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No Dominion

ARC I: A Clash of Souls

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a part of No Dominion, by NomDePlume.

The beginning of our tale- a place where souls adjourn with a common goal but not at all the same heart.

NomDePlume holds sovereignty over ARC I: A Clash of Souls, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

488 readers have been here.

Setting

In the midst of the Unification Day Festival in an old ruin- magical summonings force the Army of the Dead to undertake a mission that will test the bounds of this world. Yet it starts with a simple phrase 'The Wyrm Hunt'-
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ARC I: A Clash of Souls

The beginning of our tale- a place where souls adjourn with a common goal but not at all the same heart.

Minimap

ARC I: A Clash of Souls is a part of Aeon.

7 Characters Here

Desken Farraday [10] An ex-Royal Army Captain with quite the chip on his shoulder.
Sullis [10] They call him the Crow.
Aemus Meia [8] Rifleman of the Army of the Dead.
Makali Va'rush [7] "Long days and pleasant nights"
Aurelia Declan [7] The Ruinean Flower
Nela Seph'Ila [6] I keep coin close to my heart. That's all that I care about.
THE NARRATOR [5] The teller of tales, and the prophet of truths

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Character Portrait: Nela Seph'Ila
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Nela had to act fast. She hadn't paid attention, and now she was paying for it. The beast coming after them was humongous, and she'd only be of use if she got far enough away to loose an arrow. Even then, this thing had plates that would splinter her arrows. As the beast charged forward, Nela swiftly rolled out of the way. During this roll, a crackling could be heard coming from Nela's slender form. Green scales replaced soft tan skin, and her pupils became long and slender. She would need the bone structure of this form if she wished to come out in one piece.

Nela, wanting to get a good vantage point, circled the charging beast. The others caught in the path would have to move, maybe cause it to turn around. Hopefully, the creature would turn around and expose it's face. Or, whatever that was on it's head. The Shiftborne thief notched an arrow, hoping for an opening.

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Character Portrait: Aurelia Declan
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#, as written by Modesty
“Well if the High-Inquisitor here is not ramming her little probing needles into your brain…”

Aurelia nodded, pleasant smile befit on pretty features. Soft pink curls bounced pleasantly against her faintly blushed cheeks as she expressed her agreement- their newest members was sound in her intentions and words, for now. The rest of the words dwindled off as something stirred in her stomach.

Delicate fingers gripped at the high-quality threads that covered her figure, probing at her stomach. Her eyes were closed shut as she doubled over in pain. Something akin to a hunger she had never felt ripped through her torso; a strange sensation considering her snacking for the entirety of the trip. Her free hand then pressed to the her temple, as if to relieve pressure.

“Oh Sullis,” She gasped. “How did you miss that?”

It was at such a time that the first yowl ripped through the deserted streets, pulling forth a jest from Desken’s lips that she didn’t reward with a laugh. He called for their party to get into positions and her comrades leapt to action. The pain and stress kept her still, frozen as the beast drew closer.

“It’s hungry…” She warned, to no one in particular, as she attempted to separate her consciousness from its. The feel of anger and hunger was overwhelming, leaving her breathing shallow and quick.

A rumble announced it’s arrival. Pale eyes fluttered opened to show something that matched the thoughts she had felt. Like most beasts, it was singular and impulse driven. While the creature most likely wasn’t hear on it’s own accord, whatever had summoned and released it most definitely knew the effect it would have. Some samples of it’s destruction was seen in the debris thrown about the square as both building and ground crumbled under it’s weight. Rotted produce swirled around its enormous feet, filling the air with the scent of mold and dust.

Aurelia raised her forearm across her lower face in an attempt to block clean air for her to breath. Eyes darted around her before settling back on the creature, accepting of the fact that there was nowhere to run. Behind her the horses had long since bolted, taking with them all the rations in a flee for freedom. Her shoulders squared in a show of bravery, waiting for the first moves. It would only be with dumb luck that she would be able to escape unscathed, she knew that now. Briefly she wondered if Sol knew what he had sent her up against. If she survived they would have to have a talk when it was all over…

“The eyes!” She called out, to those that had readied themselves to attack. While the aftermath of a blind gargantuan would be brutal for the infrastructure it would be better if it didn’t see where it was attacking. In the meantime she readied herself to leap out of the way of incoming feet and claws.

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#, as written by Basta
Several minutes passed from the moment she'd dived into the fountain, and Makali's attention was starting to wander. She'd begun drawing a very detailed map of some imaginary town in the silt that had settled on the floor, kicking her feet gently. Several balls of condensed grit lay scattered around her, held together by strings of magic. Just as she'd begun tracing a grand cathedral, severe vibrations in the ground jerked her finger in the wrong direction, completely destroying several houses in a nearby neighborhood. Makali burbled in frustration, poking her head out of the slimy water and blinking it out of her eyes.

"Oh. Eet'z 'ere," she commented, more surprised than anything. Suddenly remembering her plan, the Groundborne picked up two of the balls and hurled them at the creature's face. Not stopping to see if her throw was accurate, she continued tossing murky missiles until her supply had been drained, then leapt out of the fountain on the opposite side away from the creature. She landed on all fours and shook her body violently, shaking herself dry with the help of a little magic. Makali noticed Aurelia, Desken, and Aemus attempting to stand their ground against the creature.

"Eey! Wat are you doing? Get onto cover, or ze creature will eat you!" shouted Makali, waving her arms in warning.

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Character Portrait: Sullis
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Still in his raven form, Sullis ruffled his feathers as he resisted the urge to fly away and leave the poor fools to their fate. Even after he managed to stomp down that thought, he silently raged at how he could have possibly not seen such a massive creature. Whatever foul magic the beast was using, Sullis wanted no part of it.

Of course, it was not that easy. He steeled himself and lept into the air, flying down towards the creature. He flew through the air until he was over the wyrm, then began to shift and plummeted down towards it. He was fully human only a few seconds before his boots hit the creature, landing on it's head. His sword was drawn in the next second, and plunged down into one of the eyes in another second. Gripping the hilt tightly in both hands, Sullis shoved the blade down as deep as he could.

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Character Portrait: Sullis Character Portrait: Aemus Meia
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#, as written by Leli
The ground quivered under the monstrous charge of whatever focuses its abysmal eyes on the trio. Aemus already poised to strike waited instead. He knew that a beast of this size with power to crush buildings wasn't something that a single strike, let alone shot, would fell. Instead it would need to be worn down, prodded at like a child does a decaying corpse, until it finally let itself die. But that in itself would be no easy task he assured himself seeing Aurelia's difficulty in coping with the absolute power it presented. With her to his far right nearly between him and Dresken, who was a good few steps ahead of him, Aemus had to choose who to try and save.

Makali seemed to be the saving grace though as she fired a volley of dirt and gunk at the encroaching entity, giving Aemus time to advance forward ahead of everyone and let the rifle fall to his side. He himself would have wondered what in the hell kind of fool would put himself between the jaws of such a thing and it's meal and throw away their arm. He knew inevitably though, that he was the latter of that statement regarless. The face seemed the only viable weakness as Aurelia pointed out, and any would have assumed. The obsidian orbs, like mirrored glass tainted with death and darkness, posed a problem to that theory though; there were so many. There was however, only one mouth. And if it was anything like a starving wolf ready to fight to the death Aemus knew it would brandish it's razor maw again and then he would act.

As his rifle was moved away Aemus reached to one of the spare canisters that hung from a leather belt at his waist. His fingers gracefully slipped it from the carrier, tossed it for a short moment and readjusted as to gain a stronger throwing hold on it. Made of a fluted metal they held only enough strength to keep the steam in them pressurized and piping hot, they were about the length of a loaf of bread and half the width. When he was learning the mechanics of the rifle and steam power in general there was always a strong reminder to him that pressurized containers spell absolute death when fail, as he'd seen first hand more than once. At least in this event he hoped that it wouldn't be his death that was spoken of.

Waiting for the terrible whatever it was to flash those grizzly whites again Aemus aimed to throw the canister, fully charged, into those teeth and let the damned thing bite down on it. It would puncture and the release would undoubtedly throw shrapnel and gasses hotter than fire through any soft spot in its ugly mouth burning and shredding it. If however, it didn't try to chomp down on the trio Aemus would look like an awful fool pelting it in the face with a metal half-loaf. Even more the fool if he couldn't roll out of the way in time to avoid a swipe of sword like claws. Just as he was prepared to launch the makeshift bomb Sullis dropped from the sky and plunged a blade into one of the glossed eyes. Taking his chance Aemus bet his life on a throw.

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Character Portrait: Desken Farraday Character Portrait: THE NARRATOR
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For what seemed like a single and solidary target it wasn’t being very cooperative in becoming devoured- or at least this is what the beast seemed to muse as it barreled forward and its’ quarry leapt out of the way. It paid no mind to the pink haired woman as she yelled out in some foreign language, it was too slow to snag the female shiftborne, and as it leapt to take the male in the bulky armor between its’ teeth- it was met with nothing.
Desken had scrambled quickly to the side and into the murky fountain that Makali had just recently made her playground. Oddly enough one might be surprised to learn that this was a part of his plan.

The creature turned about-face in enough time to get searing gunk hurled into half of its’ eyes. It snarled and bellowed frantically as it swung its’ head left and right in an attempt to clear its’ vision. About that time it felt a pressure atop its’ head and another painful jab as some foreign presence stabbed it in the eye. Of course the monster had many of them to spare, but not the patience to allow them to be picked off one by one. It began to snap and shake its’ head at a more rapid interval than before. But given Sullis’s coordination- he could hold on.

In the confusion of it all the remaining uncovered and unharmed eyes seemed to focus in on some bright and shiny object that was being hurled towards at a fast rate. Given Leli’s coordination- it does come close to getting to the creature, but due to his lack of strength- it didn’t go far enough. That was negligible though, because the creature was assured that whatever was being hurtled at itself could be eaten. So it leapt forward and took the canister between its’ jaws and crunched down on the pressurized object. The flame widget in it ignited, and the next thing one would hear was the bang of it exploding in the creature’s mouth. A long yowl of pain came afterwards, but it wasn’t as clean or crisp as its’ previous noises of pain or exasperation- oh no it was sloshy and sloppy with blood and bits of teeth.
The creature was furious now. It wanted to get rid of the annoying pest on top of its’ head and then work its’ way towards whatever destroyed its’ mouth. It may not be able to use its’ mouth so well now, but it could at least squash the poor thing. So in an attempt to get Sullis off of the top of its’ head- it falls to its side and begins to roll over. Of course to anyone else except the male shiftborne- it was prone.


Sullis- Dodge or Take a Chance
Everyone Else- Attack or Whatever Other Move You Want to Make



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Character Portrait: Sullis
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Sullis gritted his teeth, gripping tightly onto the sword for dear life as the creature thrashed. He was starting to consider that this may have been a poor choice in tactics as the beasts's head swung wildly back and forth. Then the explosion in the creature's toothy, cavernous mouth nearly throw him off, but still he held on. Damned creature and damned Sol for leading us to it.

It was during that moment of silent cursing that Sullis noticed his perspective shifting from a horizontal shaking to a vertical shift, as if everything was rolling. Of course that was because the beast was rolling and Sullis happened to be moving with it. He swore, giving his sword a mighty tug. The blade slid out, far more slowly then Sullis would have preferred. He felt his feet starting to slip as the beast tilted further. Finally, the sword slid out with an unpleasant squirt of blood and remnants of eyes and Sullis kicked himself off of the creature moments before it rolled fully over. Sullis fell to the ground with a grunt. He looked to the creature, grimacing as he realize it was still rolling towards him. He quickly shifted back into his raven form, hurriedly flapping his wings to retreat to the safety of a rooftop.

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Character Portrait: Nela Seph'Ila
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Nela gave up with her bow when she saw the creature fall to the ground. The male Shiftborne of the group was angering the beast,
that's for sure. But with all this movement, there was no way Nela could get a clear shot at the eyes. The Nagala quickly looked around, searching for a heightened vantage point. The higher she was, the less likely she was to get flattened by this beast. As she scrambled up an awning that was barely able to hold even her lithe form, Nela noticed something. The auric energy this creature exuded...seemed so off. Like it just didn't fit. Nela dismissed this, not wanting to cloud her thoughts with nonsense.

At this point, Nela was perched on the roof of a small abode, using the chimney to keep herself from falling. The creature was still flailing about, but there was no time to wait for an opening. Either way, she'd get it's attention. Pulling her bow taught, arrow notched, she loosed the missile and sent it hurtling through the air, towards the beast.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Makali Va'rush Character Portrait: Desken Farraday Character Portrait: Aemus Meia
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#, as written by Leli
Shouting in exalted victorious bursts Aemus withdrew from the churning beast with a tinge of a skip in his step. He found his way back to the rifle only out of arms reach, pulled it back into his strong grip and made his way back behind Desken and Makali. As he came face to a building he turned and faced once again the great beast and aligned his sights. A single rough jutting piece of metal marked where the round in the still readied rifle would let fly. People often assumed guns were inaccurate because they were bulky, and relatively new; the case was anything but. In truth the rifles had little more range than a bow on a good day, but when the target stood within a hundred meters they were practically dead on in the hands of a marksman.

Aemus was one of those men, and when he squeezed on the trigger and eruption of gas shattered the distressed rumbling and growls of the beast as it loosed a volley of burning hot steam and a lead ball faster than the eyes could see towards its belly. It may not have seemed like much, but if it were to pierce the hide the round would mushroom and bounce around in the ugly things guts roiling up all manner of injuries and potentially doing some true damage that wouldn't be done away with a few days rest. It may only piss the damned thing off worse though too Aemus thought to himself, a sinister smile curling his face as he waited to see the result of his shot and reload the gun.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sullis Character Portrait: Makali Va'rush Character Portrait: Aurelia Declan Character Portrait: Desken Farraday Character Portrait: Nela Seph'Ila Character Portrait: THE NARRATOR Character Portrait: Aemus Meia
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The creature writhed on its’ back for a moment as it was assured that it had managed to dislodge whatever nuisance had taken to the top of it. Yet its’ eyes seem to churn and whirl in rather uncomfortable discord- unable to make out its’ opponents anymore. Another shot from the bow sent it attempting to scream through an organic cavern of destroyed bone and flesh. Then the piercing pain into its’ gut made sickening gastric juices ooze through the bullet hole; and so it attempted to find its’ feet again. Anger broiled and rolled through the creature and the plates on its’ hide seem to bristle in feral infuriation. Yet by the time it managed to get to its’ feet it no longer found the ground pliable.

In the volley of attacks Desken had managed to conjure up enough concentration and control to unleash thermal magic upon the beast before him, or namely the ground below it. Losing traction it thumped against the cobblestone street once again and flailed aimlessly against its’ lack of footing. Its belly tore more as if its’ skin was drawn taught against its’ hulking mass, and inevitably its’ innards began to burst out like an over-boiled sausage. These froze as well with contact to the ice. It attempted to scream in agony but its’ shattered throat inevitably collapsed on itself.
Suffocating and bleeding out- the creature didn’t offer up much more resistance until it flopped to the ground in utter defeat. Of course what it left behind might have been more devastating than its’ colossal might- a rank odor that permeated from it that seemed sulfurous in design.

Desken released his magic somewhat suddenly only to cover his nose and mouth. “Ah- seriously,” he commented- his tone nearly muted from his fingers over his lips. Slowly he pulled himself from the fountain, and one could note the drop of water level in it. He was near about coated in the stagnant fluid from his waist down, but seemed less worried about that predicament as he was with the toxicity of the creature’s organs. “Everyone alright?” He asked. While the battlemage had no medical skills himself- he could at least tend to some minor wounds if there were any to be had. “And does anyone know what that thing is?” It was probably a silly question considering that this creature was an enigma to the world, but he figured that he would prod. These were members of the Army of the Dead, and they had seen things that many a mortal would find unbelievable.