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Prophecy

Aurora

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a part of Prophecy, by shadowseductress.

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shadowseductress holds sovereignty over Aurora, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

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Setting

Default Location for Prophecy
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Aurora

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Minimap

Aurora is a part of Prophecy.

14 Characters Here

Bandrial the Wicked. [15] "I shall give this wreched world the queen it deserves"
Kale [12] I will have my revenge..In this life..or the next
Elle Primrose Mystique [12] "Walking this arduous journey is a blessing in disguise."
Damien Vespera [11] "I know they're real. They just have to be. I'll find them one day."
Dawn of the Wood [11] "Behind these eyes, deception lies"
Leonid Sulla [10] "You have the skull of a traitor."
Toran [9] "Can you not feel Her? She is all around us. Come, I must let Her feast upon your screams."
Alice Blackwood [9] "You have no idea who I am."
Aitan Wynn [9] Think what you want now, I might change your mind later though.
Lilith Rawnstein [8] "I'm not doing this for you. I'm doing this for Her."

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Character Portrait: Agmund the Bard
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"Come, gather around me oh children of bright Aurora..." An aged man said in a smooth voice. He looked about at the small gathering of youngsters huddled together on the floor by his feet, waiting for him to begin the story of the day. Their eyes gleamed with the bright curiosity of youth.
"...For I have a tale worthy of Gods and Kings... Not a day passes in Aurora without this legend spoken of. A tale of bravery, a tale of heroic deeds, and acts of great valor..."
"For there was a time before all of you were not yet even in your mothers' wombs; between the times when Zaxon, the Bringer of Law, was yet to have seen the great misfortunes upon his person repayed. Evil was brewing even before the times when the brilliant Zaxon had yet to have held radiant Solar, the Light of Aurora, in his loving embrace. The lands of Aurora was no stranger to great and unfortunate things since Zaxon was brought low by one he trusted most... "
"And yet even in times when cruelty casts its thick shadow over the land, when the odds weigh heavy against all who oppose it, there rises heroes. Heroes who show the people that even the smallest of flames shine brighter in the blackest night! May their names be forever sung! It is I! Their cronicler Agmund the Bard who alone can tell you of them in such great detail! Our story begins... as it once had been foretold..."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Bandrial the Wicked. Character Portrait: Toran 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."

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#, as written by Corvan
Smoke drifted hazily from a dying fire pit. The area it self was just inside the mallowpine forest. A small clearing no bigger then a small cottage with the dying fire pit in the middle and a lean-t o a few feet away. Within the lean-to was the slumbering form of Kale. His white hair covering parts of his face in the dewy morning. Snoring lightly, Kale slowly began to wake. Slowly Kale dragged himself out of the lean-to tent and stretched his arms and cracking his neck. Wearing only a simple set of white wool clothes and his boots, which were mostly made of cracking leather and torn bits of heavy wool for padding.

“I hate mornings” Kale’s voice resounded deeply in the woods. He was by no means a small man for he towered over most men and most who thought they were tall men. Kale turned and went back to his lean-to tent and pulled out his travel pack which had his armor and two swords tied to it. One a standard long sword and the other was his great sword. Opening the pack Kale pulled out someone wrapped in leather and opened it revealing dried meats. After eating them, Kale broke down his camp and made sure the fire was dead.

Strapping on his armor, which was mostly old Iron, cracked in several places and weathered from the years. Kale sighed some “I need new armor..” Kale had decided to head to the North fields to see if he can trade for some new better fitting armor.

Stepping from the forest and heading for the road, Kale stopped a few feet from the road and suddenly dropped in the middle of the tall grass only a few feet from the road. Within a minute he watched a squad of Bandrials soldiers march on by. Kale glared at them but did not try to follow them or attack them, they were not worth the trouble yet and their deaths would of only brought more here to kill others to try and find him. When they had past, Kale got back up and went the other direction. Sighing heavily, wanting to fight the soldiers but knowing right now it was only more trouble and the Northfields have been the quietest place sense the evil woman’s rise to power, most of the time.

Kale continued to walk until he stopped once more at large rock on the side of the road and kneeled in front of it. “I wish you were still here old man.” As Kale gazed at the rock, on the rock there were two words carved into it and a walking stick leaned against it. The words were “OLD MAN” Kale’s private honoring of his teacher. After a few more moments of silence, Kale got up and headed for the largest town in the Northfields. Kale simply called it “Trader city” Every day the town was bustling with traders and merchants selling their wares from every corner of the world. Hopefully today Kale could find a smith who would trade some pelts for time with the forge so kale can make some armor for himself. Some good armor.

Before he Kale came within sight of the town, He had strapped his long sword to his hip and his great sword to his back. If he could not find a smith willing to trade, he could easily find work as hired muscle for the day to pay for time. Mercenaries were always wanted in the city.

Kale was only ten minutes from the town when four large men jumped onto the road, they had been hiding in the long grass waiting to ambush lone travelers or those who they think they could bully for coins. “look here fellas, we got a second rate hand me down mercenary here” Said the biggest one, who was almost Kales height. But easy the fattest man Kale had ever seen, also the ugliest. Kale glared at the man and tried to walk past them, but the fat one pushed him back hard. “O no no no, you pay the toll pretty boy or pay with your life. Either one works for us.” They all grinned and laughed.

Kale looked at the fat one “Let me pass.. and I won’t hurt you” Kale tried once more and this time the man shoved Kale hard enough to almost make him fall onto his back. Glaring this time Kale said “Touch me again you pig son.. and I will cut your hand off” He spoke clearly and deeply making sure their was menace in his voice. One of the men in the back of the group spoke up “Let em pass boss.. I know him.. he is that guy who killed the Giant’s son last year” But the fat ugly one would not listen. “Coin now or die!” the fat one shouted and drew a knife charging Kale. Instantly Kale brought up his left foot and slammed it into the fat man’s chest sending him into the ground, while his friends shouted in surprise. Kale drew out his Great sword pointing the six and a half feet of deadly metal at them. Dropping their knives, they ran in different directions leaving their leader in the dirt breathing deeply for air.

When the fat bandit looked up he had the great sword at his face. “I told you to let me pass fat one..” the fat man shouted as the sword flashed down. A few seconds later the man looked seeing his hand still attached to his arm. “Run.. before I change my mind.. never do this again!” Kale said loudly. The fat man ran as fast as he could, and Kale smirked as he watched him.
“Another day in the trader city..” Kale slipped the sword back into its spot on his back and headed into town in hopes of finding a smith who would work with him. He did not feel like spilling someone’s blood today.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Dawn of the Wood
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The forest seemed to come alive around the cloaked figure. The dark green shroud made it's wearer almost one with the treetops of which the hooded one darted through. The branches barely groaned in protest as practiced feet crept across them, the leaves brushing by were almost an embrace. The cowl wearing wanderer was at home in the trees. The fact that someone was chasing the concealed character was almost irrelevant.

Her assailants were rendered useless once she was able to scramble her way into the thick of the arbors. With inspiring grace and agility the girl bound from each tree as if she had been born among them. Within moments the attackers could only catch glimpses of the end of a emerald colored cloak and then the creature was gone entirely.

When it became entirely certain that the adversaries were gone the one in green slid down a tree and into a nearby thicket where it was sure to be safe. Dawn pushed her hood back and tried to catch her breath. She was used to being on the run but the cold air was dry and took it's toll on her lungs. She concentrated on the rise and fall of her chest until the labor of the chore became as nothing. She lay in the thicket and played with her wavy dirty blonde hair.

It had been a close call. The men had caught her unaware and would have quickly apprehended her if she hadn't taken to the trees. She wasn't sure what they wanted but they made a point to show that they weren’t of the friendly sort and a five on one match would be too much even for her.

Despite lying in the dirt, surrounded by leaves Dawn couldn't be more at home. She had spent the last few years traveling, but nothing put her more at ease than the smell and feel of the forest. This was her domain. She wasn't sure why the men had started chasing her. It wasn't abnormal. Aurora wasn't safe anymore.

Once her breathing was perfectly normal Dawn rose up from her hiding place and replaced her hood. Using her cedar walking stick to hold most of her weight she continued westward, back toward her campsite, hidden deep in a cave.

The idea of being around people again frightened the wanderer. It had been years since she had even had to be around another human, let alone tried to talk to one. These days she seemed more feral than human.

Dawn knew that she looked different than most. Not many traveled covered in layers of grime and smelling as if they were born of the forest themselves. Dawn was aware of the stares followed her when she neared civilization. They were wary of her, and she wouldn't have it any other way. People put her on edge, she was more wary of them than they would ever be of her. She was happy with a comfortable distance.

Not that she could ever go into town. If she was recognized she would be dragged to the castle, and she and her family would be executed, if they had not been already. This is where she belonged now, and in all honesty she found it to fell like home.

She made sure she had not been followed and then made her way into her cave, covering her tracks. There she ate a small dinner of a rabbit she had caught the day before and an apple she had found among the trees. She checked her bow. Without proper supplies she went through them pretty often, and her handmade weapons were nothing compared to one made by a real bowman.

With a sigh she fell back on her animal skins and let herself fall into a slumber. She dreamed of her family, happily eating around a dinner table in an age where Bandrial was gone.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Bandrial the Wicked. Character Portrait: Toran
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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: Bandrial the Wicked. Character Portrait: Leonid Sulla
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“You really need to stop shaking. It is making it extremely hard to appropriately measure your skull,” Leonid mumbled. His victim was strapped to a wooden chair and was trembling. It was a man of average age. Leonid was the only other man in the basement. Behind him several tools were laid out on a table but right now he was only using a couple of measurement instruments and a piece of parchment he wrote his results on.
“You said you were innocent? If you’re speaking the truth there is no need to be afraid. My measurements are always accurate. I’m not a bad man, I weed out the bad people. Compare me to a customs officer. He checks whether the goods are any good. I do the same, just with people. I make sure there are no bad people running around. I protect the good people such as you,” Leonid got a large wooden ruler from the table and placed it against the back of the man’s head. After a short while he let out an irritated sigh. The man really wasn't cooperating.

“You’re still shaking," he scolded, "We can’t have that. I’d hate to draw an incorrect conclusion and convict an innocent or let a criminal go. One second,” he put his instruments back and adjusted the straps until the man couldn’t move a centimeter. Already his hands were turning blue due to the tightness of the straps. Leonid resumed his measurements in absolute silence. Only the occasional scribble on the parchment and the whimpering of the man broke it. Finally Leonid stopped and put the instruments away. He loosened the straps slightly, took a chair for himself and sat down in front of the man.

“I’ve got good news for you. My measurements show you haven’t done anything wrong. Unfortunately, I also have bad news for you. Your skull shows you have a natural inclination towards traitorous acts. That means you are a bad person mister Stevron. But do not fear. I can help you save yourself. I can do it in two different ways; either you point me towards other traitorous people, or I use those on you to get the information I want. I'd prefer the former, but do not think I will not resort to the latter if necessary,” he gestured at the torture instruments in the back. The man gave Leonid a scared look and started to mumble:
“But… I don’t know anyone who could be a traitor.
“Don’t lie to me mister Stevron. With a nature such as yourself, you definitely know some suspicious people. All I need are some names to prove you can overcome your traitorous inclination,” he gave Stevron a sweet smile and leaned closer, “do that and we’ll be friends. You don't want to be my enemy."

The man looked at Leonid Sulla in absolute horror. He seemed to think this through for some time before finally clearing his throat, his voice wavering:
“Yes, I think I may have some suspicions. I don’t know for sure, of course," he was quick to add. Leonid gave him a smooth smile.
“Of course. You’re no traitor after all. Not yet, because you’ve been fighting the urge. Because you try to be loyal to the nation of Aurora, no?”
“Indeed,” he was shaking over his entire body, “but the blacksmith, Andrew Pihl. I heard him make traitorous comments.”
“I see,” Leonid mumbled as he wrote the name down, “and he’s from the same city as you?”
“Yes, yes. Arminlit street.”
“We will investigate his case, rest assured. Any more names?” Leonid pressed, moistening his lips slightly. His father had been a blacksmith. He had hated his father. The man seemed to be fighting his conscience. Leonid ostentatiously glared at the torture instruments.

“Michael Woonse," his prisoner blurted, "He lives downtown. He sells spices. And Antonio Medrazz, the shoemaker. That’s all, I swear,” the man was now on the verge of crying. Leonid wanted to pressure him some more but then received Bandrial’s summon. It was not a wise thing to leave the sorceress waiting. He smiled slightly and got up, his hand reaching for the handle of his walking stick.
“I thank you for your cooperation mister Stevron. Now, I have other business to attend to, but one of my assistants will see to it you are set free and returned home,” he limped away from the chair and up the stairs. There he found one of his assistants waiting for him. The man's name was Boris and he had been picked for his looks; he was almost two meters tall and pure muscle. Just having him in the room made interrogations easier.

“Ah, Boris, just the man I need. Here’s a list of suspicious people. We also have a prisoner down there who was kind enough to share the names with us, so give him a quick death alright? We are not monsters after all, unlike those traitors.”
“Yes captain Sulla,” the man rumbled, “we also have a couple of new prisoners you might want to take a look at. They were found in most suspicious circumstances.”
“Ah, yes. I saw a similar report this morning. I need to go see the queen now. Before you deal with mister Stevron, throw them in some cells.Could you please see to it one of them is placed in one of the special interrogation cells? We'll let fear do its work before I interfere."
“Of course captain Sulla,” the man saluted and marched away, an evil smile on his face. Sulla waited until the man had disappeared before walking away himself. He disliked having his back turned towards others.

Nevertheless, Boris was one of the few people he more or less trusted. Not because he showed any specific loyalty, but more because he was too stupid to consider plotting against his captain. Besides, he loved his work, even more than Sulla himself. Sulla did what he did because it was necessary; most of his men derived pleasure from it. It was slightly unfortunate, but it was hard to find people willing to do whatever was necessary without enjoying their work. He sighed as he continued his walk to Bandrial’s chambers. Once at the door he knocked on it briefly.
“My queen, it is I, Leonid Sulla. I have arrived as you commanded. May I come in?" 

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Bandrial the Wicked. Character Portrait: Leonid Sulla Character Portrait: Alice Blackwood
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#, as written by Aporia
121-97-40-4129856

Today, I've stumbled unto something extraordinary. Subject 4129856, who had only been operated on two weeks before to remove what I'd perceive as 80% of the liver, was back on the table for a checkup.

Subject was uncooperative and brute force was necessary. Despite being tied down, there was too much movement to begin surgery, and the subject begged for an anasthetic.


With her bare back pressed back against the cold metal table, limbs restrained, she had looked so pathetic, so weak. "It hurts! It's gonna hurt! Let me go! She kept screaming, loud enough for Alice's ears to hurt, and squirming that if she were to operate, there would be no guarantee's that her insides wouldn't just fall over the edge and get infected. There was no reason to risk infection and lose the study. The witch moved towards the subjects head and started shushing her softly while stroking her long black hair, the girls frantic state being calmed as Alice held her head in her arms almost in a motherly fashion.
"It'll be all right...it'll be all right." She whispered softly to the poor girl's ear as her tears stained the witch's bloody apron, reduced to low whimpers.
"I'll give you something really strong, so then there won't be any pain."

Subject was administered a combination of water and a couple of drops of bloodroot extract. The combination is bitter tasting but has no beneficial nor negative purposes. Subject was in for minor surgery and anesthetic isn't required.

The girl was calmed among drinking the potion although gagging a bit at first. Alice glanced at the nurse who stood at attention at the door, part of the tight knit team of three remaining loyal servant girls trained by Alice to assist her, and motioned her over. "Hold her head back." She ordered in a whisper and when Isabella, the nurse, did so, Alice finally started. The stiches were first removed and with a scalpel, easily cut through what of the stomach had healed over from last time in a "I" fashion. With her leather gloves, she pulled up the two pieces of skin from their bloody underside and exposed her organs among the stale air.

Subject's liver was regenerated back to a full size after two weeks. Though a discovery, there was something odder."

"Something's wrong." The nurse chimed in and Alice gently closed the stomach flaps of skin before approaching her.
"What is it?" Alice asked but she can see what's wrong as Isabella held her eyelids back.

Subject's pupils have shrunk significantly and was unresponsive to sond but responsive to light. Heartbeat was lower then normal.

"Did you give the subject anything?"
"No, Miss Blackwood. I just held her head back as you have requested."
Alice slowly walked back to her place.
"Did the subject react to the pain?" After countless amounts of research, screams and cries for help were so common, it was hardly worth anything to pay attention to.
"No, ma'am."
Now something was definitely wrong. Alice twirled the scalpel in her hands and started to dig it deep into the subject's inner thigh, carefully enough not to hit any major arteries, but it was an area riddled with nerves.
"Any response?"
"No, ma'am."
"Tell me when there is."
The scalpel was removed from the wound, followed by a little blood, and with little haste, dig her finger in, moving it back and forth expecting a torrent of shrieking hell to let loose and yet none. A moment of baffling frusteration as Alice took off her leather glove and fire danced across her fingertips and cauterized the inside of the wound.
"Nothing?"
The nurse shook her head.

Subject displayed the symptoms of someone under a major anesthetic. Multiple punctures, cuts, lacerations and the cauterization around non-vital areas failed to provide a response.
After removing 80% of the liver once more to study the limits of it's regenerative abilities, the subject was sewn up, and sent off to rest, the process will be repeated again in intervals of two weeks and 15 more subjects will be taken in in order to track the cycle of regeneration among varying sizes and cutoffs of livers.
The state of subject 4129856 during the surgery is still unknown. The only rational explanation for the state is that water and bloodroot extract is actually a powerful anesthetic. However, the mixture has long been proven to be an bitter and ineffective.

20 subjects will be needed for more testing.

For lack of a better name, I shall call this illogical state of body, the "Blackwood Effect", for the meantime.

-Alice Blackwood.


Just as the witch had finished writing, Bandriel's voice had suddenly called her to the throne. She stood up from her study and half-eaten breakfast, and took a long drag from her pipe before letting the smoke free from her lungs. As Alice walked out from her room, she waved over another nurse, Mary, to come speak with her as they walked.
"Did you cremate the bodies last night?"
"Yes, Lady Blackwood."
"Test the new strength potion?"
"The yellow mixture with a twinge of purple?"
"Yes."
"The subject showed an increase of strength and endurance during the tests. Once I put it down and peeled back all the skin as per your request, muscle mass was five times the regular size but partially obstructed vital organs.
"I see. Find a clean slate-"(untested subject) "-and study the effects of long-term use."
"Yes, Lady Blackwood." and just as Mary was about to leave Alice grabbed her shirt to prevent her from leaving and stopped in place. "Inform Sava to wait for me in the suspended animation room, Queen Bandriel calls for me.
"Yes, Lady Blackwood." Alice let go of her and smiled.
"Good girl. Stick to the infirmary wing."

As the nurse had left Alice was close to the throne room and saw Leonid patiently waiting at the door. Alice had enough on for the morning, her witch's robes and tunic, walking barefoot and never wore her hat inside the confines of the castle.
"Morning Leonid." She greeted the tall torturer, who may be the only ally who isn't insane, casually before knocking twice upon the door, her leather gauntlets still wet with blood, only realizing with the dark marks it left on the door. Alice cursed herself mentally for forgetting to clean them but didn't want to wipe them off her clothes otherwise, despite knowing how to clean blood easily with the right materials, now certainly wasn't the time.
My Queen, it is Alice Blackwood, as I've arrived to your command. Shall I enter?"

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Character Portrait: Damien Vespera
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Sageburrow Desert's suffocating heat, sandy landscape, and treacherous inhabitants make Damien wonder every day, "Why would the mages pick this place to hide in? Why not Mallowpine Forest, or some secluded section of Northhedge Fields or even Napgliss Mountains?" He knew the history of the mages' escape to Sageburrow and the foundation of Wen Lief, but he still wished he would be anywhere else but here in the hot blazing heat.

It was another day and the Wen Lief mages were busy as ever, making sure that all of the required chores were completed before the next sandstorm was going to arrive. They needed enough food, water, and rocks for the next few days to last until the sandstorm passes. Although Damien would rather not exert himself, knowing his own limits, he knew he must help, so he headed out looking for someone to tell him his duties. Besides, if he was lucky he would be able to collect more data and strategy or maybe some gossip.

Damien prepared his usual garb to go out today. His white tunic and black cloak had enchantments sewn in by the mages to protect from overheat and his dark brown long boots had special traction for the sandy texture of the desert floor. Although he wished he didn’t have to wear black due to the heat, he realized this was the only color left that the mages could give him when he finally came of age. His hands were covered with black gloves that had its fingers cut off and spell circle designs to aid in spellcasting. He also wore straps that allowed him to carry his small leather brown sac with his journal inside. Within his journal contained the many notes he took on anything he found interesting organized into a few topics: Enemies, People, Places, Strategies, Food, and Thoughts. This was his reference to anything he might come across and his precious item, for it was his father Aluden that had given it to him for his twelfth birthday.

Just as Damien exited the cave that he and the Wen Lief mages lived in, Aluden waved to his only son and called him over.
”Damien, I got some chores you need to do. Come, my son.”

Damien nodded and headed over to his father who was clothed in his usual red cloak, brown tunic, and black boots. Surrounding Aluden were the three Farroway children: Glen the eldest at fourteen, Willow the middle child at twelve, and Callen the youngest at five. Damien, not having any siblings, has always surrounded himself with the child mages of Wen Lief, particularly the Farroways. Upon seeing Damien, the three of them ran to greet him and Damien opened his arms ready for them to attack him.

“Damien!!” Glan and Willow shouted. They both got there at the same time, yet they looked at each other frustrated and began arguing who got there first. Struggling in the sand behind them, Callen ran with his arms in front of him shouting, “Damie Damie I’m coming!!” but upon a misstep on one of the small hidden rocks on the desert floor, Callen slipped and fell on his stomach. Callen began to wail which made Glen and Willow stop their arguing and run towards their little brother. Damien then got up and walked towards the crying Callen with a warm smile on his face. He reached down to Callen’s level and began to wipe the tears away from Callen’s face.

“Hey there, it’s okay. You tried your best. Don’t cry Callen.”

Callen’s cries softened to some sniffles and the young mage felt much better. He then looked up to Damien with a smile and said, ”Damie, can we go exploring PLLEASSEE???”

The girls then joined in with their brother in begging the mage to go on an adventure. Damien then smiled thinking this would be an opportunity to skip out on chores and asked his father, “Hey, I can’t refuse the Farroways right? Can we please?” adding a huge smile.

Aluden seemed to think hard for a bit bowing his head down. In his mind Damien was hoping for his father to give him this break just this once, but he tried to regain a serious composure. Finally Aluden looked up and replied, “Well, unfortunately the sandstorm will be arriving soon and we need to prepare-” It was followed by “Awww’s” from the three Farroway children.

“-but I don’t mind if the Farroways accompany you to gather water from the nearby watering hole. Besides, you need to practice your water techniques, right Glen?”

As Damien smiled the Farroway children jumped for joy, particularly Glen who at fourteen had a better skill at water spells than Damien did. It was to be expected since Glen’s affinity was to water. Although Damien did not really like doing chores, he was glad to have some company. Damien replied, “Thanks Dad, I’ll take care of them, I promise.” His father nodded his head in response and replied, “I know you will.”

The Farroways and Damien then set off to go to the watering hole which was a hidden water area that the mages discovered upon traversing the desert further. They closed it off with some rocks so that others would not be able to find it or access it without massive strength or magic talent like they did. With Callen holding Damien’s hand and the two girls at his side, Damien thought that the day was starting out great so far for him.

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Character Portrait: Lily Aurinar
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It was one thing to be searching for something or someone, but to do so without anything to go on other than "You'll know when you find it"? It was infuriating, yes, but the ultimate goal would certainly make the hardships worth suffering. Guided by the words of Morengar, Lily had ended up in a small town on the edge of the Mallowpine forest, supposedly to meet or locate one of the chosen heroes.

Apparently, it was a market day here, with the streets lined with various brightly coloured stalls and the gates opened to welcome any traders who were passing through. Had she not been wearing the hooded robe given to her before leaving Oakhall, Lily would've got a lot more than a few funny looks upon entering the town. Necromancers raised in these parts tended to look more inconspicuous than the ones from the mausoleum cities.

With no heroic-looking figures in sight, Lily decided to take the opportunity to buy some provisions for the next journey with some of the money she had left. Luckily the stall owners were willing to do business with even the most concealingly-dressed of strangers, but there is no problem as long as the buyer has the money, no?

Despite the usual cheerfulness brought by market day, Lily could sense some... uneasiness among the crowd. Whispered conversations here and there, and none of them were even to do with her. These people were frightened of something else. Okay, it didn't take a genius to work out the throne-usurping reason, but still... why be so fearful at this exact moment?

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Character Portrait: Elle Primrose Mystique
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Morning was still gazing it's dewy eyes on the little city, it being one of the major townships on the outskirts of the Mallowpines, bright rays of golden sunlight casting brilliantly everywhere. The village was bustling with life once again, it a mecca for trading and commerce. Carts and store fronts were all open on full display for a passerby or traveler who wanted to trade their goods for something more worthy. The city's trading route went through most of the townships of Mallowpine opening the little city to foreign merchandise that was explored and scavenged over all Aurora. It was no wonder why so many stopped by and lodge there- the city was on the brink of fortunate success.

"Ironclad gauntlets for sale! Get them while there still in my hands!", one merchant bellowed as he waved his merchandise around in the air for all to see. Immediately, new comers came to the stand, thrusting their silvers in the merchants face.

"Magical roots and shrooms half off!", another screamed, people quickly barraging the little stall for said sales on such wanted items.

The city seemed to go at a fast pace, surely not slowing down anytime soon.... Except for one traveler who walked precariously at a steady rate, the dark silver cape flowing easily in the morning wind. This traveler was by no means staying for not another night, drifting Aurora like a gentle breeze. Walking with light lavender eyes glued on the path in front, not straying to stands and people, the mind was focused on one thing in particular- searching for the seven other heroes that were prophesied by the goddess of love and light herself.

"Don't let the mind stray... They are near....very near...", a heavenly golden voice whispered gently to the young traveler, urging the traveler to continue on.

Endless days and nights the traveler meditated and prayed, searching for an answer, for a solution to the mounting problem that was in front of her. For two months, Bandrial's dark troops were hunting her down like a wanted criminal, she running out of ideas of a way to hide. On the lam and a fugitive, she frustratingly and exasperatingly tried her best to stay out of Bandrial's clutching grasp that wanted nothing more then to capture, lock and destroy her. Bandrial already massacred her family and now she wanted to do the same to her... Inside, her patience was wearing thin as she tried to be calm as possible. ENOUGH WAS ENOUGH!

Quickly, she got down onto tired pale knees and prayed to the goddess, seeking peace, tranquility and answers to questions that roamed in the brain incessantly. One day, while meditating in the Mallowpine forest, Ai finally answered again coming in the form of a beautiful white light. The light shimmered brightly, casting a brilliant sheen onto the traveler, highlighting her ivory platinum blonde tresses and porcelain skin thus causing her to glow in the dimly lit forest.The sea's foamy breath, that came north of Mallowpine's edge, blew gently onto the traveler instantly cooling her nerves that were on constant edge.

In a beautifully sweet tune, a whisper resonated, "You are not alone for I am with you always and forever.... You are a hero, young one.... You will help save Aurora with seven others of the same status. Embrace your fate and do not give up.... Find the others and come together.... Your destiny begins, brave Elle. It is time to fulfill!"

Elle, at the time, didn't know how to interpret such a divine message that was a much needed request by Ai. Was she dreaming? Not in the least.... Did Ai just choose her to help take down Bandrial?.... Why her? Elle surely was going to find out, whether she liked it or not. After it started to sink in and make since, Elle, at first, didn't want any part of such a request, wanting nothing to do with and to be far away from the vile queen and her mindless followers, painfully ignoring Ai which she hated herself for a time. But Ai's words were final and absolute, destiny stubbornly unchanging.

To persuade Elle by giving her a motivation and reason to fulfill the prophesy, Ai instilled horrific images in Elle's dreams about her clerical family being massacred over and over again by Bandrial's minions. The constant flickering of images unnerved Elle, rage boiling inside her to new heights. How could Elle just sit there and do nothing while Bandrial continued to reek havoc on Aurora, the clergy one of the millions and millions of people who were tortured and murdered by her? Elle couldn't take it anymore and set forth with Ai's plans for her.

The first step to Elle's prophetic journey was fulfilled, Elle accepting her fate with much fervor devotion.... And now here Elle was, as of present, searching for said other chosen heroes. It was a daunting task but if it was for the greater good then Elle would accept with much grace and tranquility that she could conjure. Finally on the tip of the village, Elle walked up to the city's fountain, slowly dipping her slender fingers into the cool refreshing water. She scooped some of the fountains water and brung it up to her beautifully carved porcelain face, quickly patting the liquid contents onto her tired eyes. Elle hadn't slept for days, traveling Aurora in a two month span, she really needing rest.

But there was no time for such luxury, for there were "blood hounds" hunting her down as we spake. She was too wary now to take up a resting place in a inn preferring to sleep in the woods, if it ever came to that, rather than sleep in a bed that might be owned by a Bandrial follower. To further hide herself, Elle hid her dark male-peasant style clothed lithe form under a dark silver cloak, black knee high-length boots for any terrain to traverse with ease and a dark silver satchel that was slung on her right side that held various healing and blessing potions, a few silvers and gold coins, and books on almost everything needed to know about Aurora, gods, life and people.....

Truly a predicament Elle was in but at least she was prepared this time.... Afterwards, Elle took a seat on the ledge of the fountain, closing her eyes in quick meditation. She wasn't worried that someone might startle her because she was very aware of her surroundings, highly intuitive of everyone and their movements around her. That was an upside to being a cleric, you were highly aware of life and people, it ingrained and inbuilt from an early age. The awareness was so deep for a cleric that if ever a cleric was unconscious, they could still feel humans movements, motivations and what they "might" be thinking.

Clerics couldn't read people's minds but they could think of a good reason why people did the things they did, mostly being correct in the process anyway.... All of a sudden... Elle could sense them, sense the heroes finally coming near. She could feel their strong presences magnetically pulling back to her mind; her conscious and subconscious.... The second step to Elle's prophetic journey was fulfilled, she finally feeling the other heroes presences coming nearer and nearer.

Was this it?.... Were they finally coming towards each other, merging paths together in this destiny that is laid out before all of them?....



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Character Portrait: Bandrial the Wicked. Character Portrait: Toran 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.”

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

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Character Portrait: Bandrial the Wicked. Character Portrait: Toran 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'.

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Character Portrait: Dawn of the Wood
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Dawn was blissfully unaware of the happening of the castle. She didn't know that the entire castle was busy making preparations. Her day slowly slipped into night and soon she was nestled deep in her hidden hovel, sleeping the into the night. She had no idea that the world as she knew it was about to change, that the armies would invade every crevice of Aurora starting at daybreak.

Right now she was to preoccupied dreaming of the life she used to have, before she had to flee into secrecy. With a loving family and warm dinners. Before Bandrial ruined her existence. Now look at what she had become, she was wrapped in animal furs to stay warm in a black cave, so covered in dirt that she worried that no one would think she was human if they saw her now. She smelled of dirt and animal and she was a little concerned that just maybe she liked it better that way.

There was a howl through the air that lesser ears would not have been able to hear through the cave walls. She crawled from her hole to survey her surroundings. The sky was lit up, almost on fire, as a star streaked across the blackness. It seemed like every color imaginable were in its coat tails.

Dawn was overcome with a deep sense of pain and bewilderment. She fell to the ground, tightly gripping her shoulder. It was like someone was branding her with a white hot iron. She ripped back her cloak to look at her shoulder it was glowing with neon white light. It swirled and danced around her shoulder in a strange spiral formation. It seemed like ages before the sky was back to it's normal color and the pain subsided within her. Slowly, the feral girl tried to come to her feet. Her body shook through her every limb making it very difficult to stand.

She looked down to her shoulder and there was a mark on her, almost like a burn. She was very confused and couldn't help but wonder after such a long time alone if she hadn't imagined it all.

Something moved in the trees and she came face to face with the legendary white stag.

'You have been chosen 'Dawn of the Wood'” a voice resonated in her head. “Sleep now, for the world will be very different in the morning, there will be much need of your strength.”

Before she had time to ask what that meant, Dawn's world went black.

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Character Portrait: Lilith Rawnstein Character Portrait: Aitan Wynn
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#, as written by Jynxii
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Lilith stared in bewildered wonderment as a comet shot across the mid-day sky, streaking the blue of day with an orange scar. She watched in fascination as another child of Una fell from the heavens, leaving their blood to paint the sky in a constant reminder of what Una has given, and will take, from her followers below. "Blessed be the children of the moon," the group of ten priestess' chanted in a whisper, each pricking their fingers and lifting the blood to the heavens. "Blessed be the children of the moon," Lilith whispered, following after her sisters. "It is a sign," said one. "Nay, an omen," said another. "It is the prophecy," answered Mother Vera, the oldest and wisest follower of Una. "Look for a sign," her raspy voice whispered, nodding to the girls. At once, the eleven priestess' spread out to search the town for any changes; all searching for some sort of sign.

Lilith was checking by the old well when she noticed a young doe standing at the edge of the Mallowpine forest. "Una?" Lilith gingerly walked around the well, towards the doe who remained perfectly still. Lilith reached the wild creature, and gingerly reached out a hand to stroke it's neck. At the connection of her skin to the doe, the animal fell over; dead. Lilith gasped and jerked back her hand, eyes wide. What happened? Confused, she looked over the dead animal, trying to see if it had been poisoned or shot. She could not find any wounds. "Thank you, Una. I will take your gift to the temple. Blessed be the children of the moon." Deciding that it was a gift from above, Lilith scooped the limp creature into her arms and struggled to half carry, half drag, the animal back to the temple.

Back in the temple, Lilith placed the creature on the alter in front of her sister's and Mother Vera. She told them of the creature's untimely death, and expressed that it was a gift from above. "Not a gift, Lilith Rawnstein. A sign," rasped Mother Vera as she slowly stood from her chair. The elderly woman made her way gingerly across the room to Lilith. "Undress, child." Obedient, Lilith unclipped the silver cuffs of her dress, allowing the material to cascade to the floor, leaving her naked in front of her sisters. The elderly woman slowly walked a circle around the girl, tired eyes searching meticulously for something. "Behold," Mother Vera sighed, gently lifting Lilith's hair from the back of her neck. In the center, just above her spinal bone, was a white blemish on her tan skin. "The mark of the chosen. Go. You must follow the child of Una! Go, now!"

Later

How long had she been following the seemingly endless trail? Her sisters had given her a backsack, and convinced her to pack different clothes for her journey. It will be dangerous, Lilith Rawnstein, Mother Vera had said. The outfit packed was one that was light, easy to move in, and durable for close combat. She didn't bother to pack food, but she did pack a container of water. Food was all around her. Even then, as she walked quietly with one hoof in front of the other. Perhaps she would look strange, a lone black mare walking around with a sack strapped to it's back. Not that it mattered to her; after all, she could travel faster this way, at least for an hour at a time. When she started to fade out, she would shift into a different animal to prevent becoming stuck as a horse for the rest of her life. As it were, she had just recently changed back into the animal and was comfortably walking through one of the many hidden trails in the Mallowpine forest.

It was growing impossibly dark, and normally that would not bother her but as night fell- so did the rain. Lilith came to a halt and let out an exasperated huff, shaking the flies from around her mane. She shifted into her human form, and glared at the sky as Una poured buckets of water onto her head. She knelt in the grass, looking to the moon as she pricked her finger and gently rubbed the blood into her palm as she whispered the ritualistic prayer of her people, always ending in, "Blessed be the children of the moon." With her nightly prayer finish, and with hopes that Una would hear her and aid her to shelter soon, she shifted back into the mare and continued her dredge through the forest.

Lightening cracked across the sky, bolting down into the treeline and sending vicious sparks sprawling into the air. Fire. Her eyes widened and she bolted, blindly, through the forest, letting out a distressed cry. Her hooves thundered across the ground, and she lost track of where she was going; for she was not looking, only running. Running as fast as she could away from the flame, from the memories, from the terror. As she was running she spotted a cave, and darted inside, eager to escape the roaring thunder and malicious cracks of lightening. She stood just beyond the mouth of the cave, her fur soaked and dripping onto the floor of the dwelling. She let out a huff of relief and slowly turned around. As she did so, she noticed a body on the ground. In her current form, it was nearly impossible to see in the dark; after all, she was a horse.

Silently, she shifted into her human form. Chills rushed up over her skin in protest of the sudden frigid cold. She mentally cussed, but crept closer to the dead (or sleeping) body. As she moved closer, she slowly peeked over the body to see if the creature or person was breathing. To her horror, what she found was a pool of blood oozing from the corpse. Her heart began to beat faster as the blood raced across the cave floor and seemed to take on a life of it's own. She turned to run, but she could not escape it- The blood jumped from the floor and onto her, consuming her into a swirl of red.

And then she awoke.

Screaming- everywhere. Lilith jerked up from her bed in a cold sweat, looking around for the cause of alarm. She quickly dressed herself and rushed out into the main hall where she caught sight of one of her sisters. "What's happened?" "It's Mother Vera! She's dead! Oh, it's awful! The children! They're-- they're slaughter them! All of them! There's nothing we can do! Why would Una do this? WHY?" The girl broke into hysteria as she ran down the hall. Lilith turned and ran for the main hall, where Mother Vera always sat. To her horror, the elderly woman lay slumped in her chair, blood trickling slowly from her nose, a parchment held tight in her hand. Lilith ran to her, and reached for the paper. On contact with her skin, a burning sensation on the back of her neck brought her to her knees. Lilith cried out in pain, her wails echoing through the empty chamber. When the pain finally subsided, she gingerly reached a hand behind her to feel the base of her neck. Just as in her dream-- a mark had risen up ever so slightly on her skin. Tears swelled in her eyes.

She had heard of Mother Vera dream walking before, but never had she personally experienced it. Lilith slowly unrolled the parchment, and stared down at the word scribbled in Mother Vera's hand writing.

Go.


Just as in her dream, Lilith packed the outfit and a bottle of water into a backsack and swiftly made her way out of the doors of the temple. What she saw that day, she would never forget. Blood ran down the sides of the street, mothers wept openly in the wake of whatever terror had swept upon her home in the early hours of the morning. Only one person was capable of doing something so heartless, so cruel... Bandrial. She ran. On foot, at first, but as soon as she made it out of plain sight, dipping slightly into the woods, she shifted into a beautiful black mare. She bent down and slid her backsack over her large neck so that it hung like an awkward, but secure, necklace.

In her new form she was able to cover a lot more ground, considerably faster. She kept to the skirts of the forest, should anyone or group come by. She knew she'd be able to lose them in the forest easily- a dip behind a tree, and a quick shift and they'd lose her. Every so often she would glance to the sky, as if looking to Una for guidance. Where she was headed- she didn't know. How long it would take her to get there- she didn't know. Why she was going in the first place- she didn't know. All she knew, was that she had been given a sign to follow the comet; so that was what she would do.

Thoughts as mentioned above ran though her head over and over again, but suddenly her thoughts were put on hold. That smell-- so familiar.. She slowed to a trot, and then came to a complete stop in the road. She turned her massive head towards the forest, sniffing again. She knew that scent- but what was it? The comforting feel of an old memory pulled gently at her senses, gently pulling at her heart to investigate the smell and put her current mission on hold. Eventually, she caved, and set off into the forest to follow the scent. She didn't have to go far before she found a small camp. The fire pit was still warm and smokey from being lit the night before. Following her nose, she sniffed her way to a certain tent and stuck her nose inside the open flap, letting out a soft whinny at what she found.

She would have grinned, if she were human-- but given that she wasn't, she settled for snorting in the face of the sleeping figure. Then, for spite, she let her long, slimy tongue lick over his face, pulling his hair up into a spike on one side. Good morning, old friend. Rise and shine.
Her heart was hammering in her chest. How long had it been since she'd seen him? Too long. Fond, and sad, memories rushed over her, but mostly fond. Her heart hammered in her chest, causing her hooves to pound anxiously at the ground. She felt like running! An unfortunate side effect to being in the body of an animal-- you get.. urges. She let out another whinny, and backed up to let him out of the tent. With a quick shift, she was in her human form again, although naked now. Still, this didn't seem to bother her at all for as soon as he came out, she threw her arms around him in an embrace. "It's been too long," she sighed against his collar, a grin spreading wide against her features. Why had she ever let him leave?

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Character Portrait: Kale Character Portrait: Damien Vespera Character Portrait: Elle Primrose Mystique
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The day finally came to a saddened end running it's course yet again, the sun dipping it's round large golden face from the horizon, the silver waning dimply-lit moon taking it's place in the raven inked sky. Pure blackened night seemed to eerily tell signs of woe and true misery that laid ahead, a cold menacing reminder to events that will transpire after midnight into the wee hours of morrow. Moods and changing attitudes wavered through the township of Mallowpine, the people seemingly having an inkling of something so vicious and dreadful looming over them like a curse. In odd reality, they had no clue to the misfortunes that were going to befall them, befall whole of Aurora by something so wicked, so vile, so truly dreadful- Bandrial setting forth with her wishes to scour, pillage and then annihilate Aurora of resistance, traitors,....newborns who might be of the prophecy, which was foretold to her truthfully by a noble and olden prophet so, that would eradicate Bandrial out of existence forevermore.

The ordinary citizens didn't know of such a prophecy and of such a terror that was coming full circle, oblivious and naive all the while. But something put a sense of dread in their thoughts and motivations, a sense of absolute pain that will instill in them something so fierce specially for what was waiting for them the next day. As a result, the chronic effects caused the trader town to become loathing with gloom and doom. The tension was too much for the trader city causing the city to turn in the very likeness of ancient Sodom and Gomorrah within a mere few hours. To put it simply, the people went stark raven mad and out of control. What was a peaceful and prosperous city turned into shambles and pure hell quicker then the magical rivers that flowed swift in the Mallowpine forests. No one knew the cause of such a turn of debauchery and total defilement of such a wonderful city, things going down hill from there.

The city was like a prisoner who was having it's last supper before execution the next day, not caring and doing all things under the sun knowing they will never live to see another day. "Aye! Aye! Come with me and we'll turn the city topsy-turvy!", one boisterous and loud fat disgusting red-haired man spout as he snatched a lady from a throng of delirious and strung out people. The young whorish raven-haired lady, who was by no means the definition of beauty, suggestively giggled at the man as he whisked her away back to a "lively" brothel next to the crowd of people.

Taverns and bars opened to the streets gave off sounds of high-pitched laughter and screams of insanely glee, "One more round for the beggars and one more round for the excrements of mankind!", all shouted in singing with one another from one bar that had everyone crowded to the max. One drunkard bumped harshly into another quickly causing them to break in a grisly fight, all the people chanting and egging the fight on, "Get him! Knock him dead! Do it!", they all chanted away as the two continued to beat each other to a bloody pulp.

Down the street, between a crosswalk and a small vegetation field, an older man walked casually home from a hard days work as a merchant, trying to get home and away from the ruthless nonsense the people were creating all over town. Continuing to walk and mind his own, someone crept up behind him menacingly, stabbing the poor old man into the back twenty-two times, "AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!", the old man shouted as his gurgled screams faded into the darkness, the assailant walking away like nothing had ever happened after taking the old man's purse full of hard worked profited gold.

Back in one of the lesser boisterous taverns, The Night Owl, everyone talked amongst themselves, telling stories of olden sad tales that caused the befall of their previous King Zaxon and giving up theories of what was going to happen next under their present queen Bandrial's rule, "Rumors say that the queen has a paranoia to anyone undermining her and taking the throne away from her. That is why she is cruel and ruthless.", one barfly whispered to a small group of people who lined the bar-stools.

"Whether it's true or not, I wouldn't be surprised of the lunatic bizarre Bandrial. The woman is out of her mind as it is.", a cockney voice of a raspy woman spat, taking another swig of her darkened ale. All looked to each other in agreement and clank their glasses together in correction of what the woman said, "Here here to that.", a man nodded with the others. The bartender listened intently to the conversation and added his own two-cents, "Let us not talk too loudly for there are traitors amongst us who are followers of the maddened queen...", he warned them. They all just shook their heads in shame while taking more swigs of their alcoholic drinks....




Meanwhile upstairs in one of The Night Owl's resting rooms....

After much praying and chanting to Ai, Elle made a temporary force-field barrier, called protection from evil, around her room, trying to keep the evilness and rowdiness of the people who were on the other side of it away from her. Ai had foretold her things like that were going to happen before the prophecy was put into action, warning her to stay in the room, where she was as of now, until morning when it was all over- she didn't know that the town was going to be submerged in a bath full of blood, Bandrial's soldiers destroying the town in their path, rummaging to see of traitors who had any newborns that could be one of the seven heroes of light.

Elle took a seat on her small feathered bed and moved her silver satchel near her dark gray linen-clad thigh. She opened the bag of its contents, reaching inside for a small painted portrait of her clerical family who had nursed and brought her up until their death. Furrowed delicate arched brows and saddened lavender eyes studied the little portrait, the only memento left of them. Bandiral was going to surely pay for what she had done to Elle's family.... If it had to take seven heroes to take her down then so be it. Elle wasn't complaining about that fact....

All of a sudden, a bright large meteoroid flashed through the darkened bleak sky, signalling a chain of events that were to transpire after it. Elle peered out her window and followed the comet across the sky, never tearing her gaze from it. It seemed to put her in a trance, hypnotizing her to no end. The clock finally struck midnight, everything and everywhere around trader city fell silent to Elle's ears.... Immediately, a sharp pain ran up and down Elle's right arm causing her to screech out in pain, her body hitting the floor in protest, "Ughhhhhhhhh!!!!". The pain didn't stop but only amplified as a mysterious white mark appeared on her inner right pale arm, branding itself into her sensitive flesh.

Quickly Elle ripped her white long-sleeve that was attached to her peasant style shirt, trying to find the source to where the pain seared her skin. It didn't take long for Elle to look wide eyed at it, "What is this marking? How did it came to be on my arm?", she thought, in conflict with her curiosity and horror of the sight. Out of nowhere, a piercing scream rang through Elle's ears, it a domino effect to a chain of massive screams that followed. Everyone down below Elle and outside wailed in absolute terror and pain, the ground shaking underneath them like a massive earthquake from the soldiers stampeding the town, rampaging and killing everyone in sight.

Everyone ran, scattered and spread out, hiding in any hiding spot that they could find, "Please don't kill me!!!!", a man croaked. A solider on horse ran headlong at the man, from behind, quickly impaling the man with his long golden encrusted sword. Everyone screamed louder as more people were run down and killed by Bandrial's soldiers. The sudden mass of hysteria and commotion was too much for Elle, she covering her ears and burying her face in her lap as things continued to go out of control. What was happening?! Why were things turning out like this!?!?

Quickly Elle blacked out....




The morning embittered gray air slowly woke Elle from her deep slumber, it telling her that things became darker and.... much more bloodier. Elle slowly rose from the cherry-wood floor, dazed confusion rattling her brain. Was everything, that happened last night, twas only a dream?... Of course not!... Elle walked over to a large mirror that sat opposite across the room, staring at her flushed frustrated countenance. She placed her hands on the glass and stared at her reflection with dull weary eyes. If she didn't move on soon, heaven's know what will happen to her if she stuck around....

After taking a quick bath and freshening up her body, a change of blouse and pants and packing her mentionables in her satchel, Elle surrounded her lithe frame with the dark silver cape that hid her so well. She took leave out of the room and went down the steps.... What her eyes showed her was going to be forever seared into her mind, the images never wavering.... Just taking only one step down, Elle was greeted to the gruesome sight of mangled shredded bodies that littered the floor.

Elle quickly covered her mouth from screaming in horror, shaking her head at such a horrific display. She should've known from the eerie silence that things were not quite right, she greeted by the sight of dead flesh everywhere. Blood pooled around the carcasses as Elle tried her best to traverse around them, trying not to disrespect the dead by walking on top of them. Finally outside, the sight-seeing didn't get any better, getting worse from there. Blood washed and paved the streets, more bodies littering the trader town.

Not too far down the street, "Not my baby, please not my baby!!!!!", a young brunette woman shuddered in fear and screamingly pierced out of nowhere as she clutched her infant near her heaving chest. The two remaining soldiers just laughed at her evilly, taking out their swords quickly. Elle's eyes widened open in fear, standing paralyzed in her spot, when there was a flash of powerful heavy metals striking down on the woman, cutting her and the baby right into....half. There was no more words of protests from the woman, she and the baby quickly dead on the spot.

"That's all the infants in this town. It's time to move on.", one of the two soldier's spoke finally, he sheathing his mighty large sword. The mass slaughter was done, the two finally satisfied with the results. As they were going to mount back on their horses, they quickly caught sight of Elle standing there, the only survivor in the whole town. They furrowed their brows in pure anger, "You there! How dare you stay alive!?!?!", one of Bandrial's soldiers questioned menacingly. Elle couldn't speak but started to tread backwards slowly on her heels.

"Don't you dare move a muscle or I'll strike you down!", the other added, quickly reaching for his sword again. The other studied Elle and began to realize that she was on the top list of criminals wanted by Bandrial, he given a good description of what Elle looked like when she fled from the castle two months ago. She was thought to be of a rare beauty that Bandrial wanted to destroy badly, highly jealous of someone who outshone her own. But Elle was wearing a dark cape?!?! How could they tell it was her they were searching for?!... It was the face that gave her away, she forgetting to put her hood up. How stupid of her!

She didn't listened to the soldier's threat and continued to walk backwards, fight or flight response kicking on overdrive, "Listen to what you are told! Don't move!", the solider quipped again, his sword on full display. "You seem to fit the description of what Bandrial was trying to find of the wretched girl who fled from her!", the other inquired, as the both of them started to threateningly walk towards Elle. Elle didn't say another word and began to run headlong the other way as fast as she could. The two soldiers screamed and began to chase after her out of bloodied trader city and onto the expansive road.

One of the swords, that the solider produced from him, flung at her speedily almost cutting her shoulder if it wasn't for her dodging quickly from such an attack, "How can she do that!? Dodge so quickly?!?!", one shouted frustratingly to the other, "I'll go back and get the horses.", the other one spat as he ran back the other way. With one turned down going back, it was between her and one solider now. How would she get rid of him? Elle thought fast and quickly turned around, running backwards faster than the solider could ever run forwards, it didn't help he had heavy armor on.

"You will regret you had ever chased me....", Elle finally spoke, ice cold anger flowing from her full-shaped pink lips. She immediately stretched out her arms and began to chant readily on command. All of a sudden, using the power nimbus of light, a white light shot from her arms, traveling at light speed at the solider. Quickly, the solider was flung into the air landing flat on his back loudly wailing, massively hindered from running any further. Elle's power didn't damage the solider too much only giving him light scrapes and bruises on his person but it majorly affected him from ever gaining the momentum to run near as fast as she could, trying to capture her with all his might.

Elle turned back around and continued to run, forgetting about the other solider who promised to hunt her down on horse. It didn't worried her too much because by then she was already too far for him to catch up to her and even if he did, she would do the same to him and his horse that she did to his fellow ally and brethren. Elle was not to be trifled with when anger flowed through her holy-loving veins and she was not the type quick to anger, staying angry or being angry at all. But when she was...let's just say it's hard for her to calm down and stay sated in the aftermath. That is why she steadied her temper at all times by practicing meditation of tranquility, the result successfully keeping the nasty rare trait at bay, most of the time.

"And so it begins, young one. The third step to your prophetic journey has come to pass....", Ai whispered to Elle as Elle trudged on, racing across the long open road that was in front of her......




The meeting of three heroes....

Running for what seemed like hours, Elle begrudgingly slowed to a stop, surveying her gray depressing surroundings. Not too long ago, Elle was chased out of bloodied trader city by two soldiers who wanted to capture her and bring her back to Bandrial who wanted nothing more then to see her executed- executed for simply fleeing! Elle had it up to her neck with Bandrial, getting more annoyed that the guards and soldiers wouldn't give up and just see Elle as a lost cause. But we are talking about Bandrial here. The dreadful queen wouldn't stop for anything until her needs and desires were met, everyone highly miserable and tortured so behind it as a consequence.

After gaining some of her bearings and breathing, both settling to a better rate, Elle's mind re-registered about the white marking on her inner right arm. She pulled back her dark cape, followed by pulling up her linen white sleeve, quickly studying the mark. If it was a sign by the comet that she was marked a chosen hero then the mark wouldn't go away when she tried to use her power called, curing the maim, to try to heal the mark away. She took a deep sigh and put her left hand over the white mark. A small white light came through it and softly caressed the supposed "scar" on her right arm. It soothed her arm and calmed Elle somewhat but it didn't make the mark go away, she removing her hand quickly and looking at the mark with final realization....

Elle was one of the chosen heroes.... Ai was right with whispering the realization into her ear not too long ago when Elle was racing across the road. "Blessed be Ai! For I am really a hero chosen by you!", Elle surprisingly shouted to the top of her lungs, surprising herself in the process knowing she wasn't the type to speak louder than her usual low serene tone. After Elle fixed her sleeve and re-situated her silver cape back in place, Elle began to walk faster instead of running this time again, platinum blonde long tresses blowing gently in the wind, she regaining and conserving some of her energy.

All of a sudden, Elle could sense the heroes again, their auras ten times stronger this time. They were near, too near for Elle quicken her black knee-high length boot clad steps, it somehow magnetically pulling her to them against her own will. A couple more paces and steps, Elle could see the outlining of two other human beings who seemed to be converging paths with hers. As she drew nearer and nearer, the outlines of the other figures turned into two young men. Were they some of the heroes who knew when to meet up with one another, finally congregating?

Elle strangely somewhat knew but she wasn't sure if they really were the ones. Still, their auras around them gave dead giveaways that they were chosen just like her. She cautiously walked closer to the other two, quickly studying their countenances. One, who looked very muscular and fit with golden blonde hair, was armed with a deadly sword, giving Elle somewhat initial nervous shivers. Elle never liked weapons and the like, wary of what damage they could do, shying away from them as much as possible. But she didn't have time to be threatened by such a weapon on this heroes' person, putting the phobia quickly behind her as much as she could.

The other, with black hair and a slightly smaller frame, seemed familiar to her.... Immediately, Elle recognized a fellow ally- a Wen Lief, he apart of the mage group that was close to the clergy. They not only traded with one another but also worshiped each others goddesses, the young man's attire letting her know he was one of them. She gave a quiet sigh of relief as she continued to walk closer and closer to them. At least she could be familiar with at least one of them, her eyes never leaving the two....



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#, as written by Corvan
Kale had not managed to find a smith to fix his armor and ended up working in a tavern for the day. "Come on blondy!" egged on a drunken smith "I have worked the forge for twenty years and no young little whipper snapper can match me in strength!" Kale simply grabbed the man's wrist and started to twist it slowly. The smith was strong, but Kale had youth and it started to show until the smith used his free hand to strike Kale in the jaw. Kale went with the punch, only his head had went with it and never went backwards or fell over. Quickly his head snapped back around and his gripped tightened tenfold on the mans wrist and that is when Kale brought his forehead down on the drunken man's nose getting a satisfying crunching sound of his nose breaking. "AHH! my nose!" The drunken smith cried but kale was not finished.


Letting go of his Wrist Kale took his turn balling up his hand into a fist and then giving the drunken smith a Haymaker to the left side of his jaw. The smith spun around like a wooden spinner and dropped to floor, blood pooling slowly out of his mouth. A Cheer went up in the Tavern as Kale picked the drunk up and tossed him out through the open door. "Hey Kale!" shouted someone from the inside. "Catch!" kale looked and small coin purse had been thrown to him. Kale caught it easily. "You done good for tonight, come back tomorrow for more work!" Kale smiled and held up the purse in understanding with the understanding to the owner who he now realized was the one shouting.


Breathing in the night air Kale stretched his arms feeling the muscles loosen up some. He saw the smith still out cold, so Kale walked over to the man and nudged him with his foot. Nothing. "hmmm.."Kale wondered and walked to the well getting a bucket of water and tossed it on the drunk. In a instant the smith had woken up and sputtered looking around. When he spotted Kale, Kale had his back to him and was walking down into the dark shadows of a alley. "Who the hell is that kid.."The smith spoke aloud hoping someone would say something, but only the chilly night air responded to him.

The Comet

Kale walked down the alley counting the coin from the purse and nodding in approval. "This should do nicely then..Another night like this and I can buy myself a new set of armor..maybe even get the steel plate.." Kale said to himself smiling some and tucked the purse away. Suddenly he stopped walking hearing a roaring sound and drew his sword. The glow of the Comet passed overhead as Kale looked up at it in wonder. "The Comet..the old man spoke of....AGGGHHHHHH!!" A searing pain shot through Kale's Left hand. His sword hand. A pain so intense for him it brought him to his knees. "Ahhhhh! What sorcery is this!"He shouted out, A light came on in the house next to him and the door opened. The same that door opened Kale blacked out, falling to his side passed out. "What in the..?" Said the female who opened the door. "Kale?" "Marton come quick! its Kale something has happened!" A teenaged boy came running out from inside the house with only his pants on. "Sister that is Kale? What happened?" Asked Marton "I don't know I heard screaming and went to see what was going on and he was here like this. "Said the sister. "Here help me drag him inside!"said Marton as he slowly dragged Kale inside the house.



The Morning

Slowly Kale started to wake groaning from being on the floor all night. Slowly his memory came back to him and he sat up quickly and getting to his feet looking for his sword. "Your alright now Kale" Spinning around Kale saw a small woman with black hair. She was small by even today's standards but she had a beauty about her. "What happened"Kale said as he kept looking for his sword. "You were shouting outside and I went to see what was going on. You had passed out.

Then it all came back. Kale looked at his hand and saw the mark of the Comet. "What in the..?" Kale looked at the woman and showed her the mark but she merely shrugged. Kale shrugged some and spotted his sword in the corner of the room and went to grab it. Checking to make sure it was his and in one piece Kale sheathed the sword back into its rightful place and nodded to the woman "Thank you for bringing me in."Kale said with a small smile. The woman merely smirked "my brother dragged you in..There is no way I could of..your far to heavy..Marton had a hard enough time dragging you in here."Kale smirked and nodded at her "Were is he?" Kale asked.

"Hes in the other room with my son.he was born very recently." Kale nodded once more to her words and walked into the other room. His footsteps making deep thuds. Marton looked up from the sleeping baby and nodded to Kale "your up"he whispered "I am..thank you for bringing me in. " Said Kale "it was no problem-" Marton was saying when a crashing sound came from the room were Kale was just in. "No what are you doing get out AHHH!" Kale and Marton heard the sounds of Marton's sister screaming and then silence. The baby started to cry and Marton tried to hush the baby up but it was too late. Kale drew his sword and did not wait to see who it was that had crashed through the door. His sword stabbed into the chest of one of Bandrials soldiers. His gurgled screams sounded so weak as Kale left the sword in the mans chest and shoulder rammed his partner who was just coming around the corner. The man tried to stab Kale with his sword but kale slammed him into the wall and his sword dropped with a clatter. Kale grabbed the man's head and slammed it over and over into the stone wall until it crunched and spilled blood and brains over the wall and floor. Marton was staring at the bloody dying body of his sister. "Marton..you cannot help her.."Kale told him as he walked over to haul the boy to his feet. "She is my sister!" Kale lifted the man off of his feet for a second and set him back down "Those are Bandrial soldiers, they do not do this..they are after something and you have what they want!" Kale said loudly the baby crying in the back of the small house.


"we have nothing!" said Marton aloud "You..have the baby.."a weak voice said. Kale turned to the man whom he had stabbed and saw he still lived. "The baby..why a baby."Kale asked. "The prophecy..Those whom were to be born on this day..would overthrow Queen Bandrial..the slaughtering of those so young..so sweet" the dying man smiled with bloody teeth. Kale glared at the man and brought down his boot onto the man's face over and over feeling it crunch and break under his power.

"The comet..your mark...the soldiers it all makes sense" Marton said. "What on the gods are you talking about"Kale looked at Marton "The prophecy..a mad man foretold that in eighteen years eight heroes would be born on the night of a passing comet and would be branded with the mark of the comet and who would over throw the evil queen. my father spoke of it for years.." Marton looked at Kale "If that mark on your hand is what I think it is..your destined to over through the queen. "

Kale looked at Marton like he was a mad man. "You must find the others!" Marton said to Kale. "I don't believe in fate..or destiny.." Marton had left the room to get the child. "you may not believe in it..but it believes in you." "Good bye Kale.."Marton said as he rushed out the door into the morning which was filled with screams and shouts of terror and death.

Kale looked at the mark on his hand and sighed some. "I don't believe in this.." Kale said and yanked his sword from the man's chest and charged out into the morning to get out of the town and kill as many of the soliders as he can. "Old man..you knew didn't you.."Kale thought to himself as he ran and cut a soldier on the back and kept running.

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Character Portrait: Kale Character Portrait: Damien Vespera Character Portrait: Elle Primrose Mystique
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Nightfall…

After a hard day’s work of preparing for the upcoming sandstorm, the sun descended behind the tall sand dunes and rocky mountains of Sageburrow and the sky turned black with stars shining overhead. The Wen Lief mages wore cloaks despite the hot weather in the day because once night falls, the desert is much colder than it was before the sun set. Damien and the Farroway children, exhausted from their water gathering duties, were sitting in one of the small circles of the cave with a campfire in the center. They were going to be staying her for the whole due to the sandstorm that would be coming tomorrow. They weren’t sure how long the sandstorm would last but from what they’ve heard from the sages, it’s a really big one. Apparently, the sages have said it was an omen from Kayaji that meant there would be utter turmoil and chaos, though they weren’t too sure what sort of chaos she meant. The Wen Lief mages would not take that lightly however, so they made sure to pack carefully, even have some extra provisions just in case, and they forbade anyone to go outside of the encampment.

The Farroway children were playing “A Few,” a game involving Air, Fire, Earth, and Water elements. Water beats Fire, Earth beats Water, Fire beats Earth, and Air beats Fire. Each of the children had to pick an element. If all elements are different, “A Few” is put into play and the order from weakest to strongest is switched and based on “A Few.” This made the weakest element Air and the strongest element water when “ A Few” came into play. Whoever had the strongest element wings that match. This game have been played by the mages for ages, and it’s been said that other children not of mage descent have also picked it up. However, because they did not have the power to conjure up the elements like the mages did, they resorted to using more common items like rock, paper, and scissors, and they could not think of a fourth item so they left that alone and just switched to three. The Farroway children closed their eyes and concentrated on conjuring their desired element. After opening their palms and feeling the miniature versions of their elements dance on their hands, they counted to three and opened their eyes. Glen had gone with her favourite element Water, Willow had gone with Air, and Callen had gone with Fire.

“That means I win!” Glen said happily.

“No fair!” Willow said. “I was going to beat Callen with Air!”

“Nu uh!!” Willow disagreed. “Since we all have different elements, “A Few” comes into play and since I have water, the strongest element, I win.”

“Damien??? Is she even right?” Willow asked.

Damien was busy studying the notes he had gathered along the trip as well as some others that he had taken down before to brush up and commit them to memory. Along the way, he had added to his own hand drawn map of Sageburrow Desert the oasis as well as drawing a couple of humped creatures that were tall, sand colored, and had rather short ears. He had asked the sages about it but as he always noted, although they were wise with predictions and past and some other knowledge, they were not very knowledgeable about new information. Damien decided to name them: Sand Dashers for when they caught sight of Damien and the Farroway children, they ran so fast, sand had trailed behind them as though they were creating their own mini sandstorms. He took note of their advantages and decided to one day see if he could tame them. When Willow asked Damien the question, he looked up from his brown leather journal and looked at the three of them and their elements.

“Yes Willow, Glen is right she wins, but “A Few” is meant for four people, no more and no less.”

“Then why don’t you come and play with us for a bit Damien?” Glen asked.

“Careful Damien, Glen’s a cheater!” Willow said sticking her tongue.

“Glen cheat! Glen cheat!” Callen said laughing.

Just then, Damien’s mother Helena came into the circle and said, “It’s time for the Farroway children to go to bed. It’s already close to midnight. They should’ve been back with their parents a long time ago!”

“Awww!! Can’t we stay up please?” all three of them begged at once.

“Now now, you three need to rest and Damien’s going to have to do some work around the encampment,” Helena urged.

Helena took the three Farroway children back to the tent where they lived with their parents. Damien decided that it was time to head back and get some rest. Who knew what the mages would subject them to? He motioned for the water in a nearby bucket to flow towards the water, using his right hand and concentrating hard with his mind for the water to flow. The water had risen above the bucket following the gesture of his right hand and with a flick towards the glowing flame, the water was sent towards the campfire to extinguish it. As he walked towards his family’s tent, he noticed the cave was still lit up from all of the other campfires though they would be put out soon as no one wanted to stay up lest they be called for the night watch to record the exact timing of the sandstorm. The cave was a dark grey lined with limestone and some stalagmites hanging overhead. He wondered as a child whether they would fall down on him or not, so he made sure to master earth just in case.




Destiny Awaits…
Upon reaching the violet tent, Damien ran inside and immediately lay down on his back, loving the chance to catch some sleep. He would have fallen into a deep slumber that would’ve been hard to wake him up from had he not felt a searing pain coming from his right hand.

““AHHH!!” Damien yelled. “What the heck is up with my hand??” Damien asked. He pressed it firmly with his other hand trying to keep the pain subtle but it wasn’t working. His father came into the tent and saw Damien’s face scrunched up in pain and him gripping his hand tightly.

“Damien!?! What’s wrong!?” Aluden asked worried.

“Dad, I don’t know what’s happening, my hand suddenly burns like hell! It’s my spell casting hand. What’s wong with it?”

“Let me see your hand Damien!” Aluden demanded reaching out for his hand.

Damien tried his best and reached out to his father with the hand that was in pain. Aluden grabbed it by the palm and turned it over. His eyes were suddenly wide open and he gasped staring into his hand as though he was going to have a heart attack.
“Dad what happened to my hand?” Damien asked nervous that he might not be able to spell cast again.

“Son, take a look at this! Don’t you recognize this symbol?” Aluden said shoving Damien’s hand to his face. Damien looked at the back side of his right hand and saw a swirling symbol that was glowing for the moment.

““It can’t be…but I’m not…” Damien muttered. He quickly grabbed his equipment to try and find the journal he stashed so he can make sure. Flipping through the pages of the book he went to the section called, “Prophecy” and tried to look for the symbol that he noted from the sages. He stumbled upon the section titled “Comet” which told about how in eighteen years, seven heroes would be born on the night of a passing comet and would be branded with its mark. It is these chosen heroes that would overthrow the evil queen. Next to the text he saw a picture of the mark which he drew long ago. Comparing the swirling pattern on his hand to the one in his book, he found that they were a match. Damien couldn’t believe this! He was right! The Chosen heroes are real and what’s more was that he was one of them! There was however one thing he wanted to make sure of just in case this wasn’t some trick played on by the Farroways or some other mage.

“Wait Dad, just to make sure, did anyone see a comet pass overhead?”

But when Damien turned his dad wasn’t anywhere to be found. Damien went outside the tent wondering where his father had gone off to when he saw him running back to him huffing and puffing.

“Damien! I went over to the night watch and they saw it! A comet had flown across the sky! It’s a sign from Kayaji!” Alucard said excitedly but in a whisper. “I can’t believe in. My own son…a chosen hero… Damien, you’ll join the group that is going to overthrow Bandrial!”

“I know…” Damien said trailing off into his thoughts.

“Aren’t you excited for this son?” Alucard asked concerned.

“Yeah but, that means I have to leave Wen Lief. I have to go on a journey to find the other heroes and I have to leave you, mom, and the Farroways…”

Alucard could see that his son was torn between his own destiny and his own family’s safety, but then he noticed a light in Damien’s eyes as he shouted, ““I’M GOING TO FINALLY GO OUTSIDE OF WEN LIEF WOOOO!!!” He then covered his mouth with his hands realizing he just shouted his escape out loud. Luckily everyone was either asleep or almost sleepy and didn’t care. He sighed for relief and then told his father to help him prepare for the journey. His father agreed and they started packing the essentials in a small knapsack that wouldn’t overwhelm him much.

It took about an hour to make sure that everything was ready. He packed some water, food, a spell book, a map of Aurora (though it’s very outdated), and some ink for the fountain pen that Damien used to write in his journal. He brought his small strap with the compartment for the journal as well, hoping to finally confirm or debunk the knowledge he gathered from the mages over the course of eighteen years. Damien thought he was ready and was about to sneak past the night watch to the entrance when his father whispered, “Wait!”

Damien looked back and saw that he was accompanied by the Farroway children who seemed a bit sleepy as though they were woken up from their slumber.

“What’re you guys doing here?” Damien asked.

Glen spoke up first saying, “We wanted to see you off before you went Damien. I can’t believe that you’re the chosen one.”
Damien’s eyebrow went up when Glen had mentioned him as the chosen one.

Willow came up next and said, “Don’t worry, we won’t tell anyone we promise.”

Sleepy little Callen then walked side to side towards Damien and reached his legs before falling over and hugging them. “We’ll miss you Damie. Please come back soon!”

Damien could feel his tears well up but he tried to stay strong and hold them back for the others seemed to be close to crying as well.

“Don’t worry Callen, I’ll be back I promise.” Damien said before clutching Callen into his arms.
Aluden then spoke up carrying more items saying, “Damien, there are a few more things you should take.”

He handed a pair of sandstorm goggles, a dark purple sash, and a rope that seemed attached to something. Damien pulled on the rope and one of the Sand Dashers came out from the shadows humming a “Hooouuhhnn.”

“If you haven’t forgotten there’s going to be a sandstorm very soon. I’m not sure if you’ll make it outside of Sageburrow by then but just in case you happen to get caught in it keep these around your neck.” Damien obeyed and Aluden continued. “The sash goes around your mark. We wouldn’t want Bandrial or anyone else catching you as the Chosen hero of the comet. Put around and wear your gloves as well as special protection. Lie that you have been slightly injured in that area and need some covering to prevent infection. Make sure you don’t reveal the mark to anyone unless they are the other heroes.” Damien wrapped the purple cloth around his hand and covered both of his hands with his black gloves. He looked nervously at his right hand remembering the pain and the mark that had been placed on him just an hour ago and then he continued to listen to his father’s instructions. “And lastly this ‘Sand Dasher’ you call it is actually something the mages have learned to tame and use in my area of work. I thought this would be useful so you can outrun the sandstorm better than on foot. Climb on it Damien.” Damien obeyed and steadied the Sand Dasher to mount on it. The Sand Dasher brayed a bit before settling down with its owner on its back. When Damien looked back at his father and the three Farroway mages, he saw them conjuring elements and aiming them towards the nightwatch. “Lastly, on my signal you make the Sand Dasher go and make a run for it! I love you son. Make us proud.” Damien told him, “I love you too,” before his father shouted, “NOW!!!” Damien used the reigns of the Sand Dasher to signal for it to run and the Sand Dasher headed for the exit. Just before the night watch could make a barrier of earth, a combination of waterballs, air blasts, rock upheavals, and flashes of fire scared it off and Damien was able to escape the Wen Lief encampment and headed straight for the exit.



Awakening In a New Area: Mallowpine

When Damien woke up, he realized he was somewhere new. No longer did he see sand and dust around him. There was actually luscious green grass growing all over and dirt! Brown muddy coarse dirt! Damien wondered how he made it alive out of the desert. He remembered some flashbacks to the journey. The sandstorm had actually started to come up just as he saw the exit out of Sageburrow that was given away by the two crescent rock formation that seemed to point down as though to poke any trespassers. He had urged the Sand Dasher to hurry on but it was tired and so the sandstorm got to them. He had put on his goggles and his cloth mask before the sandstorm had gone over them, but there was zero visibility. Luckily the Sand Dasher seemed adapted to the sandstorm for it still followed Damien’s order to charge on ahead, remembering that it was straight across. Somehow they had made it over but afterwards it was foggy. He did remember witnessing some sort of commotion and using his magic to conjure a water bubble to hide inside a nearby river, but he doesn’t recall how he got onto this road that he was in. More importantly, where was the Sand Dasher?

He hoped that there would be someone that he can ask for information around to at least get his bearings. Damien had no idea where to even look for such heroes of light, but he did remember nothing what kind they were. He read the passage that he noted on the seven heroes of light:

Seven new roles will be assigned.
The Archer whose life is falling apart,
Shall pierce an arrow into your heart,
The Swordsman, whose blade is pure and true,
Shall rid the world of the likes of you,
The Shape shifter who never knew his past,
Will make sure that breath will be your last
The Mind controller, who is hurt deeper than skin,
Will make sure you never live again.
The Healer, soul full of precious light,
Will trap you with your hate and spite
The Mage, elements at his control
Will return the throne you lustfully stole
The Necromancer, who makes the dead alert,
Will haunt you with the ghosts of the people you’ve hurt


Damien noted his position as the Mage and liked his line “Will return the throne you lustfully stole.” ”So I need to find an archer, a swordsman, a shape shifter, a mind controller, a healer, and a necromancer,” Damien said to himself. This was going to take some work. He then turned and saw a beautiful girl cloaked with a dark cape and a hood that was down. She seemed to be heading towards Damien’s direction. From another direction coming his way as well was a man who seemed armored with a sword. He wondered whether these two people can help and so called out to the two, “Hey, you there girl in the cape and you swordsman, can I ask a bit of assistance? I seem to have lost my way and need help!” Little did Damien know that he was going to be meeting with the chosen Healer and Swordsman themselves.

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

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#, as written by Corvan
In a short amount of time Kale had gone from waking up and talking to people who had helped him to killing soldiers and assassins of Bandrial and being half covered in their blood. He had lost count of how many he had cut and killed as he moved through the maze like streets. "The comet..the mark..the killings..it all has to be connected somehow..and why do I have this blasted mark on my hand!" Kale shouted.


Two soldiers came out of a house laughing of their fresh kill when Kale came into their view sword out and covered in blood. "Halt!" One of them shouted. "What are you doing here and why is your sword drawn..no less pointed at us!"

Without waiting they charged Kale thinking he would be a easy kill. How wrong they were.


They both stabbed forwards with good speed but Kale easily stepped to the side as well as knocking their blades even further away from him. Kale then without waiting swiped his blade forward and cut the exposed throat of one guard and kicked his body into the second guard. Knocking them both down one drowning in his own blood, Kale leaped quickly and stabbed the second soldier in his chest, just missing his heart. "Suffer..for the innocent you took today" Kale whispered to both of them before running off down the street once more.


"I don't understand..why babies..they cannot of done anything wrong.." Kale shook his head. Bandrial was beyond reason to understand, evil and vile, her soldiers reflected her in every way.

Kale looked ahead and spotted a cloaked figure and slowed to a walk his sword out in front. As he neared the figure another figure to his right was also moving towards him. This person could be described as a woman in figure. Holding out his left hand which held his sword and showed his mark. WHen the man asked for assistance Kale wondered if the man was crazy. Did he not know what was going on in this city?

Kale got within a dozen feet of him and the woman. The woman looked frightened and had a good reason to be. "Your asking the wrong place for assistance. You have no idea what is going on in this town do you.."he looked to the woman and then back to the man " She does..I can see it..They are killing babies in this town..Bandrials soldiers are killing every single baby they find..and anyone who tries to stop them..we need to hide" Kale said as he looked around and behind him. Hopefully the fact the screams behind him told he was telling the truth they could hurry to hiding. He can handle his own against three or four but full squads and then things get difficult.

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Character Portrait: Lily Aurinar
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Having managed to find an inn for the night, Lily could finally get some rest and go over the day's events in relative peace and quiet. Before reaching the town, which she found out was named Fairhaven, the morning was mostly spent either walking or hiding from patrols so she wouldn't get caught and sent off to an untimely fate. As for the search for the other heroes, well... no matter how many times Lily walked the streets, she could find no trace of them. Either they were hiding under a really, really good disguise or none of them were in Fairhaven at all. But if that was the case, why would Morengar send her here? Well, it was getting dark, and maybe the answer would come to the necromancer after a good night's sleep...


The night was largely uneventful, save for a couple things that happened upon the midnight hour. As the comet passed overhead, Lily was contacted by Morengar, but this time in person. Or, well, as a voice in her head, but up until now it had always been messages sent by the spirits of the dead. This particular message wasn't long. Then again, it didn't have to be.

"Lily Aurinar, it is time. From this day forth you shall be marked as my champion for both the living and the dead."

What came next was some kind of searing pain, yet at the same time it felt icy cold. Unexpectedly thrown out of her slumber, Lily instinctively clutched at her right hand, but the pain had gone as quickly as it came. Curious, the necromancer held her hand to the moonlight coming through the window to check for any burn scars. Instead, she found a black marking that stood out clear against her pale skin. Lily did recognise the symbol, but any further investigation would have to wait until the morning, with better light and a clearer mind.


Sadly, Miss Aurinar did not get much of a chance to take a close inspection of her rune the next morning. The town was under siege! The gates had been closed and the sound of a steady pounding indicated that a simple battering ram had been set up. Every able-bodied man had been mustered to help defend the place, by the look of it. Lily decided to ask one of the town guardsmen what was going on.

"It's Bandrial's men," he said. "They're attacking Fairhaven, but we don't know why! We've been able to pay her damnable taxes, but I bet you anything she'll find any excuse to pillage us regardless." Another thud sounded from the ram, this time accompanied by an audible creaking. Those gates weren't going to last much longer, and despite the fact that she had a sword, Lily hadn't been in a battle like this before, not against dozens of armed and armoured men who'd kill you without a second glance. Morengar, you'd better be watching over me, the necromancer thought to herself as she got ready to either run or fight.

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Character Portrait: Bandrial the Wicked. Character Portrait: Toran
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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!"

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Character Portrait: Lilith Rawnstein Character Portrait: Aitan Wynn
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The black spade flitted down on the hand carved table; a trophy to the owner and a pox mark to the fellow competitors. Silence fell, even breathing stopped. And then hell broke loose in the form of angered and violent outbursts at recognition of defeat.

A heavy fist slammed down on the table, causing tokens and cards to fly. Women and men alike had gathered to watch the high intensity match. They jumped, all of them, startled by the crash of flesh against wood and ceased their cheering and shouting. Again they froze.

“An ace?” Growled the compition, “There’s no way, it’s like ya were readin’ minds er somethin’”

Aitan shrugged, a smile pulling across his lips. The room was ripe with ale and sweat. A whisper rippled through the crowd, but Aitan just smiled at the man who was now half standing and bearing down on his lengthy frame.

“I guess I’ve got lady luck on my side tonight.”

The smile broke into a grin. The competition’s face scowled.

“I call cheater.” He growled

Aitan laughed, bringing his beer to his lips and taking a hearty swig. How many had he had that night? How many rounds had he won? Aitan had lost count. Still, his pockets were heavy and bar tab more than paid, so he had no complaints… save that the man breathing in his face had fowl breath and a bad temper. No one liked a sore loser.

“Well that’s unkind, maybe you’ll win nex-“ He didn’t have a chance to finish. A heavy fist hit him square in the cheekbone and interrupted his sentence. Aitan, more than drunk, toppled like a card house. He thanked Odin and the gods of wine and pleasure that he’d had enough to numb his feelings, and not enough to slow his movements. He was on his feet and running before the next punch could land. Aitan didn’t look back.

It certainly wasn’t the first time he’d been accused of cheating and it probably wouldn’t be the last.


✵ ☪ ✵


The ground was cold and hard, but that didn’t stop Aitan from sleeping soundly in the dirt. The fire had long since reduced itself to ashes, the embers had faded and smoke dissipated into the night air. The man tossed and turned amongst the leaves. His hand clawed at his neck as he groaned in his sleep, head shaking from side to side as if her were in pain.

“Stop burning…” he mumbled, talking in his sleep, and dragged his fingers across his neck again. As the fire in the sky died down so did the restlessness of Aitan. Deep sleep became him again. . Neither wind nor comet awoke the drunkard that night, nor nothing else.

Nothing else, except for the rough tongue of a horse scraping across his cheek and a familiar voice slipping through his mind and interrupting disambiguated dreams. Aitan shot up, voice groggy from alcohol and sleep and calling out a name he hadn’t spoken in quite some time.

“Lilith?” It rolled off his tongue like honey.

A quick shift from fur to flesh made him queasy, with his eyes not quite following the intricate transition that shifters mastered. The snap of bone and squish of sinew made him close his eyes momentarily, waiting for his stomach to settle. Eyes and lips opened, a vicious scolding ready to unleash itself upon the poor girl- Gods she knew how much he hated that shit without warning! The nausea returned, head spinning with a pounding headache and Aitan then new that the spell had more to do with a hangover than a horsewoman.

Still, nothing mattered the instant that warm flesh pressed against his body; bare chest to bare chest in an immodest hug. Aitan allowed his hands to wander to the curvier portions of her body. She smelled of morning dew and leaves after a rainfall, of nectar from the sweetest flowers, and memories came flooding back. Aitan's hands roamed again, sliding through her hair and pulling her closer. Rough fingers slid across the smooth indentations at the base of her neck; a scar he hadn't felt there before. He pulled back, holding her at arms length to admire her for a moment in all her glory, before he began to walk around her to get a full view.

“Lilyblossom,” He chirped, placating her with pet names for sake of old times. His characteristic grin sprawled across his rugged features, wavering only as green eyes beset upon a shining white mark in her arm that hadn’t been there when last he’d seen his childhood friend. He would have missed it had his hands not been so keen to explore, had her hair been falling down her back instead of draped over her shoulder. The scar, or brand, had perfectly healed. His hand caressed the surface of it again.

“Gods, Lil. Who did this to you?”

Little did Aidan know, he had a matching rune engraved into the tanned flesh of his neck that, only hours prior, hadn’t been there before.

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Character Portrait: Kale Character Portrait: Damien Vespera Character Portrait: Elle Primrose Mystique
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The darkened clouds overhead continued to shift and morph cruelly, foretelling pouring rains that might come after it... And then there was a silent bolt of lightening flashing across the sky, a rumble of thunder coming after it. Elle's slightly startled face quickly shot up to the skies of heaven, her arched dainty eyebrows furrowing in slight irritation. Now all three, who were coming close, might be drenched in heavy downpours of rain. Elle didn't like getting wet while fully clothed preferring to be in the nude if ever her curved figure touched water. This will have to be somewhat of an inconvenience, at least to her, that she had to bear with and overcome until otherwise, she putting her annoyance quickly behind her.

Getting closer, the swordsman rose his left hand, in a form of peace, showing the telling comet-branded mark. Quickly as a result, Elle was really sure that he was chosen too, Ai foretelling her that a swordsman was to be a hero of light... This was really him... Another sigh of relief escaped her lips, some of the nervous edge lifting off her. Finally, all three closed the distance with one another, they getting a better peripheral look at each other. Elle's eyes widened with half fear and curiosity when she quickly studied the golden haired young man. He was covered half in blood, the distress in his wearied face easily shown. Elle knew all too well- he too had witnessed and was forced to experience the brutal bloodied events that transpired, still going on as of present.

"Hey, you there girl in the cape and you swordsman, can I ask a bit of assistance? I seem to have lost my way and need help!", the raven haired young man finally spoke, being the first. Elle turned her half tired lavender gaze to him in initial confusion. She didn't know how to respond to such a question seeing how everything was horribly unfolding around them. Did he not know what was going on? His demeanor seemed oddly calm but then again he looked innocently lost, truly naive in knowing with what was really going on. He seemed to come from a long trip from Sageburrow, judging by appearance he being a Wen Lief and the simple fact his clothes were covered in earth-tone sand.

"You're asking the wrong place for assistance. You have no idea what is going on in this town do you..", the golden blonde man finally replied, he confused and frustrated in response. Elle knew what was going on, understanding the man's plight readily. He slowly looked to Elle then back to the other man, "She does..I can see it..They are killing babies in this town..Bandrials soldiers are killing every single baby they find..and anyone who tries to stop them..we need to hide", he flushing out all his words to the both of them, specially to the man.

He was right.... Bandrial was really going out of her mind, ordering her army and secret police to rampage Aurora just so they could find and kill newborns. The reason behind her sick vile motivation was still unknown to Elle, she trying to find answers to why Bandrial was doing this. Elle agreed to hiding with the both of them knowing being out in the open wasn't safe anymore.... Another strike of lightening flashed across the sky, this time a thunder roaring above them louder. Light droplets of rain started to sprinkle on all three, the air around them oddly becoming cooler. Elle shivered slightly causing her to desperately clutch at her silver cape, pulling her hood over her head as well.

....And then her awareness sensed something, sensed a menacing presence coming closer.... Out in the dreary distance, the solider, who promised to capture her on horse, was coming near all three. Two more rounds of lightening and thunder, the dreadful solider came closer and closer to them, "You thought you could get away from me, didn't you!?!?", he shouted threateningly to Elle. Elle furrowed her brows in disgust, walking in front of both young men. The solider continued, "Ah! I see there are three more pathetic survivors!... I shall take great pleasure in slaughtering all of you!", he finished as he charged his horse readily at them.

Elle stood her ground and raised both of her arms quickly commanding her power, shield of faith. Automatically a force-field barrier like-dome spread around them. The shield was met for two but Elle made sure all three of them were inside it, exerting all the power and energy she had. This surely was going to negatively affect her soon after, knowing such a power could drain and zap the body of all energy. But she didn't care, they all needed to be protected, "Leave us alone or I'm really going to have to hurt you!", she shouted back angrily. The solider only sadistically laughed, just like Bandrial always did, highly amused that she would challenge someone of his strength and status.

"I will enjoy seeing you die first then!", he replied with promised fervor. His horse continued to race down the pathway where they all stood, his mighty evil-blessed sword on full display, ready to slain her and the young men, "Go now, you two! I'll hold him off as best I can. Run!", she shouted to the both from behind. These comet-marked heroes she needed to protect with all her life and she was not going to let them die because she couldn't protect them hard enough. "Go, I said!", she warned them again, the shield of faith power rapidly draining her. She began to weakly buckle at the knees as a cause of it, her eyes beginning to glaze over with exhaustion.

The solider just laughed at her displayed plight, taking great pleasure in her suffering just to see the others safely run away, "Challenge me instead but I will not let you lay a hand on them!", she shouted with all her might, not giving up even though her body was on the brink of giving way on it's self. This was going to be an easy kill for the solider, he smirking at that fact, rain now down pouring on everyone. "Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!", Elle and the solider both shouted, the former doing it out of fear while the latter doing it as a war cry, they beginning to clash into one another....



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Character Portrait: Dawn of the Wood Character Portrait: Kale Character Portrait: Damien Vespera Character Portrait: Elle Primrose Mystique
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Dawn awoke on the forest floor. She felt as though she had accidentally eaten some of the orange berries again, the ones that made your head go sort of funny and made you hallucinate. That would explain everything that happened to her the night before.

She was happy to see that despite sleeping out in the open, no one had bothered her while she slumbered. Her back was sore and it made sitting up a labored process. What had happened the night before? She tried to re-account the events.

She had left her cave because she heard the comet. It had seared something into her flesh, leaving her tired and then....

The stag. It had appeared to her, talked to her.

Dawn had never been a religious human being, and she didn't believe in Auryon, the supposed goddess of the hunt, but she knew the stag was real. She had seen it a few times in the depths of the Mallopine. It made her question her sanity. Was she so tired from the pain that she imagined the stag and the deep, majestic voice in her head?

What had it meant, that she was chosen, that the world would need her? It had never needed her before. She had been perfectly happy laying low in the depths of the woods and no one had ever come looking for her.

”Silly girl,” the voice boomed in her head. She raised her head and saw it again. The white stag. She slowly came to her feet.

”You see a deity right in front of you and still you question the gods? The world needs you, it is time to stop hiding. Get to hire ground and see how the world changed while you slumbered.” Still questioning her own mental state, Dawn obliged, climbing the trees to see what was going on outside her wood.

She could see the town on the very edge of the Mallowpine. Fairhaven, she believed it was called. Often wanders got lost in her neck of the woods from this town. Something was terribly wrong. Even from her distance she could see the buildings on fire and the corpses littering the streets. That town was in trouble, and she was sure that Bandrial was behind it.

”I told you the world would have much need of you, but you can start with Fairhaven.” Dawn wasn't sure what propelled her, especially since she wasn't sure if this Stag of her's was even really there. She hated people, and she had no idea how to communicate with them, let alone try and save them. Never the less, she was running, following her stag in the direction of Fairhaven.

She ran swiftly through the woods, following behind the Stag. They did this for what felt like hours when the Stag suddenly came to a halt. Dawn was confused, but then she heard the voices.

She heard them talk about the Evil Queen, and her slaughter of children. She agreed with the man talking.

'Why children?' She chose to stay hidden for the time, listening to their exchange when she heard the clang of a soldier on horseback. Dawn hissed.
What had her Stag gotten her into? She had not been forced to deal with soldiers in a long time. She was torn. She continued to listen. This man was after the girl, was she like her, a girl that was supposed to go into Bandrial's castle?

When it seemed that the girl would be overcome, Dawn knew what she had to do. She climbed the trees, trying her best to stay secret then, she let an arrow fly. She didn't even really have to aim, she knew her arrow would strike true. She shot him through his unarmored neck, and her barbed arrow did it's work, digging further into his muscles with the vibrations of the arrow. He fell off his horse and into the mud.

She knew that she couldn't remain hidden after that display of unmerciful spite. She jumped from the limb of the tree and in front of the three. She knew what they must think. Her hair was matted and soaked with dirt, but her hood hid most of that. Her face was streaked with mud, her clothes tattered, she smelled like an animal and the animal furs she wore didn't help.

”You are going to need these three, talk to them.” She wanted to tell the Stag that it didn't understand. She couldn't talk to anyone, let alone people as well put together as the three of them.

Instead she broke the arrow off in the man's neck, taking the end to use to mend other arrows and then looked up at them.

“I am going to Fairhaven,” She said slowly. Her voice cracked and she realized that it may have been the first time she had used it in years. “They need our help.”

“Show them the mark.”

She pulled back her hood, revealing the true nature of her head and hair, and showed them her shoulder with her brand. She was pretty sure they thought she was crazy and that the swords man would probably kill her on sight. Finally she repeated somewhat defeated...

“They need our help.”