Viramsata: Battle of the Authors

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What Came Before

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« Reply #15 on: June 02, 2013, 12:43:27 am »
Quote from: Camlost
Marden completed her performance but knew she had lost the lethal fluidity it required.

Standing in the shadows off stage, Marden's anger began to rise as she searched the crowd for those unfathomable eyes. The eyes that had interrupted her choreographed pacing. She had danced the Fall of Idrius for a hundred years, never missing a step; it was sacred to her, for she had stood upon the walls of this fallen city to the very last!

Mine is the fury that moves armies, is the clamour of sword on shield, the cries of blood shed! How dare..

A sickening chill came over Marden as she fought to quell her rage. A paralyzing revelation. The dread recognition that someone in that faceless crowd had disrupted her ritual..

(sorry, performed a minor edit, unless of course no one noticed)

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« Reply #16 on: June 02, 2013, 12:43:35 am »
Quote from: Madness
As the performance drew to a close, Azrael remained seated, waiting. He had nothing but time to contemplate; after all, novelty remained the only true digression from his mortality.

Had anyone noticed?

There were individuals among every crowd, those who could sense exercises of... power. He wondered if those attentive had caught the timing of exercise, marked only by a seamless gaff of the dancer as it had entered her perception - a step she'd never missed, as Azrael had occasioned these performances often.

These days marked the Weeks of Remembrance...

The memory of Civilization's greatest fall.

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« Reply #17 on: June 02, 2013, 12:43:42 am »
Quote from: Madness
Gwennie awoke to sounds of chaos... discordant, disruptive... she knew not what they meant - she was forever hearing words and using them the way adults did - except they seemed to describe her feelings this...

She looked down the alley to sate her curiosity. It was early evening and the Sun's fiery ball lowered into the bowl of the earth. Shadows grew from shadows and sprang stretching around her. She remembered being terrified of them at some point, more so even than her first Blooding... But she was braver now and had seen three brothers and sisters go to dirt, as they said. Whoever they were.

Then she heard the sounds again. They had faded like a dream... but then...

Where were they coming from?

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« Reply #18 on: June 02, 2013, 12:43:48 am »
Quote from: Camlost
The theater was near empty when Anjiera stood to leave. While others had filed out discussing the evening's performances in ecstatic exclamations, he had taken a moment to contemplate an illusion. A memory that did not belong to him. Weeks of Remembrance indeed..

As Anjiera rose and made his way down the aisle towards the performer's exit he recognized a blond haired man still seated, staring absently at the stage, "Azrael, my friend! I had feared you would miss the evening's celebrations when you did not reply to my invitations."

After a brief exchange of social formalities, their conversation quickly shifted to the evening's performance, particularly concerning one wild-haired young woman that each admitted to having found quite captivating, which prompted Anjiera to invite Azrael to join him backstage and meet the troupe.

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« Reply #19 on: June 02, 2013, 12:43:57 am »
Quote from: Camlost
Oslow was the troupe manager. He negotiated payments and performances, directed travels, managed costumes and makeup, but his greatest asset as manager was an impeccable judge of character. Oslow could size up an audience, a man, a horse, or a whore, all with a swift and penetrating gaze that left them bare to his scrutiny.  He was about to rudely redirect two men who had found their way backstage when he recognized one of them as the troupe's patron, Anjiera Lathwin.

The two had come to meet the newest addition to the troupe: a beautiful, young auburn haired woman who could dance like the wind. But Oslow had come to recognize her as something all together different. On several occasions since she had joined the troupe, he had taken the time to look at her long and hard, searching her to the pith, yet he could never glean anything beyond what she seemed. There had been a few rare instances during which Oslow would have sworn he had caught sight of something in her, but it was only ever fragmented and fleeting. Even with his unique gift she still remained impossibly unrecognizable. And now, before him stood another...

Oslow felt gooseflesh prickle his arms as he escorted the two of them to Marden's dressing room, where he quickly disengaged himself and fled into the alley backing the theater.

The setting sun had cast the city in a reddish hue and Oslow could feel the day's heating seeping into his sweaty forearms as he leaned against the wall to steady himself. He shuddered as he considered Anjiera's companion, the golden ringlets that framed a mask of bemused irony, and wretched at the thought of another..

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« Reply #20 on: June 02, 2013, 12:44:06 am »
Quote from: Madness
They talked in hushed tones for a moment before Anjiera knocked softly - it had been a number of seasons since Azrael had last seen his former comrade-in-arms, Swordbrothers of a far different battlefield.

The door swung open and the dancer stood before them. A form so precise, belying a submerged strength. Unbridled passion. Relentless focus. Eyes that burned Azrael's own anew.

In the crowd of the theater, in the haze of experience, Azrael's had thoughts only for the exercise of power. Yet regarding this woman, this Marden, before him, Azrael understood that while the unknown had been wild with excess, Marden fairly radiated, seethed something... more.

Yet I know those capricious creatures called gods... for they punish me so.

And she was not of them.

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« Reply #21 on: June 02, 2013, 12:44:16 am »
Quote from: Madness
She followed someone... no, maybe something. She'd heard talk of creatures beyond the Pale, things beyond the City. Or the very World. Adults were always talking about things she couldn't see or understand.

It was like a shadow and moved from place to place where only shadow's were cast. Was this fantastic play of sight responsible for the strangeness she was hearing? What was this thing before her?

She felt quiet as a mouse, bravely following some cat in tenacious revolt. Tenacious... She wondered at the word, rolling it around in her mouth. It sounded right. She would follow this Shadow Cat like a mouse, never considering the momentary madness of such thoughts - weren't mice eaten by cats?

Yet she knew without knowing that this Shadow Cat was indeed a predator... and it wasn't hunting little mice like her.

Camlost

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« Reply #22 on: March 05, 2015, 08:30:26 pm »
The shadows grew long and the sun fled the sky, but Oslow's thoughts were elsewhere, retracing all the fears and concerns he'd had of his dancer—and now Anjeira's companion.

His absent gaze hadn't registered the towering shadow until it had separated itself from the greater darkness. A wraith from legend, from tales told before cities and walls. Oslow knew pleading was useless, and an icy grip about his throat assured him.

A dry and rasping voiced echoed from the darkness. The language was ancient in its inflection, yet meaning penetrated. A deal was struck and a debt is owed. No one escapes the Pale One's grasp, yet you have helped her elude me..

Oslow might have felt a moment of vindication if not for the finality with which each phrase was uttered. An antiquated bone knife slipped between his ribs, punctuating his final thoughts. A deal, with the Pale One..

His body slipped from the blade to lay cold and stiff in the dirt. It's empty gaze coming to rest on a filth-covered girl spying from the shadows.

Camlost

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« Reply #23 on: March 05, 2015, 08:32:21 pm »
Marden sat postured across from them, indulging their flattery, when a chill ran down her neck, nearly breaking her poise. Slowly, almost imperceptibly, a cold had crept into the room, and with it the sickly scent of decay. Marden watched both her guests closely, her patron's cavernous-eyed companion particularly, but if either of them noticed the change they showed no sign of it.

The aura continued to invade the room. One she had felt long, long ago and was still all too familiar.

But she was no longer a lonely battle maiden, wedded to the sword, staring out at annihilation come. She had made her bargain—her soul for countless thousands, to be repaid one for every hearth outside Idruis' walls.

And she had paid. All but the last. For now she was something greater than she had been, something far more. She was a bloodletting storm, a whirlwind of sharp edges and deadly intent, and she would not have ruin heaped upon her again.

She bandied words with the men and she waited. Ready.