Far as I know that his RL made him quit with rather fast pace. I don't know any details, but he might be back or not.... yes well, that didn't help at all I think?
Far as I know him its ok if someone wants to pick up the plot and move it forward.
I know just as muchas you do andit saddens me he could at least write me a good bye mail! Typical man. I was thinking about taking over the plot but at exactly that moment more key figures disapeared: Maka and Zandoka. Zandoka is back now but Maka still missing... however if you, me and others manage to force our brains to produce some interesting follow up, I'm sure we could revive and finish the plot.
A little update on what's brewing up in the northern mountains.
The Settlement of Dinog in the Eiglophian mountains have experienced an increase in trade. Which have lead to making the daily life easier.
But life is not all good...
People whispers about seeing lights and fires near a cave deep in the mountain where an old cult once reside. A cult that was deep infested in their own tribe. The elder talks about a time when nobody was safe, not even within the settlements walls.
Have they come back... How can we protect ourselves?
It took bit longer to write this then I had expected, but those who awaits something good ^^
Just another day - Part II
Her first swing hit nothing but air so she pressed forward. IT was there somewhere and she struck at the dark vapor until suddenly she hit flesh. The familiar recoil though her arms and up her shoulder made her wince. She turned the blade before she pulled it out, taking one step back with her sword high in a defensive position. For a moment she was completely surrounded by darkness, feeling hot, sticky blood dripping over the blade onto her hand.
Inside the darkness she heard a hoarse voice muttering in Cimmerian with distinct Nemedian accent. “Crom's balls and Mitra's cock, what the...”
Instinctively she followed up her first hit with a one hand blow upwards trying to hitting IT bluntly again. With her other hand, she reached out trying to grab what was in front of her. She shivered from the cold and heat.
And as the dark vapors disappeared she saw the body of a man falling backwards. When he hit the ground the dark thing has completely disappeared, and a mask made out of a real (incredibly large) goats head slide off his face, revealing...
Elyssa pushed forward, moving in closer to the man and lifted her sword for a killing blow. She was halfway through her swing when she recognized him and the blow aimed to his torso reduced in strength. He moaned when her broadside hit him. She saw the vaguely familiar face of a man she once knew covered in rotting goat's meat, dark, syrup blood and with a horrible dark tattoo over his face. And thanks to her sword with a stab wound in his abdomen.
He croaked and groaned in anguish. “Kill me now and get it over with, damn you...! “ He looked at her with eyes devoid of recognition.
She sighed and wiped of her sword before she sheeted it. The cloth turned crimson red of all the blood and feel heavily to the ground when Elyssa dropped it. “Stupid males...” She muttered and pulled down her hood. What in earth is he doing here? Him of all people. I thought I had left that life behind me…. She was soon by the man’s side, squatting down beside him and examined his wounds, turning him roughly a bit on his side.
He put his hand on the wound in his abdomen and winced. “You stab like a girl...”
“Don’t tempt me mister...” She pushed his hands away, quite forcefully.
“Hrmpf... are you going to torture me now, woman?” He tried to look defiantly, but just looked sad.
“I am going to die anyway, just leave me...”
“Shut up with the self-loathing... It does not suit you.”
“That voice... I know that voice...” He rubbed a hand through his face. “Gods, Elyssa, is that you? You shouldn't see me like this...”
Elyssa pressed one hand at his abdomen and loosens a small bag with the other. “I said shut up!!!!!!!”
He shook his head not seemingly taking her advice. She in turn sounded irritated and moved on with taking care of his wound. With fast hands she stitched him up, biting the thread of when she was done and pressed a piece of cloth onto the wound, filled with something greenish.
Around she could see the mutilated corpses of numerous Vanir lying around. “Men... Only troubles... Mom always said that... never a quiet time... always up to something stupid.”
He howled in pain. “Something stupid?!? You are the one that gutted me, if I recall correctly.”
Elyssa was muttering while taking care of him. Some words he can’t even make out, maybe all for the best. “Shout all you want. This time you deserve it.” She looked at the nearest corpse and back at him with a meaningful glimpse in her eye. One even he could not misinterpret.
“Yeah, I deserve it....”
“Yes you do.. And now let me do what I can for you…”
Silent steps get closer in the darkness. A slim girl sneaked closer, intrigued by the voices he faintly heard in the depths of the cave.
“What is that thing anyway?” Elyssa picked up a piece of the broken mask. It is moist in her hand and it feels like she is holding a ribcage.
“Broken mask is manky goats head, cut to fit like a mask; it smells like hell.”
The girl sneaked closer and hid behind the last corner to listen in the darkness.
“That?” he looked at the goat's head, croaked and fell back, trembling, until he quiet down, out cold. Suddenly he pivoted back up and started to scream.
Elyssa hit him in the head out of pure reflex.
The girl in the darkness jumped back a bit and pressed herself against the wall.
“Agrua Gaharah Dam...” Baloracs jaw slammed back and with a gurgling sound he is out cold again.
“Damn men... Never gives you a quiet time.” Elyssa looked down at the unconscious man, rolled her eyes and finished to dress his wounds.
The girl took one last peek around the corner before she sneaked back out of the cave. Whatever it was there in the darkness, which ever it was, she decided to leave it undisturbed.
Last edited by Angel-of-Sins; 11th February 2012 at 14:11..
The water skin in her right hand was heavy yet she walked lightly. When the light in the cave dimmed she reached out to the wall, following its curves until she reached her small camp. The fire was almost out and as a small stone hit the cave floor, making a tiny noise, Elyssa looked behind her.
The man lying on his back next to the fire muttered in his sleep, sometimes growling a little. Why would the Jackal come here? Why of all people would she stumble onto him in a cave close to the Eiglophians? Elyssa sat down and splashed some cold mountain water in face. He muttered something and tried to swat the cold drops away in his sleep. She smiled at him and splashed some more water in his face, not so gently this time. He swallowed a mouthful and started to cough.
“Awake? ... Good.”
Balorac groaned. “That depends on what you call good... but it is nice to see you, Elyssa.”
She muttered something in a foreign language and leaned a bit backwards.
“You are a sight for sore eyes, but then again you always were a stunner. “ He tried to smile. “And I... I think I sacrificed what I had left of my looks on some altar... Now I just have my charm...” He started to laugh but it turned to whines in pain. “I better not laugh too much. It is ok, as long as I don't do that.” He looked down at his chest and found it neatly tied with linen and the pain is soothed by the paste she has put on the wound earlier.
Elyssa nodded and stared a bit at him. Her eyes were not unfriendly... Just very cautious. “Whatever foul things have you been up to lately, my friend?” She picked up a piece of the mask he had worn.
“I'll be damned if I knew that to the fullest extent... It all seems to be a little hazy.”
“What was the last you remember?”
“Dark Wings. Fever dreams of wolves and goats.”
Elyssa dropped the mask like it sickened her. “Dark wings.. ??”
“Flying on dark wings. It should mean something...”
“Venturing to deep down into the shadows are we?”
“I live in the shadows, Elly. You should know that by now. I cannot abide the sunlight for too long.”
“I do know that... But this time you slipped. Are you getting old?” She can’t help but smile.
Balorac chuckled. ”I feel old, that's for sure. But one the positive side: I unlocked memories of whom I really am. So that's a good thing I suppose.”
Elyssas eyes widen a bit. “Is that so.. We see good in bad this time? Just some moments ago you pleaded me to take your pathetic life.”
“Did I now?” He arched an eyebrow. “I must have been really out there then.” He paused and looked at her. “Do you want to know my true name?”
“Your real name? You know now who you are?” She looked a bit skeptic.
“My name is Culain McLir, of Clan McLir. Cu for short. Which is also the word for dog in my people's tongue. Funny, eh? I called myself Jackal, and my foster father who raised me in Brandoc called me Balorac, or Demon Wolf.”
“Elyssa ... of the house of Athiene.. Nice to meet you.. Short.. Dog..” It glittered of amusement in her eyes.
“Elyssa is the name of an angel.” Balorac smiled tiredly. “The house of Athiene only adds to that... The angel and the dog...
“It stands for knowledge, ancient knowledge.”
Balorac nodded. “Yeah, that's a bit more respectable than dog.”
There was a slight hint of shame in her eyes. “Well…” She pushed his shoulder back. “We need you to get better. Do you still have family in these parts?”
Balorac nodded. “I suppose... But where can I go? I bring death to those that take care of me.” He smiled sadly at her.”
“By Crom, you’re in a dreadful mode....I will give you shelter if nobody else takes you in.. the Dun is deserted and in ruins.. But I still have people loyal to me.”
“And you want to expose them to me?”
“You have to be careful though... If whatever you bring with you harms any Fearghals....the spirits of the Dun will retaliate.”
Balorac chuckled. “Want to test their faith, do you?”
“It’s not the same place as before, my friend…” She smiled. “ The choice is yours.”
Balorac seemed to give up and nodded at her. “Alright, don't worry. I will behave and yes, I will accept your kind offer. As soon as I can actually walk.”
Elyssa chuckled. “Well my friend... with this winter and cold weather... I hope you heal fast.” The light inside the cave dimmed fast. “I have to tend to the fire, its dying.” She rose up. “I will be back shortly.”
She came back carrying some damp wood and branches. They made a soft thump when they hit the ground next to the dying fire. Balorac turns his head slightly; watching her as she crouched down and rebuild the fire. “What else did you remember?” she asked with her focus on the fire. She did not see his smile as he watched her every move.
“I remember when my memory was taken from me and by whom, but I don't think I am ready to share that yet... The same goes for some of the things I did after I came under her thrall...”
Elyssa gave him a glance and shook her head. “Secrets dissolve and lose their impact on you in daylight.”
“That may be but secrets are what little armor I have left, dear Elyssa. But I remember something about my Clan, and about Aonghas, our founder father. He was an adventurer, like that other Cimmerian who left his lands for fame and fortune...”
Elyssa gave him a closer look. “My clan’s founders were not so much unlike yours.”
“It's in the blood, Elly.” He smiled. “And it echoes in who we are you and me. Anyway, Aonghas was headless, an outcast, by choice. One day he came across something that compelled him to travel West, in search of our legacy.”
Elyssa smiled to herself. “Sounds strangely familiar.”
“Hmm, maybe more people did that, but he actually walked from the East into the Pict lands, gathering other headless as he walked until he came to an old fortress belonging to our forefathers. And with his Clan of headless, abandoned and lost he started a new beginning in hostile territory.”
“Seeking strength in those outside other families.. Creating a home.” She smiled.
“That sounds all too familiar, doesn't it? Well this next bit probably doesn't... I don't know what really happened, but out there in the West Aonghas's children unleashed something to defend themselves against the endless Pict hordes and they had to flee their lands...”
“You told me about the bone woman…”
“But whatever it is that they unleashed, it followed them." He paused and studied her with a surprised look. “Bone woman? Lemagrua is her real name. At least that is the name she calls herself, although her true name is probably older.”
“You only mention the name Bone woman... And the sacrifice of children to her.” Despite the fire next to her, she shivered.
Balorac nodded slowly. “She is linked to the Children of McLir and the terror that drove them from their lands.”
“Water?” Elyssa held up a water skin.
“Yes, please... “He held out his trembling hand. “Gods, I am feeble...”
“I will cool you down with mountain water if I have to.” She leaned forward and checked his eyes. “Why did the evil thing drive the clan from its land?”
“I think they unleashed something they couldn't control...”
“Was it her.. Or something worse?”
“People are inclined to do stupid things when facing overwhelming odds. And no, it was not her. It was... worse. It was what she wanted, I think. In any case, they fled the Pictish lands for the relative safety of Cimmeria. Only to find out that what they had unleashed had followed them.”
Balorac gave Elly a pained look and swallowed. “So the children of Aonghas McLir disbanded, in a desperate attempt to break the curse.”
“And her leach is tight...”
“It is indeed...”
Elyssa didn’t turn away and kept her eyes locked to his. He met her eyes and smiled. “You are wondering if she is still in there?” He tapped his cranium with his fingertip. “She is not.”
“Prove it...” She said dryly. “After what I saw earlier.....something is in there.”
“I had to travel through hell to get rid of her. Not that I can prove any of it, of course, for she could only prove me wrong and not the other way around. But I feel it, I know it...” He looked at her for a moment. She could not read what was going on in that thick head of his. “What did you see?” he asked.
“A figure.. You, clad in a grotesque mask...with swirling darkness around you… I did not know it was you until i had slashed you and knocked the mask of your head.”
“Well, I have memories of something else... I remember killing and maiming Vanir with my fangs and claws...”
“Or shall I say knocked more sense into that thick head of yours...“ She muttered almost unbearably.
“There is no sense thick enough to remain in this skull.”
Elyssa snickered. “Good hearing, have to remember that.”
Balorac nodded. “I can hear you heart beating as if I had my ear on your chest.”
“Well…” She looked at him a bit uneasy.
“And those birds outside of the cave are driving me nuts.” He continued. “I can also smell everything stronger than I remember. And my eyesight has gotten decidedly worse. I didn't even recognize you at first.”
“At least I don’t smell that bad then...” She raised a brow.
Balorac said softly without looking up. “You smell so good; it makes me nearly lose my mind... Elly. I just never smelled you like that before.”
Her eyes widen and she could not help but blushed deep. “Don’t say things like that…”
“Well, that is another thing... I seem to have lost certain... inhibitions... So not saying things like that is no longer an option.”
“What???” Her heart raced a bit.
“Elly, I... have changed... I have taken the aspect of a beast and I am not sure if it is a blessing or a curse. Perhaps both... or neither.”
“Just the way you like it, I wager.” He smiled up at her.
She chuckled and sat down a bit from him, clasping her hands round her knees and looked like she didn’t know what to say.
“But I know one thing... I see it with crystal clarity... I have to reunite the children of Aonghas McLir. That is my purpose, and I can defeat what it is that drove us from our lands.” His breath was a bit uneven.
Elyssa smiled at his words. “That is a good goal. And here am I to find and help those Fearghal that are shattered over Cimmeria.”
Balorac smiled. “Our fates seem to mirror each other. We seem to mirror each other...”
“Life is complex... And it seems that our paths share the same destination... at least some of them...”
Balorac nodded at her words. “I find that... comforting.”
“I’m glad I can give you some comfort... Part from the slashing.” She motioned at his chest with a smile in the corner in her moth.
“That was probably necessary too... and I am grateful it was you who did it, Elly. You know...” He looked down.
“Anyone else might not have recognized you.... And stopped in time before you were dead... Or they were dead.”
“No, that's not what I mean...” He started to grin. ”You really stab like a girl, and I would have been in real trouble if somebody else had wielded that blade...” At the end he grinned wolfishly.
“Stab like a girl??... And here I’m all nice to you...” She swatted him at the back of his head.
Balorac rocked forward, laughing out loud, winced in pain, and leaned back, still laughing with tears streaming down his face. “You know I am grateful beyond what words can express.”
“I show you who stabs like a girl... Grateful... My shiny arise…“ Next time I won’t hesitate and you will be dead. Telling her she was to week to wield the sword she used was not something she considered a compliment.
Balorac shook his head. “You attacked something that must have been nightmarish and very deadly. You are totally fearless, Elyssa. Very few are that.”
She tended to the fire and seemed immune to his sweet talk.
“Stop badgering that fire or it will go out on you. The fire is fine... “He smiled softly. “ I am sorry if I upset you in any way.”
She threw down the fragile small branch next to the fire and turned to face him. “You apologizing? I really must have hit your head.”
“Yeah... I am not myself these days. But give me a few days and I am back to my charming self.” The grin on his face was even compelling. ” Wait and see...”
Elyssa looked at him, searched his face for clues, under that horrid tattoo. “I should have put you down a long time ago... if this is the effect...” She chuckled.
“Yeah, you really should have. I never understood why you didn't try to stop me before.” The grin was still there although his tone had changed.
“You were all too paranoid... secret paths to your lair... Bewitched armor and a quite powerful companion whom tried to have me consumed when I got to close…”
“No... “ He shook his head. “It isn't that. There were opportunities before, but you couldn't bring yourself to plunge that knife into my neck. Even X'bloco would not have been able to stop you in some situations.”
“You spared me....” She tilted her head.
“Of course... I have feelings for you, Elyssa. Strong feelings, those are no good for either of us. But then again: I didn't have to stop you, and I am not sure you can say the same.” His voice was slowly getting slurry and more than once his eyes seem to fall shut for a moment.
Elyssa opened her moth to say something, looked like she rethought the idea and then slowly bean to talk. “No, I never was a cold calculating murderer... And I’m not much for spying either.”
“No... Not this time… Damn you... not now” Elyssa crawled closer and managed to catch him as he slowly he fell on his back with his eyes closed. Luckily she fund him to be in a stable state and slept because of the physical exhaustion of the last few hours. His breathing was slow and steady, and he was quiet apart from the occasional growl.
“You make everything so difficult....” She whispered revealed that he was only sleeping. “Difficult for me....” A quiet she chuckle escapes her lips and she loosened her mantle to pull over him, giving some warmth.
There in the darkness with the fire dancing on the cave walls she leaned back on her heals, rubbing her face like it would give her some more clarity. Strong feelings… In his world that could mean anything. She sighed and reached for her pouches.