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The Last Light [Aeia Only]

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Midrasia
Diplomat
 
Posts: 528
Founded: Oct 13, 2011
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

The Last Light [Aeia Only]

Postby Midrasia » Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:19 am

Image


OOC: Welcome to Aeia's first Casual RP, The Last Light.

This is a Dark Souls themed RP focused around the journeys, trials and tribulations faced by the numerous characters from across the region. Each nation may RP a separate character of their choosing from their own nation, giving information about their quest, their past, their journey and maybe a few friends they may meet along the way. Everybody may have different reasoning for their journey, did they come to fulfill some form of ancient prophecy, do they seek answers, or do they have some sinister ulterior motive? Only time will tell. But time is convoluted, and not something we have in abundance, for the flame fades, and soon there will be dark...


In a land lost in time, shrouded in mist and obscurity, once there was light. The sun, the source of all life shone brightly across this world, and with it brought prosperity and harmony. The 'Old ones' who ushered in this age watched over their world and the life they had created. With their newfound power the old ones' conquered all which was once grey, and so began the age of Light. The old ones built shrines and monuments to their achievements and were revered by all beings of their new world. Yet all was not harmonious and one day there was a schism, a war, and then one day they vanished.

With the old ones no more, humans appeared and wielding the power of those who came before, built their own world, as Kingdoms rose and swept across the land. The world of the old ones had been warped into that of the humankind.

..But that is no more...Nobody knows how long ago that was...
First it was the sun, then the curse.
One day the sun began to fade, the sky shifted to black, and even now only embers remain, scattered across lands afar, stoked for the life and light which they bring.
Then, seemingly out of nowhere, humans became afflicted with a curse, marked and branded... the darksign they called it. Once branded one was destined to go undead, to die and live over and over, until they went hollow, losing all memories, all sanity, all hope.

Of all remaining embers, none burn as brightly as that encased within Laterna, the Eternal City. When the sun went black, the High King stole away with the flame, sealing it behind closed doors; some say out of madness, selfishness, others say only to preserve it. Only those deemed worthy may enter the city, which draws in those branded by the curse through whispers and spirits. A haven they call it, the last light upon this earth. The golden halls of Laterna remain bright from the fire of the flame, in spite of the world around it. Those proving themselves are given lodgings, aid and above all the light and warmth of the burning flame.
But for how much longer will the flame burn, for soon the world be plunged into dark...

The whispers are too much to resist, thou may avoid their calling now, but one day, eventually thou must make pilgrimage to the eternal city. The Blue Gate one must find, and prove thyself to be worthy of entry.
They say the Eternal City yields all answers, cures all ailments and proves a safe haven for all undead. Yet those are only stories.

But as the old saying goes:
Thou who art undead art chosen.
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Midrasia
Diplomat
 
Posts: 528
Founded: Oct 13, 2011
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Midrasia » Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:41 am

The sound of footsteps and groans where the only other sounds he could here.
The footsteps belonged to the various hollows which still inhabited the village, traipsing up and down with little purpose or motive. Where the groans a language? Or mere cries of pain? He did not know, it did not matter.
That was the only other sound he could hear, the only way of drowning it out, but of course it always came back, the constant beckoning, the whispers.
"To Laterna thou must journey."
Every minute of every hour, it was wonder he had not gone hollow yet.
"The fire burns yet."
He did not know how long it had been, a month, a year, a decade, a century? But they had gone, his wife...Jo...Jo...Josephine her name was. And Luix, his son. It was the curse it must have been. He could resist it, but of course they couldn't, its cries and whispers where too much, their promises too great. All which was once bright had turned to darkness and despair.

He got up and looked in the mirror, his face a horrid pallid complexion and his hair greying and thinning. He was going hollow...
A tear slipped down his face, how could he have lost them? How could he have let them go? He just sat there, for who knows how long and let it happen, whilst he stared into the grey skies and foggy fields, they had just gone. It was all his fault, nothing was left.

"Laterna is a haven for all undead."
Laterna. They must have gone to Laterna. Where else?
"Laterna yields all answers."
He would have to give in. The venture to the Eternal city. He had nothing left here, he would only hollow.
Grabbing an old rough-spun tunic, belt and some medicinal herbs he decided to set off. The roads would be dangerous though, who knew how many hollows and other creatures lined them. The old weapon of any sort he had was an old axe he had used during his time as a woodcutter. The blade was wobbly in the hilt, and its head nearly blunt, but it would have to do. He had no other way of defending himself. And so he opened the door out onto the foggy night, or was it morning? Who knew at this point? They say Laterna is south, but who knew how far south. He had never ventured out of the village before, the worn roads would be all that would guide him.
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Vrnallia
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Posts: 141
Founded: Oct 24, 2012
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Vrnallia » Mon Aug 08, 2016 12:09 pm

Satir Dùch was perched on a precipice overlooking the fishing village of Lakiaš. Some men were already dragging their little canoes to the beach. They probably wouldn't catch anything, not since the fish had left, but it gave them a purpose. Dùch could appreciate that. His own life was so meaningless before... he thought again of what brought him here. It had been a tumultuous few months.

The Mire Crow Khukolut had appeared before Dùch had even been named. Some village on the Liedì Mull had been found in ruins, its people slaughtered, but not by hollows. The whole place was covered in rust-red feathers. They said it was a sign of the end-times, and that was Dùch's namesake - Dirge. A death song for the world. Nobody saw the beast responsible and lived to tell until a trader passing by Ukámnova witnessed it descending upon a farmhouse, evading it only by seeking shelter within the old temple. Ironic he should find sanctuary there, given that the gods it was built for had so long ago left this world. The man stayed there for a whole moon ere he fled back on his path. To all who would listen he spoke of a great bird, like a crow but red, the size of four men and with a most crooked beak, which swooped upon the farm and with some otherworldly power tore the place asunder. The authorities took notice then. Yet all who went after it died. Typical. And so it was that Khukolut came to Dùch's own homestead in the Hujre Lakeland.

A bell rang in the village below and Dùch raised his head to see a larger boat coming in. Just what he had been waiting for. His thoughts could wait. He pulled his wolfskin cloak more tightly around his chest, the better to hide the blackened skin beneath. Down to Lakiaš he went, and with his last coins began his journey away from home. His journey to Laterna.
Last edited by Vrnallia on Tue Aug 09, 2016 12:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
It's Guakok now. She/her or they/them, pick your favourite.
Economic Left/Right: -9.75
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -7.18
Libertarian Communist
100.0% Equality: Communist
69.2% Peace: Dovish
84.2% Liberty: Libertarian
93.6% Progress: Revolutionary

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Rohst
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Founded: May 31, 2016
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Rohst » Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:53 pm

Knight Hansl of Astorr stepped onto the creaky wooden dock, his chain-and-plate clanking loudly as he stretched his body at the blackened Sun. It was hard to believe that just two short weeks ago, his father bid him farewell to this wretched hellhole of a place. All because of a the damned, knotted birthmark that sat upon his breast. Not even the nobility were safe from the Curse of the Undead, much to the family's dismay.

Alas, after finally reaching the fateful age of twenty-two, it was time for him to make pilgrimage to the holy city of Laterna. Thou who art Undead, art chosen, the maesters would say. If their droning lessons had any truth to them, Sir Hansl would one day turn into a soulless "hollow", devoid of any thought or purpose in meagre un-life. That is, of course, unless he rang the bells which opened the gates to the holy city. Sir Hansl of Astorr had no intentions on becoming a mindless husk of a man any time soon.

The village became increasingly dilapidated the further Sir Hansl made his way into it. It was hard to tell from the ship, but the land was rather blighted, with black, oily veins running through the earth. Most of the edifices were in complete ruin, putting the young knight on edge. The groaning echos emanating from the house on the left didn't help at all, either.

Wait, groaning? Hansl pushed open the door to reveal a putrid smell and a hunched figure sitting alone in the dark. When he called out to the it, the silhouette stood up and began aggressively shuffling towards him. A feeling in the knight's gut told him it'd be rather wise to draw his blade.
Last edited by Rohst on Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"I don't give a damn for Caligula -- just his horse!"
"Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job."

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Ohen
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Posts: 45
Founded: Dec 12, 2012
Ex-Nation

The Last Light

Postby Ohen » Tue Aug 09, 2016 7:48 am

"After the fire he had no choice but to leave."
"So why did he come here? Why this bleak mountainside?"
"Can't you see it? There on the horizon."
"What?"
"The city. Lanterna."
"So he has come for it, the First Flame?"
"We always knew he would."
"We did? Even all that time ago, in Bottney?"
"Of course! I knew from the moment those raiders tore him from his mother's arms that our Anso would come to seek it out."
"I don't know whether to applaud your powers of prophecy or my clever interventions."
"Oh, your interventions, really? I do beg your pardon, but was it not I that looked upon our dear Anso and pitied him?"
" You did, we both did. However, it was I who gave him the gift of fire. It was I who made sure that thw shaman saw his talent."
"I bet that shaman wishes he had slit his throat."
"How can he, he's dead. His spirit purged from his body along with the third of the Grim Moon Tribe that wouldn't follow Anso."
"Sacrifices must be made, many many sacrifices."
"Do you speak of that night?"
"I do, but I hear your tone and shall not continue."
"Good, our Anso would not like us speaking of it."
"So, Lanterna?"
"Yes, Lanterna. The Eternal City. Last hope of mankind and home of the First Flame. He is almost there, only a few leagues to go."
"Yes only a few leagues, but he has to find the Blue Gate and be deemed worthy to enter."
"Do you deem him unworthy?"
"How dare you! Of Course I don't! No one is more worthy, no one has sacrificed more than he."
"Indeed he is worthy to inherit the Flame, but is he strong enough to bear it alone? Strong enough in mind and soul to bring about a true age of Fire?"
"..."
"The embers of the Flame seek to be kindled, but not all who kindle the fire can bear the heat."

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Midrasia
Diplomat
 
Posts: 528
Founded: Oct 13, 2011
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Midrasia » Tue Aug 09, 2016 9:33 am

He limped down the path, spots of blood dripped from his axehead. The blood had come from two hollows who had descended upon him from the town gate. In the struggle that followed one had slashed at his leg before meeting his fate. It was only a slight injury, but enough to make walking a difficult task.
He'd always hated the town gate anyway. The grey stones and rusted iron portcullis made it look ominous and he'd always remembered that time when he was young and visiting the field. The portcullis came down out of nowhere, slashing at his achilles. After that he'd always used the back gate; but that was blocked off with burning rubble.
Despite his injury, he had finally left the village of Duronde, all that stood between him and Laterna was the endless Midrasian wilderness and the multitude of beasts which inhabited it... great...

Continuing down the dirt path, he could see a faint light in the distance, he was a moth and he'd just found his flame. A tiny fire still emanated from the bonfire, not enough for warmth, but its light was still reassuring. The sky also seemed to brighten as he got closer, transforming from a blackened pitch to a mild grey. A knight lay by the bonfire, an arrow pierced through his leg and his helmet home to a huge splat of dried blood.
"Hello?" he said, hoping to get a response from the knight.
"On your way to Laterna lad? Well, you wouldn't be the first, nor the last..."
"Y..Ye...Yes I am actually. This is the right way isn't it?"
"Sure it is... but you look in a bit of a sorry state. Tell me, what's your name?"
"Jacques, Jacques Agylie," he finally said. It was harder to get the words out than he would like to admit.
"Well Jacques, you're on the right path, but you've a while to go my friend" Something seemed ominous about the knight. Jacques couldn't see his face and his helmet didn't seem to move at all when speaking. "Your knee. That's a nasty cut, here rest for a while; the fire heals all." He was right, the tiny flame seemed to work its wonders, it was either that or the herbs he chewed a few hours earlier had finally started their magic. But anyhow he was up and running after several minutes.
"So is Laterna that way?" Jacques asked, pointing south.
"Yes right down there." The knight replied, without even looking to check in which direction Jacques was pointing. "It's a long and arduous trek, but its that way indeed."

Wishing the knight farewell, Jacques departed down the path, once again the sky darkened and fog filled the air, there seemed something ominous out there. After several minutes he came to a crossroad. A weather vane creaked in the wind on a tall wooden post and below the signposts showed Laterna straight on.
...stand and deliver... he heard whispered in the background. Yet there was nothing ...stand and deliver... Once again from somewhere behind. He clutched his axe with two hands religiously eyeing the horizon for a figure of some sort.

Then he saw him.

The cloaked figure jumped seemingly out of nowhere, blade in hand. The unmistakable figure of a highwayman. But this one was not interested in gold.
As he slashed away, Jacques dodged to the best of his ability but it wasn't enough. The blood was already pouring from his arms, as the Highwayman's rapier thrust into his flesh. He attempted to fight back, but his one swing had little aim and landed on a nearby fence. Jacques attempted to wrench his axe free, but the blade broke off, remaining embedded in the wooden post. By this point he had essentially resigned himself to his fate, as the Highwayman's blade plunged deep into his throat.

...Moments later he awoke, screaming. He was back at the bonfire, his flesh darker than before, but without the stab wounds.
The knight sat, chuckling to himself by the side of the fire.
"...Your first time?"
Last edited by Midrasia on Tue Aug 09, 2016 9:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
Republique de Mydrazia
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Founder of Aeia

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Vrnallia
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 141
Founded: Oct 24, 2012
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Vrnallia » Tue Aug 09, 2016 1:18 pm

The dim light cast by the candle was just enough for Dùch to be able to read the musty tome before him. He had stolen this copy of Studies on the Darksign from the Clerics of Uro as he made his way south. He found it interesting but ultimately it shed no more light on the curse for him. Once again he found himself contemplating his memories while he yet could.

Božtovoz was the name of the place, a village nestled in the foothills of the Fichanho Mountains. The river passing by the place had frozen over when the sun vanished, and even the untamed beasts of the mountains had stopped visiting the place. Dùch left the village when he could. It was all he could do to avoid boredom. So he would leave and occupy himself climbing the hills, or throwing stones across the ice. He was climbing a mound of rocks on the fateful day that Khukolut came to the settlement, barely fifteen. He felt rather than heard it flying above him, for it released a heat the likes of which he had never felt in that frozen land. Screams erupted as he ran with all his haste back home. Stupid, he thought to himself. You should have just left well alone. But he did not. And it cost him his life.

He could not remember how he died - his last memory was of his father being gripped in the Mire Crow's talon. Perhaps it was the first memory he had lost? But he could remember death, or whatever eldritch phenomenon it was - he recalled the feeling of weightlessness as he fell through the darkest of dark. Some echo on the edge of hearing was the only sensation there. Straining to hear, he could make out but a single word. Life. Gods knew what that meant, for he was robbed of his. For now, he though wishfully.

A knock at the cabin door startled Dùch back into sense. He opened the door a crack, wisely - for the captain of the boat stood outside, reeking of sweat and ale as he had when the two first met. His breath stank of rot when he spoke.

"Coming t' port now lad. Get y'self ready."

Dùch nodded and shut the door. A gust of wind extinguished the candle and in the dark he strapped his blades to his belt and walked out onto the deck.
It's Guakok now. She/her or they/them, pick your favourite.
Economic Left/Right: -9.75
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -7.18
Libertarian Communist
100.0% Equality: Communist
69.2% Peace: Dovish
84.2% Liberty: Libertarian
93.6% Progress: Revolutionary

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Terton
Lobbyist
 
Posts: 24
Founded: Apr 19, 2016
Ex-Nation

Postby Terton » Tue Aug 09, 2016 1:40 pm

Turich hammered away at the blade. Years ago, he had been outcast from his village because of his mark, forced to take his smithing equipment and set it up in this cave. Not that anyone ever came to him. But now he knew what he had to do. This sword would be his finest creation. It had to be, or he might never see Laterna. The only way he could save himself, and then perhaps help the rest of humanity out of this foul nightmare.

Turich wound the last bit of leather around the hilt and tested its weight. He had indeed outdone himself. Thrusting it into a scabbard that hung from his back, he stepped out of the cave that had been his home for so long. No home now--not until he came to Laterna. With this hope, he girded his belt from which hung all his supplies, and began the long journey.

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Pengerby
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Founded: Jul 28, 2016
Ex-Nation

Postby Pengerby » Tue Aug 09, 2016 1:47 pm

Bjorn Bjornson sailed his tiny ship south. For the longest time, he had not known he had the mark, until his father (also Bjorn Bjornson; it was traditional) told him two weeks back. But that was not all. After all, his father loved him dearly, and never would've just sat back and waited for his son to turn hollow. No, he told Bjorn of the story of Laterna, and the hope that there was in the Flame. So Bjorn sailed, alone, for no one would come with him, to find Laterna and find this hope... to heal his family.

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Rohst
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 132
Founded: May 31, 2016
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Rohst » Tue Aug 09, 2016 8:46 pm

Knight Hansl of Astorr jumped back from the doorway, unsheathed his blade, and waited for his foe to exit. The man that exited, nay, the thing that used to be a man, eventually hobbled its way outside, snarling and wheezing all-the-while. His flesh was dry and cracked; his eyes were rotting and most of his hair had fallen out. In his right hand, he clutched a broken shortsword, chipped beyond all repair.

"BACK, FOUL CREATURE" Hansl yelled, but to no avail. The walking corpse shambled forward, disregarding all calls to stop. The knight thrust his blade into the hostile's chest, though much to his horror, the decaying man did not yield in his assault. In fact, this seemed only to enrage him further, as he began recklessly flailing his broken weapon all over the place. Knight Hansl ripped his blade from the hollow's torso, then slashed, viciously ripping his foe's jaw from his neck. The blow seemed to neutralize its target, but once the corpse had fallen to the ground, Sir Hansl thrust his longsword into its chest again. A sort of "double tap", as they say.

Once the adrenalin of combat had worn off, and his opponent was most certainly dead, Hansl lifted his helmet's visor and began to vomit. Profusely. Part of it was the foul stench leaking from the corpse, the other was the fact that he had just slayed a man. A rotting, pyschopathic one, but a man nonetheless. After wiping the bile from his aristocratic beard and moustache, Sir Hansl made his way into the crumbling domicile. He didn't know what possessed him to do so (it certainly was not the lingering, rancid smell of the home's former occupant), but the knight searched high-and-low before he found a small chest laying on the ground. Despite the fact he was looting and now a wanted criminal (at least back in Rohst, he'd be), Hansl retrieved a green flask from the container, glowing with a peculiar golden liquid inside. Figuring the drink would come in useful during his ardous journey, Hansl exited the house, and continued down the country road.
Last edited by Rohst on Tue Aug 09, 2016 8:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"I don't give a damn for Caligula -- just his horse!"
"Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job."

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Ohen
Bureaucrat
 
Posts: 45
Founded: Dec 12, 2012
Ex-Nation

The Last Light

Postby Ohen » Wed Aug 10, 2016 2:49 am

"How many does this make it?"
"Hmm."
"...?"
"Sorry, I was admiring the flames. Mesmerizing."
" How many does this make it?"
"Oh, you know I don't quite recall. Don't remeber much of them, they all seem to blend into one."
"..."
"I remember the first of course."
"How could we forget? Such a clear night it was, I've never seen the moon so bright either."
"It was a sign of things to come some would say, but I know the signs came sooner. Much sooner."
"..."
"..."
"He looks so youthful beside the bonfire, don't you agree?"
"The fire always did give him strength."
"So peaceful, so quiet."
"He'll need to be on his way soon."
"Can't we just let him rest a little longer? Let the flames give him all their strength, until they're nothing but ashes."
"..."
"..."
"You know, I do actually recall another time. It was two cycles of the moon after the 'Purging of Bottney', as they called it."
"At the castle?"
"You mean the castle itself?"
"It wasn't justthe castle though was it?"
"No, no, of course not, it was half the upper town along with it. Of course they all thought the fire had started in the castle kitchens."
"The problem with wood and straw."
"He stole the old king's sceptre."
"Not just any 'old king's sceptre', that is the Rosenwen Sceptre. It gives our dear Anso the power to produce fire that surpasses all but the first flame in intensity."
"..."
"..."
"Did you hear that?"
"Hmm? I was watching the flames again..."
"Somethings out there among the trees. Something hungry four souls..."

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Vrnallia
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 141
Founded: Oct 24, 2012
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Vrnallia » Wed Aug 10, 2016 12:58 pm

Standing on the deck, bathed by winds bearing the smell of the salt sea, Dùch found himself taking a final moment to think before the boat docked.

He had awoken on a cart, probably bound for some pyre on which the corpses could be burnt. They certainly wouldn't be buried - what precious land there still was which was not totally frozen was used for crops. Without realising he had sat forward, and was met with the shocked scream of the peasant boy pushing the cart.

"E's alive 'e is! An undead! An 'ollow!" he had shouted, reaching for the dagger strapped to his belt. Instinctively Dùch had lunged forward, tearing the dagger away before the lad - probably only months older than him - could get his hand around the hilt. Another lunge and the dagger was in his throat, his last words reduced to a choked gurgle. The other peasant, the one pulling the cart from the front, had managed to draw his own blade. It was a deadlier weapon than that which Dùch found himself with - a cutlass, worn but still deadly. Dùch had to dive away to evade a slash, leaving the blade momentarily stuck into the wood of the cart. Seizing the opportunity, Dùch sprinted toward the man, and ignoring the look of terror in his eyes, stuck the knife through the side of his skull.

Dùch sat beside the bodies for some time afterwards. He couldn't bring himself to feel any regret. It was what he had to do, was it not? To live - only he wasn't alive. He realised that he must be undead now. Why? What did I do to deserve this curse? What happened? He found no answer. So he yanked the cutlass out of the wood, bound it to his person along with the dagger, and set off back down the path he had been carried on. That way, he figured, he might find the Mire Crow, and with it, answers.

"Oi, you."

Dùch did not realise that the voice was addressing him, and continued to stare across the grey waters of the Opal Sea.

"Oi, madna! Talkin' ta you!"

Dùch turned to see a sailor standing with his sword drawn and raised. "Can I help you?"

"Yeah," the man replied. "'Ow's about ya pull back yer cloak an' show us yer chest? Cause I reckon, get this - I reckon you're an undead, ain't ya, nazvach?"

Dùch's stomach turned. He was so close to landfall. He couldn't afford this to happen, not so close. His accuser's crewmates were gathering around now.

"And why would you think that, sir?"

"Well, I reckon so because I fink it does seem quite strange - very strange indeed - that ya've covered yaself up like yer 'ave. An' what's more - ya seem an odd sort." Dùch silently thanked the Gods.

"That's it? And that convinces you I must be cursed does it? My manner of dress couldn't possibly be to, I don't know, keep me warm? Fine," he responded. He reached behind his cloak as if to remove it... and with his left hand concealed therein, grabbed his dagger. He took a step forwards, around the sailor's extended blade, and pulled his hand out of the cloak. The gash left in the man's throat sprayed blood over Dùch's shoulder and into the sea. The crowd took a collective step backwards.

"Now. Anyone else want to say something they'll regret?"

The sailors returned wordlessly to their duties.
It's Guakok now. She/her or they/them, pick your favourite.
Economic Left/Right: -9.75
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -7.18
Libertarian Communist
100.0% Equality: Communist
69.2% Peace: Dovish
84.2% Liberty: Libertarian
93.6% Progress: Revolutionary

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Terton
Lobbyist
 
Posts: 24
Founded: Apr 19, 2016
Ex-Nation

Postby Terton » Thu Aug 11, 2016 9:25 am

Night was fast approaching. Turich lowered himself into a rocky dell and began arranging some dry twigs to make a small fire. It would't last long, but whatever light, whatever warmth he could get out of it would be worth it. As he bent over the small heap with his flintstone, he heard a moan coming from behind him. Striking the flint again, Turich glanced behind him to see a hollow pulling itself up over the lip of the dell. The sparks caught, and Turich drew his blade and beheaded the monster, only to turn and see that another was dragging itself to his little fire. The light attracts them, he thought. After all this time, still, they want healing. Pity made him lower his blade. He picked up his flint, and left to find another camping place for the night.

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Midrasia
Diplomat
 
Posts: 528
Founded: Oct 13, 2011
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Midrasia » Fri Aug 12, 2016 4:27 am

The truth was he couldn't remember if it was his first time.
He was already cursed, so it couldn't have been, could it? Yet no matter how hard he tried, he couldn't remember his first death.

"They called him Highwayman Roth," the Knight said. "They said he used to frequent these parts, robbing travellers of their coin. At least till the curse came.Now he robs them of their lives."
"Is there any other way through to Laterna?" Asked Jacques. There was no way he would be able to slip by unnoticed.
"This is the only way that I know of at least," replied the Knight "There may be others, but good luck finding them."
Jacques stared at the remains of his axe, all that remained was the wooden handle. "And don't bother trying to slip past him," added the Knight, seemingly able to read Jacques thoughts.
"Look, take my weapons, i have no need of them now."
Jacques took hold of the Knight's sword and shield that lay strewn on the ground. The sword's weight was good, perfectly balanced. But then again he'd only wielded a handful of swords in his time. The Shield was sturdy steel, enough to block the highwayman's rapier, if he could keep up his block.
"Oh, and take this," said the Knight, handing Jacques a green flask.
"What is this?"
"Hell if I know, but they say they are an undead favourite. You may find more use out of it than I do." The flask seemed to contain a strange alluring golden liquid. This my come in useful pondered Jacques as he placed the flask in his satchel.
"Now go, you'll have to face the highwayman."

Jacques turned to head down the path once more. This time he was vigilant, eyes like a hawk. But at the crossroad Roth was waiting for him, his eyes glowed yellow in the darkness. The Highwayman lunged forward but Jacques blocked with all his strength and countered, striking the highwayman in the arm. Yet Jacques was still no match for the highwayman's speed. Roth seemed to roll under Jacques' second swing, slashing him in the back. He fell to his knees, onto the mud below as once again the Highwayman's rapier sent Jacques' back to the bonfire.

"Maybe if you fight him enough times, you can study how he moves," the Knight said mockingly. "And whilst your at it, study which way he likes his eggs and what his ideal summer day is, haha."
The jests just spurned Jacques on, who immediately pressed back down the path toward the crossroads only to be sent back once more.

Soon he'd lost count of how many times he had faced the highwayman. Taking a moment to rest, he noticed his flesh, redder and darker than before. The Knight wasn't talking, had he passed? How long had it been?

None of this mattered.

All that mattered to Jacques was to finally kill this bastard and get back on the path to Laterna.
Last edited by Midrasia on Fri Aug 12, 2016 4:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Pengerby
Political Columnist
 
Posts: 4
Founded: Jul 28, 2016
Ex-Nation

Postby Pengerby » Sat Aug 13, 2016 9:18 am

After a week of sailing south, Bjorn decided to make land for fresh water. His study of the star-charts had paid off; within a few hours, a small island was in sight. He beached his small vessel, took his water-skins, and began searching for a clear creek, bow at the ready. After a short search, he found just what he wanted, and lay on the ground to taste it with his cupped hands. The water was cool and refreshing, and Bjorn was reminded of spring in the mountains years ago. He glanced up the creek, and spied a small bridge spanning it. Keeping up his guard, he crossed the bridge and followed a path that led to a small hut. Outside the hut sat a very old man, who smiled when he saw Bjorn.

"Do you seek Laterna?" asked the old man.

"I do," Bjorn answered, "How did you know?"

"Oh, it's simple enough," the old man replied. "Everyone is looking for Laterna these days. I did."

"Then what are you doing here? Where is your ship, how did you get here?"

"I sailed here, just as you did, trying to find a route to Laterna. Everywhere I landed, hollows chased me, killed me. I can't remember how many times I've died. One day, at long last, I found this place. It was so peaceful, and quiet, and perfect. If the Old Ones truly did exist, this must have been one of their favorite places. I decided that all the rest I desired so much from Laterna I could find here. So I broke up my ship and used the pieces to build this hut. Here I stay, and if I ever stay dead, here will I die. Why don't you join me?"

Bjorn agreed, and spent a month with the old man. And yet, Bjorn could not bring himself to break up his own ship, and kept it intact, in case he ever wanted to leave for Laterna. The more he thought about it, the more he knew that he could not simply get along with the curse as the old man did. He had to be cured of it, and for that, he must go to Laterna. So at last he bid the old man good bye, and set sail once more on the vast seas.

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Vrnallia
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 141
Founded: Oct 24, 2012
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Vrnallia » Sat Aug 13, 2016 12:34 pm

The small town was illuminated only by a rather short lighthouse on the cliff looming above the place, yet the limestone buildings reflected the light about the streets making the land seem to glow. It was an eerie sight.

The sailors had not bothered Dùch since the incident aboard their boat, allowing him to contemplate how he had found Khukolut again. He had arrived back to his home to find the buildings reduced to formless piles of wood and stone, all covered in feathers. The beast was nowhere to be seen. The corpses had been carried off by now, including those of his family. But he came back to his home - what was left of it - and rummaged through the ruin. His father's old sword, from his soldiering days, was still in its carved pine box. Dùch pulled it to the side and broke open the lock with a kick. The blade was cast of Vrnallian steel, not the toughest of metals but it sufficed for the soldiers of Hujre. It was finely balanced, quite light, though perhaps a bit short.

Dùch left the cutlass behind and set off following the trail of feathers as far as he could - towards the Dnujedzig Swampland to the east. Dawn had broken by the time he reached the largest lake in the area, but he didn't feel tired. He felt terrified and wrathful in equal measure. A screech filled the air, and Dùch watched as deeper in the swamp the Mire Crow descended from the sky to wherever it had made its home.

Dùch stumbled a little as the boat came up to the town's jetty. Before the crew had even started to bind the vessel in place their guest had disembarked and headed off into the town. It was hard to believe people lived here. Despite it being around midday by his estimation, every door was closed, curtains were drawn behind partly-boarded windows and the town resounded with a deathly silence. Wandering through the streets he searched for an innhouse, and he managed to find a place that looked promising. He couldn't read the name of the place, and he spoke very little Newreyan, but he was hopeful that he could manage to get some sense of direction from the barkeep or a patron.

He entered the bar quietly. The place was more crowded than he had expected. A group of hooded figures spoke in whispers in the corner to his right, a young man drank alone at a table in the middle of the room, and two men sat at the bar proper. Dùch picked up on a few words; they seemed to be speaking about food. Dùch walked up to the bar, where a bearded man whom he assumed was the proprietor was polishing a glass.

"Hello," Dùch began. "You can help me? I am needing help to go a way... down, to the Mydrazia."

"Can't help you." Great.

Dùch turned to the men at the bar and started again.

"You sirs, you can help me? You can say to me how I to go to the Mydrazia? I am not from this land..."

The man on the right looked annoyed to have his conversation interrupted, but the one on the left nodded. "Midrasia, eh? Pull up a stool. I hope you can take notes, friend; it's a long journey you've set yourself on."
It's Guakok now. She/her or they/them, pick your favourite.
Economic Left/Right: -9.75
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -7.18
Libertarian Communist
100.0% Equality: Communist
69.2% Peace: Dovish
84.2% Liberty: Libertarian
93.6% Progress: Revolutionary

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Terton
Lobbyist
 
Posts: 24
Founded: Apr 19, 2016
Ex-Nation

Postby Terton » Thu Aug 18, 2016 12:17 pm

Turich approached a crossroads, where an old man sat hunched up, leaning against a rock. As Turich drew near, the old man looked up with hope in his eyes.

"You! Are you a warrior?" the old man asked.

"Not exactly, but I can wield this sword quite well."

"That's all I need! Please, go into the village, Ter-Yanta down this way, and try and find my son and his family. The hollows have practically taken over, and in my fright I fled. I don't know whether he is alive or dead. Please, find him!"

"I will do my best," Turich assured the old man. "How far away is Ter-Yanta?"

"Not far, not far. Be ready!"

Turich nodded and drew his great-sword. After the incident with the fire, he had already pledged to kill as few hollows as possible. Perhaps even they could find healing, though where he couldn't guess. As he walked along the abandoned road, he noticed the immense, uncanny silence. It disconcerted him. Something should be happening in this Tertonian countryside, but not even a bird could be heard, and not a bit of wind whisked the air. The first few buildings of Ter-Yanta came into sight, but Turich saw nothing living. At first, he would knock on a door, but began to simply bust them in when he realized that nothing was in the village any more. He came to the last house and kicked the door down again, fully expecting to find nothing, as usual. Instead, the fragments of the door fell among a group of hollows, who immediately began to advance. Turich turned, only to find hollows right behind him as well. He tried to jump sideways, but one of the hollows reached out. Turich felt the cold grip on his shoulder, felt it flow like burning ice to his heart...

The old man chuckled as Turich suddenly sat up. "Your first time? Never mind. Let this be a lesson to you. You can't be merciful, and indeed, it won't benefit anyone. They are already dead, and if you continue like this, you will be, too. Don't think of going anyway else. The fastest and easiest route to Laterna is along this way. Don't give me that look! You've got a big sword, use it!"

Turich only nodded in response to all this, drank some water, and walked back to the village. This time, whenever he entered a house, he searched it for hollows, and killed all he found. When he came to the last one, he was able to lure the hollows out of the house in order to give him some fighting room. Inside the house he found a bottle tossed away in a corner. It was green, and held a golden liquid inside. He took it, thinking it might be useful, and continued on his way.

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Midrasia
Diplomat
 
Posts: 528
Founded: Oct 13, 2011
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Midrasia » Fri Aug 19, 2016 1:17 pm

It had taken some time before Jacques eventually defeated the highwayman. Blood still trickled down sleeves, staining his tunic dark red, but finally the highwayman was down, his lifeless corpse becoming little more than dust. Wiping his blade clean Jacques continued on through the road. It was still a long way to Laterna. This was only the beginning, and the path led far south.

It was two hours before the path diverged, running straight into a vertical cliff face, albeit a small one. It was clear Jacques had to make his way up. Stumbling for his gear, the climb was difficult to scale but not impossible. After several minutes of fumbling he finally reached the top where the path continued. Above sat a woman with a sack by the side of the road. She beckoned Jacques to take a closer look.

"Does the gentleman care for any of my wares? asked the woman in a somewhat sinister tone. Browsing through her sack Jacques found few items of any use. The woman was only carrying strewn bones, pebbles and other such strange objects.
"This is just junk!" proclaimed Jacques "Good luck trying to sell any of this to anybody!"
"Now boy, lets not get ahead of ourselves, these items are a steal for anybody with the right taste."
"Is Laterna down this way?" Asked Jacques.
"Laterna! You seek Laterna, ha, you'd have better luck seeking respite in the deep. They say its a haven for all undead, unscathed by the darkness... but they say many things..."
"What do you know of Laterna?"
"Only what I hear on the roads, but if anybody knows anything, its us merchants. They say everything went awry when the King when missing, one day poof vanish. Now the city is little more than a ruin, brimming with ghettos full of undead."

"You haven't seen the city have you, how could you know?"
"I don't know, this is just what I have heard."

"Even so, I still need to get there," said Jacques remembering why he was on this journey.
"There are two ways you may go from here, one will take you into the depths of the old catacombs and crypts of the Vistre valley, before finally venturing through the Mine of King Clovis." Jacques had heard stories about the crypts, only old wives tales, but stories still. They talked of the grave digger who would prowl the crypts in search of sinners and trespassers whose graves he would defile. Those stories terrified him when he was a child.
"And the other option?"
"Up on high, through the winding hills until you reach the old bell tower. Then down the ten thousands steps until you reach the great clearing, and before you will stand the blue gate."

It was clear which option Jacques would take, the only question was what would be lying in wait for him on this path?
Last edited by Midrasia on Fri Aug 19, 2016 1:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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