October 21, 2017, 07:53:06 PM

Author Topic: Epiphany: Blood of the Righteous  (Read 891 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Davin Ragal

  • Sentinels of the Realm
  • Myth
  • *****
  • Posts: 1.721
  • Son of Dicaspia
    • View Profile
Epiphany: Blood of the Righteous
« on: August 08, 2016, 07:25:07 AM »
Blood of the Righteous

Eye to eye they met.  A crusader who claimed allegiance to Aldaron stood toe to toe with the Argent Knight.  Behind him his four squad members brimmed with hatred at the sight of Davin's silver coat of arms.  Davin steeled himself and quelled his rage as his hand fell to the hilt of his blade.

Little had the swordsman found as he had lead various templars in criss-cross journeys through the fortress.  It was not a hive of activity, with the members of the order hunting high and low.  Davin had presented a trophy none of their fanatical devotion could resist.  In their deluded minds the one to spill the blood of a Dicaspian would surely be given the greatest favor of their god.  It was their blood that would spill this day.

”My father was a man of Aldaron...” Davin began in the face of the enraged but surprised templars.  With a motion more fluid than real, Davin's blade clanged up against the wall of the fortress.  Blood fountained forth from the lead templars blooded region where is head had once sat.  ”You poor fools would never even be worthy to lick the ground on which he walked.”  With no further word, Davin was past them before any of them could brandish their weapons.  He hoped Zyr had had more luck with his part in this.  Twenty minutes was nearing, and Davin had gathered almost nothing.  He had dispersed the templars effectively, but his ultimate goal was to find their main base of operations for his lady.

It was time to return.  Perhaps Zyrphath had finished his business with the Avatar of Aldaron, and knowing the Shadowking, he had likely gathered all the info required.

The scene had quietened has Davin moved.  He had lost the men chasing him, but he could still hear the commotion within the fortress.  Stealing through a doorway into a large living area, Davin was halted in his tracks.  Within there was the man or creature Zyrphath had identified as the Avatar from before.  He was larger than the Swordsman remembered, imposing, dominating. Davin faltered for only a second, then his feat slid naturally into a stance, his hand once more creeping to his blade.

”The last son of Dicaspia...fitting that you run around with the shadows, much like the enemy of Rochade.” Davin swallowed hard, but softened his breathing.  How could this creature have escaped Zyrphath?  How could he even hope to defeat it?  Rather than banter, he took in the surroundings and his immediate foe.

”You must realize that I can have the faithful here in moments.  Tis best that you lay down your weapons, and submit to the will of Rochade...” Davin's vision began to tunnel.  The timing was fortuitous.  His new abilities were kicking in just when he needed them.  The Avatar was imposing, but he appeared much as the other templars.  He wielded a short spear as a weapon, though Davin was aware enough to know this was not his only arsenal.  If he stood any chance here, he had to end it fast or escape.

The door slammed shut as if the wind had howled through the chamber.  It was nothing natural.  Davin could see things in great detail as he stood.  Escape was no option.  The spear was no match for the sword in enclosed spaces, and Davin was no dandy simply posturing with a blade.  At that instance, he saw his opening and sprang.  The raw energy crackled around him, unrefined, uncontrolled.  He could not lose to this creature now, nor could it call to its minions.

Then came the white hot vision.  Not pain as such, not even a sensation, more a vision.  The narrowing of his vision, its speed and perception slowed to a snails pace.  He was no longer moving fast, he was no longer moving.  He stared into the eyes of something more than a simple templar.  A being indescribably ethereal stood before him, draped in whispy fire, a wicked furrowed face was its visage.  What followed was intense pain.  Davin's head rolled down.  In the confusion of it all, the first thing he saw was that he no longer stood, but instead was suspended.  It was only as blood spilled forth from his mouth that his eyes focused on the spear sitting comfortably through his torso.

He felt fear, pain, and sorrow in that moment.  Never had he thought such a moment could affect him with such depth.  He felt close to tears and ashamed with every haggard breath he drew.  The enemy Avatar was issuing utterances, but Davin's mind could no longer focus on them as his life blood crept from his body.

With one last effort he glanced into the darker parts of the room.

”Shad...ow...kin..g” He uttered as consciousness and life slipped from him.

Is this how it ends...after so many battles, so many mountains… And yet darkness lurked within.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2016, 06:32:42 AM by Davin Ragal »

Offline Zyrphath

  • Sentinels of the Realm
  • Ancient
  • *****
  • Posts: 2.830
  • Realm Overlord
    • View Profile
Re: Epiphany: Blood of the Righteous
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2016, 02:19:36 AM »
”Shad...ow...kin..g”

No sooner than Davin's last utterance fell, the room was taken by an unnatural silence. The crusader backed away from the fallen knight, immediately sensing the precipice he so suddenly found himself at. All light waned sharply and without relent. A distant laughter emerged amidst the choking darkness, reverberating inside the room in a deep bass tone until it threatened to blow out eardrums. Right before the violent bellows reached its damaging apex, the last flickers of light were extinguished and the room fell dead silent again. Nothingness consumed them. Not even the sound of breaths being taken or expelled was heard, though one could have argued it was equally likely because everyone present was holding theirs.

The crusader took the invitation and invoked Aldaron's holy light, blasting the room with divine luminence following only a short invocation. For a split second, the room appeared brighter than if the sun itself had taken residence within, before dimming down to an ordinary level. His back against the wall, he scanned the room, waiting, attempting to sense the source of the magic he'd been exposed to. Seconds passed and nothing happened. He took to entertaining the thought that maybe it was a final Dicaspian taunt, perhaps embedded in a talisman Davin bore.

No sooner than such a foolish idea took place in his mind, the laughter returned from every corner of the room, this time a manical cackle. Again, it started almost inaudible but with a rapidly growing loudness. Seemingly out of the very air above Davin, a swirling mist began manifesting. In the blink of an eye, it went from an almost unnoticable cloud of vapor to a blackness that teemed with life. Before any attempts at dispelling the dark blob could be made, it shot out at the crusader like a gigantic claw, pinning him to the wall he was so confidently perched by. Following the claw's trail, the silhouette of a tall man appeared. Two distinctly red orbs were definite landmarks in a shape that was otherwise difficult to determine if you were actually seeing or just imagining.

"Among the errands of fools, yours is truly the royal jester," Zyrphath sneered. "I don't know what madness led you to this place, but it will be a finality you had never imagined."

The crusader spat at what he could only surmise was the rough location of Zyrphath's feet, if he had any.

"So, Maedhros sends his lackey to the rescue. What a pathetic display for the "dark lord", who ostensibly values nothing more than strength and hates nothing more than weakness. How is it not Maedhros' will that the Dicaspian line ends by my hand? Or is he the dark lord of hypocrisy?"

Zyrphath erupted in mocking laughter, so boisterous, so deeply felt, that he seemed to tople backwards over himself. Even as he disappeared into his own shadow, the mad laughter was not silenced, no, it rose. It rose in the same way that it had risen before, and this time it did not seem to stop. The claw that pinned him to the wall grew tentacles that enveloped his limbs, circling around all parts of him like enormous python snakes. Beset by otherworldly constriction and assaulted by sounds loud enough to drive ordinary men mad, the crusader was visibly under severe strain. Aldaron had always been annoyingly enduring, Zyrphath thought, but had no mind to let such a fact change anything, summoning a nightmarish visage to set fear into him. The tentacles grew teeth, boring into his flesh like slow-motion saws.

And yet, the man stood unbroken, a fact Zyrphath took with little grace.

"Dear paladin, if visions of my power on your flesh is not enough to grant you true wisdom... what if you were to feel it on all the things you love?"

The very room they were in seemed to evaporate before the crusader's eyes, along with all of Zyrphath's constructs of terror. They were in ghostly, ethereal forms, in some woodland village. Somewhere between Elenion and Andune, he figured. He tried to move, but couldn't. Some unseen force held him suspended, following the Shadowking from afar. Despite the distance between them growing, he could always see Zyrphath and hear his words with the utmost clarity.

He also recognized the town. He held ties to this place, he knew these people.

"I know," Zyrphath voiced, as if he could read minds.

The man's vision zoomed in on all the people he knew from his childhood, among others, his parents, scattering about their normal lives. Most of them were well beyond grown up, most of them old.

"I also know your true master. I know that it is not Aldaron. And I know her teachings better than you may think. But do not for a second think that it grants you any mercy!"

Night fell on the village in less than an instant, and out of the shadows crept little demonic beasts who had no other purpose than to attack the villagers. They would subdue them with claws and teeth, rending their flash until they could no longer stand. Beaten to within an inch of their lives, they'd be left alone, laying half-slain on the ground, in the dark. One by one, Zyrphath would visit them. With superhuman strength, he'd lift them off the ground by whatever appendage was closest in reach, and he'd skin them alive with a blade that was aflame. Those who survived were left to die however slowly their bodies would allow.

If the whole scene seemed to take an entire day to unfold completely, Zyrphath visited a thousand more scenes with the crusader, each one increasingly more terrible, vicious and cruel than the last. At the end of what could only have been a small lifetime of being forced to witness and take part in wanton destruction, as well as the torture and beastial slaying of friends, family and followers of his faith, and generally any life they encountered, Zyrphath released him. The illusion fell, and they were back in the fortress in Valgard. Still pinned to the wall as before, the sight of the man was something entirely different now. Outside of the illusion - in the real world - the tiny eternity he thought had experienced, so vivid that it couldn't have been anything but real, had only lasted a couple of seconds.

"If you still do not think that my power is absolute, watch as I reverse your work. Watch, you cretinous little stain of shit, as I dominate all spheres of existence. Where you can only see my destruction, you are ultimately blind to my creation. You would think Davin weak in the eyes of the Lord of Shadows, yet you are blind to Davin's true strength. What ignorance! The Dicaspian bloodline will build my empire, and now it is Davin's turn, as it had been Ataleu's before!"

Zyrphath's form became visible standing over Davin's limp body. He extended his hand to the region directly above the fallen Dicaspian, and as he so did, frosty smoke began emanating from his hand. The frozen air landed on the slain knight, seeming to fall into him, as if passing right through the skin.

"I know what lurks inside you, Davin Ragal... I know how you are plagued by darkness. And now, it will be so no more. Now, as you have paid the price, what was pain has become power."

Black, primordial essence oozed from Zyrphath's silhouette, as if siphoned into Davin's form. Slowly, so slowly that it was painful to keep track of, life returned. The crusader was broken, beaten, and in such a state of utter exhaustion and shock, that when he saw Davin's skewered body start twitching on its own, the terror was complete. His eyes watered with heartfelt despair, and in this moment, he knew truly and absolutely the terrible power Maedhros would exert to force his will upon Eldanar.

Zyrphath faded into the background, slowly becoming impossible to discern from the shadows that fell from various angles.

"Rise, now, as you are born again in His darkness. Arise, and bear the name of Dicaspia once more."

The world quaked as Zyrphath's last utterance fell like rolling thunder in a storm.

"I COMMAND YOU, AS I LORD OVER ALL DARKNESS IN THIS REALM, ARISE!"

With that, he was gone in an instant. So were the restraints on the worn out crusader, but a hazy Davin, fuming with emotions not describable in any language known to man, was already on his knees.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2016, 09:38:54 AM by Zyrphath »
Tome of Darkness


Avatar and sig-render by Silverbobcat

Offline Davin Ragal

  • Sentinels of the Realm
  • Myth
  • *****
  • Posts: 1.721
  • Son of Dicaspia
    • View Profile
Re: Epiphany: Blood of the Righteous
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2016, 08:17:33 AM »
Darkness enveloped vision, even thought and perspective.

Davin thought he heard words spoken by Zyrphath, but as he felt the ebb of life flow away, it was difficult to grasp anything tangent from anything physical.  Indeed his vision failed, and the pain was gone.  There was a literal nothingness which he could not explain, but at the same time understood perfectly.  This surely was death.

A deafening sound, that became mute over what felt like a lifetime seemed to signal the end.  Yet as the din of chaos lessened toward the brink, a small sound, an echo sounded.  A ping that was darkness, yet still resonated within the darkness.  Something barely explainable.  As the sound further depleted, the echo became more amplified and frequent, as if taking control.

At this point, all the swordsman, or that which had been, saw was this primordial tick.  The ebb of what had been his own life, the flow of something new.  Had he retained corporeal presence in this great theater, he likely would have gasped and wept at a show beyond his slowly slipping life.

A thrum, a pulse seemed to build, but not at the control of natural order, at the helm was something else, yet something faint, something very dark.  A whisper came that could not be heard by what had been Davin Ragal.  It was grasped by a creature that dwelled within, something tragic and dark.  With it the pulse echoed stronger.

”Rise...”

Within the darkness of the end, a second darkness folded in, not perceivable to the waning mind of the swordsman.  Just as the second darkness formed, a third came.  Oozing, creeping gently within the folds of the first two.  A spectacle beyond the grasp of any mortal.

A beast formed, enveloped in both the shadow of death, and something more sinister.  It was simply a matter of time.

"I COMMAND YOU, AS I LORD OVER ALL DARKNESS IN THIS REALM, ARISE!"

Lurching to his knees, the nigh dead Davin slumped.  Blood round his mouth was dry, the wound where the spear had nestled was dry also, healed improbably.  His eyes were white as if rolled back.  From both his mouth and from the chest wound, wisps of shadow flowed.  Not unlike black smoke, yet somehow more dense, more unbelievable.

Clenching every muscle in his body, Davin, or what Davin was let out an echoing cry.  Like the rasp of a creature born of pain.  Suddenly the black wisps coalesced, forming something of a shell around the deathly swordsman.  Within moments they came to shape, warping beyond the comprehension of anyone mortal.  Suddenly there was a burst of darkness.

What stood beyond was something primal, something powerful, something dark.  It looked like a skeletal dragon, but made of shadow, and no bigger than a man.  Not a creature with wings, nothing remained of the man that had been killed, only wild eyed beast.  It looked around frantically as two templars of the order charged into the room, leaving the door ajar.

The creature let our a helletic roar, and then set upon them.  The scene was bloody carnage.  By the time the creature was done, there was scarce a chunk bigger than a fist left of them, blood was ridden across the walls.  The creature exploded through the door, taking it from its hinges and part of the wall with it.  All that was left of the creature was haunting shrieks of its victims from various parts of the fortress as they faintly echoed in the chamber where the two Avatars were.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2016, 08:43:29 AM by Davin Ragal »

Offline Zyrphath

  • Sentinels of the Realm
  • Ancient
  • *****
  • Posts: 2.830
  • Realm Overlord
    • View Profile
Re: Epiphany: Blood of the Righteous
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2016, 10:07:56 PM »
As Davin rose by the power of his inner sickness, that hidden devil from deep within his core, Zyrphath could only feel ecstacy. He knew Davin had been carrying this lump within him for many years - many years prior to them having met each other, even. It had been Davin's mission to purge himself of the darkness within. What would become of that mission now? Now, that the shadow had saved him. With some coaxing from Maedhros, the shadow had burst forth and animated Davin's body, giving him his life back.

He wondered what Ataleu would think of it all; how she would interpret these events? Having long been faithful to Maedhros herself, she would no doubt connect a couple of dots - maybe a few dots too many. In the end, he told himself, it would be OK. After all, what alternative had there been? Would she had been more happy if Davin perished on a frozen island so desolate and forgotten that it had been hundreds of years since anyone spoke its name, surrounded by heretics of a broken faith, his and her name both tarnished by such lowly creatures? No. Her dragon fury would have lit the skies. He knew that, and he knew she would realize it as well, even if she took badly to the initial news. He knew her so well, even her draconic ire, that he would eventually wrap her around his fingers. Before all was said in this matter, she would thank her maker that Maedhros had watched over Davin this night.

"Do you know why I am so much stronger than you? How I can envelop you like fire around a hairy insect," he asked rhetorically, fading into vision again as Davin disappeared from the room.

"Tell your queen, if she had not already sensed it, that the King of Darkness, Lord of the Abyss, is returning in full. I am going to rip open the fabric of time and space, and Maedhros will fall upon Eldanar yet another time. And do you know what the best part of it all is?"

His form sank down towards the floor for the intent of addressing the crusader more intimately.

"Davin is going to help me do it," he whispered, his icy breath stinging the insides of the ear. "He just does not quite know it yet."

"As a matter of fact, your actions today have accelerated my plans considerably. I don't know how long it would have taken to awaken Davin's primal darkness if it hadn't been for your... well, let's call it 'advantageous stabbing', although I am sure Davin himself would disagree. You know, you should count yourself lucky you're so downtrodden that I guess in his primal rage he thought you were either already dead or simply not worth killing."

Zyrphath rose again, slowly motioning to follow through the door Davin had exited through.

"One last thing, though... when you give my regards to the Deceiver, let her know that I have the location of the Void Scepter."

As the crusader heard this, he spun an attempt at animating himself. It was a frantic effort, something you only see in people who are spurred by the fear of death or similar instincts. He could only clumsily cobble himself to his knees.

"Yes... I know she wants it," he added dryly, kicking the man square in the nose for his trouble and sending him back to the floor.

"Why do you think I know where the location of the scepter is," he sighed. "I am its creator. I am the one who showed it to Her."

The crusader could only stare in disbelief, not knowing what to say, much less do, as Zyrphath beamed viciously from within the shadows.

"Get your people ready, and I will call on you when the time comes. If I see any of you before that time, or if you come near my good friend here, you are going to see the true face of the Lord of Terror and fall into a nightmarish blackness unparallelled even by the illusions of your precious Va'ati."

In the next instant Zyrphath vanished out of the room, the door mysteriously slamming shut behind him despite having been ripped off its hinges (and the hinges themselves having been shredded from the wall), leaving the crusader beat and broken in the darkened crypt.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Pacing through the now relatively blood-spattered halls and rooms of the abandoned fortress, Zyrphath searched for Davin. For a while he had followed the dying screams as best he could, but they had all but died off by now and Davin was nowhere to be found. In a moment of clarity, he thought to return to where it all started. Again entering the room where he had interrogated the crusader, he came upon the Dicaspian Knight. Although, it was yet to be determined how much of the Knight actually remained.

"Davin?"

He eyed the hunched-over form, and noted with no surprise that he seemed to be doing fine, the circumstances taken into account. There seemed to be breath going in and out of Davin's lungs and the blood he dripped with was not his own. The crusader was not present, and there were no suggestions that he'd fallen prey to Davin - albeit, it would be hard to pinpoint such an act with reliable accuracy, given the immaculate effort Davin had shown in making meat sauce out of his first two victims.

Coming into full view, he spoke again, this time through the darkness in the room.

"Davin Ragal..."
Tome of Darkness


Avatar and sig-render by Silverbobcat

Offline Davin Ragal

  • Sentinels of the Realm
  • Myth
  • *****
  • Posts: 1.721
  • Son of Dicaspia
    • View Profile
Re: Epiphany: Blood of the Righteous
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2016, 12:46:58 AM »
Spectral lines enveloped the swordsman.  He descended from nothingness to a ghostly white city where spectral beings moved around.  All were of High Elven blood, though their forms were white and shimmered intoxicatingly.  As Davin landed softly on his feet he looked around.  The cityscape was breathtaking, spires of white were visible in all directions, shimmering with the beauty and spectralness of the people.  Even in his ignorance, the only word that escaped Davin's lips was 'Loriath'.

He wandered for seemingly hours, observing as people went by. They seemed not to see him at all.  He wandered for hours, or so it seemed, taking in the beauty of the city, the flawless peace that flowed around him.  A serenity he had not felt in an age seeped into him.  Was this truly death?  Last he remembered was being speared in a fatal blow by an Avatar of Aldaron, or so he thought.  Moving into a central square, the art, music and general life was so breathtaking that Davin himself lost control of his normal stoic mask and fell to his knees and wept.

As if that were a trigger for something the sky darkened.  Suddenly the pure white spectral people changed, becoming more ghostly and green in their appearance.  They ran, chaos was abound.  What was going on was not clear to Davin, his euphoria was high, but the scene started to ebb at him.  A cloaked figure approached in the chaos, making a direct line for the now confused, borderline frightened swordsman.

"Sáranér. Roschade has come for Lady Ataleu...you must flee."  Davin remained slack jawed, not knowing what was happening in this spectral world.  Though in the back of his mind, and in his voice he heard the words utter forth "Fool, no I must rally at her side..." though his jaw did not move.  The cloaked figure looked disturbed for a moment, then shook his head. "No my lord...the gods are moving, destruction is at hand, and the templars move against your sister." Davin was still dumbfounded, but the voice in his head spoke once more "You would defy me?"  Suddenly there was a rip in the fabric of Davin's vision, and a creature of shadow seeped through, none in the scene seemed to notice other than Davin.  It coalesced into an even more ambiguous shadow form with glowing red eyes.  Davin's heart felt as if it alone had been plunged into ice as he gazed into the eyes.  "You have a more important purpose, and you WILL go..." As the sentence echoed in the head of the swordsman, the creature melted into hooded figure.  Suddenly it struck Davin on the back of the head.  As he collapsed, he heard the last words "I am sorry Sáranér, the Dicaspian line must continue, with or without our Lady." All faded black.  The last image he say was an intangible power outside of Loriath, forgotten.

***************

Blood bathed the hallways of the fortress.  Not one templar remained alive, and few remained even in one piece.  The creature had rampaged throughout the fortress, tearing men asunder grotesquely, and without mercy.  The creature skulked in one of the lower rooms simply staring at its last kill.  The bloody pulp had once been a member of the faithful.  The remains were unpleasant at beast, with organs strewn before the creature.  Not one splash of blood appeared on the creature, its shadowed hide flickering and shifting incomprehensibly, its eyes almost sad, but desperate.

"Davin?" Came the voice of the Shadowking.  The creature only registered his presence on the spoken word.  It roared, but backed away.  Unlike all the bloody remnants of the garrison here, Zyrphath seemed to have some sway over the chaos.  Zyrphath, not concerned over the shade before him, spoke once again, this time his words cut through the dark.

"Davin Ragal..." As if that triggered something, the creature shrieked and back into the corner of the room.  It convulsed and writhed as if in pain.  Suddenly the shade dissipated, and shrank as if withdrawing inward, black ichor spilled in all directions.  A darkness echoed in the room, and then faded, leaving only the form of Davin Ragal.  There was a hole in his clothes where the Avatar had pierced him, but the flesh was mended.  As a collapsed heap, Ragal awoke with a start.  Frantically he looked around before he saw the Shadowking.

"Your voice..." He uttered hoarsely.  "It brought me back..."  Shakily he moved to his feet, his knees buckling half way, he fell back to the floor.  "I cannot believe my last words were 'Shadowking'..." He said with a mild grind over his pale face.  Once again scrabbling up to his feet, this time, he made it to his feet.

"That was...that was the creature..."  He shook his head, as if in disbelief, or as to expel his last sentence.  "The darkness spoke to me..." He swallowed hard.  "I have many questions.  You have seen my curse first hand, and survived.  Not that I expected anything less from the Shadowking."  Shakily, he tested a few steps and found his feet.  "While I was possessed, I saw..."  He pinched his nose as if trying deeply to recall "...Loriath, before the Sundering...my lady was there...then it came..."  He swallowed hard.  "A shadow within a shadow spoke to me.  An ominous power told me there was more that I must do."  He wondered briefly over this portent.  Was this something that would help his Lady.  She had survived the Sundering in Loriath.  Perhaps he could help her further.

"There is something powerful outside the loss of Loriath...something powerful." He stepped forward, more in charge of his motion than before, less weak, and now feeling more empowered.  "My line was spared to save Ataleu...now I serve her..."  He looked at Zyrphath.  "I...I thank you...your voice brought me back from the chaos."  He looked away, as if in thought.  "I must go to the ruins of the old world...I feel there might be something for you there too..."  The darkness within a darkness but was different from Zyrphath, perhaps more but fragmented, but had a familiarity.  "I would go alone...though I am unsure of the way..."

Muttering to himself, in regards to the vision This is what she wants...
« Last Edit: October 10, 2016, 06:49:23 PM by Davin Ragal »

Offline Zyrphath

  • Sentinels of the Realm
  • Ancient
  • *****
  • Posts: 2.830
  • Realm Overlord
    • View Profile
Re: Epiphany: Blood of the Righteous
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2016, 11:26:26 AM »
"Your voice... It brought me back."

A hesitative contemplation came over Zyrphath. On one hand, he couldn't deny holding a central role in what had happened. Yet, he felt that it was inaccurate as well. The twists and turns of the many shadows one could find in Entar were too many to count, even for one such as himself, to the point that he was unsure of where this particular one could have originated. It didn't feel like Maedhros' work - though that is not to say that it couldn't have been. On the other hand, maybe it didn't matter where the shadow came from. It had risen when it needed to, seemingly at Zyrphath's command, and Davin was all the more grateful for it.

"I cannot believe my last words were 'Shadowking'..." Davin said, showing a weak smile.

"Well, Davin, were I in command of the water of this world and you fell into the ocean, would you not speak my name in seek of aid? While it may feel odd to you, I think it quite natural, the circumstances taken into account. Our spirits often know, when we ourselves do not, the road to self-preservation."

"In this particular instance, however, self-preservation came at a price," he added, eyeing the carnage immediately visible around Davin's trembling body.

He listened to Davin speak about the darkness and the power that gripped him, lashing him back from the throes of death, and in return, claimed death of others. Under a well-hidden smile, Zyrphath acknowledged to himself that, while he harbored no true intention of influencing Davin towards the darker sides of morality, he would hardly be opposed if it happened as a consequence of what had transpired in the Tundra. Or what might yet transpire in the Tundra... and at their next destination.

For Zyrphath already felt what Davin was going to say. He didn't have it in words, but as they fell to his ears he recognized that he'd already found them in his mind moments before... he just did not know they were words yet. Davin's account rang true, breathing life into one of the clearest intentions Zyrphath had ever felt flow from beyond the shadow. The more he examined them, rapidly within his own mind, the more exhilarated he found himself at such a magnificient glory. To see so much more clearly than usual into the mind of a god, and yet, to barely comprehend but the tiniest fragment of it. Truly, today he had been blessed by the Dark Lord and reveled in it.

As Davin repeated the sentiment of gratitude for more or less having been saved from Hirin's clutch, Zyrphath was glad he had held his tounge earlier in regards to being uncertain of what lay at the true core of the shadow that dwelled within Davin. It was fortuitous to his plans, however, that things had played out like this. So fortuitous that he suspected a much larger play at hand. Very much larger, in fact; to have such luck, to see such a perfectly chained line-up of events, could only mean what mortals might call fate or destiny. Zyrphath had a strong idea of how this all came to be, and it was most certaintly not by way of a most gargantuan coincidence.

"In all honesty, I wasn't sure how much of you would come back," Zyrphath responded. He had watched Davin's form recoil and writhe around itself when he called out to it, the first sign of Davin's health - as opposed to the health of what had taken hold of him. "Fortune was on your side today, Davin of Dicaspia. Truthfully, I am owed less in this endeavor than you may seem to think. Lady Ataleu holds no small amount of favor in the shadowrealm, after all, and being her kin appears to have lended you a rare grace. Maybe you are less cursed than you think?"

When the risen knight spoke of something powerful outside the remnants of Loriath, the pieces fell into place in Zyrphath's mind. Truly had he been correct in his suspicions that had been formed only moments prior. This was indeed something else, and it was something grand. All doubt was gone: this was divine intervention. Long had he felt the Dark Lord call, but he knew not how to answer - until now. Whatever the reality may have been, in Zyrphath's mind there was no room for doubt. The Dark Lord had spoken through a vision to Davin, which again must been channeled through the shadow rumbling at Davin's core. Given the location they were not very subtly nudged towards, much could be assumed about the general direction and the gravity of what was intended for them by powers far beyond their control.

"Fear not, old friend... The way is sure, even if it is not visible yet. I will travel with you to the ghost of Loriath."

The vision had been oddly specific about where they needed to go, so much that Zyrphath wondered if Davin was aware of the grave implication of his own words.

"I would send word to the Lady, but I fear our mission is of such importance that we cannot afford the time. Let us at once make preparations - crossing the wasteland of the drow is an adventure not to be taken lightly."

Davin looked at him in silence. Zyrphath interpreted it as curiosity or perhaps confusion.

"Yes, we are not venturing to the wastes or what lies beneath. The true loss of Loriath does not refer to the my distant kin -- I mean the drow, or their land... We are being sent to whence the Lord of Light made his final stand in a time that is now so long gone that it is all but forgotten except in the hearts of the oldest of elves and in the books of priests and historians. It is a place that, while I don't know its location, I know it will be difficult to reach - and that is if we have as much luck there as we've had today."

"My advice would be to spend more time sharpening and hardening your mind than you do any of your equipment, Davin," he said ominously. "Where we are going, the very earth will teem with a force that no steel, no matter how sharp, can sway."
Tome of Darkness


Avatar and sig-render by Silverbobcat

Offline Davin Ragal

  • Sentinels of the Realm
  • Myth
  • *****
  • Posts: 1.721
  • Son of Dicaspia
    • View Profile
Re: Epiphany: Blood of the Righteous
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2016, 09:48:39 PM »
Davin knew little of his the tapestry of Lady Ataleu's past.  She was ancient, mysterious, often terrifying.  Perhaps there was truth to Zyrphaths words, he did not doubt them, but in the past she had appeared all to vividly when guiding him across the veil.  "In all honesty, I wasn't sure how much of you would come back"  Was Zyrphaths initial statement on the matter.  Davin tugged the tattered remains of his tunic aside at the shoulder.

What had once had looked like an angry bruise was now a clear dark rune, the like of which was lost on Davin, and if Zyrphath recognized it, he kept it to himself for now.  The dark bruise acted like a mute halo on this clear and distinct runic mark.  Davin was unsure what to be more concerned about, the gore that coated the walls or the eerie development of the mark.  The shadowking's words may be true, perhaps he was less cursed than he thought, but it was still a frightening prospect of a creature taking hold.  Until now the beast had only managed to influence minor actions to preserve itself from harm while it inhabited the swordsmans body.

The shadowking went on to speak on the route to the wastes.  It was fortuitous, or perhaps something more, that they had been together on this revelation, lest Davin would either go alone, or have to seek out Zyrphath.  Indeed it was more than fortune, though destiny was a far cry from Davin's mind.  Perhaps the moving hand of Dicaspia, perhaps something different.  The world was changing, though few would feel it yet.  Perhaps others had felt it before Davin.  He would not be surprised is Ataleu had kept such change from his, but his faith made his feel that if that were the case, it was for a good reason.

Zyrphath spoke on the fall of Loriath, of kind and country.  In all honesty, despite having an appetite for knowledge and lore of such things, when time permitted, in all his reading Davin had little knowledge on the old kingdom of elves.  He did not interrupt.  There would be time for questions on the road.

"We are being sent to whence the Lord of Light made his final stand in a time that is now so long gone that it is all but forgotten except in the hearts of the oldest of elves and in the books of priests and historians."  Davin scoffed audibly at the statement.  Not in criticism to the words, more the concept.  "Lord of Light.  Perhaps he should be more instrumental in keeping his more zealous and fanatical devout walking that path."  The remark was let passed, as if no one else, Zyrphath knew the torment himself and his Lady had been put through in the name of this lord.

"My advice would be to spend more time sharpening and hardening your mind than you do any of your equipment."  Davin nodded.  He would do his best, though it was no secret that his potency came with the martial prowess of the blade.  Still his manifesting abilities were showing a level of dynamic potential that he wished he knew the first thing about how to train.  Perhaps his mysterious sometimes mentor could help him, but for now urgency seemed to be at the forefront.

"Very well...we venture to the heart of darkness."  He looked around the room once more.  "I will not miss this place, it is a sickening monument.  I would destroy it had I the means."  He looked down at his clothing.  Parts were tattered, parts coated in blood, both his own and others.  He no longer felt weakened as if the creature had helped restore him.  "Perhaps a change of garb before the journey proper..."

Offline Zyrphath

  • Sentinels of the Realm
  • Ancient
  • *****
  • Posts: 2.830
  • Realm Overlord
    • View Profile
Re: Epiphany: Blood of the Righteous
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2016, 05:02:31 PM »
[Continued in: To the Heart of Darkness]
« Last Edit: October 30, 2016, 09:19:08 PM by Davin Ragal »
Tome of Darkness


Avatar and sig-render by Silverbobcat