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Thread: Crimson Thief: Demon's Dance

  1. #1
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    Liliana Ambria's Avatar

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    Crimson Thief: Demon's Dance



    Alas, the storm is come again! My best way is to creep
    under his gaberdine; there is no other shelter hereabout: misery
    acquaints a man with strange bedfellows. I will here shroud till the
    dregs of the storm be past.


    Shakespear - The Tempest - Act II : Scene II

    ~*~

    Twilight, the time of transitions, it is said twilight is the last safe time in the day. It is the dwindling light, entreating one to seek safe haven from the terrors of the night. It is said twilight was the time of endings, of the last vestiges of good leaving this world until the suns rise hours later. It was the time of abandonment, a world of callous silence leaving those who partook of it in a suffocating stillness. Twilight was a time reserved for the truly desperate, those who were approaching the darkness as a final hope at salvation.

    To Liliana Ambria, twilight was a beginning, a dawn in its own right.

    The priestess of the night had embraced the darkness that had enshrouded the world at night, finding an easy peace. One argued that to be in the light was to have your works known and exposed for all to see. The Light was no salvation but a cruel hoax, teasing those who sought its succor. The night embraces all who come to it. You may be tested, and you may fail, but the night developed strength, a determination that sought to eradicate all those within its dark clutches.

    So it was that at Twilight the death of one lie and the beginning of a truth that Liliana Ambria resided in the small chapel. To call it such was a disservice to a real chapel, for the knights had appropriated the room for its divine purpose. What had once been a small office now held countless statues to the many gods. Each was placed in a cardinal direction or between the major ones, so as to give those who sought to pray a safety. So long as the beseecher looked towards the window, free of statuary they could pray, and know their god could hear them with no fear of retaliation.

    In the center was only a mat for kneeling in reverence and supplication. It was almost a forgone conclusion that one should be alone in the room when prayer happened, and because of Liliana’s pull as Seth Dahlios’ paramour she was afforded the twilight, a time when few others would wish to pray. She often made hers short a mere keeping in touch with her deity. At one time she had chosen the twilight for her god had been Dumas, lord of Night.

    Uriel stuck to twilight for it was the only time he could avoid the eyes of the other gods. Dumas had not yet come into ascension and could not watch him fully. Neither could Varas lord of Light shine upon Uriel's works and reveal them. The other gods often avoided this time for many reasons further cementing the god’s position in the hierarchy. Forever pawing at the scraps when he had at one time been a full god in his own right.

    Amiya, his chosen herald had been instrumental in teaching her the forgotten faith.

    Still prudence was forever a watchword of Uriel. Marking discernment in his followers was the first step in avoiding their exposure. They were denied the comfort of the darkness. While she still showed the world she was a cheerful and caring person inside she had slowly died with each night that her lover and daughter remained lost to her. It was an easy sham to create, people often citing her loneliness as the reason for her reclusive state. Still she loathed the daylight often staying indoors to bide her time, and come up with ways to track her husband that worked across the globe.

    Uriel had been at least a small help in that manner, giving her an update as to his condition. Some nights were terrifying; with Uriel reporting poison and grievous wounds being inflicted upon Seth. Other nights were a more comfortable sleep, when Seth had been recovering and so not as active. Her daughter however, remained a mystery to her. Uriel refused the knowledge, not even giving her the freedom of choice in the matter. All he would say on the matter was it was not the Girl’s time, and that Seth’s purpose would be fulfilled soon.

    Ominous statements if there were any.

    Still she bowed her head for prayer and felt out for life. It was always a precaution against those that would listen in to the priestess’ prayers in the hopes of discerning her true faith, only to be shocked when, unlike other times she felt a life, close. She was weaponless but still readied herself the adrenaline rush of feeling the presence coursing through her veins, even as the shadows on the wall grew longer. Finally she managed to get a hold of herself and spoke, “If you have something to say or do, please feel free to partake of the chapel. I’m more than willing to step aside.”
    "The Path to Damnation starts with but a single step...

    ...but lasts a lifetime."
    -Anonymous

  2. #2
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    Lye's Avatar

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    Lichensith Ulroké
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    Along the shadowed corners of the chapel's ornate structure stretched a dark presence. This ominous force slinked as though it had no form, but moved as though it had a purpose. A purpose it had indeed.

    "I'm not a man of religion myself," spoke hoarse and eerie tones which found themselves echoed in the chapel's spacious structure. It followed with a skin crawling chuckle.

    "The eyes of your gods must be keen."

    The form rose from the greyed brick walls behind Liliana. As though darkness were a molasses, they pulled to remain in their natural form as the figure advanced. The shadows peeled back and beneath it, the glow of pale skin began to show. As it continued to emerge, the inky darkness seeped to reveal a man with long, platinum hair. Black leather hugged the chest, legs, and most of the arms. A trademark crimson scarf his half the face, and dangled loosely behind him. Free from the confines of night's embrace, two emerald eyes opened to the praying priestess; one of which possessed a vertical scar from the brow to cheek.

    "So," he began as he casually took a seat in one of the many open pews of lacquered oak, "to business shall we?"

    The assassin crossed one leg over the other and perched both arms arrogantly beside him. Lye maintained his distance from the woman, for this was her domain. An altercation in a place such as the Ixian Castle was a contract for death. Especially for the likes of Slavar's grim reaper.

    "I'm in the understanding you have a missing child..." He watched for her reaction.

    "What if I could assure you I not only know where your darling Samantha is, but have the means to see to her safe return?"

    His skin prickled at the question and grin grew wide beneath the folds of crimson vlince.
    "All mortal men possess the capacity to do evil. Some are simply more capable than others."
    - Anonymous


  3. #3
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    Liliana Ambria's Avatar

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    Liliana Ambria
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    The ghosts of her shared past with Seth had come to taunt her. It was the only explanation she had for the fact that a spectre long thought obsolete sought to entice her into its embrace, one that had nearly killed both her and Seth so many years ago. Her eyes took on a hardened edge to them before she spoke with a steel slipping into her voice, “You must think me an addled woman if you think I can trust your word.”

    A hand rose to fend off any argument as she spoke calmly, “Save it. One scream and I can bring this entire castle down on you Lichensith Uleroke. So I’m going to do a bit of guesswork and assume you aren’t interested in just uniting me with my daughter. “

    Her eyes searched the man who had becomes Seth’s self-proclaimed tormentor. She saw that he had given up his arm blades instead favoring much more traditional weapons. His gaze never left her, other than to dart to the door occasionally to search for the guard that might be patrolling. Liliana merely crossed her arms as she thought about what he represented. Lye wanted Seth dead. It didn’t take a genius to figure out that Lye would want a shot at Seth and was willing to do anything it took to get it.

    It took a moment to realize the implications of that, he would do anything.

    Her eyes narrowed as she spoke, “You know where she is? Truly?”

    Her heart quickened at the implications of that question. She knew it was an invitation to a truly damning road. Part of her wanted to stop, to hold back. Another part of her, her more logical portion pointed out Seth had accomplished nothing other than nearly dying multiple times to find Samantha, and had failed. He had not even deigned fit to return to Castle Ixia and try to work with Liliana on anything resembling a plan to return. She had been in the dark as to his moves, his bargains, and his actions as of late. It was a frustrating situation, but she knew that before her was finally a solution to it.

    “I will say this once Uleroke, if you have any idea where my daughter is, I am willing to trade. If you are lying to me however, and I find out, there will be no stone in this world big enough to hide under. There will be no patch of darkness I did not create you will hide in. I will find you and I will make your last moments on this plane a tormented existence where death is the best thing that could have happened to you. Are we clear on this?”
    "The Path to Damnation starts with but a single step...

    ...but lasts a lifetime."
    -Anonymous

  4. #4
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    Lye's Avatar

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    Lichensith Ulroké
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    From beneath his crimson rags, the assassin bared his teeth and joined his gloved hands ceremoniously. Legs uncrossed, he leaned forward with elbows balanced atop his knees.

    "Cliche threats aside, I can indeed deliver. Your very own Jensen Ambrose is the key. A lovely puppet that man can be with the right bait dangling on the string..." He tilted his head and rest his chin upon his clasped hands. He looked upon her with emerald eyes framed with angled brows. He looked upon her as a chess master would a naive student.

    "The Cult may have Sei and his tin knights dazzled with their smoke and mirrors, but I've lived their tricks. I know their methods, their fanatical thoughts, mindless worship, and most importantly, the weaknesses of that kind of man."

    Lye took a deep breath of the chapel's stale air. It tasted of the same mindless devotion he spoke of. For one without an entity to worship, it seemed pointless to the assassin. Relics, stained glass, and delicate preservation, all a waste of time. Just another illusion of hope left for the weak to cling.

    "As for what I demand in return, let's leave that for more forgiving circumstances." He rose from his pew with a grin. Liliana traced every inch with her gaze. Lye respected her hesitation and her preparation to bring the walls down upon him. Lye preferred to avoid Sei Orlouge fluttering in like the gods depicted in the stained glass around them. Footsteps which grew in volume through the chapel's doors served to expedite his leave.

    "To guarantee Samantha's life, tell her father to arrive in a day's time at the place where that phantom pain in his ribs began. A place where golden rules were tarnished."

    Lye stepped out from the pews as the guard's shadow stretched into view.

    "I know a mother's resolve, Liliana."

    The creeping darkness from under the rows of oak and standing statues stirred. Like wisps of fog, shadows billowed toward the assassin's feet. The footsteps were upon them, and Liliana gestured forward with mouth open.

    "Wait!"

    "Test mine, and Samantha will know a fate worse than death." The smoke converged upon him like a lotus turned back in time. It swallowed his form and blurred his features.

    "Miss Ambria?" Echoed a voice from the hall. Footsteps quickened.

    "I promise you that," Lye's voice echoed in whispers. The black fog faded.

    "Miss Ambria, are you alright?" asked the guard as he entered into the chapel. With spear ready, his eyes only fell on his fellow Ixian. Both confusion and concern shared the expression on his chiseled features.
    "All mortal men possess the capacity to do evil. Some are simply more capable than others."
    - Anonymous


  5. #5
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    Dissinger's Avatar

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    Seth Dahlios
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    Boots scraped over the worn steps. Each step was an eternity in itself, walking a man through the past to a different life. Black gleaming stone met the gaze of anyone who looked about the stairwell. Torches lit and ready burned in their holsters every few feet up the wall. If Seth had known better, he would have said they were the same torches he had seen so long ago, when the mysterious Crimson Assassin had called him to the tower.

    Much like that day, so long ago, he knew the trap existed.

    He wasn't sure why the tower existed, but it had for many years. Long ago, he had been lured here to face a man who's pride bordered on delusional. Now, it seemed that the wounded pride of that day would resurface and assault the former thief once more. Each indifferent step moved him further up the twisting stairwell, each grunt of exertion a minute display of tedium. Hot and cold assaulted him when he passed each torch, his coat fending off the worst of the chill, while his right half seemed to be stewing in its own sweat.

    “I hate nostalgia,” He muttered under his breath. It was half remembered memories dredged up for posterity in his book. A bitter recounting of things that the owner of said memories vouched was better. Even several years didn't make the grapes taste any less sour. Truly he knew what waited him at the top of the stairs; a woman scorned and a lethal reminder of past failures. Seth was to come to grips with his past, for a chance at a future that didn't involve the burial of his daughter.

    If Lichensith Uleroke demanded his presence for such a chance, so be it. He would dance for the man and be done with him in the same go. Grey eyes looked tiredly out from under stray brown locks, before he stopped on the stairs. He closed his eyes as he brushed the stray strands away feeling the briefest twinge of guilt. He knew this was his doing, he had wronged Liliana in remaining so aloof, and today he was paying for such actions. She had turned to a true devil in sheep's clothing to get Samantha back.

    He could only hope he would be able to rescue her, before Cassandra killed his little girl.

    He continued his ascent into the heavens before he he broke even with the floor and looked up, seeing his wife dressed as she normally did. He pants and shirt were whipped at by the wind, playfully tugging at the slack in her clothes before letting them sound off with a whip crack. His leather duster followed suit, and the Lavinian Demon had to adjust his hat to cover his eyes from the dust and debris kicked up by the windstorm.

    He looked over at Liliana, standing upon the roof of the tower, before looking around. The crenelations that marked the edges of the battlefield stood as they always had. Were it not his imagination he would have sworn he saw some darker patches upon the onyx stone, marking where their last battle atop the tower had ensued. He stopped a few feet short of his wife before he spoke loudly to be heard over the wind, “I'm here, let him know I came, if he isn't already trying to stab me in the back.”
    "White needles buried in the red
    The engine roars and then it gives
    But never dies
    'Cause we don't live
    We just survive
    On the scraps that you throw away"

    -Re-education (Through Labor), Rise Against

  6. #6
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    "Now why would I do that?" echoed the assassin's voice. From the shadows of several jagged walls atop the onyx tower, Lye emerged like a specter from the a fog. His boots clicked against the worn black slabs of stone, muffled by the howl of the winds. His mane of silver hair trailed behind him, whipping wildly against nature's breath. In his gloved hands, the assassin fiddled with the edge of a blade, just as hesitant of the Dahlios family as they were of him.

    "I think we're old enough to talk," Lye continued. "Some 35 years older despite the passage of time on our old bones. How have you been, Seth? I hear you're having a spot of trouble with your daughter?"
    "All mortal men possess the capacity to do evil. Some are simply more capable than others."
    - Anonymous


  7. #7
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    Seth paused, looking at the Crimson Assassin. No subterfuge, no attacks on his body. No, Lichensith Uleroke chose the battlefield of the mind with his opening assault. He mentioned Seth's daughter openly, speaking as a man who was trusted. The Lavinian Demon narrowed his eyes, before he turned to his estranged lover his voice held a tone of low anger, “You told him?”

    “He came to me, he said he could help, I merely had to get you. Seeing as how I never knew what rock you were hiding under, it was the only way I would ever accomplish anything. You said it yourself, no parent should bury their child. Seeing as how you'd rather run off to Gods know where, I had to step up and begin my own attempts at locating her,” Liliana's tone held an ice within it. Seth could see the pain in her eyes, the betrayal. He met her gaze unflinchingly before he looked at his one time nemesis.

    “So you turn to a man who kidnapped you because I bruised his ego. If you question my methods, I can't help but look at yours...” Seth retorted moving past his wife to Lye. His eyes looked for the twitch of drawing steel when he spoke, “You dropped the Katars, I'd say good move, but we both know it's because I hated fighting those fucking things.”

    It had been years, back when he had just learned what he was. He had gained the use of Hex Magic, and learned that with power came a price. He had harmed Liliana when he learned the magic, and she had learned he was not an ordinary thief.

    Then again, so had Lye.

    It was hard to believe that it had happened so long ago. Thirty five years seemed a lifetime. Before Cassandra Remi, before the Ixian Knights, when the Red Hand stood tall and no one could see them fall. Before Xem'zund the Necromancer, and the death of Pode the Red Witch. There had been a thief and an assassin, and the two had fought. Seth had used a few tricks, and had lost, but not before taking Lye down with him. It had humiliated the Crimson Assassin to die, upon these very stones no less. He had sworn enmity from the young Lavinian Thief, and hounded him.

    Now, a specter of his past had returned and offered salvation.

    “You don't do anything unless you get something out of it Uleroke. Be it restoring your wounded pride because even a half dead thief can kill you, or the coin from one of the kills that, I honestly think, you overcharge for,” Seth said looking at the Salvarian monster before him, “So here is how its going to be. I have no patience for you. You can either cough up where she is, and trust me I know if you're lying, or I will rip it from your bones. So what's it going to be?”
    Last edited by Dissinger; 01-24-17 at 07:48 PM.
    "White needles buried in the red
    The engine roars and then it gives
    But never dies
    'Cause we don't live
    We just survive
    On the scraps that you throw away"

    -Re-education (Through Labor), Rise Against

  8. #8
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    Lye's Avatar

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    Lye shook his head at the ultimatum and looked to Liliana. The blade in his hands tapped rhythmically as the let the air stale between the two. With a click of his tongue against the roof of his mouth and sideways glance toward his old nemesis, Lye broke the silence.

    "So give you what you want or use violence to get it," he reiterated. "Seth, you sound like me."

    A dry chuckle escaped the assassin's lips as his pace brought him closer to the thief's wife. Liliana, either disgusted, wary of his presence, or both, kept her distance from him.

    "Something about a rash man feeling emotion?" Lye mused. "The emotionless one going far? One of those rules you used to drabble on over and over."

    He stopped, squarely opposed and in the center of the onyx pyre. Cloudy skies held the sunlight back in waves, permitting the occasional brush of light along the barren, blackened heights. The blade held in Lye's hands pressed against the palm of his leather gloves and drew slowly across. Leather parted, skin parted, and from the glisten of steel welled a font of crimson. From it, the blade drank along its edge and took on a scarlet hue. The pain of which failed to reflect on Lye's steeled gaze.

    "Tell me how that's supposed to work when you have a family." Smatterings of blood fell to the Onyx marble at the assassins feet, punctuation his words. Lye pulled the blade free, but its steel remained dry despite the wound it tore open. From a forward grip, Lye snapped it to a reverse. The groan of tightening leather whispered into the windy gale.

    "If you want information on Samantha's whereabouts, then get on your knees." The words left Lye's lips with depth and command. "Get on your knees and beg. Beg for my mercy. Beg her for forgiveness."

    Venom spewed on every syllable, enticing the thief's wrath. Taunting. Provoking.

    "Beg like the dog you've become."
    "All mortal men possess the capacity to do evil. Some are simply more capable than others."
    - Anonymous


  9. #9
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    I'm going to fuckin' slap him

    Fuck.

    Amari wiped the sweat from her brow, climbing another set of stairs.

    Fucking, Fuck.

    How long did these go? Amari swore she had been climbing for the better part of an hour. Physical endurance was not her forte' The Onyx staircase in the goddamn Onyx tower spiralled all the fuckin' way around and around and around. Amari wasn't sure what she felt more of, exhaustion, dizziness, or anger.

    Why did her Master bring her on this goddamn ego trip in the first place?

    Furthermore, why the FUCK did he go on up ahead without her? "Oh look at me, I can dance through the fuckin shadows." She muttered under her breath. "I can just tiptoe up the entire FUCKIN' TOWER without a care in the FUCKIN' world, but gods FORBID I fuckin' help the goddamn woman I DRAGGED her for my own unknown selfish purposes..."

    Amari was not happy, and she was very, very, loudly and crassly venting her frustrations. She neared the final spiral and paused, pulling out a small cloth from her pocket and wiping the sweat from her brow. "Bout FUCKIN' Time." She hissed.

    "Fucking goddamn fucker this better be fucking worth it."

    Amari dropped the now sweaty cloth on one of the black onyx stairs before she hurled her shoulder against the door.

    There, on the opposite side of the room was more stairs.

    Fuck stairs On those stairs was a woman, but Amari's attention didn't linger on her for long. Instead, she shifted her tri coloured gaze to a man who looked as though he were about to attack Ulroke.

    I see...I'm his backup?

    Amari couldn't help but smirk as she ran a hand through her crimson locks. Tri-coloured eyes focused on the stranger. Her lips curled into a small smirk as she casually stepped toward Lye, leaning on the wall behind him. "Sorry for the delay....Master."
    Last edited by Mari; 01-24-17 at 09:54 PM.

  10. #10
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    Dissinger's Avatar

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    The wind and the rain were the only noises that echoed across the tops of the tower. The onyx silently waiting with baited breath for the answer of Seth Dahlios to the demand that he beg for his daughter's life. His coat whipped about in the wind, cracking before going limp once more as he stared down Lichensith Uleroke, and watched Lye casually reverse the girp on the blade. It seemed to have drank his blood, which was noteworthy, anything like that could cause issues as the fight went on.

    Karl, chains, NOW! Seth thought to the part of his mind he knew the spirit of the Changeling Amulet loved to reside. He had summed up Lye in a short glance, he was ready to dance now. He almost missed the arrival of the woman, had it not been for her words. She called him master, and a cruel chuckle left his lips at the revelation.

    “Master? Oh that's rich. You brought some slave here to drag your carcass away after I'm through with you? If you think for one second I'm going to beg you for anything, you're sadly mistaken Lichensith Uleroke, and if you think you are going to intimidate me by cutting yourself and hiding the pain filled tears in the rain. You're about to find out why you should have stayed hidden under that rock in Salvar, while I moved around this world figuring shit out...”

    Quicksilver dripped from a gauntlet splashing across the smooth black stones. His hand instinctively grabbed the liquid metal and whipped it forward, even as it began to solidify the chime of chains filtering through the air. The strands of quicksilver spread up his arm, coiling about the bicep before starting down the other arm and again splashing across the stones and forming a second chain from his arm again chiming into the nights air.

    Liliana witnessed with emotionless gaze, drinking in what was going on. Once Seth was on the offensive she clucked her toungue disapprovingly, knowing Seth had already been lost in the haze of anger and bloodlust. Soon his magic would control him, and possibly ruin any chance Lye had at telling her where Samantha was. Her eyes cruelly looked at Seth, who was moving to bring the second chain about. His foot raised before she gestured with two fingers, “Ort.”

    The effect was immediate. While Liliana was not more powerful than Seth Dahlios, she was more precise in how she wielded what power she had. If Seth was going to rush as a Bull in a potters shop, then she would have to punish him. The word of power was not meant to stop Seth from fighting, no. It was meant to Give Lye a chance at Recovery, having Seen Seth begin his fights often with a barrage of attacks meant to gain whatever ground he could early in the fight. To anyone unable to deflect all the incoming chain attacks, they'd be bruised bleeding and fast losing to the Demon.

    Since Seth had attacked abruptly, she decided to give Lye the chance to defend himself, no more no less.

    The word pushed against the Demon, a weak push, no more than a child's strength. The result on the rain slicked stone was that when Seth put all his weight on one foot, he slipped the chain that was meant to go at Lye's throat spinning wildly over the assassin's head and missing. As she moved to go downstairs she stopped looking over her shoulders, “Whoever manages to win can talk to me at the base of the tower. I'm tired of watching cock fights.”
    "White needles buried in the red
    The engine roars and then it gives
    But never dies
    'Cause we don't live
    We just survive
    On the scraps that you throw away"

    -Re-education (Through Labor), Rise Against

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