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The capital city of the of Rynmere, here is seated the only King in Idalos.

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Max
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The Fiery End

Mon Nov 12, 2018 2:13 am

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TBD Vhalar 718
Early Morning
In essence, continued from here.

An ominous foreboding had seized a small section of the city. There was a palpable knowing in the air that was difficult to articulate. Yet there it was, thick and choking like an invisible smog hanging over one large square in particular. Men and women, Ashcloaks, went about their solemn duty as soon as the first rays of trial-light graced Andaris. Their work was meticulous. The pole was erected. Bales of hay and woody consumables were piled around it in a way that suggested they were practiced. As they worked, citizens quietly, one-by-one, gathered to whisper about the pop-up stage. As the bits passed, preoccupation with the event to come took obvious precedence over everything else. Bakers, smiths, and the homeless alike collected to murmur among each other. Their entertainers did not keep them waiting long.

"People of Andaris!" a woman of the Ashcloak, raised her voice to bring her audience to harsh silence. "On behalf of The Mantis and The Crown, I welcome you to bear witness to to-trial's execution of justice in accordance with the laws of this land!" She drew her hood down and walked to the edge of the stage. Her sharp blue eyes peered out to hold the stares of anticipation focused on her. Her dark brown hair was swept back in a short braid, the burns of her neck exposed like a badge of honor rather than a wound that offended her visage. "Our Order works tirelessly to protect you, the people of this great kingdom, from the scourge of the Spark! One trial we will see a time when we are unsullied from the evil and cruelty magic brings upon our lives. To that end, we have discovered and taken another powerful magic user into our custody. We present him before you to-trial to face your judgement."

Several more Ashcloaks joined their sister on stage, standing behind her like baleful shadows. More appeared suddenly in the crowd just below the stage. An observant eye might notice more stood watch beyond the large gathering. It was a soft perimeter but a ready one. Almost as though their procession had been attacked before. None of them uttered a word where they stood post. The ones with their backs to the stage didn't so much as turn their head when they heard the rattle of chains. A team of Mantis swords wrestled a tall, muscular man onto the stage. Tanned skin glistening in the morning glow, the accused prisoner resisted with brute strength at every opportunity. Strikes to the head and gut were delivered to render him more docile. Judging by his appearance alone, the man looked like he had taken plenty of devastating hits. Both eyes were nearly sown shut. The flesh of his face was more black than blue. The fact he lifted his head after the savage beating he'd taken recently attested to his warrior strength. The leader of the small squad gave a final tug to the chains, yanking the mage to the center of the stage a few yards from the woman charged with his execution.

"The man standing before you to-trial is known as Francis Higglebottom," the Ashcloak woman continued with chin raised high, addressing the crowd in an even, matter-of-fact tone. "He stands accused and convicted of practicing Defiance. He is a powerful manipulator of the earth. Any who wishes to see evidence of this truth may visit the whiskey warehouse down at the docks and gaze upon the land there itself. Gaze upon the unnatural scar upon his neck, render unto him by an attack no one could survive without magic! He is a dangerous man. A cold-blooded murderer. A report led us to discover his most recent crime: the brutal killing of a child. We found him at the tail-end of an altercation with someone of our like-mind. A warrior against the Spark through and through! It was her bravery that allowed this heathen to fall into our custody. So, in good faith, I invite her to join me. Maxine?"

The ex-convict steeled herself and marched up the steps of the stage. Her expression was cold and yet her stare, fixated solely on the chained Francis, was scathing. Every fiber in her being willed her to move forward with her gladius unsheathed. Every muscles twitched, hungry for bloody action. She didn't move from the center of the stage beside the woman where she was bid to remain. For the moment, the most fiery part of her personality had been snuffed out. In its place existed a heartless, icy vacuum.

"Francis Higglebottom is an animal unworthy of a speech beyond the one I've given to explain the crimes he's committed on our soil alone," the Ashcloak woman explained. She glanced once toward the accused, who spat in her general direction. One of the Mantis swords punched him. Maxine couldn't help but wish it was her fist. The leading Ashcloak paid the spectacle no mind, continuing, "My constituents have a habit of making their openings long winded. This man doesn't deserve the honor of his name filling the air any further, and besides, such is not my nature. He has been found guilty. His sentence will be carried out swiftly. Rynmere will be freed of another mage. Have you any final words?"
"Not for you, wench," Francis grunted. He turned his gaze outward toward the antagonistic crowd shouting obscenities in his direction. Whatever they threw, be it tomatoes or shit, he let it hit him without so much as a crack in his stoic expression.
"Then you will be purged," the Ashcloak woman solemnly said. She made a come-hither gesture to the swords stationed behind her. Two appeared behind Maxine, placing an Ashcloak around her shoulders. The team handling Francis wrenched the mage to the stake, securing him firmly to it while another sword poured some sort of liquid around the combustibles stacked beneath the pole.

"Maxine," the Ashcloak woman laid a hand on the ex-convict's newly cloaked shoulder. "On behalf of our Order, I grant you the honors of cleansing this kingdom of this evil. Take the torch and let it be done. The Mantis welcomes you, Sister." A sword handed the woman a lit torch which was then held out toward Max. The marked woman's brow furrowed, near-black eyes appreciating the flames. Her hand reached out to grasp the torch, and without a word, she walked past the Ashcloaks to stand before Francis, back to the crowd. She stared up at him just as he stared down at her. Everything. Absolutely everything had led up to this fateful, fleeting moment in time.

"This one," Maxine snarled for his ears alone, staring up at him. "This one is for Vega. Burn as you burned her." She tossed the torch onto the Absolution-soaked tinder. Immediately fire caught, rising to harass and pester the man at first. The cheering of the rabid crowd behind Maxine's back turned deafening, but she didn't hear it. She just stared, watching the flames rise higher and higher, watching as Francis tried to weather the burn in silence. Around the same time the mage realized the strange white fire would not leave him unharmed like a regular flame, his screams filled the square.

Just like Vega.

Past and present merged cruelly together. She could hear the red-headed woman while she burned at the hands of the cultists. She could smell the scent of melting flesh and hair, the morbid odor that served as a back drop to the violence Maxine had participated in with the other kidnapped women. Blood. Cries of the wounded and slain. Her heart pounding in her ears. Every stimulus from that fateful trial was bombarding Maxine, who was mentally put back in that chamber rather than this Rynmere town square. Her blade drew across his throat. An earthen spear shot through the ground itself to skewer her foot in place. That world then began to crumble away with the quieting of Francis's shrieks. Her dark eyes remained glued on the warping visage of the villain, hand slipping off the hilt of her gladius she'd grabbed sometime during her flashback. In a matter of simple bits, the wraith who had haunted her was just...gone.

It was only then that something occurred to Maxine. After all this time, everything she suffered, everything she'd done, everything she lost...she felt nothing; not even while he burned before her very eyes. He perished within bits in one of the most agonizing ways imaginable. He was finally getting what he deserved. She had gotten just what she wanted, what she'd run through everyone to achieve regardless of the cost. She was supposed be whole again. Instead she just felt the cold void within. The realization none of her sacrifices or what she'd suffered had meant a thing weighed as heavy on her shoulders as her new ashcloak.

Francis Higglebottom was just a man. Nothing more. He died like any other man at the stake--screaming. All this time it was Maxine herself, her fear of him, which had lent him any power over her. Her purpose, this vendetta, had just extinguished before her very eyes. It had lent her no reward. The fire still raged, and Maxine was just as lost as she was long before.

"This Is Speech Text"|"These Are Thoughts"
word count: 1611
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Aegis
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Re: The Fiery End

Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:58 am

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Thread Review
Always great to read Maxine. Never a dull moment. Well done on your series, enjoy your 2 new abilities.
Maxine
  • Skill Points - 10
  • Renown - 5
  • Skill Knowledges
    1. Torture: Burning Someone Alive
    2. Leadership: Taking Up the Literal Torch
    3. Psychology: Revenge Doesn't Soothe the Restless Mind
    4. Psychology: The Emptiness of a Finished Vendetta
    5. Psychology: A Man is Only as Powerful as You Make Him
    6. Philosophy: Not Everything Happens for a Reason
  • Non-Skill Knowledges
  • Items and Other Rewards
    1. Rusalkis Adored Ability 4 - Twister
    2. Rusalkis Adored Ability 5 - Horrific Deluge
Player 2
  • Skill Points -
  • Renown -
  • Skill Knowledges
  • Non-Skill Knowledges
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word count: 182
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