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{The Areder Mountains} Ashes to Ashes

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"A little madness goes a long way" She told herself out loud, not really sure why that statement flashed into her mind.  She looked at the words engraved into the dirt; "Follow the path", but instead looking down the path, she found herself looking into the dark abyss that was the forest. The crow of a raven could be heard as her first steps towards the forestry was made. It was a familiar Raven with a scar on it's face, the same as within her night terrors. It watched her. Scanned her for a few seconds before flapping off down the path...it didn't want her to go in there...but Karuna would not waste any more time. She rejected the birds call and walked into the forest, ducking under a branch before disappearing into the darkness that was the forest. 

Following twists and turns, she noticed the Raven on several occasions. It Cawd and Cawd louder and louder, beckoning her not to go where she was going. Ignoring the crow she continued, and for a while, it did not appear. But something else appeared. IN a clearing in the forest, The Trees seemed to curve around one celtic platform with engravings and symbols Karuna could not understand. But at the center of this stone structure, was a shadowed cloaked figure witch exhibited some sort of distortion in the air. A familiar sensation came over KAruna as she noticed the Black tar-ish orbs that flowed in the air, dripping upwards in the air from the ground and trees like a lava lamp of wicked energies. It was the same pure evil that resided in Blairville in her last venture there, but she only felt it for a moment. She could not discern why, but she scaled down teh small hill, and ventured closer to the figure, her hood pulled over her head to feel a sense of security. 

She was red robin hood, and the figure was the Wolf. 

She reached the stairs of the stone structure and looked up at the unmoving creature. The presence of evil grew stronger and stronger, and more fear creeped into her heart. But she knew she had to face this monstrosity, one way or another. So she did. Though she did not see this, as soon as her foot left the step, it glowed with her signature purple energy, before fading. each step made this impression before she passed the markings that circled the upper platform of stone. A figure of distorted energy appeared by Karuna as she walked passed the engravings, turning into a young man, the same man as in her night terrors, walking as if walking side by side Karuna the whole time. He wore Black leather skinnies with red streaks of crimson, and his shirt was a A charcoal black vest with revealed his chest and toned arms. She jumped but but did not flee, but before she could say anything, the young man, around Karuna's age, spoke. "You shouldn't have come here." He said lowly, as he Eyed down the shadowed figure with anger and seriousness. 


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Dradiro gathered himself, standing straight he reached for his last vial, taking it and uncorking it he looked up at the vision before him.  Flicking he cork at her before downing the liquid.  Seconds past before that red glow gave way back to his usual icy blues.  The meadow gave way back to the volcano bases, "So,". He spoke aloud conscious now.  "You don't play fair do you?"  He asked the darkness around them, Karuna had moved from him, but he knew she wasn't dead, just where she was, he hadn't been able to tell.

But she had heard him, or was that just the Shadows tricking him.  Tugging the collar of his vest down harshly and growling, " You separated me from my student.  I do get to see if she passes, and she will."  He shook his head and said a few words in a whisper.  His right hand came up and a small ball of blue light floated just to his chest, "Find her."  He said and the ball of light zipped off, Dradiro staying just behind it, making sure to keep up with its turns.

He sensed the shadows around him shifting, anticipating the incoming tendrils that began spiking out at him, ducking and spinning as he needed to.  Trying to keep his pace as well as keep an eye on the zipping blue ball.  The ball made a sharp right turn, following it Dradiro made the sharp turn as well, his feet sliding along the dried lava before getting back under him.

The next tendril caught him off guard, jutting out just before him at chest level, with no time to dodge, he slammed into the tendril and fell hard to the ground with a loud thud, the back of his head smacking the ground as well.  Stunned for a moment he cursed lowly before attempting to heal his injuries.  As his vision righted he saw the black ball of energy hurling at him and rolled away just before it impacted.  Rolling to his feet he looked in the direction of the attack, what he saw was himself, though there was a large difference, the colors Dradiro wore were opposite on this shadow demon version.  "So this is your true form I take it?"  He asked.  The demon responded with another blast of energy, "Ultimate End."  It stated, copying his attack.

Dradiro caught the ball and smirked, but the ball exploded regardless, sending him rocketing back into a wall of shadow risen by the demon.  Slipping to the ground slumped over his form bounced as he chuckled before he erupted in manical laughter.  The demon looked at him puzzled by the laughter, then growled before launching itself at him once more, this time, Dradiro was ready, ready and waiting.  They engaged in a mixture of martial combat and spell slinging, debris and dust stirred as the two collided and were blew back from one another.  

"Cheater."  Dradiro muttered towards the shadow version of himself.  The demon tilted its head, before its face erupted in anger, Cerena's voice coming from it.  "What in the nine hells do you mean cheater!?!"

Dradiro's own face washed over with anger, the demon shifted back to her natural form, the two drew inches from each other while yelling and screaming at one another, their argument sounding like a lovers quarrel.  "Enough!"  She shouted, her voice coming from everywhere, great power behind it.

Dradiro fell silent, Cerena's arms folded underneath her breasts.  "I wish this were a visit of good nature."  She said lowering her eyes, "I have good news, but bad news, horrible news depending."  She said, turning to look behind her, Dradiro crossed his own arms, "On with it then."  He grumbled.

"Your apprentice has passed her test, as have you.  However you have earned another title."  She turned back to him, pain in her grey eyes, then bowed, "Prince of Darkness."  Dradiro's icy eyes went wide, his arms dropped.  "Your curse," her arms went wide, "To be the Harbinger of Nephthys, for the next six generations."  

Dradiro put up a hand, "Come, let us find my apprentice.  You can give me the full extent of this on the way home."  He said, producing a second blue ball, Cerena's form fell into the shadows and then wrapped about Dradiro in the form of his duster, but instead of grey and white, there was crimson and black.  He released the ball and followed it, this time at better pace.  "Dradiro."  She spoke aloud, "Save it Cerena. Save it for our trip home."  He commanded as he ran, following the bright blue ball.

Edited by Dradiro

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Ear piercing shreiks blased through the now blood it sky as the creature of darkness, like a cloth pulled on string, lunged at the party. With exceptional maneuvering, Karuna and the other were successful in dodging the strike, but this success was short lived as it flew into the sky at an angle, maneuvering itself back down to swoop at the party once more, mainly Karuna.  

"What does it want?", She yelled as the screeching creature distanced itself from them for a better angle of strike. "You obviously. I've been trying to warn you to stay out of this, but hey, You Ranalas tend to do whatever the fuck you want."

"Wait, how do you know-", her train of thought was interrupted as the creature once again swooped in, this time attempting to claw at the sorceress. A shield of purple energy was all there was that separated herself from harm as the creature looped back into the sky, all the while screeching wickedly.

"I'll answer questions later. You need to kill this thing." He rolled his eyes. "WE. Need to kill this thing."  His fingerless gloves squeaked within his clenching palms as they charged energy within themselves.  with a rise and sudden fall of his arms, the energy combusted with flames, summoning iron chains scorched in hyper heated fire. Karuna merely watched as the back of his shirt began to inflate unnaturally as he crouched, before lunging into the sky, Black raven wings thrashing out of them as he soared into the sky. The creature, too focused on Karuna, dove for her once more, but before it could reach her, the winged man unleashed his chains onto the creature, wrapping the creature in his bonding chains.  With him now above the creature, only the chains from his hands restraining it, he halted the creatures downward movement, leaving Karuna with the perfect opportunity. The man spoke once more with a grunt.

"Hurry! I can't hold this thing forever."

"I wont need it." She mumbled to herself as she rose with confidence and vigor. Daggers of eyes stared down the creature as the shield on her hand dissipated, converting itself into particles that she then absorbed into her palm, gathering more energy to charge an attack.  

"Consider this test Pas-" Her heart skipped a beat as she witness the person within the cloak. Her mother, now deceased, flew before her, her face grey like a corpse and eyes lifeless.  Tears fell from her eyes as her voice, unnatural and echoing, spoke to Karuna.

"Why did you leave me? Why didn't you get help?"

She trembled, her energy loosing concentration and fading into nothing. 


"Karuna it's not real!" The winged man yelled as he struggled to restrain the beast, as if it were getting stronger.

"WHY DIDN'T YOU SAVE ME?" repeated the creature.

"I tried to help you, I couldn't help you I was only 14! I Tried. I did, mom, I swear!" she begged with the creature, loosing sense and loosing control. The creature had domain of this place now.

Growing stronger, the creature broke free of the chains and sped towards Karuna who was too staggered to avoid the attack. With a screech in her mother's voice, a claw came out and slashed her in the left arm. Her arm bled but they were not severe to the point where shed bleed out. She collapsed, her tears crashing on the floor. Looking back into the eyes of her mother the creature hovered over her, torturing her with visions of the past.

She remembered how she ran down the stairs as the Blade sweeper began to clash with the earth, shaking everyone and everything to its very core. To Karuna, it felt like the end of the world, and she wasn't exactly wrong. It was more like it was the end of her world as she looked into her mother's eyes in horrors, for between she and her mom was a creature of hell, a goblin of sorts, but with contorted red limbs. Karuna would have died that fateful day if it weren't for her mother, a human, who distracted it, assumingly loosing her life in the process. Karuna could never forgive herself. 

She trembled at the very sight of her mother, cowering in shame as the creature slowly hovered closer and closer to her. The purple essence within the platforms enchanted crevices were slowly receding from its circumference as the shadowed creature gained more control. But she and the creature were not the only ones here. Chains of flames wrapped around the creature once more, this time being spun around in the air before being flung into the twisted forest. The man now landing on the platform as well, The purple essence of the platform grew veins of red within them, as if she made her will just a bit stronger, but barely so. Not nearly enough.

"MOM" She shrieked, as if loosing her for a second time."

"It's not real Karuna. It's provoking your fears. You are making it stronger."

But she could not hear the man. She was loosing touch with herself and her purpose for doing this. The muffled sense from the winged man was drowned in sorrow and regret and it spiraled in her mind, just as the forest began to spiral into wicked flames. And from these flames Yelled a voice. A strong masculine voice. A voice Karuna thought she would only hear in death.

"Donastomagotastos!" Echoed into the air crisp and audible.

She froze. And he froze. They both seemed to know who it was.

Suddenly, the ground began to shake violently as a enormous hand rose from the depths of the flames, a hand big enough to completely crush the two like flies. It was a demon had Karuna knew well, one of the summonings within the Book her father gave her. She rose up.

"No..." She whimpered to herself. The other was silent, just silent as he watched.

"No...." She cried again, this time a little louder.

The creature in it's full form came into view. it had scrawny arms and legs blackened by ash so It seemed, and its eyes and moth glowed intensely with molten energy from the earth's core. It's head extruded out like devilish horns and its voice bellowed out, causing even the floor they stood on to vibrate. But this was not what struck fear into her. This was not what caused the man to grow silent. No, what they were interested in was the man who stood on the monster's shoulder. None other than Karuna's father staring at her with malice and disapproval.

"Why didn't you tell me..."

Karuna Took a step back.

"Why didn't you tell me she needed me." He spoke again, obviously too far to hear but somehow still able too.

"I could have saved her Karuna. We could have BOTH been saved" She fell to the ground. "Karuna.", He whispered. "This is your fault."

"It's my fault." She trembled, her eyes on hands as the pressed into the ground. Hearing her speak snapped the winged man out of his trance, but it was too late. There were not even muffles anymore, Her grief created this monster and only she could stop it.

The monstrous creature inhaled greatly, its chest expanding to amazing capacity, before blowing out a flame like a crashing waterfall. And she was ready to accept this death. She felt she deserved it.

IN her pit of despair however, a certain energy could be sensed. Her master, Dradiro's energy. For some reason, the twinkling sound of his magic snapped her out of her trance just enough for her to notice and witness the blue orb spring from the flames of the forest. Still in silence to karuna, things moved much slower for her and the man, but she was just fine. Another orb from within Karuna's pouch came springing out as well, something she actually had forgotten she had. A crystal ball the size of a basket ball, one she had acquired on her journeys sprung out, clouded in blackness, but shimmered at its core with Karuna's essence.

Comparing the two orbs which now orbited each other, Karuna realized what she allowed to happen. She allowed the grief of her past consume her, and it now held her back from what she needed to do. To become stronger. She needed to forgive herself. Accept this part of her life. Accept this creature. She rose, tuning into the situation and now hearing everything. The flickering of the flames. The monstrous roar as fire spewed out into their direction,Even the man who silenced himself as she rose. The platform began to glow bright with karuna's energy, surging all the way out to the very edge as she became more aware. She sprang into the air, torpedoing herself towards the creature and into the flames. But the flames did not hurt. not nearly as much as the pain of her past. But she accepted this pain. The sorrow. The guilt. She accepted how she felt was valid and okay. And as she did this, the flames faded, leading her to her father's face. Now gaining speed, with a face wet with tears, she shouted out her battle cry as her fist crashed into the creatures face. That very moment, everything that had happened bursted into particles of reds and blacks, hovering for a moment, then attracting themselves hastily to karuna's body where they were absorbed.


To Dradiro, He would see Karuna hovering high in the air, her body spiraling with colors of red black and purple before dissipating, she hovering back onto the platform which was actually there, its ancient markings glowing with Karuna's purple energy. He would reach there just in time to catch her as she became a bit faint from her ordeals. She spoke lowly to him.

"I told you you could do it." She chuckled weakly. 

"You dropped this." Came from the man who Karuna was fighting with, the crystal ball in his hand, flowing with blackness, but a shimmer of her energy in it. She jumped a bit, thinking he was a figment of her mind. But no, he was very real apparently, at least for the moment. He looked exactly the same as before except it appeared his wings were gone. 

"Dradiro." he greeted with a slight nod. Dradiro probably would not remember him but they did meet once.


Edited by 1ionFang
My writing is shit thats why DX

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As he moved, he noticed that subtle difference his new power gave, and with a smile pushed.  His form blurred, even to him, and just as his bearing caught, his attention drawn skyward, shifting as he would normally his feet didn't respond as usual and his slid for a moment.  Body catching up to the brain, he corrected himself and forced the slide to just beneath her.  "Same could be said to you, Mistress Karuna."  He nodded, pride washing over him.  

Cerena had remained silent for the moment, remained motionless.  Dradiro however, hesitated as he helped her up, watched the exchange of the orb.  "Been awhile.  Seems your getting lazy."  Dradiro poked at the man.  

He stepped away from them, reaching back he tugged on the tail of his duster, "Come on then, let's get this over with.  The four of us, two of us having our magics strengthened, could really make this place hotter."  He said as Cerena rolled off him.

Reshaping out of the darkness of his shadow rubbing her right butt cheek with a glare.  "Well, asshole...."  Her face littered with question suddenly, "How'd you know?"

Dradiro shrugged and sighed, "I couldn't get into your head."  He meant that literally, "I tried, and I know you, when you weren't."  He gestured to her entirely, "Demonized we'll say.  If I wouldn't listen to you when you talked, you'd jump in my head immediately, and I did the same."

She nodded, "Very well."  Looking at Karuna she smiled, "Congrats."  Looking to the other like her and growling a second before turning back to Dradiro.  "You don't get a demon, but the boost in power you do.  But, the other parts, you can't kill, other than the next Princesses.  Have fun breaking your own heart Dra."  She gave a heavy sigh, "When I say you can't kill, means you seriously can't, you can not physically mortally wound, fatally injure, kill another living soul, the curse won't let you. Oh, and remember what happened when you gave into the hunger full on, multiply it by fifty."  Dradiro nodded, and held up a hand.

Shaking his head, "Ok, Ok."    He then looked up and cocked his he to the side, frustration on his face.  "Bloody really?  Anyway, no I don't blame you.  I could have said no.  I could have followed the ritual, but instead I gave you what you wanted, trust me, I already reaping the other rewards of my racial sin as well."  He looked up, letting out his own heavy sigh.  "I loved you.  But go on before your mistress get anxious."  She disappeared back into his shadow, but this time, did not reappear on him in the form of his duster, she didn't reappear at all.

He looked to Karuna, "Quickly before the volcanoes start spewing.  I already hated how hot it is here."  He said, now waiting for her to finish her engagement with her demon.

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As soon as the man gave the orb to Karuna, its blackened energy converted itself into a lowly glowing indigo color with a light purple nucleus. It felt as if the crystal orb had a pulse, as if it were alive. she watched it for a few moments more before Dradiro spoke once more.

 "Been awhile.  Seems your getting lazy."  The other male blushed, looking off in the distance with his hands behind his head nonchalantly.

"Well, its not exactly easy to stretch your legs when you've been stuck inside a girls body for 19-some years."  He moaned with a hint of sarcasm. 

"Wait what? who are you? how do you know each other." Karuna inquired in  a high pitched voice. 

"Gia, you haven't figured it out yet?" Her crossed his arms, his voice becoming sarcastically cheery. "Im you fairy god familiar!" he flashed a smile before his face became serious again. "Name's Zorah."

"What? But I never soulbound with anyone. I never conse-" He interrupted her.

"Well, it wasn't exactly consensual. You kinda needed one to well, protect yourself from yourself- god you humans are soft." he scoffed.\

Before Karuna could continue she noticed another person who happened to be there. A woman of sorts, materializing from darkness. Another Vampire? they continued their chat before returning her attention to Karuna. The woman growled as she looked at the man however, who would in turn snarl his lips at her. 

She then continued on to tell Dradiro of his newfound power, and also his curse. Though Karuna was quite curious as to not only what this curse entailed, but also who this woman is to him, it was probably best left for future conversation. She knew they would have to leave soon. It was very dangerous here and she would hate to be caught within a volcanic eruption. 

"Quickly before the volcanoes start spewing.  I already hated how hot it is here." Dradiro casually announced as he began to leave the platform. KAruna would follow up until the voice of the man could be heard again.

"Hold it." He would yell out loud, directing it to Karuna. "Bit of a disclaimer your father wanted me to tell you when you would finally speak to me." 

"My father? what did he want to tell me?" She inquired eagerly, inching towards Zorah. 

"My physical form cannot last outside this summoning platform, so I'll try to make this brief." He walked over to karuna, placing his hand on the crystal ball she held in her two hands. it the began to swirl with burgundy black energy along with Karunas purple.

"My soul purpose with binding with you at infantry is to ensure the darkness within you did not consume you totally. Usually a witch such as yourself would obtain a familiar in her later years but you were something of an exception. Oh, btw," he used the abbreviation,"You're a witch." 

She blinked at the man, not really sure how to take in these revelations. "Anywayy~ the darkness inside you was really strong within you as a child and you would have completely lost yourself in it if nothing were to be done. So, your father entrusted me to maintain your sanity so that you could one day control how to use it." , Karuna shook her head viciously, shaking off her confusion before looking back at the demon.

"Wait, how am I a witch? My father and mother are human.

"Well, witches are humans too- Oh right you didn't know." He continued. Karuna's head tilted in confusion.

"You're mother was a witch."

"Lies" She responded immediately, "She had no powers."

"Lies, she did", He responded just as abruptly. "She hid them from you so she could fit in. Witches are not exactly a friendly bunch. they are stereotyped as being bad people, and she did not want you to grow up with a life of witch hunts and loneliness. So she suppressed them for our sake. She was actually pretty powerful too. I wouldn't fuck with her, I'll tell ya."

Karuna's lips were parted as he spoke. She was just in awe of all the information.

"In short, blah blah blah, you are a really powerful sorceress who needs to control her powers and oh, that crystal orb is a pretty sick weapon you're mother use to use in her prime. I mean, its not the exact one she used but it looks pretty similar. not really sure how it got in your hands but good for you. Use it wisely." He removed his hand from the orb and immediately began to shove Karuna off the platform.

"Anyway, it was nice to see you and all but this place is going to erupt pretty soon and I don't feel like talking anymore okay bye." He monotoned hastily before karuna leaped from the platform so she wouldn't fall on her face. 

"Her wait!" She Yelled as she floated from her forward motion. Looking back at the man she would only see him fade away, along with the platforms purple hue. 

Suddenly the ground began to shake violently, signaling that there was going to be another eruption pretty soon. There would be no time for questions, they had to leave now.


It only took a few moments for Karuna to reach the boat, and from there, assuming Dradiro was following her, they would be out at sea, clear from volcanic debris that might harm them. There she would tell him of her achievements and how she feels much more powerful now. How she realized her nightmares were actually Zorah steering her clear of the darkness that lurks within her, and how she was pretty sure that the night terrors were going to end. around this time Dradiro would have enough time to explain his stories as well if he chose too. With time the sun would begin to rise and its raise would find itself shimmering the waters of the clear ocean.  It was almost symbolic really.


A few days would pass before Karuna decided it was probably time for her to leave. She had learned everything she had needed to there, and it was time to go on to learn something elsewhere. 

With a backpack full of materials for her ventures, she exited the mansion before turning around to see Dradiro's face. "Well. It's been great." She smirked. "Kinda bad at goodbyes actually." she scratched the back of her head bashfully. "I'll definitely write to let you know what I'm up to...but I'll be all over the place so, it's gunna have to be one sided. Heh." She looked up at him again more somberly before shrugging.

"I guess this is really it."

Edited by 1ionFang

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Their journey had ended, it seemed that it was last week she was a shy fragile thing, now, she was a trained ShadowMancer.  He had dreaded this day, the day she left him, the day she struck out on her own.  

He had been training since the second they returned, relearning himself.  Everything he had known was different now, from his speed to his strength.  Finishing up a simple sword play routine he heard Karuna coming down down the stairs.  Replacing the twin bladed katana back within the confines of its sheath, he made his way to the door.  "Leaving without saying goodbye?"

As she responded he couldn't help but smile, she had grown so fast, she was definitely a Ranala.  Nodding in response, "I don't have anything else to teach you.  The magic you seek to gain, you will find I'm sure.  You're just as bullheaded as your father was.  Take great care my former apprentice."  He told her, watching her leave.

His servant girl coming up beside him with a small platter, handing him a golden goblet.  "Mistress Ranala is leaving Master?"  Dradiro nodded as he sipped his drink, "There's nothing for her here really my dear, only darkness.  I am a vampire of my word, her father requested that if I was her teacher to keep her away from that darkness."  He said turning to go back to his training, his servant in tow after gently shutting the door.

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