Old March 12, 2018, 09:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Ashes To Ashes (Tali)

Fire was a terrible way to die.

It always showed on the skin first. The flames slowly turning whatever complexion you might have been, to a charred black. The moisture stolen from the flesh by the intense heat, causing it to wither and brittle. Much like the bark of a dead tree. Whatever extremities might have existed usually boiled away, the liquid within evaporating most grotesquely.

Vireylda had seen eyes pop, and not in the figurative sense.

Mercifully for the victim, they were almost always long dead at this point.

As she walked along the path to the supposedly haunted town, Vireylda forced herself to remain stoically analytical. These people had died in a fire, and there was nothing she could do about it. Even her own magics couldn't help in this regard. What creature was she to resurrect, when only ashes remained?

Those thoughts helped. The shrieking horror she heard inside her mind diverted, at least temporarily.

Were they trapped? Scared? Did it happen in their sleep? Were they with their loved ones? How much did it hurt? Could they feel it on their skin? on their SKIN AS IT BOIL-.

Vireylda shook herself with a snarl, rapid thoughts, mental screams, all amplified by compassion and empathy. She closed her eyes, and forcefully shut it all away.

Logic was what she needed here. Cold facts, and rationality.

She'd make her way to the village unless she was interrupted.
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Old March 12, 2018, 09:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It seemed as if Vireylda was surrounded by death.

In her leave from the town to embark on this journey, the scenery around her began to devolve. What was once an inviting scenery fell prey to tragedy and left nothing in its wake. Each step the pale elf took left an uneasy crunch, as if she were stepping on bone rather than dried up grass. The corpses of trees that once bloomed stood upright only because time willed it to be so.

Despite the destruction, a path leading to her destination managed to win the fight and was barely holding on for all that differentiated it from the rest was pure dirt. No grass. No scorch marks or puddles of toxic slime. Just plain, ordinary dirt that somehow managed to still tug at the heartstrings.

Her travels went uninterrupted and she soon found herself nearing the border of the village. It was there that a haunting melody began to glide across the stiffened air and crawl into the woman’s ears.

Oh death, oh death why,
I thought we were friends, you and I,
you broke your promise, our only vow,
and my heart even now

Oh death, you whisper to me
speak louder! Let me see
the hollow gaze, a lifeless stare
allow me one final glare
permit me that, I beg of ye!
my nightmares are only of she

Oh death, do you recall?
It appears you had the gall!
To strip me of my maiden true
and left me here, alone and blue

Oh death, I beg of ye,
bring her back and please take me.
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Old March 14, 2018, 09:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The crunch of twigs beneath her feet echoed her misgivings as she drew closer. The blackened bones of the village were stark in the noonday sun, a sad tale that she could see unfold even without further examination. She wondered if she was trodding on ghosts, bits of lives that had burnt away. Was that foundation once a mill? Perhaps a barn? What stories had the walls heard that had been now lost?

What.

The pale elf stiffened, hand instantly going for the hilt of the sword on her hip. She was careful not to make any threatening movements, but was certainly not going to be unprepared.

”Hello?”
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Old March 15, 2018, 06:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Destruction surrounded the elf, darkening what had initially become a lovely brightening. Even the three suns of Telath couldn’t bring warmth to the village’s corpse nor the melody that seemed to float along the stiffened winds.

Upon Vireylda’s call, however, time itself seemed to come to an abrupt halt.

The eerie silence constricted around her, almost as if the very air that she was breathing had become scarce. A few branches cracked to her left, followed by a few more to the right before silence fell once more. After what felt like candlemarks, whispering began to circulate from all around.

“Is it her? Could it be?”A quiet voice fell within earshot first, sounding as if a boy nearing the edge of becoming a man.

“Look true, despite your heart is blue.” A different, deeper voice - similar to the one that owned the melody prior - replied in a rhyming tune.

“Who else could she be if not for the one I’ve been calling for?”

“Too pale this one, the one you seek is done.”

“No!” Scrambled footsteps began to grow closer at a rapid pace, seeming to stop just along the outskirts of the dense corpse of forest. Vivid red eyes pierced through the darkness, the pain and sorrow clear should she choose to look and meet his gaze.

“Oh maiden, true, please tell! How on earth have you fell?
The land you walk is of the dead, explain to me what path you’ve led.”
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Old March 17, 2018, 06:03 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The chorus of voices swarmed up from the silence of the night, surrounding her in their whispering questions. They flew by her too fast to consider, let alone answer.

The pale elf blinked, blue eyes meeting crimson. The tips of her fingers tightened on the hilt of her sword. Fear threatened to consume her, wispy tendrils of dread closing in.

Lifting one slender hand, Vireylda pointed back to the path she'd just walked. "That one, and I came here to find out what happened here."
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Old March 17, 2018, 06:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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“Simple-minded, this one is. Perhaps her soul will soon be his.”

A young lad emerged from the veil of shadow, his light grey skin not providing much contrast to their surroundings. What stuck out, however, was a violet lute that seemed to be gripped within a trembling grasp. His crimson gaze seemed to scatter about, as if ensuring they were alone. “Leave here, fair maiden! You know not of what you seek!”

“It all began upon that peak...”

“Leave us!” The vysticchi snarled back at the forest, sounding as if he were on the verge of tears.

All fell silent.

The young man seemed to pause, in a frozen state of glaring at the forest. Once he felt certain, he returned to the pale elf. “Please, you must go. It is unsafe for such beauty to wander amongst death.”
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Old March 18, 2018, 04:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Her eye twitched in irritation. Whomever this voice was, it obviously never heard of manners. Keep it up and I'll show you simple minded... Annoyance was a positive, as it kept the tendrils of fear at bay.

Oh, well that wasn't expected. The terrible monster that might have lurked within the shadows revealed as nothing more than a frightened youth. He appeared to be somewhat distraught as well, and she made an attempt to sound calming. "I'm well acquainted with death, and can defend myself as necessary." She gestured to her sword, and then cocked her head. "What are you so afraid of?"
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Old March 19, 2018, 06:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The vysticchi shook his head, taking a step toward the elfess as his crimson gaze threatened to let loose what he had been fighting to contain. “Y-you know not of w-what you speak! They never leave, n-not truly! Please, you m-must go! Before-“ he fell silent, his widened gaze sliding back to the forest as a tremble shook the lute he so desperately held.

After a moment of silence, he collapsed to his knees. With a drop of his head, one hand eased up on the instrument – allowing for the proper movements to create a new, yet somehow more creepy melody. Small pools began to form on the wood, dripping past as if yearning for the ground below.

I have failed you, my love
Please hurt no more
I’ve offered all I can
But…


The tune began to intensify, a harsh tension growing in his bony frame.

It’s never enough!
Oh why, oh why
Can it really be true?
Has death truly parted us
Forevermore?


The melody continued to grow harsh, his once elegant movements sharp and at risk of actually hurting himself.

Oh death, you beast!
Rid me of this pain
I want you, I want you
Can that not be enough? not enough!
Oh take me now so this can stop!


While his song continued, a familiar voice lingered in the elf’s ear. “So tragic, is it not? To watch this man rot. His own hand, a sword that strikes true. So that his heart will no longer be blue.”

“Tell me, fair maiden who speaks not of what she knows. How long, do you think until his heart finally blows?”
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Old April 21, 2018, 06:19 AM   #9 (permalink)
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The boy had to be addled in the head. For Vree could think of no other reason as to his statement that there was danger in the forest, and then the subsequent action to play a song.

She listened to his lilting tune, the tones of which were slowly crawling into unsettling. Little shivers washed across her skin, creating a landscape of unease on her very flesh.

Her fingers twitched, the sword in her hand a comfort against whatever was lurking.

The trees produced nothing, silent gatekeepers of whatever terror lurked in the darkness of the forest. The elf narrowed her eyes, as if trying to understand through the intensity of her gaze alone.

Vree spun in place at the sound of the voice in her ear. Whispering nonsensical speech and condescending questions. The pale elf grit her teeth, but her feet planted themselves. Run, Run. It filled her limbs, urging her to flee this strange place. Vireylda knew it would only take a movement. A simple step before she was gone.

Deep breaths. It wants you to be afraid.

Stupidly, that actually helped. Rude spirits weren't to be gratified. Resolutely Vireylda lifted her chin, staring into the forest even if she didn't know where the voice had come. "Tragedy isn't always final. Sometimes it is merely a waypoint on the path to Victory. The resolution, hard conviction in her voice surprised the elf.

It emboldened her, and her fingers -slick with perspiration in expectation of a fight- gripped the hilt of her sword even tighter. "If you only just met me, how are you to say that you know that I don't know what you think I don't know?" She grinned, despite herself. "And if I speak not of what I know, then please, enlighten me."
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Old April 21, 2018, 10:21 AM   #10 (permalink)
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The voice cackled, almost sounding as if it took delight in the situation.

“A clever lass
But far too much sass
If you believe such to be true
Will you stop him from being blue?"


Its tone picked up speed, creating a sense of urgency.

“Time is running out, better hurry
Scurry, pale elf, scurry!”


While it continued to cackle, the vysticchi’s song had grown near erratic. The lute had ceased playing and instead was being used as a battering ram. After a few swings, it managed to crack in half and yet the young elf didn’t let up. He had given into his sobs, unable to find his singing voice as he blindly threw his instrument around. Without regard for his own life or any other.

In his manic flailing, his footing became unstable and a rock managed to slam him onto the cold earth. Yet he didn’t even try to catch himself. He simply let himself fall – searing pain shooting through his arm as crimson began to leak into the dirt from where his head collided. He simply laid there, his whole frame trembling as a glazed expression stared into seemingly nothing.

A gentle whisper was all that he could manage. Spoken in repetition, but never growing any strength of tone and released between strangled breaths as he choked on the sobs that seemed never-ending.

“Please, just take me…I want to die…”
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Old April 22, 2018, 06:59 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Whatever was wrong with the youth, she didn't know. Vireylda took a look at him, ignoring the spirit. She had no idea what the hell being blue meant, but was it possible the lad was possessed?

Vireylda gathered her power, throwing a Dismiss undead toward the lad. It was a simple spell, low level. She didn't expect it to work, but whatever happened might tell her what he was suffering from.

If that didn't work, she was just going to knock him out.
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Old April 22, 2018, 08:39 PM   #12 (permalink)
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The pale elf had little choices at present and many questions that couldn’t be answered unless she managed to regain control of the situation. Instinctively, her mind went to spell-casting as she quickly got to work weaving things together. Each of the strands held out before her fell into place, forming a half circle at a decent pace. Soon enough she managed to create a shield which she used to surround the dark elf who seemed to have given up on life.

There was a high-pitch shriek that echoed throughout the surrounding area upon the shield enveloping the young lad. It lasted for a few solid moments before all went silent. If Vree’s perception was keen enough, a shadow would pass through an area of natural light for a quick second as it fled back into the forest.

The bard slowly sat up, blinking in confusion as a tremble still quakes through his frame. “I...is he gone? Truly?” His gaze nearly snapped to Vireylda, hoping she would be able to provide some answers. “Am I free, fair maiden?”
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Old April 26, 2018, 05:48 PM   #13 (permalink)
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The weave wasn't hard. Was tying a knot complicated? Or threading a needle difficult? Perhaps to the beginner, or the novice it might. As the spell left her hands it was very clear that the pale elf wasn't anything near a beginner. It encircled the young man as a river might a stone, banishing anything that might have encased him.

Agony met her pointed ears, the shrieking sound of terrible pain echoing from what fled away. Into the forest.

Not what I expected, but sure, we'll take it.

She approached the young man, her manner more like one coming near to a wild animal, than a person. The lad on the other hand, just laid on the ground. It was a logical action, considering.

When she was sure he wouldn't attack her, the pale elf spoke. Her blue gaze shifted to the forest at the boy's question, and then back to him. "No, probably not." Vireylda drew back up from her hunched position, her sword still hanging from her hand, but lowered now.

She offered him a hand. "For now, yes. Though If you wish to stay free, I would suggest telling me what is after you. I can't fight what I don't know."
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Old April 29, 2018, 10:07 AM   #14 (permalink)
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It was as if the boy hadn't known the damage he had done for when his gaze met with the broken lute, a small whimper escaped his lips. He crawled on hand and knee toward it, scooping the pieces into his lap. "M-my...my sister made this for me. Gods, what have I done? What has it made me do?" Tears began to stream down his face, holding the biggest piece close to his chest.

After a few minutes of grieving, his glistening gaze returned to the maiden that had saved him. "I came here to mourn the loss of my loved one, as I have since her passing. There was a song...one that she would ask me to play for her every day." He paused, attempting to keep his composure. "But this last trip was different. There was something there. A shadow, of some sort. It spoke to me. Got inside of my mind, made me believe all hope was lost. I felt," he shuddered, "I felt as if I were going insane."

"I have heard tales of such a beast, but knew not of their true existence." With a great deal of caution, the bard laid the pieces of his lute into a satchel before he staggered onto his feet. "You spoke of knowing death, maiden. Do you know of a shade?"
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Old April 30, 2018, 09:05 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Sister... All it took was one word, two syllables loaded with meaning. The web that connected each memory to one another strengthened as the recollections came to her. Pieces of conversation turning into full diatribes. Vireylda recalled her own sister, trapped now in the forest, unable to leave. All at once the pale elf cared for this strange child that had been possessed by some kind of demon, it seemed.


Her blue eyes softened for the youth, his tale was a heartwrenching one. Pain was obvious in his eyes, but she couldn't allow it to get to her. How could she be at all useful if she were sobbing on the floor? Not at all, she wouldn't be useful in the slightest.

"A shade? What exactly did it say? How do you know of a shade? Did it tell you about them?"
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