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Friv
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Age of Blood And Bone, Interlude 3: Silence's Lament

10 Jan 2009, 01:48

The room was quiet, as usual. Harakken Cyrus studied the Gateway board before him with all of the attention that a man might devote to his life’s ambition. Opposite him, Iselsi Thelos simply watched him dispassionately. Finally, Cyrus reached out and moved a piece, glancing over at his opponent.

Thelos nodded once, and swiftly moved another piece.

Cyrus raised his eyebrow. “An interesting move. I don’t know that it took all of my options into account.”

“Why not find out?” The barest hint of a smile threatened to crack Thelos’s face, but it quickly faded. “Perhaps this will be the day that I defeat you.”

“Anything is possible, my friend.” Cyrus casually moved another piece. “But not likely.”

Thelos studied the board thoughtfully. “Hm. I think I see the gambit that you…”

The sudden influx from Adorjan drove his hands to the table, and only iron self-control kept it intact. Cyrus looked over in alarm as Thelos practically collapsed. “Thelos! What’s wrong?”

“Draniel is dead.” It was the first fact that Thelos could sort from his Mother’s rage and confusion, and he drew on his training to impose order. Mother, please. Explain to me what happened. He winced, feeling her fury buffeting at his mind, and spoke again. “But… I don’t understand, he wasn’t killed, he…” As Cyrus watched with concern, Thelos closed his eyes again, as Adorjan calmed enough for their thoughts to align as they were meant to. Through her, he saw the core of the Great Betrayer, saw Draniel’s logic as clearly as if it were his own, and watched the chain of events unfolding towards their obvious conclusion.

He sagged into the chair. “Oh, Draniel. Oh, my devoted boy.” He swallowed heavily. Tears began to form as he watched his favorite student’s sacrifice. “I understand.”

-----

“Now, I admit I’m not a scholar. But weren’t you only supposed to take five days to cross into Creation?” Sitting under the bare shade of a long-dessicated corpse two stories tall, Lyta took a long drink from her waterskin and gazed around her. “It must have been five days by now.”

“It is called the Endless Desert, not the Five-Day Desert.” Deled shook sand out of his boot, shaking his head. “Your education was badly lacking.” He stood and looked around as well. As far as the eye could see, there was nothing but sand and glass, alongside the occasional corpse.

Lyta nodded slowly. “Yeah, fair enough. Well, we made it this far. Wind and sand don’t have anything on…” She hesitated, looking down. “Deled, my cloak’s not moving.”

“So?”

“So the wind’s stopped.”

Deled froze. Slowly, he turned to look at Lyta. “That’s impossible. The Silent Wind never stops blowing. Maybe you’re in the lee.”

Lyta stepped out from the shade, watching her clothes. After a moment, she shook her head. “Stopped dead. Creepy.” Pulling her razor claws out, she instinctively backed towards her companion as she glanced around. He did the same, holding his new spear protectively. “When you say never… I mean, it hasn’t happened as long as we’ve been here, but…”

“Never.” Deled shook his head. “Now be quiet. I hear something.”

Tilting her head, Lyta held her breath and listened. A moment later, she heard it too, a low sound that was building up force as it approached. “Sounds like a storm. We’d better take cover…”

And then it was on them. The sky opened up above, rain falling from a cloudless sky as the silent wind blew with sudden strength, thousands of droplets falling to soak the two Exalts to the skin. Around them, the desert became wet in moments. And with the rain came sorrow.

Adorjan wept. And all of Malfeas wept with her.

In the stone and brass passages of the Demon City, the music of the Angyalka changed in tone, reflected the loss that they now felt, as all of the Past came crashing into the Present that was all they could acknowledge. One in ten paused in their motions to truly consider what it was that they played. One in a hundred of those survived the consideration, the rest annihilated in an instant by the crushing realization of the suffering of Creation. In the vast forests of Szoreny, the Luminita paused in their eternal hunts, letting their prey escape unharmed as they mourned for those that they slew. Their victims, in turn, mourned for the Luminita, and for the hunt they would never complete. Deep in Kimbery’s acid seas, ten thousand Makorda found a moment’s respite from the pain their grandsire visited upon them, washed away a moment later by the knowledge of their tormentor’s own sufferings.

And in the vast desert of Cecelyne, two once-mortals clung to one another as they wept, incalculable lifetimes of sorrow visited upon them in a matter of moments.

And then it was done. Slowly, gradually, the storm passed. Slowly, Lyta and Deled remembered themselves, and separated from each other to find the weapons they had dropped to the sand.

“What. Was. That?” Lyta’s voice was faint.

“I do not know.” Deled looked up at the sky. The wind was blowing again, a faint breeze that caught at their sodden clothes almost hesitantly. “But I do not think the Demon City has ever seen its like before.” He stood slowly. “We should start walking, while the land is still cool from the rain.”

“Yeah.” Lyta swallowed heavily, wiping away tears. Deled held out a hand to help her to her feet. “We can’t give up when we’re almost home.”
"Some people walk in the rain. Others merely get wet."

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Re: Age of Blood And Bone, Interlude 3: Silence's Lament

10 Jan 2009, 09:35

That unclouded Compassion isn't going to last for very long, is it?
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Icarus
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Re: Age of Blood And Bone, Interlude 3: Silence's Lament

10 Jan 2009, 13:08

Dinosaur wrote:
That unclouded Compassion isn't going to last for very long, is it?



Not in Malfeas as a whole. I wonder, though, what the permanent effect on Adorjan will be. It may increase her rage yet again, as pain seems to do to people. Or, it may repair somewhat her broken nature. Draniel may have actually helped his master in more ways than he realized.
"But, oh! Those days! How I would love to have lived them, even if it were only to be slain on the first!"
 
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Deaths Pale Mistress
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Re: Age of Blood And Bone, Interlude 3: Silence's Lament

10 Jan 2009, 14:22

The fact that Malfeas as a collective whole wept for the passing of Draniel was suprising on it's own. I'd expect a mother to weep for the loss of a child, but the entire enclave? Perhaps the Yozi's arent so bad afterall - considering its feasible they can still feel the range of 'mortal' emotion.

Good work Friv, loved it. :mow:
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
 
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Re: Age of Blood And Bone, Interlude 3: Silence's Lament

10 Jan 2009, 14:52

I actually have a certain amount of respect and understanding for the Yozies and Primordials. I really cannot hate them.

I can, however, realize that their existence is incompatible with humans and oppose them on that score.

Anyway, I think the process of choosing a Conduit might have changed the Yozies more than they think, if the Silent Wind and it's offspring can do that.
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Deaths Pale Mistress
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Re: Age of Blood And Bone, Interlude 3: Silence's Lament

10 Jan 2009, 15:11

BrilliantRain wrote:
I can, however, realize that their existence is incompatible with humans and oppose them on that score.


Only because when they created the Human race they didnt bother to think of what they had truly created; extremely less powerful versions of themselves - in essence.
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
 
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Friv
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Location: Toronto
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Re: Age of Blood And Bone, Interlude 3: Silence's Lament

10 Jan 2009, 15:31

Dinosaur and Icarus: Yeah, that moment of lament has passed in Malfeas overall. It may have left some beings changed, or more thoughtful, but most of them will probably try to do their best to forget it.

BrilliantRain: The tricky things with conduits as a concept is that they flow in two directions. The Yozi may not have taken that into account entirely. ;)

DPM: Yeah, humans get underestimated a lot. The big trick is that they're mortal beings based on what happens when you give the Fair Folk shape and a desire for order. This leaves them all kinds of funny compared to most of the things that the Primordials make. ;)
"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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