The Beginning of the End

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  1. Reaven had been under martial law the entire day. Early that morning, a runner had spotted a massive host of the enemy marching from the southwest and had reported directly to the lord. Since then, soldiers had been at the ready, archers on the wall and swordsmen at the gates and in the streets.

    Not an hour ago, an archee had spotted the host on the horizon, and moving quickly. Citizens were told to remain in their houses, and many of the men had taken up arms and formed a small people's militia, as Reaven had always been needing more men in the city guard.

    Lord Dimaethor had hidden his children in his study, but not without having an argument with his eldest son, Oriske. But of course. Oriske wanted to fight as well, he wanted to be a hero, but Dimaethor had refused him, even though his son was a man grown. Oriske had stormed out of the castle, taking his sword with him and going to join the City Guard.

    That boy...always so hard headed, Dimaethor thought as he stood in the grand front hall of his castle, his personal guard arranged in strategic positions, every one of them, even him, hidden, so that one wouldn't easily be able to see them.

    He thought of the rest of his family in his study, his two twin daughters and his youngest, a boy of seven. His wife had died giving birth to him, and Dimaethor had raised him by himself. All of his children but Oriske looked like his wife, who was fair-skinned and dark-haired, while Oriske had taken from his father, and had hair like spun gold.

    Praying to the gods that Oriske would be alright, he ran a hand through his hair, hearing the sounds of war just outside the grand doors of the castle.


    The battle wasn't going well for the wraiths. All of the men fighting had their shadows released, but even that could not help against the flow of enemies, which seemed endless. Blood soaked the cobbled streets, and wraiths were falling left and right.

    Of course, Oriske was in the middle of the fighting, his shadows swirling about him, sharp as knives and cutting anything that touched them. Still, the enthusiasm of the enemy was staggering, and they were reaching closer and closer to the castle with every second.

    Too many times did Oriske nearly slip on a puddle of blood, which would surely be the end of him, but he always caught himself, adrenaline coursing through him. Now, he had fresh cuts on his arms, and one above his left eye, but it had thankfully stopped bleeding.

    Seeing a group making for the castle, Oriske made a move to follow, wanting to be the one who saved his family and his city. He hung to the shadows, using his own to help him blend in, so no one would attempt to attack him, wanting to follow the group into the castle.
  2. Talen walked around the battlefield, swinging his sword at the soldiers that came form every direction, cleaving into the wraiths and avoiding the shadows that threatened to envelop him and destroy him from the inside out. His body was a moving powerhouse, the sword in his arms the very might of his strength itself. Wraith after wraith fell before him, cleaving away each single beast.

    He wasn't that powerful; in fact he was about average. But the skill they had to train to obtain their proficiency was higher than an average wraith, so he was above what was to be considered the norm for a common poor footsoldier. Not that it mattered now when he was surrounded.

    The beasts kept converging on him from all sides, but he decided to ignore some of the far off ones and focus on the ones in front of him. The number was increasing as they got closer, but they were pooling everything they had into this assault and were treating this accordingly. His own side was coming from all sides of this land to attack this capitol-Xander-and take over this rotten land. Looking around, he saw how they were going to take it.

    They had blown holes using acid into the outer walls, and used shields to get inside the area. Once in, they simply had to turn and pick off all the archers to allow the rest of the force to come in. Street fighting was proving rough, but luckily the generals were going ahead to take out some of the more heavily defended areas.

    The man was simple, about 22, and was an average foot-man on the battlefield. He simply knew basic swordsmanship, could cleave off a head, fight well and be average to those testing him. That was how the majority of the men in this group were. The only female he knew of was an elf, and he barely knew her at that.

    "Forward men!" He cried, dodging and killing another wraith as he moved on. He was wounded badly and he should've stopped, but it was hurting him to move around more than a few inches. He had to keep going, or he'd die from blood-loss on the street. He moved on, still blowing into the enemy with men by his side.
    Demiel ran across the field with the speed of all the elves she had lived with, holding her twin swords and cleaving a path for the other generals. The others were just as good with knives, but her sped and agility were unmatched across the bloody field. She shuddered about this, but decided it wasn't worth her time to bring up. They had a mission, and there wasn't time to be thinking about that.

    The elf thought once more, briefly, as she tended to do in battle, about how her life had been before this. Living in Elendria, watching the trees grow and singing to them, and even courting another elf she wished to fall in love with. But the elf had died, her own hopes of peace had been shattered, and now the wraiths were about to take over the world of men. The main reason she was here was she couldn't allow the dark to take over her world, her life and her family.

    She cut down more of the dark creatures, stabbing at them with a dangerous ferocity. The streets used to her advantage, she was gliding from rooftops to city roads, and barely any stood a chance. This was to be expected, for the main challenge for her were numbers, not quality. She would only be bested by the sheer raw force of the attack, not by individual members.

    All the generals had lined up and were running for the castle, trying to penetrate the eastern side while the main attack came in from the north.

    She turned to see one thing fly through the shadows she did not expect. She heard a wet squelch as it slipped on one of the many blood stains. Elven tapered ears were stronger than human ears by a large margin.

    She ran towards it, and the shadow must have seen her. Chasing it through the alley, she caught it and used her bow to trip his feet up, and saw a flash of a locket of golden hair. With a knife to the boy's throat, she waved the other generals to keep going. She didn't know him at first, but soon would, "May I ask why a boy is out on the streets watching as his kingdom falls when you should be inside the castle cowering with your lord?"
  3. "I'm not a boy!" Oriske growled, hazel-green eyes burning with hatred. "I'm a man!" All around him, his shadows were rising up, ready to pierce through the woman through. "And I don't cower! Not like my father is!" He reached for his sword, though he didn't draw it, deciding to wait until the moment there wasn't a knife at his throat.

    Oriske was a good swordsman, and believed that if given the chance he could beat the elven woman easily, if they had met on fair grounds. Still, as his shadows reared back to deal the final blow, he stated, "Best take the knife away from my throat. I'd rather not kill a woman..." He smirked, assured that he had the upper hand.

    Dimaethor's eldest son had always been skilled with his shadows, having developed them fully before he turned thirteen, and could bend them to his will almost perfectly. Of course, he was hardly twenty, and had no experience in battle, but just as a soldier needs battle experience, so to did a wraith with their shadows.

    There were five professions within shadow control, and Oriske was proficient with two, Maeterys and Shaene, which could prove to be a deadly combination if used correctly. Knowing at least two professions was required for a wraith to become a knight, but Oriske knew that he wanted to be the Lord of Reaven after his father.

    Using the Shaene discipline, Oriske manipulated his shadows to grab onto the elf's wrist that was holding the knife. "Let go," he said firmly. "I will not be treated this way."
  4. The elf grunted in surprise, but she had to restrain herself. She let the knife go, and thus allowed herself to fly backwards against the wall, hitting it roughly and knocking the air out of her lungs, but letting her start to softly begin to chant in the ancient language.

    All elves knew the ancient language, and thus they had turned it into the very essence of magic. The magical spells were able to be evoked properly only by chanting out the spell in the ancient language, and thus she had to be focusing in order to use it. The mispronunciation could prove fatal if she didn't use it right, as it was deadly to cause a mistake. One common mistake would be the mispronounce berigner!, which meant fire, as Brianger, which caused the user to explode.

    Focusing her attack on the shadows and not the boy- she could deal with him later -she finally ended her spell and watched as the shadows began to wither violently and tremble. Thrusting out her arm, Demiel started to sing in her lovely, yet now deadly voice. Once she had, the shadows exploded violently and she rushed forward back at the boy.

    Easily lifting him over her head, she held him by the throat and started to gently squeeze, although with her strength he would start to gasp, "So let me ask again, why do you think that you, the son of the lord, has any right to challenge the first race of the land?" She threw him into the wall with her arm and pinned him there.

    "I could kill you now," She hissed back into his face, annoyed with him already, "but I have people who are waiting on me, and thus I cannot be late. So I'll just do a little magic and you'll be trapped her until I come back again to free you. Just hope I don't die, you don't want to be magically pinned to a wall for the rest of your life now would you?"

    The elf hissed into his face with a venomous tone, and soon his arms and legs, as well as his chest and waist, were all magically held against the wall, "Now, son of the dark lord, stay. I shall return later." With taht last haunting thought, she casually turned her hips and left his form against the wall. Then she was running and catching up with the generals, and they began to scale the unprotected eastern wall.
    Talen's team had begun to assault the front gate, and so far it was going well. They managed to make the wraiths either run out of live archers or arrows, for their numbers had dwindled and now they were starting to have to retreat further inward.

    The kingdom was about to fall. The time to kill the lord was soon. With his own battle cry- which was lost among hundreds of others -they began to batter down the front gate, even as their numbers dwindled on the sides. Nothing, it seemed, would stop them.
  5. Oriske yelled in frustration as he was bound to the wall, trying to summon his shadows to chase after the woman. But no matter what he did, his shadows couldn't move more than a couple inches, thanks to those damned elven spells she used. It would take hours for them to regenerate enough to do much of anything.

    When she returned, he'd be ready for her. For now, he would focus on making his shadows potent again.

    'Dark lord', he mocked. Is that what the human propagandists say about my father? In Oriske's eyes, his father was no 'dark lord'. He was just his father. Maybe a little overprotective, but still a decent man. He rarely raised his voice, and when his mother was still alive, Dimaethor had never spoke to her unkindly. When Oriske turned eighteen and was allowed to sit with his father at the yearly war council in the capitol, he had seen the soldier side of his father, who always fought to try to establish peace treaties. He wanted the war to end, soon and peacefully. He was no dark lord.


    Dimaethor heard the commotion at the door, and moved his guard to the top of the grand staircase, telling them to guard against any attackers. Meanwhile, he ran to his study. After undoing the locks and stepping inside, he was almost stabbed through the heart by a shadow belonging to one of his daughters. He could tell by the almost soft way the shadows looked, though he knew that they were as deadly as his own.

    Two dark haired girls emerged from behind his large mahogany desk, jade green eyes lighting up as they saw the man. "Father!" they chimed in unison, like they normally did. He smiled, kissing the top of their heads while his younger son appeared, sullenly regarding everything as usual.

    "You all need to hide," Dimaethor said. "I fear that the castle has been compromised. I don't know where your older brother is, but I will not lose you. Not to them." He brushed hair the same color as Oriske's out of his eyes, grabbing a small box from the shelves that lined the walls. Handing it to Serena, one of his daughters, he grabbed several different journals and books, quickly handing them to Jaeh, his son. He took down a sword that was mounted on a clear space of wall, sheath and all and gave it to his other daughter.

    "No matter what happens, keep these safe. They are worth more than anything in the entire castle and I won't let those looters and murderers take them. If something should happen to me, there's a false floor beneath my desk. Hide these there."

    With that, he left, tightening the straps to his armor as he reached down the hall, praying to the gods that his family would be safe.
  6. Demiel finally managed to get the generals beyond the outer wall and into the little gap of space between the castle and the wall. As they hadn't expected to have a force of the generals come in for a surprise attack, all attackers were cut off and soon the elf had them all against a side entrance to the main hall.

    "Thudreal, Greza and Nullgrat, you three are with me. The rest of you, find the dark lord, and eliminate his power. But, whatever you do, don't kill him just yet. I want him to pay for the atrocities that he has wrought upon us, and not die by simple stroke of the sword. Restrain him long enough for me to get up to him, and then I'll take care of him." Her hand waved as she started to chant again in the ancient language, ward coming over her and protecting her from all projectile weapons. She dare not place down anymore, for she would need her energy for when she faced the lord.

    Most of the generals knew how much this mission relied on the elf, for she was the only spellcaster that could withstand the power of the wraiths, as well as casting spells against them. To her, they were simply an annoyance that liked to prod at her mind. They all would suffer the consequences when they did so.

    With another battle cry, the group burst through the side door, the wards protecting them from the archers long enough for Greza, their own archer, to pick most of them off. However, the sheer number eventually beat down on her ward to where she had to drop it, for fear of draining her strength. With a shaky hand, she reached up and cried out, making pillars of fire appear in front of the group, allowing them to move forward with a dark and dangerous shield to protect them.

    From the other side of the room, the main gate was broken, then the gate into the main hall. Wraiths started to stream to the keep to defend that, but the dark lord was nowhere to be seen. The issue now became finding him before he tried, and most likely would manage to, escape.

    A cry from a man in the southern end of the hall managed to pin-point the exact location of the lord. The evil man was dueling, and winning against, a common swords-man, and soon he had fallen with the blade to his throat. Taking the chance, te elf raced towards him, yelling out, "Dimaethor!"
    Talen had the sword to his neck and he felt humiliation at how this had begun. All he had simply done was run at the man and swing his sword, and soon he was this, un-armed and most likely about to die. The cold tip of steel was very obvious on his throat.

    The elf then, as he had seen, leaped over to them and drew her twin blades against the lord, and Talen had to look up, despite it making the sword nick his skin. It was a small price to pay to see one of the grandest races of them all up close and personal, especially when one was less than a foot away.
  7. Dimaethor had been on his way to fight for his family and his people when he was apprehended by a footsoldier, some boy barely out of his teens who thought himself a hero. It wasn't difficult to have him against a wall, his dagger pressed against his neck. Hearing his name called, he glanced over, seeing an elf, and took his knife from the boy. Still, he had never intended to kill him. Even if he had tried to kill him, he wouldn't kill someone for following orders.

    Turning to the elf, he sheathed his dagger and drew his sword, blocking the first blow with his sword. Dimaethor released his shadows, spreading inky black shadow in all directions from his feet, covering the floor and walls around him. Dimaethor was incredibly skilled with his shadows, and his stormy grey eyes were sharp and focused as he engulfed the hallway in darkness, blotting out the sunlight coming in through the windows.

    He raised his sword, dancing back a few steps to give him space. He moved forwards, spinning and sending his shadows awirl as he made a fierce cut towards the elf's left shoulder.


    Throughout the entire day, Failen and the other servants of the castle had remained in their quarters, as per their lord's instructions. He didn't want the people who took care of his family to be hurt during the battle.

    Some of the men had left to join the fight, wanting to protect their lord, but Failen had stayed. Normally, he was Oriske's shadow, always at his side, no matter what. He dressed him, acted as a bodyguard, and took care of him. However, since Oriske's departure, he had remained in his quarters, not having much else to do that day.

    Still...after hearing the battle through the walls, he had left, running to Dimaethor's study, wanting to protect his lord's children. Once there, he was greeted by Serena's shadows but she quickly got rid of them, recognizing him. After making sure they all were safe, he decided to go to the streets, wanting to find Oriske.

    He strode down the halls, trying to avoid the places he heard battle, but as he went down a set of stairs he came face to face with a human soldier.
  8. The elf had to drop the left sword she held in order to stay upright as the shadows threatened to engulf her. The dark lord had fought against her before, among the plains outside the castle, and now she was in trouble of being killed. Knowing that she was outmatched against him and his shadows combined, so she had to attack the shadows first.

    With a yell in the ancient language, the shadows slowed, but didn't stop. The eyes of Demiel widened in surprise as her most powerful spell did nothing to quell the fury of his shadows. Worse for her, if she didn't take out all the shadows now, she wouldn't have enough power to face him sword to sword, as the dark man was an expert swordsman, as she had seen in their first encounter.

    Driving more power into the spell, she soon found herself starting to waver in her power, but at least stop the shadows from spreading further. By now, the man had morphed his energies into an attack on her shoulder. There wasn't enough time to dodge his assault, so she could only divert the main force of her spell to stop him. This did nothing more than hold him off, but by now the elf had attacked harder and longer than before, and his power was starting to waver. Even the strongest of men would never match the strength of the elves.

    Soon his shadows were beaten back, and she managed to step-side and avoid the near-laceration of her left shoulder. She drove her mental attack, despite nearly being passed out, until his shadows were now transparent and starting to even fade. She picked up her blades and charged him, still upholding the spell, and hit their swords together.

    The two were equal in magic, and had reached a stalemate. Now it was the elves two thin swords against his one long sword.
    Once Talen had been freed from being beheaded by the dark man, he had picked back up his sword and ran away from the two, already seeing the shadows spread. A long exposure could turn one into a wraith, or so he had heard. It wasn't something he planned on testing today, and thus he ran away from the two dueling species.

    As he ran, he noticed the battle turning in favor of his own forces, as their sheer numbers were beating back the wraiths. Blood littered and pooled around the floor, and dead bodies were everywhere by now. Yet the feeling and hope of having victory this day was still strong in their hearts, and thus they decided to press on and keep the attack going. If all went well, they would have a direct access to the keep, and then they could end the last of the wraiths right then and there.

    The man was turning into the hallway to attack from the back when a shadow flashed before him. The man was running down the hall and towards a side-exit, and he couldn't allow this. Knowing he may be out-matched, but not willing to let an enemy remain alive, he ran down the side hall and planted himself between the man and the exit. Thankfully, the man had just came down the stairs, so he didn't see him go anywhere.

    Now seeing the issue that both sides faced, he raised his sword high, "Failen, I like to think of your name as an extension as the word 'fail'. So the lord sent you away from the battle, eh? Old friend, what happened to you?" He looked to him, and thought slowly. They were the best of friends when tehy were children, as Talen had lived inside the city. It was an interesting predicament.

    "Where are you going Failen?" He asked, looking at him, "It's me, Talen! Remember me, your friend! Don't you remember me at all?"
  9. Dimaethor soon witnessed his shadows weakening, and immediately called them back into himself, the sudden light making him wince a bit. Raising his sword, he blocked the elven woman's next attack, putting all of his weight behind his sword, trying to get the upper hand.

    He tightened his grip, but as he held the stance for one minute, two, three, he felt his strength weakening. However, for the sake of his family, he had to pray that his strength would last longer than the elf's.


    Failen skidded to a stop as the man called to him, nearly slipping on the carpet that ran down along the hall. It took him a few seconds, but soon he recognized him. "Talen," he said softly. "You still pronounce my name wrong. It isn't Fail-en, it's Faih-len." He stood straight, dressed in his favored black clothing, which looked even darker against his pale skin. He had been Oriske's shadow since they were young, but as a child he had had his friends outside of the castle.

    Talen, unfortunately, was one of them.

    "I'm leaving," he said stiffly. When they were children, it was easy to pretend that they could be friends forever, but now that they were adults and the Hundred Year War had reached the city, he didn't want to be his friend any longer. They were enemies. Failen was the shadow of the future lord of Reaven.

    And yet here Talen was, acting as if there weren't people dying in the nearby rooms and halls. As if they both couldn't be called traitors to their countries just for talking to one another. "Talen, move. I have to leave."
  10. The elf felt the blades lock and she realized this was the moment of truth for them both. The sword lock became more intense as both sides threw everything they had into the lock, both unable to force the others blade back. The sheer power of their blades was enough to cleave each other in half.

    Both sides were experienced swordsman, and both contained massive amounts of strength. The elf fought for the fear of the elven homeland, her lovely wooden home, being engulfed by the shadows of endless night. The other was fighting for his family and his kingdom, so both had reason to give more to the others thrust. By now it had become a contest of endurance, for they carried equal enough strength to sustain each others blades.

    The elf was already tired from spell-casting, and her limbs shook and burned at the effort of holding his sword in the air. Yet it would be suicidal to let go now, for the other side would cleave off her head before she had a chance to move. So she endured the agony and kept forcing on his blade, trying to push it down and into his own chest.

    After four minutes of the sword clash, she felt like she was supporting the entire castle on her swords and not her opponent. But she saw his arms shaking and shuddering more so than her, and that little motion gave her all the strength she needed to force his blade back. With a yell in the ancient language (which roughly translated to 'the darkness is over!'), she pushed her twin blades up his shaft and towards his hilt, unbalancing him and then drew her swords away from each other, effectivly tossing his weapon across the hall. Then her blades were on his throat in an instant.

    "Don't even think about talking you monster," She hissed into his ear, "Or I shall cut out your tongue and then make you suffer even worse than before!" She pressed down on them for effect.
    "Where are you going old friend?" Talen asked, staring at Failen and holding his sword in a defensive poise. This was a dangerous situation if he couldn't talk his way out of it. He knew he was much better than when they were kids, but he wasn't sure if he could beat this young fellow he once knew as his friend.

    Taking a stance between him and the exit, the young swordsman stared down his opponent. While Talen had always been one for more crude and elementary force, Failen lacked the strength and relied on speed and agility in order to win. While Talen was fast, he couldn't match the way Failen's sword would spin up into his guard to attack him. The thought of it made him shudder even more.

    So, with a heavy heart, he stared down his foe and looked at him, nervous at what this could become.
  11. Dimaethor took slow, deep breaths, his grey eyes staring straight at the two blades dangerously close to his throat. He didn't speak, though he had raised his hands slightly. He could feel the cold elven steel pressing against the soft flesh of his neck. His arm and shoulder muscles ached from exertion, his slightly curly blonde hair falling into his eyes.

    This was it: the beginning of the end.


    "Talen," Failen said slowly. "I don't want to fight you. Just let me leave. No one will ever know." He calmly stepped closer, though he began drawing his sword, just in case his old friend tried to hurt him. Quickly, he came up with a plausible reason. "I am acting upon the wishes of my lord. He is sending me on his behalf to order the surrender of our soldiers. He doesn't want anyone else to die and if you humans kill men who lay down their weapons, you are greater monsters than you believe us to be."

    He waited to see if Talen believed it, deciding that he would actually call for surrender, not wanting anyone else to die needlessly. He wasn't going to let another child to grow up fatherless. Not like he did.

    Failen was the child of a human and a wraith, his father--a human soldier--had fallen in love with a wraith lord's daughter, and they had eloped, creating Failen. His father had died in a skirmish, and his mother had run to Reaven to beg Dimaethor to take her son, who would have been killed under normal circumstances. The lord had granted them the leave to stay in the city, where Failen met Talent, but when he came to an age where his shadows should be developing he was taken to the castle. His shadows never developed, though only Dimaethor and Oriske knew.

    "Talen, please," Failen said. "I don't want to hurt you."
  12. Looking down at the defeated enemy, she hissed again, "Dark lord, you're being kept forever into our custody, doomed to rot away the remainder of this miserable existence in a cell that will seep the life out of your body little ounce by little ounce, does that sound to your liking?"

    The elven woman took the cuffs made of elven steel and pulled the lord to his feet, chaining his hands together and placing an quick spell that prevented him from calling upon his shadows until the cuffs were removed. She gripped onto the little cuffs and yanked him to his feet roughly, making sure her sword was on his back.

    "You run, you die. You cry for help, you die. Do not think that we elves are the nature loving foes you take us to be. I have no hesitation in killing you right here and right now..." She used one hand to hold the cuffs and another on the back of his neck, "So hold your head high then, let's show how their lord appears to the wraiths now."
    Talen looked him up and down and, unfortunetly for him, his simple mind had to believe his old friend. While he could see the darkness that now enveloped his friend, he couldn't help but believe that his friend, his ally, was still inside of him somewhere, waiting to come out and arise to the light. That was the only hope he thought there was for any wraith: that one could banish the dark from their soul and possibly come back to the light they had left to submit to the darkness inside of each other. He had no knowing that it was also inherited.

    "Fine then," He smiled and an idea came to him. He had to try it, for it could be his only chance of actually getting to know his friend again, "Then I shall accompany you to the soldiers."
  13. Dimaethor fixed cold grey eyes on the elf as she put cuffs on him, not saying anything. As she led him to show off her prize, he let a tiny grin cross his lips despitethe circumstances, before he asked, "Why do you elves call me the dark lord? One would think that you would call my king that. What have I done to deserve a name like that? Unless your misguided hatred is directed at any and every wraith, regardless of whether or not they have done anything."

    Dimaethor wasn't usually this flippant, especially not when his life was on the line, but he couldn't help but think that if he was going to die anyways, why not have fun with it. Why not try to make a few elves and humans think differently about the war. Unless all their hatred was fueled by propaganda. Then there was no hope for them to think about peace.


    Failen frowned a bit as Talen accepted his story, not liking that he wanted to come along. Still, it was better than fighting his friend. He sheathed his sword, brushing past Talen and walking to the door. Opening it, he walked into the bloodied street, trying to avoid the worst of the puddles.

    Seeing the worst of the fighting, he shouted, "On behalf of Lord Dimaethor, your lord has called an end to the battle. Lay down your weapons and if the humans have any compassion they will not attack you." He watched some of the soldiers lay down their weapons and raise their arms in surrender, but didn't stay to watch what the humans did.

    Instead, he took Talen down an alleyway, telling him, "There's more men still fighting." Once he was certain that no one would see them, he turned on Talen, pinning him against the wall, pressing his arm hard into the human's throat. "I'm sorry, Talen," he said. "But I need to make sure that my lord's son is alright. He might be in danger."

    Tears were in his eyes as he spoke. Failen hated that he had to choose between his friend and his lord. It wasn't fair, and he was conflicted. Oriske could be lying somewhere dying, but Talen was right there. After a few seconds, he let Talen fall, baking off a few steps, fully expecting the man to want to kill him now.

    "I'm...sorry..." he said softly.
  14. The elf looked down, "Why do we call you the dark lord? The king himself is powerless, and elves have come to try and receive his aid and have gotten none. I do not think you realize this, but you control shadows! You are dark in your soul and in your sword, and the magic you wield is almost necromancy, so I do not think you deserve a title none the less." She looked him up and down and spat on him, annoyed at what was going on.

    The elf then realized she had to attend to the son that she had bonded to the wall in the center of town, luckily away from fighting so no one could kill him. She looked down at him and a thought came on her. She walked him over to a wall and did three things. First, she pushed him onto the wall and spoke the same spell so he wouldn't move. She then placed a ward that would hurt the one who would hurt him, and would also let anyone near know he was captured. Third, she then said in a deadly voice, "Sylthia," And put him into a deep slumber. He appeared dead, but she knew he was just asleep.

    Then the elf left him and walked outside the castle doors, surveying the area until she pin-pointed where the son was and ran to that area. As she ran, she dodged the small skirmishes still going on, even though the entire area was supposed to have surrendered. Ignoring the fighting men and wraiths, she came to the son and saw him still struggling, "Will you stand still for one minute? The bond only gets tighter when you struggle!"

    The elf then touched him and all magic bonds disintegrated. Before he could run, she then he grabbed a bit of rope from the alleyway and tied his legs together and his hands together, both behind his back, "You best hope someone comes for you soon, or this will be a most pleasant way to die, yes my boy?" Then the elf ran away, back to the dark lord.
    Talen was stunned by the sudden attack by Failen, but he didn't exactly appear like he was off-balance. He had expected this, but not at this time. He managed to have a hand on his sword, ready to gut the man who now pinned him down before he could have his head lobbed off.

    What he did not expect was for Failen to release him and then crumble down, crying. Talen dropped his sword, overcome by his own feelings of friendship for the man, and bent down and looked at him, "No no, it's find. I won't kill you Failen. I don't think you realize it, but I don't have the heart to kill my only friend in the world..." He held his wrist and helped the enemy back on his feet.

    "You need him alive to satisfy the duty to your now possibly defeated lord. We need him so we can see if he is a threat. The way I see it, we find him together and then I'll take you both with me. I know the woman and man in charge of all this, I'll keep you two safe, alright? But you need to calm down and let us go and start to find where that little boy scampered off to, alright?" Without awaiting a response, he picked back up and sheathed his sword.

    "Oriske! Oriske! ORISKE!" He cried into the air, knowing they were near the area he swore he thought the boy had last been seen. Then again, to him the eastern side of the city looked similar to the westeren side, so he hoped hte city was built in relation to the sun's directions, "ORISKE!" He cried, lookign around for a response.
  15. Dimaethor growled angrily as the woman bound him to the wall, about to say something sharp when she put him to sleep, his head bowing forward, golden blonde curls falling into his eyes.

    Once asleep, he dreamt of Lirae, his wife. She had been the star of his life, along with his children. She was the daughter of a powerful lord west in a city west of Reaven and had been the most beautiful woman he had known. Her hair was dark as night, her skin porcelain white, eyes like sapphires. When she had died, he and his children had taken it hard.

    Dimaethor dreamed about her, that they were doing nothing more than lying beneath a willow tree, holding each other close and simply talking, their hands intertwined. This was what he loved most about her. She was content with just talking to him about anything. There was never any awkward silence between them.

    He still loved her. With everything he had, he loved her.


    Oriske screamed in frustration as he was bound, needing his hands to summon his shadows. He hated being tied like that, hated having his face so close to the filthy ground. He was a lord's son, not some common smith's boy. He shouldn't be treated that way, not by an elf.

    As he was struggling, he heard his name being called in the distance, but rather than cry for help, he yelled, "Over here!" his voice echoing off the walls of the alley.


    The two friends heard the yells, which didn't sound too far off, and Failen grabbed Talen's arm, pulling him into a side street and racing down it until he came upon an alley, where the young man was struggling against ropes, anger and frustration plain on his face.

    "Failen!" Oriske said as he saw him. The man went to him, using his sword to cut through the ropes and helping him to his feet. Oriske eyed the human, placing his hand on his sword. "Who is he? And why should I trust him?" His shadows, which had regenerated some, we're summoned, and he glared at Talen, a scowl on his face.
  16. Demiel finally went back to the lord and watched his face sigh as he was deep into a dream. She knew the feeling of wanting to stay in a dream world for longer than one could allow, and thus she knew it wouldn't be pleasant to have to wake up from such. So, that was exactly what she did.

    Once the dark lord was awake, she undid the magic bonds and held his cuffs gently, "So I see you have some nice dreams. Well, we also have some dreams for you. You're coming to a nice little secluded cell in the middle of nowhere under enough guard to kill a party of spell-casters until we can figure out what to do with you. That sound to your liking oh Dark one?" She hissed into his ear, waiting for his reaction.

    She started to lead him towards the window that over looked the courtyard, where the wraiths were making their last stand. Already, the defenders had started to corner the creatures into a circle and fought hard to keep them that way. The elf looked at him and nodded to the scene, "If you value their lives, tell them to stand down and we shall allow them to live and return to the mountains, where we know they first came from."

    She awaited for the man to do anything. Specifically, she had a sword out if he decided to run, and the cuffs tight if he tried to attack her with his shadows.
    Looking down on the son, Talen had to feel a bit of pity for the boy as he fell. The people who chained him must have been either rough or he had been rough trying to escape. HE looked terrible, and it was hard to imagine that he was able to control the darkness and be the son of the man they were all here to kill.

    That was, of course, until he started to summon shadows around himself. Talen had to draw his sword out of instinct, and he held it against his body in a defensive poise. He knew this boy would gut him using the cloak of death quickly, or else he would have to kill he boy before this. And the army was under strict orders not to kill him or any of the Dark Lord's family.

    "I'm a friend of Failen. Your father has fallen; I saw an elf chain him up myself. Your family is safe, and you are allowed to either join them here or die trying to get over the defenses we have erected over the city." He smirked and slowly lowered his sword, "We won't hurt you, in fact we plan to allow you to simply live a life in the castle with your family." He was repeating now what he was told to say if he encountered one of the members of this family, "So lower your shadows and come wiht me willingly. Now."
  17. Dimaethor frowned at the elf, clenching his hands into fists. Still, he forced his face to betray no emotion, not wanting to give her the satisfaction. As she showed him to the window, he glanced at her briefly before announcing, "Stand down, soldiers of the wraith army. The battle...the battle is lost. If you lay down your weapons, you won't be harmed. I am...sorry." He looked to the elven woman again. "Do not send them to the mountains. None of my men have come from the mountains. Everyone here was born in the city. I do not know any wraith that has come from the mountains. So do not send them where they are unfamiliar with. It would be like sending you elves to Mount Lorne, the volcano. It is not your home, and to send you there would be an affront to your people and your culture." He frowned slightly, hoping she would see reason.


    Oriske thought through the human's words, a frown on his face. It made sense. Besides, his siblings all needed him. If his father was hurt or dead, he would need to take care of them. He would have to become Lord of Reaven. He took a deep breath, shaking slightly as he nodded. "Alright," He said, his blonde curls bobbing with his head.

    Oriske lowered his shadows, thought he glared at the human, mistrust prevalent in his eyes. Failen led the two back to the castle, silent save for the occasional instruction given to Talen, his expression solemn. Oriske was silent as well, but he never took his eyes off of Talen.

    Once at the side door to the castle, he turned to Talen. "What now?" he asked, looking from him to Oriske.

    ((Sorry it's so pitiful. I'm not really feeling it right now))
  18. Demiel looked over to the lord and nodded, "Fine then, but then our dungeons will be quite full." She did, however, have to give credit for his excellent analogy, for it was true: they were not born in their homeland, and it would only cause strife that could later on affect the welfare of the entire land. If they kept them here, at least the wraiths would have little to complain about, other than their imprisonment. If they did this, it could have disastrous consequences later on.

    The elf then took the dark lord down the steps of his castle to show him off to their army. Cheers went up from the streets, but she ignored them and led him to a cart. This cart was small and had a cage on the back for him, mainly to humiliate him as they rode him away, "As you can see, we prepared for this. We knew we'd win; your army never stood a chance evil one." She smirked and pushed him in, then locked the door and placed a spell over it so no living hand could open it without the key to unlock it. Magic was very useful sometimes.

    Demiel then swung up on the horse driving the cart and got her steed into a trot through the city, taking the shortest route possible for fear of a sneak attack. While the wraiths were defeated, this town was large and could hide un-beaten patrols and other things. With a shudder, she drove the cart down and out of the city, making sure that people saw him but had no time to do anything to him. Some of her army would take this chance to try and behead this lord, and that would become problematic in the later weeks when they decided what to do with him.

    Finally, they arrived at the outskirts of the city and she dismounted, and turned to look at him, "Alright, it's time to get you out of there." The elf undid the latch and brought him back out, "I'm very surprised you haven't tried to escape actually. ARe you waiting for someone or have you just accepted what has happened to you?" She laughed, a lovely, elvish laugh and then she sat down on a rock and motioned for him to sit across from her.

    "What do you think of all this? The war, the people, the shadows, and the wraiths. What do you think of all of this?" She asked him, looking at her nails.
    Talen looked at the son of the dark one and he frowned, "Go to the others of your family, they're being contained in the second floor. We'll get you some more information later on." He gave Oriske a push to show what he meant, then he sighed as the boy scampered away. It would be hard to imagine him as the lord of Reaven.

    Then the man turned to Failen, "You'll be here, and you'll be needed. Technically, if he becomes lord, you'll be his primary adviser, so you'll have purpose again. I've elected to stay in the city, so I'll be here whenever you need me." It was a friendly joke, but between them it appeared more like e threat of some kind, "so Failen, do you need anything before we part ways once more?"
  19. "I think it's stupid," Dimaethor said simply, not sitting down. "Both our ancestors were, to get into a war that's lasted this long. Over what? I doubt even you know." Both sides had their own stories, of course, but after one hundred years, who knew what was real or not? Anyone could say that it was the wraiths who started it, but there was no evidence to support it.

    He wasn't feeling very chatty at the moment. Being paraded through the bloodied streets of his city was humiliating, and he was only thankful that his family had been safely hidden away, so they wouldn't have seen him. Refusing to sit with the elf as if they were anything but enemies, he narrowed his grey eyes at her, trying to gauge what her ploy was.

    "And I'm not waiting for someone to save me. But even elves have to sleep sometime. And if you don't think that my shadows won't kill you the chance they get, you are sadly mistaken." He kept his expression stoic, feeling only contempt for her.


    As soon as he could, Oriske ran to his father's study, finding his siblings hiding. Smiling at them, he helped them put the expensive items in the hidden compartment beneath his father's desk, telling them what had happened. His sisters, both nearing their seventeenth birthday, began crying as they learned what happened to their father, though his brother took the information in silently, only nodding.

    He sat with them on the nice sofas that sat around a low table, comforting his sisters and promising that he wouldn't let anything to happen to them, no matter what. He read from their favorite books, tried to be the best older brother he could be, though he was terrified by the without that he would be Lord of Reaven the day after.


    Meanwhile, Failen shook his head at Talen's words. "No," he said quietly, a light frown on his face. "I need some time alone...I'll be in my quarters." With that, he turned and left, forcing himself not to look back. He and Talen weren't friends anymore. They couldn't be, not since the war had finally come to Reaven. Failen may be half-human, but he was loyal to his mother's people, and nothing would change that.
  20. "Well, we elves will then keep our eyes open. We don't sleep as you see it. Even as we sleep, we are aware of the world around us. Imagine having a translucent sheet drawn over your eyes, muting the tiniest of details but allowing one to see everything around them. That is why, in each tale you hear, no one ever creeps up on an elf and survives," She chuckled, remembering games played with other little elven children and always knowing non would ever be able to sneak up on her without her knowing in advance.

    The elf then looked at him, "And you're family, if you were wondering, will be safe. Your face betrays you Dimaethor. Your family will be allowed to stay in the castle and keep their ranks and titles, as well as their possessions and everything of value to them. Unlike what you think of us, we do not wish to harm the innocents. Then again, you must think the same of us, correct?" She smirked wider and laughed a bit, another beautiful elven laugh.

    "I must say though, you are a very interesting man, dark one. As for the first question, Simply none of us know, and we want to end it. But for what?" She suddenly became more serious with him, "Why are we even fighting? We just won the war and will establish a new government and rule, but what will come of this? Death has, war has and some famine has. We shouldn't be so frivolous. The only reason that I joined this army was to end the bloodshed, and now I have provoked it." She laid back, leaning her head on a rock. In the light, she looked very pretty.

    "Do you know that you will be placed in a small house, sealed away from the world and allowed to do anything inside you so please, so long as you don't escape? The ground, the water and even the air will be warded, but you will be free to move around inside. I agree with this, for I shall be your caretaker." She gave a dark grin, "Meaning we will be seeing much of each other for the next year or two."
    Talen looked at his disappearing friend and sighed unhappily, and he came to the conclusion that it would soon be impossible to salvage their friendship. It was so close to obtaining, yet their faction difference meant it was about as possible to achieve as befriending an elf. Only a few were even able to do that, so he had to hope for luck if he wished to see his friend again.

    The small troops from his own faction started to clear out the area of blood and tore down the banners of Dimaethor, and they soon had the area blood-free and ready for a lord to restart. The army had decided that Oriske, if kept under the impression that his father was dead or kidnapped, would make as fine lord as any. So, as it was, a man walked up to him and bowed to him, as he had come back with the son of the dark lord.

    "Take this to the new lord and have him read it right away." Talen nodded and took the small scroll, and then turned and walked through the castle. When he came to the door he knew the family to be in, he knocked lightly and waited. He had seen Oriske disappear into it, and he also knew he had heard noise inside it.

    The scroll simply mentioned for him to creature a new symbol, prepare for lordship, and swear to uphold peace and prosperity, even if it meant not using his shadows. When the door opened, he smiled to the boy and handed him the scroll, "here you are Lord Oriske." He almost laughed at the face he received.
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