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Essence 6
Essence 6
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Title: Splinter of Mokrelus
Exalt: Elemental
Fighting Style: Spell-Fu
Artifact: The Crucible of Tarim
Location: Toronto
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Twilight of the Second Age, Ch4, Sc9 - Battleground

05 Aug 2006, 01:02

Table of Contents

Last scene of the penultimate chapter. Whee!

-----

Blue Skulking Bear roared in frustration, looking out over the ruined city, and then turned to the others. The group had moved quickly as the spirit began his pursuit, but his need to reduce himself to a more manageable size had given the Abyssals time to flee, and they had taken full advantage of it – leaving the zombies behind for a final distraction, they had escaped from the tunnels and disappeared.

Nia spoke softly, looking out across the water. “They won’t be gone for long. And when they return, it will be with the forces that they need to take me back with them.”

“Let them come.” Blue Skulking Bear let out another roar, and the winds began to shift. “I do not fear the Dead.” He shifted into his largest form, flexing his claws as the sky clouded over and thunder began to roll. “The Hunt will not return soon enough to trouble us, and they will not last long against my huraka.”

Kieran sighed. “Master Skulking Bear, we have in our possession knowledge that could destroy the Deathlords forever. Their servants will not want that knowledge revealed.”

For a moment, it seemed that Skulking Bear was fazed, and then he grinned even more widely. “Do you? And this is why you need to reach that island?”

“It is.” Kieran bowed again, and looked at his friends, who followed his lead. “I can’t tell you any more.”

“Well, then. Madam, tell me where this island is, and I will form you transport long before those cowards can assemble anything.”

Nia sat, and began to talk with Skulking Bear, as the others waited. The sky continued to rumble, and the winds spun and spiralled; one by one, it took the form of great bears like Seven Winds Dancing, each stepping forwards to bow to the Wind Master before taking up a position in the valley. Dancing himself appeared, grinning widely, and caught Elena up in a hug before bowing to the others.

“I knew my faith in you was not misplaced! Thank you, so much!” Elena laughed, slipping out of his arms, and bowed.

“It was our pleasure to set things right, my friend. And you helped us –” She broke off, staring at the ridge. “Um… Master Skulking Bear?”

Everyone’s attention turned. The horizon was growing dark, and the stars were spreading across the sky. Skulking Bear growled, deep in his throat. “It is not nightfall for hours. What dark sorcery is this?”

“I have a feeling we’re about to find out.” Sirrim gestured, pointing to the rim of the valley, where thousands of war ghosts and zombies were forming. Standing in front of them was the lady in the veils, her arms raised, dark Essence pouring from her into the sky and turning it as black as night. Twice-Forged Steel stepped forwards, flanked by four more people – a woman dressed in little more than tattered robes, her skin touched with plague and her eyes burning with fervor, another encased in bone and soulsteel, claws protruding and her expression dead, a man standing seven feet tall, his goremaul tipped with a grinning skull, and the last seeming neither male nor female, but a grotesque parody of both, with neither breasts nor crotch visible under its funeral robes, wielding a powerbow that seemed forged from a single monstrous tusk. Steel raised his voice, which carried across the valley.

“Let’s try this again, shall we? Hand over the girl, or we destroy everything!”

“TAKE HER, IF YOU CAN!” Skulking Bear gestured to Kieran. “Take your companions and stand together. I will send you to where you need to be, and then we will deal with this pathetic excuse for an army.”

Sirrim stepped forwards, as the dead began to pour over the valley rim, practically flying towards the assembled spirits. Lightning flashed and thunder rolled as hundreds of huraka began to take action, their breath sending zombies flying. “Kieran, I must stay here and fight with the wind court. Be well. I’m sure that we will meet again, when your mission is complete.”

“We should stay and –” Elena’s words were cut off by Skulking Bear, who shook his head.

“YOUR MISSION IS MORE IMPORTANT STILL. WE CAN DEAL WITH THIS, AND WE CANNOT AFFORD THE RISK OF LOSING YOU. I WILL EXPECT TO SEE YOU AT MY FORTRESS WHEN YOU ARE FINISHED, ELENA WINDWALKER. WE HAVE MUCH TO DISCUSS.”

Impulsively, Nia stepped forwards. She reached into her robes, pulling out a small pouch. Opening it, she dropped three seeds into one hand, tucking them away, and handed the pouch to Skulking Bear. “Here. These may help. They heal people, places, and things.”

Skulking Bear grinned more widely, and patted Nia on the head. She staggered, but managed a smile. “KHASAS SEEDS! A RARE GIFT, INDEED – MANY THANKS, I WILL USE THEM WELL!” His smile turned fierce, and he raised his arms; the wind picked up the four companions, spinning them into the air. “NOW GO!”

Clouds formed around the four, and they began to pick up speed. A few stray arrows flew their way, only to be brushed aside by the torrential winds. As they flew away, Kieran saw Skulking Bear smashing his way through the army towards the Abyssals, with Sirrim and Seven Winds Dancing at his side, and held his hands together. “Sun, watch over them in this fight to come. Let them survive…”

And then the cloud had carried them beyond the battlefield, and there was nothing to do but hope, and wait. Soon, they would reach the end of their journey. Soon, they would reach Mokrelus.
"Some people walk in the rain. Others merely get wet."

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Essence 7
Essence 7
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Exalt: Sidereal
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05 Aug 2006, 11:35

Oh, snap!

I love those Abyssal. They just make me laugh (not exactly in a comical way but in an entertaining sort of way). Cool to see them thwarted by someone other than our heroes! In that...well, it's very much in keeping with the experience of those poor Abyssals all series long, never quite getting their shot. ;)

Something nice that you're doing: there's no feeling of rushing here. Even though you're obviously on the home stretch, you still take your time with your dialogue and your descriptions. A good thing for any writer to do. :)

Great story. You've brought us this far. Now finish that beast!
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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