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Essence 6
Essence 6
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Posts: 1072
Joined: 28 Jan 2006, 00:42
Title: Splinter of Mokrelus
Exalt: Elemental
Fighting Style: Spell-Fu
Artifact: The Crucible of Tarim
Location: Toronto

Twilight of the Second Age - Ch5, Sc2 - Oh Snap

17 Aug 2006, 12:56

Table of Contents

Hands up, everyone who saw that coming.


Sarn led the group deep into the mountain, through what appeared to have once been natural tunnels, high-ceilinged and broad. They were now carved, smoothed, and lined with doorways and lanterns rather than natural branchings, and the entire affair gave the impression of a well-constructed fortress. Khory ran one hand along the wall, and whistled softly. “I’ve never seen workings so smooth. How did you accomplish it?”

“Demons, of course.” Sarn shrugged. “The master summoned them to help make his castle more appropriate to one of his stature. It is a paltry thing next to what he once owned, of course.”

“Of course.” Khory removed his hand from the wall, watching it in fascination, before returning his attention to the hallway. “And the doors lead…”

“To all manner of places. Our interests are many, and the master believes in being prepared.” Sarn turned down another hallway, and shrugged again. “It is a small thing.”

“For you, I guess.” Khory looked around, thoughtfully.

“No artwork, though.” Elena pointed at the barren walls. “No statues, even. Doesn’t your master…”

“Elena.” Nia’s voice was soft, and she shook her head warningly. Elena raised an eyebrow, but quieted. Sarn continued speaking as though the exchange had never occurred.

“The master is most pleased that you have returned, Nia. We had all thought you lost to the Deathlords long ago, if not worse.”

“They couldn’t kill me.” Nia shivered, stepping unconsciously closer to the lights, and Kieran put an arm around her comfortingly. “They just tried to keep me out of the way. If it wasn’t for Kieran, I’d have never escaped.” She looked over at her three friends, and smiled.

“Well, then, the master owes you as well.” Sarn turned back with a warm smile, but his eyes were worried. For a moment, he opened his mouth to speak, and then he stopped, looking forwards again. “Here we are. The master waits within.”

The doors were far more impressive than the island had been. Ten feet tall, forged of white jade with orichalcum trim and black jade panelling, the towered above the group. With a faint gulp, Nia stepped forwards, and raised a hand to knock. As she did, the doors swung soundlessly inwards. Looking back at the others, she shrugged, and strode inwards, still shivering slightly. Kieran, Elena, and Khory followed, carefully keeping a pace behind their companion as they looked around.

The inner chamber was massive; forty yards across, with a ceiling so high above them that Kieran could see sunlight, carefully filtered down through dozens of mirrors laid across the roof. At the far end of the room, a great window looked out over the island and the sea, and standing in front of that window was Mokrelus.

He was not as Kieran remembered him. Still massive, towering over the room, his once-flawless skin was criscrossed with scars, and tiny fragments of white jade glittered in his skin. Below his waist, his legs were locked together in a great jade column, which sat brokenly on the floor. His arms, once filled with motion, were still, none betraying even a hint of motion, no sign that Mokrelus even lived. Slowly, however, the great creature turned his head, and his burning gaze settled on the group.

Reaching down with four arms, Mokrelus spin himself around, a snide smile splitting across his face. “My errant Splinter. How lovely to finally see you again. And you have brought such guests with you.” He bowed low, arms sweeping across his chest. “My humble home is honoured to be blessed by the Unconquered Sun.”

“Master.” Nia sank to one knee. “It is we who are honoured. I return to you, as you commanded so long ago. I am only sorry that I could not complete my mission sooner.”

“But it is complete?” Mokrelus leaned forwards, and Kieran found his hand falling towards the hilt of his sword. Angrily, he forced it loose, but he gathered Essence around himself – just in case. The greedy look in that ominous expression was not one that he liked.

Nia, still leaning forwards, did not see it. “Yes, master. The secret to the destruction of the Deathlords. And your Splinters will be capable of accomplishing it. Soon, you can rid the world of the threat of Oblivion forever – a fine demonstration to bring before the Incarnae when you seek a place at their sides.”

“Excellent, Nia. All is forgiven.” Mokrelus waved a hand casually. “Now, now I have my weapon. No more working with those idiotic elementals. No more pointless summonings. Destroy the Deathlords? With this secret at my command, child, I will control them! I will not approach the Incarnae as a beggar, no. They will come begging to me!!”

As Nia’s head rose, shock and horror warring for primacy on her features, Kieran nodded grimly. “It was you all along. Your Splinters were the ones who summoned the Wind Masters to bind them.”

“An old ploy, and now unneeded.” Mokrelus laughed joyfully, but there was an insane edge to the sound. “Thank you for the great boon that you have given me.”

“Those people you killed, the damage you wrought.” Kieran shook his head. “That wasn’t Order!”

“I AM ORDER!” Mokrelus’s roar shook the chamber, and the far door opened, Sarn and the guards rushing in to see what the matter was. “I DECIDE WHAT IS RIGHT OR WRONG!” He gestured to his legs. “Your Incarnae abandoned me, left me trapped in a jade prison for thousands of years! I will be revenged!”

“No!” Kieran drew his daiklave grimly. Nia scrabbled to one side, face still frozen in shock. “I will not live in the sort of world that you will bring about!”

“Very well.” Mokrelus’s voice was dark. “I still owe you a boon, after all.” He gestured.

“Kill them.”
"Some people walk in the rain. Others merely get wet."

Patchwork Champions - You say "to-ma-toe", I say "world-ravaging-laser-beam".
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Essence 7
Essence 7
Posts: 3792
Joined: 26 Jan 2006, 23:23
Title: Resident Novelist
Exalt: Sidereal
Fighting Style: Running the hell away
Artifact: My Lower Soul
Location: Bellingham, WA

17 Aug 2006, 20:11

This is the greatest thing ever.

I'm a little surprised I didn't see it coming but it makes a fair amount of sense. Great portrayal of Mokrelus, by the way.

Everyone likes a good setup for a boss battle...and that's one of the best parts about this part. Readers knew there was probably a confrontation coming but...yeah, the set up. Man.

Thanks, Friv. It's been a fantastic story. I can't wait to see what's left!
BrilliantRain: There are those who would note that sometimes, sometimes, you get the things you really need instead of the things you deserve.
Kailan: If people only ever got what they deserved, the world would be a more miserable place.

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