Author Topic: The Ark of Infinity [Open]  (Read 18351 times)

Dragon Lord

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Re: The Ark of Infinity [Open]
« Reply #15 on: June 07, 2012, 03:57:28 PM »
Edward stood on the foredeck of the Bilisknir, the flagship of the Imperial Navy. Golems stood on guard across the deck in case of attack but the Merfolk seemed to be distracted by the first wave of Imperial Ships which had already begun its attack on Iskander. Even from this distance Edward could see the great plume of smoke rising from the coast.

“It’s started then?” a voice behind him said.

Edward turned to see General Astal walking towards him. He wore similar armour to Edwards, but with pale blue coloured plate armour and a white cape. A sword hung at his side with a griffon’s head at the hilt.

“It would seem so,” Edward replied, turning to look back at the horizon. “Verde’s already gone ahead. He said he didn’t want to miss the action.”

“Do you know why he hates the Hellios so much?” General Astal asked.

“No,” Edward sighed. “He just seems to enjoy killing them. I guess they don’t call him the butcher for nothing.”

“These Golems are an interesting sight,” Astal remarked. “Ah, for the good old days when we fought wars with steel instead of Arks and Golems and ancient magic. Battles were more honourable back then.”

“I’m tired, Bart,” Edward said to his friend. “I used to love being a soldier, but now…”

“I know old friend,” Astal replied. “We aren't really soldiers anymore, we're Generals. We're the ones who have to make the hard decisions and live with the consequences. But all we can do is carry-out our duty. If the Emperor wants to use these magical weapons then so be it.”

The boat shook from a sudden impact and both Generals had to grab the rail to stay on their feet. One of the look-outs from above started shouting as Merfolk leapt from the ocean onto the deck. Edward and Astal drew their swords and jumped down to face their attackers. The first six Merfolk died before they even knew what was happening. Edward’s sword Lohengrim and Astal’s Averlock flashed in the sunlight, cutting through their enemies like a knife through butter.

By this point, the Golems had begun to smash their way through the attackers while others jumped into the ocean to protect the ship itself. The Merfolk were no match for the giant automatons and by the time the soldiers started to appear from the lower decks most of the enemy had been killed or driven overboard. A few moments later only four Merfolk remained on board, facing up against the two Generals. Edward’s movements belied his huge frame as he moved almost like a dancer, his sword an extension of himself. His two opponents were barely able to hold their own as Edward swung his weapon in unpredictable patterns, systematically breaking their defence. At last, he swung the blade in a wide ark arc and cut them both down with a single stroke. Astal’s style relied more on defence. He allowed to two Merfolk to attack him until an opening appeared and he was able to kill one with three swift strikes and force the other overboard with another two.

Both men stood panting in the sunlight, smiling at one another.

“Now that was a good fight,” Edward laughed.

“Why didn’t you use the Ark?” Astal asked as he sat down on the stairs leading down to the deck.

“We’re on a boat you lunatic,” Edward said, sitting beside them. “Fire and boats rarely mix well.”

Both men continued laughing as Senna stepped up from below.

“Are you alright, my Lord?” she asked.

“Perfectly fine,” Edward assured her. “What happened to you?”

“A couple of Merfolk managed to break through the hull, I stayed below to deal with them and to cover the men repairing the breach.”

“Fair enough,” Edward said. “I don’t think I would have enjoyed swimming to Iskander.”

“My Lord!” one of the sailors shouted. “We’ll reach land in less than an hour!”

“Alright,” Edward said, his smile vanishing.



“The battles started,” Leon said. The others all turned to look at him briefly before picking themselves off the ground and gathering their gear. “We need to move quickly. Don’t stop moving unless you have to defend yourself.”

The group raced down the hill towards the village, each of them ready for a fight.



OoC: Sorry about the lack of posts, I’ve got job application stuff to do. I’m still keeping an eye on things.


“Time for a Celebration! Cheese for Everyone! Wait, scratch that. Cheese for no-one. That can be just as much of a celebration if you don't like cheese. True? " - Sheogorath


MegaFun

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Re: The Ark of Infinity [Open]
« Reply #16 on: June 07, 2012, 04:03:27 PM »
It has been two days since Petyr made up his mind.

The Sun had barely emerged from the horizon and the sky was still colored in the dark blue of twilight. The tranquil music of waves greeted mornings in Ashval, and around this time fishermen had begun to  work, preparing themselves for their fresh catches of the day.

Petyr had just dressed himself in his day attire when Lyria came up to his room. She would usually only be up when the Sun floats high in the sky, so this was an unusual sight. Fernis had already gotten down by the breakfast table, preparing for his morning shift at the smithery.

“Petyr,” Lyria muttered, still looking groggy from being up at such an ungodly hour. “I overheard your conversation with Fernis two nights ago... are you leaving us?”

Petyr nodded. "Lyria, I'm sorry to leave you like this. But there is something that must be done."

"What did mother and father say?"

"I spoke to them last night..." Petyr sighed. "Needless to say they tried to keep me from going. But they let me anyway. Fernis did too."

Lyria frowned in disappointment and sighed. She held out her hand and revealed something wrapped in a white cloth. Petyr gave her a curious look and stepped forward, unwrapping the bundle of cloth until he found a shortbow and a sliver of arrows.

"Fernis taught me how to make this. We made this for your birthday, but since you're leaving and I don't know if you'll ever be back..." Lyria began to hold back tears. "I might as well give it to you. Figured you needed something more effective than your throwing knives... I know it’s harder to carry, but trust me. ‘Death loves bows’."

Petyr chuckled at Lyria’s impersonation of him. "My birthday? What birthday? I don't even know the day I was born."

"No, but we do know the day you came here. That, for us, is your birthday."

Petyr smiled and retrieved the bow and arrows from Lyria's hands. Fernis had taught him how to hunt with a bow before and he would occasionally hunt with Lyria's bow, but he wasn't particularly accustomed to it. When he did use it, however, he was fairly decent at it so he figured he could get better at it. After all, it is pretty hard to hunt with throwing knives. You can’t really kill your targets in one shot. They’re more practical with slow targets, like people, and they’re more assassin-like, but arrows seem to be the better option.

“Getting ready to go?” Fernis emerged from the hallway, still munching on a half-eaten chicken.

Petyr nodded. “Fernis, Lyria... thank you for these past two years. I don’t know if I’ll ever come back, but I’ll be sure to visit when I have the chance. I don’t know what will happen when I cross the Trench. Maybe I’ll have to hide. Maybe I’ll become an enemy of Arcadia and its people. Or maybe I’ll be dead,” he laughed. “I want you two to stay alive. The war is about to get worse... I can feel it. Fernis, I trust you with Ashval.”

“You say that like you own this village,” Fernis laughed.

“THIEF, THIEF!!”

The peace was shattered with shouts of panic from outside. Petyr and Fernis rushed to the window and witnessed something--it appeared to be a person, but there was something off about him--running away at an unbelievable speed, followed by a poor old man who wanted whatever that was stolen back. While Fernis stood confused at the situation, Petyr had already made his way out of the stairs and dashed out of the house towards the fleeing thief. As he accelerated his pace towards the culprit, he began to make out his features and saw who appeared to be a girl--a young demi-human girl. Petyr had not seen many demi-humans in his life; he had encountered some during his hunts, many of them fleeing from the Arcadian army and many of them already dead with some gruesome wound somewhere on their body. But he was sure the thief was a demi-human. She looked less animalistic and had more pronounced human features than any of the other demi-humans he had ever seen, but the distinct shape of her ears and the manner in which she ran reminded him of a feline beast.

What’s a demi-human doing here? Escaping to Hellios?” Petyr thought.

As the thought crossed his mind, a small object darted past him only several inches from his face. He looked back and found the old man suddenly stopped in his tracks and collapsed on the ground with convulsions. What an aggressive thief.

“Hey, you won’t get away with this!” Petyr shouted. Green glyphs at the back of his palms and one at the back of his neck lighted up as he conjured a mild wind barrier, in case she tried to throw anything that might just end his life as it just did to the old man. The demi-girl looked back at Petyr, gave him a death gaze and continued running even faster than before. She was heading towards the coastline, which was lined with bamboo rafts and fishermen’s boats. Petyr quickly retrieved a clear vial from his pocket and a throwing knife, applying only two small drops of the unknown substance on the blade. When they came to a wooden fence which separated the village from the coast, the demi-girl scaled the fence, bow drawn, and shot an arrow at Petyr which was deflected by a burst of gust from his palms. The demi-girl sneered and jumped across, followed by Petyr who lifted himself with a gust downwards and front-flipped to the other side of the fence, landing smoothly on the soft white sand. The girl headed towards one of the rafts littered around the coastline with her sack of stolen goods and turned around to loose a flurry of darts in Petyr’s direction, but he dashed aside and shouted as he summoned a more violent spiral of gust from his palms to stop the little darts in their path. They ran, and ran, until they finally came waist-deep into the ocean, from which the girl climbed onto a rock and made a graceful leap onto one of the rafts floating several meters into the ocean and slashed the rope that held it onto the shore. Petyr attempted to follow suit, but the girl held out a glistening emerald and blasted him fifty feet into the air with a sudden burst of explosive gale. She watched as Petyr plummeted into the water with a great splash.

“Persistent *Bleep*,” the girl murmured. She grabbed the paddle that lay on the raft and looked around her for a moment for any signs of her pursuer, ready to bash him into a bloody pulp if he were to ever set foot on the raft, although that would have been unlikely. The water’s tension would have shattered some of his bones in a fall from that height; at worst, it would have destroyed his ribs and lungs. He would suffocate to death either way. Feeling slightly relieved, the girl placed her luggage down and began to empty it. There were some fruits, plenty of bread to last a few days and even a few pieces of cooked meat. Definitely enough to last her the journey.

As the girl began to sit down, a flying dagger brushed past her calves and made a cut under the back of left knee. She cringed and dropped onto her knees; thankfully, it was not a serious wound. In fact, it was more like a scratch; nothing she couldn’t handle. The water splashed next to her raft and the young man who pursued her emerged from the surface, climbing onto the raft with his hands. The girl backed away and reflexively reached for a weapon, but her arms felt numb and soon she discovered that she was unable to move them.

“Don’t move. I’m not your enemy,” Petyr said, coughing and hacking from the water in his throat. He managed to climb onto the drifting raft and approached the demi-human girl. By this time she found that both her arms and legs were too numb to move and all she could do was sit down. Petyr whipped his dagger out and the next moment it was already held against her throat.

“What’s your... name?” Petyr asked, panting from his fatigue.

The girl remained calm and silent. She looked him straight in the eye, and said, “I’m not going to tell my name to an Arcadian. Do you take me for a fool? How did you survive? No one has the energy to swim and climb a damned raft after a fall from that height.”

“You’re right, that blow did hurt,” Petyr muttered, drawing the dagger away from the girl. He rolled up his sleeves, revealing a  large bruise on his left forearm. “But one does not simply kill a servant of Death.”

The girl was surprised by his reply, but she remained silent. She tried to move her limbs again but her attempts were futile. “Sleeperweed,” she mumbled.

“Don’t worry, I only used about three drops. It’s only enough to paralyze your arms and legs for two to three hours, but you see, I had to do it while floating on the water. Be glad I didn’t accidentally wash the blade with the entire vial. You wouldn’t be breathing right now if that happened.”

“What do you want?” she snapped. “I was headed for Hellios. A common thief-catcher wouldn’t follow me this far and an assassin would have killed me without a second thought, if I were you. At least, any skilled assassin I know would do it. Are you so desperate to meet death that you are willing to follow me to Hellios shores? Who are you?”

Petyr laughed. “Don’t flatter yourself. And I will not answer that question until you do so,” he said. The girl hissed under her breath and looked away.

“I only want to go to Hellios. You will take me there. You seem to be a thief, a spy, a ranger, an assassin, whatever. I just want to escape that rotten hell called Arcadia.”

The demi-human girl sneered. “Do you think you can buy me with such false hatred of one’s own nation?”

“I don’t expect you to. But I’m sure you can tell if you look into my soul,” Petyr said sternly, looking at the girl straight into her eye. Her expression changed; she seemed surprised at his behavior. “How long until Hellios, my fellow assassin, spy, whatever?”

“Few hours, few days, few weeks, few months,” the girl hissed. “It matters not. You will die as soon as the Sleeperweed wears off, or if I don’t feel like it, they’ll collect your head at the shore.”

“That’s why you will take me as prisoner,” Petyr chuckled. “Let’s make a deal. We both go to Hellios. You return safe to your homeland, I’ll be away from Arcadia. You have the privilege of tying me up and making me a prisoner as soon as we reach the shore. Otherwise I’d be dead.”

“What’s in it for me?” she asked. “That’s right, nothing.”

“If you treat me well, you will gain an ally against Arcadia. I will do whatever it takes to end the war, even if it means crushing the Empire.”

“You do know the people of Hellios have grown to hate humans? Do you have a deathwish or are you simply extremely insane?” she frowned.

“I would like to think so,” he chuckled. “But you can test my loyalty however you want. Maybe kill your prisoners of war? I don’t know, your choice. Rest assured that as soon as I can stand with my own two feet in your country, you will no longer have anything to do with me and I with you. Do you understand me?”

The girl remained quiet, still looking away from Petyr. He couldn’t really tell what she was thinking, but he hoped that he was persuasive enough for her to let him into Hellios. He had gotten this far; he could not go back to Ashval at this point, and she was a dangerous girl. She could kill him if she wanted to, especially with the power she used to launch him into the skies. So all he could do was try his best to survive and place his trust in her. For now.

“Whatever you want, human,” the girl finally replied, although it could be considered a frighteningly ambiguous one. Nevertheless, this satisfied Petyr. He smiled, picked up the wooden paddle and began to row towards the south.


Ultima

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Re: The Ark of Infinity [Open]
« Reply #17 on: June 07, 2012, 08:23:44 PM »
Caius strode through the main street of Iskandar, apparently oblivious to the magic, fire and rubble surrounding him. Was this how the Arcadians attacked now, relying on defeating the enemy before landing? This wasn’t the Vanheim that he recalled fighting. Someone else was pulling the strings and that meant drastic action was needed. “Remain here!” he growled at his troupe before sprinting towards the beach.

The rain of fire increased in intensity as he moved through the west side of the village. He wasn’t entirely sure that his plan was going to work but it was better than nothing. It wasn’t long before the rubble of Iskandar transformed into sand and pebbles. He had reached the beach. The three golems attacking the village were incredibly visible which meant any interruption in their assault would be immediately noticed by the Arcadians.

With a feral roar, Caius grabbed the first golem by the throat and spun it in several furiously fast circles, knocking it into its comrades and causing them to stumble. Reacting to this new presence, they took up arms and began to fight back.

The golems were strong and, apparently, nigh impervious to pain, but these models at least were incredibly slow and easy to dodge attacks from. Caius continuously raked and carved pieces from their bodies until all three lay dead. Breathing heavily, he drew his axe, summoned a good amount of energy and blasted it into the sky above his head as a column of light. Caius’ platoon knew this sign; the enemy are about to react be ready.

He whirled around and sprinted back into the village.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

The sleeping weed had been a little more effective on Feraal than the Arcadian had originally thought. It had been four hours and she still couldn’t move a muscle. Even her mouth had gone to sleep. Nevertheless, this Arcadian paddled onwards. He had no idea the danger that he was putting himself in. He was certainly more attractive than some of the clients Feraal had been forced to ‘entertain’ by Joeny.

A few more minutes passed and Feraal drifted off into a sleep.

She opened her eyes later to find day breaking. How long had she been asleep? How close were they to Hellios? Realising that she had full control over her muscles again, Feraal took advantage of her comrade’s nonchalance to knock him out with a swift blow to the temple. This was for his good as much as it was hers. There was no telling how many patrols the Merfolk had in this time of war.

Suddenly, a scaled blue face burst from the surface of the water and aimed a spear at Feraal’s face. “Cat, why do you bring an Arcadian onto Hellios soil?”

“He is a prisoner,” she said simply, readying her darts just in case.

“No Arcadian is to cross onto Hellios soil under any circumstances by order of the council,” he continued, “Kill him or die with him.”

Needing no more provocation, Feraal unloaded a dart into the neck of the Merman. He was silently drifting along the coastal tides within seconds. The council were always a bunch of pretentious dictators, bickering over who owned what unless they were fighting Arcadia.

Another hour passed. Feraal had no more contact with the Merfolk and the pair reached dry land safely. She then began the laborious task of moving everything she, and her companion, owned far enough inland so as not to be noticed. He had packed well for this trip indicating he had planned this for a long time. The midday sun had begun to rise over the mountains to the east when the man finally awoke beside a roaring fire and cooking meats. “Welcome back. You may have noticed a change of scenery.”

OoC: Wow... that was one long and impressive post Mega.

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jedakiller

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Re: The Ark of Infinity [Open]
« Reply #18 on: June 07, 2012, 09:29:18 PM »
"Where are we heading for?" Collin asked. "To be honest? Not sure." Darhin chuckled. He looked up at the sky. The sun was going down. "A beauty. It's getting late, my Mule."
"Yes, she is.. Wait, what did you call me!" Collin tried to defend himself, Darhin laughed at his attempts.
"Walking further would be of no avail. We're better of setting a camp, get up early. A man needs it's rest too, you know.". Darhin dropped the bag of supplies he was carrying. Life was hard to find. The trip through the plains had exhausted both, especially the last days.
After all this time, they had finally reached solid fertile grounds.

"Anything else?" Collin asked. He had gathered enough dry wood to keep the fire running for the night. Darhin was messing with his sparkstones, it was small after all its uses. The wood started to glow and flames eventually began to emerge. "Sleep..."  They both crawled up next to the warm fire and hoped the trees would keep them safe.

The next morning Collin woke up, tied up to a tree.

"Morning sunshine, did you sleep well?" Darhin was struggling with the ropes that held his arms locked.

"Why are we tied to a tree!" Collin exclaimed. His arms were placed uncomfortably, the tree pushed against his wound.

Darhin kept quiet, a group of bandits walked towards them.

"All awake I see." a thug  said. he looked at Darhin's sword. "Nice stabber you've got there, I bet that fortune's going to bring me some fine gold.". The bandit spat as he spoke.

"I've told you before, it's not a good idea." Darhin said with a calm voice, he smirked a bit.
His hands were free again. These kids really can't tie a knot. "Armatures." he thought.

"I don't wanna die, I don't wanna die!" Collin was intimidated by this already unfortunate scenario.

"Now it's just playing the waiting game" Darhin prepared himself for an opening.

Three bandits before him, all wearing swords. Easy.
"Up." Collin whispered.
Collin looked at the backup the outlaws brought, an archer.
"I see, good for you.." Darhin whispered with a smile.

"What should we do with them? Best we kill them now." one bandit whispered against the others.

"Hey you there! Aren't you those boys who stole their mums undergarment?" Darhin shouted.
"What are you doing!" Collin slightly panicked. A thug went towards to and buried his fist into his face.
"Good.".
Darhin stood up, his hand untied and forced himself to hit the bandit back. The hit made blood appear.  He quickly grabbed him from behind and used him as a shield for the archer. The arrow that was aimed for him, went in the shield, as planned. He jumped away, into the place where his weapons were placed. The other two finally drew their blades. Darhin choose the quickest, his dagger.
.

Its handle was wrapped in brown leather, grip was important for such instruments.

The first bandit lashed out. To his shock, the fine swordsman blocked his blow and pushed until the bandit forgotten to keep his guard. Darhin kicked him in the stomach.
The tables were turned, but his friend quickly did the same. Darhin ducked and turned his dagger around, now holding it in a fancy assassin like way.
He ran towards the confused bandit, kicked him to the ground and cut is throat.
The archer reloaded and started to aim.  "Collin!" Darhin shouted and he threw his dagger to the cub, he freed himself instantly.

Woods have trees, trees mean cover. Darhin had the luck of hiding, but the arched had already chosen his new target, Collin. "Hide, you fool!" He ran, escaping from the first arrow. The archer's position wasn't ideal anymore and he slowly climbed down.

Tension raised, coming out of cover could mean a quick death. An idea came to Darhin. He started thinking, thinking hard. "N..Nox Omnius!" went through his head. His sword started shining, its bright colour soon caught the archer's eyes. At reflex, he shot of his arrow. Darhin started running towards him, but before reaching the last fiend, Collin already stabbed him in the back. The archer fell to his knees. The wolf kicked him down, letting of a soft growl.

Darhin picked up his sword, which was now starting to faint. The last living bandit tried to crawl his way to safety, it didn't work. Darhin already stood next to him. A quick strike from his blade did the job, his spine was cut out. "My dagger, please."


Metal Chocobo

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Re: The Ark of Infinity [Open]
« Reply #19 on: June 08, 2012, 03:51:50 PM »
Isaac stood over the three broken golems. Their chests had been scratched so deep that their cores were visible. Reaching down into the gash, Isaac placed a finger on the fractured core. The souls of the golems responded and flew to his hand and up his arm.
Isaac stepped away and flexed his fingers, removing the souls always left a peculiar tingling sensation, but the souls took too long to cast for him to be able to just abandon them. The bodies could be repaired, but the middle of a battle was a less than ideal place to attempt it. It wasn't like the now inanimate piles of stone were going to go anywhere now.

Isaac turned and headed back toward the beach puzzling over improving the design. Despite their size, bears were clearly faster than golems, speed meant a lot less against something smaller, but it was weakness that needed tending too. Iron would be harder to break and possibly lighter than the massive slabs of granite he used now, but he was no smith. Volcanic glass would be better; not as sturdy, but certainly lighter and the colour would make them next to invisible during night raids, not to mention he could work with that more easily.

As his feet touched sand, Isaac looked up to see the rest of the golems marching out of the water, along with the rest of the men from the boats. General Vanheim was among them, along with the Ark of Fire. Magical artifacts tended to react to each other. Isaac could sense the Ark through the golems, they seemed to acknowledge it almost as another living presence. Isaac found it unnerving.

If the Ark of Fire was with them then Iskandar would fall. They just needed to break through the enemy lines. A line of five golems strode forward, then began to walk faster, moving into a jog and finally barreling forward in a charge.

As the men formed their ranks and marched into the battle, the Generals approached the Golemancer.

"Mister Claywright, how goes the battle? Has there been any sign of General Verde?" Asked General Vanheim.

"General Vanheim, General Astal," Isaac responded, nodding respectfully, "The golems have broken the walls of the city, so far the only attack of any real ferocity was a very big bear striking down three of my golems. As to General Verde, the golems saw a man running far ahead of the main force, he looked happy. I suspect that was the General."

General Astal nodded, "He has been looking forward to this. Will you be joining us in the assault?"

"I'm not much of a soldier," Isaac replied, apologetically, "The souls in these golems are not particularly sophisticated. They can fight and they won't injure themselves, but they can be tricked if I am not directing them. I will keep hidden, but with the Ark here I doubt strategy has much purpose anymore."

"Very well, go now. We must lead the men into battle." Ordered General Vanheim. The Golemancer bowed and ran off at an angle to the city. The man was not soldier and what he wanted in this war was anyone's guess, but at least he took orders. The armies marched off toward the breach in the wall, it was time for the battle of Iskandar to begin in earnest.

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Dragon Lord

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Re: The Ark of Infinity [Open]
« Reply #20 on: June 08, 2012, 07:52:46 PM »
“Archers!” Edward shouted. “Fire!”

The lines of Archers behind him fired into the air and rained down a storm of arrows onto the Demi-human ranks that had gathered. A group of Beastmen Earth Mages had managed to halt the Golem advance so Edward had resorted to conventional ranged attacks until the Golems could clear the obstruction and continue.

“Fire at will!” he called again as the Archers maintained continuous fire. The defending Demi-humans were forced to retreat under the onslaught, including the mages. This gave the Golems the time they needed to work without interruption.

“”We’re nearly through,” Astal said, coming to stand next to his friend. “What about the mages?”

“I don’t want to risk damaging the Golems,” Edward replied. “Besides, we might need them to save their energy for later and the Golems are more efficient anyway.”

“I’ll order the catapults drawn up,” Astal said, turning to head back to the supply lines. “We can use the rubble for ammunition.”

After another twenty minutes or so, the Golems had cleared a path through the rubble. Edward ordered them to move forward and signalled his own troops to advance behind them. The Golems were a huge advantage but Edward still preferred to have humans involved.

“General Vanhiem,” a familiar voice said from behind him. Edward turned to find Captain Marciel approaching. “I’m curious why you haven’t used the Ark yet? It seems a waste to let good men and valuable Golems perish when you could destroy most of the city with a few swings of your sword.”

“It’s exactly that reason that I haven’t used the Ark,” Edward answered shortly. “The Ark’s power is unpredictable and very difficult to control. Unleashing it could not only destroy the enemy but our own forces as well. I am not in the habit of explaining the reasons for my actions to those under my command. I will make use of the Ark only when I decide it is necessary, is that clear?”

“Of course, my Lord,” Marciel said, bowing low to the ground. “My most sincere apologies, I was simply curious.”

“You know the old saying, Captain,” Edward said. “Curiosity killed the cat.”

“If only, my Lord,” Marciel laughed. “If that were the case there would be one less Demi-human species to deal with. If you’ll excuse me, my Lord, the Emperor has asked that I investigate the archives in the city for information about the other Arks.”

“I already have people seeing to that,” Edward argued.

“Truly?” Marciel said with feigned surprise. “Well, I do have my orders. Besides, would it not be better for two pairs of eyes to carry out such a search?”

Without waiting for an answer, Marciel snapped his fingers. Shadows curled up from the ground around him and began pulling him into their depth. Within seconds Marciel had disappeared.

“Perfect,” Edward cursed to himself. “A shadowmancer.”

Shaking his head, he gave orders for Astal to take charge of the command point and led a division of soldiers into the city proper. It took only a few minutes before they met heavy resistance and soon Edward found himself in the thick of battle. Featherfolk mages reigned fire and lightning from above, trying to destroy the Golems, with limited success. The Beastmen, especially the bear tribe and the largest among the tiger tribe were having better luck, their speed giving them the advantage over the slow ponderous Golem. Edward carved through a wolf Beastman when an officer ran up to him.

“My Lord,” he panted, gasping for air.

“Easy, Lieutenant,” Edward said, grabbing the man’s arm. “Take a deep breath.”

“It’s General Verde,” the soldier gasped. “He’s been cut off from the rest of the force. He only has a few men and a Golem with him.”

“*Bleep* Verde,” Edward snarled. “Colonel Tiberius, take over here! I’m going to rescue General Verde!”

“Yes sir,” a female officer yelled back. “Good luck, sir!”

“Let’s go,” Edward said. He, the lieutenant, Senna and half a dozen other soldiers raced off to rescue the overeager General. Before he left, Edward made sure that Brynhilda was secure in the scabbard at his back.



Leon and his group met with very little resistance as they approached the city. It was only as they reached the southern gate that they were noticed. Arrows launched from the wall soared towards them. Leon slowed and cast a wave of wind magic from his open palm. The gust of wind shredded the arrows before they even got close.

As they neared the wall, the group changed their positions, with Dimitri and Valeria in front, followed by Steeg and Leon and then Elise. Leon began to chant and a faint blue light gathered around his hands. Just before they reached the gate, Leon and Steeg stopped and the mage placed his hand on the Barbarian’s weapon. The blue light passed to the hammer, which began to glow. Leon and the two warriors leapt out of the way as Steeg swung his weapon hard at the gate. The first blow seemed to shake the entire wall. The second saw the gate begin to splinter. At the third swing, the gate exploded inwards and the group dashed through the smoke into the city.

Valeria and Dimitri engaged first, attacking the demi-human soldiers that had been stunned by the gates destruction. The swerved around one another till they made contact with the enemy. Dimitri’s spear spun in his hands, impaling some while smashing into the heads and legs of others. Valeria’s sword was all but invisible as she sliced through steel, wood, armour and flesh.

Leon took the opportunity to cast reinforcement spells on himself, augmenting his strength, speed and resistance to injury. Steeg stayed further back, covering Elise while she cast protective spells over the others.

A large cat Beastman carrying heavy broadsword charged towards Leon. The mage let his opponent close in before he sidestepped away from the first overhead attack, chanting briefly as he moved. Before the Beastman could recover, Leon slammed his fist into its spine and released the spell. Electricity surged through its body and the Beastman howled in agony before sliding to the ground.

Leon spun and began to incant again, fire igniting on his fists. He summersaulted into the middle of another group, faster than the eyes could see, and began to strike out at them. Every time his fists impacted a body the flames on his hands exploded, knocking aside the huge Beastmen like they were ragdolls.

He looked around and saw that most of the defending force, taken by surprise, had been defeated. He signalled to the others and the group continued through the city, looking for the Archives.





“Time for a Celebration! Cheese for Everyone! Wait, scratch that. Cheese for no-one. That can be just as much of a celebration if you don't like cheese. True? " - Sheogorath


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Re: The Ark of Infinity [Open]
« Reply #21 on: June 09, 2012, 11:29:16 AM »
Petyr woke up in a dazed state. By the time he could compose himself, he realized he was no longer on the raft. The Sun shone brightly right above his head and he was greeted by the pleasant aroma of cooking meat in the middle of tall palm trees, where he could see the blue of the ocean to the north. Was he dead? Was he in heaven? Could the demi-human girl have killed him when he let his guard down?

“Welcome back. You may have noticed a change in scenery.”

The voice pulled Petyr back to reality and he took a good five seconds to digest what was happening. He then let out a sigh of relief.

“So you spared me,” he said. “I’m glad to see how we’ve become such good friends.”

“Don’t flatter yourself,” the girl scoffed. “I only did it for myself. Harsh times have called for harsh measures... the High Council have increased security around Hellios waters with a horde of Merfolks, and they said ‘Kill him or die with him’. So I killed him.”

Petyr chuckled. “I’m sorry you had to do that to one of your own kin. I’m still flattered, because you could have chosen to kill me.”

“That’s right. You owe me big time,” she rolled her eyes.

As soon as the meat finished cooking, the two pulled their daggers out and feasted on the meal. Petyr reflected upon everything that had happened in the space of the last eight hours and could not believe that he was finally on Hellios soil, next to some random thief he met by chance in Ashval. He never expected that she would lead him out of the country. Now that she had fulfilled her end of the bargain, he did promise to let her go and forget everything that had just happened. So as soon as he finished gobbling up his lunch of the day, he walked over to his luggage and began to pack everything. His supplies seem to be perfectly intact; he had food, his new bow, arrows, his sword and two daggers. He was almost out of throwing knives but he figured it’d be a good time to switch to the arrows anyway. His arsenal of venoms and toxins were relatively intact, though he only had one more vial of sleeperweed as he lost the other one somewhere in the middle of the ocean. Poor fishes.

“Where are you going?” she asked. “Don’t move without me.”

“Didn’t we have a deal? As soon as I can stand on my own two feet in this country, we will part ways.”

“You bloody idiot,” the girl hissed. “You can’t stand on your own two feet in this country. This country is filled with demi-humans who would gladly rip your vocal chords out upon sight. If they know that you are a human, you won’t survive in this country. Nuh-uh. Nope. So I’m going to help you before you can actually fend for yourself.”

Petyr sighed and sat back down with a disappointed look. “Alright, I guess you do have a point. Truth be told I didn’t really have a clear mission in my head. I just wanted to... get away from the Empire.”

“What madness made you want to do that anyway?” she asked.

He smirked. “I don’t know where to begin... or if you will believe it.”

“I’ve had a crazy life and heard all sorts of ridiculous things. Challenge accepted.” she replied.

“Let’s just say... the Empire kind of ruined my childhood. I can’t remember if I was six or seven back then, but they enslaved me to be an assassin, and when I’m not out killing people, the Empire pretty much locked me up in a cell, where I would wail like an angry wolf every single goddamned night and they would hit me for that. If I tried to escape after one of my kills, they would always track me down and hit me too. It was only two years ago that I was able to escape to Ashval. Not without a few deaths of course. I called one of the guards and bashed his skull against the bars until it caved in. I managed to free other people too, so everything went smoothly after that,” Petyr chuckled rather maniacally. “It was quite funny to see how behind all those muscles and the shining imperial armor, they were really just big sacks of meat... and then, there’s still this one guy who I owe something to. It’s only a matter of time before I can repay my debts... ten years of pain and suffering will be paid back.”

The girl seemed to be taken aback by his account. Of course, he had never told anyone about his escape in such great detail (and it was a lot bloodier than that) apart from Lyria and Fernis, so he wouldn’t be surprised with such a reaction because they were probably equally freaked out than she was, if not more. However, in the rather awkward silence that ensued, Petyr saw something else in her eyes. It was something akin to understanding... somehow she seemed to understand what he had gone through.

“I see... I must say I can relate to that,” the girl smiled and began to get up. “But you’re still stupid. Brave, I guess, but stupid. Anyway, come on now, we should go.”

“By the way, I’m Petyr,” he smiled and finally introduced himself as he stood up. “Since we’re friends now. And just in case you wanted to know the name of the man who you had to kill a Hellios guard for, since I apparently owe you one.”

“Feraal, just so you can pay back what you owe.”

---

“I hope you’ve understood the basic geography of this country,” Feraal said.

“Yep. The capital and the woods of the High Council is to the east, a bit further south from here. Past that would be the Green Mountains, and beyond that would be the desert,” Petyr replied. He had grasped the gist of the country’s geography, but he would need to stop by at some town or city and get a map in order to move on from here. Of course, according to Feraal, that would be impossible. He would probably be slaughtered upon sight at some city’s gates.

As he looked around for the end of the forest, he spotted a rising column of smoke in the distance. Seems like a battlezone.

“Hey, what city is that?” Petyr asked, pointing to the pillar of black fog to the far southeast. “It appears to be under attack.”

Feraal paused for a moment. “Iskandar... that must be Iskandar,” she replied. “If Iskandar is truly under attack, then I must make haste to the High Council. The humans have the Ark of Fire, and soon our soil will face infernal wrath. I cannot allow that to happen. Petyr, we will head southeast. We will pass the city of Tsengar on the way, where I can help finding you a little disguise so you can blend in with society. We must then part ways. However, until then, you must remain nearby at all times. Hellios is no place for humans.”

Petyr nodded and retrieved his bow, readying himself against any threats that might face them. “Let’s go.”

OoC: Thanks, I was just getting started :P


Ultima

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Re: The Ark of Infinity [Open]
« Reply #22 on: June 09, 2012, 03:36:56 PM »
OoC: Sorry Mega, gonna have to back track. Dragon and I agreed on a different direction of events. The story will still make sense.

Just as the pair began walking in the direction of Tsengar, Feraal heard the slow padding of armoured feet. “Stall them...” she whispered to Petyr before scrambling up a nearby tree and waiting in the shadows in silence.

“Stall who..?” Petyr asked before a distinctive horn call answered his question. A battalion of Imperial troops was heading to the battle in Iskandar from the south. Seeing that Petyr was human, they had mistaken him for a soldier.

Feraal watched silently as the soldiers shuffled him into their ranks. She drew two arrows, aimed them at the soldiers nearest Petyr and loosed.

The resulting confusion caused the soldiers to spin and whirl around, oblivious to where the attack came from.

Petyr caught on quickly, killing two more soldiers with throwing knives and two more after that with a pair of elegant and vicious looking daggers.

Meanwhile, Feraal continued to disorient the platoon with a flurry of arrows until only the captain remained. She leapt off the branch, landed on the officer, knocking him to the ground and held one of her daggers to his throat. “Take a message to your superiors,” she snarled, “It will take a lot more than misfits like you to conquer Hellios. Tell them how you’re entire squadron was embarrassed by a mere two natives.” She released him and he started sprinting away. “TELL THEM THAT HELLIOS IS DEFENDED!” The emerald around her neck began to glow radiantly as it conjured a tornado that engulfed the final soldier and hurled him fifty feet through the air.

“What...was that?” Petyr asked in astonishment.

Feraal ignored him. “We need to get to Iskandar. Tsengar will have to wait.”

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Caius exhaled another earth-shattering roar as his adamantine axe impacted with another golem, causing it to shatter into a thousand pieces. His weapon may have been able to fell the relentless automatons, but it was one of the few that could. The magic-imbued arrows fired by Thenna’s assassins were having some effect but the other ground troops were acting as little more than distractions. The battle was fast approaching its conclusion and the outlook was not pleasant for the demi-humans.
He turned to his lieutenant. “Sound for the retreat. Only Thenna’s assassins and the bare bones of our force must stay. We will buy you some time.”

“High Councillor, don’t sacrifice yourself like this!” he replied in aggravation.

“I’m not. You have your orders.”

The majority of the demi-human forces began to retreat as Caius felled several more golems with the aid of Thenna’s finest warriors. However, he was beginning to tire. It was inevitable that he eventually failed to stop an attack from a golem.

Before the blow landed, a lithe figure leapt over Caius’ head, embedded two daggers into the stone creature’s back and blew it apart with unbelievably powerful wind magic.

Caius was stunned. “Who are you, cat?”

“Feraal, and your welcome!” she hissed, before turning back to the battle.

To Caius’ even greater surprise, a human stood beside her, facing the horde of golems.

“Caius!” a male voice roared over the cacophony, “This war ends today!” The man in question was General Verde in shining green armour. He wore an onyx cape and wielded a vicious scythe that appeared specifically tailored for fighting demi-humans.

When the darkness of the Abyss threatens the world, the Phoenix will rise amidst a whirlwind of fire and light.

Whisperer: Sometimes there is a very good reason to fear the dark.


MegaFun

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Re: The Ark of Infinity [Open]
« Reply #23 on: June 09, 2012, 07:00:58 PM »
There was a turbulent rush of thoughts and emotions within Petyr. He was confused, terrified, yet thrilled, all at the same time. Suddenly being thrown into a large-scale battle in Hellios only several hours after his departure from Arcadia was certainly having a shocking impact on him. Some of his own countrymen had already fallen at his hands; of course, he did not have to deal with any emotional difficulty in having to slash his own countrymen’s throats, but the sheer profoundness of the moment came from the fact that he was a human fighting alongside the demi-humans. The Arcadian soldiers he had battled were startled to see a human on the Hellios side, while a few others were terrified as they had actually recognized him.

The golems were definitely a lot harder to take down. They were sturdy beings and while Feraal had little trouble destroying them with her extremely powerful wind magic, Petyr’s skills were limited and he had to deal with them systematically. As one of the golems began its assault on him, Petyr drew his sword, circled towards the back of the earthly creature and smashed a hole through a weak spot on its tough shell. Before the golem could counter, he shoved his palm onto the gap and summoned a violent explosion of gust which destroyed a large part of the creature inside out. With much of its shell blasted away, Petyr grabbed the scabbard of his sword and smacked the golem’s core with all his might, shattering it and completely shutting down the adversary.
Petyr panted relentlessly and almost fell to his knees. He was running very short of breath and his magic was seriously draining his stamina; he had learned it during his time with the Empire, but it wasn’t really used for killing people so he was not accustomed to this intensive usage of magic. His green magical glyph glowed menacingly, except now it glowed for the entire length of his arms instead of just the back of his palms. He could not protect himself through a sustained wind barrier because the situation demanded far more offensive output than defensive output, and the battle with the horde of golems had taxed him physically. His breaths were faster and deeper, his heart pounded with what felt like as much force as the impact of the Hellios leader’s earth-shattering axe and the veins in his arm were bulging alongside the intricate glyphs engraved upon it. He paused and watched as Feraal impressively leapt from golem to golem and blasted them to oblivion, while the ferocious and enormous leader of the Hellios roared with battle cries as his axe ruthlessly destroyed the golems that were coming at him.

“The war ends today!” a human shouted several minutes ago. He recognized the voice; it was General Verde, affectionately nicknamed “The Butcher” by some of the more patriotic soldiers for his utter ruthlessness against the people of Hellios. He never liked that man; he had previously gone on recon missions with him and he simply loathed his personality. Once, he thought that the reason was because he was too cold and ruthless for his own good, which was a deplorable trait even to some of his own men, but then Petyr realized he couldn’t say anything because he was essentially the same kind of person against his opponents. Maybe he would actually understand how that man feels when he’s surrounded with a horde of infuriatingly fanatical Imperial loyalists. Those were the worst kind of soldiers, the ones who treated him like a piece of trash who only knew how to talk and kill, like those guards who faced their gruesome ends when he finally managed to escape the clutches of the government.

Petyr realized too late that one should not be absorbed in their own thoughts amidst a bloodbath when one of the soldiers slashed him across his upper back. He hissed in pain and turned to return the favor, vigorously swinging his wakizashi up and down and back and forth to land a blow on his attacker. The soldier lunged with his sword towards Petyr and he retaliated with a sudden burst of gale in the soldier’s direction. He flinched and Petyr nimbly shifted his sword to his left hand to send a second wave of gale, blasting his precious sword ten meters away and effectively disarming him. The now-terrified soldier began to turn back and ran with his tail between his legs when he dashed towards him, smacked his helmet with his scabbard and sent it flying into the air. The soldier fell onto the ground and Petyr pointed his sword at his throat.

“You... you’re... the panther,” the soldier said, terror etched deep into his face.

“I don’t remember you,” Petyr said sternly as he pushed the bloodstained tip of the sword against the man’s windpipe. “Enlighten me.”

“Mercy, mercy!” the soldier pleaded desperately.

“Tell me,” Petyr shoved his sword even closer. “Why are you fighting for the rotten Empire? Why are you spilling your blood and others’ blood just because the Empire commanded it? The Empire sees victory as its total reign over this continent and the five Arks. Is that really what you  believe?”

The soldier trembled from extreme fear. Petyr was considerably younger than him, but alongside being treated as pieces of *Bleep* many young assassins in the Empire were also secretly renowned for their abilities, himself included. Some of them have rather affectionately nicknamed them “Death’s gatekeepers”. It was not uncommon to see a common soldier scared out of his wits in front of one such individual.

“No... Petyr... but I could ask you the same... right? The Hellios... they also want the same thing... both sides want the five Arks and the total eradication of the human race, right? Is it not natural for us to... fight back?”

“Well, to me it seems like *Bleep* Arcadia imposed the war on Hellios and its people, but I guess it’s just my young and rebellious mind screwing around with me. Anyway, that was a good answer,” he smiled, pulling the sword away from his throat. The soldier seemed immensely relieved.

“For that, I shall give you a quick death.”

Petyr abruptly plunged the sword into the soldier’s heart. His victim’s eyes widened and he made a faint gasp just as the sword came out through the other side of his body. He twisted the sword as he yanked it out, with bright, red blood gushing out of the hole. The soldier muttered an unintelligible sound which sounded something like “why”, but Petyr had violently extinguished his life. He fell backwards and was dead within seconds, his empty eyes staring at the skies.

Petyr turned around and caught a glimpse of Feraal in the distance, throwing him a twisted smile over his recent kill. He replied with an equally twisted smirk and ran over to her side to assist her with her adversaries.


Metal Chocobo

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Re: The Ark of Infinity [Open]
« Reply #24 on: June 10, 2012, 07:44:31 PM »
Cilia had found a small cave overlooking the city to wait out the battle. She had looked through the pages of the book, but it was all scribbles after the first few pages. No words that she could read. The battle below continued on, the golems forcing their way through walls, knocking soldiers aside and eventually being surrounded and beaten down. They were not strong enough, not well-built enough. Perhaps it would have been better to build fewer, stronger golems. Her birds-eye view and her contemplations were visible to her master as he made his way around the city and up to the cave.

As Isaac climbed the last few uneven rocks to reach Cilia, he discovered her sitting, staring intently at the fight below, already holding the book out to him. He took it and thanked her before making his way into the cave itself, he couldn't risk other people watching this.
The cover of the book was scratched and broken but the binding still l held through some kind of miracle, and the pages seemed intact. Flicking through them, Isaac searched for specific page. What the runes said was lost on him, lost to time, but he knew enough to use the book, he just needed to find the right place.
Near the back, he found it. A page with an out of place red stain on it. Blood. Of course, it was always blood.
Isaac drew his staff, narrowing the end with his mind, forcing it to reshape and form a sharp point. He allowed the tip to touch his thumb, there was an instant of pain before a drop of blood appeared. Isaac gently pressed this to the page and hoped it would be enough, he didn't like the idea of making a deeper cut.

Nothing happened. The cave stayed silent and the book did not react. Isaac still could not read it. Dismayed, he pulled his hand away. Iskandar had archives, perhaps what he needed could be found there.

As he turned to leave, the book suddenly jumped, bouncing around and tearing at itself. Contorting and breaking and reforming until a small, paper man stood before him wearing a fine leather cloak made from the binding.

"Your blood says you are a Claywright. Isaac Claywright, it says. I have gathered dust and held my secrets for many years. Why do you seek me now?"

Isaac stared at the tiny creature for a while, it seemed impossible that the paper creature knew the answers, but the evidence suggested he had read the other journals wrong. The blood would not translate the book so much as transform it. Gathering himself he answered, "The war has begun again and the Arks are returning. I seek the Ark of Earth. I believe you will know where the Grey hid it."

"I do not know for certain. I now that you should be convinced to take a different course of action, but if the other Arks have been found then this is inevitable. They are unstable and dangerous. I know that Wind and Fire were sent North and Earth and Water taken South. If you seek Earth, it should not be hard to find. Even dormant its power should be visible. Seek the place where the Earth is strongest, but be wary of its power."

Isaac bowed his head, "Thank you, tiny, paper person. I must admit that you make me curious, what exactly are y-"
The Golemancer turned and looked back toward the city. The golems were falling quickly but he could feel something. Not the Ark of Fire, but like it.
There was another Ark in the city.
Turning back quickly, Isaac asked, "How do I make you a book again? We really need to leave." It was hard to keep the urgency from his voice.

The paper man began to flutter and break apart, "Simply instruct me to." It answered from somewhere as it changed back again.

Isaac grabbed the tome from the ground and ran from the cave with Cilia falling in behind him immediately. He knew how to find the Earth Ark, he just needed to get there. It was possible it was in Iskandar, but the golems would be long gone if that were true. Stretching his mind out he sought other golems. Not the ones for war. The ones for repair, for household tasks, for simpler things. He had left them across the Trench and it was almost impossible to connect with them but they were there and the heard their orders. They were to board the Simurgh, his airship, and bring it to the coast. They had a lot of ground to cover.
There two Arks in Iskandar now. After what the Ark of Fire had done, the city would fall. Either Arcadia hod found another one and Hellios did not stand a chance, or Helios had found one and city was going to become collateral. Either way, he was running.

Push the button. That's why it's there. If it wasn't meant to be pushed, it wouldn't be a button.

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Re: The Ark of Infinity [Open]
« Reply #25 on: June 10, 2012, 10:51:10 PM »
The journey went smoothly. Three days through the rough terrain of the mountains and another three trough the jungle, a final day was needed to cross the woodland until they reached the High Council. Alice and Tobias were setting up camp, the sun was going down.
Tobias made sure the campfire would be ready before night fell. The collection of wood was large, but it was soaked after the trip through the unstable rainy jungle. Making an easy fire proved to be rather difficult for him.

"*Wark* wood!" Tobias puffed. "Why didn't I go for that mage class..".
"Too difficult for the mighty fire master? Oh, where is that fire Ark when you need it?" Alice laughed as her witty comment reached the Mreast's ears.

"Certainly delightful this very night, are you not, my dearest dove?" The tinder finally made its name worth and the wood started to smolder. Tobias reacted by adding the driest twigs he could gather.
He tried his best not turning it into another failure. Time was ticking. Alice looked up at the sky, it was getting darker, the moon seemed to grow, its yellow light started to overtake the sun. The campfire finally gave hope to this night. The leaves surrounding them danced as a weak gust of wind went through the forest. The fire grew stronger.
Darkness took over, in more than one way.

The fire's warmth spread through the area, giving a pleasured feeling to the two. It flickered like the candles in the Green mountain library Alice spent almost half her life in. Knowledge came with a price. She took a few pages from her pouch, the same ones from the Tome, and started examinating them. The arcane letters were gibberish in its untranslated state, good thing it wasn't her first time reading these kinds of texts.

"You can't stop, can you?" Tobias poked the fire with a stick, the campfire sparked.

"It's life. It has been for a while.."

"And? Has life been treating you well?" she felt uneasy about the tone Tobias asked her in.

"Has life ever treated someone well? Tobias, get some sleep, you've deserved it."

He seemed worried about the young dove before him. Her back was facing him, he decided to let it go for today.
Alice drifted away into the text she held before her. The secrets of the Ark where always in her reach. Basic things, like the colours of the stones where simple to find. Even a slight hint about the locations of them, even the spread over the continents, were never found easily.

The pages did not satisfy her, the same text she already had seen over and over again. The quest seemed to be endless. She threw the paper in anger towards the fire, it caught fire instantly.

A cold feeling went through Alice her spine. She looked around, the dense wood revealed less than enough for strangers of the woods, but she knew something was out there. She could feel at least five life forms lurking out there. Could they've been soldiers of The High Council? No, not with this stealth.
She reached out for her bow, the arrows where already nearby. With a small poke she tried to make Tobias aware of the situation, or at least wake him up. He moaned and rolled over, with one eye closed he looked upon Alice.

"Tobias." she whispered. " We have company, no friendlies."

His other eye opened. Slowly he crawled up to his knees. The silence was dooming. Alice tried to find the location of the unknowns, but it was hard to concentrate. Five moving targets, it was chaos for her. Tobias readied his sword, it was a matter of seconds until the first strike would come.

"Wait!" Alice whispered nervously. She placed an arrow and stretched the string on her bow, still aiming low. Something wasn't right, the attackers left. Didn't they? Five changed into four, then three. Tension raised and gusts of wind made the scene complete. A mysterious thing made the danger leave. She looked at Tobias, he was still waiting anxiously. It went on until there was just the last one standing. Alice aimed, the leaves made way for the one that walked through.

"Erica?" Alice exclaimed. The young girl stood before her. Her eyes were empty and her lips half smiling. A few splatters of blood were on her cheek, she held a small dagger in her left hand, blood dripped from it.

"Hey Alice. Good to see you. How's your journey going?" The innocent sparkle returned to the girl her eyes.

"How..?"

"Throwing knifes, some poison... Why are you looking at me like that?"

Tobias tried to follow what was going on. It was troubling for all.

"Erica.. Why?" Alice asked in a serious tone.

"Easy. I was bored."

Tobias walked up to her, he sheathed his blade. "Go home, now."
Erica smirked. "No."
Alice said the same, but Erica refused.
"You'll need me." she said.
"Is that that so?" Tobias tried to figure out what went through her head.

"Four unknowns, you would've been dead without me."
Anger raised inside Tobias.
"You're young, not fit for battle. I'll say it again, go home!"

"Guys!" Alice interrupted the argument. "I'm too tired for this *wark*. Erica, we'll deal with you tomorrow, after we reach the Council."

"What are you saying, Alice?" Tobias asked.

"I'm going too?" Erica said excited.

"Don't get your hopes up, for now, let's head forward. This place creeps me out."
Alice equipped her weapon to her back and spread her wings out. "Guys. Now!"


You might not know this, but Mytthal has a soft spot for cake. He likes to lurk around West and steal Apple Pie from the Cooking Guild.
An Apple a day keeps the Guildmaster away!


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Re: The Ark of Infinity [Open]
« Reply #26 on: June 11, 2012, 01:25:10 AM »
Leon and his group reached the Archives without much further incident, the majority of the cities defenders were engaged with the Arcadian Golems to the north. Everything was going to the General’s plan. They jogged up the long marble steps to the main entrance. Leon cast a quick spell and fired a bolt of lightning at the huge oak doors, blasting them open.

“Steeg and Dimitri,” Leon said. “You stay out here. Signal if there’s trouble. Elise and Valeria, come with me.”

The two warriors nodded and took up positions on either side of the door while the others went inside. The Archive was massive, with three levels full of scrolls, books and other documents.

“Well,” Valeria said. “This is going to take a while.”

“We don’t have time to waste,” Leon said, heading for the stairs. “Elise, take the top floor. Valeria, take the bottom. Skim read, but make sure you don’t miss anything important.”

“Or,” Elise smiled as she walked towards a desk at the side of the main chamber. “We could just check the index.”

Leon and Valeria looked at each other as Elise pulled a thick notebook to the centre of the desk and began flipping through it. After a few minutes she looked up and smiled.

“Ancient Relics,” she said, heading for the stairs. “Second level, section 12, that was easy, wasn’t it.”

It didn’t take much searching before they found a scroll and two large volumes that contained information on the Ark of Infinity. Leon turned to call for the others outside when they all heard a cry of pain. They rushed to the door just in time for Steeg to fly across the hall and hit one of the bookcases hard. Elise quickly ran over and began to heal him, golden light shining form her palms.

“Steeg, what happened?” Leon asked.

“Be careful,” Steeg coughed. “Shadows…cough cough…Dimitri…cough…shadows… killed…”

“Dimitri,” Elise gasped.

“Yes,” a voice laughed. “I’m very sorry about that, but they got in my way.”

They looked up to see a man wearing Arcadian officer’s armour strutting into the hall. He had long black hair, violet eyes and a vicious smile on his lips.

“I tried to tell them,” he shrugged. “But they wouldn’t listen.”

“I've seen you before,” Leon said. “You’re Captain Marciel!”

“Ah,” Marciel smiled. “You must be the ‘operatives’ that General Vanhiem sent to secure the information about the Ark. I hope you succeeded, it would make my life so much easier.”

“Wait,” Elise said. “If he’s an Arcadian officer, doesn’t that mean we’re on the same side?”

“Not really,” Leon snarled.

“I’m afraid he’s quite right,” Marciel shook his head. “Although technically, we all serve the Emperor, in reality there are many different factions in the Empire working towards their own purposes. And now, I must ask you to hand over anything and everything you found relating to the Ark of Infinity and its fragments.”

“No chance,” Leon spat.

“Oh dear,” Marciel sighed. “I’d rather not have to resort to violence. The books might get damaged. But, if you insist.”

Marciel slashed with his arm and dark blades of energy erupted from the shadows around him and raced towards the group. Leon and Valeria jumped in front of Elise and Steeg to protect them. Leon raised a magical barrier while Valeria deflected some of the shadow-blades with her sword. Without hesitation, Marciel launched three consecutive volleys of his shadow-blades but the mage and the swordswoman blocked each strike.

Leon retaliated with a series of powerful lightning bolts but the shadows around Marciel formed a fragmented sphere which intercepted the attacks. Valeria charged forward, cutting away the shadow-blades Marciel sent to kill her. Just as she was close enough to strike for his head, the shadows engulfed the assassin and he vanished. They each stood tense, waiting for him to resurface. Leon sensed Marciels arrival an instant before he materialised behind Elise, a shadow-blade extending from his arm, raised to strike her down. Leon cast as quickly as he could but he knew he wouldn’t make it in time. Just as the blade fell, Steeg dragged Elise out of the way and threw himself in the path of the weapon. The Shadow-blade cut him from his shoulder, across his chest and down to his waist. The Barbarian fell to the ground, dead before he hit the floor.

Leon howled in rage and grief as destructive magic exploded from his hands, fire and lightning searing across the hall toward the Arcadian lord. Marciel was barely able to avoid the full brunt of the firestorm but was still sent careening across the room. Leon didn’t let up, hurling one destructive magic after another, trying desperately to avenge his fallen friend. Marciel didn’t have the chance to recover and could do nothing but race from cover to cover, staying one step ahead of the mage’s fury.

In desperation, Marciel raced across to Elise, forcing Leon to halt his assault. Valeria tried to attack him from behind but Marciel was able to take the scroll from Elise and dance away before her blade struck.

“I think it might be time to cut my losses,” Marciel panted. The shadow’s gathered around him, pulling him into their depths and away from the Archive.

Leon howled in rage.



Verde snarled as his scythe spun in his hands. He brought the weapon down in a vicious whirling slash but was deflected by the Beastman’s axe. Caius grinned as he countered the furious General’s attack with a punishing series of strikes that forced him back one step after the other. Verde swung his weapon at the Beastman’s feet but Caius caught the attack and forced the scythe to the side. He followed up with a punch to the chest that actually dented the General’s armour. Verde stumbled backwards, practically frothing at the mouth.

Caius took the opportunity to briefly look around. The feline Beastman Feraal was using some very powerful wind magic. The Golem she’d been fighting had been reduced literally to dust by the scything winds. Between that and his own soldiers, the battle was starting to turn in their favour.

Verde attacked again, forcing Caius to focus on his own fight. The humans attacks were almost frenzied and Caius was struggling to keep up. Taking a risk, He charged into the Generals attack, knocked away the scythe, and barrelled into him. They tumbled to the ground and both their weapons slid across the ground away from them. Verde managed to grapple his way on top of Caius and began raining furious blows to the Beastmans head. Cais responded by shoving Verde away, getting his foot up between them and kicking the human across the ground. They both scrambled upwards and ran for their weapons.

Caius was just faster and managed to grab his weapon first. He spun around and raced back toward his opponent. Verde swung his weapon but the Beastman deflected the blow and chopped with his own axe, severing the General’s left arm at the elbow. Verde dropped to the ground, howling in pain and Caius raised his weapon above his head and brought it sweeping down.

“Councillor!” one of his soldiers shouted. “Look out!”

A blade swung out of no-where and caught the blade of his axe, just before it fell. It was a blade he recognised all too well, Lohengrim.

“Wonderful day isn’t it Caius,” General Vanhiem smiled.

“It’ll rain before the sun sets,” Caius chuckled in response.

The two combatants broke apart. Senna appeared behind Vanhiem, grabbed Verde and vanished again.

“Let’s dance, shall we?” Vanhiem said.

Caius growled and attacked.


“Time for a Celebration! Cheese for Everyone! Wait, scratch that. Cheese for no-one. That can be just as much of a celebration if you don't like cheese. True? " - Sheogorath


Ultima

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Re: The Ark of Infinity [Open]
« Reply #27 on: June 11, 2012, 02:40:10 AM »
Normally, Caius would enter a fight fully on the offensive. Since he was so skilled at strong he usually came out on top. Vanheim was one of the exceptions. His calm tenacity with a blade made him beyond a formidable opponent. The demi-human leader sensed that this one fight would decide the battle and the fate of everyone participating. The bear easily predicted Vanheim’s feints and blows; this was the warm up. However, he did little retaliating.

“What’s wrong?” Vanheim asked after several more minutes of parrying and feinting, “This isn’t the confident warrior I fought all those years ago. You’ve lost your edge.”

The General became more aggressive with his assaults, putting more weight behind his swings and strikes. Caius blocked these easily due to his naturally higher strength, but he was finding little opportunity to counter. Vanheim’s defensive stances were air tight.

Caius felt his anger rising at his helplessness. He was being made a fool of by a mere human. One particularly vicious, vertical swipe of his axe caught the General by surprise and knocked him off balance. Caius swung round to his right and embedded his fist right into Vanheim’s spine.

If not for Vanheim’s armour, the fight would have ended then and there. Unfortunately, he regained his composure almost instantly and struck Caius in the face with the pommel of his sword. The bear stumbled backwards and brought his axe upwards to block a dangerously powerful strike from Lonhengrim. The pair stood in this stalemate, putting all their strength against each other to force the other back. Caius had the strength, Vanheim had the leverage. “We can’t fight like this forever,” Caius grunted.

A female voice suddenly cried out in pain.

Both fighters withdrew from their struggle. Caius found the newcomer, Feraal with her bow aimed at where Vanheim had been standing moments ago. The General was knelt on the ground, cradling the body of a female human. It was obviously someone he had great feelings for.

“You...killed...her!” he seethed. A red glow began to envelop General Vanheim’s entire body. A fiery blaze of light was emanating from somewhere on his back. The Ark was reacting to the soldier’s emotions. He took a deep breath and roared his anger to the heavens. As he did so, a cascading tornado of fire obscured his body from view. All fighting ceased as the combatants turned to gaze upon the source of immense heat and light. It was too much for many that were close to the inferno. Their echoing cries of pain were nothing compared to that of the man at the centre of the blaze.
----------------------------------------
Feraal hadn’t meant to kill that girl. She was aiming for the General to save her leader. Now there was a magic tornado of fire, which seemed like it would kill everyone for miles around, erupting from the ground. The only similar magic she had seen... ”Came from this emerald around my neck...” She ran forwards toward the leader of her people and focused everything on remembering how she conjured the earlier tornado.

“What are you..?” Caius began before his voice was obscured by the echoing roar of winds of unimaginable power and the immense light emanating from the jewel around her neck. This was strength unlike anything she had ever felt before. She gathered as much power as she could and hurled it towards the inferno.

The clash was over in moments. Feraal witnessed none of it...

« Last Edit: June 11, 2012, 08:21:40 PM by Ultima »
When the darkness of the Abyss threatens the world, the Phoenix will rise amidst a whirlwind of fire and light.

Whisperer: Sometimes there is a very good reason to fear the dark.


jedakiller

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Re: The Ark of Infinity [Open]
« Reply #28 on: June 11, 2012, 10:45:58 PM »
Darhin and his wolf companion had traveled for three days straight now, slowly the sun started to rise behind the trees.
"Can't we stop for a minute?" Collin said. He was panting heavily.

Darhin stopped and looked back, he saw Collin bent on his knees. The weight became too much for him, he was nor a warrior nor build for these exercises.
"Come here, I'll carry that." Collin handed over his leather bag. It was filled with the weapons they took from the outcasts. "You'll be happy to hear we're almost done."

The amount of trees became thinner, in the distance a town emerged.
"Ashval.." he thought to himself. The worse of scum couldn't find him here.

"We're.. here?" Collin asked. He sighed of relieve.

"It's Ashval, probably the most quiet place around. Hehe, I hate it."
The landscape went downwards at a sharp angle. Before Darhin could do something about it, Collin stepped forward. He started tumbling down.

Darhin rammed his boots in the earth and slid down after him. He laughed.
 "You're alright boy? Quite a... show you put on there." he said, helping his new friend up.

"Come on, you can play when you're on solid grounds."
Darhin grabbed a piece of rope from his pouch. "Collin, you won't be liking this.."


They entered the village. Darhin was holding a rope that was attached to the cub's neck. The worn armour on him made him look like a new caught slave. Even for this town a weird sight, but it was necessary if they didn't want people bothering them.

"I have my own place around here. Nothing more than a small hunters home, but it'll do." Darhin pulled the leash. "You're falling behind."

He walked up to the nearest blacksmith. Something seemed missing. His regular smith wasn't here. The child always had the right insights, how unfortunate. "Furry friend, stay back." he ordered the wolf.

Swords were placed in a metal rack and armour was hanging on the walls.
"Ah, you're finally back, traveler. Your order has been received and your new armour is done."
Darhin looked at the smile the smith showed. He threw a small pouch of gold in the air, the smith happily caught it. "Thank you, my fine man." Darhin's face started to look more serious. "How is the war going?"
The smith scouted around, the streets weren't paying attention to the conversation."For Arcadia, we're winning. The-" The smith started to whisper now. "The Ark of Fire was found, soon the rest will follow."
Darhin thanked the man and placed a few coins on his hand.
"You've been of help. Thank you."

"I know, the job promotes the gossip, does it not? Your armour is in the back, you're free to take it." Darhin signed to his companion to wait outside and he went further to the back. It was hot, the oven made the room hotter than the lava pits in the far east.
His armour was displayed before him. You couldn't call it a new set of armor, mostly replacements for his current armor.
He grabbed the leather vambraces and shinguards, he walked over to the table where his anquish was, it was sleeveless.
Darhin orderd a special made one without the sleeves, they slowed him down in battle.
"bleep, what idiot puts a table in the center of the room." he said to himself
His eyes glanced to a medium sized iron plate body. "Hey smith! Do you have one of these in hardened steel?
The man shouted back after a few seconds. "Depends, is gold a problem?"

Darhin walked to Collin and grabbed the leather bag in front of him. It jangled as he brought it to the smith. "Here.  Nobody will be looking for this."

"Very well, check behind the oak door, take one."

He did as told and came back with all his supplies.  "Catch." Darhin threw the plate armour to the wolf. "Next stop, home."

Ooc: I've edited the armor a bit

« Last Edit: June 12, 2012, 03:54:02 PM by jedakiller »

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Re: The Ark of Infinity [Open]
« Reply #29 on: June 14, 2012, 02:03:44 AM »
The flames roared around Edward but he was barely even aware of them. For the first time in years all he cared about was hurting the demi-humans. He glanced down at where Senna lay on the ground, lifeless. He tossed Lohengrim to the ground and ripped Brynhilda from its sheath. The flames around the blade, already burning, ignited in titanic fury.

He turned his attention towards the Beastmen soldiers. He swung Brynhilda again and again, waves of fire lashing across the city, burning everything in their path. The more Edward used the sword, the more intense the flames became. Soon, Edward was standing in the middle of a fiery inferno.

Then, something changed. Edward felt something new, through the Ark. It was a sense of limitless power, different than the Ark of Fire, but similar. Suddenly, the flames produced by the Ark exploded with a new ferocity as gale force winds howled through what was left of the city. The force of energy snapped Edward out of his berserker rage. He looked around himself but could see nothing but flames.

“What have I done?” he whispered.

Then, almost as quietly as it began, the flames were extinguished and the winds ceased. Edward stared around stunned at the sudden silence. Then his world went dark.



The archive hall was silent but for the sounds of Elise’s weeping as she sat huddled over the lifeless bodies of Dimitri and Steeg. Valeria stood protectively over her, staring firmly in the other direction, tears falling silently down her cheek. Leon was leaning against the wall, staring out at the city and listening to the sounds of the battle. After a few moments he sighed and walked over to the two women.

“Come on,” he said quietly, pulling Elise to her feet. “We can’t stay here. We have a mission to complete.”

“We can’t just leave them,” Elise sobbed.

“I’m sorry,” Leon sighed. “But we have to. We’ll give them a cremation but that’s all we have time for.”

Leon and Valeria carried the bodies outside and arranged them into a resting pose. Leon used his magic to ignite their bodies on fire.

“Thanks for everything,” Leon said over the flames. The magical flames burned through the bodies quickly. After a few minutes only charred bones remained.

“Alright,” Leon said roughly. “Let’s get out of here. Make sure we’ve got the two books.”

Before they could move even five feet the world was engulfed by flames. All three were knocked to the ground by the force of the explosion. Leon was barely able to throw up a magical barrier around the three of them before they were roasted alive. As the heat intensified Leon added layer after layer to the barrier until it was the most complex magical field he’d ever created. But still, the fires grew more intense and the shield began to crumble.

“Get down!” Leon roared as the barriers shattered and the fire swallowed him.

An instant before the flames reached Valeria and Elise a man in a grey cloak appeared in front of them out of thin air. He raised a black circular object above his head. The flames surrounding them were sucked into the centre of the ring and vanished. Streams of magical energy from all over the city were being pulled into the ring and as they did the firestorms vanished as if they had suddenly run out of air. Once all the fires in the city had disappeared the man in grey chanted quickly and the ring stopped glowing.

Elise passed out at this point and Valeria was barely able to stay conscious, leaning on her sword. Another man in grey appeared and began to speak to the other.

“Events have progressed more quickly than I feared,” the second man said. He pulled down his hood to reveal a wolf Beastman.

“I warned everyone that we shouldn’t have allowed them to obtain even a single fragment,” the second man replied, also pulling down his hood and revealing a human face.

“What’s done is done,” the Beastman said. “Send the women to the Imperial Camp. They’re lucky you arrived when you did.”

“What about him,” the human said. “He shouldn’t be alive.”

“Interesting,” the Beastman said quietly. “I’ll take care of him.”

“Leon,” Valeria coughed as her vision began to dim.

“Easy child,” the Beastman said softly. “I promise he’ll be safe. Now rest, soon you’ll be back with your own people.”

Valeria’s world turned to darkness.



OoC: Iskander has now been reduced to a total ruin. Because the Imperial forces in Iskander were mostly Golems, Arcadia is able to put an army of humans into Hellios territory. Arcadia advances into Hellios.


“Time for a Celebration! Cheese for Everyone! Wait, scratch that. Cheese for no-one. That can be just as much of a celebration if you don't like cheese. True? " - Sheogorath