[INN] Shadows of our Past

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[INN] Shadows of our Past

Post by Snake Eyes » Fri Oct 12, 2018 6:59 pm

The portal of swirling darkness suddenly ruptured near the cliff-side overlooking vast plains of dry grass. Dried blood coated the tall foliage beneath them, not unlike early morning dew would. Yet, the air was far from fresh. Dry air carried a heavy stench of death and decaying bodies, ones that fell heavy on the valley, overpowering the pleasant scent of the forest. Swords, broken spears and what remained of the massive engines of war littered the battlefield in all their gruesome, crude glory. Once lush lands, now little more than worthless, barren soil. Even the most hard of hearts could not be unmoved by the sight of broken standards of pure silk, whose shafts were still clenched in metallic gauntlets of the fallen. The scale of the battle was, despite described as a "skirmish", truly massive, with the damage sustained by the land spread up to the neighbouring mountains - and maybe, even farther.

Murders of crows feasted on the rotting carcasses. plucking what little flesh they could from the limp armored figures. They filled the heavy air with their ear-tearing song. Yet, strong as their cawing may have been, it could do little to deafen the discord happening half a kilometer towards the nearest mountainside.

A black dome made its stand against several rows of catapults, scorpions, magical mortars and students of the deadly arcane. No, to call it black would be an understatement. It was darker than pitch, so deep, that one could not notice any edges or semblance of shape on its misty surface. The mentioned slung spell after spell and rock after rock towards the strange object, apparently wanting to damage it. Streaks of red, purple and blue light up the murky evening sky, flying true towards their intended targets. Yet, despite their best efforts, rocks crumbled, and firebolts bounced off - as if they were pebbles thrown at a castle.

First out of the shadow doorway was Alaric. His shoulders stiffened as he recognized the familiar sight. There were, he noted, a disproportional amount of enemy soldiers lying on the ground, their skin taking on an unnatural shade of blue. Mostly conscripted farmers they were, sent out as fodder to stop the advance of their heavy cavalry. Lightly armored, they stood almost no natch against King Fredericks troops. Yet, and this he knew well, death awaited on both sides.

"We are here." He stated stiffly, unshaved cheeks reddening in shame. He knew the part he took in this battle, no, massacre, and soon, others will too.
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Re: [INN] Shadows of our Past

Post by Monika » Sat Oct 13, 2018 1:29 am

Kali came out behind the knight, her hand instinctively going up to her nose. She wasn't used to that sort of smell, not to that extent. She was no stranger to death, but this... it reminded her of her people, though her people didn't decay. "This is so horrible...." She commented, looking across the battlefield. She started walking towards the dome, watching her step and looking for any who were still alive. She could at least help heal anyone they came across. And there was time for them to talk. She didn't stop looking as she addressed her companion. "I noticed your expression changed when I mentioned Deathwing... did you want to talk about it?"
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Re: [INN] Shadows of our Past

Post by Snake Eyes » Mon Oct 15, 2018 4:18 pm

"M'lady, I-"

"Alaric..." Came a growl from behind them.

Hanzo appeared, holding a curtain of finely woven grass, one that, apparently, has been obscuring a narrow path into the hillside. Upon closer inspection, one could note that it was constructed from very thin leaves - lightly brown from Autumn - held together by a thin string. They rustled lightly on the dry breeze, announcing their wielders presence.

His shoulders were slunched, thin lips drawn in a grim line. The ninja's skin, although usually pale, was now white as paper, with color only appearing beneath his tired eyes. His breathing was ragged, slow - as if he were engaged in heavy physical activity up until recently. Yet, even so, he carried himself with the same pleasant disposition he always did. "What in seven hells are you doing here? And where is the kid?"

"Do not fret! The child is safe as he can be, and, I hath brought backup!" Alaric exclaimed, gesturing towards Kali's visage in an overly ceremonial fashion.

Hanzo exhaled deeply, leaning his form on the cold rock. He had rarely been outside for the past four days, though, he was thankful that the dome was holding out. Likewise, though unsatisfied that Alaric has abandoned sentry duty, he knew that he could do little to solve this mess on his own. His pride stung him. Not being able to do something he had set his mind on was out of the question. Yet... He took a long look at the woman, careful to avoid her eyes. Maybe she, could help fix things - because at the rate things were going, he certainly could not.

"I am grateful for your assistance Kali-tan, de arimasu.". He bowed lightly, offering words in a dry tone, as if the very concept was unnerving, if not alien to him.

"That there..." Hanzo pointed at the dome, one still being showered by both primitive and arcane artillery. "Is naught but a distraction. There is, in fact, nothing beneath the shield. If they keep assaulting the decoy, we should be able to work uninterrupted."

Alaric knitted his eyebrows as he took another look towards the mountainside. By all accounts, he did not appear to be very convinced Hanzo could maintain control over it. Especially the way he was now. He raised an armored finger, and protested. "Art thou sure thy ageis shalt hold? Thou appear to be in ill health."

"Akarihime and Hagi are holding it in place. Weapons of this calibre should be no problem to them." He answered curtly. He appeared to be quite confident, before his eyes landed on a single piece of siege weaponry, clearly visible even from that far away. A massive mortar, the size of an average house - and it was yet to fire a round. The thing looked like it could punch a hole trough The Blackfort with relative ease. "However, I too have my doubts, de arimasu."

"Lady Kari is here?" The knight asked excitedly, as if he forgot about why they were there in the first place. "How does she fare?"

"Best however, we not test their strength, we should go immediately, de arimasu."

"Must be lovely finally me-"

"I said, we should go." Hanzo cut him off, only to swiftly descend down what appeared to be stairs, his lithe form quickly swallowed by the thick darkness.

Upon closer inspection, behind the camouflaging curtain, one could spy an entrance into the hillside. It was clearly not natural, but rather, crafted by hand - if crudely so. A narrow pathway, with only the faintest of light coming from what appeared to be the bottom. Yet, it was difficult to estimate, seeing as even the torch appeared as nothing but a spark in the gaping shadow. The more observant could, likewise, take not of a symbol depicted on the upper threshold of the entrance, just below the curtain itself. Behind roots and stones, one could see that it depicted a shallowly-engraved crescent moon.

The knight stepped first after Hanzo, sliding the mesh to the side, bowing lightly in the process in a way that he saw humans say is "gentlemanly". He cleared his throat, not so much because he wished to speak, but rather to resist the urge to gag at the stale cave air.

"My lady, I..." Alaric paused, taking a moment to compose this thoughts. He had a lot he wished to say, yet, he as well, knew so little. However, none of it was good he wagered. "Deathwing, I take it you two, eh... know of each other?"
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Re: [INN] Shadows of our Past

Post by Monika » Tue Oct 16, 2018 12:47 am

Kali was caught off guard when she heard the familiar voice of Hanzo behind them. She turned to look at him, noticing how exhausted he looked. He definitely needed a good night's rest after all of this was over. She smiled gently when Alaric referred to her as the backup. "Don't worry, Hanzo. The boy is at the Inn, which is currently located outside of my shrine. Enemies can't reach him there. And I am very glad I could be here." She glanced towards Alaric when he asked about a woman. By the look on his face, it looked like he could possibly have a thing for the woman. She followed behind the men, though, as they started down, then the knight asked about Deathwing.

She only paused a moment before saying, "He was made the Avatar for the Chaotican god of Destruction... and he and my father has been hunting me since I escaped them when I was about ten Serenian years old.. I have fought and killed him numerous times over the long time of my life... and he has always returned due to his connection to the god. He is, in a way, immortal as long as I am alive.. and they need me alive in order to get what they want." she explained as she continued following behind them.
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Re: [INN] Shadows of our Past

Post by Snake Eyes » Wed Oct 17, 2018 6:30 pm

The stairway slowly became wider and wider as the pair descended, yet, still opened down to the vast nothingness. The air, however, seemed to grow fresher the deeper they went into the belly of the earth, as if there was an opening somewhere ahead - though the atmosphere was still very much akin to an aged potato cellar. Sounds could be heard now and then, not unlike whispers shared by two plotters, not audible enough to understand, yet, clearly carrying signs of malice towards nobody in particular. Or at least, that is what Alaric hoped.

He disliked tight spaces, and his mind could not get off the possibility of him transforming, only to be buried alive beneath the hillside, roars silenced by the earth piled atop his snared head. The knight shuddered at the thought, or was it because it was slightly cold? Alaric's emotions were, as he had found, quite stronger than that of regular humans, and he experienced them somewhat differently. Mayhaps, he thought, it was because of what dragon blood he had in his veins. Yet, such outbursts, as he regularly had, in fact lead to the transformation in the first place - making the need to keep them in check all the greater. Though, this cave they were in helped little in that regard.

The "torches", if one could call them that, were quite odd, though he had seen them before. They took form of an unnervingly perfect sphere of black, floating near the rocky walls that lined the stairway. They emitted no apparent warmth, and burned dimly in maroon flames. They provided little light, though they were somewhat numerous - with one being able to find them once every ten meters or so, swaying slightly as they did.

Alaric listened with great care, and was about to ask how much is a Serenian year, yet, stilled his tongue as he remembered that it was improper to ask a lady her age, or at least he heard that from somewhere. Dismissing the thought, he pondered for a while in silence before speaking up again.

"Regular wounds do me great harm m'lady. And if thou recall, on our last..." The dragonslayer halted there. Of course she remembers - he scolded himself. Words were seldom his strong side, and he most liked leaving talking to others, as he himself knew to speak bad things, at the worst time. "On our last voyage, Deathwing hath appeared, and tended to my injuries. Many times, has he moved me from the jaws of death."

"The wyrm and I are related by blood, as he hath sired my mother." He explained, only to quickly continue as his usual smile slipped from his face. "But, I know he holds nay love for his kin."

"Mine greatest wish is to see Des'Oloth..." The knight spat, letting the draconic name slip his tongue as if it itself was bitter as bile. "...perish from this world. I know not of deities of chaos, yet, he plans on fulfilling something... terrible."

The dragonslayer halted on one of the steps, gaze set on the barely visible floor. His mouth stood open ajar for a moment, as if he searched for the words he needed to say.

"I-i... hope that you do not think less of me..."
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Re: [INN] Shadows of our Past

Post by Monika » Thu Oct 25, 2018 12:36 pm

Kali stayed close behind, her gaze fixated to around them as she waited for his answer. The place was very interesting, though Alaric's discomfort was visible to her. Not much she could help with there. She was a bit surprised to hear that the man in front of her was related to that beast. They were nothing alike. She stopped when he did, looking down to him since she was on an elevated step. She smiled lightly. "Why would I think less of you? Because you had no choice in who you were related to? My father personally lead the invasion and extermination of the Serenians... after I watched him murder my mother... Who we are related to... says nothing about who we are... so don't worry about it, alright?"
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Re: [INN] Shadows of our Past

Post by Snake Eyes » Sat Nov 24, 2018 11:36 pm

A satisfied smirk crept onto the knight's visage. Up until then, he thought it common to judge one based on their kin - because after all, were not all dragons creatures most vile, like their forefathers? An uncomfortable thought passed his mind then, one that reflected itself in his eyes. For a moment, he questioned the nature of his very order, his family. Was he not supposed to stand as a paragon of everything the circle stands for? He felt the sting of guilt, thinking of himself unfit to lead - as some did, and still do. Likewise, he had the pleasure of meeting others, closely associated with the very beasts he swore to slay. The thoughts troubled him for a moment, before he dispersed them. He would think of such matters in another time, in another place. Now, they had a job to do.

"M'lady, thou do-"

"Where were you two!?" Came a sharp bark, carried on by the echo of the cavern entrance, one that appeared now to be closer than ever. Just a few moments ago, Alaric could have sworn on his blade that they yet had a ways to go down. Yet, during their short conversation, they appeared to have moved deeper into the earth. A grand archway stood meters away from the stairway exit, one with a very displeased ninja beneath it. The knight was confused by both the sudden change of position, as well as Hanzo's behavior. He knew little of medicine, yet, Alaric was sure that spending this much time beneath ground must not bode well for one's mind. Maybe his companion had grown insane? After all, he sure would.

"I've wasted precious time searching for you." The raven haired man continued, holding a threatening finger in the air. "Do not tell me you went to scour the battlefield for survivors or what not. There is far more at stake here!"

"Verily?" Alaric questioned. "We hath done naught, 'cept for follow thou..."

"You were gone for ten days." The other added coldly, his brow furrowing at the thought. "No, no... it is this place."

Alaric shrugged at the suggestion. He did not feel anything different during their short descent, yet, once he took another look at his friend, he concluded that the same could not be said about him. The ninja had removed his vest, pulling his hair in a bun as to stop loose strands from catching on the exposed chainmail he still adorned. He could see how, oddly sunken Hanzo appeared. Both his eyes and hair had lost the rather unusual glow they had. In a world washed with color, the onikage appeared to be drawn from charcoal, yet, now that drawing appeared as if swept with an eraser. The knight thought about suggesting a bit of rest, though dismissed the thought - knowing better than most how he would react. Especially now.

"We need to fix this situation as swiftly as possible. None know if the world will even be the same when we exit, de arimasu." Said Hanzo as he turned his back towards his companions. "If, we exit..."
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Re: [INN] Shadows of our Past

Post by Snake Eyes » Sat Nov 24, 2018 11:36 pm

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Alaric shot Kali a concerned look before moving to follow the hasty ninja.

Some distance away from the stone archway, a vast cavern appeared. The floor was mostly flat, except for the few pillars that seemed to hold the ceiling. Yet, one could hardly be sure if they were needed at all - since the area seemed to seldom follow rules of gravity. Massive obelisks of rock floated some distance from the ground, perfectly motionless, as if someone nailed them to space itself. No traces of tools one would find if they were to carefully examine their murky surface. However, one of the dozen pillars seemed to stand out. Larger than the rest, it occupied the central part of the cavern, standing tall atop an impossibly small pile of rocks. Likewise, it proudly displayed a carving from one side - one taking form of two circles, each placed in a way mean to, possibly, depict a crescent moon.

Some distance away, in one of the raised corners that overlooked most of the cavern, stood an improvised tent, as well as what remained of a campfire. The are was populated with certain mosses, hardy enough to make their way trough the slowly crumbling stone. This setup, as well as few now empty boxes made up the campsite where Hanzo currently resided. It looked unattended to, and abandoned.

Only when Alaric saw the few embers still struggling to survive within the rocks and ashes did he realized how cold it had suddenly became. Yet, the air was quite clear, holding the bite of ozone within it. Wind blew from the other side of the chamber, though a light shined too brightly for him to see if there was anything past it.

"I have searched every nook I could find in this cursed place, and found little of interest, de arimasu." Hanzo spoke again, lightly glancing around the area, as if he expected someone to pounce atop him every moment. "Yet, my senses are not attuned to the arcane as much as yours are, perhaps it is worth a look...?"

"I've found a strange tablet at the base of that... thing, and another doorway that no attack of mine could harm. Both are inscribed in odd symbols, and the shadows refuse to speak of anything other than death and temptation, de arimasu." Hanzo added as he turned to point at the places he mentioned. "Yet one would be wise not to listen to them, de arimasu."
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