The Devil with a heart.

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by The Underdark Rises, Aug 19, 2013.

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    The wylds proved a daunting place, every where one turned, a threat lied in wait. With vicarious eyes they peered through the veils of shadows, teeth bared with ambitions unrestrained. On horseback a man dared to tread, with no sense of fear within his heart. Confidence birthed not from the folly of arrogance, rather from the callous hands of experience. Who was he who dared to tread over such darken lands without terror in his eyes? He was a serpent, a member of a famous house. One whom many thought to have been but raw legend, idle gossip used to invoke a sense of dread amongst monsters. And the delusion of safety among the oppressed and hunted.

    The moist dirt road proved little challenge for his beast of burden, on his right belt loop could be found a severed head of a large apex werewolf. One whose humanity succumbed to the feral beast within us all, far too long ago. Ahead of him was another, who bore the insignia of the king. Plated armor meant to withstand any arrow or dirk. However his keen, unnatural eyes knew all too well the chinks in his defense. The king had hired him, to slay the beast that prayed on man and farm animal alike. The contract proved easy enough, such a ravaged creature left quite a potent trail for him to follow. And in it's final state, consumed by an undying hunger and wrath. It could do little to fend off the organized, tactical assault of Regnier.

    Like all factions, Regnier bore an insignia to prove his position within his house. His armor, light and scaled; yet able to fend off any dagger and short sword with impressive results. Had on it a crest, a shield with a snake slithering up the middle. On each side a few words, in a dialect few could understand. If that was not enough, the scars all over his body also boasted his unholy creation. For Regnier, like many of his kinsmen; are the product of vile sorcery and alchemy. Taken from birth they are subjected to a series of painful, and unmoral experiments. Those that are weak fall, whilst those that have a strong will Survive.

    Those ancient scars, often burned a hole into his soul. Even now he could feel them scorching away at his sanity, a insipid reminder of his past. Finally after traveling a great distance through the moor, they found themselves halting near a group of guards. All of which seemed to be taking sadistic pleasure in beating a young, defenseless woman. As one of them noted their arrival, a guard would subdue the young lady, shooting his arms between her own. Pinning her shoulder across his metal chest as his hands wrapped around behind her head. "Look what we 'ave 'ere boys!" One of them bellowed, his voice like grinding gears proved unpleasant to Regnier's ears.

    "Even a monster like him, is subject to our grand king!" He proclaimed, his sense of elitism was nauseating. Regnier watched as the man who lead him unmounted from his own steed. Begrudgingly Regnier unclipped the severed head, tossing it on the swamp ground. It's chains causing the muddy water to splash in the air. "I sup'ose you want 'ur gold then?" The man inquired into with a arched brow, before tossing a small bag of coins his way. With eyes closed Regnier caught the currency, strapping it to his belt loop as a heavy sigh parted from his cracked lips. "What has this girl done?" Regnier questioned, his nosy inquiry causing a few of the men to hiss.

    "She be a witched, why does a devil like you care?" Such claims have been abused before, and his keen eyes and senses could detect no unholy aura embracing this one. "What proof do you have?" His retort only worsening their relations, as the guard barked at him like a feral dog whose bite couldn't match it's growl. "Shove off devil, 'ur time here is done. Our king says she is, therefore she is. This whore will be beaten, tortured, degraded and than hanged like all of her other sisters of the coven!" Regnier would pat his horse on the head, as it began to march off.

    The serpent found himself conflicted inside, he knew this woman was a victim, unjustifiably labeled and soon to be put to the death. While her captors took sick pleasure from the spectacle. His order had only a few rules, the biggest of which included a tenet. No human, no matter position in this earth, were to be harmed by their blades. No matter the bounty offered or the injustice, they were to walk away. Their place in this world was to slay monsters, not men. This was the dogma preached to them for years on end, however never did it sit well with Regnier.

    The steed came to a abrupt stop, as the serpent dismounted. Petting the wild mane of his friend he'd peer into his eyes. As the mutant slipped into a deep state of thought. "Am I to ignore the lesser evil? Should I cast away my heart and gut, do what is expected of me at the cost of my own honor? I was born and bred for a single purpose, to slay monsters. But what monster is truly more terrifying or destructive as the hearts of men?" With this silent thought he peered over his shoulder as they continued to beat the woman without restraint, laughing all the while.

    "Into the fray I must go, down the spiral of chaos and betrayal. I will be hunted for this...but during such a trying age I can only follow my heart." With this silent thought Regnier tied his horse to a nearby willow tree, "I will be back my friend." He whispered, before pulling out his ornate silver scimitar from the sheathe strapped on the side of his horse. With a sense of purpose he made his way toward the men. "Devil! Why are you still here our business is done?" One of the other guards inquired into, Regnier could only grin. "Hunting monsters of course." The men laughed, as they let the woman go, assuming he meant the witch.

    "Very well, let's see what you can do?" Another replied, Regnier marveled at their ignorance. But knew better than to wait. His resolve was unwavering, his path set. If there ever was any doubt in his heart regarding this path, it dissipated as soon as he peered into those frighten eyes. The eyes begging for a quick death, the eyes of a battered and broken soul. The eyes of this woman...

    "Five, five total." He thought to himself as his nostrils flared. With a quick fluid motion he pulled out his throwing knife, and with a simple flick of his wrist sent the knife hurling through the air. The projectile met it's mark, stabbing the last one who spoke in the throat, as it gracefully slide between the crack between his plated armor and his helmet. What followed next could only be described as a dance of death, as foot work and sword play became one. Throats were slit, artery in the arm pit stabbed, and eyes gauged with his scimitar. What had once been four, now was one.

    The first man to speak to him, the leader charged him. Regnier deflected his swing with one of his own, sending the heavy sword skyward. Without hesitation he took the opening, grabbing his exposed face as he tossed the man on the ground. With a powerful stomp he knocked him out. Once the man awoke he found himself bound, with a rope around his neck and his feet on a block of wood. "You are free to do as you wish." Regnier replied to the woman. "Spare him...or kick the block over and watch justice...The choice is yours." He concluded.

    Leaving the horse behind for the woman to flee, and the gold tied to it's saddle. "Serve her well my old friend." Regnier whispered as he passed his horses side. Making his way deeper into the moor, setting up camp at a nearby clearing as those wild eyes of his peered into the crackling, roaring fire.
    #1 The Underdark Rises, Aug 19, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 20, 2013
  2. Riding along the moor's Topaz stroked her mare lovingly "It is ok just a bit of fog nothing for you to worry about my dear girl" she whispered to her best friend her only friend. The only one who had been with her from the beginning. As Topaz continued her slow steady pace she watched the moon that was full and in the sky, not many would dare tread these moors in the day light hours let alone in the middle of the night, But Topaz feared no one and nothing having learnt from a young age that fear only bought pain and miserly and in the end the cold clammy hands of death would take one and all.

    Enjoying the night Topaz had been called by many names, no one knew her not any more well no one but her horse, The feel of the coin purse hanging from her thigh hitting every time she moved, being safe in the knowledge that not many would walk the same paths as her but also the fact she had never lost a fight since she was just a tot, having killed the men whom had bullied and slaughtered her whole family when she was but a young girl she realised she enjoyed hurting others and chasing them.

    After many years of living on the street protecting herself from monsters and the worst kind of monster known mankind, she had been taken in by someone whose name still is unknown to her, the man had seen her fight and the way she always smiled after taking down whom ever was in her way. He had given her a home of sorts and a job as well as the beauty she sat upon. Looking back up to the moon she clears her mind as she knows how easy it is to distract yourself not that she was on a mission at the moment but you never knew whom or what you would meet out on the road.

    Listening she could hear a soft whimper coming from up ahead, "Easy girl lets have a look" with that she moved her thighs into the horse to change directions so whom ever she came upon wouldn't know until it was to late. Getting closer Topaz could tell it was a woman but there was a male voice trying to get her to let him go. With her eyebrow arched she moved her beauty up to the other horse who was near by "you two keep quite" she said as she turned to walk towards the crying woman, while lifting her scarf around her lower face so all that would be seen was her mismatched eyes one steal grey and the other a bright blue just as the ocean. Moving closer but staying to the shadows Topaz can see the male is some guard typical stupid males and there pride she thought as she moved from the shadow and bent down by the young woman.

    "So what is this then, it really isn't the kind of night for a rather strange romantic walk?" Topaz was never one to not say what the first thing in her mind was she cared not what others thought of her she was never in one place long enough to make any bonds and she was happy to be on her own she had learnt that lesson more years ago then she cared to think of. As the young woman looked up shocked she explained what had happened, looking the woman over she looked at the man "You can see she is no evil being, how stupid are you?" she asked her anger flaring so much so she could feel the air around them getting thicker "Your the witch" the male said as he could to feel her power around them, with a sigh she looked at the woman "Fear me not you my dear are free to go and enjoy your life I'm sure this saviour you talk of left a horse for you go now I will deal with this" she said as kindly as she could as it wasn't something she was use to it felt strange to her ears and her mind recoiled.That was until she looked at the male and stood "So she was given the choosing of what to do with you I fear she should of let you go before I showed up," The male tried in vain to call out but realised he couldn't make any sound,with a slight shake of her head Topaz's waist length red braided hair moved stroking her back. "You already know what I'am so why try your silly tricks are nothing for my magic's" Topaz looked around she wondered whom this so called saviour had been. Looking back at the male she sighed "You do bore me so" and with a flick of her hand she watched as his skin ripped from his muscles, with an evil grin she bent down to look in his eyes as she watched the light leave she knew he was dead, standing over his body as if he was just part of the ground she walked back to her horse.

    Stroking her she smiled "I do believe it is time we rest for the night, she said as she undone her rains and jumped on the other horse was still where it had been left but the woman had fled "I can't leave you here like this" she said as she moved up closer Topaz let the other be free "Go" was all she said as she watched the other horse run.
  3. The serpent had no way of knowing the stranger Topaz's involvement in the dreadful affair, nor could he predict what role she would play in future events. At the moment he seemed far too comfortable basking in the heat from the crackling fire to note her scent. The evening seemed peaceful, aside from the occasional chirping of tree crickets there was little sign of the ill omen stirring in the nocturnal light. The full pale moon hanged heavily in the air, the light it provided though weak, proved a welcome sight to any bold enough to wander the moor. Those feral eyes of his narrowed, as his nostrils expanded; taking in a new scent. He knew the odor all too well, the once peaceful moor was home to a ferocious group of monsters, the likes of which was hard to slay....trolls.

    With haste the hunter put out his fire, climbing up a nearby tree resting on it's wide branches. Quickly he belted himself to the trunk as he waited...His vile eyes pierced the darkness with ease, as a horde of lumbering hair covered trolls marched through the moor's filthy waters. Silently he watched from his perched position, hoping they'd soon pass him by, but something attracted them, a noise not common among the veil of darkness. The sound of a horse whining as it galloped down the wet road. In one uniformed movement, the mass of foul creature turned toward the sound, pushing out a lung full of hot air as they lumbered toward the source. But it was not the sound of the horse that would frenzy them, rather the smell of blood on the frigid wind.

    Topaz could have no way of knowing the creatures descent, not at first at least. The first sign was subtle enough, ripples dancing across the once still moor's waters. What followed next was less subtle, the silencing of the crickets, coupled with the defiant noise of mud drenched feet forcing their way through the water. The Trolls of the Moor were famous, nearly indestructible as they regenerate at an alarming rate. No matter her proficiency with a blade, no matter her agility she would soon find herself in a deadly waltz through the valley of death. Regnier at first thought it was the girl he saved earlier in trouble, but the aroma that tickled his senses proclaimed otherwise, another poor soul had wandered into the moor. Soon to become victim to it's vicarious appetite for death.

    Most of his kind would leave the woman to die, but the notion of having an innocent devoured by such fiends did little to soothe his stomach. Like a cat he followed from afar, leaping from branch to branch with grace. Avoiding the wet ground as much as possible, for the sound of rustling leaves was normal during such windy nights. Finally the horde was upon her, surrounding her from all directions as they circled around the strange woman, howling as their clenched fist banged against their chest. Slowly they closed the distance between them, leaving her little room for escape. Inch, by inch they crept closer toward her, teeth with rotten strings of meat between them bared. Their combined odor could only be likened to a hundred corpses, maggot infested and left to rot in the hot sun.

    Regnier knew he wouldn't make it right away, but hope this stranger could delay their advancement long enough for him to lend her his keen sword.
  4. Topaz started her mare at a trot she had always enjoyed watching the moon when it was high in the sky and the death of that thing back there had put her in a good mood she could tell from the way the other woman was that he had hurt her and he had deserved what she had done “Maybe I should of done worse” she said allowed but the mare shook its head at her with a small laugh Topaz nodded “I’m sure your right, he hurt I had made sure of that”

    As Topaz watched the pale moon she couldn’t stop thinking of her last job it had been to easy even for someone like her whom had been trained for many years in the art of combat in many forms. Being in her own little world she hadn’t noticed the subtle changes that were taking place around her until it was to late.

    Looking around her she could now see the force of trolls advancing on her but she made them think that she hadn’t seen them just yet she knew the blood that was on her had caused them to come for her and it wouldn’t be the first trolls she had dealt with and knowing how strong they were just made her smile as she thought of the carnage to come.

    With her head down she spoke quietly to her horse calming it down she knew the smell must be driving her crazy the smell of rotting flesh with a slight crinkle of her own nose she shook her head knowing she had to stay focused on what and where they were moving and how close they were getting, but Topaz could feel something else coming and she wasn’t sure who or what it was but she was sure there paths would cross at some point she just hoped that it wasn’t some brave knight whom looked upon her as a poor helpless damsel in distress because he would be sorely mistaken if that was why he was coming this way. Not that she wouldn’t like the help but she was use to being on her own she had been most of her life.

    Looking up she saw that the trolls had indeed circled her and were advancing on her with one last whisper to her horse she stood on its back and smiled at the on coming trolls “Sorry but this woman is not as easy a prey as you would wish” with that she jumped off the horses back and summersaulted in the air landing on one of the trolls shoulders with her small blades in hand she sank them into his throat and smiled as the ooze ran over her hand. Laughing she watched as the trolls started to come closer and had moved away from the horse “ Go now” she said as she couldn’t stand by and watch them hurt her, as her mare thundered off Topaz got a glimpse of the moon and thought if this is my time I’m glad it is with you my dear friend she mentally said as she closed her eyes briefly before she started to tackle the beast she was sat on.

    Topaz knew very well she could use her powers to help her but not when some one was close by watching her every move the last thing she needed was a witch hunt on her as well as the wanted posters so she was going to have to fight this battle the old fashioned way, As the troll went down that she had been sat on she stood up her boots making small work of smashing the now dead troll “So who's next “ she said looking around her with an evil grin plastered over her face.
  5. Blood curdling screams resonate from the troll throat as it tried to hold onto dear life, arrogantly the woman pounced off and thought herself the victor. One by one the trolls seemed unmoved by the sight, as if the notion of death had little impact on their psyche. The troll the woman had so easily tackled and disposed of was far from dead, as it's battered body convulsed and wounds once thought fatal and permanent, vanished with ease. Rising to it's feet the troll spat out a mouthful of it's own blood and growled, his mechanical like shrills being matched by his brothers and sisters. Suddenly the entire scene had become engulfed in their otherworldly song of wrath. Most might stray after hearing such unnatural screams; but Regnier knew better than to be swayed so easily by their noise.

    With unwavering resolve he leapt from branch to branch with uncanny speed and grace. His form melting into and dissipating from the pale nocturnal light of the moon. As eyes once still stood defiant, as if burning and piercing the veil of shadows engulfing the damp region. The trolls were far too enraged to note his approach, and the woman most likely far too preoccupied with fending off certain death to take much stock in his appearance. Suddenly, just before the fur ridden monstrosities charged the woman, an image blurred in and out of sight as streams of crimson decorated the otherwise bland scene. The unmistakable sound of a steel blade slashing through the wind at impressive speed was all too familiar to any seasoned warrior. As flickers of polished blade reflecting the starlight would prove enough to squint the eyes.

    Confused the trolls lumbered about, as from the center of their mass he appeared, back flipping from off of a recently decapitated troll and landing next to the woman. With knee planted on ground he offered her a brisk glimpse, before standing on his two feet. "Wounds are superficial to them, these Trolls can not be bested by mere blade alone; no matter how keen." He replied, expressing an all too obvious fact. Reaching into his trench coat the wall of a man pulled out four small iron balls, lighting the fuses before tossing them among the confused horde. "But regenerating broken bones takes them far longer then severed limbs or gashes." He pointed out, as the bombs suddenly exploded.

    Mud and blood sprayed every which direction, as the flash like thunder momentarily illuminated the scene. Those caught in the blast laid on the ground, the kinetic energy from the tools shattering legs, arms and spine alike. As well as dizzying and disorienting those just outside the blast radius. Quickly he grabbed her hand, rushing between the created gap. The grooves of his leg muscles pronounced as he fought through the resistance of the mud and slope of the hill. His breathing controlled, his eyes focused as he formulated a more long term solution. Most might think it rude to appear, assist and fail to introduce oneself. But in his own heavy eyes Regnier thought such notions petty, compared to the obstacle that faced them.

    The horde growled once more in unison, before following their advances. The sound of twigs snapping, heavy stride pushing through the mud and their hot foul breath was proof enough they had given chase. Regnier hadn't a permanent plan, in fact even what he had accomplished was done on the fly with nothing more than his knowledge of their kind, and muscle memory. "We must keep running, to face them at once would prove suicidal. The trolls of the moor are fast, but they can't run forever. Though to be blunt we are marked, and distance alone will not prove enough to elude them." He spoke matter of fact like, his words carrying with them the solemnity and authority of a scribe or noble.

    The light from the fireflies thoraxes guided them, as they stumbled about through the swampy treacherous terrain. A frigid gust of wind gripped the land, as a subtle fog now hovered inches from the group. Soon visibility would be halved greatly; and if they don't find shelter before the fog fully settled in; then their friends would have the advantage once more.
  6. The glint in Topaz's eye's started to fade as troll she thought dead screamed it had been a long time since she had dealt with troll's of this kind and her heart sank as she realized her mistake, with a sigh she listened to the others taking up the bone chilling noise it had no real affect on her, but she could understand why it would make other's drop where they stood.

    Looking up to the pale moon over head she couldn't help the smile as she could feel the power of her people flowing into her, yes she was a witch but not just any she was an elemental one she could control many things and was stronger then any before her she knew using her powers around others wasn't a clever move but sometimes the feeling's took over the air around her could feel her pull. As it whipped around her moving her hair loving her eyes began to change colour and she could feel the storm coming knowing her eyes were turning grey to match the storm. The sound of the trolls left her as she concentrated on the feel of the earth under foot, it had been along time since she had used all of her power there had been no need for it but she knew these troll's would kill her in a blink of an eye and she couldn't allow that to happen she had to many thing's to do.

    But as power built inside she sensed something close the shine of a blade caught her eye and before she knew it the male spoke his voice was interesting to her eyes even if it was to tell her what she done wrong the smirk moved over her lips and it took every bit of strength she had to not throw the building power to the male whom was knelling beside her. Watching fascinated as he threw 4 balls of iron into the beasts around them.

    The blast from the explosions didn't scare nor worry Topaz as she watched the blood and mud flying around them knowing she would and was covered in both, she knew she could finish them off but the male had caught her by surprise and she wasn't going to show anyone what she was truly capable of as far as she still knew witch craft was still taboo and she had been told many years ago that everyone believed her clan dead she wasn't about to let out her secret any time soon. As she took a deep breath to calm herself and to let the power flow away back into the ground she sent out a thanking plea to the earth for the loan.

    Before she could say anything she felt the male take hold of her hand normally she would of pushed away from him and gone her own way she hated physical closeness she was just glad of the thin layer of leather between them from her gloves.

    Topaz run with the newcomer at the same speed without any problems as he spoke Topaz turned her eyes to look at him "I gathered as much" was all she said looking back in front of them she could see the fog rolling in "I know you may know this but I'm sure we will soon be in more trouble with the fog rolling in like that" Topaz knew she could wind a small clearing through the fog to help them both get free from the trolls but she wasn't sure if even a small show of power to this male was a good idea.
  7. Regnier would be lying if he claimed their odds of surviving were good; however this wouldn't mean he'd lose heart so easily. With uncanny speed the two figures rushed through the hazardous terrain, using the illumination wrought by the fireflies and nocturnal pale moon to navigate the scene. The fog was thickening by the minute, almost to the point that Regneir began to second guess whether or not it was natural. "We will be ok ma'am." He replied, trying to sound confident. The trolls were hot on their trail, lumbering a hundred or so feet behind them. Visibility had already been cut in half; so much so that even the trolls chopped the stride of their steps a bit. Finally serpent felt the distance between them increase, as he spotted a narrow passageway alongside a couple of rocks. "Quickly!" He barked before bolting in between the gap between the stones.

    After ten or so minutes the trolls halted as they nearly passed the formation, with nostrils expanding they took in the bitter night air. Growling and beating their chest out of frustration as they frantically began to stomp and flail their arms about. Silently Regnier offered this stranger a nod, as a subtle smile crept on his masculine visage. However such an expression was shortly lived, as his sensitive ears picked up on the approach of another group...though this one seemed to be human. "We've been following you all day wench! When are ya gonna deliver?" An over weight guard bellowed to a fair elven maiden, with skin the color of bronze and hair long and radiant. Her narrow eyes squinted as she too struggled to navigate through the fog.

    "Be quiet ape!" She hissed, her tongue sharp and poised to kill. "Who you callin' an ape you elven bitch?!" The guard barked back, his breath heavy with fish and mead; a rather nauseating combination in her opinion. Abruptly she halted, extending her arm to stop the group of humans following her. "Can't think of a witty comeback eh?" The soldier gloated, adjusting his belt as he spoke with an unsightly smirk plastering itself on his sweaty face. "Does an ant think itself as grand; simply because I keep silent whenever I pass it by?" She question, but before the tub of lard could reply She'd pivot and cup of slimy lips with her gentle hands. "Shh! Trolls." She forewarned, as the sound of their feet sinking in the mud surrounded them.

    Casually she lowered her hand, as she turned about to survey how many of them they were. "Fuck this bitch! I hope dem trolls eat ya!" The fat guard bellowed, running off wildly as the others followed suit. The sound of their escape riled up the trolls. As a group of five of them charged her way, "A dog without a spine should never bark! Run apes! More glory for me!" A sinister smile contorted her full lips, as she prepared a spell. Patiently she waited as the group closed in, intentionally waiting to the last second to unleash her power. With a wave of her wrist and a snap of her fingers; she sent forth a bolt of fire. Erupting into a mighty explosion that pierced and dissipated the fog with it's force. The trolls bodies flew every which direction, crash landing in the swampy water.

    "Watch out! They regenerate!" Regnier cried, his words amusing the sun elf as she chuckled; displaying her rather unnerving confidence. "I was wondering how long the ape and the witch would remain still? Do you think me dense or something mutant? Anyone of decent intellect would know that Trolls regenerate at a rather alarming pace, but are susceptible to fire. In fact they can't regenerate at all and their fatty cells serve as an accelerant." She replied, matter of fact like; as if scoffing the man. Casually she raised her right hand as a bow wreathed in flames appeared in her grasp. With grace she pulled back on the magical string, sending arrow, after arrow of fire down range. Hitting one troll, than the next. She did so without rest until the group fled.

    Twenty seven bodies now laid on the ground, the once prideful trolls stiffen with death as their skin and flesh had been consumed entirely by the flames of her wrath. "It is safe to come out now...I promise I won't bite..." She replied, as Regnier slowly crept out from between the rocks. Once closing the distance he noted her strange armor, appearance and markings along her body. She was a Justicar of the sun elves; a powerful warrior and spell caster trained since birth fro a single kill the enemies of the state. "My name is Justina; Justicar of the Fourth house of the Solar empire." She stated, offering a bow that contrasted her arrogance. "A pleasure to meet you all..." She concluded, her sudden shift birthing an arch of the brow from Regnier.

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