Echoes of the Abyss

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Echoes of the Abyss

Post by codayne90 on Sat Nov 05, 2016 10:43 pm

It was a sunny, winter morning.  He had been walking through the forest during the early hours of the day and now could see the sun shining high. He was enjoying this journey, it had been very successful so far.

He walked over the edge of a hill and took a drink of his water. He caught his breath at the sight of the forest extending below the hill. Reis Takra was not easily impressed, but this area was truly beautiful.

As he began to walk down the other side, he caught a glimpse of movement off to his right. He turned to look, but saw nothing.

"Hmm, maybe my eyes aren't seeing clearly, I've been pretty tired."

He continued making his way down the hill, on alert for any more movements.  He could see the town of Aria a few miles in the distance, and began moving more eagerly for it.  He was ready to sleep in an actual bed again, even if it was just a scratchy one at a shady inn.

He was practically drooling at the thought of the hot dinner he would have tonight.  Would he indulge himself in some beer as we-

The trees rustled off to his left and he thought he saw the edge of a shadow for a fleeting second.

"Who's there!" Reis shouted into the cold, crisp air, "Come out, I mean you no harm!"

Minutes passed by as Reis studied his surroundings.  He could feel a sense of wrongness in the air, he had been perfectly at ease before, but now every nerve in his body was on edge.

"Rigor, wake up."

The air beside him shimmered and snowflakes began to slowly sparkle into existence.  A few moments later, a blue imp-like creature appeared, dressed in dark blue clothes similar to that of a jester. 

"Good morning Reis, what do you ya need?"

"Bestow to me your gift, my friend, the power of rime," as Reis spoke a ringlet of crystal ice started to appear in front of him, "The frozen death, Icebrand!"

He reached into the ring of ice and pulled his hand back out, as he did, along followed a gigantic sword shimmering like a diamond.  He pulled into a defensive stance with the blade, ready to strike down any enemies in these woods.

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Re: Echoes of the Abyss

Post by Chelserz on Tue Apr 04, 2017 2:20 pm

Kira was out in the forest late the night before. Hunting had been scarce, and she had picked off all the small animals she could find. She was getting sloppy in her haste to feed, as she hadn't had a proper meal in weeks.

Well that's the point, isn't it... Depriving yourself to convince yourself you're not a monster?

Kira shook her head, as if she could dislodge the voice that whispered to her there. The voice always haunted her more when she was hungry, which only ever added to her sour mood and her aching insides.

She had found a nice brush covering to crawl into for cover while she waited for any small prey to cross her path.

This is the price I pay for refusing to feed on human blood... Constant emptiness in my very core and aching knees from crouching like a damned cat. This is what I have been reduced to.

Before her mind was fully awake, the sun was shining down through the canopy of the trees above her. She could feel the warmth on her skin...and then the burning. She groaned and rolled further into the brush, protecting her skin from the sunlight. She had started to grow used to the burning on her skin, and had even built up a bit of a tolerance to it. Now it just annoyed her.

She heard a voice off to her right and her eyes darted to the sound. She saw a man wandering nearer to her hiding place. She stood and darted behind a tree to conceal herself more effectively, peering out from the shadows with her deep ruby red eyes.

He had seen her. He yelled out, asking who was there.

Shit.

The man murmured to himself, and the air next to him shimmered. Kira squinted her eyes, trying to understand the illusion. Before her brain had registered it, another small blue man had appeared where the shimmering had been. Kira grimaced as there was now more blood pumping near her that she had to resist.

Now there was what appeared to be a sword forming in front of the first man, and he was standing defensively, his eyes darting around - searching for her, the evil in the woods.

She sighed and rolled her eyes. She could just run silently away, or she could put his mind at ease and stop him from tracking her. The idea of climbing the trees and discreetly jumping through the canopy was very appealing, but she was also very drained and probably wouldn't be all that discreet.

So instead, she rasped in a voice hoarse from disuse and dehydration, "I'll come out if you lower your weapon. Not like it would help you against me, in any case."
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Re: Echoes of the Abyss

Post by codayne90 on Tue Apr 04, 2017 7:33 pm

He heard the request to lower his weapon.

He knew nothing about this person. He still felt the wrongness from that direction. Felt that there was something unusual about whoever was hiding in the brush. Should he lower Icebrand? They seemed sure of themselves whether he was wielding it or not.

Which just went to show how ignorant they were of the Way of Knight, an organization that tapped into ancient magics to defeat evil.

The blade shimmered and the hilt expanded into a ring of ice. The ring slowly surrounded his body and changed shape, leaving a sheath strapped to his back, carved out of ice, the sword secure.

"I have heeded your request, now grant mine!" His shout reverberated through the forest, covering the rustling of the brush off to his right.

He wouldn't have noticed had he not heard a sharp intake of breath, a hiss of pain. He looked up, surprised to see a woman walking towards him. With a second look, he noticed she had a slight limp, a weakness she was trying to hide from her potential enemy.

She hid her face by looking down, right up until she was within five feet of him. She looked up from the pure snow, looked at him, and her eyes caused him to jump back.

"Red eyes," he murmured in amusement to himself, "had I not been fighting demons my whole life, you would be wholly unbelievable. To think the offspring of demons and men could actually survive this world."

The sheath around him caught the light of the sun and shot a beam of heat into the snow in front of the Demonata, melting it instantly. "Do. Not. Take. Another. Step." Reis spoke clearly, slowly, not wanting another Incident to occur.

"Explain your presence in this forest, so close to a town, do it quickly."

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Re: Echoes of the Abyss

Post by Chelserz on Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:51 pm

Kira reluctantly slipped out from her hiding spot behind the tree. The closer she got to this male, the more difficult it became for her to curb her thirst. She could almost see the vibrations thrumming from him as his heart pumped blood through his body. She forced her eyes down to the pristine snow that matched her pale skin and walked forward.

She stopped moving a few feet from him, far enough away that he wouldn't be able to reach her with that blasted sword. With her hood up around her face, she was mostly concealed from view and those annoying UV rays that sent daggers into her brain. She dared look up to meet his gaze and felt a vague spark of amusement at the mix of horror and disgust on his face as he beheld her deep red eyes, stark against her chalky skin.

When he shot a beam of light at her, she didn't so much as flinch. It didn't surprise her that he reacted defensively, why shouldn't he? He assumed her to be a soul snatcher from another realm, and she certainly looked the part. She raised an eyebrow at his question, bored and contemplating turning on her heel and disappearing again. But that sword had looked like it could potentially ruin her day, and who knew how many other weapons he had at his beck and call.

She finally spoke after what seemed like ages in an even tone that sounded smooth, with a hint of rasping dehydration that couldn't be helped.

"I was unaware town was so nearby. I am a nomad, and I wander in hunt of animal prey. I have not been so successful lately, as most larger prey are not as...active...this time of year." She eyed him cautiously. "I mean you and your...town no harm," she added as an afterthought.

"And what might you be doing wandering the woods?"
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Re: Echoes of the Abyss

Post by codayne90 on Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:50 pm

Reis opened his mouth in response, but another movement of shadow behind the girl caught his attention.

His eyes flashed silver and blue. He spoke a command in a voice seething with hatred.

"Rigor, infuse and bless thy weapon," his companion jumped up into the air and shimmered into snowflakes again, fusing with the sheath. "Icebrand! Gather and destroy, Diamond Dust!"

A rush of wind and cold erupted from the blade on his back. The crystals began separating one by one, they aimed in the girl's direction and flew.

He saw her flinch as the storm enveloped her, she held her eyes closed as the freezing gust cut past her. He watched as she opened her eyes and looked around. As she turned, her eyes glanced across a creature with obsidian skin, and how its body was pinned beneath hundreds of icicles.

"That, is just the beginning of why I'm here," Reis snapped and all the ice disappeared in a glimmer of light and dust.

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Re: Echoes of the Abyss

Post by Chelserz on Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:54 am

Kira held perfectly still as the ethereal cold washed over her, chilling her to her very empty soul. She couldn't help the flinch as it was colder than she had anticipated...and then it was gone, leaving her strangely more empty than she had been before. She snarled and shook her head. She didn't appreciate the invasion of whatever this strange magic was.

She turned around to behold the sight of a creature with skin the color of crushed charcoal, its limbs pinned at odd angles by sharp blades of ice. Her eyes were wide as she looked into this creature's face...She saw nothing but hate and malice in its dark, soulless eyes.

And I thought I was fucked up.

As the thought flitted through her mind, the creature burst into bits of ice. Black-tinged ice. She carefully rearranged her face into a mask of indifference as she spoke.

"How peculiar. What was that?"
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Re: Echoes of the Abyss

Post by codayne90 on Wed Apr 05, 2017 9:17 pm

"That is just a sample of the power I wield. With my Imp and Echo, these monstrosities are nothing to me."
He brushed off his cloak, "Seems you're harmless enough though, that demon was ready to rip your throat out."

He walked towards her and reached out his hand, "I'm Reis, and you?"

The woman turned her head, took a breath and stood up quickly, out of his reach. "My name is Kira, that's all you need to know."

A smile broke out across his face, her temperament was amusing. What did this woman have to be so angry about?

He turned and began walking towards Aria.

"If you would be so inclined, you should join me in the inn tonight, drinks are on me. You'll have to indulge my curiosity though, I must know what manner of creature you are."

As he grew closer to a thicket of trees, he turned and called out, "Be careful! My sources say there's a lot worse out here than just Hallowed demons."

With that, he faded into the forest.

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Re: Echoes of the Abyss

Post by Chelserz on Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:19 am

Kira snarled as this male named Reis smirked at her. She didn't like it when people made fun of her or didn't take her seriously.

As he started away from her, she weighed his invitation carefully in her mind. What she wouldn't give for some company who wasn't an animal she was stalking. But would she be able to control her bloodlust in a crowded bar? And she couldn't even hunt and satiate herself with a large animal before going into town because she couldn't find anything larger than blasted rabbits and squirrels who were sleepy from hibernation.

And there was the fact that she would have to try to explain herself to this stranger with the ice powers. She wasn't particularly keen on opening that door to her past, but she was also incredibly curious about what he knew about the creature he had killed.

She decided to follow him.

She stalked quietly behind him to see what he might do next, not making it obvious that she was following him but not making an effort to conceal herself either.
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Re: Echoes of the Abyss

Post by codayne90 on Sat Apr 08, 2017 3:02 pm

He wondered if she would end up accepting his invitation. She had a certain feral quality that made him wonder how long it had been since she had been around any people. He hoped that she would answer his questions truthfully, she didn’t know it, but his attack on that demon had been a test. If she was evil, it would’ve pierced her as well. If not a Demonata, then what manner of abnormality is she?

Reis took in a deep breath, and nearly gagged. The smell of rancid meat filled the area, overwhelming his senses. He managed to choke out a few words between breaths, “Rigor…they’re here!”

His companion bloomed out of thin air and blessed the air around him. Immediately, Reis felt the cloying air dissipate, he drew in gasping breaths and looked up. He could see dark figures moving from tree to tree, racing in the direction he had just left. Of course, he knew better, once demon blood was spilled, it was enough to incite any nearby demons into frenzy. If that damned Kira was in danger, it would be completely his fault. He willed Icebrand into existence and ran after them.

*********

Kira was still following Reis, she had let more distance grow between them so that he wouldn’t sense her. She was pleased with herself, this man with mysterious powers couldn’t detect someone like her so easily after all.

I guess he just got lucky before, if I had stayed hidden he may have never found me. She cursed herself inwardly, her hunger was not an excuse for stupidity, he could’ve been her enemy. At least she wouldn’t have to worry about resisting her needs if someone finished her off in this weak state.

She was snapped out of her thoughts from the sound of branches cracking above her. Wary, she silently slipped into the brush around her. Looking up, she could make out tall, lithe figures moving tree from tree in her direction. Kira could make out their shapes easily, the creatures’ skin so dark it was as if night itself was moving towards her. As they moved closer, it became harder for her to breathe, a sickly, sweet smell burning her nose. A wave of nausea overcame her, and she felt light-headed. As darkness closed in on her, she had one last thought. Is this because I allowed myself to become weak, or are these demons finally the death of me?

*********

Reis wouldn’t let someone else die because of his actions, he was racing back through the forest, taking as many shortcuts as the brush and trees would allow. He saw the abominations coming down from the trees in the distance, and then saw something even more concerning. There was a demon dragging a body, and he could see a glint of familiar hair beneath the hood. A sharp intake of breath, a leap, and a quick slice brought that to an end. A howl rose up from the wounded demon as it examined its severed arm. Rigor quickly grabbed Kira and dragged her into the brush, then joined Reis as he took a defensive position.

“Rigor, keep them from surrounding me. You take the left and I’ll handle them on the right. Be careful.”

Rigor gave a silent nod, then shot an icicle from his palm towards the nearest demon, pinning it to a tree. He ran towards it to finish it off, as Reis broke off to the right and began cutting into the crowd of enemies that were forming.

*********

Slowly, so painfully slowly, her eyes opened. Kira breathed in the fresh air, never realizing how much she took it for granted. As her vision cleared, she saw two figures fighting an onslaught of creatures. Every time one was struck down, another was there to take their place. Corpses littered the ground, the snow tinged black from the blood. The larger figure was suddenly thrown back and slid in her direction. She recognized the man from before, and watched him struggling to get up, using his sword as support. The momentary opening from him being thrown back gave the demons the opportunity they wanted. Three of them rushed towards Reis.

I can’t very well let him die when he saved my life earlier. Although, I’ve never encountered a demon until this idiot showed up…just a coincidence? I think not.

Kira summoned all her strength and threw a flurry of punches towards the incoming monsters. Her hands erupted in pain as her blows landed. She could see she had some effect, but it was like punching solid stone, there was no way she could keep this up for long.

“KIRA!” She turned as Reis shouted her name. He threw a small object, and as she caught it she saw it was a small silver disc. As soon as it touched her hand, it began embedding itself into her palm. She bit back the scream as the pain burned through her. It felt as though an eternity passed, but it had just been a matter of moments. Her arm felt heavy, and she felt solid metal in her grip. As she looked down, she saw a crossbow in her hand, with a bolt made of fire.

The words came to her mind unbidden, Flamekin, echo of Inferi.

As though it had a mind of its own, the weapon raised her arm and shot three bolts one after another, lodging themselves into the demons’ skulls in front of her. A spray of black blood covered her face, her mouth. Kira involuntarily licked her lips. A wicked smile appeared as Kira felt a sudden rush of power from the Echo and the blood.

She became a blur, killing the demons moving in on her, crushing their bones with swift kicks then finishing the job with her weapon. She noticed that Reis joined her, and adjusted his fighting to flow with hers. Wherever she left an opening, his icy blade would bite into their enemies’ flesh.

Reis stood back to back with her as more demons leaped down from the trees. There were at least twenty still remaining. Kira saw his strange companion running towards him, fusing with his sword. She felt another’s presence in her mind.

Reis looked at Kira, “Let Inferi guide you, don’t resist. We can do this together.”

She saw the sword glow and gather energy, just like before when he had caused that blizzard of icicles to kill the demon, she could see now he had used excess power to try and frighten her before. Kira smirked, I bet he wishes he hadn’t tried to show off before, wasting what energy he had, serves him right.

Kira screwed up her remaining determination and nodded, “Together then, but we’re even now.”

She opened her mind to the presence, gave up her control as she felt her power increasing. She aimed her crossbow at the sky and shouted, “Armageddon of the skies, Hellfire!”

She rolled her eyes, a natural reflex to her, I hope it’s not always this dramatic to summon this power.

Behind her, she heard Reis shouting his attack. A blizzard of ice and snow rose up around them, a tornado of frozen death. Above them, a fiery meteor was forming. She felt the power reach its climax, then unleashed it upon the forest below. The meteor broke into a torrent of fireballs and rained down on the area around them as Reis’s blizzard finished the job.

The snow and trees around them were stained black, but a few moments later the blood seemed to soak into whatever it touched, and the corpses of the demons appeared to melt into the ground.

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Re: Echoes of the Abyss

Post by Chelserz on Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:22 am

In the darkness, everything seemed to lose its sharpness. The smell of rotting flesh was not so strong, and everything was soft and welcoming. She loved the darkness and could stay here forever, content in nothingness. She was comfortable at last, her hunger ebbing away until a pleasant numbness overcame her.

But this isn't right. You know this isn't right. So what, you're just going to die? What happened to all that fierceness and fire you had in your soul?

I have no soul anymore. Haven't I suffered long enough? Can't you just shut the hell up and let me die here? I'm finished with this world.

No. You're not. You saw those ugly things. Are you just going to let them take over then? Coward.

Kira knew these voices were right, as much as she didn't want to awaken from this blissful stillness...she knew she still had work to do. So she pushed herself up to the surface and --

Kira gasped as she awoken to the bright winter morning, and the smell of that blasted rot almost choked her back into oblivion.

By the gods, that stench is foul.

She snarled and pushed herself up to her feet, realizing that there was black blood and gore all around her, and covering her too.

No wonder the smell is so strong.

She shook her head, dispelling the last bits of the darkness, when she saw the larger man come hurtling toward her, landing at her feet. A group of the demon beings rushed toward him, but she didn't let them get that far. She leaped over him and made quick work of them with her fists, a deep growl escaping from the bottom of her throat. She forgot how much she loved ripping into flesh with her bare hands.

A feral grin ripped across her face as she continued ripping an arm off this one, a head off this one, getting covered in black sticky gore. But she was still slow, her body not as strong as it had once been. She couldn't keep up with the onslaught, even though black blood and bits of corpse surrounded her.



When the voice spoke into her mind with a single word "Flamekin", she inexplicably understood what to do. The weapon, as if of its own volition, raised her arm and shot three flaming shots into three demons, killing them in a spray of blackness and fire. The blood smattered across her face and Kira shuddered and involuntarily sighed. There was a wild power she had never experienced in her long life, and it flowed through her desiccated veins now, invigorating her.

The two of them fought together for awhile, becoming a dance of ice, fire, and black blood.

She felt a nagging in the back of her mind, almost a little prickling there as if she knew she was forgetting something but couldn't place what it was. The more attention she gave it, the more nagging it became. She looked at the man beside her, who told her to let Inferi guide her. So this was a psychic symbiote, then. She reluctantly opened her mind and let this other presence in, and as soon as it was there, it had the nerve to make her shout something absolutely ridiculous at the sky as it raised her arm with the crossbow: "Armageddon of the skies, Hellfire!"

Really?

She rolled her eyes and prayed to whatever gods still listened to someone like her that it wasn't always this overly dramatic.
But then her eyes squeezed shut as she felt power well up inside her and surge out from every pore in her body, and there was a rain of fire coming down on the ground around them. Together with the ice storm Reis was throwing, they made short work of the remaining demons.

Kira stood, panting, for a moment as the forest around them grew too still and quiet. She watched as the corpses and all the gore began to disintegrate into the ground around them.

She frantically turned in all directions as it happened.

These bastards better not come back. I don't think I can handle any more theatrics today.

She looked at Reis and tried to level her voice before saying "Well. That was interesting."
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