• Closed • A Dance of Doubt and Hope

Global Event Thread - Nightshade Eld

Atop a stony plateau overlooking the lands of central Idalos, and growing wealthy from the gem stones pulled from the rocky soil, Etzos is a bastion of independence; firm in its belief that man should rule Idalos, not be servants of the vain Immortals who nearly destroyed it. But can the many factions set aside their conflicting agendas and see this through?

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Mal
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A Dance of Doubt and Hope

Thu Oct 06, 2016 8:18 pm

Vhalar 8th

The vagrants huddled together, wall-to-wall, their visage wreathed in fear, sadness, and pain. With great malaise upon his tired, sunken features, the large Hyx protected them. He was a massive fox-like creature ten feet in length that stood taller than most men, standing sentinel at the entrance to the dark alley. He was sore, battered and bruised in this subterranean environment, his white fur coated with dried crimson, the brown splotches and markings upon his hide hiding the dirt and grime which marred its elegance.

The men and women here were afraid at first when he walked through the misty halls looking for survivors, their fearful eyes worriedly staring at him in terror. They thought he was one of the shadow creatures which plagued the underground realm, a young boy, younger than Mal covered in cuts and scrapes pointing a sword at him.

“’Lo and rest easy, I am Etzori.” Mal told the boy. His eyes went wide with shock, but he kept his guard up at the time as Mal talked him down. He’d assured him that he meant no harm, and by the bandanna he wore that he was Etzori. The folk here were willing to accept the help of anyone, even something monstrous as he. In fact, hope filled them as the Becomer’s overbearing form gave them security.

Now that I’m here, I just have to wait for Rockolm’s crew. I went ahead to look for survivors, and I found some. This section of the underground was overrun, erstwhile a home to the poor of Etzos, to thieves and beggars. Few seemed to care about them, but he did. There was something about these people, he could feel a connection to them as if they were family.

And yet, the mists rolled in like a thick blanket, slowly rising to a wall as it billowed over his bulky paws. Black blobs and silhouettes stood in the shadows, long writhing appendages breaking the fog which swirled around them. Reaching out into his totem to call upon the power of his Echo once more, Mal spoke in growled words. “Are you ready, friend?” Mal asked the boy next to him who was shaking in his boots. The Becomer promptly cut away the Echo, conserving it for later.

“No, but I have to try!” the boy said said, grimacing. His eyes were red, he’d been crying.

A sideways glance was given to the little human, Mal admiring his courage. He himself had a sense of dread, a gripping, clutching pox upon his mind that scattered his normal bravado to the wind. We might die here today. He adjusted his stance, making it wider and baring his teeth as that writhing mass made headwind through the white, turning it to black, a dance of whispering words hissing in its wake.
word count: 479
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A Dance of Doubt and Hope

Thu Oct 06, 2016 11:15 pm

Nightshade wasn't even aware this area existed in Etzos until a day ago when she stumbled upon it my chance. It had been a strange couple of hours finding a small group of survivors. At first the group had been terrified. In the darkness and murk she looked like no less a horrifying beast than the monsters. She had managed to leave her cloak at the entrance to the place by chance, not wishing to ruin it in such a place. She didn't realize she was going to be getting herself into the situation she was in now. The woman in her full glory was a beautiful creature with a large wingspan, hair and feathers like midnight, and a good figure. The only real mar on her beauty were her legs, which could be best described as resembling that of a harpy. Not to mention her nails had managed to go untrimmed for to long, now being long and sharp talons. She seemed to get worse and worse at this every single day.

When she found the first small group of survivors they had screamed and look at her like she was the monster who haunted these tunnels. But eventually when the real monsters came and she was able to fend the beasts off she had proved she was a friend. She was slightly worse for the ware being a little out of breath and a little banged up. A couple of scratches but her luck seemed to hold in giving her nothing major quite yet. Her group was a little less well off. They didn't want to come with her, they wanted to hide in a corner. But the tenacious half Avriel had taken control of the small party and demanded they come with her. She didn't mean to come off as much of a harsh commanding bitch as she did, but really what else could she do? The group walked in a small circular formation with the weaker in the middle. Of course Night herself was leading the party down darkened halls. The only form of light she had was a torch which she used her wings to protect from anything that might blow the one hopeful blaze out.

That was when she stumbled across Mal's group. She shadows had become to chase them and suddenly they found themselves in the same hall as Mal's group. Nightshade at first didn't notice. It was hard to see past herself. She thought for a moment the massive beast was some other creature or maybe even a shadow. But as her torch cast it's gleam over the area she recognized who it was. "Hey Hyx man!" She said with a jovial laugh in spite of the situation. The familiar face was a small comfort. She looked towards one of the older children and shoved the torch into its hands. "Hold," she said curtly the order coming across plain and clear. The child obliged her commands taking the light giving object. "Looks like we're in another fight against these creatures, didn't expect it to come so soon. But expectations never seem to line up with my reality. So I shouldn't be so surprised," she said with a small shrug. "Ready to protect these people?" There wasn't any hint of being intimidated in her voice. Internally she was scared, but the aura of bravery she managed to give off gave strength to the survivors, made them a little braver and a little less skittish. The woman took a step forward straightening herself out and standing at her full height. Her wings unfurled slightly, it was going to be harder to fight without the use of her wings but at least she had the room to use them slightly.

"Here they come," she said with a vicious smile. She used it to hide the fear which sparkled in her eyes like gems of storm in the middle of midnight.
word count: 667
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A Dance of Doubt and Hope

Thu Oct 06, 2016 11:30 pm

Mal’s eyes caught the flicker of a torch behind them. It was a brightly lit blaze, compared to the dim sconces of candles which lined the walls in this section of the tunnels. He couldn’t turn his head, but secretly he hoped it was reinforcements. Those monsters were actually stumbling over one-another as they whispered now, the Hyx taking a step back, unsure if he should charge in. He glanced down at the boy to his side, and then shot an over-the-shoulder glance at whom his protector was.

Hyx-man, she called him. “Eld?” he called out over the whispering ruckus, turning his head to face the monsters. “You couldn’t have come at a better time.” He noticed the down-trodden figures shuffling in behind her. “You found more survivors? Good!” He shouted. “I’m a little tied up with these things. They’re persistent! We need to get out of the fog!” The first shadow approached, a barely corporeal being with a gaping face. Mal lifted his paw and stamped down upon it, shattering it into fine wisps of blackened air.

But there was more. The boy took haphazard swings at one that lunged ahead of the pack, catching it with his blade and yelping. The poor thing was terrified, still shaking. Mal didn’t know why he didn’t feel the same way. These Nightmares should have been plaguing his mind, too, but he tried to keep their appearances out of his mind. “I’m going to rip a hole through, cover my advance.”

This is going to hurt.

It started with a light tuck of his shoulders forward, an imperceptible, slight crouch that soon turned into a barreling leap into the fray. All around him the shadows whipped and bit, snatched at his fur. It came off in clumps, but he opened his teeth and grabbed at the first thing that met him. He had the monsters distracted, trading pain and injury for their only chance at cleaving a way to the exit.

Left and right, hie body snapped, form prone as weight packed in above him. The creatures were slipping and sliding over themselves to get at the massive beast beneath. He let out a pained yowl as one cut deeply into his side, jaws lashing against another. The boy from before rushed in to help, swinging his sword up over his head and stabbing a shadow with its back turned.

Fear started to fill Mal as he found himself getting crushed under the weight of these things, tail whipping as he fought for some form of control. Teeth of that otherworldly substance sank into the nape of his neck, lifting up and ripping the hide to shreds. His worst wound yet, Mal cried out in pain and wriggled forcefully, eyes wide as he angled up to chew down upon that shadowy leg, the biting apparition dissipating only to be replaced by another entity.

All the while, the Hyx’ life fluids pooled out warmly on the floor. His sacrifice, so so many could live.
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A Dance of Doubt and Hope

Thu Oct 06, 2016 11:45 pm

Nightshade was going to have none of that! The girl gave a battle cry as she jumped into the fray. A couple of warriors has luckily been in her group. Only one or two, but that was one or two extra swords that could help protect people. She spread her wings out as far as they could go and beat them as hard as she possibly could. The effort brought about massive amounts of pain. She wasn't used to this kind of physical exertion. What she was doing wasn't like fly. Her wings created large gusts of air blow the mist away from the group, and by extension helping to force the show beasts back. It burned like fire was attacking the joins of her wings, but the determination of helping to protect not just the survivors but this new friend burned even brighter inside her beaten body. She worked her wings harder moving forward ever so slightly trying to push the mist back. Wind now whipped around the closed off corridors. It wasn't the most powerful thing in the world, her wings weren't all that strong after all. At least not yet. But the fire inside of her kept making her beat her wings faster and faster with all of her might until what had been a breeze moments before was a wind that could actually cut through the mists and force it back.

After the woman was moderately happy with how much she had pushed back the mists she charged forward. The battle cry was reminiscent of the one she had learned the day she face her own fears. She remembered the noise, and had happened to like the vicious and guttural sound. She jumped toward the shadows attacking the Hyx, actually managing to take one down that was doing more damage than the others. Of course that shadows alone took phenomenal amounts of effort. She slashed with her talons while she slashed with her blade, both slicing and claws to try her hardest to do some kind of good damage to the thing. She tried her best to constantly pump her wings throughout the entire ordeal. The more she could force away the mist the more chances the had of getting out of this alive. She made another vicious scream and pushed foward into the same mess that Mal had forced himself to. Though with their attention mostly focused on the larger Hyx for a good deal of time Nightshade had free reign to slash and destroy as many of the shadow monsters as she could sink her claws into. "You better not be planning on dying you idiot!" She howled forcing forward more.

The monsters finally started to take notice of her as strong pair of fangs sunk into her wings. She cried out in a song of vicious agony. But the pair only made her next hit wing harder. She wrenched around sinking her talons into the head of the beast biting her. It crumbled like it was made of a weak breeze. "Don't you dare die on me!" She screamed once more pushing forward with all her might in spite of whatever clawing and bites she received for her endeavors. It was hard work, like trying to cut through really thick mud. Her arms were tired, her wings still beating the air will the dripped blood were tired, her very soul was starting to get tired already. But Night had never given up in her life, and she wasn't about to give up and let a new friend die! She pushed forward despite her body begging for her to slow down and stop. She ignored the pain. It was starting to go past the point of endurance and into the ground of insane bestial feral fortitude of an animal backed into a wall. She prayed that some kind of reinforcements arrived. Mal was bleeding pretty heavy and it was only a matter of time before the creatures started to deliver her more serious wounds.
word count: 676
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A Dance of Doubt and Hope

Fri Oct 07, 2016 1:16 am

Screams and yells echoed through the Becomer’s ears dully as those whispers filled his mind. They told him of dark things, as the creatures pushed and pulled at his form.

”You’re pathetic,” one of the shadows told him.

”You will die, you’re worthless.” Another.

”Someone’s pet,” called a whispering shadow in a familiar voice, a breath on the wind as screams pierced the veil.

Is that Eld? Is she fighting for me? The great weight of the beast pinning him was soon lifted, more of those shadows clawing at his sides as he weakly tried to move himself in the writhing mass. This was a stupid idea, he told himself. I am going to die...

He turned his head, but what about them?

His eyes went wide with horror, for through the mist which Night beat back, he saw another wave dashing quickly along the walls, tendrils like fingers as they grasped the rear flank. Nobody else had noticed. He opened his mouth in dire warning, but when he spoke only air came out. He found himself too terrified to move, shivering as pain coursed through his body.

No! he told himself. Protect them, protect them please!

He looked to Nightshade, who was fighting so valiantly to save him. But the mist had already enveloped a crippled man, the other vagrants rising and backing away as shadowy monsters sprinted forth from the abyss which snuffed out the candles as it touched them. Before Mal’s very eyes one of the beasts gripped a young boy with long tendrils of black, whipping his small frame into the mists.

I can’t just watch them die! Mal pulled his legs underneath himself and forced his body to stand, a small shadow on his tail dragging as another tugged at his side. He felt heavy, but his heart was racing with fear and anger. He inhaled, a crazed look upon his face as passion took him, neck dripping from the gash he sustained. He looked at the shadow with a patch of his skin and fur between its teeth, and bore his own ivories and snarled viciously.

“YOU WILL NOT TAKE ALL THAT I CARE ABOUT!” he roared angrily, body twisting as he pounced that small shadow and squeezed it with his claws. It dissipated, and he curled sideways to rake at the beast on his tail, cleaving its frail form in two. The panicked poor ran past him, some even clinging to his fur. A small girl clung to his leg. Mal watched as her mother was consumed, both sides crawling with shadows.

Mal turned to Eld, one eye shut from the sheer pain and delirium he was suffering. “We need to push through,” he said. “Let go of my leg, girl!” She was crying. He felt disgusted when he had to use one of his paws to peel her off. “I need to fight!”

The little girl whined and wailed, and Mal flinched as a whip of black smoke left the encroaching mists and grabbed around her ankle. He moved immediately, and so did she. Her face hit the ground with a thud that echoed, and the sound of her sliding as his paws frantically sought to rend that rope of death consumed him. It sickened him. Another!

“We push through, we push through,” Mal said, voice quickening with worry and guilt. “We push through the mass we’re part-ways finished with.” He looked at the other warriors, who had settled into panic. “We will survive,” he assured them, his large frame dashing further down to tackle a beast the young boy was fighting. The young teen had sustained an injury, he was bleeding severely as blood dripped down his arm. A long, vicious scar was carved into his face, and he had trouble lifting his sword. Mal ripped apart his foe so the child didn’t have to.

And this battle crushed him. It made him terrified of himself, of what he had Become. His failures gripped and tore him apart more than the wounds ever could. “Come on, stay close and don’t let yourselves get picked off!”

The group of warriors had somehow cleaved a path through a large contingent of these shadow beasts. The whispers were growing louder, however. The worst was behind them. Only half of the survivors remained now, the cripples easily swallowed. Some were crying but forcing themselves to flee. Mal walked with a limp at a surprisingly fast and frantic pace, finding it hard to put weight on one of his forelegs due to the pain.

And then there was light.

Light at the end of the tunnel, and the mist was behind them. “Everyone, outside!” he yelled, maw wide open as he panted fiercely. How much longer can I stand? He glanced behind himself at the trail of blood he’d left in his wake. He could smell that metallic scent strongly, and not just his own. It was everywhere down here. The place was a blood bath.
word count: 841
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A Dance of Doubt and Hope

Fri Oct 07, 2016 1:34 am

Nightshade made sure to cover the rear as the group slowly got smaller. Each person that was lost was a personal stab to her heart. The pain echoed through her entire being as tears began to stream down her face. But if there was one thing that girl had become over years of torment and loss, it was valiant and brave. She cried out in a scream, a sad attempt at a battle cry, but none the less he blade cut through shadows. She tried her best to protect the back. A couple of members she had actually been able to save after Mal finally got it back into his head to fight.

The most important thing was to fight! A fire burned in the core of her being. That fire had long since supported her, a fire that had long ago been built by her father and strengthened by every challenge that reared its ugly head against her. Now that fire blazed with an unmistakable passion of spirit and hope. She cried out once more her blade biting through the shadows but more just seemed to come at the group as they pushed forward. Then the woman came to a stop.

A couple of the warriors gave pause for a moment. "Keep going!" She snapped at them in a voice of venom and flame. They didn't have to be told twice as the pair of warriors kept going. The mist in this area was starting to thin out. So Night stayed behind to push it back. She once again started to beat her wings, this time the gust despite her body being tired and beaten and broken was stronger. She fanned her own flames with every beat of her wings forcing back the mist as much as she could while slashing at every shadow that came close. She was slowly starting to become surrounded. Things were going sour quickly. But she didn't care.

She hoped in her heart of hearts that help would come, but the rest of the group was so battered and broken. It was unlikely they would survive if the shadows managed to keep up. So she would make sure they didn't catch up.
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Fri Oct 07, 2016 1:55 am

That light grew and grew, no monsters barring their path. Mal's chin was upturned at it, like a moth to flame as he hobbled toward the salvation to his sanity. He was blinded by it. He was blinded by fear and pain. He wanted to escape to comfort, to cry away his sins of failure. But Eld, that half-Avriel battle maiden. She screamed, loudly. He couldn’t stop himself from turning to look at her out of worry. Had she fallen?

No, he could tell. She was still standing. He watched her beat her wings. “Go on ahead,” he told the remaining nine survivors. What is she thinking?

As she told the other warriors behind him to go on without her, he realized what she intended to do. As she turned to beat her wings against the mist, Mal watched as a cool, icy chill washed over him. He felt cold, as he stepped toward her, his limp fading for a moment as the Becomer lived on pure adrenaline. Then another step, and he found himself sliding, slipping on the slickness of his own blood to reach her.

The girl slashed with her sword, quelling shadow after shadow. Just a little closer.

“You aren’t going to die for me, or anyone else!” Mal growled into her ear. Then, his muzzle clamped down on the back of her neck and started to drag. Shadows instantly grasped at his tail and pulled, tugging at it. He dragged himself as hard as he could until the muscles popped at the base painfully. Whatever gripped it suddenly let go, and he lurched forward.

Only, his tail was gone. The ripped appendage now remained in the grip of his enemy. The leftover stub dribbled red as Mal shut his eyes and threw the girl forward. “Run,” he ordered her. “Please, run.” The mists enveloped him entirely, a sudden burst of it swallowing the two until Eld could barely see an inch in front of her face. “I’m right with you Eld, keep going. Run, for the exit. To turn back is to die!”

Only, when Eld emerged into the open daylight, Mal wasn’t there with her. A Highmark with a stubble beard approached, gruff hands grasping at Eld’s shoulders. He was dressed in the lighter uniform of a scout, a sword at his hip. There were other similarly dressed men standing, arrows nocked, ready to fire at any shadow that emerged. “Mal, where’s Mal? Did you see him?”

One of the surviving warriors from Eld’s group shook his head, slumping down on his blade. “Shit, they got that monster too.”

And then a snarl resounded up from the tunnel. A hulking, pale shade of a beast emerged, walking with a limp. His one-white fur was now pink with all of the blood he lost as he dragged himself up the steps. “I’m... still alive,” he gasped out. The Hyx collapsed with his paws at the edge of the opening, and many of the archers were pointing their arrows at him until they realized he wasn’t a shadow. The mist stayed back, refusing to enter the light. It had claimed the underground as its own.

“Eld...” Mal murmured, unable to move another inch. His eyes were shut. “I’m sorry... I couldn’t save them all...” His eyes were wet with tears, sobbing with his last remaining strength before he finally passed out.

The Highmark from before dashed to Mal’s side, signaling for medical treatment. Four men descended on the Hyx while three more advanced, pointing their bows and blades at the shadow. They each got out medical kits, trying to sew up Mal’s wounds and preserve whatever blood he had left. The Highmark patted Mal’s forehead between the ears. “Stay with us, kid. You did good.”

“This shit is a disaster,” he said, turning. “Is the world ending? What the fuck is going on?”
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A Dance of Doubt and Hope

Fri Oct 07, 2016 2:10 am

Night hadn't sustain anything to serious. There were a couple gashes, but none of them very deep. "Mal," she muttered quietly. Her entire body cried out for rest and release as pain crashed upon her like a hammer. She shuddered quietly her vision starting to go blurry. "I'm sorry I couldn't do enough," she muttered after the Hyx has passed out.

"I"m so sorry, I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry," she muttered repeatedly her entire body shaking. She didn't give a single pause even when people tried to approach her. Sometimes tried to talk to her, to try and get the idea of what had happened in there. Everyone else was in the same shaken states and were having trouble recounting the events of what had happened inside the tunnels. But Nightshade was on a level of shell shock entirely her own. The woman was shaking as she muttered the same phrase repeatedly over and over. The image of people being sucked into the pitch black mist was one that would undoubtedly haunt her. She had been able to save Mal, even if he had some major losses. But at the same time she had let so many other people get taken. It was her fault. The girl shook as tears blurred her vision.

She started to choke on her words as the thought crushed her more than anything that day. It was all her fault, it was her fault she couldn't save more people. Her fault Mal got hurt. If only she had been stronger, braver, if only she could have dealt with the situation better! It was her fault, all completely her fault!

Without warning she started to feel faint. She toppled to the ground like a tree not but moment later. She didn't pass out from injury, but she was far from just over exhausted. Night's entire world for the first time in a long time without warning went pitch black.
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A Dance of Doubt and Hope

Tue Oct 18, 2016 3:49 am

Image
Come and get your Loot!

(There's plenty more where that came from)


MALKIN FJORUNN:
Rewards:

  • Story: +5
  • Collaboration: +5
  • Structure: +5

Knowledges:

  • Becoming: Echo: Quick Way to Show Inner Humanity
  • Becoming: Instinctive Echo Activation in Battle
  • Discipline: Accepting That You Can't Save Them All
  • Discipline: Focusing Past the Pain
  • Endurance: Bearing the Brunt of the Attack
  • Endurance: Standing Sentinel Against the Enemy
  • Endurance: Mental: Mist Men's Taunting Whispers
  • Endurance: Mental: The Nightmares of Those You Couldn't Save
  • Intelligence: Enemy's Numbers Hidden in Mist
  • Intimidation: Scary Form is an Asset When it's on Your Side
  • Leadership: Guide for the Poor
  • Leadership: Knowing When You Can Save More
  • Leadership: Sometimes the Leader has to Follow
  • Leadership: Talking Down the Fear
  • Nightshade Eld: Trustworthy in a Fight
  • NPC: Poor Boy: A Man's Level of Courage
  • Tactics: Charging in to Distract the Enemy

Loot:

Nothing to speak of


Loss:

Your tail ;)


Injuries:

Countless shallow slashes, many deep ones, some flayed chunks of hide, loss of tail, Massive loss of blood. You will be doing nothing for some time in this condition. Any additional wounds could kill you.


Fame: -1

I know you're looking for more infamy, but I can't really justify more than this in the face of such heroism.
Yes, you used Echo, and your Hyx form did scare some folks at first, but you were also seen to save several folks.


Comments:

This was a great effort! But it can be hard to find new things, done in a fight like this, for which to award knowledges.
It seriously hurt to see that little girl die.
Incidentally, the link you had for this, in the Peer Review forum, went instead to the "They Bleed For Us" thread.
PM me with any comments or concerns :)


Mal can use the xp from this for Becoming

___________________________________________________________

NIGHTSHADE ELD:
Rewards:

  • Story: +5
  • Collaboration: +5
  • Structure: +5

Knowledges:

  • Acrobatics: Keeping Your Feet With Wings Pumping
  • Blades: Coordinating Wing Strokes With Sword Strokes
  • Discipline: Accepting That You Can't Save Them All
  • Endurance: A Fight to the Death Finds New Reserves of Strength
  • Endurance: Swinging Both Wings and Arms is Doubly Taxing
  • Endurance: Mental: The Nightmares of Those You Couldn't Save
  • Intimidation: Battle Cry
  • Intimidation: Uncloaked Form is Scary
  • Leadership: Brave Talk to Inspire Courage
  • Leadership: Intimidate the Fear-Shocked into Running
  • Leadership: Protective Formations in Danger Zones
  • Leadership: Martyr of the Defenseless
  • Mal: Trustworthy in a Fight
  • Tactics: Protect Torches With Wings
  • Tactics: Wing Pumps to Blow Back Mist Men

Loot:

Nothing to speak of


Loss:

Nothing to speak of


Injuries:

More than you realize at first.
You will be moving slow to avoid reopening bandaged wounds for several days, some bigger ones for weeks.


Fame: +14

There isn't exactly specific things to total up.
"Lead Outnumbered Troops"
"Victory in Single Combat"
"General Good Deed"
I'm just going to assume a "heroism" total to put you at an even +40


Comments:

I hate to nag you about your grammar. I've seen some improvement though.
Mostly it's inconsistent contexts and punctuation. I think you try too hard to make clever sentence structures, and they end up overly broken. For instance: "She once again started to beat her wings, this time the gust despite her body being tired and beaten and broken was stronger."

It would be more correct as two sentences and some added commas: "She once again started to beat her wings. This time the gust, despite her body being tired, beaten and broken, was stronger." But even that is more broken than it needs to be.

I would put: "Once again, she started to beat her wings. This time the gust was stronger, despite her body being tired, beaten and broken."

If you have a chance, you should read your posts over before submitting them. You might catch some things.
For instance: "Her arms were tired, her wings still beating the air will the dripped blood were tired, her very soul was starting to get tired already."
The middle of that is a bit off. It doesn't ruin the story or anything, and I can guess the gist of it, but it could have been fixed up before you posted it. All this aside, I thought this story was riveting.
PM me with any comments or concerns :)
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