The Onyx Tower: From the Belly of the earth it crept.

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    Skies turned a shady grey, as from the earth a spire of Onyx jolted. Leaving in it's wake destruction and decay. A crimson light, magic in nature; dare to pierce the rolling clouds. Once there had been a village nuzzled peacefully within that very spot. But all that remained as proof of their once tranquil existence, were their mangled, battered and scorched corpses. Scattered remains of their homes served as a harrowing reminder, that the true threats of this world none can perceive; not until it dare to rise.

    Long ago; before the annex of recorded history, an empire once expanded most the realms. Vampires, who thirst not for blood like their primitive cousins, claimed dominion of all under the sun. No official records or evidence from this era remain, all warnings swallowed by the vicarious hunger of time. But still, the only proof existed in the coming of the last of her kind. History became myth, warped by the spoken tales and songs of mystics. But like all things in this world...if it happened once; it shall happen again. It is not a question of if, rather of when?

    For tendays the spiraling onyx tower stood tall. It's magical ruby colored beam penetrated the heavens, birthing clouds as thick as a sheep's wool; and as black as charcoal. For miles on end the sun's once warm and welcomed kiss faded. Given way to the surrealism that spawns within the darkness. Those that once perished for the coming of her tower, no longer remained stiff. Freed from the chains of mortality they had risen, becoming mindless thralls of her Illithids. One might think it weird that such strange, powerful creatures would serve anyone, let alone a woman. But truth be told they feared her, for their mind flaying abilities had no effect on a ancient sol vampire.

    In the coming weeks many tried to repel the tower, armies marched and spells were flung. Assassins sent to infiltrate and kill this queen, but all fell before her feet. Their lives either snuffed out by her hands, or doomed to join her immortal legion of thralls. Some were not so frighten, instead seeking her out and wishing to become part of the fold. These souls kept their free will, instead becoming one with the Sol vampire. In a month; an army of darkness had risen.

    Sitting on her Amethyst chair she nested, crimson feral eyes peering deep into her orb. A molten rock suspended by magic that let her glimpse into futures destroyed, in exchange to see the world she could build. Luscious lips were tugged by her facial muscles, as a wide smirk displayed itself on her red lips. With skin as pale as the moonlight and black lines adorning her picturesque face; causing some to think of her visage as disturbing, yet equally enamoring. Her mere presence intoxicating, as a sense of power and wisdom dare to emit from her physical shell. While most saw color and shapes, her eyes could witness the strings that make up the flow of fate. Not only can they see the light, but at the same time easily overpower the influence of the darkness.

    While most thought of time and space as a line, Valerna perceived it as pulse, occasionally overlapping and contorting. Such a gift...hough not without flaw, this unique power allowed her to escape the ending of her peoples reign. Deep within the belly of the earth, where heartless stone dare shade she waited. Patiently permitting time to pass her by, before slowly making her move against the Illithids, Drows and Gnomes that inhabit this under ground realm. Soon even the spider goddess of the Drow couldn't stop her, as she stripped her empire from her corpse. Claiming it as her new world order. After a bloody hundred year civil war, she united even those of the old way under her cause.

    Slowly the ivory skinned woman rose, her dark purple dress, fitted to her body perfectly as if but a layer of skin, now dragged against the floor. Her stride wide as those blood colored irises dare to stare into the distance. On her eloquent dress were black engravings of spider webs, a gift of the Drow. Something seldom seen worn, let alone given; to any none Drow being. But they understood, feared and respected prowess where ever it may be found. "Jurn!" She hissed, as from the shadowed ceiling an octopus humanoid creature descended, his feet lightly planting themselves on the polished floor. "Yes my queen?" His voice watery, other worldly.

    This was an Illithid, the greatest psychics and mages that inhabit the subworld. But despite his power, he could only squirm as her barreling, frigid gaze lingered on his tentacled head. His color faded, as time itself seemed to have frozen around him. "It is unwise to spy, even if your intents are well." She purred, a sigh of relief parting from his tentacles. "My queen..." He knelled, "If I may ask why let me so close? Clearly I would benefit from your death, being once overseer of my kind and their thralls." A good question, few would let their enemies stand so close in a position to take their life at an given moment.

    No anger met him, no mockery nor abuse. What greeted him instead was the truth, spoken with weight of sovereignty. "You want me dead? Then kill me, and watch as I show you how many ways even a Illithid can die. The reason why I let you close without fear, is because I have nothing to fear from you." Her words birthed silence, as he slowly rose; levitating in the air. "It is as my grace says." He concluded, knowing he already tested his luck once this day. "Tell me Jurn; what is it you see before you?" Her question rhetorical, for Valerna cared little for his thoughts; and the Illithid understood this all too well.

    "I see clay, a world to be molded. I see time warping around this tower, as the entire planet and history will see. They will see my humble onyx tower, much like the earth from which it was forged; as the center of the world." What an enticing thought, everyday her power grew bit by bit. And once those from under the earth slither to the surface and join her forces. The entire realm will know, fear respect and utter her name. Valerna...the last Sol Vampire.
    #1 The Underdark Rises, Sep 17, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 21, 2013
  2. The glow of the midday sun shone through the treetops, bathing Ashlotte's pale skin and honey brown hair. She took a moment to sit by the placid lake, enjoying the warming light that seemed to quickly dissolve the tomb of cold she was encased in only moments before. The frigid breath of November began to blow more fiercely now, stirring up the untrodden leaf blanketed earth and the unshedded remains of the dying forest around her. Mounds of snow that seemed to sit atop every bough started to melt, the cold giving way to the radiant eye of the sun, its vigilant watch upon the world below. Freezing droplets showered her as she hurriedly made her way back to civilization, to the shelter of the hovel of a tavern she was residing, in a nameless little village that seemed to be lacking in space and the modernization of the vast city she had hailed from. Ashlotte made her way to the heart of the village, searching the dirt paths for any friendly face.

    She was a newcomer, and the people rarely casted a stray look in her direction, too preoccupied with their own lives to offer a welcoming smile or exchange introductions. She knew she didn't want to linger in such a hopeless place for long, a place that was wrought with the obvious signs of impoverishment. Beggars sat at every street corner, the depressed demeanors of the public became like wholly separate entities, to cast the rather unfortunate place in shadows of desolation. She could recall how the cobblestone streets of her city were lined with just about every sort of shoppe imaginable, the aromas of the many distinct flavors available by the vending carts and bistros. The city seemed so over populated at any given time that there seemed to be little elbow or breathing room. She would ponder how anyone could be complacent with their comfort zone being violated throughout the day, but most people she had observed didn't seem to pay any thought to the breech of space. She felt like the city walls were closing in on her, that if she did not break for freedom soon she would become smothered in a mass of people and structure alike. As Ashlotte's wandering gaze settled briefly here and there, she reached the conclusion that the folk here seemed to act uneasy, as if they knew of something lurking about that was the sole cause of their reduction of number. A single Blacksmith, Baker, and Barkeep had occupied the village, their wives and children. There was talk of a Cobbler having existed, A Wainwright. What happened to them? A few petite buildings were boarded up, she presumed them to be stores which felt the toll of the financial sufferings of the community.

    It was evident that other structures were being built at one time, but without the profits of their shoppes it seemed that it would be a mere waste of time and materials to continue on creating them.Clad in the remnants of the attire of the grossly rich society she presumed herself having been born into, she could still feel the preying eyes of the thieves she had encountered previously to settling here, the hands of cleverly cloaked bandits greedily grasping at the array of baubles she clutched so tightly to her. She was but a disheveled figure of her former splendor, with not a clue to her past but the few memories that plagued her reveries. At least here she wasn't the target of burglars and bandits, she resembled these people not in face but now in the monetary worth of her belongings. Her torn, dirty shade of white skirts swept the paths she walked, her boots laceless and soiled with the soles in desperate need of repair. She could almost smell the lingering smells of the perfumes and oils of her last bath, scents she could not quite put her finger on but those she had favored all her life. Her hair now lacked luster and seemed to closely resemble a nest in which a mother bird would make to safekeep her eggs.

    It had the texture of straw and no matter how she attempted to style it, it seemed to look as foreign as some sort of cheap hat or wig sitting upon her scalp. She reached the thick wooden door of the tavern and with but a moments hesitation, she peered about with a sigh, before resigning to the darkness within. The slender female made her way past the unlit fireplace, stopping only to witness how the ravages of poverty claimed this once thriving business, a place that was once popular to the townsfolk and tourists alike. She suddenly heard a commotion from the rafters, the sharp cries of rats squealing in pain as they were being picked apart by a bigger predator, a crow losing a few feathers in the scuffle. A bigger crow saw a prime opportunity in dive-bombing the already distracted young woman, proceeding to claw and peck at her in an aerial assault. Her forearm took the furiosity of the attacks as she tried to keep the filthy creature at bay, and she dropped the bulk of the remaining portions of uneaten lunch in the process, which had been tucked within the small wicker basket she carried. The crows seemed to descend upon the half loaf of bread in a frenzy, rats scuttled from every crack and crevasse toward the aroma of the accompanying slivers of cheese that now lay in the dust that was being disturbed up from the floorboards due to the fighting and flopping about of the ravenous crows. She looked upon the greedy scavengers firstly appauled, then turned away sadly as she realized there was nothing more she could do, her vittles were lost to the writhing mass of rats. The crows became quickly outnumbered and ascended to their accustomed perches, their beady eyes following her as she retreated to the steps and then down the hall.

    Ashlotte sat upon the uncomfortable burlap bedroll, feeling as if she were nothing more than a squatter amongst the squalor of a broken home, long ago abandoned of people. The Barkeep pitied her enough that she could reside within these dilapidated walls without a pence owed for as long as she had nothing, the bedroll given to her as a token of charity so that she wouldn't have to shiver the nights away against an unyielding floor. Balls of dust clung to the malformed afghan she huddled within, it looked as if a child or person fully untalented in the arts of knitting crafted it. She needed some answers and her previous attempts at getting some were useless. Her face flush with running and the ordeal of her encounter with the bandits brought her to this village, and she was barely shown any sympathy save for the kindness of the Barkeep. As she attempted to engross him in conversation about how the folk here seemed so destitute, she could feel him growing increasingly nervous, before he dismissed himself hurriedly outdoors. She still hadn't seen any sign of him, his bed and belongings disappeared. The young woman exited the tavern after bracing herself for the chilly weather. Her tea colored gaze shifting from face to face of the handful of people that were in earshot. She had some reservation about addressing the public, but if even one person would divulge any helpful information, perhaps the disappearances and poverty could cease. Ashlotte sucked in a breath, melodic tones rolled off her tongue.

    "People of this village..where has the Barkeep gone? The Blacksmith? What had happened to the Cobbler? I know you do not know me but I've been here long enough to notice that everyday your population decreases! From your outcasts to the business men of this place! Look around, will not one person tell me what has you so fearful that the stillness of your tongues could cause the disappearance of another, and another..until you are all gone?" She could feel the fear of the people, a well overflowing in her very core. They scattered, wanting to hear nothing more about the loss of their people. She was helpless but to watch them hole themselves inside of their residences, or retreat to the dark alleys for those whom weren't lucky enough to have an abode. The fear took her breath away, her heart pounding in her breast and causing her knees to tremble. She fell where she stood, her head swimming in the thoughts conjured up by the sheer power of the emotion of the crowd. Several moments passed and she was still so stricken by fear not her own that she couldn't think or move.

    Ashlotte couldn't call out, couldn't even utter a groan of pain as her heart felt as if it were going to explode in her chest. Thunderclouds now swirled up above the bankrupt village, and after a few particularly deafening bellows were shook loose from a darkening sky, the heavens wept upon such a forsaken place. People opened their doors and seemed to parade silently out into the storm, holding tankards or cupping their hands to retrieve some rain water to drink. A few revealed bars of what appeared to be homemade soap and unclothed themselves just enough to bathe somewhat, others used the soap in barrels of filled with items to be laundered. The chill of winter left them shivering to the bone, but even harsh winds couldn't pry them from their tasks. Ashlotte rose upon trembling legs, feeling as unbalanced and shaky as a newborn calf. "What are you doing?" Her voice echoed against the storm. "You are all going to catch your death out here!" Her words fell upon deaf ears to most, but the soft, rasping voice from behind her made her whip around to face the individual. His cheeks were sunken, his body emanciated by hunger. He seemed to be clothed in burlap sewn into a makeshift coat and pants. "We are all but a dying breed, Miss. We are famished and sick, it is too late for us." He eyed her with his one good eye and rose the back of his hand to the sparse tufts of whiskers on his face, wiping away the sticky spittle. "It is better to die then to wait to be picked off like cattle."

    There was a bubbling in his throat, and he succumbed to a fit of coughing. He turned away from just in time to spray the window in a mixture of bloody phlegm. "This isn't a life for anyone, not for anyone."He continued to choke, until a handful of rain water eased him enough to speak without his illness interrupting. Ashlotte felt confused, disoriented then. She heard his footsteps receding, his heavy limp making him splash mud all over. "We are but fodder for those...devils..just...fodder.." His voice trailed off as his senility left him in a realm of blissful confusion, Ashlotte straining to hear if he'd speak again. "Fodder?" The storm blew toward the east, and she pondered, staring up at the moonless night. "...I don't understand. Why would he say the people were fodder?" Ashlotte spotted her reflection in the red-spotted window. Long tresses were plastered upon her face, and her dress clung to her lithe form, giving her a drowned rat look. She knew by the time dawn broke, she would hear talk of another missing person. She prayed that by the time she awoke that she wouldn't be the only one left in the village.
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  3. Like a tapestry she could feel the fear of the village being woven, the locals who understood their role as a stepping stone to her perfection. They longed for death; and like a sick cattle they had to be put down. The sensation such emotions and epiphanies generated was like a drug, causing her to squirm and bite down on her juicy lower lip. "Can you feel it Jurn?" She whispers, groaning as she clenched her fist. The Illithid could indeed feel a fraction of the tapestry, though what he perceived was incomplete yet still enough to move him. "Yes my grace." He replied, raising head skyward as he let out a watery almost mechanical like shrill. From their torpor they stirred, hundreds of Illithids melting into the dim light of the onyx tower. Each relishing in the energy coursing throughout the spiraling fortress.

    "It would be rude for us to ignore their plea...Plus I could always use a few undead amongst my ranks." Valerna sneering as she loosened the grip of her fist. The Illithids chuckled, finding the prospect of gaining more thralls to be pleasant, even if it must be obtained through bleak means. With a wave of her wrist the molten orb launched itself in the air, floating high in the center of the throne room. It's fiery glow illuminating the once thick shadows, as the ground at the center began to spin. From it's solid state a pool of purple and blue shifting energy converged, spinning and taking the shape of a sphere before slowing down. Runes forgotten to most adorned it's awe inspiring exterior, as it finally became motionless.

    "Come, let us greet our troubled neighbors." Valerna could sense another, one who unlike the locals wished not for death. A woman who appeared normal, but in fact had a power unlike any she had sense before trapped within her humble appearance. "And what of the outcast?" Jurn dared to inquire, his words being met with a sharp stare. "If she seems of no use, she dies. If I deem her valuable...she become one of us. Either voluntarily or against her own will. In the end, it makes little difference to me my precious Jurn." With that being said the Illithids levitated toward the magical orb, slipping through it as ripples did dance across the surface. Jurn nodded, following suite as the Sol Vampire queen paused to muse over this unknown variable.

    "Child, what be you to me I wonder? Oh the suspense is like foreplay; just before the climax." She purred, stroking her chin as she stepped through the orb itself. Once she had entered it, the energy dissipated fading as quickly as it had formed. The spectacle gave birth to a void, as the once heavily occupied throne room was no empty.

    The locals would have little time to flee or fight, though even if they had approached via normal means; Valerna doubted they could withstand the might of an Illithid army. "Fwoop, Fwoop, Fwoop" The foreign sound reverberated, piercing the normal clamor and mood like a hot knife through butter. Those who couldn't escape the spheres of force found themselves being launched like ragdolls, as without hesitation the Illithids loomed over them, dropping to a knee as their tentacles tightly gripped their skulls.

    The tendrils dug deep into the flesh, as Saliva ran down their faces. What individuality they had left, what humanity or life they once possessed escaped them. Giving way to a new purpose, a new drive. To please and defend their masters the Illithid, and as a result; their queen. From thin air she appeared, skin like porcelain defiantly contrasted when compared to the lush colors of the outside world. A veil of darkness rushed through the land, as the swarthy clouds now blotted out the sun entirely...this land was now under her rule as well as all those who dwell within it.

    Valerna glanced at Ashlotte, confirming her suspicions that she was more than she originally seemed to be. "I am Queen Valerna, ruler of the subworld." She proclaimed, closing the distance between them as her purple dress hovered centimeters above the dirty road. Defying gravity with ease, as if the law was subject to bend to her sheer will alone. "Do not be frighten; what you see happening is beautiful and progress. Those that once thirsted for death, those without a purpose to live are reborn. What was once empty and obsolete; has been redefined under my will to comply with their deepest desires." Her words were well posed, melodious and almost like a spell. They carried about them a certain charm, though no vile black art was needed; this was merely her presence.

    "You though are different, you are not like the rest. They were grey, bland, uninspiring. But my crimson eyes see vibrant colors, beauty and poetry when I look upon your petite young body." She paused, slowly reaching out her hand as long black finger nails gently traced her jawline. Gently pulling her close if she should choose not to flee. "Why is that? What is it that makes you so unique, that defines you I wonder?" Valerna Purred, her tongue running along the outline of her full lips. "Please enlighten me?" Her thoughts were phrased as a question, though in truth they were an order.
    #3 The Underdark Rises, Sep 18, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 18, 2013
  4. The village was but a collective stewpot of which panic and aversion runneth, and Ashlotte felt an overwhelming darkness bloom within her, rancid petals of a withered floral specimen unfurling. Its putrid roots greedily feeding upon the disquietude of the people, she could feel the loathsome thing metastisizing, growing out of control. As she bore witness to the horrors borne of Queen Valerna and her Illithids, her facial features contorted into a mask of dread, her body momentarily petrified by the paralytic toxins of fear that surged through her veins. Ashlotte's ear captured Queen Valerna's words, which seemed almost lost to the world admist the sounds of chaos ensuing around them. The ravenous slurping of the Illithids' was most unnerving, but beholding the one whom had spied her with great crimson eyes, was something else entirely. Ashlotte's reflection painted upon those eliptical pupils, the peculiar striations of her irises evoked within her the same feelings as if she were engaged in a staring contest with a cobra. Soon Valerna's voice would wash over her like a hyptonic lullaby, her fingers well past the point of breeching one's personal space as to touch her. This woman sought her as a cohort, through willingness or submission. "I am Ashlotte..." She confessed her name, timorously. Suddenly, she suffered a muscular tightening of her jaw which prevented her from betraying anything more about herself. Ashlotte attempted to shy away from Valerna's grasp, raising her dainty hands in such a manner as to fend off any further explorations of her flesh. She could do nothing more for this village in shambles, these unfortunate souls whom were now but in the throes of death. She shook her head softly, her eyes widening as her gaze didn't dare divert from Valerna. Ashlotte's mind entertained her with fragmented visions of fleeing, her flitting footfalls carrying her far away from the scene, hopefully in delivering her to the bosom of safety. Unbeknownst to her, she -was- actually in motion, her feet striking the bloody ground in swift cadence. The rhythm would never cease, as long as she had enough breath in her lungs to push on, as long as she had the desire to live. Would this Queen Valerna sic her Illithid army after her?

    Her eyes fluttered open to the feeling of her bedroll being wrenched out from beneath her, Ashlotte mind didn't register the first few moments her being burglarized, her brain still lazy in sleep. "Wha-" She gasped, her eyes widening at the presence of mystery figures in her room. "Take the stuff, this young woman won't be of any trouble to us." A low toned male spoke callously, his eyes narrowing to slits beneath the shade of his hood. "And if she -does- give us trouble, kill her." The second member protested, dropping the bedroll to the floor. "Hey, I never said anything about killing. I want out of this agreement." This individual's voice sounded as if he were but a pubescent, but he was tall for his age. "We will kill her or I will kill -you- then -I- will kill her.Two deaths for the price of one. I don't even need you for these jobs, you know. I don't know why I bother taking you with me. You are nothing but a hinderance!"The callous man hissed, raising his hand to the boy. Ashlotte choked on the youth's fear, startling the two thieves. She then felt sadness envelope her, and her gaze fell upon the elder.

    "How could you, you're his father! This boy is being torn apart and I think..." The man's hand descended upon her instead, and she was knocked out cold. "Hurry up, you don't want to catch the plague do you? Who knows how shortened my life has become just by being here, breathing this air. I will wait for you at the roadside." The boy checked Ashlotte's pulse, a small sigh of relief escaping him. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have spoken out of line like that, gets him mad. You'd do well to remember that too. Here, isin't much but was saving it for breakfast. He left a bread roll in her limp, cupped hand. When she came to, she devoured it out of instinct, not even giving her palate time to register the taste. It went down with a bit of effort, as she wasn't equipped with a drink or an adequate amount of saliva to help with easier swallowing. She looked about, her voice rose as if she may be heard beyond the walls of the shelter. She spoke with a fervorous determination. "I -will- find out what happened here. I will not leave this place to be damned!" Cries of depair invaded her dreams, her heart laden with sadness as she felt the heartache of loss. More Men, women and children became lost to the world, snatched from existence it seemed by some unknown predatory force. The people that remained had no seeds to sow but those of sorrow, the families left behind were burdened with the utter hopelessness of the situation. Ashlotte sat in the corner of her room for the next three days, feeling the chords of of a most melancholy tune being strummed from within her very soul. When she felt as though the cold eased enough for her to step outside, she rolled up her afghan and made her way from the village, the harshness of winter spared her so far of sickness. She looked back one last time, surveying the village as if she couldn't muster enough confidence in herself that she would be able to save them. Her woeful gaze cast to the heavens, she petitioned to any deity that would listen to the prayers of a mortal that she wished for the people to be relieved of at least some of their hardships in her absence. Did they even care anymore? All she could do is try to embrace the faith she had left.

    Ashlotte, presented with the trials of a sorely afflicted village, felt understandably dispirited and shaken in her faith. She was physically and emotionally weakened, and having not eaten or slept in days left her extra weary in her travels. Suddenly she felt a sharp pain in her right side, stealing her breath before knocking her down. Ashlotte gasped for air, failing to suck in enough before she felt the bitter sting of cold upon her flesh. Darkness threatened to cast her in an endless sea of her unconscious mind, she knew someone nearby was close to death. She was fettered by the pain and fear she was sharing with another in some sort of empathic bond, but managed to draw a decent amount of strength from within long enough to reach the boy. She could recognize him as soon as he parted his lips and spoke. "The job... I refused to ..kill anyone." He struggled to breathe a moment before continuing. "I..disobeyed Father again." He was slumped against a tree like a holey sack of flour, a pool of blood staining the freshly fallen snow he sat upon a crimson color. "He..said he would kill me..." She watched in terror as the life in his eyes dimmed, and then finally he was gone. There was nothing for her to do but leave him behind. She did not possess the strength or tools needed to give him a burial, but she was also not naive to the presence of thieves lurking about under the concealing shroud of night. They would find him soon and strip him of his earthly goods. "Not a soul for miles." Ashlotte shook herself awake, releasing a small succession of yawns. She desperately sought to borrow a bit of energy from someone, preferably the rambunctious hyperactivity of a child. She wasn't that picky though, she would easily settle to siphon energy from a person experiencing a caffiene or sugar rush. Just enough to enable her to keep one foot in front of the other, to carry her through to her next destination. Not even a random farmer or traveler. Ashlotte didn't even realize she had stopped moving until she became increasingly aware that her surroundings remained the same. The signs of blight and famine seemed to thrive everywhere, even in regions uninhabitated by people. The remains of dead animals, picked clean by the scavenging sort, were scattered about as if they were a strange adornment for the earthen floor.

    The wind howled through the empty husks of trees, making a yearning, whistling tune for rain. What remained of nature seemed to awaken in a ghastly chant then, a forlorn instrumental sent up to the heavens for a long sought revival. She concluded that this was the work of something more than the effects of the bitterest cold. A stronger magick was at play, pestilence itself beckoned by the conjurations of some sinister force. In the distance, almost too far for her eyes to see, she could make out a flickering of flame. Beacons of light directing her toward the gates of a city glittering with riches perhaps? A city much like the one she came from, grand palaces with treasure rooms filled to capacity. Money and power breeding greed and corruption in the hearts of most men, people being slain in the name of the profit of the very King whose likeness is imprinted on every coin. Cut throats roaming the streets of the city, looking for their own personal gain. Ashlotte could recall being born into a family of power and financial means, she had but glimpses of truth to piece together. Loose memories were all she had to work with, mostly formless recollections of her past. She was called Ashlotte, but surely she had a surname! Yet noone she met seemed to recognize her. Her fashion was not a design distinct of any particular geographical area, not one anyone knew of, anyway. She couldn't remember the style of jewelery she used to own, she wouldn't recognize it if someone paraded out in front of her with them on. Perhaps she suffered amnesia at the hands of the bandits or was simply cursed somehow? The city called to her weary mind, her aching body. The wonderful temptations wine and rest pushed her onward, she could almost savor the tastes of generous portioned vittles upon moderately expensive plates. She had no coin, Ashlotte realized. This reminded her of the village, the hunger of the malnutritioned people. Was it really such a sin to desire the comforts of clean linens upon her bed, the perfumes of a hot bath? Meals consisting of meat and the fruits of a farmers labor? The answer was as clear as a crystal wine glass. So what? She would get her fill of eats and rest, and repent later if she had to.

    Surely the Gods would listen to her contrition there, a city blessed with those gifts. It would be ungrateful for her -not- to accept those gifts, to say the least. She could no longer continue her journey, succumbing to sleep in the vastitude of a seemingly endless plain. Ashlotte's dreams took her to a vivid landscape of pink flowers surrounding a golden city. The tulips seemed to guard the city as if they were plant-like soldiers, and she saw raggedy clothed people becoming lost within the complexities of a pink painted labyrinth. Couldn't they just walk through them? Make a straight path for the gates? It seemed so easy for the city stood much higher than the flowers, she could see the gates just up ahead. "I'll show you the way.." She called to the people, who were mostly bumbling about. Some of which seemed to let frustration get the better of them, they fell to their knees in a fit of anger and hair-pulling. Others seemed to resign completely, drawing their knees close and cupping their hands over their face in sorrow. The rest of the lot continued their way, with nary a look in her direction. It was like they didn't hear her.

    She called to them again, it was futile. They just sort of..wandered, only ceasing when their paths became impeded by other human beings. She started toward the gates herself, hoping that they would soon follow her example. The tulips bloomed all around her, revealing their faces toward the sun. In a blink of an eye it became dark, and rubious eyes sprung up from the blossoms with a menacing glow. A field alive with demonic floral life, the petals became black and shriveled, fanged sneers greeting her at every turn. They hissed and snarled at her, then took up their roots in order to pursue her. The dreadful weeds snapped at her feet as she was running, her boots simply vanishing from her otherwise unprotected feet. She then stopped, turning toward them. This was silly, she was much taller than a bunch of weeds. She wouldn't let them intimidate her any longer. As her hand made its descent upon them in a plucking motion, the petals gleaming like the razor edges of surgical blades, spinning about upon their demonic faces like propellers. She awoke with a start, inspecting every finger to make sure none were harmed in any way. "What a gruesome dream.." Ashlotte's voice shakily strummed her vocal chords, and she shuddered for a while until the thrall of a dreamless rest took her.

    "Hey, do you think she's dead? Prolly was a floater, you know. Sun dried her out by now, though." Ashlotte's tea hued gaze searched for the source of such a rude intrusion of her sleep and saw chubby fingers nearing her cheek. She slapped them away, shifting her gaze upward to see that the fingers belonged to a mere child. "She's a kicker, brother." He sounded almost disappointed at first, but shortly after flashed her a toothy grin. "Glad you're okay. We just saw you kinda layin' here, figured you were a scarecrow at first. It's been known for them to blow into the field from the neighboring farms. You see, when you get a rusher like the ones I've seen before, the winds are strong enough to pick up just about anything. Never know what you'll find. That's why we spend our time lookin' around so much." The child's prattling came to a halt as he had become so engrossed in one sided conversation he had forgotten to breathe. "Rickie, get yourself straightened up. You'll wrinkle your pants, and you know how Mother hates that. Father'll tan your hide for sure." The one identified as Rickie stuck his tongue out at his brother, and he turned to Ashlotte and held up nine fingers. "I'm this many, but it doesn't seem like it because our folks are too poor to send me to school. Max's got all the schoolin' but he hates the homework. Takes time away from our hobby, with all the chores he's gotta do. Never seen a dead body though. When we saw you weren't a scarecrow we thought you were a floater. Reckon I'd get the chance to see plenty of death when I get sent away to the military though. Or if our Father dies. He's sick, you know. Isn't enough food for all of us so he goes without mostly. Ashlotte noticed that the two were dressed rather identically, the smaller one almost a doll-like version of the older. The cloth of their pants were dirty with minor tears, the matching suit jackets looked almost too clean, as if they took careful consideration of them to avoid filth or spills. Rickie wore a gray flat cap which seemed a bit too big for his head. "What's your name, anyway?" She blinked a few times, staring at the child as he made his way in what she thought to be the direction of their home. She wondered if the youngster would wave goodbye to her. He did. Finally realizing that Max's question had floated about without a response, she piped up quickly.

    "Oh, sorry, my name's Ashlotte." Max nodded. "You don't sound like you're from around here, I can tell that much. So..what are you doing out here, picking posies and realized it was past your bed time or something?" Ashlotte blushed at the compliment. "Oh, I'm not that young, I'm afraid. But I'm just so weary, I've traveled quite far. There is a village that is in dire need of aid, in fact it looks as if the whole stretch of countryside that way is in need. Tried to help all I could, but it's pretty hopeless." Ashlotte viewed Max with doleful eyes. "Oh, you're not supposed to go out yonder..."Rickie came running back, hearing the tail end of their conversation. "Badlands, alot of Burgles and people up to no good there.Rumor has it that plague cleaned out most of the folk, their land plagued also. Stuff don't grow for long, you see. But, you've made it outta there jus' in time, before you met up with the bandits." Ashlotte cringed at the last word he spoke, and Rickie's cerulean gaze flickered this way and that, before noticing how torn and dirty her dress was. "Oh, I guess you had already become 'quainted with them. The Burgles, I mean." Max shook his head, and apologized for his brother. "Sorry for that, Miss. Rickie and I too, had a run-in with them only a few months ago. Went to the forest to pick some berries, and was robbed of everything. Blasted bandits even took the berries. Got away in only our knickers." Max blushed now, embarrassed at such a confession to a stranger of the opposite gender. Several moments passed and the deep reddening of his cheeks seemed to fade just slightly. "Looks like they took the knives out on this one, the burgles showed us their knives too. No bigger than a skinnin' knife but still, could do lot'ta harm to someone."

    The talkative child commented, eyeing Ashlotte and then his own kin. "I think you mean -burglars-, Rickie."The boy nodded enthusiastically."Was what I said, Burgles!" Turning his attention once again to the female, he grabbed at her hand in an attempt to help her up.Gritting his teeth and pulling, he let out a grunt and then his palm, slick with perspiration, caused his chubby fingers to slide out of her grasp. He landed upon the tulips, making a child sized area of flattened flowers and grass. Max looked up at the sun, shielding his eyes with his right hand. "Time to go, Rickie. Mother doesn't want us out this late. I've still got my chores and you've got yours." His brother rose and brushed himself off, fearing punishment if his mother were to spot even a single blade of grass on his clothing. "Can't Lotte come along, Max? Mother can feed her half o' my supper, can't just leave her here in the heat and all." Max nodded. "But if Mother doesn't like it, I'll tell her it was your idea. Father doesn't like you taking home strays of any sort, afterall." Ashlotte's brow rose, and her lips parted as if she were going to speak. Suddenly a piercing scream surged up her delicate throat, and she thrashed and rolled about on the ground in such a manner that it seemed she were engulfed by invisible flames. Smoke billowed into the sky a few miles away. "The farm! Rickie, stay with her. I'm going to check on Mother. Certainly Father isn't back from his fishing trip yet..." He took off then, and Rickie ogled Ashlotte with a dumbstruck look upon his cherub like face. "Rickie..."Ashlotte breathed through the pain of another's searing flesh. "I'm sorry but your Mother is gone." She slowly felt alleviated of her torment."Huh? But how would you know? We're not there..yet."

    The child began to blubber tearfully, causing Ashlotte's eyes to well up with the salty liquid. Tears flowed down her cheeks. "I cannot sense your brother. I cannot sense Max, yet..." Rickie's sobs eased only enough so he could blurt out a response. "Whaddaya mean, Miss Lotte?" Ashlotte felt panic rising inside of her."No time to explain, lead me to the farm!" Rickie grabbed her hand and pulled her westward. They approached the farm in time to hear Max's cries from the barn. A fallen beam and wall of fire seemed to block his exit. "Had to get the animals..and check if Father was inside. Got myself in a bit of a predicament, though. Max was suprisingly calm although his lower extremities were pinned beneath the impossibly heavy log of wood. "Please..."He whispered, intending for the following message to be for her ears only. "Take him...away from here..hurry.." Ashlotte grabbed Rickie by the forearm, proceeding to forcibly drag him from the premises until she was once again overwhelmed with searing pain of another being burned alive.

    Rickie was fast asleep, but Ashlotte was wide eyed. They were in the middle of nowhere, she could not recall which direction the city was. She had run blindly with the child, her feet seemed so swift and light it was as if they had sprouted wings. We couldn't have run -that- far..but still, nothingness all around. How could it be? Her dreams took her back to the burning farm where she watched Max's sable colored hair alight in a flaming crown. "Someone lit my home up on purpose." Ashlotte gazed helplessly, tendrils of sorrow reaching out from her, linking the two of them together. "Don't worry, Mother is with me now. Take good care of Rickie, and find Father. Flames lapped at his flesh and bone, until the morning sun awoke her. "Oh, Rickie.." She began to cry inwardly, and he stirred to the announcing of his name. His collar length auburn mane was entangled with twigs and burrs. He rose with a massive yawn and looked about for his hat. It wasn't loacated on the ground beside him and he hadn't fashioned it into a pillow of sorts. Pudgy fingers quickly sought his head, where they descended upon the apex in a patting motion. "Suppose I lost it, then." His tone possessed a strange calm for a child whom had earlier witnessed the horrors at his farm. Then a smile spread across his face.

    "I'll go find some rabbits for trappin'." He chose a direction and bounded off, whistling a happy tune. Ashlotte mirrored his emotion, opting to leave the patch of dirt that had served as their bed to look for a water source. When the sun seemed at its hottest, Rickie came back with disappointment stamped across his face. Wholly unsuccessful in his endeavors, he threw the unappealing but usually effective trap to the side where the most vital parts of it broke on impact, and sat, slumping forward."Couldn't find any rabbits..nothing out there for 'em to eat." Ashlotte sat across from him, her gaze casted up to the sky. "We'll find something soon." She showed him a small smile. "Let's try fishin'!" The child beamed, running off to find branches that would be suitable for making poles. Shrieking filled the air. Ashlotte tossed a glance toward the shoreline, as that was apparently where the sound was originating from. She didn't sense the woman's terror. It seemed more like frustration, turning to anger. Ashlotte started in that direction, soon to see that Rickie beat her there. The woman looked but an anorexic version of the former robust creature which had filled out her clothes so nicely. Now her skinny torso appeared to be swimming in a ridiculously oversized bodice, her legs swallowed whole by a sea of skirts. Ashlotte's heart was like a machine working in overdrive, pumping out adrenaline filled blood that coursed through her veins. She was experiencing rage not her own. The petite female thrusted her fists toward the heavens and opened her mouth to assail the sky above. But..what would she say? She didn't really know what was going on. The woman assumed Ashlotte to be mocking her and rose in a fighting stance, last secondly deciding to shove her aside instead. She connected to the water with a wet splash. "Look around! Surely you can't be completely ignorant to the fact that he eats high on the hog while we are left to starve to death?! The proof is all around you! You are squat in the middle of a sea of dead fish, just look around you!" She followed the woman's angry commands, turning her head so that she could behold the fish stewing in their watery grave. They all seemed to be in differing stages of decomposition, but what was most peculiar to Ashlotte was that the stink of decay hadn't attracted carrion to a meal.

    There was no evidence of the ichthyoid corpses being picked at by anything. She could easily recall how the crows attacked her for the bit of bread she had stashed away for herself, the rats upon the cheese. They seemed to be little more than stretched out skin draped over bones. And the crows..if they hadn't moved at all they could have easily been mistaken for a Taxidemist's end product. Nothing more than a morbidly artistic design. Leaving the water she took a mass of soaked fabric in her hands, and attempted to wring it out so the dress wouldn't feel so heavy on her. "Do you know what happened here? I couldn't even dream of something so horrible.." Her words died on her lips as she spied hollow socketed fish floating close to her feet. She knew rot was a natural process after death, that maggots stirred beneath the sun-dried flesh. She couldn't help to feel nauseous, or look upon the carcasses with disgust. Swallowing down the acrid taste of vomit which was rising up her throat, she turned away from the scene. She had to think of Rickie, the poor child must have released his stomach contents upon the ground more than once by now. She spotted him down the way, using a small piece of driftwood on the ground in the manner one would use a gardening tool. After interring the fish in the mud, he reunited with Ashlotte. "I'm fine." He spoke, blinking."Jus' buryin' a fish is all. Livin' on a farm, I have seen the death of much of Father's livestock, it was my job to bury the ones I had enough strength to move." The woman fell silent, seated upon an embankment so that she could overlook the water. Her pale gaze was trance-like, Ashlotte reflected the numbness she was feeling. The spell was broken moments later when Rickie prodded her, causing her gaze to shift and settle upon the red headed child. "What do you want with me, boy?" Asked the woman rudely. "Just leave me be."

    Ashlotte walked toward her, her attitude changing to mimic that of Rickie. "Ma'am, you spoke of someone eating high on the hog, and leaving everyone else to starve to death? I am but a foreigner to this land. Could you please explain?" The woman responded without any verbal components, but a stern look. Soon after Ashlotte got the impression that she was preparing to dismiss herself without uttering a single word, but the honey haired female reached out as if to grasp her wrist. "Please if you could just tell me any information..." The woman swatted Ashlotte's hand away. "Look, forget I said anything. The less you know, the safer you'll be. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to tend to the housework." She began to shuffle off, a rather forceful gust of wind removing the bonnet from atop her head. This did not stop her though. Ashlotte watched the woman maneuvering toward home, Rickie's boyish voice calling after her as he retrieved her headpiece. "What could we be dealing with? Everyone is so tight-lipped about it, that they would rather ultimately lose their lives to keep the secret." She was speaking more to herself than to Rickie, but the youngest member of the Evan's family inserted his own opinions here and there.

    A weary trek lead them to a quaint little abode which appeared to be surrounded by a cage of overgrowth. Their choice to examine it more closely further destroyed their clothing, as the fabrics of their garments became snagged by thorns. They paid in blood as well, receiving scratches to their skin deep enough to scar. Ashlotte wanted rest, and she knew Rickie was hungry. She would forego eating so that the child would get his fill, if it came to it. They approached with caution, not knowing if they were going to be chased away by someone brandishing a weapon, yelling in a most vulgar manner for the trespassers to leave the property or face the consequences.
    A small circular window at each side of the door reminded her of eyes. She could feel Rickie's apprehension empowering her own. "I don't think anyone's home." Ashlotte told the child, as she peered in through the right window. "I usually wouldn't think about just barging in, but I can feel the cold nipping at my flesh." She tried the door, a soft push of the wooden plank allowing her inside. Rickie stood at the threshold, having been taught by his parents to never enter a house without permission. "It's going to be dark soon. Why don't you come in and I'll assume full responsibility if we get in trouble." It didn't take very long to coax him, but she could tell that he was feeling rather uneasy about the situation.


    The innards of the house consisted of a fire place, decently crafted table with a trio of chairs, and a bed that smelled of mold. It appeared that the owner could possibly have met his fate, or simply abandoned the hearty home at some point. Ashlotte examined everything, but had little to go on to make any conclusions. Perhaps she was wrong and the owner left for town, and was on his way back? She left Rickie unsupervised to search for linens or blankets. He stepped out into the cold with the intentions of looking about for a source of food, preferably a dense substance like meat.He would later return empty handed, which would in turn make for empty bellies. Four days worth of icy temperatures had them holed up inside a house that did not belong to them, and despite the cracks that allowed for the intrusion of the glacial breeze, they were most grateful to have the protection of a decently sound structure. Rickie dreamt so vividly of a grand feast laid out before him that the smells of cooked turkey and lamb caused for him to salivate, a sticky stream of drool plastering a lock of henna hued hair to his cheek. Ashlotte wrapped the afghan, a possession she obtained back at the village, around her small form and pushed the door open.

    She looked upon a virgin snow, blessed by the light of a full moon. Flurries of silverish ice fell upon her as she ventured further out into the darkness, the glint of snowflakes in her hair and on her skin resembling diamond pieces strewn across luxurious silk. Closing her eyes she began to sway to the whispers of a dying breeze, the musics of whatever nature was left around her. "There you are!" Rickie yelled, exhaustion making his voice heavy. "Couldn' find ya, and I was gettin' scared...Burgles have eyes and ears everywhere, you know." Ashlotte beheld the boy, her brow quirking. She didn't know how to reply, but she knew he was right. Even though he was but a child he seemed to possess a wisdom beyond his years. Could the stars themselves really be the greedy glinting eyes of a ruthless den of thieves? What of the snow, a mere ruse to conceal traps and such? The whispering wind a tool of communication, carrying coded messages from one to another upon a gentle air current? Ashlotte's mouth fell open in a gasp, her watery brown eyes darting about. Perhaps there were bandits out there, preparing some sort of ambush. She quickly spun to face the door, and rushed inside. Taking a seat upon the dusty floorboards, her brow level to the sill of a medallion shaped window, she couldn't bring herself to peer through the glass."I'm very afraid." Ashlotte admitted, trembling from both her fear and the cold that seeped in. "Sorry, Miss Lotte. But no need to worry, the rushers will scare away the thieves. They know better than to be wanderin' around out there, all exposed to the elements for long." She eyed him strangely, wondering to what he had coined the term 'rushers.' "Uh rushers. You know, swirlin' winds that have the strength to lift up a house and throw it clear across the land. We've had a problem with much of our crops bein' uprooted, 'tatoes rainin' down into the city. Found 'em floatin' in the water too." Ashlotte stared at him now, her eyes widening. "I've never witnessed something like that myself. But how can a storm cause such destruction, to rob someone's land of their riches whilst another obtains an overabundance of..."She thought for a moment, and added "A cornucopia of agricultural wealth whilst others are left to perish!" Rickie nodded. "'s not all that gets strewn about. Can find just about anything you can imagine if you're lucky enough to stumble upon it." His emerald eyes lit up then. "People say the rushers of of magickal design. Jus' don't know who had made 'em." Rickie shrugged, and cleared his throat." Do you think thieves can use magick?"

    His head tilted slightly, his brow furrowed. "I suppose it's possible. Anyone can have magick, have gifts. Though I've also heard of gifts being considered curses as well." Deciding to stray from the subject she added "Look, as soon as we get the chance, we really need to find some food. Something to ease parched throats. We should wait for more favorable weather that hopefully the morning sun will bring." Rickie began to cough, and Ashlotte sensed his scratchy throat. The child was becoming ill, and without the nutrition of a proper meal she knew his chances of getting better was naught. She let out a small sigh, resting the back of her head against the wall. Eyes heavy lidded, she watched the way the wind blew the bare tree branches, silhouettes of great, taloned hands orchestrating the dark heavens.

    "Rickie, get up! We're going to venture into town today so don't take too long waking up." Ashlotte tried to make herself look as presentable as she could without the use of such luxuries like a bath and combs for her hair. Perhaps one would let her do odd jobs for a meal for the both of them, and some of the goods she desired like cloth and sewing threads. As they journeyed out of the mostly barren wood, Ashlotte saw a decently constructed town, one that had potential for the shoppes she sought. Rickie appeared dead on his feet, once in a while showing signs of life in the form of a cough or sneeze. She was surprised he could still manage to walk on his own, perhaps hunger fueling him to trudge on behind her. Her eyes watered, skin flushed and feverish as if -she- were experiencing an ail of some sort, but except for hunger and exhaustion she was decently healthy. As they neared the entrance, she was shocked to realize that what she had seen only moments ago was nothing more than a work of deception. An elaborate illusion to fool the outside world. It appeared that the town had been cleansed by fire at one time, a few partially standing structures outlasting the test of time. "Another dead end." Her saddened eyes settling upon Rickie, she knew she couldn't do more to help him. He was to perish, his soul to be freed from the shackles of a living form. Then she heard it. The soft closing of a door. If only she could figure out which direction it came from...She started at the beginning, trying the doors of any complete house she came across. Nothing. No life stirred behind those wooden walls, behind the heavy doors. And then she felt it. Felt the fear gripping her heart, quickening her breath. "P-please.." Ashlotte stammered through the paralyzation of throat muscles. "Th- the child..w-will die.." She sensed nothing at first, then a mustering of courage bringing someone to the door. "Come in, hurry." She ushered Ashlotte and Rickie inside, and shut out the wind. "I was just about to put some tea on the fire, and I have enough bread and cheese to share. Do sit down, will you?"

    Ashlotte took the child's coat and aided him to the chair nearest to the fireplace, thanking the elderly woman for her kindness. "Please, call me Chamomile. My name and favorite tea." Ashlotte nodded. "I'm Ashlotte and he is Rickie." The woman offered a warm smile. "Is he..your son?" She shook her head." We're of no relation. His.." She continued in a whisper "His mother and brother died in a fire, we haven't located the father as of yet." Chamomile's hand went to her heart. "The poor dear!" Her voice came out louder than she wished, causing her to quickly fall silent. Her hearing concentrated on the sounds of outside, she waited a moment with baited breath as if anticipating something consequential to her outburst. "I'm terribly sorry for your misfortunes, child." She spoke in hushed tones now, removing the heated kettle from the fire. threads of silver fell from the sides of her bonnet, and instead of simply tucking the hairs back under it, she plucked the headpiece from her scalp. The skeletal-like figure then sat in her rocking chair, a simple knitted shawl draped about her shoulders. The color of it brought a rosy blush to the woman's ashen skin tone, summoning life to her sickly pallor. "What happened here?" Ashlotte dared to ask, although she was prepared to receive the same response she had gotten other times she had asked that question. "It is best not to speak of it, dear." Chamomile observed the disappointment on Ashlotte's face, as the young female was unsatisfied with the lack of information.

    "I can offer only a little, to speak of it more will seal my fate." Rickie managed to finish his meal through the sneezing and snuffles, and Ashlotte waited patiently while sipping her tea."A long time ago this town thrived, like many others. It was a new colony, of which my family was one of the first settlers. I could still remember my mother and father, my two sisters. It was quickly built up, the rubble you see today is proof of how this town once bustled with life. We were rich, rich in ores and soil. I have seen the glittering of profit, coins of gold and silver. Something evil began to grow. The people reaped what they sowed, and greed spread throughout the town like a plague. Men turned on one another, their blood spilled upon the once pure soil. It is an everlasting curse." Her pale gray eyes danced across the fire, before turning her attention to her guests. "As you can understand, once evil blood touches something pure, it begins to corrupt it. It is a vital factor growing the seeds of revenge, of hate. The town was to be cleansed by fire, and we understood that. We were prepared to leave our home. But...something wouldn't let us leave. We tried and tried, but we couldn't! So greed continued to spread rampant, a wholly uncontrollable force made of man. The people here destroyed themselves before the land could be purified." Ashlotte regarded Chamomile solemnly, before a downward look brought her to her tea. Rickie was fast asleep with his head on the table, clutching the last bite of bread close as if it were a comforting toy. "Do you think this has spread beyond the town?" Chamomile nodded. "Of course. Men are but vessels of sin and corruption. Our desires, temptations are our downfall. Of course other things are at work as well, but I will speak no further on the subject."

    The frail woman rose, turning in the direction of her bed. "I apologize for not having better accommodations, but I never thought I'd have overnight company. There is a tub to wash in, I will heat some water for you. I have enough blankets for you to make an adequate bed on the floor. I also have some fabrics and thread you can have to do what you wish." She sat upon her bed, quickly falling into sleep. Ashlotte took the kettle once it was heated, and a candle to light her way to the bath. She hadn't bathed in so long that the hot water seemed to sting her skin at first, but she persisted through the discomfort for the first few moments so that it could soothe her aching muscles.Layers of filth dissolved away, and the soft scent of lavender filled the room. She would wake the boy in the morning so that he may also bathe. Once she was finished and skin dried, she dressed in the same pitiful garment she had wore for so long and retired for the night after draping her afghan over Rickie. "Morning!" She was awaken by the cheerful greeting, spoken by the bright eyed boy. "Feelin' better today, Miss Chamomile gave me some medicine. Was strong stuff too, that peppermint tea, but it did the trick." Ashlotte's eyes came into focus to see him standing in the doorway. "You'll take a bath, after breakfast. Wash away your ails." Rickie nodded in agreement and then he was off toward the table. "Miss Chamomile's makin' eggs this morn'. Said she'd be back in a bit. Ashlotte took a seat beside him.

    Enough light permeated the small home so that she could take a look around. The innards were rotted, with decaying curtains dressing the windows. The floorboards seemed to give with little force, slivers of moldy wood piercing her unshod toes. Chamomile's belongings were destroyed with age. The walls were but a singed and sooty shell around them. Ashlotte rose, feeling the floor spinning beneath her feet. Did they break bread with a ghost the night before? Preposterous. There must be some sort of logical explanation. Perhaps it was all but a hunger induced hallucination. But Rickie told her she spoke to him this morning! And then she saw it. Upon the bed, the charred remains of Chamomile. The fabrics that the old woman promised her lay undamaged at the foot of the bed. The blankets she had wrapped herself in the night before? She ran to the room and her mouth dropped open in terror. The goose down quilt her body was enveloped in was totally unrecognizable as was the tub she had bathed in. She couldn't have imagined all of this so vividly..the taste of tea, the floral scent she used to perfume her bath. "We...have to go." She uttered, taking Rickie by the hand and gathering their belongings. "But Miss Chamomile 'll be back soon and it's rude to leave 'fore sayin' goodbye, Miss Lotte!" He protested, being dragged out the door. "It's not rude if she is not coming back!"

    Ashlotte groaned, making a beeline out of the town. "Don't you see? She's dead! She died in the fire..."Rickie tried to relieve his hand of her grasp, but he couldn't escape her clutches. "Miss Lotte! She isn't dead, spoke to me this morn'! Said she was going to get some eggs from the market!" This made her stop pulling him about like a maniac. "The market, you say? She turned toward the singly erected plank of wood, the market sign swaying to and fro upon a rusted chain. "I don't think this place has sold eggs in quite some time, Rickie." Fear took a hold of the child, leaving him to tremble upon his feet. "Do you think the spook'll come after us, Miss Lotte?" She patted his head, choosing to reassure him although she wasn't certain of the answer herself. "I don't think she meant to harm us or anything. I fear that we would have perished in the snow without her.."After some hesitation, Rickie nodded. "But supper and tea, they were real..." She only now realized how far they had been walking, and how long. "I cannot explain, but we're fed and rested and that's all that counts now." Ashlotte heard the child's steps come to a halt." Oh, I don' like this, Miss Lotte. Air has changed. Storm's brewin'." He was quite nervous now, eying the formation of clouds, darkness unfurling across the sky. "Gotta get somewhere fast." He spoke, looking upon the shaded earth. Ashlotte's turned to find that nothingness now stood in place of the ruined town. "Huh?" She gasped, utterly confused. Not even a trace of scorched land remained.

    Ashlotte's mind was plagued with thoughts of Queen Valerna, however fetching a countenance the woman possessed. The quick, upward twist of her full lips, her ample bosom. Her flawless, toned body. Something was off about her though, her strange pallor, her fanged mouth. They weren't traits of a lively human being, and especially her -eyes.- Her governing word over the Illithids. if she were merely a peculairly complected human being, those foul creatures would have devoured her a long time ago, instead of calling her their Queen. What was she really? Ashlotte couldn't help to ponder if she should have lingered in her presence for a few moments longer, instead of opting for a hasty retreat. Death, destruction, and even apparitions were but a common occurrence anymore, it seemed. She sighed, turning in what she assumed to be the direction of that very village of their encounter. She knew that someday, somehow, they would meet again. But was this woman truly responsible for the havoc wrought throughout the land?


    The wind began to blow with such a ferocity that it could rip flesh from bone, the unseen fingers of a forceful storm pulling their hair, grasping their clothing. She heard a tearing of fabric as the already worn threads gave way to the wrath of nature. The icy air stole their breath, leaving them huddled close in an attempt to withstand the elements. We're going to die out here, to be buried beneath the snow. They would have to wait until the warmth of spring to reveal the secret of such a demise. Then, the swift galloping of horses broke through her thoughts, and she figured that death was coming to reap their souls. She whispered a prayer upon soft, trembling lips. "Does life flow through you?"

    The man yelled against the raging gale, his own words thrown back into his face. Ashlotte did not fear this man, but the child did. Dismounting the carriage, the man started toward the female, his hand extending as if to aid her to rise. His black cloak concealing the funeral attire he wore. "You have a bit of snow, Miss. " He spoke gently, a smile tugging the corners of his lips. "Uh.." She eyed him strangely, the subtle movements of her head causing a small mountain of snow to come tumbling down from her hair. "Yes. Thank you." Ashlotte swiped a few times at the apex of her wavy locks, dislodging the more stubborn flakes. She took his hand then, and Rickie eyed the man with suspicion. "It's Ashlotte, by the way. "she looked to the man, his horses. "Who might you be?" Rickie rose, staying close to Ashlotte. "I'm Andor. Was on my way home from a funeral, saw you two here." Ashlotte became saddened. "A funeral? Oh, I'm terribly sorry." They were soon on their way to the steady trod of hoof beats. "They buried the last of my kin yesterday." Andor told her, the carriage slowing. "Close to town now. Should arrive in another half hour." Rickie's emerald eyes were peeled the whole time, for upon their meeting Ashlotte sensed his distrust in the man. "Has there been any strange...disappearances?" She asked, expecting the same tight lipped response from Andor. "Not that I know. Once in a while there's some peculiar rumors swirling about in the tavern, but you know how that is. Drunkards seem to have quite the imagination." He chuckled some. "Ah. Here we are." The carriage came to a stop and they were aided out of the buggy. "Please, do go in and make yourselves at home. I have to water the horses and tie them up for the night. Will be back in a few." Ashlotte pushed the door in with caution, as her senses were fooled before by a most realistic appearing illusion. She smelled the scent of pine and saw a basket of blushing apples upon the table. "Help yourself.." Andor spoke, shutting them inside. "Made it back just in time. Starting to sleet out there. I don't know how some of these people could call the cold invigorating. Got to be a little touched in the head to go dancing out there in a snow storm, I figure." He got some wood from his indoor stock and started a fire, muttering about how depleted the pile was getting.

    "Pile like this should've lasted all winter long. Always used to. Now it's only a few months in and I have to chop some more." Rickie sat at the table, chomping an apple. "So, Mister Andor.." He started in between chews "Are you a spook or what?" Andor was so suprised at the child's question that he dropped an exceptionally heavy log of pine on his toes, announcing his pain in a yelp."I don't think so, anyway. I did visit a funeral yesterday but it wasn't my own." The house was filled with the warmth of the fire, and rabbit stew was cooking in the cauldron. "Does the boy have a name?" Rickie shot him a look as if he had been insulted, but Andor only grinned."Rickie." The autumn hued child spoke curtly, almost slamming down the remains of his apple. "Kid doesn't like me much, does he?" The question was asked loud enough for Rickie to hear, perhaps intending for him to feel guilty about it. "No, can say I don', Mister Andor. I don' like 'ticians very much." The man understood. "I'm a mortician. Tis my job, son. I also specialize in a unique hobby. you homes." Ashlotte's brow rose questioningly. "What are homes?" She would never recieve an answer to this most curious query, as her focus upon the male seemed to fade, and a vivid depiction of Queen Valerna's face filled her mind. "Uh, Andor....can you watch over Rickie for me? I must clear my head for a while..."She wouldn't hesitate in starting for the door, leaving both the kindly mortician and the boy to stare at one another in an awkward silence. "I must...continue on alone..."She said, almost as if under a hypnotic beckon.
    #4 Daniella_Belli, Sep 18, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2013
  5. The wailing and gnashing of teeth was like music to her ears, causing her to sway her hips as she twirled about the scene of chaos. Like a conductor in a grand orchestra her fingers dared to direct the flow of destruction and woe looming over the scene. An image once bleak, had fallen to a new lever of depravity as the Illithids one by one claimed the townsfolk, whatever resistance they sought to put out proved futile. The frivolity in their actions displayed by their inability to alter the inevitable spell of doom that slithered about them via tendril mouths. Watery cries of victory and pleasure erupted, like a saintly choir of Sheol easily echoing in the distance.

    The woman had fled, with a flick of her wrist she fended off the Illithids desire to take her by force. Perplexity puzzled them, as saliva bubbled under the influence of a frustrated growl. "This one is mine, I find little pleasure in claiming my prey without a chase." Valerna cooed, her arms folding; nuzzling against her defined core as she pivoted to face the sea of levitating minions. The once still victims stirred, rising to their feet as they peered at Valerna in admiration. The masters saw her as a Queen, and they as a Goddess. One by one the now empty vessels bowed before her, accepting fealty without question. This land of plague and death, a scene of hopelessness would find new purpose and direction under her rule. The mere thought of the land rising like a phoenix from smoldering ash was enough to tug on her luscious red lips, birthing the widest and most genuine of smiles.

    "My grace; shall we give chase now?" Jurn questioned, giving her enough time to put some distance between them. "No, that child is mine. She has offended me and must pay the price. Let the illusion of security by distance set in. And when she is countless miles away, like an apparition I shall once again melt into her sight." If Jurn could frown he would of, he was a man of action and results. The idea of twiddling his thumbs and putting off something they could resolve without delay; did little to sit well with him. His queen could sense the disposition swelling withing her tentacle faced children, a heavy sigh parting from her lips. "Do not fret my faithful children..." She paused, pivoting to face them once more as she opened her arms.

    "The child will lead us to civilization, I assure you all this...By the end of the hunt you will have far more thralls by this week then you originally planned!" She howled, as the cries of her now pleased minions reverberated across the scene, being coupled now with cries of Joy from their newly acquired thralls. They were overjoyed that others would soon be enlighten, blessed to feel the Gospel spewed forth by their tendril Lords and their Queen. "Be still my children, now is not the time to be rambunctious. Disciplineyourselves by restraining your excitement! Let us be off back to our home, to the spiral fort of Onyx...The center of this world!"

    Suddenly a gate erupted from the earth, a wall of shifting green and blue hued magic much like that of the sphere. Once it had formed and the unfamiliar runes adorned it's vivid visage. The looming lanky figures of the Illithid once more entered it's grip. One by one, they all Even Jurn and Valerna passed through with their new thralls. And as quickly as they had appeared, their influence dissipated. Leaving nothing but over thrown cart as a sign of a struggle.

    ----At the Onyx Tower.----
    Materializing out of thin air Valerna appeared, as those that served in the success of the assault bowed. Casually the ivory skinned beauty made her way to her amethyst throne, taking root as she motioned for them to rise. "Return to your post, return to your duties. It will not be long now before I will call for you all again." With that being said the thralls followed their masters, slaves soon to be put to work; fortifying the outside as well as building steel and war machines for the inevitable invasions. Crimson eyes peered into the void of the dark clouds, lightning darting across the heavens. As fumes of blacken smoke danced heaven bound. The smell of fire, the sound of steel friction against steel and the unmistakable tension before a great storm were all about her.
    Jurn however stood by her side, he was her adviser and body guard; though in truth he understood what little influence his position actually held over the dealings of his queen. "Can you sense her yet, it has been hours now." His voice as watery and otherworldly as ever. In truth Valerna had found the child long ago, the molten rock orb granting her a deep insight into the ripples she caused throughout fate and time. The Illithid himself loomed over her shoulder, trying to see what she sees in the orb. Though his eyes were inferior, far too physical in their perception to make anything out other then the spheres physical appearance. "What is it you see?" He questioned once more, his curiosity clouding his judgment.
    Enraged by the constant nagging and disturbance Valerna grabbed the Illithid by his throat, launching him across the room. Helplessly he collided with the harden polished floor, sliding across out as he let out a groan. Standing from her throne the orb hurled itself to the ceiling, as Valerna'a finger traced up her attire. The once beautiful and intricate fabric faded, as a more sinister one took it's place. Her pale upper body now shielded by chainmail that stopper just above her abdomen with a plated piece of ebony covering her bosom and her shoulders. Showing off her defined stomach and prowess as a fighter. Her arms now adorned in clawed gauntlets that could easily tear through flesh, a black leather skirt adorned her lower region as boots heavy protected from her feet to her knees.
    Horrified the Illithid watched as she stepped toward him, knowing any attempt to fight back would spell his doom. Effortlessly Valerna picked him up by his throat, clenching his flaccid neck tightly as she growled. Cutting off the flow of not air, but blood to the brain. "Do you dare question my competence!?" She hissed, slapping Jurn around a few times before dropping him. Gasping and holding his throat the Illithid weakly mustered a reply, "Never my grace..." His voice barely audible, yet his words did little to soothe her, with a powerful kick to the chest she sent him flying near the edge of the catwalk outside the tower. His ribs nearly shattering as the wind once more parted from his lungs.
    "I will spare you this time for one reason alone, you're my favorite jester. I muse how something so weak can think itself as grand. Next to me you have no authority, no power and no hope of life. But under the shadow my body now cast, you can find existence. Like a cockroach scurrying from the light, you can only hide from my wrath! Now be gone jurn, less my kind mood dissipates and my boots become stain with your putrid odor and vile blood!" Without protest he fled from her sight, returning to his duties organizing the massive library housed within the onyx fortress.
    Valerna remained outside, leaning against the railing of the catwalk as raven locks swayed to storms breeze. Here she waited, as the molten orb remained at her side. Occassional she'd peer into it, spying on her target as she flirted with how to best handle the disrespectful brat who eluded her. The notion of giving chase arousing her, causing her to chuckle as she painted a vivide mental image. The ancient sol vampire could only wonder how she'd react to seeing the queen once more. Would she fight, flee or try to reason? What pointless actions will she attempt, what idle cries would she spew on deafen ears?
    The hours passed into days, as Valerna peered into her orb, waiting for the opportune time. For sometime she watched the child closely, laughing as she witnessed her kind heart. A weakness that would be her undoing....
    The time had arrived, stepping into the throne room she cried. The sound of her harrowing call painting a daunting image to most, but to her faithful Illithids it was a cry of joy. With haste they left work behind, leaving the mundane task to their ever faithful thralls as they made haste to stand before their queen. Upon arrival the Illithids noted the sphere had already taken form and their queen was gone. Words needed not be exchanged, they knew all to well the message such an action displayed. Jurn stood amongst his brothers, his face swollen by the assault and his stance weaken as he trembled.
    "Our grace wishes to go first, for now we wait until such a time as we feel he wishes." The other Illithids nodded, though the wait would prove far more painful than originally expected.
    ----At the Woods.----
    "Alone?" The voice like chalk against a board would undoubtedly inspire goosebumps on Ashlotte form. As from the shadowed woods she crept, her unnaturally pale skin defiantly standing out as she melted into the light. "Calm down child, you need not be alone or continue alone. And this need not get violent....Swear fealty to me now and I will empower you to become a warden over the new order." She spoke matter of fact like, as if to subtly hint at the fact she had little choice or say in the matter. The sense of confidence about her proved heavy, almost intoxicating. As once more her words carried with them a hypnotic tone.
    "You have seen the death in this land no?" She questioned, closing the distance between them. "Without my intervention this realm will die; but from this bleak image I can restore hope. Through me purpose can be found, immortality, power and authority. Without me those you have met will die either from the plague or starvation." She explained, her words though true were a bit embellished in a sense of self import. No doubt the child would be taken back by this, for it was as if this plague was not of her doing. Though whether or not she'd believe Valerna's words remained to be seen.
    Stepping forward the distance was closed, as a tendril fired from her open palm, wrapping around her neck if she should fail to avoid it. "This tentacle is what makes me different than my misguided blood sucking brethren. Easily it can pull the soul from a body, nourishing me and bettering me. Do not fret I am not a monster, I respect my prey...for through their selfless deaths; I have become the woman you see before you today." She spoke, knowing her words would not be enough. Suddenly the Illithids appeared; hovering around the home like a vulture does a fresh carcass.
    "Just in time...So which will it be? Give me everything that you are, join my cause and accept fealty? Or will you watch as those in that home perish? The man will become my thrall and slave, while the child will be consumed so that I may become better. In your hands lie their fate, and your own. Think about it, the offer is quite generous." She grinned, those feral crimson eyes of hers peering into her as if to see the flood of emotions she must be feeling at the moment. "Before you run or fight ask yourself this...You have seen what my children can do? How they enslave all they touch, stripping them of free will and birthing the perfect fodder. Why have I not ordered them to do so to you? Surely they would if I merely wished it?"
    Valerna left her with that thought to consider, as well as the fate of those hanging on the edge. Grinning as the excitement only aroused her, causing her to bite down on her juicy lower lip. Unlike most, the queen enjoyed combat, relished it and found purpose through it. Death was her friend, always being a part of her from he moment she was born. From the moment her people first walked this earth. So why would she shun from it? Why would she deny her symbiotic relationship toward it?
  6. Ashlotte turned in Kiruku's direction before the waifish female could sneak up on her. "Hello, friend." She spoke a tender greeting, dark emotions conflicting with the unconditional affection she felt for her. "I felt you since before I could see you." Kiruku's tattered black cape billowed some in the glacial gale that seemed to now envelope them both in a tomb of cold. "What are you doing out here?" Tendrils of honey brown hair fell loose from the hood, settling about her face. Kiruku's carrot locks were blowing freely, she appeared to have been journeying for quite a while in windy weather conditions. "I had things to do." Ashlotte's companion spoke, rather curtly. "Well I do hope that you traveled well, friend." She replied with a nod, remembering her own ordeals. "I feel so bad that you had to take him, it wasn't his time." Ashlotte looked toward the twilight sky, reflecting sorrowfully. "Death is inevitable, just a fact of life. People are born only to die. I suppose the end justifies the means, after all. There are no such things as accidents, no bargaining. You, too, will realize this one day when I come for you."

    Kiruku responded, lacking emotion all together. Her words, no matter how true they were, were hollow. They were devoid of anything more than the soft enunciations of the Bard's hauntingly melodic voice. "I cannot offer one sympathies, I cannot console the poor souls I prepare myself to take. It is what it is." Ashlotte felt numb inside, apathy coiling about her heart like malignant ribbons, choking the sadness she felt for the loss of Rickie's brother, Max, and for the Mother. Kiruku would reveal that both Andor and Rickie had perished in a tragic accident, that one of the wheels to Andor's 'mobile home' project was crafted of inferior wood and splintered apart as the wagon was being steered upon a winding turn of a steep, icy mountainside. That they felt as though their lives were in jeopardy if they were to remain where they were, that some horrible force sought their destruction. "It was a rather irrational decision on Andor's behalf, but they tangled with Fate, and this ended their lives only moments ago. "I guided them to the very doorstep of the heavens." Ashlotte thought for s moment, then nodded softly."I...understand." A voice wholly foreign arised from the Empath's throat, mimicking the nothingness that was causing part of her, in the process of withering to simply die and fall away like the tears she had been crying. "I don't feel..anything." Fingers delicately removed the remnants of the salty liquid that streamed down her cheeks. "This is my purpose in life, to bring death to others. Surely you cannot be angry at me for doing my job."Kiruku added, feeling a bit inferior to Ashlotte's scrutinies. "You..are not coming for me now, are you?" She observed Kiruku, her tea colored eyes mirroring the objectivity that the dirge bringer was feeling. "I..hope not, but if it's my ti-" The slender Bard shook her head."No, not you, not yet. I speak this merely as a warning, for the omnipotent presence of death always lurks behind you."

    Her head was bowed at this moment, her emerald eyes closed. "I am sorry for your losses." The monotonous words slipped from her thin lips. "I do not speak these words to console you, Ashlotte, but should you find comfort in them, that's your business." The empath threw a sharp glance in her direction. "Apathy is like a poison, no? I do not feel a thing, not even a fragment of a damned emotion. It radiates off of you, and now it is inside of me. Perhaps I allowed it to infiltrate my being, perhaps I am tired of feeling the emotions of others. The pain, the sorrow. Even joy can be a tiresome emotion. I rarely am able to let my own feelings shine through. " Kiruku turned in the direction of town. "Would you like a cup of tea? I'm buying.." She slightly shook a satchel that contained her money, just enough to let the coins rattle." Oh, thanks but no thanks. Unless it's a strong drink you offer, I don't think I'm interested."

    "Anything you wish." Kiruku announced, her dry tone seemed to change the air around them, making Ashlotte's person feel quite uncomfortable. "Ugh, it's so dry out here, it's almost like the air is making all the moisture in my body evaporate." She said with a frown, the downward contortion forged of her lips was one out of habit, not of any particular negative emotion she had felt at that moment." Let us retire to the inn then." Kiruku replied, starting toward the clearing, but turned back. Something was amiss, she felt the energy of another dark inhabitant radiating nearby. She realized that if she were to linger around that she could somehow thwart the plans of Fate's design, so she would adjourn toward the tavern alone.

    Ashlotte looked upon Queen Valerna with not an ounce of fear in her heart this time, but with sheer indifference taking residence inside of her. She felt as though she no longer had a purpose, that she was no longer created in the likeness of the gods, and should not continue to toil for them. Valerna's proposition would be one amenable to her, the liklihood of her swearing fealty to this woman increased tenfold before she even thought to brandish her tentacle arm. "Yes. I have seen much death of this land." Her head shifted downward in a stiff nod, as Valerna departed her company. "....But, I believe that you can shape the world anew, in the likeness of your vision. That those deemed worthy of your choosing should not need suffer the blights of a land forsaken by the Gods. What do you wish of me?" She regarded Valerna's words numbly. "Realize in me the full potential of your vision. Shape of me...a soldier of your numerous army." She would then venture in the direction of the tavern, to meet up with Kiruku.


    She urged Ashlotte on, who uttered nothing in opposition to the idea of a strong imbibment. "Barkeep.." Ashlotte's gaze briefly fell upon every other inhabitant of the small tavern, her heart and mind no longer bombarded with the mental reflections of the people around her. Kiruku's apathy was was indeed a fortress of sorts, a seemingly impenetrable shield against all the other emotions she could possibly feel. "I'll have a cup of chamomile and I suppose Ashlotte will have a whiskey then?" Ashlotte didn't speak in protest for the type of drink mentioned, her mind reeling at the memory of the ghost named Chamomile. Before the drinks could be put upon the table, the empath snatched hers from the serving tray and downed it in a single gulp, almost spewing the pungent cocktail in a random direction.

    She called for another, and another, until her thoughts were only faded fragments due to intoxication. Kiruku's loose, orange locks swept her shoulders as she turned toward a slovenly individual, his obese frame slumped over the tabletop as the leftovers of his mead poured to the floor. It was quite obvious that the alcohol got the best of him, the sounds of snoring rattling in his throat. The Bard left Ashlotte for a moment, seeking the company of this once knightly man. "Are you trying to escape your past, or your present?" Taking a seat next to him, she leaned in close with a soothing tone no matter how hollow her words were. "You will finally be at peace, once gallant knight. You will no longer be burdened by earthly problems." The drunkard awoke at this, his eyes wide with fright as he realized what she meant. In an attempt to move away from her reach, he tripped over the table leg that was in the way and fell to the floor with a loud thud. His metal cuirass dented in an irreparable manner as it made contact with the old floorboards, his own armor working against him as the newly damaged steel made a shiv to stab him. The metal easily pierced his lung, and Ashlotte, along with the rest of the patrons, couldn't help but to witness his death helplessly. The sounds of the dying man seemed to echo in her mind, bouncing off the walls of the labyrinth of her brain. The wheezing finally stopped as he struggled to take in in his last breath. "And one more."

    Kiruku left the man's side and approached the hall, ascending the small set of stairs effortlessly. A few moments passed and she returned, leaving an aged, ghostly pale woman where she lay in her rented room. It seemed evident that she had been fighting the effects of some sort of poison, but the toxin proved too strong for her body to combat. Could it have been an accident, murder or suicide? Kiruku knew not. It wasn't up to her to investigate the means of death, but if she or another had used poison as a tool, death would then simply be a consequence of one's choice to intake the tampered liquor, after all. Her wrinkled mouth wore a blueish hue, as if the old woman painted herself up in a strange fard, or her mouth had been stained with blueberry juice. " I do this in the name of Azriel Yula Atone.." She spoke quietly with her head bowed, as if she were speaking a prayer. Ashlotte regarded her silently until the carrot topped female's words died upon her lips, her gaze settling upon the shuddersome young woman. "I have never head that name spoken. Well, I assume it to be a name. Does the name belong to a God, perhaps?" Kiruku's brilliantly shining, jewel green eyes met Ashlotte's. "Yes. You should show reverence, respect. You wouldn't wish to be placed in exile by her followers, or cursed by her her very lips. I was cursed by her..."

    The Bard turned away from Ashlotte, her gaze fixating upon a slivered piece of wood on the wall. "I heard of another having been cursed by the spells she uttered. It's really not wise to upset her." Ashlotte nodded. "I'll take your advice into consideration. Is this why you bring death to others?" Her brow rose, and she pondered such an idea. "Yes. For far too long I sat back and watched people die, people that could have survived if I had lifted a finger to help them. I watched my entire family die, my clan, too, had perished. But they all had did me wrong in one way or another, so I held on to my grudges when the time came for me to give them assistance. My hands were full with the grudges, you see, and I didn't drop them. If I had, they may have survived." Kiruku turned back toward Ashlotte, staring blankly at her beautiful face. "But.. I don't quite understand." Ashlotte shook her head, allowing her slightly wavy golden brown locks to move about her shoulders and back. "What does this have to do with killing people now?" The frightened patrons ceased all talking and a strange hush fell within the the tavern. It was an errie quietude, where one could hear a pin drop if one such fell. "It has -everything- to do with killing people now. Kiruku spat through clenched teeth, although anger wasn't present in her to change her uncompassionate demeanor. "I will not perish. I've longed to, to be interred by the cliffside. But no, death will never come for me. Instead, I have to witness the sorrow of the families of whom I take, I have to listen to the pleas of those who bargain and beg for me not to take them. Eternally, I have to turn a deaf ear to those pleas and bargainings, always to remember my own tresspasses. I repent all the time for my sins, but I will never be relieved of my duties. It doesn't matter if the poor souls are mostly pure or not, because everyone sins. I am the consequence of their tresspasses."

    Ashlotte rose then, bits and pieces of fury filtering through the apathy that encased her inner being. Her delicate right fist slammed down upon the table making her wince as she caught a knuckle upon the edge. "So this gives you the right to wipe out entire cities, towns and villages without so much as blinking an eye? Death is a tool of justice? How can you call this justice?" She seethed, catching the attention of the drunken crowd. The Barkeep contemplated throwing her and Kiruku to the street, no matter how much he agreed with Ashlotte. If his tresspasses were suddenly revealed to Kiruku, he would be next to perish. He didn't want that, so he remained in an aggravated silence. Ashlotte took a seat, reviled by Kiruku's confessions to her. "How... what sins could Rickie have commited? What sins could he have committed that would call for the punishment of death?" Kiruku's right hand snaked out toward her, fingers clasping a twig-like wrist. "Then don't look at it that way. Death cleanses the soul. Try to see it as such." This angered Ashlotte further, her fists shotting toward the ceiling. "What sort of -Goddess- would bestow such a negative gift upon you? Perishing is the ultimate absolving? I don't believe such nonsense! She is no Goddess of mine. Queen Valerna is my-" The Bard, peering about anxiously whilst Ashlotte's fury was ever growing in her speech, suddenly shushed the young empath. "The Goddess may be listening.." Kiruku warned, Ashlotte paying no mind to the urgency in her voice. "She would -eavesdrop- on our conversations? Fine! Let her hear us! She can't curse us all if we unite in our cause!"

    The audience of drunkards soon dissipated, some stumbling out into the streets, some heading upstairs to sleep off he effects of their alcohol consumption. The common room was then ghostly quiet, until the sound of a woman's scream broke the silence. "We need an undertaker." She announced in a garbled tone, heavily butchering her words. "I..can't..sleep.." The disheveled blonde had lost her bonnet in the commotion, too intoxicated to realize she was without headwear. She fell over in an inebriated sleep.
    "It's not all me, you know. I bring death as to cleanse one's soul. There are others who bring death to gratify themselves, or to gratify others in their greed or whatever. You have seen it yourself that there are those who kill for personal gain. Some have a greedy or blackened heart, and just wish others to die with curses or hexes. This is why bounty hunters, assassins, and bandits exist. Unfortunately it is -my- hand that does the job, though. Behind every knife thrust, every poisoning, or arson. My hand guides it all." Ashlotte beheld her as if the Deathbringer had gone daft. Death was -guided- somehow by -her hand-? Ashlotte Took several moments to escape into her mind, the perplexities of what she'd heard were wrapping about her like chains weighing her down. Then, just as if a bolt of lightning was cast from the heavens to jolt her being, she saw Kiruku standing over two bodies. They were tossed from the wagon, their bodies strewn upon the roadside as if they were carelessly discarded ragdolls.

    She seemed far away, as if space and time were culprits separating them. She saw their lifelines, two thin, silver threads which still had tied their spirits to their fleshy forms. Kiruku came into view, manifesting of both darkness and light. Of both shadows and the radiant rays of the sun. Her morbid melody would end their mortality. As the vibrations of her humming traveled up the chords of those threads which had still bound them into existence, she had sung no words, but the the ghostly tune had become a death knell, and the lifelines were then severed without the need of manually doing so with an implement of any sort. The wagoneer that was recently met, and Rickie. The child she had fostered as she continued about on her journey. Kiruku took their lives. So what had gripped Kiruku so, that clad her in jittery shakes? Her friend spoke nothing to her, and seemed to lock her secrets in a chest that was cast into the innermost depths of a turbulent sea. Ashlotte frowned, again, her facial contortions in a transition of adjusting to but withered remanants of emotion, reflecting on Kiruku's mannerisms.


    Ashlotte had become a hermit with minimal interaction with anyone. The only contact she had with another living soul was when she entered town in which to make purchases in order to sustain her life. She spoke to none, and didn't linger to see the sights. After several months of this, her empathic gifts were stifled under the weight of apathy in her heart. She felt dead within, remnants of decomposing emotions that she couldn't quite bury. Once she found herself staring out of her window to look upon the sunlight, silently watching how the rays of light gently awakened the roses in her flowerbox, blankets of snow began to melt upon the ground. It was a sign that spring had conquered the harsh winter at last. She suddenly found herself humming a strange tune, oblivious to where it had come from. It was a rather haunting melody, muted of all joy befitting such an occasion. However, it was strangely beautiful in all of it's mundane glory. The sound seemed to creep ever nearer, until it seeped through all the cracks and crevasses of her abode and wrapped about her small form, instantly seeming to weaken her. She stumbled to her rocking chair, where she gazed upon the sparse decorations of the interior of her home. "Don't get up on my account. I'll let myself in." Ashlotte heard an oddly familiar voice say.

    The door opened without any physical force to welcome Kiruku inside. The music ceased. "I've come for you, albeit not your time." She moved toward the frail young woman, who now couldn't even bid her lips to speak in opposition. "It is a shame, but you have done this to yourself. It is truly a gift you awaken each morning, which you have witnessed with your own flowerbox. You have squandered your life away hiding from others." The bard emitted a sardonic chuckle. "Interactions that could have touched your life somehow, or with you being a nessesary piece to the puzzle to touch theirs. A smile or a few words from you that could have brightened their day, or some sort of action from you that could have saved their life. Our lives are but tests, filled with choices along the way. You chose to shut yourself in from the world." With that, the honey brown headed woman began to die, her body shutting down much like the death of her soul. She felt her breath rattling in her throat, thick, gooey phlegm acting as a blockade of which prevented her sucking down air into her lungs. She felt as if she were a fish out of water, falling from her chair and flopping about on the floor. Her lungs felt as if they were greatly expanded balloons, the both of them being pricked by countless little needles.

    Then the pain subsided, and hands roamed her petite stature to ensure that she was still in flesh and body. "That is you -would- die, if you don't see the error of your ways. I apologize that we couldn't have met again on better terms but I have a job to do that I cannot overlook, not even for a friend." Kiruku aided a suffocated Ashlotte back to her seat. "I know what you're thinking. How could a song have such an adverse effect on me? Well, my very -voice- is a death knell. It worked without issue, did it not?" The black clad Bard ogled Ashlotte, whom was preoccupied with inhaling as much oxygen as her lungs were able to be filled against the fit of coughing. "By the Gods, who do you think you are to come here with a lecture and death in your arsenal? If it isn't my time, then leave me be. You know where the door is, but I doubt you even would need such an exit. You could probably just dissipate out of here like smoke, huh?" The words flowed over her throat like a bed of glass upon flesh. "Just leave me be, you accursed creature!" Kiruku's hand shot out as to steady the enraged female, whose body still wore an ashen pallor. "You'll be fine soon enough. The trauma to your lungs won't cause any permenant damage, so why be so angry with me? I am not to blame, wench. If you keep on this very path you trod through life, you'd end up taking an eternal dirt nap anyway, if you were so lucky as to be found and buried. Most likely your dilapidated home would become your coffin, and your flesh fodder for scavengers. I was doing you a favor, after all." Ashlotte slapped the other female's hands away, and rose as to shoo her nearer to the door.

    "Shouldn't you be killing those that actually have committed tresspasses? I've done nothing to warrant death!" Kiruku's presence suddenly looked menacing, not the dainty elfish guise she usually presented. "And shutting yourself away from the world is indeed executing a grievious sin unto the Gods. You, like all the others I have taken, have committed an act infernal. They perished for those acts, have been weighed and measured and found wanting." Ashlotte started toward the fire, having sought to make for herself some tea to calm her nerves. "How could you sit on your high horse, carrying out the dirty work for your Goddess?" Kiruku had seen what she planned, and reached the kettle before Ashlotte was half way there. "One lump or two?" Her voice had closed in the gap between them, whilst she was pouring steaming hot water in a cup for each of them. "You have denied your gifts, dear." It was meant to be as patronizing as she spoke it. "In turn, you do nothing to benefit mankind with the gifts you allowed to wither and die. You are nothing to this world other than unused space, unessasary space." A frown saddened Ashlotte's delicate visage. "Is that perhaps why you stole Rickie's life? Would he have grown up to be nothing more than wasted space? You said it yourself that life is but different paths and choices. You have robbed him of that power, Kiruku. You even robbed yourself of that power, being a puppeteer of the Goddess."

    The strong smell of cinnamon wafted upon a waves of steam, filling the knook with the saliva inducing scent of apple pie. "I didn't see chamomile, so I thought this would suffice." After allowing her tea to cool some, Kiruku took a sip, testing both the temperature and taste. "I would prefer not to associate myself with anything related to that word, so I no longer buy tea of that flavor."Kiruku placed her cup upon the saucer, appearing to no longer be interested in the tea."Oh, I see. But to relate back to the subject of dire importance, to be put simply, it was Rickie's time. It wasn't yours. I don't commit murder. I can't. If I did, that would then be deemed a mortal sin, an act most infernal. The Goddess would smite me for certain." It was Ashlotte's turn to take a taste of her tea. The cinnamon seemed to put her off her appetite, and she returned the pungent beverage to it's saucer.

    "Would you accompany me to town? I know this place that makes an excellent lamb shank, served with a generous dollop of mint jelly. It's superb, if my opinion counts for anything. There really is no reason to starve on my account." Ashlotte dismissed Kiruku's offer with a shake of her head. For the first time in a long time, she thought of Queen Valerna and the vow she made into the woman's service. She thought of calling out her name, proudly boasting it before the likes of her companion. She smiled softly, rising from her seat. "Queen Valerna!" She proclaimed the name of the woman she wished to see, her gaze yearning to once again meet those inhuman, sanguineous eyes. Kiruku attempted to stifle her, a hand raising as to clamp over Ashlotte's mouth. "Do not dare, even in jest, do not dare to invoke that ungodly creature into your home!"
  7. It seemed that her time traversing this plagued land finally opened the child's mind to reasoning. A sick sadist smirk now plastering itself on her porcelain toned face as she circled the now complying vessel. Something wasn't right though, despite having accomplished her goal, Valerna didn't feel at ease. It wasn't victory she felt, nor was it defeat. The emotion stirring inside of her wasn't something she could express through dialect. No; what she felt festering inside of her was something new something she dare not focus on for long. With a quick shake of her head, she'd rid herself of such vain and idle thoughts. Her raven locks bouncing side to side due to the sudden motion. From luscious lips drifted a heavy sigh, as it finally dawned on her...Another had been here.

    This being was unknown, neither human nor mer, living nor dead. An enigma much like herself; however it at the same token it was oddly familiar. Rather than speak of it the queen reflected over it; permitting the Ashlotte to run off to the tavern. She didn't do so out of kindness, though she could of easily of snatched her away to her swarthy abode. Instead she let her go for investigative reasons, for whomever Ashlotte wanted to see...was undoubtedly the presence whose aura lingered deathly in the air. "Be off my pretty dove, show me who else was here..." She whispered, barely audible as she waved her Illithids off for now. With much regret the tendril faced men descended to the earth, taking refuge in the foliage and shadows. Here they would wait until such a time as their queen beckoned them.

    From afar those unnatural crimson eyes watched as the child entered the tavern. Its foul stench of sweat, alcohol and self loathing filled her every breath. But perhaps what stood out the most was the unmistakable presence of death. From a stained window she watched, treading lightly as she crept around the structure. Her eyes witnessing the idle bantering between the two ladies, as well as the inevitable death of a used up knight. His giving of the ghost didn't so as much evoke a twitch of the muscles, for she was far too fixated on the strange woman. It didn't take long for her to realize what manner or creature this lady was; in fact it dawned on her in minutes. She was an agent, an agent of death.

    It had been sometime since she met a reaper of sorts, the last was a foolish male who tried to claim her soul as payment for "eluding death." Ever since then her standing amongst any agent of death or justice as some fancied themselves, have been far from pleasant. Justice; the very word conjures disgust within Valerna. The word often abused, an excuse for someone to push their warped opinions on others. Good and Evil though undeniably they exist, were at best intangible concepts with definitions varying from person to person. These agents were nothing more than misguided bigots, suffering from an over inflated role. But they were generally quite powerful...claiming most with ease and without struggle.

    Content she was to stay in the shadows, watching from afar as her new toy finished her business; but her position changed once she heard the cries from Ashlotte. Though Valerna was chaotic by nature, she still had her principles and laws. As well as pet peeves that really managed to get under her tolerant ivory skin. The biggest offense one could cause her, was destroying what was hers. Being greedy by nature she desired the world; as well as a few other indulgences. To kill her tools was the same as to steal from her; thus undermining her authority and prowess. A bold and dangerous move even for an agent of death.

    Many might think themselves safe as these walls served as a barrier from the outside world; but the truth was hardly so comforting. To her this structure was nothing but a minute obstacle; and though she could of entered the door, Valerna preferred an entrance far more theatrical. Within her energy stirred, as the ancient bloodline coursing through her veins began to boil. From the black lines adorning her abnormally pale face crimson smoke crept. Enraged she stomped her foot, a shock wave of energy uprooting nearby brush, shatter glass as well as the flimsy wooden wall between her and Ashlotte. Debris flew every which direction, as furniture was launched across the room shattering on the other walls.

    The floor boards creaked, as their once healthy glow faded, as what could be described as the skin of the wood peeled drifting to the cieling. All light was swallowed from the ground, as an endless void of darkness now seemed to stand before them. With hands in her pockets Valerna was lifted into the structure, not by her own legs or force; but by giant tendrils that have begun to form within the darkness. "It is unwise to touch what isn't yours. Or to damage what is mine. Death Knell; agent of death...Be gone or I will snuff out your life as I have others before you. You may think yourself as immortal; but you are anything but. The body may be enduring; never aging and nigh indestructible but the mind is seldom as resilient."

    Her words frigid, carrying with them not the harmonious melody of before. No; something far more insidious lingered on each syllable. From the darkness that engulfed the tavern eyes appeared as if floating in the void, and on the end of each tendrils that flung wildly about mouths riddled with razor sharp fangs. "These people are not meant to die here...I see it in the tapestry of fate. They are meant to leave this day alive...But what if none of them did while under your watch? Many think death to be absolute, defying its appointed time and will to be foolish. Ending any hope one may have of obtaining a peace of mind. The problem is people talk and think a lot; sadly it's mostly mindless dribble and bullshit. I often choose to live in misery; as oppose to die with hope when faced with the natural order and the role you pompous children play."

    Her words were without fear, with knowledge and an undying sense of conviction. Almost as if she spoke not out of her ass; rather from personal experience.
    #7 The Underdark Rises, Sep 18, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 18, 2013
  8. The Elf would merely balk at Valerna's warning, rolling her eyes at the abrasive words. The Sol Vampire's unpleasant demeanor didn't cause for trepidation to reside within the female, however she felt as though she was losing the affections of Ashlotte. If Valerna indeed sought to drive a wedge between them, it seemed as though her actions were the correct way to go about ushering in conflict. "Death doesn't delay, and neither shall I." She nodded to Ashlotte, her gaze shifting to Valerna warily. Ashlotte watched her long time companion exit, the slamming of the door inspired thoughts of their strained friendship, as if she were closing the door on a chapter in their lives.

    "What do you wish of me, Mistress?" She surrendered upon bended knee, bowing her head. Her heart and mind was in turmoil, but she realized the only way to alleviate the discomforting feelings was to sever her concentration upon thoughts of Kiruku. She felt naught except a strange numbness dwelling within her, as her gaze never faultered from the woman she was still rather unfamiliarized with.

    Kiruku sighed, looking back to the house Ashlotte had taken up residence. It burdened her mind greatly, even though Valerna had not obtained the loyalties of her pal through coersion, or threats of bodily harm. No, it was through well-woven verses, petty words which to Ashlotte somehow flourished with profound meaning. For the first time in all of her life, she felt an intense sadness inhabit her, eyes shining with the dampness of tears.
  9. What rabble, the arrogance of this entity proved far too nauseating for Valerna's own liking. Death can not be stopped, this much she knew as truth. But Death can be delayed, warded off momentarily. And if she had fended off the fangs of death before; then surely she could potential crush this one. In silence she pitied the creature as all it could do was momentarily withdraw itself from her piercing gaze. The once shadowed veil that had claimed the structure faded, slithering back into the body of the Sol vampire queen. Tendrils once firm and tall turned to charcoal ash, staining the once polished wooden floor boards with heaps of blacken dust. "What a strange creature." She hissed, luscious lips contorting as a smirk now displayed itself on her ivory toned visage. The frigid woman spoke not out of admiration, her smirk birthed not from a sense of awe or wile. Rather it was conceived from a genuine sense of pity for the misguided woman.

    The display of her power had served it's purpose, fending off the unwanted guest. Though in truth a part of the swarthy woman wanted nothing more than to dispose of the self righteous lady. Heavy sigh now parted from full lips, as she pivoted to face Ashlotte who now could be seen falling to the ground. Beads of sorrow now trailing down her soft face as her new pet seemed greatly trouble. But despite her own inner disposition, the young woman attempted to hold together what little resolve and strength she could muster. Rather than crying out shrills of woe and despair, she instead uttered her desire to serve. Such fealty wrought with it an undeniable sense of integrity. Hailing not from blind servitude, rather respect that had been merited in her now tear filled eyes.

    Most might expect such a cold and callous woman like Valerna to punish or mock the sight of such weakness. However despite being a nefarious queen she still was a woman first, and at times her motherly heart tugged in defiance. Leading her to act rather warmly toward those she put stock in and valued. Something about this Ashlotte failed to sit well with her; what was it that clouded her logic? What spell did this child weave on her that altered her usual approach she wondered. Looking upon her she felt an unknown factor festering within her, an emotion she had never known nor could express. And it was this feeling that secretly chipped away at her, filling her shriveled and onyx heart with uncertainty and dread.

    The sound of her boots, the creaking of wood under her strain for the moment were all the greeted Ashlotte. Her hips swaying in perfect seductive tune with the rest of her body, spewing forth pheromones that were often associated with her blood sucking kin. Predators who seduce and beguile their target before draining their blood. Such an approach was below the queen, she preferred to handle her meals with muscle and relish in the thrill of the hunt. Being dominate by nature such an act, albeit littered with perversion proved the most fulfilling. And though she hungered, her cells craving the energy of Ashlotte's own; Valerna maintained her composure and control.

    Instead dropping to a knee, placing her soft porcelain hands against her tear stained cheeks. Caressing it lightly as a soft "shh" drifted from her mouth. This poor child was pinned against two worlds, the life she had known...and the life she truly lusted for. A burden that would completely crush a lesser woman, yet Valerna had faith like a phoenix from the ashes she'd rise once again. "Why do you cry?" She questioned, her hands drifting downward toward her chin, raising her head so that their eyes locked. Those deep eyes of crimson peering into her own as if seeking an elusive answer.

    "Your queen is here, I will permit no harm to come to you my sweet dove." She purred, grabbing her hands and pulling them together before standing up. Helping the sadden child to her feet. "You are not like most the rabble of this world. You are like a flower dangling over cliffs edge. All those passing by admire you, but few can muster the courage to step forward and stroke your dew kissed petals. But all are force to appreciate the courage...the courage that is the Flower on cliffs edge." Weaving a rather profoundly yet poetic tale that stood in contrast when compared to her normal dialect.

    Valerna had begun to figure out what made this child so different, and as the pieces came together she understood what she'd have to do to test her hypothesis. "Come now my Ashlotte, let us begone from this terrible place. The drink, food and company are beneath us. Let us wa--" But before she could finish a man busted into the door holding a pitchfork in hand. No doubt the owner of this place. "Your the witch who conjured the darkness!" Two other men stood behind him, each brandishing a club. Irritated by their disturbance the Queen offered them a gaze that petrified them.

    Their muscles were heavy and stiff as she stretched her hands toward them firing three tendrils; each drilling into their skulls. Helplessly they convulsed as the color of their hair faded, their skin aging rapidly as their energy escaped their body. As quickly as it started it was done, the tentacle retracting into her body as their corpses fell to the ground. The hole in their skulls closing up leaving only now mummified carcasses as proof of the event. "Sorry about that my dear, Let us go for a walk. The air shall do us both good, and I have something to show you." She concluded, as the patrons screamed at the sight of their bodies. Fleeing the institution...
  10. Raising her head, the Empath's tawny gaze became fixated upon the face of her Queen, her brow furrowing as if she were trying to read any underlying sentiment her features could produce, from a quirk of her lips to the flaring of her nostrils and whatever other muscular flinch that should occur. She knew that under Valerna's guidance, she would blossom into something anew, if not merely improved of her former self. It seemed as if this woman displayed compassion, reflecting but a heartfelt gesture to her plight. Ashlotte's lips quivered, as Valerna's visage neared her own, the chill of the woman's fingertips soothing away her tears. It was when her mind filled with wonder to Kiruku's whereabouts that Ashlotte urged herself backward, a gasp sliding uncomfortably down her slender throat. Would Valerna see it as a terrible grievance in some way, that she wished her her former friend well in her endeavors? Where was Kiruku? Surely the Deathsinger would have a moments respite from prompting the living to expire, but then would she pick up and leave this region forever as to return to her native land? One ear keen to the woman's words, she couldn't help but attune the other to signs of Kiruku's possible return. It wasn't until the sounds of commotion overlapped Valerna's speech that Ashlotte was shaken from her contemplation, her hands boldly positioned before the form of her Queen in a manner to fend off an oncoming attack, or take the brunt of it, if need be.

    As she took a hearty sip of the stiff beverage, she inspected the Bartender's countenance for anything threatening. Kiruku sighed, feeling herself falling under the spell of intoxication before the contents of her glass even reduced by a fraction. "What is your name, fellow?" The seat swung out from beneath her, causing her body to move in an inelegant gyration as she tried desperately to balance upon her toes. "I suppose I shouldn't partake of the Devil's brew." Laughter danced upon her lips, and she made her way back to the seat. The Bartender would not indulge her with formalities nor display a wrinkle upon his face to her drunken antics.The strange emulsion of lavender liqueur gave her the confidence to speak freely, her incoherent babble flowing without reservation. She placed a hand upon his shoulder, leaning in. "Town folks are cursed, you know." Her artless words continued to flow as did the liqueur to refresh her glass.

    She thought of Valerna, her virulent tongue abounding of cheap deceptions, twisting about like a serpent lying in wait. "Minstrel! Strike up a chord to rile up the stupored souls! You'll earn not a pence with a silent lute!" Intending the command toward the recumbent Bard, her dizzied mind hadn't realized that she was assaulting his ear with her voice of increased decibel.She awkwardly sauntered behind him, attempting to appear as composed and womanly as possible in the presence of this winsome individual. But, what of the rapid state the town seemed to unravel due to some wicked affliction cast upon the community? Was this Valerna solely responsible for the degradation of it? These rather perplexing questions seemed to itch the lobes of her inebriated brain, as though an earwig were chomping away at her thoughts. She knew not how to save Ashlotte from the peril she willingly contracted herself into, but she knew of one which would possibly lend assistance, for a price.
  11. The vampire queen was no fool, she understood well that the foolish agent of death would reveal herself soon enough. Her departure was not that of defeat, rather it was of a woman possessing conviction. A person whose path was set before them...a path they themselves are not proud to traverse down. Say whatever you may about her arrogance, but Valerna did respect her spirit. A spirit she couldn't want to shatter once she binds her in ethereal chains. The very though alone was enough to inspire a chuckle, though one might surmise it was also partly due to the energy she devoured from those foolish men who disturbed her so carelessly and without regard for their own life.

    Curiously she watched as Ashlotte stepped in front of her, as if to shield her from an oncoming attack. An act though unnecessary still proved quite pleasing and stroked Valerna's ego. Gently she'd wrap her arms around her waist, holding her tight as she whispered softly into her ear. "Shush my Ashlotte, be silent for a few" Her hot moist breath teasing her lower left lobe, as the sounds of armor clanking and the door being flung open reverberated from off the walls. Suddenly seven armed guards stormed the room, each taking note of the disfigured corpses, shivering lightly as they thought about what manner of beast could do this.

    Despite being in the same room and looking their general direction the Guards were unaware of their presence it seemed. "They must have fled?" One of them shouted, as the other guards cursed under their breaths. "My Ashlotte watch closely, let me show you what separate us from them." She whispered, still holding her close. Suddenly the guards all looked at each other, each seeing a monster as they began to scream. "What trickery!" One bellowed, "A trap?" One pondered, "Nay, we must be infected with a curse." Silence stirred between them for a moment as they struggled to understand or come to term with what is happening.

    From their perspective the men appeared normal, but little could Ashlotte know what she was witnessing was indeed complete hypnosis at work. After deliberation the guards drew their blade, and glanced at one another. "For the glory!" They all yelled before thrusting the blade between the slits of their neck armor, blood spattering inside of their iron casing as they dropped to the ground helplessly. "They did as I commanded, weak minded creatures they were. Using their own honor and beliefs against them, they danced for for us like puppets on a string. It is beautiful isn't it...The pools of blood around their corpses." A wry old grin adorning her ivory skinned face before letting go of her new ally.

    "I know you must be worried for your friend...Do not worry I promise I won't kill her needlessly. I'd much rather keep her as a trophy before I do that." She replied addressing the weighted concern obviously about her. Walking beside her she'd hold her hand, tugging her toward the door littered with corpses. "Come on...Let us go for a walk. There is something I want to show you...something you must do for me."
  12. Kiruku's viridian gaze surveyed the other patrons, the bluish hue which stained their lips would reveal truth to her suspicions. These people were slowly dying, further relinquishing their souls upon each sip they took of their drinks. She turned from them, in disgust, but in realizing that her visit to the tavern was not just recreational, but out of duty as well. Carrot colored locks were tousled as she shook her head, her gaze lifting back toward them as she continued to observe the folks ignorantly ensuring their demise. Kiruku would rise with rigid posture, looking to the Bard she'd previously had a flirtatious encounter with. "You'll surely perish if you intake another sip, for it is imbued with a magick that curdles the blood." Kiruku eyed the man surrepticously, turning her focus upon the inhabitants of the inn as a whole. They were the victims of an unrelated occurrence, idle hands breeding murderous plots in the mind of someone fueled by the sheer tedium of the town. "The wines overunneth with poison!" She announced to the rather catatonic lot.

    Not a brow was quirked to the shocking discovery. It was as if she had stood before an audience of maniquines designed by a master crafter in how lifelike they seemed. She rolled her eyes, moving about in a gesture of kindness to close their gaping maws so that flies would be restricted from entry. She lowered her head, announcing her name to the group of moribund souls. "I am Kiruku, and I've come to collect you all. Worry not, for the rapture of death shall end momentarily." She then approached the bar, understanding now why the man seemed to regard her so coldly. His fingertips clad of the same cyan discoloration, she deduced that toxins enriched this man's blood as well. He was dying all the while and yet she failed to notice. Her personal burdens were beginning to interfere with her job. She could not allow this to continue, however she knew that she was preparing to play a most sinister game, in resorting to the employ of demons.

    "Queen V- Valerna.." Ashlotte stammered, having remembered how good the woman's embrace felt, their bodies marrying together for the beautiful interlude between death and destruction. She stood amidst the battlefield abloom with blood and gore, unafraid, for Valerna's hand grasped her own. As her friend was mentioned, all she could do is nod, for swearing fealty to this woman meant she had to cleave to her, and thus abandon those of her past. Memories always fade in time, absence makes naught the heart grow fonder. Instead, it withers into nothingness. She reminisced of Kiruku one last time, as Valerna urged her onward through the fallen bodies, before all recollections were to be interred in the great Necropolis of her mind, a containment for useless knowledge.


    Iamora was sown of the seeds of iniquity, and borne of the blood of a malignant, sinful mankind. Her ageless countenance was a perfectly formed guise of a ten year old girl, her flaxen locks tied in place at the sides of her head by black ribbons. She delighted in the abuse of the others, the evil which had taken residence within the walls of the institution. She beheld the others with abyssal black eyes, and thought back to her mother. She was of a different time, different realm of existence, but Iamora could easily fit in a more modernized era. She would take her mother's place as best she could, within the Devil's playground she would become a leader, orchestrating the others, tendrils of malevolence reaching the minds and hearts of her peers. They would soon become enthralled to this evil, black stains left by her mother's paw ensnaring their souls, Iamora would open these plagued children's eyes to a whole new world of deviltries, wickedness.She stood in the corner, her features not marred by the perpetual sneer her mother wore, but adopting a mask of no emotion.

    She clutched the remains of the stuffed teddy bear she could not be parted with, the lower extremities of the plush toy was ripped clean off by the doctor in an attempt to separate her of it. It would be studied, and then cast in the incinerator as if in some sort of exorcisim, to relieve her of such an impurity of innocence. She had attacked the doctors before, in a fury of small, black talons and jagged teeth. Her powers were somehow shut away within the confines of the bastille created within her. The treatment to rid her of them failed, but they only existed by small, fragile threads which were growing stronger everyday. The torment of mankind was the key to unlocking her power. She was a sadistic waif of a girl, but the temptations of the children was allowing more of her power to seep out in small doses. Desire. They all had their innermost desires, this would turn to sin.

    A glistening black tongue peeked out from slightly parted black painted lips. Iamora was doll like in stature, her immaculate features thinking of finely crafted porcelain. Although they have succeeded in almost stripping her of her most maleficent gifts, she still had a few she could have fun with. The rubious eyes of her crippled stuffed bear shone like sanguineous stars, gleaming through the darkened area she now sat, a pose uninterrupted by bodily movement. The youth observed her surroundings mostly in silence, the cottony entrails of her toy falling to the floor like it was a victim of some sort of dolly disembowelment. She no longer possessed the knowledge of how to weave the mortal sins like Anger and Gluttony into existence, but it would suffice for now that she could influence others of the more venial ones like Vanity.

    As her mother had shown her, it could become a most destructive force in the frail minds of humankind. Her forebearer known as Ravenwitch had ended worlds which transcended space and time, crippling the spirits of humans with sin and the other powers she possessed. Surely an offspring of the embodiment of Hell would hold such power for herself. Iamora's gaze, the color of pitch, now fell upon a Nurse whose face was boldly a few inches from her own. She was being physically shaken from her reverie, the vision was crumbling into nothingness as the rocks of the cliff side would tumble into the sea. Her upper arms being restrained by the vice like grasp of the Nurse's hands, she had not the strength to break free of her assailant. Instead, a voice flowed from the girl, one which would be foreign for a child. It was one of another, long ago.

    The sound of her utterances would usually strike the audience blind and deaf, if they were to even survive hearing it. She sought not to kill anyone, not yet. She would leave this to the other children, unfortunate souls that would be emboldened with sin. She was not a vessel of which the human soul would spend eternity in the wrath of the ever consuming fires, but she did not envy her mother. Now as she looked upon the frozen face of the Doctor's assistant, the fear was like a paralytic toxin seizing the woman's voice and features, Iamora's lips adopted a slight smirk, a look of amusement. She spoke the words which would plant the seeds of Vanity within the woman, leaving them to flourish within this pitiful creature.

    There was much she could mold and shape of this, as the Nurse was rather obese, a result of her ravenous appetite that was never quite satiated. Iamora had felled many a human being having wielded Gluttony, which was among her most favored of sins. She didn't even need to infect this creature, the woman was influenced of her own will after all. The hungry maw within the Nurse had made a wreck of her figure, the voracity she had given into for so long was forged into existence of her own thoughts. Whilst the woman's peers were rather fair of face compared to her, she had never taken the time to truly observe how the flesh sagged upon her face, the texture of her flesh closely of overly sun dried leather. She was fat and ugly. Most she would interact with had held their tongues, feigning a politeness in her company to give her some sort of compliments on her appearance. Now Iamora's abyssal gaze acted as mirrors, reflecting the true visage of the Nurse. "" She voiced, enunciating each word slowly, as if they were wholly foreign to her vernacular. "The Doctor doesn't want me. He...doesn't want me." She rose and slowly receded down the dim corridor.

    Iamora reminisced of her stent at St Margaret's Institute for Perturbed Children with a loving sigh. The sounds of the children overtaking their tyrannical elders, the billowing smoke sootied the heavens as she watched the great conflagration feed upon the wails of victims that were shut within its devouring flames. Again, she sat comfortably admist chaos. The Loot and Lute was little more than a dilapidated hovel, yet the steady inflow of patrons brought her playthings from far and wide. Travelers to the forsaken town had all made the same lasting impressions upon it in death. Everywhere she looked, there were but portrayals of grisly demises painted upon her shining black irises. A downcast glance upon the murky brew which filled the finely crafted china cup, with a small sweep of her hand the caffeinated drink went tumbling to the floorboards. The broken fragments of porcelain were reduced to a chalky powder under her boot as she rose to take in all she could of the grisly scene.

    A putrescent stench had perfumed the stale air, attracting flies and other pests that would revel in decay. Once rowdy men were reduced to rotting flesh and bone, and Iamora had not lifted a finger as to place them in that state. A tiny smirk played at her lips, she felt satiated for the moment. She approached the bar and poured herself some champagne, raising the goblet in a boastful gesture, and eyed some ravens fighting over some scraps of flesh that still clung to the Bartender's face. Oh, how her mother loved ravens. She had an affinity to these predatory birds, these carrion that feasted upon the dead and the living. Iamora possessed not this sort of bond, so she made dolls of which she had bestowed the gift of life, an army of pernicious little porcelain faced puppets to assist her in wreaking havoc everywhere she went. They were subjects of her abandoned youth, broken pieces of the evil effigies were scattered throughout the lands. Iamora sighed, her fingertip tracing the rim of the goblet. Who would come along next to break the tedium of the silence and listlessness around her?


    As to further solidify her pact with Valerna, Ashlotte would offer to aid in the defeat of Kiruku. "Mistress, I possess but menial traits. But, to you, my heart is pure. It beats to the cadence of wardrums struck in your name. I may not possess the power to destroy her myself, but if it please thee, I shall bring forth her destruction with a ruse. "

    Kiruku moved on from the no- name tavern, venturing in the direction of the Loot and Lute. "Each unsure step draws me nearer."
  13. The morbid sight served as a canvas, the bodies of her victims the red ink of her master piece. Painting a baneful visage of a daunting tale of the frivolity that dawn in life’s wake; spinning a tale of truth few could refute. The story of life and death, the illusion of security and the false sense of safety it wrought that can be so easily shattered. Her blacken luscious lips contorted, as on her pale face a smirk of merriment lingered, bringing with it a sense of enjoyment unbridled. In truth Valerna was proud of the gospel these men cried out as the warmth parted from their flesh, the ghost from their now color flushed lips.

    Holding her close Valerna dragged the woman past the corpses littering the floor around the mouth of the threshold, all the meanwhile listening to her honey kissed words. Such a ballad melodious in nature wiled her more than she cared to openly admit. What an enchantress Ashlotte was, filling the otherwise dreary and bleak scene with spice and life. At first silence permeating between them, as if to let the full gravity of what had transpired to settle, like dust in a vacant room? Once the weight had been distributed her pointed tongue would flap, weaving a tapestry unlike many who speak the common dialect.

    “Through their death I have grown stronger, closer to the perfection always out of reach. But they died not for me alone; willingly they perished for your own glorification as well. Ashlotte remember this day; let the image of their horrified expression seer itself onto your mind. For though we may forget those that have fallen beneath our stride; they will surely never forget us.” Her words posed with such elegance, resonating a sense of poetic understanding. While most who walked this nocturnal life might find themselves riddled with callouses, unable to feel and disconnected from their actions. The Sol Vampire queen that stood before her was different, defiant in her approach.

    These walls had served their purpose, secluding both the queen and her pawn from the prying and unwanted gaze of the outside world. But like everything in this world, what is conceived in shadows will inevitably be brought out into the light. The stench of death and decay that once smelled like sweet cinnamon to a deprived child, had begun to prove unsettling as it out lived it’s welcome. “Come now child, let me lead you to another place. Where you can finally become my instrument, where you will finally receive the epiphany you so pant for. Like fawn does water…” She mused over how the next events would develop, for though she was above most evolutionarily speaking. The Queen herself was not above the lapse of judgment.

    Like everything in life there was a risk in rushing this transformation, however like a moth to a roaring fire she was often drawn to such gambles. Risking everything for knowledge and the evolution of those around her; yet despite this realization she pressed onward, no delay in her hasten steps. Her resolve and stance must be firm, unwavering in its implementation whilst holding onto her wise and cunning nature. A balance seldom easily maintained, let alone applied. Gently she turned the knob of brass, as she pushed the weather worn door open. The creek in its hinges echoing throughout the silent building as the sudden glimpse of light from the outside caused her eye of dark crimson to strain.

    “These people are sick…what do you make of it? Is this blight of my doing? How can we alleviate them from this woeful burden my beautiful Ashlotte?” She purred, cooing at her with a subtle flirtatious approach. Offering the young damsel by her side a wink, as they weaved between the crowds; oblivious of the horrors locked away within the home. With hand held firmly the ash skinned picturesque woman led her through the busy town, her Illithids watching from the foliage with hunger filled eyes. Desiring nothing more than the complete indoctrination of the town, but implying discipline as they staved off their primal nature.

    Finally they two found themselves standing outside of a grand cathedral, mosaic stained glass obscuring the inside of the so called holy site. A venomous smile wide in nature, now adorned her soft facial feature as her fingers drummed against the damsel’s knuckles. “We are here…I believe I know what is it about you that draws me so. Arrogantly I dare suggest I know you better than you know yourself my beautiful flower by cliffs edge. What do you feel when you look upon these self-righteous walls?” She inquired, furling a brow as feral blood colored eyes drifted her way, attempting to lock with her own.

    If she were right than the mere sight of this holy hall would sting her senses, filling her with anger, confusion or fear. “Do not be afraid…I am here and will never dare leave you my beautiful Ashlotte.” She whispered softly into her ear as she leaned forward. Soft ivory hued hand running charcoal colored nails through her radiant hair. Her voice like a soothing shower during a drought providing desired relief to all those who may be troubled. Pinkish tongue tracing the outlines of her full blackens lips as pearled fangs revealed themselves.

    The woman’s scent filling her lungs, as hot breathe exited her nostrils; teasing sensitive skin as she felt a flood of chemicals coursing throughout her body. The thought of her rebirth bringing with it arousal, as if induced by a foreign drug pumped into her system without restraint. For the moment she had forgotten about the death singer, her hatred dissipating under the unintentional influence of Ashlotte. “Will you do this for me…” Her voice sensual in nature, expressing her more barbaric thoughts of lust toward the woman. Not caring for the foolish restraints most would impose to control their inner bestial earthly desires.
  14. Something writhed within the childish vessel, working its extremities in a marionette like fashion. Iamora hurled the rather crude semblance of a goblet toward the window, where it connected with a clang but the impact wasn't strong enough to shatter it. The maimed bear leapt out of her arms. With each soul she stained, she felt a surge of power coursing through her veins. She siphoned the purity of the immortal essence of humans, corrupting it, changing it. She stood amidst the aftermath of her weaving of destruction, the remnants of those she had produced conflicted moralities. Whilst observing the people infected with Vanity was amusing, examining how they ultimately succumbed to their self inflictions, she wished for more.

    The bear that held the malefic quintessence of Ravenwitch, her savage energies thriving upon every cottony fiber, levitated before the cracked pane of glass that barred the fresh air from entering. "You surely must be famished and weary from your migrations. Do come in." The very voice of the embodiment of Hell made the land quake, the glacial winds carried her raspy voice which would strike the ear so sharply, it would seem as if said anatomical part were assaulted by a thousand razors. Iamora opened the door softly, as if in a grand gesture to allow this creature admittance. Her Elven blood wasn't pure. Something else was bred in her. This discouraged her somewhat, still this revelation didn't change her want for companionship. Perhaps she could seek out her desires, shed light to the most shameful secrets she harbored. She knew that every human heart beats with the tune of these disgraces, that most mortals seek absolution only upon the precipice of damnation,in divulging these confessions with a wasted last breath. What of Elves and Demons? Surely the other diversities of dwellers upon this earth shared the same desires. Ravenwitch led countless souls astray from the Gods. Now it was her turn, to congregate the people of this age in the shackles of sin.

    Her frilly black and white bodice fit snugly upon her nubile form, her skirts docked at her knees. A bloodstain had bloomed upon her bosom like a rare, beautiful blossom flourishing upon a carnage soaked earth, a vastitude of butchered flesh yielding as a sacrifice as if to sprout the Devil's rose. The loathesome toy dropped to the floorboards, summoning up what seemed ancient dust from the cracks which had somehow always eluded capture by mop or broom. It seemed as if the abominable thing was reaching out to the visitor,its grisly grin facedown upon the bloodsoaked wood. Iamora looked upon the woman with coquettish eyes, the abyssal irises that would imprison any mirrored image painted upon them. (I am Iamora, daughter of Ravenwitch. I am Sin at its absolute, borne of a human personage. Mankind had been felled by my forebearer, I, too will conquer humankind. The heavens shall echo with the wails of souls as they descend into Perdition..)She was already becoming too carried away, exposing too much at this time would simply be far too detrimental to her villainy. The mortals that co-existed along side of monsters in these 'Dark Ages' were a superstitious lot, sparking suspicions with hearsay and fabrications until realms were destroyed in the name of the truth they supposedly contained.

    Exploiting human weakness was but childs game for a sinister creature to prey upon. But the mind was a crude invention given to computational error. She found it almost too simple to molest the thoughts of woman. "What's your poison?" She asked, moving toward the bar as if in preparation to fetch her a drink. "I am Iamora." She spoke her name with a wicked grin as her back was turned toward Kiruku. Iamora favored interference in the lives of humans, but any species which practiced free will was still fair game to her. This striking Elf sought her out for some reason, a feat which none had dared before.

    Kiruku entered the tavern, the patrons forever immortalized upon the floorboards in imprints of blood. Her gaze scanning the darkness, finally settled upon the pubescent looking figure emerging into the little bit of light the bloody window would permit. Her eyes widened some, and she began debating whether or not she should stay.

    "Oh, but you mustn't leave."Iamora's words seemed to exude dominance, and she turned rigidly to face her. "You've only just arrived." Extending a hand, her fingers snaking outward as if to ensnare Kiruku's wrist, her talons poised slightly above the flesh as if they were venomous fangs. "It is quite rude to leave in such haste, no?" Her head titled to the right, and she batted her luxurious eyelashes. "Now, if you have no other places to be, perhaps we could sit over some champagne and you could regale me of your travels." Cleaning off a place for her to sit, she launched a reckless kick at the head impeeding their walkway. "If you are bothered by the -smell- I can take care of it. Wouldn't want anything to put off your appetite, after all." She left Kiruku's company for merely a moment, receeding into the darkness which had unfurled from the furthermost corner, it seemed to engulf her petite figure.

    "I'm pretty certain there's some Ale around here, or if you'd rather a stiffer imbibement." There was a cacophony of sounds produced of rummaging about blindly, alcoholic tinctures and glassware strewn in a haphazard fashion. "The town is yours to supply yourself with the things you see fit to take. " A dry laughter rolled off of her tongue. "It's not like -they- will need for anything more."

    "You are...but a child!" Kiruku's face adopting a look of revulsion, which was then overwhelmed by confusion. Her gaze diverted from the horrid little girl to the direction of the door. "It was very wrong of me to have come." She stated matter of factly, realizing that there was possibly no escape. She took in the grisly scene, her lips donning a frown. These unfortunate souls were denied her presence as they lay dying, their wasted breaths used in pleading to the Gods to obtain mercy for their misdeeds. Since Kiruku was an absent figure in all of this, their souls were condemned to unrest amongst the living, unless Iamora somehow would utilize them in her plans.

    "I am not a child. Do not be fooled by my juvenile exterior." Iamora retorted, her sharp tongue like a dagger slicing through the wall of shadows that stood between them. "A greater power stirs within my vessel. My mother is Hell, and I am Sin, forged in flesh. The countless number of mortals my guise has tempted, I have corrupted those that claimed to be holiest. Fanes that were built of the sweat and toil of the most devout were felled, and the tainted edifices are all which stand in their stead!" She took a menacing step which seemed to echo upon the floorboards of the rather cramped cubicle.

    "You and I could become consorts, and we will march to the tune of annhilation of the human race! Their death rattles will be our overture, there will be nothing but a crescendo of wailing throughout the land! They cannot stand against our onslaught, and nothing shall await them but an endless chasm and the gnashing of teeth upon their defiled essences." Her hand was outstretched, her palm opened as if to beckon her grasp. "Do you wish to wreak destruction with me? Your name shall be immortalized upon the lips of the dying, it will be a grievous insult to the Gods!"


    Ashlotte felt that something was very wrong. Even though her loyalties were pure to Valerna, and she would follow her Queen to the ends of the earth, she couldn't help to feel the tug of war of her feelings. Kiruku had been the closest she'd ever had to a lover, even though she'd never experienced the woman's body in a physical way. She was quite naive to the aspect of copulation, although she could recall once a upon a time when Kiruku's lips almost met hers. Ashlotte nodded, heeding Valerna's words about having achieved strength through the demise of others. She wouldn't cast judgement on her Queen, she had an understanding that only the strong were to survive in this world, that the attributes of the weak were to be fed upon by that of a more substancial predator.

    In some ways Valerna seemed very similar to Kiruku, their eyes opened to the true laws of the universe. They both had spoken with the wisdom which always seemed so hard for Ashlotte to obtain for herself, they both seemed to possess beauty that even the Gods would envy of their creations, and power which in the hearts of man would reside jealousy. "I will follow you anywhere you shall lead, my Queen." She replied, earnest of heart. Then suddenly an inquiry was poised upon Valerna's lips which left Ashlotte stricken for a moment, as she knew not the best way to answer. "The peoples of these lands suffer hardships of all sorts. They suffer ails and poverty, and they curse the Gods. They are unrelenting in seeking scapegoats for the misfortunes which befall them. I suppose many of them would place blame upon you, but such a prejudice does not govern my heart." They now stood before the doors to a great cathedral, its doors beckoning her forth into its copious innards.

    She would then turn to Valerna with a look of uncertainty, but the woman only reassured her that she would not part. Was it to be a trial of some sort? Ashlotte knew this much, but what exactly was the nature of such a test? Valerna wished not for her to pilfer sacrosanct objects, or misappropriate the alms, because partly her lack of talent in those sort of tasks were realized by her Queen. She wished for something else entirely.
    #14 Daniella_Belli, Sep 29, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2013
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  15. In silence she beckoned to Ashlotte's call, hanging onto to each syllable as her mind consumed every word. A subtle yet notable smile genuine in nature, now stained her otherwise ivory picturesque visage. Her lips full longing to utter a reply of appreciation, though such idle thoughts were kept at bay as she pondered over the many variables impacting her desired outcome. In truth everything that was about to transpire was no more than a flaccid theory; soon to be tested by the fire of their situation. And like a misquote dangling above a roaring flame, this young lady was caught between the grip of her finger; soon to be let go into the unwavering nature of the ravenous unknown.

    Rather than speak and ruin the moment, the queen saw fit to act on her lustful desires, stepping forward as she spun young Ashlotte around. One arm now resting against the weather worn engraved door of the holy site, leaning forward as she pressed moist luscious lips against her own. The brisk and pronounced sign of affection stood in utter defiance when contrasted to the belief of the locals. Her hot breath and elongated tongue filled with her own pheromones now teased the inside of her warm mouth. Casually the queen would break, eyes of crimson peering lustfully into her own, as her hunger barely was sated by the actions that had just occurred.

    Silence stirred among them, as one of the priest had witness the sinful deed from just within the courtyard. Self righteously he approached, his tongue flailing with baneful curses wrought from the ancient text. Summing up the display as sinful and a smite against their benevolent god. But his "holy" words fell on deafen ears, only to be met by Valerna's free and open palm. Once more she leaned forward, pressing those honeyed obsidian colored lips against the youthful warmth of Ashlotte's own, this time permitting the contact to last far longer. As from her palm fired a swarthy tendril, vicariously the foreign appendage drilled into the mans skull scrambling his brains as he helplessly convulsed.

    As she withdrew her quivering lips, the Sol Vampire playfully sucked on her lower lip. Withdrawing her famed tendril back into her skin. As the man dropped dead, appearing mummified in a matter of a minute. "No need to be timid or frighten, I am here and will be by your side throughout the unknown. You needn't know my plans my sweet blood dew kissed petaled rose. Unfurl yourself, bask in my presence as I admire your strong and resilient roots." She whispered poetically, her voice as insipidly melodious as ever, carrying with it a harmonious spell. Feral blood shot colored irises gazed into her own, as tongue now dare to rake the entirety of her lips; as if to take in her taste which now adorned them.

    Valerna could feel the vile presence of another stirring and festering within the town, no doubt reinforcement called about by the death singer whom she met earlier. However not even a single muscle did twitch on her face or frame, for she was not even intimidated by their combined foul presence. Arrogantly whatever web of conspiracy they spun, the ash queen was certain would fail to halt her for long. So rather then dwell on the inevitable for long, she instead fixated her attention toward the endless sea of possibilities she saw within this mortal, this vessel of hell and vice....her sweet little rose on cliffs edge.
  16. To Ashlotte's recollection, she had never entered a church. She didn't particularly favor the site of the test, but she wished to follow all of Valerna's whims. Suddenly she felt herself in a rapture of soft skin, as the woman had stolen a kiss in an attempt to subdue the flames of passion. Ashlotte's nubile form melted into Valerna, a slight groan of delight climbing her throat as her virginal mouth was explored. Then, the act of osculation was broken prematurely as a man of the cloth spied the sinful act, calling down the wrath of the Gods upon them. Not only was this a grievance against the holies because they were both of the same gender, but Valerna belonged to a species reviled by humans anyway. She witnessed Valerna dispose of him in awe, and when all was silent again she entered the church. Ashlotte felt under close examination by the clerics and Gods alike, which heightened her awareness to the point of paranoia. She trembled as if she were cloaked by a frigid breeze. "No need to be afraid, Miss. Fear cannot enter this church."The cleric spoke in soothing tones, moving about as if to embrace Ashlotte in a warm gesture. "Do you need to confess? Let us away to a spot as not to disturb the others praying. She felt herself being pulled away to the furthest pew from the altar, the words of the hauntingly heavenly cants resounding throughout the edifce."Gods touch the hearts of men, only your divine forgiveness will mend, empowered by thee, against the evils of this world they can contend. Cleanse the mind, the body the soul of the impurities of the vulgar, weak and licentious lot, allow all immoralities to be forgot, if divine favor is to be sought. Ashlotte thought of Rickie, silently praying that he had divine favor with the Gods. "Rickie.." She uttered his name with so much sorrow in her voice that the lifeless statues that depicted certain deities could have wept. "You've lost someone close to you, my child. Bring the boy here, and if it is in their will, the Gods shall make him stand with beating heart once again!" Ashlotte stared at the cleric dully. "Well, there's a bit of a problem, you see. He's been dead for a while, and the condition of his body... unless what you speak of is Necromancy."The cleric she had been conversing with let out such an audible gasp that the other women ceased praying and turned to look at them. "Perish the thought!"

    She clutched her prayer beads close, the symbol of a deity Ashlotte didn't know was held fast to her breast. "Double my penance for allowing my mind to become muddled with that filth! For allowing my ears to carry such blasphemy into my body! I think you should leave, Miss, lest you incur the wrath of Andraste upon us all!" The cleric rose, busying herself with her prayer beads. Ashlotte called out to her, somewhat confused and mostly annoyed. "I thought you might be able to give me some answers I desperately need."

    "I cannot turn away a seeking heart." The exquisitely robed woman sighed under her breath, yet again adding to her penance for her impatience. "Well, along my travels I have rested in many towns, big and small. The same thing I find in all..dead and dying. The soil is famined and blighted, what could be the cause of such suffering? Some believe it is the curse of one named Valerna, others believe that it is a blight of the one called Rave-" Ashlotte's hand clamped her mouth shut before she could utter even another syllable. "No!" The cleric looked about panickedly, an overwhelming terror seemed to cast its looming shadow upon the woman. Ashlotte's empathic gifts would nomally be able to siphon this fear, to bring it into herself. But she felt nothing but a tad bit of confusion, and apathy. Suddenly the statues began to crack as if they were impacted with a powerful smite, the basins of holy water began to bubble over with a thick, sangiunous liquid. Sacred icons of the church tumbled to the floor, breaking apart as if they were made of glass. The window panes gave way with almost no resistance, shards of glass blowing inward like razor sharp missiles. The sisters fell one by one, flesh ripped from bone because of pieces of glass showering them like diamond flecks from the heavens. Most were impaled in some manner, larger shards acting as knives to penetrate their vital organs. Others weren't so lucky and were submitted toward a painful and lengthy death of life giving juices being slowly drained from their bodies. Ashlotte and the cleric which she sat by were unscathed, however stricken by terror and confusion.

    "You've spoken the most blasphemous names in this hallowed place. You've not held your tongue against letting such abominations slip. Leave now, lest you be evil incarnate. I banish you and all the evil you bring, whether or not it is unbeknownst to you!"She then brandished her symbol, and Ashlotte moved toward the door. The cleric's prayer beads broke apart in her hands, scintillating colored stones bursting apart before they could finish falling to the floor. She gazed upon the useless charm and her voice rose to an ungodly high pitch as she screamed. "You've brought an atrocity upon this church! The wrathful hand of the Evil One down upon this church! I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if you are proven to be in league with Valerna also!" The cleric tore at her robes, having not the strength to rip the sturdy fabric to shreds. She then began to roll about the floor, soiling herself with blood and dust.

    With a small sigh, Ashlotte closed the door behind her. She hurriedly moved in the opposite direction of the broken church, not wishing to linger there and raising the implications that she was criminally involved. She glimpsed at her soft, fair complexion in a window she passed. (Whenever those names are spoken, misfortune is never too far behind. Are people using these names to curse their enemies, throwing them about as to win arguments and such petty things?) As she contemplated logic and reasoning, her tea hued gaze found Valerna. There seemed to be two opposing forces which had plagued the lands, similar in their evils but differing in how they inserted themselves amongst the public. She followed Valerna, but was conceived of Ravenwitch.


    "I'll never join you. I only came to ask your assistance. I fear that someone I endear is being led astray by a despicable..." Kiruku made her way to the seat and with a resigned sigh, positioned herself upon it. She then continued, her hand waving about in gesture. "You see, I normally don't recourse to that of devils. I apologize for the intrusion but I really must be going."Iamora impeded her view of the door."So we are at an impasse, then. Even if you find some way to thwart my advances now, I shall be a thorn in your side always. My countenance loomed over the great cataclysm that eradicated the very existence of mankind. It is a pity that you are stuck in this clumsy era, that you weren't able to behold such great annihilation. My gaze mirrored the conflicted heavens, witnessed the greatest battle man ever fought. Surely you seek my help, and I am willing to offer it. If you change your mind, if you want me, all you have to do is summon me. Do not banish my name from your lips, or you will be stricken with the most grave of consequences." Iamora's hand made a sweeping gesture toward the portal which separated them from the outside world. She started for it herself, her bear hovering beside her. "Which town shall be befouled of my presence next? Perhaps Jovial, its monicker makes me cringe. It shall be renamed in the likeness of the ungodly, the polluted blood of the unrighteous shall bathe the city of all innocence that dare stand against me!"

    She spun on heel, raising a forefinger in Kiruku's direction. "We shall cross paths again." She left then, heading toward the threshold leading away from the town that seemed to pulse with dark energies. "The Gods shall quake at my infernal presence!" Her vociferations rebelled against the azure heavens, causing the first signs of lightning touch down upon the landscape that was devoid of growth.
  17. Valerna could feel the lust stirring within her young rose, the taste of a virgin lingering heavily as her lips did quiver. Such sweet innocence, masked by the maleficent power trapped within. It was this enigma that aroused her far more than the simple act of locking lips. Valerna wanted nothing more to show her a new world, one bold and filled with darkness. Yet in the shadows that did bind them all, she was certain a peace of mind unlike any this child had ever known lingered. A frown now plastered itself on her porcelain toned face as she watched intently as the young Ashlotte entered the building. Valerna herself strayed far from the holy symbols and gut churning self righteous opinion of those of the cloth. Even from afar she could hear them spewing forth their misguided passions; unlike most Valerna didn't hate God. No what she despised wasn't faith, albeit as destructive as it was beneficial; what she despised was organized religion.

    A chuckle almost parted audibly from her full lips as the display of her power manifested itself. The church itself seemed unable to control the dark powers of her new pet, as quite literally it trembled before her. Some chalked it up to the "blight" Valerna had wrought, others to another famous nefarious entity known as ravenwitch. Though deep down inside it wasn't their influence that moved the building so; rather that of her defiant rose. For it was her rose that so easily tore through the fabric of the cloth, that so easily had it's way with these peoples faith. And their so called God Andraste, whom despite their claim as being powerful; could do nothing to prevent the display.

    Tightly Valerna grip the fabric that did cling to her thighs, clenching it between her fingers as she bit down on her bottom lip. The excitement was almost too much to take, the results her study yielded far too promising for her not to be enthralled or entranced in the slightest. Shards of glass were thrown every which direction, the floor giving way as the roof cracked under the weight of her influence. Standing Valerna would make her way outside, a skip in her step as she pivoted to face the entrance, longing for her Ashlotte to make her escape.

    With open arms she watched as Ashlotte rushed toward her; tendrils firing as they wrapped around her waist pulling her in close. "What a wonderful display my love!" She uttered psalms of praise toward the fruit of her labors. Her long tongue now raking itself against her tender neck, before planting a gentle kiss against it. Her lips feeling the adrenaline coursing through her as the tempo of her heart beat teased her sensitive lips. "Such a beautiful display, you know not how happy I am." She whispered; her hot breath teasing her moist neck before Valerna retracted her head as their eyes did lock. "You are my new favorite pet, I shall treat you well and mold you into the woman you deserve to be."

    With that being said the tendrils retracted themselves back into her palms, as the slit closed tightly around them. Valerna stepped forward, giving her a warm and firm embrace as the sound of the cries of the cloth echoed outside their walls, as the structure continued to creak. "Now let me finish what you've started..." She whispered softly, stepping forward as she jerked Ashlotte's head back, holding her in her arms as if this were a dance. Her rear leg shot forward, holding the child as her positioned shifted diagonally as if they were engaged in a dance of tango. From her now slamming leg a rush of vibrant crimson energy raced toward the church, becoming a tsunami as it easily toppled the fragile building over.

    A thick cloud of dust raced toward them, obscuring their vision as Valerna while still holding her in the same position leaned forward, pressing her warm blacken lips once more against the sensitive skin of her neck. Her sensitive lips noting the pace at which ehr ehart beat, as if trying to read her current emotive state. Holding it their until such a time as the smoke dissipated, at which point only the two remained standing unscathed.
  18. The road to Jovial was long and winding and the journey itself was a task of tedium for she would have to traverse it like anyone else who did not possess a magickal means of quickening her pace. She began to whistle a rather deranged diddy, which sounded like a butchered rendering of a church hymn. The forked tongue of her mother protruded from the ruined fabric orifice of the bear, slithering upon the path alongside of her as it was imbued with a life of its own. She foresaw what would remain of the town, the hollow husks of the people that dwelled there would become consumed by flames, the very fires which had engulfed her mother, unbeknownst to the community would usher in a new age of evil that even the Gods could not exorcise.

    Agatha perished to rise anew as Ravenwitch. Deities could not contend with her might. She had eventually conquered all but one, Atone. A lullaby poisoned of obsenities, her ululations rose to capture the ear of the Goddess. The bark of the trees she'd passed succumbed to blight, the arid earth scorched of her footsteps, seemed to recoil at her approach. Jovial, the town no more. The very notion caused for her a grin to form upon her lips.

    She stood upon the brink of it, overlooking a city full of life of the busied peopled that resided within its rigid walls. She could paint the canvas anew, inspired by the terror that would make the mortals act in heinous ways with maniacal glee. A glance cast upwards as if she were trying to goad the intervention of the Gods, to challenge her. She took that fateful step that would carry her body through the gates. Witnessing the activity of mundane life that inhabited there, she made her way rather forcefully toward the inn. The elders shouted obscenities at her reckless movement, they began quoting the 'Spare the rod, spoil the child' excerpt of their most sacred book. She knew Scripture better than most, and could shape the words into renderings which were most befitting to her goals.

    Not a human being could dare dispute her knowledge of that of the religions which would bring worship to the Gods. She wished to draw away this glorification any way she could. Good and Evil had always been in a deadlock, since the creation of life upon the grainy sands of earth. She would bring Evil victory, as the heavens would be certain to surrender. It was a matter of patience. The heavy wooden door creaked as it allowed Iamora admittance, and she sat at a booth in the corner. The tabletop had been blemished of her mother's claw, signalling that this too, had been war torn of the spite of Ravenwitch. She could almost hear the cacchinations that leveled the sturdy place of weary travelers of long ago. Her mother had purged her virulent essence so that it may reside here, wracking the humans within with unimaginable torment. She could feel it, the heat of the flickering flames that overwhelmed the hospitable place. Her right hand caressed the wood with the tender touch of a lover, sensitive to the remains of the energies that still forged a crushing grasp upon a realm most forsaken. The waitress hesitantly made her way to her, rightly fearful of the child. "What will ye 'ave today?" Iamora simply stared, not uttering a word to obtain any provisions. She could tell that Kiruku was trailing after her. "Ah, what sort of friend would I be if I didn't tidy up a bit for her?" There was a sudden sulfurous tinge to the air upon inhalation, and the rotting cruor of Devil coated her wheat colored mane. The viscous, foul smelling goo seeped down her cheeks, her starving follicles feeding upon it. Her hair was as black as her mother's, and her features had contorted into a striking semblance of the woman that birthed her.The tendrils of her hair hardened into a substance so honed, each strand would yield flesh from bone upon striking with razor like precision. She began to flagellate the victims nearest her, whipping her hair about so that it would fall upon the populace like a scourge.

    "Copulations with evil shall seal your fates, careless in your deviance, the rides upon the harlots shall cast you pitiful souls into eternal damnation! Do you know that they are servants of the beast, Hell's harem? And the men are sniffing the blood like mongrels, frenzied like the immoral curs they are."She laughed, the tone of her demonic merriment resounding within the space like the stones cast at a criminal. Spatters of blood flew everywhere to adorn the room in the vital fluids that coursed through one's veins, spotting her twisted visage and raiment. She continued to spout Scripture, leaving a trail of massacred people she did not need in realizing her goal.


    It was apparent from the destruction of her surroundings that Iamora had traversed this region. Kiruku's thoughts were focused solely on Ashlotte's return to her safe embrace. This gave her the courage to trudge on, however her emotions seemed to outweigh the better judgement. She braced herself, knowing that soon she will meet Iamora and pact with her. This creature spoke of the bleak future of mankind as if she thrived amongst those peoples. Kiruku knew that such evil could transcend the boundries of space and time, but it seemed so unfathomable to the minds of those whom were imprisoned by the temporal plane. Who knows what the insidious Valerna had in store for Ashlotte, each moment she tarried in contemplation? Soon, the damage would be irreparable, where even the meddling of Iamora would prove unfruitful. "Oh, another has rosined the bow with blood ...the violins wail a sinful sonata!"The words would proceed the appearance of the childish vessel, moments later Kiruku would view Iamora's monstrous transformation. Her membranous hair transshaped itself into a braid that docked at her waist. Iamora watched the panicked masses outpour to the streets, she moved about almost in a minuet upon a dreamscape that ran lurid with the blood of the race she had despised most. The tavern floor was awash with the sticky substance, and it took effort to pry each step away from the worn wood so it could encounter her next. She had composed the first notes to a grand musical masterpiece for Rune, the anguished cries around her seemed to lull her back to her earliest impressions upon meeting Kiruku. It created within her a stirring of emotions she had been certain she wasn't capable of feeling. Was it something derived of infatuation? She knew not. She seemed to crawl under her skin in a way she had known to be previously impossible, for none before her had warranted even a fleeting thought from Iamora. She sighed, leaning against the door frame her gaze shifting from face to face as if to search the public for her presence. She couldn't feel her there, she occupied a place too distant for her mind to reach. She became angered by Kiruku's apparent lack of interest in her, she seemed patonizing at times and her manerisms in her company reflected his views of her as a nothing more than a child. It was evident that she regarded her as a petulent little poppet, a fluid blister upon her skin. That she didn't have the capabilities to provoke a spark of temptation in her, of which she could fan the flames. Crossing her arms about her chest, her lips puffed out in a pout.

    All she sought of the Death Knell was her companionship, to journey with her and shape the world to something more suitable to her tastes. A few men clad in the attire and soil came at her armed with the tools of their agricultural trade, and which inspired nothing of her but a hollow stare. "I shall send ye back to the sulfurous pits from whence ye came." Spoke a particularly brazen individual, the tines of his pitchfork danced dangerously close to her petite form. "You covet your neighbor's wife, and his goods." Her features adopted a wicked grin. "Enticed by the Mary Magdalene of your time, do you not feel the weight of guilt for harboring such a grave sin in your heart?" He became dumbstruck and fumbled with the gardening implement, almost dropping it at his feet. His downcast gaze seemed to speak a thousand words that his mouth could not form. The insidious bear struck from behind, the forked tongue of her Ravenwitch slithering up the spine of the leader assailant, wrapping about his neck as if were a noose. Flickering at his sootied earlobe, it then delved within the delicate tissues of his rotten toothed maw, as if to coil about his soul and evulse it from inside of him. Iamora's piceous eyes were drawn upwards as a simultaneous spreading of her lips would mock the celestials. A raspy cackle bubbled up her throat. "Will your Gods not lift a finger against me?" Those scornful words were spoken to root a deep seated doubt of the competence of the serephic beings abilities to contend with her and repair the damage she had wrought upon the realm. She wanted the humans to defy the Gods, to vilify them. She sought to be the puppeteer causing the common rabble to revolt against the heavens, to spark a virulent hatred in their hearts which would prove a fatality for their kind.

    The people would learn to exalt her, and the deities would weep as their idols were destroyed and those created of her image were erected in the temples. Two women were bickering nearby, and the dispute quickly escalated under Iamora's influence. One of them had envied the property of the other, and stole a good amount of clothes from her dresser. "I think you've got your eye on my husband too! I shall pluck it out of your head!" The elder of the two scoffed, stepping back. "Are you daft? Your husband's very presence is a pox upon my gaze, and so is yours! Your hideousity knows no bounds!" The inspiration of sin in those around her seemed to wrap Iamora in comfort, in a similar fashion of a child's body enveloped by soft blankets that were warmed by the fire.

    Kiruku entered the vicinity just in time to witness the unraveling of the population, Iamora orchestrating all hell to break loose.


    Ashlotte ran to Valerna's soothing embrace. Finally emotions which had run rampant began to settle some, she smiled almost boastingly at her praises. Her body quivered at Valerna's treatment, the feeling of lips grazing the vulnerable flesh of her neck. "If you are satsified, my Queen, I too, am satisfied." Then she felt as though she truly melded with Valerna, her body moving fluidly with that of the other woman as she continued to wreak havoc upon the church.
    #18 Daniella_Belli, Sep 29, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2013
  19. The synagogue had expired, the illusion of security it wrought as well as the packs of fallacies that vomited from its jaws forever removed. Though the spectators watched in horror, soon they would welcome the blights amputation from their town. Within the foliage the Illithids observed as their queen desecrated the sacred ground, a sense of grimace brewing between themselves as they watched in awe. The tendril mouthed entities tussled to keep their cries of joy at bay. As they longed for their mistresses command to claim this structure and welcome its inhabitants within the ever growing fold of her flock. Valerna could feel her subjects volitions, their covetousness unequivocal and impossible to sedate. "This is good; you've grown so much in such little time my blood crusted rose." The ash vampiress recited mellifluously, as if reading a tender poem to a lover.

    But this moment; though rhapsodic and her inner want for it never to end dissipated. As the clanking sound of armored guards pierced the clamor of the locals populaces wailing. Eyes of crimson jolted forward away from her becoming child; as she gazed on the emblem adorning their chest...Clerics. Quickly she stood upright, holding Ashlotte close by the waist as she uttered, "Be still, this will not take long." She vaunted, her brashness failing to elude or sit well with the men. "Insipid serpent! Hell spawn that dares blemish the sun and plague this land! Stand down and I promise you a quick death!" The commander who spoke; the voice parting from it's bucket shaped helmet was not that of a man; rather of a woman. "A female cleric? How progressive.." She jested, imperceptibly pushing Ashlotte behind her defined frame.

    "Mock me all you will, but without your magic I doubt you'll prove a threat!" Suddenly a ward appeared around the town, as two mages stood guard at each of the six corners. However this recent development only conceived a shrug of her shoulders, "Eh." She replied, her audacious nature and refusal to admit defeat proved loathsome to the commander. "Have you no fear than hell spawn? Does your calamitous sin of pride cloud you so?" The females barking continued to prove ineffective, as Valerna took a single step forward, shifting her weight while doing so. "You think me weak without magic? I have lived a long time, fended off countless assassinations and amassed the underbelly of the ground you dare to tread on. Do not be a fool, a one trick pony would of perished long ago arrogant child."

    The fabric covering her arms tore as two clawed gauntlets ruptured into sight. Each of its two blades extending approximately three feet, forged from Adamite and enhanced by the deep gnomes of the Underdark. "A snake who extends it's reached, is only fit to be trounced under the weight of those passing by." She forewarned, her words plagued not by abhorrence, rather pity. With a wave of her wrist she ordered one of her experienced mage hunters to step forward. "York, kill her. Just stab the squishy demon a few times and make it quick." With a simple nod the man charged her, great sword in hand longing to rip through flesh and bone alike.

    With all his strength he swung his blade perpendicularly toward her, cutting through the wind with ease. Sparks flew, as her right claw deflected the attack skyward. "Your grandiloquent muscles are of no use, when the spine behind them is weak and brittle." She hissed before counter attacking, her left claw slicing through armor, flesh and bone. Cutting the man in half as blood and entrails fired from the exit of the wound. Stands of fat dangled on her claws, as droplets of blood succumbed to gravity's spell, dripping on the ground. "You think yourselves as grand no? Let me show you what true greatness is really like." Her flapping tongue was sharp, bifurcating through their psyches as effortlessly as her claws through flesh.

    "But there are nine of us, and one of you? Surely a being as old and wrinkled as you can do simple math?" The insult stinging the vampiress, for she took much stock in her physical appearance. "Who says I am here alone..." The Illithids could hear the entirety of her words, as from the foliage they levitated. Firing their psychics wave blast, "Fwoop,Fwoop,Fwoop!" The locals running and screaming as the tentacle head horde assaulted not the clerics, but their families and friends.
  20. Ravenwitch's mephitic tongue slithered up the scabrous bark of the tree, fabled in legend. She placed a foul kiss upon the forbidden fruit, and Iamora's ubiquity was widespread beneath the outer crust of the parcel which was coined Eden. The two sentient companions had naught a taste of sin, but Hell and the Sin bred of it would delight in the corruption that would stain mankind forever. The woman seemed a more meldable specimen, her free will more pliable to their influence. She had made a false representation of herself, guised of angelic radiance. She could perceive the thoughts of the woman, as if they were boasted loudly for all to hear.

    They were told that they could have free range of the beautiful landscape, however the tree was to be avoided in any circumstance. It was a testimony to God, that the pair would give unquestioning heedence to his authority. With scintillating colors, Ravenwitch drew the pitiful creature to her impending doom. The nectarous scent of the fruit wafted upon the perfect breeze, she beheld the impeccable pome that was appealing to her gaze. This began the temptation, rused of a cleverly cloaked serpent tongue. Once they became wise to the ways of sin, the angel was seen for what it really was, and Iamora united with her mother. Ravenwitch's chasm of a maw opened so that the myriad of abominations held within could be revealed unto them, and her lips closed upon the woman's in a fetid osculation. Their horrible cachinnations stirred the sands of the rapined Utopia, shaping it into the cornerstone for which generations of the debased could be yield.


    Each step Iamora took, her feet a formidible foe upon the soil she strode. Charred impressions remained, but they were not scorched of her own soles, they were the blackened imprints of Ravenwitch. "Kiruku." Iamora beckoned, the trees bending and breaking to the sheer force of her voice. "Kiruku." The name copied of the voice of her baneful bear, it was a sour note upon her glistening tongue. Iamora revealed a demented smile, slivered inscisors abraded her bottom lip, thin threads of blood trickled down her chin.(Mother, if only I could return you to your former glory, I would lay myself down to perish for to effectuate your second coming.)

    Her onyx gaze fell to her talons which were but a minicule replica of Ravenwitch's. Suddenly a feral urge surged through her, causing her to scratch wildly at the air. "Kiruku!" Toppling backward, she continued to fight the atmosphere, envisioning the woman that bewitched and bewildered her. Could her beastial mood swings have been a product of the failed treatments she was administered upon her brief confinement at the Institution? Could it have been a result of becoming synthetically impregnated by her Mother's essence? She was airborne then, her sleek body cutting the air current as she twisted about as to touch upon ground with all fours. "The bloody, mewling quims of women shall overflow with the sickly sediment of..." An anguished cry brought her forth from her reverie. Her head jerked in that direction, her lips peeling back in a snarl. There was a spoiled courtship nearby, and a woman's virtue was to be defiled before a witness unbeknownst to both. Iamora's eyes danced, and she laughed in a maniacal glee. The surly male greedly fed upon the woman's fear with a kiss upon her lips, one hand restraining hers against a wall and his free appendage roaming her ample bodice. He tore at her attire, leaving tattered pieces of fabric in his wake. His sickening maw opened, shreds of cloth between his teeth the woman could compile a fleeting lucid thought in her frenzied mind that he had done this before, recently. His offensive breath smelled strongly of alcohol, although she could also detect a tinge of copper as each exhalation hit her broadly in the face. Iamora began to toy with the man, his baser desires. She sniffed the sweaty spoor of his virility, and rose as a looming shadow at his back. The man then descended upon her, and Iamora deafened the ears of the community to her screams as not to arouse any sort of interference of this abominable act.

    When the coitus was completed and the victim battered and bruised, Iamora possessed his mind so that he would surrender the control of his limbs to her. Another bout of thrashing by a stronger hand, and the dress was torn loose of her form so that the its true gender could be disclosed. "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind. It is abomination!" Cruel laughter oozed from her, an almost ecstatic pleasure rocking her off kilter. The bodice was stocked of a false bosom, bits of fabric tucked into collective balls. The molester was aghast, trembling as he took in her profane visage. The rather scrawny fellow painfully rose, hands fluttering to settle upon parts most secretly kept. "I ..uh.. fancy the accoutrements of the fairer sex." He then inched away, not wishing to spark gossip or scandal. "You have derived your pleasure, it is quite tell tale."Iamora nodded, a twisting of her lips ceased the smile from forming, pinning a callous look of her features. The dishelved man took off, feet abounding on top of flinty soil. She encroached the village, moving toward the sound structure that dead ended her path. As she passed the shoppes, the occupants within fell prey to the various vices they had a predilection for, causing wrath and greed to run rampant upon the streets.

    A prideful man stood at the center of the afflicted town, spouting in song of how superior he was to everyone else. She brushed by him, her mother's soul in tow, to place a hand upon the heavy iron handle of the tavern. The dense wooden door would be to quite difficult for most women to move without much exertion, but it gave way to her with ease. "Ah, Gluttony. My most favored of tresspass." She turned her abyssal gaze upon the customers, which began to devour their food and drink. Empty tankards were lined upon their tables until there was no more room for another, plates stacked upon the floor allowed for little room for her to pass. The more they consumed, the less they felt satiated. Her head was thrown back as the laughter of Ravenwitch was channeled from her core, and the people started to feed upon themselves, the flesh of others, or the plateware that littered the floorboards. The manipulated masses bit and clawed at one another, relieving chunks of flesh from their wholesome forms. It was a grisly sight, a beautiful feast to her gaze before the realization struck her that their deaths were impending. Others crammed broken glass and fragments of china down their throats that most often yielded nothing more to enter, forcing a bloody purging of stomach contents. They would perish from internal hemorrhages, and at the hands of those whom had a murderous glint in their eyes. The beautifully illustrated cinema before her grew dull rather quickly, as she had inspired Gluttony in so many people throughout the ages that it somehow lulled her in a sense of ennui. The townsfolk outside were a seething, spiteful lot, and they utilized various ways to destroy the foes that were but an illusion upon the amicable village.

    Heart beats ceased by the shards of glass penetrating their soft chambers, women asphyxiated by the unbreakable bond of grasping hands about their necks, and most were trampled as they succumbed to fits of unloosened anger that familiarized them intimately with the cobblestone. The few that inexplicably avoided corruption were discovered. "Sloth." A wicked grin was painted upon her flawless lips. The people grew so fatigued that they became languid in the bistro, the face of the Cook submerging into the scalding stew. They were so lethargic that their lungs malfunctioned, causing the remainder to suffocate upon their last breath. "Ah, Death Knell." She turned away from the task she had busied herself with, her gaze fixated upon the Elf. "I knew the last whims of the departed would beckon you here sooner or later, but I'm afraid there is naught you could do to spare these folks from an eternity in my thrall."

    Kiruku dismissed her dour tone and the needless extermination of the people of Jovial, as she could not contend with the likes of Iamora. "I must speak with you about Valerna. I fear for Ashlotte, her innocence further contaminated by this woman. You must stop her at all costs, unless it is already too late, and Valerna's power surpasses your own." Iamora would only smirk, taking no particular offense to the Death Knell's words. She would instead perceive ths as a challenge, provoking her to act according to the desires of the Elf. "You should have exercised wisdom, Kiruku. Wouldn't the the personification of Atonement become disappointed in her charge, if she were somehow to realize that -you- bargained with evil? If she were to become wise to such a revelation, I suppose she would come down from the very heavens to cull the chaff from the wheat, as it were. Besides, Valerna's deeds are fortifying the powers which stir within my sister."Kiruku's brow rose, her mouth falling agape in surprise to this startling bit of information. "Yes, did I not tell you that Ashlotte and I were borne of Hell herself? I do apologize for not making you privy to such, but Ashlotte's sanctity will forevermore be corroded with the foul sediment of evil. I do not wish to relieve her of Valerna's clutches, she is content where she is. Her happiness alone should suffice you."Upon the utterance of the infernal word that someone, somewhere in this realm summoned of a disquieted tongue, Ravenwitch's talons burst forth of the fluffy fingertips, her body growth exceeding the room toy's innards, and she was brought forth of the grim looking plaything. Suddenly an energy most vile seized the town that expunged it of humans and their residences, the Embodiment of Hell towered well above the steeple that seemed a conductor for prayers to reach the Gods, and blessings to descend upon the devout.

    An idol graven of the nightmares of man throughout their existence, the tips of her talons stretched well past her knees. She was restored to humanoid form, although most of her power was restrained by the whim of Atone. The Goddess had firm grsp of the reigns, but Ravenwitch breathed the oxygen of her surroundings, her trademark sneer ever present upon her face. Iamora prostrated herself in reverence, releasing the stygian integument that delved within the barren soil. "Oh, Mother, I am so relieved that your presence stands once again upon the world."

    Ashlotte's mouth suddenly fell agape as she was wrought with a fit of malicious laughter, as waves of cackling washed ashore of Ravenwitch's lips from upon the tumultuous tides of her tongue. Kiruku, usually a comport individual who possessed an almost unbreakable concentration when it came to the crux bestowed upon her, severed her ties upon her occupation and her friend, realizing that both may be permanently lost. As Valerna's 'dove' continued to watch flesh fly, the maniacal merriment channeled of her predesesor grew, causing her body to convulse. Darkness found its way to her, seeking an import through the wide open orifice which emitted sound. Everything that had made her human on the inside was now disintegrating, physical and mental qualities dissolving as to shape into something new. Blood no longer coursed through her veins, but instead a putrid poison fueled her vessel. Her thoughts became something obscene, the world she knew before crumbling into nothingness, save for her fidelity to Valerna.

    Her attachment to her Queen was incorruptable by the opposing words of others, her submission to the woman's cause absolute. Even as the tawny color of her gaze was extinguished, even as she relinquished herself further to her true nature, her devotion to her Mistress a constancy. At a moment when her tongue was no longer seized of the sounds of her and her Mother's malevolent mirth, Ashlotte stepped forward, her arms spreading outward as if she were moving to force York into an ungodly union of their bodies, she would direct a sinister threat to him and his comrades. "Valerna's resolve shall prevail. All that wish to thwart her will be destroyed, the realm cleansed of all whom foolishly think to challenge her. She shall not be stopped, and the cause of Ravenwitch shall come into fruition. As we stand upon the precipice of damnation, a new era shall be ushered in upon the tides of blood." She did not blink as the man called York was sundered from the upper portion of his body, her gaze reflecting the crimson hue that bathed the soil.
    #20 Daniella_Belli, Oct 1, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2013
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