• PM To Join • The Music of the Night (Noth)

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Sephira
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The Music of the Night (Noth)

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22nd of Ashan, Arc 718
Sunlight had faded below the horizon and now only starlight cloaked the heavens. The streets of Scalvoris Town felt familiar yet somehow alien to the young Element. Her footfalls echoed down the street as she passed near the docks. The great collapse of Cylus lay before her, and memories erupted in her mind one by one like the sound of notes being gently plucked on a lute. So many had died that night, so many women and children, and families had been smothered like mere flames. A single thought still haunted Sephira. Had she been the cause of the collapse? The mage had lost control of her magic, the warping of space had caused the ceiling to crumble and they had all been forced to run for their lives. She walked wordlessly, her right hand worriedly rubbing the Element’s pin on the collar of her scarlet coat.

Sephira had been dispatched by the Flame Elements to investigate another instance of the copy cat killings. Ever since Skinny Jim had been killed and his corpse publicly displayed by his murderer, there had been other serial killers copying the style of the vigilante that ended Skinny Jim's reign of terror.

Somehow the copy cat killings had continued, even after law enforcement had put pressure on the killers. Bodies still turned up. Although of late the corpses of two women had turned up in the bay, with black raven’s feathers tied to necklaces around their neck. Almost talismans that had been left behind by the murderer to mark their kills.

She crossed past the docks, leaving the damage of the collapse behind her. The Element had been issued a warrant to investigate the home of a resident of the town, a particularly wealthy resident; Mr. Jareth Ebonhound .

After several bits the mage entered a far more resplendent district of town. Beautiful homes lined the streets, but one stood out amongst the rest. Bricked in gray stone, with tall iron fencing and a steepled roof with an ornamental tower stood the Ebonhound residence. From the street any passerby could detect the beautiful melody of a song emanating from the home. It was played by a perfectly tuned violin. The sound was rich and inviting, yet the song itself was somewhat haunting. Sephira took slow measured steps up to the massive oak and glass inlaid door and rapped on the surface with her gloved knuckles.

Three knocks rang out and she stood and waited, fidgeting roughly with the cuffs of her coat to keep herself busy. No one came to the door. It was rather rude, since she could clearly hear someone from within playing the violin.

“Hello?!” She spoke firmly, knocking on the door again. “Elements here, we need to check the premises sir.”

The exquisite music continued ever onward. The woman tried rattling the doorknob to only find it locked. She peered at the house with a wary expression. Sephira was not exactly known for her patience, and right now it was wearing rather thin.

“Sir! I have a warrant, I will be coming through that door whether you open it or not!” she growled with a sour expression dancing over her lips.

No reply came, except that now the source of the music seemed to be moving further away, into the depths of the home.
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The Music of the Night (Noth)

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The realm of dreams was vastly removed from the logic of Idalos. Whilst in Idalos, a person could not become aware of something unless they had either been direct witness to the act, or else had been informed of it, in the realm of dreams, knowledge was simply imparted to those present in some omniscient fashion. Of course, that did not always make the information true, and the variety of fantastic and fascinating dreams that were created each trial were evidence enough of that fact, though a relative few were actually able to perceive them.

Whilst in the real world, Noth had never grown aware of the copycat killers who had taken his place upon the continent of Scalvoris, in the realm of dreams he was fully aware of their presence, and the fact that they were tarnishing his name with their flagrant disregard for targets. When the hybrid had slain Skinny Jim, it had been a heroic deed, and the signing of the letter had been done so as to strike fear into those who would prey so heartlessly upon the innocent without good cause. It was not as if though he had suddenly grown a debilitating conscious which treated his malicious deeds with derision, but rather that he saw little purpose in the act of slaying young women going about their deeds other than to create unnecessary terror, and to elicit a euphoric sensation from those sadists who took pleasure in the act of causing a great deal of suffering. The hybrid might have left them be with their cruelties if they had not taken a dreadfully ill-fated step and begun to declare that their deeds were in the name of the Prince.

Noth could not recall exactly how he had discovered the whereabouts and the complicity of Jareth Ebonhound. Perhaps it had been the immense wealth that had tipped him off to the issue at hand, or perhaps it was the correlation of that wealth with a similarly useful fact: The feathers which had adorned the most recent corpses were similar to, but not exactly identical to those found on Scalvoris which meant they had to have belonged to an imported bird. It could even have been mere conversation which had managed to reach his ears, either in adoration or condemnation of his personal appearance, and which had tipped him off to a fellow who held his kind in high regard.

No matter the reasoning behind the investigation, it had taken substantially less effort than it had to locate Skinny Jim in order to find Mr. Ebonhound and his estate. The door had been left unlocked, and partially open, because it was a warm day and Ebonhound enjoyed the cooling breeze brushing against his aging skin, fully content to experience a portion of the outdoors without finding it necessary to endure the ruggedness of it. He further increased his enjoyment by ordering one of his house servants; he was wealthy enough to afford the company of others whenever he desired, and besides work had long since become anathema to him, to begin playing a series of gentle songs to indulge in as he enjoyed the pleasant weather. The hybrid had entered the home without pause, his talons clicking across the floor as he stepped, until finally he had found Ebonhound.

There had been surprise, shock, and at least some semblance of fascination which had stretched across the older man’s face. Perhaps it had been drilled into him over countless social interactions, or perhaps he was simply too terrified to resist, but when the hybrid outstretched his hand to the man, it was taken and shaken, and that had been all of the contact that the murderous Avriel had required to subdue the fellow, sending him into a shock a few moments later that left him contracting and frothing upon the floor with spastic and abrupt flickers of muscular tension.

Tying a seizing body to a chair had proven somewhat more difficult than expected, but that was more so because of the incessant and uncontrollable fidgeting than by any attempts of resistance from the fellow. Curiously, the servant in charge of orchestrating the home’s enjoyment had yet to hear the struggle deeper within, or perhaps he simply assumed that his master had taken a fall, and he did not wish to be strapped with the responsibility of dragging him across the city to visit a doctor. People were vain and cruel at times, and the burden of legitimate work was something dreadful to their thoughts.

Ebonhound had just concluded completely with his seizing when the first rap upon the door could be heard throughout the home followed by a shout declaring that the Elements were present at the building. Had they noticed him when he had entered into the establishment? It was quite possible that someone could have reported the presence of a large and vicious being entering into a home that they recognized, though it wouldn’t necessarily be so uncommon for the wealthy to hire mercenaries and ne’er-do-wells for assorted deeds, would it? Regardless, the hybrid could hear the servant gradually maneuver themselves away from the front, perhaps hiding themselves in a more secluded room so that they would not need to deal with the scrutiny of the Elements. The hybrid himself left Ebonhound strapped to his chair in the center of the recreational room where they had met, and promptly skulked to the nearest corner, listening intently for the crackle of steps upon the wooden floor.

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As a note: Noth is a Grandmaster in Intimidation. That means that he's at least as scary as the Count from Sesame Street. Beware.

"The tyrant confuses those he can't convince, corrupts those he can't confuse, and crushes those he can't corrupt." - Anonymous
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Sephira
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The Music of the Night (Noth)

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The Element pressed her ear to the door, only to hear the sounds of muffled struggle within. It took her less than a trill to snatch an ephemeral tendril of Ether into her grasp and create a Phase portal just on the other side of the door. The spell was silent, scarlet light spilled into her splayed hands and the image of the interior of the home was displayed before her. An empty foyer was displayed in the swirl of magic. Sephira could see no hint of the sounds she had detected moments ago. Bringing her hands together she dismissed the image after taking a clear mental picture of the interior. It took half a thought to rip open a Blink portal that led just inside the door. An echoing boom followed the casting, and the crimson portal, edged in hues of indigo appeared.

Sephira quickly stepped through and the dark exterior of the home was replaced with the dimly lit interior. The portal dissipated behind her with an idle flick of her wrist. The foyer was beautifully furnished with polished oak tables inlaid with gold. White ceramic vases of red roses were placed on every available surface. This was a man who seemingly cared deeply about appearances as not a single thing seemed out of place in his home.

The mage strode forward until emerging into the den where Jareth Ebonhound was tied rather securely to a chair. The man twitched at her appearance, his eyes were half crazed and fraught with paranoia. Froth tinged the corner of his lips as if he had just had a seizure, his gaze falling on her pleadingly.

“What is going on here?” The Element murmured almost to herself as she moved into the room and toward the restrained man, her expression clearly displaying her confusion. Her hand rested firmly around the hilt of Wyvern, the saber gleaming darkly in the dim lighting.

Nothing was as it should have been. This was supposed to be an investigation not a rescue, and certainly not the rescue of a potential killer.

“Sir who did this to you?” The Element asked warily as she finally took in her surroundings. Jareth’s eyes flared in dread as he tried to speak, but his lips moves mutely. However his eyes were fixed on a dark corner of the room, and Sephira followed his gaze. There in the shadows was a crouched shape, what was clearly the silhouette of something not quite human. Her eyes swirled with silver and blue hues, as the woman ripped her saber from its sheath. The sound of metal hissing followed the maneuver as she held Wyvern between herself and the invader.

“Identify yourself.” Sephira demanded firmly. She sounded far braver than she felt, the back of her neck burned with dread, and several season’s worth of experience as an Element fell into place. She had trained for this. The Flame Troops dealt with the strangest and most precarious situations because they specialized in them. The Land Troops were militia men, the Air Troops kept the skies secure, the Water Troops patrolled the shore and the Flame Troops faced murders and criminals that the other Elements could not. A carefully manicured mask of discipline fell into place across her features as she waited for a response.
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The Music of the Night (Noth)

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The hybrid felt fairly confident that whomever had decided to rap upon the door had further decided to enter into the home. The crackling boom which had cascaded after the initial knock seemed to be evidence enough of forced entry, and an entry far louder than his own as well which was at least somewhat amusing to the Avriel. Had the person outside managed to knock the door cleanly off of its hinges? If they had, why had he not heard the tell-tale whine of broken metal or wood groaning as it was freed from its confines? No, it seemed that perhaps there was an unknown element at play, and whilst his mind brushed against the thought, it quickly refocused on the man sitting before him.

He was bait, there was little doubt about that, and even he seemed to be at least somewhat aware of that particular fact. Noth himself was a predator, and he had learned long ago that sometimes the easiest way to fight against an enemy that one did not recognize or know how to defeat was to lie in wait and to gauge visibly how best to engage them before making oneself known, and so he waited within the darkened corner, crimson eyes gazing outwards from the shadowy mire as the intruder crept deeper into the depths of the home, quickly finding their way to the captured Ebonhound.

The woman; for she was now visible enough to be identified as such, and also as what he believed to be a member of the local policing force, seemed to be quite confused about the circumstances of Ebonhound’s capture, and she wore such emotion clearly upon her face. The prey was far more conscious and coherent than the hybrid would have hoped, and a quick glance of his eyes towards the shadowy corner of the room was enough to dispel any opportunity he had of surprising his prey from the darkness to her side. He considered that he might have still held the advantage if he shot out of the shadow the instant that Jareth had looked, but in the end, he was still somewhat unaware of the capability of the guard, and had little reason to actually slay her without knowing of her purpose first.

There was the rippling sound of metal lashing against leather as it was freed from the confines of a sheathe, the rasping noise promising shed blood and violent interaction with its familiar sound. She had drawn her weapon quite quickly, considered the murderous Avriel, and he wondered whether she was afraid of what she had stumbled into in the Ebonhound residence. Predatory eyes examined her mercilessly, seeking out the key signs of fear that so many had worn before in his presence. She struck him as something of a soldier, the discipline evident in her stature, the way that she held herself, and he was at least somewhat envious that it was so difficult to drill such strength into his own soldiers.

The armored entity obeyed with the rattling of vicious talons against wooden floor, idly carving away shreds of the lumber as he stood within full view of the woman, crimson eyes peering from behind a metallic armet, his Null Gauntlet placed directly above the mace which he wore at his side, as though threatening to draw it in a moment’s notice.

“I am the Prince of Eternal Mercies.” He spoke with vicious confidence, a statement that had clearly been worn into his vocal cords over several iterations to be as profoundly menacing as possible. “Who is it with whom I speak? A hound of the government or a worried kneeler to its reign?” He had already made his assumptions of her loyalties, but it never hurt to question them up front.


word count: 635
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As a note: Noth is a Grandmaster in Intimidation. That means that he's at least as scary as the Count from Sesame Street. Beware.

"The tyrant confuses those he can't convince, corrupts those he can't confuse, and crushes those he can't corrupt." - Anonymous
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Sephira
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The Music of the Night (Noth)

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A shadow moved in the corner of the room, seeming to meld together into a creature of umbral night. The mage faltered for a moment, taking a hesitant step back as the armored Avriel revealed himself. She had never seen anyone quite like him. The darkness seemed to cling to him like a well-worn cloak.

Sephira sucked in a measured breath to steel herself against whatever came next. Yes, she was afraid but she wouldn’t allow her emotions to show through. It was something she had grown rather proficient at; placing a carefully sculpted mask of discipline over her features to obscure her feelings.

The Prince of Eternal Mercies, the title was one that implied several things, none of which the Element could be certain of. Ether this man was a fanatic of some strange personally held belief, or perhaps he held himself in extremely high esteem; or maybe it was both. Regardless, way she was now along and forced to contend with his appearance.

Almost reactively the mage began channeling ether, awakening her Rupturing Spark should the need arise for her to move swiftly. Her witchmark was set alight, setting a soft crimson glow to her irises that made the captive, Jareth turn as white as a sheet.

“What the hell are you people?!” He hissed through his teeth with terror.

“Special Assistant Blackwood of the Flame Troops.” Sephira replied frigidly as her eyes flicked from the Avriel’s boots to his forehead, taking note of his appearance and the exact distance between them.

“You are trespassing, and intruding on an Elements' investigation.” She said icily, glancing for a moment at Mr. Ebonhound before refocusing her attention on the armored creature.

“Leave now.” The mage commanded, her luminescent eyes fixated on the Avriel’s own.
Suddenly a sound emerged behind all three of them, toward the hall that led into the rest of the house. It was the sound of...clapping...slow measured...singular applause.

Sephira had to choose between facing the very clear threat to her front or turning back to see the source of the clapping behind her. She choose to turn, keeping note of the armored creature’s location before whipping her head around to face a slender man standing in the threshold of the hallway. He shared the same sallow features of the older man strapped to the chair, though he was at least twenty years younger. The man was tall and thin, with a well-manicured and angular bead along with neatly trimmed brunette locks. He wore a finely tailored black suit with silvery cuff-links and a short black cloak.

“Well, well...isn’t this just perfect. Just as I imagined it.” The slender man said menacingly. “My father tied up like the swine he is, a feeble Element bitch in my home...and then you.” He uttered whist looking up at the menacing feathered form in the corner of the room. “My idol, The Prince of Eternal Mercies.”

“Marcus...son.” Jareth said desperately with flared eyes, looking on in horror as the scene unfolded.

“Shut up Father.” Marcus Ebondhound snapped venomously while he stepped further into the room, looking at Noth reverently.

“You are my inspiration, my muse!”
He cried with wild eyes before gesturing toward the hall he had come from.

Sephira circled away from him as he did, noticing the faint stench of rot that clung to him and the paleness of his skin. She had seen these things before in another man.

Necromancer.

“Let me show you my work.” Said Marcus with a bone chilling smile.

At that moment three women emerged into the room from where he had come from. Their skin was torn and decomposing in places and the stench from them was oppressive. The Husks shambled forward, approaching the Rupturer who leveled her saber between them.

“You get one warning.” She hissed tightly between her teeth at the necromancer. For someone who hated hunting other mages, Sephira all too often found herself faced with killing them. This was just par for the course.

Clearly she had been after the wrong man, Jareth was not her serial killer, but his psychopath necromancer of a son certainly fit the bill.
“Oh my dear, I don’t need a warning from you. You’ll be dead soon, just like those other whores.”

Before he was done speaking an ear shattering boom lanced through the air as Sephira sliced through the fabric of space with surgical precision and Blinked into the air behind the furthest of the Husks, her saber snapping out in a wicked slice. She had to move swiftly, there was no telling what the Avriel would do now that the real predator had revealed himself.
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The Music of the Night (Noth)

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There was evidence of discipline in the face of the young woman. Certainly, the slight suckling of breath as she prepared herself to face what must have certainly seemed to be an abomination coated in the metallic carapace of knights and warriors was noted, but afterwards she seemed to have retained a great deal of her talent, not falling victim to that undeniable quality of terror that clung to the Avriel like a well-worn coat. He continued to examine her for signs of fear, but she had evidently stowed any and all indication that there was anything out of the norm to a place beyond his gaze. That was an admirable quality, especially in a person who likely faced a great deal of stress and strange occurrences throughout their line of work. Who knew… perhaps he was not even the most dreadful entity that she had had the pleasure of encountering throughout her existence. Such things were, he supposed, possible.

Something that was undeniable to hide from his crimson gaze was the matching red which seeped into her own irises. There were only a short number of causes which could allow for such sudden shift of color, and whilst it was quite possible that she was a Biqaj… he couldn’t help but to think that something far more arcane had touched her. The Avriel was cautious about the transformation, making note of the fact that she very likely could possess abilities beyond that normally reserved by humans and their mortal kindred, but his expressions were hidden away by the metal armet he wore, only his eyes visible the outside world. It seemed that her sudden show of ability was quite enough to frighten the poor captured fellow, and where discipline covered the face of the guardian, only a steadily thickening layer of nervous sweat covered Jareth.

The woman identified herself as special assistant Blackwood of the Flame Troops. Noth wasn’t altogether familiar with what aspect or duties were assigned to the Flame Troops, but he didn’t doubt for an instant that they were a derivative of the Elements. His beliefs on the matter were further confirmed by her next statement, accusing him of intruding with the investigation and of trespassing. Certainly, he had committed far more criminal affairs than that within the home of Mr. Ebonhound, had he not? After all, the man was quite clearly tied to the chair… and yet… the Element did not demand that he surrender, nor that he explain himself… only that he evacuate the premises.

She didn’t think she could stop him, did she? If he had been merely a petty thief burglarizing a home, she likely would have intervened and attempted to arrest him for his legal trespasses, and yet, she merely wished to remove him from her immediate presence so that she could continue with her prior work without his intrusion. It was a fascinating decision that she had made, and the hybrid analyzed it for several trills, crimson eyes unwavering as they gazed on at Blackwood, talons softly raking across the floor. He very nearly considered granting a defiant answer to her commands and continuing on with his own investigation, but he was quickly interrupted by the slow clap of applause that echoed from a previously empty location.

For a moment, Noth questioned whether or not the fellow was the servant that he had heard previously strumming away at their instruments, but the way that his features combined so excellently with what could only be his father’s revealed his relationship to the Ebonhound household. Despite his membership in that particular family unit, he seemed… distant, referring to his father merely as swine, and then sweeping into what appeared to be an idolization of the Prince of Eternal Mercies. Could it be that the person who had committed the crimes in his name wasn’t simply attempting to use it as a tool, but rather that they were hoping to draw his attention to themselves? It was… a seldom occurrence that the hybrid met anyone with a fanatical devotion towards himself, though it wasn’t so rare a thing that it had never occurred before in the past, and often-times, those zealots made excellent soldiers in his ranks due to their undying will.

The hybrid very nearly missed the stench of disease that clung to his garments and flesh, because he was around it so often that it was almost not even something which stood out in his mind. When the fellow gestured towards the hallway and spoke of revealing his work to the avian overlord, however, he faintly began to pick up on the scent, crimson eyes gazing curiously at the hall in order to see what devilish abominations had been devised by the fellow. As opposed to anything dreadful or monstrous, however, there were only a trio of corpses, mere flesh-puppets who had been strung up by an amateur in order to impress someone with far more… experience with the undead.

There was a brief interlude before the inevitable confrontation, Blackwood attempting to ward away the necromancer with a harsh warning, and the necromancer himself alluding to the fact that she would soon be little more than another shambling creation in his grasp. The Avriel, for his part, remained notably silent for several trills, instead choosing to simply stroll between the pair, take hold of Jareth Ebonhound, and remove him from their midst and to the corner of the room. Now, the space between them all had opened up rather substantially, and the Avriel waited within his spectator’s corner, crimson eyes observing.

He didn’t particularly enjoy the company of the mad or those who slew others for no purpose whatsoever, but… he also couldn’t deny the fact that having another necromancer within his ranks would greatly serve to advance his goals, and he was certain that he could tame the wild ambitions of the fellow given a short amount of time, and Divinya’s tutelage and assistance in the matter.

“Go on. Impress me, Ebonhound.” He finally spoke, his voice remarkably sincere as he waited for the battle to take place.
word count: 1040
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As a note: Noth is a Grandmaster in Intimidation. That means that he's at least as scary as the Count from Sesame Street. Beware.

"The tyrant confuses those he can't convince, corrupts those he can't confuse, and crushes those he can't corrupt." - Anonymous
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The Music of the Night (Noth)

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There was a half crazed but delighted cackle that escaped Marcus Ebonhound’s pallid lips. However, at the same moment Sephira had Blinked across the room, the boom of her traversal causing the crystal chandelier at the center of the room to rattle and tremble at her passage. Wyvern lashed out, the saber snapping downwards to catch the slowest of the undead women at the cusp of her neck, where it joined into her shoulder. The blade sunk in deeply, cleaving at least a foot in before Sephira wrenched it out and swept the saber horizontally across the Husk’s neck just as the creature began to turn. Its head was removed from its shoulders with a sickening sound of metal scraping against bone. With a thump the decapitated head rolled to the ground and the Husk fell over onto the floor twitching.

One of her monstrous sisters had wheeled around, and reached forward with a clawed rotting hand, aiming to slash at the soldier’s face. Her nails brushed near enough to rustle the Element’s hair as she leapt backwards on her right leg, ripping open a Blink behind her and focusing her mind on a location behind the other Husk that had also turned towards her. Sephira needed space to move if she was to take full advantage of her abilities. In here she was limited by the ceiling, walls and furniture in her maneuverability. If she could somehow get outside then the odds might tilt back in her favor.

Within the room Jareth had been held in there was an exquisite floor length glass window that faced into a sizable inner courtyard that held a small fountain and a carefully manicured lawn. The man’s necromancer of a son was standing right in front of the window with his adoring gaze turned toward his idol as he took in the sight of the avriel.

Sephira Blinked through to her destination behind the second Husk and lanced out with her saber to catch the decomposing woman across the face with a brutal slice. The undead seemed to shrug off the attack and turned back toward the Element with her face dripping with a black fluid that oozed from the newly acquired gash.

Fine...so decapitation it would have to be, otherwise she would be fruitlessly maiming the walking corpse all night until the body was so damaged that it could no longer function. She needed space to move if she was going to deal with the other two undead and the necromancer. With a half trill of hesitation to judge the distance between Marcus Ebonhound and the window, the soldier took off at a sprint, ducking under the Husk’s outstretched arm before ripping open a Blink portal right before impacting the wall on the other side of the hall. With her speed built up to a fast run Sephira placed her exit portal right in front of Marcus Ebonhound’s enamored face. With a boom she emerged out of the air right in front of him with her shoulder pushed forward, prepared to body slam him through that window.

One moment his doting face was staring at his beloved Prince of Eternal Mercies and the next Sephira slammed into him from out of her Blink and sent the both of them crashing through the window and into the courtyard. Glass shards flew everywhere, bloodying Sephira’s face with several narrow cuts that bit at her skin, but she had done this once before and knew what to expect when breaking through a window at speed.

She tumbled off the man and into the dewy evening grass, her body now dotted with more bruises than she had started with before. But it didn’t matter because now the field of battle had changed and she had plenty of space to take advantage of.

Hissing with the exertion the Flame Element crawled to her feet and hefted her blade before once again funneling ether into her Rupturing Spark. Her witchmark was set alight again and the mage set about casting crimson skysteps beneath her feet that carried her up past the still recovering Necromancer who was now howling with rage.

“Bitch! You will regret ever laying you filthy hands on me!”
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From the very moment that the Element had warped across the room in the mere fragment of a blink, the twilight hybrid had come to a grand conclusion over who would be victorious in the struggle. There was an unofficial scale of power that came with the varying schools granted by the spark, and whilst the Avriel was not familiar with all schools, nor with all of the abilities that were encompassed by each methodology, he had grown at least somewhat familiar with where things fell in the grand hierarchy. Necromancers were an incredibly useful ally due to the fact that they paid for themselves in terms of numbers, and assisted in the bolstering of one’s army. The fact that they could also be used to create more specialized agents for the sake of neutralizing particular targets or accomplishing certain malicious deeds only heightened their usefulness. Nevertheless, a necromancer for all of their talents was not a person who often partook in martial combat, and instead relied on their minions, and to say that the quality of Ebonhound’s minions was shoddy was a dramatic understatement.

Rupturers on the other hand were notably talented in the many teleporting aspects of their particularly mobile school, and whilst the Avriel assumed that they likely possessed some tricks and talents up their sleeves which relied solely upon their abilities, he had also not yet encountered a Rupturer who did not rely on more personal combative skills to ensure their victory. The Element was no doubt the better trained of the pair, and her ability to so easily traverse the admittedly short-range battlefield would prove invaluable against the shambling atrocities which sought to devour her flesh.

The sudden slamming boom of the blink caused the hybrid to shudder his eyes for a moment, an unintentional reaction to the immense noise which rattled the room. Crimson orbs re-opened, examining the world anew only to watch as a blade slashed with ease through the neck of one of the corpses. The decapitation was relatively easy to accomplish, and the hybrid wondered whether or not it as due to the fact that the tissue and muscle had already begun to decay, and thus grown somewhat stiff and inflexible. He’d seen living beings decapitated as well, of course, but it was somewhat difficult to accomplish the removal of one’s head in a single blow unless proper circumstances were met, such as in the case of public executions.

In truth, blades were not always the most convenient tool to use against the myriads of undead that could be summoned forth by a necromancer. Much of a swordsman or woman’s approach relied upon inflicting wounds which would cause pain, and would lead to a drop in one’s guard. The fact that the undead absolutely didn’t care for such painful strikes meant that a warrior needed to rely solely on assaults that caused more physical damage. Lopping off the limbs was a popular go-to when facing undead, since it meant that they could not strike at a person with nearly as much efficiency, and naturally, decapitation was the proper way to eliminate them entirely unless one insisted on dissecting them into tiny pieces, or removing their Wells.

Ebonhound’s attention had been distracted by his idol, it seemed, and he made little motion to deflect the oncoming blink which slammed into him, throwing the pair of combatants out of the window. The Avriel raised an eye as the plitter-platter of sharpened glass shards reached his ears. He couldn’t imagine that her sudden exit from the structure had been at all pleasant, and even from this distance he could see spots of red leaking off of her features where miniscule shrapnel had embedded itself into the meat of her cheeks and neck. The hybrid gently swept away whatever glass remained at the window, casting a brief glance backwards at the elder Ebonhound whose tied body was now being approached by one of the hungering abominations. He briefly considered simply leaving him there, but… it would be an unkind and uncouth thing given the man’s supposed innocence, and it would leave the necromancer at an even further disadvantage.

The hybrid took hold of the corpse by the hair, tugging her along violently like a disobedient mutt, and promptly shunted her out of the broken window, not paying any mind to the gnashing of her teeth at his platemail or the vile shrieking. The woman landed harshly, but quickly regained her lifeless senses and went about the process of beginning an approach towards her master, blood still leaking down her face. The other remaining undead seemed to have stumbled out of the window after the pair, and happened to shatter its leg in the process, the bone jutting freely from it as it began to crawl towards the battlefield, groaning and moaning in its crazed manner.

Noth leaned down near the abominable creature, laying his gauntlet upon its head and activating it for a mere few moments. The undead quieted nigh instantly, its lifeless body returning to the eternal rest from whence it had been summoned with a final death rattle.

And, all the while the pair dueled.
word count: 883
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Credit to Pegasus


As a note: Noth is a Grandmaster in Intimidation. That means that he's at least as scary as the Count from Sesame Street. Beware.

"The tyrant confuses those he can't convince, corrupts those he can't confuse, and crushes those he can't corrupt." - Anonymous
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Sephira
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Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:40 pm
Race: Mixed Race
Profession: Element
Renown: 415
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Re: The Music of the Night (Noth)

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Marcus Ebonhound swore as he clambered to his feet, his face white with rage. He reached out with a pallid grey hand toward the Rupturer who was now an easy fifteen feet in the air, racing forward on skysteps forged from shards of crimson light. Ribbons of black smoke flew from his fingertips and raced toward the woman. Perhaps Sephira had been concentrating far too much on getting airborne but she only noticed the onyx hued miasma headed toward her when it was a split trill away. Her concentration was broken and in what was perhaps a stroke of luck her skysteps dissipated and she fell. One of the projectiles impacted her and she felt as a wave of cold pulsed through her body and a chunk of her strength abruptly vanished.

Fear blossomed within Sephira’s chest as she began to feel gravity take hold of her and her Spark responded to that fear as it had done in the past. That alien entity within her reached out and tore open a Blink portal beneath the falling mage and she was teleported with a boom and a flash of light to the ground below. The impact was nothing like she would have felt if she had fallen the entire way but regardless, it was not a comfortable landing. Sephira’s breath was knocked out of her, but she was indeed alive.

“I told you, you would regret touching me whore.” Marcus spat venomously.

The Flame Element came to her feet, her eyes snapping up to her enemy just as the half-blood Avrial stepped through the window and somehow instantly killed one of the undead that had crippled itself from a fall through into the glass. Her time was short, Sephira had to eliminate the mage and his last minion before things got ugly, even if the stranger seemed intent on simply watching the duel play out.

Some small part of her wanted to bring the necromancer in and have him face justice, but another part of her bristled at the thought of allowing to him to live after what he had done. The murderer had been killing women for who knows how long and desecrating their bodies with his magic. Was he worth attempting to save? Could he ever be reformed?
Perhaps the better question was; did he even deserve a second chance?

“What’s wrong, can't even speak... you stupid cu-!?”
Marcus Ebonhound hissed before his final words were severed mid-sentence. The boom of her Blink portal opening reverberated around the courtyard as Sephira appeared to the right of Marcus and pressed the release on the spring loaded dagger that was strapped to her left wrist as she stepped around to face him and drove the narrow blade straight up through his windpipe where she could feel it impact the resistance that was his spine. Her fingers were splayed around his lower jaw, and they were slick with blood as his life’s essence wept down from the wound in copious amounts. It was an otherworldly sensation to feel the warm blood of another slide across your skin as the light left their eyes. The woman stepped back, wrenching the dagger out of his throat just as his body went limp and crumbled to the ground.
The undead Thrall that had been shambling toward her master collapsed to the ground as well. Marcus had not infused his creation with the necessary energy of a well to keep her going should his control of her break and with him dead she returned to being a normal corpse.

Sephira stared darkly at the necromancer’s corpse while she tried to ignore the slick sensation of his blood staining her left hand. Had she been justified in killing him? Had he deserved mercy? She didn’t know. All she knew was that in that moment she had felt that the world would be far better off with one less psychopathic mage.

The woman exhaled deeply before she turned slowly to face the halfblooded Avriel that had invaded the Ebonhound home.

“Is this why you came here tonight?” she asked coldly.

“You were hunting him?”

The question was asked as if she already knew the answer. Perhaps the invader was not as malicious as she had assumed, or at least he had intended to take care of this murderer himself. Sephira was supposed to be an upholder of the law, she was not supposed to be judge and executioner but yet she had done just that.

Perhaps sometimes the law just wasn’t good enough. Maybe the stranger felt that way as well.
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word count: 784
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Noth
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Re: The Music of the Night (Noth)

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It was an unfortunate reality of life that those who worked the hardest to achieve their goals were not always the same ones whose success came to fruition. The fastest were not always able to win the race, nor were the wise always the most successful in business dealings. Indeed, it was the cruel nature of existence which sought to deprive those whose hands had been dedicated towards reshaping their environment to suit their needs, replacing their rewards with little more than detritus and false memories of grandeur. The twilight hybrid could see the effect that zealous dedication had taken on the necromancer before him, could see the faintest hints of sallowness within the confines of his face, the gentle odor of death that wafted about his clothing even at this distance; a blatant side-effect of hanging around corpses for what must certainly have been breaks at a time.

Even his words carried with them a confidence befitting his station as a necromancer. Of course, Noth had met and interacted and controlled others who possessed far greater power and intuition and combative talent than the lesser Ebonhound, but there was a potential there that desired to be molded, to be caressed by the hands of superior artists until he became all that he could possibly have been. The Avriel simply observed with a neutral, crimson-eyed gaze as the fight continued to progress, listening to the venomous words, observing the use of various Spark abilities, the casting of teleporting portals, the leeching of energy through use of a familiar skill.

If Noth had a single issue with the way that Ebonhound had managed to proceed with the battle, it would have been that he was so intent on satisfying the curiosity and making a good show of slaying the Element that he decided to taunt her whilst she was in a precarious stance. It would have been far wiser to simply continue throwing the vile Saps at her whilst she was unable to dodge away from him, stealing away her strength whilst his undead minion closed in on the kill. At least, that was what Noth would have done had he been placed into the rather precarious shoes of attempting to combat a known Rupturer whilst possessing the talents of an incompetent Necromancer.

For all of the time that the lesser Ebonhound had likely spent interacting with dead bodies and the intricacies of such grim arts, it seemed that he was entirely unprepared to defend himself from other mages. The sudden booming thrash of the Rupturer on the ground brought a flicker of surprise both to his face, and that of his Avriel observer, though, in truth it was somewhat expected. The sudden wet thunk of a blade slipping into his throat alerted the hybrid to the fact that the battle had come to its close, and the lifeless corpse quickly collapsed to the ground at his murderer’s feet. The spectacle had come to an end, and there was a certain dramatic tension that wreathed the space between the two remaining beings… enough that the Avriel very nearly clapped his approval in order to shatter the growing silence. He refrained, crimson eyes locking onto the Element, gradually beginning to approach, his hands remaining at his sides, not grasping for his own weapons.

She broke the spell between them with a voice devoid of fellow feeling or sympathy, questioning whether or not he had come to the residence of the Ebonhound family in order to hunt the fledgling Necromancer. While it would have been an injustice and a lie to declare that he was entirely aware of the nature of his prey, it was a correct enough assessment of why he had decided to make his appearance known. “Mmmhmm.” He uttered simply, pausing in his forward advance, now a few mere feet from the woman, locking eyes with her as they conversed. “He was declaring his murders in my name. I hadn’t consented to such declarations, as I’m sure you can tell.” He leaned to the side ever-so-slightly, glancing at the still corpse behind her, and promptly catching sight of the leaking scarlet upon her hands.

A brief press of his talons against one of the women’s corpses was enough to rend away a chunk of their clothing, exposing their rot to the open air, and eliciting a brief twitch of the Avriel’s nose at the dreadful miasmatic stench. He outstretched an open hand, holding out the clump of cloth to the Element for the sake of wiping away her bloodied hands, caring little for the desecration of the body.

“I do apologize for not intervening in the matter. He seemed intent on offering his services to me, and despite his mental instabilities, his talents would have been useful to my cause. Mind you, we would have curved any… needless bloodshed from his system… though I suppose you’ve accomplished the dismissal of any future misdeeds of his all on your own.” There was no smile to dictate that he was particularly happy about the occurrence, but simultaneously there was little in his tone to indicate that he was upset about the loss of a potential soldier either, simply a neutral tone to match her own cold one.

“But yes, I did come here to prevent my name being tarnished. You may have heard of my actions in the case of Skinny Jim. I do not proclaim to be a good soul by any means, and I expect I shall suffer for my indecencies at some point… but at times it becomes necessary for an entity like myself to correct the wrongdoings of society in a more blatant manner.”

“Are you hurt?”
He offered with a flicker of sympathy.


word count: 980
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Credit to Pegasus


As a note: Noth is a Grandmaster in Intimidation. That means that he's at least as scary as the Count from Sesame Street. Beware.

"The tyrant confuses those he can't convince, corrupts those he can't confuse, and crushes those he can't corrupt." - Anonymous
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