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Author Topic: Radiant Darkness (By Scalerender and Maeriel)  (Read 379 times)

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Offline ScalerenderTopic starter

Radiant Darkness (By Scalerender and Maeriel)
« on: October 25, 2017, 04:16:59 PM »
Radiant Darkness : Chapter 1. Out of the light and into the dark.

Rage, pain, fury... Wrath.
Time had become an abstract concept, no beginning, no end... only torment. The rage burned away her sentience, clouded her mind.... It overwhelmed her, it ruled her.... It saved her.

When the fire died it felt colder then she ever felt before in her existence... Slowly her mind reformed, building itself up from the shattered remains of her identity. The bitter taste of betrayal returned as she remembered the atrocity committed to her.

The fiery serpent inside her stirred... Opening its hellish eye and peering into her heart....

How long had she been in the dark?

The darkness around her started to break away, fissures and cracks appearing in the thick inky black of her solitary prison, her bindings shattered.

Suddenly the world dragged her down and she fell upon her knees and palms, the unwelcoming air was cold and humid...

The light low and flickering, noise, thundering... No not thunder, the rhythmic banging of something colliding with a barrier, there again, and now once more...

The noises felt dampened, the light blinding her blurred vision...

The serpent inside raised its head, eyes glowing.... Serpentine tongue flickering out, It smelled its prey...

Voices, shouting... Anger, rage..

Something else snarling.... a beast, no, more then one...

Her senses started to restore themselves. The floor was made of a cold marble, red veins running through obsidian. The chamber was large, a temple... No, a tomb, large stone sarcophagi stood adorned in alcoves... Ornate, embellished... Important.

Her mind found its foundation, her thoughts formed more easily now...her surroundings becoming clear. Her body felt empty, weak...

She was surrounded by seven figures, behind them there was commotion as several figures rushed past... Five individuals wearing ornate robes of black with red edges, the sixth inverted crimson red with black borders. Their faces were partially obscured by the darkness of their hoods... Hints of thin pallid faces underneath. There was something strange about them, their eyes reflected light like hunters in the dark, one parted it's lips in a shocked expression and revealed long sharp incisors.

The seventh figure approached slowly, a point of calm in the chaotic scene that unfolded before her. He was the dark reflection of a knight, a ashen suit of armor with a sinister red sheen on it. Then ornate suit had been fashioned to terrify and intimidate, sharp edges and oppressive design. The helmet was fashioned to resemble the snarling Visage of a demonic bat... Red humanoid eyes glowed within the suit. In his hand he carried Darkslayer, or at least what remained of it. The blackened and blemished blade nothing like the noble heirloom she had once been gifted except for the basis of its design.

The ramming against the door continued and voices were heard chanting from the other side, snarls and hisses returned from inside the room. The dark knight knelt before her and offered the blade, his dark voice made more sinister by the horrid Visage of his helmet.

"Emryss... Angel if Wrath, we beseech thee... Aid us..."

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Rage was all-consuming. She thrashed against her dark confines, or so at least she felt she did. Emryss went through all faces of anger. Blustering, howling, seething, exploding, heaving, crying. For a while it was all she knew. Then it settled within and all there was was cold and dark and loneliness and defeat. Darkness was all she knew. No sense of time. No sense of self. Was it real? Was she trapped in a nightmare?

It took Emryss some time to realize before her eyes there was light. Her eyes had been closed and she had forgotten it. Only when enough light poured in did it catch her attention and her lids peeled back, it was blinding. Was it real or was it rage again flashing brightly in her view?

Cold. Damp. Hard ground. She felt dizzy, she felt... diminished. Muffled sounds hit her ears. A familiar sound, anger... she felt the tug and the coiling within, but the world was still spinning, nothing but that one (wrong) point of reference felt familiar. The ground finally felt solid and she realized she had been holding her breath, releasing it helped... even if it came with a low growl she didn't recognize as her own.


Slowly she rose from the ground to her feet. Emryss looked at the strange figures surrounding her, human-shaped but with animal eyes, animal teeth. What were they? How long had she been in the dark? She tried tempering the wrath within, but the frustration the ignorance brought tugged at her weakened willpower and she could feel the fire in her gut, slowly increasing, slowly rising.

Amber eyes settled on the knight who spoke to her. His red eyes were unusual, but she hadn't had close contact with the humans. She didn't have a good feeling about them, or maybe that was the wrath inside her. Her eyes settled on her blade, its state of defile brought another growl to her throat and tattered wings extended in anger, stoking it further with the pain the gesture still caused. Emryss snatched the blade from his hands and her hand grasped the edge of the collar of his breastplate, raising the knight from the ground, her fury causing some ripples of fear.

Through gritted teeth and eyes alight with anger, the Fallen Angel spoke, her divine voice was at the same time enchanting and frightful in the wrath which threatened to overcome her will.

"Who are you? Why do you have Darkslayer? WHY? Why should I aid you?"

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The Knight did not resist or evade her grasp but his lack of defensive reflexes suggested he expected her actions in some way. She lifted him of the floor with ease, her growing anger fueling her body rapidly. From her perspective the room became more lit, the cultists all flinched back as the light of bright flames momentarily illuminated them. The red robed cultists hissed alarmed, his voice carrying an accusing tone.

"I warned you Malakai, we should have fled while we had the chance! You've unleashed a doom upon us all!"

The cultists bared his teeth and then decided to run, three of his brethren following suit while the remaining two stood hesitating, looking between the fleeing Magus and the knight held by Emryss.

The knight grabbed the armoured forearm of the fallen angel to prevent being smothered by his own armor. He growled in discomfort, words coming out quickly in an attempt to explain himself before she ended him.

"We had no choice to awaken you here, the Illuminators are upon us please I can explain... I speak in the name of-

He was cut of by the sound of shattering woods, for a instant the entire crypt was lit up by n impossible bright light, there was panicked shrieking and screaming inside the room. When the light died one of the remaining cultists lay smoldering on the floor, the other had partially caught fire and ran away like a panicked animal. The Knight in her grip seemed minimally, if not at all affected. Neat the shattered doorway now clearly stood a smoldering statue of a gargoyle, grotesque clawed arms still raised to cover its demonic Visage locked in an expression of pain where it petrified. Across of the "statue" the other gargoyle had fallen forward and was close to collapsing, it's stone like skin cracked with multiple fissures that revealed an internal fire. Several vampirism Knights inside the crypt struggled to regroup, the burst of light having affected all of them in some way... Either burned or blinded.

Then surged in the soldiers and Knights, human warriors united in a fierce battle cry as they charged. They attacked everything that moved without mercy or doubt. Among them a still glowing priest stepped forward wielding a brilliantly glowing Morningstar which he descended upon the surviving gargoyle, shattering its cranium and ending its wretched unlife. He was well armored with an ornate halfplate decorated with gold and platinum, he wore a golden band over his shaven crest and upon his chest, inlaid with brilliant gold, was the instantly recognisable divine heraldry of House Morningstar... King Aoch's line. The warrior priest urged the men onwards with a booming voice.

"FIGHT! Fight my children! The Dawn is with us, slay the servants of the dark and banish them back to the shadows! For HUMANITY In the sun-God's name.. FOR AOCH!!!!!"

The serpent hissed in outrage and coiled around her heart, it's eyes burning with fury as it spit fire up her throat... God? GOD?!.... AOCH THE SUN GOD?!...

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Emryss' eyes were bright with inner fire, her wings ablaze had escaped her notice, her beautiful, terrible form no longer diminished, but revitalized, fueled... burning with power. Wrath coiled in her throat and her will felt like a fist trying to hold the rush of a river stream. Her piercing gaze held impatience as the knight began his explanation, so when the interruption came, confusing her for a few moments that cost dark creatures lives, she tossed the man aside, furious at those who would rudely interrupt.

That fury... that fury that crawled under her skin and made her heart beat in her ears was nothing compared to the consuming rage that flared inside and out as she saw that symbol and heard that name. God?! GOD?! WHAT HAS HE DONE? MONSTER! BETRAYER! The roar that left her throat reverberated through the halls. So many things she wanted to say. So many accusations to spit out, so many curses and so many threats. It all came in a single howl of pure wrath that could bring men to their knees and despair.

Darkslayer was brought high as her feet pushed off the ground and her powerful fiery wings buffeted those near her in the power to bring her, much faster than she normally would have, to the objects of her rage. There was no thought. There was no strategy, only terrible anger made into action in the absolute berserker frenzy that overtook. In one swing, two lesser knights were cleaved in twain. She kicked a third one to the chest, denting his armor in with terrible strength, making his ribcage cave in and a spray of blood come from his mouth in pink mist in the shafts of light that poured inside.

"DIE SPAWN OF THE BETRAYER!" Her side was struck by an emboldened, fervent knight and his eyes turned into pinpricks of terror when her twisted visage laid eyes on him. Her free hand reached for his throat slowly crushing his neck in devious delight, pure satisfaction. She was powerful... she was terrible... she was unleashed.

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

Eomyr wrested the spear from the chest of his opponent, the lad must've been no older then twelve. The pale youth had taken up arms to defend his dark masters when they breached the walls and he deserved death as much as the foul creatures that ruled him... If not worse. Eomyr felt vindicated, finally was he contributing to the war against the dark, finally was he seeking vengeance for his ancestors suffering. The brunt of the fighting was still happening inside the dark castle of the Vampire Lord but Eomyr had no desire to test himself against the vampiric monstrosities that hid away from the light. The thought made him glance up, they still had the light of day on their side, the breach had happened much later in the day then expected but he agreed that the attack needed to be pressed.

Now that the real fighting was done he was left with the clean up, and he did not mind in the least. Eomyr licked his lips and continued hunting for stragglers, there'd be more like the lad around... Maybe even a young whore serving the bastards that needed "impaling".. Eomyr grinned to himself.... He spotted two footman knocking their shoulders onto a locked door in the courtyard where he emerged.

"Oi, need a hand?!"

Eomyr shouted, the footman paused their breaching effort and turned, one of them pushing the oversized helmet a bit back. The other one wiped some sweat of his brown and leaned forward on his knees.

"Aye, at least three stragglers in there..." He grinned with rotten teeth. "Least two women by the sounds of it... If ye elp us break in down ya get a tur-"

The explosion caught Eomyr completely off guard and knocked him back on his ass. The heavy oaken door blasted outwards and crushed the two men with its terrible momentum. Eomyr coughed, choking on the dust and ash that washed over him. His eyes teared up but went wide as he saw the spectacle unfold before his eyes. Windows exploded outward with burst of smoke, ruble and fire in quick succession as some manner of projectile traveled upwards through the inside of the castle. Then what he thought to be a ball of hellish red and orange fire breached the roof and lifted up into the sky, burning debris falling and crashing into other parts of the castle... Eomyr stopped breathing when it spread its wings.... The figure it held was more like a ragdoll then man but regardless of the distance it was still terrifying to see him ripped apart. Eomyr gasped and crawled back frantically when one of the halves fell down directly towards him and crashed onto the ground no more then a meter from him with sickening wet slap... A golden, bloodied band rolled passed him and he could only watch in shock.... until the scream, the roar... Nay, the wail of hatred sounded from above... He whimpered a prayed...

"Aoch save me...."

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It had been like a comet rising upwards from the castle, for a brief moment there had been hope that the Battle chaplain had called upon a destructive miracle of the sun God but that hope was quenched when the "comet" descended upon the ranks of the allied forces again and again.

Field Marshal Strauss could only watch in horror as the wailing horror strafed over the lines and burned men alive. He could only watch as the thing crashed into the ranks and blazed through his forces, cutting scores of men down in a blink of an eye before ascending again and repeating its assault over and over. The enemy was not supposed to have such terrible weapons, not anymore and certainly not during the blessed time of daylight. What should have been a decisive victory was turning into a crushing defeat. Night would fall soon, and whatever accursed reserves the enemy still possessed would rise and descend upon them... The commander's words came heavily.

"Sound the retreat at once or we will all die here..."

The horn sounded, barely capable of competing with the hellish wails of the Angel of Wrath...

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The serpent nestled back, coiling itself together... It had been spent, it was empty.... It would rise again, shedding the skin of the serpent to become the dragon once more... But not now, now it was tired.

It had been a dream of glorious Fire and Death, a cathartic blaze of slaughter and vengeance that had liberated her from her shell and turned her into an engine of destruction and doom....

And now she was waking at dusk, standing on the field of slaughter amidst charred bodies and ash, at her feet lay the body of a Templar, his once radiant armor charred by fire and cauterised blood, defacing the cursed sigil of The Betrayer. The strength that had fueled her now left her and she once again felt weak and drained... Her tattered wings steaming in the cold air as rain evaporated on their still smoldering surface. Dark slayer still glowed with heat, drops of rain hissing as they kissed its surface.

In the distance the last of the enemy forces fled over the horizon, leaving behind remnants of their camp and siege weaponry... There were no wounded to leave behind. She was left alone with only the Sin inside her...Sin that was now hers as well...

The Dark knight had approached her courageously, or perhaps it was more insanity... Perhaps it was both. He removed his helmet slowly and spoke carefully not to trigger the destructive wrath he had witnessed. The barely detectable hint of pain added a little tremble in his voice. The silver bolts lodged in his back had not yet been removed.

" Their army has routed.... They will be dealt with come nightfall. They are the enemy that binds us, but the true reason of our alliance is the one that has sent me. I come in name of your brother, Sabaoth..."

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The rage had burnt through, like a fire that blazed too high and died down into embers and then into ash. She was weak again, lessened, not only by the slumbering wrath within her, but by the deeds, the terrible terrible onslaught. What have I done? Emryss had taken Aoch's Sin and made it her own after all. The dead and dying littering the field behind her... around her. She fell to one knee, Darkslayer ringing as it pierced the dirt ground ahead of her, her head bowed, long brown hair now wild cascaded around her face and she wept. Wept for her loss, wept for the dead, wept for her sin.

What had become of the world in her dark prison? How long had elapsed? How much had she missed? Aoch is the Sun God. How did the betrayer accomplish that? Were they the ones to blame? Did their idealism set the world into Aoch's hands? And what did he plan to do with it? So many questions, her head was spinning, aching, in her chest she felt a pressure. Her heart was breaking again, the pain was humbling. Emryss was the very definition of a Fallen Angel in that painted moment in the canvas of time. Covered in dried blood, ashes, tears streaking the mess on her angelic face.

And then his dark voice sounded behind her, breaking the deafening quiet around her in that field of terror. The sky darkening like her mood. Accusing amber eyes glanced behind her, he was no man. He was something else. The darkness burned in his eyes, the light scorched them like a blemish under the sun. That was not just because of Aoch. Was it? It couldn't be. Her escalating thoughts were brought to a halt at the sound of her brother's name, a sound from another life, a chord plucked deep inside her. "Sabaoth? Sabaoth is working with children of the dark?" Her voice sounded different in her ears, where before it sounded like the silver harps of angels, now it was almost aggressive to her ears with the anger barely contained ringing behind it. "Where is my brother? Where are we?"

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There was a feral twitch in the Knights handsome Visage when she mentioned "The dark". An involuntary twitch that suggested a deep seething hatred, something she knew now all too well. He approached slowly, easily carrying himself over the destruction on the field. As the sky darkened there were fierce howls sounding from all around the land, a swarm of bat's and larger more unnatural creatures rose and gave pursuit to the fleeing army in the distance, it did not phase the dark knight whose red eyes were locked upon the Seraph.

Lord Sabaoth is more then simply working with us, but it is not my place to speak for him... I only act in his name as I was instructed.... " There was a flicker of hesitation before he continued" My knowledge of the seraph is limited to what lord Sabaoth has chosen to unveil but I believe you must know that The Dark hold no more sway here... The Age of Darkness has passed, it has abandoned these lands and left.. "it's children" to fend for themselves.. We are divided, broken.... Disillusioned... Left only with the curse of its passing and those that seek to extinguish us for it... My Lord will speak more of this...

You are in Tosk, the western border of Yluskia... Lord Sabaoth awaits you a few days from here. The "allies" here will wish to speak to you after this display of power... I suggest we do not offer them the chance and leave at once...." He lifts one hand in a rising gesture, the temperature of the immediate area around them dropped a few degrees and from the shadows drew a spectral mass that rapidly manifested into a ghostly steed formed out of the blackest shadow. Dark steel barding layered with frost protected its void black mass, a set of white fangs mimicking its vampirism master armed its maw and hellos red eyes blazed from its dark skull. The Knight mounted the creature and extended his hand to her.

"Your brother awaits..."

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Emryss fought to keep up with what the knight was telling her and wrap her head around it without succumbing to bickering over the details, accusing him of lying, grabbing him by his pale neck and put pressure until the satisfying pop of his spine hit her ears and she watched his red eyes roll to the back of his skull for speaking such nonsense.

If the man invoked Sabaoth, 'Lord' Sabaoth, it couldn't be a mere coincidence. Whether he lied about the dark or not remained to be seen, even if he was not like the creatures of the dark she was used to. Just then the quiet became a cacophony of the unholy and she sneered. Was this the world now for her? Tossed with the enemy in function of bringing a bigger enemy low? Was the end worth of these means?

Amber eyes looked down to the templar's disfigured symbol of Aoch. Her teeth gnashed in remembrance of her betrothed, of his insidious cunning, of dumping his Sin in her and her companions, absolving himself and damning them to life in torment inside coffins. She'd see the life leave his eyes yet. If joining this abomination was the way to it, then she'd take it.

Her boot crushed heavily on the symbol on the breastplate, further wiping the Morningstar from existence, sending a cloud of the man's ashes up from the ground. Emryss' striking eyes settled on the unnatural Knight and the lack of reaction that still seemed to be after he had ripped the bolts from his flesh. A look of distaste and the crackling of the leather on the hilt of Darkslayer were her response to the magic he cast. After a moment's hesitation, she took his hand and mounted, feeling exhaustion, such an unusual sensation. "Take me to my brother... whoever you are... "

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The steed shifted on its hooves and shook its head as it would when alive, a mocking perversion of animal behaviour. The Dark Knight waited until she had secured herself on the sadle, glancing over his shoulder when she spoke her words. it shamed him that he had not properly introduced himself to a figure of her stature and he lowered his head slightly as if apologising for it. When he spoke he spook with a surprising amount of pride, despite his nature he possessed the chivalrous manner that was familiar even to Emryss.

"My name is Malakai of House Aredelian, Born in life from the blood of Gyrr'delah, Sired into unlife by Count Dimitru III of House Aredelian. Bloodknight sworn to the Order of The Bat and loyal vassal of Lord Sabaoth. As you are of the blood of my lord ... I am yours to serve...."

With a simple tug of the reigns of his steed they departed, the swiftness of the spectral creature unmatched by any living animal. As it moved the darkness of it's body trailed behind them like an inky smoke, revealing the cold blackened bones of a horse underneath with hellish glowing eyes. As it reached a certain speed it felt as if it no longer touched the ground but rather glided over it leaving them without the constant shocking of its hooves hitting the ground. Like its master the steed was tireless, sprinting at its full speed without interruption. The landscape around them was one of dark beauty and eerie magnificence, dark forests that had been remade into the twisted fantasies of The Darkness now fed upon the true Sun once more and existed in a state of turmoil with itself. The landscape was one of sheer mountains and misty peaks, it was a natural beauty that did not exist in her native plane...Even in its recovering state it was unlike anything her people were familiar with. Bestial howls sounded in the night and upon occasion predators both terrestrial or aerial gave pursuit to them only to give up moments later. Dire wolves with glowing eyes or Bats the size of a horse spotted on more then one occasion as they sped over the well travelled road.

They passed sleeping villages at a distance, lit torches perfectly lining out the perimeter walls that protected those that slept within from the creatures of the dark. For hours they traveled until the first signs of dawn started appearing at the horizon, it felt like the night itself began to flee together with the nocturnal life that stalked the shadows. It was around this point that the Malakai veered from the road and moved towards a small village sitting in a valley, the winding roads down the mountain offering no obstacle to the spectral mount as it leaped and glided down through the air on a streak of spectral energy. Dirt and gravel were kicked up as the steed landed, once more touching the earth as it slowed down and approached the perimeter wall. What Emryss saw next was bone chilling....
The fortified walls were made of thick strong woods and had been enhanced with spikes and a ditch all around its base filled with sharpened pikes. Claw marks that marred te walls a testament to the hostile wildlife that roamed at night. Small wooden watchtowers were placed strategically around the wall, two of which flanking the entrance to the village which they now approached. The militiamen upon the watchtowers wielded long spears and bows, they wore light armor that reinforced their bodies. None of them were alive, in any traditional sense of the word. Three of the six were nothing more then skeletons wearing clothing and armor, the other three had pale dried skin stretched over their bones, unholy white light burning in their eye-sockets. One of these undead was equipped better then the others. The wight leaned forward on the balustrade of the tower and peered down to the travelers that stopped before the gate. His voice was a raspy sound from beyond the grave.

"Hail travelers, who goes there? Who braves the night to reach the gates of Vull...."

Malakai spoke with command and pride, sitting upright in the saddle, he spoke his entire lineage which he had given her before and added. "... I request the right of hospitality under our Lords Rule, I am in need of Nourishment and shelter from the hated light...."

The wight listened to the introduction and request with discerning eyes and nodded in acceptance, there was a ritual feel to the entire exchange and the wight spoke with certain reverence.

"Vull offers hospitality to those who serve under the benevolent rule of Lord Sabaoth... Be welcomed in Vull My Lord... The willing will be summoned at your leisure..."

Without further delay as dawn aproached, the gates were opened and Malakai urged his steed
onward. The heavy reinforced doors closed behind them immediately, Emryss noticed a far greater deal of skeletal guardians behind the walls, armed and ready to surge out at a moment's notice. Emryss felt the inquisitive eyes of some of the wights on her, even some of the skeletons regarding her with empty eyes..

Inside the walls was an open and spacious town with small fields for farming and animal husbandry. The stone and wood architecture was simple and functional with only attention for aesthetics on the archways around the doors which were carved from exquisite woodwork. As they moved on along the main road one of the guards behind them sounded a horn which rang throughout the entire tow-stead...Malakai stopped and waited. Moments passed, making the Bloodknight more uncomfortable as the cover of night was growing thin. Then she saw it, candles appearing on windowsills here and there.. Malakai approached the largest home in the immediate vicinity where a candlelight had appeared and dismounted before it. The Knight offered a hand if required and nodded at Emryss before turning towards the home and knocking on its door, a balding man with black beard in sleep attire and furs around his shoulders opened. He appeared nervous and slightly afraid, he bowed his head and spoke in a humbled tone.

"I invite you into our humble home my Lord... We are honored to offer you shelter... "

The Knight entered, a slight twitch of haste in his steps as if the door was not alone to stop him from entering. The humble home was warm and smelled of burnt ceder-wood, it felt welcoming and well maintained. Waiting inside the hall was a tall young man around 17 years of age, he was built strong and haalthy but lacked the facial hair that marked him as a man. The old man and his son seemed stunned when they noticed Emryss, eyes wide with both admiration and astonishment... Malakai's words barely able to stop his gaze.

"She requires no nourishment other then the food she requests, treat her as living... I however..."

The Bloodknight had removed his helmet and was waiting politely on his host, the man flustered and bowed his head apologetically before stammering and gesturing to his son.

"My son Heimich is willing, he is strong and healthy and suffered no illness in two years..."

The man proclaimed with some pride and the youth seemed equally proud of such. Malakai regarded him for a moment and nodded in both approval and gratitude, the gesture seemed once more rules by ritual. He then turned to Emryss. Under the light of the home and without his helmet she now noticed the more delicate features of his face. Pointed ears, fair alabaster skin and handsome facial features... The Elven ancestry had been well known to the Seraph, for they were the first of the mortal races to fall to The Darkness when it came to devour the mortal realms.

"We must stay here until the day has passed, I will not take too long... This family will offer us succor and hospitality... Unless there is anything else..., with your leave?"

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Emryss listened to the Knight's introduction and only offered a nod of acknowledgement before mounting along him. She was not comfortable with putting arms on his to steady herself, so once the steed seemed to almost glide and the trip turned steadier, she released the hold and enjoyed the open space. She had been stuck in darkness so long that even with the obvious lingering tendrils of The Dark touching the landscapes, she was pleased. Air on her face and hair, sights to see. She was quiet and her mind was restful. There was much to inquire, but nothing she was willing to do just now. Emryss wanted to know what her brother had to say, and how exactly was he the Lord of unliving creatures.

By the time they had reached the town, Emryss had fallen to a near trance, not even the creatures that had attempted giving chase had stirred her from it, but the sight of the town did. The place was heavily protected for such a place and judging by what she saw and the state of the thick, large logs, it was with good reason. All of it of course, was still hard to fathom for Emryss, even if it were not skeletons at the gates, the day-to-day struggles and the lives of mortals were strange things for her still. The angel had started to question whether or not there were any living at the side of her brother when the word 'willing' hit her ears. The prospect of what it meant chilled her. Were there actually people offering their blood to the likes of Malakai?

Emryss' tattered wings shuddered to banish the soreness from the ride as they slowly came to a stop in front of a large house. The ritual sounded odd to her, but she supposed it was a natural thing to offer permission for one to enter another's home and the trepidation in Malakai was simply attributed to the coming dawn. Amber eyes shone more like the gems whose colors they resembled in her ash and blood covered face as she lowered herself to pass the threshold of the house with her large tattered wings. Even in her ragged, diminished and filthy state, she stood proud, strong and regal.

It was perverse, this thing she witnessed quietly, the offering of a child to the bloodlust of a creature of the dark. She wasn't pleased, but the man and his son, despite the nervousness, seemed proud in their sacrifice. Emryss knew a good deal of sacrifice. She looked at the man and his son as they stared at her incredulously and her eyes lingered a little before moving to Malakai as he requested her leave. A nod was all she offered, before her voice, beautiful, but strained by all the screaming, reverberated through the walls of the homestead. "I require a bath, drink and nourishment as well as rest." Emryss wasn't being rude, per se, she just was used to mortals doing their bidding on the few interactions she had ever had with them.

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It was strange to walk among mortals without the look of adulation and inspiration in their eyes, not that she failed to impress. The man had seen more than mortals tended in the ways of the supernatural, at least by what Emryss remembered of their short turbulent lives. Perhaps the fact she still managed to impress and intimidate the man was to be taken as a compliment, or perhaps her light had dimmed so and she radiated something much darker now...

The sleeping serpent flicked its long tongue out, tasting the air.

The home was at the limit of humble, possessing some decoration that signified an allowance for common luxury; a simple painting, a wooden carving. The man guided her to a living room of sorts and had asked her to wait while he prepared her bath and made arrangements for food. It took no more then a momet, or so her distorted sense of time told her, the man had woken his wife and prepared a bath with heated water almost instantly as far as Emryss could tell...but then again, a mortal's life is so frantic and fast... Had she withdrawn so deeply within her thoughts?

The bathing chamber was nothing more then a small chamber with a wooden tub filled with steaming water, a collection of local herbs infusing with the water to grant it a fresh smell to cancel odor's. There was nothing in the way of soap or such, little did Emryss know that it was a small victory altogether that the family had a bath to begin with.

By the time she emerged from her bath the light had already take the outside world and immediately the air felt different. The oppressive darkness had left, and yet...so had the blanket that obscured the world from the Sun God's eye. She smelled the scent of food in the air as she returned to the central room, a middle aged woman wearing simple but graceful clothing, incorporating some furs and simple jewelry, had just finished setting the final elements on the table. They had obviously attempted to offer a humble feast for their guests. A serving of month old stew, a wedge of hard goat cheese and some sour bread. Some selection of fruit that had managed to grow large and healthy enough to be eaten safely without cooking seemed to be the prized element. The woman nearly dropped the simple wooden tray she was holding when seeing her, eyes wide with surprise, astonishment and even a little fear when seeing the Seraph walk into her living room. She bowed her head and awkwardly held the tray to her chest, at that moment the husband walked in with a steaming pot of herbal tea...he immediately halted his hasty steps when seeing Emryss in the room with his wife and then quickly put the pot on the table while softly dismissing his wife.

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Emryss' chin jutted up just slightly as the men didn't react to her as she expected, her pride and vanity somewhat wounded and she felt angry, her tattered wings ruffled. Emryss, control yourself! One sin is enough! Maybe they it's because you are so dirty... maybe you are just not what you used to be. Don't blame the mortals, they are but children... Squaring her shoulders, she felt more like herself, so much had been done to her, to everyone, so much time passed... She couldn't truly expect the world to be the same.

At least Emryss could be pleased that they were very expedient in their seeing to her needs. She had barely sat down and a bath was drawn to her. That couldn't be right... how long had she actually sat there? As she was guided up into the bathing chamber she was thoroughly underwhelmed. The lavish marble baths, heated waters, flower petals, oils and soaps and plants and sun... She sighed lightly. Her life would never be the same. And this is war. Be glad for a bath. She nodded her assent to the residents and the worked on removing some of the grime from her skin and armor with a damp towel.

The bath was less accommodating and relaxing that it could have been, quickly growing dirty with all that covered her long brown curls and her skin. By the time she finished with it, the water was cold. She rose and dabbed herself dry, cleaning her armor and weapon as much she could without truly giving thought to the mess she was leaving behind for the owners. It wasn't malice, just lack of experience...

It felt such a cruel punishment, not just having gone through all that Aoch has done to them, but being robbed of the simple pleasure of basking in the sunlight. Spreading her wings and feeling the rays shining on her as a pleasant thing. Now it felt like she was just exposing herself to the enemy. Her mind was embroiled with its own questionings, where are the others? What happened to them? Where did the Darkness go and why? Was Aoch wrong in chasing these people? Weren't they tainted by the dark?

Emryss was brought out of her musings by the woman's shocked reaction to her presence. The Seraph's long brow hair was wet and braided together since there was no other manner of keeping it presentable in her current circumstances. She looked more herself without the grime of ash and blood, even if a sad mockery of herself in her dirtied white and gold armor and the tattered wings which had preciously been whiter than the clouds and so lush with life. She eyed the woman as she was dismissed, offering her a simple grateful nod for the food. It was far from what she was used to, but Emryss knew the value of parting bread and the significance behind it, it was a sacred thing, so her strong, beautiful and terrible voice sounded. "Thank you." She eyed the man and took a seat on the table, taking one of the fruits to eat and cherishing the taste of it, realizing just how famished she'd been.

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The woman nearly stumbled when she thanked her,she gazed at Emryss with wide and surprised eyes and nodded gratefully for her words more then once. The husband helped his wife out of the living room and then returned to stand in wait as she broke bread. Moments passed before the door leading to the hallway opened, Malakai stepped in carrying his helmet under an arm, it almost looked like a griom trophy of some manner of demon bat. It was striking how different he looked, his skin seemed brighter, face fuller and eyes brighter with the virility of life. The near cold and colourless tone of his flesh now had a very faint pink shade to it as new life coursed through his veins. Even his hair seemed fuller and more lifelike, cascading down over his shoulders and grim armour like silken waves. The Mortal bowed in his presence as if welcoming a king in court. Malakai approached the man and offered him a single coin, or rather seal. The metal disc was inlaid with valuable metals and a single ruby in its centre. The man accepted the seal with great reverance and gratitude. The Bloodknight's voice sounded strong, melodic and almost bristling with energy.

"Your son is strong, he requires rest... Thank you for your hospitality.... Please, leave us."

The man bowed his head in acceptance to the praise and then proceeded to leave as requested, there seemed to be less horror and dread involved then Emryss would expect. In fact there even seemed to be an aura of relief and even pride coming from the man. the compensation for his son's offering more then eased the man's mind so it seemed. Once the mortal left them Malakai regarder her once more, he gestured to the table where she sat and politely asked permission to join her.

"May I join you?..."

He regarded her with a stoic expression , his ruby eyes glowing slightly with a unnatural light. It was hard to read anything from the regal and elegant knight, despite the aura of Darkness he acted with the sort of nobility expected of a knight, even mirroring the composure of a seraph in a strange way. Perhaps not unthinkable considering Sabaoth lorded over him. Her brother always was demanding from himself, the troops and even her. Her brother was a perfectionist, never pleased and always expecting more, better.... There was a time where one may think it humility, an oposite of pride. But now, thinking on it one may see the sin in his ways, never satisfied, always hungry.

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Emryss felt that the reaction of the simple yet proud woman had been more appropriate than her men and was pleased. The presence of the husband to wait on her was only correct and as such, Emryss ate calmly, sampling some of the hot tea she had been poured. Everything was lacklustre compared to the bounty brimming with taste and life in her plane, but she was so starved that it felt like the banquet the woman had intended it to be.

Amber eyes were flicked swiftly to the entrance of the dark Knight. Her initial instincts were still on the offensive side when seeing the sinister armor and the unholy aura, but she forced herself to relax and remember that the man was bringing her to Sabaoth. The next sentiment was of surprise. The difference was stark between the creature that had left her and the knight who almost looked alive, asking for her leave to sit. It was as curious as it was perverse. She motioned him to a chair while calling to the leaving husband. "Bring me to your son after I am done eating."

Emryss took a spoonful of the stew and a piece of bread, she ate in a manner in-between warrior and Lady. All the etiquette, but none of the daintiness and tiny little bites. She studied the man in front of her silently, realising that she wouldn't be meeting her brother that quickly, hating the lack of mobility that she now possessed. "Tell me about my brother as you know him."

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The knight nodded and placed the grotesque helmet upon the table and pulled the chair to sit. Their host was taking his leave when she made her demand and the mortal stopped in his tracks, there was a quick look at the Vampiric noble in the room which nodded discreetly at the inquiry. Impressive as she was the mortal seemed only to recognise the authority he was familiar with, he bowed towards her before finally taking his leave. Malakai settled into his seat somewhat stiffly, making sure to retain the proper pose of nobility and grace. his ruby red eyes locked on her when she posed the question and it was obvious that it was a loaded one. He glanced away for a moment as he accessed a series of memories, once he formulated his answer he looked back at her and spoke with confidence, pride and an even voice that betrayed no deviant thoughts.

"To say I know Lord Sabaoth is to claim I know a God, he is a beacon to me as he is to many others. There were times, dark times, before this age where my kind roamed freely and enslaved mortals, treated them like cattle and playthings. The Darkness within made us this way, it was the order of things as we knew it. When the Darkness left our souls were freed from its control and we were confronted by what we had done and there was a great division... Some wished to continue on The Path of Darkness, Others did not... our society was at the verge of collapsing just as all of The Dark's children were when it left. Lord Sabaoth has suffered more then any of us since the departure of The Dark, for years it was believed he was lost to us...consumed by self loathing and regret of what he had become...Until he returned to us.

For most there were only two choices, either to continue the Path of Darkness or be consumed by self-loathing and seek eternal rest. Others sought to become Lord and Master over the Dark's children but only succeeded in alienating our allies and weakening our forces while the Armies of The Dawn grew stronger... The Fallen showed us a third option, a path of redemption, the path towards a future that does not lead to the ultimate descend into darkness as a willing thrall of evil. A Path where we forgive what we were and accept what we are. A path that unites us against the encroaching armies of the light, even now in these times he remains a rock upon which we can build. Your brother has spend the better part of a century looking for you since The Age of the Dawn began, we have lost much and the division of the Dark's Children has never been greater but...

Seeing you, there might still be hope..."

The Bloodknight spoke with a certain reverence while sharing the part of history with her, he fully believed every word he spoke and seemed o take pride in it despite the taint of darkness that surrounded the legacy of his kind. He spoke about the Dark with a subtle loathing, as if every recognition he offered the primordial force of evil left a bitter taste in his mouth that clung to his tongue. Of The Age of Dawn and light he felt a different sort of loathing, the fire in his eyes and twitch of his lip that revealed those sharp incisors suggested hatred...The Serpent's eyelids twitched and its burning eye looked around for a moment, sensing the intensity of his anger.

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Emryss felt a little insulted her offer of aid was taken with certain suspicion and the man looked at the creature of darkness for confirmation that he could accept her gift. The gnashing of her teeth and the whites of her knuckles gripping the cutlery did not hide her anger. For a moment, she could feel that ball of fire Aoch had deposited in her like the very seed of Sin burn a little. The knife she held bent like made of clay... and then she pushed it down. She needed the wrath kept under control. The Seraph in her begged her to keep it under control and have compassion for these lesser creatures who stumbled around like children in the dark. Hot air left her nostrils, planting the twisted knife on the table, and she focused on Malakai and his revitalized visage which was a lot less of a flaunting of his dark origins to her angelic instincts.

Confused, Emryss tried to piece together the events Malakai was describing her. What did he mean with her brother suffering with the departure of the Darkness? The implication was disturbing and her wings which had rested folded to each side of the chair unfolded slightly. How long had she been in her prison? Could anyone even tell? She was robbed of her appetite, sliding her mostly finished bowl forward and taking an apple, turning it in her hands as she tried to put the story Malakai told her into context, to make the puzzle pieces fit somewhere in-between what she last remembered and now. What had been Aoch's end-game?

A soft rumbling growl started coming into her throat as her frustration melded with the seething anger she could feel in Malakai and the wrath stirred inside. Not yet. Amber eyes closed and she took slow deep breaths and looked at the man again, trying to keep the passion from her voice, trying to be more herself, even if his words had resonated with something deep inside her. Forgive and embrace... When she opened her eyes again she spoke once more. "You had implied before that you know things of us Seraph. What exactly do you know? Why was my brother not there with you? Are you implying he had anything to do with The Darkness? Aoch had abandoned the mortals... how has he returned?"

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The Bloodknight showed no fear in the presence of Wrath incarnate, but there was caution in his eyes. Malakai knew he had no chance of surviving should she unleash the divine fury that resided within her, of this he made no mistake. He had to walk carefully upon the line that divided his duty from her sensitivities, his Lord had given him a task which he already had failed in completion. Where he to receive mercy he would have to complete the most essential parts without flaw. He could no coerce her, to lie or deceive her would certainly be noticed and her anger would be given the freedom to lash out. Emryss saw the hesitation, the pause between her questions and the answer. He did not deny her, he was to serve her for she was the blood of his Lord.

"I know the Seraph hail from the plane of Light and Law, I know that the Lord of the Everlit city ascended to godhood and became the Sun-God in the absence of the one before him. I know The Betrayer is the one who cast Lord Seraph and your kin down from the heavens through great trickery and deceit.... There are chronicles of those who came before my kind, before the fall... That spoke of warriors of light and Justice facing The Darkness to protect the people of this plane... I know at one point they stopped, they abandoned the war here and offered this world to The Darkness....

Unlike you Lord Seraph was not imprisoned during the Age of Darkness, he walked with it before we were born into this world.... He served just as we did, as a Child of The Dark... When the Age of the Dawn began Lord Seraph was cursed with inner turmoil and strife, few realise that his inner war has never stopped... He rarely leaves his keep for he knows his power is difficult to control... He calls it The Hunger and few exist today that have seen him use it, it is the legends of his terrible gift that keep some of the more" rebellious elements" of my kind in line...."

It was not the way he spoke, it was not his voice or his manner, it was the dying light within her that made her sense something from him. He was trying not to lie just as much as he tried to hide something from her. There was a time where such deceit would be all but impossible in her presence, the light that shone from within was that of truth and Justice and Mortal souls could not bare to resist it. As a creature of the Dark, as a bearer of immortal blood he could and he did...but not without giving her some sense of it. He was dancing around something.

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It was becoming more and more difficult to keep the flames of rage inside her from taking, from being stoked from their ashes and ember and become roaring fire once again. Emryss was aware that were it not for the fact she had been unleashed, succumbing to the wrath and making scores pay for the affront of serving who they did, that she would have razed this town already, cut down Malakai for daring imply that her brother had serve as a Child of the Dark. For daring to look her in the eyes and keep things from her. Her fist met the table's wooden surface making plates and cutlery rattle loudly with the strength.

"Do I look like an idiot to you, Malakai? Like a child? I am Emryss of House Endor, first daughter of one of the most prestigious ruling Seraph families. Destroyer of The Dark Horde of Lorryr, Wielder of Darkslayer, Champion of the Third Legion. I have killed more of the Dark Tainted than you'll ever know and I will not refrain from taking the habit once more." Her voice had surged with the wrath in it again and she was once more trying to push back, even if she could no longer be as terrifying as she were until she had some rest, it didn't mean she couldn't inflict a lot of harm.

Moments passed in which she gritted her teeth and held onto the solid table, staring holes into Malakai's ruby eyes, hers burning with light again for a few minutes. Then she huffed and managed to push down the ball of anger in her throat. "You are hiding something and I can see it clear as day. What is it? Spill it out before I do it for you."

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Offline ScalerenderTopic starter

Re: Radiant Darkness (By Scalerender and Maeriel)
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2017, 04:17:37 PM »
The serpent opened its eyes with an excited hiss, as it rose up ready to strike the fire withing ignited making the edges of its scales glow with a hot white heat.

Her eyes glowed like white hot coals and her wings began smering with heat, was she even aware of the changes her anger were causing on her body? Malakai 's musings were quickly pushed aside with his growing concern. He had been arrogant in thinking he could temper her anger by being selective of the information he was choosing to give her. Without any sign of trepidation or deceit the knight took a knee, one hand still placed on the helmet which rested on the table.

He lowered his head as if she were Sabaoth himself and spoke with sincerity, knowing there was not way out other then absolute sincerity. His tone of voice was without fear or tension which one may expect, he tempered his pitch knowing full well what he spoke was the absolute truth.

"I apologise, I have offended you with my arrogance. You are right, I am hiding information from you but not in order to deceive you. My Lord had commanded me to bring you to him without releasing you, knowing that this world, it's people and his servants may offend you. He trusted me with the knowledge to undo your binding to use if there was no other choice...

You are the blood of my Lord, I can not deny you answers... I merely do not wish to speak of things that The Fallen wishes to speak you of personally and I have not the arrogance to believe that I know the intricacies of your history, or even this world. If my actions have lead offend you so that you feel that you must punish me then I implore you to allow me to bring g you to your brother first... Let my failure not be the burden of others.... "

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Emryss felt heat at her back, causing her to look over her shoulder. Her wings... the heat was inside her, inside her throat, threatening to travel up and make her shriek once more. She thought of the mortals, of the people in the village, of the youngster who proudly offered his blood because he believed he was serving a just cause, as much as that sounded nearly impossible in her mind. She couldn't allow her wrath to overcome her. It was not the time nor the place.

The knight dropped to his knee as she rose to her feet, her muscles straining to contain the overwhelming wrath. He spoke and she listened, though the sneer on her beautiful features was terrible to behold. His words were appropriately contrite, and his manner. An underling shouldn't speak of matter above him in his Lord's stead and as much as the half-answers irritated her, she respected his honorable view of his task. Her brother didn't want her released... she couldn't help but imagine it was not to protect her at all... but to protect those around her.

Emryss was like a kettle threatening to boil over and attempting to contain the fires were no mean feat. But she was no mere Seraph, she was Emryss of House Endor, Champion of the Third Legion. She needed to find a center of calm a place where her wrath could give way to something else. She tried latching on to a happy memory, but years in the dark had stripped her of those. Instead, came a sad one. She stood on the balcony overseeing the ever-blooming gardens of the Morningstars. It was the afternoon after the lunch where her engagement was announced. Two powerful families joining as one. Her parents couldn't be more proud. Emryss was far from it. His voice sounded behind her, so very remarkable. "Congratulations." Malfeon said. Her heart broke at the sound of his sincerity.

The sadness helped, even if it hadn't been her intent to dig the memory. The twisting on her face was very visible passing from wrath to pain as her heart broke all over again wondering what had become of her leader. The light dissipated from her eyes. The temperature around began dropping again as her wings ceased to smolder. Emryss opened her amber eyes so tired and broken. "Take me to the boy and let me rest..." her voice came lower, almost breaking.

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There was a faint rise and fall of his chest, a sigh.. a redundant action of his body that expressed the relief he felt for not being burned away by the furious wrath that dwelled within her. He rose to her request and bowed his head in acceptance before moving towards the door where the mortal had disappeared. He opened the door and stepped aside so the man could come in, there was a little hesitation and unease in his movement. The middle aged man looked between the Blood knight and the Seraphim.

"Take her to your son... She will rest afterwards..."

The man looked somewhat worried and part of him was ready to object and question, the strength of a father's love enabling him to bolster himself for such an act even in the presence of such authority. Surprisingly enough the Knight felt urged to speak, his voice held no compassion or warmth.

"Your kin is protected under the tradition of hospitality, no harm will come to him you have my word. Now, do as you are asked..."

There was a warning tone at the end of the sentence and a feint twitch of the lip revealed the hint of a sharp incisor for a moment. The mortal bowed his head and looked at Emryss, bare

ly, before inviting her to follow him. He lead her through the home and into a chamber where his wife was tending to his son. The youth looked pale and weak but even then he attempted to sit up. The woman rose in defense of her child and shook her head speaking in a pleading voice.

"No, please... He can't give any more...."

The husband stepped forward and shook his head, touching her shoulder reassuringly. He shared some whispered words with her and started guiding her out towards the door. The woman seemed somewhat comforted by her husband but still seemed worried about her son. Soon she was left with just the lad who had stubbornly moved to sit up on the bed and looked at her expectantly.

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Emryss once more used her willpower to make her anger subside at the sight of the man growing defensive because a Seraph wanted to see his mortal son. Was this Aoch's doing, or have they forgotten all the Seraph blood spilled in their name? Can't they see right in front of them? Her sacrifice in their benefit? You've failed... Your people... Your family... The mortals...

Emryss felt sick, she needed her brother, he'd know what to do, he always did... She looked at the woman and found her reaction more understandable, especially looking at the pallor of her son. The boy would grow into a strapping man, judging by his build so young. He could be a warrior even, though she hoped not. Farmers live longer, happier lives. The woman's willingness to stand against powers larger than herself to protect her son, out of love... It reminded her why she had fought for them in the first place.

As such, Emryss found herself speaking with surprising gentleness. "You may stay if that will soothe your hearts, but it is better Malakai keeps his distance." Regardless of their choice, the Seraph approached the proud boy and sat next to him, removing her gauntlets to reveal delicate hands, calloused from war. Her wings settled folded to the sides of the chair, curving as they met the ground, its beautiful white plumage singed and yellowed, a shadow of its former beauty, like herself.

"Balance in all things. It's what we tried to teach your kind, so eager and curious and passionate. Be proud of what you accomplish, but humble to recognise that you never really do anything alone. Be brave, not brash, know that without fear bravery can't exist, but don't be ruled by it. Appreciate the pleasures in life, but don't be consumed by it, life is not made of it alone and pleasure loses its sweetness if it is all you know. Be ambitious, ambition gives fertile ground to innovation and without it you'd still be in caves dying of hunger and cold, but don't be greedy... What you build on your own effort is grander than what you can take from another. "

Emryss sighed deeply, reaching forward." Who would have thought we would ourselves fall prey to the Sins we tried to ward you from?" It was easier to call forth the wrath than the holy light, a sliver of its former glory. Instead of radiating from every pore, it was the core of what remained Seraph in her... Her very soul. Tapping into it her palms began to glow and warm as she laid her healing hands on the boy. "Now we can only hope for redemption and without our real God, we have to carve it for ourselves with our deeds." She found it finally, and released the energy into the boy.

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As they reached the door the woman made a stand and stopped, looking at her husband with a certainty and plea, the man sighed and nodded a little. The man held his wife by the shoulders as they silently payed witness to Emryss's administrations, her words strange yet familliar to them. Another had made declarations as such, yet it sounded more true coming from her lips then it did from the dark messenger before her. The boy had steeled himself to part with whatever she needed, as such he was surprised when nothing was taken but given instead. He gasped as the light poured into him and instantly the color returned to his skin. Revitalised and repaired the boy jumped up from the bed, not in fear but in amazement and shock. The woman broke away from her husband and went to her son, placing a hand on his cheeck and embracing him. She looked at Emryss after a moment and nodded.

"Thank you... Thank you..."

The husband joined them, looking equally amazed and shocked, yet there ws something more in his eyes. Suspiscion, fear...doubt. he turned to her, looking at her with wide eyes as if he did not trully grasp what he was seeing or what he had saw moments before. The man gathered his courage to speak, though he spoke low, out of worry that the shadows might overhear.

"That... That was the light, The Lords fear the light....and the light hates them.... Why, why are you here?.... Are the Lords surrendering?..."

At these words the Boy's gratitude and amazement disappeared like shadow before the sun. An angry frown upon his face, directed towards his father for speaking in such a manner. The mother attempted to silence the youth, calming him with a hand upon his cheek and hushing slightly. The man looked alarmed at his boy's outburst and immediately looked at Emryss apologetically.

"The Lords would never surrender to the Light! Nor will I... They took Anna from us like so many others! Why would you even say this father!

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Emryss felt a definite bliss from the aiding of the boy, not from a false sense of generosity, where you give to feel better about yourself, but out of the relief brought from confirming that destruction wasn't all she had left to give to the world. It made her... less angry, and as such she was able to react a bit better to the sudden argument that erupted from her compassionate generosity.

With a deep intake of breath, Emryss paused before speaking. "We are not with the Betrayer who has taken the seat of God. We have never been... and were cast down here for having fought for you. We rose against our own kin for you. We were punished most cruelly for doing so. We will never fight for he who you fear naming. We were once here among you fighting an enemy who is now your only ally, but I imagine you no longer remember that in your short, fleeting lives. It is not the light that is evil, but he who wields it. Like your dark allies... "

Emryss listened to her own reasoning. She could not go on antagonising Malakai, he too had been a victim of Aoch and fought for something larger than herself, even if that goal was rather obscured to her. What would become of these Dark creatures if they defeat Aoch? Would they be allowed to continue as they are? Would that be correct? With a sigh she rose, looking between them. "I really need some rest now before we continue on our trip at sundown. If you could show me where I may rest now..."


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The husband guided her away from the room of his son before they shamed themselves further with their bickering. She was appointed a room which had been kept tidy and clean for one person yet everything seemed to point towards the fact that it hadn't been used in some time. Once inside the husband bowed his head and started to close the door, pausing in the doorway.

"My grandfather used to tell me stories of the time before The Dawn.... The Age of Darkness, when the the sun could not pierce the clouds and The Lords moved without fear of the light, when they did not value our lives like they do now... I've never told my son these stories because we live in a another age now and things are different... The Lords are all that stand between us and The Lightbringers, the armies of Dawn that condemn us for our loyalty to those that have protected us from harm.

My daughter was a handmaiden to the Countess of Gilliard, she.... They burned her at the stake for protected the countess.... She was innocent..." The Man sighed heavily "I do not claim to understand what you are...nor of the light, of the dark... I , and very few of us, believe in such things as "good" and "evil"... For us, now, we see things as they are...The Lords have sacrificed much for their people...for whatever reason they have protected and cared for us... Every village has undying soldiers watching over them... The living are always saved a the expense of their forces... They have more then enough living around them to feed on and yet Lord Sabaoth... He protects us at all cost. If what you say about the God of Light is true, that he betrayed you and uses the light for himself...then he is our enemy indeed....as are all who follow him... I will leave you to your rest, please call on us if you need something, you are our guest.."

At this the mortal left her and she was free to gather what rest she wished to find. The windows in the room had heavy shutters which she could open from the inside to peer upon the outside world. Should she do this she would find a world very different from the dark majesty she had seen before, vibrant greens and misty mountain peaks with a grey sky that did not part fully for godly rays of the sun. It would be strange for her to feel a relief that the sight of the sn god would be obscured but surely the people of the town would. The town was alive with activity of townsfolk going about their daily business. Undead guardians provided restless protection paroling about the walls and the town-center. It was strange to conciliate the creatures of the dark with the peace and serenity of daily life, and yet somehow they had done it.

Come nightfall was a different story, the town was silent as the grave and no living soul was caught outside, only the unliving continued their endless vigil. Braving the terrors of the night was the purpose of some, duty of others. Occasionally one would hear the low raspy voices of wights engaged in conversation or the clattering of bones from passing skeletal guards. other then that the town was silent and still. Outside Malakai awaited his charge with his deathless steed, The spectral shadow standing impatiently....eager to race across the land upon its accursed hooves. The Bloodknight stood patiently with his helmet under one arm still glowing with the fresh life he had taken into himself. his ruby eyes more obviously glowing in the dark, his sinister majesty hard to ignore even for the likes of those born to the light.

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Emryss followed the man into the chamber she assumed belonged to the Anna whom the boy had mentioned. She looked back, turning slightly to peer at the husband whose name she didn't know... or remember. She spoke, much softer than her voice allowed her to sound. "I'm sorry for you loss, war is any ugly thing. but now you know. Like my brother Sabaoth, I too chose to never abandon you mortals. Even with everything that has been stripped from me. I won't."

Rest didn't come easy for her and she observed their simple lives and their beautiful surroundings for a while before she managed some rest. She woke up with a startle, the darkness had enveloped her again and for a panicked moment she had thought that she was once again in that coffin, locked for eternity, unable to escape, alone in the torment of her rage. Her ragged breaths took some concentration to come back to normal and then she noticed the darkness was merely the deep night that was all around them.

With practiced ease, Emryss got back into her hallowed armor, a near ritual for the Seraph warrior. It was supposed to precede combat, to precede the glory of her people. Now, it was the only thing she possessed to cover her naked form. She was cast down, exiled, dispossessed, diminished... It pained her to think what became of her parents, both children cursed to such a fate, the proud line cut short, a lesser family assuming the mantle of the Endor name, if even that. She pushed away such thoughts, she needed focus, thinking on what was and what happened just stoked the fires of her wrath. Emryss needed to push on to meet her brother, and that is what she would do.

The Seraph was polite enough to say her goodbyes to the family, coming outside to meet the undead night. It was strange to her that a creature of the dark could possess such beauty and grace, much more so that the darkness itself seemed to suit him and become part of such beauty. It was admirable as well as perverse. With his aid, she mounted again the steed, asking him how much more they needed to travel before meeting her brother before the undead mount gained the night.

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"Before the next Dawn..."

He answered before mounting his spectral charger and extending his hand, a his chivalrous code dictated he waited for her to be ready before departing from the village. Once more the mount reached breakneck speeds, running as if the maw of The Dark itself was at its tail. They glided allong the winding roads and nearly taking flight as it leapt down steep cliffs or slopes. Malakai did not dare to assume she needed anything else but an expedient travel and thus committed himself entirely upon his riding. Several silent and taxing hour of travel passed during which she got to see more of the haunting yet striking landscape as well as larger villages and an occasional dark keep or fortification. Malakai reached for a curled bone horn at key locations, sounding the wailing how of the instrument ahead of them as they approached toll bridges or forts build allong the roads. Each times the gates had been completely opened so the rider could pass by without loosing speed. Each military fortification had very litle signs of life, leaving concentrations of undead minions and troops to hold ground and protect these sights. Empty eyes of ghostly light tracked them as they passed, some of the undying soldiers saluting in respect as they marked the heraldry worn by Malakai.

The city of Darkhaven was a sight to behold indeed. The sprawling city was build atop a mountaintop, highly defensible from all sides. Entry to the city was possible only through a steep mountain road or two colossal viaducts that crossed a deep valley of foreboding forests and wild crashing rivers. Once more Malakai sounded the wailing horn as they approached one of the viaducts and heavy steel gates opened moments before they passed, closing moments after. The City wall was a massive undertaking that seemed impossibly tall, defended by watch towers where the undying manned massive balistae and magical constructions capable of delivering destruction at a great distance. Gargoyles that dwarfed the creatures she had seen offered support to these siege weapons and its undying garrison, swarms of murderous bats flocked and moved around the city like a mass of angry bees, their distant chittering an ever present noise. Malakai reigned in the speed of his mount, letting its icy hooves clatter along the cobblestone of the main road. None halted him, not even at the highly secured gatehouse...their path was cleared no matter what. The inside of the city radiated a certain prosperity that only the wealthiest of societies could possibly have. No homes were in disrepair, the streets were clean and well maintained. Windows were sealed by heavy reinforced shutters, some establishments, like inns and drinking houses, showed signs of life with lit lanterns outside the doorway and the feint sound of merriment beyond.

These signs of life all but disapeared the deeper they went into the town, there it felt like a necropolis with oppressive and dark structures that must house the undying residents of the city. Largest of which the so called Keep of The Fallen, Sabaoth's home... Emryss would instantly recognize the gothic recreation of Seraph architecture, a grim reflection to the everlit city with demonic gargoyles and winged fiends replacing the otherwise noble Seraph statues. It was a structure of terrible beauty which was undoubtedly the home of Sabaoth, The Fallen, her brother.... She sensed no living soul anywhere around her, silent undying guards standing an eternal vigil and who could really tell how many of those statues were in fact not unliving constructs that could animate at a moment's notice. The three massive gates to the highly protected gatehouse closed behind them, leaving them standing in the courtyard of the keep. A grim garden was kept immaculately inside the keeps walls, devoid of any sign of movement , perfectly still like a dew kissed graveyard. Malakai dismounted and waited for her before heading inside the keep unhindered by the deathless suits of armor which housed an animated spirit of some sort, the only sign they were in fact not simply empty suits of exquisite dark armor was the fact they offered a short salute wherever they passed.

The keep felt empty on the inside despite the immaculate state of it, decorated in the finest materials and works of art gathered over decades. It was impressive and stunning not to mention well protected with a small army of decorated suits of armor worked in the architecture. There were no depictions of her brother, in fact there were signs that statues and paintings may have been removed...leaving empty areas that begged o be filled. Candles were lit all around the structure, basking it in a flickering dim light wherever they went. She got the impression not everything was empty, voices were overheard in a few hallways they passed but seeing as Malakai cut a direct route towards Sabaoth's chambers she could not identify the exact nature of the "guests". The hallway leading to Sabaoth's chambers was only reached after climbing a series of stairways and it felt that they had went into the surface of the mountain for a while before emerging somewhere on its peak. Apart from the animated armor's 10 actual vampiric knights guarded his chambers wearing a nigh identical armor as Malakai, the knights greeted their brother with a short salute and bowed their heads, wearing the same grotesque demon-bat visage, respectfully to Emryss. Malakai stopped before the door and turned to her, bowing his head before speaking.

"My Lord, Your brother, is beyond this door... " Malakai removed his helmet and regarded her with those glowing ruby eyes, his handsome features unflattered by his stoic and cold expression. He bowed to her once more. "Should we not meet again I simply wish to say it has been an honor to reside in your presence... If I can be of service to you any further ,you need but ask. Should my Lord Sabaoth wish to apoint a guard to your person know that I volunteer... May the night chase away the Dawn....*he bowed his head*

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The heavy double door was a work of art depicting an angelic figure on his knees, arms stretched upwards in an expression of rage. His wings seemed tattered like hers yet where the feathers were missing a leathery membrane was revealed, inside his mouth fangs were sharper and longer then any Seraph she had seen. The resemblance to her brother, his handsome thin face and tall, broad shouldered frame...was striking. Behind the angelic figure nightmaish figures rose from bellow and flocked upwards to the sky like a great overwhelming plague. Above one the upper sides of the doorway the Seraph fought a loosing battle against the hordes of darkness.... A prophetic depiction, or mad ambition...the work was passionate to say the least.

Once she had passed the archway the knights closed the heavy doors behind her, locking her in a long chamber on the top of one of the spires. Again, the resemblance to the architecture of the Seraph city of Light was striking yet whole-fully seen from a dark reflection. The tall arching ceiling was high, close to 40 meters in total. up high, massive chandeliers hung capable of casting light throughout the entire chamber if they had to, alas...none was lit with even a single candle. The chamber itself was over 50 paces long and ended in a massive window that looked over the dramatic mountain range, offering a staggering view that was obstructed by a massive statue of a throne with some creature seated upon it.... Much like the temples to the sun god where the thrones deity was often depicted, in fact the entire chamber had much similarities to said temples. The chamber looked abandoned and much unlike the rest of the keep it showed signs of neglect and absence. Broken and smashed furniture, cobwebs and debris and quite a few suits of discarded armor, which bore some resemblance to the dark full plates the knights outside wore without the markings of their order, nothing but dust and ash where a body may have been.

Despite the emptiness of the room there was an unshakable feeling of being watched and a sinister presence which had strange "magnetic" properties. Like a void slowly drawing one in, a unmistakable pull toward one's inevitable demise. It was about halfway the room when "the statue" at the end of the hallway suddenly moved, two tattered wings slowly spread, featherless with thin near meatless bones and a ragged membrane resembling more the wings of a decomposing bat. The shadowy figure was nigh impossible to discern or study clearly as the light of the moon burned brightly behind the throne. Two ghostly white dots lit up like ghost flames, they seemed as bright as stars in its shadowy silhouette. A slow, dragging sound of ancient lungs filling with air echoed through the chamber. The voice that sounded was a deep, dark and rumbling yet it had the unmistakable tone of her accursed brother Sabaoth. There was the faintest hint of a melancholic joy that vibrated in its pitch for her to notice. His word came out slow and laboured, they echoed and vibrated like the dying words of a fallen god.

"Emryss.... My sister.... Where my heart able it would beat with joy.... Time has been kind to you, in a world so abscent with Joy or mercy...

Please, come no further... I could not bare it, Sin has reshaped my body to reflect its claim... My shame knows no end...

Forgive me, Emryss"

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Emryss traveled along the Blood Knight Malakai through landscapes that were wildly beautiful and nightmarish at the same time. The travel was grueling as it never stopped and she felt the soreness of the long held position every time she made any small shift atop the undead steed. It seemed the dead were almost all there was to this world and she wondered what was there left to fight for. It all paled in the sheer impressive and nightmarish sight of Darkhaven. Emryss wasn't sure exactly what she had expected from the seat of her brother, but it definitely wasn't the monumental city of Darkness that laid ahead of her.

All around the dead made their presence, in different shapes and sizes, the city was deathly quiet, yet full of unlife. Emryss had a hard time separating the mixed feelings that took her over it all. The interiors didn't make her feel any better. How long had Sabaoth roamed these lands alone? To have had the time to build all of this? It was a visual confirmation of what she had dreaded, however. It was clear to her now what had been the information Malakai was unwilling to share. Her brother was cursed with the Sin of Hunger and surrounded by the creatures who suffered the same curse. That couldn't be some coincidence. Her heart ached for him.

Her stride matched Malakai's as she had no more patience to tardy, even if her amber eyes took her surrounding with some mixed feelings. The place seemed more tomb than residence and the very surroundings seemed to take some of her warmth away from her. Emryss had been about to burst in the doors after seeing so many vampires as guard when Malakai turned to her and spoke. She was a little taken aback by his words, she hadn't been exactly kind to him and couldn't see why he felt so strongly about being in her service. She made a small bow, fist to her heart, like Seraph warriors greeted each other. "Thank you for finding me and bringing me here so swiftly. I doubt this is going to be our last meeting."

The doors felt foreboding with their carvings and Emryss wondered whether that had been something that happened, or how her brother envisioned his passing. Walking in the large vaulted ceilinged chamber felt like entering a place one would not walk back out from. She felt preyed upon and the feeling stoked her anger. She did her best not to let it come to the fore, focusing on the fact her brother was somewhere here and in a delicate situation. He needed her as she needed him. Her lips parted to call for Sabaoth when the rasping take of breath stopped her short. His words pained her, and her voice, previously the music of heavens, sounded in the harsh, barely contained anger it now seemed to possess.

"Brother... you are not the only Sinner. The greatest Sin is what was done to us and to our God. To the mortals abandoned behind. I cannot offer you redemption, but maybe we can find it together, you have my forgiveness if it means anything to you, I know how it feels... I have just experienced it. I am not afraid, Sabaoth. My love has not diminished despite the wrath inflicted upon me. I am here, brother. You don't have to be alone in here."

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"It has been so long.... I had forgotten how your were always the one most merciful, most graceful.... I had feared the Wrath would have claimed you as The Hunger layed claim upon my own soul.... I was afraid I would be too late.... Emryss, you must know I did not wish to awake you until I found a way of cutting away the sin from your soul... I am desperate, the Dawn approaches and I cannot stand against it alone any longer...."

As she came closer her eyes adjusted to the darkness and the hellish moonlight was blocked by the towering throne, she began to see the details of the twisted creature her brother had become. His armor was a warped and dark reflection of his once glorious suit. Brilliant gold and precious metals had become the vicious shade of oxidated metals. Leering demonic faces replaced the otherwise angelic serenity of the Seraph expression that made part of his shoulderplates. Sharp and jagged bat wings replaced the divine feathers of their kind, benevolent rays of the sun had become twisted coils of The Darkness... His armour used to tell the story of their neverending quest for Justice...Now it was the twisted face of an everlasting nightmare. He had covered his head with the cowl of a dusty and tattered cloak, strands of ancient white hairs hung lifelessly from them...all that remained of his once magnificent copper hair. The creature seemed to shift uncomfortable as she approached, the trail of dust that was banished into the air suggesting that he had not moved in some time. He lifted an arm as he turned away from her in shame, the hand that sought to hide his face from her was a deathly thin clawed appendage with grey lifeless flesh stretched tightly around tendons and bone, old rusted and faded rings dangled on their bony lengths. Her proximity seemed to stir more then shame in him as the beckoning pull she had felt earlier got stronger, The Sin within him stirring.... the amount of "empty armour's" were also more numerous the closer she got to the throne, it reminded her of discarded bones and shells one would find outside some predator's lair.

"Please...Emryss....Don't look at me...."

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"I was... For I don't know how long I was a mindless beast consumed by his wrath. Had I been released then I wouldn't have stopped until the whole world burned beneath me, I'm sure. It is hard... Very hard to keep it at bay. But I must. I must for you, for the others, to bring that madman down. Unleash me at your will on his armies, you were always the better general. I will bear the sin if it brings this nightmare to an end. "

At her approach, gaining a little momentum the closer they got, Sabaoth shunned her and Emryss could experience his hunger like electricity in the air. His consumed state... It made her heart ache. It made her anger burn at what Aoch had made of her family's greatest champion. It took a few moments to calm her breathing and make the smoldering in her eyes and wings subside.

When she managed, Emryss circled around her brother, to where a toppled old dusty pitcher lay with cobwebs on the floor. She spoke after she blew the dust away and with a naked hand made it more usable. "Maybe I am just what you needed, dear Sabaoth. Maybe I can help you with your curse, bring you to a stronger state where like me you will have a better chance of resisting and subduing the beast." The metallic smell of blood in the air would not escape his notice as she slashed her wrist and the dripping of blood hit the hollow metal of the pitcher. She gave until she began growing dizzy and angry, then she sealed her own wound and set the warm Seraph blood on the step of the throne. "Try it..." Her voice sounded more tinged by her powerful rage.

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Offline ScalerenderTopic starter

Re: Radiant Darkness (By Scalerender and Maeriel)
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2017, 04:17:53 PM »
The creature was almost feeble in its attempt to hide itself from her, he dared not look straight at her.... When she moved to the side to find the discarded and worn pitcher that may have once been used for a very similar purpose then what she had in mind there was an almost deafenig scream that shook the very foundations of the spire. Dust and flecks of paint and stone rained down all around them.

"NOOOO!!!!"

Suddenly the dread thing was before her and slapped the pitcher from her hand like one would a toy from a child's hands, Sabaoth's twisted form towered above her, grown unnaturally tall and massive through the energies of Sin. His large tattered wings spread open like that of an unliving dragon, for a moment she gazed up directly at his twisted face and the horror it had become. The same dried grey flash stretched closely over his long face, making him more skeletal then living in appearance, his once lucious lips had dried away, revealing the horrid needle like teeth and long incisors that marked him as a true predator. Death had eaten away his nose leaving two holes, his eyes were sunken into dark pits leaving only the ghostly white glowing orbs that once were the purest of emerald. The thing that was Sabaoth hissed and growled more like a beast then man... The moment of horror was interrupted as suddenly the doors flied open and his personal guardians charged into the room with unnatural celerity to protect their lord and master. Sabaoth turned and roared again, this time towards his own knights, the cold rage born from pain and suffering unlike her fiery wrath.

"OUT!!!..... OOOOUUUT!!!!!!"

Without hesitation or even questioning the knights halted, sheethed their swords and left as quickly as possible, leaving their lord and his wrath reserved for Emryss and Emryss alone. Sabaoth turned with a snarl, his voice laced with anger, despair and agony. Despite the drained state he appeared to be in his movements were fluent and quick, the sickening sounds of his leathery skin twisting with the dry bones of his body sounding hollow within his heavy suit of armour.

"Are you Mad?! I would have drained your body dry and feasted upon the land like death incarnate... I would have left nothing alive, NOTHING!!! This hunger can not be stilled, do you really think that is why I brought you here?!!!

Sabaoth suddenly turned away from her and covered his face, reigning in the near frenzy like anger that threatened to overtake him and plunge him into that which he seemed to fear the most, the loss of control. He gave a long ragged gasp that sounded almost like a pained weeping. His wings lowered, nearly dragging over the floor and he suddenly hunched like a weakened old man.

"I am sorry... Forgive me... I am sorry ....Emryss... You did not know.... The Hunger,... there is so little left of me, my light is but a flickering candle in a storm.... I can not give in to it any further for it will unmake me.... Only my children... Only they can replenish me without feeding the hunger but they...they are fighting to hold on to what we have....

I know you wished to sacrifice yourself for me, I know you act out of compassion and love but I beg of you ...I BEG you my beloved sister... Never.... Never offer me your life's blood again for I will not be able to resist.... And The Hunger will have won..."

Sabaoth seemed to find some composure, straightening his wings and standing more upright, he kept his back and side to her, tugging the cowl to cover his face. Even though she had seen him he still felt shame. His body language seemed more alike the brother and general she once knew...less the feeble old creature...less the famished monster...

"You are right, I need you .... for I cannot fight any further without sacrificing all that i have left....But unleash you I can not, not yet... I need you to unite our forces for I can no longer persuade them in my weakened state.... "

"I need you...Because Tamiel will no longer hear me.... He is losing his fight with the Sin and only you may bring him back...."
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Tamiel, The Poet, The Blade-Dancer, The Master of Song.... The Seraph had gone by many names, some deserved, some self proclaimed...most of them envied and even mocked. It was not pride that made him the creature he was, in fact it was hard not to like Tamiel and even harder not to fall in love with him. His beauty and grace was a thing of legend, quite literally so for many mortals had been inspired by his manifestations and some whispered that the Seraph blood was carried by mortal lines because of his intimate relations with their world. The passionate Seraph had been a clouse friend to her and Sabaoth, his minor indiscretions often forgiven for his gentle spirit and loving heart.... He had been in love with Emryss for as long as she remembered, the fact his charm never swayed her made him all the more decisive in his advances.. He had taken rejection in good spirit, never growing bitter or angry over them...he often made her laugh over it with his playfull manner.... "One Day You will fall for me, Emryss of House Endor.... And that day will be know as the Day where love triumphed, a day of Joy...among other things..." His seductive wink had allways made her blush despite herself, such was Tamiel's beauty and charm.... One could only dread what the Sin had done to him...
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Emryss was stunned by her brother's reaction and the sheer beast that stood roaring at her with so much pained rage. The part of her that was still his sister felt deeply guilty and ashamed for having disturbed and hurt him so and all she wanted to do was embrace him and apologize. But she could not, he would not have her, he'd not resist drinking from her. It was deeply frustrating and coupled with the rude gesture and roaring at her face of something that looked straight out of The Darkness, she was facing a hard time keeping the dragon from flourishing. Inside she could feel the burn rising, around her she could feel the heat, the bile in her throat. The guards stormed in and she further felt threatened. Emryss roared, eyes and wings catching flame, the air around her shimmering and her long beautiful hair becoming licking, spitting flames. Her wail pierced the quiet that followed her brothers shouts and made those in the castle cover their ears in terror.

When it looked like she might lunge, Emryss turned her back to Sabaoth. A gliding leap and she was onto a heap of dusty armor pieces and bones, and she just... unleashed. Kicking, tossing, breaking, screaming. She let out the pressure in a destructive manner, even if not really causing any harm. It helped vent the pent up anger. Soon, she was merely smoldering instead of aflame, panting heavily through gritted teeth. Once more she tried steadying herself with something grounding, a memory... nothing if Sabaoth was helping as it just made her angrier at her brother's fate. So instead, she was taken to a day that filled her heart with purpose, the day she was granted Darkslayer, an heirloom of her family. It had been so meaningful for her, not a fit of pride, but actually a solemn promise, of doing what's needed, of giving herself to the duty of protector, defender of all against the Dark.

It helped Emryss remember who she is. Her brother's apologetic words sounded across the hall and she took deep soothing breaths, though she could still not face him. Was that what awaited her? How would the Wrath twist and mold her to its likeness as she succumbed again and again? Could she resist? She was so diminished in her current state, what chance did she stand against the forces of Aoch or Aoch himself without it? How could a Fallen Angel fight a God? Her shoulders sagged and she rubbed her face with the grief and the sense of powerlessness.

And then he revealed his intent on bringing her there. She glanced over her shoulder... Tamiel was free. What had become of her friend? He had always been so lush with life, so bold and so charming. Tamiel had come too late, she had already been infatuated with Malfeon for years before she met the gallant Seraph. Besides, Emryss was not a woman that would like the idea to be one among many. "As a rule, Sabaoth... when has anyone been able to keep Tamiel from Sin? He was always ruled by his passions and he was always after me. Will I not make matters worse?"

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The hallway had withstood its share of abuse over the years and would do so in the difficult times to come. As they spoke after their shared moment of rage the silence was still settling in around them. A piece of stone that finally feed itself from a crack in the wall, the sound of panicked bats outside or the rocking of a piece of armor that slowly came to a halt.... All around then small noises disturbed the tomb that had been Sabaoth's refuge. The Fallen moved towards the open window and edge less balcony behind the throne. The ragged cloak and clothing that once must have been majestic pieces of clothing dragged behind him like tattered rags. The moonlight made him appear more spectral and ghostly then before, highlighting every cruel twist of his armour, his ghostly eyes glowing fiercer in the shadows of his hood.

He waited for her to join him as he gazed over the land that he now governed, the majestic mountains and dark forests. Small pinprick of light visible from their staggering height, other cities or settlements it would seem. When Sabaoth's spoke his voice gained some more substance, as if he was drawing strength from his sister's presence, bolstering his confidence and giving him the courage to hope.

"Tamiel always flirted with Sin it is true, but can we honestly say that any of us were without sin before "HE" infused us with his own.... Like any seed, Sin requires fertile earth to grow.... Ours was merely hidden while Tamiel's was not....

No, it is not that Tamiel's needs to be freed from his Sin... For that it is too late... Tamiel's has forgotten his way, he allowed his sin to blind him and now he no longer occupies himself with the reality of this world... Dawn has risen, the final steps of "HIS" ascension are on its way... If we do not stop the Forces of Dawn here and allow the souls of mortals to be bound to the Golden Throne then a new Sungod will be born.... And all hope lost...

After the Dark was silenced I sent Tamil to gather forces on an Island to the south, the birthplace of the Aelven... Overrun with Orc, willing servants to The Dark... He succeeded to incite an uprising and over the years he rebuilt much of their civilisation... Sadly I realised to late it was more in his own Image... Much as I had done here when The Dark still inspired me... Now my emissaries are turned away and he does not care to even parlay with me... The forces and resources at his command are instrumental to defeating The Armies of The Dawn... As it stands now we are outnumbered and lack the unity to stand against them... Those touched by the Dark hide from the light or simply do not care for a war that was never theirs...

Alliances have been broken as my hold weakened.... Our wayward allies need to be reminded of the fate that awaits all of us if the Dawn succeeds, a show of strength... A gesture of leadership... Examples... Once we have thwarted "His" ascension we can set the plan that will be his undoing in motion... Starting with freeing Malfeon... Then, we will have our vengeance and Justice for the insurmountable damage The Betrayer has caused...

I failed to accomplish this myself, Tamiel was my mistake.... Had he been here at my side we may have already won... I should never have trusted him, his strength was only there because he was with you... I lost so much of myself that I did not consider this when I set him of, I was blinded by my own pain and suffering... And now, I dragged you into this.... Where the Light is the enemy and the remnants of The Dark our only chance for salvation...

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Emryss only heard the quiet behind her until her brother finally started moving. Her amber eyes, still a little alight with anger, peered over her pauldrons to the hideous figure that used to be her strapping brother. It broke her heart, but she'd not let him see it, he needed no such reminders. After a few minutes she followed him outside. The breeze on her face was welcomed, even if it reminded her she couldn't just jump of, glide and fly over the mountains, up in the clouds. The loss was very painful for her, flying was her most favorite thing, there was no bad side to it, not even the fatigue of long trips.

It won over everything, even spending time with Malfeon... such moments were always bittersweet. She had been dancing around it. It would have been her first question. 'Where is Malfeon? Is he alright? What has become of him?' But she couldn't force herself to it, she didn't know what the knowledge would do to her. So he is still... dormant. That was a relief at least, some small comfort, it beat being consumed by Sin... unless Malfeon's prison was of an entirely different nature than hers. The thought rattled her and she shifted lightly next to her brother, still in silence.

"So you are here, Tamiel is on this island refusing contact... where are the others?" She finally gathered the courage to ask. Emryss wasn't sure she was the best person for what her brother expected of her. She was not certain she would be able to turn Tamiel away from his Sin, for she certainly no longer had the patience to do any labored task, so it seemed. "Am I really the best person to convince someone? As I am now?"

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The Dread Angel walked to the very edge of the platform, his dead tattered wings twitching lightly as the strong wind met them so high up. He directed his ghostly eyes upwards and gazed at the swarm of Bat's moving overhead, diving down... Carried by the current of the winds, as Sabaoth raised a hand the swarm seemed to respond, becoming less chaotic and dividing itself in smallest swarms before spreading outwards in a spiraling pattern. He looked over his shoulder towards her, white glowing eyes peering at her from the shadows of his hood.

"But you must, Emryss... I am only able to push the hunger back in your presence because of my unshakable love and devotion for you... Even my children are barely safe... I do not trust myself in the presence of the living no longer, how am I to broker alliances like this.... Without Tamiel there are none left that could inspire hope, inspire belief that we have a fighting chance... You inspire through action, you always have, despite your insistence that you do not have the temperament for it I believe in you....

As for the others....

Kalmiya was never released by The Dark as I was, after my release from its hold I could not reach her for the last pocket of mortal resistance watched over her prison... I chose to spare the mortals and left them be.... My mercy may have been a mistake as The Church of the Betrayer sprouted from within their ranks and now it is a bastion of HIS light... My spies have uncovered bits and pieces of information that suggest a Seraph dwells within The Cathedral of Dawn, weither this is a false rumour, an agent of The Betrayer or Kalmiya I do not know.... But reaching her is not a possibility now..."

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"Not bad Emryss... Not bad at all, but fury will win you the battle, never the war..." The golden haired Seraph proclaimed as she picked up her sword from the ground, Emryss had won this time around and her opponent was angered to admit it. Kalmiya's words were laced with discrete contempt despite her best efforts to hide it. But such were all her encounters with Kalmiya. While she was a loyal friend and consort of Sabaoth the proud Seraph had always been more of a rival then friend to Emryss. There was respect for one others capabilities and a polite tolerance for each other's presence but It had never been camaraderie. Their duels and sparring were always intense and they often competed for the same claims and honors which put them at odds with each other. It was her brother that never allowed their relationship to sour and turn into hate, in fact being the brilliant tactician that he was he often pitted them against one other to achieve some sort of goal. The motivation their fierce competition provided all ways pushed them further then mere sense of duty, especially Kalmiya. Emryss in turn learned allot from her competitions with her, once the eldest daughter of House Oathkeeper was far more skilled in the ways of the blade then her. But ages of competition and rivalry, fueled and tempered by her brother, had pushed her to learn and improve to the point that she was more then a match for her rival. Pride had always been within her, with Aoch's true sin now within her she would be unshakable in her beliefs.
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"As for Malfeon...." Her brother paused "I am not sure, but I have leads that may provide answers.... Our leader was infused with more of The Betrayer's sin then we were and The Dark pulled him deep into the crust of this world to feed upon him... I am not certain but I believe we are only here in this capacity because somehow he has managed to distract The Darkness and force it to relent control over our minds... Despite what all of my children and many former minions of The Darkness believe it is not gone from this plane, it is merely turned away to something that claims all of it's attention.... I believe that something to be Malfeon... My attempts to find him have faced resistance from the last of The Dark's true Children that protect the way to their master fiercely... They seem only interested in protecting it and do not form a threat to our holdings. However, I can not commit more forces to breaching their lines as long as the Dawn approaches... Once The Betrayer's efforts have been thwarted we can move to freeing Malfeon and then end the false God himself.. "

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" Thank you for answering to my summons Emryss... I understand seeing your recent betrothal to my Brother and my insistence we meet in secret are questionable to say the least.. "

Malfeon had indeed gone through some length to secure the secrecy he spoke of. It was unusual and quite unlike her people's concept of acceptable behaviour. Seraph valued openness and truth, deceit and secrecy were anathema to many Seraph's beliefs and even considered punishable offenses by some. Why he believed she would answer his call and instructions was anyone's guess, but perhaps for Emryss it had been hope... Or desire. The Dark haired Seraph was so unlike his brother it had given birth to a great deal or rumours that never quite silenced. He was a mysterious presence and silent shadow to the King of the Angels, always there but never outspoken. Emryss had come to know him as a wise, tempered and serene individual who was far more open minded and forward thinking then any Seraph she had ever known. He dared question the ancient ways only to consider the possibility of a better way. His philosophies were daring but beautiful, as was his pale fair skin and raven hair... But it were the deep mysterious amethyst eyes that had always molten her heart

"I know you only came here because it is I who asked you and... It shames me to have counted on this. But I need your help, Emryss... Of you and your brother. The future of our people depends on what we do next... Our king is not who he appears to be, and we must act.... "
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Emryss wasn't sure like her brother that she could actually pull that off. She wasn't sure she could do anything but inspire fear now, but she'd not let him down. It was clear by his behavior it was perhaps desperation that had induced Sabaoth to release her. And if she could bring in Tamiel, then she would at least have accomplished something good with her return, tainted as she is... Kalmiya's mention caused her discomfort, she had only just tamed her beast and now the memories of her old rival stirred it. Kalmiya was a frustrating Seraph. Once upon a time, Emryss had tried and tried to gain her respect and friendship, but it seemed to matter what she tried she just managed to stoke her contempt and sweet, dedicated Emryss lost no hope, but felt fueled to work harder to achieve the objective.

That was then. Now, this Emryss, just thought maybe they'd be better off without her. If someone could cause the Angel of Wrath to raze the world, that someone was Kalmiya. Of course... all of it paled in comparison to the myriad of feelings that surged from her brother's revelations over Malfeon. The lack of exact knowledge was worrisome, but much more was the idea The Darkness had somehow fed on him... her love... Even worse, that he may be alone, locked into some sort of contest with the Darkness for so long. All alone... and there was nothing she could do.

The small flashback memory didn't at all help. It had been some exhilarating wait to meet Malfeon that night. Would he profess his love? Ask her not to marry Aoch? Emryss had lived through war, but nothing had hurt quite as exquisitely as hearing that Malfeon knew of her affections and used it as a means to ensure the inappropriate meeting. Thankfully, his revelations had been so dire that her dutiful self refocused on what mattered, but she had never quite gotten over it. Things would have been so much easier if she had met Tamiel first... or if Aoch was not the monster he is, he too was quite a handsome Seraph and charismatic, in a much more outward way than visionary Malfeon.

Emryss sat at the edge of the rail-less balcony and stared off into the most distant lights of a settlement, imagining living with smaller concerns in her mind, like the next meal, making sure the crops didn't die... of if I'd live to see the next day in this dark dark world... With a deep sigh, she said. "That is... quite a lot to digest. How... How long has passed since His betrayal, brother?"

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Before her the majestic landscape was obscured as thick clouds hid the two moons in the night sky, blanketing the vista with a thick oppressive shadow. Sabaoth stepped closer, standing closer to her then he had since their reunion. He gazed over the same view yet his ghostly eyes locked on details she could not notice, as if the shadows themselves had no secrets for him.

"Time moves strangely in this realm.....It is like trying to hold on to water, mortals are born and die so quickly... The Dark's sway over me seemed endless, my revels and the deathless creatures I surround myself with made time seem inconsequential... The historians under my command claim the age of Darkness lasted for 246 mortal years.. I know not how long before this that we fell, the mortal chronicles were all but wiped out when The darkness took over."

Before you seek out Tamiel there is one more task I require of you, sister.... In the Age of Darkness and the early Age of Dawn there were those among the living which willingly served my children , fierce and savage nomads that live in the tundras to the north... They willingly stepped into the dark and became vassals to the Lords of Night.... When the Dawn first rose they became our protectors during the daytime... But now they have turned away from us, they do not answer our calls and have attacked my children's scouts.... They need to be brought back into the fold to strengthen our borders... With your presence now known it is only a matter of time before they return twice as strong...As it stands now, my children will not be able to hold their advance...."

The Angel of Undeath turned his head to her, the ghost-flame in his eyes ever-burning with malevolent energy...and yet, somewhere deep inside those unnatural eyes she felt something familiar, a feint pinprick of golden light fighting for its existence, holding on... refusing to give in.

"Forgive me for tasking you like a common soldier Emryss, I readily admit I am desperate.... I know nothing of this seems right, nothing is clear... But you must know I have done everything to redeem myself, despite everything I have tried to give the living of this land reprieve from the Dark's cruelty and hunger.... Part of me knows that they might live better under the rule of the Light, but as long as The Betrayer sits in The Throne I will not allow this...for what he has done to us there can never be forgiveness....NEVER...

Whatever you need you will have, men, relics.. I can teach you how to use the Sin while preventing it from consuming you, as it has me.... At least I have learned much of it since my awakening... It is much more then we were ever told.... The Dark wanted it.... For all its power The Darkness can not create , The light is opposite to it so it can not use it... But Sin, Sin is corrupted light... This is why we were banished here Emryss... I believe The Betrayer offered us to The Darkness knowing this..."

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More than 246 years. That was many lifetimes for a mortal. Emryss wondered if it would have made much of a difference if it had been 46 years. Or 6. Time was stolen from her. And it couldn't be returned. Nothing of this could be taken back. Sin had begun tainting her soul. Even with Aoch torn down from his usurped seat, there is no place for them in the City of Light. There is no reincarnating, no having children. They were cast down, homeless, alone... Sin had nearly consumed her brother, though the flicker of light she saw in his eyes was comforting like fire crackling lively in a hearth on a cold day. She stood back up next to him as he continued to speak.

Amber eyes looked at him without horror or distaste, simply giving him her attention as Sabaoth detailed things she needed doing. Emryss shook her head lightly, looking down then at the dark landscape, fingers fidgeting with untended nails as the breeze played with her brown, almost bronze hair. "You have no forgiveness to ask. I was always better warrior than leader. This is war and we have no time for adding more Sins to our shoulders by having pride prickle through. I am glad to do something that makes me feel I have still something of value to give. I'll do what it takes, Aoch cannot abandon these people and then return as their blessed savior, he couldn't care less about them, so whatever he plans, is not something we want fulfilled."

A chill went over her body, if from the air that was cold up there or the things her brother kept revealing, Emryss wasn't sure. Her arms hugged her sides and rubbed some warm on each other, and she turned, fully facing her brother. "I will take whatever advised best, I never had to much think about it, my armor and Darkslayer used to be all I needed... now I can't even fly without succumbing to rage... Teach me what you know, lend me Malakai, he volunteered and he knows what he is getting into by accompanying the Angel of Wrath. He can teach me how to ride. I'll leave as fast as possible, Aoch knows I am out and he is no fool if he had been planning on cornering you down now. But first... explain to me what you imply with that. Do you mean our light when corrupted... can create... warped things? Things The Darkness could use? Why on heaven and earth would Aoch want to offer such a powerful weapon to the enemy?"

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Mortals...

That had been the final revelation that her brother had to offer. Ever the tactician, Sabaoth had come to the conclusion that mortal souls had been the key to Aoch's plan all along. Their worship of Helios, the now fallen Sun God, had been the one thing that had kept Aoch from ascending and the one part of the equation that explained why Aoch had now returned now he had taken The Divine Throne, he now needed their worship as his predecessor once had. He could not have gone to war with the mortal world himself for no Seraph would join him in such a cause...however, if he were to feed the enemy of mortals, make it stronger while also finding reason to abandon their world then he could achieve the unthinkable. He extinguished their worship as one would snuff out a candle. Sabaoth explained at length how he had come to this conclusion, how for the last centuries he had pondered on every command Aoch had given to the legions and how he had insidiously orchestrated defeats on other fronts and even manipulated the fall of mortal souls prior to abandoning them. Her brother almost admired the intricacies of his plan, as much as his loathing and hatred allowed naturally.

The principals of Sin were more familiar then she had imagined, whereas calling upon the Light required a still mind and serenity to focus its energy, Sin depended on the emotional and mental state that corresponded with its type. In Emryss's case wrath, anger, hate... The purer the emotion, the stronger the effects would be. Sabaoth spoke of it as it it where a living entity with only one desire, to grow and spread. Where as light may dim, Sin could only potentially grow, consuming its host from within or those it had spread to. It was no wonder her people acted with such prejudice towards the Sin and why those corrupted by its touch were cast out out of fear . Sabaoth did not consider it a force of evil or darkness but merely a primal energy that he believed to be connected to a realm of chaos primed to a particular "frequency" as it were. The way the Light "turned" when manipulated through certain emotions opened a way for this energy to enter their dimension as it were... Its power, in theory, limitless as long as the light remained, Sabaoth continued to theorize that once the light was extinguished, so would the gate close. The key as such was to "create" energy for the Sin to manifest through without allowing the light to act its fuel... While using the light as "bait" as it were was far easier it would eventually consume the very essence of their soul... Be it's guide, do not let it lead... Sabaoth went further to explain that he had experimented with its power and discovered that he could channel the energy into hosts, those touched by the dark seemed particularly susceptible to this effect as their souls had been partially "emptied" by its vile touch and as such the sin could actually patch the soul together, albeit in a new form and molded by the type of Sin used. The sentient undead were all creations of Sabaoth, his vampiric children shared not only the Sin within him but his blood as well...

While time was no ally to their cause there was no need for immediate departure, Sabaoth had much to teach to her about the Sin within and as such he made sure not to release her before he was certain that she at least understood the principles of the force she had been burdened with. Her stay within his keep was made as pleasant as possible by her cursed Brother, providing a dark reflection of the luxurious comforts they were accustomed to in life. She wanted not for comfort, fine food or beauty...but it was a lonely and empty place where her brother dwelled, as such it was not a pleasant place to be. Her armor was tended to, Sadly it did not return to its sparkling and flawless form.. Wrath had touched it, her armor forever appearing scorched by heat... As for Darkslayer, there was something within the blade...The Spirit of Light that once silently housed within its shell now was replaced by an angry and furious force that needed to exact vengeance and terrible wrath upon those who deserved its ire... Merely touching the handle made the blade simmer with heat, to focus upon it made the blade crack and glow, setting the air around it on fire.

It would be Emryss who decided if she was ready or not to undertake her task... Sabaoth made sure she lacked for nothing and Malakai was stationed at her door nearly every waking moment, she would notice he had been gifted with a suit of armor of similar design but made from a black metal that seemed to absorb light, at day times it made him appear more as a shadows given solid form.... the sun's kiss unable to harm as long as he wore the enchanted full plate.


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mryss had a warrior's mind. She was a soldier, a champion, sent by others more shrewd than her, like Sabaoth, to do good. Or so she believed. More than once Emryss came close to losing her temper entirely as her brother spoke of Aoch's insidious plans. This was then a long time coming, a long time planning. He had goaded them into rebellion, likely leaking enough to make Malfeon suspicious and drive him to such measures. She felt sick, she had wanted to empty her stomach, to gut someone, to scream until all windows in that city burst into a shower of debris. It only spurred Emryss forth to do whatever she needed to bring the false god to a permanent demise.

With abandon the Angel of Wrath dedicated herself to her training, but she quickly made it rather clear that she intended to inflict her wrath on no one who didn't direly need. She alluded to what a terrible, consuming, maddening thing it was and how she wished it on no one else. With Malakai, she learned riding and felt somewhat better at the familiar, honorable company, even if they spent more time in silence than actually speaking in the cavernous halls of her brother's keep. Somehow it felt almost wrong to break the prevalent quiet that ruled over the city.

Emryss didn't linger any longer than she had to, however. Her rage wouldn't leave her be with wasting any time and as soon as the Angel of Wrath deemed herself able to confidently wield the Sin within her in a somewhat safe manner, she announced her departure, meeting with her brother once again to get any details he found useful to share with her about these people who lived in the tundra so that she could once again bring them to their side.