• PM To Join • Scale and Shadow [Prae] (Graded)

14th of Vhalar 719

This area is unmoderated. Please click on "Forum Rules" at the top of this page or go to the "Unmoderated Areas" forum to see the rules for playing here.

Moderator: Basilisk Snek

User avatar
Kasoria
Peer Reviewer
Peer Reviewer
Posts: 2031
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2016 3:34 am
Race: Human
Renown: 1260
Character Sheet
Character Wiki
Plot Notes
Templates
Wealth Tier: Tier 5

Featured

Contribution

Milestones

RP Medals

Miscellaneous

Events

Scale and Shadow [Prae] (Graded)

14th trial, Vhalar, 719
The Underground
19th break


They didn't get visitors at the shrine. Which was not a surprise, given that they were underneath Etzos. Only a handful of people knew they existed at all; fewer still felt anything for their little clutch of cultists beyond cold pragmatism. Terice felt that was a most impressive hypocrisy. Those that sought them out, never came to deliver the justice of The Godless City. Never had she faced down an angry mob or passionate crusaders. For arcs she had dealt with those their contacts sent their way, and every one had... a problem, that needed solving.

Sometimes that was a person. Sometimes it was a vial, or information. Weapons or stolen goods. Furs from distant lands or jewels or suits of armor or any of a hundred services. They came to them because they'd been vouched for, by satisfied customers. Because the Cauldron was everywhere, and everyone, or so they strove very hard to appear. They were capable and hidden and, above all, quiet

Yet still, we are treated like lepers.
.

"But isn't that the point?"

She muttered the question to herself as she finished preparing yet another quiver of arrows. Not just any kind, either. A lamp, heat magnified by a large and expensive looking glass, had been shining fiercely on two dozen of them for most of a day. She checked the time and chose one of them at random. The young girl who would always look you and girlish - which she was very much aware of - sniffed the tip... and ran her finger across the barbed tip. No residue. No flaking dust coming off on the metal. The poison had dried and settled into the metal beautifully.

No rain, no mud, no muck will wash it off. They won't even smell differently. But one good shot, a half-bit wait, and...

"Splat!" She said with a chuckle, letting the arrow fall from vertical to horizontal in imitation of a future victim. "Should keep them happy for-"

There was a noise from outside her laboratory. Quite far beyond it, actually. Sound carried for a distance underground, funneled and amplified by ancient stones and narrow confines. A scuffling foot could sound like a clattering sword; a low cough was as good as a scream. Terice had worked there long enough to know roughly where it was coming from... and once she knew, she couldn't help but frown.

"Why would they...?"

Then the young lady shook her head and decided to go find out instead of just posing stupid questions to the empty air. That didn't mean she rushed off, though. She secreted a few nasty surprised about her person, resting at strategic points about her second home. None more than a sudden lunge from her, all treated and cared for with loving care. The last - a curved dagger that was a gift from a grateful client - caught the light in a way... more than a touch sickly, for such supposedly clean, sharp steel. Her own little toxic addition to the killing edge.

Terice sheathed it under her dress, and went out into the tunnel. Towards a dusty corner of the Cauldron's realm.

The shrine.

She'd often mused on the irony of its situation. The Cauldron had always masked itself as a cult of worshipers, thralls to the Immortals, daughters of Lissira, and so on and so on. It was a risky gambit for them, but it made them... easy for such a hateful city to understand. The hated and despised them. Which saw them forever underestimated. Truth be told, Terice had always thought a better cover story could have been used, but it allowed them to play both sides of the board. She wondered how many of the good citizenry of Etzos knew just how many "slaves" were among their friends, their comrades, employers, protectors, even their families. It made dealing with The Fence easier, too, for even they didn't fully know if the poison brokers truly had a goddess lurking behind them.

Not anymore. Not for anyone.

Terice dismissed the thought as she came into the large, domed hall. It was more a crypt now, than anything else. Once, it had been a place of worship. Once, it seemed, for it had been so abandoned and left to the ravages of entropy that a single time of prayer looked like all it had hosted. But there was no mistaking the carved stone of an altar; the space where a statue must have once stood. Terice had thought about buying one. Just in case they needed to really sell the lie. She thought so again, as she saw a little man standing in front of it. Cloaked in a black hood and lit by the pair of flickering torches. The poison crafter frowned as she stepped closer. Damned odd shadows about the man. Maybe it was her eyes?

"Can... Can I help you?"

She used her Sweetheart Voice. It seemed to instantly set people at ease; especially men. Just an arc or two after womanhood, where the tone was still sparkling with the innocence of youth. Sincerity rang through it, and she'd spent a lot of time perfecting the facade of compassionate concern. Yet there was no reply. The man kept his back to her. She made out his head turning to one side, as if studying the altar. Not even acknowledging her.

There was a murmur of sound. Terice stopped walking, and frowned deeper.

"I'm sorry?"

"Hard t'think, this place could be down 'ere. Place a' Morty's." The little man reached out and ran a hand over the dark stone. Terice's eyes widened a touch as she was sure, sure she saw flickering wisps of shadow chase each other across his flesh, like pond skimmers over water. "Here. In Etzos. But thas' wuddit looks like. Makes sense, a' course. Bein' the Cauldron an' all."

Terice inhaled swiftly and pushed her mind back into Sweetheart, with a healthy dash of Seductress. Ah. An older gentleman. Well. That made things simpler, if far more annoying. She started to walk around him, keeping her distance but subtly loosening her dress in deliberate areas as she did. A little more flesh, a hint, a curve, jut enough to catch a man's eye. They were all alike, in her experience. Well... mayhap not the Marshal. Certainly not The Hood. But the rest of the herd? Oh, she was-

Then the little man looked at her, full in the face. The cloak that was of moving shadow and fabric both shifted and flitted about his skull. A lean, bronzed face made older than its arcs by a hard, savage life. Black eyes. Blacker than the forgotten sewers under their feet, where things even the Fence and Cauldron feared still hunted. Shining in the torchlight with bleak sentience. The smile beneath them was so affable it was almost as monstrous as a sneer. This was not a face that such sentiment belonged on.

"Ah. Yeh'd be Terice, aye?"

"I... I am, yes-"

"I won't fuck yeh about, girl," the little man said with a hint of a sigh. Clearly here was a man who'd endured a trying trial. That's when Terice started to notice the smell. Familiar yet foreboding. "I'll come to it quick. I know who yeh are. I know what yeh are, an' who yeh serve. I talked to a couple a' people about yeh. Grace Borland?"

Terice kept her face immobile. Unreadable. But something shone through; some part of her bemused mask cracked. For the little man smiled wider and nodded, as if she'd outright agreed with him.

"Aye, very helpful lady. Nice shop, too. Not that I was lookin' t'buy anything from 'er. More interested in what's fer sale down 'ere..." He reached into his cloak and placed something on the altar. A small cloth packet that looked oddly moist. Then he produced a pipe and a little bag of tobacco. He packed it as he kept talking, yet Terice barely noticed. The smell. It was coming from the package. "Other fella I spoke to... he was less... wassa word... fourth-comin'. Wouldn't believe me when I said I wanted t'find the Cauldron. Kept sayin' he didn't know who y'were, even after I told him I did."

The little man chuckled as he used one of the candles by the altar to light the pipe. She couldn't know what he'd recently found, after all. A treasure trove of intelligence and facts and names and information. He was fast learning why his old employer valued such things far above coin and finery. A chest of gold could purchase a small army; the right rumor could deliver you a city. He sighed and swept his lank black hair away from his face. Terice kept her hands folded demurely in front of her. Face vaguely frightened... but not her eyes. No, not them. Not what lurked behind them, either.

"But, ah... he came around. After a fashion... an' after I took these from him..."

His free hand gently unfolded the cloth, and Terice swallowed hard. An eye. An ear. Both wet and raw and bloody and stinking on that ancient altar.

"Wouldn't a' made much sense, takin' 'is tongue," Kasoria said, cloud of grey smoke oozing gently from his lips as he spoke. Eyes as calm and affable now as a reptile's. "Man deals in secrets, after all. An' I needed t'learn what he knew."

"Wh... Why are you showing me this?"

Kasoria sat on the altar. Next to his work. As he expected, tall and bulky shadows were moving from hidden alcoves in the shrine. The Cauldron would never have let him get this far without protection being summoned. He'd felt eyes on him the moment he stepped into this cursed place. Now the guards were taking the grisly cue as their own. He looked into Terice's face, and was surprised to see outrage there, instead of fear... well, not just fear.

"I'm lookin' fer some a' the spider cunt's slaves. Scratchers. Assassins, t'you. Little bird tol' me they're still in the city. Dunt much like dat idea. Buncha' Morty-lovers, goin' about workin' her fuckin' will. Thought you'd know about 'em. So... I want you t'tell me about 'em."

She didn't fold, as Kasoria had expected. Even when confronted by fresh body parts and the man who'd made them such. She was the face of the Cauldron, after all. She dealt with murderers and monsters aplenty. She rallied before his eyes, seeming to swell in stature, demure Sweetheart replaced by a Mistress of her domain. The shadows encroached ever tighter. A flick of his eyes, left and right, marked and numbered them.

Three. Optimistic of them.

"And this... this is how you come to ask?" She snapped out a horrified hand. Biting out her words in ill-contained fury. "By presenting me with gore and violence and horror?! What answer did you expect? What purpose did this serve?"

Kasoria's smile died. He was the Raggedy Man again. Last breath of humanity leaking out of his face and the voice rumbling out of it. He inhaled and summoned his Spark before he spoke.

"T'let y'know, I speak the same language as youse. I jus' do it wiv' a lot less... wassa word... sut-ul-tee." He stood. The shadows flinched. Then they positively stiffened as the little man exhaled and a shimmering haze seemed to billow out from his body. Reflective layers of Abrogation formed around him like armor, filling in the tears and gaps of his etheral cloak, making him seem born of shadow itself. "Wanted yeh t'know what could be comin', if yeh don't talk. An' if yeh do? I'll walk outta here an' yeh'll likely not see me again."

Kasoria shifted his cloth cloak and let the woman see the sword and dagger sheathed there. One hand danced along the hilt, tattoo drummed out by his fingers. The other tapped against his side... and Terice could see the witchmarks on the palm glowing, pulsing with magic just waiting to be unleashed. Kasoria's eye twitched and he smothered the gesture with a half-smile. No. He couldn't let her see just how loud his Spark howled in him, now. Since the start of the season, as his magic had reached its peak, the power dormant in him then brought to life the arc before had grown stronger. Louder. More insistent. Now, whenever he called it, he felt it... invade him.

Iron will and singular purpose beat back the nameless demands. He kept his eyes on the woman, and shrugged.

"Yer choice, girl. I won't be waitin' ferever."

The pounding was still in his ears. Like his heart, beating against the side of his head. Then the woman seemed to notice it, and her hooded bodyguards. Kasoria frowned at the impossibility-

-until he felt the pounding through the stones he stood on, too. A trill later, he realized what it was. Someone was coming. Someone with weight enough to shake the very ground.

Fucking Fates. Perfect timing.
word count: 2235
Common Speech | Thoughts | Ith'ession Speech | Speech of Others
User avatar
Praetorum
Approved Character
Posts: 1425
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2019 11:08 am
Race: Ithecal
Profession: Mercenary
Renown: 1020
Character Sheet
Character Wiki
Plot Notes
Letters
Point Bank Thread
Storybook
Wealth Tier: Tier 5

Featured

Contribution

Milestones

RP Medals

Miscellaneous

Events

Re: Scale and Shadow (Prae)


Date: 14th of Vhalar, Arc 719
Status: Cautious

Weapons: Quarterstaff, Shield (Both on his back)
Armor: Leather

No Current Magical Effects
"I really don't think this is where we're supposed to be. Shouldn't we have passed this passage already?"

Praetorum frowned at the hastily sketched map that Clarissa had pressed into his hands this morning. He squinted, then, tentatively, turned it upside down.

Ricky threw his hands up in the air. "Unbelievable." He groaned. "We're going to die down here in the bowels of Etzos."


"It's not my damn fault Clarissa can't draw for shit." Prae sighed, turning the map this way and that to try and figure out where they were. "And you're being ridiculous. Come on, let's just find a way back up to the surface and try again."

"Better idea, we go back to the surface, do a little exploring of our own, and just tell Clarissa tonight that whatever it was she wanted to show us, she can bring us to in person."

That also sounded like a fine idea, in truth. Prae tucked the map into his belt, and shrugged, his quarterstaff bumping off the ceiling as he did so. Closing his eyes, Praetorum focused inwards, reaching for his spark, and then spread his mind outwards, through the air and earth that surrounded them. He felt Ricky's breath gust behind him, felt the dirt beneath their feet shift as they walked. Aside from that, all was still down here, his spark's eye blind to that which did not move. 


He grimaced, and Ricky laughed. "No luck, huh? Then I guess, let's do this the old fashioned way." And with that, the human darted off into the shadows, off to scout for a way out. Prae rolled his eyes, and just kept walking, trusting that Ricky would be able to find him again; it wasn't like Prae was being inconspicuous, or was even capable of it. 


Every once in a while, he reached out with his defiance granted senses, often finding nothing but vermin and Ricky in his range.

After half a break of aimless wandering though, Praetorum reached out, and found, just at the edges of his range, air flowing, dirt shifting. People, two of them at least, possibly talking, or at least breathing heavily. In a place like this, Prae would normally be wary of approaching strangers, but, well. Prae wanted to get out into the open air again, and he doubted anyone would try to mess with him; he got the impression that armed Ithecal were not common in these parts. 


So, he walked though the winding tunnels and ducked under low ceilings, winding his way towards the people he'd detected. 


The scene he came across was... somewhat less heartening than he had hoped for. 


Prae's eyes narrowed as he took in the situation; a shadowy figure bearing a knife and sword, facing down a pair of what seemed like guards flanking a woman. He'd stepped into something he shouldn't have, it seemed. Prae stilled for a moment as his attunent spark, Suspicion reared its head and began to tune to the shadowy figure. Danger, it hissed in his mind.

He ignored it. "Apologies." He called out. "Am I interrupting something?"
word count: 554
Let's play 'What's Weird About Prae'

Head

  • A fiery rune shines under his right eye
  • A firey glow in the back of his mouth

Arms

  • A ring of blue runes floats over each of Prae's wrists
  • A silver shield marks the back of his right hand
  • A ring of light around his left forearm

Misc

  • His tail is about eight feet long, usually knotted around his waist
  • His body temperature is uncomfortably high

Surroundings

  • Wind gusts with every step he takes
  • The area around him is slightly more static-y than normal
User avatar
Kasoria
Peer Reviewer
Peer Reviewer
Posts: 2031
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2016 3:34 am
Race: Human
Renown: 1260
Character Sheet
Character Wiki
Plot Notes
Templates
Wealth Tier: Tier 5

Featured

Contribution

Milestones

RP Medals

Miscellaneous

Events

Re: Scale and Shadow (Prae)

Fuck me. Never forget that smell.

Not that smell was much good in this instance. By the time Kasoria's nostrils were quivering at the familiar smell of Ithecals, the bloody thing was walking into the hall. Or stooping into it, more accurately. Even larger than the monster he'd laboriously hacked apart an arc ago, the Ithecal was vast beyond anything mankind had to offer. More than that, he glittered not with scales, but armor. Plate armor, from clawed foot to snout jutting ahead of black, piercing eyes. From where he stood, Kasoria could see the intelligence behind them.

The last one was a sellsword. Good with a club or a claw, but not much beyond that. This one... he'd different.

Then Praetorum went ahead and proved him right by speaking in rumbling, perfect Common. The human next to him - looking like a child by comparison - was far more animated. Worried eyes darted between Raggedy Man and Girl and Shadow Guards, deciding that he didn't like what he saw at all. The whole scene reeked of tension and ill-feeling. Kasoria noted the weapons bedecking the Ithecal, and despite himself wondered how they'd match up.

Not the time for that, boy.

"Nothin' t'bother yerselves wiv'," Kasoria said, voice grating and lilting at once with that rolling, hard Outer Perimeter accent. "Jus' havin' a chat wiv' the-"

"I-I'm glad you came when you did, sirs!"

Kasoria had to admit, the bitch put it together good and quickly. In the time it took Kasoria to size up trivialities like weapons and armor, Terice had weighed and measured the thing under them. Her cold fury was immediately masked by wide-eyed worry, the girl that she'd first pretended to be returning to beseech the Ithecal that looked more like a Knight of Old Times. She turned fully to Praetorum, hands folded demurely.

"This man, he... he... well, look!" She pointed a quivering finger at the mutilations laid out on the altar. Kasoria turned briefly to them, then back to the two new arrivals without so much as a blink. "He said he'd do the same to us! To me and my guardians! He's a madman!"

Kasoria breathed deeply, and his weary exhale was heard by all in the ancient hall. Dry and dusty as where they stood, it spoke of indulgent annoyance. Not unexpected, but barely tolerated. Like one would hear from a parent dealing with a trying child. Praetorum could see the light glint oddly off those pure black eyes of the human, and knew it was him shifting his gaze. First left, then right... then a quick glance over his shoulder, at the third cloaked and hooded guard trying and failing to approach him quietly from the rear.

The Ithecal had been a warrior long enough to know The Look. That icy, dispassionate weighing of the men around him. He could almost hear the gears clicking and whirring in the little human's head. Working out angles and distances, the reach and advantages of each weapon and strike. Knowing those components and weaving them together into a chain, a dance, a story to be written in violent movement and blood and death. Everyone around him was but a part of it. Not human, not flesh, not living or thinking or feeling. Just... obstacles. To be removed or neutralized.

The question was, had the little man factored the Ithecal and his partner into the dance, too?

"What's doin' here's 'tween me an' the girl, mate," Kasoria said lowly, warning obvious in his voice despite his words. "I'd not get involved. Sure y'might know she ain't what she-"

"Don't listen to him!" Terice implored the Ithecal, dress fluttering about her feet as she skittered closer to him. "Please! Help us! After the siege, men like him have been a plague on us! They take and kill and rob and... and so much worse."

Terice looked away with a sob and Kasora let out a bark of harsh laughter. He rolled his eyes so hard they might fall from his skull. Yet even as his mockery of mirth was pantomimed, he was readying himself. One had slid closer to the brace of knives under his shoulder. The other gripped the hilt of his gladius... and from within, his Spark growled into eager life again. The shadows around him seemed to grow thicker, and Praetorum would be able to see the material was in fact smoky, magical ether. Forever surrounding Kasoria, never leaving him be.

He looked like what he was. All those arcs of trying to mask what he was, hiding behind the guise of a beggar or drunk or derelict, and now his magic had left no choice for him. Kasoria radiated menace, and violence, and the specter of bloody retribution. So what did he do? He embraced it. But did not court massacre where threat and negotiation (pick your poison) would suffice.

"Oh, do me a favor..."
word count: 841
Common Speech | Thoughts | Ith'ession Speech | Speech of Others
User avatar
Praetorum
Approved Character
Posts: 1425
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2019 11:08 am
Race: Ithecal
Profession: Mercenary
Renown: 1020
Character Sheet
Character Wiki
Plot Notes
Letters
Point Bank Thread
Storybook
Wealth Tier: Tier 5

Featured

Contribution

Milestones

RP Medals

Miscellaneous

Events

Re: Scale and Shadow (Prae)


Date: 14th of Vhalar, Arc 719
Status: Standing at the ready

Weapons: Scythe, Shield
Armor: Leather

Current Magical Effects
Rune of Focus
Chained Rune of Strength and Endurance (Diffused)
It had been a while since he'd seen a room this tense; in Yaralon this would have turned into a challenge already. But whatever violence there was going to be here—and Praetorum was utterly certain there would be violence—it was going to be a lot less formal than a duel of the spear. 


Behind Praetorum's broad back, his tail loosened its grip on his waist, and started to draw runes along the small of his back, and the nape of his neck: a rune of focus and a diffused rune of strength and endurance. Best to be well rounded, under the circumstances. 


It was obvious enough that Prae had walked into some sort of confrontation, and if the two groups had been evenly matched, he might well have just turned and left them to it. But that was far from the case here. 


Prae's Suspicion spark had not yet finished reading in Kasoria's aura yet, but his mutations spoke for themselves. Not a defier, for all the air pulled itself around him, that Prae was sure of. The black eyes and the chains.... a necromancer? Whatever he was, the number of mutations the human wore spoke to a deep bond with his spark or sparks. And beyond that, the way this man carried himself, not with confidence, but with implacable surety...

The three guards that surrounded him didn't stand a chance. And the woman that faced him wore neither weapon or witchmark. At least, that Prae could see. But Praetorum had been tricked before, and so Suspicion twisted, and reached out to attune to her as well. 


Kill us to hide his deeds. The spark whispered in his mind at Kasoria's first words. 


Trying to use you. It continued at Terice's interruption.

No, Praetorum told his spark, even as its paranoid bled slowly into him. Both their frequencies were still indistinct blurs of noise to him, and his spark was speculating without evidence. 


Probably.


At Terice's frantic gesture and plea, Prae's eyes slid to where, on an altar of solid stone, a single eye and ear lay like some sort of sordid offering. 


Who put it there?

Prae didn't know, and right now it didn't matter. Someone was asking to be protected, and Suspicion was still the newest and least developed of Praetorum's sparks. Savior reared its head then, ever ready to step in and play the hero. 


Just barely visible under the edge of Praetorum's bracers, the runes curling lazily around his wrist started to spin and flash, a little flicker of blue light gleaming from that gap. A warning that Savior would not allow Praetorum to step away. 

{My fight. Otherwise act at will} Prae signed to Ricky without taking his eyes off Kasoria. Without a word, Ricky nodded, and went back the way they'd come, soon disappearing from view. Unlike Praetorum, Ricky had not been entirely convinced by Terice's performance and request, and was resolved to follow her if she fled. Just in case. Praetorum would be able to follow him later.


Kasoria made one more attempt at dissuading Prae, and the ithecal just blinked at him, shrugging his shield off his shoulders, but leaving the quarterstaff at his back. "Don't know what's going on here, what she or you might or might not be. But I can see that they're outclassed, and you're out for blood." Pulling the shield onto his arm, he let it settle at his side, and stepped forwards into the room proper. "Can’t just sit back and let things play out. Leave, or resolve your issues peacefully, and I'll pretend this whole thing didn't happen. But if you raise a hand in violence—"


His fingers flexed, and he felt the Silk Scabbard shift where it was wrapped around his arm under leather bracers. A moment later, the quarterstaff on his back disappeared into thin air, and then there was a war scythe in Praetorum's grip.

"—you're going to have to fight to keep it."
word count: 717
Let's play 'What's Weird About Prae'

Head

  • A fiery rune shines under his right eye
  • A firey glow in the back of his mouth

Arms

  • A ring of blue runes floats over each of Prae's wrists
  • A silver shield marks the back of his right hand
  • A ring of light around his left forearm

Misc

  • His tail is about eight feet long, usually knotted around his waist
  • His body temperature is uncomfortably high

Surroundings

  • Wind gusts with every step he takes
  • The area around him is slightly more static-y than normal
User avatar
Kasoria
Peer Reviewer
Peer Reviewer
Posts: 2031
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2016 3:34 am
Race: Human
Renown: 1260
Character Sheet
Character Wiki
Plot Notes
Templates
Wealth Tier: Tier 5

Featured

Contribution

Milestones

RP Medals

Miscellaneous

Events

Re: Scale and Shadow (Prae)

Image
Kasoria couldn't help the slow smile that spread over his lips as the Ithecal finished his preparations. First the shield slid off his back, movement so practiced and smooth it was clearly the product of long experience. The creatures gait was measured and sure, in no hurry, wasting no energy. Words in Common growled out of its throat, far clearer and fluent than the snarled threats and curses from the last of its kind Kasoria had butchered. And oh, what words they were, coming with-

-a magical flourish, mere wood transmuting to a war scythe as long as the Raggedy Man was tall-

-last words delivered with solemnity, after the unveiling of that enchanted weapon. Kasoria could almost imagine they were about a stage, with eager, breathless audience watching on. Well, they had something of an audience, anyway. Five other souls watched the confrontation go from potential to inevitable, hooded or bare-headed, tense as wound wires all of them. A grating sound without any moisture to it rose from Kasoria's throat, and he jerked his chin briefly at the scythe.

"Nice trick, that."

Then the little man seemed to flinch as if struck. Hissing in his ears. Whispers from his Spark. They came to life just as he inhaled sharply, as if he could physically smell the magic being cast in his direction. Not too far from reality; his Spark was nestled into every muscle and bone of him, now. Why not his nose? He sniffed again and memories of Sima and his initiation came back to him in a blink. The crackling, cloying feeling of...

Attunement.

Mage.

Casting against us. Threat. Spy.

Mage. Enemy. Enemy!


"Enough."

He muttered the word and the Spark went back to growling softly in the corners of his mind. Instead he pushed yet more ether out into the field around him. Whispered a mental command, and dropped a Mute around him like the cloaks he wore. Wound and wrapped the spell tightly about him, in addition to the field he was flipping. Within a matter of trills, all the Ithecal's magic (fuck me, didn't know their kind could even use magic) querying cast would return was a fuzzy, indistinct... absence. A void where there should have been notes, holes in the aura where magical ability should have been.

Probably enough to tell him I have some of my own. No matter. He'd find out anyway.

The smile wouldn't be coming back. The restless, wordless excitement for a worthwhile confrontation was soured by knowing that once again, magic would be tangled up in this. The Raggedy Man inhaled deeply, and pushed more of his Spark out into the air around him. Filling up the field extending out from where he stood. Polluting it, strengthening it, however you choose to put it... making it his own private world, where no magic but his own could survive.

But not all of it. Not strength nor Spark nor focus. He would need it elsewhere.

"Well," he said in a dead, toneless voice, and moved his cloak clear of the sword at his hip. "Les' geddon wiv' it, then-"

As if on cue, the man to his right lunged. Curved dagger sweeping out from under his robe at the same moment, hurling himself forwards as he drew back the weapon-

-Kasoria's head snapped to him at the same instant his arm snapped to his left wrist. An eye blink later, it was a dark blur as it flung out towards the dagger man-

-two throwing knives darting through the air, sharp and gleaming as shards of chained lightning-

The little man didn't watch them strike. He knew well his own abilities, and over that distance, they were more than sufficient. He only heard the wet shunk of impact as they thudded into the chest and neck of the Cauldron acolyte, stopping him dead in his charge. Heard him gasp out a breath bloody with froth, but he was already forgotten, already moving on-

-to the man on the left, who was unsheathing a sword-

-and never got to swing it. Kasoria threw up his arm a trill after the knives struck home and the air between assassin and guardian seemed to burst into light. A tendril of writhing magical energy exploded from Kasoria's outstretched hand, end of it wrapping around the would-be swordsman's throat. The Raggedy Man didn't waste a moment to gloat, or strangle, which the spell was named for. Time could not allow it. Instead, his hand crunched into a fist so hard the slap of flesh on flesh could almost be heard around the room-

CRACK

-right before the snapping of the man's neck drowned it entirely. Two dead in almost as many trills, but there was still-

-a shadow moved behind Kasoria. Flitted across his vision and the candlelit ground and he swerved to the side-

-just in time to avoid the bronze sickle that ripped through the Shackle tendril. Seeming to sever it, but it was Kasoria who broke his hold over the spell. It had served its purpose, and he wouldn't waste anymore of himself on the effort. The final guardian roared and backhanded at the little man, but Kasoria didn't draw his sword. Any blade. For that matter. He flitted back again, quick and agile as a sparrow. First one blow, then another, and a third-

-another wild sideways chop that sailed over his head as he ducked low under it, and now his hand went to his gladius-

CLANG

-deep, rusted blood Adamantite smashed into cheap bronze and stopped it dead. But as Prae watched, the robed guard seemed to stagger back as if blinded, clutching at his eyes with a yelp. Kasoria flashed a feral grin, just visible under his cowl. No-one but him knew what Shadow Slayer could do; no-one but the man he fought would be effected by its blinding light. When metal met metal, a flash like lightning grounded and cast went straight into Sickle's eyes. The man staggered, weapon flailing, and Kasoria thrust-

SHUNK

The gladius punched through Sickle's breastbone as if it were old paper. The bone cracked and parted and split apart and the blade just kept going. Ripping through the pulsing, pumping organ behind it. Tip poking out his back and soaking his robe. For just an instant, Kasoria paused. The two men locked in that most mortal of poses, lit by flames now made hellish by the blood they illuminated. Then he ripped the blade back out, Sickle falling to his knees and-

-didn't quite cut his head off. The gladius flashed in a red arc downwards, chopping through the artery at the side of his neck. The killer stepped forwards as he felt the pulsing mortal pipe burst, gushing scarlet into the area he'd just been standing in. He stopped just behind Sickle, and flicked the blade to one side. Swift movement knocking the excess blood and bone fragments from the sword... and Sickle fell onto his face a moment later.

Trills. Moments. Instants. All good words to describe how long it took three men to die. Kasoria exhaled slowly, and gave a tiny nod of personal satisfaction.

Still got it, old man.

"Oh shit oh shit-"

Terice turned to flee, and Kasoria was having none of it. His free arm snapped out again and a fresh Shackle shot across the musty air, now made bloody and fouler. Before the poison crafter had gone ten feet, the Shackle wrapped around her torso and started to drag her back. She kicked and screamed and Kasoria saw the Ithecal surge forwards-

-with a snarl he reversed the grip on his gladius, sheathed it, and threw it out to join the other-

The barrier was thick, and shimmered with power. It formed in front of Prae, extending from wall to wall. Terice still screamed as she was dragged through it, but the sound was oddly muted as she was. A strike from his sycthe or his massive shield would have yielded him nothing; this wasn't the personal, buckler-sized Shield an Abrogator would use in personal combat. This was thicker, stronger, deeper. Kasoria had sought to use it before, though he couldn't pronounce the first half of the name. This was not merely protection; this was a portcullis of power, slammed down in front of the Ithecal to ensure he had ample time to ensure-

"Youse ain't goin' anywhere."

With a gesture of his hand, he yanked Terice off her feet entirely. Suspended in mid-air, arms pinned to her torso, she was still struggling. Trying to jam a hand into her pockets, pull something of value or lethal nature from it. Kasoria grimaced and his hand shot out. Gripped her around the throat, and started to squeeze. Until the struggling stopped. Until her face went from red to purple to blue. Until her eyes rolled back and his arcs of long, murderous experience told her she wouldn't wake up for a while.

Then he pulled back his hand, and the girl dropped as the spell vanished. She was worth nothing dead. Unlike her acolytes. The little man turned back to the outraged Ithecal, form distorted behind his grand barrier. As his hand moved to unsheathe his gladius once again, the barrier slowly dissipated, granting Prae access to him and the girl once again. His other hand vanished briefly under his cloak, and came up with a wickedly-curved karambit, runes etched into the blade. Traitor's Claw thrummed magically against his palm, promising to take his body's pain and deliver it upon his enemy.

"Walk away. Now." The words were a command, not a suggestion. There were always consequences for disobeying commands. "Won't tell yeh again."
word count: 1651
Common Speech | Thoughts | Ith'ession Speech | Speech of Others
User avatar
Praetorum
Approved Character
Posts: 1425
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2019 11:08 am
Race: Ithecal
Profession: Mercenary
Renown: 1020
Character Sheet
Character Wiki
Plot Notes
Letters
Point Bank Thread
Storybook
Wealth Tier: Tier 5

Featured

Contribution

Milestones

RP Medals

Miscellaneous

Events

Re: Scale and Shadow (Prae)


Date: 14th of Vhalar, Arc 719
Status: Attacking

Weapons: Scythe, Shield
Armor: Plate Leather

Current Magical Effects
Rune of Focus
Chained Rune of Strength and Endurance (Diffused)
For a single heartbeat, Kasoria's frequency rang clear in Prae's mind, a song of sharpened steel and somber savagery.

Then the abrogator's mute dropped, and the song choked off in Praetorum's mind, turning muffled and indistinct. The ithecal blinked. What in all the fates...

Another attunener? Prae pulled at his own frequency, shifting static into it, just in case. But he knew that that would only scramble his song, not dampen it like this. Or was this a more powerful version of the Static technique? Prae wasn't sure, and right now it didn't matter; the hooded man was parting his cloak to reveal his sword. Then one of the guards stepped forwards, and Prae got to see first hand where all of Kasoria's confidence came from.

The human was fast, almost unbelievably so; his reactions started almost as soon as Prae spotted the movement that incited it, and he was on to the next opponent before the first had even been dispatched.

No, that wasn't right. He was on to the next opponent before the first one even knew he was dead.

Fates be kind, Prae thought to himself as a flare of ether snapped a second man's throat. It was going to be a hard fight, for Prae to see the suns rise again.

But Praetorum was not a man who had ever backed down when there was someone in need, and so even as the cloaked figure dispatched of his attackers, Praetorum started towards the woman who had cried out for his help, reckoning that their best chance for survival would be to buy her time to flee, and then escape himself.

Even as the thought burst into his head, even as his feet began to move, he saw it was already too late; his opponent reached out with one hand, and the wind twisted in his grasp, the whisper of the air's discomfort and distress layered atop itself a dozenfold, the sound of it in his spark setting Prae's teeth on edge. Forged into a chain by this mage — who could not have been a defier, deaf as he seemed to be to the wind’s distress — the layered air wrapped itself around the ribs of the woman, pulling her back towards Kasoria.

Then, another cry of wrongness, and Prae felt, rather than saw, as the air before him piled in on itself, forming a wall as solid as stone; Prae's shield slammed against it with a crash, to no avail—not even with all the Ithecal's strength and weight behind it, not even with his defiance spark calling for its kin to let him through.

Behind the transparent wall, Praetorum could see the woman's face shifting shades as the hand around her throat cut her airways off; around Prae’s wrists, his hone runes flashed in fury at the sight of a victim just out of its reach. But Prae hadn’t given up on saving her just yet. Ricky was still hiding somewhere around here, and if Prae could distract this man for long enough, there was still a chance for the yari to get her somewhere safe and treat her injuries.

This wall of air was too thick and dense for Prae to break through, but that probably also meant it took a lot of ether to maintain; the other mage would have to drop it soon. And sure enough, the human soon let his victim fall to the floor, unconscious but alive, and let the barrier between them fade away.

They faced each other then with nothing between them, Praetorum looming tall over the human, his scythe and shield dwarfing his opponent easily. And yet, when Kasoria spoke, it was Prae that felt a shudder flicker down his spine. But the mercenary was long experienced in dealing with his own fear, and held his head high and his voice even as he responded.

“No.”

And with that, Prae attacked, with a flurry of quick jabs of his scythe to test the human’s reflexes and speed. He needed to keep this one occupied, and hope that Ricky knew what to do.
word count: 729
Let's play 'What's Weird About Prae'

Head

  • A fiery rune shines under his right eye
  • A firey glow in the back of his mouth

Arms

  • A ring of blue runes floats over each of Prae's wrists
  • A silver shield marks the back of his right hand
  • A ring of light around his left forearm

Misc

  • His tail is about eight feet long, usually knotted around his waist
  • His body temperature is uncomfortably high

Surroundings

  • Wind gusts with every step he takes
  • The area around him is slightly more static-y than normal
User avatar
Kasoria
Peer Reviewer
Peer Reviewer
Posts: 2031
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2016 3:34 am
Race: Human
Renown: 1260
Character Sheet
Character Wiki
Plot Notes
Templates
Wealth Tier: Tier 5

Featured

Contribution

Milestones

RP Medals

Miscellaneous

Events

Re: Scale and Shadow (Prae)

Image
Fucking heroes.

Kasoria had a dim view of heroics. He could understand sacrificing yourself for someone else, if that person was loved above all else, or was so important to you that for them to die would be a dire calamity. A bodyguard taking a blade meant for his king, a brother dying for a sister... these were not truly heroics. They were the wages of love; the cost of devotion, for such things were not the shining and precious qualities they were without a steep cost. But wandering into private quarrels and sticking your oar in? That was just fucking well annoying.

Not something you're unfamiliar with.

The little assassin narrowed his eyes in annoyance. Well. He was only human. What was this monster's excuse?

The Ithecal moved a beat before he got a chance to. Fucking Fates, but he could move for a creature so massive. The war-scythe jabbed out at him, curved blade long as a short sword at the end of a shaft and yet all Kasoria could see of the wielder was a thick, armored limb. The Ithecal was not stupid: he was strong enough to use the polearm like a sword, hiding himself behind his massive shield. The Raggedy Man's gladius darted out, knocked the scythe aside-

-hacking back towards the great lizard in a riposte-

CLANG

-only for the blade to find wood and metal instead of anything he could wound. And a moment later, the scythe jabbed for him again. Questing, probing-

Testing. Too much control. Too much repetition. His mind murmured the words so fast they were almost a buzz. Feeding him observations and conclusions like his brain had flipped a switch and become nothing but a tactical analysis mechanism. He's finding your rhythm. Your speed and your style. And once he does-

He'll stop playing with his food.


Kasoria growled as yet another thrust was parried away by his gladius, but he was fast losing ground. Damnit, but he was so stupid. The Ithecal had every mundane advantage: armor, length, size, and the differences in speed were negligible. Only his style was... less pragmatic, than the killer's. More sprouting from military drill and line formations than the savagery of an Oh'Pee brawl or Wilderness ambush. Kasoria could barely even see around the lizard as he kept up the pressure. But he knew he didn't have long, and he couldn't dance around forever-

Enough.

The Ithecal's scythe-spear thrust out for him again, and this time Kasoria's gladius flashed out and parried it aside-

-and he was already lunging forwards before the Ithecal had drawn back his weapon. Little human getting close and under Prae's reach, a burst of speed he'd been holding back for the whole exchange. The lizard blinked and it seemed as if the little human had Ruptured away from him, going from in front of him to the side-

-his weapon side, not his shield side-

Find something, anything!

Kasoria snarled as his karambit backhanded across the trunk-like leg of the Ithecal. Metal ground against metal, trying to find a chink but unable to-

-until it got around the thick plate at the front, covering thigh and knee and shin, until it gouged into leather, behind the thigh and the knee-

Kasoria ground his weapon into the softer, connecting material he found there. He couldn't tell if he'd found any flesh (well, scale), no telltale roar of pain nor slice through surface tissue into muscle and fat, the rasping grind against the bone further down. But he'd found a weakness. The joints. In the rear of the monster's plate armor, for covering a body so vast entirely would make it almost impossible for him to

Move!

The assassin almost yelped as a shield as broad as his torso and then some swung towards him in retaliation for his assault. He threw himself backwards just in time to feel the rush of air against his face, broad shield big enough to generate a gust like a hurricane. The assassin stepped back a few paces and steadied himself, Ithecal turning back to him and-

No you fucking don't.

Now it was Kasoria's turn to be on the defensive. His gladius thrust high and drew the Ithecal's shield up, then he twisted away from the countering scythe thrusting for his stomach. The gladius came back down in a vertical arm, slamming into the haft of the long weapon just above the head, wood splintering, exposing his side to the Ithecal-

Come on, see it, you've been waiting for an opening, here it is-

Who roared like a saurian of ancient times and charged him, shield leading the way, enough animal force and trained ferocity to knock Kasoria across the room-

-only for the Etzori to clench his fist and with a wordless bark a shimmering Shield was throw up in front of Prae. But the Ithecal kept surging on, guessing this barrier wasn't the wall-thick monster he'd cast before. And he was right. It was just a regular Shield. Thick and effective, but one cast in the span of a trill was probably not thick enough to withstand the charge of an armored Ithecal.

One infused with Backlash, however...

BOOM

"Bloody 'neath..."

Ricky watched with wide eyes as his friend was knocked clear off his feet as his shield smashed into the shimmering energy field around the murderous little human. Every ounce of pressure and kinetic energy Prae launched as Kasoria was absorbed and redirected by the spell crackling through the ether Shield. The effect shattered it, of course, making Kasoria stagger from the etheral exertion, but it did it's job. Prae would feel his arm go numb as his own vast strength was turned against him, sending him flying and skidding, barely on one knee.

Move! Ricky thought with a swallow, resuming his skulking scuttle to the barely-moving girl. He's depending on you!

There was that low, rasping sound again. The human was still standing. Prae was getting back to his feet. Under the darkness of the hood, he could make out a faint smile; a slash of white and dirty yellow. Energy crackled around the human again, and this time Prae could see layers of replicated energy start to form around the assassin. He wouldn't be facing the Ithecal unarmored again, it seemed.

"Gotta say, I do relish a challenge," Kasoria admitted, as if confessing something shameful. "But I ain't got time fer-"

"Come on, get up!"

His gaze snapped to the hushed whisper from across the room. He turned and saw Ricky start to hoist Terice upright, body weight dragging him down before making him stagger. Assassin and... guide, he supposed, stared at each other for a long moment. Kasoria snarled. Ricky swallowed. Then the Raggedy Man threw out his arm and another tentacle of ether started to fly from it-

-just as a shadow as looming as an avalanche fell over him.

Fucking idiot, he thought as he turned to find Prae very much still in the fight, and unwilling to ignore his grievous lapse in focus. This is gonna hurt.
word count: 1216
Common Speech | Thoughts | Ith'ession Speech | Speech of Others
User avatar
Praetorum
Approved Character
Posts: 1425
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2019 11:08 am
Race: Ithecal
Profession: Mercenary
Renown: 1020
Character Sheet
Character Wiki
Plot Notes
Letters
Point Bank Thread
Storybook
Wealth Tier: Tier 5

Featured

Contribution

Milestones

RP Medals

Miscellaneous

Events

Re: Scale and Shadow (Prae)


Date: 14th of Vhalar, Arc 719
Status: Standing at the ready

Weapons: Scythe, Shield
Armor: Platelike Leather

Current Magical Effects
Rune of Focus
Chained Rune of Strength and Endurance (Diffused)
In a duel, Prae had learned through painful experience, the winner was the one who could grasp their opponents strengths and weaknesses first, and formulate a plan to deal with them. Things that a warrior didn't know about, things that a warrior didn't understand—those were the bane of a strong fighters existence. In his cycle among the Yari, he had witnessed many times how a single surprise could bring mercenaries much more powerful than himself to his knees. 


Prae had encountered two such surprises in the span of mere bits.

The first had been at the very beginning of the battle, when Praetorum had opened up his omnivison, and found his opponent, and a significant area around him, was nothing but a blur to Prae's attunement spark. And, as Prae discovered when he tried to caress his scythe with wind, any spark at all. 


The second was right now, as the force of Praetorum's own blow was thrown back against him. Prae had braced himself forwards in anticipation of slamming into a barrier, and was off balance when the backlash hit; the force of it sent him flying backwards. Prae had been body slammed by other, larger ithecal before, but none of them had ever knocked him clean off his feet like this. It was perhaps the first time that Prae understood to his bones just how much stronger he'd become, just how much stronger his first had made him. And how that strength could be used against him. 


Prae's only saving grace was the the blow had thrown him out of range of the human's anti-magic aura, and the wind reached out to him immediately, catching him and dragging him to his feet. Even so, it took a few precious moments for Prae to reorient himself and catch his breath, moments that the human used to try and reach his real goal: the woman Ricky was trying to pull to safety.

Alone, Ricky probably could have avoided the chain—the hooded man was fast, but so was Ricky. It was only Prae's orders that had him carrying the unconcious woman like a stone around his neck. And even as Kasoria's chain flew towards him, Ricky held on tight to his charge; partly because he had always been the kind to follow orders through no matter what, but mostly....

Mostly, because he trusted in Prae. The ithecal had earned that trust, time and time again, and he earned it now, launching himself at his opponent, far faster than a creature his size had any right to be. A scant few moments before the chain reached Ricky, Praetorum's scythe shot past Kasoria's face, hooking the chain and dragging it off course. A fraction of a heartbeat later, Praetorum's shield slammed, once more, into an abrogation shield Kasoria had reflexively set up behind him. 


But with only an instant to react, the shield Kasoria laid at his back had neither the thickness nor the backlash of the last, and the ithecal's bulk ploughed right through it, smashing into the abrogator and his new formed armor. 


Prae had braced himself for another backlash, and he'd smothered the force of his own attack, just a little, to be able to keep his feet. But none came, and he crashed into Kasoria hard enough to make the man stumble, but not lose his footing. 


Still, a stumble was all Prae needed. As long as his enemy was off balance, Praetorum had the advantage, and he pressed it for all it was worth. Where before Prae's fighting form had been defensive, probing, he attacked now with ferocity, trusting in his shield and armor to protect him. Kasoria had to target Prae's weak spots to take him down, something Prae hoped he wouldn't be able to do if pressed with rapid, aggressive attacks. Prae, on the other hand, had the luxury of not needing to connect blows against Kasoria. All he had to do was lock him down, and punish him for doing anything other than defend himself. 


Behind him, Ricky took advantage of the breathing room Prae had bought him, and hoisted the still unconcious woman up onto his shoulders. He didn't look back as he headed off into the tunnels, only shouting out the closest thing to an encouragement a yari could manage. "Die here, and I'll kill you myself."

And then there was nothing but the sound of fleeing footsteps, and the clashing of steel against steel.
word count: 794
Let's play 'What's Weird About Prae'

Head

  • A fiery rune shines under his right eye
  • A firey glow in the back of his mouth

Arms

  • A ring of blue runes floats over each of Prae's wrists
  • A silver shield marks the back of his right hand
  • A ring of light around his left forearm

Misc

  • His tail is about eight feet long, usually knotted around his waist
  • His body temperature is uncomfortably high

Surroundings

  • Wind gusts with every step he takes
  • The area around him is slightly more static-y than normal
User avatar
Kasoria
Peer Reviewer
Peer Reviewer
Posts: 2031
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2016 3:34 am
Race: Human
Renown: 1260
Character Sheet
Character Wiki
Plot Notes
Templates
Wealth Tier: Tier 5

Featured

Contribution

Milestones

RP Medals

Miscellaneous

Events

Re: Scale and Shadow (Prae)

Image
This is what comes from fucking around!

Kasoria didn't have much time for thinking when the living wall of scales and steel came lunging at him. It was all he could do to keep a grip on his weapons and keep them moving, whirling and slashing in front of him to deflect that nasty polearm. But still, that sentence punched through his mind in short, sharp words. Soaked in recrimination, spat out with frustration. Behind the towering Ithecal, he could see his prey escaping. Carried on the back of that fucking cockroach, deeper into the tunnel. With every second, between every clash of blades, he could hear the echoing footsteps get quieter.

But the Ithecal wasn't letting up. Wasn't giving him a moment to strike back. Make your offense strong enough, and it would suffice for defense, too. Besides, the scaly hero didn't seem to be aiming to outright kill Kasoria: just keep him on the back foot, blocked from his pursuit. The Raggedy Man felt a rush of angry ether surge around him, cloak of shadows perpetually shrouding him seeming to tremble with fury-

Enough of this shit. You had your challenge. Now stop playing-

First of all, he needed space. Space equaled time, and thus options. The Ithecal pressed his attack but Kasoria didn't try to get around him or even engage again. Not properly. The war scythe came slashing at him again and this time his gladius went up to meet it-

CLANG

-blinding light making the Ithecal grunt, giving Kasoria a half-trill of confusion to throw himself back, arms out to his sides, fall to his back turning into a roll and when Prae's vision cleared the human would be crouching a good ten feet away-

-karambit-clutching fist thrown out in front of him-

-and suddenly, the Ithecal wouldn't be able to move at all. From the knees down, anyway.

Kasoria had since learned that it wasn't just what you were casting that effected the speed of the spell, it was how big you were making it. A Shield to cover a man would take longer than one blocking a mere dagger to the stomach. Trying to harden all of the air around the mountain of muscle in front of him would take too long; likely the scaly sod would break free of it. So instead Kasoria focused his ether from the floor up... to about the knees. He poured his will and his Spark into the cast, turning the air around Prae's lower legs into first water than mud then dirt... until finally, it was something intractable.

Not for long.

The Ithecal was stymied for a moment, but Kasoria doubted that would. Without pause Kasoria dashed in closer, weapons ready, charging straight at Prae... and letting him watch. His legs may have been pinned, but his arms were not, and they were the danger. The reptile would already be raising his shield and polearm, ready to fight despite his partial immobility, and that's what Kasoria wanted.

Because once he got within a handful of yards, he sent a mental command to the Shackles around Prae's legs. A very simple one.

Upside down.

And that's just what happened to Prae. With a demented whirl of movement and a clattering of metal, the Shackles at his feed would make a half-moon progression from at the floor, to about a foot above his head... and they would take his legs with them. Which would mean he would go with them. Upside down, dangling in the air, balance ruined and concentration battered by the sudden whirling motion-

-maybe just in time to see Kasoria take a flying leap at him, teeth ground in fury-

CRACK

-both feet slamming into the Ithecal's breastplate, as fast as the human could launch himself with so short a run up. In the same instant of impact, the Raggedy Man killed the Shackles holding the huge reptile up, and Prae went flying and falling in the same moment. Crashing back down to the stone in a collection of bruised scales and clanking metal.

Wind knocked out of him. Won't last.

The human itched to pulse his ether into the gladius, awaken Shadow Slayer and and bring it to crackling, lightning-forged life. The blade in that form would be easily capable of chopping that polearm in two, even piercing the lizard's armor. But no... no, he would need his magic, and Slayer did make it such a bother to use after it had a taste. And besides...

He didn't know her. What she is. Who she is. He ain't one of Sintra's. He's just in the way.

"That wuz a warnin'," Kasoria barked as he started to jog away from the slowly-rising Ithecal, down the tunnel now open to him where Ricky and Terice had vanished down. "Next time, yer dead. I got business wiv' that Sintra-lovin' cunt, an' youse an' fuckin' wiv' it." Kasoria turned away and his last words Prae would hear from the darkness that swallowed him up as he broke into a run into the tunnel. "I'll try t'spare yer man. But no promises..."

Then the Raggedy Man breathed in deep, and with an exhale more like a bellow the air behind him crackled into life. Another Shield, erected by his tiring Spark. He felt what seemed like an invisible blade gouge into him, as his Spark warned him he was pushing too far. But the Ithecal needed to be slowed down. So he poured his ether into the construct behind him and then let it be. He knew it would stand for... two or three bits. Usually it would be a solid four, but this would be an Ithecal pounding in it.

All I'll need.

The Raggedy Man spat to the side, not seeing the blood in his mucus but certainly tasting it, and ran faster.
word count: 1004
Common Speech | Thoughts | Ith'ession Speech | Speech of Others
User avatar
Praetorum
Approved Character
Posts: 1425
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2019 11:08 am
Race: Ithecal
Profession: Mercenary
Renown: 1020
Character Sheet
Character Wiki
Plot Notes
Letters
Point Bank Thread
Storybook
Wealth Tier: Tier 5

Featured

Contribution

Milestones

RP Medals

Miscellaneous

Events

Re: Scale and Shadow (Prae)



Date: 14th of Vhalar, Arc 719
Status: Worried for Ricky. Also concussed

Weapons: Scythe, Shield
Armor: Plate Leather

Current Magical Effects
Rune of Focus
Chained Rune of Strength and Endurance (Diffused)
Make that three surprises.

Lights flickered in Prae's eyes, like he'd overloaded a rune of sight on himself, and he growled, left blind as he was startled out of his omnivision. He scrambled mentally for his attunement spark, but it was his eyes that cleared first, landing on his opponent, now just out of reach. 

With his offensive momentum gone, Prae instinctively readied himself for a counter attack—a ranged one, almost certainly, or else the human would have closed the distance between them while Prae had been blinded. The moment he saw Kasoria's fist shoot out, he dropped his shield into a steadier position, anticipating some sort of magical force attack, and shifted into a defensive stance. 


At least, he tried to. 


The wind's shrill cry layered and echoed strangely as the air around Prae's feet turned first into sludge, then to stone. The sound his kin crying out set his defiance spark on edge, and Prae immediately tried to seize control of the solidified air and free it from this unnatural shape. But something about it was wrong, slippery, and he was forced to give it up almost immediately as his opponent lunged towards him. 


The human was quick, but Prae had had combat reflexes beaten into him arcs ago by the legion; he steadied his shield, and readied his scythe, prepared to counter no matter what direction his opponent chose to attack from. Deeply aware of how dangerous this immobility was for him, Praetorum narrowed his focus onto the charging human, acutely aware that a heartbeat of hesitation here might see him bloodied or worse. In that moment, there was nothing in Praetorum's mind but Kasoria, and the blade he wielded.

Which was why, when the world lurched and flipped on its head, he couldn't understand what was happening until the full force of a charging, leaping ball of muscle and anger smashed directly into his chest. A fraction of a heartbeat later, his back and head slammed into the stone wall of the room, knocking out a small shower of dust and rock from the ceiling. Prae's vision went spotty, and his head ached from being spun and smashed in such quick succession. And still, he forced himself to his feet, ribs aching as he rose again with the wind's support. 


He was more dazed than damaged, he knew, but he didn't have the time to properly recover—not with the human disappearing down the tunnel after Ricky. He charged... again, too late, slamming into a shield of solid air, almost the same time that the human's words sank into his head. 


Tricks and treachery! Suspicion snarled in him. The Etzori didn't wish to fight any longer, and was lying just to get Prae to stop, to get Prae to hand over the woman. 


Prae thrust out a hand, his defiance spark already reaching for the stone of the tunnel ahead, ready to bring them crashing down before his opponent's face, to cut off the human's escape. 


He didn't, and a few moments later, the human was out of sight. Prae ground his teeth together, pressing a hand against his head. He needed to think, but the concussion he was pretty sure he had was not helping with that in the least. A follower of Sintra? Could he take that chance? He'd thought the webmistress was well regarded in Etzos, but perhaps...

Prae shook his head. He could think about all of that later. Whether the woman was one of Sintra's or not, Ricky was still in danger. 


Focusing intently on the shield of unnatural air, Prae threw his own magic against Kasoria's, trying to seize control of the element. It would take too much time and ether to attack the whole thing, but....

There. A line along the center of the shield where at Prae's command, the air did its best to loosen, to spread out; a hairline fracture in an otherwise perfect defense. 


Prae backed up one, two, three steps, and then charged with all his strength, slamming his shield once more against Kasoria's barrier.


This time, it shattered, and Praetorum charged down the corridor after Kasoria, reaching out with defiance once more. He might not have been able to sense Kasoria, but the man left traces behind, swirls of wind and settling dust that Prae used to track him. 


It didn't take too long for the three of them to collide once more, when Prae skidded around a corner to find Kasoria locking blades with a harried looking Ricky. 


"Prove it to me!" Prae bellowed, his voice reaching the pair faster than he could. The sound of his own voice reverberating through the stone tunnels drove a dull thud of pain through his aching head, and he couldn't help grimacing as he continued. "Show me she's one of Sintra's, and we'll leave her to you without another fight."
word count: 871
Let's play 'What's Weird About Prae'

Head

  • A fiery rune shines under his right eye
  • A firey glow in the back of his mouth

Arms

  • A ring of blue runes floats over each of Prae's wrists
  • A silver shield marks the back of his right hand
  • A ring of light around his left forearm

Misc

  • His tail is about eight feet long, usually knotted around his waist
  • His body temperature is uncomfortably high

Surroundings

  • Wind gusts with every step he takes
  • The area around him is slightly more static-y than normal
Post Reply Request an XP Review Claim Wealth Thread

Return to “Western: Etzos”