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THE_BULL

[Quest] To BECOME DEATH...

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[Recap] In these past events, the Kingdom of Taurus and it's Ruler has seen much change. Seeking answers in regard to his origins and his fathers legacy, Proteus Rauz found himself exiled to the Celestial Realm---Where the Absolute Authority, confines and contains the remaining progenitors of his race. Time stood still there... he was subjected to their test, trials and tribulations and experimentation, meanwhile the kingdom and home he knew would be devoid of his presence for over 1,000 years.  Proteus' liberation came at the expense of the captives lives. Destroying the last remnants of his bloodline, retaking prized possessions destined for his ownership and flinging himself back across the planes of existence and back home where he emerged anew. Proteus Rauz had emerged Anew. Changed. Different. Not only was he far older, hardened even, his powers had grown exponentially as did his control over them. His views and outlooks on his path and those of his people had also been altered. Having established a relationship with the powers that be in the lands of Alterion, Proteus, under his own power had moved the entirety of his kingdom from the Lands of Genesaris, to the Spirit Realm of Xaengri-La. Where he would be free from mortal observation. Where his prominence could have neither positive or negative effects on the lands surrounding his kingdom, so that no balances could be tipped or disturbed and that no other governing body could benefit nor suffer.

However, even as he established his kingdom, and their outer realm territories, Proteus Rauz' ideals and goals have widened and expanded. He had become somewhat of a Nihilist, embracing what he had discovered what his original intent and reason for being was. TO BRING ABOUT DEATH AND DESTRUCTION, TO ALL. His re-emergence , and return to the throne under this new ideology has put many of his closest ally's and family at an unease, Even the Queen, Priscilla---His birth mother, and the one who worked the hardest to bury the secrets of Bulls origins and true nature, has found herself at her absolute wits end as to how to guide or manager her son, and after his re-emergence, far to under-powered to force anything upon him. So silently she has watched, ever so diligently as Proteus sets about procuring the knowledge needed to accomplish his goal. His one true ideal, his one true intention----TO BECOME DEATH ITSELF.

 

[And now....]

His throne room used to bathe light. Every square inch of it, illuminated from the free flowing light from yonder. That has drastically changed. Large metal shutters existed where windows once were. They kept this place devoid of light. It was insulated, sounds were equally scarce save for that of the constant HUM of raw unbridled power flowing through 4 massive  umbilical cords that ran beneath the ground up behind his throne and into a custom fitment that affixed into hard points on his back. The ONLY light present within this rume was from the Rune Brands aglow along his body in a blood red hue.

It was there that he sat. His body constantly absorbing and harmonizing the seemingly limitless ebb and flow of spatio-temporal-anima present in the limitless expanse of this spiritual realm. Disconnected from his people. Departed from a society that he helped to sculpt and once coveted, but nowadays, feared him as they never have before.  The Council had long been killed and disbanded by his own hand save for one who squandered away still within the confines of their prison.

In truth there was only one thing that could keep Proteus situated as he was now. He had no intent on moving, nor a desire to do so because simply put he was waiting on something. That something was coveted. Desired and favored above anything at this time and it was the only thing that eluded him these days. It was pure. It was valued by anything and everyone be they Man, King or God. There was nothing exempt from it's benefit and there in it lied no TRUE face value for it, but there was also no limit to what would be expended for it. Knowledge. Plain and simple. He needed the means and understanding as to how to go about achieving his goal---which for the most part was thought to be inconceivable and impossible, however, when the Absolute authority. The Omnipotent one. "The Creator" himself, assures you that such is NOT beyond the realm of a being such as himself----You take that notion for what it's worth.

There was one individual who had such knowledge, or at least could point him in the direction. This being, is and always will be favored. His most beloved. One to whom he trusted the most. Covets the most. Priscilla...The Queen, and his mother. Despite who she was to him she has also coincidentally been the greatest source of obscurity and deception. The understanding of these facts and the dynamics of them all has left Proteus shifted in stance. Wavered, somewhat unsure. As a child he clung to her every word. She molded his beliefs, directed his ideals and aspirations, All for what?? To lie? To keep the truth away from him? For what purpose? Some selfish ideal of goal of her own?

It was to much for him to understand. To much for him to process, and whenever his mother was around the King was nothing short of contrived. However....she held the keys, she knew the ways, and his current goals and aspirations although no favored by her, were goals she could help him achieve. So he sat....and waited. For her..

@Lacernella Rubra

Edited by THE_BULL

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A mother’s love is a force to be reckoned with on the most tranquil of days. It has the power to move mountains, villages, and every force it comes with bows beneath the monstrosity of its strength. Why a mother does things is rarely transparent, children don’t often understand the actions their parents take. Priscilla had hoped to mold Bull into a benevolent ruler, a true king to follow in his Father’s footsteps. Was it selfish? Perhaps a bit.

Accusations of his birth had been rampant, and many complained that the child should never have been born at all – if he hadn’t, perhaps the survival of their race would have been guaranteed. Alas, they were not, and the guilt of those accusations rested on her shoulders. Perhaps she had hoped that by leading him to love and be loved, in some way, a circumvention could be achieved. Instead, the man she knew to call son had become but a stranger. The sands of time had slipped through her fingers, and he had suffered for all her misleadings.

It is this reasoning that she is found hovering at the doorway of his grand hall. The carnage and darkness that has found the castle halls leave them barren and lifeless. Even Sir Braylen had long been dead, and the people huddle in frightened masses at the man their king has become. No monarch of the people, but considered now a tyrant – cruel and unyielding. The truth of it weighs heavy on her heart, bearing it all manner of pains.

Her usual attire and upkept ways were foregone tonight. The dresses fit for royalty abandoned in favor of something more simple – a plain dress of dark coloring and shapeless form rested on her shoulders, and the tendrils of snow colored hair usually braided so elegantly atop her head fell to the floor in an unbound mass.

The blindfold, however, remained. What secrets contained beneath it were hers, and hers alone. She navigated still, a pale hand resting against the doorframe, hesitant and unsure. It only rests there a moment before her tall stature glissades into the room as though she owns it, throwing wide the doors as she moves directly forward. She turns, suddenly, moving to grasp one of the shutters that covers what had once been a window.

Without so much as a word to the man in the throne, the shutter is ripped from the wall with what looks to be minimal effort on the woman’s part. It clatters to the ground behind her as she reaches for the next, it meeting similar fate. Once finished with this window, Priscilla’s form turns back to Bull. It wavers, before she straightens and places her hands delicately in front of her waist, clasping them.

“Cease this ridiculous sulking.” It’s a command, though the tone of it is far more weary than one might expect. Grief has plagued her ageless life, and it worries the lines of her face.

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She was an anomoly as of late. Systematically his greatest source of support, doubling as his greatest source of anxiety and concern. During his tenure as a Gladiatorial Prisoner within the  the Celestial Annex, her dark deeds were forced to light. However, darkness is perspective. Was it ever easy for a son to view anything his mother does as Dark, when the intent was to safeguard him? Or was it easier to resent her for the darkness she kept him in? Halving his potential, never answering the questions as to why he was different and looked upon by would be authorities (Council) as a liability? Best to be held captive or contained and not allowed to prosper? How many times as a child, did a lie accompany the kiss as she assured him that he would he'd follow his fathers footsteps? His father was INSTRUCTED to create an answer to the problems of an entire race. His father was told to create a vessel capable of harnessing the power of "The Celestial Son", the only instrument that allowed them to challenge the power of The Absolute Authority head on. His father did just that----and allowed emotion to cloud his judgement, and FLED his people. Leaving them defenseless against the wrath of a Deity, THE Deity of all Deities whom annihilated all but a handful of them. That handful sought revenge, and in doing so claimed the life of the former king while never being made aware that the vessel---was in fact successfully made.

When you're a KING....Your emotions come SECOND to your DUTY. But how could Proteus fault his FATHER for loving a SON and his WIFE to much to subjugate them both to the will of many? How could he fault his mother for deciding to be a MOTHER to that said son, rather then surrendering him to become a Weapon? As a MAN now, while he is understanding of their intent. As the CURRENT KING---He is wholly displeased and in disagreement with the BOTH of them. However, his love for his mother, surpasses his LOVE for the Throne and the weight it places on sturdy shoulders. As his mother rends the shudders open, red, glowing pupils stare unflinchingly. Until she would address him, his fingers digging into the metal that composed his throne. thought to be virtually indestructible but against the insurmountable might of a man who's returned thousands of times more paramount then he last sat---it was faltered. The sound would lash at his mother first before the voice that boomed from the darkness---that fleeted once those eyes became alight with anima, exposing the much older, more chiseled appearance and in possession of an asbolutely VAST mane of a beard. He leaned forward spouting "CEASE YOUR CONDESCENDING...."

He stopped. His lips tightening and resealing the gritted teeth behind them, slowly returning his back to it's throne before exhaling a breath of frustration. He internally chastised himself----that was his mother. But they BOTH knew why Proteus had such animosity at the moment. Proteus had made a decision, and his mother was in possession of knowledge on how to obtain a said goal and for ONCE he'd want her to be forth coming with something instead of continuing to put him in the dark. Tihose eyes settled some. There was now light present in the room that was ensconced in blackness. If she was here he assumed it was to discuss what he requested, and he wasn't reluctant to share what he himself had learned from his gaze into the Infinity Well. "The path to becoming Death itself, requires many things and the spilling of Blood....Godly blood."

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Steady footsteps carried her form to the man atop of the throne, not ceasing until she had reached the zenith of the steps upward. Priscilla’s hand drew back, and collided with Bull’s massive form. The resounding smack was heard across the hall. There had only been three instances in Bull’s life that his mother had ever lain hands on him, once as a young boy, and now twice as an adult.

She did not pull away once her palm had laid against his cheek, and instead she drew in a deep breath.

“Do not raise your voice at me, young man. You may be older, wiser, and more powerful, but you will not do me that disservice.” She stood before him then, no fear of any reciprocation. Priscilla only wore her sorrow on her visage, unable to do much more than that. His further comments, however, only brought a heavy sigh from the woman.

“My son, I wish you would let this go.” The woman offers as she reached to soothe the previously slapped area with a brush of her fingertips.

“When we first discovered I was with child…the elation your Father and I felt was unlike anything else. Father had been prepared to sacrifice your life for the good of our people…but I could not. Perhaps it was selfish of me, but I wanted you to grow as normal as any child could. I wanted you to know the joys of a people that loved you, and to love them in return. This weight was never meant for your shoulder, beloved.”

Drawing back, Priscilla moved down the dais to stand in the light that filtered through the single window now open.

“It was not your father who chose to leave and abandon our people. It was I. So if you must find a place to lay blame, it is my burden to bear. Though I would make the decision again without regret, my son. You have always been the most important thing in my life.” Even beyond Father, Sir Braylen, beyond any false promises of affection. This grief, she held close. In the quiet nights beyond the senses of anyone, Priscilla had grieved quietly the loss of all she had known. The sacrifices, however, had always been worth it for his sake.

“In the wild, a mother animal will go to great lengths to ensure that their young survive, and their strength multiplies massively in order to protect their young. Until you have children, you will never truly understand. Tell me, Bull, could you sacrifice my life if it meant protection for your Kingdom?”

However, she pauses here – pain and grief written across her visage like a well read book.

“I suppose, at this point, it doesn’t matter much, does it?” A gentle sigh, that hardness returning to her visage. “This is a fools’ errand, and you know it.”

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He knew what was to come and accepted it. The physical pain was non-existent but there was a scarring of his pride. This was accepted as well. Disciplining someone such as he wasn't a light task---the very gesture of slapping him and turning his head so, would have likely killed someone of significantly lesser stature. The Queen, Priscilla was no slouch in the strength department.

He'd have closed his eyes. Restraining further urges of protest yes, but more so to avoid eye contact with her, fleeting the sure to come dialogue that always followed when she found herself pushed to this point. The way her hand rested on his face, how it transitioned from a disciplinary instrument designed to express her discontent to a more subtle one now designed to express her love. It wasn't until she began to inform him of the specifics of the past that his eyes opened and he slowly degree'd his head partially to look at her. One pupil sliding from center to rest in it's corner. A Pulsating gem that radiated like a star. He drank in the entirety of her dialogue and even as she drew back and away there wasn't much change to the stone-etched expression crafted onto his face at the moment.

He had been informed, at least of one side of the story and this had been the first he'd heard from his mothers and he had no doubt of it's accuracy, it paralleled much of what he had already discovered himself not just from the Celestials he felled in that domain but from the Infinity Well itself. Even as she questioned his own capacity to rule, equating whether he could sacrifice her for the greater good of the kingdom did nothing to fascia or his outlook or aspiration. IF it was a fools errand----He be a fool then. He allowed her words to linger. At that very moment the air released it's hold of the sound of her voice his own filled the void. "You misunderstand father. By leagues..." He'd stand, slowly, and the massive cables that latched to his back began to snap one by one. Hissing a loud pneumatic protest before slamming to the ground behind his throne one after the other, cutting him off from the infinite feed of incalculable planar energies provided to him by this realm. As she once did, he now descended these steps. Heavy. Massive, footfalls once by one carrying him closer and closer to her at steady pace. His voice, drawing nearer, low, with heavy bass but clear.

"Of the two of you, the only one who truly wished for me to strive as a normal child into adulthood, was you mother. I've no blame to lay on you. I've no blame to lay on him either. Father was given a task, he set forth to do it, and completed it. He saw the ill intent in his people, and favored the warmth of his beloved. I wiped my slate clean with him the moment they Put the Celestial Son in me, and I lived, only to kill every single one of them, and their world..."

At another one of the windows she had free'd of obstruction he stood and stared. Mere meters from her, his eye not affixed to any one aspect of the outside world, more so scanning the length of his kingdom, he spoke. "I was made....to Destroy. Not just anything, but The Absolute Authority. All. Lord Omni, if such a thing was possible that means im to be DEATH itself. As much as you LOVE me, and want me to be something else, in your heart of hearts you know this to be true, and I am what I am. I have a task to accomplish. A purpose to see through and fulfill. What I do once I fulfill that purpose, rests squarely on me. You've meddled enough with fates intent, you've raised your son. That same mother in the wild, eventually leaves her young to fend for themselves after having passed on all she knows and can teach..."

He'd degree his head to face her and finalize his statement, "Provide me with the last of what I need to know...so that I may fend for myself and be what I was meant to be. Or do you fear that once you let go, I stop being your son?" His eyes returned forward. His arms folded behind his back. This was a prideful stance of a king, who's chest rose and fell one time as he took in and relinquished his breath. Between the two of them would be a long moment of silence before he broke it with a simple statement..."Non-sense. I'll always be your son..."

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“I fear, that once I let you go – you will stop being a kind man.” Priscilla retorts, even as her face finds sorrow trapped within. It clears from her visage a moment as he requests information, a gentle, low sigh escaping her throat.

“Time and time again, we find success within adversity – yet you always want to rush headlong into the danger. Always so eager to leave us behind.” Her lips tighten, thinning against her teeth before Priscilla sighs gently and releases the hands clasped in front of her, to spread them to the empty room aside from themselves.

“First, you must go to Tartarus. This is no small feat in itself, but just getting there is only half of it. Your goal in Tartarus will be Styx’s very soul…And then Hades. If neither of these foolish errands kill you, you must find your way to the land of souls here, and claim the individual that holds the same meaning as Styx and Hades.” Priscilla pauses, her covered face tilting to look out one of the unbarred windows. The city below in peaceful slumber, frightened beneath the cloak of darkness that surrounds them.

“Then you must return so that I can perform the ritual required.” Her head tilts as she takes in the air that filters through the castle, her hands tightening in the fabric of her dress.

“Know that if you go through with this, there is no turning back. You will have no family, no wife, no love beyond what little group you have made here. You will be as though a physical god, incapable of reaching those below in any way. You will never again be held as a son, a father, a lover, a King. You sacrifice all you are to become this thing.”

Priscilla pauses to let the weight of the words settle on Bull’s shoulders, even as her veil shadows her gaze and it turns back towards him.

“You will bring Death to all you know.” The sorrow has returned now, and the queen finds frustration in her very blood.

“I have on request, before you make your decision, I would like you to share a meal with me.” The woman requests, turning away from the gargantuan man as she moves from the throne room and towards the kitchens. Priscilla does not need to look back to know he will follow.

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Bull has always had a stubborn nature. As this insurmountable weight was set upon him he faltered none and staggered little beneath it. This was a decision made long before this conversation too place and the hardest part about it, had just transpired. Was it easy to make the decision? Hardly. No decision made by a king is an easy one, but he had things far more thought out then even his mother had assumed. He took pride in few things. His mother and his kingdom were two priorities on that list and in his absence----One would do an exceptional job looking after the other. 

This is why he had no regrets. Had no qualms or hang ups. Nor was he going to ask permission to be what he was intended to be, after all-----Kings do not beg. Son's do heed their mothers, there was that, and it was the son in him that permitted the remorse that seeped it's way into his heart now. Slowly, as she expected he turned and would follow his mother. This was a formality she was quite fond of---eating. He neither required it or took much from it, even from birth her child was indefinitely sustained by the prominence within him, outside of the flavor indulgence or the occasional desire to be a glutton in his mothers presence, there was nothing he took from "eating". It was something SHE enjoyed doing in an attempt to humanize him and teach him manners and etiquette. 

The kitchen was one of the more pleasing areas of the castle though. The scents. The colors, and the tastes. It was always a positive stimulation to him. Something he welcomed and why at times he found himself drawn to this place which was why int he grand design of his this castle it received so much attention and work. The kitchen space was huge. It's ceilings were some of the highest in the castle. The appliances had brushed metal finishes. Obsidian marble counter tops and floors, ornate accents, his mothers design was nothing short of immaculate. They were accompanied by a primer staff in conjunction with the normal servant roster, one of which being one of the elder attendants who, like their chef, had fond memories of their King as a child being escorted into this place by his mother much like he is now. 

It was as if the entirety of the staff were made aware that their King would be setting himself on a path that would take him from them, and couldn't help but to notice the long face on the elder attendant who had saw to him even as a youth in his cradle. She said nothing, which in turn said so much. Bull stood there.....silent.

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“Sit.” It is a gentle, firm command – it should be of some comfort as it is one he has heard often. Priscilla says nothing else for a long moment, before she carefully reaches back to tie up the hair that falls to her ankles. Once it is sufficiently bound, she joins Brigette to carefully chop carrots and onions. Though it would seem strange – this woman with coverings over her eyes, capable of wielding a knife and performing what might seem to be dangerous tasks – it is not. It is rare that Priscilla would sully her own hands to prepare a meal but from time to time she chose to do so in the care of her son. For better or worse.

“I had thought you would give up this foolish thing and provide me grandchildren, but I suppose that was…foolish of me.” Her lips curl into a small, pained smile even as she turns to oil a pan, pulling out a chicken quarter from a nearby fridge box. Seasoning it quietly, she rummages through the spices for a moment before dropping it into the pan. It instantly sizzles and the delightful aroma fills the air as she drops the vegetables in the pan as well, covering it after pouring a wine into the pan.

Turning, the bottle is left uncorked as she pours herself a glass. A very generous glass.

Over it, Priscilla contemplates something – or perhaps she listens if Bull has anything to say.

“I have one condition. You must name a successor before you leave.” Though neither want to admit the potential of failure, it looms in the air – in every pause and every breath – only now does it dare to pass lips.

“I will not be left holding the reigns of your kingdom every time you want to go off and play.” Perhaps her tone is softer than Bull would expect, given the harshness of her words, but Priscilla is tired.  Age has wearied her – and the lines of her face are indication of a lifetime of struggle and worry.

“I cannot.”  It is an admission of vulnerability, and likely the only one that Bull has heard from his mother in the entirety of his life.

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