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Thread: A Simple Test Most Complex...[Closed]

  1. #1
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    Paladin_Lorenor's Avatar

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    A Simple Test Most Complex...[Closed]

    (Closed to Shinsou as per our arrangements)

    I've been called many things...I wonder where it all went wrong? He thought to himself as he looked in the familiar halls of The Citadel.

    What...do you seek? The Holy Light asked of him.

    Lorenor shook his head. I wish I knew the answer to that...I am no longer certain. He responded.

    You have been through much my student. You are ready to claim your destiny. The Holy Light said.

    "Lorenor, you're back." There was almost a hint of surprise in The Monk's voice.

    Lorenor focused and attempted to calm his troubled mind. "Yes...I have returned. There is one that I am attempting to meet in combat."

    "Who is that?" The Monk asked.

    He hesitated for a moment. "I received this letter of challenge." He handed The Monk the letter that had the seal from a certain Telgradian.

    "Shinsou..." The Monk said with a stunned look. "Sir Lorenor, he is beyond your..."

    "Spare me." Lorenor said calmly. He looked at The Monk with a deadly serious look on his face.

    There was but a momentary pause. "Do you want your usual Chamber?" The Monk asked, knowing it would be futile to argue.

    "Yes. Wing the Arena, I don't care what you do after last time anyway." Lorenor was referring to his fight against William Arcus. The second bout, despite his best efforts...Lorenor had lost that battle. In more ways than one. But he'd gained something else entirely. His will to fight. "Just don't rig it in his favour is all I ask." Lorenor was disliking The Monks of The Order with each passing meeting he had with them. The current iteration of The Monks was far different than The Monks of his earlier youth...so many centuries prior.

    When Lorenor entered Chamber Number Eleven, the old Paladin sighed when he found himself in a simple rendition of the deep aspect of Concordia Forest. Ruild. Lorenor took a few steps forward, stopped and turned around. There he would wait until Shinsou arrived.

    He'd accepted the man's challenge.

  2. #2
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    Shinsou Vaan Osiris's Avatar

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    Radasanth.

    It was good to see it again. The familiar outline of blocky buildings against muddy farmland. The cobblestone streets, the docks and ghettos all a part of the sprawling urban labyrinth.

    There had been too much running in Salvar, too much of being hunted by Telgradia's death squads and far too much of Telos Soltair, his father. There had been too many false accolades, thanks to Joshua Cronen, and amid those too many sneers from those who knew better. Now officially titled as a Thayneslayer, Shinsou Vaan Osiris was technically a hero. But that would never change the fact that he wasn't.

    Not really.

    When given the chance to change that, to become the pure hearted kind of adventurer whose life would be much better for it, the Telgradian ultimately decided that if he wasn't good enough for the world as he was, the world wasn't worth changing for. But the "honour" of having been the one to "strike the final blow" to Draconus had taken its toll. Shinsou, and the Brotherhood, were recognizable, for one thing.

    Reality; the Telgradian helped kill Draconus, the almighty Thayne dragon, which had set in motion a stupendous chain of events. Part of him at that time thought he was invincible. The other part, probably his dad's side, thought that was a dangerous attitude to have. It would serve him well to remember that Joshua Cronen was the hero here and Shinsou merely the accomplice.

    But then his mind wandered. What if he could reach the heights of power that Cronen wielded?

    Naturally, when a letter of challenge arrived from Lorenor, a man Shinsou had never heard of, his curiousity was stoked. There weren't too many people on the island of note that he didn't already have at least a heads up on, thanks to his Immortals. There also weren't a great number of people who hadn't heard of him, the Thayneslayer, either.

    Perhaps a battle with an unknown quantity would make a refreshing change.

    The safest place to do that was the Citadel, where the mighty went to test their strength. Shinsou could have someone do him the favour of kicking his head in until he either remembered that in a world of the powerful, he was still on training wheels, or until he finally found the motivation to ascend beyond all of this.

    The Telgradian removed a pair of spectacles before motioning to the monk that he wanted to know which room he was due in. No matter how well he'd be revived, Shinsou did not want shards of glass embedded in his eyeballs.

    He looked the sturdy Brotherhood leader up and down. "You're fighting Lorenor? Your weapons will be useless."

    This elicited a frown; Shinsou's weapons were more than just swords, and even then they were even beyond the physical blades he carried. But, better forewarned, he nodded, and the monk ushered the white coated man into an arena.

    The place seemed a lot like Concordia, except much denser. Even the moonlight penetrating the upper canopies of the forest seemed strange. So were the plants. Rows of random foilage and aisles of trees lined up neatly about a smooth dirt area. But, even with all this life, there was an atmosphere of death. The air felt cold on Shinsou's alabaster skin. The forest seemed devoid of life other than he.

    The Telgradian breathed, braced, and paced. All his senses were cut out, except for those that came naturally to any human, before a shrill ringing exploded through his stomach.

    Something is here. But I can't pinpoint what, or where...
    Last edited by Shinsou Vaan Osiris; 12-23-2017 at 07:53 AM.
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  3. #3
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    Paladin_Lorenor's Avatar

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    Lorenor saw Shinsou arriving...

    Man in a white cape...coat...what difference is that these days? The old Paladin thought to himself. A distant memory surfaced from his past...of a different man. Another who wore a white coat and wielded exotic weaponry capable of killing a man in the blink of an eye. The man in Lorenor's hazy memories was not Shinsou...but Max Dirks. A criminal entrepreneur that had crossed paths with Lorenor more than once...he figured probably most of Althanas by that point in time. Lorenor whispered to Shinsou, barely audible but well within range. "You remind me of that idiot, Max Dirks." Lorenor frowned when he found himself saying that.

    He didn't particularly remember why, but the memory of Dirks was never a pleasant one. The last time, they'd been on a boat to who knows where fighting a wyvern or some such dragon-grade creature. Lorenor was a different entity all together back in those days. He had power back then. And at this point, he only had The Holy Light.

    Lorenor noticed that the forest had gotten particularly quiet. No sounds of cicadas, insectoid wild-life or other creatures and beasts.

    Fitting. Lorenor thought to himself. "Shinsou." Lorenor nodded with a simple and humble greeting. "You reminded me of someone else that also wore a white coat...but that was a long time ago." Lorenor said calmly. He was well-armoured in a full steel suit. His shield, currently useless to him, would be better suited for future battles. Lorenor drew his claymore style sword with one mighty hand and held the grip with both hands at that moment, pointing his sword at an angle towards Shinsou. That was the only action he took at that moment. The Thayenhood was cruel to Lorenor those days, and had him facing numerous of the godly Heroes and Villains that lurked in the underbelly of Althanas.

    "I've heard you know Joshua Cronen." Lorenor said calmly. "I met him once or twice under different circumstances. Quite the dashing young man he is." Lorenor suddenly thought back to the letter he received, he'd initially assumed that the letter was from Shinsou himself. "I suppose the letter that I got was not written by your hands then? And I have another question...did you also get a letter?" Lorenor had to know if someone was playing games with them. Ultimately though they were in The Citadel.

    Once there...EVERYONE had to fight regardless of skill level.

    A light evening breeze came in from The West.

    The Stars shown overhead brilliant, Lorenor looked up at them for a moment and returned his attention back to Shinsou. He kept his guard up waiting to see what sort of surprises the night would hold.

  4. #4
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    Shinsou Vaan Osiris's Avatar

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    The lone Telgradian turned as his opponent-apparant, this mysterious Lorenor, finally made his presence known.

    As Shinsou whipped around and pressed his foot into the dirt beneath, thin veins of frost jutted out from the dirt beneath and flitted between twigs and leaves, literally freezing the ground underneath his sole. Ever-watching, he took slow, deliberately careful steps towards this armored upstart, allowing his golden eyes the time to drink in everything on display about Lorenor. The man was fitted in a full suit of what appeared to be either high grade iron or steel. A shield, much too unwieldy for the man carrying it, rested by his side and the brutal looking form of a claymore was stayed level by the hand of its master, pointed at Shinsou menacingly.

    So, this is Lorenor. A man caked in steel by the looks of it. Reminds me of Cromwell, but with less frame...

    The beautiful flurries of light subjugated the remainder of the landscape into a muddle of earth, wood and steel. Suddenly, Lorenor began speaking, querying Shinsou’s intentions, speaking from a place somewhere above his knowledge of the situation at hand. A frown crossed the Telgradian’s face in response.

    Knowing that I know Cronen is hardly news, given our names are splashed all over the newspapers, but this letter business...is someone trying to play games with me, then? Dragging me out here to fight this Lorenor character? For what reason? Why would he think I would have had a letter from him if he was supposedly answering MY call?

    The query was valid. Lorenor had apparently received a letter from Shinsou asking for a fight in this place, yet the armoured brute somehow guessed the leader of the Brotherhood had also had such correspondence, without so much as Shinsou saying a word. The Telgradian smelled a rat, but it didn’t matter too much. In a short while, this battle would be over and then, if there was anything worth investigating at all at the end of it all, he’d do just that.

    “I’ve had no such letter,” Shinsou lied, “and the letter you received was indeed from my office at Whitevale. I wanted to challenge someone new, an unknown, so to speak. That’s all.”

    If anything, the lie would at least throw Lorenor for a loop, and hopefully the man would spend more time questioning what was going on than focusing on the matter at hand. The Telgradian’s calloused hand remained primed on the hilt of his blade, Shira; his feet set apart just so in a stance ready to strike. This was no offering of caution on Shinsou’s part, but preparation for first blood. Still, with that steel encasing his enemy, he knew that he had to choose his actions with great care.

    The sword leapt from its scabbard like quicksilver, slashing in a crescent arc towards the paladin’s face. An arm’s length of icemold that could slice through a body as easily as wind through a field of grass, aimed perfectly at the old man’s neck. Years of accumulated practice and martial training birthed a masterstroke of an attack, enacted by the beautifully patterned wave of an exquisitely crafted blade. Perfection given form.

    Yet, even as excellently executed as it was, the strike only served as a diversion. As his right hand brought the blade forward, Shinsou’s left wielded a nebula like cloud of shimmering ice particles that swirled and danced above his skin. Slammed forward, the arctic blast travelled with force towards Lorenor’s legs. With any luck at all, Lorenor would be welded to the ground with Dehlar strength ice, or at least be wounded by the blade.

    Failing either, Shinsou would have to find another way to claim the first decisive blow in this cold, unforgiving night.
    Last edited by Shinsou Vaan Osiris; 01-01-2018 at 10:04 AM.
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  5. #5
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    Paladin_Lorenor's Avatar

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    So...only one letter exists...written by his hands. I'll make a careful consideration of that...but most important...

    The silent forest disturbed the old man more than anything else. It was quiet...dreadfully quiet and soon the sounds of combat would fill the air. Lorenor narrowed his glowing blue eyes as he observed Shinsou very carefully. He's not one for words...pity... Lorenor thought to himself. He noticed that the ground was freezing at the very boots of Shinsou's steps. Ice user...like that kid. Fenn... Lorenor steadied himself at that point as Shinsou covered the distance between the two of them.

    The primary attack came in quickly...would have been lethal.

    But Lorenor was prepared. He was observing Shinsou the entire time. He jumped backwards and looked at the slash, trailing power, as it missed it's due mark. It was pure instinct, Lorenor was not fast...but he was acting to survive. That was close.... As he landed in the jump backwards, he continued the instinctive movements. His eyes were primed on Shinsou, as the man continued his attack with the ice maneuver that came following up. Damn...he thinks this is going to be easy... The secondary attack also missed because of Lorenor's blind leap backwards.

    Ice froze the air around it, touched with arcane power. Lorenor crouched low, but he hesitated. He wasn't sure why he was hesitating...only that he was. The Holy Light, normally communing with him...was also dreadfully silent. He was alone. This is going to take a lot more careful planning... As Lorenor stood there, having narrowly avoided Shinsou's primary attack...he began to summon his own power. He could feel The Holy Light's power swelling through him. His hands began to glow as they held the majestic sword aloft.

    But he was merely summoning his power...he did not act just yet. He was an old Paladin and would work to make his opponent take on the offensive. Let him make the mistake. William Arcus was also impatient...but this time...I'm the one who has something to prove... His eyes remained narrowed as he studied his opponent.

    The game had begun.

  6. #6
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    Shinsou Vaan Osiris's Avatar

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    As suddenly as it had begun, Shinsou's opening gambit died down to nothing, leaving only a frost covered floor in its wake. Amidst the disorder, the Telgradian recovered his composure the quickest. He was about to whip his body forwards and strike with a breakneck follow up, but Lorenor, however, had already put enough distance between them to kill the plan and seemed to be gathering some sort of energy in his glowing hands.

    There was no time to be contemplating what was to come next. One foot after another, the Telgradian took up position a few steps back from where he started his first attack. He quickly swiped a hand across the air in front of him, signing runes in the cold, snapping his fingers at the end of the arc.

    Enpera Kurohitsugi.

    His preferred method of execution manifested at his mental command, beginning with a low humming that swept along the the forest floor to blow the silence from the clearing. The air resisted gamely with a series of forceful vibrations before the oxygen in the air burned up completely, succombing to the power of the dark void.

    The void summoned fifteen lances of dark matter; each one crackling into blossoming life between them. So dark as to be almost painful to look at, it sent every flicker of light within a league scurrying for cover, starkly choking blades of grass and bare branches beneath its shadowy gaze.

    In the distance he could see the steeled eyes of his opponent, this Lorenor. Even as the man stood there, summoning whatever arcane energies he could muster, there was no fear in his expression. Perhaps it was sheer bravery, or sheer stupidity? Shinsou couldn't tell. All he knew was that in a matter of seconds, Lorenor would realise he had overlooked the swordman’s greatest and most historic enemy; magic.

    Sorry, old man. You did well to get past my first attack, but I think we're done here.

    Shoving both arms forward into the darkness, Shinsou Vaan Osiris commanded the fifteen spears to attack. The volley of darkness spread like buckshot across the breadth of the earthly pathway, with trees, foilage and most importantly Lorenor in their line of sight. As they tore through the air, purple forks of lightning ravaged the soil and the branches around the spears, scorching everything with arcane electricity until a pungent, ashen scent filled the air.
    Hated. Adored. Never ignored.

  7. #7
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    Paladin_Lorenor's Avatar

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    Grass and earth died...

    The darkness made manifest reminded the old Paladin of something else he'd seen once before but couldn't recollect at that point in time.

    There was a more serious matter at hand...

    The fifteen lances of energy, void energy, cascaded towards Lorenor with the intent to kill. He's not messing around. I have to figure this out... But it happened all at once. The grass blades burnt to ash as the void energy passed through them and towards Lorenor. The Paladin growled and cursed out loud, readying his sword in a feeble attempt to stand firm.

    And then something happened.

    Just as the void energy came cascading at Lorenor an old memory resurfaced.

    He was not entirely certain what had just happened...only that the manifestation of the void had awakened something from deep within...

    He found himself above the battle-field for a moment or two as time seemed to slow down. I'm all talk...I'm going to die.

    A voice called from the manifestation of the void. That is not true. You've been here before...

    Lorenor turned towards the void and saw...a reflection of HIMSELF in the void. "Long ago...you died just like you are about to die now. Protecting them...those peasants. Those...animals." The dark Lorenor kept his eyes on Lorenor as he spoke. "You have only begun to understand the nature of who you really are. Lorenor."

    "Go on..." Lorenor responded to himself from the void.

    "Sei Orlouge did not save you from yourself...Reformation with the Ixian Knights has only culminated in this exact moment passing. It has transpired before, and it will always transpire."

    "What are you saying?" Lorenor asked.

    "Awaken, boy." The void commanded of Lorenor.

    ***

    Fifteen lances of purest void energy struck their mark true. Making short work of the old Paladin. But the void itself had just told him that the exact event had occurred before. Lorenor was crouching on the ground, having narrowly survived the assault. Black blood pouring down his mouth, his weapon against the dead ground. Energy swirled off of Lorenor as a vapor, steam cloud might. Lorenor was coughing and gasping at that point, spitting up blood...but something had clicked...something from DEEP within. The true nature of who I am...what I am... Lorenor knew he was an Undead. A member of the scourged races of Althanas. That much he could never deny.

    However, at that precise moment...Shinsou had done something to him.

    In the back of his mind, Lorenor heard the void calling out to him. Live you bastard...show them who you really are.

    The black blood, the mark of undeath, flowed freely from him. Yet the vessel of his body remained alive somehow. He would never really know exactly what had happened...only that it had. Lorenor was badly injured, but could still act and function. He wrapped his hand around the grip of his weapon and stood up very slowly. He faltered for a moment, falling down, but soon got back up mustering his ancient strength again. I am Undead... Lorenor thought to himself. His armour had been destroyed by the fifteen lances.

    But the fucker still lived.

    Somehow...he lived. "You probably think you've already won..." Lorenor began. "That was a nice trick...I'll give you that." He said coughing up black blood, fueled by Undeath. He knew he still had much to learn about everything that was going on with him...but that would be another journey. Now he had to focus his attention on Shinsou. "I hope that was not your only trick." Lorenor taunted, he was finding it difficult to stand up straight. But he would manage. The important thing was that his sword had survived the onslaught somehow. He was prepared to fight Shinsou to the death...

  8. #8
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    Shinsou Vaan Osiris's Avatar

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    The forest was filled with the scents of death. Branches burned like incense in the wake of the powerful arcane aggression, their pungent charcoal aromas wafting and intertwining with that of the scorched soil.

    After Shinsou had dispatched a full volley of one of his most powerful attacks at Lorenor, he had already turned and begun to walk to where he knew the Citadel's portal would manifest to take him home as victor.

    It was done. No-one had ever survived a full powered Enpera Kurohitsugi before.

    But then, as an ominous wind rustled through the leaves and whispered to him, something incredible happened. The paladin moved. The man spoke. The opponent he had assumed he had left as a mutilated carcass was still alive. Shifting his weight to the balls of his feet, Shinsou pivoted on the loose dirt and stared incredulously at the crumpled form of metal and flesh before him as the lunar glow blanketed the forest canopies in bright silver.

    Who are you?

    It was the most burning question on his mind. Someone had wanted to get Shinsou's attention by putting him and this man in combat together. As the Telgradian approached, he found himself in the midst of an intrigue.

    This armored paladin had been shredded by the dark magic, but even then seemed almost confident of his continued participation, swaggering as he rose to his knees and clinging to his sword with an iron grip. Shinsou hesitated, like a child lining his foot to crush a wounded beetle. The rank, foul stench of burning leaves and seared flesh didn’t seem to unsettle Lorenor, nor did the grevious wounds he had suffered. Black blood poured from his mouth and trickled down his dented metal plating, staining it with jet spatters.

    The frowning, thin Brotherhood representative spoke out, his tone beset with curiosity.

    "You're one to talk about tricks. A human with black blood?" Shinsou retorted, "I can only think of two reasons for that. Are you cursed or have you made death your ally? Given that you still stand after taking the full force of my Enpera Kurohitsugi, I would assume the latter."

    With that, the Telgradian slid Shira back into its ivory sheath. Flails of ice swished over the frozen ground as Shinsou closed his eyes and extended his right arm, hand now empty, to call his treasured sword Enpera to his palm. Like the manifestation of an apparition, the long katana phased into existence from within a white mist; a loud snap echoing around the moonlit forest as the green and silver cord grip became solid instantly. With each moment in this so-far one sided fight, Shinsou's doubts about Lorenor grew wider and more pronounced, exasperation and obvious surprise that these blows were not finishing the job as they were landing addling his mind. Solutions for dealing with the undead were not immediately apparant to him, but a good start would always be to improve his position by breaking the seal on his powers. After that, perseverance would carry Shinsou as far as it could, and then when the opportunity arose the Telgradian would steal Lorenor from this virtual world as quickly and cruelly as possible.

    "The undead are famously resiliant. Show me more of what you're made of, Lorenor!"

    Hakai: Enpera Shinkotei

    With speed and a venomous hiss, the flawless blade of Enpera shimmered, sending a twisting whorl of blue and white down its length as it grew to the length of a no-dachi anti-cavalry sword. The resultant burst of power charred the ice beneath Shinsou's heels with a blackening huff, cracking the dehlar strength frost. A flash of energy bubbled in his chest as the Telgradian felt his body overcome its mortal limitations; a result of Enpera's awakening. His eyes continued to pop about Lorenor's broken form, which appeared to be completely devoid of any doubt or hesitance despite his injuries and despite the scene unfolding before him.

    Shinsou looked to the sky, as if seeking divine guidance from Am'aleh. She wouldn't have approved of such brutality, but that was the least of his worries.

    Usually, such a heavy weapon would be impossible to wield with such ease at such speed, but with its seal broken Enpera was no heavier or wieldy to Shinsou than a normal katana. With all of his new agility and strength at the forefront of his attack, Osiris sprung from his left foot, Enpera's one hundred and eight centimetre blade pointed forwards on his right, and spun on his toes to bring the deadly sword screaming in an arc towards Lorenor's midriff with the intention to cleave him in half.
    Last edited by Shinsou Vaan Osiris; 01-01-2018 at 12:58 PM.
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  9. #9
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    Paladin_Lorenor's Avatar

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    And...then...Lorenor did the unthinkable.

    Still recovering from the previous assault on his very soul...Lorenor kept his eyes locked on his opponent. He saw that Shinsou became as a blur suddenly, moving quickly...and Lorenor assumed stronger at the same time. He has an altered form...much like William Arcus does...though this one is unique and different. He half-expected a dashing blast of energy or some other thing of that nature to come end the battle...but instead...Shinsou took a more predictable route for the next few seconds of the battle.

    It was all timing.

    William was also fast...if I can time this JUST right... He saw the blur coming in closer with the majestic weapon out the corner of his eyes. Relaxing his grip on his weapon, Lorenor acted. he timed it against the man's cleaving attack so that it would connect at just the right point in the movement. Instead of cutting Lorenor in half, Lorenor gambled on of his arms. His right arm to be precise and used that to intercept the brilliantly glowing weapon. Lorenor flinched for the briefest of moments as he stepped back and moved his arm in such a way as to intercept the sword. The gamble paid off.

    As suspected, the man before him was bound to his sword. Lorenor had incredible knowledge of The Thaynehood he was one a servant of N'Jal. As Lorenor intercepted the attack, his arm was cleanly lobbed off by the man's weapon. Black ichor sprayed about everywhere as it gushed from the fresh wound. No sound of pain or agony came from Lorenor, only a look of concentration. He held the grip of his own sword with his left hand tightly and at an angle. The lobbed off arm, cut in half from the elbow down, swirled in a complete circle in the air and landed on the ground...a moment or three later it burned into dark ash.

    Not even embers...

    With Shinsou within close-range...it was then or never. Lorenor swung his mighty claymore right at Shinsou... he didn't care where it hit. Only that it hit. He knew he was gambling a lot on that tactical maneuver, but he had to take the chance. Otherwise it was over. "I was once a follower of N'Jal." Lorenor suddenly admitted to Shinsou. "But that no longer matters. What matters is the here and now...you're aware of what I am." Lorenor continued. "I don't want any pity or remorse...I have lived a long time...many of your mortal lives." Lorenor said. "The state of my people has taken it's toll on me...on all like me. It was a man...Sei Orlouge...that made me what I am today. A "freed" Undead." Lorenor shook his head as he spoke. "But as you and I both know...there is no such thing as Freedom."

    "I no longer follow N'Jal or am bound to her will." Lorenor explained. "So this I say to you...Shinsou...as we are fighting right now. What do you fight for? Why do you fight? I had a reason a long time ago...but I no longer remember what that reason is. N'Jal stole that from me." And Lorenor waited to see the effects of his mad counter.

  10. #10
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    Breaker's Avatar

    GP
    12,205
    AP
    217
    Name
    Joshua Breaker Cronen
    Age
    29
    Race
    Demigod
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Corone
    Thread closed/archived at Lorenor's request. Contact me if you'd like it reopened.
    I got a band-aid for your prose
    Witness the fitness
    Fever taking hold
    You're gonna fall like a domino!

    - Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker

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