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[GS] Cancer

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Cancer


Characters - Vito 
Summons - Floki
Tags - @Meraxa
Music (If you so choose) - Link
Background Image - Link

Vito, accompanied by his mount, had wandered off from his group. Both were still injured from their prior encounter, their wounds slowly healing. They'd felt the need to take a break from the freed slaves, currently partying and celebrating their newly found freedom. He'd found himself roaming the surrounding area, following a trail of old stone constructs. Their surfaces were mossy, decayed and left to be re-consumed by the forest. Drawing his weapon, he cut and hacked through the vines and overgrowth. Despite clearing a path, the dry earth quickly turned into a bog, with each footstep now splashing in green water.

'I have no memory of such temples being in this area of the land.'

'So, it's not one of the gods?'

'Unsure, many gods never showed themselves to the outer world. Preferring a simple life of solitude or allowing small followings.'

'I pray we've merely discovered an abandoned temple, I'm in no condition to fight another god.'

'Many gods had more than one temple, so tread carefully.'

Weapon ready, the raider pressed forward. The further he got in, the less life he could hear. As if the wildlife had evacuated the area or hid from whatever lurked further on, a sense in which he wished he could share. It wasn't long till the constructs had brought him to the front of an abandoned temple, which shared a similar fate. He placed his hand on the building surface, feeling the stone crumble to dust under the light press of his fingertips. The many carvings and inscriptions had faded, far beyond translation.

Walking through the broken metal doors, the inside fared no better. The light just barely enough to illuminate the first room along, Vito scanned his surroundings. Having been left to nature, a large pool of water formed in the center, swallowing much of the temples items with it. The metal work and glass either shattered or rusted, giving an echoing crunch under each footstep. Skeletons sat in the pews, vines and moss holding their skeleton in place, forever left in a preying position. The raider took a seat next to one, lighting the blade of his swordstaff  in a ball of fire which lit the room up in a flickering light. He sat for a while, feeling a mixture of emotions.

"Is this the fate of the forgotten gods?" Unknowingly, Vito had spoken out loud.

'Yes, unfortunately. Power, it is the only reason we were followed. With that gone, many view us as nothing more than beasts for the slaughter.'

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"...who...?"

A voice echoed outwards, answering not only Vito, but the one within him. Speaking revealed the presence of the one that was its source, though it was a well masked sensation. Like a shot from a muzzled firearm, it was discernible, but its origin unclear.

"...Ah, perhaps... kin...?"

The great pool of water that had settled in the temple began to stir, more than drips from a gutted ceiling could bring about. Ripples pulsed, but in the way they shouldn't have: inward, towards a centre, rather than radiating outward. At their centre, though slowly, and with no semblance of the grandeur that might otherwise have been expected, a figure began to form. One that, initially humanoid in shape, soon stretched backward. The legs that formed beneath the resulting, long mass, were not in imitation of a man, but of his most trusted steed; the figure in all that of a centaur,  but one that, even in a projected form, carried itself weakly. Beholding Vito, there was a look of mild shock, then confusion, and then at last, resignation.

 

"...I take it you have... nnngh... come to end me?" The figure spoke, and fought through the apparent pain, taking up a posture that showed even an ounce of strength, arms spread and with fists clenched, stepping lightly across the pool of water from which this figure had formed. "If so... then know that I, Samael, whose subjects called Cancer, will not... ha... Bow so easily to the will of this 'Kommandant'!"

...It took a step to steady itself.

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'He's coming.'

'Who?'

Vito in somewhat of a trance didn't make out Caners initial words, lost in his own thoughts. Mere seconds later, a figure form in the center of the room. As if from the water itself, a centaur stood tall. Its frame towering, easily recognizable from the many artists who'd painted the gods. But one things was clear, whether it be from the way he stood to how he'd spoken, the injuries that'd been inflicted were harsh and potentially life threatening.  Regardless of his presence, Vito remained seated in the pew.

"I have no more desire to kill, my work here in these failing lands is already complete. I'll be leaving soon enough." Vito took a brief pause before continuing. "Tell me, Cancer, why do you still live? Many of your kin have fallen or are to fall soon enough, how have you survived?" Floki swerved through the isles, leaning up against the raiders leg. Even after the days of travelling, the smell of blood lingered however far out he'd traveled. 

"The land is bleeding, the smell of blood lingers."

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The sigh of relief seemed to shake the building, unsettling some of the dust from its heights.

"Then mercy yet shows me favour... I thought her grace had abandoned me." The centaur seemed to stoop low; rather than actually such, it was more that the lower half had become undone, leaving only head and shoulders above the water.

"I am the one who taught the men of old what it was to win war, not merely fight it. I taught them the ways of strategy..." There was... a wistfulness and nostalgia in the ancient one's voice. Sorrow, frustration, and regret made manifest as a wavering tone, and a rippling across their form. "So too then, do I understand the utility of retreat."

 

The world almost seemed to cackle at the plight of this 'god', as a rush of wind swept the hall, and the cacophony it raised was akin to the chortling of the masses.

His head bowed low, "I am also... possessed of a discipline that means where others lost themselves to their madness, and so made inevitable the quest for their destruction, I..."

He shuddered, heaved, and for many moments, fell silent, bracing himself against the surface of the pool.

"I... Grrgh..."

Grunts escaped grit teeth, and not merely as projection. One could easily reckon their source, somewhere below where the visitor sat.

"I... have minimised it. Not enough to escape notice entirely, but... enough to slip back into the shadows." Cancer explained, and his form shrunk further. "But it demands much focus, and as I remain here, I do not know how long that will last. Oh, if only it should be that I might slumber an eternity, and awake to a changed, better world..."

 

Another sigh, and he was but a face on the water.

"But I expect that I should see another traveller, and one less... tired. One whose need for glory is not yet sated. One fool enough, or fortunate enough, to reckon even gods may forsake their shame, and find refuge in the house of another."

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Vito found it strange, not only because he was talking to a still living god halfway through a puddle of water that was on the run from hunters, but also the god referring to an aspect as if it were a god itself. It was clear as day that Cancer was in no shape or form to fight, neither was Vito or his crew. Both had been battling, whether it be for glory or survival. 

'Looks like I got off easy.'

"Based on your condition it would appear you taught them too well, but that could also been seen as a good thing. Even without the gods, they could still live on and defend their land. Tho I do have my concerns about the future morality of the land, especially if this is the base of it."

The gods self control seemed to be the greatest out of the lot, with most entering a rage beyond reason. The battles could be heard echoing across the land as Aeris stomped on foes, the waters raging around the island as Aquarius summoned storms, the skies crackling with thunder as Aestus clashed her swords and forests freezing over as Pisces traveled Renovatio looking for prey. Cancer grunted and flinched in pain as he spoke, making the raider worry for his safety.

'Hold strong, brother of war. We're not dead, merely pushed back. Our time will rise once more, as it should.'

"More hunters come, many of which have both greater power and numbers than me. I killed Leo's physical form, but I let his soul live on." Vito held out a carved uru sphere, holding Leo's very essence, in front him for Cancer to see. "The next lot may not be so merciful, you'd be smart to leave the land. This is no longer your home, it's a hunting ground."

Vito stood, trying the fight the numbness in his body. "You may join me and my crew, we hold no affiliation with the rulers of the land. Rather, we oppose them and their laws. You'll be welcomed, especially among outlaws such as ourselves."

'Come, Cancer. What more do we have to lose? Let these new lands be our grounds for a new kingdom, many will welcome our teachings.

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"Ha, perhaps." Cancer let out a weak, morbid laughter, the water rippling with his chortling.

"I can hardly avert my fate if I laid the seed of it eons ago... but I wished for the flower, not the thorns." He mused amidst Vito's pontificating on the possibilities for the nation's future. The face upon the water found, for a moment, a strange bliss in the bitter irony, before there was nothing but the bitter taste.

"Brother mine," Cancer now seemed to recognise Leo specifically, "We are not dead. Even as those that live, only one of us is free. It is neither our time nor the Kommandant's time; what has been set in motion shall not end for some... time. When upheaving an age old order, it shall be little surprise that others should seek to do the same."

 

The eyes of Cancer, such as they were, shifted to see the vessel, and in it, he saw something amusing. Perhaps a fleeting sense that no matter what else had happened, at least he had not been reduced to such a state.

"I am not so without shame as to accept an offer of criminality. Though, as one who is willing to bend laws, and ignore the will of authority, I might ask... a request." Cancer spoke, and so did the great pool of water begin to part; revealing that at its heart, had been a hidden staircase to chambers below. Whatever the original camouflage was, was long gone, but there had been no hint of it below the wet surface.

"There is one I know, from a foreign land. One who has, despite his mortal form, survived the ages. I would go to him; I know I would be safe with him, and that he would keep others safe from me. All I would require is freedom from this prison of my own doing; I will ensure you are rewarded with what little I can still give, Holder of my Brother."

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Leo remained silent upon hearing his fellow gods words, a small amount of anger brewing inside. However, it was far over shadowed by understanding and sympathy. Something Vito had never expected to feel from the god, one of such sadistic nature. The raider went over the situation in his head, both the risks and benefits that came with helping Cancer. Turning back to face the god, Vito gave his answer. 

"Ferry an outlawed god to another land? Break him out of a self built prison which holds him in place!? Are you crazy!?" Vito gave a brief pause. "Of course I'll fucking do it! It'll be one hell of a story to bring back to my group."

Vito redraw his weapons, lighting the room back up with flickering fire. "But foreign land is....vague. I'll be needing clearer instructions." Vito sat back down in one of the pews, pulling out a cigar and lighting it using the fire of his weapon. 

"Freedom from your own prison? Doubting ones own ability to control themselves at such times, only a logical move. If only the others had taken such procedures. I though you were just hiding somewhere else, projecting yourself to me through water. So tell me, what needs to be done?" The raider put the cigar under his mask, taking in a mouthful of the smoke and blowing it through the slits. 

Edited by Rabbit

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"I was among the wisest of all my kin; it is a frustrating testament to such I considered this course at all. It has proven its worth many times since I elected upon it." Cancer proclaimed this, not as though it were some self-aggrandisement, but simple fact. But that in itself was telling of how he considered himself.
"Make your way down, and I shall explain all - fear not, it is a deliberately long walk." He did it again, beckoning the godslayer down into the depths. As they went, the way behind them sealed, ensuring that no other who should stumble upon this place be granted the same opportunity that Vito had. Or that they might be able to interfere with the task that lay ahead.
"The land of which I spoke... lies far and to the north east. It has known many names, and I believe has even recently acquired a new one. Yet, there remain constants..." Cancer seemed to begin with the 'backstory', as such; with the visible length and width of the tunnel, it was clear that the temple served merely as entrance to this great complex below.
 
"There, they venerate the land. Not merely thanking it for its bounty, or celebrating its host of their kin, but raising it to the level of a god. The highest among gods, in their view, encompassing all the world. I do not know if such a thing is true, but then, our kind is not truly of this realm to begin with. We were gods over this land, but we were not gods of this land, if you understand..."
On walls that had not fell the brush of a day's breeze in untold ages, a story was marked in the stone. A giant - or 'giant' - slumbering in a cave. Then... men, of some sort, came. The giant awoke, and frightened the men away. But the men came back, and at their heel, giants of their own.
"Their veneration is rewarded with... To outsiders, it may seem as mastery. But to these people, it is the gift of their goddess, answering the calls of her children. Strange, I suppose, that she could not answer them when they needed her most... though I believe some attribute him to her doing..."
The giants brought by the men fought battle with the first giant, and struck them low. Upon their broken body, a temple was built.
 
"Jason they called him... but I thought it clever to call him 'Cub', as he claimed to be of the Lions. He had need of my knowledge, for none in his own realm knew how he might best the greatest evil they had ever seen. I was... moved by such a thing. I did not such nobility could exist among mortals. So I granted him the knowledge he sought, and bound him by honour that if ever I should have need of him, he might honour that commitment. I thought I might some day call on him as a champion - it was either that, or he would die, and I would have no use of the dead."
But below the temple, the giant's body was stolen away, also by men. Taken deeper and deeper into the mountains, out of which a hall was carved. There, the giant was given the bed and rest that it so deserved, and a throne its own, while men bowed to it.
"Yet he has lived, and now I stand on the precipice of death... An irony, and one I may deserve."
 
Vito would emerge into that great hall, many-chambered, and stretching so high as to be beyond sight. Not merely a secret temple, but a secret city, grasping into the heavens as much as it clawed beneath the soil. Its design was simple but robust, two great spirals starting on either side, and then intertwining again and again as they rose together. At the heart, where first these spirals converged, there rose the throne, tall as many building might be; it sat empty.
But before it, shackled by ice so cold that it stripped the warmth for the air that escaped Vito's breath, even where he stood a hundred odd metres away - somewhere around half the hall's width - was the god had himself here. Even in this wretched state, were he to stand, Cancer would tower over ten times Vito's own height. All around him, broken pieces of armour, seemingly shed from his hide.
"So you have come indeed..." The centaur afforded himself some surprised relief, and a slight, pained laughter. "I hold power over water, but only in the form that is called such. I can will it to lose its temperature, but beyond that, it is no longer mine. Thus then have I forged these chains, casting off all heat in an instant. Even dragon's fire would not be enough to melt them. Even the weapon in which you seem to have channelled Leo's power, not enough."
 
"But here..." Cancer turned his head to the city that rose behind them. Where yellow, beady eyes looked down upon the intruders, god and man alike, with great disdain. "Here, there is such a tool. Its fire is not warm in any regard, but shines with a disdain for all things made by the hand of one as myself. A weapon that, until recent times came to be, was one of the few things that might be used to slay a god of Renovatio. Such is the rightful hatred of the one from whom it was made."
Cancer looked towards Vito, and in that instant, laughed at himself, amazed by the irony of it all.
"So yes... I entrust you with the power to kill me... to save mee-eheh-heh-heh-heeeeeeeeeeeh-!"
Cancer's voice was stretched, and his vision became blurred. With strength still beyond mortal measure, even in this weakened state, he thrashed against his chains, and smashed the earth beneath him. Both held, and in his blind rage, he raised his hand to a nearby stream that slipped from a crack in the walls, groundwater made a spring, and shaped into as many spears as he had fingers, before with but a flick, they were flung towards Vito!
Edited by Meraxa

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"As is needed." Vito said softly, lifting his heavy body from the pew. 

He did as instructed, his mount following closely behind. The raider descended the ominous path, only turned back to see way way close behind. Vito was now at the mercy of the god. The path was indeed long, feeling like an endless in the raiders mind. The god told his tales, the lands in which he wishes to call home and his knowledge of it. Vito did not interrupt, preferring to listen to his knowledge and learn meaning of the walls he walked by. He hovered his fingers just above the many carvings, tempted but not willing to touch something of such age and value. 

'You'd be surprised how much is built on top of the corpse of a fallen foe.'

At last, Vito had reached the destination. Along his journey he'd been anticipating a chamber or potentially hall, but what he'd found he viewed as an underground fortress. The many spiraling pillars lead to a throne, built for a being as tall as the world itself. As if blinking into existence, Cancer finally showed himself. The titan was surrounded by what seemed to be armored, seemingly shed from his skin. The god turned to face the city, talking of an item that could free him. A flame, much like the fire that emits from his weapon, but not hot to the touch. 

"Seems simple en..." The raider was cut off by Cancer, launching water towards Vito. The raider summoned a rockwall to shield himself from the oncoming assault, before mounting Floki and scaling a nearby pillar. Gaining height, the two proceeded to take cover between the various structures and doing his best to avoid the gods eyesight. Once passed and seemingly out of range, the raider delved further into the city.  

The city boasted ever turning streets and similar aesthetics for all the building, the sheer height and complexity of the area would be overbearing to most. The ever watching eyes glared down upon, threatening him with the potential of violence at any moment. Step by step, they got further in. Only upon stopping and looking around did Vito notice, he had no clue where he was going. 

'Eerrrm, any idea where it is?' 

'Most likely at an enchanted forge, which would be located near an area of interest. Head towards the throne.'

Following the advice and racing through the streets, Vito focus his eyes upon the pillars which surrounded the giant throne. The closer he got, the more his mind envisioned the great power that once sat there.

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(OOC: So sorry for the delay)

 

And so into this forgotten city, this hidden temple, did the divine host travel. As he went, he would see just how it was such a place was meant to have even functioned as a city. For along Vito's path, channels of what would have been water ran down the strand of the spiral on which he stood, from which some sustenance could be irrigated for the buildings beside the ascending path. But the channels of the spirals themselves were dry, and where water was pooled before the houses, it stood stagnant, and even in the dim light, clearly foul. Meanwhile it could be seen that many of the buildings had been dug and carved into the stone walls seemed to have collapsed, or been put to the torch. Who or what the cause, unclear. The spiral itself seemed damage in places, torn through by a great force, leaving holes that threatened, but did not yet completely undo, its general stability.

 

There then, above him, did stand a... child?

 

Their size would seem to correspond to one, clad in a weary cloak and mask that hid all but those yellow eyes, but they neither the air or voice of an adolescent.

"You serve the defiler?" They asked of him, raising up a hammer of which the head was a misshapen piece of slag. "Do you mean to free him?"

It was quickly clear that the questions were rhetorical; that this person, and the people they served, likely held some preconceived notion of Vito's intentions. In fairness, they would not be entirely wrong.

"Rargh!" The little one roared as he leapt at the intruder with astonishing agility, swinging their crudely crafted weapon repeatedly, with the intent of smashing in the side of their opponent's face, or on landing, making some of Floki's leg bones go crunch.. To make the matter just a bit more complicated, the staircase beneath them would subsequently erupt, as a dense 'bolt' of water would tear through it, providing one possible answer on the cause of its current state. The water would hit much greater force than even the hammer blow!

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Vito brought his mount to a halt, stopping in front of a child like figure. Vito continued staring, his eyes occasionally taking quick glances from side to side. Was this a trap? The child like figure spoke first, asking a question it seemingly knew the answer to. Vito questioned what it was, truly a child or merely taking on its form? The raider moved his hand to the hilt of his sword, ready for the possibility of combat. He went to speak, but found it a pointless act as the child like figure leaped forward with immense speed. With barely enough time to react, Vito blocked the hammer from hitting Floki with his hand. He felt several bones in his hand shatter, flinching in pain as splintering bone dug into his muscle and joints.

'Best be running, boy!'

Before he could respond a second 'roar' came from below, water came shooting out from a staircase beneath. Taking advantage of the situation, Vito manipulated the earth from under their feet in order to propel him and Floki into the air. This move widened the gap and caused more water to flood in, an action done with the hopes of stopping the child like figure from pursuing them. Once in the air, Floki latched to a pillar and began heading further inward.

'Follow the smell of burning sapphire, boy.'

Vito took in a deep sniff, the smell of crystalline burning was being carried with the heavy winds that blew through the many structures. Without looking back, the duo raced around each and every corner. The never ending temple made locating the smell difficult, confusing and mind numbing. But Vito had yet to abandon a job and had no desire to, gods or not. Approaching the final turn, they'd finally found its source.

 

Edited by Rabbit

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The little creature gave a giggle on feeling its hammer blow connect with Vito's hand, but stopped short, as if interrupted by something - or someone. Distracted in any regard, the little one was caught unawares as Vito's abilities flung he and his mount up into the air, and so increased the space in which the subsequent spurt of water could occupy. Now it screeched as its path towards the pair seemed to be blocked, while they continued onward and upward. Others of the same species that had spied on them seemed to be less willing to come forth as the two searched for the source of the strange smell. The final turn led them to... a temple within a temple, it seemed. Where the main structure was, as established, built around that centralised space, this itself was an extension of that space, and somewhat more traditional looking in that regard. Very traditional in fact - the basic layout of the facade retained the core features of such complexes built upon the surface throughout what was now Nehalen. The same as the temple above the surface even had, for that matter. But this was a place that facilitated mass worship: it held no pews, long benches, or even individual seats. The floor was instead grooved, similarly to the irrigation system used on the lower levels, but it had sources from within the temple as much from without. Masses of slag here and there, revealing by the blue glow of a hanging light above, suggested some of the purpose; the lingering smell did too.

 

But that scent was old. The 'sapphires' stank in a fresh, heated fashion. It was close, but...

 

"S-Stop, aid to the defiler!"

Perhaps to the astonishment of the pirate, there stood the little one they had left behind, somewhat soaked in their robes.

"Take another step, and I shall break the other hand!" It threatened, raising the hammer up again. "You will not have the lantern!"

Should Vito make any move further in, the hammer would be flung towards the general vicinity of his head. But until then, the little one, perhaps wary, would wait.

Edited by Meraxa

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Vito's progression was yet again interrupted by the little ones presence, something the raider felt like would be a re-occurring theme between them. Vito begrudgingly stopped, heeding the warning given to him. he raised his hands in the air, dismounted and stood by Floki's side. Tho he felt comfortable being able to get past the little one, having a hammer wielding child after him wasn't ideal. 

"Okay, hammer user, what do you want from me?" Vito questioned in his calmest possible tone. "Aid to the defiler? I'm guessing you're referring to Cancer as the defiler, what did he do to you to earn such a title? Did he cause the mess in the holy grounds we occupy?" Vito looked around at the many eyes that gazed towards them, observing their conflict. 

"You may take comfort in knowing one god has already fell to my feet, or that may anger you, see it how you want. But if we're going to talk, at least tell me your name." The raider waited for the child like ones response.

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(OOC: Once more I apologise for the sheer wait on this)

 

As Vito seemed to make no move further in, so too did the little one not move. Well, aside of a small step backward as the pirate dismounted from his partner, a slightly confused grunt escaping them.

"...You speak either in riddles, or nonsense." The little remarked after all was said and done, slowly beginning to circle Vito. With the odd, occasional wave of the hammer, and a feint here or there, it was clear as little more than posturing. "And Cancer is hardly fitting a title! Cancer is one's own body in open revolt; the defiler is an invader! A returning invader at that! The defiler's kind, and those that followed them, took Him from us! Took Him, and left Him to die! But we... we preserved Him, as best we could."

Speaking of 'Him' seemed to drive something... reverent in the attacker, whose gaze turned towards that hanging blue light, before they snapped out of it, turning back to Vito.

"You say you have slain one god, so why not the defiler? Why not take their life as you claim to have taken another's? We cannot do it, so if you are able, you should!" It barked at the man, and the people of the forgotten city cheered in a greater uproar. Once it had fallen quiet, did the little one finally cede, "Úm. This one's name is Úm."

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Vito listened to the child like being, as it circled like a shark and spoke of other beings that 'took' their god. A roar of cheers came from the many eyes that stare at them, seemingly desiring Cancer's death. Regardless, Vito decided push on...wary of the numbers he may face. Vito kept his eyes focused, ready for any attack. 

"To kill, that is not my desire. A change of mind does not mean a change of heart. I did not want to kill Leo, but a being sadistic as that cannot be reasoned with." Vito reached into his cloak, pulling out a sack of black ash and poured it on the ground around him. 

"This 'Úm' you speak of merely sounds like Cancer being manipulated by another force, not a new being. Cancer can be reasoned with as his mind holds strong, desiring to leave this land. Give me an opportunity to take him away from this land, then you'll never have to deal with him again. If by chance he does try something, me and my crew could kill him. If you joined in, we'd slaughter him." Vito waited yet again for a response, his last wish was more violence.

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