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 Revival (RP/Story)

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PostSubject: Revival (RP/Story)   Sat Oct 27, 2007 5:08 pm

[This is the story; please don't post discussions here.
'Cause I'm OCD like that.
The first part was kinda just background, but I'm hoping to integrate into a more storylike feel later.

Yes, I renamed it.]

All you were doing was riding your bike. At night. Of course, you did have reflectors.

You were in one of those areas called "Suburbia," where all the houses were roughly the same, have the same lawns, same hedges, most vacant and waiting to be sold. It was peaceful, and the salesperson kept the lights on to make the few living in a house feel like they had people around them.

Of course, there are moments of uncertainty, since you are on a small metal frame, moving along pathways made for giant metal frames, but it's always just paranoia or healthy cautiousness.

But something was different this time.

The truck that followed you did not bother to pass, even when you started riding on the grass; it did not even perform the courtesy of turning on its lights. Judging by the growling of its motor, it was an old, large beast, not at all the sort of vehicles in this area: Hummers, or large, shiny, sleek black or silver machines intended to be used for show as much as utility.

And then you approached the bend. You were already heading towards your home, so to turn back would be foolish: the streets here were nearly endless stretches of pavement which only served to alienate the surrounding landscape with man made boxes, albeit complicated ones.

The bend was not at all unnatural: a simple curve to connect this street with the next, built at the end of the complex. There are several reasons why this would be here: budget is one cause; with the limit for money willing to be spent reached, cap off this area and leave it alone. In this case, it was geography: a sinkhole opened unexpectedly during construction, due to human error, and they merely built around it and prevented such future occurances.

Because of this, there was a fence forcing you to go on the road. As you did so, the truck's engine revved, causing it to lurch forward into your bike. Balance was a temporary privilege as you learned while your bike tilted to the side, depositing you as a stream of juice from a squeezed fruit, which caused you to roll across the lawn directly ahead of you, into the hedges...

The engine slowed. Worryingly, you could feel nothing in your left arm. If those men in the truck were hoping to rob you, they would be sorely disappointed, and you possibly deceased. Living in a high-income area does not imply wealthiness: your parents encourage hard work for small sums of money; you found the resultant profit too small for physical effort. Even if you -

Doors slammed. You heard shouting, yet could not comprehend it, and it was growing fainter. Alarmingly, your vision dimmed as well, leaving only the image of the poorly lit truck in your mind, its grill a malicious sneer, before it all disappeared completely...

And then you wake up, in no pain, in a tent, in the woods. Later, as puzzling conversations with others reluctantly reveal, you learn you have some sort of magical abilities, or was it a martial specialization? Regardless, you have to find out what you are doing here - you seem to be in a traveling group, judging by the equipment strewn about the camp, which is excessive for only 10 or 20 people.

Your thoughts are interrupted as a scream breaks through the forest. Half of the group runs to help; the other half to flee. Doom, however, is always imminent. All of you are surrounded by bandits, closing in with deathly intentions. As they near, they appear to be extremely skinny... surely, all they want is food. Moments later, they appear to be already dead: mere skeletons.

As time continues in its merciless progression, your disbelief slowly turns to shock as your perceptions are not defied, and the horror mounts until, again, all fades.

This time, you wake uncomfortably on what appears to be a stone floor. Mentally, you lack the strength to deny the existence of the skeleton so obviously floating before you, and physically, you lack the strength to cower in terror, so you accept it. The figure, despite lacking any clearly visible means of speaking, still manages to do so.

"Hello. I believe you are the ones I have been waiting for."

And so the journey begins.


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PostSubject: Re: Revival (RP/Story)   Sat Oct 27, 2007 5:10 pm

Continuatation.

Berol worried. He was a high-ranking individual of a small system of churches in the region of Argus. There was not enough space for an easily supportable army for such a small area, so the land was governed by a force dragon of immense power. His field of force was intense enough to render him almost invisible.

For the past several weeks, however, the dragon seems to have gone mad: all officials that have attempted to approach him have not returned. Berol could only hope the problem would resolve itself in short time, because fighting would likely erupt without the dragon's diplomacy.

He could only wait.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In Kourna, the assassination of Irimund, the local lord, was not going according to plan. The original infiltration seems to have been predicted, as Irimund's army was in no way unprepared for the arrival of enemy ships: almost his entire force occupied the fortress. While it could be a mistake to neglect the rest of Irimund's territory, it was proving deathly effective to the Istani troops.

It was, however, only a matter of time before the defenses buckled. Istan had more reinforcements and artillery should the situation become dire.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

R'r'k, the leader of L'ndyn, paced in the city's walls. Decades of peace allowed it to grow astoundingly large outside of the walls, yet the areas were now threatened.

For the most part, the city was evacuated to the walled area, but the space was cramped, and people who originally underestimated the threat from Marca stayed in their homes, tending to their farms. Others still had forsaken the walls' safety to loot the abandoned houses created by the evacuation. They were now deceased, the city had remained full for the past month, and now the creature had returned.

He could only wait and hope that he would at last receive some support. He needed it.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Ogma smiled. Her plan was set in motion.


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PostSubject: Re: Revival (RP/Story)   Sat Dec 01, 2007 11:04 pm

The monster shook the floor horribly. It was a giant, writhing mass of tentacles, easily capable of mauling its keeper if it were not for the powerful spell he was using.

The keeper was provoking the beast with a Gate to another plane, the Elemental Plane of Fire. He moved it so that each tentacle suffered a severe burn when it lashed at him. It promptly grew still and shrank away, its body melding into another form.

In the middle of the room where the beast was stood a man wearing tattered clothing, covered with burns. His body appeared to have endured years of abuse: his skin is dirtied, his joints are swollen, and his entire body is shaking horribly from countless bruises.

"Please. Please, stop and let me go." The keeper only smiled as the Gate closed. He raised a hand, palm facing the man. An intensely bright ray of light shot out of his hand, striking the man with a sound of burning flesh.

As he was being burned again, his scream changed from a piteous yell to an inhuman shriek. His back hunched away from the light, he turned rapidly to face the keeper: his arm was now a large tentacle, improportionately bulbous to his body, rushing through the air as it sped at the keeper.

The keeper stopped his Searing Light and turned to fog as the appendage passed harmlessly through him. A piece of cloth n the wall fell away, revealing a glyph in a foreign script. The man promptly fell unconscious and began to turn into a stagnant mass of tentacles again.

Less than a minute later, Nick had returned to his solid form and was staring at the motionless mass.

"Very good." He walked out of the room.

~ ~ ~ ~

One of the three figures on the floor, Zenair, stands. "Who are you?"

"You will know my name in time. By then, your journey will almost be complete...

"Now, you will all learn of the task I have set aside for you. The local governing body, the Black Hearth, is headed by a corrupt leader, known as Nick. To be frank, I would like for you to kill him.

"But it is not so simple. Nick has acquired the traits of a vampire, and has had them since I met him. He is ruthless, going to any ends for his distorted purposes. He must be stopped. My sources even indicate he has gone so far as to steal a dragon's egg, for whatever nefarious purposes!

"Being the leader, you must gain allies. I will send each of you to a different conflict, each with potential allies that will serve you well in the days ahead.

"I will not help you directly. I cannot. I am too... emotionally involved. But Nick must be stopped. Good luck."

A moment later, the skeleton is alone again, as it has been for countless decades. It meditates.

~ ~ ~ ~

Zenair suddenly finds himself in a dark, dirty tunnel. The only light comes from a slightly glowing green substance that adheres to the walls. After some fumbling, he finds a piece of paper on the ground, and begins to read in the meager light:

"Zenair. It is I. You are currently in the castle of Irimund, a lord on the fringes of Black Hearth territory. He was constantly pressured to join the Hearth and accept their rituals, but his defiance has led to outright warring between local Hearth centers of power and his land.

"He has a beast that can kill the wumpus. Tell him an old friend wants her debt settled."

Looking around, Zenair proceeds down the tunnel.

~ ~ ~ ~

Vesitoth appears in a small wooden room with light intruding through a small strip near the floor. He opens the door to find a room soaked in darkness, save a single candle illuminating a store of hammocks. As he nears the candle, he sees parchment lying near the candle. He reads the paper in the candlelight:

"Vesitoth, your task is perhaps, psychologically, the most useful to my ultimate goal. You are in Marca. I want you to attempt to capture a werewolf at large, currently on a stranded research vessel.

"R'r'k has traveled from his home in L'ndyn to destroy it. Attempt to save it."

As if on cue, paneled lights illuminate the room when Vesitoth finishes reading the note.

~ ~ ~ ~

Aaron finds himself in a pew near the back of an empty church. Ornate stone patterns cover the walls.

He finds a note in his pocket, that reads as follows:

"Aaron, your task forms the basis of my planned assault. There is a dragon here with a missing egg. I have reason to believe Nick has taken in. Do your best to make the dragon an ally. Speak to Berol. Tell him Ogma is at large."


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PostSubject: Re: Revival (RP/Story)   Fri Feb 22, 2008 6:13 pm

Aaron tried to get his bearing. He wore a heavy plate armor and a buckler was on his left arm. He had a sword in its scabbard at his side.

Wondering how on Earth he was supposed to find Berol, he wandered outside of the church to discover it was raining. The church's thick walls protected the inside from sound...

The streets were cobblestone and slicked with water, which fell heavily from the sky. As a result, nobody was in the street. The only person in sight was a man hunched over under the overhang of a building across the street. Not wanting to soak his apparently new armor, Aaron attempted shouting over the roar of the rain.

"Hey! You there!"
"What do you want?"
"Do you know somebody named Berol?"
"I might. Why?"
"I don't know why. I just need to talk to him."
"You could be an assassin. These are violent times."
"I'm wearing platemail!" The man stopped speaking. Trying to catch his attention, Aaron said, "Look, do you know anything about a dragon?" The man seemed to be laughing. "How about Ogma?"

The man stopped immediately and walked across the street. "What did you say?" Now that Aaron could see him, he appeared to be homeless or without decent means to clean himself. Dirt was encrusted on his face.
"I need to see somebody named Berol about something called Ogma," Aaron said, glad to see he was making progress.
"You should not joke of such things."
"I'm not."
The man hesitated then pointed down the street. "The vicarage is the first house on the left. If you're lucky, you won't get very wet."
Aaron thanked him and hurried into the house indicated to him.

The inside of the house was very plain. Aside from brass candles and a large towel that werved as a rug, the house was barren wood, painted white in paint that was chipping off of the walls.

A man called out from an adjacent room: "How can I help you?"
"Are you Berol?"
Berol walked through an open doorway. "I am. What do you need?"
"A dragon."
Surprise flashed across Berol's face. "I'm afraid we can't help you with that. Why do you need a dragon?"
"I... don't know. I was told to ask you for a dragon."
"By whom?"
"I... can't say..." Aaron considered wise not to mention talking skeletons.
Berol seemed almost sincerely apologetic. "Well, I can't really do anything about it. Even if you did have a legitimate reason, we no longer have control of Dar. the few messengers we've sent - the regulars - have not returned, and he has not been seen for several weeks now."
Aaron decided to change subjects; quietly, he murmured, "Ogma is at large."
Berol instantly took notice. "Ogma? When did you hear of this?"

~ ~ ~ ~


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PostSubject: Re: Revival (RP/Story)   Tue Feb 26, 2008 4:56 pm

Vesitoth assessed the situation. He seemed to be wearing some kind of black jumpsuit with foreign lettering on the arms. He had a sword at his side and arcane knowledge in his mind, almost instinctive. Perhaps he could cast spells?

Looking around the room, he noticed a distinct anachronism. Despite the roughly made hammocks and wooden floors, walls and beams, there were paneled lights in the ceiling. He noticed lockers near the door; one that was open provided access to a stock of firearms. The rifles were very long but had no scope. He decided to take one with him; it happened to fit into straps on his back, which he located by searching an unused suit.

He exited through a hallway that lead to stairs, which lead to the top of the building. It appeared Vesitoth was on a ship of some sort, although he couldn't see the horizon. Everybody was wearing identical jumpsuits except for one man whose suit had patterns. Wondering how high the ship must be to block the horizon, Vesitoth looked over the side of the ship, and his jaw dropped.

The ship appeared to be flying.

~ ~ ~ ~
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PostSubject: Re: Revival (RP/Story)   Sat Mar 01, 2008 7:24 pm

Zenair was amazed. His new perspective of the world was... indescribable. It was as though all the matter in the cave was right next to him - not physically, of course, but... with his mind, in a manner that confused even himself, he peeled some moss off of the wall.

Not only did the moss come off with satisfying ease, but a letter was, against all odds, stuck to the moss he had removed. He opened the damp envelope and found a sheet a paper written in cipher. Checking the front, he decided to deliver the letter to Irimund, to whom it was addressed.

As he shifted his weight to fit the envelope into his pocket in the cramped space, he noticed several daggers situated about his person. He would have to investigate later.

Trying to initiate something, he crawled down the damp tunnel the way he was originally facing - towards the light.

~ ~ ~ ~

The scientist in the security office had gone mad. He knew it, but his logic failed to show weakness. It was impeccable. Divine.

All of the others had been killed. Destroyed. Murdered.

No. Animals did not murder. But were werewolves animals? They are reasonably intelligent.

No. He didn't know that. Maybe it had merely been placed. Regardless, a werewolf had somehow snuck into a research facility in the middle of the Undead Sea and infected its personnel. All of them. Except for one.

He had thought enough. He walked to a terminal in the office and began to override to open the test chambers on the west side of the facility. Every. Last. One. Infection forms were not stored (for obvious reasons), so the Flood and the werethings would beat the pulp out of each other, making rescue easier. He only hoped they couldn't crack security systems.

Ha ha.

There. Now he just... would wait...

~ ~ ~ ~

"You're not fooling me!" This interrogation had been in progress for some time, and the questioned had not done as much as move.

Some spittle flew out of the mouth of the interrogator, landed on the cheek on the gargoyle, and began to slowly slide down its face.

The gargoyle moved as much as the stone it was made of.

Resigning, the man said, "I'll be back with my hammer."

~ ~ ~ ~

Ogma needed flesh. She began to prepare a ritual.

[This is my last one having multiple plot threads. They'll all be incorporated into the longer ones I'm making next. TLD, there's your detail.]
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PostSubject: Re: Revival (RP/Story)   Wed Mar 05, 2008 2:41 pm

[Aaron's bit, part 1 of 3]

Despite being extremely disappointed in Aaron's lack of information relating to Ogma, Berol had given Aaron a stone that deflected the rain, saving all his armor except for his mud-soaked boots for the first half-hour in which the rain fell.

Now, after several hours of following Berol's direction, Aaron had reached the landmark that was supposed to serve as the place Dar, the dragon, would meet the churches' messengers. It was a mammoth, black boulder, maybe ten feet high, on a small plateau with a ramp on each side.

The midday sun had beat upon the Earth, drying the mud to a pale red. The sun shining on the dried mud gave the scene an almost regal appearance.

Ascending the path on the right, Aaron saw a head on the ground, upright and facing him - like a sentry. Despite the backwards area, his skin seemed smooth and not worn.

With rising dread, Aaron remembered how messengers sent to Dar did not return.

He unsheathed his sword.
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PostSubject: Re: Revival (RP/Story)   Wed Mar 05, 2008 3:15 pm

[Aaron's bit, part 2 of 3]
[When you see the cannon, think of a long, small-bore, not one of those steel-heavy tanks.]

The silence in the parched clearing was deafening. Aaron strained his ears as he listened for the slightest sound over the unbearably loud crunch of his boots and the stream of pebbles from the large rock to his left.

A breath.

Aaron jumped, turning around completely to see... a cannon. Or, rather, the barrel of one. It was worn, rusted, and looking straight at him, as if ready to fire.

"It flies." A voice was behind him, dry and weak.

Aaron looked behind him, back up the slope, to see the decapitated head, which had an expression of terror. "It flies," he repeated, with more urgency.

Although Aaron sensed no immediate threat, the bizarre circumstances involving the talking head and the cannon had his adrenaline pumping. He was almost prepared for the cannon, which was flying at him as though it had been shot from the earth itself!

He sidestepped to the left as the cannon approached, its rusted mouth roaring through the air. The head was screaming at the top of... whatever it was screaming with.

The cannon struck his hand, causing him to lose his grip on his sword and spin him wildly, so that he was unfortunate to see the cannon strike the head - which stopped screaming immediately - and roll to a stop in a growing pool of blood.

His balance lost, Aaron slipped over the side of the ramp, sliding down the steep, shrubbery-coated slope and landing on his feet at the bottom. He heard a low whistle above him and staggered backwards; the cannon, dark red blood mingled with the less vivid rust, slammed into the ground with tremendous force, cracking the dried mud and giving Aaron time to predict its next move.

Like a possessed mannequin, the artillery turned horizontal as it swung its bulbous end like a club towards Aaron. Aaron ducked in time, and it went straight over his head - but in the time he was standing up, it continued around in a circle and struck up at his stomach, denting his armor and knocking him back against the slope.

As cannon gained room for a coup de grâce, Aaron grabbed a plant to his side and used it to pull himself away; the cannon struck empty ground.

In a flash of inspiration, Aaron jumped onto the cannon and secured himself with his arms and legs.

Contrary to its previous nature, the cannon lofted slowly into the air, ascending until it was ten, twenty feet above the plateau, Aaron clutching it like a determined wrestler.
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PostSubject: Re: Revival (RP/Story)   Tue Mar 18, 2008 3:55 pm

[Aaron's last bit, 3 of 3.]

The cannon stood still at almost thirty feet in the air, almost directly over the rock, and a voice forced its way into Aaron's skull.

Where is it?! The short thought carried with it much emotion and cut like a blade through his mind.

"Leave him alone!" In Aaron's field of view was yet another head, this one of a woman, lying on the ground. It was facing down the other path, the one to the left of the rock.

In front of his eyes, in the very space through which he saw the head, a massive, gray-skinned dragon materialized, almost triumphantly. It's head was larger than Aaron, and a single eye watched him as the voice assaulted him again, filled with rage and worry: Tell me where it is, or I dig another grave!

The woman, sensing some occurrence behind her, yelled again, this time pleading, "We don't know where your egg is! Let us go!"

Another grave, then..., said the solemn voice. The cannon fell under the influence of gravity again, smashing the rock the dragon was perched on, Aaron suspended in mid-air.

Of its own accord, a column of soil rose out of the earth, and Aaron was jerked roughly towards the pit, breaking his focus on the dragon. All in a moment, he remembered the messengers: they must be the heads! They were buried up to the neck, and one had been struck by the cannon controlled by the dragon while helpless. Judging by the dragon’s - her, if the dragon had an egg - strength, it was not an accident that the man had died so violently.

Being able to think more freely, he remembered a conversation between himself and the skeleton that left him here... Nick had the egg!

“Nick has the egg!” he blurted out.

He was thrown to the ground on his back, not carelessly, and the dragon was looming above him. Her voice broke through his skull again, this time with less harshness. Do you speak of the head of the Black Hearth?

“Yes! He stole your egg!”

Do not resist. You may be damaged. She laid a single massive claw gently on his forehead...

...and Aaron was back in the skeleton’s lair. Oddly enough, he was there with the others he did not know that he was before.

"Now, you will all learn of the task I have set aside for you. The local governing body, the Black Hearth, is headed by a corrupt leader, known as Nick. To be frank, I would like for you to kill him.”

Aaron suffered from extreme déjà vu.

"But it is not so simple. Nick has acquired the traits of a vampire, and has had them since I met him. He is ruthless, going to any ends for his distorted purposes. He must be stopped. My sources even indicate he has gone so far as to steal a dragon's egg, for whatever nefarious purposes!”

His vision faded back to the dragon, who was now uncomfortably close to his face. He realized she had been mucking around his brain, but before he could say anything, the dragon released him and began flying away.

A ghost appeared in front of him, or a man very much resembling one, and introduced himself. “Hello. My name is Matame. I owe you a debt.” He kneeled. Aaron was sitting up, slightly stunned.

Confused, he was quiet before responding, “What?”

“I was slain by the dragon in its early rampancy after losing its egg. I am at your bidding for what adventures await you until I save your life or you deem my sentence fulfilled.”

“Actually, I am supposed to assassinate somebody...” Connecting the dots. Aaron stood up, as did Matame, and saw raised eyebrows. “A corrupt politician.” Saying his goal aloud, it seemed so outrageous, so... trivial.

“It is a righteous quest, then!” Matame said, laughing. He was interrupted by the woman previously buried.

“I thought your memory might have needed exercise, so I inserted myself into the situation. You don’t recognize me? I am the skeleton who gave you your task. I thought skin would be more appropriate, do you agree?”

No response. She was out already? How?

Despite Aaron’s confusion, she hadn’t skipped a beat. “Very well. I’m going to teleport you into the Capital, where Nick is, where you will await further allies and instruction.” A wave of the hand, and they were gone. Ghosts were helpful in the right places: only magic damages the dead, and then they have to be only half-dead.

After a moment, Ogma blinked. She had lost control of Aaron. Perhaps an enchantment? Nevertheless, this would affect her future plans. If she could not control her minions, they could rebel.

She would have to kill the others. It wouldn’t be difficult; they all seemed so dim-witted under mind-control, anyway. That, ironically, was one area of magic she hadn’t practiced. She whisked herself away to the castle of Irimund.
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