crunch. Never before had he visited such a graveyard in his life.

When the shroud of birds flew off into the dimming sunlight, Stag could finally see the fortress of the once great steed Ketarra. This was it, the great showdown. He could only imagine what power a Pegasus that was once at such a prestigious rank could muster, but now it was time to for knuckle to crack the bone.

"I'd rather spend my days helping incompetent people with their needs and have them reward me, no matter the cost, than to live serving someone who is such an idiot that he speaks to people without showing himself. It is quite obvious that you're not someone I'd like to be a slave, or even partner, with. Besides, you sound stupid." Fudo had griped. Stag couldn?t help but shake his head at this. Maybe it was a common trait for folk of the undead to wail tirelessly at each other. All of this chatter seemed in it?s own right, unnecessary, especially when mocking the element of surprise. ?Cool it? You're giving him exactly what he wants...? Stag said in a calm yet stern voice to the undead warrior. Something about the group?s situation seemed amiss, though the lone ninja of the party could not firmly place a finger on the problem.

Charging his fighting spirit, Stag looked back at the red bearded midget to make sure that stumpy kept up with the rest of the group, slowing down a bit so that he was equal distance between the party leader and the party lesser. They say that those that trail the back are first to die. That would not be the case in this scenario, though Stag was arrogant he did have a couple of admirable qualities. One of these qualities being that he would give his life sparingly if it meant an overall victory. With nothing to look back to, he had nothing left to lose. Life was more of a curse to him then anything. Soon we would see who the true harbinger of torment was. Ja?h, or the devilish clad of misfortunate individuals who faced him.

None of the group seemed to have anything in common what so ever. It was interesting to see how many forms torment could take. This would prove to be a difficult match if they didn?t cooperate. They would soon have to find some common ground, or else they would soon find that they stood no chance what so ever.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2007 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As three of the heroes responded to J'ah, they all had one thing in common. They wanted to see that which they would fight.
Ein, in anger, frustration and a hint of fear. J'ah knew the psionicist would fight for his beliefs, but what if those were crushed? J'ah knew the key to destroying the mage was to win the fight on the mental ground before fighting him physically.

Fudo had rejected his offer... But only because of reasons that were folly. J'ah knew he could offer the undead rewards far beyond that of the mortal realm. J'ah knew the undead had no loyalty to the warriors, only that of gold coins.

Stag.... J'ah pitied Stag. The man was confident, but did not even realise the mental barrage the others had gone through, just like him. This man was a ninja, and though he could see...He was blind. Blinded not only by hatred and pain, but blinded by his own lack of understanding.

All but the dwarf had responded. Grimmar... J'ah wondered... But for now, the emotions of the dwarf was blocked by the powerful responses of those in front of him. J'ah would find out soon enough.

Stopping his contemplations, He decided to grant the simple request. As his voice thundered across the valley, where Ketarra had once reigned, every wise creature in the near vicinity fled. For torment walked the earth, and demanded attention. "I do not understand you. You come to me, to fight. You come to me to die. You want to see the terror that you will face. Did you not learn? Did you not...see? This valley is destroyed. A mere fraction of the power I have caused this devastation. Yet you intend to face me, and WIN? You are fools. All of your lives are forfeit...All...Except Fudo. For he has graciously accepted, to serve under my command. My first command is to convince the others that you have not betrayed them my pet. My second command.... Kill the ninja. He has no worth for me whatsoever, and his arrogance is...a nuisance." J'ah did not expect the adventurers to be confused long, but it would suffice.

He dismounted from Ketarra, and his essence slowly turned into a vaporous form. He whispered to his horse, in a voice only he could hear. "Fly up, high high up. I will require your assistance in a moment. For now, I need your eyes more than your battle prowess." As the steed quickly bolted from the ground, and soared over the heroes, gaining altitude quick, J'ah slowly floated to the top of the hill in front of him. He ignored the walls in front of him, and ended up in front of what was once a proud Pegasus stronghold.

He gazed down, to look upon the men who had come to destroy him. He saw the four adventurers. Together they might stand against him. But by sowing distrust and separating them, victory would be ensured. J'ah laughed, a cold, maniacal and evil sound that bellowed across the valley. His voice once more reverberated across the plains. "Pitiful. You wanted to see me. You wanted to face your death. Now see for your last moments, what will be the end of you!"

J'ah knew he could not stop his unrelenting barrage on Ein, if he were to succeed. He spoke, in a voice that was less intimidating, and more persuasive, only to be heard by the bluehaired psionicist. "And as for you... You are a fool. First you allow Sakura to die, where you should have saved her. Now she is tormented forever. Because of you. Now you send 3 others to die with you and suffer. How can you live with yourself? Stop fooling yourself and surrender to the sweet touch of Death. Surrender to the slumber, physical pain will no longer affect you, and you will be united with Sakura. That is what you want is it not? Just give up. Just give in."

After this, he turned his attention to Fudo shortly. He thundered into his ears, though the others would only hear a vague whisper on the wind, without distinguishing features. "This is the final chance you get to join me. Join me or die. I can offer you riches no mortal man could ever give you. I can show you secrets that humanity could never bring. Enforce my will or die like the rest of these worthless humans."

As he kept his solid gaze upon the warriors , he felt something resembling joy. For once these pitiful beings were destroyed, J'ah would finally receive a mortal body able to sustain his mind, and then he would begin his true reign of Torment. And all that stood in his way, was a single psionicist, and 3 of his companions.....
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 5:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stupid humans don't even know how to slow down to show a bit of respect for an ally...

Grimmar mumbled to himself as he found himself trudging along a few steps behind the others that he was journeying with. Usually, he travelled with his good friend Terrence and the only reason he was ahead of him was because the halfling was perpetually sloshed. Unfortunately, in this party, no one seemed to embrace that particular vice. Occassionally, one of them would fall behind for a mile or so to get an idea of who he was and his reason for joining the party, and in return, he gained some ideas of who they were and why they were here.

The undead fighter Fudo was the first to come to talk to Grimmar, since they had fought one another before and knew each other as a result of that. Despite the fact that he was a magical construct, he earned the dwarf's respect with his decent combat abilities, although subtlety and stealth were definitely not his strong suits. A straighforward fighter...the world needed more of those.

The other, unknown person, in the party went by the name of Stag. A rather conniving rogue, at least at first glance, was in the party to settle a grudge and to make a quick buck. He mentioned the name Jaedin like it was a curse and swore in no uncertain terms to make this man pay. Grimmar had absolutely no idea how their journey was to help him at all, but if Stag would fight and was willing to explore, Grimmar was more than willing to have him along, but when the time came to prove himself, he had better deliver.

Grimmar was in the group mostly because of Ein, which is why he wasn't too disappointed that he didn't come back to talk to him at all during the trip. After a few good scrums in the world of Darkness Incarnate, Grimmar started to realize that he would need to gain abilities beyond that which he could see and control at the forge to thrive in this world. Although he normally despised mages, he knew that there was one that had proved himself competent in the ways of both might and magic - and that was Ein. After weeks of searching after their last encounter, the dwarf found the psionisict (Too hard to say; I'll just call you a psycho! Grimmar had said.) and he had agreed to train him. Making mage bashing a regular hobby had stirred up some of Grimmar's own potential and Ein was to help him release it.

But that was the past...

Presently, the group of intrepid travellers came to the valley of the Pegasi. A gruesome scene lay before them as a war that had been fought here long before almost seemed to renew itself with each new day. It seemed that the dead were as fresh as the day they left the mortal coil and joined their forebearers in eternity. As the band went foward, the carrion dwellers were disturbed and predictably scattered above them, leaving a shower of blood and flesh as a show of displeasure for being disturbed.

A great tree spread before them in the valley and as Grimmar almost fell over trying to take in the whole scope of the spectacle, a voice shot through his mind that made his spine tingle and his flesh creep along.

"Ah... Honour and Justice eh? Where were they, when you were cast out of your home? Where were they when you decided to go nap while Shrueston was ruined? Where were they, every time it mattered. You are not a warrior. You are a smith. Stop pretending, and return to your old profession. You will only find death here, and Shrueston can never be saved. Shrueston belongs to me now. Hear it's torment!"

And with that, three scenes flashed across his mind's eye. The first was the flames as they danced across the rooftops of Shrueston and the marauders began to heap looted possessions in a cart in the town square. The second was the sorry image of him, knocked out in his smithy, totally unable to help as blood seeped out of a cut in his forehead from where he hit the anvil. The third was the cemetary that he dug with his own hands; four horrendous days of searching for and laying the dead to rest. All the while, a soundtrack played over the visuals; the screams of the dead and dying of that fateful night. Grimmar had never really heard them, being virtually dead to the world that night and their sound sickened him and turned his stomach sour.

Whether it took years or seconds, Grimmar would never know, but the sounds and sights suddenly came to a halt and the dwarf came to. He took a few seconds to regain his equilibrium and his bearings, but it was too late.

He vomited.

A fitting offering to this place and its inhabitant.

Grimmar was suddenly shaken out of his post-vomit grogginess by a sharp scream to his right.

"Show yourself!!!" Ein screamed.

And then the dwarf knew that each member of the team had just suffered their own personal torment. And that would be only the beginning.

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

Then the valley was silent. And empty. The birds had long since disappeared, flies and gnats no longer hovered over the stinking bodies and even the maggots seemed to still. Even the very sky above them gained a slight yellowish tinge as a vaporous form appeared in front of the group and spoke with a voice that boomed and danced throughout the valley, as if even the very stones were afraid to possess the utterance that came forth.

A booming voice, quite unlike any that Grimmar had been privy to hear, made known his intentions to the company.

"I do not understand you. You come to me, to fight. You come to me to die. You want to see the terror that you will face. Did you not learn? Did you not...see? This valley is destroyed. A mere fraction of the power I have caused this devastation. Yet you intend to face me, and WIN? You are fools. All of your lives are forfeit...All...Except Fudo. For he has graciously accepted, to serve under my command. My first command is to convince the others that you have not betrayed them my pet. My second command.... Kill the ninja. He has no worth for me whatsoever, and his arrogance is...a nuisance."

What? The undead is a traitor and the ninja a nuisance? Is nothing that we agreed to valid? This party is doomed from the start if such things hold true! Honor is lost...and I am the first to have inflicted it...

Then a deep, menacing laugh rippled through the valley, causing the very air to shake at its forthcoming. The true source of this was not completely visible, in as much as the vapor did not possess a human form, but it was obvious that they would be fighting one that did not fight along the lines of life and death...and yet seemed to hold both, while truly owning neither.

A mental battlefield.

One that Grimmar had come to Ein to be trained on at a smaller scale so that he could survive in this land.

It seemed that his teaching would be in the fires of the very torment that he alone possessed. As he looked over his fellow companions, it seemed that the "psycho" and the ninja were currently in conversation. Without a solid target, nor a tangible way of making a connection, Grimmar was forced to steel himself against the inevitable assault and wait.

He would refuse to give in. If it was torment he was to endure, so be it. But he would not willingly inflict it here on his companions.

His enemy...

He is a different one altogether.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2007 7:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ein was distant from the group, to say the least.

The wind blew ominously, the stagnant smell of rot swirling around the psionicist as he stood quietly against J'ah's speech. His normal, reserved form was somehow tainted by the glaze that was now sliding across his blue eyes. If no one was paying enough attention, they'd never know the difference.

Blood still dripped somewhat from the self-caused wounds within his hands. The blue substance sizzled in its magical existence before evaporating to leave a puff blue smoke. It had always done so, but the psionicist never quite understood why.

"And as for you... You are a fool. First you allow Sakura to die, where you should have saved her. Now she is tormented forever. Because of you. Now you send 3 others to die with you and suffer. How can you live with yourself? Stop fooling yourself and surrender to the sweet touch of Death. Surrender to the slumber, physical pain will no longer affect you, and you will be united with Sakura. That is what you want is it not? Just give up. Just give in."

The voice, alone, was enough to make a full grown man cringe. In it's whispering, the wraith spoke of horrible secrets and truthes that Ein had locked away deep in his subconcious. Like a chisel, J'ah began to crack away at the safe that had been locked so securely.

His head turned, ashamed. 'Sakura...' He began, before impure thoughts began flooding his mind. Proud infernos now held just simple flames. J'ah was right... and it was amazing how such mentally oriented things caused physical lethargy. 'It's... my fault...'

It had been a long time since Ein began to doubt himself. Just the slightest tap, it seemed, was enough to break the psionicist's concentration. Normally, he would have simply read Fudo's mind to find out the truth if the group was being betrayed. As for now, they would simply stand there and doubt themselves... a most horrible way to begin a battle that would determine all of their fates.

Ein's head gave a shake, then. His composure regaining enough to where he could at least look upon the one addressing him. He was standing atop a hill, abandoning his stronghold for the moment to grant the blue-haired man's wish to see him.

He looked similar to a cloud of dust, ethereal energy swirling around him in a mystical fashion. His form was constantly changing, never keeping one face for too long before changing. Male, Female, Old, Young... The only thing that remained consistent about this being was its inconsistency. Having festered for eons and eons, one would be an idiot not to suspect this being to be powerful accordingly.

"We haven't come here for you, spirit. Perhaps you hold yourself in too high regard?" Mattlocked as he was, Ein still had a very sharp tongue. There was a strong rivalry forming and tension was escalating at an alarming rate.

The psionicist's breathing was faster now, major stamina consumed to keep the reserved mask strong. Perhaps J'ah would notice, but the others wouldn't. As the most powerful, any sign of weakness could easily cleave the group in two.

"And Fudo isn't a traitor. You're outnumbered 2:1; begone from this place and we'll leave you in your pitiful existence."
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2007 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"2 to 1?... Really?" J'ah said with a hint of amusement. "It seems to me, that your eyes are deceiving you. Fudo fled. A wise decision might I add, for he escaped with his life. If you look close enough you'll see him fleeing over the hill there. Treachery never was his best side I suppose. Or lying for that matter. No...Lying seems more or less your department, doesn't it ...EIN!" J'ah thundered out into the ether. He knew he still needed to kill 3 others, who would not leave so easily. The undead realised his life was not worth a few petty coins. As he gazed across the 3 remaining warriors, he knew the time to talk was almost at an end. Still, a few comments needed to be made...

"But you my dear Ein... lying comes like second nature to you. First you lie to me. You did come for me, and lured others here with promises you can not keep. There are no answers here, no power to be gained, only DEATH. You came to me, for specific reasons. Reasons you have not told your companions. Then you lie about Fudo. You can all see him running. He betrayed you, and is now running for his life. That, you call loyalty?... You can't even keep track of your fellow adventurers, how would you ever be able to keep track of me?" J'ah spoke to all, while adressing Ein, in a simple, demanding voice, that seemed to ask questions and tell stories that were logical, and true.

J'ah once again focused his attention to the mage, for a brief moment. He spoke in person, and the others again did not hear... "Oh, and mr Liar...You didn't tell Grimmar you destroy villages, now did you?...You call me evil. But are we not the same? I may be evil in the open, you are worse. You hide yourself behind good intentions, and then kill people. You deceive them with your manners, to let them die for you. Why must you fight evil? You are worse than I. You are the evil from within, the evil of negligence...The evil that is buried under a fa?ade of good. Give up on your theatre...And just join me. It's the logical thing to do..." J'ah spoke to the slowly cracking mind of Ein. Eventually, if he had enough time, he would be able to break the mans mind. For now though, there were still companions...dangerous and unpredictable.

"Enough of this psychological babbling! Ketarra! Rid me of these annoying warriors. I tire of their presence. Just keep the mage alive...He has bigger purposes, and it seems he leads them. I will take care of him, or I'll order otherwise if need be!" J'ah bellowed out to all. The skeletal steed Ketarra would hear along with the others. The others, perhaps Ein excluded, would not know who Ketarra was..but they would find out soon enough...

The former king of pegasus immediately dove down, increasing his speed dramatically. In a majestic swoop, he flew overhead, only inches above the large ninja.

He landed a large distance away, and even then the massive frame of him became apparent. Ketarra, was huge. Larger than any horse, or pegasus, Ketarra was the size of a Gryphon, and probably more lethal. As he neighed and whinnied, then snorted, flames erupted from his mouth and nose. Ketarra seemed to have come straight out of hell.

Sparing little other time, Ketarra charged the creature closest by....Stag. As he charged, multiple other spiritual horses formed alongside him. The entire kingdom of pegasus charged alongside him, in a ghostly charge of death. Ketarra was completely hidden among the rows and rows of charging skeletal horses... Nightmare charge Ein/Grimmar left

J'ah slowly floated nearer to the warriors. For now, Ketarra would prove enough of a challenge, and Ein needed more...mental moulding.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lightning ran through the air like the devil's horses running on the sky, as Zane Shadowcast walked towards his destiny. The fires in his eyes were burning, seeming to light up the scarlet red night that was tonight. The air smelled of death and the pain of reality was a bite in the behind.

Why did I have to take that right at Beligrim, thought Zane as he shook his head in disgust.

Zane for the past few days had been wandering in the wrong direction. Since the battle in the forest, he had finally gotten out and heard word of a party of people going to slay an evil nightmare of a thing. One that tormented the souls of people since the dawn of time, and had an evil companion to boot.

"So much for public rumors," spoke Zane as he wandered towards the evil place.

For days Zane had been wandering on the road to the right of Beligrim because of the wrong directions the bar owner gave him those days ago. Zane's temper started to flare as he thought about that miserable bar owner who now owed him about four days of his life. It was then that the conversation came back to him.

"Oh, are you with that group of losers that were going to fight J'ah?" said the bar owner with a stupid grin on his face, "I have heard that they were looking for someone like you to split the winnings with."

"Are you calling me a loser!" yelled Zane with anger, quickly cooling down to a stop.

Silence had broken out in the entire bar it seemed for the rest of the night, for all Zane could have guessed they would have thought of him as a mad drunk. Face turning red, and then slowly fading the man continued.

"I was just joking with you man, they went down the crossroads and took a right to the lair."


That was what cost him the time to get to the cave. It seemed that the group of people just missed him as they left, for the annoying barman remembered them out of all the customers. The second mistake that Zane had made was listening to the barman's advice in the first place when he was obviously inept.

"I wonder what the rest of the crew will be like?" questioned Zane to himself as he neared the lair.

Then the chilling death hit him, the ground seemingly moved with every waking step. This place had been disregarded by people for centuries, and the reason for it was really not obvious at that moment. The ground seemed littered with waste, bodies that had come to fight J'ah before were now ripped to pieces like a loaf of bread. Zane was not going to become one of those.

The seagulls flew around the place eating the remains of the dead, while the sea around them softly came up and down around them. Glinting metal that the gulls had collected were scattered along the beach, which Zane figured were swords but it was not for him to tell.

"I can not stand this alone, I must call upon my dagger." spoke Zane, terrified of the outcome.

His dagger, Shadow's Bane. He really should have named it devil's home, for it housed so much torment that no other living man could seem to handle it. All of the killing that the passed owners had committed seemed to be passed down with the dagger, passing the strength and memories with it. The murders had been gruesome at best, and some of the past owners gave their last breath for the dagger? they committed suicide.

Zane shuddered as he reached in the cloak and stopped moving. It was a decision for Zane that was going to happen sooner or later, but the latter was the preferred outcome. If Zane touched the dagger, torment would rush through his soul and mind launching him into a crazed spiral. If Zane drew the dagger later, he might never have the chance to draw it before his death.

"What should I do?" muttered Zane, racking his brain for a decision.

Then by accident he made the choice, he touched the cold handle. Hands creeping to the handle and grasping it as his mind went wild, Zane drew the dagger to his side. Emotions indescribable to any other human rushed through his soul and burned away his mind. Terror seemingly endless rushed in and out of his body making his body tremble to the beating of the seagulls? wings. His black hair slowly started to change to a raven black, his eyes turned from beautiful emerald green to a darker blood red ruby.

Zane seemed to react stronger then before that time drawing the cursed dagger, most likely because he usually had adrenaline helping him along before in past battles. Adrenaline; the magic drug of the body that usually could cure anything, and strengthen the body to points that it was possible to do the impossible. Slowly regaining his ground, the world had suddenly changed. The seagulls seemed nothing more then shadows in the breeze, and the smell of death was nothing more then a fact of life.

I'll have to regain control sometime, thought Zane as it seemed someone else was controlling his body.

It was like an evil drug with nasty side affects. On one hand he now had been seemingly half-controlled by the demons inside of himself, on the other though he could hardly feel anything. In comparison to other human things, the only thing that Zane could compare it to was being totally drunk without the craziness.

Zane was sure that he would hardly remember this later, but at that moment it was as real as anything as he started to walk again. Feet numb hands numb, and feeling all gone from his body he walked. How Zane did not know, but he walked.

"Uhh," Zane mumbled as he walked into the valley.

The valley was seemingly serene as evil could be, with Zane watching it. The gulls that had been near him before were only part of which were in the valley of the dead. Zane watched as he saw a single red wood tree sway in the breeze of death.

Walking closer he finally realized the battle had already begun without him, but that wouldn't stop him from getting in on the fun. Whether it was personal gain, or physical gain he would fight no matter what. The troop of men stood together in the valley waiting for an attack to hit them.

"I must help..." said Zane as he fought to gain back control.

Quickly drawing his short sword, he ran demon-like towards the group of people being attacked. Zane knew he would never make it in time to fight off the attack of the evil horse that charged at one of the people there, but he would be close by for the next attack. (Speed Demon)

Getting about ten strides away from the group, Zane noticed the evil that the rumors had been talking about. J'ah, master of terror, which at the time was floating towards the group of people mockingly. Floating was usually irregular in DI, but Zane recently had seen odder things.

In the air diving downwards, was what looked to be a cursed Pegasus. Zane had never seen a Pegasus before, let alone an evil one. It seemed that J?ah had more power then Zane ever imagined him to.

It was then that Zane got a look at the party of so to be team mates. Glancing over to his fellow creatures, he noticed the difference among them. The first he noticed was a ninja of some sorts, which was the conclusion given from his appearance. His two blades near him and seemingly ready for anything.

Then there was a dwarf, the basher of the group. The raw muscle power. He had a shield and a mace that he could see from his line of sight, but of course Zane might have been mistaken. Quickly Zane's vision turned to the final, but obviously not the weakest member of the party, a mage.

His blue robes wavered in the still air as if by magic, and his blue hair cursing away the darkness. Zane looked at the mage for awhile longer, seeing an empty back turned to him he looked onward. Though the man's appearance impressed Zane, something seemed to be different about him.

"What is it?" whispered Zane as he stared at the conflicted mage.

Then he knew it. Zane's veil of evil seemed to have been driven away slightly enough for him to think while holding the dagger. Zane knowing that he had to say something and spoke few words to try and convey the message he needed to.

"Zane Shadowcast is here, you need help?" said Zane as he watched J'ah intensely.

Now that he was relatively near the mage, he could sense again. The smell from the ground was tremendous and it almost made him cry from the fumes. Quickly turning his thought on fighting J'ah, his adrenaline spiked to the extremes. His body shook slightly and trembled as he waited for the group's response.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Turning his head back for a second Stag caught a quick glance of Fudo, his bones rattling away fearfully in the distance. At this the assassin let out an exasperated sigh. He had never seen a dead corpse run so fast. Boy? this Ein guy sure knows how to pick them? He could not believe what he was seeing. One second this formidable looking ally was insulting Jah and now he was running for his life. Perhaps he didn?t want to have to deal with the consequence of betrayal? Whatever the reason, he was no good to them now. Grimmar, Ein, and Stag now had their hands very full.

To Stag, it wouldn?t matter if he was the last one in the group with his legs both cut off. As long as he was still able to fight, he would put as much of a front up as he could. He cared not if Ein had destroyed villages, he had done the same himself, not that he was going to hint Jah in on any of this. He would not further weaken Grimmar?s trust in the group. Whether they liked it or not, they needed each other to survive.

"Enough of this psychological babbling! Ketarra! Rid me of these annoying warriors. I tire of their presence. Just keep the mage alive...He has bigger purposes, and it seems he leads them. I will take care of him, or I'll order otherwise if need be!" A hard blast of wind slammed into Stag?s back knocking him off balance. The large King Pegasus Ketarra had finally shown itself. Catching himself on his right knee, the assassin found himself kneeling down to the likes of a fiery sack of horse bones. The smell the creature emitted was putrid. It was the smell of rotting flesh.

More undead? So Ein hired us to destroy this thing? Why don?t these things ever just die? Standing, Stag caught a glance at the newcomer, Zane Shadowcast. This man looked formidable enough, but he also looked fairly clueless as to his surroundings. It was unfortunate the he had walked in at the time that he did. Now he was stuck in the same predicament that they were. He would have to cooperate with them if he wanted to come out alive.

The ground began to shake as if a tremor had awoken. Ketarra now violently on the move, stomped towards Stag with every intent to plow him over. Over the hill in the distance, other Pegasus began to join the charge until finally there was a full blown stampede of creatures flattening the earth with their hooves as they lessened the distance between them and the ninja. Luckily for Stag, Ketarra had landed a fair distance away before charging to attack, giving him enough time to assess his options.

At first glance Stag knew he could not simply outrun the slew of horse-like beings; They were simply to fast for a human to keep up with. In the same right, a single ninja could not simply take on an entire pack of naysaying horses. He would be plowed over much to his dismay. If he decided to jump he would simply be smacked down by the horses mighty wings. No, he would have to think of another option. This option was something that he was not often keen on doing. He had to put his faith into that of Grimmar, the shortstop of the group.

Ketarra? as of now, you have me outmatched. I can see the power, pain, and arrogance in your step, build, and eyes. You are a power without words. We are alike. You are a worthy opponent and are very sure in your abilities, but don?t think that I will back down like Fudo. Stepping back a couple of feet in length from Grimmar, Stag whispers to the small dwarf in hopes that the man would listen to his advice. The assassin himself was powerless at the time to do much of anything, however, the dwarf was not. He could only hope that his plan could be of use.

?Listen to me Grimmar, I lack the strength to do so, but you on the other hand don?t for the task that I request of you. Knock Ketarra over before he reaches us. Hit one of his legs and surely he will fall over or fly off. The momentum he has gathered while charging will surely aid in the task of making him lose his balance. It will also make it harder for him to dodge. I can?t do anything about this because I myself have lost sight of the creature. I can not see him through the other Pegasus that have aided in his charge. I?m relying on you. Considering everything goes as I plan it, we will have the advantage.?

Stag left the decision with Grimmar. Either way, if they did not do something now, they would both be trampled. ?Remember Grimmar, I am not here to deceive you, even if Ein is. Though we don?t have much in common we share the will to live through this. Heed my advice."
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Grimmar continued to stand in the putrid fields as he waited for something to happen, anything. Somethat would break this endless monotony of his party being exposed to unseen mental torment from this being who remained somewhat of a mystery to him. J'ah was a being that defied rational explanation, and that put the dwarf on edge. If he couldn't see it, then he couldn't touch it. If he couldn't touch it, then he couldn't kill it.

If only the attacks were visible; then he could start making heads and tails out of this situation. Even if something totally strange happened with some strange creature appearing out of nowhere, it would serve to ease the situation somewhat as there would be something that he could control, if only in his mind.

However, as the saying goes: "Be careful what you wish for..."

As he was standing there, wondering what was going through the minds of the others standing around him, he seemed to find an answer in the form of Fudo. Actually, it was more his lack of form and poise that solved his query. After standing and fighting his mental battles for a while, it just seemed to be too much for the risen corpse and he broke from the line and started running for the hills. No wounds appeared to be done to him and nothing was heard in an audible form, but whatever happened to Fudo made him snap.

Too bad, he would have been good backup if worse came to worse. Or maybe he is a traitor...

But before Grimmar could take more time to ponder these possiblilties, the aberration that the dwarf had requested made itself manifest on the horizon. It was a horse that inhabited the lands of lore and legend in the tales that he had been told as a child. He never thought that he would actually see a pegasus. While he had not actually seen the horse land, the wings on his back showed the fearsome flight that the creature was capable of.

However, this one was different than the smooth, white beasts of legend. It was white all right - bleached bone. It also seemd to have a yellowish aura about it that made it seem otherworldly as well. The horse came thundering towards the group and inwardly, Grimmar was glad that he had finally seen the first of a foe that he could actually deal with.

As events went apace, Grimmar was once again snapped from one instant to another by another occurence that captured his attention. In a complete contrast with the hooves that were thundering towards his postion, he detected a whisper in his ear. It was Stag.

?Listen to me Grimmar, I lack the strength to do so, but you on the other hand don?t for the task that I request of you. Knock Ketarra over before he reaches us. Hit one of his legs and surely he will fall over or fly off. The momentum he has gathered while charging will surely aid in the task of making him lose his balance. It will also make it harder for him to dodge. I can?t do anything about this because I myself have lost sight of the creature. I can not see him through the other Pegasus that have aided in his charge. I?m relying on you. Considering everything goes as I plan it, we will have the advantage.?

He looked up at the lay of the land and saw the pegasus coming nearer. If he was to trust the rogue, he would have to make up his mind. Soon. How did he know that he would not be betrayed like he was by Fudo.

As the pegasus neared and everything would have been drowned out by the peals of the crushing feet, Stag spoke once more; his words cementing the warrior's final decision.

?Remember Grimmar, I am not here to deceive you, even if Ein is. Though we don?t have much in common we share the will to live through this. Heed my advice."

And with that, further contact with his fellow combatant was rendered impossible by the footfalls of impending doom. He turned, planted his feet and looked fear in the eyes.

Horrible eyes they were, if you could call them eyes at all. They were merely two coals set ablaze in a permanent fury of fire. The eyes were not the only things ablaze either; the ghostly aura that Grimmar saw from afar looked more and more like a complete coating of fire that licked around his bones as if they were a million tornadoes cascading around him where skin and sinew would be. Grimmar began to feel the heat from the flames, but he was not afraid - he had felt heat far greater than this working in the confines of his hold, it would be a minor inconvience.

When the speed of the horse and Grimmar's own knowledge of his own dictated that he would run for only a few seconds, the dwarf charged the horse head-on. He knew that being short would prove to be an advantage here as the top of his head would only be singed by the great skeleton's belly. Running straight on would mean that he would be able to react to any subtle changes that the horse might make and still run a good chance of making contact with his blow. When he was mere feet from the horse, Grimmar gripped his mace with both hands, to achieve full power with his blow and swung it at Kettarra's front left leg. If the blow were to actually break or dislodge the bone, sending it to the ground, Grimmar would still be able to escape by running through the side that was still supported by two legs.

And then time seemed to freeze for Grimmar as the mace neared it's target, a silent prayer hoping that this crazy charge would work.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As J'ah floated onwards, towards the three warriors left... He felt a new energy arrive.

This new energy caused his next attack upon the mage to be postponed, as he needed to asess what power had just moved in his domain. Who-ever it was, it posessed a weapon fueled by torment, a weapon that J'ah could use... A weapon of such might, it did not belong in the hands of mortals.

He guided the weapons owner towards his location. Adaptation used He did not know this man, and the weapon he was carrying, blocked away his torment... But the weapon however, did not. The weapon talked in a language only J'ah could understand... Shadows Bane...

A weapon crafted in ancient times, from the pure force that torment was. Shadows bane was like an extension of his will, and the man had no control over this action. As long as the dagger was within range, he could will the man to do what he wanted. This newfound ally would serve perfectly as a double agent. Relinquishing control at the moment the man arrived on the scene, he saw him make introductions. Zane Shadowcast was the mans name. Though it mattered little, it amused J'ah to know the name of the puppet, much like a puppeteer did. The weapons powers would need to remain concealed until critical stages though, as J'ah did not want the man to rid himself of the artifact that proved to be a powerful weapon in the arsenal of J'ah.

At the same time, Ketarra was charging towards the ninja. In awe, he cowered backwards, behind the stout, but small Grimmar.

And then... The unexpected happened. Instead of defend, Grimmar roared out and attacked. The element of surprise, that was within the ghostly charge was not targeted towards him. Ketarra made a split second decision, and averted to the left. As the mace grazed his leg, a terrible splintering noise was heard, as a part of the humongous bone was scraped off by the blunt instrument.

As the massive pegasus called off his charge, he slammed his right wing into the dwarfs side. The dwarf, who had been focussing on the main frame of the Pegasus, was caught off guard, and hit on the shoulder. The velocity of the charge, not the power behind his wingslash, caused the dwarf to fall over, face first into the dirt.

The first battle pleasantries had been exchanged, and though both sides suffered some damage...it was minor at best. Ketarra lost his pride, and a fragment of his front leg, and Grimmar got the wind knocked out of him, and a muddy beard. as quick as before, Ketarra flew up, to hover just outside of range, waiting command from his master.

J'ah, done with his assessment of the new arrival, continued his previous plan. He gazed into the group, and spoke. "Why must you persist? Though you may even succeed at killing Ketarra, you could not ever succeed in killing me. I am not mortal, I am the pure torment of every man woman and child on the planet. Even if you manage to banish my form, I will be able to return in time. Try me, try to harm me. You'll see the folly of your attempts!" J'ah mocked, to all who could hear in the valley.

"Again Ketarra. Again." he spoke in private to his pegasus puppet.

Ketarra, now aware that the people involved would be willing to defend one another, opted for a different strategy. This time, he would not attack by land. As he soared down, back towards the ninja for a second attempt, he prepared to use his hooves, or his wings, depending on the reactions to harm the man. Coming up from high above, to descend upon him like a meteor from the sky. Fire blazed around him as his anger was aroused. The burning eyes, fixed upon the single, slender Stag. This time, there wouldn't be a person who could defend him from danger... This time, Stag would be alone....

Though Ketarra was aware of the others, and the risk of focussing on one, J'ah had ordered it so. And J'ah controlled him.

With one fell swoop, he closed in upon the ninja......

Meanwhile, J'ah awaited response from the group. Somebody would return his taunt, and find out he was not lying. And Ein...Ein would need more moulding still... but for now, the mage would need to adress his taunts, as he seemed to struggle with the information, torment and suggestions J'ah planted in his brain.....
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2007 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"2 to 1? ...Really? It seems to me, that your eyes are deceiving you. Fudo fled. A wise decision I might add, for he escaped with his life. If you look close enough you'll see him fleeing over the hill there. Treachery never was his best side I suppose."

Ein's head twisted to the right.

Where once was a 'friend' stood was now nothing but fading cloud of dust. Fudo, amongst J'ah's threats and taunts, seemed to find it fit to run instead of face the likely most powerful being on the planet. He turned tail, fled, and didn't even proceed to throw a 'sorry' backwards before his boney form dissapeared in the same direction they previously came. No doubt, Fudo was likely the smartest among them all for this. Even with his strength and skill, the undead could barely hold an eye to the spirit and pegasus before him. Their powers, although not visible, were enough to make him clatter at the knees.

Ein twitched somewhat, his right eye spasming for a moment in a noticable anger that now shattered his casually arrogant visage. Fingers once again were pulled inward, pressing against the self-inflicted lesions that rested just against the palms. A little more blood squirted out, like the last droplets of water being squeezed out from a hose. The audacity of his undead companion was beyond comprehension. The only worse thing that could have happened was Fudo -actually- betraying them. Ein gritted his teeth; J'ah's conceited smile was felt long before it was seen.

"Treachery? You speak nothing but the truth... however, if you look closely enough, he'd rather run than face in combat. If he teamed up with you, he'd most certainly die..." The psionicist's hands rested a bit, arms crossing against his chest to show that he could, without effort, match J'ah's arrogance. "... ... again?"


"Or lying for that matter. No...Lying seems more or less your department, doesn't it... EIN!"

Without empathy, J'ah continued his threats and verbal attacks, resorting to a yell that echoed across the valley. In its sheer volume was enough power to rattle loose small sections of rubble that hung from above. Rocks fell in the area surrounding the warriors, but none were close enough to harm anyone... yet. If something more powerful were to occur, it was unsure as to what would happen. Ein made a mental tally of that, and threw a quick-thought solution to it in the back of his mind... or at least the best he could as he fought away the echoes of the spirit's taunt.

"But you my dear Ein... lying comes like second nature to you. First you lie to me. You did come for me, and lured others here with promises you cannot keep. There are no answers here, no power to be gained, only DEATH. You came to me, for specific reasons. Reasons you have not told your companions. Then you lie about Fudo. You can all see him running. He betrayed you, and now is running for his life. That, you call loyalty? ...You can't even keep track of your fellow adventurers, how would you ever be able to keep track of me?"

"Well, J'ah... if your only weapon remains to be talking... then we have nothing to fear from you!" Ein took a step forward, oblivious to how Ketarra was nearing his comrads. Lost in the heat of the moment, there was a tunnel vision that the psionicist faced that pointed directly at J'ah. "There are MANY things to be gained here. If not from defeating you, then certainly something left behind in this valley will help us get to our goals. Mine is different from theirs, yes... but nothing that they need to fear. YOU are what we need to fear. You do nothing but radiate of torment, trying to turn us against one another... feeding off of our doubt. We----"

Silently to the others, J'ah's voice was heard within the back of Ein's mind... a faint, but noticable, whisper that exhuded dark thoughts. He was forced to stopped talking for the moment.

"Oh, and Mr. Liar... You didn't tell Grimmar you destroy villages, now did you? ...You call me evil. But are we not the same? I may be evil in the open, you are worse. You hide yourself behind good intentions, and then kill people. You deceive them with your manners, to let them die for you. Why must you fight evil? You are worse than I. You are the evil from within, the evil of negligence... The evil that is buried under the fa?ade of good. Give up on your threatre... and just join me. It's the logical thing to do..."

Ein was shaking again, at this. His body trembled visually as J'ah's silver tongue spoke a truth that was more dark than any new-moon night could compare. His breathing was heavy again, an irascible pattern on in's and out's that had yet been seen of him during battle. His arms, still shaking, slowly moved to their sides and his eyes slowly closed in a small attempt to calm himself. Arcs of power wrapped around his fingertips, dancing across the whitened knuckle bones so quickly and erratically that it seemed like his hands were on fire. A deep resonate growl of power escaped him, unsummoned. His anger drove out whirlwinds that now wrapped around his body and shook some of the iron weapons that rested on the ground.

Within his mind, the psionicist retorted to J'ah.

'That 'evil' is something of the past... as is what could possibly be considered 'good'. If you know so much about me, then you know I care only about bringing Sakura back. These men have their own lives and their own paths... the only reason we're here today is that these paths cross at where you stand.'

Suddenly, there was a noise from behind.

Zane Shadowcast, a drow that had been another adventurer seeking to follow Ein (in the same hired-muscles fashion as Stag) appeared. A dark-skinned elf with a dual-weilding skill that very much matched Stag's... how he managed to catch up was solely by miracle. And he would be a welcome ally in the place of Fudo.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2007 1:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shadows ran across Zane's eyes fluidly, looking like tears rapidly moving around tormented. His body had become seemingly numb, feeling fleeted at the sight of the horrors he had imagined, and the evil aftermath was taking its toll.

"Why must you persist? Though you may even succeed at killing Ketarra, you could not ever succeed in killing me. I am not mortal, I am the pure torment of every man woman and child on the planet. Even if you manage to banish my form, I will be able to return in time. Try me, try to harm me. You'll see the folly of your attempts!"

It was J'ah's voice that boomed through the cavernous like graveyard, trembling everyone in the group besides Zane. The wave rippled through him; his muscles moving with the wave like the tides, his devil like mindset imprinted in his head.

Blood

The man he would later know as Ein dropped his life onto the graveyard floor; slowly it fell in Zane's mind almost motionless. This loss seemed to slightly stir Zane from his inner sleep waking him to a living nightmare. A sense that he had ignored before suddenly became relevant and needed, while his brain was still making sure of his surroundings. The light spilled upon the ground before Zane and made him shiver; the awakening. Devil's grip that had been softly holding him before, now was trying to strangle him back into submission. Zane was not going to take it easy. Nightmares pushed into his head, soul blood spilling all over the imaginary flooring in his mind. There he faced his past owners who always taught him something about himself.

All those days ago, thought Zane as he blocked out the devil.

First had been his thief knowledge, where he had gone in his mind to get the knowledge. Second was his shadow reawakening, increasing his already immense power to new heights. Now he had to go into his mind again to regain control of his body.

Zane... you must look past the power to see...

"But it is too hard and I... can not"

Most things in life are hard, but that is where the most reward is...

Time seemed to pass in Zane's mind, blurring out reality and burning his old life. Retribution and hatred of life that scarred him were now seemingly pointless and meaningless. After thinking this in only moments of thought Zane knew what he had to do.

"I am not ready... yet"

Decision made, all grip seemed to slide. Zane had made the choice and now he would have to live with it, for this was the consequence of his actions. Slowly pulling the dagger back into his cloak, the ice-cold handle left his dead hands. Reality began to set in, fear raced into play and Zane could have sworn he heard J'ah scream for him to stop. DI came to be around him again, color of the life filling his vision with beauty as well as hatred. J?ah, tormentor of the dead as well as the living, had cursed this land and now he had to pay. Zane saw J'ah hovering in the silence playing with his foes, while he saw Ketarra fly high to attack the ninja. Zane now had a certain bit of binding to the group that he was with now, and even though he normally would never help someone, he would make an exception.

Ketarra flew downwards at Stag with flaming speed, soaring through the sky like a meteor. Strength quickly pumped into with elven legs, creating the seemingly long distance to become no more then a quick step. His training had allowed this before and the blurring speed happened again just as he knew it would. (Speed Demon)

"As my rights as a master of shadow, I call upon you now..." muttered Zane as he started to feel the skin of his friend.

Shadows from the lands covered them both in an instant, and Kettara seemed to burn in slow motion as they were replaced with shadow doves. Ketarra had been close to Zane, the heat flew off of him quickly and had burned a small hole in Zane's cloak. After reappearing next to the dwarf, Zane watched in terror at the result of his disappearing act. (Shadow Dissipation 1x left)

"You are welcome,? said Zane silently as the shadow doves flew away from the evil graves.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The giant boney stallions all drove forward at an alarming rate passing through Stag?s body and leaving chills down his spine. He couldn?t explain it, it was like wave of sadness that drained the spirit right out of him. With a deafening crack in the distance the ghostly charging horde of Pegasus let out a wail of grief and then seamlessly disappeared into thin air. The assassin was completely lost as to what had actually happened, but all of that quickly changed when he snapped out of the state of hypnotic lethargy that he had been placed under. With a cocky smirk Stag couldn?t help but laugh inside. His makeshift plan though split second and irrational had actually hit.

Grimmar, the loyal and equally as headstrong dwarf had charged headfirst into the fray and though the damage done to the King Pegasus was minimal, it was damage none the less. With a clumsy plop Grimmar was clotheslined into the ground by one of the creatures massive wings. Heheh? I like this one. Stag thought to himself eyeing the stubby man with bright eyes, but quickly averted them to Ketarra as he began to charge a bit off course.

The assassin could see the flame in the mighty creatures gaze die a little with his last charge. Yes, the damage to his foe was being done mentally even more so than just physically. After all, he did just lose his mojo to a small man about a fourth of his size. If Ketarra had been intimidated by this form of attack, then perhaps, just perhaps they would still have a chance at downing this being of torment. It would just take a little more of Grimmar?s strength, and maybe a few pyro techniques on Stag?s part.

"Why must you persist? Though you may even succeed at killing Ketarra, you could not ever succeed in killing me. I am not mortal, I am the pure torment of every man woman and child on the planet. Even if you manage to banish my form, I will be able to return in time. Try me, try to harm me. You'll see the folly of your attempts!" Jah?s voice joggled the insides of Stag?s skull. He had a definant point, but either way, they had to find a way to dispatch of the threat at hand that way he could focus fully on how to vanquish of the wraith. The assassin was not a man that was good at solving riddles, he was a lot more effective at destroying things that he could see and predict, and now, he could predict that Ketarra was not through with him yet.

What do you want from me..? Taking to the skies, the mighty winged horse singled in on it?s selected target from behind. The assassin peered over his shoulder watching as the Ketarra came down from the skies at an alarming rate almost dive bombing into him. He could try to dodge, but even if he had he would have taken some form of damage, no he would have to attack in the best way that he could before it smacked into him.

[Incendiary Knives: 2 uses left] [Trained Athletics]

Quickly slipping a hand down to his belt Stag grips a single hand knife in between his middle and forefinger and charges a bit of his chi into the polished metal. With lightening reflexes the assassin expertly thrusts his body into a twist away from the oncoming Zane Shadowcast, flinging his right arm up and releasing the throwing knife from his knuckles when he saw his fingers line up with the inner part of the King Pegasus?s left wing. The hope was not so much to do any significant damage to the beast, but to startle it enough to pull off and with the Pegasus coming down at such a speed, chances were his aim would be true.

With the horse having just as much speed in the air as it did on the ground, it would be pointless to guard. The horse was much bigger and over time could just simply keep swooping down, pekkering them off one by one. They would have to find a way to ground it and a good way to start was to find a way to rid the fiend of it?s wings. If they could do that, then a fourth of the battle would have been won.

At the last possible given second when the heat of the flames could be felt bearing down on him a dark hand slapped hard against the ninja?s chest. Stag?s body began to feel very light, and in an instant he found himself Standing next to Grimmar and Zane. With skills like that the dual-wielding newcomer would be a major asset to the party.
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