Author Topic: Ashes of Xavax  (Read 264 times)

JeVondair

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Ashes of Xavax
« Topic Start: December 21, 2016, 06:40:58 AM »

ASHES OF XAVAX: A Roleplay - Part I

They came at first light. The sentries had been killed. The alarm towers silenced. The Defenders of Xavax did not know they were under attack until fire arrows lit the pre-dawn sky, raining down upon the Palisade.


But even at the worst of times such as these, the Xavax were no easy prey...


Godric Tórrarin ka Habb, Vice-Marshal of the Phoenix of Xavax, was the first to man the defenses, rallying what troops they had to meet the horde of bandits that suddenly poured from the forests of Enubec. Talon Lionel and Xerarch Selenia were right behind him, alongside Prince Hector Serpantis Tandaros and Knights Julian Emily, Victorique, and Viktoria. Together, these 8 faced off against more than double their number, forming a shieldwall to protect their ruler.


Before the attackers reached bow-range, they stopped and a single speaker stepped forward. Selenia could not make out who he was, but she heard the voice
"WRETCHES OF XAVAX! It seems we caught you with your pants down again!" Mumbled chuckles reverberated through the enemy lines. "Perhaps you'll see reason and bend over easily this time?" Selenia could not see the gestures she was sure accompanied the words, but they were met with outright guffaws from the bandit lines.


"MAYBE IF YOU HAD ANYTHING SUBSTANTIAL BETWEEN YOUR LEGS...OR BETTER YET, BETWEEN YOUR EARS-" Selenia shouted back "We Xavax might have cause some for concern!" Her jibe found a mark among her own soldiers, rousing them to mirth that even the bandits could hear clearly.


"HAVE IT YOUR WAY, WITCH OF XAVAX! CHAAAAAAAAARGE!-"


And so the bandits came


and came


and came


The Defender's of Xavax, outnumbered though not outmatched, were nevertheless whittled down. Selenia hereself was the first to be wounded by an errant blade that somehow found it's way through the growing cracks in the shield wall. Growling in pain, she fought on. But the conclusion of this battle was already written. Lionel and Godric both suffered wounds as the defenders were overwhelmed. To their horror, Selenia and her Fearless fought on, foolishly holding the line while the wounded withdrew. Indeed, she fought on until she was the last noble of Xavax standing. The Xerarch was slowly enveloped, and their bloodied blades went to work...
And then for her there was only darkness.


Xerarch Selenia of Xavax fell that day. Cut down by High Justice Walsh of Minas Nova. The bandits broke through the defenders, singing, crowing their victory as they sacked the city.


ASHES OF XAVAX: A Roleplay - Part II

Godric Ka Habb was a man that new himself. He knew he knew his men, he new is oaths, and he knew his god.
And so it was that the Old Tórrarin knew his duty.


There was no way, no way in all the hells, that he was going to leave his liege Selenia's body on the field for thos carrion thugs from the west to pick over. He gathered his fiercest fighters, those few that were not wounded, and set out amid the confusion of the Sacking of Xavax. The bandits had spilled into the city, looting wantonly. Most were drunk to insensibility, and those few that wandered into his path were ruthlessly cut down. Every time his men spilled more bandit blood, Godric's grim expression cracked the barest smile.


Before long, they'd reached the Palisade where Selenia had fallen. Bracka, Alara's Captain General, had set a couple guards to watch over the Xerarchs remains...no doubt to ensure that she could desecrate them herself once she had the time. They died quickly and painfully, grabbed and castrated where they stood, their throats slit and left to bleed out while Godric himself collected her body.


The former Arbiter of Xavax was by no means a small man, but even he was surprised by how....small...Selenia seemed now. Tiny really, she could not have been more than 5'4 and barely any heft at all to his great arms, even in armor. His men formed a cordon around him as they slipped through enemy lines and back to the city, to Tórrarinhall, the very estate Selenia had granted to him in the earliest days of Xavax,


The Hall was far from the merchant district, where the majority of the bandits were reveling. Taking no breaks and accepting no aid. Any bandits that got in his way, died. Any peasants that recognized his burden and tried to touch her, died. Any servants that did not make haste to get out of his retinue's way, died. And with none of its great fires lit, it seemed a cold and imposing place unworthy of interest...just as Godric had planned. He carried the Xerarchs body the entire way himself. He did not take rest until he'd laid the Xerarch's body down himself in stately repose upon a berm built up over one of the great firepits beneath a smokehole in the Hall's ceiling high above from which sunlight filtered down, caressing Selenia's features as though trying to stoke the fires that once burned within her.


Godric's gaze hardened at the sight. He was no stranger to death. There was no hope. This was the best he could do for her. This and kill as many of the bandit bastards that did this to her as he could possibly get his hands. Their mothers he vowed silently will weep tears of blood when they see what I've done to them...
"Glory to Xavax" he muttered under his breath as he stalked out of the Hall.


ASHES OF XAVAX: A Roleplay - Part II

Pain


Darkness


The sensation of Falling


She was freezing, burning, suffocating...and the harshest of winds howled around her. Through her.


Then...nothingness.


She had no eyes, and yet felt them flutter open. She could see nothing but darkness, an infinite blackness through the eternal howling of that fearful wind. And yet...she could make out...lights. Tiny lights, like stars, being blown by the wind.


There were thousands of them. Millions of them. An untold number of lights being swept into and through that black abyss by that howling wind.
And, like candles and twinkling stars, they were being snuffed out.


She had only just enough time to realize this before she was caught up in the maelstrom herself, snatched by the wind like a leaf in autumn swirling ever deeper into the unknown. The wind tore at her, trying to rip her apart, to blow her away and scatter what was left of her. But she fought it. She fought the temptation to give up and be blown into Oblivion. She was frightened, terribly so, just as she had been on the day that Litch had come for her on Madina, or when that Judge of Falkirk that had killed her husband and then captured her. She spun end over end, weightless but feeling as though she were being crushed and shattered. She let the pain of it, the fear of it, pass through her. Mastering it as Lionel had taught her her all those years ago. She focused as best she could, delving deep into the ether within herself. Harnessing the pain and fear to fuel her rage, fighting for any sort of purchase against the wind. Though she tumbled, her vision remained clear. She could see the other lights growing closer, collected into a jetstream by the ruthless howling. And in those little lights, she could see...expressions, faces. As if to mock her, one of those lights was pushed closer to her than the rest. Lighting struck her as she recognized the face of Xander, the Captain of her Fearless unit who had been with her through it all. His visage was a mask of terror. He could not see her, though she struggled, could not hear her, though she shouted, and she watched his eyes roll up into his head, watched as he visibly gave up. And the moment it happened, his light, his soul, winked out. Shredded by the merciless wind and swelled forever into the darkness. He was not alone. Hundreds of souls followed him into oblivion, and Selenia could feel that fate tearing at her as well. Her anger evaporated, overwhelmed by a renewed fear within her that was ten times as strong.


She screamed then, screamed like she had never done before. Even when monsters had been near to devouring her, when undead had surrounded her, when assassins and traitors had cornered her, she screamed. And her frightful sounded melded with the millions upon millions of souls around her, forming the very wind that drove their lights blazing to extinction, each lost to their personal despair.


Selenia imagined wrapping her arms around herself, curling into a little ball as her spirit streaked like a comet through the abyss. And just when she thought she could take no more, a sound like a tiny silver bell somehow rang through the darkness and the howls of the damned to tickle her ear. She knew that sound and instinctively reached for it, longed for it with all the might her soul had left.


She knew that sound.


She loved that sound.


She grew closer to it, letting the crystal clear, clean ring of it guide her and envelope her. It was the sound of daylight, composed of many notes...the playful yips of Gia's wolves, Kin Hyral's secret smile, Uthred beaming in the corner, Caedwyn singing the song...welcoming...welcoming...


Högni


The silver bell, and all the notes that made up its sound, was the voice of her son laughing in her arms the day he was born as her closest friends and retainers croweded in to greet the her beautiful little Prince...


Somewhere distant, she could hear Uthred's familiar voice..."She is one of ours..." And as if by some command, that horrible, soul-scything wind fell silent, the blackness fell away, and was replaced by white. EVERYWHERE white, with no up or down.


She was somewhere else, she could feel it, and the Great Terror was faded. This was not Xavax...

ASHES OF XAVAX: A Roleplay - Part IV
Whiteness.


No Up.


No Down.


Just an endless expanse of white. She shouted, but her voice echoed off of nothing and unto a million nowheres...only to reverberate back to her, swelling like a great wave..gentle at first...but becoming a towering invisible force with 1000 times the volume, forcing her down to a knew with hands clapped about her ears.


Knees...


Pressure.


Something...underfoot?


Selenia opened here eyes. She blinked, she could blink! Instinctively she smiled, shaky with relief, but the muscles in her face felt odd, as if they were not used to her using them that way. She shrugged off the sensation, content to simply breath. She swelled her chest with fresh mountain air, but even this felt strange, as though her longs were subtly different. And was that mountain air? She looked around, but there was only whiteness. She looked down, and her paws crunched into fresh snow. Even as this registered, the vision expanded. She watched as a true mountain god-like proportions revealed itself beneath her. The limbo whiteness gave way like clouds of mist to reveal crags that could swallow cities, aglow from within with the blood of the mountain flowing miles and miles beneath her. Power seemed to thrum from the glowing crags of the great mountain, glowing brighter reds and oranges, a rumble like a thousand thunders trembled through the rock, its voice so deep and powerful that Selenia's first instinct was to quaver in abject terror at the force of it. She grimaced, showing all her teeth and fangs as she bowed her head, shut her eyes and curled her tufted tail around herself.


The rumbling grew greater. Avalanches of snow and rock shook from the mountainsides, falling into the deep crags to explosive effect. Great clouds of steam made mist from the snow, hitting the magma far below rose before her, backlit to fiery hues of red and orange and gold. But the mist did more than simply rise...it coalesced to a single point, a broiling sphere, revolving around an epicenter in the sky before her her, rotating like a broiling storm of clouds and flame and light. Growing exponentially with such explosive fury that the thunder of a million Cavalry would have been lost within it.


Eyes closed, Selenia did not see the primordial god-thing forming before her, lost as she was in her fear of it. Then as though summoned The pall of the silver bell again tolled through her mind. Her son, she could feel him as though he had a golden thread of magic tugging right at her heart...and something more. She felt it as she felt her own heartbeat, and was reminded that this, even this, could not have been worse than the Abyss.


Selenia opened her eyes and looked. She was still alone atop the pinnacle of that monolithic mountain, but it was alone in a night sky aswhirl with stars and galaxies, seeming to float through the endless pocket of sky. But this time, those little lights were stars, not souls. Before her, the sphere of roiling fury and light floated, planet sized. It's radiance bathed her in the heat of magic equal and opposite the fury of the Abyssal wind. Selenia felt...strengthened, rather than shredded, and at the core of her, the silver bell rang ceaselessly in her heart, helping Selenia to grasp her boldness again. She looked square at the sphere before her and knew it to be alive.
And then it roared


It was the only word Selenia could think of to put to name the sound it made when she finally faced it. It was like the thrumming of the Great Mountain combined with the searing, life granting heat of the sun. The sound of a fire great enough to hold back the tides of the deep sea itself. It hit her like a comet, stunning her senseless. For a moment, she lost all sense of who and what she was, everything she had ever been was blasted and seared away...save for the constant, joyous ringing of the bell at the core of her being. Her essence, her very soul, refused to be parted from it, wrapping itself protectively around it, formlessly at first, but gaining strength as she reformed herself with a Will she had not know she possessed. Black lips curled back in a fierce snarl, razorsharp black claws unsheathed from four paws, slashing into the very rock of the mountain side, bracing her from being blown away from the primordial's might. Great muscles rippled along her legs and shoulders and her tail streaked in the wind of god-thing's fury as she reared her head, opened golden eyes glowing with a might and power all her own. Alone atop that titanic mountain stood a lioness, golden. She was less than a kitten compared to what she faced, barely a speck. But she had Endured. Fearless, she bared her teeth in hope and rage...


And she


Roared


Back


Comparatively, it must have been no more than a drop in a bucket. But she was heard. You see? a familiar voice spoke from the ether. I told you...
And then there was a blackness that swallowed her world yet again. But this time, Selenia, awash with magic, felt no fear. The silver bell still tolled, summoning her, guiding her like a lighthouse to a lost ship. She could feel her formless self smiling as she drifted through the warm, comforting dark, her body shining golden all its own and radiating the energy of her rebirth. But she thought of none of this...only of sleep.


And of waking...

ASHES OF XAVAX: A Roleplay - Part V
Agony was her entire world. From the tips of her toes to the pinnacle of her skull, everything was a fire with pain. She felt as though an inferno had ravaged her tortured lungs as they expanded for the first time in to long, at last drawing breath. Her back arched with the sudden flash of torment racing through her veins as her buddy greedily sucked down air, forcing her chest to expand further and spearing each and every one of her nerve endings in the process.


A deluge of sensations flooded her senses. She felt true summer sunlight on her skin from above, smelled the scent of cedar pine and mead and sweat and dried blood. At first, she could see nothing, her face a tortured grimace as someone gently placed a damp towel over her eyes to help moisten them, at last allowing her to blink. She turned her head to face whoever it was, slowly turning her body to lie on her side. She reached out with a paw to brace herself...only to find that her simple human hand was not strong enough. Gravity took it's course and Selenia fell off the berm, igniting a renewed firestorm of anguish as she collapsed on the floor below.


Footsteps.


Someone racing to her side.


Her head cradled in a lap.


Moisture...WATER! on her lips. She drank gratefully, croaking in protest when the bowl was taken from her. "Not so quickly, my Lady, or your body will make you pay for it."


"Jer...Jeroen?" She said raspily


"The one and only, freshly returned because I heard those Perdanite daimons were up to their old tricks."


"Wha-" Selenia gasped, eyes darting wildly. Darting down to her hands as if to confirm they were indeed hands. Fading sigils of eldritch power, the healing magic Jeroen used on her, were still fading into her rejuvenated skin like glowing tattoos...not onlike the Fountain of Youth Magic Scroll she'd used on herself in order to safely give birth to her son.


Her Son!


Selenia jerked, trying to sit up, but her muscles refused to obey and Jeroen restrained her before she could hurt herself again. "Try not to speak, my Lady Xerarch," Jeroen hushed her. "You've had a rough night. You're very fortunate Sir Godric went out and brought you back to Tórrarinhall. And you have the gods-own luck that I was here and just so happened to have a magic scroll to help. Yes, yes, very lucky indeed. Why I even-" But Selenia, he saw, was struggling to even remain conscious. One final word escaped her lips.


"Hög-ni..." she struggled.


"We'll find the prince and bring him to you, Xerarch." But Selenia had already gone limp. This time, though, her chest rose and fell steadily. He checked her pulse, satisfied that it was even. He allowed himself a moment to marvel at the irony of this woman, who ruled a realm that had taken the Phoenix as its symbol, and how she literally embodied that symbol now.



When he was sure Selenia was in a deep, healthful sleep, he summoned help at the top of his lungs. Servants and warriors came running, blades bare and expecting trouble, but skidding to a halt at the sight that greeted them.


"Send word far and wide" Jeroen declared. "The Xerarch Lives. And when she wakes up, I'd hate to be her enemy" There was a moment of stunned, almost reverent silence before Chaos broke out as questions were asked and answered and orders issued and obeyed. Tórrarinhall came alive around them. "Especially one of those damned dirty Perdanites..." Jeroen whispered quietly to himself, smiling at the thought.



"Behavior that's admired is the path to power among people everywhere"

JeVondair

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Re: Ashes of Xavax
« Reply #1: December 21, 2016, 06:42:37 AM »
All other roleplay's and messages concerning this event can be found at http://wiki.battlemaster.org/wiki/JeVondair_Family/Selenia/Death
"Behavior that's admired is the path to power among people everywhere"

JeVondair

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Re: Ashes of Xavax
« Reply #2: December 21, 2016, 05:22:00 PM »
The Parts were delayed by about 2 hours each, as I work full time. What follows is one of the most amusing and endearing messages I've ever gotten.


Out-of-Character from Gilth Gildre   (21 hours, 13 minutes ago)
message to all nobles of Greater Xavax


Tristan sat at his computer, reading the mind-altering role play from Selenia. As the story peaked to the climax, he read the last line:


Quote
(TO BE CONTINUED IN 2 HOURS)

He stared blankly at the screen, unable to comprehend the words.


Two hours? Like, 120 minutes?


The reality sank in, and Tristan felt the desire to know more tear at the inside of his chest like a wild animal.


"What the hell am I supposed to do for two hours??" he demanded of the computer angrily.


Whelp, he thought, This is happening now...


Tristan continued to click refresh on his browser for two hours.


Tristan Barkwell
"Behavior that's admired is the path to power among people everywhere"