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Thread: A Demonstration of Power

  1. #1
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    Erhat Varen's Avatar

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    Maledoch ‘akh Malaeh ‘akh Malus
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    A Demonstration of Power (OPEN)

    Even though barely a week had passed since Erhat Varen first set foot in the Corone capital, the demon emissary already arrived to the conclusion that he hated Radasanth. He had seen the festering corruption of upworlders before, the weaknesses of which they reeked like rotten cabbages, but never had the stench of it been as strong as in this place where so many roads and races intersect. Here, in the heart of the Commercial District, every vice was on offer and every virtue was for sale.

    Here the aged corpulent bags of coin strutted about with powdered gold-digging floozies, smirking and gooddaying their equals while silently judging the rest, wallowing in the sense of self-importance like sows in manure. They were the true ruling class of this world, these bankers and moneylenders and investors and royal heirs, these parasites that fed on human misery, growing stronger even as the host died. Greed and backstabbing propelled them to the top of the food chain, and once their reign began there was little anyone could do to topple them. They held all the cards, pulled all the strings, played the tune everyone danced to.

    The most ardent amongst these dancers were the politicians, of course, the chameleons of this sick jungle. Armed with a sharp suit, a faux smile and lies spewing from their never-resting mouths, they promised everything and achieved nothing. All their prattling, their philandering, their continuous presence in every crucial aspect of the society was the stone that was rapidly pulling everything underwater.

    The rest of the rank and file followed, lawyers, clerks, peacekeepers, leeches feeding on leeches. Were there good people amongst them? Certainly. There was healthy flesh on a gangrenous limb as well, but that didn't mean you didn't have to cut it off if you didn't want to die a slow and painful death. And that was precisely what was happening to not just Radasanth, but Corone as a whole, perhaps even the entire world of Althanas. The content few sat upon their thrones of gold like fat cats, resting on the backs of those that got crushed beneath them. It was the natural order of this world, where a piece of precious metal or even paper held dominion over true might.

    This discord in values was such an affront to Erhat Varen that he struggled to hide disgust as he watched over the main square of the Commercial District. Leaning on the ornate stone fence of the second story balcony of a restaurant that charged outrageous amounts for ridiculously small servings of food, he let his eyes pass over the midday rush below. To a common observer he was naught more than another patron, an average looking man of middle age, perhaps a bit underdressed for the establishment and the surrounding pampered men tipping their tiny cups and ostentatious hats at each other, celebrating another day of being kings and queens of their own little worlds. His suit was plain and spotless and three seasons out of fashion, and his hair was short and graying and almost scandalously bereft of any oils. And unlike the perfumed sweaty bodies that covered the top floor of the restaurant, there was no scent around the man save the faintest notion of brimstone, as if someone just lit a match in the vicinity.

    When a voluptuous woman approached him from behind, he neither started nor turned. Instead he merely asked: “I trust everything is in place, Zhen?”

    His second in command bowed her head noticeably, sending a couple of stray golden locks swaying in front of her face. She had chosen a curvy shell for this mission, her flesh plump and soft where these people usually liked a little give, and toned and taut where they didn't. Erhat had initially thought that it would attract too much attention, what with all the cleavage and skin showing in her tight black dress, but these people had apparently become callous even to their own ideas of beauty, spending a mere wanton glance or two before their limited attention turned elsewhere.

    “As you ordered,” Zhen said, her voice chirpy and mellow and nothing like it actually was when she was rid of her glamour. But then none of them were their true selves on this day. The mission required infiltration and subterfuge, and none of the demonkin could've done it without putting on what Zenh picturesquely described as an “upworlder suit”, even though it was actually no more than a powerful illusion. People usually saw what they wanted to see; all you needed to do is give their brain a magical nudge in the right direction. The sorcerers that had been dispatched on the mission with Erhat and Zhen had provided just that, packing a whole lot of their magic into a pair of red iron bracelets that clung to their wrists like shackles.

    “The resistance will be strong. This district is crawling with the Imperial forces,” she added, indirectly reminding Erhat that the Commercial District still wasn't her choice of target. He didn't mind the second guessing. Soldiers who mindlessly obeyed were a dime a dozen in Tar'shak, unlike those who actually used that which was between their horns. “We might perish.”

    Erhat responded with a smirk. “Wouldn't be the first time.”

    In all truth, he knew their destruction was a definite possibility. If there was one area that the Empire protected other than the main Palace, it was the place where their shiny baubles had been squirreled away. And that was exactly why it had to be the Commercial District. If one wanted to make a statement, a show of power – and that had been the mandate he had been given – it had to be something that mattered, something that sent ripples when it was stricken. The story of today would echo in palaces and wine holes alike, spreading dread and superstition.

    And then there was a personal stake Erhat had in this. Because he personally wanted to see a lot of these people burn.

    “It is time. Send the word.”

    ------

    It started as a buzz of immense magnitude, like the world's largest bassoon playing the world's lowest note. It's place of origin was indeterminable, it's power growing until it shook the folks' teeth in their socket and made them cover their ears in vain. People ran, people fell, people screamed, looking to the sky, to the ground, to the gods that weren't there. There was a pressure in the air that seemed to grow until the point where it felt like it could crush a human skull. Even Erhat found himself clenching his teeth and squinting his eyes.

    And then, when it seemed like the sound had been going for an eternity, rolling thunder echoed through the district as a pillar of blackness surged from the center of the square. This mobile darkness struck an invisible ceiling some fifty paces above, then shot in all directions, an antithesis of an explosion with tendrils that started to blot out the sun. It took less than a minute for it to enclose the entire center of the district, engulfing it in near perfect darkness. Though Erhat didn't generally think much of magic – at best of time it was useful and at worst a major pain in the tail – he thought the barrier quite magnificent. It was akin to a mousetrap that allowed people to pass from without, yet refused to let them do the same from within unless they were in possession of powerful dispelling magic.

    Up on the balcony of the restaurant, with the cacophony of patrons devolving into a shrieking, crying mess, Erhat's eyes blazed red and his smirk stretched into a genuine smile. When he turned, Zenh's eyes looked back with the same vibrant ferocity. Their plan was unraveling as intended. Their squad of magicians had accessed the sewers days ago, positioning themselves in crucial positions. The strongest few brought up and maintained the inky dome from beneath the streets. The suicidal rest had other duties.

    “Let us give them some light,” he said to his malevolent companion. Moments later the first of the several sturdy stone buildings that housed all the things that these people held so valuable burst into flame, infernal orange tongues lapping out of every door and window, returning some illumination to an otherwise black world. The sorcerers had done their jobs admirably. Maniacal though they might've been – and you had to be a little bit crazy to sacrifice your body to the inferno in order to create an explosion big enough to scorch a building – they seemed to have followed orders. Judging by the erupting flames, their essences were already on their way back to their home realm of Tar'shak.

    With the light came the reveal of Erhat's and Zanh's true forms. Their enchanted manacles were off, smoldering at their feet. Time for disguises was over; time for mayhem had come.

    “Clean this mess up,” Erhat commanded with a nod towards the panicking crowd still in the restaurant, his voice a barely discernible guttural growl. Behind him, second explosion added its voice to the chaos, then a third, each one bringing a shade more of the blazing amber light into the world until all was red and yellow and the shadows danced their manic dances on every wall. “Then depart. This is not your test.”

    And with that said, Erhat turned back to the square below, now almost completely beset on all sides with burning buildings, his hulking demonic form looming and waiting for some who would do more than just madly dash around and bang their hands on the barrier.
    Last edited by Erhat Varen; 03-27-17 at 11:40 AM.

  2. #2
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    Storm Veritas's Avatar

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    Storm Veritas
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    If not being the most wanted man in Radasanth for a few hours meant that Storm would be forced to endure the apocalypse delivered unto his doorstep, the wizard would have to settle upon being conflicted with the arrangement. With an uncharacteristic scruff and leather, off the rack clothes befitting a peasant, the experienced adventurer knew a show when he saw it. What erupted upon the commercial district some half mile from his usual home was no simplistic display; large buildings burned and people were dying. Of course, the people were Radasanthians, for whom the magician shared a conflicted blend of love and hatred. This place fostered thousands of unkempt buffoons no sooner forgive Storm Veritas’s for his petulant dalliances than accept his salvation when he saved their own hides.

    Still, point me to a place without those ridiculous elves, or with better whiskey or more top-end whores… Gods, I’m screwed.

    Despite his better judgment, he’d have to intervene. Storm finished a long pull from his cherry wood pipe, savoring the smooth, warm burn of tobacco and resin massaging his lungs gently. It was a moment of peace; based on the sound of the explosions about him, likely the last sustained peace he’d experience for a while. He opened the closet within the bedroom of the old wooden inn, and casually browsed his wardrobe for what looked like fitting gear for battle.

    Hunting clothes… too cliché.

    Taut assassin blacks… not today.

    Standard dickhead schlub clothes… sick of these too.

    A-hah!


    With a flourish, he pulled out the same costume he had used to gain entry into Radasanth – a simple black smock, dress pants, and gleaming white collar of a reverend. It was clean, well fitted for his athletic frame, and served a host of different vices for him; it kept the normal men (with their own sins) away, it made bartenders a little quicker and more generous with the pour, and turned on the certain awful kind of women that the wizard was prone to enjoy.

    And I get to shave again. Bonus, baby.

    The tipple-tap of Storm’s loud dress shoes announced his descent from bedroom to foyer. Moments later, Storm left the inn, paying little notice to the keeper cowering behind the counter and whispering to what must have been her daughter. Explosions had a way of shaking people, both physically and psychologically.

    “Morning, ladies. It seems some hellfire is visiting town; I’m going to go and recruit some repenters. Stay safe!” A single bronze crown bounced with a loud echo off the countertop of the polished front desk, as the aghast women stared at the bold fool in disbelief.

    It was freeing, being out and about in Radasanth again. It seemed assassinating a few senators had a real way of turning a town against one. Still, he needed the trade to keep business booming in Whitevale, and there was nowhere else he could find the honey mead and smooth whiskey; these were businesses that required some token of defense.

    The same tip-tap of his shoes provided a rhythmic soundtrack, when not interrupted by the nuisances of explosions or the wails of terrorized women. The roaring sounds of thundering cobblestone rattled toward him, as the tall, lean “priest” nearly danced towards the sounds of madness. The townies, predictable as ever, ran away shrieking, pausing only to glance at the idiot strolling into the fire. One young man staggered and fell upon the cobblestones, banging an elbow as he recognized the face of what Radasanth called “evil”. His lips pursed to say the name as Storm pulled a single finger to his own smiling lips, an innocent “sshh” gesture freezing the felled fool in his tracks.

    They all know I ride the lightning, but they’ll probably still find a way to blame this bullshit on me. The unenlightened are always so terrified of the specials.

    Moments later, Storm turned the corner to the square, the overpowering heat of fire welcoming his arrival in an awesome wave. His entire frame was lit up with a glow of orange and yellow, the fires raging all about him. Quickly, he thoughtlessly pulled his graying hair back against his scalp, and reflexively stretched his right quadriceps, rolling his thumb over the metal plate on his heels. Eyeing the square, the lack of a foil disturbed him.

    What, all this and no f*cking dragon? The hell’s going on here!?

  3. #3
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    Erhat Varen's Avatar

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    Maledoch ‘akh Malaeh ‘akh Malus
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    They were like cattle, these creatures that liked to call themselves the free folk of Corone. Like livestock they spent their lives locked in their pens, confined by the endless, pointless rules and regulations, unable to break free not due to their physical limitations, but rather those in their dimmed intellects. Such decrepit state was the result of a process of generations upon generations of systematic dulling of any kind of sharp wit these people might've had. Call someone an ox, keep repeating it for a couple hundred years, and soon enough they will look out for the yoke all on their own. The Sovereigns of Tar'shak knew this. Althanas had grown meek, the people weak-willed and content with the quagmire they found themselves in.

    And as befitting a herd whose little world has been violently disrupted, they stampeded through the streets, mindlessly seeking salvation in hands other than their own. Here was a thin-necked weasel of a man in shiny black shoes, frantically waving his cane at an inflamed building, trying to make a pair of half-singed guardsmen retrieve something from the mouth of inferno. Here was a high-society harlot, slumped on the cobblestones, her white dress turned to the color of soot, her frail arms reaching out to the fat slob of a banker who discarded her like a cigar stub. Here was a child with neatly combed hair and a tiny blue suit with perfectly shined silver buttons, standing in the middle of the square, screaming his little lungs out for whoever he lost in the turmoil.

    There were a few that stood firm against the pandemonium - low-browed patrolmen trying to make heads and tails of the situation, benevolent old storekeepers that tried to offer shelter and a calming word, reckless young adventurers that walked with a swagger and thought nothing could harm them – but the entropy of the little enclosed dome of night was gradually claiming them as well, dragging them along with the rest. Instead of dealing with one issue, the guardsmen were pulled at five directions at once, the store that could house no more than twenty was packed with half a hundred people who cursed their benefactor for the accommodation in the process, and those brave and bold wound up hand-holding the weak and the decrepit.

    The Sovereigns are right, Erhat thought, allowing his chin to rest on one of his clawed hands as he leaned leisurely on the fence, his eyes devouring the tumult, his smirk constant. This place is ripe for the taking.

    So bemused by the frantic pace of the aimless human vectors below, Erhat was almost caught aback by the appearance of one that didn't quite fit in the picture. Dressed all in black sans his contrasting collar and acting as if the flames were mere celebratory bonfires, the reverend sauntered into the square and even spared a moment to stretch. And wasn't that just a perfect fit, that a shepherd should walk calmly amidst his raging flock? A snorting snigger slithered through Erhat's teeth as his massive frame straightened.

    “You come to pray for this scum, priest!?” the demon emissary addressed the man below, his gruff bass voice carrying over the discord. His arms stretched to each side of his nightmarish form, much to the terror of those who dared to lift their eyes to the source of the voice. “Your dead gods can't hear you, and the only redemption these people deserve is already being handed to them!”

    It was a bit theatrical, this introduction, and not precisely Erhat's style, but this was all a show and the roles had to be played to best of one's ability. And it's not as if the demon had to act overmuch. Erhat despised the clergy of Althanas, these pretentious pious pederasts that prattled of goodwill and honesty and decency while secretly diddling with their own darkest desires. A lot could be concealed behind a black robe and a white collar as long as people couldn't see beyond it.

    “Better run along now along with this vermin. Or do you believe you and your feeble faith can stand against the might of Tar'shak?”
    Last edited by Erhat Varen; 04-19-17 at 12:24 PM.

  4. #4
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    BlackAndBlueEyes's Avatar

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    Everything hurt.

    Now, when I everything, I don't mean figuratively. Literally everything hurt. Noggin, neck, ribs, back, shoulders, arms, hands, legs, knees, feet... Every ounce of my body was screaming out in pain, each new sensation overloading my brain as it fought for my attention. An incredible weight pressed down on me, pinning me to a hard surface. I tried to take in a sucking breath, but it hurt to even think about doing that much.

    The writhing eldritch tentacles that protected my face withdrew a little bit, offering me a close-up view of a debris covered floor. Everywhere around me, there was fire. Lots and lots of fire, and wood.

    It took me a second to piece together the moments that led to my current predicament.

    Let's see--I was in Radasanth on a business trip. I arranged a meeting with a rare bookseller regarding the acquisition of the bound notes of some necromancer whose name currently escapes me. We were chatting over tea, with the thin leatherbound tome on the table between us. As I am wont to do, I casually talked about my experiments with cordyceps spores and their ability to reanimate corpses, which understandably unnerved the merchant.

    And then, there were explosions. The building shook, the windows shattered, and then...

    Ah.

    I got a house dropped on me.

    How rude.

    "Marcus," I managed to croak out, my voice hoarse and dusty. I sputtered out a few coughs, but didn't hear a reply other than the crackling of fire and creaking of blackened wood. Poor bastard was probably dead, crushed under the weight of his former home.

    The heat of the fire was slowly baking me alive in my shell. I had to get out of here. I wasted no time activating the teleportation stone I kept around my neck. In a matter of seconds, I was back on the streets of the Coronian city, the blackened mass of tentacles that protected me receding back into my body. Shakily, I rose to my hands and knees, my lungs burning as I gasped in fresh oxygen. The scent of cinders was strong in the air.

    I looked up to see a blackened sky and the entire avenue on fire.

    What the seven hells happened here?!

    My legs ached as I stood up, but I ignored their protests. The screams of the few apparent survivors filled the air as I steadied myself. A good ways down the street, a man in a black robe threw open the door and ran further into the district. He moved like a man with purpose and an idea of what was going on, as well as a pair big enough to do something about it.

    "Hey, wait up," I wheezed as I took an unsteady step forward. The aches and pains that wracked my body were slowly beginning to numb, a sign that Maladim's gift of regeneration was starting to take effect. I'd be in slightly better shape in a few minutes; but the cracked ribs that fought my every breath would take a little while longer to piece back together.

    The figure stopped for nothing, so I decided to simply follow him. My gut was telling me that he'd lead me right to the source of the inferno.

    I jogged after him as fast as my body would allow me to, until he eventually stopped in one of the many public squares that dotted the shopping district. As he turned around to find the cause of the destruction, I could easily make out his features.

    I met him once before, in the bowels of an ancient labyrinth. We were not alone; dogged as we were by the hulking beast form of the faun Philomel van der Aart. We formed a temporary alliance to take her out; but I don't recall if we were successful. Not that any of that would matter--that was back when I was an anthropomorphic houseplant, there was a snowball's chance that he'd recognize me right now.

    A booming voice echoed across the plaza, drawing my gaze up to a balcony on my left.

    I was not surprised by what I saw.

    Claws tightly gripping the wooden railing, there stood the towering form of something that I would have to guess was a demon. It was really hard to tell, though. It looked like a child's black crayon drawing of a wicker man made real. Misshapen obsidian scales covered its body from horn to hoof, its face featureless save for the glowing of embers where eyes should be.

    And there it was, doing your stock standard demon thing of waving its arms around and glowering menacingly as a city burned around him: The kind of monster you'd see the heroes take out in the opening chapters of a book, before the actual villain introduces itself to the plot.

    I considered myself lucky that I was on the payroll of a classier sort of demon--the kind that employ, as opposed to enslave. The kind that understand the importance of a well-tailored suit, a good power tie, and hair gel. The kind that plan for the long game, rather than throw fireballs everywhere and hoping that something sticks.

    The creature caught a glimpse of the man in the robe, and started spewing rhetoric about gods and faith like some obese, unwashed, bearded manchild who spends his afternoons writing atheist missives in his mother's outhouse--half of the words with three or more syllables misspelled--and then sends them to all of his other god-hating buddies to guffaw over as the turkey drumstick grease that coats their fingers soaks into the parchment. I didn't really pay much attention to its deep-throated babbling--the moment anyone sneers about dead gods and the futility of faith, I immediately ignore anything they might have to say.

    All I could think about was how the priceless book I came to Radasanth for was probably nothing more than a pile of ashes and charred leather. I was really hoping to acquire it and study its every word, but noooo.

    I took a step forward, the pain in my muscles nothing more than a dull ache at this point. Cupping my hands to my sweat-slickened face, I called out to the demon.

    "Hey, nerd! This all your doing? Get your ass down here, I want to have a word with you."

    As I moved closer, the wall behind the thing darkened. It wasn't the wood blackening from the heat and fire; it was something more. The stonework rippled like the disturbed surface of a lake as the portal formed. The hand of Batibat erupted from the rift, a twisted and gnarled limb of moss, wood, and flesh, palm stretched out and looking to push the demon off the ledge and down to the plaza where I could more easily kick it in the throat.
    Last edited by BlackAndBlueEyes; 03-28-17 at 01:13 PM.
    "Being evil never felt so good!" - Marie, Splatoon

    * Madison does a synchronized murder with the other Briarhearts.

    Good stuff get

  5. #5
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    Storm Veritas's Avatar

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    Storm Veritas
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    The chaos in the streets was spectacular, although the reveal of the hellfire should have been more predictable. It – whatever it may have been, was somewhat humanoid; it had legs and arms and a body. Were Storm to guess, he’d have labeled the dark skinned thing a “demon”. With glowing orange eyes and thick muscle, the demon was imposing, but didn’t shake Storm an iota. Demons were powerful things, but they weren’t dragons. The creature spoke from above him, spouting down in an arrogant, throaty bellow befitting his horrifying frame.

    I’ve killed dragons, and wear their skins for sleeves. You’re no dragon, jackass.

    Keeping a straight face, the wizard did his best to maintain the spectacle of mortality. If the demon thought him one of these normal people, devoid of the overwhelming capabilities which flowed through the electromancer, the element of surprise was invaluable. He breathed deep, feigning fear and motioned to speak up at the demon when an ordinary, smallish woman spoke out behind him.

    "Hey, nerd! This all your doing? Get your ass down here, I want to have a word with you."

    His reaction to the boldness of the very average looking lady was one of abject confusion.

    The f*ck is this!?

    The defiant woman was moving forward towards the demon, eyes squeezed taut in confident fury as she glared at him. The reflexive nature of the wizard drove him to speak out and steal the show, but he fought valiantly against the impulse. He’d maintain the façade, at least for now.

    “The Gods of Corone are mighty, and will judge you, demon! Pray before the Lord Thayne Am’alah! The hand of Thayne will defeat you, demon!”

    Such bullshit. How do people buy this noise?!

    Allowing his voice to waver softly as he spoke up to the demon, his eyes played a spectacular trick upon him. A large, grass and soil-crusted hand burst out from the stonework of the building behind the great demon, pressing forward as though to knock the demon down into his own flames.

    Holy shit. Someone snuck some devil-leaf in my tobacco bag.

    Looking up to see the reaction of the smoldering dark evil, the wolf in shepherd’s clothing silently stepped back away from the flames, almost completely indifferent to the fire beside him. Between the obvious hallucination and the fire, the wizard was unsure if it wouldn’t prove prudent to give himself a little extra time to react to whatever this big blowhard might counter with.

  6. #6
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    Erhat Varen's Avatar

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    Maledoch ‘akh Malaeh ‘akh Malus
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    Irrelevant
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    Amber
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    Words. That was the weapon they unleashed against him, words as trite and feeble as their crumbling society. First the puny female unleashed hers with boyish bravado, calling out Erhat as if they were a pair of ember children about to go tooth-and-claw at each other in the play pit. She looked like one of those comical masked vigilantes that hid their face behind an assortment of veils, summoning false fearlessness from the anonymity offered by the false visage.

    The clergyman at least had the tenacity to stay true to both his face and his creed. His proclamation was the expected sermon, his voice hitting the peaks at all the right moments. All he was missing was the swaying congregation and the weak-kneed women fainting from the self-inflicted surges of make-belief cosmic energy or whatever hogwash the faithful swallowed as the one and only truth these days. Also, his paraphernalia was nowhere to be seen, a sigil of some sort around his neck and The Book filled with the current flavor of fictitious quasi-facts. On a whole, as far as men of faith went, this one seemed like a rather shabby example.

    A preacher and a little girl, Erhat thought, regret and contempt mixing behind the vibrant embers of his eyes, resulting in an almost disappointed smirk. Is this the best they...

    And then he was flying.

    The shove that came from behind and brashly interrupted his derisive train of thought felt less as if someone pushed him and more like the wall itself crept behind him and struck him like a rolling boulder. It propelled the demon straight through the stone railing and sent him on a hard rendezvous with the pavement below. Pure reflex and survival instinct prevented him from digging into the ground horns first, but that was about as much aid as they offered when it came to the landing. With his body only recently formed in this realm, it had almost none of his usual power and alacrity. Almost none of its awareness either, it would appear, for there was little that could've crept up to him in the Tar'shak.

    But his homeland was behind and hard stone was ahead, and when Erhat came in contact with it, his bulky form tumbled uncontrollably for a couple of revolutions before he finally came to a stop. Immediately pushing himself up on all fours, his horned head swung from side to side in an attempt to push back both the pain the throbbed all over his spine and the welling anger that threatened to overtake the strategic clarity that had always served. He cast a glance upwards, expecting a follow-up from whatever knocked him off the ledge. But the titanic arm – and it definitely looked like an appendage, albeit one made of multitude of creeping plants that somehow sprouted from sheer stone – seemed content to remain where it was for the time being.

    His eyes shot first to the puny woman first, then to the reverend, and for the briefest moment doubt shot through his mind. Could there really be something more to this bag or air and his faith? He had mentioned the hand and, lo and behold, there was something suspiciously looking like one on the balcony above.

    Erhat, ever the demon who liked to cover his tail and play it safe, decided it was best to remove any shadow of suspicion from the issue. Ignoring the minimal threat from the mouthy brat of a girl and not bothering to revert to a bipedal position, he charged straight at the man of the cloth, his powerful limbs pounding the ground below as he covered the distance in huge, ferocious strides. The wrath within him, ever present in his kind like a pool of bubbling magma always on the verge of an explosion, was kept in check though, and when he closed in on his quarry, Erhat didn't leap like some mind-addled beast. Instead, once he closed in on the man in the black frock, he shot his left hand outwards, scrapping it through the nearby pile of smoking rubble and sending a head-sized chunk of brick and mortar at the cleric. His right followed a second later, claws aimed to discover whether or not the faithful of this realm really had yellow in their gut.
    Last edited by Erhat Varen; 04-19-17 at 12:24 PM.

  7. #7
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    Storm Veritas's Avatar

    Name
    Storm Veritas
    Age
    38
    Race
    Human
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    More pepper than salt.
    Eye Color
    Grey or Blue
    Build
    6'1, 185 lbs
    Job
    Defiler.

    View Profile
    The whole charade had been fun, but Storm had not thought through the entirety of his play. It appeared this demon was a little more powerful than he expected, so there were almost none that stuck around to watch the show. The wizard had expected the opportunity to parade about for a while before dispatching this plebeian class bag of brimstone, but the fountains of fire had a way of scaring off the local tailors, cobblers, and bakers.

    Some people just don’t have the stomach for the real show.

    The great hand summoned by the little girl knocked the heavy beast to the street below, his considerable hooves splintering a few cobblestones and creating a small crater where he fell, a lovely hemisphere of clumsy oaf that would likely result in another significant tax assessment to fix “one time” repairs for the locals.

    And you wonder why all the sad, poor little normals hate us?

    The girl, despite her slight frame, was clearly another one of the gifted, and it stung Storm to realize her mask was far more effective. The old man looked upon the woman, who would only be a “girl” to graybeards like him. She was plain, but powerful, the perfect type to sink into the masses and disappear with ease. It was only the snarling, snorting, and thunderous banging of the ground that caught his attention.

    The demon was charging at him, moving forward like an angered gorilla. He moved on hands and feet, a nod to the indecision of whether or not the fat thing was bipedal. His eyes were squinted in tiny, glowing orange slits, taking this entire charade with a frightening level of sincerity.

    Oh, you poor, stupid ass. You don’t even know that you’re already dead, do you?

    It only took seconds, but it felt like minutes for the heavy, lumbering brute to reach him. Nearly bored by the whole thing, the experienced “reverend” looked about to consider what the brute was going to do. In all likelihood he would jump as soon as he reached leaping range; if he had some sort of fire-breath or whatever sort of nonsense these demons had, it was likely he’d hold off on that until Storm quickly, easily avoided his stupid jump.

    The big thing didn’t jump, and the reverend assumed a cowardly pose, struggling to stifle his smile. Crooked fingers raised before his face as he turned his head, peaking on the monster through the corner of his eyes as he sold his best “horrified, overwhelmed” look. He buckled his knees together and sunk down, a deceptively poised position which appeared altogether a picture of cowardice.

    It was a two-strike combination that the demon offered; first raking his hands through the fires and then lashing out with his bare claws. He was deceptively quick, although far slower than the would-be reverend. With the balance and flexibility of an acrobat, Storm rocked his body backwards violently at the hips, watching as the wave of fire and molten rock sailed harmlessly by his face. He pressed his right toe into the crook between cobblestones and pirouetted away rapidly, a deft spin giving distance for a taunt.

    Oh, WHORE! The F*CK was that!?

    He hadn’t been quick enough; the demon’s hand had grazed his obliques as he spun backwards. The talons hanging off the big awful’s arms were sharp and hot, as though filled with fire, and the injury felt more a burn than scratch. The pain was manageable, the injury superficial, but the fact that he had been struck at all was both frustrating and upsetting. Was the old wizard getting slow, or had he underestimated the demon?

    Fun time’s over. Enough of this bullshit.

    He was five feet from the demon as he rapidly considered his options. In hindsight, creativity may have been a bit more fun, but when you’re a hammer, the world is full of nails. There was only one fitting counterstrike. Without words, the injured reverend sneered, dropping to a knee as he fired a vicious bolt of rapidly arcing white energy. The bolt twisted and sizzled leaving his hands, hopefully settling this whole song and dance once and for all.


    (OOC I don't know if you have hooves or feet, so let me know if you need me to fix that)
    Last edited by Storm Veritas; 04-03-17 at 08:46 AM.

  8. #8
    Member

    AP
    0
    GP
    200
    Erhat Varen's Avatar

    Name
    Maledoch ‘akh Malaeh ‘akh Malus
    Age
    Irrelevant
    Race
    Demonkin
    Gender
    Male
    Eye Color
    Amber
    Build
    7'10''/520lbs

    (OOC Hooves are fine)

    Though never a prodigy of any sort when it came to physical attributes, Erhat had never been considered slow, neither by his own evaluation nor by those around him. Once described by his martial mentor as a flame that neither fluttered nor blazed, he had been a contently average soldier in the Tar'shak, sticking to the safety of the middle of the pack. Sure, he could swing a mean maul when the need arose and tear a limb or three when limb tearing was necessary, but he had neither talent nor particular fervor for it. He had always been of the queer kind that liked to inquire why someone's head needed to be torn off before it was detached from the rest of the body.

    Still, even such an admittedly average soldier should've been enough for this lot. But moving in the flesh of this realm was like trying to swim through mud with only half a brain working. Erhat's limbs obeyed every command with a sort of lazy sluggishness, making him feel as if he had tree trunks for arms and legs. His mind, ever the quickest part of him, strained against the lethargy of the rest of the body, his every thought a hook that tried to yank them onwards with increased haste. To no avail. The limits of the meat and bone were like a stone barrier and refused to yield.

    It came as no surprise then that all he got for his effort was a fistful of cloth and only a faintest smudge of scarlet. The priest moved with nimble limberness Erhat's eyes could barely follow and his body had no chance to match. Any fear of the beast that the man might've had mere moments ago was gone, his face quick to retain its former composure. Almost as if there had never been true panic there at all. Almost as if the man of faith was putting on a bit of a show, selling the act of a frightened human. These minutiae were not something his mind would be able to discern under normal battle conditions, but with his oh so slow body still recovering from the fruitless charge, his gray matter had some time to spare.

    Slippery little upworlder, was the thought that ran through the demon's head. And then something flashed in the outstretched hand of the clergyman and the thought was replaced by pain so sudden and tremendous that Erhat thought that arm from the balcony somehow crept up to him again. Only this time it seemed intent to squeeze the life out of him.

    Rational cerebration was gone, replaced by crippling pain that made his entire body feel like a single giant muscle that got the cramp to end all cramping. The tang of sulfur, ever present as a faint aura around Erhat, was increased tenfold, bringing with it an image of his whole body burning up from the inside. Beyond it all, buried behind the blank wall this electric pain brought forth, was the instinct to counter, the ingrained need to move against this tide that was washing over him, taking away every semblance of his being, both mental and physical. But none of his limbs moved save in small spasmodic jerks of a creature suffering a seizure. This momentary onslaught of sizzling pain lasted mere seconds, yet each one of them seemed to stretch into infinity.

    And then, just as suddenly as it overtook his every sense, it was gone.

    The demon gracelessly collapsed to the ground like felled timber, his entire body still locked in the position the bolt of lightning caught him, his arms and legs twitching at irregular intervals. His muscular chest was smoldering, his scales cracked and revealing the amber glow of his torn flesh. It was his sheer bulk that saved him from being electrocuted to death from what he could gather, the tendrils of electricity spreading through just enough of his flesh to prevent a terminal result. But it was still a close call.

    There was a voice inside Erhat, his first sensible thought in two or so eternities of pain, and it was telling him it was all fine. Vicious pain was gone and the dull ache and numbness remained, and his every muscle felt as if he climbed the tallest mountain only to take a tumble off of its far side. But it was fine. He'd been well aware of his possible demise, which was ultimately inconsequential. After all, this wasn't his test either.

    Lying on his side and breathing heavily, Erhat was a wounded beast waiting for the finishing blow. The paralysis was gradually letting go, starting at his shoulders and thighs and slowly working its way down to the far ends of his extremities. Yet he remained in the same position, motionless save his laboriously slow and heavy breathing, peering through squinted eyes for any trace of someone approaching him. It was a risky tactic, playing dead, but being half-way there already and unafraid of going full on corpse, it seemed like a viable option.
    Last edited by Erhat Varen; 04-19-17 at 12:26 PM.

  9. #9
    Moderator
    EXP: 120,660, Level: 15
    Level completed: 11%, EXP required for next level: 14,340
    Level completed: 11%,
    EXP required for next level: 14,340

    AP
    65
    GP
    10,280
    Storm Veritas's Avatar

    Name
    Storm Veritas
    Age
    38
    Race
    Human
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    More pepper than salt.
    Eye Color
    Grey or Blue
    Build
    6'1, 185 lbs
    Job
    Defiler.

    View Profile
    Anger subsided a great deal with the satisfaction of his electric blast. The sensation of his unadulterated hatred rocketing from his fingertips through the chest of the pompous demon sent a shiver down the spine of the reverend. It occurred to the con-artist for the first time that the smell of burned demon flesh was entirely different than that of burning human flesh. With a smile, Storm considered that perhaps the hell-borne blood of those risen from the depths of the earth served as sort of a marinade, or perhaps a spiced rub for barbecues. Either way, he was delirious with joy as he savored the luxury of destroying the big, beautiful abomination.

    Smells like dinner, there, Junior! Who’d have thought I’d flash fry and trash your shit in two shakes of a horse’s ass?!

    …oh, right. Of course I would have.


    Like the cat circling the mouse, the wizard stepped about the downed demon. Despite such pomp and circumstance, the great thing had been a virtual bubble of bluster. Now gazing at his freshly downed foe, from merely ten feet away, the reverend pulled a long, thin dagger from a scabbard tucked tautly to two segments of belt behind his back. The twisted kris blade shimmered elegantly in the flickering light of flame and fire about them, the orange kiss of hellfire bright and all-consuming.

    “Looks like someone should have found Repentance! Well, there’s still a moment for you, big fella. Should I presume cremation? Does that work on your type?”

    Toying, his eyebrows raised with a sarcastic joy as he dragged the blade across the back of his wrist. The mighty scale of the great dragon Moonwing made for a find bracer, keeping his wrist safely protected while wiping free the last fragment of debris. Crouching slightly, he prepared to pounce when his peripheral vision caught a twitch of long muscle.

    Ooh, a tail! This big bastard IS full of surprises! Maybe up close and personal isn’t the way to go afterwards.

    A bit wrought with paranoia sprung from a lifetime of magical nightmares, the aging monster with the black garb considered the many options at his disposal. He could float free from the ground, propelling himself upward with a wave of magnetic energy driven beneath his metal heels and finish it. He could throw the dagger, using a channel of the waves to send the blade on a projectile path which would be entirely unnatural in its perfectly straight vector. He could simply fire another bolt at the downed demon, which lacked panache and flair.

    He could also wait for the talented girl by his side, however for all of her prodigious ability and spectacular disguise, she seemed altogether frozen in the moment.

    Definitely not waiting for sweet-tits over here. Time waits for no man, and any man’s a fool to wait on women!

    To his side, a towering column of erupted rock fired a consistent, orange-red glow of magma. Above the turbulently flowing spray, a great agglomeration of cobblestone, bedrock and silt tumbled freely. Glowing orange and red in the towering pile beckoned a small iron sewer grate, yielding under the great heat. With a smile, there was only one word needed.

    “Perfect.”

    Stepping backwards from the demon, the experienced warlock waved a single hand at the grate above them. The large cluster of cobblestone and rock dutifully plummeted downward, it’s center mass hurtling directly at the broad chest of the apparently overmatched demon.
    Last edited by Storm Veritas; 04-17-17 at 10:15 PM.

  10. #10
    Member

    AP
    0
    GP
    200
    Erhat Varen's Avatar

    Name
    Maledoch ‘akh Malaeh ‘akh Malus
    Age
    Irrelevant
    Race
    Demonkin
    Gender
    Male
    Eye Color
    Amber
    Build
    7'10''/520lbs

    After five seconds of playing roadkill, Erhat suspected that nobody was buying what he was selling. Another five and he was fairly certain of it. And was it that surprising? Did he really expect that someone would take the bait and come to poke him with a stick like a curious child? No, he didn't truly expect it. Hoped for such stupidity from these people, maybe, but whoever these two were, they were powerful which was bad enough on its own, but they were also decently intelligent which was worse. Not that it mattered in the long run. Today was never about him. He had set the grand stage, and now like every good announcer he was supposed to check out, preferably on his own two hooves.

    The priest seemed to cared for his preference not at all. Even as Erhat finally gave up on playing dead and opened his eyes fully, he saw the man gesturing with his hand again. The demon braced for another flash of light and more of the flesh-sizzling, mind-stopping pain even as he heaved his hulking body into awkward, stiff motion on all fours. So slow. The imaginary molasses through which he struggled before had turned to quicksand after the jolt he had received and he had a feeling he was going nowhere. The clergyman had an easy shot.

    No lightning this time. Plenty of pain, though.

    The miniature avalanche came raining on his spine and legs with a hundred stone punches, pummeling him back against the ground. His head and arms got free of the onslaught with his last second motion, but the rest of his body was getting crushed. His world consisted almost exclusively of pain. He thought he could hear his spine snap – though the bony crack could've been his pelvis instead, could've been his femur, could've been just about any and every bone in his body getting shattered and sending the resonating sharp ache to his already overwhelmed mind. His guts were squashed, turned to paste, sending a vile mixture of bile and blood though his clenched teeth.

    It was the end, surely, and it was not the exit Erhat had planned, or in fact ever experienced before. As a demon of the Tar'shak, he was well aware of the fact that death in this realm mattered little as far as his survival went, for he had endured it several times before. It would take some time for his essence to traverse the void between dimensions, but after a while he would awaken back home, in a body that didn't feel like it was weighted with stone. But in the past death had been quick and clean, a sword to the heart, a thousand-foot plummet off the mountainside. The current agony was a new experience, and his stubborn body refused to let it stop.

    All that bastard's fault, was one of the rare coherent thoughts that made it through the veil of constant pain. Should've been here by now.

    As if summoned by that very thought, there was a distortion in the smooth texture of the inky barrier that surrounded the district, a mere invisible pebble sending ripples from the other side. Erhat didn't notice it at first, could barely keep his eyes open from the pain that reigned in his system. But then the ripples grew in both size and frequency until they became turbulent waves that started to spread across the section of the protective dome. At the far end of the street in which Erhat lied crushed and at death's doorstep, a scaly gauntlet emerged from the darkness of the barrier, then an entire arm. The armor on it was red, glittering as if it was made of ruby crystals, the surrounding flames making it look as if it was made of glowing embers.

    Then the man in red came through completely.

    “Finally,” Erhat grunted as he spat a glob of something that tasted like blood and shit and stomach acid. “What took you so long?”
    Last edited by Erhat Varen; 04-20-17 at 01:16 PM.

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