It is night in Serluna and it's just like any other night to the denizens of the kingdom during the Fiery Era. Depression, fear, the smell of burnt corpses lingering in the air, and the occasional frantic screaming of a magic-user being dragged away to their death, which was a severed tongue as not to chant a spell, and burnt in flames to be cleaned of their magic sins. Tonight, guards were doubled. They roamed the streets like pack dogs, sometimes barging into a house and leaving the residents near tears. Every inch of the streets they patrolled. At the suspicion of a wizard or a witch, the guards all ran packed together towards the place. There were so many of them, spawning like fleas and overcoming their prey. Stepping over the dead mutilated bodies of their comrades did not bother them; they were almost emotionless.
The town square was supposed to be the most vivid and lively place of Serluna. A large fountain was situated in the middle of a cluster of shops, restaurants, and lovely homes. But now the square was deserted and the water was polluted. Nothing there except guards. They marched silently around the fountain with guns in their hands and knives and swords at their hips. One particular guard, in fact a captain, adorned a bright orange cap. On it, was the symbol of a crown on fire with a giant M on it. The symbol of King Marykl, the one who started the whole Fiery Era.
"Trooper." The captain spoke to some guards making their rounds in the town square. "Have you caught any wizards, witches, and the like?"
"Not tonight, sir." One of them replied.
"Have you caught the assistant, yet?" He asked, a bit more roughly than his last question.
"Nope, we haven't seen a lick of her trail."
The captain growled, showing off his mouth of rotting and artificial teeth. "His Majesty will not be pleased. It's been nearly a year since she's run off. She's a good one..." He directed his nasty gaze towards them. "If you find her, even a small little scent, bring her. Preferably alive, but if you do kill her, bring her corspe to the castle. Great One King Mackyl is thinking of mounting her head upon the wall." With that, he walked away and the guards continued their rounds.
On top of a roof, a lady in her late 20's sat. Above her head she twirled a parasol round and round while watching the guards walk around like little puppets of the king. Well, that is what they were. How stupid they were to her. She sat on the roof, twirling her dainty parasol and smiling at them. She was Alvida Desus Samnital, the one they were in fact looking for. The assistant of King Mackyl himself back before the Fiery Era started. Ever since then, almost a year ago, she seemed to have vanish in thin air. From her hiding place in the shadows, she had saw the destruction Mackyl had done. What a very foolish man.
"Kwee kee kee kee..." She laughed quietly. "Oh, Mackyl. Such a funny man." She twirled her parasol some more, watching with amusement from her little spot.
Leon forced another rough push onto a freshly made wound on a tiny little boy with light blue hair. The boy was squirming and whimpering in pain, which was pissing Leon off.
"How am I supposed to help you if you don't keep still?" He applied a more aggressive push to the neck wound, the warm leak of blood filling in between his dainty hands. A yelp escaped the young one's mouth, but a hand slapped over it before the sound could reach any other ears. I'm going to save his life just for him to get killed again, Leon thought. Serluna's guards were really on patrol tonight, and Leon wanted no part of it. But it's not easy to ignore the screams of an innocent child.
He had seen the whole scenario fold right in front of him. An average middle age woman ran past two staggering boulders, grasping the tiny little boy with the blue hair's hand in her own. Leon was impressed. For a woman of that age and malnutrition, she sprinted pretty fast.That could only mean one thing. She's running for her life. As if on cue, a duet of guards sped up to the two of them and quickly tackled the lady. After hearing the fear in her yell, Leon stood up from his post behind a tree. Damn this good nature of mine, he swore, preparing himself for battle. A light hand twitched against the sheathe of his silver dagger. Even in the pit of night, Leon could easily toss the dagger, spilling the tainted blood of both of the guards. That was his plan anyway.
"No! Please! Don't hurt my little boy!" Leon hesitated, surveying the scene before him with his keen brown eyes. One guard that was taller than the other, but skinnier, grabbed a fist full of the woman's hair and snarled something incoherent into her ears. The other guard found the perfect opportunity to strike, stabbing the woman repeatedly in the chest. Her fatal screams resonated into Serluna's opaque sky, mingling with the shouts of others.
Leon watched as the young boy stared at the murder of his mom with large gray eyes. The guards let out loud cackles, watching the blood spill from the woman's body and onto her green tunic.
"Hey." Leon called out. All three of them, the guards and the boy, watched as the elf stepped from behind his shroud, twirling a silver dagger in his hand. The time for taunting was over. He tossed the dagger at a right angle, watching it splice through the wind in a boomerang type manner. The tall and skinny man grabbed the young boy, snarling fiercely and staring deep into Leon's eyes. He wanted Leon to know what was about to happen. That wasn't what the elf expected, and, before he could make any moves to cease the process, his silver dagger cut into the two guards necks, also cutting the young boy. Two adult heads rolled melodiously on the ground and the young boy was dropped, yelling in pain.
"Perfect." he muttered, rushing over to the young boy.
A bright, warm glow spilled slowly out of Leon's hand, closing the wound on the youth's neck. The boy had long since slipped into unconsciousness, and Leon didn't blame him. If I leave him here, he'll die. If I bring him, he'll die. There wasn't really much Leon had to work with. He lifted the surprisingly heavy child in his arms, and crossed over a dark ledge, landing at the edge of a collapsed building. This will do for now.
It was near dark when Kabur came upon the inn, before entering however Kabur pulled up the hood on his cloak, covering his ears and casting a shadow over his face. Upon entering the inn Kabur exchanged few words before handing the innkeeper money for a room and a meal. Shortly after dark Kabur saw the innkeeper hurry over to the door and bar it shut for the night, nodding in approval Kabur went up the creaky old steps to his room for the night.
Once Kabur closed his door however there was a loud crash followed shortly by the yelling innkeeper and sounds coming up the steps.
Preparing himself for an inevitable fight Kabur grabbed his worn staff, leveled it at the door, and began a series of deep breathing.
2 minutes later Kabur's door opened as it did he caught sight armor and naked steel, without hesitation Kabur unleashed a stream of energy, cooking two guards alive in their armor. Stepping out into the hall with the worn staff clicking on the floor Kabur makes his way down the inn's steps into the main room where 5 guards are forcing the innkeeper to get them a drink.
The innkeeper seeing Kabur come down the steps squeals, and ducks in fear, as he once again leveled his staffand shot flame killing the five guards before they had a chance to turn around. Stepping around the charred smoking armor, Kabur says to the innkeeper "Go on and tell them of me, I would expect no less for you to try to save yourself from the ignorant swine ruling this land." With that Kabur exited the inn and set off into the woods for a place to sleep without getting disturbed.
Although the guards were particularly aggressive tonight, they did not spare too much time interrogating the man who sauntered and stumbled his way through the town square. His reputation as someone with a few gears loose much preceded any sort of wizarding suspicions that he would have triggered in the patrolling inquisitors. The clothes accentuated this; a linen shirt and pants, olive grey, dirty, frayed at the sleeves and bottoms. He stared straight ahead, not particularly looking like anything, and his mouth perpetually was open in some sort of silent laugh, the corners of his lips curled upwards, mouth open, tongue raised as if in the process of barking out mirth.
Today though, one guard did in fact take notice in him. Today he was carrying an old leather book, with many silk tabs sticking out of the pages. The cover was adorned in ornate letters, carved without much care into the cover with a rather crude tool.
"Halt! Show me the book!" Darius' walk was interrupted by the point of a spear, jabbed at his chest, nuzzling into his linen shirt and threatening to draw blood.
He turned towards the guard, with the same expression, but with eyes that were suddenly in focus.
"W... wh -" He drew his spear back to stab.
He was long gone, well on his way to home, before the rest of the patrol found the guard, bleeding heavily from his mouth. The gargled screams he had managed to croak out were initially mistaken for a dying animal. It appeared, in a fit of desperation, that he had used his knife to cut his lips open. They did not look like lips anymore - it was as if someone had taken a flame to his face, melting his skin like wax and smoothing it over his mouth until it was sealed shut.
With a fluid movement of her hand, Soah brushed the hood of her cloak up and away from her eyes. The inn that she was staying at had stabled her horse already for the night, which gave her little to do. This left Soah staring blankly at the cup in her hand, her moody expression fixed on the amber liquid that she had hardly touched. She wasn't drunk, but the alcohol was making her nostalgic for her old life.
The fire flickered comfortingly not far from her and the warmth washed over Soah with a soothing wave of heat, making her sleepy in addition to the haze around her from the alcohol. Soah lowered her hood so that she could look around. The bitter taste of the ale on Soah's tongue reminded her where she was, though her gaze was locked on the fire. Soah pulled her hood back over her head and dropped a coin on the table to pay for her drink.
Soah continued up the stairs to her room, stopping to look out the window briefly. When she paused, Soah thought that she heard a small scream coming from out the window. Shaking her head, Soah continued up to her room.
The small boy was asleep and Leon was staring down at him. Why must they always find me? I said I'd protect those I can, but I froze up. And got the woman killed.
Guilt. That was something Leon hadn't experienced in a long time. Being an elf had it's advantages, but when it came to being guilty, that was a fate close to death. Guilt swallowed Pride, and Pride is what makes the elven strong. So it was no mistake that Leon felt a tiny lodge of pain and frustration in his thoughts. The woman was beautiful, creating a beautiful boy. A boy who's life was on the line. Healing him wasn't enough; Leon had to get him out of there before the guards found them both. But he was trying to escape himself! What more could be done?
Leon twisted a lock of his brown hair and yanked it to remind himself that he had to stay awake.
"I will watch after you, little one. For as long as I can."he said, and regretted it a moment later. He was only one elf. What more could be done?
Alvida chuckled some more. "Kwee kee kee...I think tonight's a good night to have some fun." She stood up, balancing flawlessly on the roof even in her high-heels. "Kwee kee kee..." She laughed, then pointed towards her shoes. [GLOW=white]"Little shoes, I wear everyday. Please, fly me away."[/GLOW] Her shoes glowed briefly, before the light coughed out like nothing happened. Alvida smiled childishly, than hopped off, almost flying with her shoes.
Down in the town square, all the guards froze and had their guns at the ready. Shouts and whispers of "What was that?" "Did you hear it?" sounded throughout the plaza. The captain, holding a mug of beer in his hands, looked around. A cruel grin spread on his rugged face. "It's her. That's her laugh." He threw his head back and downed the rest of his drink. He dropped the glass and let it shatter on the ground. Broken bits of glass fell and scattered like embers from a fire. "Men! Use any force necessary!" The captain himself pulled out a gun. "This is gonna be nice."
A few moments of tense silence followed by. Nothing happened. All the guards relaxed. "Dammit." The captain cursed. "Stupid witch." As soon as the words left his mouth, his team were surrounded by a flurry of red lights. "What the hell? Hey, you witch, show your damn self!" The red lights, pulsating like small hearts, circled the men. The guards pointed their guns uneasily at the little fireflies, unsure of what to do. This went on for a few minutes, with the lights closing in little by little. Suddenly, one of them exploded like a little firework. Sparks showered the men, but nothing else. The captain laughed. "Is that all? That was--" before he could finish his sentence, they all exploded. Fire and sparks showered down like Hell's Rain, burning their clothes and skin. Howls of pain dribbled from their mouths and they tried to put out the flames that decorated their bodies. Soon, all the men were either out cold or dead. Except the captain. He had used his own men as a human shield to protect him from the fireworks. Rising up from the piles of bodies, he yelled to the skies. "You stupid witch, I'll have your eyes for this!"
Alvida laughed from her little hiding place in the alleyways. "Kwee kee kee kee! Stupid men. How funny." Her gaze then traveled north, where the exit to the kingdom was. "Kwee kee...it's not safe for me here anymore. Maybe I should leave?" She smiled, tilting her head to one side. "I'll need friends, though. A lady shouldn't be alone out there. Kwee kee kee!"
She curled up one of her hands into a fist, the unfurled it again. A little orange-brown butterfly appeared. She singed to it. [GLOW=yellow]"Butterfly oh butterfly, I need a friend or two. Butterfly, oh butterfly, find me ones who will do." [/GLOW]The butterfly rose into the air and split into four different ones. It then fluttered away, looking for the companions Alvida wanted.
One of the butterflies flew off into the direction of inn, the other towards an elf, another seeking a maiden, and the last seeking a being not too far from the town square.
There was a babbling brook nearby Kabur realized, as he came upon the clearing. The moon was shining beautifully, the stars were out as well, in these woods there was a profound sense of peace, freedom, and a sense that one could escape their troubles here. Kabur feeling safe enough here moved to the center of the clearing and sat down in a meditation trance style
An hour or so later into the clearing came a butterfly, taking it's time the dragonfly slowly flew over to where Kabur lay in a deep trance state. So the magical butterfly did what it thought best to wake him up, it shocked him on his nose. "DAHHH!!!!!" Kabur yelled as he was quickly pulled out of his trance. "Butterfly.....now how you do this?" Kabur said in irritation; The butterfly in response simply started flapping it's wings out of the clearing. Muttering to himself Kabur started to go back into a trance again when the butterfly came back, saw Kabur was not following and zapped him on the nose again.
This time Kabur leaped up howling in pain, grabbed his staff and watched the dragonfly fly to the end of the clearing, turn around and seem to motion for Kabur to follow.
sighing with acceptance Kabur started to follow, figuring that it may lead to something important.
The little boy's breaths were growing short. Even though the elven healing artes were taking effect, the damage was already done. It was shock, trauma, and physical damage. He was so weak and malnourished that the healing couldn't take the effect that was intended. Leon looked down at the boy solemnly. Another one...
"Little one, your name."
The little boy coughed and opened his dazzling light blue eyes, struggling to breathe.
Suddenly, there was a small shimmer of light from the cave's entrance, illuminating the darkness around the two entrants. Leon stiffened for a moment, hand on his dagger hilt. The death of the boy was indeclinable, but that wouldn't stop the elf from protecting him until the end. To his surprise, a small butterfly made it's way towards the two of them, fluttering with a magic aura. Leon gazed upon it's beauty in confusion. The insect took it's flight towards Rin and landed softly on the boy's forehead. When Leon looked at him, the dazzle in his light blue eyes was nothing more than glass. The elf tensed, averting his eyes from the body. Dammit....
The butterfly rose and made it's way out of the cave. Before rising, Leon put a gentle hand over Rin's eyelids and closed his eyes, letting out a soft sigh.
"The dagger....will be named Rin." He said, an elven tinge in his dark voice. With one push, he hoisted himself from the cave's floor and took off after the butterfly.
From the window that Soah was staring out of, an iridescent butterfly emerged through the glass. Soah stepped back, her brow furrowed, and nearly fell backwards down the stairs. As she began to tip backwards, she took a deep breath and the air behind her pushed her back into a standing position just above the stairs. The butterfly drew nearer to her face once more and she swatted her hand at it but like the glass, the tips of her fingers seemed to go through the butterfly.
"W-what are you?" Soah asked it, leaning her face in to look at it instead of trying to back away further. The creature fluttered its wings gently in front of her face. Soah smiled, squinting her eyes at the insect. When she opened her eyes once more, Soah saw that the butterfly was leaving. Curiously, Soah made her way down the inn's stairs and out of the door. Soah stepped out onto the cool stone steps outside of the inn and looked around for the butterfly.
The shimmering insect caught her eye down an alley and Soah pulled her hood over her head once more before running down the street after it.
Alvida sat in the small alleyway, waiting for her "friends" to appear. The alleyway was dark, damp, and smelled, but Alvida seemed to not notice it what with her childish smile and laughter. In her petite hands was her parasol, still twirling above her head despite there being no sun at all. Her heels clicked on the hard and broken concrete. "Kwee kee kee...Oh, this alleyway won't do at all. No, not at all. My friends want a nice warm place. Kwee kee kee! Too bad for them, I guess." She laughed again, crossing her legs.
Soon enough she heard some footsteps. Was that one of her friends? Maybe. Alvida's smile burned even brighter. "I wonder if my friends will be scared. Kwee kee kee..." She kissed her hand and chanted softly. [GLOW=yellow]"Whisper whisper, do not fear. Whisper whisper, none shall hear."[/GLOW] Soon the alleyway was cloaked in a glimmering orange veil for the shortest second. A normal person couldn't catch it, but a magic-user would be able to detect it. "Kwee kee kee, now naughty little guards can't hear my new friends and I." She twirled her little parasol. "Now, soon I can help my little friends...Kwee kee kee!" Her laugh echoed out, only for the guards to not hear it.
Darius threw that word around in his head, back and forth, trying to get some meaning out of it. Help?
Did he need any of it?
He stopped walking once he could see the person who had thrown out the summons. His mouth was turned down in an inquisitive frown and his hands were buried deep within his pockets. For now he did not say anything, and directed his gaze over the racily dressed woman, trying to divine her purpose.
Again, he glanced at the moon briefly before returning his attention back to reality.
"Your incantation was well done." Darius had long studied the rhyme way of magic. It was a powerful tool, allowing users to chain multiple spell words together in harmony to achieve powerful effects. Rhyme appealed to the sense of music, which resonated powerfully with the emotions of many people .. which was what he suspected made it so effective.
The elf trudged his way through the rubble, avoiding the denizens the best he could. he didn't have to explain his lack of magic (not that they would care much) and his head was not where it should've been. Pictures of Rin and his mother crept inside the deepest part of his mind like a spider. The thoughts seemed to lodged itself onto the outer wall of his brain, disrupting the natural flow of his mind.
"Enough." he snapped, grabbing a fist full of his own brown, elven hair. A silky touch met his hands in return and the texture soothed his worries only for a second. I have to get out of this place. I have to go.
He kept telling himself that, something like a mantra, as he continued to follow the butterfly. The butterfly waited for him to settle himself and it zipped off, leaving a dim glow in its wake.
Leon fingered the hilt of his sword. The lack of guards in his current setting was unsettling in his stomach. He needed something to strike. Violence might relieve him from his guilt. As soon as he thought that, the butterfly spun in circles directly above his head, and sprouted into a dainty light. Leon looked around and saw absolutely nothing. He paused, thinking there was a specific time procedure, but nothing came.
Alvida turned her head towards a male, maybe not much older than her, walking down the street. At first he frowned at her, his hands deep in his pockets. After a few moments, he spoke. "Your incantation was well done." He said.
Alvida smiled, tilting her head in a child-like way. "Kwee kee kee, thank you ever so much..." She then held out her hand, outstretched with her palm up. She pouted playfully. "Aw, where'd my butterfly go? Did you destroy it? Kwee kee kee..." Returning her hand by her side, she smiled to herself and said nothing.
Alivida then caught glimpse of an elf peering down the alleyway. She waved calmly. "Hello there. You must be another friend." The butterfly the elf had been chasing fluttered over to Alvida and landed on her hat. "Oh, Kwee kee...little thing..." The butterfly faded away slowly before disappearing all together, as if it was never there. "Let's wait for the others, shall we?"
Sounds came from where Soah was headed, a woman's voice and also a man's. The butterfly was fluttering tantalizingly ahead of her, almost exactly where Soah expected the people to be standing. Instantly wary, Soah pulled her hood over her head with a sharp tug to make sure it was concealing her and then she slid up against the alley wall. She was a fool to have been lead her like this.
Soah was curious as to why she had no heard the woman's voice before she entered the alley - it was a very loud voice, after all. Soah tried to breathe quietly, her black robes blending in well with the dark. She couldn't distinguish what the others were saying from here and curiosity got the better of her as to why she'd been drawn by the butterfly to this alley. Soah fashioned a gentle breeze, nothing from the ordinary, to carry their voices to her so that she could hear their words.
"Let's wait for the others, shall we?"
Grimacing, Soah was certain now that she'd been lead into a trap. Now all that was left, she decided, was to figure out how to get away without being noticed.
The butterfly had Kabur walking for hours, at this point he had been shocked a couple of times by this......thing, he knew it wanted him to follow it, the question was to where? After a while Kabur had come upon a small town, filled to the brim with guards, Kabur was not afraid, any guards that would dare stop him would be killed mercilessly less he get shocked by the butterfly again. Yet somehow the butterfly managed to get kabur past the guards and their patrols, leading him to the mouth of a dark alley, a small breeze was coming out of it.
The butterfly had flown in a second before and had not come back out...yet; Kabur deciding that he had had enough of this mummers farce stepped into the alley, intent on seeing what was so important here his eyes taking a moment to adjust as he walked through.
People were in this alley he saw, one was cloaked a mere few feet in front of him several at the end of the alley, Stepping up to the cloaked figure in front of him Kabur had not made much of a sound at this point however that was changed as he cleared his throat behind the cloaked figure......
Alvida saw the other two, one an elf and the other a woman. She smiled and clapped her hands happily. "Kwee kee kee kee! Everyone's one here!" The two butterflies landed on her hat and faded like the other one. Alvida daintily stood up on the barrel, balancing easily on her heels. She looked over the four magic-users. "Hm, you are my friends, so you must do...."
She then said loudly, without fear of a guard hearing them. "Kwee kee, listen to me, please! Do you wish to escape this kingdom?" Without waiting for an answer, she spoke out. "I am Alvida Desus Samnital. The former magical assistant of King Mackyl himself, and arguably the one magic user he wishes to capture the most. Kwee kee kee!" She paused for some strange reason, perhaps to let this all sink in. Then, shockingly, her voice took on a more serious tone. "I've seen what Mackyl has done to this kingdom. So, I'm going to help people. But not just any people..." Her voice became cheerful and childish again. "Kwee kee kee, no! You are special magic users. Now, listen to me if you want to live...but live easily? That will never come, most likely. Kwee kee kee!"
Alvida thrust a hand out and chanted. "[GLOW=white]I shall see, I shall show. Give them knowledge they should know![/GLOW]" A brilliant butterfly, almost twice the height of Alvida, materialized and lit up the alleyway with a brilliant gold hue. Alvida cackled, not worrying about the guards. They couldn't see them or hear them. The butterfly outstretched its wings and a shimmering light overtook the surface of them. An image appeared on its wings. It was the image of a huge gate with hundreds of guards patrolling it. "The Gates of Enter and Leave," Alvida began to talk. "As you know, these are the only ways out and in of the kingdom. A magic-user would have no chance of leaving, facing all of those guards..." Then she smirked. "Kwee kee kee, unless grouped with others and me, like yourselves. We will need to do a little of, shall we say, dirty work in order to leave but that's how everything is in this kingdom." The gates in the image then flashed, and showed dead guards everywhere and the gates were opened. "And simply follow me, I'll take you somewhere other than here." Her smile got even larger as she said the final words to everyone.
"Kwee kee kee, if you haven't figured it out by now, I'm helping you escape!"
Darius smiled, the smile of someone who was confident that what this woman spoke was mostly bluster. It was a rather condescending smile.
"I don't really need the help. But ... "
He had surveyed the area during his various wanderings. From his normal place where he worked his magic, patrols had been increasing in density. The patrols were knocking on his door more frequently, demanding to see his adobe. Soon, even his reputation for being a harmless idiot would not be able to hold. It was about time he shipped out anyway.
".. you lot look somewhat fun to hang around."
A tired, slightly exasperated sign escaped his lips. "But I hope you do realize that violence will only beget more violence. What you are doing only makes them angrier and more determined to have our heads roll."
"You better have some grand motive for all of this. There is no point in doing anything without a grand purpose in mind."
One of them spoke up, and Alvida turned her head sharply at him. He smiled at her.
"I don't really need the help. But ... " He paused. ".. you lot look somewhat fun to hang around."
Alvida covered her mouth with a dainty hand and chuckled. "Kwee kee kee..."
Then he sighed. "But I hope you do realize that violence will only beget more violence. What you are doing only makes them angrier and more determined to have our heads roll."
Alvida tilted her head. "Oh, that I know. But for me, it's better than hiding in the shadows and running away for a whole year. I like actions. Kwee kee kee!"
He spoke yet again. "You better have some grand motive for all of this. There is no point in doing anything without a grand purpose in mind."
Alvida sat down, crossing her legs again. She put a finger delicately on her chin and looked upwards. "Kwee kee kee...A grand purpose...Oh yes, that..." She laughed and said no more.
She stood up again, parasol high above her head. "Well, this is sure to be fun, hmm? It's been such a long time since I've had fun...Kwee kee kee!" Her head turned north, where the Gates of Enter and Leave were erected. It was the exit to this dreadful kingdom, the once place Alvida had to go. It would be the gates of Heaven...or maybe Hell.
She couldn't help but let a little laugh slip loose from her mouth. "Kwee kee kee..."