News   About   FAQ   Statistics   Player Options   Downloads   Gallery   Forums   Donate   Wiki   Staff   Jobs   Links   Contact Us

Go Back   Sundren Forums > Sundren Community > Roleplay Central
Register Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Roleplay Central This is the place to post character journals, write character stories, and document character development and progression.

Subforum: Correspondence Sundren Press


Welcome to the Sundren Forums forums.

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #31  
Old 09-02-2011
roguethree roguethree is offline
Legendary Hero
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Illinois
Posts: 1,176
Rep Power: 126
roguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant future
Deception, Part III; Truth, Part I

The paladin's gold-flecked gaze caught the flickering light from the hearth, the sunbursts about his pupils flaring as the scent and sound of burning, snapping wood teased him into reverie. He sat in the corner of his couch, arm braced atop one arm of the sofa, his head listing and resting in his hand. His chest barely swelled with each slow, measured breath, the warmth of the fire weighting his eyelids until they shrouded the paladin's azure sight.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Do you want me, or are you just trying to replace something you do?"

The woman's words had stung at the time, his intentions doubted, questioned. It wasn't so strange a notion; his fortitude had been questioned before, and often. No matter how many battles won, lives saved, there would always be questions. The Dragonslayer. The Demonslayer. The High Adjudicator. The Judicator of Wrath. Knight of the Merciful Sword. Titles earned justly, but titles don't have weight on every scale.

"I'm the youngest ranking officer in the history of the Legion; I'll be the youngest Centurio, maybe even Myrios, someday."

He wasn't sure what she was trying to prove to him. She spoke her titles like they gave her gravity, like she was to be respected, admired, trusted for bearing them. Perhaps he quietly rejected his lost nobility. Perhaps not. For whatever reason, her titles did not have weight on his scale. She told him things she shouldn't, things he couldn't forget, and when she'd finished, he sent her out.

She wanted to walk alongside him, to take his narrow path. She didn't understand, and it was time for her to stop thinking so. He sent her out.

In Aquor, a sun elf with eyes of liquid gold looked at him with adoration and could not think to judge him. She did not seek his path, but instead her own. He would help her find it, though he knew it would bend away from his. She smiled at his smiles, at his brief touches, in an innocent, fond way, charming but . . . naive.

He left her with a blue rose, an undying flower he'd found that offered vibrant color to her muted wardrobe. She had clutched it like a precious, fragile thing; she cherished his every gesture, and he wondered if when she said, "I love you," she understood it as he did, and if he could come to love her so simply, so innocently. Love was not something so easily nurtured and spoken for him; she expressed that affection, and he pondered what it would be like to love an elf, to age and die while his lover bloomed in persistent beauty and ever-growing wisdom. Would she cast him aside as he withered? Would she care for him as his body failed? As the winds of time first weathered flesh, would she slip away, to find someone new while he still had the health to do the same? Was he vain for thinking he had so long to live?

It is sad circumstance that paladins are not often long for the world. There is a zeal to protect the defenseless, to be the scourge that drives wickedness away. There is a careful balance to be struck with fearlessness, that two-sided boon that oppresses caution and prudence. It had yielded in him a sterner heart, one all but impossible to breach, to protect himself and those he might have been close to, had life not taken this course.

His mortality weighed down his spirit. Did he so enjoy life that he would regret its absence? He had lived a good life, at least exceptionally so for two of his twenty-six years; perhaps he had a home in Celestia, in the Just God's Court. No, other than his heart's lament that wickedness would remain in the world after his death, he could not define that weight in his chest. This musing stole his sleep some nights; where was the joyful heart his fellow paladins bore so proudly?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
His eyes fluttered open; the fire had waned and dimmed, casting wavering shadows about the chamber. The subtle luminescence of his skin shone softly in the darkness, the inner light often hidden by brighter sources than he. He sat in silence, tongues of flame occasionally defiantly licking upward over smoldering embers, rising only to die a moment after.

The source of his awakening sounded again: three gentle knocks at his door. Wrath Eternal stood silently, propped against the couch, and quietly asked for his hand. The paladin declined it, his pure heart telling him that no evil stood beyond his room. He collected the blade and its scabbard, strung with pearls and a brilliant emerald, and hung it near his armor stand, as always. The leather of his boots barely sounded as he crossed his carpeted threshold to the door from where no more sound came forth. He turned its knob easily and opened the door without greeting, the lateness of the hour lending him a speechless curiosity as he went to meet his visitor.

Dark, lustrous eyes lined with kohl met him.

Last edited by roguethree; 01-04-2012 at 01:19 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 09-11-2011
roguethree roguethree is offline
Legendary Hero
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Illinois
Posts: 1,176
Rep Power: 126
roguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant future
Truth, Part II

He froze. He couldn't move. He could barely breathe. Her gaze held him, and he stood there, dumb, at the threshold of his own room, as she presented herself in the familiar silken gown. She was beautiful - flawlessly beautiful - her hair artfully coiled and teased, her skin softly luminescent in the evening's fading torchlight. Shadows played flatteringly in the folds of her dress, but even as she parted perfect, inviting lips to speak, he saw only her eyes: dark, soulful eyes that shined all the brighter for the tears that filled them and threatened to spill over long, delicate lashes.

"I . . . I didn't . . . " her soft, broken voice began. She trembled, hands clasping together for mutual support as she stood before the paladin in his stunned silence. Her throat pulsed as she choked back sobs, and she stood there, quietly as she could, her lustrous gaze searching his for his judgment.

She barely noticed his arm move, but she felt the firm, insistent grip of his hand closing over her wrist. Rooted as she was, she nearly fell over herself as he yanked her through the doorway, and indeed she would have, had she not crashed into the paladin's chest, firm and unyielding. A door slammed behind her, and where soft cries had tried to gain purchase, her muted whimpers found a voice.

His grip was too tight; the thinness of her arm ached.

"I . . ." she began anew, again faltering into fluttering uncertainty. She opened her mouth to begin anew, but her words muffled clumsily against familiar lips, her mouth finding a new task as judgment was offered: it wasn't.

Tears streaked down from four eyes, flavoring passionate, perpetual kisses with salt and joy and sorrow and love. She wrapped her arms about his neck, clutching him, and he wrapped his arms around her, pulling her tight, leaving no space between them. They kissed, and they cried.

"Why?" He spoke when they finally parted for breath, his words a hoarse whisper that barely reached her ears.

"I didn't mean to be gone so long. A deception brought me back to my house in Waterdeep, but the truth of it . . . I almost stayed."

"You left no word; I thought you were leaving me. Priya, I . . . I tried to move on."

The Sunite, faulted in her patience, nodded meekly, her eyes casting down to the floor. "I would understand if . . ."

"I tried." The paladin smiled through still-wet eyes as he lifted his hands to her face, to hold her visage between them. "It didn't go well."

Her laugh shook with relief, with nervousness as he took her again in his arms, and he guided her toward a seldom-used bed, its placid sheets expectant of their bodies.
------------------------------------------------
Dawn crept through his room's lone window, the light crawling over the bottom lip of the sill and streaming into his eyes. He tried to roll from his bed, but soft, limber legs tangled with his own, subtle shifting with his movements but holding him fast. His eyes cleared, and he spied a mess of dark, lightly teased curls adorning his other pillow, just barely spilling to rounded shoulders barely revealed by a drawn blanket. Hours of lovemaking flooded his consciousness, and the Judicator loosely draped his arm over the woman whom he could not, would not judge, where his hand was readily, expectantly taken.

"Good morning," her demure tone cooed, and he smiled at the presence she already had so soon in the day, so few hours after they'd collapsed as they awoke: tangled and spent. Her flesh was soft against his as they lay snared in a naked embrace. Dawn's brilliance grew, its mild light growing to a piercing ray, and the paladin buried his face in the woman's neck, kissing her in a wearied greeting.

She chuckled, pleased, into closed lips that curved with a satisfied smile as her own eyes greeted the growing light without the paladin's hesitance.

A rather plain, obtrusive knocking came at the door.

"Boss? It's me. You busy?"

The paladin groaned his complaint into the woman's flesh, his limbs tightening around her in protest as he uttered, "Fucking Tigen."

Last edited by roguethree; 01-04-2012 at 01:19 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 09-14-2011
roguethree roguethree is offline
Legendary Hero
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Illinois
Posts: 1,176
Rep Power: 126
roguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant future
Dark Sun, Part I

"Take heart, Anasath. I'm here." He consoled her, gently squeezing her fingertips through the cold, iron bars that separated their cells. She was radiant even in grief, with skin darkened under a Mulhorandi sun pulled taut over her lengthy frame. She stood fully his height, and when he met her gaze, he did not look down, or she, up. She ceased her prayers at the paladin's touch, and she met him with a soft, grateful smile.

Two days, they'd been in the Abyss, barely navigating its capricious portals in search of the lost soul of Balthazar, fallen paladin of Torm, great disgrace of the Triad. Mizrahi, the Right Hand, through more than a year's diligent scrying, had located the soul and begged the Triad's assistance. It was not a question for Dain Tornbrook to accept the task to redeem a Fallen, slay the wicked and orderless, and restore honor to the office he held. Companions in his halls - a paladin, a bardess, a shaman, a theurge, and a gentle priestess - agreed, though Anasath had shown a reluctance uncommon to her.

Before their misfortune, their capture, Anasath had abandoned the arcane tether Mizrahi had tied to her to wrest her from the Abyss should harm befall her. Through prayer and will, she had freed a dozen souls from demonic clutches, sending them forth to be judged again, whatever that fate might be. Now, they were at the mercy of the Abyssal fiends, held in pens like slaves and animals to be used for games, and the mortality of the situation weighed heaviest on she who had given up her way home should the worst happen.

He didn't know why he hadn't seen her before, but he saw her now, beautiful but trembling, and he vowed to set this right, to renew her radiance. By his heart, she would kiss the sunlight again.

Good fortune let them slip from their cells, and the grace of gods that would not abandon them even in this vile place carried them to freedom. Wearied, but together and whole, they left behind a corrupt arena where souls butchered themselves for the demons' pleasure, and they trudged across vast, sharpened sands. A portal opened, held by a crystal that had bound itself to Anasath, and with tired sighs of relief, the six filtered one by one through the flickering light, onward toward their goal: the salvation of a soul.

The paladin paused near the woman, offering his coy smile. "I'm here," he offered again, and she smiled again, something more hopeful curving her lips. The paladin strode on, his cloak whipping in the blustery winds of the abyssal desert, looking like some forgotten hero marching triumphant through the wastes. The exotic priestess of the Morninglord took heart, and she managed a few steps toward the waiting portal when the flicker of a shadow in the corner of her eye stole her smile, and she barely scrambled free when a hand thrust after her, clipping her arm as she sprinted through sand for the wavering sphere.

Her startled cry turned the paladin, and he staggered back and reached for the woman in time to see black tendrils burst forth from her chest, blood spattering his face as the sound of shredding metal silenced her pained scream. The crystal flew from her grasp, darting through the portal as the priestess desperately clawed at the earth. She gazed upon the bending form of the paladin, and despair stole the luster from her eyes.

"No tears; we're going to have such fun." Grazz't, comeliest of the demons, offered in a mockery of condolence as he claimed the flesh he had decided to covet. The demon turned, the weight of his beauty settled over one shoulder.

The portal closed.

Last edited by roguethree; 01-04-2012 at 12:31 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 12-03-2011
roguethree roguethree is offline
Legendary Hero
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Illinois
Posts: 1,176
Rep Power: 126
roguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant future
Dark Sun, Part II

Dark winds swirled sharp sands that swept and banked into ominous dunes. The sky was ever purple, with black lines of clouds that seemed as shadows in the sky. The vast desert was lit like an eclipsed black sun shone over it. The paladin and his unfortunate companions were huddled against a jutting boulder, a rocky obelisk that provided small shelter from the biting wind and grating sand. Speech was impossible, their voices stolen by the air howling and whipping about them. They sat in silence, a futile respite in their abyssal journey. The paladin closed his eyes.

He felt a glowing brilliance pressing against his eyelids, and he opened his eyes to a serene, warm hall. Glass portals of vibrant colors and abundant light lined the walls, and well-kept trees, shrubs, and flowers filled corners in the chamber. Solemn benches—pews—lined a tiled walkway that gave way to a large, vaunted cup, and beyond that, an altar stood over by a tall, lithe woman of dark, rich skin. She was barely clothed, loose white garments hanging dutifully over her breast and pelvis. Feathery tattoos slipped up and down her torso, framing a centerpiece of a rising sun sheltering a burning torch over her belly. Her long, black hair hung to her waist, and she greeted the paladin with a welcoming smile, her white teeth contrasting well with her dark features.

"It already feels like it's been too long . . ." Her lips formed the words and sounded only as a whisper, but it was borne directly to his ears and nestled there; he heard her quiet words perfectly from so many feet away.

The paladin wrested his eyes from the woman's form and took to properly admiring the temple he found himself in, his feet, meanwhile, carrying him toward the altar, his booted steps echoing deeply, hollowly off the stone walls.

"A life's work for some, Anasath, but you've made it so in months. Impressive."

The priestess's smile widened, and she dipped her head in a touch of a nod. "The greatest harvest owes its success to things as common as the rain and the sun. I couldn't have done any of it without you." She lifted her eyes to watch the paladin's approach, slowly stepping around the altar as her hands reached up to play at some amulet that hung at her throat.

His eyes were again drawn to the woman, this time to the brilliant blue of her irises, which seemed to catch and throw bands of sunlight that seeped in through delicately placed seams in the temple's masonry.

"You didn't need me for this. This temple is built upon your faith, your love. It's your triumph."

"We're coming to a crossroads, Dain. I want this moment I've been allowed to be as bright as my life to this day. I don't want you to lose sight of your goal, here."

As the woman spoke, the paladin felt the room darken, its soft luminance dimming in the corners of his vision. He stood just before her now, face to face with the tall Mulhorandi woman, their noses inches apart. He shifted a touch, his armor clanking just audibly in marked contrast against the woman's much softer garb and features.

"I don't understand."

Her eyes glimmered as tears gathered at their corners, and she brought her hands to her chest, cupping them over her heart.

"I don't think I have long, Dain . . . I'm so tired. And the pain is . . . it's . . ."

The chamber's warm glow ebbed further, and the room's shadows gained harder edges and deeper blackness, nearly tangibly dark. The sun's slivers of light still peeked in through the temple's cracks, but the brilliance seemed only to give the shadows more shape.
"What are you talking about?" The paladin's head tilted to his right, his brow lowering and tone easing to something of concern and affection, so uncommon for the hardened champion. Shadows flitted about them, quietly hissing as they danced from corner to corner.

"I want you to be happy, Dain. Just don't forget this moment, and . . . strive forward. Don't look back for anything."

She caught his gaze again and lunged forward, wrapping her arms tightly about him and settling her chin over his shoulder, against his neck. She didn't sob or shiver, but she held tightly, and the paladin felt her warm embrace somehow slip through his armor, his impervious case, and touch his flesh. She was warm, and he gently returned the gesture, turning his head just a touch as he looked into thick strands of dark, unbound hair.

"It's alright, Anasath. I'm here." His voice was full of the quiet confidence of a man who would not fail, perhaps could not remember how.

"I believe in you," she whispered softly, and as the last of the words was spoken, she faded away, leaving the paladin gently caressing empty space. His arms fell to his sides a moment later, and he turned about, surveying the darkened chamber to no purpose as he looked around in bewilderment. The light was gone, save for a few stray beams that seemed to follow the left side of his armor, burnishing the crest of Wrath no matter which way he faced.

"I've seen to it," a man's voice, effeminate though it was, called out, "that from now until eternity, she is mine, and I will see to your failure."

A sword of ebony appeared in the darkness, its black gloss somehow easily discerned in the wavering shadows. It leveled and thrust at the paladin's chest, and the screech of ripping metal filled the air as the blade rent his armor.

The paladin's eyes snapped open. He didn't start; he only looked down at his mailed chest, finding no wound, no imperfection in his armor. Tigen, standing watch, missed nothing.

"Hey, boss. I know me not needing sleep and everything makes me good for keeping an eye out, but maybe you should stay awake for a bit. We should probably start hunting the next portal soon, anyway."

"Aye, Tigen." The paladin pushed himself to his feet, the short cadence of his readjusting plates rousing the rest from their slumber.

"Mm. Tea?" A groggy James Arrow asked, his fists burrowing into the corners of his eyes.

"Take your rations before we're in the winds," the paladin replied as he buckled on his sword belt, the scabbarded blade seeming to cling to his hip even before the leather was tightened. "We're breaking in ten; I've a promise to keep."

Last edited by roguethree; 09-12-2015 at 02:45 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 01-03-2012
roguethree roguethree is offline
Legendary Hero
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Illinois
Posts: 1,176
Rep Power: 126
roguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant future
Dark Sun, Part III

Days before, Tigen and James Arrow had been struck from the Abyss. Literally. Their lives were threatened and nearly overcome by demonic spawn; a mage in distant Sundren worked his magics to pull on their planar tethers, invisible links wrought of spellcraft that bound them to the upper plane so that their souls might not be lost to the evil and chaos of the infinite layers. Three remained: the Blackwells, paladin and soldier of the Legion, and Wrath's agent. A fourth joined, a helmed wanderer of the Abyss, shackled by a demon and finding freedom when cut loose from her bonds by the venturing three. She claimed allegiance to Hoar, god of vengeance, and she offered her sword.

A black obelisk stuck up like a spear on the horizon, and the trio's bending, laborious steps into an unyielding gale of sand and whatever other abyssal matter slowly brought it nearer. The twisting plane was silent but for the incessant howling of the desert wind, no demons challenging their approach. The edifice had a door; they used it. They ascended case after case of mismatched stairs, some broad, some narrow, some perfect, some broken, and they paced corridor after corridor, overcoming countless snares. Some were deadly, others not, but all threatened sanity. The four survived and gained purchase to a chamber, oddly lit by flickering blue flames.

"Good show, lap dog of Wrath. Your dull wit was able to overcome my little labyrinth."

A familiar voice echoed through the room, effeminate, touched with amusement.

"Give us Anasath!" the Judicator shot back, shouting to the corners of the room, wherever the formless voice might best hear him.

"Tch. I'm afraid that's not possible; she's very much mine, now. You'd have to kill her to take her; could you take that risk, pawn?"

"I will-"

"Oh, don't bother me with a response; you'll not live through this."

Pillars of flame burst through the chamber's stone floor, the sudden red brilliance casting a murky haze from end to end. Vast, leaping fire gave way to vast, hulking demons cased in hungrily licking flames and bearing massive, wickedly edged swords, three in total.

The paladin, the soldier, the agent of Wrath scattered for the combat. The sword of Hoar slipped away from the ring of steel and anguish.

Dain Tornbrook was no stranger to battling such demons, and he rushed to the one nearest him with fearless abandon. The giant fiend swung his cruel weapon in a long arc, a stroke that would halve a man, perhaps men. Wrath's chosen, a fraction in size compared to the demon, swung his blade in return, bringing Wrath Eternal to bear and intercepting the stroke. Righteous fury overcame the demon's strength, and Tornbrook followed through, bringing his sword around into the dumbstruck creature's knee. The beast of chaos buckled, one leg ruined and useless. The paladin recovered his own balance ably, and he thrust his sword through the lowered throat of the demon, the cut leaving a streak of yellow brilliance in its wake. The demon lurched, perhaps gargled a curse, and the paladin tightened his grip on his sword, closed his eyes, and clenched his jaw.

A moment passed. Perhaps two. The room was alive with the din of desperate battle. The paladin only heard the steady cadence of his heart as the demon exploded in a hail of wicked fire and gore. Flames curled about him as he flew through the air. Time slowed; he watched flickering glow of fire on polished steel slowly bend and waver as Darius Blackwell vainly tried to convince one demon into taking its massive, taloned foot from his chest, the paladin's sword carrying little weight into the thick flesh of the creature.

He wasn't flying anymore. Bits and chunks of stone fell about him as he pushed himself to his feet, leaving behind a broken crevice in the wall that halted his airborne travel. He yet gripped his sword, and listing, staggering steps soon gave way to a purposed sprint as he dashed toward Darius's plight; two demons loomed over him, the soldier nowhere to be found, and they made a game of slowly crushing him underfoot.

Dain flew at the back of the one holding Darius underfoot, and it didn't seem to mind Wrath's cries of penance and judgment. It continued to smile wickedly down at Darius Blackwell even as the balance of a hallowed blade wrought of cold iron burst through its chest. Dain reached down to the held man, giving forth a brilliant, yellow pulse of divine healing where their hands clasped. Another explosion tore them apart.

Dain was seated against a wall, more broken stone marking the sudden end of his journey. Across the chamber, at the opposite wall, he blearily spied Darius, the demon's sword through his hip, raising his own blade defiantly. Darius turned his head so subtly, marking his seated counterpart, and shouted something the other paladin couldn't quite make out. Blackwell rammed his sword into the gut of his assailant, and the pair vanished in a burst of gore and brimstone. The room was silent save for the rapidly diminishing patter of stone striking the floor and bouncing to rest.

The remaining of the three leaned to his left, put his arm down to push himself up; the arm folded beneath him, useless, and he struck the floor with his shoulder. He rolled to his right, planting that elbow into the stone. It held, and he worked his way to his feet. His armor was scorched, rent open in some places. His left arm hung limp at his side, his right dutifully clutched his sword. He found he couldn't put much weight to his left side. He brought his right hand to his chest, sword and all, but no healing came forth. He bowed his head, eyes closing as he remembered the melee: the healing he'd given Darius, the empowered blows he'd dealt the demons. He was spent.

Booted steps echoed off the stone floor; the sword of Hoar coolly strutted from her corner, nearly sauntered right up to the broken paladin. She pulled off her obscuring helm, revealing red eyes, ashen skin, but countless other familiar features. She smiled at him, an amused, cruel smile, her hands resting easily on sword hilts at either of her hips.

"Anasath," Dain croaked.

Her smile broke, the malice faded. "Dain? Dain!" She wrapped unnaturally strong arms around the paladin, and he groaned in pained protest; she recoiled and clutched her hands to her chest. "Dain! You have to go, I'm not . . . I can't . . ."

"You're coming with me, Anasath," he wheezed in reply. "We're going, like I promised."

She shook her head furiously. "Dain, no. I can't . . . it's coming back; I don't have control! He'll use me to kill you. You have to go."

"Let him come. If he lets you go, I'll spare him." He managed to lift the tip of his sword some inches from the floor, then some feet, before he was able to slide it into its sheath. He reached out for her, put a hand on her shoulder. "Like I promised, Anasath. I'm here for you."

She bowed her head, though the sway of her dark tresses suggested she was shaking it, and she laid her hands atop the paladin's. She lifted her gaze to him, eyes hardened with conceit and disgust. She answered with a voice that wasn't hers.

"I told you: she is mine."

He was flying again, and stopped again. He landed on his belly, this time, not far from where he'd seen Darius vanish; the blackened stone around him told that story. He struggled to his feet, and he drew his sword and lifted his gaze in time to intercept the first of a pair of hand-a-half swords; the second crashed hard into his side, sending him limping away just to keep his footing. Blood trickled from his mouth; he bled internally, though he didn't know if one of his castings to the walls or if the recent stroke had broken the ribs. Perhaps all had.

She was strutting toward him again, head thrown back in arrogant laughter as she twisted her swords in playful patterns. He matched the pace of her gait, striding right up to her weave of steel. She struck viciously at the equally arrogant paladin, her swords diving in but caroming off some unseen barrier. Her swords out wide, he thrust, driving Wrath Eternal into and through the left shoulder of the woman. He calmly withdrew as the woman stared at him, eyes wide, mouth agape, as black blood poured from the wound. He matched her stare, eyes steeled and unblinking.

"Tool of Wrath," the widened mouth narrowed into a dark grin, "you wound me." Her right blade, a blackened, ebon blade, tore through his armor, into his flesh.

He did not have much sense when he opened his eyes to a black, starred sky. A man he knew as Darius was feverishly applying a potent salve to his many wounds. He smelled tea, heard a woman's voice.

"Dain! Dain! Where's Anasath?!"

"I . . . lost," he whispered, and tears crept into the steeled champion's eyes.

"Speak up, milord." Darius's voice.

"I lost," he croaked again, and the brilliant stars overhead blurred into a single smear of white, his anguished sobs silencing the company that stood over his broken form.

Last edited by roguethree; 01-04-2012 at 11:23 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 03-24-2012
roguethree roguethree is offline
Legendary Hero
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Illinois
Posts: 1,176
Rep Power: 126
roguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant future
Strange Tides

Things are strange.

My greatest failure - losing Anasath to the Abyss - was undone by forces I can't understand. She's returned, recovered her faith, and regained her strength as a paladin.

Tigen left the Valley, returned unmade and reborn . . . as a paladin.

Faucon returned, another paladin.

Wrath has been quiet, the sword quieter. The undead have hidden, the Black Hand have been silent. I have been without injustice to correct.

Wind throws her loose garment behind her, the soft fabric clinging to her form and turning every head aboard the small craft. She stands so poised, delicate hands resting atop the starboard rail, a small, eager smile set on perfect lips as the same gust that billows her clothing fills the sail, carrying us along easy waters. I have stolen the finest treasure in Sundren, and I don't know if I'll bring her back.

I promised her . . . us . . . a different life, at least for a while. I honor my word. I can bring the Just God's guidance wherever I go, so the guilt is lessened. Sundren is full of opportunity and heroes; some will surely rise as I fade, making new legends.

As for me, the future is blank, without peril, and I don't know what to think of it. I seldom remember days where I didn't put someone to the sword, and I'm facing weeks, months of peace, uninterrupted moments with my love, words spoken with folk who know nothing of my name, titles, and deeds.

It's a strange world I'm stepping into, one I don't think I've ever known. Can I stomach this peace? Will it have me?

She's turned her eyes upon me, and I'm helpless and held. Of course I can; there's nothing else.
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 04-01-2012
roguethree roguethree is offline
Legendary Hero
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Illinois
Posts: 1,176
Rep Power: 126
roguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant future
He lay on a bed of grass, lush green needles giving way to his reclining body. His hands were his pillow, clasped and folded behind his head. The sky was clear but for a few wispy clouds, the breeze silent but for a mandolin's steady musings. She was kneeling not far off, her thin gown bunched about her knees as she plucked a hypnotic melody from the simple instrument. He's laid downwind of her on purpose, and her able fingers struck soothing notes that soon lured him to sleep.

He awoke in a stony passage, walls half-broken. The ground was littered with jagged bits of rock, but he could see the sky, its darkness punctuated with countless tiny lanterns of far-off stars and the gods knew what else. He was walking forward, his steps even, their echo hollow and quickly lost to the open air so many feet overhead. He walked for minutes, an hour, longer, with no purpose. He strode forward, on and on, until his passage ended and gave way to colored glass. It was patterned after the opulent fixtures in affluent temples, depicting a chair, simple and wooden. The space around this chair was red. Beyond this redness, blackness. He tentatively reached forward, his fingertips brushing the surface of the simple picture. It shattered, its pieces casting and scattering as though bludgeoned by a vandal. Glass fell to the ground, its sound like coins falling into a cup, and a field was laid bare. He walked on.

His feet were cold, bare as they were and treading along wet grass. He heard gently moving water ahead, though he saw nothing of it, as the sky was lit by no moon; only stars, numerous and distant. He soon came to the brook, the slick grass giving way to an old, wooden dock. Standing at its edge, he was suddenly aware of a pair sitting to his right. A young man, blond and handsome, excitement in his eyes, lay at his length along the dock. His left hand rested beneath his head, and his right pointed at the sky. His lips moved incessantly and soundlessly. To that man's right, a young woman of impossible beauty kneeled, her flattering gown gathered about her knees. She watched the young man speak with the barest of smiles on her lips, and her eyes caught and tossed about every bit of starlight falling to that spot.

"Cassima," he spoke in time with the young man whose voice he could not hear. The pair was oblivious to his presence, and the prone man carried on, occasionally shifting for sustained comfort as he told his soundless tale. The young man's lips sealed, and his doleful counterpart's mouth formed a silent reply. The young man was soon speaking again.

"No matter how you're seen, how you're thought to be . . . someone who matters will always know the truth of it, and that will save you." As he spoke, the night rushed away, its stars blazing streaks through the sky and giving way to a late-morning brilliance. His grassy pillow was gone, giving way to a silk-garbed lap, the wispy clouds replaced by two dark, lustrous eyes.

"Sweet dreams, Sir Tornbrook?" she cooed, one hand gliding through his hair.

"Dreams," he half agreed. He lifted a hand and caressed the woman's cheek as his head rolled to the side, and he let his eyes roam over placid bluffs as the day wore on.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cornuto
Glad everyone's being extra fucking ridiculous today.
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 04-15-2012
roguethree roguethree is offline
Legendary Hero
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Illinois
Posts: 1,176
Rep Power: 126
roguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant future
"Think of all of your triumphs. Haven't you earned rest?"

The words, spoken so many months ago, still paced around his mind, their question still unanswered. He thought of the victories - of the necromancers' armies crushed, of the undead dragon destroyed, of the slain Bloodmaim war chief. He thought of the disrupted vampires, of Balthazar's reclaimed soul, of Mirakus Post.

He looked around the spartan chamber; it had a hard, earthen floor strewn with thresh rugs to soak up blood and sweat. Wooden posts approximating man-sized forms lined the walls, their pattern occasionally broken by racks of wooden, blunted weapons. Moonlight filtered in through high windows, illuminating the room's fixtures well enough and casting a number of spotlights that revealed the plumes of dust floating about the never-used training floor. Conspicuously lit, resting silently on an altar on a simple stand, was Wrath, encased in its opulent scabbard set with an emerald and strung with pearls.

He crossed the silent chamber's floor, his footsteps making little sound on the dirt, until he stood before the weapon. He hadn't worn the blade since they'd built this home together, but he found his right hand's digits curling about the patient, leather-wrapped handle.

He thought of Anasath's demonic visage, of the way she glared into his eyes as her sword tore through his armor, how he saw that same woman's eyes begging, pleading for him to save her when the demon prince first took her. He thought of the murder of Mathell Cavaliare, of his torn-out eye and ripped open breast: the painful death of a man finally come to repentance despite the paladin's highest efforts. He thought of a fateful night in Aquor, when a vampire nigh unto a god took from him the artifact that restored Myrkul and made his blood literally boil. He thought of his ill-fated charge into the ranks of the unliving, of his blessings falling away and a hateful sword and axe ripping into his body, leaving him all but dead and useless as champions of the wicked claimed the night. He thought of . . .

"Dain," a soft voice called from the room's only entrance, where drew a feminine silhouette framed by warm light, the glow from a hung lantern distant in the adjoining hallway. "Your bed wonders at your absence."

His curled fingers snapped open and away from the sword's grip, and he thought of the morning that awaited him. He thought of waking up to a mild sun, of untangling from twisting limbs and exhaling the dawn's first breath in a soulful sigh. He pulled his hand back, fingertips disappearing into darkness as he withdrew from the blade and altar, toward the inviting shadow calling to him from the back of the room.

"Coming" was his simple reply, given with a slight smile that couldn't be seen for the room's blackness.

Last edited by roguethree; 04-16-2012 at 12:25 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 04-19-2012
roguethree roguethree is offline
Legendary Hero
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Illinois
Posts: 1,176
Rep Power: 126
roguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant future
Dust shot into the air as a bare fist slammed into a straw totem, into the ball of coarse grain that crudely mimed a head. It plumed and whirled about for only a moment, its sudden ascension ceasing as quickly as it came to be, and the tiny gray specks lazily fell toward the shoulders of the pell, and toward the floor.

His knuckles were scraped raw, their every ridge worn and bleeding as the paladin threw fist after fist into his stoic foe. Sweat and blood flew from each strike, painting the effigy and the floor and wall beyond it. He'd never been exceptionally strong, possessing an athlete's musculature more than a soldier's, and the straw model held up well to the abuse, shuddering modestly behind the repeated blows.

Memories guided his training. He was not known for his strength of arm; she was known for exactly that. The last time they'd fought, she'd struck the sword from his hands. His hubris convinced him that he didn't need his sword to best her; it had been right. He remembered the shock, the sick almost-admiration in her undead eyes as the first cross turned her fully sideways, the following hook twisting her back whence she came. She fell to mist the moment the third strike smashed into her face, leaving the paladin nearly dumbfounded at the wrath that had flowed through his arms.

In the sparse chamber, where rested only props and pretend victims, flashes of yellow brilliance cast light into the dark, cool corners of the room the sun did not reach through the vaulted windows. As the memory faded, the strikes slowed, and he paced away from the pell, hands on his hips as he sucked deep breaths through his nose, expelling them through pursed lips. His eyes stung with the sweat that fell from his brow, but they settled anyway on the sword on the stand at the head of the room. He'd found a spot touched by the sun, and he felt the long, crossing scars on his back tighten as the solar body's midday warmth stretched over his naked shoulders. He stared at the sword, as unassuming as it pretended to be, wasting long moments in consideration before finally turning from that altar, from that room.

On the room's western wall, where once stood a trio of silent soldiers, obedient in their use, there now stood two. Clouds of grit and airy matter concluded their meandering descent among scattered straw, an empty wooden post, wearing blood like warpaint, left to mark the event.
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old 04-24-2012
roguethree roguethree is offline
Legendary Hero
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Illinois
Posts: 1,176
Rep Power: 126
roguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant futureroguethree has a brilliant future
The Even-Handed balance your steps.

Justice guide your heart.

Go in grace.


He had his ways of saying goodbye, though he hadn't used them when he left.

I feel called elsewhere.

It's not uncommon for paladins to be summoned and compelled to different corners of the Realms. He'd learned this, seen it with his eyes, in his own temple. When he'd prayed for guidance, for some new evil to dispel, he'd seen nothing, and he'd left. His days were spent in repose, lying in lush grasses in gentle breezes, enjoying his love. He yet trained his body, and his soul, with hours each day spent to keep his blade sharp and his spirit full, but to a purpose? Not that he'd found.

"Why don't you relax?" a priestess of the Red Knight had once asked him. The notion was ridiculous, called to serve as he was. But here he was. Relaxing. And feeling uncertain. There was an ache in his breast, a gentle but persistent tugging, growing just slightly but perceptibly when he faced the north. Was it his heart? He'd handled Wrath more lately, for whatever reason. He didn't know why, really. He had to check on it, of course, and oil it, keep it free of dust in its disuse. Measure the strength of its sword belt; did the leather of the grip need replaced?

He laughed at himself, a full, rolling, clear laugh, and some tens of yards away, Priya Sera regarded her paladin with eyes shining with fondness and curiousity.

He'd forgotten how the sword would speak to him, its suggestions, and here he was, wondering at the emptiness in his core.

"Purpose..." he had once faltered over, in a conversation years old, "...I don't know, I guess. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be about."

She eyed him from afar, and he sensed her patience with him. She had reassured him then, and she reassured him now. He closed his eyes and held his hands near his stomach, their palms facing each other and separated by precise inches. A quiet, thin wind flicked through his hair, and a spark of yellow light flared and bound itself into a sphere between his hands. His thoughts fell away as visions of his faith filled his mind, and he renewed his training.

To what purpose?
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


Sundren - Archive - Top  
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:56 AM.
Sundren.org Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
All content of this website is property of its respective owners: Webmaster