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 Battle of the Myrr

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Pirates

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PostSubject: Battle of the Myrr   Thu 25 Aug - 23:29

Rain fell in cold sheets from the prematurely blackened sky, unnatural in both origin and ferocity. Dried sweat and blood mingled with the black rain as it dripped from the waxen faces of the fallen dead. Their yellow skin stretched taut, in some cases disfigured by curse, collecting drops of water that sparkled like beads of glass. They sprawled across the beach of the small island like so many scattered stalks of a single sheaf of wheat.

Each and every one of them had died defending a simple truth, but for some that truth rang hollow. They had put their trust and hope in a lie, an abomination, a fraud. And even now, they did not realize the error of their ways. They continued to fall by the dozen, cut down by their sheer ignorance and their complete and blinding belief in the hideous lie: the lie that had placed Tyre Frekki in the shoes that his master had died wearing.

All around him, rock crumbled to spraying dust as hurtled projectiles struck his Wards with enough force to crush the soldier’s shield and shatter his sword. His feet were sure as he moved through the maelstrom, the crush of bodies and the hoarse war cries. Rain slicked his hair and stung his neck, kindling within him the thrill of battle. It was a pleasure not quite like any other.

The air hummed and crinkled before him, and the feeling of a great commission about to see fulfillment filled and enlarged his very being. He breathed deeply of the moment and then stepped forward, thrusting his Ward into the one obstructing his way. The Wards caught and locked together like the horns of two bulls—

And then impediment shattered before him, and Lord Arathorn strode through the debris, the crystal dust hanging for a moment in the air before being swept away by the wind and rain. On the ground, shaking (not with fear, he noticed, but from the cold) was the young Warder—the last shield between him and the lie. Defiance blazed in the lad’s eyes as theirs met, and his face contorted into an ugly snarl, a scream for her whom he blindly followed and falsely lionized. It was his curly blond locks, drenched and plastered to his trembling face, that stayed his slayer’s fist; it was his Khorsan blood that allowed his heart to beat for perhaps a minute more.

“Stand down, boy.”

“No!”

“You defend a thief! Stand down, I say!”

“Never!” the lad snarled, his face hard. “I would rather die than betray she who gave me life.”

A column of water arose and twisted, glistening through the air behind Lord Arathorn. The boy’s pale face grew gray.

“In vanity, then,” Lord Arathorn said, and the water convulsed, hardened, and flooded past him, suffocating the boy’s scream. His boots squelched as he stepped over the waterlogged body to face her at last. He shook neither in the chill rain that drenched the bloody land around them, nor with the excitement of heightened expectation as he drew the gauntlet from his fist and threw it into the mud at her feet. And when the lie looked up to meet his cold gaze, he saw the flickering heat of challenge. They would feed off of each other’s savage determination until the bitter end… at which time High Mage Raj’s wishes would finally be fulfilled.
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Ark Von Doom

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PostSubject: Re: Battle of the Myrr   Fri 26 Aug - 17:00

She didn't take the gauntlet right away. For a moment, the lie and he could simply see eachother, each reflected in the others eyes, before hers dropped, and he was left to regard his enemy alone. The lie was covered in mud, her robes caked with muck and gore, and streaked and stained by the torrential downpour from above their heads. From her hair, a few small trickles of blood made their slow way down her face along the streams of rain. Some of it might have been hers, but most, like that on her robe, had come from the hordes that rose up to defend her falsehood, illusioned to the last that they still held some vain chance against him. It was not a pretty sight. But in light of his coming ascendance to destiny, Arathorn thought that perhaps Katya had never looked quite so beautiful as now.

"It pains me to see so much good mage blood shed here." In the rain, his voice carried darkly well, breaching the silence of death that pervaded the air around them. The voice of a real leader; not the one that led its people to die over the legacy of a traitor. But those other voices would all cease, in time. Cease once the pretender had left this world for good.

Even now, she wouldn't look at him, after their eyes had first met and his challenge been given. She was looking at the body of the boy whom he had struck down; her last defense and sheild. Was that what she was worried about? That there was finally no one left to keep her from her fate? He regarded the still body coldly, it's misguidedness shameful, and the loss of one so young over one so foolish a shame and tragedy in itself. "He meant something to you?"

"His name was Atticus." When Katya did speak, Arathorn could not help but hear the dry crack in her voice; see that the water by her eyes seemed worse than on the rest of her face. Had she been crying? But even if she was, her face kept it's composure even now, and she seemed to murmer something under her breath, like a prayer for the dead Atticus, before finally looking upon his glove, the metal surface already running over in sickly brown glory. She took his eyes once again, and when she did, her eyes had turned calm once again. "No one else needs to die here."

"No," Arathorn consented. This was all there was then. He had always hoped it might turn out this way. "Just you."

He thought that Katya almost nodded, but the woman only took the gauntlet from the earth, holding it in her hands and pouring every speck of fury that she no doubt felt into the armored outlet of his own soggy uniform. She gripped it in her hand, seeming to talk to herself as much as him. "If you die now, it will end all of this."

"You think that you can defeat me all by yourself?" Arathorn wanted to laugh at the idea, but the expression on her face made him stop. She regarded him as coldly as Frekki then. The eyes of the man when he was tossed out of his rightful place and sentenced to the path he now walked. That he would now stop walking.

"I can try." Katya answered simply, and the air around her bristled, kicking aside the rain defiantly. She dropped the gauntlet and it was whipped away, as if by a current of the air itself, lost far behind the field of combat as a dull howl rose up around her.

"And you can perish." Arathorn slowly rose his hand, and the sodden dampness of the rain around him began to rise, a wave around his figure pushing aside the clutter on the ground and rising to his will. Where the wave splashed, the tips of the water looked like hunting hounds, calling out for blood. Her blood. "Enough delays. This mockery of a regime ends here."

"My thoughts exactly." And suddenly, Arathorn's water was smashed backwards by pure gales. His face contorted in confusion as the initial show of his strength was blasted to vapors, and he cast up a ward, a great heaving symbol appearing before him that stopped the onslaught of winds and parted the flow of magic his way enough that he could see his opponent once again.

Katya was standing with her feet squared, hands extended towards him while the wind whipped her hair before her in a primal fury. Her face was determination, eyes narrowed, mouth set, as all before her the air itself became enraged, casting the ground between herself and him into a scarred, almost dry space in an instant. It was one thing he had known, but never truly anticipated. This pretender was as powerful as any true High Mage.

His Ward was beginning to bend; crumpling like bronze that had been struck one too many times. Shrugging off his effort, Arathorn cast his first Ward aside, swinging up another, stronger one before him as the first shredded in the onslaught. He advanced now, the wind parting to either side before him where it kicked up more water and earth than any sea storm could muster.

Behind himself, Arathorn drew on that water, compacting it together into a grand pillar, that spiraled and raged far above the towers of Myrr. He saw a glimpse of insight on Katya's face as she realizes his intent, and when he brought it crashing forward she swung her hands to the side, batting the pillar away with gales of her own. This side action stopped her forward gales, and Arathorn stormed forward in their absense. Katya tried to recover, returning the gale his way, but her efforts were batted aside by one swing of Arathorn's Ward, and he was all at once nearly right on top of her bringing a water fist to bear upon her frail frame.

Katya's hands darted quickly, and she almost seemed to billow sideways, dissapearing into thin air as a Gate opened and closed without her even ceasing to move. Arathorn expanded his Ward, turning frantically for her new location, when a roaring pain sprang up in his back, and he watched and felt a solid piece of stone sheer through his chest from back to front, leaving a small bloody hole in its wake.

Drawing up another ward that covered the wound and staunched the bleeding, Arathorn lashhed out with his magic, sending a cresent of raging water towards the direction of the stone and happy to hear a satisfying cry of pain as it struck home, knocking Katya from her feet.

Casting his ward aside once more, Arathorn pounced on her weakness, sweeping his hand before him and spurring forth lashing whips of dark liquid that slashed at her with all the ferocity of any modern sword. She tried to bat them away, but slowly they grew closer and closer. Arathorn crunched his fist together, and the mass of skewering fluid crashed together all at once- only to be met with an equal display of force, as a hurricane whipped up in Katya's place and scattered them to the wind.

Their efforts cleared, the 'High Mage' took in deep breaths, her own magic taking control and soothing her back into slow, steady inhalations. She caught his eyes, steadied once more, and glared with a renwed defiance.

"I didn't want this position." Her body was crackling with power, and Arathorn felt compelled to display his own, the drops of rain around him sizzling in a sinister fury as she continued.

"I'm grateful for what I've been given. But there is no individual that can handle all of a people by themselves. Not even Raj. Progress is slow; if it comes at all." Her voice had steadied, and Arathorn was enraged almost by the very idea of it; the lies of the pretender. But her power was whipping up more than ever, and it roared for an audience. "But what you've done; what you want to do, will destroy everything they wanted. Maybe we weren't the right people for the job. But Tyre... Ambrosch..." Katya shook her head. "They were both better High Mages than you could ever hope to be."

"Lie after lie." Arathorn snorted in contempt, his words more biting than even the wind. "But in the end, it doesn't matter. They're gone now all the same. The only thing left in my way..." Arathorn slammed forth a tower of water, shredding towards Katya like a hungry shark "Is you!"

It was only then that he noticed the wall surging towards him from the side. Arathorn threw up a Ward just in time catch a full battlement of the Myrr, cracked and damaged by his forces assault, barrelling towards him with the speed of cannonfire. His ward buckling immediately, Arathorn was forced backwards by the oncoming object, throwing up more and more defenses as his feet skidded across the ground, his footing no longer his own.

As the mud beneath him gave way to stone, Arathorn realized that Katya was doing. The central Myrr itself was behind him. She didn't need to break him with the battlement; she was going to squash him between the two objects like a bug!

In a desperate attempt, he flung up a Gate mere inches behind himself and hurtled through, collapsing into the mud on the other side of the battlement as it slammed into the Myrr, shaking the ground and making him nearly lose his footing again. At once, Katya was upon him. Swinging up with her arm, Arathorn's nose buckled as a bout of wind slammed into his face like a mace, and was swatted to the side by a second swing, raising a Ward and catching his fall only barely as mud lashed up, some hitting his ears and making his vision blur and tear.

Growling, all sense of time and place lost as he tried to reorientate himself, Arathorn willed forth the greatest bout of destruction he could muster from himself, hitting anything and everything in a blind fury. Great squealching noises greeted his ears and the desperate sounds of a feeble gust trying to repel his efforts.

Slowly, Arathorn stood, wiping the mud from his eyes, his onslaught of power continuing forth without his attention, rending and destroying. He could barely make out Katya among his own shattering torrents, and when he did he lashed out at her specifically, tossing a curse her way and being rewarded with a bout of red in the murky, raging waters as her shoulder's flesh tore in a painful way. The lie managed to break free for a moment, but he swatted her back in with his own fist, smacking her in the gut with enough amplified force that she was tossed right back in again.

Stray scrap, whippedup from the ground by Katya's waning counterattacks, left a cut across Arathorn's face, but at this point he ignored it, pressing on what advantage he had before, at last, Katya managed to blow apart his own forceful blows, and stood, panting, across from him, her magic crackling to correct her flow of breath as it had before, but finding it all the harder.

"You're just like Frekki." It was over now. She could recover all she liked, but it was clear which of them was the stronger force. In the end... He would be the one, true High Mage. "As stubborn as an ox, and as eager to die."

"Link... Valorie..." Katya murmured softly, sadly, below her breath. "Ensign... Lorne..." Katya paused, and a small, weak smile formed on her face, saying the last word with more determination than the others. "Valorie. I'll miss all of you."

The waters around the Myrr's shores were all converging together now, in an awesome and terrible power around Lord Arathorn. Behind Katya the winds whipped like they had never before, and the air was a living beast... But one striking now as somethered cornered and dying, even if it was as dangerous as ever.

"No!"
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PostSubject: Re: Battle of the Myrr   Sat 27 Aug - 10:57

The sound of the desperate shout turned Lord Arathorn from his cornered quarry. A man, drenched in blood and gore and nursing an air of frantic disbelief, rushed towards them, his feet slipping on the slippery ground. A powerful curse, the likes of which very few Warders had even the knowledge of, formed between his hands as he came. Behind him, Katya stumbled forward, raising her hand and shouting for the newcomer to back down. But her words were lost to her own gale and the torrential rain that still hammered down.

A spark glinted in the air. A rip tore open the sky. And with one fluid motion, Lord Arathorn expanded the Gate. It rippled outwards, horizontal in construction at neck level. Katya’s footsteps fell silent as she stopped dead at the sight of the headless body as it toppled to the ground. A horrified, haunted look glinted in her eyes as she gazed upon the corpse. The etiquette of the duel had been compromised, but even she would not contest his response.

When Arathorn turned back not a moment later, he found hard resolve upon his opponent’s face. Water collected in his hand and formed, smoothly, flawlessly, into an icicle. A dagger. In two steps, hew was upon her. Catching her wrist in his hand, Lord Arathorn tightened his crushing grip and began to rip the very flows of magic from her grasp. Katya’s eyes widened in surprise. She looked up to him he raised his arm and brought the dagger down. A cry rent the air as it tore through her already injured shoulder.

“Submit to me,” Lord Arathorn whispered as Katya sagged, her strength fading, held up now only by his unyielding grip. “And you need not die. The life of every Mage is precious. No one is irredeemable. Admit my right.” When she did not immediately answer, Lord Arathorn’s grip tightened. “Even to save yourself, will you not?”

“I cannot.”

Something close to anguish entered Lord Arathorn’s eyes as he released her, and in the same moment unleashed the poisonous curse. He backed away as it, feeding off of the life and vitality Katya had once possessed, ravaged her mind and body. So bright, so strong, so full of vivacious energy had Katya been, that the curse worked its terrible magic all the more quickly, and Katya was dead before she hit the ground at Lord Arathorn’s feet.

Sheer silence descended upon the island like a deathly shroud as the torrential rains and winds ceased. By degrees, the fury of the battle around him dissipated. Katya had been their reason for fighting. And when they saw the truth of her death, a death that had always been inevitable, they sank to their knees in unspoken surrender. At his signal, the Blackshirts began rounding the Council Mages up and herding them down into the mountain. The Myrr. His home. And there they would wait until he was ready to address them.

A rustle behind him alerted Lord Arathorn to the presence of his first supporter, his closest friend: Lachlan Ragor. Together they looked on as the island slowly cleared of the remaining Council Mages. The sky brightened as the gathered storm clouds vanished as if they had never been.

“The bodies will all be burned,” Lord Arathorn said, his eyes on the body of the High Mage. “Misguided as they were, they fought valiantly. All except that one.” His eyes flicked over to the headless corpse, sprawled on the ground mere feet away from the body of the false High Mage.

“Lorne Iyre… most likely,” the Melrakki said, his eyes fixed on the gore where the head had been severed from body. “Her Master of Defenses and personal body guard. I can’t imagine anyone else interrupting the duel.”

“And her apprentice? Has he been found?”

“No. I find it unlikely that he would flee of his own volition, though.”

“Indeed.”

Ensign Hugo, twenty-six, Common born Lochsalanian. If there was one thing that could now be said of Katya, it was that she had died as she’d lived: boldly. Very few High Mages had been one hundred percent Common born because very few High Mages would dare to take on such an apprentice. The lad would be of an exceptional character, and fiercely devoted to his master. He was the last of the false line. And if he would not submit to the truth, then he would join his master in death so that none could deny the return of the one true High Mage.

This was the moment he had waited ninety-six years for. Ninety-six years, and yet his victory felt hollow—incomplete. And Ensign Hugo was only half of that problem. The other half awaited him in the amphitheater below the mountain. The loyalty that had once been his master’s had not passed down to him as it should have. And he would not delude himself. Regaining that loyalty would be more difficult than the battle for the Myrr had been. In the end, they would be forced to admit their mistakes. The Mages who had come after Frekki’s usurpation would cling to the false regime, for it was all they had ever known.

Soon he would lead them into a new age, one in which the Mages were no longer at the bottom of the social chain. No longer would the Council stand to serve as arbitrator between Mage and Common, for the laws that held them captive in a society dominated by lesser men would be abolished. No, because the time had come for Mage to take his rightful place above Man. An upward climb it would be, but Lord Arathorn had never felt more up to the challenge than he did now as he looked across the island and saw everything—not as it was, but as it would soon be.

“What is it?” he asked, his voice rising in concern, sensing rather than seeing the subtle shift in Lachlan’s demeanor.

“He’s here,” the Melrakki answered quietly. “Fallan.”

Lord Arathorn looked around, caught off guard by the news despite having expected it. “Is he?” A pause. “Will you speak with him?”

“Dusk is on his way to inform me presently.”

“He was only a boy when he left, Lachlan.”

“He doesn’t regret it. And I… I know what I will see when we meet again. It’s a miracle he is still alive….”

At this, Lord Arathorn remained silent, for it was a painful truth Lachlan had spoken. He remembered well the day Fallan had left, and in all the time that had passed since then, father and son had had no contact. It would be impossible for them to avoid one another, now, though. And it was impossible to know what kind of man Fallan had grown into. The only thing certain was that he did not have much time left… not as he should have had.

“I must address the Council,” Lord Arathorn said at length. And with that, he turned and swept towards the mountain—the home that had always been his, but which he was only now assuming.

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