The Summoning

All things outside of Thar Shaddin.
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Sir Karsimir
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Post by Sir Karsimir » Sat Sep 15, 2007 3:44 pm

Bone was cleaved, blood was shed. Still he was not done. Not while this horror existed. Already it had exacted a heavy price upon the world, and that price had ever been far too high.

Now was time for that dire cost to reach it's end.

Already, the detatched, analytical part of Aorle's mind which remained an impartial observer to the battle had found a weakness in the vile creature. It held power but not strength. Countless innocent blood stained those hands, yet all shed from hapless victims defenceless against the unholy predator. It was not a warrior, but a murderer, despite what physical or eldritch might it could wield.

Faced with this righteous onslaught placed the creature on the defensive, something which the fiend was utterly unfit to handle. Which was just as well, because it needed to die.

When a sudden shriek from Asiona joined the infernal howl, Aorle felt the rush of his own essence urging him to heal her, yet so little essence remained that to do so would spell his doom. Normally that would be fine with him, but to soothe her pain at the cost of his life would leave him unable to release her from the foul grip of the demon. A fate she could not be abandoned to.

So in battle he remained.

Yet the beast was healing. Limbs and digits hacked off the body began a sickening process of replacement. Seeing that sent an unwelcome chill through Aorle, who was presently bereft of that inner blaze which kept his heart and spirit warm. What wounds could stop it? Then he remembered that his sanctified blade had inflicted grevious wounds to the demonhag, yet that sword served among the anchors for the Sacred One upon this mortal plane, and the Sacred One was needed.

As it was, he held the advantage, and deemed it best to keep the circumstances of the battle as they were.

In semblance to a battlefield, the air was filled with the howls of the wounded anathema, followed by menacing caws and angry buzzing from the countless allies. Sounds which Aorle never before thought he would take comfort in. Even so, he knew the angel was speaking kindly to Asiona, although the words were drowned out by the conflict.

Flipping to regain it's feet... foot... footing, had cost the creature it's facing, leaving it mostly turned away from Aorle. Like any veteran warrior, he used this and adjusted his position to the rear flank of his foe. Then struck.

Battleaxe swung low, aiming for the base of the spine. Instead of a slicing flesh, the axe was swung to sunder bone through sheer impact with the narrow wedge much as the axe was designed to crush through armour. With luck, smashing the spine into splinters would be an effective injury against the anathema, one which would do well towards banishing this wickedness from the mortal plane.

Immediately after the stroke, Arjen took action of his own. A tackle from behind the opposite shoulder, aiming to crash into the rear flank and shoulder-blade of Lateus with all the great bulk of the destrier in an effort to overcome the already precarious balance of the one-legged creature through force and hopefully launch it back to the ground.

If that was successful, Aorle would stamp on the demon's remaining ankle to trap the leg in place while swinging his axe blade low like a pendulum towards the same thigh.
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Falcon Bertille
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Post by Falcon Bertille » Sun Sep 16, 2007 5:07 pm

Amaranda shook her head, more disappointed than angry. She thought of the people that Lateus had harmed while Asiona allowed him to remain in the mortal world. She listened to the desperate battle between demon and man. She gazed at the lifeless bodies of the creatures who had given her their ultimate sacrifice. And something fell from her eye, something shining and golden that dropped through the air like a tiny falling star, before vanishing into the pool of crimson at her feet.

“You are already killing, Child. All his victims stain your hands with their blood.”

The pain was building, like waves beating against a dam, but still Amaranda held it back. She had no desire to punish Asiona. And although she ached for them, she had no wish to seek vengeance for those who had suffered because of the girl’s mistake. But when a mother sees her child playing with a knife, she has a responsibility to take the weapon away. “I’m sorry, Child. I see now that you possess a power without either the wisdom or courage needed to wield it. I do not blame you for your weakness. But I cannot allow innocents to be hurt because of it.”

“From this day forward, whenever you use magic, whenever you are even exposed to it, you will know the misery that your lust for it has caused. Chose another path, one more suited to your nature. If you do this, if you chose wisely, I believe that there is still hope for you. Remember that, Child. Even in your darkest hour. Remember that an angel believes there is hope for you.”

Then, the dam broke, and Lateus’s pain flowed back into Asiona, along with all the pain he’d inflicted on others while bound to her.

Asiona & Lateus
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Post by Asiona & Lateus » Sun Sep 16, 2007 9:44 pm

“You are already killing, Child. All his victims stain your hands with their blood,”
came the beautiful voice over the ruckus in the background and the girl's sobs. "No," Asiona moaned, stricken by the truth the noble woman before her stated as plainly as was the existence of the rising sun.

"...Remember that an angel believes there is hope for you,” the angel finished. Asiona hung on these words before pain slammed into her like running into a wall. Her sobbing choked in her throat and she collapsed feebly onto the ground. At the same time there was a loud CRACK, as loud as the world splitting in half.

The light of the candles all went out at once. The body of the angel faded into the air before dispersing forever, leaving behind a pitiful white glow for a few seconds before that too disappeared. Smoke drifted up lazily from the extinguished candles. The girl's form remained motionless.

Before all this, Lateus heard movement behind him and knew the cursed Angelsworn was attacking. He lurched forward onto his vulnerable hands, ignoring the new flesh tearing on rubble in order to escape the next blow. It was not enough, however. The axe crashed into his shoulderblade, knocking the life-giving breath from his lungs, bruising and gashing his back. He collapsed into the dirt. The few remaining birds flew off and strained into the windless sky to circle around the battle, cheering on Aorle with their crowing.

There was a loud sound that made him flinch. Through a mouthful of dirt headiness washed over Lateus. At first mistakenly attributed to the attack, he realized it was a feeling he felt whenever Asiona loosened her hold—meaning she was unconscious. A burst of exhilarated laughter escaped his throat as he regained his breath. All of his reserves of strength he pulled into himself, uncaring that it was straining the already soul-bruised Asiona.

He flipped over in a blur of movement, narrowly avoiding the beast's charge and stomping hooves. Aorle saw his horse's attack fail and paused. Lateus snarled at him. With his limbs still regenerating, faster now that he was using all the power he could, he went into counter-attack.

Black lightning crackled down his arms, matching the designs of the tattoos. It went into his two misshapen hands gathered into one fist and then expanded into a globe. From the globe a streak of black rushed at the warrior, then another and another. With each it shrunk in size until with the third and last shot was used up entirely. Each would strike through anything up to two inches.

Seeing that the horse was indeed a potential threat, Lateus turned his attention to it. A hazy black glow enveloped the large animal, sucking away its energy, seeking to make it sluggish or collapse. These spells were tiring, but only used up a portion of all his stockpiled energy.

With leg flesh about to begin becoming an ankle he crabbed backwards in a blur on his finished hands. The fast movement cut up the pink, new flesh but didn't stop him from putting a few feet of life-saving distance between them. His enemies could still close those feet in a few steps, however, and he urged his leg to grow faster. He sat warily, holding his freshly bleeding claws to his chest and lifting his injured leg out, watching their reactions to his attack with angry, orange eyes. The gnats still buzzed around his head, and the birds were winging a circle in the air.

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Sir Karsimir
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Post by Sir Karsimir » Wed Sep 19, 2007 9:05 pm

Hope fled and sorrow built as the demon was empowered by these accursed happenings. A swift exchange of battle announced clearly how far the tide had been turned.

With the demon grounded, he continued with his attempt to stamp on the ankle to prevent it from escaping the swing of the axe. The stamp succeeded, trapping the demon limb against the ground. As his weight leaned forwards on the pinned leg, he found himself faced with worries of his own in the form of black tendrils of malign power erupting from a globe of solid darkness, clashing against him in a contest of ebon streams with pale nimbus.

Ebon streams won, blasting holes in the pale nimbus and burrowing through armour plating. Lower scales on his armoured coat collapsed under the power striking his abdomen, leather and padding parted under the assault, leaving a smoking hole. Blood seeped out slowly.

Bending the knees and leaning away caused the second beam of dread might to soar harmlessly overhead, yet the dodge caused him to abandon his axe stroke, dancing and weaving back to better evade the next strike of that unholy orb.

Final blast was a glancing hit against his armour, striking the sleeve of leather between the steel plates of couter and vambrace, searing deep and foul. Sublime agony shot through his form, flowing inside his body as mortal flesh recognised the incarnate atrocity inflicted upon it and protested with a mighty scream in his brain.

When the shroud of entropy engulfed Arjen, the brave stallion lurched and staggered as if drunk, a sight which would have been hilarious under different circumstances. Yet the malevolent power targeted constitution, and Arjen's constitution was that of... a horse. Seamlessly adjusting tactics, Arjen let his weary stumble take him towards his beloved master.

Plain as day was the foul might of the anathema, who already was moving on unformed hands and feet from a malformed angle at a speed which threatened what Aorle could achieve by running. Past wounds were being unmade, and the battle now favoured the side of darkness. Everything he saw announced that this was a foe beyond his strength to overcome. Until then, he was unaware of the true enormity of this danger.

Hope fled for good reason.

In his heart was sorrow and regret for Asiona, subject to the vile will of the beast of murder. Stood before it, Aorle knew what peril this supreme horror wrought upon the world.

All the more reason why the mortal needs protecting.

Before him now was an incalculable evil, savagery and wickedness beyond measure, infinite will to harm and steal and work dark deeds upon the world of men, such cruelty and malice no fair and just soul could bear measure.

That will must be denied.

Circle broke, and the consecrated presence and pool of crimson lingered in memory of the incarnate blessing that had so recently graced the world. Holiness had emanated from the Sacred One, contained within the lines of the summoning circle, but now contained no longer.

The ground had been made holy.

It seems the angel had done yet more in defence of the mortals, for even in her absence, she extended shelter to those in need.

Eyeing the demon warily, Aorle slipped the haft-tip of the war-axe into the frog loop, and let the weapon fall into place as he rushed for the circle. One arm scooped Asiona from the ground, the waist encircled by a single strong and armoured limb. Profoundly uncomfortable for one in any fit state to care, a defining factor which thankfully did not include Asiona.

Two long strides took them both through the candles, knocking some over as they reached sanctified ground, where hopefully the wicked nature of the predator would weaken it. Entering the shelter of this bastion of holiness, Aorle dipped low to claim his sword, blade clean and pure and unstained by the pool of blood it was retrieved from.

Doing so caused him to stumble upon the blood-slicked earth, shoving Asiona ahead into the sacred circle as he did so, regaining his footing to find liquid crimson sticking to his armour. No longer an oppressive weight, it was like the embrace of sanctuary.

Grasping the hilt was like stepping towards a blazing hearth from frozen night air. A dull ache in his heart and deep-rooted emptiness soothed at once by a spring of warmth suffusing his very being. It was like blood flowing into a wound, returning what he had lost from that very breach. Only then did he understand what he had suffered.

Ramas.

With the strength built of many years in armour, Aorle hoisted Asiona up high as Arjen approached in a curved path leading towards the sacred space. Then he draped her across the saddle, so the hallowed destrier could bring her to safety. Then he laid a gauntleted hand on Arjen's neck, focused on the fresh warmth inside him, and sent it coursing down the length of his arms in to the loyal warhorse.

When life flowed into the charger, purging it of that dreadful leeching, yet he never felt the energy leaving himself. In that moment, Arjen felt like an extension of Aorle himself. Knowing the grand stallions strength as he knew his own, he mounted and made ready to depart, leaving most of the icons in place as they held no value compared to an innocent life.

In that next instant, he felt wing-beats and rushing air as distant caresses of his awareness, knew the reverence in which she was held.

And he remembered, more would still die for him.

No, this cannot come to pass!

Yet there was nothing he could do. They were suffering the same death they fought to spare him from, they were giving their lives. He could not have that, he could not ask that of them. Fresh sorrow built in his heart, a sorrow he knew would be shared.

Humility reminded him of truth, that he was dependant on others to put this right. A truth accepted without shame or regret, so long as the other could manage.

Lady of Feathers, your loved ones are dying. They need fight no more. Get them away, let them be spared. Please, I plead of thee. Save them.

"GO! YOUR BATTLE IS OVER!" he roared through the tears, raising his sword high above, focusing his shout through the weapon which bore the blessings of the Sacred One's own virtue. As he cried out, he hoped fervantly to be understood by his valiant defenders.

He hoped his prayer would be answered.
My faith protects me, my kevlar helps.

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