The Last Bastion

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The Last Bastion

Post by Drake » Wed Jul 01, 2020 12:46 am

山卄ㄖ 山卂ㄒ匚卄乇丂 ㄒ卄乇 山卂ㄒ匚卄乇尺丂?
An eternity to last, an eternity to guard.
Immortality befalls those who's souls least expect, and the cruelty of it all jocosely establishes itself within the first century, carving a niche concept on the backburner of the mind, rooting itself through your veins, praying on your will. Many a man sought these secrets, many a man were foolish driven into it's painstakingly brutish truth. The soul is not fit to last, it erodes as all else, deteriorates into an insanity so sane but a mere fraction may distinguish it as mental turmoil rather than just the veracity of it all. To those whomst razors shed no blood and presence no tears, their tale seldom represents one of virtue and joy, instead reaching for the absurdity of greed, the superfluous sentiment of stark superiority.

Few fools dabbled on the waters of perpetuity, deciding to keep those secrets to themselves rather than accept it's devastating blessings. One Conrad Mandrake pertained to such distinct assortment of individuals, on his psychotic plummet into outlandish knowledge, long forgotten, mostly forbidden. The forefather of what would eventually come to blossom into indisputably the most despised household of wielders of the arcane. A smudge passed down from generation to generation, an unextinguishable torch about esoteric and despair, gathering a massive following of the ancient way, architecting the stepping stones of what, one day, would come to be referred as the Mandrake State in the unoccupied lands of the Lincolnshire county.

Stepping stones, evidently, which required sacrifices. Not his own, yet experimental marvels of obnoxious consequences and vicious procedures. Souls severed from their respective mortal coils, flesh molding into disturbing creatures, whilst their existence was transferred to multiple vessels. Primarily, test subjects would experience extreme torment, a ceaseless sensation of rendered flesh, or perhaps of molten skin perpetually sizzling hot even though organic matter was no longer part of the previously decaying body. The machinations of necromancy were impracticable to grasp at such early stages, yet Conrad pressed on, motivated not by greed nor an unquenchable thirst for discovery, simply for his pleasure and such heightened curiosity it could trample upon lives over lives to achieve the goal set in mind.

Adaptations, tweaks, honed abilities, tomes transmogrified into reality, windy whispers blowing responses to inquiries never asked. Time moved ever forth, as a now older, decrepit humanoid did not halt for a mere second, storing his fiendish findings in a small library within his laboratory. Ultimately, he had managed to leave behind his two greatest achievements: brethren initiated in the erroneous path he trailed on, and an undying guardian to safeguard his family's timeless treasure. Nameless, featureless, this being was merely known as "The Sentinel". It's task? Guard the manor and it's stashed intelligence on the ways of eldritch deities long lost to dust, as well as the artifacts and assortment of multiple items brought over.

It was one Adelaide Mandrake whom first taught it how to write and read, a shot in the dark to further her research, a mindless goon to boss around, contracted into servitude by a mere pact it never signed, and since it's previous life was but a blur now, why not oblige? She was, after all, the one master who treated it fairly. The few generations posterior to Adelaide's further increased his savvy, now able to correctly assess the manor's defenses, identify and track items of interest, analyze tactically situations with the uncanny gear he had in hand. It was a shame the manor burnt down by the hands of a rogue family member and their mob.

It was left behind, the entire state, abandoned and, for all intents, in ruins.

Yet still it guards the leftovers, ever vigilant.

A treacherous question, the most relevant albeit the most mysterious. There are few recollections of previous occurrences before it's ascension into the immortal Bastion of Mandrake State. Sometimes it may come in dreams, shapes he does not remember, voices he cannot recognise, the sensation of extreme heat, and then of tremendous cold. The weight of a sword in hands, then the gentle pull of a bowstring, other times the harmony of a harp reverberating in golden halls. The time periods diverge, Victorian era, pre-historic, Dark Ages, always so inconclusive.

Now it is but a shadow of it's former self, a broken hiss for a voice, and a fragmented mind for memories. It stands at 8'10" when upright, always covered in sewn rags, adding no weight to his humongous character, much in the contrary fashion, it is perceived as thin and feeble instead, most of it's volume being the feathered obsidian cape it sports nonchalantly.

The process of attaching a rampant soul to another recipient was quite an intriguing prospect for Conrad Mandrake, and upon varied tests on tortured and mentally stable subjects, the necromancer came to realize shattered minds were often the main reason of the flawed results, constantly agonizing masses of flesh, blood and pus. These men whom he tortured to no end for the ideal vitality, they had nothing but pain within their parting thoughts, and it modified their essence, all sore, wrath and absolute misery brought nothing but failures who could no longer even stand, let alone watch over anything. These rejects were released on the woods surrounding his manor, and put out of their misery by nature itself, or so Conrad hoped.

Bastion, however, was part of a much more intricate project, instead of breaking minds himself, the Mandrake patriarch merely accepted the souls of those with not only unbreakable willpower, yet those who could no longer tell real from imagination, and those who would happily sacrifice to the cause. Multiple experiments succeeded, a gradually plainer slope he had climbed throughout most of his life. It all culminated in, perhaps, his biggest achievement: the Last Bastion. A frame not unlike a scarecrow, sewn inch by inch with ridiculous precision and unparalleled magical might, every minor detail, idealized and produced from scratch to construct the ultimate immortal sentinel.

Last Bastion was a man, or maybe it was a woman, maybe it was even a bear or an eagle. Now, for all intents and purposes, Last Bastion is dead. A gaunt, towering frame covered by dark cloth all throughout, save for a few other distinctive items of it's unorthodox form. It was expected to fall over from a breeze, to merely cease existing by leaping into fire, and yet Bastion does not shy away from any form of combat. His presence has real weight, although his body may bend and fold like paper, flowing with the rhythm of motions. It has enough strength to lift it's trademark bastard sword and swing it around swimmingly with a single hand on the hilt.

It's body is linked to the vitality of the being of before, which leads others to believe it was a rather barbaric combatant with insurmountable strength and comprehension of battles. The cloth which covers it's vast rather linear body was woven by artifacts itself, capable of reforming tears on it's surface and keeping a rather novel appearance even being such an ancient material, it is entirely impracticable to manipulate and it's strings offer a maleable yet oddly resilient characteristic to Bastion. It's eyes see not our world as it is, linked to a higher plane themselves, Bastion can identify the colors of other people's souls and witness them as flames first and foremost before being able to tell the features apart, it can also follow trails of the arcane invisible to most, witnessing the remains of the reality break lingering around, no matter how dissipated.

A pair of gloves cover it's hands, imbued with magical essence themselves, their main capability is that of levitating medium-sized items or smaller ones, granted they are not moving too quick in any given direction and stay within 3 feet of his hands. It may also warm or cool any inorganic recipient, as well as clear off dust and smudges. For feet, the pair of boots bestowed upon the ragdoll-like humanoid allow him to walk across any liquid or solid surface, defying gravity itself. It's cape, tailored from a multitude of raven feathers and mystically enhanced threads is yet another question mark into it's existence (or non-existence, suit yourself), dispering itself into a plethora of infuriating aviary fiends that cloud even the brightest sun and rend even the toughest of flesh, it's cape extends it's astonishing nature to the already ostensibly buoyant body of the eternal guard, affording not the free flight of uncaged crows, but the perfectly maneuverable gliding of a kite, restrained by an unseen bond permanently dragging it down.

It's bastard sword, Nullus, differs from most by it's ragged looks paired with a wave pattern in blood-red thoroughly etched into the heavy metal. It's weight is paramount to each swing's momentum, a raging storm's destructive power with harmonious fluidity of wielder and blade as one, you must swing into it's devastating assaults and gently guide it as it gently guides you back. Uncharacteristic weight aside, Nullus inherited such name for it's lack of essence, it is not a weapon carrying a personality, instead it's formless, a typhoon of shapes and forms, it's blade may shrink or expand, shift it's weight adequately, and even form multiple impossibly keen-edged curves and angles. It is speculated Last Bastion itself connected to the sword long before it's transformation, the distinctive paintings puzzling themselves into memories, faux or not.

True immortality is not outliving the planet, but impacting it forever. Thus one must make sure their contributions are not lost to the whims of time.
Drake was feeling just fine again today.

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