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Old 04-09-2009, 11:12 AM   #151
DrowArchmage
Mephistopheles
 

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Default Re: Antagonist’s Anarchy: Derived from Dianthus

Jason nodded his head and moved his hand back toward his side, but the expression on his face stayed the same, he was most determined to make sure he did not go to the gallows anytime soon, albiet at all. Too much life left to life, too many wrongs to be righted. Whether or not Nivram wanted to take another wack at him or not was yet to be seen, mayhaps his new look might throw the drunkard off, or maybe Jason would have to knock him on his drunken arse in order to convince him he was just too drunk to make clear judgment.

I thank you Telryn. When this adventure is over with, perhaps you would allow me to travel back to your town with you, so that i may continue my journey to the light.

Pain hit Jason right between the eyes, horrible pain that dropped him to his knees and made his eyes water. A withdrawl? Or a memory trying to resurface? Jason felt his nose start to bleed and he raised a hand to try and stem the flow.

Smoke from wizards fire drifted throughout the courtyard, dozens of his dead comrades lay sprawled around. Bandits enter the courtyard, but there are too many to possibly kill them all, but he takes down a few non the less. One finally knocks away his sword and knocks him out.

Jason looks up with a confused look and slowly tries to stand up.
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Old 04-09-2009, 12:31 PM   #152
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Default Re: Antagonist’s Anarchy: Derived from Dianthus

Ydalon

The boy wiped at his eyes, irritated by the weak but biting smell of smoke on the air. Another horse joined the first in its panicked cries.

"Oh, just the stables burning then."

He'd never much liked horses. They might well have appealed to the girl in the locket, for what lass is not charmed by their grace and majesty? But for Ydalon, they just spelled misery and tears. It was probably too late to run down the trail and save the animals anyway, wasn't it?
Instead, he turned towards the nearer mount.

"Who's the new guy/girl thing?"
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Old 04-10-2009, 03:09 PM   #153
Calaethis Dragonsbane
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Arrow Re: Antagonist’s Anarchy: Derived from Dianthus

“Is he drunk?” Asokil gestured at Jason, from astride his steed, watching the fellow as he fell to his knees, clutched his nose and stood back up again. “You know each other?” He looked back at Nivram, then at Jason, and shrugged to himself, “Odd bunch.”

As Ydalon addressed him - well, he assumed he addressed him - Asokil arched an eyebrow in an eerily familiar manner, reminiscent Isokla in bodylanguage as well as tone, “Are you addressing me?” The question was slightly pointed, as if he might take offence at being labelled a he-she thing, “I am a warrior, in search of the Blue Lotus, she whom is fairest in all the land.” A pause, “You may address me as 'Asikol', or 'Asokil'. Such is the closest in your tongue. There are days when I find either works.” A slight shrug; he glanced around, as if he were about to say more, and thought better of it; instead, he muttered, “Still an odd bunch.

“What of you, stranger?.”

Last edited by Calaethis Dragonsbane; 04-15-2009 at 04:33 PM. Reason: (edit: fixed a typo. Really need to proofread "THere" is dreadful :P)
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Old 04-13-2009, 08:29 PM   #154
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Default Re: Antagonist’s Anarchy: Derived from Dianthus

Jason, still trying to stem the flow of blood coming from his nose, squinted at the new man and thought very hard about making a certain vulgar gesture, but decided against it. He could barely stand right now, and there was a small pain in his stomach. Oh well, it'd have to pass on its own.

You couldnt tell a drunk man from any other type of man. You reek of wine, or some type of alchohol. But then again, the one next to you must always reek of it, so maybe its him i smell.

Feeling the blood finally stop, he pulled a hankercheif out of his pocket and wiped at his nose, then returned it back to its place.

And i wouldnt call us such an odd bunch, you two are the ones dressed in womens clothes.
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Old 04-14-2009, 12:02 AM   #155
Calaethis Dragonsbane
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Default Re: Antagonist’s Anarchy: Derived from Dianthus

The urge to throw a bottle at this upstart struck – and won. So Asokil did. A bottle of grog he had acquired from an inn; the sort that burned. A heavy bottle made of thick glass. Asokil’s aim was remarkably sound for one who might or might not have been drunk. The bottle would strike Jason squarely on the head unless the man ducked, but even if he had, the bottle would strike the ground and shatter – unless the nosebleeding Jason caught it.
“Next time, I won’t hold back.” Asokil vowed, his eyes suddenly cold.

Remind them of anyone?
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Old 04-20-2009, 06:17 PM   #156
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Default Re: Antagonist’s Anarchy: Derived from Dianthus

Silence filled the morning. In the few minutes while the sounds of night gave way to the frivolous sounds of morning, only silence reigned. Sure, a leaf would rustle here, a drop of dew would gently fall to the ground from a blade of grass, but sound was not present. Not for him. His whole attention was trapped by the golden rim of the sun's disk, lazily rising above the distant hills through the mist. Such a beautiful sight. The gently rolling mists created an effect of a halo around-

The blood-curdling scream that cut the air was almost expected. Something had to shatter the idyll. Such a calm moment was not realistically possible. It always had to be ruined. Always.

For several more minutes he did not get up. His joints were too creaky, his mind still elsewhere...and why should he have cared anyway? It was just a bloody scream. Just a scream.

It was just a young girl. Old enough to realize what had happened, but young enough to not be marked by the sight for life. A woman...maybe a man with long hair on second thought lay facedown in the grass, his hair, skin and clothes burnt almost beyond recognition. A weaving trail through the dark indicated his struggle to have come this far. His death would not have been a pleasant one and his last few hours...maybe just minutes would have been spent in burning agony as he felt his own skin...No the image was too vivid even for the old man to contemplate. He had seen many things, but this was easily one of the most disturbing.

The girl did not notice him and he chose not to disturb her grief, heading towards a column of smoke beyond a cover of trees.

Badly burnt carcasses of horses and blackened timbers were all that were left of a rather large building, possibly an inn. Bodies...or at least piles of ash resembling bodies could be spotted here and there. Whatever had happened here...whoever had done it...it had been done in a total disregard for human life.

But it was not the magnitude of the disaster to have befallen this small village that caught his immediate attention. He felt drawn towards a figure sitting on a charred log.

"Those heathens!" Someone cried out, from amidst the broken bodies. No one paid much attention to him. Someone else was crying.

The figure on the log did not look up, but another - perhaps the crying one - called out, "Help us! Please, help us..."

The dejection within the air covered them like a cloak, suffocating any hope they had left.

The old man slowly made his way to the log. Neither his advanced years, nor seasons of madness had prepared him for anything like this. He simply did not know of anything that he could say or do that would help. He wasn't a healer...never had been really good with words. He was just an old man...and at times like this he wondered whether it was the world that was wrong and not something with him.

The figure on the log looked up, "Get away from here, old man," he said quietly, his words less of a threat and more of a warning, "Save yourself from the madness that has taken us, the chaos that has ruined our lives."

"I..." he paused, unable to put the feeling to words. "I...don't really have anywhere to go, haven't had anywhere to go for as long as I remember." If he had heard or said any more desperate words in his whole life, he could not recall. As the hopelessness struck he sat down on the log, a respectable distance from the stranger.

"As for madness claiming me...do not worry yourself about that. "

"We have enough burdens of our own," the young man spat, "We don't need more trouble." He waved his hand, "look around you. Our world is ending. This is just the beginning, another village no one knows or cares about. We aren't the first, we won't be the last."

The old man sighed. "Three weeks ago I was regarded as a prophet, someone who could tell the future by a group of people who might have had crazier ideas than I could ever come up with." He drew a pipe from a shirt pocket and started the meticulous process of cleaning it. "And now I'm not sure whether they were right to try to cling to the small shards of hope that they perceived in a dark sky of hopelessness."

(OOC: old man is totally wrong about the 3 weeks part...but he's half (at least) crazy, so... )

"What's your point, old man?" The younger one asked, too bitter to really care, and yet, paid attention despite it. "If you're so powerful, why are you sat here? Shouldn't you be out saving the world?"

"Powerful?!" His laugh was a dry laugh, showing his age. "Just because I look crazy, act crazy enough and am a bit crazy and am able to sprout utter horse crap for hours on end people regard me as a mystic man. If I truly had a power do you think I'd be sitting on this damned log watching this village start the slow process of destroying itself?"

"You tell me."

The slow process of cleaning the pipe had finally been finished and he carefully started filling it from a pouch yellowed by age. "You are a rare young man. Young by my standards of course," he turned to glance at the man sitting just a few feet away, not even having looked at him properly so far. "Not enough people are simply willing to listen."

The young man simply waited, refraining from snapping back in sarcasm. It wasn't as if he had any better to do, now that the pub was gone...

A tinderbox was withdrawn from yet another pocket and the pipe expertly lit.

"Now imagine me doing all this pipe-lighting business in the dark corner of a tavern, with a hood drawn over my head, my long white hair poking out from under the hood and my ominous eyebrows being lit up by the light from the pipe. It is an image from fairy tales. It is easy to play off stereotypes and make a living from them, one just has to look the part. It helps if you don't have to play the part too..."

Frowning, the man did as he was bade and waited.

"Were I to sift through the ashes and start proclaiming mystic phrases, mixing in a word of gibberish or two and start making mysterious allusions to a future yet to come, do you think anyone here would question who or what I was and how the hell I had gotten here? I'd happily wager that not one of them would find my appearance unexpected after whatever happened here last night."

"Who would listen?" Came the reply, "Do you really think anyone cares about mysticism, old man? No one cares. The only thing anyone wants is a better life, riches and power. Can you provide that? If not, you're wasting your time."

"Are you so sure of that? I'm sure that the little girl crying over that body would give anything for five thousand gold pieces now and would not care a bit about having that hand she is so desperately grasping stroke her hair one more time." The old man sighed and disgustedly emptied his barely started pipe. "You'd be surprised at how well mysticism works when people are going through hard times."

"Then again...I am but a crazy old man who spouts nothing but horsecrap...No reason to believe what I say."

"None at all," the man agreed, "until you can prove it. So, 'prophet', prove it."

"I can't prove that I am a prophet. I can only prove that I can act as one."

He slowly stood up, not noticing that the pipe dropped from his lap as he did so. He brushed his white hair back and the foul wind carrying the smell of burnt bodies hit him in the face.

He slowly walked towards the ruins of the tavern, a shuffling walk, noticeable simply from the sound his sandals made as they dragged through the dust and ashes. Not many noticed his passing, not many cared about an old man moving through the wreckage of destroyed lives. The enormity of the situation took long seconds to sink in. Dozens of bodies lay among the wreckage or had already been pulled out from it.

His voice was frail, wrought with age and smoke. It wasn't loud, but had that quality that good orators strived for, the quality to be heard. Not all listened to his first words, some took several sentences to even notice that he spoke.

He was not a dramatic orator, he did not speak with hands raised towards the heavens to indicate favour or anger of gods. He simply spoke.

"Heed me, for I have been allowed a glimpse of what has passed and what is yet to come! Heed me, for I am an old man, who has been allowed to live long years. Heed me, for I wish to speak. It matters not who I am, it matters not how I got here or why. The only thing that matters is that you are not alone. A week past the fury of the gods struck, reducing a once mighty city to a pile of rubble. In a single day hundreds of lives were extinguished as though they were candles to simply be blown out!"

He stepped up the stone steps remaining from the foundations of the inn.

"I was there and was allowed to witness as the skies opened and spewed forth flames and ashes. I was there when the prisons opened, spewing forth the scum of the earth. I was there when the lords abandoned their people, choosing a cowardly death! I was there and I have seen!"

"And now this! A pitiful village is struck by divine vengeance! The gods act in mysterious ways, but I have seen the way they act! They bring but death and destruction. The gods! I have been granted pity, for I pity those childish beings who act more like infants than massively powerful beings. I pity them for needing to show off their power like a bully would! And I defy them to strike me down now if I speak falsehood." He continued after a sufficiently long pause. "The gods have deserted those whom they should never forget! For who are gods without believers? Who are they without ritual sacrifices and wars waged in their name? Who are they when in desperation for attention they perceive they do not get they kill the very people who revere them? Who are they but misguided children? Can you tell me who they are if not infants unleashed in a playground where dropping a grain of sand causes the death of thousands!"

"I am not one to tell you what to do, enough people already do that. I am merely here to tell you of what I have been allowed to see. I have seen a future."

"A future without gods whose tenets govern every bit of your lives. A future where you can do what you want without fearing for your life because you transgressed a law made centuries ago and which the priests told you about. A world where you can do what you choose to do. If no one believes in something, it does not make it not true. But if enough people believe in something they can make things happen. Remember that even the greatest floods once started out as a simple drop of rain."

He closed his eyes and held out his hands.

"Thank you for allowing me to share what I have been allowed to see."

He remained motionless, not saying another word.

The man muttered to himself and went back to his brooding, hanging his head on his log for a few more moments.

The survivors however, were listening, in equal measure of disbelief, fear, awe and hope. Who would dare say such things?

Eventually, the young man rose to his feet and snapped, "Get out of here, old man. We don't need to hear any more lies. Your words are just dust on the wind: they are meaningless. Unless you can help, we have no reason to listen to you."

Several of the crowd echoed him with grunts and jeers, but the rest remained silent, seeing how the old man would react.

"I care not how you interpret what I say. I care not what you do. I am not here to judge who you are, nor what you've done or shall do. I tell the truth as I have been allowed to see and leave any possibly interpretations to you, young man. If you choose to interpret my words as lies and continue to believe in gods who allow a young girl to cry over the dead body of someone she dearly loved, I will not stop you. But you would be blind to only see one side of a coin, for a coin can not exist with only one side."

"Yeah, yeah, yeah. Meaningless words." the man shook the old man's words off, "It means nothing. Who cares about 'gods' or anything like that? What do you have to offer? Meaningless!"

"I offer you nothing. For all I can give you is words. I can not help you rebuild this place, for I have not the strength. I can not offer you words of comfort, for only time can heal this place. I can not offer revenge against those who did this, for it is not within my power. I can only offer images of a better world. But it is a world you would have to build, for I'll surely be dead by the time it starts to be built. So yes, you are right, I offer only words. But it is more than any here have offered."

"Then you are useless!" The young man snapped, "Words mean nothing. They are as the wind, lingering then fading! What is it you want?!"

"I want nothing more. I have said what I had to say and people have listened. I do not want anything more." He stepped down from the stone steps and slowly made his way back towards where he had spotted his pipe lying in a pile of ash a couple dozen feet away.

"Then all you do is waste our time!" The young man snapped.

Someone behind him agreed, and muttered, "Burn him." A few others stared, and then nodded grimly. "Burn him!" the cry went up, "Burn the warlock! Spare us from the wrath of the gods! Burn him!"

The young man stared at them as if they'd gone mad, "Wait a minute-"

"Burn him too! Burn all who would seek to test us, that we would be found wanting! Burn them all!"

"Children..." the old man muttered under his breath as he calmly continued walking towards his pipe. "They get burned and now they can't stop playing with fire..."

"Burn him! Burn him for the gods!" The fact that most of them were atheists didn't matter now. "Burn him to right things!" The mob formed, "Seize him, burn him! Burn him on a pyre!"

He reached his pipe and picked it up, placing it to his lips. Smoke rose from the pipe, which he happily puffed on.


(Written mostly by Dplax. Starring the old man.)
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Old 04-21-2009, 11:18 PM   #157
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Mephistopheles
 

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Default Re: Antagonist’s Anarchy: Derived from Dianthus

Jason saw the motion of the man on the horse and was already moving before he even thought about it.

Rolling to the side, Jason sprang up quick, his blade coming up sharply. Before he thought about the consequences, Jason cut the bottle in half, or at least intended to. Bits of broken glass flew wildy, leaving a few small scratches on his arms and hands.

Next time you try that, you'd better kill me. Jason sheathed his sword and picked two small pieces of glass from his arm. Besides, there's no reason we cant be civil. Right fellas?
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Old 04-21-2009, 11:34 PM   #158
Calaethis Dragonsbane
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Arrow Re: Antagonist’s Anarchy: Derived from Dianthus

“If death is what you seek, it can be arranged.” Asokil gripped his spear-shaft, the blade as long as a shortsword and wickedly curved. A man on horse was worth ten men on foot, or so it was said. “You want to face me? It is your death.”

There was no trace of drunkenness about the mounted warrior this time, his eyes were sharp, calculating, and utterly cold. “Go ahead, I hate your type. If you're so eager to flirt with death...” the man spat, “Your bravado means nothing.”

The tone of condemnation and scorn were as final as Isokla's words on pacifism. Funny that.
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Old 04-22-2009, 12:01 AM   #159
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Default Re: Antagonist’s Anarchy: Derived from Dianthus

Jason let out a sigh. It just wasnt his day, and what a long day it had been as well! Even if he were feeling up to facing a man on horseback, he probably wouldn't just because its not a good idea, besides, it wasnt his time, he'd escaped death more than enough times already.

He looked to Telryn for some sign of anything, but turned away after a second or two.

This is not civil. Besides, its not a fair fight with you up there and me down here. Not that i want to trade blows with you, and even though you have offended me, i will forgive you.

He kept his hands in perfect position to draw his sword and hamstring the horse, but didnt move. The possibilities of what might happen next flew through his mind rapidly. His breathing slowed and he knew that in half an instant he could go into his concentrated place, and feel no pain. Yet he waited, for that was all he could do.
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Old 04-22-2009, 12:15 AM   #160
Calaethis Dragonsbane
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Arrow Re: Antagonist’s Anarchy: Derived from Dianthus

“Insolent wretch; I should kill you where you stand.” Arrogant disdain oozed off the man, “You should be begging my forgiveness.”

It was as if the Asokil Nivram had travelled with had been replaced by another persona.

Unfortunately for Jason, the warrior already held his spear and was in a far better position to strike first. Goading him further did not seem like a good idea; from the way he moved, and from the way he held his weapon, and handled his horse, despite his ageless youthful face, he was no novice. If Jason knew the first thing about weaponry, the man he was facing handled his with the casual ease of a highly trained veteran, perhaps even a master. Everything about his body seemed loose, relaxed, cool, prepared to tense and strike out, as taunt as a bowstring.

Of course, unless one was especially drunk, or skilled, or a fool, or perhaps all three, one did not usually pick fights with a man who had just batted away a bottle aimed for his head. In fact, the warrior seemed utterly unfazed by Jason's skills. Then again, who knew what he was capable of? The weapon could just be for show and he might be a powerful archmage; who knew? Either way, the fact Jason was 'backed up' by at least two others didn't bother the man either. How reliable Nivram was was another question entirely.

“What's it to be, boy?” The mounted spearman taunted, “Going to apologise or pit your skills against mine? You want civil - we can make this formal, if you so desire. A duel is not beyond my lenience.”
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