(Nivansrywyllian, LuxGlyph)

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Nivansrywyllian, Sep 24, 2014.

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  1. Demons. Nasty little bastards. They were raiding a nearby graveyard for some quick, easy labor, and Sam would be damned before he'd let them recruit the dead without paying the blood tax. Quietly, he crept through the cemetery, ghosting from tombstone to tombstone, and hiding in the deep moonshadows. The night was misty, and the moon was bright. Visibility was wretched.

    The stench of the dead, mixed with churned earth to stick inside his nostrils like some necrotic sap. Grimacing with distaste, the young Returner unlimbered his rifle from the strap over his shoulder, and cradled it in his arms. A bayonette of silver, dulled with mud to keep the moon from glinting off the blade was perhaps too long for the common man, but if demon stabbing had to happen, Sam wanted to do it from as far away as he could afford.

    Peering around one waist-high tombstone, the young man finally laid eyes on a small group of figures in the mist. There were two zombies standing in a waist-deep pit over a grave. They looked like they'd been dead for ten years or more, and were barely more than sinew and skin.

    Smiling with grim satisfaction, Sam cast his senses into the air. He felt more than saw the three demons lurking nearby, on the far side of the pit from him. He'd gotten to the graveyard at the same time as they had, but he'd lost them in the fog. Two zombies wouldn't make much of a difference in the fight, especially as old and weak as these were, but three demons would be a hairy battle at the best.

    Luckily, Sam didn't play fair.

    Fingers brushed the cool tombstone, damp with fog, and it quietly crumbled into a pile of rubble. Quickly, Sam moved to the next tombstone, and the rubble began to reform itself into a trio of small, stone dogs, no larger than a grown man's mid-shin. He repeated the process with the next stone, with similar effects. And the next.

    When he had a pack of the little stone dogs skulking after him, he drew nearer to the pit, searching for a line-of-sight on the demons. With any luck, he'd be the only hunter on the mission. He didn't like working with trigger-happy gunmonkeys when the visibility was this poor, and nobody'd told him to expect backup.
  2. This was just a fine mess Edison had gotten himself into.

    It wasn't that he had been trying to get himself caught. He thought he made a fine good effort in the day to day avoiding trouble, but really, sometimes an opportunity presents itself that is just too good to say no to. Unfortunately he hadn't been thinking of the repercussions at the time, and apparently he hadn't covered his rear as well as he thought because.. well.. here he was now.

    Here he was now, bloody, exhausted, and half conscious while he was dragged through the wet muck of an abandoned graveyard - he knew that by its stench - by the wonderful duo: tweedle dee and tweedle dum.

    "Oi, this looks like a fine spot," Dee said to Dum, and the two demons dropped him face first into the cold mud. /Grand/.

    He must have made a noise, because just then Dum rattling out a laugh. "Right mess you've gotten' yourself into, Eddy," came his jolly sneer, pointed with a hard boot to his ribs. The air rushed out of his lungs in a low, pained hiss and he rolled onto his side - his arms were still chained behind him, his legs wound too with that awful silver, otherwise he would have been more than happy to jump up and wallop the idiot bastard.

    Instead, Edison dropped his pounding head into the much and grinned mindlessly up at them, "Careful fellas, your boss wants you to bury me while I'm still alive, yeah?" Oh he was feeling playful today. Maybe it was the head injury that was making him giddy, or perhaps it was the spellbound chains. Suppressor spells always did funny things to his brain. In any case, it only earned him an amused snort as the two second class demons wandered away from him - presumably to find a proper hole to toss him into.

    Edison tilted his head to listen, tracking the men as best he could now that he was blind. His abilities and magic were his eyes - in a way - but they were currently being suppressed and his good old, natural eyes have been useless for decades. What else could he work with? His arms shifted slightly against the chains and he resisted the urge to hiss in pain as the silver scraped against his skin. No dice on getting out of those without help. His body was bruised and battered, they didn't spare their punches, but he wasn't mortally wounded. No, they had wanted to ensure that he suffered under the earth for as long as possible before he finally expired.

    He let out a low, huffing chuckle, feeling giddy again. He thought perhaps he'd be more frightened when the time came, but it had been weeks and he was just ready for it to be over with. He did hate to drag things out, and luckily they didn't wait for the first snow. He did so hate the cold. Edison closed his useless eyes and fell still, listening to the slosh of boots in mud, of quiet murmurings shared between idiots, of the further distant sounds of quiet, wheezing shuffles of the dead. All very droll, but at least it wasn't -

    Hold on. Edison's expression pinched, his head lift, white hair and counter black, matte horns raised up like a flag. He stayed like that, craning his head as he listened. He heard something. Something that was unlike anything that should be in this grave yard. What was this then?
  3. Sam drew closer, as two of the demons moved away. The third demon, -or what he'd thought to be a demon- was still on the ground. The hunter couldn't get a magical read on him, which was strange. Demons usually had some sort of corrupted magic floating around. When he got closer, and the lump that was the stranger came into view, the lack of a magical signature became obvious. Spell suppressors. More nasty work. The bane of new magi all across the face of the world. What remained of it, anyhow.

    Not a demon, then. The hunter considered putting the fellow down. Demons would turn a Magus sometimes, to send him back into human settlements to wreak havoc. Sam decided against it almost immediately. They had tests for it, and there wasn't a whole lot of havoc the man could wreak in spell suppressors.

    He came into full view of the bound man, still ignored by the zombies who were hard at work digging their hole.

    Sam was short, and ghosting hunched over from tombstone to tombstone didn't flatter his already understated height. Upright, he might stand at all of five foot three, or four. The old-world bolt-action rifle looked comically large cradled in his arms. He had an angular, serious face and dark, black hair that hung down past his shoulders. It was pulled into three braids, to keep it free from his eyes. One behind each ear, and a third pulling his bangs to the back of his head. He was dressed in the trappings of a hunter, with hardened leathers for armor, and ease of mobility over the heavier stuff of the common infantrymen, and the colors of his clothes were all muted browns, greys, and blacks to blend in with the landscape.

    Apart from the rifle in his arms, the diminutive hunter carried an ax on one hip, presumably evening out the weight distribution of the ammo pouch on his other. A bandolier crossed his chest, strapped with sundry makeshift grenades, gadgets, and tools of his trade.

    He lifted a hand to his mouth, pressing a finger to his lips for silence, once he came close enough to the bound man. He was closer to pretty than he was traditionally handsome.

    He stepped past the bound man, and in his wake, a pack of little stone dogs that looked as if they were made of roiling piles of rubble followed. They were shin high, and no fewer than ten. He disappeared into the fog once again, in search of the demons. It didn't take him long.
  4. Oh yes, he was definitely hearing something. Though what, and why, he had no idea. He blinked, his eyes giving him nothing but darkness, and he wished, furiously, that he had his magic, because this was just as likely to be bad as good.

    He forced his head back down, forced himself to relax, if Dee and Dum noticed his focus, they might.. well, those nimrods probably wouldn't notice danger past their pointed noses, but it was better safe than sorry.

    He laid in the mud and listened, knowing he must look rather pathetic. His clothes were basic cotton pants and shirt, now ruined with wet, ugly mud and dried blood. They clung to him stiffly, or laid ripped in places. He had been stripped of his weapons days ago - he'd been quite upset about it since his favorite dagger was now likely in the hands of one of those grubby idiots.

    His arms twisted behind his back, chained there and left until they cramped and ached, his legs chained together close enough that sometimes his feet went numb when he fell asleep.

    His head rest in the mud, his white hair already turned filthy, but the hair was cropped short and neat, having been shaved around the sides and back recently, but allowed to grow longer along the top. Black, matte horns rose from this temples and curled around his head. His face was oval, but now a bit swollen and split in places, his freckles light across his nose and cheeks, clearly sprang by hours in the sun, as the rest of his skin has an even tan across it.

    His eyes had closed, but when the sounds came close enough to discern them as footsteps, they flew open again, soft grey, clouded eyes stared out into nothing as he listened, the steps came closer.. and closer.. and then he passed by. The steps now moving away - towards the demons. Edison cocked his head to the side when a whole slew of sounds rumbled past him, like a group of miniature rock slides.

    It wasn't until he heard the sound of attack that Edison suddenly grinned, suddenly hoped. Oh this was definitely a /good/ thing. He heard the startled yelps of his horrid caretakers, followed swiftly by the sound of attack and battle.

    Edison threw his head back and he laughed.
  5. Sam was an efficient hunter. One of the best. He never fought an even battle if he could avoid it, and he left honor to the duelists. His pack of stone-hounds moved in first, below the cover of the fog as they encroached upon the would-be necromancers. The stone hounds were the first to strike, breaking into a loping gait, only the sound of soft grinding rising ahead of them. The demons went down screaming. A gout of flame swallowed several of the stone hounds, to no avail. Small though they were, they were impervious to fire, and fueled by magic.

    Golemancy was a powerful art.

    Sam was quickly behind them, coming upon the first fallen demon, who'd been hamstrung by the stone dogs. A bayonette thrust behind the eyes stilled him, smoke curling up from the hole left by the now gore-splattered silver blade at the end of the rifle. The second demon was pulling the Stone Hounds off manually, and hurling them with superhuman strength into the surrounding tombstones. Some of the Hounds shattered on impact, but there were plenty left from the first demon to pitch in.

    The mess they made of the second was considerable, and the sounds of squishing and grinding filled the air, mixed with the screams of the demon. The silver bayonette silenced the second.

    Back to the grave Sam walked, where the zombies were still digging. A moment of sorrow overtook him as he watched them work. They had been important to someone, once upon a time. This disgrace would be their last, at his hands. He stood beside the chained form of the horned fellow as his Stone Hounds overtook the poor unfortunates, and reduced them to grave-dust and mush.

    "Were there any other demons?" Sam demanded of the prone, chained figure, as he pulled on a pair of thick gloves, and slung his rifle across his back again. He took up one of the shovels the zombies had been using.
  6. Edison could do little more than listen to the battle raging on behind him. He could practically play out the scene in his head just by the sounds alone. The demons startled in the middle of their work, the little fleet of rock monsters attacked first, and maybe -maybe - if those demons had been paying attention they might have been fine, but no, they weren't and they were idiots.

    They were doomed, and soon enough Edison smelled the fowl smell of their tainted blood spilling into the night - night? day? afternoon? God, he didn't even know any more.

    Soon the sounds of screaming idiots faded into gurgles, and at once he knew he was free - or.. as free as this might-be-hero decided to make him. Of course the threat was real still. This man could easily still decide to kill him, and he had the means to do it, by the sound of it.

    Still, when he at last heard those steps squelch through the mud and come to a stop beside him, Edison couldn't help but roll onto his back and smile up towards the general direction of the demanding voice. "My hero," He crooned, "Oh there are plenty of demons, too many to count, but here, and now? No, they seemed to believe that two were enough to send me to my grave, and glad I am that they were wrong."

    He then rolled onto his side, his bare hands shifting, "Might you give me a hand?"
  7. "That'll do for now," Sam said to himself, dropping to a knee in the mud beside the prone man. "And I might decide to give you a hand just yet, but I have a few questions for you first." At the very least, he could help the poor horned fellow into a sitting position. He grabbed a fistfull of arm, and hauled the man into a sitting position, before moving to the pile of dirt beside the half-dug grave. He and his stone-hounds began to fill the dirt in, atop the zombie corpses.

    The demons could rot for all he cared.

    "You have to understand, that I'm somewhat cautious of strange, shackled men I find in the middle of a graveyard, surrounded by demons and zombies in the dead of the night. Especially in spellbound shackles. Now I might end up putting a bullet through your head and putting you in an unmarked grave, but I'd just as soon help you back to somewhere that can get you some warm food, and a smith to pull those shackles off."

    Good lord, Sam could go on for days. "I tend to ramble." He explained. "But it helps me work. The price of my help is your name and your story. If it comes with a good enough reason, it'll buy you passage to the next town. If not, it'll buy you painless release from this world." The hunter frowned. "I'm spending too much time in graveyards."
  8. "Grand," Edison said with a false cheerfulness. Of course it wouldn't be that easy. Everyone wanted something in this world and Edison was just as guilty as any of them, so he couldn't really blame this guy. He was suddenly being hauled up and boy did the world spin. He shifted uncomfortably in the mud and for several moments he focused on not falling over again.

    Oh, the guy was talking again.

    Edison's head tilted up towards the man, and he gave another wide grin, "That's about the sum of it," he agreed to the odd situation he found himself in, he turned his head to listen at the strange scraping of ground. Was he burying something? Surely not the demons..

    He gave up on trying to figure out what it was and just settled on stretching out what he could of his arms while the man rambled on. He chuckled, lightly, when the man admitted to rambling seconds after.

    "A price," He hummed, his head lifting up, then towards the man again, "So my life for a story. Does it have to be true?" He teased a moment, "You're a paid man, aren't you? Coin for your efforts outside a town, yeah? Going around, shooing off all the dirty little monsters that might crawl out of the dark. Either that or your a very strange grave robber," He tilted his head towards the sound of digging, "Either way, I suppose I'm amiable. Got nothing better to do," He sighed, and shifted his arms and legs around again.

    "Edison. That's my name. I live.. north, I think. I've no idea where I am right now, actually." He huffed out a laugh, "I'm what you call a freelancer... slash treasure hunter.. slash whatever the hell I'm doing at the moment. I took a job with this company looking into the loss of a town called Vash. They'd stop communication and the messengers sent never returned, so hey, I thought why not. God, famous last words, right?" He smiled, "Hey, listen, this is really uncomfortable. I think my wrist might be broken too. Can we talk maybe while we get some help? That would be lovely."
  9. "You could lie," Sam suggested. "But I might take offense to it and ventilate your head." The work was nearly done, when the suggestion to move towards help came. "I'm almost done here. We're about a half a day south of Turley. There'll be someone there that can get your chains off." The last few shovels full of dirt fell, and Sam snapped his fingers again. His stone-hounds melted into one large, gravelly puddle, before reforming into a broad, chest-high beast that looked part bull, and part alligator.

    "Which wrist is broken? I'll help you to your feet." Sam was true to his word, and he'd help the fellow up.

    "I'm going to sling you across the front of my mount. It likely won't be comfortable, but he moves smoother than a horse, and I can't get those shackles off of you without pulling your hands and feet off. You've got the right of it. I'm one of the Bastion's hunters. The landholder in Turley was concerned that demons were amassing outside of his walls. I came to investigate." He ushered his quadrupedal golem over to the injured man.

    "I'm going to lift you up, and hop on behind you so that you don't fall. Then we can keep on talking about the many good reasons that you have to live. My name's Sammuel by the way. Sammuel Brandt."
  10. "Turley?" Edison groaned, "Definitely South, then." South, and East, and days worth of travel. How had they moved him so far without his notice? Granted, he had been delirious for a few days there. Half a day to salvation now, and that was if this man decided not to 'ventilate his head'.

    The man came to his side again, and actually offered some consideration when he asked about the wrist, "Left, maybe not broken, but highly sprained - ouch" he gruffed when he was dragged to his feet, but he would need constant support so he wouldn't fall over again, mud dropped off him in clumps and the cold air chilled his soaked clothes enough that he shuttered a bit. He was taller than the stranger, by several inches, but he was thin, wired, and lithe. He slumped against the stranger and listened to the shifting stone close by.

    He blamed it on the concussion that it took him so long to catch on, it was a golem. Convenient. "I'll just be the maiden then, shall I?" He sighed, but he let himself get manhandled onto the beast - it was almost necessary with how uncoordinated he was. He huffed out a breath as he landed, and, well, at the very least it was more comfortable than what the demons had put him through. Didn't help his pride one bit, though.

    "Sammuel," He repeated, a bit breathless from the minimal effort. Shameful, really, "Pleasures all mine."
  11. "Mmm. I've never heard of a maiden with horns before." He said, trying to haul the fellow up the side of his golem. A better idea struck him, and the golem shortened a foot or so, making the hauling of Edison onto the beast that much easier. Sam swung up behind him, and laid a hand on the fellow's back to keep him stable.

    The golem swept into an oddly smooth gait that didn't seem to divert around tombstones. Occasionally, the beast would flow over a pit to give the sensation of jumping, but it never badly jostled it's riders. "You let me know if you think you're stable enough to sit up, and we'll stop and reconfigure." His voice was a cool baritone, and by his tone, he sounded like a man who smiled infrequently, but was always laughing on the inside. Sarcastic. Wry.

    "Now Mr. Edison, tell me more of your story. I'm not in any rush, but I'd hate to get to the city without being convinced of your innocence. Relatively speaking. This story last left off with you on your way to Vash, about to fall into some sort of villainous trap. What happened on your way to Vash? What were your findings?" Sam was gathering intelligence, of course. The more he knew about what the demons were doing, the better he could kill them.

    "And then you can tell me how you got those dashing horns."
  12. "Oh, then you haven't been to the right places, my friend," Edison teased with a tense, half smile. Despite his merry words, he was about ready to collapse, which was a blessing only for the fact that, for the moment, he didn't give two shits about the horribly embarrassing position he found himself in, draped across the stony golem's back and saved from a fall all by the grace of Sammuel.

    He grunted as he came into place, shifting a bit to feel more secured on the constantly shifting stones flushed against his front. He hummed in response to the offer to sit up. Lovely idea, maybe when the world stopped lurching around him.

    When he felt a bit more confident, he laid his head against the stone, cheek touching the cool grave smelling stone - oh, this guy had used the gravestones. Clever, the graveyard must have been such a mess at this point.

    "mmh, right, story," Edison blinked out of his head, and he smiled. Of course this guy wasn't going to let him off so easily, and then he chuckled when the man mentioned the horns again, "Dashing, are they?" he shifted a little when the stones flowed over the empty space, more like a rushing river than anything actually solid. His arms shifted and he groaned at the ache.

    It took him a little time before he had gathered enough wits again to continue his story, "Seven of us in all travel to Vash, only to find it abandoned. Meals still on the tables, doors flung wide open, and not a soul in sight. The closer we looked, the more examples of force were found. They hadn't gone on their own free will, and whoever had taken them had done a grand job of efficiency. We found... well.. a village worth of tracks headed east, so -" His words cut off when the beast under him turned and he was jostled from his thoughts. He let out an annoyed breath, "Look, friend, I'll tell you what I can, but I'm at the end of my ropes here, its been a rough week, let me rest."
  13. Samuel ignored the fellow's jokes. They were mildly entertaining, but he was still in hostile territory, and on high alert. He one-handedly unlimbered his rifle, cradling it under the arm that wasn't steadying his would-be damsel-in-distress.

    "Rest if you need, Edison. We're not out of the clear yet, however. I'll not be stopping my stonemount. Bear in mind that you have until Turley to convince me that you're benign. Once we're there, you'll either have your freedom, or the choice between a quick death and an inquisition." Samuel paused, as if considering the option himself. "Come to think of it, the inquisition isn't such a bad option, as long as you're not a demon. Holy men babble some mumbo jumbo, squirt you with some water, shake spices over your head. It's the ones they think are demons that get the rough treatment."

    He was rambling again.

    "Rest. I'll let you know when we're in eyeshot of the city walls." He insisted. Shifting the weight of his rifle, he took his hand from Edison's back to support the weighty rifle.
  14. "Right, right," Edison cracked a half grin at the man's long winded warnings. He was quite aware of the distrust all those shut ins behind the big walls had with outsiders. Rightly so, in most cases, but they had half a day and Edison could spare a few hours to rest a bit and come to terms with his near death experience.

    He tried to relax atop the golem, sleep was impossible, but he managed some semblance of a murky half sleep through the night and into morning. He woke fully each time the golem shifted unexpectedly or some other noise or movement caught his attention, but by the time the sun was settled above the horizon, he was actually feeling better, it was a good start.

    "Oi," he mumbled into the stone, "I believe I'm ready to sit up again... and water, if you have any on you." He added, hopefully, as he cleared the cobwebs in his tired mind.
  15. Sam hadn't had any cause to raise an alarm on the ride. If he had, the bark of his rifle would have been a rude awakening. He enjoyed the ride as he went, watching the sky grow light, and fill with color. He twisted about on his mount occasionally to check the trail behind them, always looking for pursuit. They were about an hour's ride from the walls, when Edison roused again.

    "I'll let us down easy," Said the golemancer. The beast began to sink into a puddle of broken stone, 'til Samuel's feet touched the ground. He swung his leg over the rear of the beast, and slipped an arm under Edison's shoulders to help him to his feet. "Feel free to sit on the golem." He said, leaning his rifle against his hip as he dug through the satchel at his side. he came up with a bottle of water that was probably lukewarm, but wet none the less.

    He uncapped it, and offered it to his captive. "Can you hold it, or do you need a hand?"
  16. Edison did use the beast as more of a prop than anything as his feet touched the ground. He propped up to a half stand and turned his head around them, he could hear birds, and it felt warmer. Morning then. He turned his head back towards Sam, his arms tugging behind his back and he gave a lopsided grin, "A hand, if you don't mind."

    He tilted his head, but his blind eyes giving him nothing to work with until the bottle was just at his lips. Oh it was wonderful. If he was allowed, he would drink well over half the bottle before he signaled enough.

    He took a deep breath and tilted his head back, "Grand, thank you." He sighed out, then straightened, "How close are we? Do I have time to tell the rest before you cast judgement upon my poor soul?"
  17. Sammuel hummed ponderously. "And here I was hoping you'd perform some sort of magic trick." He mused. He tilted the bottle to his captive's lips, allowing a slow trickle at first so as not to drown the fellow. He pulled the water away to allow for breathing every few swallows until the sign to stop came.

    Taking a swig of his own, he re-capped the bottle and returned it to his satchel. He slung his rifle over his back once again, and clambered back onto the golem. "We've got about an hour's ride before we reach the city." The golem shivered, as if eager to get moving.

    "When you're ready, turn away, and he'll form up under you so that you can ride upright. I'm eager to get back, but not so eager to put you in the ground before hearing you out. The pace will be easier from here."

    He gestured vaguely to the surroundings, although the motion was wasted on the blind fellow. Birds were chirping, and they were on an old road that looked like it had been brick once. Trees lined the way, and bushes had overgrown the ditch on one side. "We weren't followed, and I don't mind slowing down to keep it easy."
  18. An hour then. An hour longer stuck blind and in chains. He knew he shouldn't complain, it could be worse. He could be six feet under and either suffocated or crushed under the weight of the earth. This was a better scenario by far.

    He contemplated his luck as he licked his dry lips, it had been the end of the road. Well, that must mean that he owed this man his life - well... perhaps, it could still turn all upside down, but he was beginning to doubt that that was a real posibility. This Sammuel seemed like a stand up guy, and Edison had information he wanted. Information that needed to be shared.

    He let out a huff of breath and shifted around as he was asked, grunting some as the golem flowed up around him and he was off the ground again - this time in a proper upright position. "I don't imagine you would be, it was only the two that I was aware of," He hummed, "But perhaps not too slow, I would like to get these chains off today." He cast Sam a quick grin over his shoulder.

    "Right, so where was I? My fellows and I followed the tracks east away from the village. They were at least a week old and the rains had washed them out in part, but there were plenty left to follow.

    "It grew dark when we arrived beginnings of a forest - I don't really know what they called the area - and we made camp. We took turns through the night to keep watch, and I can assure you all was well until, at least, my watch, but I was relieved of my turn in the early morning hours by a bowman named Luke. I went to sleep believing we were well guarded. By morning, I was alerted to the fact that Luke never came to fetch his replacement, and when we went to search for him, he was gone. His trail lead into the forest, but we lost his steps not a hundred feet in. A few suspected that he must have heard something and gone to investigate, but we couldn't understand why he didn't raise an alarm, or why we were not attacked as well."

    He raised his shoulders in a shrug, "We never did find Luke, but now I have a good idea what happened to him. See, we continued into the forest after that, following the path of the villagers - they were much easier to keep track of, stomping through the forest like they were. We were more cautious after Luke's disappearance, but even then we were no match for what happened. On the second night, we were ambushed and captured, not by demons, or undead, but by the villagers themselves."
  19. The golem swept up beneath Edison, even gathering the links of chain between his feet into itself to keep them from dragging on the ground beneath. Sam's hands settled idly on the fellow's waist to keep him from toppling one way or the other during the strange ride.

    He listened to the story in silence, until his co-rider stopped. "The villagers," He said, a note of surprise entering his voice. He shifted atop the golem, and worried at his lower lip ponderously. Villagers would pose different problems than a group of demons, he supposed. He had trouble considering them targets, however.

    Of course, men had a history of killing men, and it was no real surprise that a village would turn to banditry, especially when fallen on hard times. The implications that were involved with the attacks however, were troubling. Edison had ended up in demon hands somehow, and it didn't take much of a stretch of the imagination to connect those dots.

    "Were they possessed, or free men?" He asked, quietly.
  20. The golem continued to move with ease under him, the chains held and the ground passing easily under gentle loping strides. It took a lot of focus to herald the stones to such symmetric harmony. Perhaps that was why he was out here, fighting for the protection of those that couldn't defend themselves. Maybe Edison would care more if he wasn't so compromised. He felt a bit silly being held by the waist, and even more so when he found he needed the support when the golem would shift or turn, and his body was less and equip to properly prepare or compensate. He grunted an embarrassed thanks the first time he had to be helped straight again, the rest of the time he just pretended it didn't happen.

    "Yes, the villagers," Edison turned his head, eyes looking blindly over his shoulder, "Not free men, no, not in a sense, they were free in their actions, but their moral, their hearts, they had been corrupted." Edison offered a grin, "See, we noticed immediately that something wasn't right. They were.. human, but not quite. Red eyes, claws, tusks, tails.. horns." Edison turned his head forward again, "Some of my companions felt morally compelled not to fight off these men and women who seemed more.. insane than evil, and because of that we fell. I thought they might try to kill us then and there, but instead we became their prisoners, and we were taken, blindfolded -" Edison laughed at that.

    "Where we were taken, I'm sure I will have nightmares for the rest of my days. It was.. oppressive, as if magic bled from the very stone underfoot - and this wasn't any sort of proper magic, either. It was a sort that.. sunk into you, stuck inside your pours and under your nails. We felt it far before we saw where we had been taken. A fortress, Sammuel. A fortress, and someone is amassing an army."
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