An Oath of Blood and Fire, Chapter One (NSFW, Violence, Ect.)

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An Oath of Blood and Fire, Chapter One (NSFW, Violence, Ect.)

Post by Lucan Tyrius on Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:38 pm

Editor's note

This is a co-authored story taking place centuries after the Discord RP server Legion of The Damned (The Mirror Realm) By Rumor Stormblade and myself (Lucan The Mad). It is simply the first part of a longer story we are still working on, all of which will be posted here once we have each chapter complete. If you have any questions you can post here, or message me on Discord.

Thanks for your time -Lucan
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Aboard the Salvation's Call, Voidborn Space, Near The Solace System...
An entire world laid to ruin, an entire Division of Marines lost, and the cursed Shades are to blame. They've gone too far this time, done too much to be ignored. They will pay with blood, and their blighted Prince will know the toll of his sins...

The ship's commander turned to his officers "Brandwen, ready the Hyborian Guard and Specters 20-90 for deployment." He spoke to a tall, cold woman who served as his second in command before turning to his helmsmen "Gregor, plot a course following the Void path of the Destroyer's Invocation, I want to arrive as soon as able before the trail goes cold."

"Yes My Lord." Both officers saluted before going about their duties. The bridge was set up in such a way that the helmsman sat at the forefront, surrounded by a half dozen navigational officers and gunnery chiefs that would cooperate with him during jumps and in the midst of battle. Above all of this was a raised platform hold a large, comfortable, but plain chair where the ship's commander would sit and issue orders to his subordinates below. Atop the silvery metallic seat sat a large armored figure, humanoid in shape. The gunmetal hue of the composite plates let off a dull sheen that seemed . His sleek armored form sat almost hunched over his breath was almost gasping as he seethed, exacerbated by the vocal encoders of his helm. His metal clad hand gripped the armrest of his chair until it was bent and crumpled under the sheer force of his grasp.

"I was a fool to give them peace. Products of a destructive, dark, and broken world can only cause harm to all who they encounter. I should have razed that world to the ground, I should have slain that Demon while he was weak. My desire for peace has led to too much death. No more... I will steel myself against all compassion. Rumor, my old friend, my old nemesis, I come for you now with fire and doom."

"My Lord?" Those two words shook him out of his thoughts, causing him to turn to Brandwen who had caught his attention "Lord Voltanus, The Hyborians stand at the ready, and I will prepare Specter-4 and get my gear."

"No." His response was flat and brooked no question, but Brandwen's reaction was confused and almost... hurt. "I mean... I need you to sit this one out Commander. This operation will be very complex, and I want you here to oversee the distraction and withdrawal." His tone had softened and he was obviously taken off guard.

"Yes My Lord, it shall be done." She bowed and returned to her duties.

"Best she not have face that... thing. She's suffered enough at their hands." Unbidden, a memory came to the surface. A barren, forgotten world, lost to time. The dark above, black above. All breath stolen away. The shrieking of soldiers too far away to save, a lone figure standing in front of him.

"Brandwn?" He asks "Brandwen are you alright? Why aren't you answering hails? Where is your platoon?" She didn't answer. It was then that he noticed a dark shadow was haloed about her form, she was trembling. "BRANDWEN!" He shouted and approached her to help in some way, only to notice that the rest of her platoon laid slain about her, with blackened claw marks across their forms. He stopped in his tracks, slowly drawing Cataclysm "Cat, what's going on?"

"Her mind is on the verge of oblivion... Listen." The somber voice spoke in his mind with a soft whisper, but clear and undeniable. He listened carefully, and heard her whispering...

"No... No, I wont. No... Go... Leave me be!" She was twitching violently, her eyes had gone black and she could't move of her own volition. Rigel approached her slowly, Cataclysm in hand.

"Hederon indomin ur tumanum in signum, erotao feritaice et inturo oblivanta." His blade glowed with a bright golden aura, as he swept it lightly through the air his wrist swiveling to deliver a delicately placed and precisely aimed arc that formed the three signs of cleansing native to the planes of light. A wave of holy light swept over Brandwen, and the thing trying to consume her screeched in pain at the sudden influx of light, it shadowy form wavering before dissolving into the air, it last cry one of longing and despair. He ran over to her and picked her up, cradling her head in the crook of hi arm. Color had returned to her eyes, but she stared blankly at the cold, starless sky as tears streamed down her pallid cheeks. Still whispering...

"It... wanted to... all of me... so cold..." She was shakeing, her eyes wide and unblinking as she addressed her gods "Enochia, Tirlan, Ti'Mu... hear my words I beseech... For I have seen the face of Oblivion, and stared into the ceaseless shadow and have been found wanting. I pray and beg that you grant clarity and vouchsafe your weary servant as she journeys into the immaculate, boundless sky. Grant to me but a fraction of your infinite courage and but a taste of your unshakable resolve... Grant me mercy, O' Lords of the Light..." She then passed out, falling all but flacid in his arms, only her shallow breaths indicating her life. Without a word he carried her back to the transport, ordering a full retreat. As the last of his men pulled out he declared the world "Unsalvagable" giving leave for the orbiting ships to bombard the planet.


He looked on her as she left, a streak of white ran through her bright red hair and she had been... unstable since then... prone to hallucination and hearing voices when near beings of the abyss... feeling their hunger for form threatening to consume her. She had suffered enough, though she was his best. He would have to do this himself.

"My Lord, we are ready to make the Voidship, on your mark." The helmsman said, awaiting Rigel's command.

"Aye, let's get underway Gre-" With a great flash of light that near blinded all in the room, but Rigel simply looked up, knowing full well what had just entered his bridge. "Michael..." The Archangel stood before him, clad in shining silver plate mail, four might pairs of glowing white feathered wings, leaning lightly upon a white metal spear with a charred, black tip.

"Greetings, Apollyon, I apologise for the abrupt entrance, but I needed to get your attention ere you left." His eyes were solid white orbs that glowed ever so slightly in the dim light.

"What do you want..." Rigel was in no mood for games or politics.

"Peace, nephew, I know who it is you seek... The Shadow... He has offended Lord Enoch and the Council one too many times. I have been sent to offer aid in his end, a gift if you will." He smiled subtly.

"I don't need help. Besides, you aren't exactly known for cooperating with others." Rigel leaned back in his chair, seeming relaxed, but he was anything but.

"I don't take orders from others that are not my better... but an alliance with a like minded leader, I am willing to accept." His tone was staunch and pridful, just as he was like to sound at any time he was questioned in his ability.

"Oh? And what resources has the Lord of Milatoyrn allocated to this endevour?" He was now interested, considering the tactical advantages of Angelourm warriors in his plan.

"As much as required. I was given power to do what is needed to prevail." The Archangel made a great sweeping gesture, likely symbolizing his wide authority.

"Well then... Consider this an alliance." Rigel stood and held out his hand for an accord, which Michael took.

"Agreed." The Angel smiled.

Aboard the Destroyer's Invocation, Unknown Space
Zakima contemplated her situation. She had just laid a world low, desperate to find answers to her missing Lord's location, certain that they had taken him somehow, her old enemies... her misbegotten and abandoned people. She knew for a fact that the Edolons... the Dominion, and most definitely her Prince deserved and had her Loyalty. What she could not shrug of was the Oaths she had made in her previous life to a people who now she was sworn to fight. Are these ancient vows void by her new form? Or is she betraying the people she was once so devoted? In the end, perhaps it doesn't matter. She took the lives of four million soldiers on that planet, took their lives without mercy or hesitation. They may have been soldiers, but... they were still people. four million lives snuffed out, an agricultural paradise lain to ruin. Families would starve. War was now a forgone conclusion, and it was her fault.

"If I survive this... then I will have more blood on my hands that I could ever hope to wash clean. No matter how many years she lived, no matter how many times I try to rationalize it." She tightened her fist looking down to see it shaking, almost violently. In a fit of rage and frustration she let out a cry of despair and brought her fist down onto the cold metal floor of her mediation chamber. The ebon metal buckled slightly under the force of the blow. A moment later a tapping came at the door, soft but demanding of her attention.

"Enter..." She spoke with a reseerved tone as she stood to face the door. The knocker then entered, revealing themselves to be Surillion Ebonclaw, her Guard-Captain. "Hello Lio... are we close?"

"Aye my lady, we've arrived at the place Xyilarn indicated. The world seems to be a Level three High Magic Middle Technology Civilization. While unlikely to be a direct threat, I'd recommend that we use a stealth transport to avoid attention, just for the sake of expediancy. The lake that the old chronicler mentioned has been identified. While it shows no abnormal readings on our scaners the Mystics say it's not natural, likely a portal or gateway into a pocket realm. Unfortunately we have no idea what could be on the other side." He had a look of concern.

"Do not worry, we've faced greater odds and come out on top. We will find the Prince and return him to Equinox and... all will be made right." She prayed to the Four that was true. Somehow she felt it might not be so easy...

"As you say mistress... who shall you take with you?" He folded his arms behind his back, in a gesture of respect.

"You, The High Mystic, and the Preatoria. The rest will stay here and secure the orbit. We may need to make a speedy exit." She adjusted her left gauntlet, making certain it was secure before turning to leave, motioning for Surillion to follow. They exited the darkened meditation chamber into a lightly illuminated hall, walking in complete silence to the transport lift, boarding it and pressing in the number for hanger D2, home to her personal stealth shuttle, Silentium. Arrayed before the shuttle was her personal Preatoria Guard, seven veteran warriors, each armed with phasic halberds with embedded coil guns, the Soldiers of Silence, with Jarraik, the High Mystic stood beside them, ready to company them on their quest.

"Guard-Captain, Men... You known our mission. Our Lord lies beyond the confines of a portal connected to a lake on the planet below. Three years have we been without the Prince to guide us, but our long vigil has come to it's apex. We will return to the homeworld victorious, the with our Lord Prince Stormblade at our head! I know not what lies beyond that portal, but I would rather face it with you than any force of thousands, you are not warriors you are forces of nature!" There was the clammer as the bases of their weapons rhythmically struck the ground "Now come, our Prince awaits beyond that mirrored gate!"

"Hail Renhaldis, Fated and True, Hail Zakima, Honorbound and Fearless, Hail Azreal, Father and Lord!" They recited, the last words they'd speak till their mission was done, then they filed unto the shuttle, one by one. Once all were aboard the thirty meter long craft, it lifted it's loading ramp and departed. It left the massive strike cruiser like a shaft of blackest night, dark ageinst the black beyond. The halo of red that surrounded the shuttle as it made it's descent made an unmistakable trail in the sky that could be seen half the world around, if any were even watching. Once it had cleared into the upper atmosphere the halo subsided and the ship when into silent running mode, unseen and unheard as it crossed over hundreds of miles of wilderness until it found itself above a small hamlet located amid a sparse wood. The lake was within reach, barely a stone's throw from the town, the clear mirror water seemed to glow in the pale moonlight.

"Pilot, take us in low over the lake and open the rear hatch, the rest of you don your sealed gear and meet me in the the rear." Zaki commanded over the ship comm. Her men did as told and assembled in the rear clad in their full power armored suits. Zaki joined them shortly in her own suit, dull black in color with gold trim along the accents.

"Alright men, our suits are outfitted with flight modules. We move hard and fast, don't stop for anything unless it prevents us from proceeding entirely. Assume anything we meet is hostile and dangerous, but don't engage unless aggressive action is taken or I directly command otherwise. Everyone, we drop in five..." The back hatch opened up and she gripped on of the extender rails "Four... three... two... one... mark." She then fell out of the shuttle backwards, her arms folded over her chest as she went head first into the lake mere feet below. The others followed suite, each with practiced grace. As She impacted the cold water she felt nothing but a slight resistance as she entered it's confines. She let her self sink to the bottom, looking up through the clearness of the lake at the moon above, watching it as she went deeper. Suddenly she found herself looking at a different moon. a different sky. Her entire perception was thrown off as she readjusted. Once she had her bearings she rose to the surface and looked about, taking in her surroundings. Everything was different than before... but she was sure, somehow that this was the same lake she had entered only moments before. "All units, report in." She called over the comm.

"All present and accounted for, ma'am." Surillion stated as he surfaced, the others not far behind. With a hand gesture she rose out of the water on amber wings, the soldiers rising up on stylized wing-like antigrav packs. She spotted a dock in the distance, deciding that what they sought must be in that direction. They flew low and fast over the water, not wanting to draw unwanted attention but also need all possible speed. Eventually they passed around the port and spotted a dark, ominous citadel in the distance, past a dark, cursed wood. She made a silent motion towards it and led the charge. As the passed over the dead tree she felt it, a tugging at the inner most part of herself. This place was steeped in the taint of the Abyss. How close, she wondered, were they to the edge of oblivion? She the noticed a building sense of unease and dread build up. It didn't matter how she felt, the mission took priority. Once they drew close she ordered them down with a silent gesture and the landed about thirty meters from the gate.
"Alright... we need to be careful. We know nothing about this place or it's internal defenses. Keep on high alert." She took a look over the walls, noticing that there appeared to be no defenders or lookouts present. The dark, looming form of the gatehouse stood before them. Though, oddly, the portcullis seemed stuck in the halfway position. Carefully she approached the gate, giving it a push, but getting nothing happened. "It must open outwards." She gave up on subtlety and threw a crushing blow with her armored fist against the door. The impact bent the metal and caused it to shutter, she continued the process over and over until the metal buckled and caved enough for her and her men to enter. Beyond the gate there was a dense forest of dark tree, many ancient and gnarled, some even seem to have become stone like. A cobblestone path led further in, presumably towards the main fortress.

"Alright, if anything is here they known we arrived. Stay on alert men, who knows what lies ahead." They didn't say a word, but she didn't expect any, she knew they understood. The proceeded down the path towards the castle, walking with a slow, steady pace. Along the path were sconces of azure flame lighting the way, the eerie light seeming to dance off the trees and deepen the shadows of the forest beyond the path.

Before them stood a looming gate. The doors were enormous slabs of black metal, intricately carved with various symbolic reliefs of fire and darkness. A large raven sat in the middle, it's wings outstretched in flight. Zaki approached it slowly, feeling an aura of power from the foreboding black gate. Lightly touching the cold surface, she turned to Jarraik "Do you feel that?"
"Aye... this gate is linked to very powerful, very old magicks. I... am uncertain we can even open it." She seemed completely puzzled. Zaki stopped and simply felt the door, following it's ebb and flow, trying to determine the way to open it. She felt from it a sense of painful nostalgia and the sent of ozone, though she was fairly sure it was not a real smell, but a part of her attempt to fell the magic. Then the answer came, all at once.

"I can open it." She stated, knowing that she had the power. She outstretched her hand, willing into it energy that she drew from across the veils that bind and unify the infinite worlds of creation. The bright purple light shone with a dull but unmistakable sheen. The light touched the door, and for a second nothing happened. She lowered her hand, wondering if she had been wrong, but then the massive doors slowly began to open, sliding sideways with utter silence. Beyond was a garden courtyard that was shaped into a rough crescent shape, a mix of exotic and strange plants, others seemed all too familiar with their bio luminescent glow. A pair of looming blackwood doors, complete with silver metal inlay and a pair of silver ring handles would allow for opening from their side. She approached the large doors and gave them a mild tug, standing back a bit as they opened with only slight resistance. Beyond the door was a large hall, sparsely lit by braziers holding more of the azure flames from before. "Switch over to enhanced vision mode, keep your eyes open." They all nodded and moved forward, scanning the interior for any sign of movement, with Jarraik moved over to Zaki's side.

"Are you sure he's here my lady? This entire fortress seems long abandoned." The tone of his voice was concerned and almost worried.

"Yes, Jarraik, I'm more than sure. The closer we get to the center of this place the more certain I become." Her voice was full of conviction, so certain of her feeling that he conceded.


"As you will my lady, I will follow where so ever you lead." He leaned a bit on his Vermantium staff when Surillion called out.

"My lady, we found another door." He motioned to the far end of the hall, where two Preatoria stood, the others were gathering around it. The door was nearly identical to the first magical one they encounted, save it was by far larger. The guards gathered in a semi-circle around the door as Zaki approched it, ready to do as she did before. With a simple motion she brought an orb of azure light to the door and as before it began to slide open silently.

As the doors slid open, a cold, silent darkness seeped forth, a chilling wave of despair, met with an eerie calm matched only by a storm about to break on distant shores long past. Beyond the great door, was a grand throne room, walls lined with suits of olden, dust covered armor of Edolon design, each with fists over breast in silent salute, all holding various weapons, blades, pole arms and other such arms. Beyond these suits, in the heinous dark, outlined by the view rays of light that filtered in past the dark stained glass was a massive ebon throne, intricately carved of black marble and inlayed with gleaming silver in various patterns of intricate scrollwork, depicting fire and darkness in a twisted cycle of life, death and rebirth.

A chill breeze flittered in past them causing the frayed tapestries to wave, thick layers of dust shifting off of them, creating a thick fog over the ground and what little light allowed itself in panned out across the room. Even in this unwavering dark, something darker still could be seen in the distance atop the cold ebon throne, a large, hunched over figure of grand design, almost indistinguishable against the thick layers of dust and cobwebs that layered over atop it, a dull gleam of white is caught by a sliver of silver moonlight, a quick gleam, casting enough light to show the decrepit, tattered robed figure, adorned in familiar white plate armor, covered with obscene layers of dust, as if to have not moved for a century. Long strands of snow white hair gleamed in the dark, covered by the tattered remains of a dark, black hood, claws gripped the arms of the thrones with enough might to fracture the beautiful sides of the artful piece that the figure sat upon. The sound of silence roared in the grand throneroom, broken only by the lull of the wind, and rusting of the trees from outside.

They group carefully examined the room, entering slowly and ensuring that every angle was covered by at least a man each. Zakima held Devastation in a loose guard to her side. The black blade seemed to deepen the shadows about her, as the silver hand guard seemed to almost glimmer like starlight on clear water. She ordered the others to hold their position halfway through the room, with two men having stayed at the door, then she approached the armored figure upon the throne, closely examining it. For a moment her face was twisted in a pained expression behind her helmet as she knew who it was that sat before her.

"I have to be certain... there can be no room for doubt." She reached her black gauntleted hand out and gently moved the hood back and knelled down to get a good look at the figure's face. She could make out the white mask with a telltale black smile etched across the lower half. She slowly sheathed Devastation and with shaking hands removed the mask, placing it to her left on the ground and brushed the snow colored hair to one side. Beneath the mask was the face of their Prince, perfectly normal, save for a twisted expression of agony painted onto his features. She collapsed to one knee and removed her helmet with a slight hiss as it depressurized, and lay it on the ground at the throne's base.

"What has befallen him, to be damned to such a fate? Dare I even move him, lest some disaster occur? I thought this would be simple... damn me for hoping for anything beyond the cold truth." As these thoughts went through her head her shoulders sagged and her face turned to a grimace as silver tears formed at the corners of her eyes. The guards had all turned to look at the throne, completely silent as the got to their knees and bowed their heads. Zakima looked up at his face once more, tears fully streaming down, coating the worn rug at the base of the great seat in small circles of frost.
"We have failed you my Prince..." Her voice was laden with more sorrow that she could ever truly express, her amber eyes mixed with the bright silver of her tears. "We have failed all." She bowed over, her forehead nearly touching the floor as her arms were crossed over her torso, each hand gripping the opposite arm.  

In the dead silence, all was shattered with a single breath, but naught from any kneeling, but from he who sat on the dark throne. A single breath that shattered the long quiet slumber. Such a sudden movement, however slight, causes a layer of dust to come cascading from the prince's shoulders, a hum of faint power in the air, like the ignition of a small flame in the dark after an age of smoldering darkness.

"Why...why does my tender flame shed her tears?..." It was so faint, as to almost not be heard at all, as that ghostly breath left his lips. His eyes beheld her, open ever so slightly. "Why am I haunted so, tortured by my past...phantoms maybe...echoes?" He shut his eyes again but his breathing remaining, faintly, steadily breathing.

She looked up suddenly, to the now shifting form of her lord and drew a sharp intake of breath, akin to a gasp. She rose slowly, her tears all but dried as her quivering hand reached to caress his right cheek with a gentleness that was alike to one holding a priceless treasure, fearful of it breaking.

"My Prince?" Her voice cracked as she looked over his face with an odd mix of fear and joy. "My Prince, I am here... This is no illusion nor trick of the mind." The others, frozen in place by this sudden change, simply looked on, still upon their knees. He jumped at the touch of her hand to his cheek, having long went without physical contact of another, the sudden touch was a staggering shock, dispelling all thoughts of illusion or nightmare, as he attempted to move forwards, clawed hands outstretched as he attempted to rise, armor groaning from ages of stillness as they protested... only for his weight to give out, falling face first as the prince fell past her, his black feathered wings outstretched, a few solitary feathers drifting in his wake. He struggled to get up, his strength failing him as he could only muster to push himself up, legs limp from disuse. He finally dropped, and laid still on the old carpet beneath his throne, breathing shallowly.
 
"...My body fails me, beloved flame, I am sorry. It seems, I am without strength to rise... even now, I struggle to breath unto you these shallow words..." He fell silent, and laid still upon the ground. She rushed to his side, carefully rolling him unto his back and allowing his head to rest in her lap.

"Do not strain yourself, my Prince..." She had a sad smile on her face as she looked down at him, her right hand rested on his breastplate, gently feeling the ever so subtle rise and fall of his breath. "If there is anything we can do for you, please you have but to voice it." The Preator had stood to attention, ready to fulfill whatever command he might utter.

"I dare not ask of anything, but...I am weary, I have thirsted for 'er a hundred years, it feels...I have not fed, and the thirst has drained me of strength." He spoke of course, of his latent vampiricy. His need of blood to compensate for his long deadened body. "It shames me to be in such a state before my beloved subjects, you deserved a better reuinion for your arduous journey here... in this realm of my twisted imagination."

As he spoke her face grew more somber, but the smile never faded, simply becoming more careworn. Slowly removing her left gauntlet, folding her mail up her arm, revealing her pallid smooth flesh.

"No matter the state, this reunion was more that worth the journey. We've missed you my Prince... I've missed you." She lowered her arm to his face "And we wouldn't have it any other way..." She closed her eyes, her expression going blank. He nodded silently, basking in her presence. Slowly, pair by pair, the suits of armor came to life, azure manes igniting in the darkness as the knights that lines the walls slowly came to from their long slumber as well, some of them falling over, just as their lord had. Sconces on the walls igniting in likewise fashion, giving light and life to the throneroom that it had not seen in ages long past.

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Re: An Oath of Blood and Fire, Chapter One (NSFW, Violence, Ect.)

Post by Lucan Tyrius on Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:40 pm

"As I awaken, so too, does all else in my domain 'er in this forsaken realm, bound by my will... mind you they mean no harm, Edolons born of this darkness under my will, born in like mind to myself, in aeons long past..." The Preator looked about the room at the now living and moving Knights, unsure of if they should try to help. Zakima looked down at Rumor, a slight furrow in her brow.

"My Prince... if I may be so bold... What happened? You've been silent these last three centuries... the Realm is in chaos." She did not seem angry, more she seemed confused.

"Ah...yes, my sudden absence. That is a story indeed...I should tell it to you now 'er it slip my mind the specific details and events. I shall trim the unneeded details, and save ony those most important. Something, out in the darkness, had been terrorizing this realm. Something that defiled my lost brother, and brought him forth to do battle with me, like a puppet master from afar... I know not the being at work, but the battle... it had wrought destruction and chaos the likes of which, Asheron himself would be appalled to gaze upon. My domain of pride torn asunder by strife and infighting caused by deception and deceit." he paused long enough to draw another ragged breath, his eyes turning away to look out of the stained glass windows above. "I wish I could give you an easy explanation, but in truth, it was a losing battle, our father... Azrael, came with several of his winged reapers to aide us here in the darkness... and, at great cost, we succeeded..." He closed his eyes, too ashamed to meet her own gaze as he clenched his fist.

"I... See..." She wondered, in the back of her mind, where then was Azreal. Rumor's face said it all, and she knew better than to ask "I fear that I have ill news as well. M-Meros is... gone. He saved me from a golden blade wielded by a delusional traitor, who thought he could replace you." Her hand unconsciously went to Devastation's hilt, her eyes seemingly distant.

"Even fools can die heroes deaths... " There was an immediate bitterness to his voice, shocking considering he almost never held such tones before. "I... apologize for what I just said... but do not expect me to feel bad for him. He was an elf who could do naught but resent me, spoke venomous words against me in courtrooms full of esteemed nobles, and one who's few only joys came in the pure act of killing... for whatever reason he may give, a farce is truly what would have been spoken." he paused, turning to look back at her. "I do not shed any tears for him... but I can respect his decision to save you...maybe an act of redemption, one could consider... I do not know. I-I apologize, if what I say angers you, but I simply speak from my heart, but I can respect your feelings on the matter, at the end of the day, he made an honorable sacrifice."

"He had his faults, it's true, as we all do, but he did what was needed when it mattered. You may not have seen eye to eye, but I have no doubt that he was a true knight of the Realm." She didn't seem angry, but more numb. After a moment she shook her head and looked back to him with a hint of sadness. "Alas, that was so long ago now. My Prince... I know I have not the right to ask anything of you, but I beg that you to return to Equinox. The people are lost without you, the nobles fight petty wars over imagined slights or as depraved power grabs. The situation has been decaying even more since I left to find you. Magnolia has been hard pressed to keep order and the Chantery has decended into chaos since the Faux Deus Uprising. We need our leader... We need our Prince." Her tone was desperate, pleading, her face deeply worn by stress.

He looked deep into her eyes, seeing the pain and stress buried within. "I... I cannot abandon what has been erected here, for this was Azrael's domain... his birthplace... my birthplace, without Azrael, this place will crumble, and cease to be...and... I, am Azrael now. I... I had to consume him, he begged me to, so that this place would not fall into the chaos that plagued here. This is a major checkpoint for souls to pass into the next life. If this plane falls, countless souls will fall prey to the horrors of the darkness encroaching...I-I don't know what to do, Zaki..."

"I..." She paled, seemingly in the verge of Panic "But..." Her breathing began to escalate as she struggled to find something, anything, to say to him. "If you can't leave... then there is no hope... no one cen unify the people at this point, save yourself. Even Magnolia, with all her diplomatic prowess can barely prevent open civil war at this point. With no ruler... what will become of the Dominion?" She didn't seem to be asking him, but rather thinking aloud. The men who had accompanied her cast doubtful and fightened glances at each other from beneath their helms. Zaki looked down at him, clearly pained "I fear our people may well be doomed... I did all I could, but in the end I still failed to save anyone." She looked down at her hand and clenched it into a fist "My hands are stained with the blood of millions..." Her form slowly began changing as her skin blackened and turned to hardened chitin, her hair became like a blazing amber flame as she transitioned into her truest form "I am a failure in every sense of the word... A murderer, monster, and malcontent." She stood abruptly, her armor seemingly morphing like liquid around her to suite her form "That is two races I've failed..." She turned away, seemingly to hide her shame from all onlookers.

He rose with her, quick to place his claws over her shoulder. "Do not lose hope, at the very least, you have found me, and I am, for the most part, unharmed, and within my facilities... we just have to think. While my spirit may be bound to this realm, that may not mean the body is, it may not be too unlike what I normally am anyways... and most of all... you have yet to fail me. Let us not yet sing songs of despair, while I yet draw breath from this hallowed body." he wrapped his arms around her, and pulled her into his embrace, giving the eleven Praetor a look of determination to quell their fears as he ran his gleaming white articulated claws through her mane. After a few moments the raging fires of her mane subsided as it began to settle. She slowly wrapped her arms around him.

"I pray you are right... to whatever, whoever might be listening. To any gods, known and unknown." She looked up at him her eyes shimmering somewhere between an imperishable flame and an all consuming frost. "As for right now... while we wait perhaps we could catch up. You should be informed of everything that's happened in more detail. For now though..." She turned to Surillion "Return to the Invocation, tell the fleet to set up blockade around the surface... I want to be ready if the Voidborn track us." He saluted and turned to leave "The rest of you will remain here..." She turned back to Rumor "I'm sure you'll be busy restoring order, I'll find some way to occupy my time until you have a free moment." She turned to leave, not wishing to get in the way.

"Actually, I want you here, by my side... besides, I could use your help getting out of this...decrepit armor, I feel rotten in it." The prince rolled his shoulders, his eyes fully open now to reveal their dark depths and fiery crimson irises. One of the many Abyssal Edolons walked up to him, adorned in a higher ranking, decorated armor set.

"Mi'lord, shall I attend to arranging the activation of the castle defenses once more? I would loath to see them remain slumbering any longer than need be... " He held a halberd in his grip tightly, as if on edge.

"Yes, Adekos, go and rally the rest of the knights, and see to it that the place is dusted off a bit...the servants should still be around somewhere, find them, and tell them that all have awakened once more, I shall be turning in to my chambers for now." Adekos nodded, saluting with the halberd crossed over his chest as he turned to carry out his newest orders. Rumor turned to look at Zaki. "Come, our soldiers can take care and look over our shoulders for us, let us try to relax a bit in my chambers, see which way is up, yeah?"

"Of course, my prince." She turned to Jarraik and said "Cooperate with Adekos as they need." He saluted and turned to the others, and they talked among themselves, with Jarraik introducing himself to Adekos and begining to discuss what the Preator could do to help.

"So, My Prince, if you want help with that armor we should go somewhere a bit more secluded." She leaned in and whispered in his ear "Besides, I think the men have seen enough of your more delicate side for tonight." She then retrieved her helmet, and his mask from the ground, placing the black headgear under her arm and looking intently at the mask a moment before handing it to Rumor "Here..." Her voice was somber, and thoughtful, as if contemplating something.

He looked over the mask, for a time, before sliding the white metal slab back over his face, pulling the tattered hood back up as he made way for the smaller door behind the throne, that lead to the hallway that lead to his lounge, which then would open up to his royal chambers, which resided up a spiraling flight of stairs atop the spire above them. "Delicate side, yeah? I'm not sure how that matters much, when one can lay waste to mortal armies with but a crude gesture of the hand." He opened the door for her leading into the hallway, each side adorned in similar tapestries to the throneroom, with stilted windows that overlooked the great black city below, and the towering ancient trees of the forest around them.

"Precisely my Prince, forgive your humble servant's poor attempt at humor." She smiled slightly, casually looking over the tapestries and out of the windows as she went. "You'll likely need to wash too, given the length of time you spent on that chair. By the way, do you have any other armor? I could repair and rejuvenate the currant one if needed. Though it'll take time, perhaps while you bathe I could fix it up for you? Of course in the end it's all your own decision."

He thought for a moment, before responding. "Aye, a bath would be nice, as for the armor and robes, I have another set of plate mail, and countless identical robes to go with them, a newer plate set, one adorned in black gems, if you will. As for the matter of the bath, I'll need to change the bandages on my body, they stay wound so tightly, and I'll need help to re-wrap myself with new ones... " he trailed off as they started to ascend the stairs.

"Of course my Prince, that's not a problem." She followed him up the stairs. "I'm curious, why the bandages?"

"They keep old wounds from opening up, wounds that bite deep into chitin, keeping the muscle exposed underneath, I've been wearing them as long as I can remember, and they are black, because they are steeped in the abyss here, which helps ward off holy power, which would make the injuries even worse than they already are... don't worry about them though, I have bared these things since time immemorial." They reached the top of the stairwell in almost no time at all and the prince pushed open the door, which opened up to his royal chambers, which was not too unlike what he used to live in upon his time on Equinox, and where he would soon call home again. Zakima followed him into the room.

"You need help with the armor?" She asked, placing her hand on his shoulder.

"Yes, if you would be so kind, I fear the bindings may have come rusted closed." He stood near his armor stand, where a pristine suit, almost identical save for the black abyssal gems in the chest, arms, legs and pauldron. He unclasped the tattered mantle of his robes, and allowed them to drift to the floor, looking threadbare, and worn. She walked over to him, watching the cloth fall, then going to examine the bindings, then proceeding to remove first his gauntlets, then his upper cannons and then his pauldrons. She began fiddling withe the breastplate then looked up for a moment.

"How long were you like that?" She seemed curious, but also concerned about the state of the armor.

"I do not have a suitable answer, I am afraid, although I believe I may have been idle for a few hundred years, as a rough guess... I fell into a deep slumber when the conflict settled, the surge of power coursing through me was too much to bear, and a fell unconscious... for how long, I can only guess, for within my own head was naught but illusions of a false reality, crafted mayhaps, by my own mind, to safeguard against the outside forces that threatened my emotional state... " He held still, feeling the weight of each plate fall from him as she detached the armor, piece by piece, revealing the tightly woven bandages undeath the decrepit plating. Once the last of the armor was off she walked around to face him.

"I can't imagine how much you must itch right now." She chuckled and found some grip on the bandages near his neck, using her claw she cut through it and began carefully unwinding the length. Underneath the old bandages, was a body ravages by aeons of war, torture, and regret, old laceration scars all along the arms, legs, and back, slash marks across the throat, signs of impaling through the chest, along with a myriad of other miscellaneous scars from ages long past, but among them stood a fresh scar, still biting into his chitin, a thin line was all that could be seen, a massive cut through his side diagonal from his waist to his thigh that wrapped around his lower right side. He had remained silent for the duration of her unwinding the bandages. In truth, only a select few have ever seen what lay beneath them, never seen the torn body, meticulously chiseled by rigorous exercise, laden with scars like that of a hellish monster... in truth, if one had made the accusation, they'd be right. Zakima, for her part remained silent, not staring. She thought and imagined though, what sorts of things might have caused these scars.

"How often do you replace these?" She asked, mostly to fill the silence, but also hoping to get some insight into the man she called lord.

He thought for a moment before responding to her question. "Normally I have a handmaid to help with this, but since I tend to bath regularly... when it can be helped... That would be about twice a day, although I only use new ones if I actually start bleeding again, or if they just get worn, and dirty, these bandages I use are steeped in the abyss, to help ease the pain and keep them closed where as they would otherwise be permanently open." most of the bandages were off along his upper body, stopping just above his genital area, where the bulge of his parts were well defined. Well Endowed, indeed. His eyes were closed the fresh air on his scars causing them to sting ever so slightly in that way that was just painful enough to be aggravating, but no more, so that he didn't show any sign of it. Her eyes danced across his form, quickly reeling herself back in she decided to try talking to focus her attention.

"Is there no way to heal them entirely? You'd think with our technology or perhaps with magic..." She trailed off, unsure of how to finish her sentence, assuming then that there must be some reason she was unaware of. "I'm sorry, I don't mean to pry into your personal affairs, I was just curious."

"It is quite alright, in truth, maybe there is some way out there that I am unaware of, but for now... I am content to leave them be, each scar is a reminder of my failures, and why... I intend to not make those mistakes again. As for your wandering eyes, its alright, if you wish to admire what you see, not many get to see whats under these things, a rarity, as I don't trust that many to handle the care of my body... " He looked her in the eyes with a sincereness to his voice, and a sadness to his eyes, it was all in his eyes, where his demons and emotions lay. He folded his massive black feathered wings neatly on his back, crossing his arms over his chest, over the large star shaped scar over his heart.

"I... see." She bowed her head slightly, not willing to face him due to slight embarrassment. "I'm glad that you can put trust in me, my Prince." She crossed her hands behind her back and finally looked back up at him "Uh... we should finish getting these wrappings off, no?" She gingerly continued unwrapping him, kneeling to get to the ones on his legs more easily. He nodded silently, and allowed her to continue her work, each layer falling off bit by bit, revealing more his his torn body. The legs were covered in similar scars as well, almost as if something had wrapped around him, slicing him to ribbons at some point. As each layer came off his legs, it only served to further reveal his masculine endowments, until finally, when she reached the bottom of his thighs, they were on full display, although not directly, save for the black glossy bulge of his sheath, and the orbs packed away behind it. He seemed to either not have the shame to cover himself, or just simply paid it no mind, the latter being more likely, as he was oft to do such things at times. The prince took a deep breath in, and slowly exhaled through his nostrils, finding the literal unwinding process comforting. Finally she reached the final fo the wrapping on the feet, loosening them enough for him to step out. "There, that's the last of it." She said as she stood "I will dispose of the tattered armor while you bathe my lord, as to allow you privacy." She began gathering up the old armor, using the cloak as a makeshift bag, and turned to leave.

"Thank you, come back in when are finished disposing them, giant wings are rather troublesome to wash when you can't reach your back." He mused, turning swiftly to head for the large bathroom off to the right of them, his claws rapping over the hard floor, his tail swishing in cat-like motions back and forth like a pendulum until its tip vanished behind the door to the bathroom, it in fact was not even a door, but a drape that separated the two rooms by silk sheets, the light from the adjacent bathroom outlining his frame perfectly against the thin border between Zaki and the bathroom that her lord was currently preparing to bathe in. She could see him stretching out before preparing the large standing shower, steam quickly obscuring any further observations. She debated the best was to get rid of them and settled on simply disposing of them via a localized Void rift. She placed them down on the ground, away from anything else, and with a flick of her wrist purple-azure flames began consuming the armor and cloth, deconstructing it on a molecular level and consuming the energy released. Finished with her task she went over to the dividing curtain and stood next to it.

"My Prince? I have disposed of the armor." She spoke loud enough to ensure he heard her, but not so loud as to shout "Is everything alright in there? Do you need anything?" Her arms behind her back as she spoke. Some time had past as the Lady had tended to her business, the prince remained quiet for a moment before answering.

"Yes, I could use a bit of assistance with my wings, as I said before." The tone in his voice was soft, but deep, and carried well, as it usually did, meaning he rarely had to raise his voice for any reason at all as he spoke to her from what little distance separated them. She willed her armor to morph, it's plates and cloth becoming a simple bathing suite, enough for modesty but the cloth tightly gripping her left little to the imagination. Zakima then entered the room, ensuring not to let too much cold in as she approached the shower. The shower itself was rather large to accommodate his impressive height and frame, and the hot water rolling off his head and shoulders made the sow white chitin gleam like polished silver. He turned his head to meet her gaze, a soft smile set on his lips.

"Thank you, its rather troublesome to get the base of the wings, I was only able to get the tips by myself, unfortunately, as for what I am currently seeing, I can tell that time has left your beauty unmarred, to my pleasant surprise, I would have expected some grievous war injuries by now... no matter. I am lucky to have one as beautifully built as you for a companion." he closed his eyes, once more basking in her presence, his features reserved save for his soft smile. She came up behind him, a scrunchie in her claw.

"Thank you, my Prince, you're too kind." Her voice was layered with a tinge of happiness at his complement. She set about scrubbing the areas of his back and wings he couldn't reach with a firm but gentle touch, her other hand lightly holding him for better stability as she washed him. "Do you have someone to help bathe you often?" She asked, her voice tinged with curiosity.

"Aside from a single maid here that swore secrecy to what she saw, then no, she is oft busy as the overseer to the servants anyways, so most of the time I just suffice to reach what I can and be done with it.. so, this is a refreshing change at the moment." he relaxed under her touch, her hand resting over a few scars which had left deep marks in his once perfect chitinous body, with time having worn the once rough edges of each scar into a smooth groove in his hardened flesh. His wings relaxed in turn to allow her to more easily manipulate them to her own accord, the layers of dust washing away with ease, and as she sifted through the various feathers, she could see that the tops of the feathers underneath the first layer were all a faded white, similar in tone so the alabaster white of the prince's own body.

"I see, that must be trying at times." Her tail flicked back and forth slowly,  almost with a rhythm as she worked. "I'm glad I could help relieve you of this accumulated refuse. It would be hard to relax with such a load..." She slowed her pace as she finished out with her scrubbing. He nodded, sighing in contentment.

"Although I think refuse might be a strong word, it is just dust after all, albeit quite a bit of it, refuse just sounds... dirty, like I wallowed in a pigsty." he chuckled softly, unnerving himself by the though of rolling around in the same filth as literal pigs.

"Perhaps so, but any grime to mar the surface of your regal surface might as well be a profanity unto itself." She placed the scrunchie down and moved to leave the area. "I shall leave you to dry, unless there is aught else you need of me." She turned to him, her hands clasped in front of her, her posture causing her ample breasts to unintentionally stick out a bit further. The prince smiled coyly, admiring the display before him.

"That is understandable from your perspective, but I must add, if your jut your chest out anymore, your bust might burst through the seems... and wouldn't that just be a shame?" He mused playfully, placing a blackened clawed hand on her shoulder as his naked form brushed past her, heading back into the bedroom, his tail swaying from side to side. Her face lit up with a crooked grin, following him out her form was breifly ignited with blue flame. While it quickly subsided, it left no mark on her, though she was now dry, and then her clothing morphed into a tight tee-shirt, a pair of comfortable black pants, and house shoes.

"So my Prince..." She walked over to him "Shall I help you with the bandages?" She crossed her arms below her chest. He nodded, wandering over to a tall dresser of many drawers, and slid the top most drawer open, withdrawing from it a thick roll of blackened bandages, of the same supple, soft cloth that had clung to his body from before.

"If you would be so kind, I'd like to leave the abdomen and groin area bare, as to allow it to breath, my handmaid wraps me up like a mummy sometimes, making them sweltering hot at worst, and mildly uncomfortable at best... so, neck, chest, arms and legs get wrapped, if you'd kindly oblige." He smiled warm-heartedly, brushing some of his white mane out of his eyes. She smiled back and took the wrapping, deciding to begin with his upper body. She carefully layered the cloth onto his torso, wrapping it tightly, but making sure not to cause any discomfort. Then she moved on to the arms, doing the same. Once finished with the upper body she moved on to the legs, kneeling down in order to reach them more effectively. She started with the feet and worked her way up to the thigh on first the right leg, then the left. Once she finished she stood.

"I hope that suffices... and that it isn't too tight." She looked up at him with a slight grin, barely noticeable but undeniably there. He noticed, and shifted about some in the new wrappings, finding them to be just right.
"Suffice, indeed. Thank you for doing this, 'tis a perfect fit." He pulled her into a tight embrace, pressing against her body as he embraced her, his massive wings fluttering briefly before resting against his back. She was taken aback at first, but quickly came around, returning the embrace, nuzzling his chest before letting her head rest there.

"Thank you my Prince, I'm glad I could help." She had a happy, almost bubbly tone in her voice, quite clearly enjoying the contact. The prince allowed his embrace to linger, in no rush to let go of her, and nuzzled into her neck, taking in her scent. He eventually let go of her, turning to go and flop into the massive bed that lined the adjacent wall. Underneath a painted wall and ceiling of luminescent paints arranged in the form of the night sky, with a galaxy blazing overhead, made to glow by various blacklights that were scattered throughout the gothic styled bedchambers.
 
"Care to join me on this lavish island of pillowy comfort? The pillows are a hundred years cooled and pristine." he joked, rolling around in the bed that he hadn't slept in for such a long time. Even though he had several couches and recliners in the room, around a fireplace, he found himself more at home snuggled in the bed, hugging one of the lengthy, fluffy pillows against his chest, eyes barely peeking over the top as he made almost shrewd eye contact with the Lady Darkfire before him. She had a look of amusement plain to see on her face, with a brow raised she snuggled up next to him on the bed, her head resting on a cool pillow, which she nuzzled into.

"Mmmm..." She smiled dreamily "I need a bed like this..." She giggled, looking over at him with amber discs that seemed to almost be molten in the darkness of her eyes. He scooted closer to her, resting his head against hers as he responded.
 
"You could always just share mine, they're always this nice, albeit I craft them with inter-dimensional sorcery and storybook cotton-ball clouds... so that may have a factor in how comfy they always are." he shrugged. "I'm pretty particular about how I like my beds."

"I would not mind, in truth I would welcome it." She had a somber smile "You know well my thoughts on the matter, and the depths of my devotion to you, my Prince... I am curious however..." She had a straight face "Wouldn't you rather spend your time and company with someone... more... more?" Her tone was melancholy as she sat up, turning away from him, looking down at her claw. He set aside the pillow, and turned instead to her placing a burnt, black claw under her chin, and pulled her to face him. He leaned in, and before she could say a word, pressed his thin lips against hers in a passionate kiss that lingered for several moments, before he pulled away.

"It would bring me no greater joy than to spend my eternity in your good company and companionship, I would welcome one of such unwavering devotion and faith." She seemed taken aback, he then looked away, that soft smile still lingering on his face as he gazed into the distance.

"I didn't think... that is..." She stammered "I would desire nothing more from my eternity." She smiled, a single tear rolling down her right cheek "Thank you..." The prince nodded, laying back on the bed with his arms crossed under his head, legs spread out with his long tail curing around her waist to her upper thigh, resting against his spread wings with his eyes closed.

"I could only say the same, I am still surprised you could love a man who has loved so many others as well, or at any rate, you never showed much interest until now." He looked back at her through half lidded eyes, his thick lashes keeping the brighter rays of light from entering his eyes. She seemed thoughtful for a moment before looking at him with a earnest expression.

"I never considered myself worthy of such a thing, in truth. I have always been honored and privileged to stand in your defense, but never asking for more. As for your other... companions, both past and possible future... such things do not bother me, for it's not your feelings for them that concern me, but rather your feelings for me. I envy no one, be they man or god, and I covet only two things... to be close to you, and to serve the people you rule." She gave him a slight smile, her eyes twinkling in the pale light. He nodded thoughtfully and leaned up to pull her down with him, kissing her on the cheek near her lips. She giggled lightly as she went down, a surprised smile across her face

"That is a good enough answer to me." He held her close, nestling into the crook of her neck, the scent of her blood called to him at such a close distance, but resisted the urge to bite, and instead kissed her neck, sighing in content as he wrapped his arms under her breasts in a hug. She lay there, content in his embrace.

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Lucan Tyrius
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Re: An Oath of Blood and Fire, Chapter One (NSFW, Violence, Ect.)

Post by Lucan Tyrius on Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:42 pm

"I've missed you so..." She shifted slightly "Trying to keep it all together without you has been... trying. But now, everything will be made right, and my worries can go back to being about tax collection and law enforcement." She let out something between a sigh and a chuckle. The prince remained silent, just squeezing her tighter. Words could not describe how much he had missed her, nor could he voice it well enough to convey his meaning, so he settled to just continue holding her. Until finally, there was a faint rapping at the door.

"Mi'lord? Art thou alright, the good ser Adekos informed me that you had awoken. Does my lord need tending to?" The door creaked open, and a small, lithe draconic girl in her young adult years peeked her head through the crack, pale skin curtained by long, flowing silver hair, with black scales that covered her sides and arms, the rest of her hidden away under her maid uniform. In her hand, she held a platter of breads and cheeses, a few bottles of dark red liquid and wine tucked under her other arm as she stood ready to receive command.

"Ah, Miss Jamilia, yes. It has been literal ages since I have last eaten, how kind of you to consider me in such a manner." The prince rose up, still holding Zaki, and in turn, having pulled her up as well with considerable ease. Jamilia smiled brightly, and skipped her way in, completely unphased by her Lord's nakedness, leading one to suggest that she may have been the previously mentioned close handmaid.

"Of course Mi'lord, I couldn't get the big door open, so I just waited for you in the servants quarters with the rest of them, although I did make sure to keep your chambers nice and clean for when you eventually woke up. She stopped in front of the two, and giggled lightly, setting the tray on the nightsand, along with the bottles of wine. "I see you are freshly bathed and rewound in fresh bandages, I must assume this beautiful Mistress took stead in my absence?" Jamilia looked over to Lady Darkfire with a bright smile on her face, as if awaiting a response from her specifically. Zaki was limp in Rumor's arms, content apparently to be treated like an oversized stuffed animal.

"Uh, yes... hello. I'm Zakima, you can call be Zaki if you want." She returned the smile "I'm an old... uh, friend of Rumor's, he'd been gone for a while so I came looking for him." Jamilia stopped to think over those words for a bit, arms crossed under her sizable draconic bust, which was barely held in by the maid uniform, all said in told, or course that's exactly how one would have expected Rumor to have set it up, if any had known him for any reasonable amount of time. "So, what you mean to say, is that your both long lost lovers, and you're his questing knight, long come to take his hand in marriage?" She giggled, and spun on her heel.

"Ooo, if there's a wedding I want to be the ring gir-Ooo, no, better, a bridesma-no, no...hmmm" She trailed off, balancing on her clawed tip toes and rocking back and forth, her bust swaying ever so slightly with each rocking motion, not that she seemed to care. All this while the Prince, Rumor, seemed even paler than normal, mayhaps due to the sheer ridiculousness that was his handmaids daily behavior. Zaki, for her part, said nothing, but just watched with a looks of bemused confusion.

"Does she do this sort of thing often?" Zaki whispered into Rumor's ear. He nodded very quickly.

"Thank you for the bread and cheeses, Miss Jamilia, you may take your leave." he waved her off, before she could get any more bright ideas, or more accurately, indecisive ideas, about wedding plans. Jamilia nods joyfully and skips off, slamming the door shut behind her.

"Well then. She was... interesting." Zaki shifted slightly in his grip as she spoke. Rumor looked back to her, chuckling softly.

"Indeed, but, she's a good girl. She serves faithfully and without question, I can admire that." He took up one of the bottles on the nightstand, the dark red one, and popped the top off with a flick of a claw, letting forth the strong smell of iron, blood, most likely, only to be confirmed as he poured the crimson fluid into a wine glass. he set the bottle aside and took a deep draft from the glass, licking away the excess that manages to stain his white lips. "Ah, it has been too long since I drank. I can already feel energy returning to me slowly with every sip." he took another draft before he set the now half empty wine glass down, the blood having stained its crystal surface. Zaki had remained silent, nibbling on some bread while he drank, not really hungry but not wanting to be rude. Meanwhile, Rumor, as he is ever vigilant, had already picked up on her lack of appetite. "You don't have to force yourself to eat, its mostly just for myself, no harm in just watching." He took a thick slice of cheese and layered it atop a slice of honeyed bread as he poured an actual glass of red wine, taking a sip of it after a hungry bite of the bread and cheese. After a few moments, he had taken his fill, and set them aside, wiping his mouth with a hand towel he then tossed aside. "So, I think we should go to check on the others soon, yes? You seemed worried about Voidborn coming here?"

"Yes... border conflicts with them have been growing increasingly problematic, then of course their was some intelligence suggesting they might be planning an full offensive with you gone. I received a tip that they might have had something to do with your disappearance, so I tacked down a covert communication array to see if I could pick up something. The mission went sideways, apparently there was no array and the intel was bad. It was a huge civilian population center. Lots of collateral, and we got nothing. Then we got a lead from Xyilarn, but he ducked out before we could get any more. We were preparing to leave when..." She bit her lip and seemed unsure of how to say the next part "The Salvation's Call entered the system... they saw us. We couldn't take out of that size, we had to run." She seemed distraught "They might have tracked us..." He listened to it all very carefully, thinking it over.

"Well, your instincts have normally been on the mark for as long as I have known you, so, if you think they tracked you, I am well inclined to take that as hard fact that they already have. That puts us in quite a bind, if you take a look around, this place isn't exactly Equinox, and we're still in the medieval era here, with industry only possible because of magic...we are not in a position to hold off a Voidborn invasion." He stood up, and had been pacing back and forth, his tail lashing violently as he ran his claws through his long lustrous mane.

"That's true, but they won't be able to make planetfall, the Planar Causality and general structure of this realm prevent any direct entry with standard voidcraft. They'll have to enter the lake in small groups and since its so large it'll be hard for them to get a foothold. In fact I doubt they'll even try it considering they don't know what's over here." She seemed to muse over something "In fact they'll likely only bring in a small, elite team to track you and me down. We could deal with that if we're careful... but it'll make getting out of here an issue. We can't send for reinforcements, the Dominion is stretched too thin."

He nodded, seemingly satisfied with that explanation. "That is quite reassuring, indeed, I feared they'd somehow cram a ship through the lake somehow, crazy as that might sound..." he sat back down next to her, and rested his head against her shoulder, hair curtaining his face. "I fall asleep for a hundred years and everything just goes to shit...great, remind me to never nap again."

"Well, it's not like you need any beauty sleep," She smiled and looked over at him "And it's not like you really had a choice, in the end." She pulls him into a tight hug "Don't worry, we'll get through this." She nuzzled him as she spoke. He sighed, and wrapped an arm around her, leaning on her until they both were laying on the bed again, his head rested on her bust. He sighed, and nuzzled her tighter, still relishing the touch of another after his long sleep. He placed a soft kiss on her chest, laying a large, black feathered wing over them like a blanket of sorts.

"If you say we will, then I shall be inclined to believe you, in truth, now that our feelings are confessed, and we lay here in each others arms, I could care less about the world outside, for I feel complete. Although, I know that we must, eventually get on with our duties... I am just glad to be able to do this now." He nuzzled into her bust, his mind drifting off to other things as he laid there. She smiled, thinking of all the things that were to pass, and looked down at him.

"Comfortable?" She spoke that single word with an amused, playful tone that itself spoke volumes. She had to admit, it was an interesting experience if nothing else. He smiled, nodding slowly.

"Mhmm, I'm really comfortable like this... I can't tell whats better, my cotton cloud pillows, or your pillowy breasts." he reached up, and gave one of them a gentle squeeze. She let out a soft moan, obviously enjoying the contact.

"Tease..." She giggled and stroked his hair, enoying how it felt running through her claws. "Don't mistake me though, I don't mind..." He grinned, and squeezed a bit more firmly.
 
"If you don't mind...and I think I know you well enough... " He took his claw, and slid it under her claw, massaging that same breast without the cloth to interfere, working his digits into the soft flesh. She made a sigh, moaning lightly as she caressed his head.

"Mmmmm..." She wrapped her leg around him, pulling him closer as she bit her lower lip. "It's... been ages since anyone's touched me like that..." Her voice was needy as she ran her claw along his body, coming to rest on his hip.

"Well, we could fix that if you so desired... " He moved into her grasp better, leaning in as he angled her arms up just enough to slip the shirt off of her, watching as her ample breasts spilled loose from their cloth prison. he leaned his head down to give one of them an affectionate kiss, trailing them up until he locked with her in a kiss to the lips as his claws worked at her breasts. She leaned into the kiss, reveling in the attention he was paying her, her claw drifting about his body before wandering down to his stomach, then even lower. Before puling out of the kiss to look him in the eye.

"Yes... I so desire that..." She sounded happy, and smiled mischievously before returning to the kiss. He grinned, his fangs peeking through his lips as he felt her hand wander ever lower below his stomach, before grabbing her hand, guiding it down to where he knew she was headed, letting her feel the building firmness in his glossy, black sheath, the broad tips of the prince's twin shafts beginning to peek from their prison of flesh. He purred squeezing her hand around their broad tips as he deepened the kiss, snaking his thick black tongue into her mouth as his free hand tugged at Zaki's nipples, tweaking them between his claws before going back to their rough massaging. He broke the kiss, and looked into her eyes.

"So, my beloved... where would you like to start?" he asked with a playful tone, his hand dropping from her breast so that she might think clearly for a moment. After stopping to consider his question she grinned and gently pushed him onto his back before slinking down.

"First, allow me to serve your need." She smiled before her long tongue wrapped around one of his members, before slowly taking it into her mouth, her jaw extending to accommodate it's girth and length. Her claw working the other shaft slowly, careful to not go too fast, as to spoil the moment. He gasped at the suddenness of it, the tip of her tongue coiling around his shaft, then the hot, wet heat of her mouth one his pointed, flared tip, her soft hand stroking and squeezing his other shaft. the prince couldn't help but close his eyes in the immediate bliss he had been plunged into, the slow workings of her mouth having already conjured up thick dollops of his sweet cream to splash onto her tongue. He gripped at her luminescent amber mane, running his bandage wrapped claws around their soft strands as he melted, feeling his weighty, glossy black orbs slosh with their unspent seed, having collected for years without release, he leaned his head back and groaned in utter need.

"Ooh, fuck yes, I having felt this in such a long time, keep going, please... " He thrusted into her mouth slightly, his hips bucking out of lustful need. Her throat expanded as his shaft went deep into her mouth, her thick saliva lubricating the shaft for even deeper thrusts. Her free claw moved down to the great orbs, cupping them and beginning to massage them gently as she worked both of the shafts, voraciously slurping on the phallus while her claw worked the other shaft. Rumor found himself awash in a tide of pleasure, amplified from years of sexual denial. His hips lifted off the bed, almost silently pleading for deeper passage into her throat, the shaft being jerked by Zaki's free hand gushing a steady stream of thick cream, the same gout mirrored in her mouth, as the flared tip of his shaft hit the back of her throat repeatedly from his lustful, needy thrusts, the massive glossy, black balls slapping the female Edolon in the face with each lustful thrust. It was a heavenly experience, one he was loath to let end anytime soon. As the cream espoused from the shaft in her mouth the female Edolon hungrily gulped it down, using the cream on the exposed shaft as lubricant to increase her pace, as the substance begins coating her chest and arms. One of her claws moving from his balls to her own sopping hole, inserting two digits and beginning to hump her own hand out of repressed desire, but in no way slowing her pace with her lord's members. After a while, the prince opened his eyes to see the hot mess in front of him. He placed a clawed hand atop her head, making her pop off his shaft just before she could push him over the edge into the sweet oblivion of climax.

"Slow down a bit... why don't we help each other out, yeah? No need to work that beautiful flower of yours without some help. And I'm aching to get inside you." He offered in a low, sultry tone, stroking her hair as he spoke. She smiled and raised herself up onto his stomach, giving him a long, passionate kiss before gripping his top shaft, stroking it vigorously, eliciting a lustful moan from the prince, angling her dripping wet sex against the pre slicked shaft. She let out a throaty groan as she grinded the glossy black pole against her tight slit, its pointed, flared tip smashing against her swollen clit, sliding back onto the lower member, slowly impaling herself onto it, letting out a moan as she felt it fill her up, stretching her insides to accommodate it's size. She rocked her hips ever so slightly, relishing in the feeling of her lover's thick shaft gliding ever deeper into her needy snatch, until its massive head could be felt pressing against her cervix, the inner most sanctum, the thin barrier that kept the monstrous cock from gliding into her womb. Rumor groaned as his shaft slowly slid into her hot, sopping depths, the swollen lips of her sex, spearing her deeper and deeper until she came to a rest atop his large, pendulous, glossy black balls, her weight resting atop their bloated surface, serving only to remind him of how badly he desired release. He looked to see her rocking her hips, equally enjoying herself as she gripped the remaining exposed shaft in her pre slicked hands, her large, cream glistening breasts, bouncing with each slight shift of her hips.

"Fuck, Zaki, this feels so nice, at this rate, I might end up cumming early from how intense this all is, love." He reached up, and grabbed one of the cream slicked breasts, and groped and massaged it as lewdly as he could, stimulating it as much as possible. He leaned up, wrapping an arm around her waist, and wrapped his lips around one of her cream soaked nipples, lightly nibbling with his fangs as he suckled on them hard, tongue lashing at the soft black flesh that swelled up from his suckling ministrations. After a minute he popped off, and alternated to the other nipple, massaging the untended breast with his free claw, squeezing and groping the sensitive flesh feverishly. He started to thrust his hips upwards into her, his swollen tip smashing into his lover's cervix over and over again, each time harder than the last, each heavenly thrust ripping loose lustful, pleasured moans that only got louder as he sped up, until she was loud enough to be screaming... that is, until he grabbed her by her hair, and pulled her down over him, having intended to meet her lips for a kiss, but having overestimated, and got a face full of boob, his vision blackened by the beautiful slick ebony orbs that hugged his face. Zaki could only moan, filling the air with her lust as she pushed his head deeper between her breasts as his shaft pummeled her cervix, getting faster and faster, balls slapping into her plump lips. She could feel the tip of his shaft battering her insides at such force until she let loose an lustful scream that could have broken glass as she felt her cervix give out, the massive head having rammed through it, burying itself deep into the tight depths of her womb.

"AH, IT'S SO DEEP" She bucked her hips faster in sync with his, her needy body at the edge of climax. She could feel the thick streams of her lover's sweet pre cream streaming inside of her. She looked down to see her hand and forearm covered in the thick cream, and even more leaking out of her battered cunt, Rumor's large balls wetly slapping against her in such lewd ways, feeling him speed up with claws digging into her back. He tail instinctively flexed and coiled around his midsection, keeping them bound together. There was no way she was letting him pull out, not now, not ever, not when he was so deep inside of heras to be filling her womb with his precum fluids like this. "Ah, Rumor! I'm so close!" She wailed into the air, drool trailing from her black lips. She flexed and clamped her sex around his shaft, no longer in control of herself as her sex deprived needs took over, grinding and thrusting her hips into his as hard as she could, only to be met with an equal response from her male counterpart as he let loose a deep, throaty growl, jack hammering her cunt until he finally slammed home deep inside her womb, his shafts twitching once, then twice, before he roared out, biting down into her exposed neck with sharp fangs, their ivory lengths sinking to the base as his mind went awash with sheer mind numbing pleasure, Zaki soon following as her cunt spasmed around his shaft, feeling the hot ropes of his sweet, sweet, delicious cream geysering deep within her, the massive length of his free cock penetrating her lubricated breasts as she arced her back up, thick waves of sweet spunk spurting between her big breasts, and onto her face, into her open waiting mouth as she eagerly lapped it up, greedily pulling herself off his shaft with weak and quivering legs as she flipped herself around, smashing her cum filled cunt in his face as she fed herself his geysering, cum soaked lengths, pressing the tips of both heads against her lustful lips, fitting as much of the two cocks into her mouth as she could, swallowing load after load until it became too much and it spilled out over her breasts and stomach. Not wanting to waste anymore, she stretched her jaw as wide as she could manage, and sank down over the girthy rods, there knots having flared in her mouth and locking her there, filling her with their delicious load. several moments passed like this, her eyes having rolled back from the satisfaction of the whole ordeal, eyes shutting as she felt the weight of having been totally filled, as the knots went down and her jaw popped free, coughing as she spilled her last mouthful of cream to get a breath of air. Looking down she saw her lover was in no better shape, as she had effective ruined his bandages by letting his cum smear and gush between them, not that she really cared to much, or him for that matter, as she became aware of the throbbing pleasure in her cunt, his tongue swirling around and bringing her to a swift second climax, dumping a good loose load of his cream, mixed with her own slimy femcum into his mouth. After wards, they laid in each others arms for what felt like an eternity, before they eventually cleaned up, showering with each other to get the scent of their sexual escapades cleared of their bodies, although Zaki herself left some of the slime on, favoring the scent of her lover's sweet cream as she helped the prince with his bandages once more, just the same as she had done just a few hours past, before they had succumbed to their sexual needs.

"Well, Zaki... that was an experience that I will treasure for as long as I draw breath, and one we hopefully get to experience more often." Rumor smiled warmly as she finished tying the last few knots on his full body bandage bindings, having taken note of the various arcane sigils that were carved low-key into the surprisingly sturdy and thick cloth that he used as bandages. She returned his smile warmly and hugged his middle, still relishing in his presence, an aeons long dream having finally come into fruition, she's never let anything come between them now, or ruin this blissful moment of peace and love. She blushed, feeling her Prince's half bound alabaster white claws comb through her amber luminescent mane. She purred, like that of a cat, taking pleasure out of the affection he showed her, pushing her head up into his claws and nuzzling his exposed abdomen, placing affectionate kisses along its length, going ever upward until she cupped her prince's cheeks in her black clawed hands, and pressed her soft black lips against his, snaking her tongue in to dance with his, in which, he eagerly returned, holding her naked form close against him, his hand trailing up along her inner thigh and caressing her plump vaginal lips, which, were already wet again. He growled into the kiss, and used his middle claw to affectionately grind against her clit, snaking the claw deep in her wet folds, causing her to hike her leg up around his waist, begging foe him to go deeper still as he obliged, and slid in two more claws, triple finger fucking her needy sex hard and fast, until she let loose another low moan, her sex gushing her femcum around his digits in a final release of lust. They broke their kiss, and he pulled his claws up to his lips, sucking the two around his middle claw clean greedily, before offering her his middle claw, in which, she smiled, and leaned in, wrapping her plump, kissable lips around his longest digit, her long tongue coiling around his claw and slurping lewdly, as if it were his plump shaft between her lips. Rumor grinned, and thrusted the claw around in her mouth a bit before pulling it out, wiping her glistening spit off on his bandages as he ruffled her hair. Zaki purred in satisfaction against him, the steam from their previous shower having finally settled, leaving the chill air to erect her perky nipples, which she tweaked and rubbed slowly as her orgasm throbbed still, slowly fading away.

"Thanks for that, I needed one last release before we got dressed" He nodded, and wrapped one of his comfortable towels around her shoulders, and they walked together back into the bedroom to rest on the bed once more, albeit with a lot less sex this time.

"Think you might want to get something to eat in a bit? Surely even after that... improvised meal just a while ago, you would need some real food on your stomach? You have come a long way and come far, with yet more still to come, you should eat while you can." he looked her in the eyes, having remembered her reluctance to eat beforehand.

"Hm, yes I wouldn't mind a bite to eat. What did you have in mind, luv?" She propped herself up and looked over at him, running her claw through her mane. The prince leaned over, trailing kisses along her neck, a claw fondling her breast tenderly, another arm wrapped around her.

"Well, I could prepare a feast in the grand hall for you and your men, despite how barren this realm looks, there is still much life. We could have one of the fat boars slaughtered, the butchers I have here would have it done in less than an hour, if we got them started relatively soon" He smiled, and took a hand from her side, pouring another glass of bloodwine, taking a generous sip of it, licking the scarlet from his lips as he set the glass down.

"That sounds lovely..." She sat up then stood, languidly stretching. He nodded, rising as well, his tail lashing from side to side in its natural, sultry manner. He walked over to his coat rack, where many identical black and silver trim robes hung, and took one off, slinging it lazily over himself, sliding into the sleeves without bothering to close it up, having effectively accomplished nothing with his still half erect shafts hanging in the breeze.

"Well, better sooner, rather than later, yeah? I would assume your men would get started soon, so they can get back to their duties, I must say, those you have on the ship in orbit above us would certainly be envious." He chuckles softly, leaning against one of the walls with his wings folded neatly behind himself.

"It's unfortunate, truly, but we have neither the time nor the means to transport them all, so I'll just have to owe them one." She smiled with a hint of amusement. With a slight flick of her wrist her nano-particle clothing took it's place back on her body, taking the form of the informal clothes she wore before their escapades.

"I see, still modest as ever, my love, I think with a body like yours, you'd like to flaunt those assets a bit, ancestors know you're a fine piece of eye candy." He teased, watching her through black, half-lidded eyes, his claw shifting to rest over one of his shapely feminine hips. She turned and smiled as him, apparently finding the idea funny.

"Unfortunately, my dear, I am cursed with a sense of modesty." He scoffed at this, shifting his claws into his robe pockets as he turned towards the door, seemingly dissapointed.

"Tsch, you're no fun at all." His tail swayed back and forth still as he looked over his shoulder, still admiring her form, and her molten amber eyes. She gave him a chiding, but lighthearted look and put a hand on her hip.

"Maybe when days of peace have arrived, and I can take more that a moment to rest I might loosen up, but until then I'm afraid I must be frightfully dull." She smiled, indicating she was mostly joking. He whipped back around, with a semi-serious look on his face, almost uncharacteristically torn.

"Zaki, we draw near the end of an age, one of great diversity from all others, and with the rate at which things have been escalating, loosening up is something you really should consider doing... because whether we like it or not, none of us are precognisceint, despite what you might think of me, I live the way I do, because if we were to all perish within the next hour, I wouldn't want to have any regrets... nothing left undone. Nothing unexplored, because killing isn't hard, and half of strategy is common sense. I think you deserve to relax." He went on, placing his claws over her shoulder again, a soft smile on his lips as he lost himself to her beautiful eyes. She looked up at him with a somber expression, her eyes filled with a bitter melancholy, and not the least bit surprised.

"I have given my life, my all, to the Dominion, and to the service of it's people and to it's lord. These countless lives rest upon me remaining constantly vigilant and ready to stand in their defense. To fell their enemies, and if needed... give my life in their guard." She turned away and looked down at her claw "This is my oath, this is my curse. My choice and my duty both, and once taken it cannot be so easily diminished nor retracted." She clenched her clawed hand into a fist, small drops of silver ichor leaking from between her digits "I will never be caught off guard again." Her voice was harsh, and full of anger, pain... sorrow.

"It is a binding oath that will break you, true loyalty lies not in words or vows, but in action... an understanding of one's duty is something that should be common sense. Although I dearly understand the sentiment... to have all you hold dear ripped away from you in a heartbeat, and there is naught a single thing you can do, no matter how hard you try... and I am sorry that I put you through all that... having brought you to that failure, all that time ago. It weighs on my soul heavy with each waking moment, though none of it through direct action of my own... it is still my weight to bear. In aeons past, I took a relic of achaeic power, a dreamstone. In the form of an olden book. I opened its pages without caution, without fully knowing its power, or even... what it was. Only that my grandfather, Lord Asheron, had gifted it to me, and beckoned me to claim my reward... and claim I did. Claim unrelenting insanity that even to this day, plagues my mind. At that instant, I unraveled completely, lost to an infinite ocean of knowledge and power that drove me mad... but also ascended me into what I am now, with limitless room to grow. It only cost an entire civilization to get there... and within my breast, still so many souls linger, from those darkest days." he had placed a shaky claw to his chest, having pulled her closer to him, to wipe away her tears, letting her head rest within the fluffy insides to his form fitted robes. She looked up at him, a tinge of indigence in her voice.

"I don't blame you, for the fault is mine alone... If I had let caution win out over ridiculous notions of glory or a petty interpretation of honor so diligently drilled into me... Those people might have survived." She pulls away "This is my own failure. I couldn't protect them, and it was because I let things other than my duty distract me. I will not, cannot, allow that to happen again. No more will die for my weakness." She was almost shouting at the end, not at him, but rather in anguish as she fell to her knees, a sigil in the shape of a rune inscribed hexagon within a circle on the back of her neck began glowing a sickly violet. She was breathing heavily and her face was hidden behind her now flaming amber mane. He had remained calm, taking note of the sigil and its familiar nature.

"There is no way you could have survived, no way they could have survived... in the end, they would have starved, or worse. Drowned in the blood of the fallen and damned around them. As horrifying as the events were, Zakima Darkfire. If they had not played out in the manner in which they did. None of of us would be standing here now. Edolons wouldn't exist. The Dominion and her beautiful people would have never come to fruition. More importantly... we would have never met, never been able to form this bond we share, never been able to find our love for each other... " He sounded sad, almost hurt by how tightly she clung to that event. he wiped away several of his own inky black tears, and walked out of the room, softly shutting the door behind himself as he made for the throne room. Slowly the sigil began to fade as she sat there, unable to move, speaking to herself in low and forlorn tones.

"I know... and that is why I never want it to happen again. I can't stand the thought of all I love being taken away a second time." Her eyes looked up from behind her hair, no longer the soft amber but a harsh shade of crimson, which slowly spread to her mane "I will not let my weakness subvert any other... It is my burden alone, for I would suffer no other to bear the ramifications of my own mistakes." She looked down at her hand, a wild look of fear and anger in her eyes before she closed them, and began breathing slowly, her mane returning to it's soft amber hue, and she opened her now watering eyes, which had returned to their natural state as deep pools of amber in a black sea. "Ha... hahahhahahahhhahahahhahah!" She gripped at her mane "Who am I kidding? I can't even keep myself in line. How can I protect anyone with rage?" After a few agonizing moments of letting her mask slip she stood and fixed up her hair, drying her silver tears as she willed her nanoclothing to take the shape of a black, form fitted dress. The back of the skirt extended to near her ankles, but the front split apart just above her knees, showing off her legs. It had long, loose fitting sleeves and an exaggerated V neck top that showed just enough cleavage, and a pair knee high of black leather boots with high heels. Before proceeding she took a few deep breaths and then went to join Rumor in the throne room. It didn't take long for her to catch up, as in, Rumor had been waiting by the door the entire time, and had listened to her breakdown. He approached her side, having donned his lower armor greaves and a pair of tight shade mythril hosen underneath it, still leaving his upper body exposed, and a good portion of his groin exposed, while the actual genitals were hidden away, arms covered by his white plate gauntlets. A good balance of modesty and leaving nothing to the imagination.

"I see you had a change of mind." He made no sign as to have overheard anything she had said, wanting to let it rest for the time being. He flared his massive wings out to the side, stretching them casually, and draped one of them around her, pulling her to his side. "I like the outfit, by the way. Genuinely. It accents your natural beauty beyond mortal words." They walked by a line of abyssal knights who readily saluted their lord, and Rumor nodded in turn. She took him by the crook of his arm as they descended a great spiral stair going down towards the throne room.

"Mayhaps you were right, but I didn't want to go all the way. 'Baby Steps' I thought. Although I see you also decided to dress up a tad." She smiled at him, happy but with obvious lines of ware and worry. He nodded, smiling once more.

"To be honest, I felt it might help you a bit. I was honestly expecting you to change into something like this. I thought if I added a layer or two, it might be a bit more fair." He let one of his claws wander down to her plump rear, caressing it behind the cover of his feathery wing as they descended the stairs. A mischievous grin grew across her face at the touch, but she said nothing about it.

"I think it a fair compromise on both our ends." She chuckled and gave his arm a squeeze "So my Prince, I'm curious... roast boar is all well and good, but what manner of other things will there be?" She asked, giving him a quiet, curious look. The prince thought for a moment, giving her rear a firm, collective squeeze.

"Well, I tend to let it all get decided by the cooks. But I'd have to say, typical side of honey breads and butters, various garden vegetables... Ooo, and some of Jamilia's cakes and pastries. She is a girl after my own heart in terms of baking." He chuckles softly as they touched down, a pair of knights having detached from the wall to follow them to the grand hall past the throne room. She seemed to consider each one carefully, giving him a smile.

"Sounds lovely, I look forward to trying everything." After a moment she turned with a semi-serious expression "Does she make fudge?" her question was simple and seemed harmless enough, but her tone was one cautious and hopeful. He nodded with a ludicrous smile.

"Zaki, I had her pour hot liquid fudge over my naked body once... its that good, once I couldn't eat anymore, the cute dragon girl licked the rest off of me... lewdly." He had closed his eyes, stiffling another erection from the fond memory. She seemed to be unconsciously licking her lips while staring into space, a look of hunger plastered unabashedly on her face.

"That's... uh..." She couldn't really think of the words she was looking for, but it was obvious what she was thinking. He snickered a bit, placing a kiss on the corner of her lips.

"Its okay, you can eat fudge off my bare body whenever you want, just as I know you'd do the same for me." He ran his claw through her mane. Both of the knights had fallen several feet back, way too embarrassed to be directly next to them at the moment. She giggled and thought about what that would be like, not nearly as self conscious about the lewdness as she normally would be.

"Maybe we should try that sometime..." She said with a wink and a smile as they entered the great hall. As they approach, they come to find the table already lined with a great feast. The boar already butchered and roasted to a golden perfection, light char on the skin from slow cooking over open flame, rubbed with spices and seasonings that carried a mouth watering aroma in the air. Many flame roasted vegetables garnished the large hog, surrounded by the sweet aroma of honey and butter, as fresh loafs of honey bread were sliced open and slathered in more of the delicious honey butter it was baked with. On the table across from the main banquet table, was a smaller dessert table, laden with various colorful cakes, pastries, and several trays of fudge candy, brownies, and a warm, liquid fudge fountain. Jamilia was wandering around, serving ales to the various knights already seated at the table.

"It looks like Miss Jamilia thought ahead of us, or listened in one." he smiled, stopping at his large ebon throne at the table, leaning over as he grabbed a whole loaf of honey bread, and broke it in half, taking a large bite out of it and swallowing. Zaki looked for a seat near Rumor, before gathering some bread and a couple of confections and stopping to grab a few slices of boar, then sitting down and began to carefully cut bite sized pieces of boar before impaling them on a fork and inserting them carefully onto her tongue. After a few bites of boar she began eyeing a brownie she had picked up, slowly picking it up and letting it hover near her face a moment to breathe in it's smell before taking a large bite, a look of bliss on her face as she chewed. The prince smiled, taking a seat next to her, and kissing her on the cheek, which garnered the attention of all. He took his seat, thankful her seat was literally right next to him, letting him feel up her leg without worry of the looks from all around them.

"Looks like your in love with Jamilia's baking. I knew it was only a matter of time." He chuckled, filling out his own plate in similar fashion to his lover's, only with much more meat and vegetables along with the other loaf of honey bread. having decided to not touch anything sweet until he had finished with the more nutrient orientated feast before them.

"The girl is good at her job, what can I say?" She finished off the brownie and moved back to the boar, breaking off a piece of bread and eating it in conjunction with some boar. The doors open, and with it, Adekos comes in with a few of the Edolon knights behind him, Jarraik following close behind.

"My Lord, the defensive line has been secured. All castle defenses have been successfully reactivated." He stood ramrod stiff next to the prince's seat at the table, looking forward at the ajar doors he just entered through, the mystic having broken off to take a similar stance next to the Lady Darkfire.

"That is good to hear, at least we won't be taken by surprise, should anyone show up... uninvited... " The prince wiped his mouth, having already finished most of his main course, taking a draft of ale from the thick mug in his armored grip. "While I am very well aware of what we have in place, could you inform the good Lady here so that she may be informed, my good Captain?" He set the mug down with a heavy thud, a grim look to his eyes, and an ever present smile on his lips, although the nature of the smile was wicked in nature, as if boding ill intent for whatever may cross him.

Adekos nods, shifting his head to face Zakima, while keeping his arms folded behind his back. "The castle defenses consist of exactly of one hundred Knights. Along the walls are fifty heavy elemental bowmen, paired with ten explosive ballista crews and foot archers of a varied sorts. At the gates, the sleeping watchers have awakened, there are exactly five at each gate... " The captain trailed off, as if taking something else into consideration. "Ser, are we to be preparing for an invasion?" He looked over to the Prince, his tone worried. Rumor closed his eyes, his smiling lingering for a moment, before fading.

"I have reason to believe that a powerful force will breach our gates, and destruction shall follow... and I am not sure that even your years of extensive training can prepare you and your men for the fire and destruction that will follow. I am sorry." His voice trailed off, and he looked into his glass, seeing his pale shadow in its amber depths. He set the ale aside, no longer hungry. Adekos was very silent for several moments, the whole dining hall having fallen silent, heads bowed. Adekos raised his head, stiffening his shoulders as he stood aside, kneeling on one knee with his head low, his voice determined and full of fire.

"My Lord, come rain, snow, fire, or else hell might throw at us, know that I shall not waver, and in your example I shall remain resolute as you have befitted my rank. Even if what comes before us means our end, I shall die with blade in hand, my life is yours, and I will defend our honor till my body can no longer carry me to do so." His body was trembling, the grip on the pommel of his blade tight. Each knight under the Captain's command each knelt in turn, heads bowed and facing their lord, each with a fire burning within that could outshine the sun. While the darkness that plagued them may have darkened their bodies, their souls burned with passion and heat that would dare snuff out the stars themselves. Zakima grinned despite herself, admiring their dedication.

Rumor, bowed his head, eyes laden with dampness. "I would never ask such devotion from anyone, but it fills my heart with pride to know that I shall do battle side by side with souls of such radiance and passion." He stood as well, and knelt down in front of Adekos, mimicking his kneeling stance.

"I am honored to call you my captain, and honored that these souls serve me. I am forever grateful." Adekos looked up, coming eye level with his lord.

"I am grateful as well, when once you took our lives, laid waste to our home of old, through not a will of your own, you gave them back. You have repaid that in full, more so and more so. We few souls have felt your heartache for millennia, a pain that brings even myself, a sorrow beyond measure. What's more, is that through your aid, my fellow kinsmen were given second chances reborn a world of darkened light and snow, new breath and body where their old had failed them, you helped shape a world for us, so that we may have purpose again, duty again, to serve... again. Our siblings fight in a war against what it is that has given us life here in our dark hole, yet I know it is a just cause. It brings me pride to know I can partake in this grand machination, My Lord." Adekos finished looking ever downward, tears of black dripping from his visor. The prince slowly reached forwards, and slid the helmet off, wiping away his tears.

"My son, I am Rumor Stormblade, a friend... only Lord and Prince in title because of noble souls such as yourself, by that nature, I am duty bound to ensure that my cause is just." Adekos, only son to the prince, looked his father in the eyes, and embraced him, clutching tightly. Rumor returned the embrace smiling softly. Zaki had a look of mild surprise, but quickly regained her composure.

"My Prince... I hadn't realized you'd sired a child. I assume it must have happened after you came here." She seems to reassess Adekos, as if seeing him for the first time. After but a moment she nodded ever so slightly, an approving smile on her face. "It will be an honor to fight alongside you both." She gave Adekos a friendly smile. Adekos nodded swiftly, a loud rumbling in his stomach.

"Come, Adekos, take your seat aside me, and let us finish our feast, we can't have our warriors fighting on empty stomachs." Rumor nodded, taking his seat once more, setting Adekos helmet on the table to the side. Adekos nods and takes his seat, he started piling his plate up high, digging in immediately, all the other knights soon following after. Zaki had nearly finished, having not eaten too terribly much, but enough to sate her hunger.

"If you don't mind, my Prince, I will make some minor preparations for the impending assault. Maybe see if I can even the odds a bit, give your knights some breathing room." She stood, her clothing becoming a blur as it reconfigured into her black and gold armor, complete with helm, as she summoned Devastation and slid it into it's spot at her side. The prince nodded, having tended to the dessert bar, he got Zaki's attention just long enough to show her that he had taken several layers of hot fudge brownie, and piled sweet vanilla ice cream over it, then dipped it all in the fudge fountain, sprinkling it with various ground nuts as it hardened into a flawless shell, topped with chocolate brownie hunks, laden with chocolate chip. She gave it a single, longing glance before turning to leave.

She stepped out into the cool night air, the cool wind smelling of sweet decay as it swept through the black trees. Leaving the gate behind Zaki headed into the forest to lay some traps. At various points she drew Devastation and drew an arcane sigil into the ground, whispering incantations to enspell the rune with an effect, such as air mines, or a magical cannon. She observed several strange rock formations, which she determined to be golems by the ambient magic that she sensed from them. At a few points she noticed figures moving through the trees, deciding not to engage she avoided getting to close or making any overt actions. Luckily they didn't seem particularly interested in her, so she decided not to antagonize them. After making her rounds she stopped to look at the path the enemy would have to take to enter the area from the lake. "Not a lot we can do there..." She thought "If I could get the legion down here..." Suddenly it hit her, She used an old spell, one she hadn't had cause to use in many years. She drew Devastation partially out of it's sheath and commanded her armor to part around her left hand, sliding it along the blade, drawing a line of silver ichor. She let it drop once on the ground before it formed into an owl, made of solid silver. It looked up at her expectantly as she closed the wound and her armor reformed.

"This is Lady Darkfire, deploy Phantom Squadron to the breach. Captain Surillion has the details on the location. Hold orbit and try to delay the Voidborn fleet for as long as possible, but do not risk any lives or hardware doing so. Pull out once they are about to overwhelm you." She spoke to the owl with a clear, commanding voice, then mentally commanded it to go to the ship above, it then took wing and approached the lake before dipping through and continuing it's mission. "Hopefully that'll even the field a bit." The thought as she turned to go back to the castle.

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Lucan Tyrius
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Re: An Oath of Blood and Fire, Chapter One (NSFW, Violence, Ect.)

Post by Lucan Tyrius on Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:43 pm

Meanwhile, aboard the Salvation's Call...
"My Lord, we are nearing the destination." A navigation officer called out to the silver-white armored figure upon the raised throne. The bridge was awash with activity, voidsmen busy checking weapons and shields, as well as communicating with the smaller Axaton class cruisers that were at it's flank. The fleet numbered nearly twelve ships in all, including the Salvation's Call. More than enough to quell any planetary defense.

"So Michael, I have been wondering..." Rigel turned to the Angel "How useful are you planning to be? It's possible we might be able to remove most opposition from orbit. He crossed his legs, waiting for a response. After a long moment the Angel spoke.

"I came, as my lord bid me, and I trust that he would not do so in vain... But as to the details, I am unsure." His eyes seemed thoughtful, but not conflicted.

"I see, maybe then he knows something we don't?" Rigel seemed to consider the implications.

"Of that, I am most certain..." Michael smiled and looked up at the veiw screen as they exited the Void, entering realspace. They saw a terastrial world ahead, nothing imedediatly stood out. Suddenly a Gunery Officer zoomed in and targeted a group of ships just cresting the curve of the planet.

"Dominion ships, my Lord, same as the ones from Solace." One of the ships flashed red as several small dots streamed out of it to the surface, heading for a large lake. "Target confirmed, Destroyer's Invocation sighted."

"So... she makes a final, desperate stand. I wonder if this world holds anything of value. Officer, what were those objects breaking off from the invocation?" Rigel seemed confidant, but not eager to jump the gun.

"Armored Frames, My lord, Dominion Death Knight Mark VI models by the signature." The officer brought up a wireframe form of a large bipedal mecha with various high power weapons systems including several plasma weapons and a large, glaive like melee option.

"Hm... What could be worth deploying them away from the fleet?" Rigel looked down at the planet, not seeing any lights indicating advanced civilization.

"The lake..." Micheal spoke, staring blankly at the planet "There's something off about it. I think it might be a dimensional gateway.

"The lake? Hm... We can check it out after we've dealt with this lot." He said with determination "Move to engage, Crimson Talon formation." He ordered across the ship's comm to the entire fleet.

"Yes, my Lord. We move to obey." The ships moved into an arrow shape, with the Salvation's Call at the tip as they moved forward to engage the Edolonian ships. In response the Dominion ships moved into a layered line formation, launching their long range fighter craft to screen the oncoming Voidborn vessels. The Voidborn then launched their own heavy interceptors to engage, with a short dogfight ensuing before the Edolions retreted.

"What's their game..." Rigel crossed his finger, his elbows resting on his knees as he thought over the situation. "Deploy the long range torpedo boats, fire a tek VI screen, all strata." At his command several dozen smaller craft broke off from the main fleet and began firing several types of ordinance at the Dominion fleet. The Edolonian ships fired countermeasure flares and began breaking up into small formations. "So it's that game... Unfortunately for you I have neither the time, nor the patience. Full ahead, all weapons hot." He sat back in his seat as he gave the order.

"Aye aye, all ships proceed to main combat positions." The fleet then began to move forward to engage the Edolonian ships, but before they could get within firing range the Dominion ships fell back, one after another falling into void rifts as they retreated.

"Well that was anticlimactic." Rigel stood "Very well then... Gather up a geosynched orbit and prepare a shuttle to the surface." He turned to Micheal "You coming?" He asked.

"I'll meet you down there..." The angel repsonded, vanishing in a flash of golden light, appearing flying down to the planet below on unseen winds.

"Right..." Rigel headed to the nearby elevator and selected the option for his personal hanger and felt the subtle virtigo as it moved down. After a few moments the elevator came to a stop and the door slide open to reveal his shuttle, with sevreal commandos standing beside it. They wore form fitted black body armor with a black trench coat over the top. Their helmets were comprised of an advanced suite of sensor packages and software artfully places inside a protective shell of alloy plate.

"Lord Voltanus, Specter-4 reporting in, all hands ready and able." The platoon leader spoke, behind him eleven other commandos stood to attention.

"Follow me, Specter-4." He motioned for the commandos to follow him into the ship. Once aboard he ordered the pilot to the coordinates of the lake they had spotted prior. Shortly after the ship departed the hanger and began is course towards the planet. After lighting up upon entry and settling into silent running mode it flew a few dozen kilometers across the wilderness to the set destination. Once at the lake the set down beside the shore, exiting the ship as a group. On a rock overlooking the pale, moonlit water stood Micheal, a slight glow coming off of him as he gazed out over the mirrored surface. Rigel approached the angel, walking at a measured pace. "So Micheal, what has you so ensnared?" He asked as he grew close. The angel was seemingly transfixed on the lake's surface.

"The lake is remarkable is it not? Some might even say beautiful." He held out his armored hand over the lake, as if trying to grasp it "But it holds a sickness at it's heart. A gnawing hunger that would consume all, regardless of stripe or creed." He lowered his hand and turned to Rigel, a grave expression on his face "This place hides it well, but it reeks of the Abyss."

"Rumor..." Rigel clenched his fist "So it's come to this? You've pawned yourself off to that very thing that would consume us all?" He slowly released his grasp "Then we know what needs to be done. Micheal, you'll need to open the rift on this side, yes?" He looked in askance at the angel.

"Aye, but it should matter, the water won't hinder our progress too much, though we should build up a force before trying to assault, if that's possible." He seemed to be considering his options.
"True... we don't know whats on the other side." He rested his hand on Cataclysm's handle "But we can't prepare for everything... and every second spent here is a second longer he has to prepare."

"Very right. We better get started then..." With that sentence the angel flew above the lake and lifted his spear aloft, calling a praise to his lord "En hedro tep Enochia sum!" Then he slowly drew his spear across the air, a golden trail of light following its' path before suddenly exploding outwards into a shining orb above the lake.

"Hopefully this will be enough..." Rigel spoke to no one in particular, maybe to placate himself. Turning to the Wraith commandos of Specter-4 he motioned for them to make ready to enter the lake, and face whatever lay beyond.

In the Mirrior Realm below...
Zaki waved the twelve objects down as she saw them exit the lake and scan the area, hovering about 300m in the air. The Phantom Squadron consisted of Death Knight Armored Combat Frames, a standard in the modern Dominion, having been introduced centuries ago by Darkfire Industries. It was a reverse jointed biped with both atmospheric and space capable thrusters. It sported two twin-linked shoulder mounted plasma cannons, a fully intergrageted shield system, and an energy glaive for close combat. The glaive could also be used to fire high energy projectiles at great distances, though this attack needed time to build up a charge. Zaki hailed them over the comm channel, addressing the leader.

"Phantom Leader, this is Darkfire Actual, proceed to the castle beyond the forest, hold defensive positions above the outer wall and await enemy contact or further orders." Phantom Squadron froze mid flight and adjusted its' path.

"Phantom Leader here, we acknowledge Darkfire Actual." Phantom Leader was the Commander of the Blackstar Corps, Mirabelle Blackstar. Phantom Squadron was the most elite flight in the legion, and one of the highest performing in the Dominion.

"Hopefully this will help ease the Prince's fear, if only a bit." Zaki turned and extended ethereal amber wings and flew back to castle, over the trees and wall before landing at the base of the black walled citadel, slowly opening the doors to the great hall, seeking Rumor out to inform him  that her preparations were complete. As she opened the door she came face to face with the prince, followed by Adekos and twenty of the knights that had been in the great dining hall.

"Your preparations are hereby completed. Would I be correct in saying this?" He stood tall, his full twelve foot height in full plate armor, a mighty halberd held firmly in his grip, which in itself radiated an intense power. It was Evangeline, the awakened form of his reunited Torc-Alta: Dread, Zakat, and the blade once held by his brother, Chillrend. he had a very relaxed look to him, a familiar look to Zakima, recalling this look before every battle they fought together. Firmly set shoulders, and a look of death in his eyes, cold and calculating, yet not without the fiery passion that drove him ever onward. She knelled and made her report, a content and stalwart look on her face.

"Yes, my Prince, I have set traps in the forest and ordered Phantom Squadron down as reinforcement to supplement your current forces. According to the telemetry from the Squadron leader the Voidborn fleet has arrived... It's only a matter of time until they find the lake entrance. The time is now my Prince." She looked up "Please, I beg you, allow my Preator and I to stand amongst your personal guard..." She looked down "This alone I ask of you, though it is beyond my place to make demands or ask you these selfish things, but I cannot help but to lower myself to this." She was quiet, hopeful but on edge. He took several moments to think it over.

"I shall allow this." he slid his mask on over his face, the white gleaming metal having been polished after he had awoken by his son, Adekos. The black jagged grin leering at all who who lay eyes upon it. "I must also add, I sense a high presence of Aether energy, so I believe we are dealing with more than just voidborn." Zaki thought for a moment, standing to face her Prince.

"Rigel may have aligned with one of the Archangels... Enoch would want to see us punished and you dead as much, nay more, than Rigel." She looked around at the assembled knights "That means the Angelorum Horde..." Her tone was grave thoughtful "This... might be problematic." She turned to Rumor, as if waiting for him to say something. He had a grim look on his face. He pulled her over, and took his mask off, looking where her eyes would be.

"This is a grim battle that we have coming for us, but know this above all else. Rigel comes for me, and only me. To pay for crimes long since past. Do not interfere with our battle, no matter what outcome it may bring. It is a test of our hearts, and our honor. Above all else, survive... " He let go of her, and started to walk forwards, sliding his mask back on as he pushed aside the doors to the hall. Zaki and her Preator followed him outside, weapons at the ready.

"This is Phantom Leader, we have visual contact... several hundred energy signatures. Specs match Angelorum pattern, and the number is increasing by the second. They're descending through the lake and building up a force, likely to hammer us. No sign of any Genovian troops as of yet." The mechs took up a defensive wall formation above the outer most wall of the castle.

"Copy Phantom Leader, Hold position and screen the enemy as much as possible." She turned to Rumor "It seems Rigel is avoiding risking his people by using the Angelorum as a proxy army... Clever, if a bit troubling."

"This is Phantom Leader, we have positive ID on an Archangel class being, I repeat Archangel is on site, it's Micheal." There was a brief pause "The Angelorum are on the move, and entering attack formations, repeat, Angelorum are on the move and in attack formations. Phantom, ready long range pulsar weapons." The mechs lowered their glaives and the crimson energy blades seemed to collapse into balls, with the enrgy pulsing faster and faster as the seconds ticked by. Then their was a sound like the compression of air as the weapons all fired in unison. Distant impacts could be heard, with a few explosions. "Ready a second barrage, then enter CQC mode!" The mechs began charging again, and once more fired, with similar results "Confirmed, Angelorum Vanguard at one kilometer and closing." The prince unfurled his wings, immediately taking flight into the air in one beat, Adekos and ten of the most elite of the knights, known as the forgotten blades, followed suit. The halberd radiated a bright light, followed by a sickly black aura. The weapon shifted until it was a massive, wide blade of sleek black, with a dull, cloth wrapped handle, easily as tall as the prince, with a great heft. The wind picked up and gusted around the prince as he gripped the blade, his body radiating a black smog that curled off his radiant armored frame. He let go of the massive blade as the forgotten blades took position in a chevron formation around him, summoning greatbows and quivers of lance like arrows, tipped with abyssal flame. Rumor mimicked them, summoning his own greatbow from his vast reserves of power, the bow materializing as a sleek black, with a gleaming white thread to project the lance arrows with. As one breathing unit, the reached back, drew several arrows, and knocked them all at once, taking aim at the enemy Angelorum formation that was quickly approaching.

"Ready. On my mark... charge lances with reserve power." Rumor drew the bow back further, using a great deal of inhuman strength as the bow lit up in black flames, causing more power to surge through the readied shots. Each one of the winged knights mimicked the action, until they were all primed. "Ready..." The prince shifted his aim slightly up and to the left, calculating for the gusting winds. The knights following suit, silently awaiting their command to fire. The Angelorum were quickly approaching their forms easily distinguishable now. At that moment, the prince channeled even more power into his shot, spreading the excess power to all the nearby weapons as he let loose his cry. "Fire!" Countless scores of blackened arcane laces arced high above them, aimed to rain above the flying attack formation. The arrows impacted several of the Angelorum, causing several of the golden armored figures to careen out of the sky and crash with a small explosion, but many of the spear and shield armed ones quickly formed a testudo formation, with their large rounded shields both above and in front to block the arrows, while several of the Angelorum archers fired through small, momentary gaps in the front formation. Behind them other formations were doing something similar, preparing for the oncoming arrows. Then a large, black armored figure came to the forefront, carried by four massive white feathered wings. He held a large spear with a charred tip, a golden aura hung around him like a halo.

"We have come for you, monster... and we shall not relent till you have fallen, once and for all!" The figure called out over the clammer of arms and the shouts of warriors. The Death Knight mechs fired their shoulder mounted plasma weapons, breaking up some of the closer formations of Angerlorum, then the great Angel fired a beam of concentrated Aether at one and its' shields flared and it was knocked back, nearly falling from the sky. The Prince remained silent, he and his knights turning mid air to face the Archangel, preparing their weapons once more and firing another volley concentrated on his location, each arrow being explosive in nature, their sickly black tips infecting whatever they hit with abyssal taint. They loosed their next volley and cast aside their bows, drawing their pole arms and shields as they mounted a charge. The prince took up his large blade, targeting the Archangel as he let loose a feral cry, a beat of his wings sending him for the radiant angel, his black aura increasing as he got near, blade raised for a crushing blow the moment he got within range. Micheal smiled and lept backward in the air creating an aether rift directly in front of him and launching the ball like object straight at the incoming knights as dozens of Angelorum formed a defensive line around him.

In the castle below Zaki noticed the main gate was opening and went to investigate, her Preator in front of her. The air was almost devoid of sound, and their was an odd pressure about it. Then suddenly the doors blew open and two of the Preators went flying, impacting the far wall with sickening thuds, Jarriak began charging a spell but was cast aside by a force unseen as several deep amber beams cut down several more until only two remained, they fired back into the dust filled door, and a couple of pained cries could be heard. However, a whirling sound was heard as an ice coated crossblade zoomed forward and cut down the last Preators. Zaki drew Devastation and shouted out

"Show yourself, coward, fight me fairly!" She barely had time to react before a bronze blade came down, nearly cleaving her helm.

"Traitors and murders deserve no honor..." Came the answer through a white helm. The eight foot tall Daemon bore down on her before using the hook like part of the blunt side of his blade to lock with Devastation and kicked her feet out from under her. She quickly recovered and swung Devastation in several sweeping arcs of red energy. Rigel dodged under the first and blocked the other two with Cataclysm. There was a rumbling in the ground as he summoned a spike of ice to try and impale her, but she rolled to the side and lept to strike him with her blade. Rigel saw it coming however and parried the strike before swatting Devastation from her grasp and locking his hand around her neck, holding her about a foot off the ground, struggling in his grasp. "You dishonor my father's blade by staining it with the blood of the people he swore to defend..." He looked up at her "Stay down... if you know what's good for you!" With that he threw her into the wall, creating a large dent in it. She slumped over and raised a claw at Rumor, trying to call out but being unable to utter anything more than a whimper before sliding into unconsiousness. Rigel then lept atop the wall to engauge the knights there as the sound returned to normal and the Wraith Commandos slipped into the woods around the castle, unseen and unheared, having fulfilled their purpose. Already Rumor had become enraged, slahing about, ripping the Angelorum summoned by Micheal apart plate by plate, having lost only two of his own knights. The prince whipped around, sensing Zakima's consciousness fade, he saw the tall white armored figure leaping up from the wall and growled, turning around and rending one last wave of angelorum before descending down to intercept the one he knew to be Rigel Voltanous with his blade raised.
"Time for a long overdo conversation, my old friend" He called as he swung the large blade directly in front of Rigel. The figure stopped and looked up at Rumor, it's crimson cloak bellowing in the cold wind.
"The time for talk has long since passed... but I'll entertain you for a few moments." He looked at Rumor's weapon, sensing it's power "I see you've gained power beyond your station yet again. Unsurprising, considering the dark hunger you feed. Will nothing satisfy you, or will you keep devouring life, power, the very souls of those you slay until nothing is left?" He raised Cataclysm and his Crossblade, Oathkeeper, and the glowed for a moment, fusing together into a silver scimitar with a crosshilt guard... Vengeance. "Come then... let us have an ending to it all..." He held the blade aloft as it crackled with cold and lightning, causing the very air around it to hum with a charge. Rumor pulled back, swiping his claws over the black blade, causing it to change yet again, into the familiar straight edged nodachi, Zakat, with a black spine, and radiant white cutting edge, a dark flame twisting and turning around the guard that gripped the blade, its old, tattered silk wrap fluttering in the wind.

"Let us fight on even ground, in the quiet away from this battle, warriors such as us need not the futilities of war to resolve our disputes." Rumor said calmly touching down on the wall, and jumping off, landing at the doors to the dark citadel. walking past the large door, the knights reluctantly stepping aside to let Rigel pass as he followed in a wide, purposeful stride. As they entered the throne room Rigel looked around at the tapestries and then the throne.

"You wish to fall before your high seat then? What is this place to you, and why have you hid here all these years?" He made a sweeping gesture "Perhaps you wished to play god here in this isolated corner of creation? What manner of lost fool would follow such a tattered ruler?" He began to approach Rumor "A Shattered Ruler for a Shattered Realm... Eh?" He was then moving forwards, feet not even touching the floor as he began a large sweeping strike aimed at his head. The strike was readily blocked by the flat of the prince's blade, the force however, sending him backwards with Rigel several feet. Rumor gripped the silver blade of Vengeance with a great force as to keep it firmly locked against his own blade, letting Torc-Alta that had fused grow familiar with one another as Evangeline's power pulsed through Vengeance radiating power equal only to a few.

"I pulled us away, so that your few Genovian soldiers wouldn't get caught in the crossfire. I wish no more death to them, to you, or to the Genovians you call Shades." He let go of Vengeance, and pushed Rigel back until they were at arms distance again. He backed away several paces with his eyes closed, his left claw leaking black ichor from how tightly he gripped Rigel's blade. "I am long overdo, and know that this fight is fated, I only wish you to hear me out, beforehand."

"Hear you out... What could you possibly say of import to me now? You call those you shaped and molded in your own image, as if from clay, Genovians? As far as I can tell they are little more that puppets, carted along upon your arachnid threads to control their descendants." He coursed his own Daemon energy through Vengeance, empowering it even further as the Oathkeeper component drank in his determination. Then the blade itself ignited in an orange-red blaze, the very fires of Wrath itself while arcs of ice blue lightning came off the blade in all directions. Rigel swept the blade several times, causing waves of destruction to launch out at Rumor. The prince braced himself, deflecting several waves, but getting caught in the last, the impact sending him crashing into the ebon throne. The throne itself careening into the wall behind them. The prince was slumped over.

"There is much I have to say, and not much time to speak it. I have been trapped here, for hundreds of years, this last intact shard of creation sapping at my strength to keep it held together." He pulled himself up, and shakily stood himself up out of the throne, using the blade to support himself. He readied his blade again, the fiery wave that hit him having left a large, gaping gash at his sword arm, armor scorched black from the heat. "I know what you must think... you think me a monster who has sold himself to darkness, you think I lead these lost, reincarnated souls as pawns. You think I am responsible for what happened to your people. I know these accusations to be only half truths." He walked closer to Rigel, feathers falling from his wings. "I am Rumor Stormblade, a mockery and half semblance of life. I am prince to the Edolons, not through want or desire, but need." He lowered his blade as he stood up, seeming to have gained some of his strength back through strength of will alone. "What's more... I am a Metasera of old, I am Azrael. He who ended the war in heaven, and was cast down by Durzerah, left plagued by undeath. Cursed to be subsumed by the abyss which had been created through the wrongdoings of that incandescent being himself. Who you knew as Rumor, was a shard of that being, cut off because it held within it, a shard of the abyss, given sentience by a dark maiden of old, pulled into the light by the deity of chaos, and given life as the son of Pride." He looked Rigel in the eyes, casting aside the mask, showing a face that was much different than the one Rigel had grown up seeing in their years together as youths. Suddenly Rigel began to laugh, a broken and half crazed laugh.

"So was it Azrael or Rumor who laid my childhood home to ruin, slaughtered and devoured the souls of my people, and brought about the ruination of all I held dear?" His voice was cracked with anger and sorrow as he removed his own helm, revealing an almost human looking face, ageless but marred by deep worry lines and several old scars. Platinum blonde hair cut short out of practicality as opposed to the shoulder length mane he wore in ages past, a pair of golden irises regarding Rumor with a mix of resolve, sadness, and fury. "It doesn't matter... I care little for gods, demons or their pathetic games." He held Vengeance aloft closing his eyes as he whispered "This is for you Cynthia..." He then opened his eyes, his irises having turned glowing scarlet. He let out a flurry of blows aimed at Rumor's torso and sword arm, the energy of his blade sparking and crackling as Rumor parried his strikes, blades dancing and sparks flying. The prince kept his head back, struggling to keep up the constant deflection of Rigel's attacks, until he missed entirely, Rigel's blade striking the wounded arm, and in one swift motion, severing it from the prince's arm. Evangeline went skittering across the floor, until the blade came to rest at Rigel's boot. Rumor stumbled back, slamming against the crumbled throne, his arm severed at the elbow and pouring black ichor like running water.

"It was Rumor who razed that world to the ground, Rigel... it was me. I killed all of them and there wasn't a single thing that could stop me! I was shattered, split into shards of evil and hate that were not myself. I was aware of the actions... of the screams and bloodshed. Yet there was naught I could do, trapped within myself. All this, because of some sick machination of Asheron. I was once imprisoned with him on Tir'Lon, and forced by him, to help him come back to his power. I worked alongside his daughter, Charna. At the end of my journey... I was rewarded, with a book no less. A dreamstone transcribed with the knowledge of all that had happened in the before. It granted me enlightenment, and power. It granted me the power of the flame, to balance out the abyss that I was born within. It quelled my hunger. It came with a cost, however... too late as I had already opened it and peered within. So young, my mind unraveled at the power that coursed through me. I split into eight shards... seven of sin, and one... that was my humanity, or what sick mockery I had of it at the time." He coughed, spitting up a trail of black ichor. He was racked with the agonizing pain emanating from the stump where his arm once was. He slowly picked himself back up, only to fall back down. Making it obvious that the power of Evangeline was all he had to even stand on his own. "As each shard fulfilled their selfish desires for destruction on that world, they collapsed inwards, creating the one that exists now. Each shard, reuniting with me, carrying the weight of every soul they had taken, until I was once more whole. Even reunited and awake, I could not bear what they had done, I laid there in the blood and gore for days on end... until Azrael appeared, and put his blade to my heart. I died that day, along with all others. Azrael... he knew, that I was innocent of these crimes, knew my pain, for he too, had killed many without intention before... when he shattered the first world. This world, Rigel. This is one of the last original shards of the first world... it was Azrael's home, this castle of old." He crawled over to the throne again, and leaned against it. The prince was crying, looking Rigel in the eyes, unashamed of his tears. "The Edolons exist not as pawns, but as new life... it was the way to give us a second chance, to serve another purpose. Our forms are not in my image, but of Azrael's, for a template was needed to come back, for our bodies were broken. Change was needed as to not violate the laws of death under Crestaru, and because we were allowed to come back by him, we served as the guardians to the souls of the lost, so that no horror like what had taken place could ever happen again, took up arms against the hostile abyss, so that we would remain safe. To protect those around us..." His voice trailed off, getting soft. Quiet. "Blame not me for the deaths of trillions, but the enactor of the scheme to do so... I was the pawn, Rigel, and he played me flawlessly." He finally fell silent, closing his eyes as he tried to catch his breath. Rigel was silent through it all, his eyes, unchanging. Once Rumor had finished his piece Rigel closed his eyes and breathed in slowly, sheathing Vengeance on his belt. He opened his eyes and his irises had returned to their golden hue.

"That's it then? All a tragic accident?" He looked down at Rumor, his expression unreadable "Were that it was so simple..." He bent over an grasped Evangeline lightly picking it up an looking at the blade with an expression of deep distrust "No one should hold the power over life and death for entire worlds... yet there are those who do, without even thinking, and those who deliberately create these tools." He regarded Rumor with a deadly chill "Even if I could forgive you for all the dead, for both Genovia and what happened in the aftermath of the shattering of the First... I cannot forgive you for her's." He approached Rumor, his hand spasiming slightly as he grasped Rumor's weapon "Cynthia..." He said, as if speaking a hallowed prayer to the gods above "I don't expect you to know or remember her."  He twitched slightly and his eyes turned scarlet for a brief moment "An innocent and gentle girl. Never hurt a thing in her life... Because her hands were meant to heal, not harm..." Tears flowed down his cheeks "I remember her face... as well as any from her town, but her's most of all. One day I was wounded fighting a Coldrake near the edge of town, and she insisted on helping me with my wounds. I kept shooing her away, but I eventually passed out from exhaustion. She treated my wounds while I slept. I had told her to leave me be because... my blood is a clear honey color. The townspeople thought I was human... and I feared if they knew better they'd fear me." He paced near Rumor while he spoke "But when I woke up she was just sitting there... at the foot of the bed. When I asked her if she hated me, she just... smiled and said 'Why would I hate you? You're nice and helpful' then I asked why she didn't care about the blood. She said 'It doesn't matter to me... It doesn't make you any less of a person, or any more worthy of scorn'." He smiled weakly "Sweet... lovely girl. She liked to ware green dresses in the summer, red in the winter... Like the promise of coming spring. I remember our last conversation, the dawn was the scarlet of blood as it peeked over the mountains. I said to her 'Cynthia, I won't lie, I've fallen for you.' and she just giggled and said 'Oh? Don't fall too hard, or I'll have to patch up!'." He seemed to be thoughtful "I can forgive much... but not everything. A life for a life, a debt paid in full..." He suddenly turned and impaled Rumor through the torso, just below the rib cage. The blow had so much force it cleaved into the wall behind Rumor, pinning him to it. "Goodbye... old friend." He turned and walked out of the castle, leaping into the air on fiery red wings he took off over the walls and found Micheal.

"Is the wretch dead?" The angel asked, brow furrowed at his inability to breach the defences.

"He is... time to pull out." Rigel moved to leave, when Micheal grabbed his arm, stopping him.
 
"We aren't done here... we need to wipe them all out!" His tone was resolute, commanding... arrogent. Rigel looked down at his hand and back to Micheal.

"We achived our goal... there is no need for further violence." Rigel's tone was terse, barely contained.

"Nonsense... we can't just leave these heathens. They are an affront to Lord Enoch." He sounded offended, almost disgusted. Rigel had enough of this pompacity, and his free arm quickly drew Vengence, thrusting it into the gap between Micheal's chest and stomach armor and twisting it.

"Your Lord's wishes are not my concern..." He retracted the blade, a glowing golden dust leaking from the wound as Micheal gave him a look of shock and surpise.

"Wha..." The only sound he was able to make before he crumpled to dust, his armor falling from the sky and landing in the forest with a thud. Soon after the Angelorum fell as well, one by one, as there was no force to command them. Rigel was too busy to notice... he had a lot to think about once he returned to the ship.

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Lucan Tyrius
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Re: An Oath of Blood and Fire, Chapter One (NSFW, Violence, Ect.)

Post by Lucan Tyrius on Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:44 pm

Back in the throne room, Rumor just laid there, lightly gripping at the blade, still barely alive, despite his grievous wounds, his strength of will a testament to the might of gods. "I'm sorry... Zaki, it seems I was reckless again. Don't cry for me...  for your face is too beautiful to shed such sad tears..." His voice trailed off, the grip lightening on the blade until his hand fell away, his eyes closed, and his breath became so shallow as to not be breathing at all. Black ichor pooled around him as the blade pierced his chest, pierced the throne and wall behind him. He felt the anguish of Evangeline, internally weeping for him, having betrayed her master. At the doorway, near the servants quarters, Jamilia had witnessed the whole thing, and had run full speed, tripping and coming to a skidding halt at her lord's side, tears streaming down her face. She reached for the handle to the sword, and pulled as hard as she could, but her hands slipped off the blade, not strong enough to dislodge it from his chest.

"Wake up, Master! Please wake up! Don't leave me alone again!" She shook him, trying anything to get him to open his eyes, but to no avail. With the Angelorum outside dead, all had fallen silent, and what little life had been in this world, was gone. She slumped against the throne next to him, balling her eyes out as the only family she had left seemingly was just ripped away from her. Out in the courtyard Zaki came to, noting the heavy silence she picked up Devastation. She painfully stood, grasping her side where several ribs had been broken, then mended. She limped, shuffling into the castle. When she got to the throne room she quickly rushed over, falling half way across.

"No... nonononononono!" She stood and went over to Rumor, collapsing to her knees and removing her helmet, revealing silver tears rolling down her cheeks. She grasped Evangeline and pulled it out of him and the wall with some resistance. "Damnit..." She let the blade down gently and looked over the wound. "I... I've failed... again..." She began sobbing, the floor developing a layer of frost in response.

"Don't cry, tears don't look good on you... " It was almost to faint to be heard, but the prince had managed to stay alive, if just barely. He raised his remaining claw to cup Zakima'a cheek, wiping away some of the tears, which quickly froze his hand to the point of being numb. Not that he could feel much in his body to begin with. She held his hand to her face, chocking a little.

"My Prince... you're hurt..." She seemed panicked as she thought about what to do. Suddenly she had a thought, she drew Devastation and slit her left palm, bringing it to his mouth. "Please my Prince... drink..." He nodded slowly, pressing his lips to her silver blooded palm, letting the ichor drip into his mouth as his arm drew her closer to his side. Several moments passed like this, the ichor coursing through his veins until he eventually pushed away from it, catching his breath. It had appeared as though he had stabilized some, the bleeding slowed to a stop across his arm and body. She had remained quite throughout, biting her lip lightly. once he had finished she covered up the cut with a wrapping made from a piece of cloth from her armor. Zaki turned to Jamilla "We sould get him to bed, he'll need to rest while he recovers." The hand maid nodded, her tears having stopped as she wiped the last of them away.

"I failed him." A very cool, sultry tone whispered. Evangeline had awoken, taking her physical form as a pale, silver haired angel of black wings in the form of a female Edolon. She stood fully nude, with massive, ample breasts covered by her folded black feathered wings, serving to cover her in a black curtain to keep her modesty.

"We all did..." Zaki looked at her "But... we can't change the past. All we can do right now, is try to help him." She gently lifted Rumor, struggling a bit but resolved to do what she could and managing well enough "I'm taking him upstairs to rest... You'll want to come along I assume?" She looked over at Evangeline before flashing in an amber light, being transported by the winds of magic to the Prince's bedchamber, where she gently put him down on the bed. By the time Zaki had materialzed in the opulent bed chambers, Evangeline had already gotten there, laying on the bed, having prepared it for them, with a kettle of tea to the side, and a few of the prince's favored foods waiting in silver dishes. She raised her hand away from her bare breast, and lifted Rumor's cumbersome body off of the Lady Darkfire's shoulders, stripping him of his armor. The damaged armor drifted into neat array on the armor stand, and the prince's body was laid to rest in the comfort of the bed.

"There, he should rest easier like this... " Evangeline closed her eyes, urging Zakima to take a seat with her on the bed. Zaki sat down on the bed, looking Rumor over, especially his severed arm.

"My blood is strong, but it will take time for him to heal from such wounds. That stump, however, It will be... unpleasant to regrow, to say the least." She had a slightly chagrined look, almost pained. Evangeline put her claw on Zakima's shoulder, giving her a soft, reassuring look.

"Our master is of an unbreakable will, if he could stay alive through that, then surely regrowing his arm, however painful... will be trival in comparison." She let go, getting up to fetch the kettle, having donned one of the prince's robes to cover herself, although, just like the prince, completely failing to close it in the front, effectively accomplishing nothing. The angelic Edolon took hold of the kettle, and poured two cups, one for herself, and one for Zakima, and returned, having added several cubes of sugar to sweeten them both, before handing one to the black Edolon. "You should drink some, it helps with the nerves, as I have learned."  She sat cross legged next to Zakima, and took a sip from the mug, holding it with both hands as the herbal tea passed her full lips. Zaki took the cup and gave Evangeline a nod.

"Thank you." She said politely as she sipped the tea "And you're right, of course... I just can't help but be a little... I don't know really. I wish it didn't have to be the way it is, but there's nothing that can be done about it at this point." The other Edolon nodded. She turned to take a look at the prince, then yelped and dropped her mug, which thudded empty on the carpet below. The Prince was still laying down, but his eyes were open, and looking at the pair sitting on his bed, blinking every once in a while. Zaki looked at Evangeline, then back to Rumor. "Well, it seems he's... well he's probably been awake actually..." She had a lopsided 'I should have known better' smile on her face. He continued to stare at them, his face blank of all expression.

"I smell tea and cakes." Evangeline had recovered from her shock and happily threw herself on him, hugging him tightly. Rumor grunted a bit, before wrapping his one arm around her, hugging her tightly. "Evangeline, its been so long since you have taken your true form... what has brought you out now?" The prince nuzzled into her neck, relishing in the presence of his old friend. She looked over him fondly wiping a few tears from his eyes.

"When that Genovian picked me up, I felt cold chills, and a sense of dread... and before long, I felt him ram my blackened edge through your heart, and in turn, felt my own shatter. For I thought you dead." She ran her fingers through his hair, grateful for his well being. He smiled, and kissed her neck before pulling away.

"I am truly blessed to have so many who care for me so. Would one of you be a dear and get me some tea, I would be deeply indebted." He looked between the two of them, before closing his eyes again. Zaki poured a glass of tea for him, bringing it to his 'good' side.

"Here, my Prince." She offered it to him. He nodded, taking the mug with an outstretched claw. He grasped it firmly, and took a long drink from its steaming depths. He seemed to visibly relax as he parted with his drink, setting it on the nightstand.

"The Archangel is dead." He said suddenly, to no one in particular, as he looked out one of the large stained glass windows along a pair of double doors that lead to a large balcony overlooking the courtyard.

"Apparently... Though it seems uncertain how." She sat back down on the bed "Is there anything else we can get for you, my Prince?" He shook his head.

"Aside from laying with you two, at the moment, I couldn't want anything more." He took his mug again, and took another long draft from it before setting it aside, and laying his head back down. "That, and I long to see the night sky of our homeland, for this world has no stars, no yearning outwards depths among the clouds... " Zaki smiled, her expression careworn but happy.

"Nothing would please me more, my Prince, than to see you returned to the comfort of the homeworld's embrace." She shifted a little "I know you have many responsibilities here... but Equinox is in dire need of your leadership." She seemed thoughtful for a moment "But for now, get your rest... we can leave once you have recovered and set your affairs here in order." The prince nodded, and closed his eyes. It wasn't the first he had been without his right arm. Long ago, in eons past, he had lost a fatal battle with his father, Syndicate, the original demon lord of Pride, one of the firstborn of the high god, Lord Asheron. In that battle, his blade had been cast aside, and his father's own rended his armor, and cleaved through flesh. In that fell swoop, cutting the prince nearly in two, taking his arm, shoulder, and a good portion of his side. Had it not been for the advancement of technology in the realm he called home at the time, he would have been crippled, and for several decades, he lived with an arm and shoulder of metal and wires. It had been queer and alien to him at first, but he soon got used to the prosthetics, learning of them and even improving them to better suit him over the years. In memory to that, this did not seem so bad to him, at least now he was in the company of love and affection that he had lacked in the before. In this, he thought, he knew himself to be better off.

"You're probably right, I should get some rest, as much as I hate to slumber again... at least your both by my side this time." Zaki nodded and looked over herself.

"I got a little beaten up in the fight, would you mind if I tended to a few things?" She stood and approached the bathroom door "I'll only be a short while." Rumor nodded.

"Tend to yourself, you deserve a chance to lick your wounds, everyone does." He looked over to her as Evangeline cuddled herself up next to him, giving Zakima a soft smile and urging her on.

"Make sure to dress comfortably, dear, I have a few nighties in there, help yourself." Zaki smiled and nodded her thanks.

"Thanks for the offer, but I have it covered." She entered the bathroom and slowly closed the door behind her, and walking up to the mirror she removed her helm and willed her armor to move aside, causing it to become a towel on the floor. She looked over her side, seeing minor cracks in her chitin from the impact of her hitting the wall. the bones had already healed, but the chitin took slightly longer to reform. She checked to make sure the wounds were clean before they had a chance to seal, jumping and wincing slightly as she touched near the affected area. Satisfied that they were clean she willed her suit to reafix itself to her in the form of a simple black and amber nightgown, turning her helm into a pair of eye shades before exiting the bathroom. When she exited, she came to find the prince soundly asleep, with the angel to one side of him, where his arm was missing. She had her head resting on his chest, softly snoozing with her arms wrapped around him tightly. On his other side, was an empty space, the sheet already pulled aside for Zakima in advance by the living weapon next to the prince, so that she may also lay with him. A cool breeze rushed through the open window, letting in some of the cool night air to ventilate the overly warm bedchambers. The sound of quiet clanking could be heard, with the knight captain Adekos standing vigil on the balcony, watching as the many knights down below cleaned up the scattered Angelorum armor across the castle grounds. Zaki quietly slid into the open spot, careful not to disturb either of them as she covered herself up in the sheet, snuggling up to Rumor as much as she dare without disturbing him. Almost as if subconsciously, Rumor's good arm wrapped around her, pulling her snug against him, tail wrapping around one of her legs affectionately. Her head came to rest against him, in a comfortable balance between his fluffy feathered wings, and the soft pillows that cradled her amber maned head. She smiled to herself and closed her eyes, perfectly content as she drifted off to sleep.

The next morning came, and all was quiet, just as before. Evangeline awoke with a start, having been plagued by nightmares of what had happened the previous night. She rubbed the sleep from her eyes, and was confused to find that Rumor had gone. Upon further inspection, she noticed a trickle of black ichor that had formed on the sheets where he had been laying, and it trailed to the door leading down the spiraling staircase that lead up the throne room. Evangeline felt panic rising through her, and he gently, yet hurriedly shook Zaki's shoulder. Zaki shot awake, wide eye, and shouted, her arm suddenly becoming a blur as a cannon formed around it and fired a single shot of azure energy into the ceiling. After a few moments of looking around, her eyes glazed over she looked at Evangeline with sudden recognition.

"What... I... I'm so sorry..." She rolled out of bed and looked around for a moment before looking back to Evangeline. In which Evangeline was hiding behind the armor stand, bug eyed at the display before her, her eyes peeking over the shoulder of the manikin.

"U-uh, that is quite alright, just don't shoot me." She peeked her head out further, looking at the smoldering mark Zaki had left on the ceiling, knowing fully well that could have been her. Zaki's arm returned to normal, and she looked.

"I... I won't..." She looked ashamed "I'm sorry... I didn't mean to." She walked over to her slowly "What happened, is everything okay? Where's Rumor?" She looked around and noticed the trail of ichor "Oh..." Evangeline nodded quickly, stepping out from behind the armor stand and hugging Zaki tightly, her ample bust smooshed against the other Edolons.

"It's okay, Zaki, I forgive you... as for the prince. I think he wandered downstairs somewhere, I hope he's okay." the angel looked back to the door, a look of visible concern on her soft features. Zaki nodded, also appearing a bit concerned. Her clothing then morphed into a simple, utilitarian military uniform, black cloth with gold trim.

"Let's go look for him." She motioned to the door, taking a few steps towards it, grabbing Devestation. Evangeline nodded, seeing Zaki take the big sword, she decided to take one of the butter knives off the serving tray next to the nightstand. Better safe than sorry. She followed Zaki into the large spiraling stairwell, noticing a thick, wavering trail of ichor on the wall, as if the prince had leaned against it as he made his way down.

"It looks like his wound opened up again pretty badly..." Evangeline bit her lip, one of her fangs sicking out over the dimpled flesh of her lip. Zaki seemed concerned.

"I hope not... that would be bad..." She increased her pace down the stairs, worried for her Prince. Within moments the reached the bottom of the stairwell, and immediately, the prince could be heard groaning in what could only be pain. It only took a moment for the groaning to become an agonizing scream, followed by cursing and assorted profanity ranging from various cultures. Zaki rushed into the room, grabbing Evangeline by the arm as she went, looking for Rumor. Inside the throne room was Rumor, isolated and by himself. He was on the ground in a puddle of his own lifeblood, rolling around as his good arm clutched a muscle bound mass that used to be his stump, something having driven him to the point of clawing at it until it was just a mess of tattered muscle strand, black punctuated by gurgling silver in his veins. Chips and pieces of his white chitin scattered all over the floor, specked with ichor and bits of muscle. Zaki stopped dead in her tracks looking over at Rumor with wide eyes.

"Dear moons..." She had seen a many soldiers torn asunder by horrible creatures, but to see someone, a person she loved none the less, do this to themselves... it was a little unnerving. The prince slammed his head against the stone floor several times, frothing at the mouth in a terrible rage. A beat of his wings lifted him off the ground, stumbling back onto his knees, fist slamming into the floor with enough force to put cracks in the anceint stonework. Silver ichor dripped from the torn mess that used to be his arm, the liquid searing his body with an incredible heat, bubbling over the torn stump of his arm. The silver ichor, smoothed over the ripped parts of his muscle, bone forming underneath slowly inch by inch as the silver ichor began to solidify. The rest of his body had ignited into blinding white flame, obscuring their vision entirely, the flames growing into a great bonfire of incredible heat. Evangeline stumbled back, the brightness of the flames being to much to bear as she fell backwards, covering her eyes with the back of her hand. Zaki just stared, knowing full well what was going on. Several moments went by in silence, the only sound was the crackling of the great flame, the maddened prince having fallen deathly silent. They watched as the flames slowly grew dimmer over time, minuet by minuet weakening until all together they vanished in the breeze, leaving the prince smoldering in its wake. Upon further inspecting, his arm, along with the scars on his body, had healed over. Each mar in his chitin filled in with silver ichor that smoothed over the cracks and tears in his body. His arm, had been reforged of silver a radiance shared only by platinum, still hot from the flame. The prince remained still on the ground, his black lidded eyes closed. Evangeline slowly made her was over to him, the floor still warm from the flames as she knelt down by him. She placed her hand on the newly forged arm, feeling the hardness of the new appendage, seeing her own reflection in the gleaming metal. She moved the arm some, and was astonished to find it move and bend like an arm of any other, despite its seamless metallic appearance.

"Miss Zakima, this is utterly amazing. I have seen nothing like this in all my years of companionship with our master... did you know this would happen?" Zaki seemed thoughtful for a long moment before answering.

"Not exactly... no one has reacted to my blood quite like this before. Maybe it has to do with his vampiric nature, or something else entirely, but this is suitably special." She crouched and lightly touched the arm, feeling it for a moment, unsure of what it meant. Evangeline nodded, running a claw along one of the many filled in scars along his body, the scars were obviously still there, to a degree, yet the silver seemed to have filled the in, like a dentist with a bad tooth.

"It seems as though your blood couldn't quite heal him, but I don't know what happened to cause this, his body smells of the flame, the first flame. That which breathed life into me, aeons ago... it would explain the white flame we saw." She looked back to Zakima, her expression thoughtful as she turned back the the unconscious prince, before standing again. "Do you have any idea about what could have happened?"

"Honestly? No..." She looked over the scars, not really sure what to say or think about what was before her. She mulled over a few ideas, carefully considering and then rejecting each one "I think it has something to do with his current state, but I can't say for sure..." She was a little curious about the whole thing, having found the development quite interesting. She turned to Evangeline "We should probably stay here with him until he's up and about." There was a shifting sound, then the sound of metal against stone. Evangeline turned, then gasped as she saw the prince rising from the ground, the silver arm hanging limp, and not completely responsive yet. He raised his right hand to clutch at his head, letting out a low groan as the burned bandages slipped off of his body, leaving him nude before them and exposed. The prince ripped off the last of the bandages to take a good look at what had happened, unsure what to say.

"Master, are you alright? Do you require pantaloons?" Evangeline asked. The prince smiled, and shook his head, still holding his head.

"No, dear, I think I'm good." He chuckled lightly. Who calls trousers pantaloons these days?, he asked himself. He lowered his hand away from his head, and gazed at it for awhile, seeing his own reflection and the newly filled in scars over his eye.

"It seems you've had a... reaction... to the blood. I'm sorry for the pain. If I'd known I would have warned you." Zaki seemed chagrined, but also looking over the scars with intrest still. He looked away from his arm, and into Zakima's eyes, his own eyes having become a sparkling silver, the outer ring still glowing with a fiery red hue.

"There is no need to apologize, for the flame eased away all pain I felt within a moment. It was peaceful, serene even... I felt more at peace than I have ever felt before in my eons of existence. Even now, I am at peace, and I feel the strength of my ancestors coursing through my veins" he clenched his fist, before letting it drop to his side. Evangeline watched with an admiring smile on her lips.

"Master, you're still without pants." Rumor looked down, to see his naked body before them.

"The physical body is nothing to be ashamed of, unless you have... insecurities." He chuckled before turning to look back at them. Zaki smiled, an amused look on her face.

"Besides, who wouldn't enjoy the show?" She crossed her arms and looked around the room to see if there was actually anyone else there. Jamilia was in fact, there, peeping from behind one of the large ebon pillars to see what was going on, or, as of right now, to get a good look at the prince while she could, a light blush on her cheeks, along with several other of the servant girls. Each of them wide eyed and blushing. The prince turned, and followed Zaki's gaze to the small group of blushing servant girls, and smiled widely, waving at them as if there was nothing out of place.

"Although, I might need my robe, seems the girls can't quite keep their collective focus. Can't imagine why." Zaki nodded in agreement looking to Evengeline, who was apparently the fastest. Evangeline was already holding the robe, with Rumor taking it and sliding his arms into it, he was also wearing more bandages as well. It seemed Evangeline had already re-wrapped him and clothed him in the time it took Zaki to turn her head, which to most individuals would be a chilling thought, if one were to ponder it for too long. The prince closed up his robe, buttoning the waist area, while leaving his chest exposed.
"Thank you, my dear Evangeline" He dusted himself off, and kissed her on the cheek, getting a smile and blush from her in turn. Zaki chose to not dwell on the idea too long, and straightened her outfit before looking back to Rumor.

"Well... you seem to have recovered, if nothing else." She looked at the trail of ichor still on the ground "You should probably have someone attend to that." The prince nodded, and motioned his hand across the breadth of the room, the ichor bubbling and lifting up off of the stone floor, gurgling into a smoldering black ball above Rumor's outstretched hand. His eyes ignited into white flame, and so to, did the orb of abyssal ichor. the flame shifted and roared in his palm, until after several moments, it went out entirely, revealing a gleaming ebon dagger in his hand, balanced across his fingers. The blade spiraled to a fine, barbed point. Its edge gleamed a bright white that carried a faint, unfading heat glowing in the low light in contrast to the spiraling black of the rest of the blade, which seemed to gleam and drink in all light that passed over its surface. In its pommel, rested a fine amber gem of chiseled topaz that twisted into the shape of an outstretched flame. The prince looked over his creation, hefting the blade with a soft smile on his lips. He looked at his palm and took hold of the newly forged blade, sliding one of its edges across his palm and cutting open his hand, letting his ichor pour over the blade. He watched as the dagger drank in its essence, seeming to grow more powerful the more ichor it seeped in. He tossed the blade into the air, and levitated it over to Zakima, the blade tip pointing down at the floor below, having absorbed all the ichor that had been spilt onto it.

"Here, from pain, I have crafted a gift of love, a blade of great power. It hungers, like all things of the abyss do. However unlike most creatures of the abyss, you shall be able to direct its hunger. A merciless blade that will inflict both abyssal damage, and purging flame. I hope you shall use it for great good." He wrapped a bandage over his palm, and folded his arms behind his back, awaiting a response. She looked over the blade thoughtfully, feeling it in her hand before looking back to him.

"Thank you, it's a fine blade, and I will see that it is used to the fullest of it's ability, that I promise." She formed a small sheath at her side and slide it in perfectly. He smiled and pulled her close, kissing her forehead affectionately. His great feathered wings unfurled and wrapped around her curvacious frame in a loving embrace.

"Words cannot express my love for you, my dear" He ran his fingers through her amber mane, and nuzzled into her. She relished the embrace, blushing slightly.

"T-thank you my Prince... I love you too... more than I can say." She nuzzled his chest. Evangeline backed away, letting the two have their moment and smiling to herself. She wrapped her wings around herself in her own hug, humming quietly. The door to the throne room opened, and Adekos approached in his casual clothes. A royal purple tunic and black trousers, with his boots underneath, stripped of armor plating.

"My lord, I was just informed that the last of the Angelorum remains have been moved to the foundry smelters, and are being melted down into ingots." Adekos stood several feet away, not wanting to intrude upon his father's personal affairs. The prince nodded approvingly.

"Very good, make sure Lady Darkfire here gets some of them. I am very sure she would like to examine the components of their armor. In fact, go and ensure that two complete sets remain intact, one for my uses, and one for examination by the good Lady here." He issued his order, and Adekos nodded swiftly, immediately turning and exiting to go and follow through with that request.

"I'm sure the metal will prove most interesting, thank you." She suddenly recalled "Oh! Micheal's armor will have been out there, that's sure to be interesting." She turned to Rumor "It would also be wise to ensure it's not found by his brethern." The prince nods, and called forth a raven from one of the rafters.

"Go now, young one, and tell Adekos of the black armor in the field, tell him to bring it here." He pet the raven on the head with a finger, the black bird nuzzling his hand in turn before taking flight in search of the young Adekos. "There, it shall be handled shortly." He turned back to Zakima. "Also, in the event it does come to light of Micheal's demise, we should try to build a defense in case they launch a vengeful invasion, or try to find some way to prove we didn't kill him." She crossed her arms with a thoughtful expression.

"I'm not sure it will matter, unless we can prove that it wasn't us they'll likely blame us by default, and we aren't exactly sure what happened." She paced about for a moment before stopping and turning "His armor might have traces of his divine blood, if so then I can cast a spell that will reveal his final moments." She casually put her hands on her hips "Then we can both see for ourselves and have proof of who actually killed him, to placate them."

"I saw what happened, Ma'am." Adekos said, having returned with the Archangel's armor in tow. "The tall human in white armor stabbed him with a powerful silver blade. I saw from above while I was extracting my men from aerial combat." The tall pale edolon stacked the plates of armor neatly next to him on a cart that also had another set of armor, and several ingots from the melted down plates that they had scavenged. Rumor nodded, having suspected as much from what he felt, dying with Evangeline impaled through him.

"Why would Rigel turn on his ally? Especially one with powerful friends..." She looked over at the armor "It just doesn't make any sense." She walked over to the Archangel's armor and looked over it, finding some golden residue on in the place that the chest and belly plates met. She ignited two amber flames in her hand, one was a scrying spell meant to show her his last moment, the other was a projection spell that would show those moments as an illusion.

After a moment of buildup she flicked her left hand at the armor, then the right at the floor a little away from everyone, causing the hovering forms of Rigel and Micheal to appear, looking as real as life.

"Is the wretch dead?" The angel spoke with a furrowed brow, apparently upset by something.

"He is... time to pull out." Rigel sounded tired, and distracted, moving to leave when Micheal grabbed his arm, stopping him.

"We aren't done here... we need to wipe them all out!" His tone was tinged with arrogance. Rigel looked down at his hand and back to Micheal.

"We achieved our goal... there is no need for further violence." Rigel's tone was terse, barely contained anger coloring the words.

"Nonsense... we can't just leave these heathens. They are an affront to Lord Enoch." He sounded offended, almost disgusted. Rigel seemed angered by the Angel's demanding attitude, and his free arm quickly drew Vengeance, thrusting it into the gap between Micheal's chest and stomach armor and twisting it.

"Your Lord's wishes are not my concern..." He retracted the blade, a glowing golden dust leaking from the wound as Micheal gave him a look of shock and surpise.

"Wha..." The only sound he was able to make before he crumpled to dust, his armor falling out of the illusion before it faded.


"I see, I suspected as much, when I felt the sharp decrease in aether energy." The prince commented, having watched over the whole projection with great interest. Evangeline had a look of confusion across her face, uncertain why Rigel would have done such a thing to what she could have only assumed was his ally. "Rigel was never very fond of being ordered around, nor does he actually like the Angelorum. Most likely he only sided with them so that he could use them as expendable soldiers to get through the defenses."

"It seems that was indeed the case... maybe if we're lucky the Milatoyrn Council will take care of the Genovians for us. Assuming they ever get this information that is." She turned to Rumor. He nodded, using a bit of magic to pull as much blood off of the armor plating as he could.

It wasn't much, but hopefully it would be enough to do the spell again, should the time arise. He turned, Evangeline presenting him with a small vial in which he put the blood within, handing it to Zakima. "Ensure that this is put in a safe place." She nodded and looked it over before snapping her fingers, causing it to vanish in a flash of amber light.

"I sent it to it's own pocket dimension, safe as can be." She grinned and crossed her arms "By they way... what are you going to do about the Voidborn?" She looked at him with a serious expression "I mean... we can't just ignore them, and they're bound to figure out you're alive at some point." He looked at her long and hard.

"When I get back to Equinox, we'll figure that out. As for those who remain who branded themselves against us. I shall have them hunted down and executed by my own hand. The actions taken in the rebellion are unacceptable and there must be adequate punishments administered." His face had grown cold, and angered. He clenched his fist. "In fact, once we finish repairing the structures here, I must insist we leave at once. I cannot stomach the thought of Magnolia having to manage that by herself, and Asmodan is hardly a suiting replacement for yourself, Zaki." She looked away and shook her head.

"He's not the best, no, but he was good enough for the interim. I couldn't trust this to anyone else and Meros is gone... he was the best and only option." She looked at him "But I agree, it must be delt with as soon as possible." He nods, and turns away, walking towards the hall that would lead back to his bedchambers, tail lashing in deep thought.

"I need to get back to Equinox, and restore the faith. Rebuild the chantry and strengthen the military... we can't be caught off guard. Above all else, we need to avoid killing the Voidborn as much as possible. I will not hide myself away like a coward, and the Genovians must come to terms with what happened. They are children throwing tantrums over matters of eons past, and I won't tolerate it anymore."

Zaki stayed to examine the metal ingots made from the Angelorum armor, being quite interested in the alloy they used. She turned to Adekos setting down the ingot "So... I assume the Prince will be leaving you in charge of this place in his stead?" She was trying to be friendly, and hopeful that she wasn't being too formal. He shrugged, not certain himself.

"More than likely he will just allow us to travel as well, we are not a terribly large group. I doubt he will want to leave us, or at least, his inner circle here." he folded his hands behind his back as he watched his father shut the door as he walked up the spiraling staircase.

"So this realm needs no one to lead it?" She seemed curious, though not confused "Although I suppose that makes sense, given how he was immobile for a few centuries and nothing bad has happened here." Adekos nods, smiling to himself.

"As it often is, the dead need not someone to tell them that they are in fact... dead" He chuckled lightly. "I think everything will be just fine here, as long as the lord doesn't perish. His energy is needed to keep this plane stable, unless we can find someway to rekindle the world engine that normally holds this place together." She nodded.

"Has he told you much of Equinox? I'm longing to return... In fact I only deigned to leave because the Prince needed to be found." Her eyes seemed a bit distant, as if imagining the dark sky of her homeworld. Adekos shook his head, trying to imagine what world his father could have hailed from.

"He has spoken naught of this Equinox you speak of, although I can imagine it would be quite beautiful, if I am to take your own image as any example." He leaned against the pillar, looking over her figure. She crossed her arms, her face unreadable.

"It is... it's the Homeworld of the Edolons, a night enshrouded frosted wilderness, filled with bio luminescent plants and... interesting wildlife. The cities are fully modernized, not sure if you know what that means though. We'll be taking my ship, the Destroyer's Invocation to get there... it's about a twelve hour trip." Adekos nodded.

"The Lord has in fact taught me of such things in the days before he was bound to the throne... in fact, I think that makes me a couple hundred years old now. You know... even as time goes by, the increasing age has never made me feel different. I always feel like a child grasping at the unknown around my father... he is a worrisome role model." He looked back to her, having suddenly opened up about some of his more personal matters. Zakima gave him a rueful smile, knowing and amused.

"He's always been like that... I'd even say it's part of his charm."  She put a hand on her hip and looked out in space, reliving some fond memories "I've known him, in one way or another, for over thirty thousand years... but he is an enigma even to those that have known him longest. I think he once mentioned knowing Rigel, the white armored fellow, before the Edolons were created... but I don't know the details." She seemed thoughtful. The doors to the tower slammed open, and the prince entered adorned in his ceremonial armor. Dark black plate mail with gleaming silver trim and scrollwork. In each plate, lied a dark abyssal gem. A silver broach bearing a flawless ruby of deep scarlet clamped his hooded robe together around the shoulders, shaped like a blooming rose. Articulated, gauntlets with silver tipped claws covered the forearms and hands. A polished silver belt secured a fine cloth fauld that matched the black and white trim robe, with a layer of black chainmail underneath, all leaving his chiseled abdomen exposed beneath the fine breastplate. Just under the fauld were full plate greaves, just as ornate as the rest of the armor, bearing silver scrollwork overtop a pair of claw toed, heavy plate boots. His tail was covered likewise in articulated black plating and silver scrollwork, leading to the tip where his lush, fluffy tail tip was left exposed. In his claws, he held the black crown, the station of his princehood on Equinox, a thick ridged circlet with a pair of outstretched raven wings that curved around the head, flaring out to the back. He slid the crown over her head, coming to rest over his forehead, where another ruby sparkled in the low light, also shaped like a rose. He approached them, waving his claws and closing the doors behind him with abyssal magic.

"I figured it was high time I take back my mantle as Prince." He came to a stop in front of them, palm resting on a sheathed silver arming sword at his side. Zaki turned an smiled, kneeling with head bowed.

"It is indeed, My Prince... are you ready to depart?" She looked up, arm resting on one knee. The prince nodded, two dozen of his personal guard adorned in matching armor sets, of more simple and practicle design, wearing closed face helms adorned with their protruding horns crowning the top. Each one of them carried an elegant halberd of ebon metal, a black gem resting at their tip, radiating arcane power. At their side, they wore a bastard sword and dagger, versatilly equipped for various engaugment scenarios.

"Indeed I am, I am sure those aboard Destroyer's Invocation will be joyed to see me returning. A long overdue reunion." Zaki stood nodding in agreement. Jarraik stood at her side, ready to leave with her.

"My Lady, I have arranged for the bodies of our fallen brothers to be transported to the ship with Phantom Sqaudron." She spoke with quite, hushed tones. Zaki nodded somberly, turning to Rumor.

"Everything is ready, my Prince. Shall we away?" She turned to the exit.

"Yes, just allow me to gather the rest that shall accompany us." With that, and a snap of his claws, he vanished in a plume of white flame and feathers.

TO BE CONTINUED...

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