The Snake and the Moon IC

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Blind Hemingway

Ancient Iwaku Scum from 2006.
Original poster
Posting Speed
  1. Slow As Molasses
Online Availability
Writing Levels
  1. Adept
  2. Douche
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Primarily Prefer Female
Surrealism, Surreal Horror (Think Tim Burton), Steampunk, Sci-Fi Fantasy, Spaghetti Westerns, Mercenaries, Dieselpunk, Cyberpunk, Historical fantasies
Episode One: A Beautiful World

Before this story set in the present begins, allow for me to go back to the days beforehand.... Before the Castle, Before the coming of the Ancient One....

Just remember, my children, the past is always more glorious than the present, and much more reassuraing to the masses than the cold distant future ever will be.

It was during the reign of the White Queen in which my tale first begins. Like all fairy tales, her land was beautiful and tranquil. She was informed by her father, never to travel into the woods alone. This was the only law that she was supposed to honor.

For there are daemons in these woods.


As time went on, the young princess grew into a handsome queen. Her father now laid on his death bed. "Remember, my dear daughter....Never go into the woods...Never....." These were his final words. The daughter continued to honor her father's request until one curious day...


A dreamkeeper in the guise of a black clad masked prince came to her court. The Prince questioned to the young queen, "Why is it that you cannot enter the woods?" "I honor my father's word. That is all." The black clad Prince smirked, "Is that so? Has he ever told you about the outside world and all of it's splenders? There are millions of foods to taste, thousands of liquids to drink! It is a merry feast for all."

Now this queen was rather naive to the workings of a . For nearly a fortnight, she listened to the daemon's wondrous tales about the world. His smooth words made her grow to trust him. And one day, the foolish queen agreed to go out on a travel. Her father had a reason for not letting leave her hallowed him. For once she saw the death of one mortal, she too would become old and die; forever, befalling the curse of continuous rebirths that all of us mortals face.

The Dreamkeepers were angels that stayed neutral during the long ago war. Because of their neutrality, they lost their wings and were forced to wander around the world of men. They have the rare powers to read dreams and determine what they mean, making them prophets. They are neither good, nor evil. Just a force of change in the world.

As fate had in store, the foolish queen did see a mortal die from sickness, something she knew very little about. While her father had died, he had made a pact with the faye people. For the shortening of his life, he could make his daughter immortal, never knowing what it meant to age or feel the suffering of old age. However, it could only be maintained if she would live inside of her kingdom until the cracking of the world. She had broken this contract and as soon as she saw the mortal die, she felt a deep sadness in heart.

It grieved her so much, that she was said to have expressed these words: "Why does it feel like I'm falling. I guess I have nothing to fear, everything happens for a reason. Yet, all I feel is this void. It is neither pain nor suffering but it is something I cannot yet comprehend. All I can do is accept my fate..."

She then fell to the ground. Tears flowed down her soft face. Soon a bright light engulfed her and she disappeared. Never to be seen again.


This is how the tale goes. It's been a very long time now. No one is sure if this tale is true or not. But it gives a meaning to Das Schloss or the Castle.

It is a building that originates from the German word, "the lock" because no one but the Ancient One of the Keep can enter or leave it. Citizens hold the Schloss in the highest regard and many just simply defend it. Everyone appears to have an explanation for the actions of the Castle that appear to be founded on assumptions and gossip involving the rounding of people with powers....
When people think about the past, they can only remember the notable bits-the things that were so important to them at the time as to be etched onto their brains. Births, weddings, deaths and the like just end up hanging with us far, far more than what we ate for lunch yesterday.

For Justin Ballew, this particular night (October 5th) was going to get a whole lot more meaningful.

After months of saving up and scrounging up money, carefully deflecting questions and assuaging Wilma's fears that he wouldn't ever take the next step in their relationship, tonight was the night. He was going to take Wilma to the grassy hill they had so many good times together and he was going to propose to her.

And then a car ran a red light in front of him and nearly gibbed the man. Wilma yelled at the driver, but that wasn't really important. They were only a few blocks away, now..

"...Really, some people. Hey, are you even listening?"
"Huh?" Justin glanced over at her, running his hand over the box in his pocket. "Eh, it's just a driver. No need to get angry."

He led her across the street, not really noticing Wilma's puzzlement at his optimism. Just a few blocks farther...
Gauge Fendell dug his feet into the soft dirt that surrounded the swamp where he lived. His body poised, at attention, and ready for the 5 mile run he took every day before dawn. It was one of the few things that really helped clear his mind and helped him focus. It also helped keep his body strong and balanced; Two of the key factors that made him a valuable ally to the Jester, the one person he was completely faithful to.

~Gauge launched off his front foot and began his run~

Gauge remembers very little of his time on the earth that we know. Everything, including time, seemed to have blurred and erased itself. His memories are like past, insignificant dreams; Hazy and for the most part unimportant. The only thing that ties his former life to the one he lives now, is killing. As in this life, in this parallel universe, he is an assassin, just as he was in the past. He can't help but think that there is a reason he has come to this universe and for that matter met and joined forces with the Jester, but if there is a connection it is lost to Gauge as his shoddy memory prevents him from tying the two together.

~2 miles in, sweat pours from his neck and chest as his eyes show the look of determination and hate~

Gauge hates the Ancient man with a deep rooted passion. The rape of innocents and the slaughter of the helpless was an inexcusable crime. Most of what fueled Gauges hatred derives from the Ancient man and his actions. Just as with corrupt individuals in times past, Gauge knew the ancient man would get what was coming to him. Be it by direct assault or a round about, karma driven affliction, it would happen. That much Gauge was sure of, and with every breath he took he swore to see it done.

Gauge made the full circle from his house and around a hidden path within the swamp. He came to a stop, his skin glistening with sweat in the early dawns light. His chest rising in full, even bursts. For the first few minutes after his run Gauge experienced moments of clarity - as if a door had been opened - his memories were still hazy, but he had a sense of purpose that was not always present. The bidding of the Jester was his first priority as Gauge knew he and the Jester shared the same hatred towards the Ancient man.

The assassin returned to his home and awaited orders from the Jester.
Hand in hand with Justin, Wilma walked silently through the night. She let the fact that her beloved almost got squished by an idiot driver go because a constant fuss would have been annoying. It had been a while since they sat together on their grassy hilltop. She wondered if anything had changed; were there still dandelions she'd blow the seeds from after making wishes? Did the lightning bugs still float about in search of a mate? More than anything else, she enjoyed sitting in his embrace while they made up stories with fantasy backgrounds and wonderful creatures.

The hill was coming into view. It reminded her of a question that got lost in her reminiscing thoughts, "What made you want to come here? Is it for old time's sake?"

Wilma smiled to herself after the question. It would make sense if that were the case... They were so busy with studies, but she was finished with college so what was left was to find a place to work. She dearly hoped that during some point, their relationship would go further. Wilma stopped expecting a proposal and even stopped dreaming about it when she slept.

Both of her arms wrapped around one of his, her head of red hair settling itself on his shoulder. She was thinking of some stories to tell, hoping it would make the night more memorable.
And so it would come to pass, that the young lovers made it to the hill. It was also clear that Wilma had no clue that Justin really was going to propose to her that very moment...

That is until something happened. As soon as Justin was going to reach for the wedding band in his breast pocket, someone started singing. It is human nature to rationalize something as odd as this. For the youths, it would have been nothing more than a bunch of eccentric church goers at the local prayer house on this peaceful Saturday night...However, there are some points in history that cannot be so easily rationalized.

"Farewell, vain world! I'm going home! My savior smiles and bids me come, And I don't care to stay here long!"

"Oh, great...I would have thought all the Church goers would be home sleeping..." Justin muttered to himself.

"I'm glad that I am born to die, from grief and woe my soul shall fly, and I don't care to stay here long"

"Whoever is singing, sure is overly enthusiastic about death... "Wilma responded. These singers had ruined a nearly perfect moment for these two young lovers.

"Bright angels shall convey me home, away to Jerusalem!"

Then the hill around began to glow a supernatural golden rod. Slowly little puffs of light began to flow all around them, just like thousands of dandelion seeds. They soon formed into a vaguely profile shape of a woman. "Come hither young children. You're being called home. Come hither..." Just when Justin was going to approach the creature in morbid curiosity, it broke into thousands of smaller bipedal flower humanoids that began to link hands and continued to sing their bitter sweet song about going home....

Wilma jumped up scared and clung to Justin as the flower humanoids inched ever closer to them, the world behind them became smaller and smaller. Soon the starry night sky was now level with the little patch of golden rod grass. This was soon followed by cracking noise... As it surrounded them, the world around seemed to be falling apart. Breaking into thousands of shards, much like that of a mirror being smashed apart by a powerful punch... They were soon surrounded by a bright white light.

They would not wake up for several hours after this event.

Chirp, chirp, chirp...

It was the sad song of a chickadee that made Justin regain conscious....

He awoke to find himself and Wilma sitting on a hill. However, this time there was no buildings or cars off in the distant...Just miles upon miles of tall oaks...
"Gauge, you are late." A scruffy voice said from within the shadows of the assassin's home. "Though, you appear to be maintaining your physical stamina, which is all that really counts. I take it, that all went well."

Gauge's home was little more than a small shack that probably once belonged to a hunter. The white paint was peeling off the wall and the wooden floors creaked with every step someone took. A percussion cap rifle was hanging off the wall nearest to the doorway and by trained instinct Gauge grabbed for it, until the voice spoke again.

"You know your weapons have no effect on me. I've survived too many wars. Besides. Is that anyway to treat an ally in the same cause? Not to mention, your very mentor?"


The figure then stepped forward from the shadows. It was a middle aged man wearing little more than a cloak and his undergarments. Upon first glance, this man was very unimposing, standing less than 5'8" and weighing an unimpressive 150 lbs. His face was never fully seen, but it was clear that he had all sorts of runes inked on to his skin. The purposes of these signs were rumored to be the source of his powers; of course, just how many people ever seen him without his fancy custome was very minimal indeed. This man was the one that everyone called the Jester.

"I must apologize, if I gave you a fright my old friend. It is rare for you to see me without my normal face on. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to sneak to the outskirts of the Castle without the militias panicking." The Jester said, still sounding like he had a raspy throat. "The Ancient One's movements in the forest have increased. Not even the Red Fairy comes out of hiding anymore. This means that if we are to strike, as you so desire, it will require us to do so quickly."

Jester then flopped a large bag on the small oak table in the center of Gauge's home. There was a metallic clunk as the grenades rolled out of the sack. "These were the best grades I could create without being suspicious. However, they'll work fine. Maybe not as fancy as the ones back in your home world but they'll do."
Gauge opened the creaky old door to his small home. He was so focused on his own thoughts that he nearly jumped out of his skin when he heard a voice addressing him from the shadows, the Assassin went instinctively for his gun, but stopped short after realizing who it was.

"So it is you then?" Said Gauge, relaxing a little. It seemed he was on edge lately, but this was not a rare occurrence for him. For Gauge, being slightly on edge was part of the job. He kept his eyes on his ally as he sat in his one chair; An old wooden flat back with faded coats of finish peeling off in several places.

Gauge listened to the Jester, knowing that his own hellbent hatred for the Ancient ones militia was seconded only by the man that now stood in front of him. It was a fire that burned strong and fiercely. Gauge would fight them tooth and nail until his dying day. His face actually took on a sort of strange glow, as the edges of his mouth curled up ever so slightly, when he realized that the Jester's unexpected visit had to do with an attack on the militia.

Gauge inspected the grenades.

"These are fine" the assassin stood up and for the first time making direct eye contact with Jester.

"When do we strike, you know I am always ready." His fists were clenched in tight balls and the muscles in his jaw were taunt. Gauge was ready to kill.

"We strike when the sun it is at its lowest." Jester responded. "The militia are but just mere men compared to their Immortal ancestor."

The Jester was used to fighting as a partisan. Perhaps, in a past life he was a freedom fighter against a tyrannical movement; however, like so many others that came to the Castle, memories were lost and as new ones were gained. The running belief was that the Castle changed a man's mind and soul after being in there for long periods of time. No one knew what was beyond the edge of the cliff bases, everything just seemed to go into a gray abyss. The rest of the grounds were surrounded by a thick woods, primarily oaks and firs. Swamps also added to this confusing maze of plant life and nasty water ways.

"Now, if you can excuse me. I must do my rituals for war." The Jester then nodded to his friend and then walked towards the back door of the shack. Gauge knew that this was Jester's religious obligations before going off to battle. They never discussed it deeper than that. He then was outside in the damp mid fall air. The forest was just as unwelcoming as the Castle as itself. Even so, he stripped off the cloak and was now wearing nothing but a pair of long woolen underpants. He then pulled a small framed picture of a young woman with white hair in the center of the cloak. Jester then placed a dagger near is his heart and began to hum the lyrics to this song.

"Silence, the night is all be-starred
And the frost burned strong.
Do you remember when I taught you
To hold a gun in your hands.
A lass, a fur jacket and a beret,
Holding a pistol tight in her hand,
A lass with a velvet face
Watches over the enemy's caravan. "​

He was praying to the queen that the legends of old talked about. In Jester's version of the tale, the young queen didn't die in the wilderness like the popular version says. It was much more complex than that. Jester knew that she was a historical figure and that when she disappeared was the same time that the Ancient One and his militias first appeared from the West. They were more than likely responsible for her disappearance and the general populace was much too ignorant to take a deeper look into the records of the past. Of course, he knew that the Castle probably was the Daemon's way of keeping his foes away, so he could horde all the power to himself. This is what the Jester hated so much about the Ancient One. The prevention of liberty for people, further more, the Jester's own personal liberties.
As the Jester left out the back door, Gauge prepared for battle. From what he had gathered this would be a quick strike; Hard and fast, leaving the militia with little time to regroup. After all, as it was, they were few fighting many and their tactics must be fierce. Gauge knew of the Jesters brutal guerrilla fighting style, after all he had shown Gauge much of what he knows about battle. And although Gauge didn't understand the Jesters pre-war rituals, he respected them all the same.

Gauge put on his black cargo pants, the ones with the pockets on the side. On his top half, went a black, long sleeved, shirt and over that a vest that zipped up the front. Next he inspected the grenades. They looked like old concussion grenades, Gauge wasn't really sure, but knew they would get the job done. After he loaded up with them he got his weapon. As an assassin, he usually used stealth tactics to kill. Scoped riffles, silenced pistols ect., but as it was they would most likely be raining down as much hell as possible in a short amount of time, so Gauge went with a SR-3m Vikhr It was small, automatic and perfect for the job. That combined with the grenades, not to mention whatever the Jester had up his sleeve, would do nicely.

Lastly Gauge rubbed a small amount of charcoal from his fireplace in a dish with some water. He applied this under his eyes as well as to his cheeks, rubbing it in evenly. This would reduce glare from the low setting sun, as well as give him a vicious, inhuman look. Gauge was ready for combat, he would follow Jester to hell and back. And as always he trusted his leader and mentor with his life.
Wilma was rubbing the side of her head as she sat upon a hill, her other arm clinging to Justin for dear life. Something unreal just happened... It would be foolish of her to call this a dream because she was genuinely in some pain and felt grass beneath her. Before she could take another minute to look around, she let go of Justin and got on to her knees, putting her hands on his shoulders and asking,

"Are you hurt?"

He shook his head and smiled to her, however it faded into a look of confusion. Where were they now and what was that singing they heard? He took Wilma's hand and stood up with her, nervously but calmly observing the new world they arrived in.

"Justin, I'm afraid... We should see if we can find any help."

Without a moment to lose, they stayed close together and began making a search for help or at least civilization. This was nothing like they have ever seen before... Not a single person around nor a plant they could identify beyond a tree or a flower.

All along the way, neither could shake the feeling that they were being watched... And even followed.
There was a silence in the air. The Jester and Gauge were now in the dark woods that surrounded the Castle grounds. With them came the shapes of several other men, all wearing hooded cloaks.


Several yards away were a bunch of heavy set men in drab looking outfits. About the only thing uniformed about them was a half moon patch located over their hearts. These were the Militiamen. To the people trapped in the Castle, they were little more than sneaky collaborators that willingly surrendered their countrymen to a foreigner. To the partisans in the woods, they were simply targets. Scare enough of them and over time the Ancient One would have nothing more than hardcore party followers.

One of the guards then coughed, a piece of snot was stuck in his throat. That was the signal the partisans wanted. Jester waved his hands and then several of the partisans opened fire with whatever strange firearms they had. A volley of bullets riddled the militia men down like cows in a slaughter house.

To Justin and Wilma, the sounds of war only added to the already confusing world they were in...
As Gauge and a handful of other warriors waited for the signal from Jester, the ominous quiet took hold. The only sound Gauge could hear was the steady -thump thump thump - of his own heart. He could feel his heart rate increase as extra blood was pumped throughout his body. Small tingles ran down his spine. He was focused, on alert, and poised for attack. Every fiber of his body seemed to be standing at attention, but the Assassin was not shaky. There was not a nervous bone in his body. Gauge had the killers edge, a sort of terminal intensity to which only a trained killer can relate.

As the group of militiamen moved into view he clutched his weapon in his right hand. His eyes narrowed at the sight of the half moon patches above their hearts. Gauge could feel himself becoming flushed with hatred at that sign, but he remained focused. In his left hand he held a grenade. Hit first, hit fast, hit hard that was the plan. The moments crept by until finally Gauge heard the single and watched as Jester raised his hand. This was it. Gauge hurled the grenade and opened fire with his Vickr before it exploded. Hellfire erupted through the forest. The gentleness and calm that had existed just moments before was now a mist of gun smoke, dying men and chaos.

A small smile jumped across Gauge's face as he pumped bullets onto their enemies. The attack was truly a success and would definitely send a message to the Ancient one.
The search for civilization took an interesting turn once gunshots started resounding through the forest. This was strange; the battle was far more intense than a simple Canadian drug bust or something.

Not that he'd studied those intensely...

...still, it was odd. You just didn't get protracted battles in temperate wooded areas too often nowadays.
"Hey, Wilma? Let's hang back a bit. When the shooting stops, I'll try to go up and talk to whoever's fighting."
Well, this is a hell of a way to delay a marriage proposal.
Wilma nodded to Justin when he suggested they stay here for the time being. She had her arms wrapped around one of his arms again, a somber expression on her face as she looked around. The girl very strongly did not want to be here! She was terrified of guns and knowing they weren't too far from people that were firing their weapons did not settle too well.

"Justin, I th-OH MY GOD!" Wilma jumped back when a couple of bullets came flying towards them, dragging her beloved along with her. "Screw this, we're running!"

With tears forming in her eyes, she tugged Justin along with her and began running through the unknown territory with hopes that she'd fall back into her world again. Everything was perfectly fine back at home, why did this have to happen to them!?