Closed Djed to Rights

It is time for Res-stitution to be made

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A city floating in the center of a lake, Ravok is a place of dark beauty, romance and culture. Behind it all though is the presence of Rhysol, God of Evil and Betrayal. The city is controlled by The Black Sun, a religious organization devoted to Rhysol. [Lore]

Djed to Rights

Postby Elias Caldera on November 3rd, 2018, 3:41 am

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25th Day of Fall, 518 AV

Belugnir would awake to the familiar taste of iron in his mouth.

Rough and callous hands dragged him from the boat and unto the old, creaking docks of the Caldera Manor. Little kindness or concern was shown as the sellsword was dumped unceremoniously unto the rotting planks of the mansion’s private wharf like a sack of potatoes, nor was his treatment made any less harsh when his captors noticed him begin to stir and awaken after his unpleasant landing. Dark, shaggy hair damp with sweat and lakewater cascaded across the prisoner’s face in greasy tendrils as his limp form was pulled across the yard of gray, mottled grass. The old, cracking faces of ancient heroes and arrogant dead men made immortal by stone statues stared in ignoble indifference as the beleaguered group passed under their endless gaze.

Elias could sense blood in the air as they drew nearer. It appeared as if his apprentices might have taken their orders to retrieve the vagabond warrior a bit… overzealously. By the look of the bruises and fresh welts upon each of their faces however, it would appear as if it was well deserved.

The duo of initiates stopped before Elias, hauling the groggy Belugnir unto his knees before the robed figure. His back was to the mercenary, and flanked on either side of the swordsman had been assembled a gaggle of perhaps more than two dozen youths all dressed in black. Few bothered to even acknowledge the man, fewer still seemed likely to even if he’d been dragged in kicking and screaming to high heaven. Many of them were far too enthralled to give such mundane matters their time, for something else seized their attention, something truly magnificent. The mercenary would find it difficult to not take notice of the strange occurrences going on before long. On one side of the cloaked commander rumbled a plethora of smiling, giddy faces, all excited beyond reason and practically dancing in place. On the other, the mood was less serendipitous, but instead sickly with envy and wicked eagerness. It became clear why when a flash of flame from the right sent a ripple of cheers and laughter amidst the crowd. It had come from a young boy’s hand of all places, and his wasn’t the only glimmer of djed on display that night. Swirls of stones hovered in the air while serpents of water slithered through the grass and across open palms. There were gusts of wind as well as gouts of fire, and amidst it all no natural explanation for any of it. This was clearly the glamor of magic on display in almost reckless and childlike wander, as if they were kids playing with their new toys.

In the distance loomed the manor, the birthplace of the Caldera’s reborn from the ashes that had once claimed it. Lights faint and fading, flickered in a few windows here and there, but for all intents and purposes, the house was deathly still. No living soul roamed within, for Alija and her boy had been sent away on some distraction that would see her entangled in her business long into the night, leaving the large house barren of life, at least for a while. Just long enough for Elias to finish his glorious work.

Before the Ebonstryfer lay a young girl, stripped of everything but her small clothes, she lied stiff and trembling upon an alter of stone that was clearly not natural in its formation, but instead created by the one who now presided over it. Elias laid his hand on the apprentice’s head, sensing the fear that now flowed forth from her in nauseating waves. She went chill at his touch at first, but as their eyes met she eventually found her calm. “Remember,” Elias whispered firmly “you are chosen.” And like that, the mage watched as anxiety fled and gave way to resolve in an instant. She was ready, and not because he believed it, but because she did. With her nod of conviction, the Caldera began.

A chant began to arise among the attendees, deep and guttural, both sides of the apprentices took up the call as all focus shifted to the reimancer and the initiate. “I-si-kai… I-si-kai… Is-i-kai naruk!” The chanting grew louder, emphasized by the beating of chests and the stomping of feat upon the hard, lifeless soil beneath. Res began to emanate from beneath the robes Elias wore as his summoned his power into existence. Hand outstretched to the heavens above, the blue, effervescent glow of his djed enveloped him entirely before long. Surrounded by the magic and emboldened by its magnificence, the mage cast his gaze downward to the girl once more, saw the faith in her dark eyes, and drove his hand down upon her forehead.

She screamed as the cloud of res descended upon her like a resplendent tide. Unabated and unstoppable, it weaved itself into her eyes, mouth and ears. Her body went rigid with shock, arching and convulsing as the res seeped and scarped its way ever deeper. Her knuckles had gone white from the strain, clenched and bleeding as the ritual scars upon her palms were torn open in the chaos. Her screaming soon died in gurgled gasps, and yet even then the reimancer did not stop. He drove his power –her power ever deeper, into her muscles, her bones, her very soul, for only in that hallowed place could it find a home worth taking. There was no going back now. No stopping what had begun.

“I-si-kai… I-si-kai… Is-i-kai naruk!”

Faith! Faith in your strength!

For chimes this went on, and for chimes the chant continued, with even Belugnir’s captors joining in as they continued to hold him. There was a light reflected in their eyes as they watched the ritual in awe, the same light that shone in every apprentice and initiate in attendance that night. It was the fiery glint of zealous certainty and holy fervor… that or just plain madness.

Finally, the girl went still, her convulsions brought to an end with an abrupt slack as she fell listless upon the alter. Despite her apparent condition, the chanting continued, and had been growing louder and louder until at that point it was all anyone could hear anymore.

“I-si-kai… I-si-kai…”

As unexpectedly as she’d gone silent the apprentice shot back to life, a deep and desperate gasp heralding her return to the land of the living. Shakily, she arose from the stone table with Elias’s help and managed to find her footing soon after. She looked pale, paler even than Elias and it was clear whatever hell she’d just gone through had been just as horrible as it had looked. The crowd had gone silent now, all eyes staring in quiet anticipation. The stryfer, slowly but firmly, helped the girl raise her hand out before her, his own supporting hers. “As I thought you.” He whispered gently into her ear. “Just as I thought you…”

There was a stillness to the courtyard, and eerie, unsettling air of dire expectation that permeated everything like a melodious odor. Then it happened! Something glorious and beautiful beyond expression. Something that sent a shockwave of joy and raucous celebration through the recruits.

Fire!

A flame, weak and sputtering, burst into existence above the girl’s hand, her res finally taking root and answering her call. The elation upon her countenance was as bright as the wheezing gout of fire, and it looked as if all wariness and doubt had been brushed aside in a single instant.

“Kasai! Kasai! Kasai!” Her brothers ans sisters chanted in jubilation.

Destiny.

Even Elias was smiling as he pulled back to hood of his robe and admired the tiny flame. Yet another of his chosen disciples had survived the initiation. Now their path was sealed, and they had taken yet one more step towards their righteous and holy- Something was wrong.

The Caldera noticed it in an instant as the res within the apprentice’s untrained grasp began to leak from her hands. It slithered like grease down her wrists and arm, yet in her bewitched wonderment she did not notice the slip in her concentration, nor the crack in the dam. Her folly became abundantly evident when that excess res caught flame and burst across her arm and chest.

At first, there wasn’t pain in her tortured expression, only the sheer terror of confusion and panic. As the flesh began to bubble and melt however, the screaming started in earnest.

“Control it!” Elias commanded with a resounding bark. “You are its master, bend it to your wi-”

“HELP ME!” The cry echoed across the courtyard, ending all hope of salvaging the moment as the poor fool began struggle and flail. With a sigh, the master mage flicked his fingers at the pathetic girl, putting an end to her torment as a savage gust of wind crashed in her and sent her flying backwards before landing with a sickening thud nearly ten yards away. The flame had been doused, but so had most of her consciousness. Elias merely glared in disgust and contempt.

“Weakness.” He spat.

Then, for what seemed like the first time, Elias noticed Belugnir. The mercenary was still on his knees, held securely by the two students. Pallid blue eyes studied the unkempt killer, glaring at him like a butcher would a slab of meat.

“Place him upon the alter.” The reimancer growled.

“I-si-kai… I-si-kai…” The chanting began anew.


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Last edited by Elias Caldera on November 11th, 2018, 6:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Djed to Rights

Postby Belugnir on November 9th, 2018, 9:55 am

It was an evening good as any other to fill one's belly full of ale in attempts to forget the nonsense he'd put himself through some two weeks ago for but a handful of coin. Aye, the memory of his eve spent doing Hollister's bidding still irked and bothered him.

Only, Einar would quickly find a new cause for unease, and one that would not be so washed away with alcohol. He was well into his fifth pint and idly sharing some brazen tales of his childhood with the lone owner and barkeep of the rundown inn he stayed at, when a pair of robed men barged in. Seated and leaned over the bar, Ein's back was turned to them when they entered.

"Is there a man who goes by Einar here? Einar Belugnir?", he'd heard the words spoken behind him, with a rather... concerning lack of fondness. Silence lingered as Ein's back straightened in his seat, alerted posture and the startled look on the innkeep's face already giving him away.

"Never heard of 'im.", on the edge of laughter, he nearly snorted out the words, turning around to face his seekers with a sternly scoffing expression.

The two men took a tense, quiet moment, uncertain of what they ought to make of the drunkard, before one meaningful glare toward the fidgeting bartender told them all they needed to know.

"Listen, I don't need any of your squabbling shyke here. If you've matters to settle then out on the street with you.", though concerned, the innkeep did retain a rather commanding tone. It was his establishment after all.

"Ah, but I think I am just fine where I am.", Ein leaned backwards against the wooden bar, trying his best to be spitefully tantalizing.

"You are to come with us, southerner.", apparently his visitors were hardly fond of him playing stupid.

Another brooding silence took place.

"See, the last time I followed after a prettied up pansy in a robe I nearly got, *hic*, got incinerated, skewered and then almost trampled by a gar-*hic*- gargantuan boar.", the two men rose an impatient brow at Ein's drunken reminiscing of his time on Sahova. "See, what I'm trying to convey to you witty lads.", he faked gulping down another hiccup, plainly to just be more of a prick and stall the conversation an ounce longer. "Is that I ain't coming.", the brazen mockery in his tone became something rather repulsive at the end.

"Worse things than tusk and flame await you this night, southern vagik.", though neither of the two men seemed quite as displeased and unnerved as Ein would prefer, the acolyte in the back, likely a couple summers younger than his friend, was the first to holler a threat.

"Hah.", Ein gave his bent knee a hearty slap. "My, then I hope you fine lads won't mind if I'd prefer a bit of... tenderizing beforehand.", it was a right and proper dimwit's grin he gave them, accompanied with a crack of his knuckles.

"Then we will be happy to indulge you.", now the leading robed fellow's tone had turned grim as well.

Then a tumble was heard from behind the bar, and the sound of a tensing string was swift to follow. Ein briefly turned his head and came to the sight if an innkeep standing neatly outside anyone's comfortable reach, sporting a loaded crossbow.

"That is enough.", the old fellow's eyes went to Einar. "I don't know what dung pile down south you crawled out of, but this is Rhysol's city, and I won't stand for your brazen vagabond idiocy.", he ran his gaze over all three youngsters in the room. "Now out of my sight, all of you.", he aptly gestured his crossbow toward the entry door, making it a point that Ein was to depart that way too. "Till you settle whatever trouble you have.", pausing a moment, his eyes settled again on the frustrated acolytes at the door. "And you two, try not to kill my one staying customer."

It was a rather difficult prospect, arguing with elderly, more so when said elderly stood accompanied by the indifference of a bolt ready to fly, not five feet away from one's face. Thus Ein gave in with an exasperated shrug and sigh, standing up with the old barkeeps grumbling disapproval of youth fading away at his back. On his way out Ein would make it a point to budge shoulder and elbow into the two aggravated acolytes as he'd passed by, trying to put just enough strength behind his idle shoves to be annoying, yet not enough to foster immediate aggression. A smug curve bent his lips when he'd heard the younger robed fellow hissing a profanity his way with a minor stumble.

Hadn't been three paces out the door when Ein turned unannounced, flailing a fist at the first acolyte that would have been following after him. The robed fellow was just an ounce too late to bring his hands up and ended up receiving what was more of a slap than a punch across the face. It was sudden to them, apparently. Might be the acolyte boys expected more bickering theatrics that them northerners and sorcerers seemed to be so fond of. Yet they were dealing with a 'berther now... And an awfully kind one at that, all things considered.

In light of his recent endeavors, Ein had made it a habit to keep at least so much as a throwing dagger strapped to the inside of his boots, even when dwelling about otherwise unarmed. Considering the occasion, it was rather well-mannered of him not to loose the blade and go straight for one of their throats... Or was it awfully stupid?

A clumsy strike to the face was quickly followed by a barely less clumsy upward swing of Ein's other hand, which thankfully enough found the surprised fellow's belly. Albeit, drunk as he was, Ein came just shy of tripping o'er his own feet, and ended up shoving into the acolyte whose wind he'd just knocked out, pushing the fellow off his feet whilst Einar, stumbling backwards, just barely managed to stay on his own.

Managing to grab the second fellow by his collar Ein sought swing him around in an attempt of hurling him off balance, which he did, albeit he was too slow to follow up with his attempt of giving the robed bugger a kick to the shin to seal the deal of knocking him on his arse. And for his trouble, Ein received retaliation delivered by a wooden baton that the acolyte previously held hidden in his robes. Before Einar's mind, sluggish with ale, could conjure up all its machinations properly, the other acolyte was on his feet as well, sporting a beating weapon akin to that of his friend. What ensued afterward Ein would remember only as a flailing flurry of limbs that ended with him on the ground, grunting and kicking back at the acolytes as they struck him over and over.

Once Einar awoke and came to again, it was to the sensation of being dragged across the ground, and the fact that his arms were bound together at his back... A moment of clarity later, and he made notice of the leading robed cultist whose back stood turned to him, of the altar and the girl laid upon it... Then the gathering of lunatics, those awaiting to, and those already toying about with wind and water and earth and flame came into view. Sobered up from the beating and the obligatory, spiteful dipping into the lake that his captors treated him to, Ein quickly concluded that the scene about him was likely straight out of an average Sunberther's worst nightmare... The realization was only reinforced once the robed fanatics began their chanting.

What surprised him more than the scene before him was the fact he had actually understood part of their chant. Isikai... Trust... Faith. Hah. Faith. It was oddly easy to forget, that one knew more than a single language when not given cause to use anything but plain common for well over a year.

A right mess you've gotten into this time.

Pray, have you the faith that you could mess any of those buggers up?

It must have been either the echo of his drunken stupor... or a concussion.

Why, I wager I could down those three merry dimwits to the right before they took their eyes off their cultist buggery.

You think small.


In the midst of the gathered rabble becoming ever more invested into the event at hand, knelt down as he was, Ein was able to eventually scratch the throwing knife in his boot free and start slowly and awkwardly working through the binds about his wrists. The fact that he'd also began coaxing what modest and comfortable djed he could and guiding it to rest idly within the length of his arms didn't really hasten the process of cutting his bonds any.

My, someone's gotten busy real fast. What do you even expect to do?

I'm going to demonstrate some proper faith to this beehive of lunacy.

Hoho, but is that wise?

I don't think wise men don't end up in revered stories.

One strap of rope finally gave in and Einar felt the whole bind loosen up about his wrists, and he fought the urge to reach forward and give himself several good slaps to conjure sound reason back again.

I need to never touch a pint again.

He felt the flux lazily cruising through his limbs. The binds of his wrists were ultimately cut through and turned into naught but a mess of rope that held nothing together anymore. Then he settled down, not interrupting the ritual to make revelation of his freedom of movement being stolen back. It was only toward the end of the chanting, when the girl was stood up from her altar, that the proper aches and pains of the beating he'd previously received began to really make themselves apparent, and that he'd began nurturing a proper grudge for the two cocksuckers who'd gotten the better of him while he was half-blind drunk.

Most folk have a habit of mistaking thugs with dimwits. Einar was one of those things. Not both. Wasting time in denial of a horrid circumstance is one sure way of not living past one's teens in Sunberth. He never hollered a word or tried to draw attention to himself for the length of the events that unfolded about him. At least not before the botched initiate lass was hurled away by a gout of sorcerer's winds. Aye, this lot were sorcerers, well he was privy to knowing some magic himself, albeit his wasn't so fanciful and apparent. As soon as the leading cultist's gaze fell on him and words left that man's mouth, Ein rose from where he was knelt on the ground of his own volition, arms coming freely and naturally to hang by his hips. The chant that had begun anew, seemingly intended for him, only reinforced the spiteful intent that drove him to his feet.

No sooner than he'd come a single step forward, he felt the panicked attempt of his captors to restrain him again, a pair of arms attempting to coil over each of his own. It took a forward pull followed by a backward lash of the elbows, through which he discharged some of his djed. One acolyte was sent stumbling backwards, while the brasher, younger fellow, was sent back and forced to fall on his arse. Ein would have opened his mouth to speak, not quite shouting, yet still trying to have his voice be alerting.

''I can walk plenty fine on my own.'', he'd stated, the throwing blade in his hand harmlessly tossed in front of the older acolyte as he'd stepped toward Ein again. It was a point he wished to make, that he was not beneath his captors, that he wasn't a cockin' animal in need of restraints.

Ein would turn to face the leading acolyte, not quite realizing yet, that he'd met the man twice previously. Regardless he would step forward, arms stretched out beside his body without threat in his posture, as if he'd sought to embrace the man. Though once he'd come within five or so feet from the altar, Ein would present a nod of the head that could barely be called a bow, never once taking his eyes off the sorcerer, keenly aware of the two fuming acolytes that opted for following but a step behind him. And also keenly aware of the djed still held fluxing in his body. He felt his heart pounding in his heels and his throat with anxiety and excitement. I suppose now I know why those idiots are so fond of their theatrics.

''I would prefer to stand.'', he stated mundanely, in a voice he imagined respectable, yet not submissive. ''If such a thing can be arranged.'', his feet were planted firm, with a small bend in his lower back and knees. By instinct he positioned himself ready to spring forth and break into a desperate fight should enmity come his way instead of acknowledgement. Einar would have laughed and scoffed at a bystander's notion of it being the case... yet part of him wished to prove himself before this mob of sorcerers.


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Djed to Rights

Postby Elias Caldera on November 12th, 2018, 12:21 am

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The chanting came to an abrupt halt, replaced instead by hushed whispers and hissed curses from the crowd whose attentions now focused entirely on Belugnir and little else. The two boys behind the sellsword -now nursing fresh bruises and renewed fury- skidded to a sudden stop just out of arm’s reach as Elias raised a commanding hand over his shoulder. The crowd of initiates went quiet and the manor grounds fell equally still and tense. For a moment, the only noise that could be heard was the crackling of the torchlights and ‘drip drip dripping’ of the old marble fountain nearby.

The sorcerer was leaning on the alter, knuckles pressed deep into the stone to support himself as he once again faced away from the accused. “God give me strength,” he muttered solemnly under his breath as one would a prayer, “How they test my hand. Oh, how they try my patience…”

He turned from the alter then, rounding on the mercenary as the hood of his dark cloak fell away to reveal the sickly white skin and icy blue eyes hiding in underneath. “He speaks of preference to me.” Elias whispered, cold gaze now locked with that of the hired killer’s. The man was just as he’d left him the last time they’d encountered one another at the lakeshore; Nothing but lean, corded muscle. That ridiculous unruly and unkempt mane of shaggy dark hair. Coppery eyes that spoke of suppressed understanding and a posture that seemed ready to spring into action upon a moment’s notice. A body forged of conflict for conflict. A mercenary in every sense of the word.

“Would that all your victims had been given the same courtesy.” Elias snarled, barely able to restrain his anger any longer. The more he looked upon Belugnir, the more the hatred within festered and fouled his humor. “Do you think the girl you took from the streets would have preferred to stand when you dragged her before your masters?”

There it was then, out in the open at last. The reason the Berther was her. The time had come to pay for his crimes at last.

The revelation was joined by the distant sound of something humming far off. A peculiar, high pitched noise that felt as if it was well beyond the walls of the manor courtyards, yet right at the edge of Belu’s ear. Should he look around, he’d find no source of the irritation, not even the two acolytes who’d brought him here, for they too had retreated to his flanks now, all too wary of his freed fists. Elias’s voice would pierce the hum and interrupt any idle thoughts however, his rough and enraged tenor distracting to say the least. He had begun to pace back and forth before the mercenary.

Nothing good ever began with pacing.

“You know the spot where you’re standing is the very same one where I held Hollister down and ripped the teeth from his head.” The stryfer growled. “One by one I took them from him. One by one, I made sure he stayed awake to feel each and every tooth. They’re still scattered across this yard, you know. Every once in a while, I catch a glimpse of them in the grass when the light of the morning strikes the gold. Two dozen or so little glints in the dirt flickering up at me in a brilliant smile upon my front lawn… You think Von Carstein would have preferred I let him stand for that?”

The humming had now become a buzz as Elias jabbed a threatening finger at the southern born battle monger. “I thought when we last parted ways, we left each other with a very clear understanding between us, mercenary. Yet here we find ourselves again!” The stryfer fumed, his rantings growing louder and more emphatic as his pacing now began to take him closer to the mercenary inch by unnerving inch. “You came for my life the first time, and for that I absolved you. Many men wish to see me toppled, and I invite the challenge. Conflict is how we evolve!” He barked, smashing a fist against his chest. “Every kill makes me stronger. Every victory is a stepping stone in my ascent. But now… now you would dare stand there defiant and proud even after what you…” The soldier hesitated, his hands scratching and pawing anxiously at his face as the sound in Einar’s ears grew unmistakably closer.

“Twice now you have acted against me. Twice now you have betrayed your masters and bitten at the hand that fed you. You know what I make of that?” Elias challenged. By this point he was nearly face to face with Einar. If it wasn’t certain before, the clarity of the bulging veins upon his forehead and the seething wrath hidden behind his eyes would help spell out the message. Something bad was about to happen.

The buzzing had become unbearable.

“That you’re smart enough to know when a fight isn’t worth it, but too petching stupid to stay out of it!”

Einar would be struck suddenly by a deafening screech as the sound in his head crescendo’d to catastrophic levels. There was nothing in his vicinity to explain the eye watering pain his mind now suffered, for it was the work of hypnotism that now felled him. Unlike usual, Elias worked the magic without subtlety or grace. It had become a hammer in his enraged state, one he swung at the sellsword without mercy or hope of reprieve. From every angle his thoughts had been invaded by a single, ear piercing howl the likes of which could not be stymied nor lessened, no matter what he tried.

“You struck at something that meant more to me than my own life, Einar. More to me than yours. So no, mercenary, you will not ‘stand.’”

By then the pain was blinding. A notion of a faint and distant noise turned into the only thing Belugnir would be able to hear or even think about. Even Elias’s words were drowned out for the most part. It wouldn’t take much now to secure the Sunberth killer as the two apprentices before seized him once more by the arms and began to drag him to the alter upon Elias’s impatient command.

“I promised her I’d kill you.” Elias hissed as his acolytes began to tie Einar to the stone slab with rope. “I swore I’d kill you badly. That I’d make your punishment such that even in the next life you’d feel my wrath… and you know what she said to me?” The soldier asked, a hand gripping Ein by his wiry jaw and squeezing harshly. “Hmm? Can you guess?” They reached the mercenary’s feet now with the rope, binding his ankles, denying him any hope of a quick escape.

“She said ‘mercy.’” Elias chuckled. “Can you imagine my surprise?” He questioned, tightening his painful hold on the mercenary. “After everything she said you’d done to her on your master’s behalf, on your own… she still had the heart to see you spared everything we both know you deserve. That woman’s heart is boundless, Einar. Her kindness, her generosity. Never will find a better soul in this city, and you tried to take that away from me for a few petching coins in your pocket!” Elias roared, spittle frothing at his lips. “She is too good. For either of us.”

Before long the sellsword would find himself bound completely by his hands and feet, no doubt just like he’d done to the slave girl he’d kidnapped. The noise in his brain had faded now, a distant yet stinging memory at the back of his mind. In its place, apprentices of the Ebonstryfe surrounded him, some with blades drawn, others with their newfound reimantic abilities at the ready, eager to test their arcane talents for the first time on a living subject.

“I do not share her gentle spirit. I do not have the patience for those who stand in my way, nor the force of will to stop myself from indulging in their deaths… and yet, how can I defy her when she pleaded on your behalf with such conviction? Such sincerity…”

The res began to stir. A thick, luminescent miasma of ocean blue djed made manifest. It slithered from the beneath the confines of the pale mage’s robes just as it had done before with the girl whose place Belugnir now occupied.

“So I chose a compromise.” Elias whispered, eyes growing distant and hollow as he prepared himself for what was to come. “A test. One that would judge you worthy of your miserable life should you succeed. A crucible of magic and agony. The very same my chosen underwent this night. To be initiated in Reimancy, the art of controlling the elements is no easy matter. It’s a strong soul to stem the tide. A stalwart mind to not be washed away in the djed. My chosen survived because I knew destiny had a purpose for them. Its why I picked them for this… She chose you. Maybe she had a reason.” Elias grimaced, contempt written plain on his scarred features. “Now we’ll see if you are worthy. For if you survive, Einar of Sunberth, you will take an oath to make amends for all the wrong you wroth upon her. You will swear yourself to her protection and well being from this night until you last…. And if you do not… well then, you can take comfort in knowing that your demise will have brought me a level of satisfaction I cannot begin to describe.”

Like with the child who’d come before, Elias raised his hands to the heavens, the res under his beck and call swirling around him as he readied for the initiation.

“Of course,” he stopped suddenly, drawing a dagger from his garment as he looked down upon the prostrate merc “You could always say ‘no’ and I can simply cut your throat here and now and save us both a great deal of time and trouble.”


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Djed to Rights

Postby Belugnir on December 4th, 2018, 2:58 pm

It quickly occured to him that he'd cocked things up once the chanting stopped and the cultists turned to whispering about. The realization only solidified once the leader pulled his hood back and began to speak with what sounded belike seething resentment. Then the man rolled his hood back and the pieces came together.

'He speaks of preference to me...'

I imagine you'd preferred my choice to refrain from bashing your skull in when you were knelt down and bleeding like a stuck pig.

'Would that all your victims had been given the same courtesy...'

Ein knew where this was going. He'd shrugged it off that evening, yet remembered well how the slave girl he kidnapped and afterward saved at no small expense on his own account referred to the sorcerer he was omce hired to kill... 'Would the girl you took from the streets...'

Yes, there it was.


Ein had a couple dozen ideas of what a zealous cult leader and sorcerer, whom he'd witnessed fighting one of the most vicious bastards he'd ever met, and with a bolt in his side, at that, could and would do to him after discovering that some outsider put his darling love or favorite slave or whatever thr shyke she was.

Thankfully enough, Ein also had the common sense and enough first hand experience with Sahovan wizards to know that keeping his mouth shut and his mind focused was the healthiest cause of action... Thus he did his best to refrain from rolling his eyes at the bullshyke that the Stryfer monologued on and on about... and he did his best not to succumb to the irritating urge to lash out and backhand the cocksucker as he approached. The infernal buzzing that began to toss his concentration around was hardly of any help.

What ensued felt like a lengthy bell of Einar vainly trying his best to find a quiet place within his mind where the insufferable noise couldn't find him... and wishing that this nordlong cocksucker would shut his trap any time before dawn... A point came where the infernal buzzing developed into screeching, into a splitting headache and then finally into just... plain, throughout pain. He'd remained stood still, eyes locked in a dead frown at Elias, and when his goons came in to haul him over to the altar, it took Einar all the spite and resolve he could muster just to stay standing up straight... yet then the noise and the rattling headache were gone, and he could hear the anger-frothing stryfer speak again.

And there would be a spot of chrotling at the backsards buggery Elias spewed.

"Do away with your rituals then."

See if I am any less chosen than this gathering of nutjobs you have. In truth Ein was scared gutless of what would ensue. He wasn't quite fond of going up in flames, nor did he find the idea of having some overly enthusiastic freaks cut incisions into him for as many bells as it'd take to drain a man of his blood any ounce of appealing. He found the notion of being helpless even less so.

Yet fear and helplessness and an abundance of pain had never done any good to those who would of had him submit either.

They might have made him growl and thrash against his bonds like a savage animal as ritual circles were carved into his chest and hands and as the sorcerer's djed set his veins ablaze, they might have sapped him of blood, strength and composure. But they sure as hell they wouldn't make him submit. The thought came to him to attempt utilizing his flux, to try and ward off the miasma that was invading his body... yet when he'd attempted to manifest djed within his core he felt as if his head and belly would burst, and quickly dismissed the attempts, letting himself be carried and rattled on by the torrents of stupifying pain... He no longer called out to his djed, but he could feel it all the same. He could feel it as if it were heated, molten and hammered into some new, unfathomable shape... wnd it gave him a headache so horrible and all-encompassing, that he just barely held onto his consciousness toward the end.


And when their occult bullshyke was finally through, when he was let from the altar, the palms of his hands and his chest maimed and bleeding through glyphing symbols, his mind in a daze, and his innards feeling like mush... he collapsed to his knees, keeled over, holding himself up with both hands, before vomiting forth a neat mess if blood, booze and whatever his late lunch had happened to be.

Then he lingered, swallowing hard and taking one lengthy breath... before rising a trembling hand to the altar's edge and hauling himself into a hunched stand, maintained on shaking and bucklong knees.

"You spew an awful lot of bullshyke about absolution... about fate and being worthy..."

Chrotling up yet another clump of blood and damn near collapsing again in the process, Einar brought his hands together, fingers outstretched and forming a sort of cage around a spacious ounce of thin air... It stood to his shaky and doubtful understanding that sorcery was universally tapped into through one's djed... and he figured whatever this buggering discipline of flailing rock and fire about was, it had the same root... though he also could fathom that setting one's djed aflame or turning it to solid stone while it still lingered in one's body was a hell-sure way into horribly unpleasant death. And it wasn't as if he felt it adequate to ask the cultist whoresons for tips on how exactly he ought to 'perform' for them.

So with no small amount of effort, and greater amount of sizzling pain, Ein pushed an ounce of djed through his arms, much as he did whenever he fluxed, only now he guided and pushed it on further, until it began to pour out of the fresh wounds on the palms of his hands and form a shaking, unstable sphere of miasma within the cage of his fingers... All of a sudden it felt as if he were holding up an iron ball in his hands... and he barely refrained from letting his knees and elbows give in to the imaginary weight...

His breath was already heaving and he could feel the thing in his hands pulsating in accord to the savage rythm of his strained heart... And then he asked fire of his res. And he recieved it. Embers flared up from the transparent sphere and erupted into modest torchlight...


"...And yet any dumb..."

He was promptly interrupted by the sensation of his palms begging for relief, for spreading fire now licked against their fresh wounds... And rather than succumbing to panic, Ein grit his teeth and discharged the djed he'd pooled into his hands all at once, severing the ties between the modest energy he conjured up and set ablaze before the djed-eating fire could latch onto and into him. The result was a very minor, contained burst of blood and fire that separated his hands and shoved him to stumble backwards, more so hitting his back into the altar behind him than leaning on it to stay on his feet... Yet on his feet he did stay, and with an all too cocky grin.

"Yet any dumb whoreson can learn... to hurl around sorcery... I mean... just look at you.", reasonably enough, bleeding, mind numbed men hardly have as much cause to hold onto reason in face of adversity... And Ein was well beyond his treshold of giving a rat's arse at this point.

"Maybe if you invested less of your brains into speechefying stupid shyke... and more toward figuring out that killing a bastard instead of ripping the teeth from his head and letting him go is the healthier way to live... You wouldn't have gotten to where you owe your life to me.", one of few rather peculiar details that the stryfer seemed to not be wholly keen on. Ein spoke on painfully slow, as only wounded folk on the bring of exhaustion truly can.l, gulping down breaths and bloodied saliva.

"Aye, methinks it's not entirely dawned on you. None of those murder-happy goons you've gathered were there when you knelt before me with an arrow in your hip, wide eyed like a young lass if a horse rammed her from behind... None of them were going to save your hide. I did... As I saved the hides of your woman, her dimwit bodyguard and that kelvic brat.", indeed, he nearly regretted not simply walking off with his coin and letting that whoreson Hollister have his way... Nearly.

"I saved them, as I probably saved you, from the whoreson whom you thought it wise to simply let go scot free."

Bloody hell, I'm beginning to talk on like a bleeding nordling now too.

"There's no amount of daggers at my throat or lips around my prick in this world that would make me take a pissing oath. I detest folk like you. But I detest that toothless shyke eater more. And I owed my life to your gal long before your pale ass strolled in with your delusional shyke about mercy and absolution... Nor am I entirely insistant on fuckin' dying tonight. So here's what I'll do. I'll fix your fuck up, and go and bring you that dim bastard Hollister's head, since five dead men on account of you and your woman's bunch doesn't seem to be 'oath' enough for you... And when and if you finally decide to get off your sorry, preaching ass and try to break that poor lass you seem so fond of from her bonds... I'll be there to lend a hand...", he glanced about at Elias' entourage with ample dismissive mockery before holding out a shaking hand and collecting it into a bloodied, yet firm fist. "A hand that won't cry out for help and act on after its been burned, bruised and bloodied. And if you really so insist... I'll watch over your lass, since you three suitors she already has are apparently worth bugger all when it comes to keeping her safe."

Saying that, Ein finally collapsed down on his arse, unable to stand any longer, his voice trailing off.

"So either take that or just cockin' kill me if you're so eager. I'll take a hundred slit throats over any more of your nordling preaching bollocks...", he felt his vision begin to blur and fail, yet Ein would force his mind to linger on 'til it heard whatever retort Elias had to give.
Last edited by Belugnir on December 21st, 2018, 8:56 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Djed to Rights

Postby Elias Caldera on December 9th, 2018, 8:53 pm

Image
“His tongue first, I think.” Muttered a familiar and freshly embittered apprentice as he began to circle the fallen Einar. The blade in his hand was as hard to miss as the venom in his threat.

“His throat, I’d prefer.” Another boy concluded as he loomed threateningly over the man. It was one of the recruits who’d come for the mercenary originally. “We’ve been graciously given a hundred attempts at it after all, and to be rid of this filth before it has a chance to make any more noise ever again would be a kindness to all of Ravok.” He seemed more than eager to do away with the shaggy Sunberther despite the fact he’d gone through so much trouble to drag him here in the first place. He was not alone unsurprisingly. None of the others seemed particularly pleased with Einar’s unique brand of charm and they all glared at the vagabond sellsword with the same wicked intent.

At first Elias did not respond to the provocations of his chosen. The mage’s focus was distant and distracted as his initiates argued amongst themselves on how best to dispense their fury upon the bastard 'Berther. Elias's cold gaze stood apart from the others however, for in it flickered the dancing remnants of Einar’s reimantic blaze upon the ground. Fire, his very first display of the magic. It seemed appropriate, the Caldera thought, yet the embers of the flame he’d born into this world were already fading. The small spark was sputtering and dying a withering death upon the desiccated grass of Elias’s front lawn, and yet it fought -as fire was want to do- to survive none the less. He looked down at his hands, fingers still red and dripping with the man’s blood spilt during the initiation ritual.

Yes, fire seemed most appropriate indeed.

“You would silence the voice of a man whom you should be heeding?”

The words of their master brought a sudden and chilling hush over the angry crowd. The din of tumult had been replaced now with the whispers of confusion. The boy with the dagger looked at Elias particularly perplexed. “I… uh with all do respect, Commander, shyke flows from this foreigner’s lips as freely as it does a donkey’s ass. What could he possibly have to say that would be worth listening to?”

Elias retrieved his attention from the flames and attached them now to the one who’d spoken. No hostility or impatience burned behind his glare as he slowly rounded on the young man, but instead a mentor’s diligence. He was here to guide these youthful souls along the right path, and so guide them he would. “Its not the words he speaks that matters, but the fact that he’s saying them at all that should inspire you.” He regarded the crimson merc, his body bruised and bloodied to an almost horrific degree now that they were done with him. Res now flowed throughout his abused form, a gift and a curse from Elias all in one. In addition to initiation scar yet just as crucial, opon his chest had been carved a strange and arcane series of markings that seeped and wept with fresh rivulets of blood. The wounds would heal in time, scabbing over and enclosing themselves upon the power contained within now. To the untrained eye it would seem a meaningless, even chaotic mess. Wilds and violent scars interlocking and converging at would could only be described as random and unimportant points upon Einar’s flesh. To those with an eye for such details however, they would see the brilliance and purpose behind the design, for it was often the hand of Rhysol that guided Elias’s when he drew his glyphs, and tonight his lord’s influence was with him again.

Chaos inspired and fire fueled, the magical markings upon the Berther held within them a great power not so dissimilar from the one Einar was now able to wield. This power however, was Elias’s entirely. One he could call upon at any time to end descent and annihilate any hope of treachery. One that could devour both its bearer and all those around him in a terrible and righteous fire.

For all intents and purpose, he'd made the mercenary into a bomb.

Internally, the sorcerer chuckled. Oh how his new compatriot was wrong. Their oath was already signed, sealed and sacred. Curse and rail as much as he wanted now, it made little difference, Einar and Elias were from this point on stuck with one another whether they liked it or not.

“Look at him,” Elias commanded, “Truly I mean, and behold a wretch of man on the verge of his death. His worthless life hangs by a precarious thread and he is all too keenly aware of the fact that at any moment it could be severed at a moment's notice. No one will mourn his passing. No one will come to avenge him or to carry on his works. I doubt anyone would be even surprised. He stands for nothing and in the end nothing will stand for him, yet even now…” The stryfer held out his hand towards the sellsword approvingly. “He stands defiant.

The reimancer turned to his captured audience, studying their reactions. “Why? Why bare his teeth and spit in the eye of his accusers when he could just as easily grovel and beg at my feet instead? Is it Pride? Hubris? The feebleness of a foreign mind? Maybe… maybe. Or maybe even this knave understands something intrinsic that I have hoped to instill in all of you. A lesson that too few in our brotherhood understand anymore. A principle men merely pay lip service to, but can never truly appreciate.”

Elias turned his gaze to Belugnir, affixing himself to man’s bleary and no doubt hazy vision with the faintest hint of a grin upon his pale lips. The merc was fading it seemed, and fading fast. It was a testament to his repugnant character that he was even awake at all, let alone able to mouth off the way he had. As rebellious as he was reckless, the stryfer thought, and to his surprise, realized he was praising the fool instead of admonishing him. Still, part of Elias was enjoying the fact that he was making a speech -no, worse, a lesson- out of the man in spite of his apparent hatred for such things. It was a fitting punishment, but certainly not the only one he'd suffer.

“The weak cannot comprehend the value of sacrifice. They do not know that to stand for your ideals is easy.” At the commander’s nod, two of the apprentices moved to pick Einar off the ground, taking his arms about them and lifting the scarred sellsword to his feet -or as close to feet as possible in any case. “It is our willingness to fall for them... that is the true test.”

Elias turned to his recruits, young, impressionable faces staring back at him anxious and eager. “He has nothing but himself, yet see what strength his convictions grant him. You, my chosen, you hold the future of our nation in your hands. You have your city and your purpose guiding you. Imagine then what you can accomplish with so much behind you.”

There was quiet for a short time as the apprentices mulled over what their master imparted upon them, then one of the boys holding Belugnir asked a question. “Should we ferry him back to where we found him, commander?”

“Petch no!” Elias spat indignantly. “Throw that shyke stain in the lake. Did you hear what he called me? He can swim back to whatever hole he came from.”

“But comm-”

“He’ll survive.” Elias asserted confidently, staring into the dark, coppery eyes of the bloodied mercenary.

“It’s what he does.”
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Djed to Rights

Postby Zavya on February 13th, 2019, 7:17 am

Grades!

 
Elias
Skills Earned:
  • Hypnotism +1
  • Intimidation +1
  • Rhetoric +1
Lores:
  • Belugnir: Forged by conflict for conflict
  • Belugnir: Initiated into reimancy as punishment for Shiress's idnapping
  • Belugnir: Survivor
  • Reimancy: Initiation isn't for the weak

Comments: Creepy as shit. Loved it.

Also that bit at the end about throwing Bel in the lake. xD
 
Belugnir
Skills Earned:
  • Endurance +2
  • Flux +1
  • Intimidation +2
  • Observation +1
  • Reimancy +1
  • Rhetoric +1
Lores:
  • Elias: Initiated him into reimancy as punishment for kidnapping Shiress
  • Flux: Freeing self from binding ropes
  • Reimancy: Conjuring a fireball
  • Reimancy: Initiated!
  • Self: Should never touch a pint again
  • Self: Sworn to Shiress's protection... begrudgingly
Penalties: Ritualistic scars on palms and chest

Comments: YESSSS THE SASS. GOD THE SASS. SO MUCH SASS.


If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to PM me!
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