At the End of Time

This forum exists for you to share your stories of your characters in the Ruins of Am-Xitha chronicle and surrounding lands. All posts in this forum should be In-Character and Narrative, please keep backups of your stories.
Post Reply
T.A.Saunders
Posts: 136
Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 8:00 pm
Contact:

At the End of Time

Post by T.A.Saunders » Tue Nov 08, 2016 2:51 pm

The smoke could still be seen over Storm Haven. The city had been burning for a week now as the forces of the Avatar of Destruction continued their occupation. With what remained of the population evacuated to Blackgate, under the protection of the Avatar of Knowledge and the ever-present Blackgate Vanguard things were as safe as they were going to get. With the sky stained black with the smoke of the city’s ruin, nobody felt especially safe however. People weren’t talking, or buying supplies or even shoring up their defenses. They were watching the horizon, waiting with a sense of resigned inevitability that Toron was coming here next.

Still, despite the hopelessness of the refugees, the Vanguard was still ready for a fight. With Republic of Farwind’s help, they could defend Blackgate indefinitely. With cannons pointed north, riflemen patrolling the ramparts and airships hovering like great mechanical sharks over the fortress, they could hold this ground, even against a god’s Avatar. Even if the people of Storm Haven had lost hope in seeing their home again, some at least marshaled up resolve that Toron would be stopped here. There really wasn’t any other choice. He was either stopped here or the Gate fell into his control. It hammered in a sort of resolve in the combined forces here that failure could not be an option.

As soliders marched in double file and Siege Wagons were moved into position, a cry went out from one of the scouts. “Ware the north! Ware the north! Toron rides under the head of two banners! His broken skull standard and another, black with a single red eye!”

“Synri’s Standard.” Darechon Dur’lane muttered to the blonde Quar`Vess standing next to him.

“If Synri rides with him, it will take both of us to stop them I should think. We w—.” The Spirit of Knowledge was interrupted by a wave of a large hand.

“No. They’re going to need you here to bolster the defenses or, if need be destroy that fuckin’ Gate.” Darechon replied. “I’ll deal with this shit.”

“You barely survived your last encounter with Toron. If Synri has acquired her Avatar as well, you will most assuredly be defeated. Avenger Dur`lane, please do not be foolish.” Kithanis urged with a concerned expression wrought upon noble features.

Darechon unholstered the Blackbow and set it down at Kithanis’ feet. The weapon was legendary throughout the history of Imarel, from its creation by his father, Mourne who would later become of the all-feared Spirit of Vengeance, to the bloody path Darechon had carved with it. People once rallied at the sound of it’s unfolding. It had turned the tide of more than one battle and now, he was leaving it here. Kithanis simply stared at the Avenger, guessing what the action meant.
T.A.Saunders
Posts: 136
Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 8:00 pm
Contact:

At the End of Time

Post by T.A.Saunders » Tue Nov 08, 2016 2:52 pm

“I’m sorry I had to kill your father, kid.” Darechon likely was the only mortal in existence that could ever get away with calling any Spirit of Imatel ‘kid.’ “I wished it didn’t have to be that way. I’ve had to kill a lot of people. People I hated, people I couldn’t have given a second thought about and I’ve had to kill people I loved too. Between all the killin’ and everybody, everything I know fading away, killin’ and this Blackbow are all I got. Now? All I got is killin’.”

“Darechon, this does not have to be some stupidly heroic moment,” Kithanis attempted to reason. “Their combined armies will crash upon the walls of Blackgate and we can pick them off as they cluster. This world still needs you to stand with it, not throw yourself heedlessly at enemies that even you are no match.”

“Maybe it does,” Darechon stated while securing the Nameless Glaive in his across the broad expanse of his back. “People been telling me for fuckin’ centuries that I’m needed, that I matter. I matter when shit needs to die. After that, I’m just Dare, the fucking monster that Mourne let out of a cage one day to do what the fuck I’m going to do now. So I’m going to play my part. If I can kill Toron in a few swings, he won’t be able to build up enough strength to overpower me like before. Be ready to destroy that fucking Gate if I screw this up and this place falls.”

There were no more words, no more debates as to what to do. Darechon stepped through the nearest shadow and disappeared in a coil of darkness, leaving the blonde-haired Spirit of Knowledge utterly vexed as to what to do. “Bloody heroes.” Kithanis muttered while picking up the Blackbow. He had never held the weapon that had killed his father, Kirandar, until now. It was strangely comforting to the Spirit of Knowledge to know this is how it ended. But as he looked upon it and divined the long, storied history of the infamous double Witchfire Crossbow from simply touching it, he realized there was still a way to help the Avenger, possibly save him.

“Trent. If you still honor the old pact between your family and that of House Dur’lane, the begotten son of Mourne needs you now. Go to him, please before nothing can be done.”


* * * *


Toron smiled. The man had been chosen to be the Avatar of Destruction had once been a Kiris Miran Wizard by the name of Fahar Jhalid. Tashrani by birth, Fahar had favored magic for its ability to simply incinerate one’s enemies, rather than plodding through the tedium of scheming and plots. It had been Fahar that had set the forest ablaze in Am-Tasaar to kill nearly all the other candidates to become Toron’s Avatar. The ones that remained, he either let the Wild Elves pick apart with their angry arrows and swift blades, or killed himself in some brilliantly horrific way.

Since becoming Toron’s Avatar, Fahar’s mind had been opened up to entirely new possibilities of outright carnage. His master was within him, guiding him through destruction of whole buildings and people within them. The destruction fed him more power and continued the wheel of brutality, until Storm Haven proved to be nothing more than a paper doll house to his…Toron’s might. The deaths of millions of people was still coursing through his veins, making him strong enough to even mask the arrival of Synri’s Avatar candidates from the other Spirits and Gods. Long enough for all of Synri’s pretty little priestesses to hunt one another through the burning ruin of the city and kill each other until one remained. Fahar shared Toron’s pleasure in watching the women fight with blades, prayers and in many cases their bare hands when all else had been spent.
T.A.Saunders
Posts: 136
Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 8:00 pm
Contact:

At the End of Time

Post by T.A.Saunders » Tue Nov 08, 2016 2:52 pm

“So you are the one that survived. You don’t look very fearsome, Queen Xala.” Fahar stated while eyeing the long-legged Half-Shar`Vaire woman greedily.

“Fearsome enough to kill you before your hands comply with what your eyes beg for.” Xala stated without turning to face the man. Synri’s chosen vessel was still weak from the fighting and beared scratch marks down her right cheek from the fight with the last priestess, Indara Kalee, a dark-haired Asyn-Shei woman from Las Entranras. The Queen of Moonfall and the assassin-trained priestess fought blade and prayer to a draw and ended up in a brawl in the burning streets. It was only by virtue of throwing hot ash in Indara’s eyes that she was standing here at all. But that was Deception. It’s not the strongest, or the best. It’s the most sly that wins the day.

“I look forward to your inevitable betrayal, so we may test those words.” Toron’s Avatar returned without hesitation. They both knew helping each other was really helping themselves. The question was who would turn on who first? Fahar looked on, as their armies thundered past on their way to Blackgate. “Where is your mortal pet? I thought he would be here, pretending to give orders again?”

“I left him with a simulacrum of myself, to keep his cock entertained and me free of his oft-given thoughts on the campaign.” Xala said as if she were talking about an adored, but troublesome pet dog. “If she doesn’t find him too revolting, I may make that arrangement permanent until we’re ready to take advantage of the little distraction the rebellion brewing there has caused in the East.”

“It’s so nice when people do your work for you, simply by being people.” Fahar responded with a wide smile and a fold of arms across his chest. The black and red-trimmed robes he donned rippled listlessly in the cold winds of Zoda as the last of the joint armies of Destruction and Deception charged past.

“Yeah. I feel the same fuckin’ way about assholes,” A gruff voice rumbled behind the Avatar of Destruction. The words were followed by a brutal shove of the Nameless Glaive into Toron’s lower back. The sound of the weapon cutting meat and slicing bone was complemented by the bubbling gurgle coming from Fahar’s lips. Dare might well have thought the battle done, were it not followed by Toron’s laughter.

Dare didn’t listen. He didn’t care what Toron found funny. He knew this weapon could slice across dimensions, across realities, across time. This weapon wasn’t hitting just Toron’s Avatar, it was hitting Toron’s Avatar on every reality where he existed. The more damage he did with the Glaive, the more likely Toron would be forced to abandon his host or die with the mortal man, Fahar. The large, sweeping blade cleanly carved halfway up his chest cavity, before Toron backhanded Darechon clear from him and the weapon, sending him tumbling end over end in the snow, until he came to rest on a rocky rise.

“Do you think this will stop me? So many have died in Storm Haven, it will be months before my power here wanes. I feel it cut me across worlds but it is to no matter. I am now beyond you.” He stated while stalking towards Darechon. He pulled the Nameless Glaive from the gaping wound and spun it slowly in his hand as he stalked closer to the Avenger.
T.A.Saunders
Posts: 136
Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 8:00 pm
Contact:

At the End of Time

Post by T.A.Saunders » Tue Nov 08, 2016 2:53 pm

“People keep sayin’ that.” Dare was already to his feet by the time Toron had gotten to ripping the weapon out. “But here I am. You going to be offended when I fuck your host’s wife, when you’re both dead? I mean, Tashrani. Every last one of those bitches has big f—.”

Dare’s words were cut off as the howling Avatar of Toron threw the Nameless Glaive at him. Bending backwards to avoid getting clipped by the weapon, Dare snared it by it’s shaft and spun around to prepare to defend, only to find that the woman that had been with Toron was gone, or at least beyond his perception. It was definitely Synri. For now, Dare had to keep to the game plan, whether or not Synri was stalking close by.

There was precious little time to think as the fiercely bleeding Toron raised a hand and splayed his fingers and began howling out the ancient words that he didn’t understand but knew from experience what their utterance meant. Dare took the Nameless Glaive and spun the weapon around so the blade was inverted and sprinted forward to impale the weapon into Toron’s open mouth. As wide as that blade was, it was likely it would also split his skull like a grapefruit. All the better. Dare hated grapefruit.

The curved dimensionally-folded blade forged from the ‘nameless’ alloy of Vocorium and Etherium sailed down and bit into the first layer of skin in Toron’s raised hand when the spell he had been preparing went off. Light flashed as Dare felt his very soul being torn from his body. He needed the fury his father gave him now. The very core of his being was being sheared away by the Soul-Reaving divine ability, but he had to hang on long enough to finish this. Dare opened himself up to the agony and pain of the moment and the Guilt of the one before him. Even as his soul frayed to a possible incomprehensible destruction, Berserker Rage took him.

It was enough. The howl of unchecked rage was deafening, loud enough to make Toron surprised, perhaps even horrified, as the blade of the Nameless Glaive split his right hand at the ring and forefinger, sliced through the meat and bone of his arm and pushed through the armpit of the man. There, the two titans remained locked as Toron expended every last bit of his power into the Soul-Reaving even as the dimensionally folded blade of the Glaive began shuddering within his body. Dare thought to himself, perhaps he was doomed to stay locked like this forever, with he and Toron never quite being able to kill each other and never being able to just die.

Then, the most unthinkable thing happened. The Nameless Glaive shattered within Toron. Shards of the weapon blew outward, shredding Toron’s chest wide open, but also blowing through Darechon in a hail of reality-splintering shrapnel. Darechon fell backwards, with his face, shoulder, chest and thigh blasted open by the shards of the Glaive. Toron dropped to his knees, gasping as his vessel’s ruined body began failing him. With his remaining hand, Toron dragged himself away from the wavering breach in Reality the weapon had caused with its strike across all Realities upon the Avatar of Destruction.

Dare squinted with his remaining eye and coughed out a laugh, before saying: “Huh. End of Time.” He let his head fall back then and closed his eye. It would end now, just as Khazaar said it would the night he slew his Avatar. You will not know death, Darechon Dur’lane, till the end of Time itself. Dare only needed one more thing to happen. He needed his last friend to come and take him home.
T.A.Saunders
Posts: 136
Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 8:00 pm
Contact:

At the End of Time

Post by T.A.Saunders » Tue Nov 08, 2016 2:53 pm

“You are undone Avenger,” Toron laughed as his body hemorrhaged blood from more wounds that could easily be counted. It was the power of all the deaths here in Storm Haven that was keeping him alive, though even Toron questioned if his vessel would survive this. “Synri…Xala”

“Right here, with that betrayal you were waiting for.” A pair of black-bladed rapiers were driven criss-cross into Toron’s neck then ripped out sideways, effectively decapitating Toron’s Avatar. With his wordless, gurgling death, Synri simply soaked up the energies Toron had gathered and made them her own.

The breach in Reality was wavering like disturbed water, where there on the other side, Toron’s Avatar also lay dead. The Nameless Glaive had slain him not only in this Reality but every reality and the instability it caused was not something the Avatar of Deception cared to linger for. She sheathed her rapiers and kicked the body of Fahar Jhalid, former Avatar of Toron into the rift, then departed on a single wisp of blackened smoke.

It was perhaps best that Synri had chose to leave when she did. The smoke of her departure had hardly carried off on the air when a slash of light split the air and burned open into a portal, revealing a winged figure donning a simple green tunic, suede breeches and high-laced moccasins. As the light faded, The Spirit of Life had indeed manifested as promised, once long ago, for his old friend.

“You’re not looking so well today, my old friend.” Trent said while dropping to squat beside the mortally wounded Avenger. He casually picked shards of Nameless Glaive out of Dare, knowing that there was really nothing that could be done. The only reason Dare’s soul was still intact at all was because it existed in two places simultaneously, here and the Shadowlands. But the connection between it and this body had been weakened, even by the incomplete spell. Between that and the devastating wound, there was no helping Dare this time.

“No. Suppose not.” He stated while attempting to sit up and finding the entire process impossible thanks to the large piece of the glaive shoved through his back. “I don’t want you to heal me Trent. It’s the end of Time.” He stated while motioning to the reality breach wavering there before them. “I want to be free. I didn’t get to choose my life, I didn’t get to choose to be a Kal’aire, but if you help me this once, you can help me die as just Darechon. I don’t want to return to Vengeance, Trent. I want to go to where my mother is, where Lucietta is. That’s all I want.”

Trent smiled softly at his old friend, his throat tightening as he patted Dare’s shoulder. He had that elderly, comforting uncle expression on but he knew the clock was ticking as he swallowed down his grief. If Dare passed from this world before he took his soul to the Bright Heavens, he’d never be able to get it from Mourne. Of course, if he did take it, there would be nothing even Mourne could do about it. “You’ve earned it Dare. Just don’t curse too much around mother. She really hates that.”

“Just get me out of here before you bore me t—.” Maybe it was a trick of Trent’s to manage the last word in their usual banter, or maybe Dare’s body gave out just before he finished his sentence, but it really didn’t matter. In a few minutes, they’ll be bantering about something else, at Kaal’s table, where a hero such as Darechon Dur’lane, Last Kal’aire Avenger would be most welcome indeed. “Your work is done, Guardian. Now let’s get you home.”

Trent drew Dare’s soul from the broken body before him and took a moment to close the reality breach, before departing in another slash of light that could be seen from Blackgate. Whatever had been happening elsewhere to upset the balance of the Universe was close to righting itself, he could sense, but in that there still remained great peril for Imarel.

But then, didn’t it always?
Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest