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"Holy shindigs..." was Gavin's intelligent reply as he surveyed the ongoing battle in the prison's main courtyard. From the perch in one of the battlements, he could see the archers holding the high ground with the bows at the ready while the prisoners were desperately attempting to fight the main prison guards to their way out. The hallways, too, were full of fighting. However, it would be a difficult battle even with some of the more notorious prisoners he recognised with considerable power. The gates could only be opened through the gatehouse through the battlements and anyone trying to gain access from the ground would instantly be shot and his or her path blocked by the guards. If only he could...

"GAVIN!!!!" Gavin deadpanned upon hearing the cambion's voice. Oh yeah sure... like it's MY fault! When I find Joryn I am SO GOING TO KILL HER! he seethed.



Is this guy for real?! How am I supposed to clean it up when it's not me in the first place? Gavin palmed his face as Dyloceus approached him. 

"Hee hee! Catch me if you can!" The melodious voice did not go unnoticed by Gavin as a female guard fast approached the both of them while being chased by a couple more guards. Before she could run past, the wayfarer immediately surmised it was Joryn and caught her arm, pulling her to a stop.

"Oh!" Joryn exclaimed. "It's you Gavin! Great, You got out! Now, If you excuse me..."

"Oh no you don't! You stay here!" Pulling out a couple of wind runes, he blasted the guards away and into unconsciousness with a wave of his arm. 

"Wow cool! Still practising your rune magic I see!"

"Cut the shindigs! I should throw you in a cell and throw the keys into the moat! This was YOUR mistake!"

"Shhh! You might want to keep it down? If we get caught, we get a free trip to solitary confinement and I won't be able get you out." She shushed. "AND it wasn't a 'mistake'. I did this on purpose! Big difference!" The elven rogue gave her widest smile.

Gavin then turned to face the Cambion and motioned to her wildly. "SEE! It wasn't my fault!"

"Well many of the prisoners here have recently been locked up, sometimes without trial and for petty crimes like stealing when they were just trying to provide food for their impoverished families." Joryn stated with a serious tone, then gave a foxy grin. "By releasing the prisoners, at least I give them a chance at freedom without exposing myself! Ah look at me! Bringing justice back to the prison system!"

"Okay enough!" Gavin was mentally exhausted and he didn't want to deal with Joryn as long as he had to. "You managed to get inside the prison, can you show us the way out?" 

"Well... you did save me from those guards since they were chasing me and I couldn't just run straight to my secret passageway unless I wanted them to find out... Oh why not! Let's go! And your big scary friend can come too! It'll lead to the city market and we'll reach there by nightfall! Let's go!"

As the rogue literally skipped along her way while whistling a tune, Gavin turned to look at the cambion.

"You coming? We gotta go find Dawen."

Edited by Vetanoob

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"Oh no, you lot are having a laugh if you think you are just gonna leave the incompetent guards to clean up the mess," the cambion stated sternly before waving his arm at an onrushing escaping convict, sending a small fireball straight at his chest and blasting him backwards. The prisoner struggled to get to his feet, but Dyloceus immediately formed another fireball in his hand. "Stay down you twit," he growled as a warning, and the prisoner slumped on his face, groaning in pain.  
Turning back to the rogue elf, he grabbed her by the scuff of her collar and dragged her to the nearest cell. Throwing her in, he walked into the cell itself and closed the door, but did not bolt it. "Keep a lookout, I need to ask this young lady some questions," he called to the wayfarer, before looking back at the elf. "Why did you decide to stage this breakout? Did someone put you up to this? What is his or her name? Speak quickly, or I may decide to leave you in here with another male. Who knows what might happen then."
Joryn scoffed at the notion. "Did you think that such a threat would scare me? I have been in cells with other men before, and they know my reputation of putting prisoners who even think of touching me down for a long time. You have to do better than that, or I'll be walking out of here, thank you very much."
"Ah, so you aren't afraid of a little testosterone. Wonderful. I will find you a nice female friend then, someone a little crazier than normal. Pretty sure I will be able to find you one, seeing that you have such nice skin," the cambion purred. Pulling out his knife, he began to lick its blade, from hilt to tip and back down again. This caused a slight shiver in Joryn as she caught a hint of the crazed look in Dyloceus's eye. "I have always loved the blade. The cold, unyielding steel, shiny and ornate, extremely sharp. Even the slightest colour on the blade makes that colour so much more vibrant, that much more.. Attractive. Look," said the cambion, and he nicked his own finger. A single drop of blood flowed down the steel, and painted the length of the blade a bright crimson. "Look at it. The red; so shiny, so eyecatching. Does that not excite you? Make you feel alive? Wonderful feeling isn't it?" 
Striding over to Joryn, Dyloceus knelt down, and ran the blood on the knife along the side of her face, smearing it all over the cheek. The elf had began to shudder in her oversized armour as she felt the knife run down her face and toward her neck, then back up to her eye, only missing the eyeball by the breadth of a hair. "Now, I plan for you to share a cell with someone I know. Ever heard of the name 'Sanguinem'?" Whatever blood Joryn had in her face was drained upon utterance of that name. "She's an old chum of mine from way back when. I could get her to live with you for a while. Ah, what a collection of little knives she had, and all incredibly shiny. I remember she had a nasty old habit of soiling them with little bits of blood though, never hers, always her.. guests. All her knives had to be stained once one was, and I do recall she had quite a few."
"OKAY! STOP! I'll tell you what you want to know," screamed Joryn, with tears running down her face. "I staged this breakout not for the reason I told Gavin, it was meant to break someone, a cambion out! A man offered give me a large bag of gold, and had it on him to back it up! No names were given, I swear! That's all I know, please! Now let me go!"
Satisfied with her answer, the cambion stood up. This confirmed what he had already guessed at the start of the prison riot, and thoughts were running through his head. Walking to the door, he opened it up and, quick as a fox, the rogue elf bolted past him and towards freedom. "All right laddie, let's clean up the place, and go find Dawen," he grumbled at the wayfarer before making his way to the thick of the riot once again.

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Elevar's plan was ridiculous. So ridiculous, in fact, that it may just work. "I don't like it," Dawen told him, "There are too many uncertainties." And too much faith I need to put on you, she thought. "You must understand, elf," Elevar straightened and stood up, "I'm not giving you a choice. It's just either you cooperate and save the trouble for everyone, or my people will ensure that you comply. Don't forget, I have the whole of Lefell behind me."

Dawen pursed her lips. His confidence was maddening, but justified. But could she say yes? She would be agreeing to her death.

The Duke walked to the closed door. Almost as if on cue, several urgent raps sounded on the other side. Elevar opened it a split second later, and the guard jumped. "S-sir! The prison has been breached! The prisoners are escaping!" The Duke of Lefell gave no sign of being surprised by that. He turned to Dawen. "I have things to attend to. Think it over, though I'm know you're smart enough to agree with me in the end. I'll see you there." The Eagle-Eyed left with the guard. He signaled for those who had been assigned to watch Dawen to follow him as well, leaving Dawen alone in his office.

The half-elf poured herself another glass of the champagne. She needed the alcohol to numb her logic against what was going to come next. She hardened her resolve, then followed the sounds of battle towards the castle's courtyard.

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Gavin stared in disbelief as the eccentric rogue sprinted off into the darkness of the labyrinthine prison complex, leaving both he and the Cambion within the confined passageway. Suffice to say, he was pissed. He grabbed the half-demon's shoulder as he passed and spun him around to face the sneering wayfarer. "Now wait just a minute Dyloceus Xanderson! You do realise that our main objective here is to find Dawen? Not wasting time dealing with this shindigs?! We have the perfect opportunity to escape while the guards are distracted and you just decide to be a goody-two-horns NOW?!"

"Joryn was the perfect party in which we could find a way out of this mess and get Dawen before anything happens to her!" The wayfarer was furiously stabbing the cambion's chest, to no effect whatsoever, "So what if we manage to stop this entire prison riot? That we'll get some form of pardon?! What kind of half-demon ARE you?! I would have expected you to at least get out of here since this is NONE OF OUR BUSINESS, and it seemed to fit well with your I-don't-give-a-poop-about-others-lives persona you keep portraying all the time. What gives huh?!"

The wayfarer then turned away from Dyloceus and walked up to the parapet overlooking the central square where the fighting was heaviest. He could see now; the more dangerous criminals attacking and flinging spells with wild abandon while the innocent ones were cowering at the sides trying to distance themselves from the battle but were still being attacked by the guards. This was most definitely not a battle; it was chaos. Joryn's attempt to give them a fleeting chance of escape had now deteriorated into nothing more than bloodshed. Gavin pinched his nose in an attempt to stem the rising headache from becoming a full blown migraine. "Fine," He conceded through gritted teeth, "If that's what you want."

Fishing out whatever runes he could find from the pouches of his utility belt;a few of the basic elements and some secondary ones. He found that he had neither the variety nor quantity to effectively use in any way to stop a large scale battle, especially without inflicting more casualties than necessary. He patted himself down in search of others, then stopped as he felt a familiar lump in his left chest pocket. Taking a deep breath, he fished it out. 

Holding it between his index finger and thumb, he regarded it with much disdain. It was jet black, as light as a feather, but thrummed with energy; void energy to be precise from a source he would rather not face any time soon. But this was not a time for hesitation! Manifesting the energies within was currently the most sure fire way to end the fighting. "You better stand back Dyloceus," he remarked, "this'll only take a minute." He closed his eyes, and delved his mind deep into the cosmic rune, feeling the strength of the void energy coursed through his body... then deafening silence. And he opened his eyes. 

Time had stopped. 

As quickly as it happened, a grotesque amalgamation of pitch black and purple fog burst forth in a rift through the fabric of space covering whatever his field of vision could see until the familiar shape of a man; a young man with short brown hair and black eyes, wearing a brown coat, blue pants and black boots floating in the space in front of him. The pair regarded each other briefly, the man's face expressionless and eyes; pitch black as the rune Gavin held, boring into him. "Gavin Pitraeus," he spoke with a hollowed voice, "my old friend. It's been a long time."

"Heh, I didn't expect you to appear. Gotten tired of your other playthings?" the wayfarer quipped.

"Well, it seems like you have gotten my interest again... for the moment." He (it?) replied. "How the years pass and the bodies fall, my dear assassin. Do you know? There are only seven of you in this plane of existence that bear my symbol? Usually I do not bother with one so... predictable. But this time, this adventure IS different. This time, you can't just run away and fade back into the shadows. There will be consequences."

"Consequences?!" Gavin spat, "Like how SHE died? Is that what amuses you so O' great lord of the void?! Because of your attention you gave me that you never gave my master I lost what was most important to me!"

"Neposirus?" The entity inclined his head in mock interest, "he has made a great study of my existence. Wise? Yes. Cunning? Yes. But he's not special like you are. He is too... predictable, typical. He wasn't chosen; doesn't carry my symbol, and thus unable to unlock the secret of the void he so desperately wants to use for his own ends, as many other power-hungry beings all want in this world. He believed that certain words or acts would compel me to appear before him. He has searched abandoned temples and performed disgusting rituals in his pathetic attempt to summon me to him. But if he really wants to meet me? He could start by being a little more... interesting."

"Yeah sure." The wayfarer hissed, "let's get this prattle over with so I don't have to see your ugly face anymore."

Unfazed by the insult, the entity continued, "Your story is close to ending, and even you can't escape it. But what ending will you make for yourself? Before I go, I shall give you one last gift."

Pain shot through Gavin's arm and he watched in morbid curiosity as the once black rune slowly liquefied itself and covered his entire left hand and wrist. Now, his hand featured claws for nails and yellow glowing lines embellished its entirety. 

"The power of the void is in your hands, Gavin Pitraeus." The being stated. "But not without consequence as you'll soon realise. Remember, I will be watching you with great interest."

The figure slowly dissolved itself back into the inky clouds and the fog collapsed back into itself, closing off the rift in space. Just as immediately as the entity disappeared, the sounds of battle reawakened as time started moving forward again. Armed with the power of the void in his hand (literally), Gavin willed the power into life. Pitch black clouds lined with purple spilled out from nothingness and engulfed his entire body. From an outsider's point of view, one could only see the red, menacing eyes which glowed from within the Golem-like figure. The now transformed Gavin thrust his hands outwards and purplish fog spilled in torrents over the battlements and into the courtyard like waterfalls after a torrential rain. 

All fighting stopped momentarily as the sudden injection of the unknown substance poured across the floor of the courtyard. It was only when smoky tendrils started to form and latch onto the anything and everything on sight did the screams and shouts of battle continue. Guards and prisoners alike were unable to cut through the substance as it snaked around their limbs and torsos preventing any bodily movement from members of either side. Agume the Distasteful was easily restrained when the tendrils lifted the small man up in the air by his large appendages that even his strength was not able to break through; Lancaster Axel Pargent's summons were easily dispatched by the fog which engulfed them and either suffocated or crushed to death. The summoner himself had to summon a protective field to protect himself from the tendrils. But that too was broken through.; Rai Paige's elemental guns were indeed powerful as the stories told. However, a gun on each hand and her skillful speed could only delay the inevitable for the tendrils that could reform each time it was destroyed and she too was incapacitated.

Pleased with the result, the hulking figure of Gavin Pitraeus leaped from the parapet and landed on the stone-floored courtyard which shook the ground akin to a tremor. Slowly, the flowing clouds which surrounded Gavin's body seemed to suck itself inwards until all was left was the wayfarer himself. Albeit with a few enhanced features in his current state: Longer and unruly hair, glowing yellow eyes with his entire skin black with golden swirl and jagged patterns all over his body. He felt powerful, like almost nothing could stop him. 

"ALL FIGHTING SHALL CEASE IMMEDIATELY." Even his voice became more commanding, deeper, more guttural and reverberated throughout the courtyard. Some of the more weak willed prisoners and guards passed out from shock. A wave of his hand, and all combatants were knocked unconscious instantaneously. The tendrils dropped their sleeping cargo onto the ground and retreated back into Gavin's body. The job was done. The transformed wayfarer released his mind's hold on the void energies and his features returned to their normal state, receding back into his left hand. As soon as it did so, Gavin was suddenly overcome by an intense feeling of extreme exhaustion. His body crumbled into a messy heap as he struggled to catch his breath and sweat poured from his pores. He felt like he was on fire, yet freezing at the same time. 

This was the scene which the Duke stumbled upon.

Edited by Vetanoob

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All the poking and prodding from the wayfarer had made Dyloceus rather ticklish, and he squirmed slightly as the boy in front of him barraged him with words and more words that he paid little, if any, attention to. His head was way out in his thoughts, and this was, if anything, distracting him from its train that was slowly but surely leaving the station. 

Contemplating Joryn's words, he tried to contemplate the information gleaned throughout the adventure. Why was there a need to kill Dawen, and what was the Duke's goal? He thought long and hard about it. Killing an elf had no purpose whatsoever, and even in the gravest of situations it would merely cause the nation to hunt down the killer and put him to trial. Oh wait, she was a designated envoy of Lefell's sister kingdom, and killing a king's messenger would merely send harsh words their way at best, a threat of war at worst. If handled properly the sanctions that would be imposed on the kingdom would be at most just a slap on the wrist, painful at first but bearing no consequence in the long term. This was when suddenly, the words of a certain faerie, one that he had not seen for a while, floated into his mind. "if you're brought to hell and an ancient ritual is performed, Hell's Gate will be opened and they can then physically enter the mortal plane."


This sentence explained so much. Somehow, one way or another, Neposirus had learned of the creation of the contract between Birch and Undercroft and Dawen's mother. Things started to fall into place. He wanted to open the gates to Hell to let the Zdaks out, perhaps to control them. Or something. He did not know the end game yet, as he knew that things with Neposirus were never as simple as it seemed. So he wanted to release the Zdaks from hell, but for what? The Zdaks weren't powerful enough to take over the known World, so to what end was his purpose? This was something Dyloceus had to think about. 

The constant thrumming of energy broke Dyloceus off from his mind castle as he snapped to his senses once again. Looking around for its source, he saw Gavin thumbing something in his hand. Instantly recognising it, the cambion quickly spoke the counter curse under his breath before it was too late, and he saw the world around him slow to a crawl before eventually stopping. 'Damn that kid, where did he get that thing,' the cambion instantly wondered, seeing the rune for what it really was. The rune was unbreakable, indestructible, and was supposed to be only created by the most powerful mages. Knowing the wayfarer's powers, he knew that he was nowhere near the magical levels of even an intermediate mage, so how was he able to get a hold of such a rune of raw power? Leaving that aside, he pretended to be stopped by time as well, all while straining his ears to listen to the conversation between the being of the void and the wayfarer. 

"But if he really wants to meet me? He could start by being a little more... interesting." This revalation was the missing piece that Dyloceus needed, and it was delivered to him on a silver platter. Interest. Neposirus needed to be a person of interest. What better way to be one than to take control of a civilization presumed gone and dead from the world?


As the microwar in the courtyard died down due to the powers of the wayfarer's rune, the cambion continued to contemplate the current situation that faced them. There was a person in Lefell who craved an audience with an entity of the void. The void, something that was power incarnate, power personified, and here as well was a boy with its key. The notion itself was scary enough. Somehow, in one way or another, as the fates would have it, three of the biggest doomsday creatures had gathered together for an adventure. "Interesting," Dyloceus said, echoing the sentiments of the entity of the void. 

Looking out, he noticed that the drawbridge to the prison had mystically dropped down, only to reveal that the culprit behind that occurance was none other than..

"Neposirus," whispered the cambion. "Wayfarer," he called out. "Oi, you darn dotard, time to go, coppers coming in with all their stuff and shit. Don't want to be caught again and waste the efforts of your dear rogue-ish friend in busting us out eh?" With that, Dyloceus ran to the top of the rampart, looked down at the moat of the prison, and jumped. Landing with a loud splash that felt like landing on hard stone, the cambion surfaced, looked around for other guards, then swam off in the direction of the city of Lefell.

Edited by sorainvoked

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A little figure raced through the castle's corridors. The pixie's diminutive size made her the best spy at times. Sylvianna had caught the conversation between Elevar and Dawen from her hiding spot. She couldn't be sure, but it seemed like the Duke was not as simple as she believed. It was now an urgent matter to expedite Asmodeus' plans before anyone could interrupt. It was time to seek out Aryssin. The girl harboured hatred for Dawen and her companions. The pixie had felt a darkness stirring in the girl, and it would not take much of a shove to push her over the edge, and end the elf-demon's life.


The scene in the courtyard was not what Dawen had expected. While rushing over, the first suspicious sign was the silence. She doubted that the escapees would go down without a fight. She arrived, only to see people strewn on the ground, and Lefellian soldiers standing amongst them. Her first horrified thought was that Elevar had killed them all. But no, that was not the way of the elves. On second look, it was obvious that they were just knocked out.

Dawen's eyes met Elevar's. There was a haunting look in his eyes that told her that he was not the cause of this. She scanned the courtyard, and picked out the young figure of Gavin. Dyloceus was nowhere to be seen. She made her way over to Gavin's side. The young man was not sleeping peacefully like the rest. His breathing was ragged, and sweat had matted his hair to his forehead. Dawen knelt beside him and felt his temperature. He was burning up with fever. She unclasped her cloak and covered him with it. What in the world happened here?

Elevar approached, with two soldiers in tow. "Fi'tan, please move away," he said, using the elven word for 'representative'. "We are reclaiming our prisoner." Dawen straightened up, using her body to shield Gavin from them. "He is my companion, Duke, and therefore your guest. Until any wrongdoing has been proven, I strongly request that Gavin be housed in a proper room, and a healer sent for him. I will stand in the Court of Candor to give testimony." It was time to show Lefell the truth.

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What happened after the power surge he experienced was a swirl of mind-numbing blast of information. Gavin wasn't asleep, yet he wasn't awake either. He felt sick in his stomach and was burning up to boot, yet shivering the hell out of himself like he was out in the snowy forests with nothing on. Unable to physically react to whatever that was going on around him, he could only make out the sensations and voices he could make out from his cloudy delirium.

"Oi... Dotard! Coppers coming... shit... eh?"

Gruff voice. Sounded like Dyloceus? Yeah, the Cambion. The one that more or less indirectly placed him in this position now. Blast it, he couldn't even at least raise a finger to get the wayfarer out of his predicament? Maybe lift a finger to teleport him out of the way? No, he simply called out to him to get out of there and jumped off the walls himself. Gavin hoped he would get eaten up, or at least got a nasty bite from the Drowners, sickly blue or green water goblin-like creatures which inhabited the moat surrounding prison walls.

Suddenly, he was encompassed by something warm. A blanket perhaps? Who...?

"...my companion, Duke... your guest. Gavin... housed... proper room... Court of Candor..."

That was Dawen's voice? Ah yes, Dawen Silvergrove; The half-elf. He really should find some time to apologize to her for his actions that got them locked up in the first place. A proper room? Yes, that would be nice. The warmth was unusually soothing. A quality from being made by elven hands perhaps? No matter. It sounded to the wayfarer that the half-elf would stand in the Court of Candor. But that would have to wait... he was still too weak to do anything about it. Within minutes, the warmth claimed Gavin Pitraeus into deep slumber. 

-------------------------------------------------------- Days Later ---------------------------------------------------------------

The first thing the wayfarer felt was all encompassing warmth, save for a cold damp feeling on his forehead, and what felt like cloth scraping against his skin. Groaning, he cracked open an eyelid to survey his surroundings. He was on a bed within a small room, lit by a few candles and a few pieces of furniture; spartan, but much better than the dark and dank dungeon.

"Ah! You're awake milord!" 

Ah, and what better than an attendant to see to his needs. He shifted his head to get a better view of his caretaker... and regretted it instantly.

"Oh god..." Were his first intelligent words at the sight of none other than the Joryn in a maid's outfit.

"Hi!" she winked. "You miss me?"

"If I said 'no', would you believe me?" Gavin deadpanned.

"Awww, you do care!" gushed the rogue.

"I am NOT going to ask how you managed to sneak into... wherever this place is!" The wayfarer rolled his eyes. "Where are we anyway?" 

"Isn't it obvious? After that debacle in the prison, I watched from the sidelines as they transported you to the Duke's keep. Took that elven lady beside you a while to even get you THIS kind of accommodation instead of throwing you down the basement." Joryn exclaimed, while waving her hands. "There are a couple of guards posted just outside this door just in case you tried to escape. So..." 

Taking Gavin by surprise, the agile rogue leaped on top of the bed and straddled his waist; a devious smirk playing on her lips. "Since most of the Duke's staff are all busy with the Court of Candor later this afternoon then we have as much time to ourselves and no one's going to disturb us. Teehee!"

Teehee? The wayfarer raised an eyebrow at the rogue's verbal tic. Then it suddenly hit him. "WHAT?! The Court of Candor is assembling today?!" He almost shouted as he got up, the sudden reaction catching Joryn off guard as she toppled onto a floor. 

"Ow! You meanie!" She pouted, nursing a welt on her head. "What's it to you?" 

Revitalized by the information, the wayfarer got off the bed and started to dress and re-equip himself. "That 'elven lady' you mentioned is a travelling companion of mine. She's going to stand in the Court of Candor and I need to be there to make sure everything's going to be alright. And before you ask, NO! You're not coming with me. What I'm going through and where is bigger than all of us combined. You might not understand now, but I don't want you to get caught in the crossfire, ya hear me?"

"Oh pooh," the rogue sulked even more. "Just when I thought we could have a nice reunion together! How are you even going to get out of here? There aren't any windows, and there are guards outside this very door waiting to arrest you if you even take a step outside!"

The wayfarer simply gave her a foxy grin, "I have my ways." He turned towards the door. But before his hand could reach the door knob, he felt two arms entwine himself around his torso, stopping him in his tracks. They stayed like that for what seemed like minutes. 

"You be careful ya hear?" came the muffled sniffle. 

"I always am." Gavin replied. 

"Come back to visit when you're done whatever you're doing okay?"

"I will."

"I love you."

"I know."

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Lefell was bustling with energy when the cambion stepped in, this time with his cloak lifted over his head, hiding the features that would certainly out him as a citizen not of the town. The prison riot had lifted the city's dullness, turning the streets into gossip centrals and rumor towns, with young lads playing prisoners and cops, play-fighting their way around the bustling walkways and fine ladies talking about the charming (urgh) young lad that was dragged out and up to the castle by the honour guard. Dyloceus rolled his eyes whenever the ladies seemed to swoon when speaking about the wayfarer, and the cambion decided to one day make them all rue that they considered that dotard charming. 

He soon came to Lefell's town bulletin board, where he noticed that there was a new and rather obvious addition to the flyers that plastered all over the piece of wood. "Now there's a good looking fellow," he muttered under his breath. Splayed front and center was his face, scowling and snarling in the picture, as though he was about to bite anyone within two yards. "I only took that picture because they were pinching me," he thought, eyes now scowling to read what was written underneath that handsome mug.


"What? 15000 pieces of gold ONLY? Darling I'm worth at least three times that amount, catch me here and bring me to the next town and you might get even more money than that," the cambion snarkily retorted. Turning away, another article caught his eye. Swinging back, he read the article in more detail. 


By Liam Leeroy

Earlier in the day, prison rioter and instigator Gavin Pitraeus created a fuss about Lefell when he initiated a prison riot in order to mask his failed attempt to escape justice from the hands of our best and finest. However, due to the vigilance and valiant arms of our prison guards, the riot was soon quelled and the perpetrators were rounded up once again. The main villian of the riot, Gavin will stand and face the Court of Candor on the morrow at noon, where he should meet swift and unerring justice.

Gavin Pitraeus was brought up...."

Dyloceus decided not to read the rest as the fluff piece had provided all the information he needed. "So that's why the dotard didn't appear in the moat shortly afer I landed," he thought, "and now they want to execute him without trial. That Neposirus obviously knows that the Court will find him guilty and burn him to a crisp." Bowing his head and rubbing his temples, Dyloceus sighed. "Why do I have to do everything," he wondered aloud to himself, before turning around and walking off to the nearest tavern in order to think.

Seating down with a new mug of ale in his hand, he had to commend the Lefellans for their ability to make a really decent mug. Gulping down the golden drink, he wiped his mouth with his sleeve. Letting out a contented burp, he began to formulate a plan.


Arriving the next day early for the trial, the cambion sneaked his way into the vicinity of the courts. Waiting for the opportune moment, the cambion pushed open the court doors, only to find it empty. 

"Drats, they must have switched the venue."

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Hands trembled. A crack on the man's usually still and calm demeanour. A demon, standing opposite him.

"I can't believe he chose him. I was supposed to get that power. I worked so hard, bending to his whims, then wham! He threw me out like trash. No further word, no sign, no nothing."

"Calm yourself. This is not the time. We have to focus on the goal. Do not be distracted by a mere boy."

"I am stronger than him now. He's a coward, hiding in his hole where he alone reigns supreme. If only I can enter the void! I'll destroy him, and bend the realm to my will!"

The man jerked his head up suddenly. "That half-elf's curse! If we can get the void to open at the ritual's conclusion, the dimension door would open to the void, instead of the physical world! I will kill that man and take his powers. Asmodeus can take his stinking minions into the void, and you and I, with our powers combined, we will take him down. And you will get what you want."

"Hmph. Interesting plan. However, thay offspring of mine will be a problem. He's too loyal for his own good. But no matter. I know how to get rid of him."


They said fate liked to tease.

It was a familiar sight to Dawen. Fair-haired and slender elves gathered around the court, on wooden seats coaxed and shaped out of the growing trees around. The situation couldn't be any more different, however. Instead of standing behind the prince of Fah'lan as a guard, now she was taking centerstage, surrounded by guards.

The Speaker of the Court of Candor opened with the standard lines, recounting the power of the Court in punishing liars, and that nature held witness to all. He announced to the audience why a representative from Fah'lan was standing trial - for the murder of Elevar's son, Farmain. Dawen winced. The boy did die by her hands. It was the best choice she could make at the time, but she knew the life-loving elves wouldn't accept that choice. Murmurs went around in the silvery language of the elves. Shocking! How could she have done it? Is she a monster? She shames Fah'lan! Dawen gritted her teeth.

The questions then came from the Speaker. Did she see the boy? Was he with anyone? Where did she see him? Dawen answered all of them truthfully. The question that everyone was waiting for came soon after. Did she kill the boy?

The Court went silent in anticipation. Dawen heard her own breath catch in her throat as she hesitated. She had prepared to give this answer in front of the crowd, but it was harder to say than she thought. She took a half step forward. --..yes,-- then stronger, --Yes. But it was to save others!-- The audience's voices rose in a crescendo even before Dawen finished her sentence. She tried to shout above them. --Farmain was possessed by a dark being. He would have killed us all, and more, if we did not take action first!--

The Speaker gave two sharp raps on a wooden tool that cracked through the Court, silencing everyone. --Order, please. Fi'tan, do not speak outside of the questions. You will be given the chance to give your story later.-- Dawen clenched her fists, but complied. The Speaker turned back to the audience. --Now, we will bring in more witnesses to the case.--

More..? Dawen's understanding was that she would be standing alone at the trial. As Gavin and Aryssin were ushered onto the stage, she stared at Elevar accusingly. This wasn't what they agreed on. What was he planning? She had a bad feeling about this. "Gavin," she called to him. "Remember to tell nothing but the truth, or you'll be burned to a crisp. We haven't done anything wrong, so we have nothing to hide."

Edited by jaistlyn

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"Hey, watch it! I have my rights damn it! Where's my lawyer?!-- Oh Dawen, Hi!" Gavin exclaimed as the elven guards pushed him across the court and past Dawen's podium. 

"Gavin," Dawen called out to him. "Remember to tell nothing but the truth, or you'll be burned to a crisp. We haven't done anything wrong, so we have nothing to hide."

"Nah, don't worry." He replied flippantly. "I got this. Trust me!" 

His only reply was a pointed look.

"Okay okay! The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help me gods!" 

Gavin strode over to the podium alongside Aryssin who was clearly trying to burn a hole through his head with her heated glare. He frowned slightly; the discoloration in her pupils that would have marker her as tainted by tainted energies was gone. Someone must have gotten to her and removed the physical feature before he could point it out to the Court as evidence. Now that it was gone, it was only his words against Aryssin's. Knowing the bias was against their entire party, they seemed to have no choice but to go with the flow and see how Lord Elevar would manage this whole fiasco. 

Then again, Elevar was also under his suspicions. Since Aryssin was under the direct tutelage and command of Elevar, he had reason, if only circumstantial, to believe that Elevar was behind the removal of her taint and that he was planning something nefarious for everyone involved, especially Dawen. Sadly though, it was a moot point and they were at a position of disadvantage. He was glad his cloak was still on, otherwise it would be clear to everyone that his arm looked a tad bit unnatural. 

He stood silent once he stepped onto the podium alongside Aryssin, feeling the scrutinizing gaze of all the elves present, save Dawen. This was going to be a long court session. Human's weren't exactly a favored race to the elves. As a whole, human's were simply a destructive, greedy, lying, back-stabbing species that would do anything to further one's interest at the expense of everyone else. And it was clear the dogmatic elves weren't going to sway opinions anytime soon. 

The speaker opened in the common tongue. "This court calls for Gavin Pitraeus, companion of Dawen Silvergrove and accomplice to the death of Farmain, Lord Elevar's son, to speak! Gavin Pitraeus! How do you plead?"

Upon hearing this, the assassin stepped forward and raised his head, letting the lights shine through his blue hair and took a deep breath, the entire court bathing in silence.

"Lords, ladies, fellow sentient beings... I. AM. A GOPHER!" Gavin he could have sworn the sound of a hand slapping one's face in the background. "But I'm also a human and... let's be honest about this whole court proceeding: This is all just a big farce and no matter what I say, all of you pointy ears aren't going a rat's arse because your biased opinions against a 'filthy human' such as I would adversely affect the outcome of this session and Dawen and I would simply be thrown behind bars nonetheless"

At once, the whole room burst into angry roars of insults and mentions of 'off with his head!' and words along those lines. Gavin smirked. All was according to plan. 

"ORDER! ORDER IN THE COURT!" The cracking raps of the wooden mallet silenced the room as quickly as it had erupted. "You dare question the wise counsel of the entire Court of Candor, human?! We elves are non-aging, of beauty and wisdom such that even a child of our kind will be wiser than the wisest old sage you human's could ever produce! We shall look upon this court proceeding with scrutiny as we all always have for generations! Now, answer the question before we decide that your words are considered null and void that we can toss you to the trees as fertilizer!"

Gavin sighed deeply as if in defeat, before gazing back at the speaker with iron resolve. "In that case. Before I answer, I shall invoke the Oath of Impartiality. Or shall we say in your tongue: Gwest-o Gelthoniel."

The speaker was visibly taken aback from Gavin's words. "H-how do you know...?"

Wasting no time, Gavin started chanting in elvish. 

"Be he foe or friend, be he foul or clean,
Blight of Demons or Light of Spirits,
neither hate, nor love, nor swords or words,
shall pierce thy shield from clouded eyes of scorn
This swears all who hears thy words:
Impartial we will deal him til' Day's ending,
woe unto world's end! Our word hear thou!
To the everlasting Darkness doom us if our deed faileth.
On the holy mountain hear in witness and our vow!"

As soon as the incantation ended, the walls lit up in a grand spectacle as elvish characters in emerald light began shining from the floors to the walls and the ceiling; bathing all within the court. Moments later, the light died down. But the inscriptions still glowed a steady emerald. The entire court turned their eyes to a smirking Gavin. 

"This court has not heard this oath since millennia ago." The speaker shuddered. "How do you know of this incantation? Speak human!"

"Let's just a say a very good elven friend of mine taught me this in exchange for doing a very big favour." Gavin replied smugly. "I'm sure you all know what this Oath binds all of you to do, including us." 

It was a gamble at best. If one looked closely, one could have seen that Gavin was struggling to stand. The energy taken to invoke such a powerful oath and spell took a heavy toll on his still-recovering body. The incantation magically as well as honor bound all parties involved and within range of the Court of Candor would have no choice but to hear their stories with strict impartiality and neutrality without taking ones personal vendettas, emotions or stereotypes into account. Only common sense and logical deductions would be allowed to ensure the most fair trial possible no matter who was being judged no matter the person nor creature. To go against the oath once it was put into effect would be tantamount to eternal exile from other elven establishments due to breaking the code of honor of the entire elven population and also be sent to the realms of hell upon death if one had the misfortune to do so. 

In return the ones in question was magically and honor bound to literally speak only the truth upon questioning. Of course, despite all the wisdom of the elves, they would not had known that one could answer truthfully yet still remain vague. Which was why he could answer the speakers question truthfully without revealing anything about how he got to know about the Oath. And in this case, Gavin was going to answer as truthfully as possible with respect to the matter at hand. 

"Yes, I plead guilty to being an accomplice with Dawen in the killing of Farmain. However, it is like she has claimed. Dawen was attacked by the boy and showed signs of taint. Namely, black veins from the eyes, unnatural strength that does not match those of an ordinary boy, black magic that overridden even my attempts to purify him through my spirit runes. I can truthfully declare that all attempts were made to get rid of his weapons and restrain him. However, his skill with the dark arts proved too powerful for any one of us to safely subjugate and seal without the chance of killing him. I know that you elves hold every ounce of life in high regard no matter sentient or not. However, if he was allowed to rampage through these lands then more life would have been at stake! We have to assume that he could have tainted others with his power and the destruction would even more unimaginable. Please see reason! All of us are bound by the Gwest-o Gelthoniel. Surely you all can see that it was worth letting Farmain pass on than allow his tainted husk to destroy others!"

Edited by Vetanoob

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The cambion managed to find the real court after a short while of searching due to the amount of clamour from the court itself. Apparently Gavin had managed to cause such a furor within the court that, due to all that excitement and anger, Dyloceus managed to slip in without anyone being the wiser. Choosing the farthest seat from the court benches, the cambion scanned the room quickly. There was Gavin up on the witness stand, blabbing his head off about being fair and all that (not that the cambion was really paying attention anyway, he knew how the world was and didn't care much for fairness), and Dawen, of course, the one being pointed at and accused of being a murderer. 'Bah, one soul isn't a murder," the cambion muttered under his breath, looking around the rest of the courtroom.

The baliffs were posted all around the courtroom, in anticipation of Dyloceus's arrival probably. Ever since his escape from the prison, he knew that they had predicted that he would try to make an entrance into the courtroom in order to disrupt proceedings (which indeed was his plan and eventual goal), and as such had posted more guards to combat that problem. 'Throw numbers at the problem, why not,' the cambion thought to himself, smirking to no one in particular. The courtroom was also filled with outraged citizens of Lefel, all intent on seeing someone hang for the crimes against their beloved citizen. No one in the courtroom saw reason at this time, and that was a dangerous place to be. The bloodlust was palpable, and this was highly.. unusual. No courtroom that Dyloceus had ever been in had this much contempt for the defendant, almost to the point where the hate was manufactured. 'Manufactured,' Dyloceus was intrigued. Rolling back his sleeve, he pressed his tattoo with a sharp nail, which caused a bead of blood to form on the tattoo, and muttered, "Invigorum Oculi". Almost immediately a small haze clouded his eyes for a bit before clearing, causing a tiny blue glow to appear around his irides. Immediately apparent were red tendrils that seemed to float around the participants of the hearing, floating upward into a cloud mass above their heads. 'Ah, nasty little bugger that one,' thought the cambion, who was now looking for the source of the cloud's forming. Tracing the wisps, his eyes eventually led to someone three seats from the Duke, who was now asking Gavin some poignant questions about his past. It seemed that every time the Duke spoke, more of the red mist would sprout out of his mouth and into the air, polluting it with even more bloodlust, and thus, making the crowd even more angry. "Crafty little arse, I'll see how you react to this."

"Chaos, meet greater chaos," Dyloceus said under his breath before drawing out his ceremonial dagger and cutting a deeper cut into his arm. The glow on the tattoo now shone more radiant as the bright red blood began to coat the edges of the cross. Once the entire perimeter of the cross was covered in the glow, he uttered, "Omnis iram, iram omnium" and opened his mouth. Instantly a large red cloud burst forth, adding to the already immense cloud that had gathered above everyone. What once was a trickle of red mist now turned into a massive tidal wave, and the crowd jumped to their feet, rushing forward at the two accused, bloodlust dripping from their mouths as spit and foam. "Time to run fools," he called out, hoping the elf and the human would hear him and bolt out the nearest door while the baliffs were busy with the mob.

Edited by sorainvoked

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’Charming’, didn’t the ladies call him that? Dawen resisted the urge to vault over to the witness stand and choke Gavin. First words out of his mouth were to insult the whole court and its gathered audience of being biased. He had basically just reduced her chance of speaking on his behalf to zero. 

The Speaker’s typically haughty reply did not make her any happier. The elves never looked beyond themselves to the accomplishments of other races - the humans with their technical marvels and the dwarves with their sturdy strongholds. It would be their downfall, eventually.

”Before I answer, I shall invoke the Oath of Impartiality. Or shall we say in your tongue: Gwest-o Gelthoniel."

What? Dawen was as surprised as anyone else that Gavin would know the ancient Oath. She knew the incantation; all of the elves did, but no one had ever dared to invoke it before - for it was a declaration that the speaker of the Oath did not trust in their fellow elves to give fair trial, and that was an accusation not lightly taken. Spoken by a human, it was a shock, but the sides of Dawen’s mouth pulled upwards in a slight smile. Gavin’s unpredictability was both his boon and bane.

The wayfarer reiterated their story, and Dawen looked into the audience to gauge their response. If he managed to pull this off, this was the perfect platform for her to appeal to the Lefellans about the incoming threat. Perhaps that would convince them to take action. But instead of being appeased, they seemed to be growing more agitated and restless, shifting in their seats. Someone jumped to their feet shouting something, and chaos broke out.

The guard to her left hissed at Gavin and drew his sword. Before he could complete that motion however, Dawen swung her fist hard into his nose, knocking him backwards. The other guard lurched forward to grab her. She side-stepped, narrowly avoiding him. Heart pounding, she wrapped her hand around his arm, crouched down and used his momentum to send him sailing into the wall. The cambion’s voice reached her ears. So this was his doing. She fumed at his method, but there was nothing more that could be done about it right now except to get out of here.

The half-elf spared no moment in leaping over the barrier of the stand, rushing over to where the crowd was converging on Gavin. Luckily, the general populace of Lefell weren’t highly skilled combatants, and the sheer amount of people moving slowed the actual guards down. Hands tried to grab at her, and she shoved and kicked. She tried not to hurt them too much, but it was a struggle to suppress the demon instinct in her that thrived on chaos. Finally reaching Gavin, she grabbed him and ran for the exit.

They almost made it - but a man wearing a mask materialized out of nowhere between them and the way out. Dawen’s eyes followed the rapid slash of his sword. If she was carrying her own weapon, she could have parried it. Instead, she raised her arm in a futile effort to block the blow. The blade sliced through the flesh and muscle of her forearm, hitting bone. A burst of shock and pain paralyzed Dawen for a precious second, a second that took away her chance to dodge. The man drew his sword back and drove it into her chest, the tip emerging from her back red and dripping. She gasped, a choking, agonized intake of breath. Her body quaked, attempting to make sense of the massive damage. Strength drained rapidly with the blood that poured out of her body, and her legs buckled. She flailed for a support, any kind of support, and only caught the arm of her assailant, still gripping onto the sword with its blade buried in her. She looked into his grey eyes - expressionless, cold orbs that reflected her face of anguish. He pulled away his sword arm away without pity, the exiting blade grinding against bone, eliciting another cry from Dawen.

You have to die, Dawen. Elevar’s voice came back to her.

“No..” She was terrified of what would happen, scared of losing control.

She was terrified to die.

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Just as Gavin was about to relish in his achievement in throwing a wrench into the plans of the court, a humongous cloud of red mist exploded and covered the entire hall. In a split second, the entire hall was in a frenzy and the wayfarer's senses went into overdrive as he spun around and dodged a blade that would have lopped his head off his shoulders. He kicked the crazed guard off the podium and leapt off of it as a horde of elves converged upon him like rabid zombies.

What in the blazes is going on here?! Gavin thought. His question was answered when he heard a familiar voice call out from the ensuing chaos, "Time to run fools!".

"Oh, COME ON!" Gavin screamed through his teeth as he parried and dodged each and every bloodthirsty elf throwing him/herself at him, it was bad enough that he was weakened by casting the Oath of Impartiality. Now the thrice damned cambion had to blow everything up for himself and Dawen! There was no time to curse and swear at the half-demon as he put all his remaining energy and focus in getting himself out of the elves reach. Besides, he was already long gone from the court. They almost backed him into a corner, but Dawen managed to knock out the civilians in her way and drag the wayfarer along to the exit.

They almost made it - but a man wearing a mask materialized out of nowhere between them and the way out. Gavin's eyes widened, he’d seen the technique before. Shadow blending! “Crap! DAWEN WATCH OUT!”

He was a split second too late. Dawen’s eyes followed the rapid slash of his sword. If she was carrying her own weapon, she could have parried it. Instead, she raised her arm in a futile effort to block the blow. The blade sliced through the flesh and muscle of her forearm, hitting bone. A burst of shock and pain paralyzed Dawen for a precious second, a second that took away her chance to dodge. The man drew his sword back and drove it into her chest, the tip emerging from her back red and dripping. She gasped, a choking, agonized intake of breath. Her body quaked, attempting to make sense of the massive damage. Strength drained rapidly with the blood that poured out of her body, and her legs buckled. She flailed for a support, any kind of support, and only caught the arm of her assailant, still gripping onto the sword with its blade buried in her. She looked into his grey eyes - expressionless, cold orbs that reflected her face of anguish. He pulled away his sword arm away without pity, the exiting blade grinding against bone, eliciting another cry from Dawen.

“DAWEN!” Gavin cried as he burst forth and skidded along the marble floors, catching her body in the nick of time before it hit the ground. In quick succession he fished out a lightning rune and a body rune from hidden pockets in his vest. One hand thrust forward as a blast of lightning shot out from his palm and knocking the mysterious assailant right in the chest, flinging him away. The other hand pressed against Dawen’s chest as he muttered a quick healing spell which mended the entry and exit wounds to stop the bleeding. It had to do for now, he had neither the concentration nor strength to heal the internal damage. Either way, the attacker had achieved his objective. They wasted too much time and now the elves were slowly converging upon them, ready to hack and tear them to pieces. The cambion was nowhere to be found to assist them.

It was over.

Not if I have anything to say about it.

Gavin snapped open his eyes at the sudden voice eliciting from the depths of his mind. Before he could even respond, searing pain shot up his left arm. The wayfarer gritted his teeth as he held it up in pain and observed morbidly as the char-black skin with golden swirl patterns started to creep up his arm and cover his whole body. Even the voice seemed to grow louder each second, cackling madly as it overwhelmed his control over his own body. When the transformation was complete, his body was covered in char-black skin embedded with golden spirals, jet black hair which flowed as if suspended in water and pupil-less golden eyes.

“Heh. Seems like my tenant’s got himself a looker, this one.” The Dark Gavin smirked as he looked down upon the barely conscious half-elf. Gently lifting her up onto his shoulder, he stretched his left arm outwards and a chain of blades seemed to materialise out of his very muscles. “Now, which one of you wants to die first?-Urghh!”

Dark Gavin cringed as he rubbed his temple at the sudden headache. The elves looked on, hesitant to attack this new threat as he seemed to mutter incoherently to himself.

“Don’t kill them? And I just got out of my shell so to speak.” He said to himself. “Oh well then, I guess I’ll humor you this once as thanks for letting me out and see the world for the first time. Looks like you are all in luck ladies and gentlemen! I would love to play with you all and shed some blood, but looks like I’ll be taking my leave.”

“You are going nowhere, filth!” The Lefellian guardsmen stepped forward and surrounded the pair, brandishing their glaives menacingly.

“Hn.” Gavin scoffed. “I have nothing to say for weaklings like you.”

The dark persona spun and lashed out with his bladed chain, knocking the glaives from the guardsmen’s hands. A flick of his wrist shot the seemingly never-ending chain towards the entrance and embedding itself into stone. Like a spring, the chain retracted and pulled Gavin and Dawen into the air. The wayfarer swung himself out of the court and released the chain before landing on the rooftop of a nearby building. Now out of harms way and the cambion nowhere in sight, the Dark Gavin sprinted with inhuman speed, jumping and swinging towards the outskirts of the city.

“Now where to take you? Hmm… there? You sure know some interesting places my dear tenant. Don’t worry. Your half-elven lass here will be there before sundown. I have to say, she’s got quite the figure there. Me? A pervert? And what does that make you?”

Just as the sun was about to set, the pair made it out of the city and back into the forest. Jumping from tree to tree, he finally landed in front of a waterfall miles away from any lefellian patrol. Nodding to himself, he leapt through the falls and landed into a cave which was hidden right behind it. Following the cavern path led to a large chamber that had a opening on the ceiling that revealed the orange sky above.

Right in front of him, was none other than a lake. This was not just any lake. The grass was lush and green, flowers sprouted everywhere, butterflies fluttered about. The water was sparkling as if full of gemstones it even made Gavin flinch.

This… this was a Spring of Life. A heavily guarded secret of the forest known only through legends, myths and fairy tails. Stories sung of the place which waters could heal any injury or malady and revitalise the body. Any beings which reeked of death and corruption would be obliterated by its effects. But to the Dark persona, it was only an annoyance. Stepping forward towards the spring, vines suddenly shot out from the ground and held him into place.

“What is the meaning of this?!” He hissed as he struggled to break free from unnaturally strong fibers.

“Who enters my domain?” A soft, gentle voice echoed. “I sense a dark presence from you. Leave. You are not welcome here.”

“Show yourself. Or are you cowardly enough to hide from me?” Gavin barked.

Vines formed and coagulated in front of him which took shape and revealed the voluptuous green skinned figure of a dryad. “Your corruption defiles this place of purity. Yet, I sense that you are but a phantom hiding underneath a shell. Begone, foul one! Let your true persona back into the light!”

A green glow emanated from the vines which burned and caused Dark Gavin to scream gutturally as the char-black skin receded back into his left arm. “I may have lost this round but remember Gavin: You will learn to use my power in time to come. It will consume you! I will take control eventually! Whatever that is rightfully yours will be rightfully be mine! So says The Dark Prince!

Once the reversal was complete, Gavin collapsed due to the weight of Dawen on his dangerously weakened state. He managed to let Dawen fall harmlessly onto the soft green grass as he coughed out mouthfuls of blood. Looking up breathlessly at the emotionless dryad, he pleaded for her help. “Please, O’ dryad. Guardian of nature… protector of the spring of life. My companion suffered a mortal injury… and needs healing.”

Still, the dryad remained unflinching.

Using the last of his strength, Gavin tore his vest off and threw it at the dryad’s feet. “There are magic runes in the pockets. Take them… take them all. Just please, heal her. The fate of the world… rests on her shoulders.”

His final request given, Gavin fell onto his back. He could see the orange sky slowly being replaced by the night sky, the moon and stars starting to become visible. He started to feel cold and tired.

The dryad looked on curiously as the vines slithered into the tattered vest and fished out all the runes that was hidden in it. The elemental runes were broken and its magic absorbed, leaving behind only one left untouched: The void rune.

“A paltry sum.” The dryad droned. “But it will suffice. If she really is as you say, we will heal her. But for you, there is no cure we can provide for your corruption. It will be better to let you die together with it.”

Gavin no longer had the strength to nod. He could only respond weakly as his body succumbed to the cold and used up the last of his will to see the vines gently carrying Dawen and lowering her into the sparkling, life-giving water. “Thank… you.”

Gavin Pitraeus closed his eyes and drifted into the void.

Edited by Vetanoob

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Dyloceus ran out of the courtroom after letting fly his mouth fart, watching the entire congregation turn into a massive frenzy. The trial was now effectively over; no one would ever be able to track where the other two had gone. Heading around the building, the cambion headed for the nearest exit to the two he had come to save and leaned against the wall. With any luck, he would be able to drag the two out of the exit and spirit themselves away as quickly as possible. 

Moments turned into minutes, and the cambion began to wonder what was keeping them. The courtroom was now in full disarray, and it should have been easy for the two to slip off. Taking a quick peek inside, he saw a pool of blood on the floor. Alarm bells began ringing in his head, and Dyloceus bound forward, dipping a finger into the pool and tasting it. "Elf blood, with a hint of demon," he laughed to himself. Someone had beaten him to the punch. "Why am I not surprised that this would happen." Sliding over to the nearest guard, Dyloceus muttered a quick sorry before punching him hard. The blow instantly knocked the Lefellan guard out, and as he slumped to the floor, the cambion snatched the emblemed scarf from his neck and wiped his tattoo clean. This caused the spell in his eyes to fade, but there was no longer a need for that. Quickly flicking out his knife, he cut another quick but deep cut into his palm, before placing it on his tattoo. 

"Come on ya big lug, time to earn your keep."

A large red runic circle glowed on the floor, before a hellhound stepped up from the depths. Taking two quick sniffs, the creature bounded straight for Dyloceus and sat at his feet, tail wagging vigorously. The cambion quickly pointed straight toward the blood pool, and the hellhound instantly ran there and caught its scent. Looking back quickly at Dyloceus, the hellhoumd barked once. "Good girl," the cambion muttered. "Now chase."

The hellhound leaped forward toward the city outskirts, while the cambion followed closely behind (he definitely did not like the run though, it was counterproductive. He would fly if it was convenient, but showing off his wings at this time would be suicide, and Dyloceus was rather fond of his life still). Eventually they came to a small lake inside a cave behind a waterfall, and Dyloceus immediately knew where they were. 

"Grasspie, I'm home," Dyloceus called. Tendrils snapped out toward the cambion, but instead of restraining him the vines snapped across his face, leaving a tiny cut upon his right cheek. 

"Don't you dare call me that, you lying scum."

Slinking from the back of the cave into the light, the dryad stepped into the light, face etched with fury. "Give me one reason not to kill you where you stand, you half demon swine."

"Because you are my one and only?" the cambion cheekily replied, which earned him another tiny cut on his right cheek.

"LIES. Do not presume to worm your way into my good books with your honeyed words, for your words are now poison to my ears." the dryad spat venomously at the cambion. Dyloceus shrugged, but said nothing. He had done something unforgivable to the dryad before, but now was not the time to seek forgiveness. Time was pressing, and things needed to be set in motion. 

"I do not have time for this. Begone, foul creature, from my domain. On account of our shared past I shall allow you to leave with your head, but should I catch you here again, I shall not be merciful," the dryad uttered.

"Unfortunately, I too do not have time to explain what I am about to do," replied the cambion. Dyloceus quickly scanned the room, looking for the tail tip of the hellhound. While the dryad had focused all of her attention on the cambion, he had instructed the creature to seek out Dawen. Unbuttoning his coat, he allowed it to slip to the floor, unfolding his wings as it did. Spreading the leathery appendages, the cambion flapped them once, gaining altitude. Hovering in the air for a moment, he spotted the bright red tail, and swooped in on the hellhound. 

Quickly taking out his knife, he uttered a quick apology to the dryad and looked down upon the healing body of the elf. "Well, as good a place as any," he thought. Leaning close to Dawen's ear, the cambion whispered sincerely, "I am sorry, but I have to do this," before plunging his knife deep into the elf's heart and twisting.

Edited by sorainvoked

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Everything was pitch black. Was he dead? Was this the afterlife? If it was, it was nothing like how the temple priests or priestesses described it. What he felt was something so surreal he could not put it into words. A dreamlike state perhaps? He looked around curiously as if trying to find an exit to a non-existent room, only to see something far off in the distant blackness that caught his attention. Wondering if that was his ticket out, he made his way towards it. Slowly, surely the little grey blip came further into view until he recognized it as none other than a steel barred cage. A prison. The black, glowing individual sitting inside it was looking at his direction. Somehow that figure seemed familiar. The closer he got, the larger the grin he had on his face until the ex-assassin was right up to the bars of the cage. The two persons stared at each other for a good long minute; Gavin in bewilderment and the char-black, golden man in amusement.  

“Who are you?” Gavin asked.  

“Forgotten who I am now, have we?” The black man chuckled as he stood up and walked towards the bars to face his questioner. “Perhaps this shall jog your memory.” 

Before Gavin could react, a clawed hand shot out from between the bars and grasped his head tightly like a vice. Gavin fought and struggled but froze as new memories seemed to be injected into his mind. Suddenly, he remembered everything that happened before he came to this strange place.  

“You!” Gavin stared at him menacingly. “You possessed me!”  

“Tsk tsk.” He replied. “Such a strong word! More like temporarily taking control since your physical and mental functions were not ideal to get yourself out of that mess. Honestly, you should be thanking me.” 

Gavin stood up and took a good look at the prisoner. He looked uncannily like himself in facial features, other than the black skin, golden spiral tattoos and glowing gold pupils that is. “Be that as it may, you didn’t answer my question.” 

“Quite right. Interesting... that was quicker than I thought. For the sake of this discussion, you can call me... Tenebrae.” He answered smugly. “But in all essence, I am you.” 

“You’re not me.” Gavin snapped. “You look like me, just blacker... but that’s where the similarities stop.” 

“That’s where you’re wrong Gavin.” Tenebrae hissed. “I am you. I am your sadness, anger, and regret. I am the dark side you shoved into the back of your mind while you showed the world your fake self, your foolish optimism, always thinking there’s something to be saved in everything and everyone!” 

“There is always something or someone to be saved!” Gavin fired back. “I learnt that when she died at Neposirus’ hands! But I’ve moved on. She’ll always be in my memory to remind me that any good that can be done should be done before it's too late! If you were really me, you will understand this more than anyone!” 

“Oh I understand it alright.”The doppelganger mocked. “If you’re really moved on, I wouldn’t be here.” 

“What do you mean?” The ex-assassin narrowed his eyes dangerously. 

“As far as I'm concerned, that old wretched god blessed you with the power of the void. But even he doesn’t know how that might affect a sentient being such as yourself.” Tenebrae grinned. “That’s makes it interesting, mysterious. He always loves to see how the choices we make will affect the wheel of destiny. It’s where he gets his kicks, so to speak.” 

“Get to the point!” Gavin growled. 

“There is always a cost to using this forsaken power. The darkness took your negative emotions, aspects of your personality that you repressed all these years and gave it life! Me!” The dark twin snarled. “This cage? It is the representation of your willpower that keeps me from taking control of your mind and body.” 

“That didn’t stop you from doing what you did.” Gavin accused. 

Tenebrae shrugged. “You were mentally and physically exhausted, not knowing I existed. I jumped the chance to see the world through your eyes. Now that you’re aware of me your mental faculties have registered my presence and locked me in here within your mind. As long as your will remains strong I cannot take over you. I can communicate with your telepathically though.” 

Gavin looked down in deep thought. The damned god once again threw a wrench into his life for his own entertainment. It wouldn’t be the first time. “Why are you telling me this?” 

“Because you’ve used the power once, you will soon use it again.” A malicious grin graced the doppelganger’s lips. “The power of the void is addictive. You can do things mere mortal magicians could only ever dream of doing! But there’s a caveat; It corrupts you as you use it. The taint will influence you to become more like me! Even now the blackness is starting to spread up your arm, albeit slowly. But it is only a matter of time before it eventually covers your entire body. Using the power just makes the process go faster. All I need to do is just sit and wait. One day, the corruption will destroy whatever will you have left and I will be free to do as I please with your body in your stead!” 

“Then I shall never use it as long as I can breathe.” Gavin declared. 

“Oh get off your high horse Gavin!” Tenebrae spat. “You don’t know what you’re getting into with this half-elf. Trust me, You’ll be needing these powers. Mercy and half-measures aren’t going to save you now.” 

“I’ll be the judge of that.” The wayfarer replied. 

Tenebrae scoffed.“So be it.” 

Two kukris materialized in mid air and floated towards Gavin. The handles and blades were as black as obsidian, but there were silver trims which glazed it’s edges. Upon closer inspection, Gavin could see the same swirl markings on the flat sides of the blades that were reminiscent of the gold tattoos on Tenebraes body.  

“I call them Silver Fang and Starshard.” The doppelganger explained. “Throw them and wherever they go, you’ll be able to teleport instantaneously to their location at will.” 

A chain made entirely of blades slid out of Tenebrae’s arm and coiled onto the ground.  

“This chain I call daggertail. Like it?” The dark prince continued. “You can throw it, sling it, attach it like an anchor and swing from point to point. Similar to that sickle and chains you used under Neposirus. Call to it with your will, and it will appear by your side. These are just some of the tools and abilities the void gives you. Use it well. If you’re willing to learn, I can teach you more. Till we meet again! I will be watching and waiting... with great interest.” 

“Don’t count on it.” Gavin spat.  

“Oh I am.” Tenebrae replied smugly. “Time for you to wake up now! Looks like your pretty half-elf lady is in trouble!” 

“What?!” Gavin snapped as the cage seemed to pull away from his view. “What do you mea-” 


 The cool breeze flowed across his face, soft grass caressing his body. Gavin opened his eyes. For some reason, he felt much better than before he closed his eyes. Like as if he had been in a deep sleep for gods knew how long. 

Wait... Dawen! Gavin rolled onto his stomach and lifted his head towards the spring’s waters where he last remembered his half-elven companion lay.  

Only to see the winged form of Dyloceus the cambion plunging a dagger straight into Dawen’s heart.  



Then everything turned black. 

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