• Memory • Nothing Stone Can Stay

A blistering desert that stretches for hundreds of miles around Nashaki, with very little relief from the baking heat.

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Zevan
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Nothing Stone Can Stay

Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:25 pm

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2 Ashan 718
"I remember the glaring suns vividly that trial. Ahmir and Keffe were mirages to me, wavering on the line between real companions and fever dreams, and every time I blinked, so did they from my vision. I don't know if I'd ever been quite so scared of losing them in the Hotlands. Not for me, of course, I always found my road home. But for them, even the receding heat of Vhalar did nothing to stop the scorch during the day, and it only enhanced the misery once the suns fell. The sands, for all their scalding touches during the day, retained heat much the same as an icicle. That is to say, not at all. If we didn't die from thirst, we died from cold. And we did it every trial as we traveled. It was normal for us. The road is never easy, but it's always worth it."
- Journal of Zevan al Myros, son of Cassion



The wagon wheels turned as they walked, Zevan's soft slippers sliding slightly as the red and gold sand spread beneath his feet. He touched the wrap on his head, a turban from spun cloth that protected both the top of his head and his eyes from the burn of the suns. The camels that pulled the wagon were slow moving, but they were sure-footed, and Zevan wanted to emulate them. Behind him, Ahmir and Keffe trudged, their curved swords at the ready on their belts, but thoroughly bored. Keffe watched Zevan's back, the dark skin of his torso hidden beneath the dust-brown cloak he wore. She clutched her waterskin close to her small chest, debating on offering Zevan a drink.

"Ah, boy isn't worth it, Keffe," Ahmir said, looking at his sister with dark eyes. He scratched the stubble of a beard that was already forming on his face, though he shaved only a few breaks before. He was the older of the two, by an arc and thirteen days, but he acted as much her father as brother. He was the one to suggest she accompany the caravan this time, and that meant he had to protect her at all costs. And that meant from men, too, like Zevan. There was something strange about a Nashaki man who knew the sands as well as that one, and there were rumours in the taverns that caravans he accompanied were sometimes hit more frequently by nomadic bandits. Nobody had directly accused the young man, mostly because he was the reason many of them got home safely through the desert, but it seemed odd to the guard. He wanted nothing to do with a man who may be consorting with bandits, and certainly wouldn't let Keffe associate with him.

Zevan seemed to hear them, though it would have been impressive over the churning of the wheels on the sand, the cracking like small pieces of glass being crunched under the heavy wood. His eyes, squinted at the suns, observed both their faces for a moment before he turned back to the road, eyes on the horizon. He had heard them, and he considered the possibility that people assumed he was orchestrating misfortune for his own benefit. A frown creased his face, not because he could have, but because some thought he would. For arcs, he'd dedicated his life to leading trade through the Hotlands, a guide by which caravans would find success and, in dire circumstances, ways home should they be waylaid. It was true, though, that danger seemed drawn to Zevan, and he couldn't help avoid it. He found paths, ways there and back, but not ways to avoid danger. Part of him didn't want to avoid danger. It is what made his job unpredictable and fun.

He didn't realize that danger found him on purpose.

Keffe ignored her brother and rushed forward, holding out the waterskin to Zevan. The Mortalborn smiled in appreciation and uncapped it, titling it back to take ever the slightest sip of the water. Keffe's brow furrowed, for she knew he had to be parched, but he just smiled and offered it back to her. Her brown hair, tightly curled but radiating off her head like the arms of the suns, shook as her head did, and she pushed it back onto him.

"That can't be all you want, Zevan," she began, but the Mortalborn just smiled and stopped her. He pressed the skin back into her hands and answered her softly.

"I am quite satisfied, Keffe. Thank you," he said, his eyes back on the horizon. She frowned, but he pretended he would not see it. She fell back to Ahmir, whose brow knitted at Zevan's back. Keffe's pout was pitiful, and he wanted to slap her across the face to snap her from it, but his ire just fell on Zevan. He stalked forward, but the Mortalborn seemed to sense him before he was close enough to strike. As Zevan turned, a hard brown fist rushed at his face. Not expecting violence, the surprise allowed the strike to land, and Zevan fell backwards into the sand, dazed eyes staring up at Ahmir.

"She's not good enough for you, band--" he began, but Keffe's terrified yelp tore his gaze away. He looked at her, and she was staring at the same horizon Zevan had been. Figures had appeared there, dark against the overwhelming tan of the sand seas, moving on mounts that were too sure-footed to be horses. There were rumours of a desert tribe, the Badir, that raided the caravans this deep in the Hotlands, and it seems the rumours were more than just word of mouth. Swearing to Raskalarn, Ahmir pulled himself to his feet and drew his scimitar, Keffe following suit. Zevan scrambled from the sand, brushing himself off and drawing the mediocre dagger he kept on his person for eating. It would do little against trained warriors, but Ahmir and Keffe seemed more than capable of handling the safety of the caravan against a few Badir.

"We must find a flat place!" A caravan driver called, and Ahmir and Keffe shouted their agreement. Zevan knew there was such a place, a quarter mile away, but they'd have to be swift if they didn't want to get caught at the height of a dune. Zevan relayed the information, and though Ahmir's suspicious gaze wounded him, he started off toward the right spot. The caravan, six carts led by two camels each, turned slowly, more slowly than Zevan would have hoped. The camels were sure in the sand, but not the carts, and one threatened to topple over multiple times. Zevan moved beside it, placing a dark hand to steady it, though it barely did anything. As they crested the dune, an arrow fletched with the sandy brown feathers of the Dunebird flew by Zevan's head, planting firmly in the carriage carrying the supplies headed toward Yaralon. Keffe screamed, drawing Ahmir's attention. It all happened so quickly. All at once, the Badir surrounded them, far more men than they'd thought initially, and Zevan realized it was a trap as soon as the club smashed into his head, rendering him unconscious. The black edges of his vision remained at bay just long enough to see the Badir close around them, completely cutting off their escape route.
His eyes opened slowly, expecting the see wooden or stone walls, but instead staring out over the dunes of the Hotlands. Crawling across his torso was a small sandsnake, uninterested in the Mortalborn as it slithered by him and went to find a den to take refuge for the night. The temperatures were dropping, and it needed to bury itself in the sand or risk dying to cold. Zevan's head throbbed, and when he reached up, sand and blood caked his scalp. He looked into the dune, where four carriages were overturned and destroyed. No bodies were found, leading Zevan to believe that they either all escaped, or the Badir were rebuffed enough for the Nashakii to recover their dead. He sighed, sitting up with a groan. His throat was dry, his body coated with specks of sand here and there. He looked around, turning instinctively back towards the city of Nashaki. He was closest to it, but something told him that was not the road to take. Instead, he turned toward the east, beginning the long trek to whatever was over there.

He saw the structures before anything else, rising high into the sky like monoliths in the sand. He thought them cliffs, eroded by time and weather, but as he drew close, he felt the eyes on him. Each of the stony structures housed round openings, doors, and Zevan soon came to understand: The Sky Caves. As a child, he was told about the Konkaro, the strange tribe of desert dwellers lead by Kova Rain. He knew she'd have to be an old woman now, but perhaps she was still around. Suddenly, he knew he was supposed to be here. Something had drawn him to this place, and he knew that he had come for a reason. There was a story here. Something called to him.

As he was led to Kova Rain, Zevan's eyes soaked in the culture of the Konkaro. Their lives were as vertical as they were horizontal, and that appealed to Zevan. He made a note to come back and learn of these people. This was a story he'd love to hear.







"For the born traveller, travelling is a besetting vice. Like other vices, it is imperious, demanding its victim's time, money, energy and the sacrifice of comfort."
Aldous Huxley
Last edited by Zevan on Wed May 30, 2018 5:12 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 1666
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Zevan
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Nothing Stone Can Stay

Sun May 27, 2018 6:44 pm

Traveler
15 Vhalar 675
He expected some sort of sorcery, a natural magic maybe, that would allow them to be lifted between shifting stone platforms, or for personnel Avriel to escort them up and down the stacks. The height and sheerness of the walls lent little to the science that would guide them up, but Zevan was surprised to see that it mostly was just science. Long, corded ropes hung from mortal-made platforms of red or sandy stone, attached to pulleys much larger than any Zevan had ever seen. Strong-bodied men stood by them, dressed in the same fashion as the rest of the Konkaro, built for comfort in the searing desert sun. Standing on a platform, the men worked teams of two to ascend or descend those needing. The trek was fairly long, as the sprawling expanse of the compound, if it could be called that, left large open spaces between the columns and cliff faces.

Zevan's dust-coloured eyes drank it in, strained against the sun to see the highest columns or the widest ones. Caves were dug into some, and he imagined in his head there were secret tunnels that fell inside and beneath the sky caves, allowing for unseen traversal in case of defense or transport. He stepped lightly, not wishing to disturb the imagined tunnels, but there wasn't much to worry about. Sand covered the ground, softening his steps anyways as the gritty particles rose with each step he took, a cloud behind him to respond the ghosts he was there. Around him, he could feel the swell of mystery, the spirits of the roads and sagas heavy in the area. He smiled walking, a secret thing, coming ever closer to the woman they had told him he would be meeting.

His guide changed to a woman, dark of hair and eyes. She was silent, unspeaking, as they traveled. Her footfalls barely disturbed the dust on the floors of the column platforms, and barely left a print either. She was barefoot, with black satin wrapping her ankles and feet, and wrists and hands. At her side sat two waving kris, each moving with the sway of her shapely hips. Were she not so obviously capable of killing him at a moment's notice, Zevan may have been attracted to the elite bodyguard, but instead he found himself warily stepping behind her, offering significantly more sound and leaving more trace.

After two full breaks, they entered a massive chamber room carved into the side of a column, and seated on the floor wearing nothing more than a band of cloth over groin and breasts sat the woman Zevan immediately knew was their leader. Her eyes were deep brown, nearly black, and her hair fell with a languid sheen in the flickering torch light. Seated in front of her was a beaded carpet, Nashaki in origin lest they stole the design from her, and a few small bones. Rabbit. The bodyguard stopped ten yards from the woman, her voice neutral and even, more masculine than Zevan anticipated.

"Brugha aut vih devor," she spoke, the language immediately unfamiliar to Zevan. He could make from the tone, though, that he was being announced. He offered a low bow to the woman, who laughed, her voice higher and more crystalline than the assassin next to him. It was also far more frightening. She waved a hand, the palm and wrist of which was covered with ink in the shape of a scorpion, and motioned for him to sit across from her. He did so, and she scooped the rabbit bones back into the small stone cup in which she kept them.

She spoke to him multiple times. The first was in the Dehasin language, the language of slaves. In the Hotlands, a lone wanderer with nothing was likely an escaped slave. Then in Lorien, the language of the Avriel overlords of the slaves in Athart. A slave who knew no Dehasin was likely a table slave in the sky cells of the Avriel. When that was to no avail, she repeated in the lilting, slanted words of Omyeric, free Nekhet's preferred language. Finally, in Common that was heavily accented and with obvious distaste, she addressed him.

"Greetings, son of Cassion," she said, her dark eyes gauging his reaction. Nodding, Zevan only smiled. She continued, "I am Kova Rain of the Veru tribe. We own these sky caves, and I have foreseen your arrival," she said, gesturing at the rabbit bones. When Zevan's eyes lit on the stone cup, he noticed several small engravings on it.

"I am flattered by your sight, Kova Rain of the Veru," he responded, and this time it was her turn to smile. It was not a mirthful one, but rather one of politeness. She nodded and her arm snapped out, a viper striking its prey, to grab the stone cup and throw the bones. Where they landed in front of Zevan, to the Mortalborn, appeared menacing and violent, sharp edges and sharper angles. Kova seemed to agree.

"Strife, yes, you are no stranger. Yet you seek, ever and constantly onward, you seek. I suppose that is the heritage granted you, or perhaps a thirst for more. Perhaps both," Kova explained, and Zevan remained motionless. She appeared to know the answer anyway, so he allowed her to continue, uninterrupted.

"Tell me, Cassionson, does this spot call to you? Can you hear the history, the stories and the adventures partaken within the boundaries of our caves? The Veru have a long and coloured history in this area, and we have existed here for generations. Some tales say we were the first of the human race to grace the world, though I long suspect that was delusion of grandeur from Dira Rain six hundred arcs ago. Perhaps you would be interested in hearing the tales of my people?" She asked the question, again knowing the answer.

"I would count myself very lucky to do so, yes," he explained, and Kova the torches flickered with Kova's delight. Perhaps she was a Defier, or wielded a magic more esoteric and ancient than that. Kova nodded, but looked again at the rabbit bones in front of him.

"In time, then. For now, the bones have spoken. I will guide you down the correct path, one you had not seen, not even with your heritage. In return, I wish for you to return here before you travel onward, and I wish to know what you find out. Are we in agreement?"

Zevan watched her face, looking for a hint as to what to expect. She gave none. Her glass-smooth skin, caramel from the suns, remained flat and motionless. Her eyes vibrated ever so slightly in their sockets, giving her an off-putting and powerful presence.

"We are," Zevan agreed, blindly. He was sure danger was to befall him, but considered it worth it if the seeress thought it so.

"The Desert Rose, a massive statue to Mella, or Moseke in your tongue. My ancestors aided in its construction, and it has since fallen into ruin, with no surviving stories as to how it happened. The head of the statue lies to the southwest, past the Gilded Hand. You will not miss it. Discover its secrets, and return to me, and I will reward you with the tales of my people," she said, and from the shadows stepped the same lithe assassin from early.

"Hala will accompany you. Farewell," were the last words of the seeress, who became as still as a statue. Hala led Zevan from the chamber and down a secret series of handholds and footholds, quickly descending to the ground. Checking her daggers, she set off towards the Desert Rose, empty handed except for her weapons.

"Supplies?" Zevan asked, and she turned and smiled secretly.

"You do not need water, and I know how to find it."

And she was away.








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Nothing Stone Can Stay

Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:37 pm

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It took them no small amount of time to reach The Desert Rose, and when they did, it at first seemed that nothing would happen. Then the spirits began to react to Zevan's presence, desiring to tell him the story of how this great monument fell. Both Zevan and his guide felt the world begin to turn around them, their vision blurring as it seemed a great whirlwind began to spin. When it cleared, they found the world changed as they saw out of someone else's eyes. The Desert Rose still stood, and the pair were pulling on ropes attached to the great statue, attempting to topple it. There was a sense of religious euphoria in the area, as if they were about to complete some great task for a grand deity.

Helping this sense was the presence of what could be mistaken as a great warrior by the heavy armor he wore, but he spoke and acted more like a priest. "Come, my children, pull! This statue has sealed our God! When we free him, He will reward us, make us into the first of His Chosen, the first of the force He will use to sweep away the weak who would refuse His majesty, the force He will use to unite the world, the force He will use to slay the Immortals who claim to be masters of the world in defiance of the one true master of all creation!" he shouted, his deep voice extolling the workers.

However, underneath the euphoria, there was a sense of impending dread. Zevan and Hala, still themselves for all that they saw events through the eyes of the zealots pulling on the statue, would be able to tell that this sense of dread was the work of the spirits in the area. Whether they were the same spirits who had brought them back to the past or something else was beyond their knowledge, but their fear was palpable, and one could almost sense that they were trying to keep the Desert Rose from falling, keep these zealots from loosing the seal. But a glance at the base of the statue would make it clear that they were fighting a losing battle, as evident from all the cracks.
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Feel free to control what the Zealots do and say, just don't go past when they manage to pull the statue down. =]
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Nothing Stone Can Stay

Fri Jun 08, 2018 5:05 pm

Traveler
15 Vhalar 675
It was tangible, like the sands had stopped emanating heat and the people around them had stopped breathing. There was a stasis, like a funeral shroud hung over the entire procession. Zevan stood, thick rope in corded, dark-skinned hands... The hands of a Nashaki native. They were rough and rugged, with a shirt of thick hair going to the knuckles. He was tough, powerful, likely a craftsman of some sort. And then it struck him... He was a stonemason. In unison, the group of men pulled and groaned.

The clear voice of the Warrior-Priest rang through the stilled environment, shaking them from their frost. He demanded they pull, that they release their god, their deity. And Zevan felt the power of adrenaline course through his veins. His muscles bulged and corded as he tightened his grip on the heavy rope, sucking in a massive breath in his barrel chest to pull. It felt as if his eyeballs would pop out of their sockets, so hard was he trying, and when he looked at Hala next to him, he found a similar sight.

Too similar.

Hala was a large bearded man, dark skin and eyes leading to a stark white turban guarding his head. A golden earring hung from his left ear, and the veins in his arms stood in testament against his skin to how much effort he was providing. But more frightening than her altered appearance was the look of zeal, of absolute devotion, in his eyes. Whenever the Warrior-Priest spoke, Hala as a man pulled with all his might. Gazing around the group, Zevan found that the entire group of men, all bearded and all powerful in body, were looking at him the same. He even felt the pull to do so himself, to never take his eyes off their prophet while they released Him.

There was something about the air that frightened Zevan, a tangibility of some sort of doom looming over them. He could tell that the others felt it, but they drown it under their faith and their zealotry. The look of adoration cast towards the prophet, however, was covering the wild look of a spooked horse, one that was to bolt at any given trill for safety. At the first sign of danger, most likely.

A loud crack split the air, startling much of the conclave and causing a few to lose their footing in the sand. Zevan himself slipped as he started, falling backwards to land heavily on his tailbone with a grunt. Hala as a man reached out, unceremoniously helping altered Zevan back to his feet before returning to his duty of pulling down the massive statue. The crack was evident at the base of the statue, split two-thirds of the way through the base holding it erect. The noise and widening gap seemed to invigorate both the prophet and the zealots, whose passion and energy seemed to triple at the realization that the end of their task was soon upon them. Even Zevan felt it, the quickening of his heart, as he expected the spoils of freeing their God to make him a rich and powerful man.

But there was a sorrow in him as well, as if pulling down this massive statue held some significance to him. Zevan, though, was powerless to stop the events as they occurred, and so he heaved with the group of his religious kin. Another loud crack, and the statue leaned heavily to one side. A sigh of relief from the whole congregation issued all at once, and it was as if the expelled wind from their lungs offset the statue just enough. It began to slide on the base, directly towards Zevan and Hala. The two scrambled from the way, but slipped and fell in the sand just as the statue began to fall. Zevan closed his eyes and just anticipated the impact.

Every God demanded a sacrifice. Why should His be any different?








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Nothing Stone Can Stay

Tue Jun 19, 2018 3:04 pm

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When the statue fell, it did fall on some of the workers. Gods did demand sacrifice, but it appeared that neither Zevan nor Hala were to be the days offering, though Zevan was splattered with blood from those poor souls crushed under the falling statue. Once the dust cleared, and that took quite a bit of time, the base of the statue was revealed, an ornate staircase that the statue had been covering up. The warrior priest raised his arms in exultation at the sight. "We have done it, my children! We have found the tomb of our God. Come, we must descend and free Him!" he shouted in triumph, causing a great cheer from the crowd.

Then, a single voice cut through the entire crowd, silencing them all even though it was quiet. "You have found nothing." Wheeling in surprise at the voice, the warrior-priest found himself facing a tall, dark haired woman with pale skin and green eyes. She had a warriors build and was wearing black plate armor. However, she appeared to be unarmed.

The Warrior-Priest sneered at the woman. "Quiet, woman. If you would deny the glory of our God, we shall make a gift of you to him. I'm sure his appetite is vast after his slumber." he said, raising his hand to strike the dark haired woman. Then, in a single move, she stepped forward and swung a sword that appeared to come from nowhere. It looked for all the world to be a normal longsword, but the blade was glowing red. It cut through both the hand and head of the warrior-priest, cauterizing the wounds as it passed through them with a sound like sizzling meat. The warrior-priest fell, and the rest of the priests snarled and drew their swords.

"Go, and wake our God! We will deal with this interloper!" one of them called to the workers, who started pouring down the staircase. Zevan and Hala, or rather the two workers whose eyes they were seeing this through, paused but a moment to watch the battle. It was clear that the priests, while they had numbers on their side, were outmatched. They were holding her back for now though, for all that she they couldn't touch her, their numbers were slowing her down as she dealt with them. Turning away from the losing battle, Zevan and Hala rand down the staircase. Below. Their only hope for salvation lay in their imprisoned God below.

It was dark below, but the path was straight. Eventually, they saw light below them and hurried ahead, finding themselves, along with the others, in a long, torchlit room. At the end of the hallway stood a stone statue of a powerfully built, heavily armored man. However, on either side of the room were empty stands of black armor. As the zealots approached the statue, a voice sounded, a hollow, genderless, emotionless voice. "What do you seek here?"

The man at the front of the cultists stepped forward and puffed out his chest. "We seek to revive our God!" he declared, arrogantly and forcefully. Evidently, this was the wrong thing to say, as the black armor golems all game to life, drawing swords and advancing on the cultists. "Fight! Fight for our God!" the apparent leader said, and each of the cultists, even Zevan and Hala, drew swords from under their robes to fight these golems.

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Feel free to write out the fight as much as you want. =]
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Nothing Stone Can Stay

Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:36 pm

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15 Vhalar 675
The elation, even in the viscera, was palpable in the air. The Faithful released a collective sigh of relief at the crumbling of the statue, ignoring for the most part the bodies left below it. Zevan got the sense that the men beneath the colossus were not the only to have fallen on the zealots' journey to free their God. The body that Zevan's consciousness inhabited tensed in anticipation as it drew closer to the revealed staircase. He peered down into it, eyesight useless as the stairs descended into the cavernous space below the statue. As men gathered their wits and weapons to travel down, a few of the zealots set about the task of extricating the pulverized bodies of their companions from beneath the massive art. The scimitar drawn by Zevan glinted in the suns as they began to set, and he and Hala set off to the space below the statue.

It was dark and cloying, smelling sweetly of rot and insects. He could hear their crawling in the carved walls around them, the sand held back by very little. He imagined dust beetles, sand scorpions, and the like, filling the room should the walls shatter and give way. This was a holy place, held suspended in time by their God, and Zevan doubted that the structure would collapse, but the pressing closeness and dark set the man's heart to racing. He looked back to the bearded body of Hala, searching his eyes for any sign of her consciousness. He saw nothing, only a bearded Nashaki, and so they continued downward. The sounds of the battle above them grew fainter, but Zevan realized that the zealot he was inhabiting cared very little for those above, whether they were winning or being slaughtered. The son of Cassion reasoned it was the latter.

A voice stopped them, grey and ambiguous. The warrior-priests circled around the voice, each feeling within them the pious fire. However, only one among them dared speak to the suspended voice, and the answer was not satisfactory. For a trill, the body Zevan was in tensed in anticipation of some great door swinging open, in that answer appeasing the God and them being allowed into the Sanctuary. And for a moment, hope blazed. Then it was crushed and extinguished.

The smallness of the chamber made the coming back far more chaotic. Zevan's host was skilled, twisting his scimitar deftly against the animated armour. The blade slid off the curved surface of a breastplate, the force sending the foe backwards but not breaking through. Zevan's host was unsure there was even anything inside to cut should he pierce the armour, but he had to fight. All around him, the melee broke out, the sound of steel on steel ringing in the small chamber. The pace was frenetic, each warrior-priest fighting with zeal against the magicked armours. Down went one warrior-priest, a young man whose beard had barely formed. Zevan snarled and leaped, slamming down the blade with enough force to send the pieces of the armour clattering across the floor in different directions. They appeared to stop moving, so he turned and went after another.

They began to slowly crawl back together. He didn't see it.

He went to the next, the one that had just smote the young man. Sparks flew as he released his ferocity on the metal being, each slash and cut ringing out against the stone of the cavern. The thing turned and began to defend itself, but the might of each blow drove it closer to the stone. As he raised his scimitar to land the finishing blow, black steel pierced through his side, sending roiling fire through his body and sending him to the ground. The destroyed suit of armour had reassembled and stabbed him in the side.

He laid on the ground, face down, warm blood pooling about him. The blow itself wasn't fatal, but he doubted the arcane armour would allow him to remain living. Mustering his strength, and raging against the ache in his side, he pulled himself to the far end of the chamber and propped himself against the wall the disembodied voice had come from. Where he was, he could survey the battle. It was not going well for the warrior-priests. If the survivors from above did not come down the stairs to reinforce them, they would be routed. Zevan's host wiped a hand through the wound on his side, and smeared the blood on the wall he was leaning against.

"We have spilled our blood for you, O Saviour!" he lamented, leaning his head back against the stone. He would die here, and never even meet his God. Perhaps his blood would serve to sate or awaken Him.








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Re: Nothing Stone Can Stay

Sun Aug 19, 2018 4:09 am

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"You spilled your blood for a tryant who's so far in his slumber, he will never hear you." a cold voice said in response to the laments of Zevan's host. The woman from before had evidently made her way through the priests, and now she looked down at him with a gaze empty of mercy or pity. There was only cold purpose and a will that would see the very mountains themselves fallen at her feet, were it put to the task. She looked out among the dead and dying cultists then, and sighed. "As ever, brother, you seek to control the weak and the lost, those desperate for a purpose and too weak to seek one for themselves." she said, her tone musing.

As she spoke, the passageway behind her began to collapse in on itself, sealing the cultists forever in the tomb they had thought housed their God. "And as ever, you're foolish enough to think I would seal your body in a place dedicated to you." she said, now walking up to the statue at the end of the room. She pondered for a moment, the brought her sword down on it, cleaving it in two. "Still though, it appears I must once again have words with the Prince of Nightmare." she said, a growl entering her voice. Then the air began to twist and warp before the woman vanished from sight, the last thing Zevan's host body saw before the life bled from him.

Then, Zevan and Hala found themselves overlooking the desert around the statue, bodies crumpled and bloody around it, the entrance to the tomb caved in. Years began to pass, and the two saw them go by as though watching a race. Pieces of the Desert Rose rolled away from the base, the sands covering parts of it, hiding the bodies and the blood. In time, it become unrecognizable, no longer even remotely resembling the desert as it had been at the beginning of the vision. In the distance, they could see the rise of the Desert Trade City, Nashaki, caravans travelling the sands, loaded with precious goods, exotic foods, and the slaves used for both transportation and merchandise.

Then the two found themselves back in the bodies, fallen the sands. It was dark out now, but they felt as though they had been fed, watered, and sheltered. The Spirits had sustained their bodies during the experience, though they felt stiff and weary, even able to feel the echo of the dying wounds their host bodies had sustained. There was also a sense of certainty in their minds, two things they new as facts.

The woman would one day bring great bloodshed to this desert, and if the Imprisoned God were ever released, many would suffer and die under his uncaring rule.
word count: 481
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Zevan
Approved Character
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:45 am
Race: Mortal Born
Profession: Traveler
Renown: +30
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Prophets' Notes

Re: Nothing Stone Can Stay

Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:07 pm

Traveler
15 Vhalar 675
There was a weight to time, something that impressed upon them all, trial after trial, ever marching. The sands of time, quite literal as it were in that moment, marched, and the Son of Cassion could feel its weight on time. The desert changed, warped and terraformed to suit the needs of the man and beasts that utilized it for trade and food, for life and survival. The sands were darker now, time even taking its toll on them, changing them, making them older, tanning them like skins of his brethren. No, not his brethren, just those he was born to this time. He was the son of Cassion, a traveler through stories. But not all were equal, and this one held far more significance in his heart than many others he'd encountered before.

There was something to this statue, buried under hot sands for arcs uncountable, that was important to the Hotlands. Running his hand through his hair, clearing from it the particles of sand clinging to the dust brown locks, he turned his stiff neck to look for Hala, to ensure she was alive. Her eyes were wide, her mouth slightly agape, as she grabbed at the spot on her throat that was widened by the blade of the woman. It was gone now, but she could feel the suffocating feeling of the gash being open, as Zevan could feel the burning tightness in his torso where he was stabbed. Looking down, he knew the pain to be a phantom, which made it all the more frightening. Standing on limbs aching with disuse, as if they had been asleep two arcs, Zevan stretched and aligned himself with the desert city of Nashaki, cupping a hand around his eyes so he could combat the glare as he looked for the city on the horizon.

"Whatever He was, I think we are very lucky that He wasn't released," Zevan said quietly, though his voice sounded a scream by breaking the silence that surrounded them. Hala nodded slowly, still gingerly rubbing her throat, clearing it several times as if the thick heat of her lifeblood were still flowing up into it. "There is something about this statue I'd like to know..."

He looked at the remaining piece, massive, but still miniscule compared to the grandeur of the original. Each of them winced as they remembered the earth-shattering crash as it fell to the sand. When his dust-coloured eyes met Hala's, he spoke again, this time more confident.

"The zealots believed it to be a tomb or a crypt for... Something immense. I wonder if this statue isn't a statue to Moseke at all, and if it belongs to whatever they thought was sleeping beneath," he explained, looking back at the smooth rock, eroded by time and weather. The features were scrubbed down, and it could very well have been Moseke, or some long forgotten deity that the world deigned to ignore. Whatever it was, Zevan wanted to find out who He was.

And who the woman was too.

She seemed oddly familiar to him, though he wasn't sure if that feeling came from this life or a previous one. Frowning, he gathered his scattered belongings and slung them over his back.

"I need to return to Nashaki and find out more about this Imprisoned God. I understand if you wish to return to Kova Rain. If so, speak of this to nobody else. I have the feeling Kova won't be surprised, and others may be."

With or without Hala, he set off for Nashaki, determined to find some shred of evidence of this imprisoned deity. Feeling in his very being the significance of the location, Zevan doubted he would ever lose it again, no matter what life he was living. He would forever feel the Desert Rose and the bloodshed that occurred there. There was no doubt in that.








"The world is a book, and those who don't travel only read one page."
Saint Augustine
word count: 702
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