Midnight Thunderboy
12-19-2007, 06:34 PM
Ok guys (and girls). I've been writing for two years a dark fantasy novel to kill time at first, but then I really got in the plot and am commited in finishing it. I've recently started to translate it into English and have decided to give it a go here. Feel free to comment and all that.

Credits: First things first, I am not the sole creator of this story. I am more or less the main author but others have worked into it. First my coauther that will be called Raistlin who takes my paper version and types it, not only correcting the (high) ammount of grammer/spelling/style mistakes in the novel but also adding many good ideas of his own. He deserves as much credits as me for this story. Also to thanks are DeviCA and Corwyn who have also brought their stone to the story DevilCA having even done some artworks.

Disclamer: Ok, it is a little important you read this bit. This story is rated M and believe me, it deserves it. It has a lot of violence and mature themes developed in the story. There isn't any full graphic sex but some bits are a little hot.(I think my coauthor has had an overdose of Sword Of Truth novels). Expect the sort of violence seen/read. in F.E.A.R., Sword of Truth, Black Library books, Silence of the Lambs, Hellsing... you get my drift.

Inspiration sources include different novels, anime and RPGs. (the story is based on a rpg game I played). I have also put in the beginning of some scenes a recommended soundtrack to listen while reading. Sources include anime (Death Note and DMC so far), video games (Devil May Cry, Metal Gear Solid, Final Fantasy...).
And now, have a nice read.

Midnight Thunderboy
12-19-2007, 06:36 PM

DM of game: Arnaud B (aka Corwin)
Authors: Alexandre K (aka Midnight Thunderboy), Nicolas D (aka Raistlin)
Help: Antony C ( aka DevilCA)


An ideal word for defining the vain idiot I have been and that I can not claim no longer being.
A lie. The ritual, the Entity, the dead. All that is just a vast lie. Blinded by my fear of death, by my illness, I naively believed I could find an escape to fate.
The war has already claimed thousands. I corrupted the spirit of mankind. Magic is the source of the problem. Too powerful, far too powerful. The ambition of madmen like me to this otherworldly power� to evil itself.
I sacrificed the three. The Entity. I gave the monster the strength to open the portal. And I gave him the material for an army.
Too late to repair.
I will open a portal and attack it upfront. I know I am unable to face him, but I know how to weaken him for a time. Maybe then will Atyarian have the time to prepare.
But only a miracle will save it.

Chapter 1: It all started in a tavern�:

The great continent of Atyarian was divided in twenty-eight baronies more or less equitably sharing the lands according to the natural frontiers that were the many mountain ranges split across this continent. In the centre of this continent is the biggest of them all, the one with most influence, guided by the hand of the Baroness Alianile, one of the very few women with that much power on Atyarian. Kantura, its capital, was the greatest city of the continent and, more importantly on of the most powerful by its economic power, being in the centre of most trading routes. Also, thanks to the magical powers of the baroness, the town was protected from any potential invader. A few days south from it is a small village, Creitohn, and even more south was a ghastly Inn that was the only civilized place to rest for the travelers taking the road between Creitohn and the barony of Eckerith behind the great wall. It is often at these places we find brave adventurers ready to fight for noble causes, defending orphan and widow and saving the world in their free time. And then, there are the other type�

[Soundtrack: Death Note, track 1 from the Death Note Anime OST.]

Akayne put his hand on the Inn�s handle. Feeling resistance due to rust, he had to use both arms and use his weight to make it work. Such an effort was a real bad idea for someone like him who had not eaten or drunk for two whole days, and that only act had strained most of his muscles. He was barely standing and the strong wind, pushing the raindrops that whipped his face, had almost pushed him down for good on a big number of occasions these last hours. Since his flight from Eckerith, he hadn�t dared stop and had forced his ride to a deadly pace. He had only realized too late that his fear had clouded his judgment and the pace had ended up killing the equine. Bred by the guild to obey no matter the consequences, the animal had never protested during this daring race.
He had succeeded in crossing the Great Wall after a series of magical controls done by a dozen posted flesh golems, even more suspicious than the inquisitors of the old times. After having passes the five truth tests under spell, they had let him go through. These golems were guided by justice and their imposed conduct line only permitted them to judge intents, not past acts. They had let him pass.
His horse dead, he had been forced to continue by foot for hours and hours. He hadn�t dared stop once. His wife had almost certainly noticed his absence once night fell, that he went AWOL. In thirty minutes the magic recorders will have informed her of his flight. Thinking of those dispatched to track him was more than motivating enough to make him forget this night�s sleep. Even if the Great Wall, undeniable proof of the Baroness�s power, was able to block anyone with bad intentions, his guild had many hidden resources and agents infiltrated everywhere, even in this borough.
The second day went more or less the same, without him eating or sleeping. In his haste, he had even forgotten to take provisions, daft as he was. 15 years he had honed his skills for the guild and in one day, he had let it all go without even thinking. He had fled without using his brain, letting a mad impulse and he didn�t even have a clue where he was heading. But it was too late to go back. His wife would never forgive him this mistake and will execute him to make an example, desertion being the worse crime in the job. If he was captured and submitted to a magic scrutation like that of the golems of the Wall, his guild was done.
The end of that second day finished his body, and tired by this day�s running, he really wanted to stop to rest. The thought of the trackers opposed strongly to it but his muscles riddled with pain forced him to stop immediately.
And yet, he walked, going way beyond limits of his body and mind.
One hour later, as he fell on the ground and was about to pass out.
Mirage, dream or clouded reality, a strange woman had helped him back on his feet. Only clad with too pieces of black cloth, barely covering her nipples and her crotch, her long black hair falling on her shoulders, she had looked at him with her eyes that suggested endless generosity. Subjugated by that look and by the woman�s unbelievable beauty, he hadn�t thought for a second that madness that caught up with him.
Thinking back about it as he opened the door of this inn, he laughed at his own stupidity. Half naked gals with perfect bodies who came to rescue you�only existed in dreams. His subconscious must of went bongos and invented this woman, that yet made his heart beat so captivating the vision had been, pushing him back again with new found strength toward this in.
A horrible smell greeted him and aggressed his senses as the room was showing to him, probably the delicate smell of local food. Having seen the terrible state of the inn from outside, he hadn�t had high hopes but didn�t feel like being difficult. A meal, if he had the energy to chew, and a mattress, that was all he asked. He had way enough money to afford what he asked.
The molded floor squeaked under his feet as he moved. With his arm he cleared the drops of water on his face and hair. His cloak and black costume, like his leather armor, were totally soaked.
Some of the clients were staring at him. His appearance heavily contrasted with that of the drunkards that occupied the inn. Despite his last two days that made huge bags appear under his eyes, he kept a straight posture and his cloths easily put him in the affluent class. A waitress moved between the tables holding a platter filled with beer glasses and using her other hand to chase away those of a little too exited alcoholics. A partically drunk one, with very low hygienic standards, was talking to himself, changing his voice. Apparently he was communicating with two other people who answered to him using his own mouth. The local drinks had to be pretty strong.
His upper class adventurer look wasn�t the only one to contrast. A man with a long red coat and a noticeably well crafted great sword attached to his back was drinking a glass of wine at the counter. He had short brown hair and looked at him with his well made and expressionless face for a few seconds before returning his blue eyes to his drink.
Some noble with grey clothes decorated with gold was also there, sitting alone at the back of the room. He was also drinking a glass a wine while throwing glances through the window.
Two tables had been put away from the rest. At one was seated a two meter fifty green orc. With a square face that one could think carved from a rock, bold, black eyes, two inferior canines slightly sticking out from his mouth like all those of his kind, the orc had also looked at him with a hard look for a few seconds before going back to his fifth glass of beer, the others being empty on the table. An enormous staff with gems of different colors rested against his chair.
So the orc was a shaman. Strange that he was here alone� Orc shamans are the spiritual leaders of their tribes, interpreting signs of nature and elements. Except in a cas de force majeur, such as a threat to their tribe, these guys never ever left their own. His presence in a squalid inn drinking beer debunked the idea of a lone quest to help his kin.
On the other isolated table was another strange individual, some sort of barbarian only wearing a simple loin cloth made with some dark grey pelt. His beard of a few days and his long untamed hair, his piercing brown eyes, his bulking muscles and his fark face made him the stereotype of the brutal and homicidal warrior. On his strong arm was some kind strange symbol engraved on his bare skin, probably with a sharp object.
- Talk about a band of weirdoes, he muttered under his beard he didn�t have as a rather cute waitress joined to welcome him. With he curled red hair, her malicious eyes she smiled to him before talking to him. Her face full of freckles showed the assassin that she wasn�t even twenty years old yet.
After welcoming him with a most enthusiast �Welcome sir� she guided him to the table closest to the chimney and got him rid of his cloak to let it dry. She already left before he had time to order. She came back a few seconds later with a warm bole full of vegetables.
- You must be freezing in your wet clothes sir. If you wish, I could find a way to warm you up this evening, she whispered in his ear before leaving him without any chance to answer.
So young and yet so audacious� just like all waitresses in that type of squalid joint, she was only looking for some way to make her life more comfortable, even ready to sacrifice her own body. Akayne must have made a good enough impression on her to attract her attention.
With deep blue eyes, a fine face, a few blond strokes of hair falling on his face, a finely crafted goatee that he had still maintained during his journey � Le contact of the blade against his skin everyday for years reminded him that it was just as easy to die than to kill, thing he had done so many times for the guild. He always had an attractive physique and had always knew. Some time ago, the game a seduction had entertained him and his manner of making girls fall for him had often attracted envy from other not so lucky members of the guild.
He was now tired of the games. Without really understanding why, he wasn�t in the mood to play with the other sex. Anyway, he was far too tired to satisfy the appetites of the waitress. She would also quickly be disappointed if she found out that he had no land and his whole money was in his pockets, and that she once more sacrificed her dignity for nothing.
He took a spoonful of this soup and slowly brought it to his lips fearing it would be burning hot. The temperature was ideal and the food�s smell reminded his stomach that it was empty. Putting down his spoon, he grabbed the bowl with both hand and lifted it to his lips to quickly ingurgitate it. Fuck manners, he was too hungry to bother about them. Anyway, it wasn�t the local drunkards that would bother his manners.
As he put the empty bowl back on the table, a strange sensation filled him. The set was slowly turning around him and the flames on the chimney seemed to amplify, making his sight go fuzzy. He didn�t know if it was the fatigue caching up with him or the fact he had eaten too quickly after two days of fasting but the sensation was really disagreeable. His heavy head fell on the table and his tired mind couldn�t fight the wave of unconsciousness invading him.


[Brieffing, Track 3 of the Metal Gear Solid 3 Ost CD1]

Asdolean woke up from his slumber and opened his eyes, only to notice the presence the presence his bars in front of him. He got up in a jump and quickly examined the place. The short surprise had quickly let place to the cold analytical part of his mind. He wasn�t alone, other clients from the tavern were with him, or rather the saddest of the lot that like him, just woke up. With him, they were five, each locked up in a suspended cage chained to the ceiling.
A part for these five cages there was nothing in the room with immaculate white walls. So Asdolean quickly examined the three men and the orc in the same problematic position as him.
By reflex, he reached his back and found out obviously that Truthide had been stolen from him. He had no clue on the instigator of this bad joke but definitely intended to make him pay dearly for that.
Looking for a spell able to get him out of this mess he realized the true danger that threatened him. The runes no longer answered to him. He searched them in his scrambled mind but these, each time he reached them, they went out of his reach.
No more power� or weapon.
The situation had rarely been this bad� whoever brought them here had taken a lot of measures to contain them. However, he didn�t understand the presence of the others. He definitely knew why people wanted him dead or captured, but why the hell bother with the others from the inn ?
Asdolean went for another surprise when he used on himself the innate power of his kind to detect and analyze magic. A powerful red aura linking his brain to his heart nearly blinded him by its intensity. Stopping the analysis, he took a few seconds for his vision to go back to normal.
A spell was around his heart but remained passive. It only awaited the command of the spell caster to be activated. Whatever it was, it was also acting on his brain, blocking memories of runes that would have helped him getting him out of here. With such a trap he could demand whatever he wanted or kill them with a simple gesture.
-Ha! Told ya this beer tasted funny !
This sentence had been uttered by some drunkard with a long black beard and unkept hair. He was apparently talking to the wall since he didn�t bother to face any of the other prisoners. The idiot did however have one use; he confirmed that he had been drugged. For what reason he still did not know.
He glanced at another man, just as tough, some sort of barbarian. He was big, only wore a cloth and had the biggest muscles he had ever seen on a human. He also had a symbol on his skin, a triangle barred with two lines that Asdolean immediately identified as demonic. He held on his right arm a chain linked to a wooden guard that must have been a flail at some point. He found strange that someone would remove the flails head rather than disarm him.
- Guess we have no choice but to wait�
Barely had he uttered that sentence that the four prisoners turned towards him but none answered. He could however feel their questioning looks on him.
- Simple deduction, he said as if answering the unasked question. We have been drugged, disarmed and taken here. The one who did that is obviously planning to come and visit us at some point. The simple fact we are alive shows he wants something from us.
He let out a joyless smile.
- And when he shows up he will deeply regret causing me this inconvenience.
- And just what will you do to me Asdolean ?
The mocking voice came out of nowhere. He jumped just like the others except for the barbarian who simply stared at the ground under him. Seven runes shined at this place. Asdolean cursed in his mind when he saw he was unable to identify them, again being showed his current helplessness.
A strange old man appeared at the centre of the seven runes. Clad in a long white robe, he starred at him with his iris less eyes. His deeply wrinkled face showed the weight of age on the man but his voice and posture denied any idea of weakness. The man was still as fit as ever. It was also no use in using his analyze to determine just how powerful the white mage was.
- No more runes, no more power, he told him in a mocking voice. And with no power you are as helpless as a maggot, aren�t you ? Now point in trying Inferno, your wild magic won�t work here either.
Asdolean turned to take a look at the orc named Inferno. He looked at least as furious on the outside as himself was inside. Both hands joined he had tried to throw a spell but in vain.
The tattooed warrior started emanating a blood red aura. None other than him could see that the power came from the flail and was invading his body. Only those able to sense demons were able to see this. That warrior wasn�t a simple damned soldier, he was a champion directly under his master�s command. He should have noticed it before, considering his vast knowledge in the subject but the white mage had done his homework. He had entirely neutralized his magic and even part of his knowledge, as if his brain was unwilling to let him find the information he so needed.
Asdolean could imagine the plans the demon had for the fate of the mage and smiled. The red aura showed the power leaking out of the champion and he could easily guess who was going to win that one. The demon seemed to be trying to help his prot�g� but something wasn�t right. His aura was no longer growing; it was receding up to totally disappear. There was still a powerful aura remaining on the weapon, but locked up. Of course only he could see the aura and understand the mage had foreseen the demon�s reaction. In any other time he would have laughed at it. A demon unable to help, even a little, his champion. Only this meant his last chance of getting out of here and kill that blasted mage had just disappeared.
-A problem with your lackey, demon ?
The tone of the mage was even more mocking. He hadn�t moved a single time but still seemed to see everything that happened in the room. Asdolean, knowing the ego of demons knew that one must have been in a fury even greater than his or the orc�s. The mage had however confirmed any doubts the others had about the warrior and seemed unnerved by the news, certainly knowing the legendary cruelty of their kind. The only one still calm was the alcoholic, who seemed to be rather chatting with himself than listen to the mage�s sarcasms.
- Listen to me attentively ! I took the necessary precaution for my safety and for my operations. I have a task to give you and you will do it. Refusal to comply will result in me using the spell placed on each of you to kill you. I hope you understand your options are limited. Compliance or death.
- What sort of work ? asked the blond man apparently in a better shape than in the tavern.
- To keep things short lets say I have a few expansion projects and that to counter me, my enemies have sent a sorceress who is currently located west of the Tabezhail forest. She�s the target. I would of killed her myself but I have too many things keeping me busy. She is weak and even with your weakened abilities you will be able to get rid of her. That done, I will free you from my grip. Some of you had possessions they were rather attached to. I will give them back when the task is done.
- Why us ? asked Asdolean with a sarcastic tone. If you are so powerful why not send your limitless minions to this task ?
- I don�t recall giving you the right to question me. Obey and things will go smoothly. Objection ?
Noticing that none answered, the mage incanted. Asdolean�s vision became fuzzy as he felt the spell of this new enemy manipulate parts of his brain. Manipulated by a force he couldn�t contain, he lost consciousness.

Midnight Thunderboy
12-19-2007, 06:37 PM
Chapter 2 :A trip in jail

The war of magic is the greatest conflict ever recorded on Atyarian. However, no one has ever managed to discover or understand the cause of this madness that nearly cost the life of every living being on this world. Magic was too powerful for mankind, and in an ambition that seems to be the main trait of their specie, they attempted to dominate Atyarian. Scores of my kin fell to battle, warriors like shamans. There was no glory in this carnage, no honor in our death. We fought for an impossible survival against a tidal wave of power.
Luckily, mankind�s foolishness is what brought it too it�s own loss, and after having decimated hundreds of thousands of people, it turned against them. The city of the mages ended up exploding, the afflux of magic becoming highly unstable. The fallout made itself felt all over Atyarian and few escaped global destruction. But the survivors, after mourning the dead, felt joy in their hearts for the war was over and the mages dead.
Nature corrected its mistake. It separated magic from Atyarian, confining it in another plane. Therefore, accessing to pure magic had become all but impossible for any living being and even those able to open a bridge between Atyarian and this plane could not control it, it becoming too unstable by the modifications of reality.
Runes were invented to maintain magic on Atyarian. To simplify, these runes, used by humans, are the only stable relays to magic, but are limited to predefined functions, not permitting surges of power. In addition, the constraint of memorizing these runes prevents power hungry weak minds from accessing it.
I, for one, highly doubt that nature will leave things as there are for centuries. Man is too weak to understand its mistakes and if such a cataclysm should happen again, the world would risk loosing magic for good. Even us, orc shamans, would have to abandon our power for good and let the elements decide alone of their course in this world.

Extract from the chronicles of Borsk, ork shaman, 178 after the war of magic.

[Soundtrack: Fate line, track 12 from the Devil May Cry anime OST.]

Stendar opened with pain his eyes, for it was his master�s will. He immediately recognized the place, this tavern in which his master had ordered him to go without giving reason. His initial plan, whatever it were, had apparently backfired, the encounter with the mage having most certainly not been foreseen.
He did however feel that the place had changed since he had been drugged. The fact that the owner, clients and waitresses were reduced to bloody pulp must have had something to do with this impression. The rotten floorboard had by places given place to a still fresh layer of blood, just like the stools, walls, tables and any furniture that was in the room. Strangely, the bodies of the dead couldn�t be seen, all that remained was this incredible quantity of blood that made Stendar�s own boil. The thirsting smell of hemoglobin, the vision of the dead and this unnatural silence, all aggressed his senses. He felt an uncontrollable excitement slowly submerge him, and little by little, the arm that held the flail, or what was left of it, started having spasms that he couldn�t control. His ailed brain only contained destructive urges that characterized the bloody rage of the champion.
The voice of his master had a calming effect. The destructive madness that had slowly invaded him now progressively disappeared. All excitement disappeared, his body obeying to his master without him even needing to use his brain. His master had total control on each of his muscles and could use him like a puppet should it be his will.
The mage�s other prisoners were also in the tavern and observed with revilement the carnage that had taken place here.
- Seems like subtle isn�t in this mage�s vocabulary� said the man with the red coat with a voice that concealed anger. None of them appreciated being forced to do work for a stranger that had total control on their survival. Stendar looked at them one by one like all of them knowing that they had to work together for a time.
Stendar didn�t like the way recent events had turned out, but his master didn�t seem worried about it. However, the champion was used to walk alone and traveling with others would be difficult for him. Especially since his master had prohibited him form harming them. He didn�t exactly understand his masters will and didn�t try too, but Stendar felt that he wanted to be rid of them as soon as possible of these deadweights that would slow him down. He had to finish the mage�s mission in the briefest delays.
- We are going to have to work�together, continued the man, half spitting the last word that seemed to bother him as much as the warrior. To be honest, teamwork was never my specialty, but since we are going to be forced to collaborate for some time, we might as well get to know each other.
- Well then start by yourself mage, said the orc with a firm voice.
- Hmff, I didn�t expect you to start anyway, he sighed. My name is Asdolean and I am a traveling mage. My presence in this tavern is purely up to bad luck. I was looking for a place to rest when it appeared in front of me.

A silence followed his declaration. No one seemed to want to present himself to total stranger, them seeming weirder than the other.
A loud burp killed this awkward silence. All turned to the strange drunkard clad in rags and an unkempt beard.

- Colargol, heavy drinker � Expert fighter and tactician � and seduction professional at your service.

Stendar lifted an eyebrow to that rather odd declaration from the drunkard. He had answered in one go, but had changed his voice three times, slightly changing the sounds of words. The first voice had been trembling, the second sure and determined and the third high.

Stendar had thought, during his capture, that the mage had captured them for a good reason. He could of chose anyone else, anywhere else. However, he could find no logical explanation for why this total arsehead had been designated to do his dark tasks.

- I�m called Akayne, said the thin blond man, and with a girly stature Stendar noted, and am also a� traveling adventurer. Just like Asdolean, I was following that road and after a long day of walking, I decided to stop at this place. You know the rest�

The orc spoke: �Inferno Mandhal, orc shaman.�, were the only words to come out from his mouth, each syllable carefully articulated with strength with his deep voice.
Stendar then saw the whole group staring at him with a mix of apprehension and curiosity. The mage had revealed his nature, he wouldn�t be able to lie about that. Each seemed to be waiting for him to present himself to the group.

- Stendar, champion.

No use in telling them anything more. He would have to kill them anyway, anyone knowing his identity becoming a potential threat. His master hadn�t formulated the demand yet but he knew the rules that had guarantied his survival so far. Maintain contact with others to a minimum and kill anyone who even had the slightest idea about his nature, or worse, that of his master. Once the task was over, he will get rid of these four problems.

- Enough talk for now, said Akayne, if not by respect for the dead here then to get outa here before the miasma gets us dizzy.

A noise from outside the building punctuated his sentence. Stendar instantly readied himself to receive any threat, even in his master�s absence. I He let his chain turn in front of him, fixing the inn�s entrance. Close to him, Akayne had a dagger out, that the mage somehow deemed fit to let him keep, not like the head of his flail that once held most of his power.
The mage wasn�t stupid but his mission was rather odd. He had weakened them by diverse ways to be certain to control them but had ordered them to kill a sorceress, quite a hard thing if they didn�t have all their strength.

A man then appeared at the doorstep. A guard from Creitohn judging by the uniform. Sword on hand, he took a few steps before another one followed him. Stendar preferred not to intervene just yet, waiting to know the full extent of the threat before neutralizing it. He could see a dozen coming in.
They almost all had the same reaction when going through the door. They stood there staring at the surreal amount of blood attesting the carnage that had taken place, then lifted their weapons towards the five of them. Some trembled, chocked by the scene while overs covered their feelings behind a mask of neutrality. Two of them some too have a hateful look. The captain was one of them.

Kill them.

His master had reappeared. Smiling with all his teeth feeling his support, his strength coming in each of his muscles, he took a step towards the ten men, swinging his flail around. He wasn�t used to it having no weight at the end but knew his strength alone would be enough to kill all the town guards.
- If I were you, I wouldn�t move a muscle, murderer. Unfortunately for you and your friends, a patrol was passing by this road and the abnormal silence alerted us. Don�t think you have a single chance against us.

To punctuate his declaration, the captain got out a black powder pistol with his left hand, the right one still holding the sword.

- No matter how good you are, this will stop you in a sec.

He sensed his companions of misfortune lower their weapons behind him. A quick glance showed him Akayne put his dagger down and Colargol, still smiling, sitting on a miraculously still clean chair. Only the orc, despite being unarmed, kept a hostile behavior, but without taking initiative. Asdolean, him, had completely disappeared from his line of sight.
Certainly hiding under a table, Stendar thought.
The champion wanted to challenge the captain by taking a step but a masculine voice went through his mind.
Stop. It would be too dangerous to kill these men.
The voice came from Asdolean who was speaking to him by telepathy. For someone whose knowledge of runes had just been weakened, he had some rests.
His master answered him by a little sardonic laugh before speaking.
Don�t under estimate me, mage. Fifty of them wouldn�t be enough to stop my champion.

There is not the problem. I have no doubts on your strength of that of your prot�g�, but killing these men would only serve in attracting us trouble. Once their bodies are found, all it will take are a few mages from Kantura to get back to us. The guard of Kantura will be at our heels, just like their elite squads. Accomplishing our mission for the mage is hard enough without this and, even should we succeed, lady Alianile has endless resources and will hunt us for the rest of our lives. It would be better for you for to surrender to this patrol. A few tricks and lies should be enough for me to get you out, your presence here alone not proving that you did this mess. I am the only one the guards haven�t seen and I�m confident of being able to free you very quickly.
Your plan suggests I trust you, mage. Your reputation precedes you and I have heard of your mad quest� the loyalty of madmen is an unstable thing� especially considering your goal is unfeasible.
It took a few seconds for the mage to answer, proof that his master had unsettled him. Stendar was intrigued. He had never heard of anyone named Asdolean before. Still threatening them with his weapon, he could see them moving towards him, weapons pointed. He was going to have to make his mind fast, the patience of the guards almost having run out.

My actions are my concern only, demon. Stay fixed on the current situation instead of losing yourself in useless talk. Either you trust me, either you put all five of us in danger, you first.

It seems you have already predicted my answer anyway, have you not ?

Stendar felt the power of the demon leaving his body to be once more contained in the handle of his flail. He understood what that meant and stopped moving his weapon. The orc next to him understood that the only remaining option was to cooperate and quit his hostile posture.

The guards tried to disarm him, but in vain. Swearing, screaming and threatening him, they tried for five minutes to get the weapon out of his grip but without success. Stendar himself couldn�t do it, the flail having become a long time ago an extension of his arm. The captain had even threatened to cut of his hand if he refused to cooperate. Fortunately, Inferno had intervened in his favor, speaking of magical curses that forced a person to hold an object for the rest of their mortal existence.
They also took care of his companion�s weapons, before forcing them to leave the inn. Six guards were around his four companions while the remaining three and the captain were pointing their swords at him.
Stendar couldn�t help smiling at them, with his abnormally sharp teeth and a red glow in his eyes.


[Soundtrack: Shagohod, track 07 Metal Gear Solid 3 OST]

After having used the cloaking feature of his coat while blessing the old Devlan for this priceless gift, Asdolean had patiently waited for the guards to finish examining the inn before escorting out the other four victims of the mage. The two men they had left behind hadn�t posed any problem for him. He had just discreetly left the place and as quickly as possible went away from the road.
No sooner had he found a finding place, the magical of his coat had ran out. Cursing once more this mad mage that had submitted him to his will by criminal blackmail, he had to admit his incapacity to reload the magical garment. A few runes had come back in mind, but only the most basic ones, barely enough to defend himself.
Yet he somewhat smiled when thinking about the strange situation he was in, worthy of the worst stories he had read in the library close to his home during his childhood.
The guards were heading to Creitohn, there was no doubt about that. The four nincompoops would be locked up in the town�s jail, and their simple presence in the crime scene would be enough to inculpate them. Once a mage was available, he would interrogate them and will very quickly notice the demonic entity present in Stendar�s weapon. From that moment, the group was screwed. The champion would be executed, and the others, Inferno, Akayne and Colargol would also bite the dust for having collaborated, willingly or not, with a demon.

Not that Asdolean gave a rat�s ass anyway. Truth be told, he had no intention in honoring his promise. Getting people out of prison was far from being an easy task, even if the prisoner�s guilt hadn�t been established. Compromising himself to save people he already knew he didn�t really like wasn�t part of his plans. For the moment, he was searching a way to wreck the mage�s plans.
The sorceress in question they were supposed to snuff had to be somewhat powerful for her to cause problems to him. Yet, that still didn�t make sense.
A sorceress disturbs our mage for an unknown reason. The mage then drugs five people in a tavern, kills the others, weakens the prisoners and then forcibly enrolls them, blackmailing them with certain death.
Totally surrealist. And full of incoherence.
Firstly, why them ? If his own swordmaster and mage abilities could be of use against powerful enemies, like the strength of a demonic champion or an orc shaman, he couldn�t see the point of Akayne or Colargol. Unless these two had really well hidden talents that he hadn�t spotted so far, not unlikely with the current sorry state of his psychic abilities.

Secondly, why diminish their powers ? For his own security ? Unlikely since drugged, they were at his mercy. And what was he hoping by sending five weakened people against his enemy ? Asdolean currently had the level of a beginning mage from some human school and definitely didn�t feel like able to fight a full fledged sorceress. Especially considering the mage saw her as a threat.

Thirdly, how come they had all five been in this tavern ? Coincidence ? Unlikely. Himself was heading for the Eckerith Barony when he had suddenly felt very tired. Having thought it due to the rainy day�s climate and the earlier fight against a few renegade driffles that had thrown themselves on him, he had taken refuge at the closest inn.
The tiredness could have been artificial, to push him in the tavern.
But then why d�
Asdolean was unable to finish that thought, thrown to the ground by some force behind him. Rolling forwards and with inhuman speed rising on his feet, he instinctively put the hand at his back, only to remember that Truthide, his blade, had been stolen.
Nothing behind him.
And yet, he was once again pushed forward, but the wave come from in front and he could see some distortion at the shock�s moment. Crashing on the ground once more and again once more cursing the mage, he rolled sideways and started to follow the road, shadowing the guard platoon thirty meters in front of him to avoid detection.
A bloody force field was binding him to the four others. Just grrrreat�
Not only was he now forced to free them, but he couldn�t get rid of them afterwards. Even by killing them, should he decide to go to that end, it would be useful since he would then be forced to drag four dead bodies instead.
The mage had found a perfect way to force them to stay united and go together against the sorceress. Even worse, he would force them to obey him once again. If not, Asdolean would be forced to spend the rest of his life within arm length of these sorry individuals. Great perspective.


Colargol was sitting on the floor, inside the small cell that was located in the guardpost they were taken to. They had walked for three long hours during which they had given their names to the guards before reaching the town to the north named Creitohn and its luxurious prison. The orc and the barbarian had taken the bench and neither him, nor Akayne had the courage to ask them to make a little space. Since no one seemed interested to chat with him, he decided to talk to himself.

- So guys, watcha we doing ?

Akayne turned towards him, thinking this question was for him, but turned back after remembering that this individual had some sort of schizophrenia. The barbarian didn�t even give him a look and the orc just let out some grumbling.

- Well, what the feh do you think we do ? Pushups ? � We wait for Brogan like usual. � You noticed the look on the orc ? � You�d think he wanted to eat us� Savage !! � But why are I in jail this time ? I don�t remember doing squat� - You were plastered and put yourself in deep shit, that�s all.

Bored outa his mind, Colargol decided to sing one of his rather crude songs to kill time and relax. Strangely, the orc tensed more and more as the song went on� bah, must have been jealous of his magnificent voice. On his side, Akayne was accompanying him by playing percussions, his head hitting, with slight lack of tempo, the cell bars repeatedly.


[Soundtrack: track 03 Death Note Anime OST]

- Ten hut!!

The local sergeant rapidly raised, very surprised by this sudden entrance. Asdolean knew he only had one chance; he had to be perfect in his role and feed lies to the officer if he didn�t want to end up locked with these imbeciles he was trying to bust out. He had to play it tight, since, even if his powers once gave him the ability to control mortals and demons, at this moment he was barely able to put a small amount of fear in the sergeant�s mind to help manipulate him.

- At ease ! What is your name sergeant ?

Asdolean did everything to put the man in a state of confusion, for he knew a confused man was easier to manipulate. On the other hand, he was glad to notice the sergeant didn�t exactly look like the brightest candle, if shining at all. His plan should go without a hiccup.

- So sergeant ? Your name ? Are we disobeying orders know ?
- Errr.. ser,� sergeant Brogan, Sir !
- Captain !
- Err, yes captain !

The man was already in a state of panic. Everything was going as planned. He didn�t even have to use the fake ID he had quickly forged on the way in. Now all he needed was an excuse to get the prisoners out.
But suddenly, another man entered. He was older, a little more enveloped, with a three day stubble on his prominent chin. Despite his rather pachydermic look, he seemed way more intelligent that the sergeant. Things were getting a little trickier.

- Captain Karsteen, and you are ?
- Captain Dunhold, from our baroness�s special services.

Despite his quiet posture, Asdolean figured that the captain was a little nervous and that he was seizing him up, to know if he could be telling the truth. He would have to pull out some better tricks to feed this man his lies.
He sent a few mental waves to disrupt the working of the man�s brain et saw a few sweat drops on his brow that confirmed the spell was having an effect. However the man, far from panicking, spoke to him with a firm voice.
- Could I see your papers please, Captain Dunhold ?
Corteaz got out the forged ID, hoping that the man had no magical sensing artifacts. Creitohn was a small town, but it had been able to contain many men sent by Eckerith during the was between the two baronies that had taken place fifty years ago, and therefore, gain quite a bit a prestige that had upgraded it from small town to main passageway between Eckerith and the capital, the other town having been burnt to the ground. No reconstruction project had ever been tried since.
The seconds during which the captain Karsteen was looking at the papers seemed like an eternity to Corteaz who knew that his own fate was being determined at this moment. If things went wrong he was defenseless. To think in normal time, he would be able to kill the Captain and his sergeant with just a thought, or even in a fraction of a second if he had his weapon.
- A special agent to the baroness huh ? First time I see one of these sorts of papers, you�ll forgive me. Maybe I can do something for you ?

Asdolean felt great relief but kept his mask of indifference. He threw a quick glance to the sergeant, meaning he wished to speak alone. The captain lifted an eyebrow and signed him to follow him up the stairs, towards his office.
The room was quite small, with a desk covered of papers and, strangely, two paintings attached to the walls. They were the room�s only decoration. One showed him with his wife, the other showed him smiling, with two of his men under his arms and the others looking cheerful.
Paintings were expensive things� Karsteen must have been more affluent than he looked, or at least had he good relations.
- Very well Captain Dunhold, you may speak here.
- Good. I have been ordered by our baroness in person for a utmost important assignment. We have had rumors speaking of a new enemy our lady has somehow made and that is soon coming. I must find men to seize this threat and, if possible, neutralize it.
- What sort of threat, captain ?
- I am unfortunately not at liberty to reveal such details� unless�
Now was his turn to go on offensive.
- Unless you decide to volunteer, captain. A veteran such as you would be welcome considering the danger of the mission, continued Asdolean, insisting on each of his words.
- Err, well� I� I fear that it is impossible for me to come. After all, I am a very busy man with many responsibilities. Listen to this, not three hours ago I had to arrest some homicidal maniacs in a tavern. The customers had all been slaughtered and they were the only one alive.
Asdolean hid the smile he had when remembering the fact he hadn�t seen the captain a single time during that short confrontation. He might be a little brighter than average, he still was a coward.
- Also, my absence might be noticed and arouse suspicions. Your cover could be compromised and�
- No matter. I understand perfectly. You can�t blame me for trying. However, the manpower issue is still pressing. Kantura has many internal problems and the baroness cannot afford to sacrifice anyone, so she asked me to gather men. I will need about half a dozen men in the briefest delays. Choose well, they might not come back. In fact, I think it is unlikely they will come back, if you want me to be honest.
- With all due respect captain Dunhold, these men are indispensable to me. You are not the only ones with manpower issues and this place is getting agitated, being close to the frontier with Eckerith. I cannot afford to lose anyone, orders of the baroness or not.

Asdolean looked at the officer in the eyes. This man wasn�t speaking by cowardice anymore. He had been right in his gamble: the captain cared about his men and didn�t want to lose them. He then realized that, despite his cowardice, he was devoted to his men, ready to go to any lengths to save them. That was probably why he was still a field officer despite his obvious experience. Asdolean respected him for that. He knew a few people who should take example on� not now. Now wasn�t the time to think about the past. He had to concentrate on the task.
- Very well captain, I understand. The problem is I�m in a hurry. Don�t you know of any civilians who would accept, maybe mercs or even prisoners who would be tough enough�
- Well, there are the four supposed murderers I mentioned earlier� but if you saw the carnage in that place� and here they were calmly chatting in the middle of the blood� I�m not sure it�s a good idea.
- Pff, I guess they�ll have to do. I have all sorts of control spells to submit them. And it�s quite appropriate don�t you think. Why sacrifice brave men like yours when we have far more expendable manpower ? Using psychos has less ethical issues. If they are guilty, something you seem to have no doubts about, then they�ll have what�s coming for them. Please show them to me.

They stared at each other for a few seconds. Karsteen seemed to be evaluating Asdolean�s honesty, tried to read him. At this game he was a champion. He subtly changed the mental waves to relax him and let his trust rise.
- Ask sergeant Brogan. I have already lost enough time and have to not only finish the arrest papers but also fill in the non official release papers to send to the baroness.
Asdolean left the room. At least his greatest weapon, his wits, was still intact. Oh well, what were humans if not dumb ?


Akayne sighed. He had withstood the unstopping debates of the schizo drunkard for over quarter of an hour and was starting to loose patience, just like the orc who seemed less and less hesitant to get up and knock him down. Fortunately for them, they attention got caught by footsteps in the corridor. He had trouble hiding his surprise when the man he knew under the name of Asdolean, accompanied by a soldier, came and opened the door. He seemed to be the only one surprised apparently. The orc hadn�t moved a muscle and the barbarian, like always, didn�t move, except maybe let out a little smile ? And the drunkard, who didn�t seem to recognize the man in red, gave a tap on the guard�s shoulder saying �Nice of ya to get us out again sarge!�
The man in red spoke:
- Is that all you have, sergeant ?
- Well�yes�
- Humph.. Guess that�ll have to do. They look tough enough. Gentlemen�
He gave them a quick wink to go with that sentence.
- � I offer you a chance to get out of this jail. You can all become official soldiers of our beloved baroness and accompany me to an utmost important mission. Do you agree ?
Akayne couldn�t help but smile at the comedian talents of the man. He could see he was a natural. Having him as a temporary ally would be welcome and, even if rather feeble bodied, he had demonstrated his intelligence. �Beats two cold blooded killers and a talkative drunkard I guess.�


[Soundtrack: track 05, CD3, Devil may Cry 3 OST.]

Andoren was standing right now in Lord Devrael�s antechamber. It was very peculiar as one could only go in through a portal, but only go out if he opened the exit portal. Andoren himself had only been there rarely but each time had been capital in his life. The first time was when he had obtained his current status, that of commander for the most important missions. The place had always made him feel strange. Despite being called the Lord�s room, it wasn�t really a room. There wasn�t a single wall, nor ceiling or ground. There was just that blinding light that could only be of divine origin coming from every direction at once. He always had the impression of standing in infinity which gave him a fulfilling impression. He now observed his Lord, who seemed to be at the centre of this light.

- Andoren, I have summoned you for a very precise reason.
- I am listening my Lord.
- You have most certainly heard the rumours, have you not?
- Of which rumours do you refer my Lord?
He knew exactly what rumours Lord Devrael was talking about, but he didn�t want to show he gave interest to tales and speculation of unsure origin.
- You must of felt it. He betrayed himself. His mark is once again functioning and we now know where he is. You knew him Andoren. You must have felt it.
- I have felt something. But he has deceived us more than once, my Lord.
- It seems it is not the case this time. Someone or something has weakened him and he can no longer conceal his mark. He most probably knows it and must have taken measures. That is why I have summoned you Andoren. In the name of his Holiness you are to find him and bring him here. Take whatever help and recourses you should consider necessary then find him.
- You honour me by appointing me for this task my Lord. I will find him and bring him back. This time he will not escape. That is a promise my Lord.
- I trust you entirely for this task Andoren. Know that his Holiness will be sending five other people to track him so they can redeem their honour. I believe you already know them all: Master Ezekiel, Virgil, Severina, Artemis and Marneus. They have already been briefed on the situation and are currently preparing themselves. Before leaving to join them, I wish you to train for a whole day in tracking his mark and see his aura. Your concentration must be great if you wish to subdue him. His mind has been corrupted by evil and I am not sure how able to save him we will be.
Andoren hesitated in asking the question that was burning inside him:
- Should we not put him down then, my Lord? He has escaped so many times and I fear his mind is beyond saving. I have high doubts on bringing him back to reason.
- No Andoren. If we kill him without letting him a chance to come back to us, we will have shown we are no better than he is. After all these years have you not understood? It is exactly that sort of thoughts that caused Corteaz to leave in the first place.
Andoren trembled when the Lord had uttered the name of the fallen.
- � We are angels, and our goal is to help others and not judge on who deserves to live or die. Only his Holiness has this right.
- You are right my Lord. I apologise for having let my pride speak for me. That will not happen again.
- Do not worry Andoren. If I didn�t trust you I would never of appointed you for that mission.
- Very well my Lord. I shall find the fallen and bring him back so his madness can be healed.


Midnight Thunderboy
12-19-2007, 06:39 PM
Chapter III: Who has green hands ?

And now corruption.
Borsk the reuniter, the very one who has fused all of ours after the war of magic, our leader and guide, has now gone to the enemy.
And I couldn�t prevent, do anything. Possessed by the devil, he threw a terrible curse destined to destroy our complete kin. The corruption acts as a virus, and turns us into monsters, the baerhars. Anyone of us can succumb to it, at any time and without cause. And in barely an hour, the best of orcs becomes the worst of monsters.
I was forced to kill my own wife.
My friends�.
And at any moment, I may too start killing my allies.
What can we do when the real enemy is ourselves ?
I must not lose help. Maybe the process is reversible. But even were it be, how could the healed orcs live while keeping memories of the atrocities they committed as baerhars ?
As humanity is rebuilding, and the Alianile family is creating is resplendishing new city named Stormwind on the ruins of the old mage city, the orc race seems doomed to extinction.

Diary of an unknown orc

Inferno Mandhal stretched his muscles as soon as he were outside. The size of the cell had been really constraining for someone of his build.

He looked at his new companions one by one, in particular Asdolean. The mage treated them all with disdain he didn�t even bother to disdain. The simple act of having gotten them out of this jail seemed to have being a huge inconvenience to him, as if he would of rather have let them to their fate.

Inferno couldn�t stop clenching his jaws while observing the mage. He perfectly knew how he had proceeded to free them. He had penetrated the guards minds and had manipulated their thoughts to make them trusting. He had forced them to do his biding with total lack of thought for their freedom of choice and thought.
Yes, Inferno was free, but the fact that he owed it to such a being caused him a deep disgust. A vile corruptor, perfid and backstabbing�condescending, disdainful.. a typical mage.
Thanks to his powers, he had even been able to offer their new group some rations for a few days and some gear, although basic, but efficient. Akayne had got a few throwing knives, Colargol a spiked club, and himself a two handed axe, by human standards, his strength enabling him to use it one handed. Stendar had found nothing that was good enough for him, refusing to let go the flail handle. Inferno believed he couldn�t actually let go the weapon� if the weapon contained the demon master of the champion, he must of bound the object to the carrier by magic. For some reason, Asdolean hadn�t taken any weapon either.
Pulling out of his coat a map of the barony nicely offered by the captain Karsteen, the mage showed them a designated way.
- So lets see� according to our� employer, the sorceress is located West of the Tabezhail forest. The most logical way would be by the orc hills to the west, then go through thee said forest by the North East. Infrno, I�m assuming the inhabitants of the hills are friends of yours..
- I am the shaman of this village.
- Excellent, we may then take this way without hassle.

Inferno wanted to protest, without even knowing why. Something in the idea of seeing his people disturbed him. Quickly shaking his head to chasse this strange thought, he remembered his shaman duties and wondered why he even left his people in the first place.

- The Tabezhail forest ? feebly asked Akayne. Some rumours say it is haunted ever since the orcs in it became bearhars and killed each other� twenty years ago. I don�t believe rumours, but I�d rather do a detour by the south west� it would take an extra day at worse.
- I don�t want to have to spend any more time than necessary in your company because of some stupid tavern story.
- And there�s no way I�m sharing that beer ! shouted Colargol.

Stendar�s voice, cold, icy even, made itself hear, making the others slightly jump.
- The forest poses no threat.
- You see, even our intellectual agrees. The orc hills a few hours from here, to rest and restock, then the forest. With a bit of luck, by this time tomorrow, we will be rid of each other for good.

No one commented, and with a common agreement, they started the way towards the exit of Creithohn.
Inferno however still felt a ball form in his stomach at the idea of getting closer to his village.


The next five hours of walk were among the calmest. The paved road heading to the hills wasn�t used a lot, only occasionally by a few merchant caravans in a big hurry. Stendar knew that men feared orcs and their possible corruption at any time while the orcs were wary of humans and their destructive tendencies. Therefore the contacts between both species were minimal.
In a few hours, they had rallied the hills, the road snaking between them. Twice did Akayne attempt to open dialogue with them, but a part from Colargol, no one bothered answering him. The simple fact of travelling with such companions was already enough of a nuisance, let alone having to talk with them.
The radiant sun that had accompanied them at the beginning of the journey had long since vanished behind thick clouds. As Inferno informed them that there was just half an hour left to go before reaching the top of the hills where his clan was settled, the night fell. The thick grey clouds were still there and concealed stars and moon depriving the group of light. The shaman yet had a constant speed and each followed his heavy footsteps.

[Battle 1 (Taste the blood), Devil May Cry 3 Ost, track 7 CD1]

As they were going around one of the last hills in their way they could finally see their objective from which a dancing red glow emanated. At his sight, Inferno stopped on his tracks and Colargol, not looking in front of him, banged himself against him. Grumbling and rubbing his nearly broken nose he asked:
- What the hell are you doing ?
- This red glow� it�s my people�s distress signal ! he shouted as he ran towards his village. My kin are in danger !
Colargol ran behind him while Akayne, Asdolean and himself remained in place exchanging glances.
- Shouldn�t we also go ? asked the assassin.
- Not as if we had much of a choice, answered Asdolean who began running. Inferno is far stronger than us and a forcefield keeps us within 20 meters of each other.
Stendar also began running, remembering the information given by his master about the forcefield. Behind him he heard Akayne following him apparently not fond of staying alone at the bottom of the hill.
In front of him, Colargol was being distanced by Inferno, the leg size of the orc giving him higher speed. Hoping that the orc wouldn�t go too fast, the champion doubled his efforts to follow this frenzied race.
The orc habitations he saw on the way were quite diverse. As he could see, some had chosen to settle in caves dug on the hills sides, others had built their own dwellings, mixing stone, wood and mud for most while others were happy with tents made of cloth. Either way, every habitation he saw was empty.
Judging by the sound of clashing metal, he guessed that the fights were raging in the town�s centre, at the hill�s top, close to the distress fire.
He had already seen this red flame shine in the hills, warning Creitohn and other small villages about an apparition of bearhars. A new crisis had hit the orcs this evening and the non tainted were now fighting against their old friends. The flame lit everything, dwellings, living beings and bodies with the same red light dancing at the wind�s will. The resulting atmosphere was magnificent, in this red world were the only sounds were those of clashing weapons punctuated by occasional screams of agony or pain. The sweet sent of blood had already arrived at him, mobilising another of his senses to the fight.
Stendar remembered the many bearhars he had killed in his forest for the experiments of his master. They were strong and tough but fortunately not that bright. The primal rage that invaded them during their corruption tended to let their instincts replace their intelligence. To kill and reproduce seemed to be the only remaining functions they kept� makes one wonder what the creator of this spell had in mind when designing it. Either way, Stendar had killed many of them from an early age so killing some more now was not a problem.
The first bodies were seen as they were only at a hundred meters to the top. The corrupted ones had eyes white like snow as if they were totally blind, but that was the only detail that helped differentiate them from the others. Stendar couldn�t help smile while observing that once dead, they were no different.
Before him Inferno had already found an opponent against whom he thought, his heavy axe cutting through air. His adversary dodged quite well all of his strikes but didn�t dare hit, his own two short blades not giving him a safe reach to attack.
Colargol overtook him enthusiastically screaming his lings out as if this was the time of his life. He also overtook two bearhars who stared at him with disbelief before going after him. Apparently the drunkard had some trouble telling friend from foe and was vainly searching something to smash, oblivious to the fact that most of the enemies were already around him.
Asdolean, him, was catching his breath this race having drained him.
Akayne him� had disappeared.
Three bearhars came out of a cave left to the champion and, seeing them, charged the two humans. Stendar didn�t hesitate and ran to them, turning his chain round and round. Jumping forwards, the chain hit one of the enemy�s face who screamed in pain and moved backwards. Smiling with all his teeth, the demonhost dodged both sword strikes meant for him by rolling forwards and counter striking on a second�s enemy face. Turning towards the third one, he saw that he was already dead, lying on the ground a throwing dagger sticking out of his neck. The champion quickly glanced around him without seeing the assassin who, he had to admit, had some skill. A few extra strikes were enough to finish the two wounded bearhars he had already wounded.
Far way, Colargol still had no clue as to the situation and was barely saved by Inferno who had cut his way to him, killing the enemy who threatened his back. Together, they stood a few meters from the magnificent red flame that was dancing in their backs and braced themselves for other enemies. Stendar however didn�t have time to observed the rest of the fight as a bearhars tried to sneak him. Turning at the last moment, he did an arc with his chain that hit the enemy�s ribcage, breaking a few ribs. Jumping forwards, Stendar his his head with the weapon�s guard killing him straight, the head being half mashed.
Hearing some sort of whistling behind him, Stendar ducked by reflex letting two strange shining blades flying above him, rotating in the air. Following with his eyes both blades, he saw them slice a bearhars who was in a duel against an orc. The orc gave a glare in their direction before going towards the fire where were taking place the last fights.
Glancing behind him, Stendar saw Asdolean, arm pointed towards the enemy, a grin on his face. The mage was apparently proud of himself.
At the centre of the fight, Colargol, Inferno and a few orcs were back to the fire to prevent a dozen bearhars armed with spears from encircling them. Against this long range weapons, Stendar had high doubts about his allies� victory. Asdolean walked in their direction at slow pace, as if he didn�t feel like straining himself anymore than necessary. However, his arm was pointing forwards and white energy coruscated around it and he seemed determined to use his talents to end that fight.
A noticeably corrupted bearhars, his skin colour going towards crimson, accompanied by one of his really large brethren, almost one metre taller than Stendar, came out of an imposing cave. Divided between to potential epic fights offered to him, he chose the closest one and charged the two new enemies.
Stendar placed himself in front of what seemed like the chief of the tainted and let out a challenge cry. The bearhars didn�t advance but the giant saw him and charged him. A white energy ball brutally hit him and sent him flying far away. Once again the mage had intervened to Stendar�s greatest displeasure, who would only have one adversary.
He quickly studied the tainted one in front of him. For his own skin to have had such a change of colour, the orc must have been a traitor to his tribe. His enemy promised to be interesting.
Apparently angered by the giant�s demise, the tainted let out a warcry in response to the barbarian�s cry then charged him. Stendar felt his strength augment and felt his rage go up; his master was lending him a hand like he did in each fight that would be hard.
Chained themselves attacks, parades and feints. The major bearhar was fighting with two short swords and therefore had the advantage of speed in front of the slower warrior. He did with his first sword a reciting move towards Stendar�s head while his second blade plunged towards his legs. The possessed barbarian blocked the first blade by rolling his chain around the arm of his enemy while rolling to avoid the second blade. He then strongly pulled his weapon backwards, breaking his enemy�s arm in a sinister crack. But the second arm of the tainted one, still valid, prolonged his movement and did a deep cut in the barbarian�s leg. The rage possessing acted as a painkiller, therefore he felt almost nothing when the blade cut his flesh.
He made a large move with his flail before giving a strong kick in the non protected leg of his enemy. At the same moment, his enemy once more stroke Stendar�s face with the sword from his still valid arm. But, having seen the attack come, le champion dodged in time without stopping his move which permitted him to roll his chain around his adversary�s leg. He quickly pulled the guard backwards and made the tainted one lose his balance, making him far more vulnerable. Stendar unrolled his chain from a fast move and lifted his arm to hit and, in one brutal strike, destroyed his enemy�s skull.
The fight was over.
The demon, no longer seeing any use in helping his prot�g�, retreated and took the extra strength away. Feeling the rage leaving him, he started feeling the pain caused by the deep cut in his leg and fell on his knees, no longer being able to support his own weight. Something wasn�t right in his loss of control. A small wound like this one shouldn�t of had such an effect on him.
It was then that the giant came back, a sadistic grin on his lips, a large piece of wood in his hands. Holding his chest with one of his arms, he lifted his arm with the other to squash Stendar who could see him perfectly knowing that he no longer had the strength to dodge.
The evil smile of the giant disappeared to be replaced by a look of pain. His mouth moved as if trying to utter some words but nothing came out. He fell like timber next to Stendar who saw the handle of a dagger stick out between the shoulders of the monster. Just behind was standing Akayne against a wall with a big smile.
- So, thanks to who ?
Stendar didn�t know what to answer, his suffering becoming worse and worse. Everything was turning around him. He quickly looked at his leg, a thin flow of blood dripped from the wound. Darkness was starting to take over. His enemies were dead and his master had fed from a great number of souls. His job was done. He let darkness submerge him as the fights around him continued.


[Infiltration, Metal Gear Solid 2 OST, Track 4]

- How many fell ? Asked Inferno starring at the full of tears eyes of Tiaran the orc in charge of the village�s security and the best fighter.
- Twenty-seven tainted were counted. Fifteen men, nine women and four children. Eighteen orcs fell in combat. Seven others fell as traitors. Durak mutated in his cave before killing his own family and fight outside. Two of your old friends; Rohan and Fuerad are among the dead. My wife also fell. Thank the spirits you came Inferno. We all missed our shaman and you chose the right moment to come back to us.
- The tainted are glad to have found rest in death , ridden once for all of the taint, tolad him Inferno, putting a hand on his shoulder to comfort him. I am unfortunately not staying my friend. My personal quest has been disturbed by unforeseen events and I came here to get some personal possessions before resuming my journey. It is only a coincidence if this crisis took place as I came here. You know I am not the leader that they all think I am.

After having exchanged a long look during which they shared their feelings, Tiaran turned away to join his companions who were pilling the bodies to purify them by fire. Once the funeral bonfire was in place, Inferno would have to magically turn on the fire that would consume the dead purifying the bodies and souls from the taint before their rise in the skies.

While waiting for this moment, he knew another task awaited him. The barbarian named Stendar had been poisoned par the bearhar�s blade that had cut his leg. The orc had seen the demonhost skilfully fight against many enemies then win a loyal duel against an enemy even more tainted than the others. His kin had planned to add his name to the funeral chant. Demonhost or not, the man had risked his life and had single handily killed four bearhars before falling. He deserved the honour they were going to do him.
Inferno went towards his cave to take the necessary ingredients to heal Stendar. Going down the hill, he noticed Asdolean who, in one of house�s shadow, observed the orcs group their bodies, tainted or not. The mage had thrown some strange spells during the fight. They had surprised Inferno on multiple occasions. Strange blades with a white aura had rotated through the battlefield before finding targets and slicing them to pieces, completely ignoring any protection they had. A bearhar who had tried to block a blade with his axe had seen his weapon cut in two; the metal itself unable to even slow down the course of the projectiles. Never in his life had Inferno seen this sort of spells. His uneasiness towards the mage had risen during this demonstration of power even if it had killed a few enemies� two tainted children included. Inferno could still see their little bodies fall, their faces bent by pain.
The corruption was the worst of curses. Always attacking by surprise, it spared no one and forced yesterday�s best friends to become mortal enemies. No prevention was possible. And yet the orcs weren�t afraid. They though it, despite knowing that this was a loosing fight. The women of their people were naturally not very fertile and lost families never had more than one child. For over a thousand years they lived that way, their race declining each year, their mortality rate superior to their birth rate. The crises were rare, maybe three per decade maximum but always did heavy damage.
The only fact they had learnt about their corruption during these centuries was that the proximity of orcs was a causing factor. Due to that, the more the groupings were important, the worse the crises were.
This insidious evil strikes orcs randomly but doesn�t activate instantly. It covertly contamines and, once it has hit a good part of the population, it awakens in all those contaminated transforming them for ever.
Therefore the towns were destroyed, the great tribes dissolved. A few villages like the one on the hills continued to group a relatively large number of orcs at their own perils, refusing to live alone. Whatever their choice in lifestyle, the sacrifice was great. They could isolate themselves and live as hermits, diminishing their chances of being tainted but faced the troubles of solitude. The other races, too afraid of their possible corruption, never accepted them in their towns. If they became bearhars, no one was here to end their lives immediately.
The choice was difficult. The orcs honour told them to fight, however the enemy was invisible and nothing was possible against it. Morality wanted them to stay together to remain who they were and respect their traditions. Brothers ready to do go at any lengths for each other, even killing each other to save their honour. Even if the chances of contamination were greater when they were together, at least their brothers could die without the weight of the guilt due to atrocities committed as bearhars.
Their morality wanted them to foresee their own corruption and to save themselves they stayed with their own so that they could end their lives before they did anything they could regret. But how could they blame those who preferred to leave their brethren and augmented their chances of surviving and dying like orcs and not bearhars ? In fleeing, they knew the chances of corruption were small yet existing. And they had to accept the fact that if they became tainted, they could commit horrid acts before dying.
Letting out a sigh, Inferno chassed these dark thoughts from his mind. This evening had been a new victory against the bearhars. And thanks to it his village would be safe for a while. A fifth of the orcs had died, which was a relatively small crisis compared to others more violent ones. The losses had been limited thanks to them� and the orcs had almost all congratulated Inferno fro his efficient intervention at the right moment, as if he had known in advance whe, to come.
Repeating them that this had only been a coincidence was no use. They, in opposite, saw a manifest proof of his shamanic powers, it was nature itself that had guided his steps.
This gratefulness had been most unpleasing for Inferno without him being able to understand why. At each thanks he got, his muscles tensed and he wanted to flee at each word, each gesture of thanks. But fleeing wasn�t in his nature so he faced stoically each of his kin, keeping a serious look, trying to diminish the range of his acts. He wanted t comfort his people who were mourning their kin. As paradoxal as it was, he wanted to flee and never be heard of again.
What a pathetic shaman he made.
He went in the cave that acted as his habitat. Not spacious, it was with strict minimum furniture. A small bed in a corner to rest, a old chest and a cupboard to hold his gear and a low table in the only other room part of �home�. There was no decoration, nothing to hide the grey brown walls of the rocs.
Inferno went towards his chest giving a brief glance towards the bed to see if it would be adequate for Stendar.
Opening the old chest, he started to get out a few leather pouches containing each of the curative plants he needed. Once the material was ready, lying on a table and organised in a way not to waste any time while healing the wounded leg of the barbarian, Inferno closed his chest then went looking for Stendar to bring him here.

Inferno had no got any sleep of the whole night. Between the bonfire ceremony, the healing of Stendar and the present he had built the barbarian to thank him in the name of the whole village for his braveness he hadn�t found the time to rest. Akayne, Asdolean and Colargol had slept in an abandoned cave at the bottom of the orc�s hill and, as he came back from a solitary walk, went to see them wake up.
Getting close to Akayne who gratified him with a loud yawn, he asked them how their night had been.
- Our sleep thank you greatly for that bottle of booze given to Colargol. Like a pacifier to a baby that had immediately shut him up. Ridden of his non stopping rambling, we have been able to rest a little before he had started snoring loudly� but well, answered Akayne with a light smile.
- We leave soon I hope, said the mage. I have the feeling of not being welcome here despite risking my life to save some of them�. But apparently my acts are not worth much compared to what you told them about me.
- I don�t need to tell things behind your back for them to know what type of person you are. Mages will never ever be welcome here.
- Yeah, I had similar reaction in the past among other primitive people� they fear anything more powerful than them, answered snidely Asdolean.
Colargol bounced up to put himself between the mage and him, all smiling.
- Hey, knock it off everyone ! � yeah, keep your punches for the witch !
Inferno forced himself to calm down all this anger that had taken him over at Asdolean�s word. A mage just like the others, only deserving disdain� and nothing else.
- What about Stendar�s health ? Asked Akayne just as wanting to calm things down.
- Truth be told he didn�t need me to heal him� I hadn�t even started to apply all my product that a jet black fluid flown from his wound� with a champion I never know what to expect and I was quite surprised. His body had purged the poison itself. Don�t even ask me how this is possible, but he did it. I wanted to make him a cast after applying my products to rest his leg for the following days, but during my last visit, the wound had almost closed. The demon inhabiting him gives him impressive regenerating abilities.
Akayne nodded, then they talked for a few minutes about the previous day�s events before separating each other. Inferno went to his cave while his companions went towards one of his friend�s house to eat a little.

Stendar was waiting for him, standing against the entry of the cave. With a totally neutral expression, they stared at each other until Inferno stopped in front of him. Inferno could of told that he healed him in thanks to his braveness the previous night, but he felt that with the barbarian, words were useless. This simple look that they were exchanging was more than enough to transmit their thoughts and emotions.
Their eyes fixed each other for another thirty seconds before the demonhost nodded then went away , flail in hand. The warrior was grateful to him and he didn�t need any useless words to make it known. Not for the healing, that was in the end not of much use, or for the new head of his flail he had designed but simply for the relationship between the two fighters. Not friendship, gods forbid, but some sort of mutual respect.
Looking at the present he had given Stendar, Inferno smiled. He had needed a whole hour to find some bitrictus, this plant with really sharp and almost indestructible thorns. Using his shamanic powers he had fused the thorns and a rock to recreate the ball being the missing part of the barbarian�s weapon.
Sighing a last time to express his lassitude, he went back in his cave to find his last possessions before leaving his village.
Once more the idea that he was fleeing his kin crossed his mind before he pushed the thought away, remembering the mission imposed to his group. And even if he knew once the mission was over he would never come back to the hills that wouldn�t prevent him from questioning his choice of life for the last few years.


[ Organization XIII, KH2 Ost, track 24]

- And these are the orders ?

Marneus observed him, surprised by the news he brought him. Quite small he had disorganised eyes and always had a glow of goodness and generosity in his grey eyes that betrayed his non violent choices. A natural pacifist, he had always remained calm in all situations and had always searched for solutions involving diplomacy and brains to problems. To him, violence and war were only false solutions that always brought new problems more complex than the previous ones.
Artemis and Severina, the two sisters, seemed as perplex as Marneus but preferred to stay quite.
- Yes, the mark is once again active and it is us His Holiness has tasked to that mission.

Virgil understood them. He had had the same reaction when His Holiness had announced the news in person. It had almost been teen years that they had had no news or found any trace of Corteaz. Many were the angels who had tracked him, him included, without finding anything even vaguely useful. The rare times they had thought they had found him they ended up lost in some false tracks he had left behind him. But this time, this couldn�t be a ruse from him. The marc, made in his skin, had betrayed him and it never lied.
- Have you seen him ?
It was Artemis. Virgil understood that she wasn�t talking about Corteaz but His Holiness. She was quite tall, and had very long brown hair. Her brown eyes were exactly the same colour as her hair and her penetrating eyes made her very attractive. Intelligent and thoughtful, she did however have a tendency to easily agree with her sister Severina in everything she sis and that occasionally clouded her judgment. Artemis was a representative of her god and gave a complete devotion to him. The mortals would call her a priestess.
She must have certainly envied him to have met their god.
- Yes but we have other priorities for the moment, said Virgil with a clam yet firm tone.
- What�s the plan ? asked Severina.
Severina, he could read the stress in her nice but hardened face. Of a great beauty with her auburn hair and her crystal blue eyes, Severina yet carried the traits of one with a tormented soul, ever since Corteaz�s escape. That was entirely comprehensible considering that it was partly her own fault. During that terrible moment she was the only one present. Despite the formal prohibition by Andoren for anyone to see the fallen one, she went and got knocked cold by him before he escaped by some unknown mean. Obviously, that killed her soldiering career for good. Ever since that incident, many suspected her to have helped him escape. She had tried to redeem herself, to find her lost honour, but Andoren and the imposed hierarchy never stopped reminding her her horrid mistake. The details of the incident were only known of Severina herself and the only people brave enough to ask all got the same death stare.
- Master Ezekiel has already left towards the place where the mark began to show itself, some inn not to far from the town where we have been sent to enquire. You have one hour to prepare yourselves. I�ll wait for you at the exit.
Virgil walked towards his quarters to fetch his gear.
Corteaz� track him� find him� bring him back.
That seemed so simple.. but Virgil knew it wouldn�t be the case. Corteaz wouldn�t come back willingly and force would probably be the only paying method, yet, Virgil hoped not to have to go to these lengths.
Children, he, Corteaz, Marneus and the two twins, Severina and Artemis, had been the best friends in the world. Inseparable, they all had their own skills and completed each other like the pieces of a puzzle. Severina was the heart and impulsivity, Artemis was beauty and wisdom, Marneus generosity and compassion, he the tactician and diplomat and Corteaz the intelligence and ambition. But who knew what he had become today ? The demon�s influence had surely altered his personality and had certainly transformed him� for ever.

01-09-2008, 03:39 PM
� for ever.



01-10-2008, 09:37 AM
sif ya read it all fuck that... i read up to where it says death note track 1... yah fuck that

01-10-2008, 05:10 PM
I don't know why you are posting here, especially since you don't have the attention span or the mental capacity to read posts such as these.