Cordelia: The Last Stand

a topic in Orsa of Terminus, a part of the RPG forum.

The lull in the war has ended, and the Orsa of Terminus is on the rise once more. Will the battle hardened Patronus remain strong, or fall under the growing might of this renewed threat? A mature roleplay. This forum is one large roleplay within a set world and designated story lines.

Cordelia: The Last Stand

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Script on Sun May 01, 2011 2:26 pm

The harsh and unforgiving landscape of Cordelia was at the best of times grey on grey - wild and durable plants like ivy and weeds like thistles were dotted around the remnants of the towns and cities of the once proud and grand human kingdom, but little remained of the gardens and meadows that once filled it.

The town of Kirkhaven, a walled and heavily fortified bastion that had once guarded the south of the kingdom from potential invasion from other nations, was now the only settlement in the entirety of Cordelia that had not been razed by the Sealed One's forces.

And that looked set to change soon.

Larkin's sword swung down in an arc, the long blade scything through the arm of a voidling and casting the creature to the floor. With a roar of anger, he launched forwards, slamming his shield into the face of a second creature even as arrows took those around it.

Off to his side, one of his companions twirled amongst the voildings in a blaze of flame, bolts of fire shooting out from her arms and weapons and leaving charred corpses in her wake. Blonde locks trailed out behind her as she moved, bright eyes alight with passion. A jet of fire consumed a creature that had been poised to strike Larkin from the side, and their eyes met for a moment of wordless acknowledgement.

Kirkhaven was under attack. Fires burned in the southern quarter of the city where the breach had occurred, and corpses littered the streets, both voidling and human. The young warrior took a step forwards to where the voidling he had struck had fallen and plunged his blade into its chest. The last of the creatures fell, and a brief calm fell over the battlefield.

As Larkin pulled his sword free, the robed girl joined him at his side, her fire fading. Pretty blue eyes and a grimly determined expression met Larkin's gaze, and she nodded to him.

"Thanks for the save, Elayne." Larkin said, taking a deep breath.

The blonde girl smiled, "Any time, Lark. Just remember that I'm keeping a tally of how many times I've had to save your ass. It's getting quite large."

Larkin chuckled, "Come on, we'd best keep moving." he said, before turning to face the rest of the soldiers with them. "With me!" he yelled, "We will retake the wall, follow my lead!"

A chorus of cheers came from the archers and swordsmen who followed him, and Larkin broke into a slow jog towards the south of the city, where the gap in the walls was visible over the top of the buildings.

As they passed through the streets, a cry came up from the men behind him. Larkin turned, just as one of the archers shouted "Ambush!"

The buildings to either side of the small party were suddenly covered in void creatures - foul black shapes that poured down into the street without regard for their own lives. The young soldier swore, spinning to face an assailant. He caught it across the side with his blade and spun it over to land hard on the stone street, where his boot met its neck with a snap.

Around him, more voidlings fell, but so did his soldiers. Taken off-guard, the unit were being picked off. Jets of fire danced amongst the unit where Elayne lent her aid, but the numbers of the enemy were overwhelming. "Rally to me!" Larkin yelled, "To me, damn it!"

An inhuman shriek cut him off then, and Larkin's face twisted in horror as a bat-like beast burst out of an alleyway. The creature buffeted him, knocking him backwards and sending his sword skidding along the ground. Wings beating, its clawed feet met the ground and red eyes locked onto his fallen form.

Larkin tried to scramble towards his weapon, but the creature kicked it away with a malicious clicking that sounded disturbingly like laughter. For a moment, the soldier thought that this was his end.

However, before the creature reached him, a sharp shout drew its attention - a woman's voice. "Don't you dare!"

Out of the corner of his eye, Larkin saw booted feet sprint towards him, before they left the ground in a leap. Finally managing to twist around to properly view what was happening, Larkin blinked to see a massive black spider slamming into the winged void creature, knocking it to the ground and crushing it under its bulbous form. Sharp mandibles tore out the creature's throat, slamming it repeatedly into the ground until it stopped twitching.

Off to the side, Larkin saw that his men had been joined by reinforcements - at their forefront another young man with black hair, his blade illuminated with blue light that seemed to reflect off of the shields and armour of the men around him, wrapping them in a protective enchantment.

Pulling itself off of the dead voidling, the spider turned its attention on Larkin. He pulled himself to his feet as it stepped towards him, and shifted. Smoothly, in a hazy green light, the spider rose and slimmed into the form of a woman - brown hair falling messily down over her face and leather armour covering her muscled and entirely uncurved form just enough to be modest.

"Idiot." the woman muttered, turning away from him to make sure that the rest of their allies had mopped up the remaining voidlings.

"Thank you, Clara." Larkin breathed, walking over to retrieve his sword.

Clara scowled angrily at him, "I don't know how the hell you expect us to guard you, Larkin, if you forge off without us every five minutes!"

Larkin shook his head, "I couldn't wait. People were dying out here, Clara, I took what I had to save as many as I could."

Clara opened her mouth to reply, but at that moment the dark haired boy from the other battle joined them, Elayne at his side. "We don't have time to have this argument." he said, his voice level, "We need to press on."

Elayne folded her arms, "You can have your domestic when we're safe, don't worry." she said, rolling her eyes at the glare Clara shot her.

Nodding, Larkin smiled to the other man. "Thank you, Aranor -- and hush, Elayne. Now come - we have a breach to save."

With only a little more muttering from Clara, the now bolstered unit of soldiers was once more on the move. They encountered only intermittent resistance, of the sort that they could quite easily handle - which made Larkin uneasy. This was supposedly an all-out assault -- so where were the Sealed One's more powerful creatures?

This question remained unanswered right up until the point where they reached the plaza area where the breach itself was located. The gatehouse that had been broken down lay at the end of a wide open space previously used for markets. Now it was a killing ground - a place for archers to take out as many enemies as possible before they reached the cover of the buildings.

Voidling corpses and the corpses of soldiers littered the area, but that wasn't what drew Larkin's eye.

"By the Light's grace..." he breathed in horror.

In the centre of the courtyard, chewing distractedly on the body of a female soldier, stood a creature that rose almost as high as the walls themselves. Four spider-like legs supported a bulbous lower body with a pair of spiked tails trailing away from it, whilst a more humanoid upper body was armed with a pair of arms that ended in a wicked set of curved talons, three pairs of curved claws designed to pincer around the enemy. The creature's head was entirely inhuman - its mouth of razor sharp teeth took up two thirds of its face, and empty white eyes stared down at the group. The back of its head and neck was covered in horns and spines, its skin deep purple in colour with white fur covering it intermittently.

"... that's a damn big chicken." Elayne murmured, gulping.

At that moment, the creature roared.

"Scatter!!" Larkin yelled, breaking into a dash to the side as the hulking beast charged. He saw Elayne, Aranor and Clara breaking into equally speedy escapes as the void terror swung a talon down at the unit. Many of the soldiers escaped, but the quickly-cut-short cries of those unlucky enough to run into its path made Larkin wince.

"Aim for the eyes, the throat, the underbelly! Find the weak spots!"

That was Clara's shout -- and sound advice. Not that it wasn't obvious, but sometimes in the thick of combat people needed reminding of the tactics that could save their lives.

Arrows flew from the various concealed spots that the men and women of the unit had found, and Larkin felt himself wishing that he had brought his bow with him - even if it wasn't exactly his weapon of choice. There wasn't much that a man with a sword could do against a creature of this size.

Perhaps, though, a man with a magic sword could do more. He'd just have to avoid being crushed.

Hefting his sword and shield, Larkin narrowed his eyes and broke forwards. His sword lit up as a wave of bright white fire engulfed the blade, the divine enchantment taking effect. As he ran forwards, the void terror turned its head towards him and roared, obviously sensing the divine power in his weapon and very obviously not liking it.

The creature spun around on its legs, and swung its talons downwards at him. Larkin saw it coming a mile off, however, and was easily able to leap to the side to avoid the strike that shattered the rock of the courtyard. Off to his side, he saw Elayne and Clara burst from their own hiding places.

The flash of red robes that was Elayne seemed entirely ungulfed in fire as she flew upwards on wings of blazing yellow and orange, a rain of firebolts falling from the air and burning at the creature's flesh. It roared, swinging its arm at her, but the blonde girl was too nimble. But likewise, the creature was durable - though it was pained by the attacks, it seemed not to be harmed significantly.

Clara sprinted along the square's edge, her wooden stave lifted, and skidded to a halt behind the creature. Spinning the staff around, she slammed it down into the ground. All around the void terror, the ground erupted as thick vines shot upwards to grab at its body, spikes digging into it and durable lengths tugging at it to try and both knock it off balance, and damage it further.

A single twist, however, and the vines snapped en masse, the creature pulling itself free with sweeps of its talons. But the delay had been enough for Larkin to close the distance, and the youth swung his sword at its leg angrily. Divine fire from the blade leapt onto the creature as if it had a mind of its own, twining around the thick limb and searing at the flesh.

The void terror roared as the divine magic assaulted it, for the first time feeling significant damage done to itself. As it stepped back and put pressure on the struck leg, the limb buckled and the creature screamed.angrily.

Arrows pincushioned the beast, but it hardly seemed to notice them, or the attacks coming from Clara and Elayne, as it swung itself around to face Larkin.

There was a brief moment where it seemed to consider its options to strike the nimble swordsman - he had already proven too quick for it to easily strike with its talons. And so the creature chose instead to strike an area too wide for him to avoid. Launching itself forwards, the terror brought its entire abdomen crashing down into the ground over Larkin's head.

Off to the side, Clara cried out in horror. Lifting her staff once more, she sprinted forwards, shifting midstep to ripple into the lithe form of a panther. Her paws brushed over the ground with such lightness they barely seemed to touch, crossing it in seconds even as the void terror was rising upwards.

Desperately, the shapeshifter cast her eyes from side to side for any sign of Larkin -- what she quickly spotted however, wasn't Larkin's body, but rather a glowing dome. As she shifted back to her human form, Clara ran over to where the glowing white light of Larkin's shield was fading as he rose.

"Idiot! Have I said that already? You're an idiot!" she growled, grabbing the dazed soldier's hand. "Now come on!"

Tugging a more than slightly disoriented Larkin behind her, Clara dashed away from the void terror -- but she could already tell that they wouldn't be fast enough. The large creature was launching itself into the chase, and one of its steps was more than a dozen of theirs.

At that moment, though, a bright shape shot down from the sky and seared past the creature's face. It roared angrily, fur charring and disintegrating into ash as the fiery bolt left a line of blackened flesh behind it. The shape descended to hover over the creature's back, before the fire faded slightly to reveal Elayne in its midst.

"Get him out of here!" Elayne yelled, "We can't lose him! Retreat to the fortress!"

Clara hestitated for a moment, her expression pained, but Elayne yelled again. "Go!"

The druidess bit her lip and nodded, once more grabbing the bleary Larkin's arm and breaking into a run. As she fled, so too did many of the soldiers, heeding Elayne's shout - Aranor amongst them.

The void terror was too preoccupied with the fiery form on its back to pay heed to the ants fleeing from it, swinging its head this way and that to try and gnash at her. Elayne took a deep breath from her position, and gathered herself.

Her fire once more brightening, the girl shot down and met the creature's back solidly, knees bending into a crouch as her hands took a firm grip on its fur. For an instant, the creature flailed around and almost tossed her free, but then the fire took root in Elayne's eyes, and flared.

From her spot on the terror's back, Elayne's magic exploded outwards in a roaring inferno reminiscent of a supernova. Fire swamped the giant void creature and swallowed it entirely, its screams cut short as the blaze burnt away at its flesh until its life gave out.

At the centre of the blast, Elayne felt the creature fall limp beneath her and her face drooped into a relieved sigh. But there was no going back now. As the void terror fell to the ground in the still expanding globe of fire, its flesh burning away to leave nothing but bone, Elayne closed her eyes and let the flames take her.

A few moments later, the globe of fire burst like a balloon, leaving nothing but charred bones behind.
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(03:04:15) Lialore says: I wanted to be the poo.

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Re: Cordelia: The Last Stand

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Script on Sun May 01, 2011 6:29 pm

"What do you mean she's gone?!"

Larkin let out an angry cry of frustration, and punched his hand into the wall of the chamber. The room was made of stone, a large bed forming its centre with simple bookcases and shelves around it. "How can she ..."

"Larkin..." Clara's voice was sad, and she trailed off into a sigh. She clasped her hands in her lap where she sat on the bed, the rune markings on her arms brushing against one another. "She gave her life to save us. All we can do is honour that sacrifice. Anger won't help anything."

His fist unfurling into a palm that he pressed against the wall, Larkin sighed too. "I know." he whispered, "But Elayne was ... she always seemed so invulnerable. Her fire magic was so powerful... more than anything either of us can put out."

Clara rose to her feet and walked over to place her hand on Larkin's arm, "Nobody is invulnerable in this war." she said softly, "We learned that a long time ago."

It was impossible to count the number of illustrious heroes and champions that had fallen to the Sealed One. The Patronus had only been the beginning. Dragon slayers, demon hunters, princes, kings and knights all fell in swathes as they stood against the Sealed One. Companies of adventurers and famed heroes were swallowed one by one. Many rose to fight against those they had stood in defence of.

"I sometimes wish that I was just another soldier. Just another person, nobody important. I've had more than enough of people putting my life above theirs." Larkin said sadly.

"The people need a leader, Lark." Clara said, "They need you. We all know it. If you died without a son or a daughter to take up the royal mantle then all hope would be lost."

Larkin scowled, "An accident of birth is all that supposedly makes me more important than them. More important than Elayne. It's light burned madness. Promise me you'll never sacrifice your life just to save ... the idea of a king."

"I promise." Clara smiled, turning Larkin around and looking into his eyes, "I would give my life for you, Lark, but not because you're a prince, or a king, or the descendant of a Patronus. I would do it because I love you."

Lark met Clara's gaze for a few moments before he sighed, smiling back at her. "Don't. Don't talk about giving your life for me. Just for a day I'd like to pretend that we don't have to worry about dying every second of every minute of every hour. I don't want to think about either of us dying."

Clara lifted her hand to brush Larkin's cheek. "Then let's not think about it." she said quietly, leaning up to kiss him gently.

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