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About EpicRome23

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    The Last True Knight
  • Birthday November 9

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    Reading, writing, purging heretics, video games (Strategy and/or RPG all the way, especially Fire Emblem.) large flying and fire-breathing lizards, history, necromancy, obtaining unlimited power, and conquering the world. That's all the important stuff. What do you mean, 'one of these is not like the others?'
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    Devoted Yalortian

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  1. The Abyss Gazes Back [Artifact]

    A few minutes of searching turned up a hatch, previously concealed by a small pile of debris that Cerik had forcibly removed. The knight opened up the hatch and crawled down the ladder. At the bottom, dimly lit by an viridian fire contained in a jar, was a visibly unopened treasure chest. He approached it, and gently opened the lid. Instead of water rushing in, he could see a shimmering field just below where the lid was. A protection spell, more likely than not. He grabbed the jar and moved it so the light shone on the treasure. There were some expensive-looking emeralds sitting atop piles of gold coins. There also seemed to be a golden helm and a pair of gauntlets. Quite the treasure, indeed. Was it truly just there for the taking, however? Or was it a clever trap set by someone who get here earlier, or even from those who were on the ship before it sank? Whatever the answers were to those questions, there wasn't going to be any signs pointing toward them except in the ship's logbook, which Cerik hoped was in the waterproof pouch. He would also need to signal Daniel to retrieve this chest. He bent down and lifted it from the floor, and let out a whistle as he moved toward the nearest hole in the deck. Stormfire heard her master's whistle and started moving toward him. Valuable treasure wasn't necessary what he had been looking for, but it wasn't something the knight would turn down.
  2. Shadows Materialize

    The Hellmauler let out a growl as the earth moved to bite down on its leg, holding it in place. It turned its attention away from the elemental and started to strike the ground below, an in attempt to free itself. As it did so, the Warpgolem struck the elemental and watched as it landed. Was it lowering itself so as to escape, or preparing for some other attack? The construct watched carefully, ready to react if its opponent tried to attack it, the other Warpgolem or the Hellmauler, even its master. It would be ready... but somewhere inside, it did hope the elemental was leaving, as that would make things a lot easier. Your dogged persistence is... amusing. But I owe my existence to Gormaric, and I shall help him see his goals achieved. A new voice echoed through the minds of those still within the area as the Warpgolem was swatted aside by Catherine's axe. A winged shadow descended upon the altar, and moments later, a black-scaled dragon landed between Gormaric and Catherine, blocking the latter from any easy route to the former. Grateful for the help (but rather confused as to why it was offered), the dark knight strode forward and stopped in front of the cube, reaching his hand toward it. The dragon eyed Catherine hungrily, speculatively. If you must, you may refer to me as Inritus. Now, I would try to eat you, but armor is... like tin foil, tin foil that you just can't get open. Not worth the effort. At another time, I would let you try to stop this for my amusement. As it stands, I cannot let you pass. Stay put, or I'll make sure you won't be moving. As Gormaric's hand touched upon the key extending from the cube, Inritus reached toward the corpse of the woman, the sacrifice killed by Catherine, with his tail, and then flicked it. The body went flying, landing directly in the middle of the blue orb as the ebon-clad knight turned the key. The energy surrounded the flesh, pulled it into itself, as streams of some white energy shot into the orb and started to expand it. All Gormaric could bring himself to do was step back and watch. As the cube was emptied and the last streams dissipated, he could see the orb had become a much lighter color and nearly tripled in size. It stayed like this for a few moments before the remaining shadow energy around the altar starting to pull itself toward the orb as if being sucked in. At the same time, a hand of shadow removed the saddlebags and saddle from Zenith before lifting the horse into the sky. He looked down at Gormaric, his long-time owner and traveling companion, and let out a quiet whinny, but was otherwise calm, perhaps even resigned to his fate. Inritus' tail sliced upwards, knocking Zenith into the air and bisecting him. His blood rained down and was pulled into the orb, while his flesh was pulled into and consumed by the receding dark energy. The ebon-clad knight closed his eyes and looked down for a moment. When he looked back up, the orb had become a perfect sphere of swirling blackness. It stayed like this for a few seconds, and then burst. When the effect had faded, in place of the orb was the woman that had been killed... but whole again. Alive, no stains of blood. Similar to before in build, yet so very different. Her hair was different, the color of rose quartz. Her eyes, a dark purple, the shade of byzantium. And black wings were visible behind her, extending a short distance. Finally, after so many centuries... the Shadow King had his new vessel. She (he? This was already confusing) stepped forward and smiled genuinely at Gormaric. "My friend, my boon companion. I am finally free from my confines, all thanks to you! I could kiss you right now..." The knight mumbled something along the lines of "please don' t", and Neque laughed. He then directed his attention toward Catherine. "And you, the vampiress. I'm impressed with how far you got in your attempt to stop this, but I'm afraid you got out-gambitted. I planned for the possibility of the sacrifices being compromised. All I needed was a sacrifice of blood and a vessel. 'Human' and 'alive' were not absolute requirements. In recognition of your efforts, and the fact that Gormaric doesn't seem to hold a grudge against you, I will let you go free, without retribution. In return, I ask that you deliver a message to your master. Say that the Shadow King forgets neither his friends nor his enemies. Go now, before I change my mind." Neque turned away from her, and gestured for Gormaric to come forward. The dark knight kneeled, and his liege bent forward slightly and spoke. "I know what you seek, Sir Gormaric. I shall repay my debt to you. Just know that I will always welcome you with open arms. Ahem. I free you from your oath. From this moment on, you may do as you wish, and retain all that I have already given you... If you swing by Sagate Dungeon, by the way, I have a new mount waiting for you there. Consider it it a parting gift from me." Gormaric stood, and then turned away and started to walk. His helm concealed the solitary tear running down his cheek. Inritus turned towards Neque, who simply nodded once. The dragon flapped its wing and took off into the air, watching the knight that created it from behind and far above. A servant departs from his master. Overcoming opposition, the Shadow King returns in full. What once was, is once more. What is, will soon not be. Shadows of the past have materialized... and with their influence, the winds of change start to blow.
  3. Cerik- Being corrupted/succumbing to temptation and becoming part of the very evil he has fought so hard against. Gormaric- Being bound to an entity far less benevolent then Neque after all the time and effort spent parting himself from the latter. Serane- Hmm. Getting addicted to pleasure and/or drugs and forgetting everything but physical desires. Madon- Ending up captured/incapacitated and forced to watch as Isore's last hopes crumble before him. Ocelia- Recovering her memory only to have it taken from her once again, leaving nothing behind this time. Zerand- Probably something along the lines of being stripped of his powers, having his robo-Vikings destroyed, and being forced into menial labor. Roggan- Somehow getting killed by a war elephant he tried to convert For now, being confined to one place and his power being rendered useless.
  4. Father Roggan

    Character Picture: Theme: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-_T7E360Zo Character Quote: "Wololo." Basics: Name: Roggan? Nickname: "Crazy Old Priest Guy." (Note: Giver of this nickname was later found killed by multiple blunt-force impacts.) Title: Spreader of the Holy Word of Wololo (self-given) Age: ??? (Unknown, rumors present many conflicting numbers.) Race: Human. Supposedly. Alignment: Lawful Good? Gender: Male. Physical: Hair: Bald at the top. Long white hair extending from around middle of head. Eyes: Ocean blue? (Rumors claim that his eye color changes depending on the secondary color of his robes, no substantial evidence.) Height: 5'8" Weight: 140 Complexion: Travel-worn. Voice. Sonorous? (More rumors, claims that his voice changes depending on personal/religious views of listener.) Skills: - With the intonation of the word "Wololo", Roggan can change the color of his target's clothing to match that of the secondary color of his robes. A few have claimed that this also induces a secondary effect of inducing irritation and aggression towards allies/friends, but they have no conclusive evidence. Just as roses are red, the only thing he changes is color. Inventory: Several sets of robes, all eerily similar with the exception of the secondary color. A rough, travel-worn staff, bent at the top. Possible focus for his power. Strengths: ??? Weaknesses: ??? Affiliations: Currently none. Past Threads(in chronological order): N/A Current Threads: N/A History:
  5. LotE Chapter 2: The Valley

    Wyrd bið ful āræd. Fate is inexorable. That had been the favorite phrase of Exarch Dawnwulf, Madon's grandfather. It had been quite a few years since he had come to an untimely end, and that phrase was one of the few things the current Exarch remembered about him. Looking up, Madon could see that a new threat approached, wielding a hammer too large to be for anything but war. This could potentially be his end. But the Exarch awaits. Once this man was committed to his swing, he would move, making it to where the hammer-wielding man couldn't change his attack's direction in reaction.The large horse rears, the hammer descends. Madon's horse bolts forward at his gesture, and he levels his lance. Pain. Pain shoots through his body as the hammer connects, catching him in the right side. It seemed he just been a little too slow. It was painful, but not a deadly blow like it might have been otherwise. A growl from the hammer-wielding man confirms that he had taken a hit as well. Madon's horse comes to a stop, and the man turns it to face his foe once more. Of the riders near him, this one served as the greatest threat. Killing him removed the majority, if not all of, the danger in the immediate area. The possibility was also there that this would cause the other horsemen nearby to panic, or at least be unnerved. Nudging its side, the horse starts forward again, and the opposing brute readies his hammer, to intercept the knight-king's charge and end him. The Exarch, suddenly, stops his horse out of range... but his lance keeps moving. Arcane Piercer shoots forward, chain attached, taking the massive rider through his throat. The former ruler pulls the chain back, retrieving his weapon, red staining the golden blade. Blood gushes from the throat of the massive rider, and he collapses to the ground, a gurgling sound issuing from his throat. Madon moves his horse forward, and looks down on his dying foe. "I regret to inform you of this, but my time has yet to truly begin. It is your time that now passes, I'm afraid." With that, he looks up, quickly surveying the situation. The riders had scattered, splitting into groups to attack the scattered allies of the Exarch. Notably, Severus had a group tailing him as he circled around his liege. Lily and Ivas had already escaped, it seemed, and he had seen Wymp and the boy fleeing into the woods. It was time for a decision, albeit one more or less already determined. Try to help his two recently sworn oath-men, and the bard who had cast this spell around him... or forget about them, and save Severus, his oldest and dearest friend. It was easy, as only one was really in Madon's power to achieve. But he wasn't going to straight up abandon the first three. "Auffle! Rejek! The others need your aid!" He shouted these words, hoping they would hear over the chaos of the battlefield. Admittedly, he had lost track of those two soldiers, the ones who had accompanied him from burning Isore. Perhaps they had fled already, or were already tied up in combat. Whatever the case, he had done what he could there. It was time to extricate his friend and make his own escape. He urged his horse forward, but slowly for the moment. The right angle, at the right moment... there. Madon spurred his horse forward, charging past Severus and grabbing on to the reins of his mount as he passed. The duo passed over a line of gunpowder, left behind by the packets the engineer had been throwing. With the horsemen after Severus likely still in hot pursuit, the Exarch took his makeshift torch, the burning piece of debris still held in his left gauntlet and nearly forgotten, and threw it into the gunpowder. A dramatic escape, punctuated by explosions, as if taken some from heroic tale. It didn't seem so great being in the middle of one.
  6. Shadows Materialize OOC

    Robbie Rotten EpicRome23 @Paroxysm
  7. Shadows Materialize

    Before Catherine could ascend the stairs to reach Gormaric, the Warpgolem stationed there stepped to the side in order to block her path, brandishing its two arms: the right shaped like a shield, the left like a hammer. The ebon-clad knight, confident that the construct had just bought him some time, turned to survey the battle between the elemental and the Hellmaulers before turning and responding to Catherine. "This path... it was not one I started by choice. But when I had a chance to turn away, I ignored it. I continued on this path, I embraced it. If that path ends here, with my body shattered and bleeding upon these stones, then so be it. I hold to the oath I swore, I die as a consequence of actions done under my will alone. While we're speaking, however, I should admit to something that happened back in Yh'mi. Do you recall that explosive that severely wounded the corrupted paladin? It should have killed him, but Neque interfered, for he was in the process of looking into Remissio's mind. What he found there... he hasn't fully divulged that information to me, but what he has shared is rather disturbing. And I daresay that if I let you put a stop to this ritual, he will make sure that that information will never be revealed. If I thought it would deter you, I would ask you to reconsider your course." Alright, enough jabbering. Finish the ritual while she's occupied. But what about the sacrific- I'll deal with that when it comes time. GO! Gormaric frowned slightly, but reopened the dragon-hide bound book and flipped to the last page. "Oh, Kagh a'r Shoaca'lls, I morooaso has roas naoo a'r iya'au rma'rl ho ohom a'r iya'aum somrroa. Ca'rlrloo llah molia'aagh, sa' hoa hao sa'aur rloaiy fao llha'ro a'o oaghoaa." As the words of the chant faded from the air, he cast the book to the side. From the black knight's body, several streams of dark blue energy shot out, filling in the remaining chunk of the orb. Gormaric looked around, and then started walking forward, making his way toward the brass cube that had, so far, sat ignored. It was time for the object's part in the ritual to be fulfilled. As made his way toward the cube, he kept an eye on the stairway, ready to react if Catherine managed to overpower the Warpgolem and move to stop him. The rock shards zigzagged, ricocheted, and shot out of the first Hellmauler's body. It stood still, silent, for a few brief moment before letting out what seemed like a gasp and collapsing forward. The second Hellmauler, seeing it's companion fall, let out a bellow of rage and extended its claws. It charged forward, slicing viciously through the air towards the elemental. Meanwhile, the two Warpgolems who had followed after the Hellmaulers stood back, uncertain who needed more aid: the remaining Hellmauler, or their master back up at the altar. Two battles, each (more or less) one vs. one. It was time to tip the scales. One of the Warpgolems turned back towards the altar, gathering energy for its next move, while the other made its way forward, intending to maneuver around and strike the elemental from the back or the flanks while the Hellmauler assaulted from the front.
  8. The City-State of Dodon (WIP)

    Dodon. Proudly producing the finest horses and horsemen in Nar Oeste, their forces are unmatched in open terrain. Geography Topography- Several villages and ranches are scattered in the plains around Dodon proper, many of which contain stables. The terrain is almost fully open, with scattered trees and gentle hills being the most prominent features. "Seas of grass" is a popular phrase in reference to the lands around Dodon. Cityscape- The approach to the city is guarded by several small walls. The city proper is one level, and divided into four sections. The southwest section contains the majority of the resident's homes. The southeast section contains many stables, tracks, and armories. This, for the most part, is where Dodon's famed horsemen go to train. The northwest section contains a large and bustling market, while the northeast section contains the hall of the "Palatine of the Fields", commonly referred to as "the Palatine". Climate- Generally sunny. Light clouds and light wind are also common, though the latter tends to pick up in power every so often. Flora and Fauna- Several varieties of grass grow in the area, though few bother to learn the differences or even the names. The only tree that grows successfully is the Sneaf tree, a species native to the plains around Dodon and resistant to transplant. The leaves of this tree are a favored snack of Dodon's horses, and some claim they are the sole reason the horses are so great. Many species of smaller animals thrive in the plains, and larger species are a rare find. Isorian deer are a highly sought after import, at least for the Palatine and those close to them. Demographics Culture - Dodonian culture revolves around horses. Betting on horse races is a widely-accepted pastime, and the few who don't participate in it are seen as somewhat odd. Economy- Dodon used to trade with both Glia and Isore, but the sudden fall of the latter city-state has caused trade to partially grind to an untimely halt while merchants and tradesmen calculate new routes. Their main exports are hides and equipment for horses, and their main imports are Isorian weapons and armor, camels, elephants, and various goods from Glia. Military- The Dodonian army consists mostly of horsemen. The so called "Exotic Brigade", however, is home to camel riders and even a few soldiers trained in riding elephants. Not being native to the area, these mounts are imported from foreign lands, and are thus rarely sent far afield or into pitched battles. With the exception of the Palatine's personal guards, all foot units are little more than well-trained militia. Dodonian forces field swords, bows, axes, and spears, alongside wooden shields. Major Companies and Institutions- Aside from the prolific horse racing industry, there are three major families of horse breeders around Dodon. These three breed the finest horses in the land, which are given to Dodon's elite units and anybody from the lower ranks who can afford their prices. Parks and Recreation Landmarks and monuments- The Tomb of the Palatines, where the previous rulers of Dodon are buried with their most beloved steeds, is the most visited place by travelers to Dodon. Government Local government- Advised by the Council of Marshals, the Palatine holds dominion over Dodon. The Marshals can override the decisions of the Palatine with an unanimous consensus. Federal government- See above Education - Citizens are taught to ride almost from the day of their birth, and getting one's first horse is seen as a major milestone. The curriculum of the schools is somewhat similar to Isore's, with the removal of classes about moving and fighting in heavy armor and the addition of classes about riding and care of steeds. Transportation - Foot traffic is rather light, as the majority of citizens ride throughout the city. Dodon's streets are designed with horses in mind. Notable Residents - The Palatine - Marshal Merchelm History Canon - ??? Past - (Details to come)
  9. The Abyss Gazes Back [Artifact]

    On top of a ridge some distance ahead and above him, Cerik could see an odd silhouette, a shape that wasn't natural to the ocean. He pointed Stormfire toward it, and she changed her heading deftly. The horse-turned-hippocampus, now that she had gotten used to this new shape, seemed to be enjoying herself. The knight couldn't blame her, this trip had been relatively uninteresting by most standards so far, yet he could safely say that he's been enjoying himself far more than usual. This had all the ingredients for a perfect vacation, and all that was missing was a beautiful woman. Some diver, perhaps even a mermaid? It wasn't really necessary, as he already had that date planned with the weapons merchant... but hey, he wasn't going to rule out the possibility. Then again, with mermaids, there was the chance of ending up with the more siren-esque types. He would have to keep his wits about him, and if not, Stormfire always had his back. As he approached the ridge, a duo of sharks swam past him, obviously intent on reaching the blood from the dead shark. They ignored Cerik and Stormfire, and were ignored in turn. Upon reaching the ridge, the knight could clearly see the shipwreck in front of him. He didn't think he would find the monocle within it, but it wouldn't hurt to look, and perhaps he could find some clue as to the ship's untimely demise, if it hadn't already been picked clean. Within a minute or so, he was above the deck, and he slipped off from Stormfire's back. He sank down to the deck due to the weight of his armor, and he started to search around, walking warily so as to not step on any rotted boards and fall through. It probably would be little more than an inconvenience. However, did an appropriate level of caution ever really hurt? Perhaps on rare occasions, yet discretion almost always seemed to be the better part of valor. He approached a small door towards the stern, one he believed would lead to the captain's cabin. He kicked forward, and the door swung forward on its hinges. A floating skeleton was the first sight to greet Cerik, a bony hand extended forward. The knight reflexively drew Farcutter and slashed in front of him, bisecting the skeleton. He pushed the halves out of his way and continued forward. The cabin seemed to be rather sparse, although holes in the side opened up to the wide ocean. Had things floated away? Had someone been through here already? Both were equally likely. An object atop a desk caught his eye, and he advanced toward it. A sealed pouch, made from some form of waterproofed hide, the origin of which Cerik couldn't pinpoint in this light. He attached to the pouch to his belt. and took one last look around to make sure he hadn't missed anything. Then, he turned away. He would search the cargo hold (if this ship had one) and the immediate area for anything interesting or valuable. Then, he would ascend to the surface for a brief time to examine the pouch's contents before returning to his search for the monocle.
  10. Shadows Materialize OOC

    @Robbie Rotten EpicRome23 Paroxysm
  11. Shadows Materialize OOC

    EpicRome23 Robbie Rotten @Paroxysm
  12. Shadows Materialize

    The last hand reached into the portal and receded. The portal and hands, their purpose fulfilled, dissipated into the streams of shadow crisscrossing the breadth of the alter. A dark blue orb had formed above the brass cube, complete except for one obviously missing chunk: the spot for the last piece of Neque's soul, the one bonded with Gormaric. All that was left to do, really, was finish the last bit of chanting that would expel the last piece and combine it with the rest of the orb. Then, one of the sacrifices would be killed over the cube, and it would be opened as the blood flowed. The other sacrifice would serve as the Shadow King's new vessel. However, Gormaric did not move to do any of this. He stood in stunned silence, watching Catherine make her move, one threatening to unravel the efforts of centuries. But he couldn't bring himself to do more than watch. The first Hellmauler let out a roar of pain and agony as it was riddled by shards. Blood started to flow, and the pain served to disorient the beast. It tried to swipe toward the elemental, only to stagger to the side as if it was drunk. It wouldn't be alone for long, however. The second Hellmauler leapt through the air, intent on slamming down on top of the elemental. Around the same time, the two Hellmaulers ran around to try and hit the elemental from the flanks with their hammer-arms. Gormaric started to recover as Catherine spoke to him. She spoke of doing the bidding of a higher power, and offered a freedom where the Shadow King would not run amok. The dark knight considered this in silence. He probably shouldn't have let her this close to the ritual, he thought. In hindsight, there was only person he should have even considered letting that close. After all, the bond forged by the shared giving of blood in order to escape a crazy plane that served as a prison to a powerful being was one that was not made or broken lightly. Looking up for a moment, he saw that the Warpgolem who had moved to defend him earlier started to move forward to try and secure the male sacrifice, but he held out a hand and mentally ordered it to come to a stop. The construct immediately acknowledged the order, stopping in the middle of the stairs leading up to the altar proper. When Gormaric finally looked up and spoke up to respond, his tone conveyed both conviction and sadness. "Yh'mi should have been your first sign. You heard the voice of the Shadow King, did you not? Did you not feel the wisdom, the power behind his words? This 'higher power' of yours... what does it offer? What does it benefit from the turning the Shadow King into a servant? Maintenance of the status quo? A potential evil extinguished? All that sort of thing leads to is stagnation! Neque offers upheaval, an escape from the chains of fate and tradition!... You look upon me now, and perhaps you are thinking I am under a massive delusion. That I am indoctrinated, perhaps. That would be wrong. Yes, I did not explicitly ask to be brought back to life when I was thrown into that abyss. But I came to realize something: Neque had no obligation to do what he did. He could have simply possessed my body fully then and there, used it as a puppet until he could find a way to resurrect his full power himself. Instead, he gave me freedom. He gave me independence. He gave me the power necessary to start shaping the world, to bring change. For my life, he asked of me one single thing: to find a way to restore him. Then I would be free, with no debt or obligation. I swore an oath that day: Unflinching, unceasing, I would do everything necessary to bring about his restoration. And you would ask me, after over five hundred years of work, to turn away and break my word at the last possible moment? You underestimate the power that words hold. Words given are rarely able to be taken back. If you believe your words stronger than mine, your conviction greater, then come forth and prove it." He drew Shadowfang from its scabbard, and thrust its point against the ground. Meanwhile, as Gormaric spoke to Catherine, Neque decided to make a desperate gamble. Seizing the streams of shadow like the strings of a puppet, he pulled, he twisted, he manipulated. Sacrificing the lower half of the circle around the altar, he formed a clear channel, one aimed toward Catherine and her blood-rune. He hoped the blessing would flow through this new opening. He wasn't sure what it would do, exactly, but it surely couldn't make matters worse... could it?
  13. Shadows Materialize OOC

    EpicRome23 @Robbie Rotten Paroxysm
  14. LotE Chapter 2: The Valley

    Pray to whatever gods you hold, for they have forsaken you. In the face of despair, a man did one of two things. Either they froze, whether out of fear or accepting the inevitable... or they took action. They took up their weapon, gave into their rising fury, and raged against the dying of the light. This adamant refusal to go gently into that good night was the stuff of legends and sagas. As the Exarch watched the unfolding of events form a stairway that led deeper and deeper into despair, he seethed. This is not how it should have been. He had received two oaths of loyalty today, two men to replace the fallen Wieklin and Laim. The burning inn was supposed to distract anybody who would have otherwise been interested in pursuing them. Where had it all gone wrong? Was death their fate? Their escape only to impart a false sense of security before they were utterly crushed? "Drop your weapons and surrender immediately, so that you may be granted a merciful death!" An order to surrender. Pah. What hubris was this? Did these knights believe their victory to be so utter, that they felt no fear in the face of Isore's Exarch? If they were closer, Madon would have spat directly into the lead knight's face. As it was, he defiantly drew Arcane Piercer and held it aloft. The lead knight bellowed once more, ordering the group to surrender himself and Lily and thus spare themselves. A look around at the others confirmed that they, too, would rather die defiant than face the indignity of surrendering here. His wandering gaze met that of Severus, his chief and most skilled engineer, yet also a friend so close he may as well have been a brother. He could see that Severus had come to a stop, accepting his death at the ends of these riders' weapons, and he could see words on his friend's lips, presumably the engineer's last. NO. Not today. We shall avenge Isore together. Heed the wishes of your Exarch. This was the response that Madon gave, if Severus was still looking and could see it. As he finished, he could hear a commotion, and turned to see that a newcomer had knocked the lead knight off of his horse with blasts of light, then proceeded to cast some sort of magic on the Exarch that left a glow to his armor. Obviously magic. He didn't particularly care for such things, and didn't know what it precisely did... but if it proved to save his life, he would express gratitude. The lead knight, apparently named Innes, had remounted his horse, and arrogantly preened about their impending deaths, etc etc. He had heard this script a few times before, so it had quickly grown stale. “It is sad. You haven’t wondered why Isore fell in a single day?” Those words, however, stopped his thoughts right in their tracks. He had wondered, as he had trudged through the countryside formerly under the dominion of the Walled City. Isore had been unprepared. Its defenses were tailored to fighting the forces of Glia and Dodon, the great (and more or less only) rivals of the city-state. It hadn't been a bitter rivalry, all things considered. At times, it had been more of a pretense than anything, a show put on for the sake of outsiders. This... Byrn, as Severus had named them, had come in and destroyed that balance. And what city, with little to no warning and preparation, would have stood a chance against an onslaught of dragons and fire? None. Frankly speaking, Byrn had cheated. The reason they had won was solely because they had cheated. This was the conclusion the Exarch came to as Innes fired his arrow, not at Madon as his bow had aimed, but at Ivas. The half-dragon, Bolt, his newly sworn oath-man, leapt to the blue-haired swordsman's defense. Madon turned to face Innes, content that Ivas and Lily would be fine... but fury rose within him. This was not the fury of fire, quick to build yet quick to burn out. Nor was it the fury of the sea, slowly building and forewarned by dark clouds and washing waves. This was the fury of the earth, that was concealed beneath a calm exterior before striking with little warning and great power. The land was shattered, buildings crumbled, and the devastation left behind was such that it inspired awe and fear in equal measures. He leveled Arcane Piercer toward his black-clad foe, the firelight reflecting off of the golden head. "Yes, you may have destroyed my city in a single day... but a preening cock like you couldn't take me down if I stood here for a week. I daresay your grandmother could probably do a better job at it than you could." The trading of insults before the battle properly began. This was a time-honored tradition, stretching back before even the time of Exarch Steelshield. His part in it done, Madon grabbed the reins of the horse that Severus was supposed to mount and made his way toward the engineer. He could hear the sounds of the enemy starting to charge, and he knew he had to hurry. He spurred his horse onward, and Severus' horse did its best to keep up. A slight detour, to grab a flaming piece of the inn and hold it aloft like a torch. Then, bringing the horse to the head engineer. As soon as he was mounted, the Exarch would slap the horse's rump with his lance, sending the horse galloping toward the forest. He would take a second to make sure his friend wasn't in danger in falling off, then he would send his horse galloping forward as well... except on a different course. Fortune favored the bold, as it was said. Arcane Piercer pointed forward, Madon would ride in front of the charging line of enemies, the sort of foolhardy courage that few would expect from an otherwise sane enemy. He would draw their attention and blows, giving the others needed time to escape. None of the others would have had a snowball's chance in a forest fire if they had tried this. But the Exarch was Isore's strongest warrior. With luck, and maybe even a higher power watching out for him...
  15. Dawn Over Draco South

    Serane, who had already started to move to the side as soon as her daggers had struck (albeit ineffectively), was nevertheless caught by Catherine's sudden and vicious kick. It struck her left side, sending her reeling backwards. The vampiress turned away then, her attention redirected to the paladin, giving Serane a reprieve. She braced against the nearest wall with her right arm, wincing from the pain she felt. A broken rib, maybe more. This was going to hurt like hell later, although it was subdued for now, its impact lessened in the rush of battle. Looking around, she noticed... mechanical spiders? She felt a shock as one crawled over her foot, and she reflexively punted it, sending it flying in the direction of Catherine. Electrified mechanical spiders, then. She followed the construct's flight through the air, and was thus looking in the right direction to see the vampiress turn and lunge toward her. There was only moments to react. A breath, to steady herself. Then, a duck, followed by a forward roll. A risky ploy, but one that would likely work, if the paladin's incoming strike with his newly claimed battleaxe hit when she thought it would. She would then rise up and strike, slashing one of her silver daggers toward the back of Catherine's neck.