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  1. Beiträge anzeigen #1
    Ranger Avatar von KeeperUTX
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    Post Legacy of Kain : Double Dimensions.

    This is a story that I made up. Talks about Kain from LoK in the world of Gothic.
    Kain is the one talking here.

    Enjoy


    CHAPTER 1 : The failure of the Chronoplast Chamber

    As I entered the Chronoplast Chamber, a sudden feeling of imminent danger ran through my body, although there was nothing in the vicinity that would be deemed as a threat to me. Having engaged the Chamber's machinations, I walked through the portal that would have sent me back to my original timeline, the timeline in which Nosgoth's appearance is bleaker than ever. But there was something wrong. When I had stepped in, the Soul Reaver stopped glowing it's usually shade blue colour. And as I materialized, I realized that I had made a grave error : I was falling. I closed my eyes, preparing for an awful impact, for as powerful as both I and The Reaver was, I could only hope for a miracle. But when I opened my eyes, I saw that I was slowly gliding to the ground. And it was not I who was gliding. Some miraculous force had placed me safely on the ground, and even though I was missing my heart, I could still feel the rush of nearly meeting my demise. A voice shouted from behind: ''What in hell's name are you?!''. Turning round, I saw that it was some sort of bandit, his hands shaking in pure fear of my apparently demonic appearance. Pulling him towards myself with Telekinesis ( TK in future references) I rammed the Reaver through him and sank my teeth into his neck, draining hime of his soul and his blood, his body fell as I released him, collapsing like a doll of rags. I looked at the sign that protruded out of the ground that read Khorinis in one direction, and To Monastery in another. From what I saw from the heights, I deduced that this was an island. I would have to find a hiding place, for if all humans reacted like this, I would have to gain some sort of retreat, a place where I could find respit. I headed in in the direction of the town of Khorinis, hoping to find a cavern where I would craft my enclave...

    (I'll continue with CH2 some time later, my fingers hurt :P)
    The English WoG is NOT dead, my friends!
    [Bild: tOC_sig1.jpg]
    Geändert von KeeperUTX (16.09.2012 um 13:02 Uhr)

  2. Beiträge anzeigen #2
    Ranger Avatar von KeeperUTX
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    CHAPTER 2 : The Necromancer

    As I cleared out one cave after another, I noticed a certain pattern beginning to appear:
    certain crevaces contained a small amount of bandits, which wore tattered, torn and virtually functionless leather armor, whereas rare caves lead to a small group of large, disgustingly green ape-like creatures, wearing anything from armor with a tribal appearance to that of heavy plated, black armor which bore markings. These monsters wielded enormous yet decadent and blood-rusted axes, which still seem to do reasonable incisions into the hapless and foolish victims that encountered them. What a waste of good blood.

    Finally, I found an age old cavern that would suite me well. It was dark, moss covering its walls, and seemed vacant of life. I formed the pentagram that transport me back to this place if my life energy abated and had become too dispersed throughout my body to sustain me properly. When night fell, I sought to gain at the very minimal a few blood vials, for my strength was at full and beyond at that time. Seeing a large,spiked tower in the distance, I used my Mist ability to steal myself in, but when i stepped out of the darkness, there was nothing. And yet I could hear the reasonably audiable sound of a book being slammed shut in anger, and then an old, annoyed voice:

    ''Hmph. If those damned Fire Magicians wouldn't have exiled me like this, I would still have access to the Halls of Irdorath. Ordained of Innos my rump...''

    Innos? Who is this Innos? Perhaps som sort of deity that these Fire Mages worshipped?
    The annoyed voice spoke again:

    ''By Beliar, if I see one of those arrogant, pompous rats again...''
    The voice became muffled. Whoever this man was, he had gone upwards, into the higher resets of the tower. But who is Beliar? Yet another of their gods?
    I headed upwards into the room in which the man was: it was darkly decorated, with some sort of circular device in one corner, a ragged, soiled bed in another, and a bookstand in a third corner, besides it a horrid figure of a man , the skin of his head ripped off clean, and not a trace of blood. On the alchemy table in the last of the corners, there was a note that read :

    ''TRANSLATION OF TABLET #2 : ... And Adanos flooded the land in his unbound rage, thus purifying the land of...'' and then broke in mid-sentence.
    I assumed that this was a third god, perhaps in association with water?

    ''That's private property, you know...'' the old voice spoke with patience.

    Turning around rapidly, I pulled out the Soul Reaver, its serpentine blade glowing shade blue as usual. I saw that the old man wielded a menacing blue ball of magical fire, pointing it towards me. He wore a dark, runic robe, perhaps designed to further magnify his power.

    ''I have no reason for killing a magician.'', I told the old man with a calm tone.
    Looking at the hilt of my blade, his sorcery ceased, responding to my answer:

    ''That is... the Soul Reaver, is it not?'', Looking at it with admiration and respect in his eyes.
    ''I am Xardas, and I am NOT a magician. I am a Necromancer, far more powerful than those pitiful Fire Mages!''

    ''I am Kain, lord of vampires. Or rather I was, until I was teleported onto this wretched island by what seemed to be a malfunction in...''

    ''... The Chronoplast Chamber, correct?'' The old man apparently knew far more than I first thought

    ''How did you...'' I started, but yet again, Xardas already held the answer to my inquiry:

    ''I know far more than any of the other mages know... for you see, I use world ripples to view the events of other dimensions, and sometimes even alter them. I know you well, Kain. At first I didn't recognize you, but when you told me your name, I saw past your new, nearly orc-like features.''

    He was right in not realizing who I was. After all, he likely saw me far before my evolution, when I was still a simplistic, young and vengful vampire. My skin was as wight as snow, my eyes burned an intense blue, I had five fingers, and my hair was shorter. After my evolution, I became green, my ears partly overgrowing my hair, my muscles somewhat larger, my eyes now glowing a demonic yellow,the fingers I once had were replaced by three orange claws, and my hair is much longer than before. Back when I was 432 years of age, I wore a pathetic war armor, not acommadating my ever changing claws and body. It was torn and ruined from the last battle I had with the Hylden Lord. I now wore a more capable armor, having more comfortable bracers, shoes that fit my feet precisely, and I now brandish a banner that hangs off of my right shoulder, bearing my once infamous symbol. Quite appropriate for a vampire which has lived for 2500 years all in all.

    Responding in anger, I instantly raised the Reaver up to Xardas' neck.
    ''Tell me, what in hell's name is an orc! NOW!''

    Grunting, Xardas told me:

    ''Well, an orc is a large creature which wields rusted axes as their weapons. And I apologize for my rudeness.''

    I lowered the Reaver and sheathed it again.

    ''Apology accepted. So, the repulsive ogres I've been slaughtering are actually called orcs. How quaint. Which reminds me, do you know a way back into Nosgoth's present time? I MUST return in order to restore the Pillars.''

    He slowly built an answer to my question. '' It may be possible. But I will need some things from around the island.''

    ''Why can't you go get them?''

    ''Because I am 174 years old. I am not as agile as I was.''

    Replying in sarcasm I cantered him :

    ''Oh, but that's very young an age for a human, I'm 2532 years old, I could never achieve what you ask of me.'' Xardas looked at me apprehensively, and I replied ''Oh,wait. I'm used to meeting vampires and Pillar guardians that are 7000 years old, and I'm a vampire. Only joking. I'll get whatever you need to get out of here.''

    ''Right. Take these blood vials - they will replenish you when the time comes, and this map - it shows the names and locations of the items that I need.'' He quickly scribbled up a map of the island and handed the goods to me.''And I'll tell a few people about you, so you can get some help from them if needed.''

    I nodded to him and departed the tower, in search of my first relic...

    (CH3 comes later.)
    The English WoG is NOT dead, my friends!
    [Bild: tOC_sig1.jpg]
    Geändert von KeeperUTX (15.11.2012 um 17:00 Uhr)

  3. Beiträge anzeigen #3
    Ranger Avatar von KeeperUTX
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    Chapter 3 Revenant Rampancy

    I placed a beacon in front of the tower so that I could return rapidly.

    I set my course to that of an old, forsaken lighthouse. Unfortunately, my path would be forced around the town of Khorinis, leaving me at risk to the imbecile militia and what were called ''paladins'' that so justly defended the city from the varying vermin that resided on the island. I observed one of the militia:
    They wore a red and wight leather armor, which seemed to offer more protection than the leather armor that the bandits commonly wear. The majority of their kind brandished crudely fashioned broadswords, pointing to to the fact that there was a shortage of good iron. At times, I saw knights patrolling the outskirts of the city walls. They wore full armor and ring mail over their heads, most of them having a red cross over their chests, likely the mark of the paladin order. Managing to avoid most of them, one of the foolish militiamen discovered me while I was looking for a way up to the lighthouse. Using TK to pull him towards me, I intended to make a light meal out of his weak body. But then I realized : If I am indeed to restore Nosgoth to its former glory, I would not have need to slay the innocent, simply avoid them until the deed was done. I forced the man to faint from lack of air, barely hanging between the precifices of life and death. I then saw a crude yet logical path to my goal : although the actual path was ruined, the wall beside it offered soft soil, soft enough for me to climb on it. Clawing my way up to the road that lead to the lighthouse, I noticed that it had more than just thugs : Robed men stood with them, their dark robes having a strong similarity to that of Xardas' robe. Just when I readied the Soul Reaver to leap into the fray, a voice spoke from my side:

    ''If you try that, they'll roast you like that other guy...''

    I turned, revealing it to be a man in a crimson-red robe : It was adorned with all manner of runes, and the belt of it bore the mark of what I assumed to be Innos'.

    ''You must be Kain. I am Milten, Magician of the 3rd Circle of Fire. Xardas told me about you some time ago.''

    ''You look a bit young to be a mage, am I right?'' Milten nodded with a smile.
    ''I was the one who saved you while you were falling. With a spell called Leviatus.''
    I grinned in response and thanked him for his effort.
    ''Tell me more about those black-robes, then.''

    ''We call them Seekers, they follow Beliar in their search for their own dark deeds, and the two of us would NEVER overpower five of those psychos... By the way, what's with that hole in your chest? Looks like you don't have a heart...''

    I looked down at the gaping hole where the Heart of Darkness once resided and recalled what happened :
    Raziel, my ex-lieutenant - at that time being a vampire-wraith, being thrown into the Lake of the Dead and then revived - ripped it out during our last battle in Avernus Cathedral, and then banishing me into Oblivion. I was raised there once again by pure virtue of my role as the Scion of Balance, for this role allowed me to stay alive, even after Raziel did so in order to ressurect Janos Audron, the one he supposed to be his 'mentor', the book that would reveal his past. In the end, Janos was possessed by none other than the Hylden Lord, Hash'ak'gik. He dragged Janos' body to a machine named the Device, where he would fuel it for the next 400 years...

    ''Well? What happened?'' Milten asked with curiosity.

    ''It... was a feud between me... and... a friend. Nothing else to say about it. Now, how do we approach this...?

    Another, heartier voice bellowed:

    ''I say we set 'em up and knock 'em down with my axe.''

    I saw an armored, dark-skinned man walk up to me and Milten. His armor shined a light blue, and on its chest was the image of a lion, his gloves made of ring mail and leather, and his axe was considerably large: It had two gleaming blades which reflected the light of the bandit's fire.

    ''I am Gorn, Mercenary of the Dragon Hunters. Hey Milten, is this the guy who Xardas told us about?''

    ''Hello, Gorn.'' The two clearly knew eachother for a long time.
    ''And yes, this is Kain, the 'guy' Xardas talked about.''

    Seeing as there were now three of us, I prompted the young magician.
    ''Are there enough of us now?''

    ''No, Not yet. let's at least wait for another one of us to show up...''

    ''I don't think that will be neccessary, my blade will cut them down like weeds.''

    Gorn jumped in. ''You shouldn't underestimate them, Kain. The Seekers are capable of killing a magician of any circle and deity without any major complications.''

    Then, a third, raspy voice sounded:

    ''Not without an ex-Shadow to guard their back!''

    ''Punctual as always, my friend.'' Gorn was obviously happy to see another familiar face.''

    ''I'm Diego, ex-Shadow and thug. My bow never misses its shot.''

    Diego was wearing a dull red armor, which, I assumed, belonged to these 'Shadows' he spoke of.
    His bow looked rather old as well. It had various scratches all over, presumably from whenever a beast came too close for comfort.

    ''I am Kain, Scion of Balance.'' Since everyone else had some sort of rank, I simply use my role as a mock rank.

    ''Sounds pretty damned serious.'' Diego apparently liked it.

    But I pressed on with a tactic :

    ''Right. Here's the plan : The three of you will cause a distraction so that I can go around them and eliminate them from behind.''

    They did as they were told, and I simply used my Mist form to sneak up behind a foolhardy bandit. I grabbed his head, and with my almost godlike strength I ripped his head clean off, his blood gushing from his neck like a fountain. I left the blood to flow, so that other two bandits fled in utter terror. Two of the five Seekers were already massacred by my newfound comrades. I decided to suprise the third and lunged the Reaver through his still hooded head. While doing so I used TK to pick up the fourth and threw him off the cliff and he most likely fell to his demise. I unsticked the Reaver from my hapless victim's head, and proceeded to drain him of his blood. The fifth one was roasted by fireballs and punctured by arrows of Milten and Diego.

    Gorn shouted loudly in a victorious voice: ''Ha! These dopes never knew what hit them! We should celebrate...''

    ''Do you EVER stop celebrating, Gorn?'' Replied Diego in an enthusiastic voice.

    ''Not now.''
    I searched the upper section of the lighthouse, to find not one, but all of the relics that I required. Ironic, how I would have found ALL of them in one place... Almost as if someone was tricking me into a trap.

    And then, a familiar voice spoke to me in an ominous tone:

    ''Precisely, Kain.''

    ''The Elder God. How lovely. Don't you have someone else to annoy? And HOW are you conversing with me, If you reside in Nosgoth, and not here?''

    He responded to my inquiry with an overly arrogant tone:
    ''I am ever present. I am everyWHERE and everyWHEN, for as my body partly exists in the Spectral Realm, I know everything that is to come. The only creature that is not bound to the Wheel of Fate is...''

    I cut him off in mid-sentence. ''Raziel, the one who is now forever imprisoned in the Soul Reaver.''

    The Elder God quickly corrected me. ''Nay, t'is the one who WIELDS it.''

    ''How so?''

    ''Because of your resurrection within Oblivion, and because of the wraith that delves within the Reaver, YOU are the one unbound creature... I will leave to your own devices, Kain. But be warned - dark forces working against you are ready to do anything to prevent you from restoring the Pillars of Nosgoth... Beware the Dark Lord...''


    His voice dissipated as suddenly as it had appeared in my mind.

    ''Gorn claimed ''You should come 'round for another fight, Kain.''

    I replied, with sarcasm : ''Of course. Let's kill another thousand of them.. Or not. But we SHALL meet again.''

    Parting ways with my new allies, I utilized my bat form to return to the entrance of Xardas' tower. But when I reformed, I saw a large rusted axe flung at me. Narrowly avoiding it, the axe clipped a small amount of my banner when I dodged. The orc ran at me with intense fervor, roaring ''KRUSHAK VARRA TAJ VLEGHDHAK!'' as it went. I simply jumped over the neanderthalic oaf, thus sealing his fate : he ran straight off the cliff. Poor fool.

    Running up to the top of the tower, I avoided an orc being thrown off of the platform, just barely.

    Xardas shouted, with nervousness in his voice:

    ''Kain! Quickly, toss the relics into the pentagram!''

    ''...!''

    ''WHAT ARE YOU STANDING THERE FOR?! THROW THEM IN! BEFORE THE WARD PREVENTING HIM FROM ATTACKING FAILS!!''

    I discarded the contents of the bag onto the symbol of the pentagram, and Xardas began chanting, slamming his staff into the ground with every three words:

    ''KLATHAEN TERRANIES NOSGOTH RADESGMUS,
    KLATHAEN TERRANIES NOSGOTH INFERNISUS,
    KLATHAEN TERRANIES NOSGOTH ELDAE!!''

    I wondered who 'He' was, but at point, the Necromancer raised his stave, and the portal to Nosgoth opened. The wasteland within my reach, I ran towards it, exilerated.
    But as I jumped into the portal, a dark figure cast a ball of dark energy into the fulcrum that magically supported it.
    Xardas yelled: ''Kain, WAIT! NO!''

    But his warning was in vain : I fell into the rift that replaced the portal and the forces that I was subdued to were incalcuable...

    ''AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGH!!!''

    I lost consciousness because the pain was unbearable, even by my standarts, and reality seemed to warp endlessly...
    Is this the end, I wondered.

    And then... I awoke, and I was dragged back from the precifice of madness, my banner torn in two and lying beside me. The Soul Reaver was intact, but had suffered a small amount of scrapes from the transportation.

    I gazed around to find myself in another dimension, and all I could do was scream in anger,realizing who the dark figure was. It was then that I also realized who Xardas meant by 'HIM'. T'was the Hylden Lord.

    ''NOOOOOOOOO! DAMN YOU, HASH'AK'GIK! DAMN YOU!!''
    I collapsed to the ground from thrustration...

    (CH 4 comes later.)
    The English WoG is NOT dead, my friends!
    [Bild: tOC_sig1.jpg]
    Geändert von KeeperUTX (14.11.2012 um 18:57 Uhr)

  4. Beiträge anzeigen #4
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    Chapter 4 : A possible Guardian.

    ''No. I will NOT allow some Hylden scumbag foil my quest to restore the Pillars to their former glory... If he thinks he's won, then he's sadly mistaken. For as long as I am Scion of Balance, as long as I still draw breath, Hash'ak'gik shall not deter me from my goal! Not now, not ever!''

    Defying my own anger at my foolishness, I once again grabbed the Soul Reaver's hilt and promptly lifted myself from the ashen ground that encroached my legs.
    Observing my new surroundings, I noticed that there were skeletons, remnants of both human and animal kind, lying all over the land. Looking upwards, the sky was dyed a bloody red. I turned around to see the ruins of a larger city, looking at the walls that managed to stand through whatever had obliterated this city. They were covered with fragments of gold, presumably all from a larger ornament. I also noticed a decently charred sign, and walk over to it. The letters were nigh unto unlegislable, but I deciphered this much :

    ''E COM TO MINSTREL, PROUD ST CI OF VALENCIA''

    Or if you added a handful of letters it would likely read out 'WELCOME TO MINSTREL, PROUDEST CITY OF VALENCIA'. All too easy a nut to crack. Obviously, Minstrel was the former city that lay before me, and Valencia was by all liability the land that I now stood upon.

    I entered the sad excuse of a city, ruined by forces unknown to me. Most of the households and buildings were thoroughly destroyed, and approaching what seemed to be a large park, I saw a fountain, suprisingly still intact. And it was gushing the nectar that I so enjoyed. Blood, delicious, dark-red blood! I opted to fill my blood vials that Xardas offered me, but when I unfurled the pouch's tie, I revealed a slight glitch in my intentions. The vials were shattered, likely due to my 'landing'.

    ''Wonderful. Another annoyance to add to the growing list of annoyances - nowhere to store blood. Damn.''

    Discarding the now worthless mix of glass, corks and blood, I heard a moan from nearby.

    ''Uuuuuugh...''

    The moan had come from under a large slab of a fallen wall. With a small amount of elbow grease, and the combined effort of TK and pure willpower, I managed to pull the wall clear off the victim. T'was a young woman, I observed her from the head downwards. Here hair was light blue, her face youthful, but it had a large gash, traversing from her cheek down to her chin. The clothes she wore were ripped and damage, and the shoulderpad she had was covered in solidified blood that dripped off her wound. The robe itself was layden in a conflagration of runes, dirt and blood. The runes, I assumed, helped her cast spells of healing, as they seemed to bear slight resemblances to that of a Nachtholm priest's runes.

    These priests use spells which instantly healed the wound in question, whether it be a minor fleshwound or a festering wound.

    I decided to give the unconscious girl a jostle. I picked her up by the shoulders and rapidly shook her.

    ''Wake up, child.''

    She did not respond. Perhaps a slightly larger 'nudge' is in order?
    I shook her again, more violently this time round.

    ''Wake-up-you-worthless-whelp-you-have-to-tell-me-what...''

    The girl's eyes opened. Her eyes were dark-red, as dark as blood. And then widened.

    I did not realize what scared here, but then I saw it in here eyes : they reflected a large monstrosity's outline. I jumped out of the way, avoiding a blast of artificial energy, holding the girl as I went. Dropping here by the blood fountain, I unsheathed the Soul Reaver, its spiritual energies engulfing its serpentine blade. I quickly ran towards the beast, seeing its appearance. It was metallic, with what seemed to be veins of a large pallet of colours, its head was faceless. The chest of the abomination glowed like a torch in the night.

    I hurled myself at it, slashing it multiple times, seemingly without any effect.

    ''Gah! Just die already, you armored wraith!''

    The creature spoke :

    ''BODY DAMAGE 0 PERCENT, RE-ROUTING POWER TO MAIN ASSAULT WEAPON.''

    ''What gibberish is this?!''

    The monster's arm raised at me, firing another bolt of artificial energy, and I effortlessly avoided it. The bolt flew off into a wall, and demolished it completly in a blinding flash of light. And I realized : If the creature utilizes energy like that, then there had to be an energy source within it. And if there was a source, I could use that to my advantage.

    I used the Balance Emblem, and switched to the power of the Energy Pillar, running towards the mechanized mass while doing so. It fired another bolt of its artificial energy, but I vaulted over both the bolt and the machine. I then slammed the Energy Reaver, with all my vampiric might, through the machine's metal heart, the tip of the Reaver appearing out of its chest.

    ''ERROR!! CRITICAL DAMAGE!!''

    Critical damage indeed. I focused on the power of the Energy Reaver, and suddenly, the machine detonated in a wave of pure, unendeavored energy. Oh, the sound of metal being torn asunder by divine forces! It was like a symphony to me, a beautious symphony at that! And as it ended, I walked up to the girl, stricken speechless by the power of the Reaver.

    ''Tell me child, what is your name?'' After such an intense battle, I was eager to find out who I had saved.

    ''I-I'm Al-A-A-A... Alicia.'' Her eyes were still trembling from the encounter with the mechanized abomination, and her voice trembled like a quivering leaf.

    ''I am Kain. You need not fear me.''

    ''O-Okay... I'll g-g-go get my staff...'' But Alicia tripped, and I caught her and then placed her on a small pile of rubble.
    ''Thank you. Could you get...''

    I already knew what she needed. ''... That staff of yours? Not a problem.''

    A familiar item would soothe her strained nerves, allowing her to talk calmly. Walking over to the stave, I picked it up with my TK. But when I opted to give it to her, I noticed something very alarming : the staff had the markings of Dimension and Energy, and within its crystal, the symbol of Light twirled in circles. This could be just a very rare coincidence, yet I wondered what this meant...

    ''Mind hurrying up... Please?''

    ''Right. Here you go.''

    I handed over the marked staff, and in Alicia's hands, the markings dissipate into nothingness.
    The stave's energy coursed through her, healing the gash that once mutilated her face, and all traces of blood and dirt disappeared into thin air.

    ''Ah, much better than before!'' Alicia was glad of the effects that the staff was infused with.
    ''So who are you again? I'm a priestess-healer.''

    I gave her a prompt answer.

    ''As I have said. I am Kain, and I carry the role of the Scion of Balance.''

    ''Whoa! Sounds really important! ... Wait...''

    A dawning revelation gathered on Alicia's face, memories reaching from the depths of her mind into her heart.

    ''We have to save my friends! Come on, there isn't any time, follow me!''

    She ran off, and I followed her, while enigma after enigma surmounted in my mind.
    Is she the prophecised Guardian of Light, which had been foretold by the murals in Nachtholm? Where were we headed? And one last question that had remained in the back of my mind since my conversation with the Elder God:

    Just who is this Dark Lord?

    All would be answered when we reached our destination.

    (CH5 comes out later...)
    The English WoG is NOT dead, my friends!
    [Bild: tOC_sig1.jpg]
    Geändert von KeeperUTX (14.02.2013 um 15:34 Uhr)

  5. Beiträge anzeigen #5
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    Chapter 5 : The Mysterious Figure

    While following Alicia to our target location, I looked with epiphany upon my now torn banner, the tears running straight through the symbol, and I recalled that glorious day when I gained it. Vorador, the father of all vampires, had created it by himself, claiming that no leader should not have a marking of his own. I knew not of its meaning, but I did know that it would be one day feared by the remnant human cattle that populated their proud human citadel, as much as they feared the clans that my lieutenants had forged.

    I then noticed that Vorador's signet ring was missing from my ear. Another memory flew out of the depths of my mind, and a brutal one at that:
    The final confrontation with the vampiric father.

    ''This isn't logical, Kain. Vampires cannot just slay humans like rats. We have to ascertain an alliance with them!''

    ''You old, decrepit fool. Have I not told you that it was the humans who took the Pillars from us? Have I not told you that the human remnants are simply to be left to their own devices?!

    ''But if we allow them to spread further, they will eventually overpower us!''

    ''Overpower us. Overpower us! HAH! You imbecilic parasite, do you not know that the Six Clans will make sure that they will NEVER do such a thing!''

    ''I'm sorry Kain, but you've forced me to do this!''

    Vorador suddenly lunged at me, impaling himself on the Reaver, as idiotic and clumsy as he was.

    ''Gggghh...''

    ''Now do you see? If anyone would ever overpower ME, it would have to be something with immeasureable power.''

    ''W-We'll see each other again, my friend... GGGGGHH!!''

    Vorador and the Reaver separated. The weapon that he created, the Soul Reaver, had killed it's maker.

    ''Indeed. But in another life.''

    I took his signet ring, and from that point on, used it as an earring of sorts. Vorador's corpse now lies in the catacombs that lie beneath the ruins of Avernus...

    Alicia spoke to me. ''Hey, what's up with you? You look kinda sad...?''

    I packed the banner into my small leather bag. '' This banner was a gift from a very old friend, and now it's in tatters...''

    ''Oh... Whoa!''

    I saw the reason to why Alica gasped : a dome of dark energy had expanded upon the small town that loomed before us, resembling Dark Eden, the land that was cursed by the Circle of Nine. We walked up to the edge of the dome.

    Intrigued, I asked Alicia what was the name of the town we stood before.

    ''It's... It was Estamine. This is where my friend lives... or rather used to... Huh?''
    Alicia eyes widened again, this time with happiness in them.

    ''She's still alive! Kain, can you go in after her? I'm afraid that if I step into the dome, I'll...''

    ''... Turn into a ravenous, uncivilized freak of nature.''
    Alicia was suprised of my answer.
    ''I know this sort of energy. It affects pure, unaltered humans. Not vampires. And if it effects humans, your friend is...''

    Alicia quickly gave a reply. ''She's not a human. Don't ask me what she is, there's no time for explanations! She could get hurt!''

    Understanding the dangers that her friend would face should she encouter something, I gave Alicia a nod.

    ''Alright. But stay here and wait for us.''

    I stepped through the wall of energy. When I passed through, I looked upwards. The sky was gone, and not even the dome was visible. All that was visible was a dense layer of darkness that spread through the sky like spilt water on a table. The buildings were still largely intact, some of them completly unscathed. As I stepped forward, I could hear a gurgling sound from around the corner. I pulled out the Reaver in preparation to fight whatever beast this dome had crafted. And as I peeked around the corner, my theory of only humans being affected by it was made plausible. A huge, hairless monster was devouring whatever was left of it's prey : a small, now lifeless dog.

    The monster senced my presence, but I was by far faster : I cut off its grusome, mauled head, and the body fell to the ground. I quickly drained the corpse of its blood, giving me nourishment after such a long time, and it tasted like regular human blood. I could only admire the hideousness of its twisted look, and the way that its head seemingly stared at me. Like a little doll.

    When I arrived at the central point of the town, I could notice several cocoons, apparently still in a very early stage of development. Whatever it withheld inside, it would not be a fluffy little kitten. I noticed that the dome lacked a stem, from which it would gain it's power. Something very powerful must have done this...

    I made my way to the harbour of this poor, defiled city, and without hesitation, five or more creatures opted to tear my head off. I decided to switch the Balance Emblem to the fragment of Dimension, and using its power, I instantly beheaded all of them. For largely overpowering nightmarish monsters, they weren't all that much of a challenge.
    Even those miserable bandits in Khorinis gave at least a little excitement. Until I drained them dry, that is.

    Suddenly, a voice, one which I had never heard of, resounded in my head :

    ''Open that crate, Kain. SHE is in there!''

    ''Who are you?! And how did you get into my mind? ANSWER ME!''

    Everything suddenly blackened, and the white silhouette of an armored man gave me my demanded knowledge. In part.

    ''That, my friend, is none of your concern. For now. And I am using the Whisper, a form of communication that you vampires use. And I am not one, what I am... will be revealed in due time, Kain. Now, do you want my help with the restoration of the Pillars of Nosgoth? If as such, then all of your inquiries shall be answered when we meet, face to face.''

    I considered the facts : On one side of the coin, if this mysterious figure can use the Whisper in order to communicate with me, then that means that he is in league with vampires, and as thus can be safely deemed as an ally and a catalyst for Nosgoth's redemption. But on the other, I did not know whether or not to trust him, as that at point, I knew him for less than a day's time. Eitherway, the game was somehow rigged : I could use the assistance of another hand in play, or otherwise simply make everything harder for myself by rejecting the help that had been offered.

    ''Alright. But at the end of whatever journey you shall take me on, you will help me restore the Pillars to their former glory. Until then, I will do as you say... as repugnant as it sounds...''

    ''Then please do so. Or in other words, open the crate. The girl you seek lies within, and you are obligated with the task of guarding BOTH girls with your life until you find a way to me. I will speak with you next when we meet for the first time, Kain. Until then, I bid you farewell...''

    The silhoutte and the voice of the mysterious figure dissipated into nothingness, returning me to the reality of the world.

    Walking up to the wooden crate, I slowly slid the seal off of it. Inside, I found a girl that indeed was not human, sleeping on a pile of hay. She had very large ears, which were not placed on the side of her head, but rather at a slightly higher position. Her hair was dyed light red, and her skin was coloured a light brown. She was wearing what seemed to some sort of green, hard leather armor. It seemed very robust to the touch. The lower part of the armor was apparently custom of design, as the skirt had the shape of four leaf-like appendages. She also had a tail, its tip was coloured an even lighter shade of brown, and then I realized what the girl was : a Felonian. I had read about these rare races in the remains of the Circle's library. Their description was precisely like her appearance! Then I noticed a large, violete coloured spear beside her. The runic markings of Time and Energy were scattered all over its mettalic surface.they read out as 'Gugnir', meaning Wielder of Earth in the ancient vampiric language. And on the tip of the spear resonated the symbol of Earth, in all its aspiring elegance.

    Unfortunatly, as peaceful as she looked while curled up like a cat and sleeping, I had to wake her up to get her to Alicia.
    ''Mind waking up? A friend awaits you, you know.''

    The young Felonian's eyes opened. They were sea-blue, much to the opposite of the actual sea's black colour.

    ''Yaaaaawn... Ha, meow?''
    Ha,meow? I hoped that she didn't just meow all the time. But then she spoke, much to my relief, in common human language with a very cheery voice:
    ''Who are you? I'm Marin! Nice to meet you, meow!''

    Wondrous. Not only does she speak in the language of humans, but she also lets out a meow with every finished sentence. How increasingly stupid.
    I decided to present myself in a 'nice' tone.

    ''I'm Kain. It is a pleasure to meet you...''

    ''Pleasure? What's plea-sure, meow?''

    Oh god. Now I would have teach her what the word pleasure means. Shouldn't have said it in the first place.

    ''Errr... I suppose it means to be happy about something.''

    ''Oh.''

    ''Now, your friend Alicia is waiting for you outside this awful place, so you should follow me...''

    Marin cut me off ''But where is Oniichan, meow?''

    ''Who is Oniichan?''

    ''It means brother, big green guy, meow!''

    ''Why am I... Oh.''

    She had apparently noticed that I was larger than her, and that I had green skin.

    ''You look like a lizard, meow!''

    Excellent. First I was deemed an orc by Xardas, and now demoted down to a lizard by Marin.

    ''I'm KAIN. NOT a lizard!''

    ''But...''

    Now I cut off Marin. ''And will you please stop saying 'meow' all the time?! It's annoying!

    Marin stared at me with moist eyes, and then ran away into the central sector of town.

    ''Marin, WAIT! I didn't mean... Sigh...''

    ''EEEEEEEEEEEEEEK! Get away from me, you big, ugly things, meow!'' I heard Marin scream. Grabbing Gugnir, I darted off into the center of town, and found Marin being attacked by six or more demons that had apparently hatched from their cocoons.

    ''Marin, catch your weapon!'' I tossed her Gugnir, and she it caught with ease. I then swapped the Dimension fragment with the Conflict fragment, and rammed the Soul Reaver into the cobbled road beneath me. Waves of hatred poured over the demons, and Marin was miracoulously unnafected by it. The hellish creatures began to rip each other apart, limb from limb, until only one of them were left, and I dealt the final blow to the demonic group. As the last demon's body fell to the ground, the Reaver started to absorb its soul. Dark energy swirled around the serpentine sword, and suddenly, it began to shake slightly. After the Reaver-sized tremor had stopped, I contemplated as to why it reacted so unusually. Perhaps it cannot divulge demonic souls properly without trembling in anger...?

    ''Thank you... Kain.'' Marin came around the corner and thanked for my small efforts. I then noticed that she had stopped meowing completly.

    ''Why aren't you meowing anymore?''

    ''I think it's the only way of really thanking you...''

    ''Well... Thank you. Now, let us leave this place. Alicia is waiting.''

    ''Yay, Alicia's here, yaay!''

    Even though she was clearly adolescent, her behaviour was still very childish...

    When we had arrived at the entrance of the city, Alicia and Marin hugged each other like two sisters that had not seen each other for some time.

    ''Now. Do you per say... know who the Dark Lord is?'' Alicia looked at me with fear in her eyes.

    ''Please. I MUST know. It doesn't matter where I learned of him, all that does matter is that I learn who he is!''

    Alicia was highly nervous while instilling me with the demanded knowledge I so thirsted for...

    ''He-he's... His real name is Caraile. The one who destroyed this whole continent. And... m-my family...''

    I was shocked at this answer as Alicia began to cry a river of tears, and Marin attempted to soothe her...


    That quaffed my desire for the identity of this Dark Lord. And yet, two final questions ran in circles within my head :

    Why are there not one, but TWO prophecised Guardians here in Valencia? Had I misread the signs, that were placed with such care in the past, once again?
    And the final inquiry : just WHO was the mysterious figure that I had pledged my allegiance to? And what does he want from these two girls?

    ( The answers lie within the next chapter. )
    The English WoG is NOT dead, my friends!
    [Bild: tOC_sig1.jpg]

  6. Beiträge anzeigen #6
    Ranger Avatar von KeeperUTX
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    Chapter 6 : Enter Caraile

    Alicia's story of her family's death was a disdainful one. She also remarked the fact of her sister Clare's recent death, having depicted it in a grusome fashion. She acclaimed that when the Dark lord stabbed Clare, her soul, blood, and life energy were all drained from her, and all that remained was the lowly husk of her body, unmoving and silent. Alicia had forgotten this after she was buried under a pile of rubble in the ruins of Minstrel, and I merely reminded her by asking her who the Dark Lord was...

    Two questions consistently kept beating at the rimms of my thoughts. Why were two prophecised Guardians here in Valencia, and NOT in Nosgoth? And what in hell's name does the dark figure want from Alicia and Marin?

    Engrossed in my own mind's desperate attempt to contemplate these questions, Marin disturbed me.

    ''How do I look?''

    I jerked my head up, and saw that she was wearing my torn banner as a scarf.

    ''Pull my banner off your neck, Marin! I need that!''

    ''But I'm cold... and what's a banner?''

    ''Off with it. NOW!''
    She uncoiled the banner off her neck, and returned it to me.
    ''A banner is a marking of sorts. And this banner is a very important object to me, as it signified my rule over the land I resided in.''

    ''I'm sorry, Kain. I won't do it again, promise!''

    I noticed that she started to shiver like a leaf in the wind. Alicia, who was at this time sleeping, was well clothed, and the cold of the night was already inert to me. As such she was the only one who was cold, and I finally felt a slight twinge of remorse after two centuries of composure.

    ''Here, I'll lend it for over the night.''

    I coiled my banner around Marin's neck again, and she smiled at me.

    ''Thank you so much Kain! Now I won't be cold!''

    She darted off into the night, pulling the banner over her mouth as she went. This appearance that it gave her reminded me of Raziel, and the first time I saw him as a vampire-wraith. His claws had turned from orange to bone white, his skin turned blue from the descent into the Abyss. A large part of his abdomen was missing, and most of his clothes were destroyed. His eyes glowed an intense green in his rage, and as far as I could guess, he was wearing his old, discoloured banner in a way so that it would his more ghoulish features, for he, I assumed, had no jaw. The resemblance between Marin with my banner, and Raziel with his banner was haunting, for I knew that there was no way of retrieving my progidal son from the everlasting grasp of the Soul Reaver.

    ---

    A new day had begun. A beam of sunlight penetrated the dense, red clouds that loomed over our small encampment, and hit me in the eyes.

    ''Gah! ... This is ridiculous. I am still weakened by the sun's light, even after my evolution...''

    Mortanius the Necromancer, deceased guardian of the Pillar of Death, bestowed upon me a gift at which fledgeling vampires did not normally posess : rather being harmed by the sun's poisonous rays, I would be weakened by them instead. Normally, fledgelings would be killed instantly at the touch of it. But I was not your average fledgling. Mortanius had also given me a very advantegeous gift. This gift would enhance my powers slightly if it was nightfall, and was amplified further whenever there was a full moon. This effect disappeared after I had damned the Pillars to an eternity of decay. But my weakness in the sunlight was as present as when I was younger.

    ''Yawn... Morning...''
    Alicia had awoken from her pleasant slumber.
    ''So, did you get some sleep?''

    ''Morrow. And I can't sleep. Not unless I'm sleeping within my cold tomb.''

    ''Oh, I didn't know...''

    ''It's alright, Alicia...''

    ''But isn't it kind necessary for everyone to sleep? If you don't sleep, you'll eventually go mad and think everyone is out kill you! It's a real need to...''

    I brutally interrupted Alicia in her aimless lecture. ''Let's quit the moral posturing, shall we?! Not needing to sleep is just one part of the dark gift, Alicia. You wouldn't be capable of understanding it even IF I turned you.''

    ''Well how do you turn someone? By biting them?''

    ''No. It's more complicated than just 'nibbling' on someone, my blue-haired friend. In Nosgoth, what you need to do if you want to turn someone, is that you must kill them...''

    She interrupted me in mid-sentence. ''KILL THEM?!''

    ''Let me finish! ... You must kill them FIRST, and then, granted if you have such powers, dip into the Spectral Plane, and grab the recently murdered persona's soul, and return it to its corporeal form. Thus, you have created a fledgeling vampire. Easily killed, but if you allow it to evolve into a young vampire, you'll be hard-pressed to kill it. And if you permit it to evolve into an 'elder' vampire, such as I, it will normally be unstoppable.''

    ''I wondered why your skin is green and not white.''

    ''Before a vampire evolves, his skin is recoloured to a pale green, and after it evolves, it becomes a certain shade of green, and remains as such for the rest of the vampire's life.''

    Alicia noticed the scar on my chest. ''What's with that scar on your chest?''

    ''T'is a reminder of how my life as a human ended.''
    Alicia stared at me as if she had seen a phantasmal apparation.
    ''The name of the man who plucked my soul from the underworld was Mortanius. He was a Necromancer, and as such had the power to raise vampires and the like. He offered me a chance at vengeance, and I jumped at it like a deranged and starved dog. He was the guardian of the Pillar of Death, one of nine Pillars that now lie in ruins...''
    I told her the entire history of Nosgoth, the Soul Reaver and how the Pillars themselves were damned to rot in the silence that was the Sanctuary of the Clans. I also told her of how I had arrived a Valencia in the first place.
    ''... And Hash'ak'gik stranded me here. So here I am...''

    Alicia continued my words. ''... Unable to restore the Pillars. You poor thing...''

    ''Don't call me 'poor'!''
    I contemplated that vile Hylden's plans for Khorinis.
    ''By now the Hylden have likely overrun Khorinis.''

    ''Can't we do anything?''

    As I was preparing to explain the situation to her, Marin, with my banner in her hand, had returned from scouting.

    ''Hi, Kain an' Alicia! Hey Kain, catch!''
    She threw me my banner. Looking upon it I noted that it had be sewn together, and suprisingly well at that.
    ''My friend Darshia patched it up for you! Do you like it?''

    I ran my claws over the seams, observing the re-sewn symbol, and wrapped it around my body and tossed it over my shoulder, returning it to its former position.

    Alicia looked bewildered and amazed. ''You look really good with it on you, Kain! But Marin, where did you find Darshia?

    ''She told me not to tell anyone where she is. Sorry!''

    ''What a pitiful shame. I won't be able to thank her for her noble act. Eitherway, I think we should move onwards. I feel compelled to go to the next city now, to find another survivor.''

    The twosome agreed with my plans. We travelled across a mountainous area, noting several impaled corpses. These were probably the denizens of the next enclave.
    After some time we reached the summit of the mountain. Alicia and Marin were staring at something. As I reached to point where they stood, I had reason to stare as well.

    ''What in hell...?!''

    ''Souvenia's been erased from the face of the world...''

    Quite a precise description : The town was vaporized, and only a massive crater remained. Only a very powerful blast of energy could do this much collateral damage...

    Marin cynically called out ''Well, all that climbing was for nothing...''

    ''Wait... Look!''

    Alicia noticed bolts of energy and fireballs arching out from the epicenter of the crater. I had an idea.

    ''Hang on to me.''

    Alicia kept silent, and Marin was confounded. ''What? Why?''

    ''I can use my bat form to transport us down to the bottom of that hole.''

    ''Okay!'' Marin was already holding me by the arm, but Alicia was hesitant.

    ''What if we get killed?''

    ''You won't. Now hold my arm!''

    Alicia grabbed my arm and held on tightly to it.

    I concentrated so that all of us would turn into a cloud of bats. I could see for myself that we were diving into the depths of the crater, and materialized at the wide, almost field-like bottom, and Alicia was amazed at the speed of this kind of travel.

    ''Wow, I feel... displa... dis...p-p-p-p-p...''
    Alicia started to stutter intensly, and that's when I saw it : A large, robed figure loomed over a someone who was wrapped up in spider's silk

    ''Mmmmmfmfeeffffffffff...''

    The robed figure slowly turned.
    ''Welcome.''
    He had turn fully towards us.
    ''Welcome. To your final moments of existence, and ultimately, your demise. I am Caraile, Dark Lord of Valencia.''

    Marin readied Gugnir, Alicia lifted up her staff that lay in her nervous clutches, and I unsheathed the Soul Reaver once more, and it was engulfed by spirit energy, dying the serpentine blade shades of dire blue.

    ''False Lord, this is the end! The final chapter in your story is at hand!''

    ( Don't think that that means that the next chapter is the last one! Not by a longshot! )
    The English WoG is NOT dead, my friends!
    [Bild: tOC_sig1.jpg]
    Geändert von KeeperUTX (28.09.2012 um 18:33 Uhr)

  7. Beiträge anzeigen #7
    Ranger Avatar von KeeperUTX
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    Chapter 7 : The Coin Turns Once More

    ''What have you done with the human, you repugnant sack of bones?''
    I pointed the Reaver at Caraile, even though we were far away from him.

    ''She will be my sacrifice, as she has caused an uprising in the previously existent town of Souvenia. Her entrails will decorate my lair, spread throughout the hallways that extend from it. Her lungs will be my pillows, and I will bathe in her pure, undefiled blood. So says Caraile, Dark Lord of Valencia.''

    The accursed specter let out a bone-chilling laugh, causing Marin's tail to stand straight and puffed out. Alicia fell backwards and let her staff fall out of her quaking hands.
    ''G-g-get away from m-me...''
    She tried to crawl away from from the battle, and soon found herself holding her head and kneeling. She muttered an entire cacophony of scrambled and unclear words, while here stave lie there, wanting to be used against the Dark Lord.

    Marin suddenly spoke in an enraged voice. ''You're being mean to Alicia, so I'll be mean to YOU!''

    ''Marin, you troglodyte, no!''
    But my attempt to stop Marin was in vain, my warning had landed upon ears of stone, as large as they were. Caraile slammed his long, ghoulish arm into Marin, and knocked her aside like a rock. She hit the wall, her spear Gugnir flying out of her hands as she went. She slumped down on to the ground, unconscious.
    ''Damn.''

    Ignoring the now slowly stirring Marin, Caraile started to float over to the still writhing Alicia, and I blocked his path.
    ''You will NOT harm neither of them, vile demon! Now, let's see who can conquer who!''

    Slashing him with the tip of the Reaver, the Dark Lord laughed once more, which made Alicia curl up completley.
    Caraile's intestines were clearly not present, or otherwise I had simply damaged his already tattered robe.
    He swung his boney arm at me, and I put my serpentine blade to good use, blocking his attack, then vaulting over him and ramming it into his chest area. But yet again I found it too easy an attack to have actually damage him. The Reaver simply flew through him, as if nothing was there. And I would soon find out the cause to this.

    Caraile picked me up by the throat, and tossed me at Marin, who had barely regained full consciousness, causing both of us to fly backwards and into a wall.

    ''Argh!''
    ''Ow!''

    And as we landed, Caraile began to tear away at his robe.
    ''This body shall regain its true form! Bear witness to the undefiable power that is... CARAILE, DEMONIC LORD OF ANCIENT TIMES!''

    His robe was torn asunder by bone-like wings, his true form breaking free that was the imprisonment of his previous incarnation.
    ''What in the name of...''
    His appearance seemed to resemble that of a Glyph Demon, a boney monstrosity which was extremely dangerous, due to the fact that pure Glyph Energy swirled around their bodies, an energy that burns the flesh of vampiric unlife.

    As far as I knew at the time, there were two kinds of Glyph energy : Pure, natural Glyph Energy, which usually inhabited the Hylden and the most of their creations, and processed Glyph Energy, which burned an intense orange, and used by the Sarafan to detect vampires if they were near. And Caraile was infused with that very energy, as the closer I got to him, the more his Glyph Energy coiled itself around him.

    ''The Hylden have given me much, mortals. Their race shall be given a place in my empire, and thus spared from damnation.''
    Hylden intervention. How unorthadox of them to do such interveening, giving a creature so much power... I would learn the truth behind all this at a later time, when I would finally find the Hylden general, Hash'ak'gik, and 'meekly' give him an inquiry or two. I pretended to have not heard Caraile's bantering.
    ''Behold my power, allow it to envelop your souls, and be freed from your torment...''

    I noted Alicia curled up and silent in the distance, and the 'curse' that had been laid upon me so long ago : vampirism...
    Swinging the Reaver downwards, I shouted :
    ''The only soul that will be 'enveloped' will be yours. For the when the Reaver hungers, it SHALL feed.''
    I ran up to him, striking him first leftwards, then rightwards, both attacks being blocked by him, then continuing by starting his own set of attacks : He lifted his right arm up and to the right, while using his left arm to sweep me off my legs.
    ''Gah! Spare this, you soulless bastard!''

    Getting back up on my feet, I raised the Reaver high, and spirit energy began to amass within it, dying it dark blue, almost black. Caraile attempted to create a ward that would stop the Reaver in its tracks, but Marin jumped onto him and ran Gugnir through his demonic skull, making him scream like a wraith in agony.
    ''YEEEAAAAAAAOUUUUGHH!''

    Marin fell off of him, braking her leg in the process.As I stared at Caraile, stumbling around in his pain, Marin cried out:
    ''Now, Kain! You can beat him with your sword!''

    She spoke the truth, and I was intoxicated by the Reaver's fury as it drained more and more spirit energy from the surrounding area. The serpentine blade started to glow pure wight, and it was encoiled by the Spirit Reaver.

    ''Die and never return from the hell that is Oblivion... VAE VICTUS!!''

    As I struck downwards, a wall made of pure spirit energy shot out of the skull of the Reaver, vaporizing Caraile in the process.

    ''I will return, vampire. And when I do, your entrails will be mine...''

    ''Until then, your soul is to feed the Reaver.''

    The Soul Reaver ravenously devoured Caraile soul, and was once again encoiled by dark energy. It kicked around far more wildly than with the lower demon's soul, and then... it happened.

    ''Arrrrrrrgh!''

    Raziel, my once vampiric lieutenant, the vampire-wraith which inhabited the Reaver, was freed from his imprisonment...

    We all stared at him as he stood up, looking at us with bewilderment.

    ''Kain... What... Happened?''



    (There ya go. CH8's gonna be cool)
    The English WoG is NOT dead, my friends!
    [Bild: tOC_sig1.jpg]
    Geändert von KeeperUTX (14.11.2012 um 18:52 Uhr)

  8. Beiträge anzeigen #8
    Ranger Avatar von KeeperUTX
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    Chapter 8 : The Final Guardian.

    As the sunlight started to brake through the dense clouds of the skies, so did the power of Spirit fade into the Soul Reaver.

    We continued to stare at the newly freed Raziel as he grabbed his banner, wrapping it around his neck, and to some extent, his head, to cover the area where his jaw was supposed to be.

    ''How is this... possible? Was I not destined to be forever imprisoned within that... thing? Was I not to suffer aeon after aeon, descending into madness? How...?''

    Raziel picked up a rock and smashed it in half in his inquiry-induced anger.

    ''HOW?! HOW IS THIS FEASIBLE A DESTINY!?''

    The Wraith Blade emmited itself through his hand, glowing varying shades of blue, yellow and wight. It formed into the exact shape of the physical Reaver, from the skull ornament to its serpentine tip, and appeared as if both of us had physical incarnations of the Reaver, minus the fact that Raziel's glowed with spirit energy. As much as could admire the Wraith Blade for days on end, I could not help but notice that Raziel had lifted it up to my chin.

    ''You! You've damned me once again to a fate far more horrid than imprisonment : existence!''

    ''How can you determine existence as it is as a damning?!''

    ''How can I do so? It's quite simple really. No pain, no hunger, no suffering, and best of all - no voice, continously banging at my sanity, scraping at it like an imp who has been destined to eternal torture! You do not know the tranquility that I enjoyed... before YOU took it away from me, you carnivorous fiend!''

    ''Whoa, whoa! Kain isn't ... car-nive-verus, he's really cool.'' Marin was, apparently, quite eager of conversing with my old friend. A mistake to be well recalled, for Raziel did not exactly look like he was up for talking... He looked confounded by the word 'cool', which I was already long accomadated to from Khorinis onward.

    ''What does his tempature have to do with his bloodlust?''

    The mysterious voice from Estamine had finally decided to manifest itself.
    ''It mean that he is to be admired by her, Raziel.''

    All four of us jerked our heads in the direction of the voice.

    ''Allow me to 'formally' introduce myself. I am Arthos, Chosen of Innos, dutiful Spirit Guardian and high-ranking Steel Lord.''

    I finally managed to get a better look at him. He was somewhat larger than me, his face made completely black by his helm - this had a metallic shade of grey to it, and equally coloured horns adorned it. His armor was heavily plated, brandishing a dull-green cape of sorts, his gauntlets, greaves and chestplate all, to my astonishment, engraved with the runic markings of Spirit, Fire and a third, to me unknown set of markings that mostly decorated his chestplate. And in the very center of this chestplate was a demonic-red jewel, with gold traversing around it and outwards around it. It shimmered an unearthly light, just as Arthos' eyes gleamed an intense blue.

    ''Spirit Guardian?''
    Raziel was puzzled as to why he had the rank of Spirit Guardian. As was I.
    ''Which reminds me. If the Soul Reaver still has the properties of the Spirit element, then why do I still possess the Wraith Blade form of it?''

    Now it was my time to place a question or two. ''And what precisely does the rank of 'Chosen of Innos' bestow upon you, Arthos? And what do want from the two girls, which you so delightfully obligated me to 'protect'?''

    Neither I nor Raziel were interested about his 'high Steel Lord' rank.

    Arthos answered all our inquiries, with bone-chilling ease.

    ''Well, one at a time, I guess. First, I was deemed Guardian of the Spirit element the very instant I raised the Pillar of Spirit. Second, Caraile's soul was powerful enough to replace yours, Raziel. Along with this, he HIMSELF was a poweful wraith of sorts, powerful enough to emulate the power of the Spirit Reaver. When the soul-absorbing process was completed, the Reaver no longer needed it's own soul. Caraile, in simpler terms, has a twin soul, Raziel, and yours is the other twin. Third, the title, not rank, of 'Chosen' imparts me with the ability to control, if not create fire. Also, the creatures that once served Innos, dragons and fire golems and the like, now obey me. I revealed this during the first of my travels to Khorinis. And finally, Alicia and Marin are both Guardians as well. Isn't that right, Ali and Mary?''

    Alicia and Marin, who were up to this point silent, spoke in an amazingly calm tone. Marin, of course, was happy to meet, as I supposed, a familiar face. Or helmet, if you prefer.

    ''Yeah, Arthos! You told me I was gonna be real important one day, and I guess this is that day!''

    ''Yes. I met you ten years ago, in the outskirts of Minstrel. You told me that I was to be the Guardian of Light, but seems to have slipped out of my mind...''

    Raziel jumped in. ''Then if all three of you are Guardians of the Light, Spirit and... and...''

    ''Marin guards the Earth element, Raziel. Her spear points towards that fact.''

    Raziel was suprised of my knowledge.

    ''And for how long have known of this?''

    ''Ever since I found her, sleeping in a crate. The spear, named Gugnir, is marked with runic Earth markings. The same counts for Alicia's staff, which bears the markings of Light.''
    I turned to Marin and Alicia.
    ''I apologize for my secrecy. I wasn't sure that telling you 'Hello, you're an elemental Guardian' would be the best way to introduce oneself.''

    ''Oh, that's okay, just as long as you don't want to eat us. Heheheh...''

    Raziel cut in again. ''Right, lets stop goofing off, and get back to the matter at hand. Now, if all three of you are Guardians, then there must be...''

    ''... Four other Guardians, aligned with Fire, Darkness, Water and Air.''
    Raziel took on an annoyed look, presumably from being cut off not once, but twice.
    ''I apologize for my rudeness. You were saying?''

    ''Nevermind... You've already said what I wanted to say.''

    I decided to ask Arthos yet another question.

    ''And who, praytell, are the other four and where are they?''

    Arthos turned his head towards me. '' Three of the Guardians are now with me, and the two of you unlifes may recognize two of them.''
    Out of thin air, he slowly materialized a pair of statuettes of two truthfully familiar personas. And as the heads formed, both of us shouted at the same time:

    ''Vorador?!''
    ''Janos Audron?!''

    Raziel and I were in complete shock of the effigies that stood in Arthos' hands.

    Alicia was bewildered. ''Who are Vorador and Janos Audron?''
    As Raziel was still transfixed by Janos' effigy, I turned towards her, my lips still paralyzed by both figures.
    ''Well? Who are they?''

    I finally became sentient of Alicia's thirst for knowledge, and gave her the elixir that would quaff it.

    ''Vorador is the father of all humans-turned-vampire, and the very first of them, and forger of the Soul Reaver. Last time I saw him is when I killed him in Avernus, and Janos is his creator, the one who turned him. He was one of the Ancient Vampires of Nosgoth. The most recent time that I saw him was when he fell to his death, too weak to use his wings to save himself, into the Demon Dimension at the hands of Hash'ak'gik.''

    Raziel filled me in with added details. ''He was also the tenth Guardian of the Pillars, or in other words, the Reaver Guardian, bound to protect the Soul Reaver, until I arrived at his retreat. And you never told any of the Clan Leaders that you killed Vorador, neither did you tell us of Janos' demise. What else haven't you told me, Kain? What other secrets lie within that mind of yours?''

    ''If ever I tell you that much knowledge, you would surpass me once again. And that CAN'T happen.''
    Raziel now gained an enraged look, and enfurled the Wraith Blade around his arm.
    ''Do you really want to go there again, Raziel? Do you TRUELY want to become my sworn enemy again, only to find yourself my ally once again?

    Raziel eyes narrowed, and the Wraith Blade dissipated. ''You are right. There's no point in trying to kill you. You CAN'T be killed eitherway, you're the Scion of Balance...''

    ''That may be so, Raziel, but you are my progidal son. I would never dream of actually imprisoning you. And the reason why you can't surpass me, is with reason...''

    ''A reason that needs no explanation. I would never surpass you, even if I tried.''

    Arthos clapped his hands slowly.

    ''This is all good and fair, but I assume that you wanted to ask me something, Kain?''

    As rude as it was to interrupt our father-son time, he was right.

    ''Yes. Who is are the other two Guardians?''

    ''The Water Guardian is a friend of mine. Right now the name of said Water Guardian does not matter. But the Fire Guardian's name does, as he is in great peril.''

    ''Then who is he?'' Raziel was nervous as to who the final Guardian was.

    ''His name is Pyrokar, and he is to protect the Pillar of Fire. He is a High Fire Magician in Khorinis, and the Hylden are currently attacking his monastery. He... What is that?''

    The girl, wrapped in spider silk, had became self-aware once more.

    ''MMFF! MM-M-FFF!''

    ''Is that a girl?''

    I was vexed as to how I could forget her.

    ''I'll get her out of her cocoon.''

    Waking over to the wight, human-shaped cocoon, I ripped it apart with just one pull of my claws. The girl gasped. Her lungs were likely aching for air. While she pulled herself together, mentally speaking, of course, I had a good look as to what she looked like : Here hair was dullish-red, like Marin's, but longer, as it flowed all the way down to her rear end. Her eyes were a wondrous emerald-green, and under them were two runic markings of origins that are unkown to me, even to this day. They were probably designed to enhance here eyesight, since they were right under her eyes. She wore a large and obviously heavy cloak, which appeared to have very similar markings around its edges. Under this cloak was some sort of light grey suit, which seemed to fit her body quite accurately. She was fair of form, and her body did not display any gashes or burns, pointing out the fact that she was not harmed in any way by Caraile.

    ''Caroll!''
    ''You're alive!''
    Alicia and Marin were gleeful to see their friend, alive and safe.
    ''Yay, Caroll's safe, yay!''

    Caroll's voice seemed frail and weak, but she attempted to make herself as confident as she could.

    ''Oh come on, don't hug me all day, you babies! ... Who are you guys, and why are you all weird?''

    As annoyed as the three of us non-humans were, we each introduced ourselves, and I explained my and Raziel's origins.
    Arthos kept silent of his own.
    With the introductions at an end, Arthos explained us the severity of the situation.

    ''As Pyrokar is in risk of dying, you must go to Khorinis, and save him, Kain and Raziel.''

    ''And me!'' Caroll had an overly defiant voice.
    ''I want to assist you for getting me out of that situation, so I'm going with you, whether you like it or not!''

    Raziel warned her. ''Fine. You'll go with us, but it's your fault if you get yourself devoured by a Hylden or something.''

    ''Doesn't matter anyway, I know you'll protect me.''

    ''It's settled, then. I will open a portal to Khorinis, but be warned : The Hylden general is there, and he is far mor powerful than ever.''

    I answered with a stiff anger in my voice '' All the better, for I have a score to settle with him, and ask a few things as well...''

    ''Alright, get close to eachother and hold your hands.''

    Raziel looked disgusted.
    ''If I must.''

    ''Wait, what of the healer and the Felonian?'' For some reason I felt concerned for Marin's and Alicia's well-being.''

    ''They will go with me to my dimension. Don't worry, they will be safe. Alicia will get some respit, and Marin's leg will be restored to health.''

    ''We'll be okay, Kain. Promise!''

    ''Yes, we'll be fine, you guys go and get that Fire mage!''

    ''Do it, then.''

    Arthos raised his hands into the air, chanting words which seemed unfamiliar to me in a hissing tone :

    ''HASSSRANAEL THUL KHORINUSSS,
    HASSSSSRANAEL ORT KHORINUSSSS,
    HASSSSSSSSSRANAEL ELD KHORINUSSSSS,
    HSSSEMPHAEL ZUL KHOEW-RIO-NIUOUSSSSSS!''

    Suddenly, the ground beneath us disintegrated, and we fell into deep, colourless abyss that was the portal to Khorinis...

    (Enjoy this one? Wait 'till CH9!)
    The English WoG is NOT dead, my friends!
    [Bild: tOC_sig1.jpg]
    Geändert von KeeperUTX (14.11.2012 um 18:52 Uhr)

  9. Beiträge anzeigen #9
    Ranger Avatar von KeeperUTX
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    Chapter 9 : The Seventh Circle.

    The only thing I felt during our transition to Khorinis was a rending pain, a pain that I would well recall should I ever go through such an ordeal once again.
    The pain rippled and flickered all over my body to the point when I thought I would meet my demise. But suddenly, it stopped, and once again I was falling through the skies of Khorinis, this time with Raziel and Caroll.

    ''We're gonna DIE! AAAAAAAH!''

    The foolish girl flailed here limbs as if she had wings instead of them.

    Raziel grabbed his wings and was left behind, gliding down towards a meadowy hill. I grabbed Caroll by telekinetic means, while using my unoccupied hand to create a partial gliding effect. It slowed our descent considerably, but it was from sufficient to stop Caroll from splattering on the ground like a cup of water.

    ''That's no good! What are we gonna do?!''

    I yanked her with my TK in such a manner so that she could grab hold of my legs.

    ''Now hold on tight unless you're willing to be smashed into the ground below us!''

    She gripped my legs so tightly that I was suprised by her strength. Curious, what fear does to a human being. I then used both my arms to begin gliding far more slowly than before, and Caroll released her iron grip, falling into a river that I glided over. Intending to land, I steered myself to the river's right-hand bank.

    Caroll climbed out of the water, looking at me with intense fury.

    ''You idiot! You dropped me in the river!''

    ''You were the one to let go before I could set you down at the bank, you arrogant whelp!''

    ''Arrogant?! WHELP?! Let's see how YOU like getting wet!''

    Infuriated by my words, she did a casting motion, and out of her hand flew a bolt of glowing water, far too fast to avoid completely. As I made my attempt to dodge the deadly liquid, my right arm suffered a direct hit.

    ''ARGH!''

    Caroll taunted me with the fact that it actually hurt me.

    ''What, can't stand a little wa... what the heck?!''

    My arm, drenched in water, began to release steam. The life-giving liquid was indeed capable of harm as well, as I saw my own arm slowly dissolve before my very eyes. The pain was unlike anything I had been inflicted with before. It was as if the Reaver was sapping my soul's essence at this very moment.

    ''Grrrr... Quickly, we m-must dry it out before it eats through my skin!''

    Caroll looked distraught. ''With what?!''

    ''Anything, ANYTHING, AAAAARGH!''

    She preformed another, more vivid casting motion, and my arm was enveloped in a cocoon of warmth. With heat added to the mix, the amount of steam increased dramatically, and the pain abated. Shortly afterwards, the warmth spell was dispelled by Caroll.

    ''I'm really sorry, Kain! I didn't know that water is like... like...''

    ''... Acid. That is what water is like to us vampires. Immersion in water normally kills a vampire in mere moments.''

    Raziel had finally found us.

    ''What happened?''

    ''She shot a water bolt into my arm... It's alright, Raziel, Caroll didn't know.''
    During my sentence Raziel apparently wanted to strangle her with his bare hands.
    ''I'm fine now. We must move on.''

    ''Nay, thoust shalt not!''
    Arthos' voice shot out of the river beside Raziel, and his face appeared on the surface of it.
    ''To prevent such atrocities from happening in the future, I shalt grant upon thee this powereth...''
    Suddenly, bolts of elemental energy shot out from where Arthos' eyes were, and into where the Heart of Darkness once lied in my chest. The chasm was being refilled, and once it was regenerated absolutely, I could feel my heart once more, beating rhytmically within my chest.
    ''Thy new heart shalt no longer fear water, Kain. Fare thee well, Scion of Balance, and may your quest to rescue the Fire Guardian be a success...''

    Arthos' face dissipated into the murky depths of the river. To test his gift, I put one claw onto the suface of the water. It did not hurt at all. I then placed my right foot into the water, and it did not harm me either. So, I was immune to water, after all these years...

    Caroll was giggling. ''He talks funny.''

    ''I assume it was to boast.'' Raziel did not seem suprised to hear Arthos speak in the older language of the humans.

    ''I agree. As wondrous as this gift is, we have to get to the monastery and save Pyrokar.''

    ''I don't think that's theasable anymore, my friend.''
    Xardas' voice hit us in the back. Both Raziel and Caroll were startled by this, and lashed out at him. Caroll's fireball was neutralized by what appeared to be some sort of pentagram-rune shield that the necromancer had created out of thin air. The Wraith Blade that Raziel wielded so well had no effect on it either. Xardas pushed his free hand towards the attacking duo, and both were punched into the river. I could only imagine what Caroll was thinking of him at that moment. She and Raziel stepped out of the cold water, with the girl glaring at the old man with an absurd rage in her eyes. Raziel was speechless to say the least. Xardas' power obviously left him impressed.

    ''Now, if you two are quite done with gawking at me, I'll transport all of us to my new tower.

    I was bewildered. ''A new tower?''

    Xardas locked his eyes with mine, and an unnerving silence took the place of the sound of his telekinetic force wave. Deciding to brake the quietude of our staring game, he spoke first.

    ''Yes. There is much to explain, Kain. But not here. Now, all of you come closer or otherwise my spell won't work properly.''

    Raziel and Caroll quietly obliged to his demands. I stepped in front of the necromancer, whereas Raziel stood to the left of him, and Caroll to his right.

    ''Right. Now, the girl should her close her eyes, as the inertia might be a bit... strong.''

    Caroll closed her eyes. Xardas lifted his arms towards the sky, and a violette pentagram started to draw itself around the tightly enclosed group. As it completed, everything blackened. We next found ourselves in Xardas' tower. It was exactly the same in every little detail. Everything was placed where it was when I first entered the original tower. If it even was the original.

    ''The girl should get cleaned up and given something to eat, go get some rest as well. As for you, Kain, your meal awaits you in the basement of my enclave. And you are?''

    Xardas turned his head towards Raziel, who had just barely recovered from the teleportational vertigo.

    ''I am Raziel. Kain's... former lieutenant.''

    ''You look like you've been gutted and painted blue.''

    Raziel took this comment suprisingly well.

    ''Ha. Ha. Ha. You would probably look like this as well if you were chucked into the Lake of the Dead, and thenwards revived by a ghastly squid that lives in it...''

    ''Well, I'd agree with you, if I knew what you were talking about. I am Xardas.''

    ''A disgusting pleasure to meet you.''

    With introductions running again, Caroll decided to introduce herself as well,+.

    ''And I'm Caroll. Nice to meet you, I guess.''

    ''You've guessed right. Now go dry your clothes, my servants have already prepared meals for any guests that may arrive.''

    Caroll left the room. While she was rincing her still drippingly wet cloak, Xardas and I exchanged the information the both of us had gathered during the time of my dissapearance.

    ''... So Pyrokar is dead. Damn.''

    ''Not dead, but rather in suspended animation. The Hylden have him in their new fortress, located in the Valley of Mines. I'm suprised as to how those things managed to create such a vast complex, and so quickly too.''

    I was not suprised : The Hylden City was highly advanced as it was, and was inhabited with all manners of creatures, ranging from enslaved, frail humans, to the most vile of demonic experiments, having been dragged from the Demon Dimension in order to be use as guinea pigs by their captors. These bersekerous affronts were unnafected by any weapon with which I leashed my wrath upon them, swords shattered like glass, maces crumbled like old and stale bread, and clawing at them was like clawing a wall. A wall that could strike back, and with deadly force. The only possible way that killed them was luring them under a fangled contraption that emmited a Glyph Energy beam, and activating it. The machine would then emit a high-pitch rotary noise, thenwards obliterating whatever was beneath it at the time.

    ''I've dealt with the Hylden's enclaves before, and have promptly destroyed one while...''

    ''... Building the Sanctuary of the Clans and placing your throne under the corrupted Pillar of Balance... right?''

    ''Absolutely. Now, can you transport us there by means of your spells?'' I already knew of Xardas' world ripples, so there was no need to ask him of how he knew of my throne.

    ''It's not as simple as that, Kain. Firstly, and most vexing of all, I must rest after every attempt at mass teleportation, as it takes a lot out of the caster. Otherwise I risk dying of mana exhaustion. And you likely know what mana is, right?''

    Even though I knew nothing about the properties of the mystical substance called mana, I attempted to guess what it was eitherway.

    ''I assume it has something to do with spells?''

    Xardas grinned at me. ''You're close. Not only is it the power source of all the spells found in this world, it also has quite a few things to do with our bodies and surroundings. You see, Kain, everything living, the ground, even the very garments that we wear are all at least partly infused with mana. And by channeling these mana sources, the power of any creature that uses a spell as a weapon is dramatically increased.''

    Raziel interrupted Xardas when he stopped his lecture. ''So mana shares certain characteristics with spirit energy?''

    ''Precisely, Raziel. Each creature in Nosgoth has spirit energy coursing through their veins, assuming if most of them even have any.''

    ''Oh believe me, they have plenty of veins and arteries, along with jugulars and organs.''
    Raziel unfurled the Wraith Blade.
    ''And this is the tool with which I... disect them.''

    Xardas stared at the glowing blade, now being able to get a better look at it.

    ''What is the name of the weapon you carry, Raziel?''

    ''It is the 'spectral' form of the Soul Reaver. When Kain struck me with the physical blade, the paradox of my soul being inside and outside the blade shattered it, freeing it from its corporeal form, and then turning itself into the Wraith Blade as you see it now.''

    ''How did all this happen? How did your soul end up OUTSIDE and INSIDE the Reaver?'' For the first time since I met him, Xardas' face expressed a severe bewilderment.

    ''It's a long story. And long stories are something we do not have time for, do we? Kain will fill you in after we rescue this 'Pyrokar' person.''
    The old man glared at Raziel for some time.
    ''Well what? Were we not assigned the joyful task of saving his rear end?''

    Xardas seemed suprised by this response to his glare. ''Well, I suppose you're right. And Arthos seems like a familiar name. Where have I heard it before?''
    Snapping out of his self-aimed inquiry, Xardas turned towards me.
    ''It doesn't really matter whether or not I recall him. Now, you, Kain, asked me if there was a way into the Hylden's complex, correct?
    I nodded in conformation.
    ''Hmm... The second dilemma is that the complex is protected with a barrier of sorts, preventing me from teleporting even a leaf into it.''

    ''And is there a way to dispell it?''

    From what I saw, Xardas was thinking deeply.

    ''There may be a way. But it's dangerous and could require the unsealing of a greater evil to gain it.''

    I beared no concern as to what devilry may be unleashed upon Khorinis, as I was confident in my abilities.

    ''It doesn't matter, just tell me what it is that can eliminate that barrier.''
    Xardas turned towards the circular device in the corner of the room in silence.
    ''Answer me!''

    Noting how anxious I was, Xardas gave me the answer that would begin a journey of almost defiant proportions.

    ''The answer you seek is called the Seventh Circle. I will explain in the morning, I'm quite sure you want to hunt something to feed on.''

    I looked at Raziel, asking him if he wanted to feast.

    ''What do you think, my wraith-lieutenant? Shall we have a look at the bandit population and trim it whereever it is neccessary?''

    ''Well... neither one of us have had a decent meal, have we? As such, I presume that hunting down some bandits would be the next logical step.''

    Xardas had already left the room. ''Then I'll see you in the morning...'' His footsteps slowly quieted down to a barely audiable state.

    ''Hey, where are you guys goin'?'' Caroll had finished drying her clothes off.

    ''Out to feed. Neither one of us have fed since we left Valencia.''

    Caroll was repulsed. ''Ewwwww!''

    I was slightly offended. ''Keep silent, girl. Otherwise we might 'bite' you.''

    Caroll, in her fear for her life, ran off into her room, and a locking sound could be heard. Raziel and I laughed at her foolish cowardice.

    ''What a fool!'' Raziel looked as if he was going to die from laughter-induced pain.

    I made myself serious. ''Now then, shall we proceed with the hunt?''

    Raziel nodded, and we headed out for the night.

    ---

    The night was fraught with varying encounters : Glyph Demons seemed to ravage the island, and Hylden warriors, novices and veterans alike, along with a myriad of servants. The orcs and Seekers that had once riddled the land had dissapeared, as if they never existed. No rusted axes or dark figures cooperating with the lowlife scum of Khorinis. The town's walls and certain houses were destroyed, along with human casualties, their limp bodies a testament to the pinnacle of horrendousness the Hylden had inflicted upon the land. The feast I and Raziel had, that was consisted of the crimson blood and the azure souls of our victims, was more than satisfactory, as both of us now possessed enchanted bottles containing trapped souls and blood. The enchantment sufficed to hold the souls inside of the bottle at all times, preventing them from dissipating into the Spectral Plane, and to keep the blood fresh and far more nutritious. We returned to Xardas' tower, in search of knowledge.

    Traversing our way up to the top of it, I noted the tower's last room's right-hand side : It featured a black statue which held swords, its head bore a peculiar marking. The effigy emmited a strange warmth to me. It drew me and Raziel close to it, transfixed by the warmth that it eminated. Just before Raziel was about to touch it, Xardas decided to stop our daydreaming.

    ''I disadvise touching the statue of Beliar, for its black magic will taint you.''

    Suprised to finally see the effigy of this god, I asked Xardas of his traits. ''So, this is the famous god Beliar. Tell me, what exactly are his properties, and who otherwise worships him?''

    ''Beliar, the god of darkness, death and destruction, is Innos' older brother. He is eternally in conflict with him, but the third brother, Adanos, keeps the delicate balance between the two. Beliar is otherwise worshipped by the Seekers and the Necromancers. I, for one, only entered the circles of Necromancy because I wished to figure out what went wrong with a certain event back in the day. But enough of that now. More important matters are to be dealt with.''

    Xardas gestured with his hand that we should go into the room. It had a large, brown and red carpet in the center, and on it was a large table. Candles, books, keys and stones covered it. I noted the pentagram-shaped chandalier that hung over it. Caroll was sitting next to the near a large pile of violet rocks.

    ''That wasn't funny, scaring me like that!'' She was clearly upset about last night's events.

    Raziel replied with sarcasm. ''Oh, we're sorry. We never knew you were so brave.''

    ''Shut up, you... you...''

    ''What? Did a feline rip your tongue out just now?'' Raziel was being arrogant, which was fairly odd for his usual behavior. He would normally apologize when such an event occured.

    Xardas broke their quarrel. ''Do you two mind paying attention?! Or do I have to cast a silencing spell just to get you to listen?!''

    Both fell silent, glancing at eachother on occasion.

    ''Alright. What I am about to tell you is STRICTLY between us. You may not tell anyone, not now, not ever, of what I am about to say. Understood?''

    We all gave a quick nod.

    ''Good.''

    Xardas sat down and took a deep, cleansing breath.

    ''The Seventh Circle's history was forsaken long ago by most magicians, but I managed to scrape up a large amount of information about it in the last 100 years. Long ago, before I was born, before the island of Khorinis formed, the Seventh Circle existed as much as the other six today. Only the archmages of Innos, who were the only ones who were capable of bearing the weight of the Seventh Circle, could ever harness such boundless power. The oldest of the archmages, named Erian, once touched one of the statues of Beliar that are now so rare to find. Beliar corrupted him with the dark side of the Seventh Circle, badly distorting his judgement, and he ravaged the land of Myrtana. His own wife, Xaria, stabbed him with a legendary dagger named the Spite of Adanos, of which I know nothing. With his last, dying breath, he called the forces of Beliar upon the land, and then passed away. Xaria took her own life with the same weapon that slew her beloved Erian. After this tragic event, the circles of Necromancy and Water formed, and the Magicians of Fire lost their one true leader. Fearing that the knowledge would taint them as well should they ever come into contact with Beliar's effigies, the six remaining archmages' bodies were willingly transformed by Innos himself into his once loyal servants : dragons. With this act, they became uncorruptable, but for the ultimate price : they would never again be able to transform back into their human forms, driving them mad, and ultimately, solitude. Each of them are pure Elemental dragons, and their names are Frayos the Enraged, Krateon the Enormous, Viora the Saintful, Ragnar the Damned, Sephoen the Depressed, and Talanbael the Swift. I shall tell of their properties when I give you the task to find and kill them. This will free their souls, each containing a fragment of the Circle's power. I will figure out a way with which to capture them. Now, I'd like to get to work, if you don't mind. And don't bother me if you wish me to figure it out by tommorow.''

    Xardas left the room, leaving us to our own discussions.

    (The chapter has been fixed up, so enjoy ;D. Ch10 is next up.)
    The English WoG is NOT dead, my friends!
    [Bild: tOC_sig1.jpg]

  10. Beiträge anzeigen #10
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    Maaaaaaaaaaaarvelous!
    Keep up the good work Man!

  11. Beiträge anzeigen #11
    Ranger Avatar von KeeperUTX
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    As far as I've read, the rules prohibit posting in stories to all but the author. But seeing as you have x stars that shouldn't be a problem. I'll make a discussion thread too.

    Anyways, thx for the support! Nomad4o
    The English WoG is NOT dead, my friends!
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  12. Beiträge anzeigen #12
    Ranger Avatar von KeeperUTX
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    Sorry everyone, but you might be pissed about this. Due to certain events being held where I write LoK : DD, I'll have to stop for until next monday. Sorry again!


    If you want some info on the LoK series, and from where exactly I gain my inspiration, PM me!!
    The English WoG is NOT dead, my friends!
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  13. Beiträge anzeigen #13
    Ranger Avatar von KeeperUTX
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    (Ok. The events have passed, and I can continue this mind-stimulating story of mine. Enjoy.)


    Chapter 10 : Runes And Spells.

    We pondered about Xardas' tale, considering every possible outcome that would happen should we take their powers, every theasable theory, as to what these 'pure' elemental dragons were capable of doing. As much as we knew, we could only assume that they were enlisted to control the element they guarded, along with whatever fragment of knowledge of the Seventh Circle they possessed at the time.

    Caroll had an expression of confoundment on her face, almost as if she was dumbfounded by a sorcerer.

    ''But if these things are so gosh darn dangerous, why don't they use that power of theirs to sink this whole island?''

    I enlightened Caroll with my own theory. ''We can only presume that since they live in seclusion, they are not aware of neither the world around them nor themselves. For all we know, these once human dragons have been driven mad by the power they possess and the solitude that surrounds them.''

    Raziel answered my assumption with an inquiry. ''Interesting theory. But what if they aren't insane? If as such, they would know how to control their powers far better than if they had lost their minds. How can we know if they are sane?''

    ''Just by calling out their names. If they recognize their own names, that means that they're not crazy. Right?'' Caroll seemed quite certain of her answer, and I had to remove that certainty.

    ''They may recall their own names, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're 'not crazy'.''

    Embarressed by her mistaken assumption, the fire-controlling sorceress blushed. ''Well what? It's not like it's a bad idea or anything...''

    Raziel implied a third concern. ''The only real enigma here is not what, but where. Where will we find them, anyway?''

    ''Xardas claimed that he will figure things out. If anyone can reveal the locations of the pure elemental dragons, HE will.'' I was certain that the Necromancer would unveil where they are allocated, and tell us how to absorb their knowledge of the Seventh Circle.

    Caroll was bored of our debate. ''This is stupid. What if we just went to bed? Or if I went to bed, considering that you two can't sleep without hanging from the ceiling.''

    I was annoyed by her acclaim. ''Hanging from the ceiling? Your concepts of how vampires rest are ill-designed, girl. Just because your lore tells you certain things, you shouldn't just instantly believe it!''

    ''Oh, shut up, you geezer.'' Caroll had clearly forgotten the fact that I owned the Soul Reaver. As such, I promptly gave her a reminder by quickly unsheathing it, and raising it to her face.

    ''What did you call me, you red-headed banshee? Choose wisely what words you will decide to use, otherwise I might just rip your tongue out, simply to silence you.''
    I placed the very tip of the Reaver on her cheek, and her eyes bulged with paralyzing fear.
    ''Well?''

    ''... I said that you're a geezer. A smelly, undead geezer!''
    Caroll closed her eyes the moment she finished her sentence, readying herself for the horrible mutilation that she assumed would come. Raziel, his eyes as wide as ever, glared at us to see the outcome, his gaze switching from me, to the Reaver's serpentine form, and Caroll. But I, instead of harming her, removed the Reaver from her face, and sheathed it.
    ''Why didn't you do it...?''

    ''Because of your courageousness. And courage is something that I applaud. Verily. As you have shown your valor, I now know that you are not going to just let a demon make you surrender. You would die before allowing yourself to be humiliated like that, and that as long as you still draw breath, you will fight. Did I miss anything?''

    Raziel was convinced by my short speech. ''I doubt that, Kain. You have described her well, as would I. Caroll won't back away from any battle, no matter how dangerous. Right?'' He shifted his now usual gaze at Caroll, who still depicted disbelief in her eyes.

    She then snapped out of her transe. ''It's true. I'm no chicken. I won't run away from any fight, even if the odds are against us. I'm sorry for calling you a...''

    ''How about if you get some sleep, instead of apologizing to us? I'm sure you're tired.'' Raziel was otherwise focused on the black, rounded stone he had in his hands. I was not interested by it, as I, at this point, was not interested in the stones that covered a good two tenths of the table.

    Caroll agreed with the vampire-wraith. ''I guess you're right, Raziel. I'll go to bed. Good night.''

    She left the room, leaving us to our own devices. We conversed the entire night, continuing the search for answers on the terms of the dragons.

    ---

    Dawn approached. Xardas, seemingly unexhausted from his nightly studies, sat down where Caroll sat, and told us what we wanted to know.

    ''Right. This is how it functions...''
    He picked up one of the stones.
    ''This is a blank runestone. It can be infused with a variety of spells, provided the desired spell doesn't overload it.''

    Raziel was puzzled. ''What do you mean, 'overload'?''

    ''If a spell is too powerful for a runstone to contain, the moment the spell leashes its powers, the runestone is destroyed. Simple as that. The spell that I will impart upon this blank is not even close to that kind of power. It is the Locator spell. Whatever the caster wants to find, the spell will create a beam of light that only he or she will see. Once casted, it will not cease to show the indicated location until the caster arrives at that location. Caroll will use it, seeing as she is capable of using multiple elemental spells.''
    He paused for a moment.
    ''The other spell I will give you is much more powerful. It is the Consume Essence spell. It is a passive spell, meaning that it functions whether the rune is in your hands or just in your bag. You, Kain, are the only one able to absorb that much power, because you are literally unkillable. Your roll as Scion of Balance clearly dictates that aspect - Consume Essence uses a bolt of pure spectral energy to transfer the essence to the possessor that normally kills whatever isn't immortal or otherwise already a creature consisted even partly of spectral energy.''

    Xardas gestured again, this time to follow him to the lower levels of the tower. We entered the main room, and the old man walked up to the circular device in the corner, picking up two scrolls and a handful of what appeared to be precious gems from the alchemy table along the way.

    ''What are you going to do with that?'' I was now half-interested by the stone that he had placed into the device, floating in the middle of it. The runestone started to glow a vile-red, and the device started to spin and twirl around its own axis.

    ''This is one of the two methods of runecraft. The other is less efficent and tiresome.''
    Xardas tossed one of the scrolls and four gems into the mechanism, dissipating and releasing their energy into the runestone. Markings started to form, lines sparked their way into reality, and the device released its grip on the newly enchanted stone.
    ''The Consume Essence rune is done. Here.''
    He gave me the rune, and I stored it in my leather bag.
    ''Now to create the Locator rune.''

    The same process happened once more, and the Locator rune was created.

    Caroll had, in the mean time, walked down into the main room as well, with a plate in her hands.
    ''Morning. Hey, what's that stone for?''

    ''He has crafted two 'runes' for you and I. The one I have will absorb the essence of the dragons and give their knowledge to me. The one you will be given has a 'Locator' spell that will allocate our targets, only you will see the beam. And with my bat form, we will find and... 'release' them of their torment before the day will end.''

    Caroll nodded in approval. ''Alright. Let's go right now!''
    I, Caroll and Raziel left the tower, saying our farewells to Xardas. Caroll examined the rune she held.
    ''So... how do I use this? Oh, wait, I remember know. I read in one of Xardas' books on how to use spells like these.''

    She raised the rune into the air, and it glowed. I did not see anything, but Caroll turned her head northwards. After all, Xardas said that only the caster sees the beam.

    ''I'm assuming the mountains are our goal. So, hang on to me if you want to go.''
    The two clamped down onto my arms, and we flew off in the form of three clouds of bats. Caroll's cloud was the leader, Raziel and I merely followed. Traversing several caverns and crevaces rapidly, we landed in what appeared to be a smouldering crater.
    ''Everyone alright?''

    Raziel cracked his neck. ''Every bone is in place...''

    Caroll, however, had rammed herself into deep and solidified soot, with only her legs sticking out and flailing in a ridiculous fashion.

    ''MMF FM MFMFM!''

    As much as the both of us wanted to pull her out of this sorry position, a deep, bellowing voice pierce our ears.

    ''WHO DARE DISTURBETH THE GUARDIAN OF FIRE?! WHAT PATHETIC WHELP HATH THE NERVES TO AWAKEN ME FROM MY SLUMBER?!''

    I and Raziel turned round, only to see a massive beast - the pure fire dragon. Its wings were consisted of pure flame, the bones completely visible. Its skin was smouldering, the eyes seemed to be lit up as well. The tail of the dragon was long, and at the tip of it was a crystal, enveloped by fire. The chest of the monster shined, showing a heart made out of fire and fire alone.

    ''We have come to take your essence, daemon! Surrender and we will promise you a swift demise!''

    ''I SHALL NOT GIVETH YOU WHAT YOU DESIRE, FOR I AM FRAYOS, GUARDIAN OF THE SEVENTH CIRCLE OF FIRE! NOW, DIE, INSECTS!''

    Raziel unfurled the Wraith blade, and I unsheathed the Reaver, both glowing in tune with eachother in the usual spiritual glow, preparing ourselves for a battle of epic proportions...

    (CH11 is next up)
    The English WoG is NOT dead, my friends!
    [Bild: tOC_sig1.jpg]

  14. Beiträge anzeigen #14
    Ranger Avatar von KeeperUTX
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    Chapter 11 : The Undying Flame of Innos.

    ''This looks to be a long day...'' Raziel wasn't altogether content of a fight with a giant, fiery dragon.

    He made a gesture with his hand at Caroll, who was still trapped in soot. ''You get Caroll to safety, and I will deal with this overgrown LIZARD!''

    A telekinetic bolt flew out of his hand, hitting Frayos on the side of his head, knocking it rightwards.

    ''HA-HA-HA! YOU ARE OUT OF YOUR OWN LEAGUE, BUG! I WILL INCINERATE YOU!''

    Frayos inhaled a large amount of air, and spat out a continous stream of solidified flames. Raziel thrusted the Wraith Blade, switching to the element of Water along the way, at the beam of death. It dissipated as soon as it came into contact with the Water Reaver.

    ''Well, what in the name of Nosgoth are you waiting for? Go save Caroll's rear end from being roasted!''

    While Raziel lunged at Frayos with all his might, slashing and jabbing at him, I ran towards the girl's legs and pulled her out with a telekinetic tug. Once released from my mental grip, Caroll fell to the ground with a thump. Her entire upper body was covered in ashes and dust, her repulsion to this was as clear as a prismatic amulet.

    ''Gross! Look at me! This'll take WEEKS to...''

    A stray fireball was flung towards us. I grabbed Caroll by her torso and jumped out of the way. The explosion was so strong that it made us fly farther than I estimated, dropping the Reaver as we went, and nearly fell off the steep, ragged cliff, barely catching the ledge. Caroll, in her foolishness, looked down. From the looks of it she was fairly terrified.

    ''Yaaah! Get me back up there, I don't wanna DIIIEE!''
    Immidiately responding, I threw her back on to the ledge.
    ''OOOF! Owww, y' could've just used your magic powers or whatever...''

    I then threw myself back up as well, picking up my weapon of choice.

    ''You would have to rush as well if your friend was in danger. Now, stay behind THAT rock until I and Raziel can beat Frayos down!''
    The young sorceress wanted to help, but I cut her off.
    ''That is an order!''

    She darted off behind a large, almost stalagmitic rock. The Soul Reaver began to shimmer in a spiritual tone of blue, and as I ran towards Frayos, I saw that Raziel was on top of him, firing darts of the element of Water, having no effect and simply evaporating upon touching the leviathan's skin.

    ''Why isn't this working?! ARGH''

    The elongated tail of the dragon knocked Raziel off its back and sent him flying into a wall with a more distinct thud than Caroll's.

    ''I AM BEYOND EXTINGUISHMENT! THE FIRE OF INNOS PROTECTS ME, AS I PROTECT IT!''

    Frayos spun around, his tail sweeping the ground of the crater in a large circle. By jumping I avoided it completely, and swinging the Reaver several times in mid-air, bolts of spirit energy hit the unholy affront.

    ''GAAAH! YOUR BLADE IS NO MATCH FOR FRAYOS!''

    He spat a fireball directly at me, hitting me dead center in the chest. I lost consciousness for some time.

    When I awoke, Raziel was once again striking away at the beast, this time with the Spirit Wraith Blade.

    ''URGH! OUGH! AGH!''

    Frayos took flight, his flapping wings creating a draft that pushed me back down onto the ground. All I could see was Raziel hanging on to his tail, dissapearing into the dense, sulphurous clouds above. I lifted myself up off of the ashen ground after the winds of the dragon's wings had stopped blowing.

    Caroll ran up to me. ''Are you okay, Kain? You got hit pretty bad by that fireball...''

    ''Ungh... I've been through far worse than that overgrown lizard's embers. Where did they go?

    Caroll pulled out the Locator rune. She lifted it up, and after some time, lowered it back down and put it away. She looked around, fixating here eyes on the southern corner of the sky.

    ''They went that way. But how are we going to follow them?''

    ''By fighting fire with fire!''

    Xardas came flying into the very center of the crater on a dragon of his own : it was far smaller than Frayos was, but was large enough to acommadate at least three personnel on its back. The dragon itself was made of dullish-grey bones its wings made of dead, lifeless skin, its eyes shining with an almost disturbing glow consisted of orange flames. Black fog errupted from the bones similar to that of Frayos' smouldering skin. The beast bowed down, allowing us to mount it as well. Caroll was stricken with fear for her life, but Xardas seemed confident in her capability to survive.

    ''Don't worry, if you fall off of him, I will make sure he'll catch in time!''

    ''Where the heck did you get this thing, Xardas?!''

    ''Androx was my pet swamp dragon back in the day, and I decided to awaken him again so that I could assist you against the pure fire dragon, and I did not forsee the fact that he would be reborn as an undead dragon.''

    I had some interests about 'Androx's' properties. '' How fast can your pet go?''

    ''As fast as a bolt of lightning, Kain! Nothing has ever outflown Androx, whether he's a sack of dragon bones or not!''

    ''Then let us catch up with our quarry and my lieutenant!''

    Xardas obliged, and with a mere kick into Androx's neckbone, he started to flap his leathery wings trice as fast as before. Not long after the dramatic accelaration, we got sight of the behemoth which was trying once again to knock Raziel off his back with his flexible tail. The vampire-turned-wraith avoided each swing, stabbing Frayos with each successful dodge. This avoid-and-stab tactic of Raziel's made Frayos grunt each time he did so.

    ''Get us on top of him!'' I hatched a plan that would bring the goliath to rest.

    Xardas' eyes bulged. ''Are you mad?! If that tail hits my dragon it will shatter him! Androx has a delicate structure...''

    ''...That can likely avoid ANY attack.'' Both Xardas and I were suprised by Caroll.

    ''If this dragon really is fast, then it can avoid anything, can't it?''

    Xardas perished the thought. ''The risk is too great!''

    The girl persisted. ''Trust me on this. I may not be a hundred years old but I know what I'm saying.''

    ''... Alright. Androx, forward!''

    The dragon heeded the Necromancer's order and flew above Frayos. Standing on the very edge of his shoulder, I saw Raziel slashing, stabbing and striking away at the monstrosity's carapace-like skin. T'was then that I was enlightened as to why Raziel was using the Spirit Wraith Blade instead of the Water Reaver : he saw that the energy bolts that the physical Reaver emmited were made of pure spirit energy, and that seemed to be the only thing that caused harm to Frayos. Unsheathing the serpetine blade, I lifted it high up into the air, and it started to drain the spirit energy that was in it. The Spirit Reaver engulfed its physical twin, glowing a pure, near saintly light. But at the point when I was prepared to swing the Reaver's wrath upon Frayos with all my might, the crystal on his tail slammed straight into Androx's left wing, causing it to disintegrate, and the undead dragon began to plummit. Jumping off of it, I saw Xardas teleporting himself and Caroll to safety. I began to spin, aiming the Reaver directly at Frayos while he was occupied with Raziel's interference. It slammed into the dragonic neck, flaming blood gushing out of it as I turned the Reaver.

    ''YEEAAAAARRGH! GET OFF, YOU IMPUDENT... EAAAAAAAAAAAARRRGH!''

    His resistance was in vain, as the majority of his soul coursed into the Reaver. I prevented it from draining him dry by pulling the blade out prematurely. Frayos' motionless body crashed into the forest as Raziel and I grabbed on to him to prevent ourselves from being thrown off. As he came to a halt, we jumped off Frayos, and I walked up to his face as Raziel made sure nothing would suprise me as I did what had to be done. There was a distinct beating noise, presumably it was the dragon's heart.

    But before I could drain him, Frayos opened his eyes, still lit up by the fire that resided within them.

    ''You... warrior... You have brung me back from the precifice of insanity... and spared me from total dissolution. The Undying Flame of Innos... is... yours...''

    ''Rest easy, Archmage. You have suffered long enough.''

    Frayos' eyes closed, and the beating came to a slow, painful halt. The Consume Essence rune, which was in my leather bag at that time, forced out the last of his soul's essence, and infused me with it. I was lifted up into the air, and all my more recent wounds dissipated into nothingness. I could feel a strong sensation of what seemed to be euphoria, and after inhaling the very last of Frayos' essence, I was placed gently back down on the ground. Not that I needed any 'gentle handling'...

    Raziel walked up towards me. ''Is it done?''

    Before I could answer, Arthos contacted us. ''Well done, Kain. You have gained a fragment of the Seventh Circle, and with it, a piece of the magic of Dominance. It will serve you well in the following years, when everything falls into place...''

    ''What purpose does this 'Dominance magic' serve?'' The name Dominance seemed very prominent to me.

    ''Dominance magic is the magic of Innos. I cannot say anything more. I will tell you what precisely it is, when everything falls into its rightful place. That is, when you gain all of the Seventh Circle's knowledge. For now, I bid you ado, vampiric guardian!''

    Arthos' voice dissapeared from our minds, but Raziel was still puzzled.

    ''I wonder what exactly the magic of Innos is capable of... Assuming from the name, it carries at least some influencial power.''

    ''There's no time for theorizing, we must get back to Xardas' tower.'' I was in a rush to report to the Necromancer, and ask him what the magic of Innos truly is.

    We headed of in a random direction, hoping to find a road that would lead to his tower.

    ''I certainly wish I'd place a beacon near Xardas' tower, so that I could take us back in bat form.''

    ''Sometimes you just have to 'hoof' it, Kain...''


    (Enjoy C11. Unfortunately, you'll be pissed once more my fans. Since the holidays are here, I MAY not be able to continue for oh, say... 9 days? sorry!)
    The English WoG is NOT dead, my friends!
    [Bild: tOC_sig1.jpg]

  15. Beiträge anzeigen #15
    Ranger Avatar von KeeperUTX
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    ( Alright, FINALLY!!! I got a dent in my jam-packed schedule, so here's CH12 )

    Chapter 12 : The silent earth.

    Having returned to the Necromancer's tower, we explained our short adventure, along with Arthos' voice appearing in the back of my already enigmized mind.

    ''Wonderful! Now you have a part of the ancient knowledge!'' Xardas had a joyous expression on his old, wrinkled that was bathed in the light of the torches that were pinned to the walls.

    ''But this is concerning : This 'Arthos' character... WHERE have I heard of him?''

    ''Perhaps your memory falters as you grow ever more elderly, my friend.'' I was quite certain that the older someone is, the more forgetful he or she is. Naturally, this does not count for the vampiric mind : We can recall every single memory, however ancient, and depict its details to the fullest possible measure of accuracy.

    Xardas frowned, his facial 'canyons' dissapearing temporarily. ''My memory is NOT faltering, Kain! If I ever forgot anything, it would be my altruism. My power as a Necromancer and a magician of the dark arts grant me a very exstensive and firm amount of memory. The only way someone could make me forget something is if they used one of the ancient spells from the Magic of Summoning.''

    Raziel was inquiristic about his claim. ''If it's called the Magic of Summoning, then explain how a spell of forgetfulness would fit in that category...?''

    Caroll seemed to agree with the ex-lieutenant. ''Yeah, if it's a forget-something spell or whatever, why is it a 'summoning' spell?''

    Xardas slowly turned towards the bookshelf, and walked towards it. Halting himself in front of it, he lowered his head.

    ''Beliar, the god of death, destruction and darkness, is the one who created the Magic of Summoning. Innos, the god of fire, light and life is the one who imparted the Magic of Dominance upon this world, and Adanos, god of water, balance and purity crafted the Magic of Transformation. Therefor, THEY decide which magics belong in their appropriate categories.''

    Suddenly, Arthos' voice and actual being came out of the shadows. ''And what if a new magic is introduced, Xardas? Or should I say... the Chosen of Beliar?''

    Xardas' stave appeared out of nowhere, the old man grabbed it with his left hand, and a ball of congealed, ever darkening energy.
    ''WHO DARES TO INTRUDE MY TOWER! SHOW YOURSELF!''
    The Steel Lord stepped out of the shadows, and the details on his armor were pointed out by the light of the torches : His eyes were glowing a light blue and expulsing some sort of hardly notable mist, and the demonicly red gem in his chest glowed strongly.
    ''Wait... you?! You're the man that...''

    ''... Visited you precisely 169 years ago. Correct.'' Arthos' voice expressed what appeared to be a light, yet still unnoticeable joyfulness.

    Raziel was skeptical. ''You KNOW him?'' His eyes also showed his skepticism in such a way that it would probably be visible from a thousand yards away.

    Xardas' staff dissapeared, along with the ball of dark energy. ''I remember now. You're Arthos, the armored person of my childhood! You were the one who told me to find the Chosen!''

    ''Whoa, wait. So who are these Chosen guys?'' Caroll's own facial expression mimiced that of an orc's face.

    Arthos undulated in the direction of the young sorceress. ''The Chosen of the Three Brothers. Before Innos, Adanos and Beliar left the world as we know it, they told mankind that, in due time, the nine Chosen will confront eachother, and thusly decide the fate of the dimensions.''

    Now the Necromancer's face mimiced an orc's face as well. ''What? But you told me to find the FOUR chosen...''

    ''What are you talking about?'' Arthos seemed as confused as Raziel was, staring at our debate.

    ''You mean to tell me that NEITHER of you recall the events that happened 170 years ago?!'' The sudden bewilderment of the pair was enough to infuriate me.

    ''I told him that he should find the NINE chosen when becomes a High Magician of Fire, NOT 170 years ago when he was an orphan.'' Arthos had a stiff voice.
    He looked towards the standing corpse, clearly in deep thought.
    ''It's possible that the years in the Barrier have badly distorted your memory, in more ways than one.''

    Caroll atempted to lighten the atmosphere. ''Barrier? Was he stuck in a wooden palisade?''

    This attempt severly failed, as Xardas' eyes burned with rage, but his voice appeared calm. ''The Barrier was the magical dome that imprisoned me and many others for twenty long, miserable years in the Valley of Mines. The twelve mages, both of the Fire and Water castes that I leaded into the Barrier's creation never sensed the presence of an archdemon called the Sleeper, and that presence tore down the delicate balance of magic, creating a catastrophe of gigantic proportions : the dome expanded far beyond our expectations, covering 3500 yards instead of one half of that amount of the valley...''

    I decided to put a stop to Xardas' fruitless lecture. ''Fellows, does it really matter what in the Burning Hell's name how many yards the Barrier covered?! I advise we should return to the matter at hand, and NOT discussing the size of a stupid, currently insignificant barrier!''

    The three stared at me, and Caroll broke the deadly silence that followed. ''He's right, you guys. We should get out there and search for the next dragon, not babble our mouths off.'' She pulled out the Locator rune from under her garments.

    Arthos seemed intrigued by the runestone. ''Hmmm... let me see that, would you...''
    Caroll, as reluctant as she was, handed over the enchanted stone.
    ''Hm. Naturally... yes...''
    He turned the Locator rune over and over again in his large, armored hands.
    ''Bah. Inferior rune magic... This was a waste of a good runestone, Xardas. What of the old magic that you so gleefuly used in your youth?''

    Xardas was offended. ''Rune magic isn't 'inferior, Arthos. It has replaced my usage of the old magic. If I ever used it, that is.''

    Arthos let out what sounded like a distorted, deep cackle. ''He-hah! Then how did you infuse this rune with the power of Allocation...?''

    ''I have created a handful of spells imparted into scrolls that can handle their power, and then I can make it a multiple use spell if I use a rune, some ingredients and a rune table.''

    ''Hm. Don't you use the technique of rune-smithery?'' Arthos seemed slightly confused, hearing of runecraft for the first time.

    ''That method is for the smiths of the southern islands, not this continent. It is far too crude for me.'' Xardas stared defiantly into the Steel Lord's glowing eyes for what felt like an eternity.

    The eternal quietude of the moment was brought to a stop by Raziel. ''Shall we spend the rest of our lives chattering on about the altruistic traits of runemaking, or shall we proceed to find the next dragon, like Caroll said?''

    ''Yes, I agree with my progidal son. Caroll, go out and use your rune to figure out where exactly our quarry is.''

    As she was about to walk out of the building, Arthos gave her the rune. ''Afterwards, come back in.''

    We waited for Caroll's word for a small amount of time. She returned, with a look of befuddlement on her face.

    ''Errr... It points out to sea... to the west.''

    Xardas was once again infected with the orcish face syndrome. ''Towards the mainlands? Well, now things get complicated...''

    ''Not at all, old friend. Young one, come here.''
    Seeing as she was the only 'young' one among us, she walked up to Arthos' large, towering figure.
    ''Now... open your mind to me, and allow me complete access, until it is done.''
    Arthos put a finger on her forehead. Caroll immediately fell into a trans, here retinas widened, whereas Arthos remained self-aware. After another well-waited round of silence, he broke his connection with the young sorceress, falling down to the ground as he did so.

    ''What the devil...?!'' I unsheathed the Soul Reaver and tried to slam it into Arthos' head, but was caught without trouble by his hand. It felt as if I had just attempted to run the Reaver through the Pillar of Balance, and bounced backwards, falling on my rump and dropping the Reaver. As I looked up, the runic markings of the armor that was on his hand glowed a synergetic light, slowly fading back into non-existence.

    ''Calm yourself, Kain, I did not execute her. She is exhausted from the mental stress of my mind-probing efforts.''

    Not concerning myself with the fact that I could not damage him, nor with the unconscious Caroll, I stood up and grabbed the Reaver, sheathing it as I turned to Raziel.

    He was leering at Arthos. ''And did you find anything else besides adolescent commerse and dung? Perhaps a witty thought?''

    ''I have found the location of the Earth dragon. I will teleport you there right now if you wish.''

    ''Then please do so to them, so that Kain can get the next fragment of the Seventh Circle.'' Xardas was apparently eager to see us gone, so that he and Arthos would talk about events long forgotten.

    ''Right. And don't worry, I'll send someone that you've met here to help you later on...''

    This time, the Lord simply flicked his wrist, and everything went absolutely black. Moments later, both I and Raziel were blinded by a wight light. As it faded, we revealed that we were in a large, subterranian cavern.

    ''Well, I suppose that 'Krateon the Enormous lies here.'' Raziel glanced to his left while saying that.

    Out of nowhere, a deep, deppressed voice bellowed from the rockwall behind us. Two large, yellowish eyes glared at us. And we revealed that the rockwall was not a rock wall at all, but rather the dragon that we sought, deeply imbedded into the earth.

    ''Mmmmm... Who spoketh my name?''

    ''My friend Raziel called your name, Krateon.'' As relaxed as Krateon's voice was, I could not help but be wary of his tremendous size : the mouth that opened and close before us was as large as Frayos' entire body was, more than enough to swallow us in one gulp.

    ''You need not fear me, travellers. I am forever and for always imprisoned in the womb of the earth, and I have not eaten anything in thousands of decades. If only someone would spare me of my suffering...''

    ''I can do so, if you want it as such. '' Pulling out the Reaver, the two eyes now stared at its serpentine shapes and curves.

    ''Yeeeeessss... End it. Now.''

    With a strike of the now charged Spirit Reaver, a wall of spirit energy blasted out towards Krateon, who grunted after it had hit him. The grunt was so loud that several stalagtites fell behind us.

    With one last breath, he exclaimed his dying words. ''Free... dom... Thank you...''

    (Continuance in CH13)
    The English WoG is NOT dead, my friends!
    [Bild: tOC_sig1.jpg]
    Geändert von KeeperUTX (15.11.2012 um 16:57 Uhr)

  16. Beiträge anzeigen #16
    Ranger Avatar von KeeperUTX
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    Chapter 13 : The Reunion.

    The Consume Essence rune exorcised Krateon's essence out of his body, and forced it into me. After the sudden euphoria ended once again, I had in my possession the second piece of the Seventh Circle's knowledge. Raziel, who had stared at me while I was infused with the ancient knowledge, walked cautiously up to a carved out obelisk, leering at it with contempt. Once he had arrived to its base, he read aloud the vampiric text that was written into it.

    ''Hmmm... The Silent Earth of Adanos lies here in the painful agony that is solitude. Bear this in mind : your corpse shall one day belong to the soil beneath you, as much as ours do...''

    ''Lies!''
    The obnoxious yet omnipotent sounding voice of the Elder God rang in our heads.
    ''This is an alternate reality that you reside in, Raziel and Kain. I advise you to leave it at once.''

    Raziel now gained a look of complete disgust. ''Oooh, I thought I'd never have to hear that wretched voice of yours ever again!''

    I boasted Raziel's sentence. ''Did you not tell me, in spite of the mutual hatred between you and I, that you would 'leave me to my own devices'? Or perhaps that was a foolish ruse?''

    ''When did this miserable squid tell you that?'' Raziel's voice showed intrigue, but his face showed the opposite.

    ''When the vampire lord was near his demise, I merely forewarned him of the dangers that would come. Is that not a fair and just deed to do?'' You could not find a single needle of truth in the Elder God's haystack of lies.

    ''That is your fatal folly, you grotesc incarnation of betrayal.''
    Raziel's eyes glowed in synchronization with his unbound rage.
    ''You would rip Nosgoth to pieces, merely to ensure your own survival. If you have no moral conscience, then I doubt that you would ever tell any sort of truth, even if your very existence was endangered in any feasible way.''

    The voice of the false god amassed a doubtless anger. ''I am BEYOND 'moral conscience'. Your standarts are for the weak, Raziel, you are not ready for the task ahead. With a moral conscience, you will not be preambled for the pain of...''

    ''KEEP SILENT, YOU PREPOSTOROUS MANIFESTATION OF ALL THAT IS UNHOLY!'' Raziel's hands were quaking in an ineffable fury.

    Attempting to calm the enraged wraith, I shouted words of reason. ''Raziel, you fool! He is merely enraging you for his own plans, do not give in!''

    But my efforts were all for naught. Raziel unfurled the Wraith Blade across his hand and arm, and swung around. If it weren't for my sharp reflexes, my head would be rolling around the floor at that point.

    ''And you! YOU are the one who damned me to the abomination that I now inhabit! YOU made me suffer for a thousand years, as I tumbled and rolled down to the bottom of that accursed lake, only to be revived as a GHOUL, all that just for a prophecy that was never truly set in motion! And as such, I demand retribution! DIE, VERMIN!''

    Raziel, filled with the old, extinguished anger that accumulated during the 1000 years in the Lake of the Dead, exploded towards me in a conflagration of slashes. The next thing I saw was my own serpentine blade crossing with his, sparks illuminating the dark alcove, bolts of spirit energy crackling into reality around us.

    I tried to reason with Raziel. ''Listen to me... Raziel! The Elder God has somehow poisoned your mind with the your old, vengeful self. Snap out of i...''

    Before I could finish my sentence, he broke the temporary connection that had formed between the two blades, and rushed at me again. This time I was prepared for his attack, and grabbed him by the neck while he was in mid-air.

    ''Gggghh!'' Raziel struggled to break free from my iron grip, but to a null avail.

    ''Focus, Raziel! This isn't you! FIGHT IT!''

    We stared into eachother's eyes, and after a short amount of time had passed, Raziel finally regained his former characteristics. I let go of his neck, and he dropped to the floor like a stone, unconscious.

    The Elder God's voice was a triumphant one. ''I kept warning him. An attempt to defy me means punishment.''

    I nudged Raziel to see whether he was conscious or not. ''And ,pray tell, what is this 'punishment'?'' He did not move, at first, then started to stir.

    ''He will regain his consciousness shortly, but it gives enough time to tell you the tragic fate that will unfold in the distant future. You see, Kain, you are one day destined to protect the one who shall free a land from its corrupt dwellers.''

    I was confused. ''Just how is protecting a 'liberator' from harm a tragic fate? Your judgement must be distorted badly to think like that, you sorry pile of tentacles.''

    As Raziel stirred ever more, the Elder God continued. ''I damaged the Chronoplast Chamber, but not to kill you. I delayed your destiny, for you are not ready for the arduous journey which has not yet started off, for the chosen persona is not yet born. You are the one who shall train whoever it will be that will save the land I mentioned earlier.''

    ''What land is it that you speak of? Where shall this 'chosen persona' be born? Does this have anything to do with the fate of Nosgoth?'' The amount of questions that I had just uttered suprised me, but what the Elder God exclaimed next was far more alarming.

    ''I cannot say. The land in question is unknown to me, the location of his or her birth remains concealed, and the fate of your wretched, soulless land is in YOUR hands.''
    After a moment of silence, Raziel was nearly self-aware once again.
    ''This is the last time you will hear me in this world, Kain. Fulfill you destiny, and when you are ready... Take the fire...''

    Take the fire? I wondered what he meant with that. But nevertheless, I considered it a pointless gesture, discarding the Elder God's last words into the abyss that is my memory, dropping it into a cold, dank corner of my mind.

    Raziel had stood up his eyes transfixed with confusion upon me. ''What... happened?''

    ''You suddenly slumped down to the ground. I suppose that the energies around this place aren's the best for creatures of a partly spectral nature. Let us leave this place before you fall out of consciousness again.'' A lie was better than the truth at the moment, as I was not in the mood for a sumptous debate about the false god's words. Naturally, I wanted to elaborate what 'take the fire' meant with my ex-lieutenant, but I thought remaining silent would be the best for both of us.

    Suprisingly enough, Raziel believed me. For an unlife that has gone through so many bitter losses, so many battles, he did not see the truth that so obviously layed before him. By all probability the knockout he received must have 'erased' his memory like a mop across a dirty floor. I pointed a claw towards a tunnel which seemed to be brighter than the others.

    And yet he recalled the obelisk. ''You must be in the possession of the Silent Earth, assuming from what was written on the obelisk. Speaking of writing, how come it was vampiric? Any sort of explanation for this anomaly? Perhaps some of our kin somehow altered the Chronoplast Chamber create a portal to this world, and not the past or future Nosgoth?''

    As we walked on through the tunnel, I explained. ''Anomaly? No. Portal? Yes. We can only assume that some small number of our species once lived here, worshiping the god of Balance, Adanos. He controlled the power of the element of Water, so they feared him for this. After all, our ancestors had the same weaknesses as... we... did?''

    As we surfaced, I realized that we were near a town named Montera, as the sign before us showed. Then Xardas' voice ripped its way out of the shrubbery to our left into our ears.

    ''Welcome, Kain and Raziel, to the mainland! We are currently in Myrtana, the central kingdom of the continent. I will explain later, right now we have to get back to Gotha, my new 'enclave' - follow me.''

    The two of us followed the robed figure of the Necromancer up a path filled with bodies. They had no clothing whatsoever on them, and they had 'collars' on their necks. among them were several skeletons, likely Xardas' servants, inspecting the corpses whether they had anything of worth on them. We arrived at the entrance to a large fortress, Gotha, as I presumed, guarded by two larger, armored skeletons. The swords they carried were not rusted like the rest of the other undead's paltry selection of weaponry, rather than that their swords glowed a pale red. The actual interior of the castle was filled with skeletons, among them a hulking, demonic creature. It was coal-black, it had large, bat-like wings, featuring a scrathed and battered shoulder plate on its righ hand shoulder, it's eyes glowed a haunting red-and-yellow combination, the horns that decorated its head seemed to radiate an immense evil to me. The sword it held glowed red, like the skeletons' blades, but to a more menacing level, and was adorned with a vast myriad of runic markings of apparently demonic origin.

    ''Right this way, gentlemen.''
    Xardas seemed to be in a stasus of sereneness. Obviously, being among the unholy gave him a sense of calmness. He sat down upon a throne decorated by skulls and bones.
    ''I can sense that you've confiscated another piece of the puzzle that is the Seventh Circle, placing one more step closer to getting into the Hylden city. And speaking of the Hylden, they've taken over several cities, and only a handful of them are still standing, such as the nearby castle Faring. To expand the subject, let me explain where exactly we are. This is the fortress of Gotha, and the skeletons outside are all my creations, along with the demon, Radikus. He will help you if necessary. Gotha is close to the center of Myrtana, and is neighboured by Montera and Faring. It used to be a fortress of the paladins, but was then cursed by the orcish shamans. Anyone who passed away would be resurrected as a walking undead, and soon the fort was overtaken by the orcs with the help of said undead. After some time, Beliar himself decided that it was high time to liberate his servants from the service of the orcs. As such, Gotha was, in a twisted and perverted way, retaken by the paladins and the demon that lead them, Radikus. And to get you to see the bigger picture, Myrtana is neighboured by the desert Varant to the south, and to the north Nordmar, a cold and cruel place in its own right.''

    ''As much as this information is enlightening, I have a question that doesn't regard the mainland. Where are Caroll and Arthos?'' Although he claimed what Xardas said was intriguing, Raziel's voice and face showed an expression of immense uninterest, as his view darted from one corner of the cobweb-filled room to another.

    Xardas was clearly shocked by Raziel's boredom, but answered the inquiry nevertheless. ''Arthos is in the tower, in the highest room. He muttered something about finding the rest of the dragons. As for Caroll, Arthos took her away to his domain because she claims to have a phobia against the undead. When I told her that I had skeletons as my servants she asked us whether there was an alternative, so Arthos transported her to his dimension. I do not know what intentions he has planned for her, and I do not care, because there are more pressing matters at hand, such as driving away the Hylden, if my memory serves me well.''

    I could not deny it. The Necromancer seemed to hold all the cards. ''You are right, old man. There's no point in having concern in anyone at the moment. Right now we must figure out where the next dragon is if we are to save this world.''

    ''Correct. Go up to where Arthos is. I will search the records here. It's possible that I may find some of the archives that are stored here useful.''

    Raziel was intent on staying with Xardas. ''I will assist you in the matter. I believe Kain is more than powerful enough to fight off a raging dragon himself.''

    ''He will not be fighting alone. Arthos selected four other people to help you out, Kain. You will meet them in the village that lies before Gotha. I suggest that you go and talk to them first.''
    Xardas pointed towards the exit of the room.
    ''Now go. I have much to attend to.''

    Following Xardas' plea for a one-on-one talk with Raziel, I left the room and noted the courtyard's details which I previously ignored : a statue was in the center, it's head ripped off and replaced with some kind of skull. Its entirity was covered with moss, whereas the stone of the statue was charred to irrecognition. The walls of the castle's interior were heavily layden with cobwebs and impact markings, arrows lied all over the place, along with the pungent stench of death. This scent was an acceptable for me, as I am, in a way, dead myself. Wherever I threw my gaze, a skeleton would look back at me as if I was one of them. But I was by far different from these walking sacks of bones, as I bore flesh, blood and muscles on my own bones, and one thing made me completely different from the creatures of Beliar : I had free will. A free will that I would exert to its maximum potential.

    I walked up to the demonic beast named Radikus. It looked down upon me with a menacing glare.

    ''How may I be of service, unlife?''

    ''Where exactly can I find the humans that Arthos transported here with Xardas?''

    Radikus pointed his sword towards the gate of the castle. ''Down to the left of the gate, in the old smith's housing. There you shall find your allies.''

    Leaving immediately towards my designated goal, I walked into the smith's house. There were no cobwebs whatsoever in this room, pointing towards the fact that someone had cleaned up recently.

    Diego's suprised voice bursted from out the corner of the wall to my right. ''I know those hooved footsteps... Kain?''
    He, Gorn, Milten and another human appeared from around the corner.
    ''Hey, it IS Kain! Good t' see ya, old friend!''

    ''It is good to see a familiar face or two, my friends.''
    But as happy as I was in seeing my old comrades, I could not avert my eyes from the figure of the unknown man : He was bald, but his face showed youth, his skin was partially tattooed with signs and symbols of an unknown origin, the garment he wore was overly marked as well, and the mace he carried was severely damaged and rusted.

    ''I am Lester, a former novice from the forsaken Sect Camp. It's great to see the guy that's respected so much by Diego.''

    Diego complimented me on my fighting skills. ''Yes, this vampire isn't one that'll fall very soon.''

    Gorn approved Diego. ''Yeah, you'd need an army just to hurt him! He took out TWO Seekers!''

    Milten agreed. ''Those freaks are really hard to kill, and you killed two of them!''

    ''I can agree with all your bantering, but sooner or later we'll have work to do, so be ready. I will go back up to the castle, as I must address the one who transported you here.'' I needed to speak with Arthos about several matters.

    Gorn was still glad to see me. ''Alright. Just say the word and we'll kick the heck outta anyone's asses!''

    I made my way to the tower in which Arthos was. When I reached the top, I saw the Steel Lord gazing out to the open yonder.

    ''I suppose you have an inquiry or three that you wish to be answered.'' Arthos' estimation was off.

    ''Just one for now. I've been wondering : why did you speak in the olden language of the humans?'' This question had been in my mind ever since I had gained immunity from water.

    Arthos knew exactly what I meant, suprisingly. ''You could say that I was... in a bad mood. My brother taunted my through means of the whisper, so I wasn't all that 'happy-and-whoop-de-doo', as Marin would say.''
    He turned around and looked down upon me like Radikus.
    ''But there is something more important.''

    ''And that is?'' I wasn't all that sure that he had anything truly important to canter about.

    And yet it was to the contrary. ''I know the location of the pure wind dragon.''

    (There. That's a wrap on CH13!)
    The English WoG is NOT dead, my friends!
    [Bild: tOC_sig1.jpg]

  17. Beiträge anzeigen #17
    Ranger Avatar von KeeperUTX
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    Chapter 14 : The Vengful Wind of Beliar.


    "Talanbael's lair lies to the eastern corners of the mainland. As soon as you are prepared, along with your comrades, I will transport you there. Until then, I await your request."


    Arthos turned around, once more glaring at the mountains in silence. As I walked out of the tower, I was puzzled by several inquiries that remained for so long. What exactly are these 'Pillars' that the Steel Lord spoke of? For all I knew, the only pillars that existed were the Pillars of Nosgoth. Had Arthos taken the guise of Ancient Vampires' design for their monolithic creations? Or was it a mere coincedence that he had built them like the pillars that so rightfully stood in my homeland? What purpose do they serve?


    All of my questions would soon be answered by Xardas.


    "I must divulge something of dire importance to you, Kain. It's imperative that you..."


    I punted the old man aside with my telekinetic abilities. "I've no time to listen to your little stories, Xardas. I must talk to the others if I am to gain the next section of the ancient knowledge."


    Xardas then used what seemed to be his own assortment of telekinetic abilities. I was rendered incapable of movement. It was as if I was being constricted by the Elder God's tentacles, coiling around my body and crushing me with all his might.


    After a brief time Xardas released me from his mental grip. "You MUST listen to me. It is important that you learn of this infomation!"


    I stood up, staring at him warily. "Fine. I see I have no choice."


    The Necromancer lead me to what appeared to be the barracks of Gotha. The room was equally as dusty as the interior of the castle. Cobwebs had filled every crevace I looked upon. The only things that seemed sterile was a chair and the table that was adjacent to it.


    Xardas sat down on the small, insignificant chair. "You have heard Arthos chattering about certain pillars. He speaks of the Pillars of Avalon. Arthos gained the idea for the architecture from the Pillars of Nosgoth themselves."
    As I assumed.
    "He designed the pillars so that they would control the violent and unstable elements that ran rampant across Avalon's lands. In raising the pillars, Arthos also determined the fates of the seven Guardians that would defend them."
    He stood up and picked up a skull that was next to him, examining it carefully.
    "As for the matter of the Chosen, I am the Chosen of Beliar. Besides the Chosen, there exists a Champion and a Beast of each of the three gods. Arthos is truthfully the Champion AND the Chosen of Innos, making him far more powerful than either of us and all the Guardians combined. Beliar's Beast is the Sleeper, who no longer has a physical body. The body of the Beast of Innos, the Magi Dragon, was the last corporeal form it inhabited. As for Adanos' Chosen Ones, I know as much as an orc from Khorinis has intellect : little or nothing, and the same counts for the Champion of Beliar."


    After a brief period of careful thought I spoke. "What does this entire ordeal have to do with me?"


    Xardas turned round, placing the skull onto the table. "Arthos claims that you, I, Raziel and Caroll are the Protectors. As you can imagine, the Protectors defend the Guardians with their life. Whatever the cost, the four of us are to sacrifice our own lives if it can provide the survival of a Guardian in certain situations..."


    Now I stood up in a partial anger. "I dislike sacrificing my life to something that is irrelevant to my own quest : the restoration of the Pillars of Nosgoth, to return their ownership to the vampiric race, to give them back their pristine and whole form. If neither Arthos nor you can comprehend my goals, then I suggest you step aside right now."


    As I started to walk out of the barracks, Xardas tugged me back with the power of his mind. "You do not understand, Kain. What Arthos has told me is our DESTINY, it is inexorable!"


    Then why do you stand in my path? If we are who we are, are we not destined to protect these 'Guardians' with our lives?! If you truly wish this to come into fruition, I suggest you release me AT ONCE!"


    I unsheaved the Soul Reaver, swinging it towards Xardas who backed up, narrowly escaping the serpentine weapon's tip and falling down on his rear end. Although he had been knocked down, he still maintained his grip on me.


    After a long period of our soul-piercing gazes fixated upon eachother, the Necromancer released me, making me fall down to the floor of the room.


    A cloud of dust formed where I had landed. I did not utter a single word, neither did he. I walked out of the barracks, content with one part of the knowledge I had gained, but infuriated with the fact that Arthos had kept so much of this information buried. At first I wanted to thrust the Reaver into his sorry skull, but I suppressed my rage and traversed my way through the labirinthian amount of skeletons down to the housings where my comrades from Khorinis resided.


    Lester was reading what appeared to be a small, weathered stone tablet, similar to the one that was in Xardas' tower, Diego was crafting arrows, his bow lying beside him, Gorn was sharpening his axe on the grindstone of the smithy, and Milten was merely reading through a pile of old, decadent books.


    I addressed the small group. "Gentlemen. We will strike soon, even now if you prefer it."


    Gorn placed his newly honed weapon on the anvil next to him. "Hmmm, lemme think... Okay, first, none of us are 'gentlemen', we were all convicts, after all. Second, heck yeah, let's get 'em!"


    Milten closed the book he was reading "Don't you mean 'it', Gorn? We're going after a dragon, not a horde of orcs!"
    My suprised expression was quickly stopped by him.
    "How do I know that? Xardas told me."


    "Well, if we're going to attack a goddamned dragon, I don't think my arrows will do anything to it. They could be as sharp as Gorn's axe is, but they wouldn't even leave a scratch on those behemoths." Diego grabbed his bow, slinging it around his shoulder, and his arrows, placing them inside his quiver.


    I finally noticed that the Reaver was still in my hands and sheaved it. "Perhaps Arthos can assist us in this matter..."
    I turned around, walking a few steps forward.
    "Grab your equipment. We'll meet in the castle's highest tower."


    I travelled back up to the top of Arthos' tower. He was now looking down at my comrades who were armed to the teeth, walking into the castle.


    "I see you are ready. Their weaponry and armor shall be enchanted by my hands."
    Arthos slowly revolved towards me.
    "Naturally, this will allow them to survive the might of Talanbael's powers. You, on the other hand, do not need anything to surive an onslaught of attacks, now do you?"


    I shook my head in response. "I never required any sort of defense, and I never will."


    "Good."


    My group of eager comrades had made their way up to the top of the tower.


    Upon seeing them, Arthos pulled out a stone, layden in runic markings which seemed to be aligned with the principle of defense. With it, he touched their garments, and they lit up like candles in the night for a short period of time. He then threw away the stone into a corner, pulling out another from under his armor. This stone was aligned with the principle of strength. The four already realized what he wanted from them, and gave Arthos their weapons of choice. Again, merely by touching them with the stone, they were enchanted as well.


    "These enchantments that I have placed upon your equipment will allow you to survive longer and to strike harder. Now, all of you stand close to eachother..."


    We stood shoulder to shoulder as Arthos merely gestured with his hand. For a moment everything went black, the next we were next to a gigantic cave entrance.


    Milten readied his staff and a fireball, Diego pulled out not one but three of his arrows, Gorn swung his axe from left to right, and Lester armed himself with a congealed ball made of pure cold.


    "Alright. Into the maw of the monstrosity that now awaits its demise!" I readied the power of the Reaver by activating the Balance Emblem and switching it to the fundamental principle of Time. It glowed a sharp blue, and I could once again feel time slowing down close to the blade.


    With extreme prejudice we walked into the cavern. The floor was absolutely flat, with no rocks or pebbles whatsoever. And in the back of the cave stood my quarry : Talanbael the Swift.


    His wings seemed to be merely small waves of air. His body was unimpressive, not having any spikes or runes, he was merely a hornless dragon at first sight. But nonetheless we all walked closer to him without making a sound.


    Suddenly, he spoke. "I can hear you mortals. I heard you when you appeared outside of my lair."


    I raised the Reaver at him. "Shall we do this mercifully, with you merely surrendering, or will we do it the hard way, which is to say..."


    "Getting beat down by you. I am not interested in neither of your proposals. Just leave me be in my sombering misery. I have lost to much to capable of being aggressive. I am no threat to you humans."


    Milten questioned the wind dragon. "And what's wrong? Why don't you just blow us away?"


    Diego lowered his bow, doing the same. "Yes. I wonder why we aren't fighting to the death. Why is that?"


    Talanbael slammed into the ground his tail, and a blast of wind crafted a deep gouge in the side of the cavern.
    "Because I cannot be with the love of my life! I cannot even recall her name!! THIS CURSE HAS DAMNED ME TO AN ETERNITY OF SUFFERING! ALL BECAUSE OF THAT DAMNED CURSE!"
    In his anger, the cave rattled violently for some time.
    "Please. Just leave me be. I wish to rot forever in this pathetic corpse. Nothing can kill me, and I cannot kill myself. I am worthless withous my love..."


    "There is one way. The Soul Reaver can destroy your corpse, Talanbael.
    He stared at me with contempt in his eyes.
    "TRUST me."


    The dragon lowered his head in preparation for the devastation that would destroy his body. Focusing all my willpower into the Time Reaver, I plunged it deep into his neck with every drop of strength I could possibly muster. He did not even flinch.


    But suddenly, Talanbael collapsed to the ground. His body started to disintegrate due to the effects of the Time Reaver.


    "Thank you. I can be at peace now, and be with my eternal love, Silvia. The.. Veng...ful... Wind...ssss... are... yooourrrsss...."


    With those last words, Talanbael's body dissapeared into oblivion, and his essence flew into my body. The third fragment of the Seventh Circle and the key to the Hylden citadel was now mine.


    (Sorry for not posting this for so goddamn long, but y' know... usual trivialities... )
    The English WoG is NOT dead, my friends!
    [Bild: tOC_sig1.jpg]

  18. Beiträge anzeigen #18
    Ranger Avatar von KeeperUTX
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    Chapter 15: The Unusual Encounter.


    With the third piece of the puzzle now coursing through my veins, I floated back down to firm ground as my comrades gawked at me as if I were a god. As a matter of fact, I nearly AM a god. With the euphoric sense slowly dissapearing from his eyes, Gorn sheathed his still clean axe.


    "Well... Now what?" He was displeased with the fact that we did not attack Talanbael the Swift, rather coaxing him into giving away his essence.


    "I suppose we are to return to Gotha to recuperate. Even though we hardly lifted a finger." I sheathed the Reaver as the spiritual energies dissipated from it.


    Suddenly, the bellowing voice of Arthos ringed in our minds in unison.


    "I'm afraid that the deed is not done, Kain. You are to explore the cavity that lies under the beast... look."


    The base that was under Talanbael suddenly vanished into thin air, and then it was revealed : an entrance into a cavern lay where the base once stood.


    "I can only assume what dark secrets the Swift One kept in there. You and you alone may enter it..." Arthos' voice trembled slightly.


    Still leering at the entrance, I cantered him. "Why must I, of all the people you have or have not influenced, be the one to do your damned dirty work? Why is it always I that must accomplish these ridiculously unfrivulous tasks? I am tired of being your servant, Arthos. I am a LEADER, not a sheep like every other cannon fodder that you control."


    At first there was nothing more than the quietude of the cave, then the Steel Lord's voice cracked the mirror of peacefulness.


    "Without my guidance of the pawns that have assisted you on the board, Kain, you would be nothing more than a corpse, lying in the soils of Khorinis. Without my guidance, you would have died in Hash'ak'gik's attempt to foil your intentions. He is still alive, Kain. And I am sentient of the fact that you still thirst for your arcaic vengeance for your defeat at HIS hands. You can only achieve what you desire with my assistance. Without it, it will take you an eternity to locate the other three dragons. Without it, the Hylden will soon be holding all the cards. Now, do you bite the hand that feeds you? Or do you allow it to satiate your hunger? The choice, as unstable as it may be, is yours."


    As much as would have loved to crush his overly armored neck, there was an undeniable truth in his speech : I could not reject a chance to avenge myself for the Hylden general's victory. I did not know how he survived the Soul Reaver's hunger, and yet I could care less : I had evolved over the 2000 years, thusly giving me a decisive advantage in terms of strength and knowledge, I knew his location, being entrenched in the so-called Valley of Mines and encroached by hundreds of Hylden. But it would not matter how many of his soldiers surrounded him, for they would taste my steel, and I their blood.


    Once more was I presented with a choice : Either I would take my own path and take months or even years to find all of the dragons, or I could utilize a sample of the seldom found substance deemed help.


    I chose the latter. "I realize that the gibberish that you speak of actually makes sense. I will still do as you say, but I will do it MY way, whether I already did as such or not."


    Arthos seemed pleased. "Very well. Now, enter the cavity and learn the knowledge that has been promised to you."


    As I walked towards the entry point of the cavity, I turned my head. "You all should remain here and guard the perimeter while I soak up all this 'knowledge'."


    Diego put away his bow. "Alright. We'll make sure nothing tries to get to that entrance. Let's go, guys."


    As he strolled off, Milten followed him. "I'll come with, if you don't mind!"


    Whereas they left off to patrol the area, Gorn and Lester decided to stick close to the entrance of the cave.


    I went into what I presumed to be the belly of a slumbering creature, ancient beyond all recognition. The tunnel's walls were covered with a thick layer of cobwebs, hardly any of the actual beneath it was visible. As I proceeded, torches lit up as they had souls of their own as soon as I drew near. A large, bolted door was at the end of the winding and twisting tunnel. With a mere 'nudge' I pried it off it's hindges and threw it aside like a piece of paper.
    What I saw next suprised me : a vast room lay before me, similiar to the ones in Xardas' tower, but enlarged and additionally adorned. Several pentagrams floated in mid-air, glowing an ominous black. The bookshelves were covered by dust, and the majority of the books, when opened, turned to dust. The foul stench in the room indicated that it had not been opened for aeons, allowing the air to become even staler than in the catacombs beneath Avernus.


    "This is not of any true interest to me right now. What matters is that we find whatever possesses the fourth part of the ancient knowledge. I will mark this place with a beacon, so that I may one day return to it."


    I enchanted the entire room to act as a beacon for me in bat form. For the time being, gaining the power of the Seventh Circle was far more important than a myriad of books that likely spoke of nonsense. However, much later I would reveal that this was not so.


    As I traversed upwards I could hear the sounds of swords being crossed and familiar voices from past and present.


    "Man, who the heck - ungh! - are these weirdos?!" Lester, as far as I knew, was struggling in battle.


    "I don't know, but I don't think they're here for a round of beer! Eat this!" The sound of Diego's bowstring being pulled back was all too audible and the sound of an arrow digging it's way through flesh even more so.


    I increased my pace, hurrying to the main cave. Upon arriving, I saw that Diego was walking backwards, firing arrow after arrow into the Hylden warrior, to no effect. Meanwhile Lester was swinging his mace at the other Hylden, with Gorn doing the same at its flank, and Milten was nowhere to be seen. Unsheathing the Soul Reaver I plunged into the fray, decapitating the Hylden that had nearly managed to overpower Lester. Not a single droplet of blood fell to the ground, instead it flew into my open mouth, thus satisfying my physical hunger partially, and the body fell over. I then telekinetically pulled towards myself the other Hylden scumbag that was about to stick its sharp limbs into Diego's torso, impaling him on the Reaver as it flew towards me. All its blood trinkled up its body and into the once again opened mouth of mine. With a jerk of the Reaver, the impaled Hylden split in two, the two halves falling to the ground, depleted of any blood. The meal was quite delicious.


    Once again amazed by my 'heroic' actions Diego once again put away his bow, clapping afterwards.


    "Nicely done, Kain! You sure know how to make things gorier than they already were!"


    Lester nervously picked up his weapon and placed it under his tattered garbs. "Did you see how that thing just split like a banana when he lifted that weapon of his? That's one guy I can agree on that has power in his upper body!"


    Gorn laughed as louldy as ever. "HAHAHAHAHAHAAA! That's one hell of a vampire, am I right?!"


    As I put away the serpentine blade that I held, Milten had reappeared, clearly shocked at the divided body. "What in the name of Innos happened here? Don't tell me you did this, Kain, because if you did, I'm not getting into a fight with you any time soon..."


    "Yes. It was I who did the terrible deed - t'was all too easy, with the two Hylden being distracted." I assumed that I had gained myself the right to brag about my excellence somewhat.


    "Those beasts are called 'Hyldens', huh? I'd say more like HylDUMB! They didn't know what hit 'em!" Gorn was still ragingly happy with my triumph.


    Seeing as things were starting to become hectic, I made the decision to get things back on topic.


    "Well, enough pats on the back. I now see that the secrets of this place are for some reason coveted by the Hylden kin, and therefore I must learn of this 'knowledge' that Arthos speaks of. I will go back down into the room for some time and search for it.


    The four silently nodded and departed to guard the entrance to the main cave, and I left for the mysterious room that lay beneath it. What secrets I would unveil would shortly be determined.


    (A bit of a short one, but I'm kind of missing on material for this chapter. Something was blocking the flow of creativity, I suppose. And about the 'banana' part : In G3 you can gain bananas in Varant, so I decided to implement them a bit. Just wanted to explain.)
    The English WoG is NOT dead, my friends!
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  19. Beiträge anzeigen #19
    Ranger Avatar von KeeperUTX
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    Chapter 16 : The Light of Innos.


    Thoroughly reading my way through the books that adorned the shelves of the circular room, I spent hour after hour, searching for something that was linked to what Xardas called our 'inexorable destiny' to protect the personas that would one day fulfill their roles as Guardians. The majority of the massiave amounts of literature that I ran my eyes across were nothing more than a madman's lecture of Beliar's supposed omnipotence, rambling on about his attribute almost as if he was his creation. At first I thought Talanbael's sanity had passed away long before he was turned into the last of his corporeal forms. But upon studying more of his scribbling I revealed that he was not as insane as I had first presumed.


    One of his writings drew my attention. "I now wonder who I have become... without reason I worship the dark god, allowing my opinion of his powers to flow into the books that now lie in silence before me. I may have mastered the art of controling the Vengful Winds, but I cannot allow it to master me any longer. I must fight this, this plague of greed and lust that has been layed upon my mind."


    That explains why he did not attack us on sight, rather continuing to stir in his own fetid stew of misery and depression. While walking towards a neighbouring bookshelf, I discarded the book that I held in my claws, landing at the base of an amassed pile of parchments and the like. By random choice I telekinetically pulled out a book that was far more dusted than the rest.


    Again I ran my eyes through the scribblings. "Beliar is our greatest lord! I praise the day He was born in all his divine power, and shall worship him from this very moment onward! All hail the lord of darkness, Beliar! He is undoubtebly..."


    As I was potently annoyed by the gigantic proportions of gibberish and nonsense, I focused on the book in my anger. Shortly afterwards it bursted into flames, the latter dying out in a moment's notice. I now recalled an ability long forgotten to me : Immolate. This powerful Dark Gift, when used in anger, incinerates whatever I throw my gaze upon. I gained this capability when I defeated my ex-champion, Marcus, in battle as a youthful vampire. At that point in time I could only utilize Immolate when my fury was at it's peak. But now I was far more powerful, being nearly six times older and wiser, and the Dark Gift could now be used with a mere thought. With some practice I would regain not only its former capabilities, but also become so powerful that I would char whatever stood in my path with just a glance to ashes. The only one I would not use this upon would be the pathetic excuse of a worm once ranked as the Sarafan Lord. No, I would not give him a merciful and swift death, instead I would make sure that every incision, every ounce of blood spilt would make that sorry dog wish he was never spawned into existence...


    While pondering which book to unseal next I noticed a small, nearly invisible, dust-layden chest on top of a shelf. As I pulled it out of its cobweb cocoon I could detect a massive amount of spirit energy flowing through it, and I could only guess what it contained : it could have been cursed in such a manner that it would never open again, or that it withheld an object of immense power, or that the entire thing was just a trap, designed by Talanbael to kill whoever attempted to open or even simply unlock the chest.


    As I walked up the staircase, Gorn had started to discuss something with Lester.


    "So, whaddya think about this whole dragon hunting thing? Has it been good or bad up till now?"


    I stopped to hear what Lester had to say. "Well... Without the Sleeper's magic I'm kinda useless. I mean, I never really trained with my mace or anything, mostly I just used the Fist of Wind to launch everything into kingdom come. I REALLY miss that spell, along with the fact that I actually belonged somewhere in the Sect Camp. No one bullied me there like they did at the Old Camp, and not a one didn't want to slit my throat just for a stupid piece of cheese or bread like at the New Camp."
    He paused for a moment.
    "What was it like for you when you got tossed through the Barrier and into the Valley of Mines?"


    Another moment of quietude appeared for some time, then Gorn shared his experiences.


    "Heh, what was it like for me, eh...? Well, the Old Camp was just plain crap with all the guards forcing you to pay protection money. And there wasn't any gold back then, remember? We used ore instead of that since there was a buttload of the stuff lying around! HA!"
    The duo continued their laughing spree for some time, then the mercenary continued his speech.
    "Oh, man... Good times. Well, I decided against joining you sect loonies even though you had piles of swampweed growing all over the place! I didn't gang up with you guys because at first I believed whatever I heard : that you really were crazy! But then when just the four of us kicked the actual Sleeper's butt... I kinda started to believe. I joined the New Camp because I offed some 'poor, innocent' idiot who tried to make off with what I had left that the orcs DIDN'T take... I was made a scoundrel just for protecting my stuff, an' that jerkwad king that calls himself the Chosen One of Innos chucked me into that cesspit of a place. The Water Mages' mercenaries were cutthroats, I was a murderer. So I said to myself 'what's the difference between a killer and a cutthroat?'. You can guess how diverse the two castes are... When Lee saw me, he just pushed a merc's armor in t' my hands and said 'welcome to the mercenaries of the Magicians of Water!'. Since then, I've always worn some kind of mercenary armor, because those people made me who I am today. Not that scallywag arse just defending the last of his stuff anymore, I'm a mercenary now, and that won't change even if I'm elected as the highest Fire Mage or something!" Both of them then started to laugh loudly.


    I continued my path up the stair case and ended up looking at them, pretending to not have heard their tales.


    "What is going on here?"


    Lester made himself serious. "Ah, we're just recalling the olden days when the Barrier was still up..."


    I finally gained an opportunity to ask of the two to explain how the Barrier came to be, and Gorn elaborated.


    "When the orcs started to attack Myrtana for no obvious reason the king needed ore for his weapons. Anything made from ore had an immense durability, one such that normal swords became butter knives. And when forged correctly, ore can give a weapon magical properties. The only ones that really know how to forge that kind o' arms live in Nordmar to the north. Anyway, the king ordered twelve mages, along with Xardas, to create a magical barrier a small part of the Valley of Mines, just enough to seal off a mine called the Old Mine. But something went wrong and the barrier expanded a little bit too much... dunno what the heck they screwed up, but the screwed it good."


    "I see." I had not a word to speak. I had learned of the cause, and no further questions needed answering.


    Diego and Milten returned. We debated what had been learned and what had been sealed away in silence and then unveiled in recent times. I showed them the almost casket-esque chest. Diego kneeled down to the chest and pulled out of his garbs what was apparently a lockpick.


    He placed the small instrument inside the chest's lock and started to twist and turn it slowly.


    "Hmmmmmmm... No... Waaaiit... DARN!" A cracking sound was to be heard.


    The ex-Shadow seemed exasparated "Never. Never, in all my years of thieving have I failed to crack open a chest..." He staggered off with a thousand-mile stare, sitting down on a rock that was near to the cave's entrance.


    Milten glanced at me, then the crippled silhoutte of Diego, then me again. "Aw, man... He hasn't been this depressed ever since I met him for the first time. He was really grumpy that day and just showed me a hut to sleep in... I wonder what was eating him..."


    The nearly paralyzing voice of Arthos rang in our minds again. "He will recover, Milten. However, I believe I have revealed the locale of the Light dragon. Viora lies southeast, near a decadent temple that was destroyed long after the war of the gods had ended. Say the word, Kain, and I shall do what is neccessary to..."


    I broke the Steel Lord off. "And what of Diego and this chest that I have found?"


    After a short period of non-responsiveness Diego and the small, still dust-covered chest dissapeared in a blinding flash of light.


    "They are here in Gotha now : Diego will get his respite and I, Raziel and Xardas will see to it that the chest is unlocked post haste." Arthos seemed fairly confident in his capabilities to unlock a chest that even a master thief could not.


    I raised my arm to the sky. "Then take us to Viora the Saintful's location, and we will do away with her!"


    Gorn was excited beyond any controlable measure. "FINALLY! We'll be chuggin' the ale tonight, fellas!" He unsheathed his axe and swung it round and round.


    "Alright then." Arthos went silent after these words.


    Suddenly, everything blackened and came back into focus as usual. We had been transported into a chasm. T'was not of any special demeanor, merely a few boulders lay about, pebbles decorated the ground.


    Suddenly, a voice erupted from the depths of the darker seclusions of the ravine. "WHO DARES INTERRUPT MY REST?!"


    In a flash of light, the dragon form of Viora appeared before us. Her wings were of convulsed and pure light, the same for her horns which protruded her body. The eyes of the beast were as black as my own soul used to be, and on the tip of its tail was a hexagonical crystal consisted of pure, seemingly solidified light.


    "BAH! MORRAS! YOU WILL ALL FALL BEFORE VIORA, QUEEN OF THE LIGHT!" As saintly as she was, I could not believe that a 'holy' creature would speak in such a tone. I assumed that Morra meant human, as my comrades were the latter.


    She spat a bolt of light at Milten. The novice mage pulled out a stave from under his robe, and thrusted it forward to generate a barrier of a magical nature. The bolt of light knocked Milten backwards, even though he had prepared for it. He slammed directly into a boulder and fell to the ground, unsentient of himself.


    Already sneaking off, Lester turned towards me while Gorn was preoccupied with the dragon.


    "I have an idea. You two distract that overgrown lantern while I sneak around and try a spell out. Trust me, it hasn't failed me before."


    "I believe that can be arranged. I may attempt something as well." I stormed off towards Viora and Gorn who was slashing and slicing away at the Light dragon.


    I taunted her. "You are nothing more than a pathetic, shriveled up lizard who seeks to burrow in its pointless misery!"


    Viora was enraged by my actions and started spitting balls of light at me now. As she did so Lester started to lift a boulder with his mind, and slammed it down onto her neck. Viora collapsed unconscious onto the ground.

    (Heh, it's slowly coming to an end... )
    The English WoG is NOT dead, my friends!
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  20. Beiträge anzeigen #20
    Ranger Avatar von KeeperUTX
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    Chapter 17 : A third option.

    As I was ready to deliver the coup de grace to Viora, the beast awokened and knocked me aside like a hapless doll of rags. Wrapping her tail around Milten, she opened her mouth to try and make a meal out of his head. That would not happen as I threw the Soul Reaver into her neck, halting Viora completely, but to a greater cost: The pain forced the Light dragon to drop Milten to the ground. The novice mage's arm broke, making him writhe in a storm of agony, and to make matters far worse than before, Viora's soul and essence had started to drain into the Reaver, it was far too late to take action : once the Soul Reaver begins to feed on one's soul, it takes the essence along with it, and does so relentlessly until the deed is done. Viora collapsed to the ground, the light that once adorned the now blackened eyes and dulled wings extinguished by the serpentine blade's boundless hunger. Our mission had failed severely. Arthos would not be pleased.

    T'was a severe failure indeed. I thought that without the power of all six elements we would never gain access to the Hylden City. I stared at the motionless dragon corpse as if I was permanently transfixed by it. I felt as if I had failed my one true goal : the restoration of the Pillars of Nosgoth, along with Nosgoth itself, to see it once again as pure as when I was a mere child... I believed that that goal would never be fulfilled now.

    The thundering voice of Arthos rained down upon us as if an apocalypse was nigh. "KAIN, YOU CARELESS OAF! The Soul Reaver has absorbed Viora the Saintly's essence, and as such your destiny has become NULL! All that you have achieved, all the opponents have defeated, ALL OUR EFFORTS FOR NAUGHT!"
    He paused himself to calm down.
    "...You will return to Gotha and explain the situation to Xardas. We will discuss this at a later time, but for the time being you will await me there, or face my wrath for disobidience."

    As I wanted to contradict him, he broke his connection with us.

    Diego was unnerved by the pain-filled Milten that held his floppy arm. "Is he saying anything to you personally, Kain?" He rushed over to him to examine the severity of the fracture.

    I, myself, fervorously muttered a pitiful claim. "I am afraid... that I cannot use the Whisper to contact him. Arthos has broken the link..."

    Gorn was not concerned with Milten's injury. "Meh, he's been t' hell and back. He'll pull through."
    He turned round to face me.
    "So, are we gonna stand here like we're mopes or are we gonna head back to Gotha an' have a beer or 'sumthin'?" He pulled a comical expression onto his face.

    "He's right. Milten's broken arm isn't fatal but it'd be best to get him back to our hut in lower Gotha."
    Diego stood up, letting down the mage's hand, and undulated to me.
    "Mind giving us a lift, Kain? I'm sure that tin can of a 'Steel Lord' isn't the only one who can 'port' people around."

    Noting what the ex-Shadow had said I looked around to see where exactly I would fly them off to.

    "Gotha is in that direction, my friend." When I looked back Lester was pointing to the northeast with his mace.

    "Oh... right. I forgot after so much traveling around this blasted continent." As I sheathed the Reaver with contempt and regret of ever touching it, but still knowing that it was trustworthy, my comrades did the same, excluding Milten.

    "Right, then. Hold me by the arms." I extended both my arms, almost as if I wanted to welcome someone into my embrace.

    The mercenary picked Milten up like a heavy bag of wheat and tossed him over his shoulder. With one hand holding the Fire Mage, his other one took hold of my left arm. Diego and Lester placed their hands on my right arm.

    Diego had a serious expression. "We're ready when you are."

    With a mere whim I turned us all into bats, directing the cloud of leather-winged creatures in the direction that Lester had pointed. Within a quarterarch of the sun's journey I had successfully returned the entire party to the courtyard of Gotha. But this successful transportation came at a heavy cost : My hunger was greater than ever, and if I did not feed soon I would perish.

    I pulled myself up and started to stagger off towards the room that Xardas was in.

    "Urrrgh... I need to feed. I will meet you later on, my friends."

    They knew better than to try and assist me. In a state of extreme hunger a vampire cannot control itself completely, even if it is an older one such as myself. But I could not continue on my own. Everything became blurred out, and after a few steps, I collapsed to my knees.

    As I was ready to fall over, two skeletons bursted out of the group of unlifes that were ignorant to my crisis. They both grabbed me by the arms, but too late to stopp me from passing out. The last thing I saw that day was a robed figure gliding towards me, muttering soemthing along the lines of assistance...

    ---

    I awoke, gasping and giving Raziel quite a scare.

    He jumped backwards and hit a bookshelf. He telekinetically stabilized it, then turned to me.

    "I wasn't quite expecting you to jump like that. Are you feeling better, now that the Necromancer has given you several blood vials?"

    I was shocked. "Several? But I only needed one of those vials to replenish myself and to remove my hunger."

    Raziel turned around and started to read an open book on a lectern. "Yes. One to replenish yourself and to feed on, but several were needed just to keep you alive. You only stopped cringing and struggling when Xardas administered the eleventh one."

    Now I could only gawk at Raziel. "Eleven...?"
    But I snapped out of my trance and concentrated on a more important task.
    "Never mind that, where is Xardas? I have something to tell him."

    Raziel pointed to the outer castle. "He should be in the small room beneath the stairs. You couldn't possibly miss it due to the fact that there is a gaggle of those bony freaks trying help him with healing Milten's broken bone... Maybe they wish to lend him their bones?" My ex-lieutenant pulled his focus to the lectern, running his claw over the scriptures.

    I made my way to the room, telekinetically thrusting all the skeletons that blocked the path to it up, and then thrusting them down with great force. All of them flew apart like a deck of cards being thrown out of a window. Bones layed all over the courtyard.

    Xardas came out with a raging expression. "What in the name of Beliar happened to the ske... oh. I see you've decided to destroy my newfound servants, Kain. You could have just told them to get out of the way... But I'm guessing you have something to tell me... correct?"

    I immediately told him the recent events that took place in the southwest planes and mountains. With every word I told him he seemed ever more grieved.

    When I finally came to the conclusion of the entire ordeal, Xardas shook his head in dismay.

    "This is terrible... now there is no possibility of saving Pyrokar whatsoever. Our goals are meaningless now... The Hylden will surely overrun the continent and the Southern Isles, along with the island of Khorinis... all is lost... The focus of our objectives is now... fruitless..."
    He sat down on a nearby bench, holding his head in the terror he saw in my miscalculation. But moments later, he jerked his head up.
    "Wait... focus? ... That's it! I know how we will gain access to the Hylden City! Quickly now, there is no time for the healing of wounds or pointless chattering, just follow me!"

    For his age, the old man was suprisingly fast, almost berserkerous a pace of movement. I practically had to run beside him to keep up. He entered the same barracks that we previously conversed in. He pulled out of the corner a recently cleaned casket, the same one that I had discovered in Talanbael's personal library. Xardas presented it to me and opened it, and inside the casket was...

    "A focus stone. One of my design. It can destroy barriers such as the one in the Valley of Mines, the one that shields the Hylden City. Never in a thousand years would I ever think that one of the six elemental Archmaguses had something this powerful that I have created as well. The one that I crafted is now in the possession of those filthy orcs in the neighbouring castle of Faring. They took it from me when I told them I could assist them with the matter of retaking this very fortress that we currently reside within."

    I stared at the red 'focus stone' that lay in the casket, practically untouched by the teeth of time, radiating an energy, far stronger now that lid of the miniature chest was unsealed. I was repelled by this almost searing energy, but also found myself oddly attracted by it, tempted to hold it, to caress it...

    I mustered all my will and forced my gaze elsewhere. "Please... seal the casket. That thing makes me act... oddly."

    Xardas instantly closed the casket, and the feeling of repulsiveness and lust dissapeared. Apparently the chest was made of enchanted wood that prevented the stone's energy from seething out.

    "Gladly. Only the most powerful of the mages of Fire and Water, along with us Necromancers, could ever resist this accursed stone's destructive effects. You are not trained to manage this sort of power, and neither is Raziel. I believe that this very power can be used to destroy the Hylden barrier, or at the very least blast an entry point into it. But to do that I will need the second focus stone, the one that I created, the one that is in a chest, similar to the one I hold now, in the deepest dungeons of Faring."

    I managed to regain control over my mind. "Then it looks like we will have to kill every last orc in that castle to get to that stone of yours. I will prepare my comrades for this greater battle we now face."

    "Do that. I will study this stone. Perhaps I can force it to expel more power in a certain moment." Xardas walked off to the room where Raziel was still friviulously reading through the book, and started to explain the situation to him.

    I now knew that there was still hope for this world, still hope for the Pillars... still hope for Nosgoth.

    (Hey guys. Merry Christmas and a happy 2013! Again, since the holidays are upon us, I MAY not post anything. Enjoy said holidays while I brew up chapter 18. )
    The English WoG is NOT dead, my friends!
    [Bild: tOC_sig1.jpg]

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