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Posts: 43
Joined: March 25th, 2014, 4:18 pm

Once upon a time.

by darethy » January 16th, 2015, 6:11 am

Humans do such strange things
They would pray to the light, for wealth,
for happiness, for love, for peace of mind.
But every human was born in the dark,
And every human comes to the light screaming.

The Dark is where they belong, where they grew
In ancient times they erected effigy's in shadows.
Danced, sang, offered food and drink to the night
Back then, humans didn't have stone huts and castles.
They had straw hovels and caves, they worried about bigger things
About trolls and other tribes, about wolves and bears.
Always wondering if something would eat them in their sleep.

Yet still, the shadow resides in the back of their minds
Feeding, brooding, watching, waiting, wanting,
It wants us, it always wanted us.
When we die, we go back to that place,
The few who dare know, we are there already
A little tether...ever so thin....

Some who see know, they walk,
To see demons, to see gods,
Just on the edge of our vision.
Clawing, waiting, watching...


To an outside observer, the walls of the Ravens Gate were huge things. A massive gate flanked by Deathguards to either side, torches lit in a town that seemed always in twilight. Back and forth strange Birdmen sold trinkets and tools, sometimes guarded by huge and imposing Ogres. Weapons and armor were casually strewn about the town and well in reach of any guards or civilians, sometimes a person could catch the red eyes of a dark ranger staring out from the shadow.

Ice hung heavy from the barracks, voices coming both from the soldiers within and the dungeon below, always talking and watching the people go by. Up above someone manned the cannons of the armory where Darethy usually held court, not today though as no one had seen him. Gladiators sparred nearby, engineers and alchemists endlessly worked to uncover the secrets of metal and medicine, it never stopped...ever.

No one knew that the Warlock lay below in those dungeons, not to torture prisoners, nor to examine the guards. Rather simply for the harmony of being underground where he could meditate. Around him candles were arranged in a small circle and thin runes had been inscribed in the floor, purple liquid filling it just before spilling. When Darethy closed his eyes there were men and women above.

When he opened them, there was nothing.

Posts: 43
Joined: March 25th, 2014, 4:18 pm

Re: Once upon a time.

by darethy » January 22nd, 2015, 1:57 pm

Welcome all to curtain call, at the Opera tonight.

The Raven's Gate was already a frigid place to begin with, and had Darrethy still been a living man he would of probably noticed his skin freezing over in places. As he slowly rose from the circle he could feel the thrumming of power underneath Slowly he walked past the various cells, the skeletons seething with a malevolent light, watching the Warlock and the inky blackness that trailed behind the current Lord of Unreality.

You hear their heathen calls and songs of all you deny.
But you can see all their pain, and it feeds your contempt.
They wait for the morrow and worry you'll come to comfort them.

He stopped just short of the door into the cells and outside the doors that everyone else ignores, the doors of hellfire that most pass without a second thought. Slowly Darrethy approached and pressed his ear to the metal.

She is still there, Agent of Will, Angel of Strength, Breaker of Seals.
Still she knows you by name, waits for your call, all you need is the key.
Locked as always, sealed by blood, the well that never dries.
She is your disciple, go forth and bring back your pride.

He pulled away from the door, everything was as it had been last time. As he moved up the stairs he wasn't surprised in the least by how empty and dark the Raven's Gate was. The snow was coming on thick and the icicles hovered dangerously overhead. First he would have to go to the garden, and so he spared little time in hopping over the barricade and onto the road proper, little fear of going out into the dark where the strangest of creatures roamed.

He paused a moment, listening....there were the tormented wails of course, meant to confuse and send the unwary adrift, but there was another song just beneath. He had to take a moment to attune, and calm himself more importantly, the dead were trifling things who clawed at his flesh but did nothing of real note, but it was the other things that required offerings to the future.

He pressed the edge of a dagger to his throat, blackish blood trickling down, and then walked into the herb garden after the song.

Posts: 43
Joined: March 25th, 2014, 4:18 pm

Re: Once upon a time.

by darethy » February 5th, 2015, 9:47 pm

Call me a liar, a king or a fool, just sing me a song of prosperity.

Darrethy kept a song in his head as he walked, any deviation on this trip to one of the false notes would surely lead to his swift and immediate death. He was heading to...where in the mortal world...the herb garden and nearby lake would be, while the Raven's Gate was shifted like this he had to be careful of the twisting and winding pathways. In the shadow realm everything was...so slightly..different, the weakening veil so thin that an errant move would send you hurtling miles and miles away .

In the darkness he could make out particular souls of interest, other shadow walkers in the Arakkoa who sought refuge in the darkness....or the bright souls of Unborn Val'kyrs and undead conglomerations with multiple essences poured into their being, the alchemical transmutations involved in their creation so complex that they simultaniously existed in both universes at once.

Food for thought.

As he glanced down at the lake, he braced himself just a moment...his eyes seeing the shadowy terrors that lay just beneath, then without sparing another moment he launched himself into the pool. One part of the key was down here he knew, he hid it every other day before leaving...the Shadow Council getting a hold of it was a risk he just couldn't take.

The water was so cold that by all logic it should of frozen over, it filled his lungs and tore at his flesh, threatened to freeze his body and shatter it into a dozen pieces. Yet he had done this so many times that it hardly bothered him anymore, slowly he began swimming through the shadowy water, making the subtlest gestures to the void beings within that they were the prey...not him.

While the water was pitch black, he could tell where he needed to go just by the song....and within short order, he could see the dim light of a cave just ahead of him, he could see that despite those gestures a few of the shadowy entities had gathered around his being as they would often do, he could feel the blood draining away from his body as the leech like apperitions attached to his body, extracting the usually vital essence without so much as making a puncture wound in his skin. The problem wasn't for him of course, he didn't need blood to 'live' as it were...but that wasn't the real problem.

It's times like this that you can appreciate the difference between loss, and sacrifice.

For the first few minutes...this was going to hurt.

He could feel the metal hook whisk past his head...it was supposed to do that after all....then pull back rapidly and ram itself clean through his torso, he didn't scream...he knew better then to scream out here besides...and instead merely gritted his teeth as he was violently pulled through the caves as quickly as possible. Barely dodging onrushing stalactites.

Water erupting around him Darrethy was pulled onto the dry portion of the cave....well relatively dry, the sand was soaked in blood and animal entrails, all pretense of subtlety in the Shadow Realm tossed aside for what would be to most mortals, raw horror. Entrails hung from the ceilings rocky spikes and bits of flesh clung to the walls. Both from unwary unwanted visitors and animals alike he knew.

A titanic abomination stood in front of him, it's massive body stitched together from Gronn and Clefthoof as much as Alliance soldiers. It's enormous form seemed to glow with the excessive magical energy poured into it's being, it's gigantic entrails leaking alchemical concoctions as much as mundane things like blood or other bodily fluids. It's massive back arm tugged again as it attempted to pull Darrethy onto it's cleaver.

Even with it's brutish weapons and simple mind, it's hard not to love him with all my heart.

Demonic wings erupted from the warlocks back at the last moment, launching him just out of the way and sheering off one of the leeches in the same movement. With an exertion of physical force he simply tore himself from the hook, his enhanced regeneration already repairing the damage even as it left his torso.

Yet that didn't stop him from smashing into the cave wall, in an instant the abomination was rushing towards him with it's free hand outreached, if he was grabbed it would crush his incorporeal(And Corporeal) form almost instantly, instead it merely smashed into the wall as Darrethy rolled to the ground and tore another leech from himself.

One hand was cut from his arm in the cleavers uppercut, making things much more difficult...he wished he could have summoned Domixia to assist in the task, but with his incomplete knowledge of the shadow world he was afraid of what opening a demonic portal might do. Instead he simply had to dodge and roll away as he got rid of the parasites.

The chain whisked by again and Darethy just barely managed to roll as the blade soared over his head, crashing into the unidentifiable remains of some unlucky thief instead, he paid little mind to the other traps in the room...poisoned darts, the now rapidly rising water, they made little difference unless the void things came up with the water,,,and he doubted they wanted to be in the same room with the giant anymore then him.

The abomination stepped forward, the very earth shaking as it did. "Drown with me."

Another leech was torn from his body just as the creature reached out, some of the Ogre parts taking hold of it's mind even if for only the briefest of moments. Frosty spears formed in the ocean depths and with a gurgling roar, they launched themselves in rapid succession at the Warlock.

Darrethy dodged one, two, almost three....but almost didn't cut it, and he was spun in the water as it clipped his chest, the flesh freezing over and killing another of the parasites. Silver lining he supposed just as the brutes closed fist smashed him into the wall.

He gritted his teeth and pulled on the very last one....latched onto his neck, even as the energy was slowly being crushed from his body. He could feel his chest cave under the punch, the sheer force threatening to flatten him just as he yanked it free.

Suddenly, blood rushed into his system...or what could be passed off as blood anyway...the black substance pumping into his veins as magic rapidly filled the void left by the shadowy leeches, more importantly it spilled out of his wounds and into the water. Just as the Abomination was raising his cleaver, his arm stopped in mid air, it's enormous sharp toothed maw opening so wide that the top of his head seemed to almost flop back to his neck, a purplish tongue briefly tasted the now bloody water.

"Master." it intoned, letting Darrethy sink back to the cave floor and regain his energy.


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