Discussion in 'THE ASCENDER CHRONICLES' started by Effervescent, Mar 4, 2017.

  1. [​IMG]

    Arabella followed close on the heels of Aegis as they left the upper room. A door cracked, and she cast her eyes towards it, and for one terrible moment she expected to find fog pouring out at them, corporeal and volatile, like a cornered animal, but somehow the sight of the girl - the screaming, crying girl - carried with it the same level of awesome fear. She knew what she'd heard in those terrible moments. It could only have been clearer if Danielle had been standing in front of her. Yet there she was, unscathed... wary, but alive. Arabella's eyes narrowing, she looked to the back of Alex's head... Their conversation was far from over. Whatever he had heard, it wasn't over.

    The driving silence in the tavern as they reached the foot of the stairs was unnerving enough that for a brief moment, she could put her concerns aside. At the scream that rose from beyond the door, though... that gut wrenching sob that only one who had endured loss could possibly fathom... Arabella forgot herself entirely, moving with the intent to step around Alex. It was only the ringing of steal as his sword was pulled free that stilled her, and pausing, she looked over his shoulders to the creature that stood on the other side of the doorframe.

    She had never seen a Gar'm... not in person, but she had heard of them, and somehow, she wasn't entirely surprised by the sense of indifference with which he addressed the Aegis. They didn't seem the sort to put much stock in position, and after her uncomfortable moment with Saren earlier, she could almost... almost appreciate the notion.

    "Threw himself to the..." She started to question, as she followed Alex beyond the threshold, but the words died out at the sight of the blood splashed against the opened door, the woman sobbing over the figure. She looked away quickly, and her stomach dropped, her eyes falling closed. Even now, so many years later, the vision of her father's body haunted her... It hadn't been a particularly violent end, but it clung to her mind, as fresh now as it had been then...

    This was carnage. This was violence unlike anything she had witness, and it took everything in her not to buckle. It was only the sobbing woman... His mother, no doubt, that kept Arabella from crumbling completely. It wasn't her right... falling apart.

    Curling her hands into fists tight enough that her nails bit painfully into her palms, she forced her eyes opened again, damp and red, and looked to Marnia, whose presence alone was oddly comforting.

    #101 Elle Joyner, Apr 2, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2018
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  2. Marnia Belhund
    squire to Aegis Vallane

    As they approached the darkened inn, with firelight the only illumination through the half-open door, Marnia caught a glimpse of a hand laying in a stream of light. As her eyes adjusted, it didn't take her long to connect the shadows leaned up against the foundations of the inn and form the whole picture - Hayden, his body rent and torn, his eyes lifeless as they stared out. No matter how many times she encountered the freshly dead, it was still a convolution her mind had trouble encompassing, that she had seen this boy alive not an hour ago, and now he lay here, an empty shell.

    The cry that Hayden's mother let fly tore apart the insides of her chest as the squire put a hand to her mouth and shut her eyes. But even behind closed eyelids, the sound continued - a primal, unearthly keening that sought to wind its way into the brain and grip one's throat. It was not a sound she was unfamiliar with, for the T'Ousand Rills were not kind to children, and ague season often brought about the keening from more than a single mother. But again, each time - that cry was unique and fresh and raw, as stark and bitter as the taste of blood.

    There was work still to be done, however. She opened her eyes and scanned about them, the dark seeming to encroach the inn, and her eyes snapped towards the door as she heard Alexander's voice.

    "State your nature!" the Aegis shouted, and Marnia let out a low sigh of relief. She was about to calm the older man, but Korvackt seemed perfectly capable of saying as much himself. She listened to Betta's explanation, the reason behind Hayden's seemingly suicidal run, and her eyebrows drew together. She had heard of those sorts of tales from her aunts and uncles, that sometimes people heard things that drew them out into the Fog, thinking they had seen or heard a lost loved one, or a child of theirs who had died, or even a pet. This, however, was the first time she had ever seen it with her own eyes. Hayden hadn't been in his right mind when he'd arrived, of course, but...

    Marnia strode forward toward her liege, and she glanced at the two girls behind him, automatically taking stock. So they were safe - a good sign. But what could all this mean?

    "We need to talk. 'N they ain't gonna be privy, neither," Marnia said in a low voice to him, standing nearly eye to eye with him, nose to nose, her usually cheerful face atypically somber. She nodded her head to the girls and those in the inn, before looking back to the Gar and Zahar.

    "I think it be best you come inside fer the mo," Marnia suggested.

    @Effervescent @rissa
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  3. Maes Harrow

    The face was obscured, somehow, though whether it was from vile twist of darkness or from some other means, Maes couldn’t tell. He stared at the crumbling ceiling, watching in cold ambivalence as the structure that he’d poured so much of himself into, the building that had housed his dear family for so long, broke down, dissolving into gray ash. Above him still stood the Robed Figure, still unknown and unknowable to the farmer, still unmoving. From within its endless covering, a blackened hand lined with the hard edge of death exposed itself to amble toward Maes’ chest. In response, the farmer’s heart began to beat with minutely more ferocity than it had been, as if the animal instinct to flee at least struggled against the ennui that otherwise held Maes in its grip. It was a vain effort; in beating the harder, Maes’ heart suddenly grew more weak from the exertion, and growing chill, it slowed to a mere patter. Lungs, diaphragm, all of his life-giving organs, began to simply give up the fight, and Maes breathed a single last sigh of relief as numbness overcame his body.

    A massive pressure fell onto his stomach, as if his mare had sat on it. As if it weren’t enough, lancing pain exploded within his chest, causing his heart to find purchase on its own rhythm. This caused a chain of awakenings within his body as blood infused with a life he couldn’t explain shot through his veins, permeating first his failing organs and then his decomposing frame. Color returned to his cheeks, fullness returned to his face, and strength returned to his limbs. The quilt, wrapped so tightly about him, loosed, and he shrugged it off with surprising ease.

    The Robed Figure recoiled in apparent confusion, retracting its hand in fear. Whistling filled the air, piercing and shrill. Arrows, as red as shed blood, blasted through the open doorway and impaled the Robed Figure through each limb. Each shaft was followed by lines of red that disappeared outside into the obscuring brilliance of the rising sun. Each line went taut and pulled, and the Robed Figure was drawn slowly but irresistibly out into the morning. And as the full might of the sun reached into the cottage, driving away every thought or rumor of shadow within its halls, Maes awoke with a start.

    His mouth tasted of iron, and his chest was sticky. He probed his shirt, checking what it might be. At the sight of the blood, Maes shivered and glanced around. Aveline seemed a little out of sorts, and the growing line of red on her palm confirmed his fear. Had … had she done her magic on him? Stomach churning in revulsion, Maes twisted around, trying to find his balance enough to at least sit up. And trying desperately to keep the bile threatening to rise below his mouth.

    Yet it seemed that the small group was not out of danger just yet, and Ender’s warning brought a panic to Maes’ heart. Casters, too? When would the madness end? But his limbs moved on their own, driven by the necessity to defend himself against the reported threat. He rose to his feet and hurriedly began searching for a weapon of some kind amidst the corpse-littered ground. Silently he regretted giving his sole knife to Geirolf, but how could he have known he’d need to defend himself so soon?

    Ah! A short sword. Grunting with the effort, Maes bent down and retrieved it, whispering a half-considered prayer for the soldier by which he found it. He weighed it in his hand as he hurried back to Ender’s side.

    “Okay! Er, now what?”

    @Effervescent @Shizuochan @CloudyBlueDay @Bears
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