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Toran

"Can you not feel Her? She is all around us. Come, I must let Her feast upon your screams."

0 · 142 views · located in Aurora

a character in “Prophecy”, as played by Savier

Description

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General Information


Name: Toran
Age: 28
Gender: Male
Sexuality: Heterosexual
Role: Minion/Mage Hunter/Champion of the Goddess (This is what he considers himself)





Abilities


Powers:
Annulment: Toran was raised to kill those who have magical talents. Using a mixture of runes, chants, and natural resistance, Toran can disrupt and even stop magical attacks. The stronger the spell the harder it is to annul with direct damage spells (Fireballs, Mind Control, etc) being the easiest for him to disrupt.

Skills:

Resistant: Toran has a natural resistance to magic which is what made him a target for his training in the first place.
Melee: Toran is an extremely potent warrior having spent his entire life training to be Her weapon. He is one of the greatest warriors in Bandrial's service.
Torture: Toran has experienced much of this growing up and enjoys allowing others to experience it.
Rune Lord: Toran can create, use, and manipulate complex runes.
Chants: While in combat Toran chants a pray to Bandrial constantly. While, the chant itself, does nothing it does aid him. The act of chanting keeps his mind on the task so strengthening his mental resistance as well as being unnerving for the foe. Such is Torans dedication and discipline that when wounded he will not scream and, instead, merely chant.

Runes Info: Runes are letters written in an ancient language and infused with magic which allow people who do not have magic, such as Toran, to be able to use it. Runes are extraordinarily difficult to make with even basic ones taking months to forge. A single piece of equipment can only contain one rune as any more than that would cause the item to explode in a torrent of magical energy and kill whoever was working on it.

Weaknesses:

Obsession: Toran loves Bandrial to the point of obsession. Should any insult Her or dare impede Her divine honor; he would fly into a uncontrolled rage. This is terrible in court due to the attention of others. Bandrial is a seductress and so constantly bestows favors on others. For other wretches to attempt to get close to Bandrial is unforgivable, as such he will attempt to have them killed, slowly. As they are favored by Bandrial; he cannot merely attack them, instead he will plot for weeks on end and wait for that perfect chance to cut them down. Should Toran run into a woman who is beautiful or one who resembles Bandrial he will disfigure their faces before killing them as nothing can exist that draws away from Her glory. His perversion extends even to corpses as even a dead beautiful woman is not allowed to be such. This makes dealing with Toran extremely difficult for any save Bandrial.

Sadist: Toran enjoys hurting others. It is euphoric, and he will prolong a fight simply to watch his opponent suffer when he should simply finish them off.
Discipline: Because Toran was schooled in the arts of combat and the idea of 'perfection' it is very hard for him to adapt to new situations. Should such a thing occur; Toran will generally lash out and attempt to kill whatever is causing the disruption.
Self-Loathing: Toran constantly berates himself on his looks, his skills, even his 'impurity'. For he is a maggot that disgustingly tries to cling to the feet of Bandrial.
Deformity: The left half of Torans face is a mass of burn scars. He is self-conscious of it and so constantly wears his helm especially around Bandrial as he would never force her to have to look at him. Should his helm be knocked off; Toran would hide his face or dive for his helm making him extremely vulnerable at that point.

Weaponry:

Khadon: Wroth. It is a longsword that has the Rune of Flame inscribed onto the hilt. It causes the sword to become alight with blue magical flames when Toran calls its name. The flames cannot be put out until sheathed as the sheath has the Rune of Silence inscribed on it. This blade personifies his sadistic nature as should he cleave off someones arm it will cauterize the wound allowing the person to stay alive and continue to enjoy his 'touch'.

Var'shon: The screaming blade. It is a dagger that drips a sickly red liquid resembling blood. Should someone be cut by the dagger their body would feel as if fire ran through their veins. It would not kill, but the pain would be unimaginable. Such is its name. First comes the cut then, then comes the screams.

Shun: His breastplate has the Rune of Annulment on it. When the command is spoken, the rune begins to disrupt magic in the area; it also gives him a high resistance to magic.

Tun: This Rune is placed on his Boots and is called the Rune of Feathers. The rune is always on and makes his armor lighter making it easier to move and allowing him to surprise opponents with how nimble he is despite his full-plate armor.

Vul: Crush. The Rune of Power is inscribed on his gauntlets and when activated greatly increase his physical strength.

Ka'Shun: Mind Annulment. This rune is much like the Rune of Annulment but specializes against magic that attack against the mind. It has the added bonus of making the helm more comfortable to wear as Toran, rarely, if ever takes it off. Only to sleep (And only indoors with the doors sealed), or should She ever command it.



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Personality


Fears:
- Rejection: The ideas of being unwanted by Bandrial is his deepest terror.
- Revolting The look on others when they see his face bites deeply to the point where Toran no longer reveals his face.
- Death: Toran has seen enough of it to fear it.
- Bandrial: Not herself, but the prospect of her loving another.
- Hunger
- Defeat: To be defeated is to have failed Bandrial.
- Water: Toran cannot swim.

Likes:
- Bandrial
- Wine/Ale/Spirits
- Killing
- Torturing
- Creating Runes
- Snow
- Being noticed by Bandrial
- Children, but he will still kill them if commanded.
- The Stars
- Dogs/Horses

Dislikes:
- Any who Bandrial shows favor to
- Those who deny Bandrials Divine Right
- Water
- Fire. He once feared it, but now he hates it. Fitting that it should be the thing that slaughters his foes.
- Himself
- Sunlight/Heat
- Tomatoes
- Korak, a pathetic creature that contiunes to try and raise himself above the level of maggot, but he forgets. All are maggots before Her.
- Being wounded
- Books. Toran cannot read and envies those who can.

God: Bandrial, while Bandrial is not truly a God, and instead and incredibly powerful Sorceress, Toran considers her to be. He will often pray to Her and chant to Her while in combat for She is perfection. She is his Goddess, his reason for existence, the core of his obsession. Toran believes that Bandrial is omnipotent and could see anyone anywhere which means he believes that through great services and slaughter he can attract Her attention. He would happily slaughter an entire village if he believed it would make Her look at him for a moment.



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Background


History:

Toran has no recollection of his parents nor where he was born, but all have parents even should they not know them. Toran's mother was a small village 'girl of the wash' or simply a woman who washes the local lords clothing in return for a few coppers, but this was a charming young peasant who attracted the attention of the old lord. Desiring the young woman, he approached her offering her a pouch of coins only to be turned down. Enraged that a lowly peasant would dare refuse him; he took her there in the middle of the foyer. Fitting that such a man was born of such a union. Despite the young girls best efforts the child was born on a cold winter day and around the babe was a sense of wrongness. It was not a fortnight later that the girl was approached by a hooded figure offering a bag of gold for the infant. It was far more gold then the young girl would ever see, and so she accepted for she had planned on throwing the babe into the river and be done with it, and so young Toran was taken from his mother into the embrace of the cloaked figure that reeked of death.

The hooded figures name was Haldred, a man who ran a secret training facility for Bandrial, the goal was simple to make a warrior capable of slaying enemy magic-users. Scouts scoured the land for babies born with a resistance to magic which was an incredible rare trait. In the entire realm, only seven were found. The seven children, including Toran, were all given names. Names to remind them of their place. Toran, in the old tongue, means worm for that is what he is. They needed a powerful warrior, but the warrior had to be properly broken like a good slave for there was nothing more loyal than a broken slave.

Day and night Toran was told of Bandrial the benevolent, powerful woman who stood upon the top of the world by old men who huddled over the cradle, and indeed, his first word was Bandrial as it should be. 'Conditioning' is what they called it, and at age six the combat training began. At first it was simple, but two children into a pin and force them to fight. The one who lost did not eat. If they both did not fight, neither ate. A child has no true conception of defiance, and after starving for a few nights, the children learned to win for losing meant another night of pain.

Year after year the training intensified, and so did the punishments. Whipping, cutting, starving, burning, carving... such were the punishments for disobedience or defeat. Many times the 'instructors' would 'believe' the child was harboring thoughts of disobedience and would be tortured. Karso, Flea, was the only child to ever attempt to escape. The instructors unleashed dogs upon the nine year old boy and brought him back bleeding and limping. To make an example out of the boy they had him flayed alive and then hung in a tree for weeks as the birds and bugs ate away at his rotting corpse.

Despite the cruel world they lived in, the children developed bonds with each other. They were all 'friends' as they were all each other knew. Toran can still remember huddling in the dark in the scraps of clothing that clung to their bodies as they tried to stay warm through the winters. Secretly sharing food with the losers from the night before... but the 'instructors' had counted upon that fact, and they continued to feign ignorance as they trained them with weaponry from staves, to blades, to axes, to bows.

Then at the age of fifteen the fragile world they had built crumbled to pieces. The 'instructors' were men, and there was one female among Toran's group. Varth, slut, was the first girl Toran had ever met. She had long black hair and bright blue eyes, and she would always preach about as long as they had each other. Varth and Toran, then everything would be fine. She was the only person Toran had ever truly loved besides Her, and on a rainy night. The old men took her and forced them to watch. The old men were not fools and had purposely starved them the days earlier. The teens had no way to see it coming as being starved on purpose was something they did on occasion, but because of that they did not have the strength to oppose them as they took her screaming out of the cell and onto the ground, all of them save for Toran. Lashing up, Toran used the only weapon he had, his own teeth, to tear out the throat of the man who first tried to grab Varth. Toran can still see the old pathetic wretch chocking on his own blood and that iron taste that filled his mouth... but he was beaten down, and then his face was pushed into the coals of the fire. The smell of burning flesh, the sounds of his screams undercut by Varth's sobs and the grunts of old men were beyond what the mind of a young teenager can endure, and Toran's mind broke.

From then on, Toran was a shell of his former self. He killed when ordered even the other children whom he loved, and on his eighteenth year he was congratulated as the last surviving member of the original children, and the one to take him... and save him was Her. Oh, he could still remember the way she looked with the black gown that seemed to ripple like waves at every move. The soft voice that welcomed him, but it was the command that made his soul return to his body. Wanting to ensure his loyalty and obedience she ordered him to kill the instructors... How they pleaded and begged for their pathetic lives as he cut each one down and with each blow his mind was filled with conviction and for the first time in his life, Toran felt alive. Afterwards he threw himself at Her feet and found his salvation.

In the capital, and in civilization, Toran quickly learned how revolting he looked. He had never been around many other people and so had no true definition of handsome, the old instructors and the dirty other children were the normal for him. The men She looked at... the men She smiled at were so much better looking then he who caused children to scream and women to look away in disgust... and he began to hate. Hate himself for being ugly and the men for grabbing Her attention away from him. In the darkness of civilization, bitterness and envy filled Toran's heart that only bloodshed could cure.

How many men, women, and children had he killed in the decade following? How many people that She looked at too long? How many villages burned? It does not matter. All that matters is Her. For only She is eternal.

Family: None. Toran was an orphan. His only 'family' were the other orphans at the 'training' camp, and they are all dead. Some by his own hand.

Hometown: Unknown.

So begins...

Toran's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Toran Character Portrait: Bandrial the Wicked. Character Portrait: Korak Character Portrait: Leonid Sulla Character Portrait: Alice Blackwood

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Bandrial awoke as the sunlight flitted in her stain glass windows. Her pale, smooth form emerged from under the crimson silk blankets that covered her throne like bed. Her ruby hair cascaded down her naked body like a river of blood. She gathered the blankets around her, ignoring the unconscious male form in her bed, and rose to meet the morning.

She watched as her guards as they switched shifts, or bossed the slaves around the courtyard. If it weren't for the nagging on her heart, she would have embraced this morning the same way she had done the eighteen years she had been in power, with grace and unrelenting malice. The prophecy plagued her heart, and it threatened to consume her with hatred. Today was not like other days. Today was the day the eight were to be born, the day that the destined heroes would crawl from their mother's womb and rip her from her throne that she had rightfully earned.

She wouldn't crumble under the pressure of her own demise. This world was her own to mold how she wished, she would would do as she wished and her inhabitants would have to admire her from afar as she blazed by, transforming Aurora into her own playground. Those who opposed her would burn in the tails of flames she left in her wake.

The crimson sorceress turned toward her stone doors, voices drifting in through the walls.

“They say her bed is filled with the blood of all the men she has killed in there.” one female voice spoke softly.

“Do you want her to hear you?” stuttered another.

“It's just eerie, I never want to go in there.” They were servants, probably cleaning the hall outside her quarters. She couldn't hide the sadistic grin that clung to her lush scarlet lips as she opened her door.

“You there,” she commanded, pointing at the woman who had just been so scared to enter her room. Bandrial's smile widened as the color drained from the woman's face.

“Come here, I need someone to help me dress.” The woman shivered so badly it looked like she would faint as she walked into the Blood Queen's domain. She worked wordlessly, helping the naked woman into a slinky black dress, and then finally working on the laces of her corset.

“That's too loose,” Bandrial sang with a sickly tone. The woman's fingers were shaking so hard that it appeared that she might die of fright. She tightened the corset, showing off the seductress' fantastic curves, then finally tieing it off.
Bandrial turned, magic fire dancing from her fingertips.

“Ouch,” she said mockingly.“That hurt.” and she watched as the woman combusted into flames. Her screams piercing even through the thick stone walls. Bandrial felt as the chuckle erupted from her lips, she watched in pleasure as the woman died, her smoldering corpse lying on the floor.

The man in her bed shot up in terror but could not remove himself from the room. He was tied to the bed posts of her bone carved headboard.

“Toran,” she called in a husky sing-song like manner. She used her way to communicate with all of her elite forces. They all had something that she could project her voice into. For some it was a piece of jewelry, some it was mind contact. It didn't matter. They knew when she was talking to them and could hear her proclamation.

“I need you in my quarters my love,” she slithered, stressing the word love. “There has been an incident.”

It took him almost no time at all to enter her room. She gave him a sultry look as he entered, walking over to him and touching his face.

“Another of my servants burst into flames,” she said with mock concern. “Also this man won't leave my bed.” her voice grew dark and seductive, she whispered in his ear. “You can take care of that for me, can't you?” She watched him with glee shining in her dark eyes.

“Meet me in the throne room,”she projected to the rest of her servants, "There is much to discuss."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Toran Character Portrait: Bandrial the Wicked.

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#, as written by Savier
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The reflection was not a pretty sight, the mangled black hair that clumped unevenly around his head, the wide, crooked bridge of the nose that had been broken far too many times, to the smile he never gave due to the missing teeth in the very back of his mouth that flashed whenever he attempted to smile or open his mouth to wide. Toran's deep green eyes stared at his reflection in the large mirror against the onyx wall that was the only fixture he had inside his room save for the racks for his armor and weapons. Oh yes, how could he forget the scars. The mass of burned flesh that covered the entire left side of his face that had healed over itself leaving small ridges and overlaps in far too many places giving it the appearance of a block of cheese that had been run over by the grater once or twice.

Disgusting. Revolting. It was the reason She took enjoyment in them. Those pathetic wretches that She took to her chambers. Those vile little rodents that defiled her with every movement, with every caress. Of course with that thought came the images of the man from the night before, the one he saw Her casting Her wondrous eyes upon, touching her. The anger rushed through him like a blaze, and before he knew what he was doing, he sent his black gauntleted fist smashing into the mirror sending a spider-web of cracks running along the once perfect surface, but it was suiting. Looking upon that revolting face reflected back upon him through numerous small shards.

"Toran," Her voice sent shivers running up and down his spine. Did she feel his displeasure and wish to talk to him? No, that was impossible. He was a mere insect, and She... She was everything. “I need you in my quarters my love, There has been an incident.” ” Those words struck deep down within what terrible little rotten soul he had left, and he turned on his heel with a loud clank and stormed out of his room. The door slamming shut behind him, but even in his rush; he did not forget his helm, but he did forget to place it on as it sat in the crook of his arm.

While his boots smashed and clanged along the dark floors; his mind raced with the possibilities. What had transpired? Did She need someone dead? Did someone dare touch Her? Did someone sneak in? What? What? A small part of his heart, the tiny shriveled child, hoped She had called him because She had desired to see him, but the rest of his mind was quick to crush such a heretical thought. Worms had to know their place.

Slamming through the door and enter the room; Toran was rendered immobile. It was a spell, of sorts, one that only a woman could ever cast upon a man. The shimmering black dress that bent and flowed over every curve of her body like some mysterious river that begged to be explored to the long flowing red hair that spoke only of Her night actives... even Her bare feet as their perfect pale flesh stood out against the black stone as a stark contrast that only served to enhance Her ethereal beauty.

It did not matter that he had seen Her often over the decade he had served her both awake and in his dreams. The Goddess never failed at enchanting him with Her mere presence. As she neared, the light tap of her bare feet against the cold stone and the rippling of the dress over the treasure that lay beneath were nearly too much for him, and he felt his legs ready to give out beneath him, but that came with a shocking discovery. He had dared to stand in her presence! He should have been on his knee, head bowed, and in quiet adoration for her. Not standing and gawking like the worm he was.

Toran quickly cast his gaze at the floor for his impudence, but his eyes quickly shot back up when a soft, cool hand touched his cheek. The mixture of pleasure and being caressed by Her as well as the stark realization that he had forgotten to place on his helm thus forcing her to have to look at him caused him to fall to his knee with a loud clang that echoed within the large bedchamber. Torn from her embrace, Toran pulled the helm on to obscure his hideous visage from Her with trembling hands.

“Another of my servants burst into flames,” Toran barely registered what she said as his mind was still busy destroying himself over this impudence. How dare a worm like him remain on his feet? How dare a worthless mongrel force Her. The Goddess, to have to peer at his revolting flesh? “Also this man won't leave my bed.” Those words, so simple and easily said snapped him out of his mind and into a world of simmering anger.

The wretched creature from the night before; Toran had not even noticed the worms presence as he was far too caught up in the marvel that was the Goddess that stood before him. “You can take care of that for me, can't you?” The words seemed to crawl around in his skull and echo within his helm. "Your will." Toran said, his breath ragged with the effort it took for him to speak in her presence, "Is my desire."

Toran pushed off his knee to get off the ground easier and strode past her, with some difficulty, and approached the bed with slow easy steps. Oh, he was going to enjoy it, but what was he to do? As he neared the bed; he saw the man was not only unconscious but tied up. Toran sat on the edge of the bed to take a closer examination of the man, form his sun kissed skin to his bright blond hair. The perfectly formed muscles and the youthful attractive face of a nobleman's son. One who had probably never truly faced any kind of advertises, but how could he? With that handsome face... his state of dress told him what he had done with Her.

Reaching forward, he pinched the mans nose closed with his fingers, "Awaken." He commanded, and as if on instinct the man's eyelids snapped open revealing the crystal blue eyes, before his mouth open and gave out a frightened shout. It would have been strange, the last thing to remember was the beautiful Goddess caressing his skin to then awaken next to a onyx armored monstrosity. "Shh." Toran said placing his finger against the front of his helm, "She is still here, and it is far too early for your screams." He said moving his hands to the mans throat, "Shall I choke the life out of you?" He asked leaning in, "Have you ever done it? Felt the life of a man slip out slowly as your fingers gripped into their soft flesh." He whispered as his fingers clenched. The man started to try and croak something. Perhaps a scream for help, perhaps a yell of defiance, but whatever it was. Toran tightened his grip and cut off the air, "Shh. I said not to scream."

"Vul" Toran whispered as the strange emblem on his gauntlets glowed, "Now, you may scream." Toran said as he reached up to the mans wrist and clenched his fist. Shattering the bones with an audible crunch followed by an ear piercing scream of pain. "Yes." Toran said moving to the other wrist, "Let it all out. Scream for me, little maggot." Once more, he smashed the mans wrist and moved to his shins, but the man had gone silent as his eyes slowly glazed over. Not missing a beat, Toran drew his dagger and stabbed it into the mans thigh which caused his eyes to fly open once more, "Passing out already?" Toran asked as the blood dripped from the wound onto the bed, a regrettable action.

Toran continued his ministrations and smashed the mans ankles. Of course, the little worm had tried to pass out on him again, so Toran twisted the dagger using it to tear the flesh and awaken a fresh scream. Each scream was euphoric, this man had been touched by Her. Even he had not been touched by Her as he had, and this man dared to believe such a wondrous thing came at no cost?

With the mans limbs mutated beyond recognition, Toran ripped the dagger out and slit the bindings holding his arms and legs freeing the man, but earning another scream as the sudden dropped forced his shattered limbs to smash into the mattress. Blood gushed out of the mans mouth, and Toran shook his head at the man, "Biting your own tongue? Now, now. I did not give you permission to die just yet." Sheathing his blood covered dagger; he pulled free his long blade and spoke the command, "Khadon", Leaning in, he aimed the tip of the blade at the mans mouth and used his other hand to force it open, "Don't move. I would hate to hurt that pretty face of yours." With that, he nudged the burning blade into the mans mouth. The flames worked quickly to melt flesh and close the teeth marks he had tore into his tongue. The pain gave the man a burst of strength as he tried to fight the larger armored man off him, but all he did was cause the blade to tear out the side of his mouth and slice open his cheek. Sadly, the blade seared the wound closed as it passed and the man was left to cough and gurgle as his mouth was far too burned to speak any longer. "I told you not to move." Toran said sheathing the blade and grabbed the mans left leg, "Worthless wretch."

Yanking him out of the bed, Toran dragged him behind him as the man lay limp as if he had shrunk inside his own shattered mind, no longer aware of where he was. Coming to a stop at one of Her windows, Toran leaned down and grabbed the man by his long golden curls and using the power of his gauntlets flung him through the glass out to the grounds far below. There was no screaming on the way down, merely coughing and gurgling before it faded away as the fall was a long one. Turning, Toran fell to his knee, "It is done."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Toran Character Portrait: Bandrial the Wicked. Character Portrait: Leonid Sulla Character Portrait: Alice Blackwood

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Bandrial watched Toran's acts with child like glee. Her heart warmed at the sight of her previous partner's struggles and gurgles under Toran's strong hands. When her pet threw him from her window she thought she might be overcome with the excitement it caused her.

”Thank you Toran,” The witch said with fake innocence. “Thank you for saving your queen from such a vile man.”

It was about that time she heard the rap on her chamber door. She sought out with her mind to realize it was the two she had called for earlier. She rolled her dark eyes and sat on her bed.

“May I enter.” They asked her. She crossed her legs, the perfectly pale limbs becoming very visible through the slit in her dress.

”Let them in Toran dear,” she said venomously. ”I am pretty sure I asked you to meet me in the throne room, but since you are here in such a hurry we might as well talk now.” She played with her ruby hair as she thought.

[color=red]“Many of you know what tomorrow is. The day the comet will streak across the sky and choose the eight that are to defeat me.”
She allowed herself a small smile. “That vile, retched little prophet made a mistake by telling me of “The day of redemption,' we are going to do everything in our power to stop it. This is the most important thing we have ever done. If we fail here I promise I will not be going down alone. We have time to fix this “prophecy” to make sure that if it is real, it will never come to pass. The eight of light that are supposed to dethrone me are to be born tomorrow, and we are going to work together to make sure that they do not live into the next morning.” She turned to Leonid.

“You and your secret police are to go flush out anyone birthing in secret. You are to give any information you find to the Armies. We cannot let a single baby slip through our fingers.” The Ruby Queen then turned her gaze in the direction of the small witch.

“Alice dear, I need you to go get a variety of your serums, most importantly that mind link one you came up with,” she flitted her hands about as if she couldn't be bothered to remember the name of it. “So that Leonid and my soldiers can remain in contact, as well as any of the other serums that might aid them in battle. Also anything that you have that can help rid us of the nasty newborns I want you to put that into action as well. I know you probably have something that could do this quietly, but I need to make a statement, no one will ever rise against Bandrial.”

Finally she turned to look at her little solider. She smiled a seductive smile at him.

“Toran, I will have you going with one of my finest generals and his army to pick through the capital in the Northridge Fields. Leave not an infant alive, and take down anyone who opposes you.” She stood from her bed and went for the door.

“Make sure you meet with both of the others to get any information or supplies you need before you take off. We act tonight my loyal ones. The comet strikes at midnight.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Toran Character Portrait: Bandrial the Wicked. Character Portrait: Leonid Sulla Character Portrait: Alice Blackwood

0.00 INK

#, as written by Savier
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”Thank you, Toran, thank you for saving your queen from such a vile man.” Toran kept his head bowed, and while he knew that the man had never put Her in danger; his heart still quivered at Her words. What insignificant man such as the one who had taken a stop in the underworld do to Her? Nothing, but still She complimented him. The worm that was kneeling before Her because Her compassion and love knew no bounds.

A soft knock on the door snapped Toran's attention to the door that lead to Her bedroom, and he heard the mans voice on the other end. For a moment, he was ready to reach for his blade and end another miserable life that was daring to impede on Her honor, but he placed the voice. Sulla. The man who shared his enjoyment of torture. A man who was not a rival for Bandrial's love.

At least, not yet. ”Let them in Toran dear, I am pretty sure I asked you to meet me in the throne room, but since you are here in such a hurry we might as well talk now.”

Toran could not stop the smile that slide across his face masked by his helm at that. They were flawed and incapable of following the simplest of commands which is why he was the only one fit to be Her servant. Deep down it is what he wanted, to be the only one She needed for anything. There was nothing he wouldn't do for Her yet She still sought companionship in others... but logic stated that this was because he was a lowly mongrel barely worth licking Her boots.

Toran stood, his armor clinking from the metal plates pinging off on another, and opened the door holding it open for the two other servants to enter. Lord Sulla and Alice the little witch that Toran assumed Bandrial kept around because the witch amused Her. With them in the room, Toran shut the door softly as to not harm the Goddess's sensitive ears.

“That vile, retched little prophet made a mistake by telling me of “The day of redemption,' we are going to do everything in our power to stop it. This is the most important thing we have ever done. If we fail here I promise I will not be going down alone. We have time to fix this “prophecy” to make sure that if it is real, it will never come to pass. The eight of light that are supposed to dethrone me are to be born tomorrow, and we are going to work together to make sure that they do not live into the next morning.”

Toran tilted his head, prophecy? What prophecy? He had never heard of such a thing. Eight of light that were to dethrone her? Ludicrous. There was nothing that could stand in the way of the Goddess that sat upon the bed before him. How could any stand before Her? With her pale legs that peaked out from underneath Her dark dress that flowed with every curve, the slight slit in the dress that taunted him with the promise of what lay beneath.

Toran's attention snapped back to Her when She spoke to him. “Toran, I will have you going with one of my finest generals and his army to pick through the capital in the Northridge Fields. Leave not an infant alive, and take down anyone who opposes you.”

Nodding his head, he brought his armored fist to cover his breastplate and over his heart and bowed his head. "It shall be done." He said simply. Still, his mind could not help but lament over her tone. How? How could She look at him like that? Speak to him like that... in that soft voice that beckoned him to get closer and explore what the dark dress taunted him with, and yet he knew that the second he left She would take another of those filthy 'pretty' boys to Her chambers. His hands nearly trembled with rage over the images that flooded through his mind. He would enjoy this quest She had given him. He would cut down them all, drown in their blood because it would distract him. Distract him from what what his Goddess would be doing in the privacy of her room.

“Make sure you meet with both of the others to get any information or supplies you need before you take off. We act tonight my loyal ones. The comet strikes at midnight.”

Toran nodded his head once again, but he had no intention of doing that. He needed to kill something. Strangle them with their own intestines. With Her final command spoken, Toran bowed and turned on his heel to storm out of the room and down the stone hall, a loud clank accompanied his every move as his boot struck the stone over and over again. He could not wait; the blood of traitors, heretics, and even infants would flow in rivers, but Toran knew it would not be enough. It would not be enough to raise him from the level of a mongrel. It would not be enough to make Her look only at him... as heretical as such thoughts were he could not keep them from his mind. She was a Goddess, but he desired for Her to be only his Goddess. For now and forever.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Toran Character Portrait: Bandrial the Wicked. Character Portrait: Leonid Sulla Character Portrait: Alice Blackwood

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Leonid entered calmly and bowed as deeply as his bad leg permitted him. He leaned on his walking stick and just listened to his queen, his eyes sometimes flickering to Toran. He knew the man’s dedication was without question, but he was dedicated to a point that he might be a danger to others. He wasn’t sure what to think of Alice. She was an odd one that was for sure. He’d spent quite some time trying to dig up her past, but that had proven more difficult than originally anticipated. This made him wary. It was his task to know everything about everybody. Yes, she was seemingly on their side and she was trusted by Bandrial, but still. It was Leonid’s job to distrust everyone.

Leonid’s usual amused smile had disappeared from his face. This was a serious business. He had almost forgotten about the prophecy, or more exactly tried to forget about it. He had hoped the problem would just disappear if he ignored it. While prophecies were known to be quite unclear most of the time, this one had been clear enough. Clear enough to instill a healthy amount of fear but also clear enough to hand them the way to defeat it. He would do everything to make sure Bandrial remained in power, if that meant slaughtering all those babies, so be it. Besides, given enough time most of them would have probably developed traitorous sentiments over time, even if they hadn’t been destined to overthrow Bandrial.

If not for their cooperation with the army tomorrow, while bloodier, wouldn’t have been too different from other days. Leonid disliked working with them for such operations. They lacked a certain amount of finesse. Still, he saw the necessity and was willing to deal with the inconvenience it brought along. Tomorrow would be a most dangerous day but he had the opportunity to put an end to the danger. He made a mental note to try to collect as many skulls as possible from the corpses for later studies. He wondered if he would be able to determine whether they had been one of the ‘chosen ones’ merely through measurement of the skull. It would be most interesting, no doubt to see whether their 'potential' had already manifested itself on a visual level directly after birth. That combined with numerous other skulls from presumably innocent babies could further his study of craniometrics even more. The idea of a breakthrough was most thrilling. When Bandrial had finished, he cleared his throat and saluted with his free hand. He had a clearly defined task now. She always made clear what was expected and that was one of the many qualities he so admired in her.

“Thy will be done my queen. Rest assured, we will find all those who try to hide a birth and apply the purest solution,” he murmured formally, moistening his lips slightly. He loved the hunt, but the anticipation was even better. Already his mind was coming up with varying ways and tricks to discover the secret births. He was glad to have gotten that task. Those who were trying to hide the babies were the vilest traitors. Giving birth to a baby on that ill-fated day alone was shameful, but trying to get away with it? It was simply horrendous. There would be no mercy tomorrow, no restraint. He couldn’t fail. If even one child slipped through he would lose his post, his prestige and his power when Bandrial found out. Or even worse, the child himself might kill Leonid if he truly was one of the 'eight of light'.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Toran Character Portrait: Bandrial the Wicked. Character Portrait: Alice Blackwood

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#, as written by Aporia
Toran was always the last thing Alice wanted to see and when he had opened the door, she remained stoic in the beast's presence, with her bloody leather gauntlets behind her back and walked in as was instructed to them, hiding her repugnant hatred for Toran the Lap Dog of the queen with relative ease. Alice found the man equal parts pathetic and scary with both his upbringing to kill magical users and his obsession with Bandriel. After taking her distance from him, Bandriel started to speak of The Prophecy, and she mentally rolled her eyes for a brief moment before paying attention to the queen.

Alice, like Bandriel, were both previous inhabitants of Zaxon's castle, and both knew the castle prophet. While Bandriel had learned to fear the old prophet and his words that disturbed her, the witch has often regarded him as a drunk fat old man who did nothing but look at stars all day and match patterns in the sky. He was, what Alice would say, useless and though in extension thought his words were so as well, she wouldn't disobey Bandriel's orders either, unless to purposely incur her wrath.

As such, her whole afternoon in the suspended animation chamber was going to be held off for the sake of making potions for brutes. Even Bandriel knew Alice could manufacture something silent that will rid of the newborns cleanly and efficently but for the sake of making "a statement", brutes away! Honestly, what was more fearful, a queen with armies and soldiers under her control that do the work for her or the illusion that the queen was so powerful she could kill all the newborns with nary a sight, or whisper of the wind?

The queen's order was however the queen's order even though Alice would have tried to argue her point if only Toran wasn't there.

After the meeting Alice went back to the her sectioned off part of the castle and called her nurses together to work on their quota for tomorrow: 3 cauldrons of Mind Link, 2 Cauldrons of Strength, 1 cauldron of Speed, Regeneration and 2 more cauldrons of Ginihiko mixture. The Mind Link worked quite simply, it was a blue mixture one would drink that would mix with the blood and crawl up to the brain and remain there thus for about a few days where they'd be able to communicate with anyone who drank the same mixture. By simply adding a variant to the mix, the Mind Link could be sectioned off into groups of people, such as leaders, squads, and those in between, allowing instant communication to all.

The rest are self explanatory except for the Ginihiko mixture which acts like a powerful painkiller with the unfortunate side effects of rendering women who take it to be shortly rendered unable to produce breast milk for approximately two weeks. All it had required then was a moderate dosage to poison the water supply of a small town, just maybe two cups, and that was that. Let the newborns starve out and then normality. Leonid's agents seemed to be appropriate for such a discrete task.

For perhaps a moment, Alice thought about her family in Belfield, but quickly dismissed it. Alice stationed one of her more intelligent creatures, the Griffin to keep watch amongst the perimeter of the city for any hostile enemy looking forces and to only attack when aggravated to do so. He was a big, loyal steely-eyed creature that understood her commands easily. It wasn't that Alice distrusted Bandriel when she promised her family protection, while The Queen Of Evil might be just as her name beckons, she had respected Alice enough to keep her word, lest anyone incur Bandrial's wrath. It was the roaming army and soldiers that she would worry about.

After a full day of work, the exhausted Alice fell to her bed in the infirmary, and looked back up at the stone ceiling as she thought about her family. Her husband was in his 40's and still the Captain of the Guard. Cassandra was 22 and as Aliteal had told her, she's a guard herself, ever the tomboy. Lia is 20, Lucious 19 and Zack 17. Lia and Lucious still haven't come back from their adventuring yet.

"Maybe they never will." Alice thought in the darkness. "Like how I'll never come back to the mountain." That was different though. Faroldilian Witches didn't have loving families, they had petty power struggles, assassinations, and raids.
"It's just a phase," she told herself in the darkness as she drifted to sleep. In the wake of genocidal infanticide, she wanted to see her kids, even for a short while.

The morning was going to be hectic, especially since she's feeding her beasts, and forgot to do so the day before.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Toran Character Portrait: Bandrial the Wicked.

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#, as written by Savier
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The great tales and epics never talked about it. They spoke only of the way the sunlight gleamed off the spearheads or of the songs sang from the mouths of thousands of men. The tales never spoke about the deafening sound of twenty thousand boots clashing against stone in nothing even close to resembling rhythmic. Each series of clanks was accompanied by the weak quake that rippled throughout the ground for there was nothing poetic about an army of ten thousand on the march. And the stench. The stench of men sweating under the hot sun baking in their armor was almost unbearable.

If Toran tried to listen, he would be able to make out the constant grumble and stream of voices that filled the air, but he would not be able to make out what was being said due to the raw amount of voices speaking. It was something the peasantry and maggots of the nation never understood. Soldiers were not machines. Many of them were simple men who joined the army to feed their families; they had no desire to kill not even in beloved Bandrial's name. They just wanted to go home and see their families once again, and while that might make them more 'human', it also made them weak, and Toran had no time for weakness.

Of course, there were the other soldiers. Ex-mercenaries who looted corpses before they had a chance to grow cold, convicts who were offered a choice between losing their hand, or even their lives, or to sign up with the military, and finally there was the degenerates. Those who joined the war to fulfill their own particular taste, but the majority were simple men. Fathers and sons. Brothers and uncles. Perhaps that was the great trick of it all. In order to kill them, the one wielding the blade had to imagine them as nothing more then servants of darkness or evil because it was easier for their feeble minds. They were not burdened with glorious purpose as he was. Yes, it was a fact Toran had confirmed long ago, soldiers were weak and expendable. They always spoke of dying for their families, for their nation, and for their queen, yet so few of them ever spoke of killing for those which Toran always found humorous. The point of their pathetic existence was to allow the other fools to die for their nation not to throw their own lives away when they could be put to better use elsewhere.

"Something on your mind?" A gravely voice cut in, and Toran turned his helm to his riding companion, High General Voland. Bendrial spoke too highly of him for Toran's taste, but the older man was a veteran commander of numerous wars. He was wearing bright ornate silver plate armor with his helm tucked under his arm. The helm was one that always amused Toran for it had a great rainbow-colored feather attached to the left side of the great helm which, for the life of him, he was never able to imagine it's purpose. The elder man was perched on top of an equally ornate armored warhorse with long blue tabards hanging from it's flanks to further remind everyone of just who was with them. The grizzled warrior had short gray hair that came a quarter inch above his pale head before straightening out into a flat plateau. His eyes were a dull gray that were home to various wrinkles that gave him the appearance of a rag that had been left out to dry in the sun for too long. He had a neatly trimmed goatee surrounding his mouth which Toran noted he liked to stroke when in deep thought.

"Nothing of importance." Toran answered his voice sounding distinctly metallic due to his own abyssal black helm. The High General was not at trusting man, and Toran understood that. The world was filled with heretics and traitors, but Toran also knew the man distrusted him. The Goddess only sent him when it was important... be it to ensure those she wants dead are dead or to intimidate those who were harboring thoughts of betrayal. The sight of the black knight of Bandrial, her Champion, also known as her lap dog or hound, was always an ill omen.

Toran ignored the generals snicker in favor of examining the rest of the army from his position at the head of the host. From his memory, there was six thousand foot soldiers, one thousand heavy infantry, one thousand heavy cavalry which included various 'knights' who were usually just lazy sons of noblemen given fine armor and weapons who hid behind their hired bodyguards, and two thousand archers. It was a small army given the vast hordes that She commanded, but it was more then enough to sack a city.

The army looked like a great snake coiling along the road. The heavy infantry took up the rear with the archers between them and the foot soldiers. The cavalry were divided up on the flanks in a long marching line of five hundred each. A standard marching column, although Toran reminded himself that there was slightly less then ten thousand as General Voland had insisted on sending a small party ahead to demand that the city hand over all of its children despite Bandrial's order to sack it. The general reasoned that all Her Glory wanted was the children, and there was no real reason to sack the city and destroy 'faithful' citizens of the kingdom, but Toran called it weakness, but he was unable to do anything about it. While Toran was outside the chain of command and followed only the orders of Her, the army obeyed the command of the general, and not even he could slay ten thousand men.

But the group should have reported back hours ago. Toran had already guessed that they had been executed, and the city used the time to fortify themselves. According to the Secret Police, the Duke of the city had a child born last night, and so it was doubtful they would have surrendered. Nobility were amusing like that believing that they were above Bandrial's Divine Law or that it only affected those lower then them, and he took great pleasure in reminding them how pathetic and feeble they truly were.

Toran was torn from his thoughts as something broke the horizon. A nice, and welcomed, change from the never ending sea of grass and prairie. As they neared Toran was able to make out the walls, but even from here he was able to see that the gates were closed. Yes, it seemed this was going to be a siege, but they did not have time to waste starving them out. Toran glanced over to the general who was frowning, it seemed he had come to the same conclusion.

"Lieutenant." The General said and sure enough a fresh faced youth, no doubt owing his position to his families connections, "Tell the men to prepare a siege camp and get to work on a ram and ladders. We must prepare."

Toran took one last look at the wall and smiled with pleasure that his assumption was correct. There were pikes with heads upon them, heads that were eerily familiar to the small party sent ahead to parlay with the traitors hours earlier.




Four hours later





Nothing quite said chaos like thousands of men running around and building, and very few things matched the amount of noise. At least the noise was varied from clanking metal, to pounding hammers, the sound of saws tearing through wood, and finally to the sound of men uttering and cursing every foul word known to mankind, and even a few new ones. Still, the chaos worked as in the four hours after they set up the siege camp they had numerous siege ladders and a battling ram. They were working on constructing a trebuchet should the assault over the walls failed, but they wouldn't because Toran was going to personally ensure the fight was short and very, very bloody.

Toran turned his head to his left and right looking up and down the long lines of soldiers for he was at the front of the army ready to burn and pillage the entire city in the glorious name of Bandrial. Two thousand, if Toran remembered correctly, that was what made up the 'first' wave, but Toran would ensure it was the only wave needed. The men around him were starting to move from foot to foot as they whispered to one another because even Toran understood that this was the worst part. The silence before the storm. Toran took a deep breath and sent a prayer up to Bandrial even though he was sure she was far too busy with other, more important, tasks to bother listening to his pathetic mewling.

A loud horn shattered the silence, and Toran drew his blade, "Khadon." He said as the blade ignited scaring the nearby soldiers, "Advance! For Bandrial! For the Queen!" He shouted, his voice coming out distinctively metallic due to his helm and as one the infantry advanced. Shields raised and swords at the ready as they protected those who bore the ladders with their lives for without those ladders; they would all die a gruesome death at the base of the walls.

"Goddess, gaze upon me in my moment of glory." Toran said, his voice deep and booming as he began his chant as he advanced. It was a dangerous part of battle. If someone tripped they would be trampled on. If someone fell wounded, they would be trampled on. "Gaze upon your servant as he prepares for you a feast of flesh and bone."

Large specks shot over the wall getting larger as they neared until finally they crashed into the lines of soldiers with a loud crash, crunch, and a nice sprinkling of screams. Sometimes they would smash and roll sending men flying in random directions, but the men marched on trampling the soldiers who were lying wounded on the field because to stop was to die.

"My faith is my shield for none may stand before the Goddess and her wroth." Toran said chanting despite the sudden unpleasant feel of an arrow whizzing by his head and striking the man behind him who stumbled forward before finally collapsing as the arrow pierced his throat. The one arrow seemed to be the start of the storm as the wall was suddenly blocked by a wall of moving death. "My faith is unwavering! My zeal unmatched! My fury is eternal!" Toran roared as the arrows slammed around him and into the front lines of the army. Men staggered and fell only to be crushed under their comrade's boots, some died instantly including one unlucky old man that had an arrow pierce his left eye; the tip bursting through the back of his skull knocking off his helm. Three arrows struck Toran's breastplate and bounced off as another struck his arm plate and spawned a loud screech as it sent a scratch over the once impeccable onyx coating.

Still they advanced under the barrage of missiles until they reached the base of the walls where the soldiers bunched up and raised their shields to give themselves minimum protection against the never ending rain. Toran could see some of the soldiers shaking in terror, others were on the ground holding their legs, and others were cursing at their own luck. Battle had a way of changing a man. Fathers and sons. Brothers and uncles. Men who would never normally never harm another became something else entirely when the blood lust and battle fervor took hold of their souls. They did things they would normally never do, it was the main cause of most raping and massacres that followed battles. They lost themselves in the carnage. Some grew to love it while it destroyed others. This battle would be no different.

"Raise the ladders!" Toran roared over the chaos of battle, and the ladders holders ran to the base of the wall, planting the ladders into the ground and pushing them up. Many of the ladders were instantly pushed back down only to be slowly lifted once more. Others had men scrambling on them with their shields held over their head and the weight of their bodies kept the defenders from being able to push them down. The men who reached the tops of the ladders found themselves impaled by spears and blades as soon as they popped their head above the battlements and were sent tumbling down to crash into the men beneath. With a snarl, Toran pushed people out of his way, "Goddess empower my armor. Goddess have mercy upon those who are foolish enough to oppose thee."

Gripping the ladder, Toran began his ascent trusting in his armor and in Her to keep him safe. At least, long enough to crush the heretics who dared to defy Her to protect their own pathetic children. Half-way up the ladder, he came upon a frightened soldier clutching onto the rungs of the ladder too afraid to continue to climb, yet too afraid to climb down.

"She has no time for cowardice." Toran said, gripping the man's tabard and muttering the power word of his gauntlets, Vul. With one fluid motion, Toran tore the man from the ladder and threw him off and plummeting down to the earth as he crushed some of his own comrades in his fall. "May you burn in the pits away from Her warmth for all eternity." Toran said watching the aftermath of his fall with grim satisfaction. "And may darkness bind you."

Turning his attention back to the ladder, Toran scrambled up it and waiting for him was a fresh faced youth clutching a bloodied spear. The boy gave out a shout to spur himself on as he jabbed his spear at the black armored giant wielding a flaming sword, but the boy's shout cost him time. A foolish and naive mistake, Toran let go of the ladder and smacked the spear away with his left hand and slammed the burning blade through the boy's eye. The boy did not have time to scream as the blade exploded from the back of his skull spraying blood at the nearby traitors, the smell of burning flesh filling the air. The blade struck nerves deep within the brain causing boys body to convulse and shake. It was amusing. It was as if he was dancing even as his bowls released. Another thing people never spoke about in the grand tales. Perhaps because the idea of men shitting themselves as they 'nobly' died was not something people wished to hear about. While Toran would have wanted to watch the dance of death a little longer, he had much more death and destruction to cause. With a roar, Toran ripped the blade free slicing through the top of the boys head and splattering the nearby soldiers with blood and gray chunks from the lads mutilated brain.

"Repent mortals! For She is upon us!" Toran roared as he jumped off the ladder and onto the walls among the throng of soldiers. Toran swung the blade in a deadly arc of flames as the traitors screamed. Chainmail was no match for the empowered fury of Toran and his runes. Chain links gave way to soft flesh, one man, Toran noted was clutching onto his intestines trying to keep them from spilling out onto the stone. As he cleaved his way through, Toran could not help but think of a butcher hacking at hanging pieces of flesh and meat for there was little difference. The 'traitor' soldiers were mostly old men and young boys given cheap weapons and there was only the occasional mediocre city guardsmen to give them muscle.

A soft chuckle could be heard cutting through the screams before Toran was finally laughing like the madman he was. Enjoying the feel of the flesh giving way, of the blood splattering his armor, of the screams that caressed his ears, and then he saw it. The terror in their eyes as their friends and family fell before him. Toran's armor was nearly painted red, "Can you not feel it?" Toran asked holding his blade to the side as the frightened men made a circle around him, "She.." He said starting to laugh once again, "She is watching me." He whispered as if caught in unspeakable pleasure, "I feel it." He said shaking as his body was wrecked by raptures. In the pause, Bandrial's warriors were pooling over the ladder into the space that Toran had made, and the fight was quickly turning against the demoralized defenders.

A sudden crack and trembling in the walls shook Toran from his obsession-induced trance as he glanced over the rampart to see the ram battering at the gate sending quakes and splinters flying everywhere. "Release the oil!" Came a shout from the gatehouse, and Toran watched with a mixture of anger and enjoyment as burning oil was poured from the battlements splashing onto the ram and onto the men pushing it. The men stumbled and screamed as their flesh melted and warped around their muscle tissue. A torch followed and lit it and the men pushing it ablaze further increasing the screams that were already chocking the air.

"Goddess," Toran said setting his sight on the gatehouse, "I beg you for strength, I beg you for power, but most of all, I beg you to watch me." He said stepping forth towards the gatehouse. The first soldier that stepped in his way met a grizzly end as Toran swung the burning blade in an arch, but the veteran warrior leaned back... but not far enough. The blade's tip sliced through the mans throat; blood and veins exploded forth from the wound as he clutched his throat in a futile effort to stay alive. Toran slammed the blade through the mans stomach and leaned close to whisper into his ear, "Your soul shall feed Her tonight." Before ripping his blade out and flinging his body off the wall and down into the city streets.

Bandrial's warriors followed behind him as he cut a bloody path ignoring the squishing of his boots as he stomped down on severed limbs, blood, and brain matter. The last guard in his path swung his large axe at him determined to stop him from gaining entrance to the gate house, but Toran easily side-stepped the clumsy blow and slammed his left fist into the mans face shattering his nose and painting his tabard in blood. The man dropped the axe and grabbed his face stepping against the wall, but Toran wasn't done as he slammed his open hand into his forehead smashing his head into the wall behind him and breaking the back of his head open with a sickening crunch, and for an odd reason, Toran felt the gnaw of hunger bite away at his stomach for eggs as the man slid down the wall leave a trail of blood behind.

Stepping into the gatehouse, Toran was surprised by the lack of guards. Had they abandoned it? Or had they all been slain? Either way, it was his gift from Her. Toran wasted no time as he swung the blade at the thick rope that was attached to the gate lever severing it with his great strength. He heard the groaning of gears as the drawbridge slammed down crushing both the burning ram and the soldiers that did not move fast enough leaving, rather, attractive stains on the ground. The nearby soldiers did not wait as they pushed open the now unbarred gate and rushed into the city cutting down whatever guards remained.

Toran climbed the stone steps to the roof of the gatehouse to examine the city that would soon be wrecked in flames. Toran extended his arms to the side, his flaming blade waving in the air as he let out a roar, "Rejoice! Salvation has come!"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Toran Character Portrait: Bandrial the Wicked.

0.00 INK

#, as written by Savier
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The smell was, well, it was never something that could be gotten used to. The smell of rotting carcasses, burning flesh and wood, and finally the foul smell of shit that accompanied the raw amount of dead. Toran could already make out the sounds of the crows cawing eager to tear into the flesh of the dead, ready for the feast to come. Beyond that, the ringing of metal and shouting could still be heard as pockets of resistance remained throughout the maze of streets and alleyways, but the battle was already a fore gone conclusion. The second the walls had fallen; the city had fallen.

Toran stepped over the body of a dead woman, her clothes so shredded they were barely clinging to her pale form anymore. From the way she was sprawled out and the thin line that was drawn across her neck, Toran could hazard a guess as to what had happened to the raven haired woman. She had been used. Repeatedly, by the looks of it, and finally her throat was slit when they grew tired of her. A very common scene.

Pausing, Toran ran his eyes over the buildings and cobbled stone that made up the street, bodies were piled high and merely half an hour ago blood ran in rivers down the street. At one point, the limbs and blood were up to his thighs, and it forced him to wade through it. Now, it was almost unnerving. All those people and yet no sound from them. No movement. Down the street, Toran could see soldiers stabbing the corpses with spears to ensure no one was able to hide among the dead. The city was to be purged.

Toran paused in front of a house, inside was the corpse of yet another woman, but this was different. She was.. beautiful. Even her pasty pale skin or the smell perforating from her body could not mask such beauty. Toran stepped through the broken door and crouched next to the corpse grabbing the dead woman's face and turning it to inspect it. He was mildly surprised to find make-up still clinging to her flesh, she was most likely a consort for a nobleman. He paid her and showered her in luxury, she then spread her legs for him in return. It was a common enough profession for a beautiful woman like her. Toran reached for his dagger when a whimper caught his attention.

Standing slowly, Toran turned on his heel examining the wall behind him till his eyes rested on a closet that was just barely open. Moving towards it, Toran reached out with his black gauntlet and tore the door open earning a scream from a high shrill voice. Instinctively, he reached for his blade, but stopped when he noticed what had produced the sound.

She couldn't have been older then eleven. Her face was streaked in tears, and she was clutching onto her legs. How long had she been there? Toran wasn't sure, but he did know one thing. The dead woman had put her in there to hide her. The young girl saw everything. She had watched as the woman, who was most likely her mother, was beaten and raped over and over again by blood covered men, and she had sat in there. In that closet holding her own mouth to stop herself from screaming.

Toran glanced back at the dead figure that he was about to disfigure moments ago, she had done well. There were terrible men in the world. Men who would have taken the child over the mother... Toran turned back to the girl who was obviously in shock and extended his hand to her, "Come." He commanded his voice sounding far more menacing then he had intended.

The girls eyes changed. It was a look Toran had seen before, acceptance. The girl understood what was going to happen and had accepted the fact that she would not live to see her next birthday. The girl took his hand, her own hand looking dainty compared to his own, and with a tug, he pulled her to a feet, but a voice cut him off.

"Found yourself a tight one, eh?" Toran turned his head to the source and grimaced at the sight. The soldier had not a speck of blood on him, which meant he had hidden behind his fellow soldiers as they did the work. The man had boils on his face and was chewing on something, and Toran had an idea as to what. Krill Moss. A red grass that many men in the army chewed on or drank as it calmed their nerves, but it was addictive. Too much of it over time would warp the mind and make them dependent on it.. Too much Moss at once would kill. The man spit, the red grass was covered in red liquid, and Toran was able to see into the mans mouth as he opened it to clean it with his pinkie. The mans teeth were brown, what few remained of course, and that meant he had been chewing Krill for a long time and in great frequency.

"Mind if I go a round with her after you?" He asked leaning on the wall inspecting his pinkie that had just been in his mouth moments ago, "I mean, if you are even going. They talk about you." He said turning his hand over to examine his nails. Toran had seen many men, and knew this man's mind was not all there any more.

Letting go of the child's hand, Toran moved to the stove and tossed some wood into the metal contraption, and began to rifle through the cabinets looking for something to light it before growing frustrated and drawing his blade. "Khadon." Toran said simply. Without a word, Toran pushed the burning blade into the oven and ignited the dry wood. "That your famous sword then?" The man said, "I hear you use it in place of your prick." If Toran heard, he paid no mind.

Toran sheathed the blade and grabbed a fire poker and began to move the wood around to get the flames nice and high, "Mighty Toran." The man mocked, "Bah, your just a murderer and a fiend, just like old Donal here." He said pointing to himself as he stepped into the room and then he spread his arms out, "I mean, its not like you use it." He said and grabbed the arch where his legs met, "Hell. You have never even done it have you?"

Ignoring the man, Toran pulled out the white hot iron fire poker examining it close to his helm, "Well, I see your busy." The man said moving towards the girl, "So I'll just take her out back. Unless you want to watch?" He said and shot his hand out to grab the girl's long blond hair in his meaty fist. The girl let out a scream of pain, "See? She likes it."

Tor. Please... Help me. Toran's eyes glossed over as he heard a voice from long ago. Shaking his head, he shot his arm out, quick as a viper, and grabbed the mans wrist applying pressure until the girl was able to pull herself free from the grip.

"The fuck.." The man said before his words turned to screams as the hot metal was slapped against the side of his face. The smell of burning flesh overpowered the smell of the long dead woman, and the sound of screaming and struggling filled the air. His skin bubbled and warped from the intense heat. The man's eyes started to roll as he went into shock. Toran yanked the crude weapon away from his face tearing off seared skin and revealing those brown teeth through the hole in his chick. The man reached up to his face before turning to flee, but Toran stepped forward and stuck the fire poker through the mans chest. 'Donal' took two steps before falling face first into the wood floor.

Toran glanced back at the closet to see the girl holding herself once more and even rocking herself this time. With a grunt, Toran leaned down and grabbed the mans leg and pulled him out of the small house to rot in the street; the girl did not need to be in the same room as that man.

He was about to turn and reenter the house before an idea floated through his mind, and he crouched next to the foul corpse and rifled through his pockets until he came upon a soft pouch. Yanking back the strings, Toran peered inside to see the large ball of Krill Moss, and he gave a soft nod. "Be glad." Toran said to the corpse, "For once your miserable life has produced something of value."

Reentering the house, he ignored the child and moved to the stove once more searching the cabinets until he came upon a pot. Toran was glad to find a small bowl of water that was left over and poured it into the pot and set it upon the stove watching as the water started to bubble.

"What is your name?" Toran said still watching the pot, his metallic voice breaking the silence.

"T-" The shaky voice started, "Tira.", "You are going to kill me? Aren't you.." She said softly. Tira already knew the answer, but she had to hear it...

"Yes." Toran confirmed, "You will not leave this house alive."

"Then why don't you do it?" Tira said fresh tears threatening to spill out, "Are you playing with me?"

"I could snap your neck before you had time to scream." Toran said easily. It was not a threat, merely a statement of fact, "I could tear open your stomach and choke you with your own guts." He lifted the pot up with the aid of a rag he had found nearby, "Or." He said pouring the steaming water back into the bowl, "I can give you something to drink."

Tira moved, and Toran fought the urge to look back to see what she was doing until he heard the loud snap of fabric smacking against fabric. With the contents in the bowl, Toran glanced back to see the girl standing next to the now covered form of her mother.

"I know who you are." The girl said softly, "The man called you Toran..."

The man in question took the pouch and let it sit in the water letting it stain the water with its... quality. "You are the butcher of Baron's Field." Tira said softly, "My mother used to tell me." She said her voice breaking, "To go to sleep else the Wicked Queen would set her monster on me."

"Hm." Toran said to show that he was indeed listening as he dipped the pouch in and out of the water turning it redder. He had heard as such before, and knew that in many parts of the kingdom he had become akin to the terror under the bed.

Tira lowered herself against the wall and once again wrapped her arms around her legs. With the tonic made, Toran gripped the bowl and moved over to her holding it out for her to drink. Tira took the bowl from his hand and looked at the deep crimson liquid, "Will it hurt?" She asked him, staring up at him with her large blue eyes that were still puffy from her tears.

"No." Toran said softly, "You will get tired and finally, you fall asleep. It won't hurt at all." Children. Toran knew he should hate them because they had what he never did, but... They were so innocent, and he truly did not wish to harm the child, but he would never disobey Her orders... even if it meant doing this.

Toran turned to leave, content to let the child die in dignity, but a small hand gripped his own once more, "Please don't leave me." Tira whispered, her voice hoarse.

Without a word, Toran lowered himself to the ground next to her. He understood. She hated him for all he had done, but she didn't want to die alone. He watched as she drank the bowl before coughing at the foul taste. They sat there in silence as the minutes ticked by. As screams from the streets occasionally seeped into the house... Her soft voice shook him from his stupor, but he noticed how drowsy she sounded, "What is going to happen to me?"

"You.." Toran started, "Will be with your mother again." He said turning his head away from her because he could not bear to look into those blue eyes any longer. He knew he was supposed to tell her that she would burn for betrayal, but he just couldn't. Despite the fact that he would kill children when She commanded it; it always hurt. Even though he knew it was wrong to lie to her and tell her she would be at Bandrial's side when he knew she was not worthy... he could not help but lie to her. Even as he wove a story of the paradise, of lies, that awaited her; Toran felt like he was doing the right thing.

A sudden pressure on his arm cutting off his tale. Toran looked down to see the mop of messy blond hair and understood. Tira had passed away... Toran gently lowered her next to her mother's covered body. "I am sorry child." He whispered before bringing his pointer and middle finger to the front of his helm where his mouth would be and then to her forehead. "I hope you two find each other again."




Half an Hour Later





Toran looked up at the imposing keep. The banners were already torn down just as the once mighty gate was left smashed open. It seemed he had missed the final battle, but he had a job to do to ensure that every child was left dead. Pushing through the hanging timbers, Toran entered the great hall and was unprepared for the sight.

A large pile of bodies sat in the center of the marble floor. All of them women. All of them stripped naked. All of them dead. Toran ran his gaze around the hall to see numerous soldiers laughing and talking with another until finally his gaze fell upon the high table. His gaze past over two young women who appeared to be in their late teen years, as well as an older woman who held a regal beauty about her and from her silk dress, Toran assumed that was the duchess... At the center of the table in a gaudy wooden throne sat the same fresh faced lieutenant he had seen earlier that day. In front of him sat the severed head of a man, its face too distorted to tell who it was, but Toran had a feeling that was the duke of the city.

Toran understood the situation now. The lieutenant wanted to feel powerful once more. Serving under an old man with the title of 'high general' was something most noblemen's arrogant children didn't want to do, and this boy was most likely a second or third son who had no other choice then to pursue a military career. The display at the center was something he had seen before. Officers would pick one or two girls they had inclination for and then would show them a display. A demonstration of what would happen to them should they disobey. It would make them more... compliant.

"You missed it." The youth said with a smile that obviously spoke volumes of how proud of himself he was.

"I was fighting the real battle on top the walls and in the streets." Toran said easily still standing in the doorway, "But I do not remember seeing you up there."

The smile vanished as the youth glared at him in spite and, even, disgust, "I wouldn't sully my hands with such an act. That is the job for mere soldiers. I am a Varnen." The youth said raising his chin at the mention of his family name.

"Of course." Toran said, "As you say." His eyes narrowed as he spotted the Duchess's hand shoot out and grab hold of a small knife before disappearing back into the sleeve of her dress. His suspicion turned to one of enjoyment as he nodded to the young noble, "Enjoy your spoils. You earned it." With that, he turned on his heel and stormed out. He had to get back to the army and get his horse. He wanted to see Her once more. To hear Her speak to him... He needed it. After having to slay children... Just thinking about the idea of holding Her in his arms was enough to push him on.

It wasn't long afterwards that he caught word of the young boy being stabbed to death before the regal woman had slit her own throat. She preferred death to what would have happened to her, and Toran was pleased that he had decided to not mutilate her face when he saw her in that keep. The Goddess acted in mysterious ways after all.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Toran Character Portrait: Bandrial the Wicked. Character Portrait: Leonid Sulla Character Portrait: Alice Blackwood Character Portrait: Giddeon Rosenheart

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As Leonid entered she knew that something was terribly wrong. He may be a frail little man, but he had never looked at her with so much delicious fear in his eyes before. She was fueled by it, invigorated by it. Had a baby escaped? Had one of the towns successfully rebelled? Her mind reeled with different sections of bad news that could have Leonid so scared he seemed to be stuttering.

“My queen, I…I must bring you grave news, after studying the skulls for some time I didn’t find any special ones, nothing that could hint at any of them belonging to a chosen one. Moreover, the skulls didn't even seem to hint at the fact that certain babies had been elevated above the others. It was then that I decided to reread the prophecy and I’ve come to the unfortunate conclusion that we have misinterpreted it until now. While yesterday was the day the heroes were marked, it didn’t specifically say yesterday was the day they’d be born,”

Bandrial could feel the fire in her gut threatening to burst. What was he saying? How could she have over looked this? Had her own hubris gotten so far in the way that she could not see this tiny detail, this one little thing. This was going to cause her much work and frustration.

[color=red]”Continue..”[/b] her voice was booming and fierce. Electricity sparking from her fingertips in her aggravation.

“so I fear we have spent yesterday killing the wrong suspects. It is likely that the seven heroes are all still alive and trying to fulfill this prophecy…”

She let out a howl of rage, electricity sparking off of her and bouncing off of everything else and quickly becoming an danger to anything in the throne room.

“You may want to leave.” Giddeon warned the head of the secret police. “I don't think she wants to hurt you but it might be inevitable at this point.”

“Leave me Leonid!” She growled. “Get to finding out who these wretches are and quit wasting my time! If you have no use to me the I need you not!” She focused her energy to contact Toran.

"Get back to the castle Toran, make haste. I need you." She knew that he would be there as soon as he was able. Then she turned to Giddeon.

“Send someone to get Alice, it may be time to use one of the Aces up my sleeve. Let's nip this irritation in the bud, shall we?” she then sunk into her throne, still sparking with anger.