Discussion in 'Fall from Heaven Lore' started by KillerClowns, Jun 29, 2008.
Yikes. I can't tell if that was depressing or not. I think . . . yes.
One out of three did fine.
The original answer was yes, but I played around with it for a bit. Then I decided, "this is Erebus we're talking about. And the Mercurians, who seem to score among evils civs, and lower than the Balseraphs, in 'which civ would you most want to live in' type threads..."
As you can see, things took a turn for the darker at that point.
EDIT: I hadn't really thought of it as depressing, per se, though. This exact sort of incident would be exceedingly rare in Erebus, due to the sheer numbers employed by both sides, and the fact that families will typically follow the same religion and go the same way. But other than the fact that Tobias happened to bump into his sister, his story is pretty typical of any Infernal foot soldier. The brief glimmer of druid-given hope was unique, although in this case, that didn't go so well... I'd dumped plenty of previous endings as too feel-good, and distant from Erebusian themes. The druidic ending was the first one that really seemed to offer a good ending to a fundamentally tragic story... although it finally occurred to me that ending it nicely would cost the tale some of its power. (If being turned into a tree can be considered pleasant, though at least it's preferable to the alternative for an Infernal.)
Heh, I think that the Good-Evil chart is a circle. The polar end of "Good" meet with the polar end of "Evil" and are the same, its the middle that is furthest from evil.
That is Cassiel's view too. He doesn't really differentiate between Basium and Hyborem at all.
Nice story. I love this thread .
I just wanted to leave a public thank you to KillerClowns. Based on this thread I asked him to do some writing for one of the "Ice" scenarios. He did an amazing job and produced some really cool stuff you guys will be able to check out later.
So thank you to KillerClowns, I'm a big fan of his writing and its awesome to have his work officially in the mod.
Sweet! Congrats KC! I know you will impress us as always.
So Kael, any plans to do some of your own writing when Ice is finished and you have a little more free time? I would love to read your "canon" version of Erebusian history in novel form.
It has been an honor and a pleasure.
I even managed to keep my mouth shut and not announce it to everyone who would listen.
I second that request. I know you're a busy guy, but this little mod had more lore than most of Hollywood's hottest properties. Just when I think I know it all, you casually mention something none of us ever noticed. (Like the connection between Einon Logos' and Valledia's 'pedias... I would have never spotted that.)
Grats man! Write some amazing scenarios!
Wow! KillerClown, I love yours stories!
Another short story. BTW, as all my stories follow on from each other I've started a thread in the stories sub-forum to keep them all together if anyone wants to read the earlier ones without digging through this thread. Just follow the link in my sig.
In Sickness and In Health Part: I
Asterna Lae stood outside the great oak gates of the Council Chamber, a took a deep breath. ''It sounds like a war zone in there'' she thought to herself, clutching Alexis's latest proclamation tightly in her hand. She had always found the Nobleman's Council a terrifying and intimidating place, preferring the far more tame Chambers of Internal Affairs. At last, she summoned all of her courage and knocked on the door. The sound resonated clearly and loudly through the chamber, as if by magic, and the noblemen fell silent.
''Enter!'' Lord Agron called, sitting at his traditional place to the right of the Throne.
Asterna slowly opened the door, which gave a long, ominous creak. Breathing deeply, she walked quickly between the rows of Vampires on either side, keeping her eyes focused solely on Agron, who smiled to see the document in her hands. At the foot of the podium, she bowed her head in a sign of respect and began the short climb upo the stairs to the Ruling Seat, the wooden platform upon which Alexis and her chief advisors sat. Today only Agron sat there. Alexis was allegedly ill with Jeringtosis, a non-fatal sickness that had spread throughout the Calabim Empire of late, and was refusing to see all but her closest companions, choosing to remain locked in her majestic quarters, although most of the Nobility did not truly believe she was ill, and conspiracy stories spread through the Nobility like a forest fire. Agron, the newly appointed Ikrasa of the Empire, had taken it upon himself to dismiss the other advisors of the court, claiming they were unnecessary while Alexis was away. The Ikrasa was a position held by a Vampire of great status or royal favour who's duties were to run the Nobleman's Council and handle the day to day running of the Empire while the Queen was unavailable, a small, but important increase in power for Lord Agron.
Asterna handed Agron the document, and sat down in the empty seat to his right. Somewhere in the crowd a Vampire gasped, but was immediately hushed by her neighbours. To take a seat at the Ruler's Seat uninvited was a disgraceful act, especially for a human, but most of the nobility now saw the way the wind was blowing and turned a blind eye. Agron unrolled the document carefully and began to recite it to the Council, barely needing to refer to the parchment at all, after all he had wrote it himself:
''The Royal Proclamation of War upon the Ljosalfar Court''
A horn sounded, and then another, and another. All around town the city watch called the signal again and again. The Calabim were at war.
Just outside the city walls, regiments of militia readied themselves for the long journey into the forests, gathering their weapons and checking their supplies one final time. ''Agron's Justice'', as they were called, would soon be on the move. In the midst of it all, a round canvas tent stood, guarded by several Moroi. Within, Agron sat at a round table, covered in maps and other documents, with the commanders of each regiment and a Haloi agent, in deep conversation of strategy and tactics.
Although Agron had no intention of taking part in the fighting itself, every aspect of the army's strategy, including the use of Haloi agents in battle, had been designed by him and discussed in detail in the Proclamation of War. On a map of the Eastern world two areas were marked with croses, the Zwir and Razor Forests, the barbaric borderlands beyond the empire and the primary targets of ''Agron's Justice''.
Asterna sat quietly in the Royal Chambers, at the bedside of her Queen. She had been assigned the role of Royal Companion of the Queen while Agron was unable to attend to her himself. She looked over at Alexis, who was asleep, chest gently rising and falling like the tide. She looked like death, Asterna observed, and a wave of pity overcame her. It was difficult to believe that she wasn't really ill, and her unusual sleeping habbits had been caused only by a strange concoction of Agron's, intended to give her some well-deserved rest by bringing sleep to the sleepless. She began to sob, quietly but forcibly, unable to hold back her tears. If Alexis ever did become ill, and died, then what would become of the Empire? Of course, she knew of Agron's plans, and that they did, eventually, require the removal of the Queen, but sometimes she worried. Even if Agron's plans were successful, what would the peasantry think? Although Agron didn't like to admit it, their opinion did matter in these times of change. They were devoted to Alexis entirely, as from a young age every human of the Empire was taught the story of Al-ash-Ir, and how Alexis had saved the first of the Calabim from destruction. Asterna imagined what a powerful woman she must have been in those days, not withering and thin like she was now. She had lived for almost a thousand years, and had seen the Calabim grow stronger and greater by the day, all because of her hard work. Could the Empire even survive without Alexis, she wondered.
Finally got a chance to return to this thread, having weathered an apocalyptic onslaught of Discrete Mathematics... post Euclid's method, and I might go into shellshock.
@Kol.7: Thread subscribed.
Anyways, where was I before reality's rude interruption?
Ozziel looked at the remains of the Profane, contemplating what punishment awaited those found guilty of murdering one. "I hate to state the obvious, but we need to get out of town. Something tells me the next Balor won't be quite as easily distracted. Good news is, I've got a plan. All we have to do is reach the docks. I've got a boat waiting. Bad news is..." Vranton finished. "That means we have to go through the Port District."
The Port District was inarguably the worst part of Galveholm. Aside from a larger-than-usual number of smugglers, slavers, cutpurses, cutthroats, and other unsavory characters, Galveholm's Port District boasted a worrying number of soul-hungry succubi, typically posing as prostitutes but not above assaulting their victims, chaos marauders wandering the dark alleys, and mobius witches eager to test their magic on vagrants. To finish off the vile mixture, the most violent of Galveholm's cults made their home here. They'd yet to become part of the Ashen Veil, mostly because they had no fear of or respect for any law but that given by their demonic lords. Asha drew her sword. "There will be bloodshed before this is over," she said.
They had only walked a few blocks in before Asha's prediction came true. Dusk had settled, and the worst of Galveholm's unpleasant residents were starting to become more ambitious. They tried to stay in the Port District's main roads, but this was difficult, and often, what passed for a main road was merely a wider alley. It was not long before a small gang spotted them. A few appeared in front of them. “Gold, and bodies for Mr. Skull.. Get 'em.” Vranton turned, and, not to his surprise, another squad behind them. “Didn't think you'd be getting away that easily?” They were trapped, and Ozziel didn't seem like a warrior. Asha drew her sword, but it seemed unlikely she could protect both sides. One of the gang's more eager men charged... and fell apart. Some dark figure had, moving with inhuman speed, simply sliced him in half, neatly separating his upper and lower body. His brethren stared. “Dare you challenge the mighty Ozziel?” Ozziel bellowed, waving his hands dramatically. “The next man who steps forward will suffer an even more horrific fate!”
Quietly, Vranton asked, “you're bluffing, aren't you?” Ozziel nodded. “Of course. I have no idea what the hell did that.” The eldest of the gang, presumably its leader, laughed. “A mage. This'll be fun!” Fire hurled from the thug's fingers, charging straight at Ozziel... before suddenly hissing out. The mage then exploded violently, covering his brethren in hot blood.
Vranton looked around, trying to identify the true source of the mystical mayhem protecting them. For a brief moment, he spotted a vague figured wrapped in a cloak blacker than the night itself, peering down at him. He could make little out, other than that it was clearly not human. Try though he might, Vranton simply could not bring himself to look upon long without his eyes wandering away.
Ozziel was putting on his best show, and the gang was dispersing. “Get Mr. Skull!” one screamed. Several more were slain in various horrific ways; one's skeleton seemed to take on a life of its own and tore itself out of its owners body before turning on the rest of the gang. Another was frozen into a solid block of ice, lifted up, and then dashed onto the pavement. A third began to simply melt like a candle. But a few escaped. “Yikes,” Ozziel muttered. “Our guardian angel has a sick sense of humor...”
It was not long before they were again stopped. A thin old man, covered in skulls. “You're in Ratbone territory, mage” he said. His accent was Amurite, and suggested noble lineage, although in appearance he was nothing but a bone-obsessed beggar. “You have dared to challenge us, and you shall pay.” The mage pulled out a scroll and began chanting. A series of runes appeared below him. Ozziel stared. “With a name like that I'd assume necromancer... but that looks like... law magic?”
A squad of glowing figures appeared, ancient warriors from times past. “In the name of Law, and of the One, I challenge you to a duel. We may fight, as equals, or my servants will tear you limb from limb.” Ozziel ignored the offer, asking, “how in the Hells did a law mage end up here?” “That is not your concern,” Mr. Skull declared. “Do you accept my challenge?”
And from the rooftops, a voice said, “yes.”
Mr. Skull looked up, and then stared. “I... I... withdraw my request... I... submit.” “Not accepted.” The figure landed catlike in front of Mr. Skull. “ I grant you the first move,” it said politely. Mr. Skull staggered backwards, before attempting a particularly awesome bolt of flame. His opponent was unscathed. The stranger yawned and, with a wave of his hand, lifted Mr. Skull bodily, flipped him so his head pointed towards the ground, and smashed him down with absurd force.
“Who... are you?” “A friend. Fear not, none shall bother you on your way home.” The figure then added something in Balseraph, then vanished. Seeing questioning glances, Ozziel said, “It's hard to translate. A Balseraph saying, of sorts. 'You shall never fear boredom again.' Equally appropriate for earning a beautiful woman or being sent to a horrific dungeon... anything that will change your life, for better or for worse...”
“Really,” Vranton's savior thought to himself. “Do they think all this was an accident?” Of course, things were going perfectly. There was a saying, after all... if you want a Balseraph to open a box, you have to let them steal it first.
EDIT: And then there's this rather random bit. Just a bit of absurdity in a rural Kuriotate backwater.
Frank whistled tunelessly to himself as he plowed his fields. It would be a good year for wheat, Old Lady Maybelle had reckoned, and Old Lady Maybelle was always reliable. His was a small farm, enough to support his wife and daughter. She was becoming a woman, and a few of the village lads had started to notice this. He knew most of them, and had threatened to murder several. They'd sworn their intents were innocent, but he remembered his own intents at that age. He knew every trick the boys did, and invented a good few of them.
He spotted a nervous, overdressed lad approaching him. “You here to see my daughter?” he asked. “Erm, no. In the, erm,” he fumbled about with a piece of paper, and read from it. “In the name of our esteemed King Cardith Lorda, in the name of Amathon, and in the name of the Golden Dragon, I have been sent to inform you that this land is now property of the King...” Frank was mildly curious. He didn't believe the kid for a second, despite his ludicrous garments. But he knew he was about to witness a wonderfully overblown attempt to get to his daughter, and saw no reason not to go with it. “Alright,” he said, “what for?” “The Mages Guild requires the, er, the mana vein which is, er, well, apparently its somewhere around here...” “And what do I get? A friendly pat on the back?” Frank asked. “Er, there is farmland, at the, well, there's farms somewhere, west,” the young man proceeded to motion vaguely east, “and, y'know, you can work there, and its, well, its good land, and its not right in Orc territory, not really, I mean, from what I've heard...” Frank had to admit, the lad was creative. But Frank knew better. “The message, please?” he said. He took it triumphantly, and briefly read over it. He glanced down at the bottom, and proudly began to declare, “this seal is...”
Then Frank examined the seal.. Frank was the only person for miles around who could read, and was often asked to read off royal proclamations. The lad was really smart, he had to admit. He could write as well, and it was really official looking. Had some lordling's son taken to his dear Lucy? Frank wouldn't mind that. He read it over again, checking for the usual mistakes and misspellings of peasantry. None. He studied the seal. A perfect forgery, or, perhaps even genuine. If what this kid was saying was true... Frank decided to play along. “Tell them I will start leaving at the soonest possible time,” he said. Not that he was about to. “Lad,” he added. “Your name?” “Alexander,” the boy said.
A week later, Alexander returned. “Umm... you don't look like you're packing... you're sort of... not packing...” “Yeah, I said I'd start leaving at the soonest possible time.” What game was this boy playing? Frank was not about to actually leave his farm! If the lordling's son couldn't understand the importance of the daily labors of farming, he certainly didn't want him as a son-in-law, money be damned! Frank continued, playing nice. “And the soonest possible time will be after the harvest.” “The harvest?” “Before winter.” “But... you have to leave, soon... the Mage's Guild won't wait...” “Tell the Mage's Guild that my livelihood depends on this harvest. They can wait.”
That was the last Frank saw of Alexander, until after the harvest. Then he returned, flanked by a pair of centaurs. That concerned him, although centaurs were overrated and underarmored. Nonetheless, Frank made sure he was near his pitchfork. “Now what?” “Well, you said you'd start moving after the harvest...” Damn, that boy was stubborn. “Yes. I will do as Cardith Lorda wills. But I'm really tired of this. What are you really here for?” “Like I said...” A centaur interrupted. “We come in the name of Cardith Lorda to convert this land into a mana node. You will be given twice as much land in the West to make up for it. Any questions?” The kid had nerve. A lot of nerve. Hiring mercenaries to pretend to be guards... he was really starting to hate this whelp. “Forget it. My daughter is already betrothed.” It was true; she was to marry the blacksmith's son. But they were relentless. “Then she can find a new husband in the West.” The centaur motioned, and the boy pulled out a bunch of papers. “Can you read?” “Yeah. Give 'em.” More official looking documents, promising land and gold. Did they take him for a greedy fool? As if the land promised existed. “Excellent forgeries,” he said.
In a more lawless land, Frank knew, those words would have cost him his life. The centaurs would have skewered him and ran off with his daughter, doing unspeakable things to her before giving her to that damnable lordling. But here, there were rules. “We will meet again,” the centaur said.
The very next day, the centaurs brought the city guard. “I knew you were corrupt,” Frank said bluntly. “The only way I'm moving is if Eurabatres herself descends from the sky.” Frank grabbed his pitchfork. They weren't taking him alive. He'd eliminate as many of them as possible. “What,” demanded Alexander, “will it take to convince you that we come sent by Cardith Lorda, and not some well-connected swindlers?” Frank laughed. “Exactly what I said. I'll move without complaint if Eurabatres herself descends from the sky!” They looked at each other. “How badly do we need this mana node?” one of the centaurs asked. “Very, very badly,” responded Alexander. “I wish we could just boot this fool off his land... but after what happened last time..” Alexander trailed off. “Good thing she's not doing anything important.”
A month later, as winter took hold, Frank looked out his window to see a monstrous golden leg. “Holy...” Frank grabbed his pitchfork, walked outside, and stared at the mighty dragon towering over him. Her scales shone, making the snow look dirty by comparison. She looked bored, and was sending snow flying with lazy swipes of her tail. Alexander, filled with a new confidence and now unescorted, beamed at him from her shadow. He handed Frank the papers. Frank said, “I give up. I have no idea how you pulled... that... off, but you can have my daughter. Seriously, you could have just asked.” Alexander shrugged. “It's wasn't really a con. There actually is a mana node planned here. I just made sure I was the one sent to take care of it. I figured it would be a perfect excuse to properly meet your lovely daughter.” Frank grinned. “Well, at least that didn't work.” Alexander nodded. “Of course, seeing as I did all this work, could I at least say hello?” Frank laughed. “Might as well. But if you think of trying any funny business...” before Frank could finish, Alexander pointed towards the dragon. “Were you about to threaten me with the pitchfork?” Frank said, “you think I got a death wish? Excuse me, ma'am!” Frank said to the dragon. “Keep an eye on him, and I've got a nice cow for ya.” The dragon yawned, but pointed one of her massive eyes at Alexander. “No funny business,” Frank said one last time.
Guess they did really need that mana node
I seem to be in an absurdist sort of mood lately.
The crowd went silent, or as silent as a Balseraph crowd can. As the sun dipped below the horizon, torches were lit. Before the show itself, there was always a small, absurd skit. Usually it was ad-libbed, but Perpentach had arranged one especially for this occasion.
An actor, overdressed and managing to look utterly emotionless, stepped onto the stage. Who shall I smite today? he asked, scanning over the crowd. You there, stop picking your nose or I shall cut your hand off! he said, pointing to one man in the crowd. You, woman! You dress as though you were a whore! I am! the woman responded, garnering a few chuckles. You all disgust me, the actor yelled. I am the great and mighty Junil, and I should crush you all!
That wouldn't be very nice, said a timid voice from the side. Another actor entered the stage, a pale, slinking figure dressed in brown. I mean, there's the compact, and... Silence! yelled Junil at the newcomer, who flinched. Cassiel, you little worm! What will you do to stop me from crushing every last one of these dogs! I suppose I could send an adventurer... if I can find one who's still sober... and then ask him nicely to help me... Cassiel said, slowly backing away. Or, maybe I could talk to your followers, you know, have a nice, friendly, philosophical discussion. We don't have to get violent...
Junil pulled out a large, paper sword and began comically thwacking at Cassiel, all the while keeping a stony visage. Making the task harder was Cassiel's begging and pleading, comically overblown. The pleas were ad libbed, and this particular actor was especially brilliant at playing the part of a beaten dog. Eventually, and with one last, I'm sorry, I'm sorry! Cassiel was chased off stage. Now, who else dares oppose the mighty Junil?
The real Cassiel watched this from his seat in the VIP box. Perpentach's usual hospitality at work. Perpentach always seemed to invite his fellow leaders over only to annoy them. But it would be an insult not to come, and the Balseraphs were as dangerous as they were insane. With him were Capria and Ethne the White. Falamar had failed to show up, even though Cassiel had seen him in Jubilee. Odd, Cassiel thought as he took another glass of wine. Two powerful, intelligent women, and Falamar wasn't there trying to bed either. Cassiel would have wagered Falamar would have at least gone for Ethne, and probably tried to arrange a night with both of them at once.
Two women walked on stage. One was dressed in cloth of the purest white, although there was very little of it. Just in case it wasn't obvious who she was, a pin with the Elohim symbol somehow held the whole garment together. The other actress was wearing armor that, Cassiel groggily thought, would have left far too many vital organs vulnerable if it were real. Capria silently sipped down a glass of wine, while Ethne just sighed and rolled her eyes. Y'know, Cassiel said, something tells me I got off easy.
My most loyal servants, Junil said to the actresses. Come now, kneel before your lord, he said, and with my Divine Instrument, I shall give each of you the gift of life... Ahoy, laddie! I be smellin' plunder, so I'll be a-plunderin' it! Falamar's turn, Cassiel guessed. And indeed, an actor in an over-the-top Lanun outfit, with a gigantic captain's hat obscuring most of his features, swaggered onto the stage and pulled out a paper sword. I'll be havin' yet booty, Junil, and I ain't talkin' gold either. The actor's Lanun accent, although just as absurdly overdone as his outfit, was simultaneously surprisingly accurate.
Junil readied himself. Apparently, the actor playing Falamar had studied actual fencing, and made quite a show of their play fight. Then, without warning, the actor tripped Junil, bent down, and whispered something in his ear. The actresses gaped, seeming confused. Junil got up, losing his cool for several moments and then said, you have proven yourself worthy. I submit... with that, Junil walked off stage.
At first, Cassiel wondered what had happened. Was a worse joke in store for Falamar? Or was Perpentach trying to turn the rest of them against him? But then the actor playing Falamar whipped off his hat, and, with a flourish, tossed it into the crowd. Ladies, he said, grinning. Ethne picked up the spyglass they'd been given and examined the actor. She then grinned and handed it to Capria. She too smiled. I guess Perpentach didn't see that coming, Capria muttered before handing the glass to Cassiel. He fiddled with the thing, before managing to get a good view.
Amazed and bemused, Cassiel watched as Falamar, who had apparently decided to play himself in this little farce, wrapped an arm around each of the actresses' waists and, with a wicked wink in the direction of the VIP box, cheerfully walked off stage.
Excellent as usual, KC. Though I was under the impression Eurabatres was male? It doesn't really matter though, I suppose.
I think that last one may be my favorite of yours so far KC. I would love to hear more about those four in Jubilee.
In Sickness and In Health Part II
Agron sat by the empty bed of Alexis, who had become known, of late, to some of the more outspoken noblemen as ''The Puppet Queen''. No matter how accurate this was, Agron feared the dissent amongst the nobility. He could not risk them overcoming their many feuds and uniting against him, not yet. Alexis had locked herself in her study four hours ago, and had not been seen since. Some of the servants were worried, but Agron had become used to this kind of behaviour. He had introduced painting as a hobby for her, hoping to distract her from her depression, and she had taken to it, perhaps surprisingly, like a flame to oil. He suspected she had locked herself in to prevent distractions from her latest masterpiece. Nethertheless, he would wait by her bed until she came out. In his hand he held a grey-coloured potion, which smelt strongly of onion. It was a brew he had ordered to be prepared as a counter for her growing depression. Although at first he had taken advantage of her illness, Agron now saw that she was becoming more and more disobedient and objective to his will as her illness strengthened and progressed. She blamed him for not doing more to prevent the coming of her brother, who she feared would avenge his exile by killing her and taking her place on the throne. Alexis claimed that he would return on the thousandth year of her reign, the year Flauros had vowed he would come for his revenge. Thankfully, this would not be for a few years, so Agron had decided he should have enough time to prepare. Agron sighed, stood, and walked to the nearby desk. He could at least get a little work done on his next speech while he was waiting, he supposed.
A tear slid gently down Asterna's face, nothing seemed to be going to plan this week. First Alexis had been stricken with depression and she had been appointed the sometimes dangerous task of looking after her, and now... She looked tearfully down at the letter again, and now, her grandfather was ill. Jerringtosis. And this time, Asterna knew it was no cover up. She would have to return home to Darkgate immediately. Her Grandfather had been ill before only recently, and had barely recovered alive, and everyone knew the Jeringtosis preyed on the weak. While it was not usually fatal, she feared his chances were slim. After all, as an elf, he naturally had less resistance to the disease.
Asterna's father, her Grandfather's second son, had fled to the Calabim Empire to escape from the civil war which had devastated his village. He had come to outskirts of Prespur with nothing, but had started a business selling carved figures of Aeron the Protector and the other Gods of the Natural Order, a religion he found he had many synergies with. He had quickly become rich enough to buy a small house in the city proper, where he met and fell in love with a beautiful human woman. Asterna had been the fruit of their love. Asterna silently reprimanded herself for not visiting her parents lately, she had become so heavily involved with Agron's campaign that she had simply never had enough time. She went to the sink and washed her face. Finally, there was a knock on the door. Agron had arrived, she had sent for him almost an hour ago.
He entered, face contorted into an expression of empathy. She ran towards him, and hugged him with all he strength,
''Oh Agron!!'' she cried, ''What am I to do?''
He gently pulled her away from him and placed her on nearby chair.
''I have organised a coach for you, if you leave now you will be at his side in five days.''
''You're not coming?'' her voice was solemn. She knew it was impossible for him to come with her. After all, someone had to run the Empire, and none of the nobility could be trusted to do so without destroying all of their progress.
''I can't, I wish I could, but it's just not possible. I'm sorry.''
Agron watched the coach depart from his private chambers at the top of the East Tower. He smiled to think that soon everything would be in place. Asterna's Grandfather was only a mild inconvenience. He had long disapproved of Asterna's role in the Calabim Government, and was one of the petty, misguided Ljosalfar who had come to see Vampires as enemies and monsters, rather then the father's of modern civilisation, and had often tried to insist she returned home to the forest. Agron also suspected that he had been one of the main informers of the Ljosalfar Government and had employed spies in the Calabim Palace.
It had been simple indeed to contaminate a gift from Asterna with Jerringtosis, which had been rampant in the city of Prespur. However, Agron had sent him another parcel with Asterna's coach, containing a cure for Jerringtosis that he had developed himself. With this, he hoped he would see Vampire-kind for what they really were, and Agron as a friend instead of an enemy. It also ensured that Asterna was out of the city while the unpleasant procedures necessary for Agron to come to power were undertaken. He had never attempted to lie to her, or cover up the truth. She knew full-well what brutalities would be needed to gain control of the empire, but had no wish to take part or see it for herself.
Yes, soon his plan would be complete. He completed the final document with his signature, and then unlocked and opened a draw in his desk. He placed the document inside, and took out a long, silver dagger, which he sharpened carefully, before placing it under his pillow, blowing out the candle which dimly lit the room, and falling asleep.
The Great Journey
Alexis stood, naked in the cold stone hall, which seemed to stretch on for eternity, her body had become frail and lifeless. She knew what was coming. She knew what she must do. In the strange, unfamiliar chamber, she felt the eyes of her father, Aeron the Protector, upon her, and was glad to feel his influence warm her in the cold room. As she observed her surroundings, she watched as the ancient walls painted themselves, as if by magic, depicting the Great Journey, the Calabim's history since the beginning of time, the Story that few, perhaps only herself and one other, knew.
She watched as the mighty Aeron, in a fit of Rage at the coming of the Age of Ice, set lose his Angels upon the World of Erebus, striving to keep control of the remaining splinters of his domain. Tribe after Tribe fell into extinction, despite the guidance of the Angels, who on Erebus were known as Vampires. As their tribes perished in the endless snow, the Vampires despaired. Everything they loved was dying, yet they could not die. While the tribesmen each departed to Aeron's Vault, where the Great Protector could himself protect them from the harm of their own minds, own wishes and ambitions, the Vampires lived on. As the Winter deepened and c continued, the Vampires traversed the lands, desperately looking for any humans to help survive the harsh rule of Mulcarn and rebuild Aeron's Empire. Yet they could find none, and so, for hundreds of years they fed not upon the sins of humans, they cleansed not the spirit of man, and this drove them mad.
Vampires were created by Aeron the Protector for a purpose. To lead his followers, to punish them for their crimes, and then finally, to cleanse them of their sins, allowing them to reach the Vault of Aeron, the paradise of the Natural Order. They were created to be a superior race, and a superior race they were. Yet when the Vampires of old could not feed on the souls of man they began to degrade. A Vampire cannot die, but their ethics and their maternal instinct for mankind was truly mortal. They were driven wild as their minds were destroyed with hunger, the first Brujah were born.
The Brujah were terrible beasts, dark in appearance, with skin as pale as ice, they were muscular and vicious with fangs like needles. Terrible in comparison to Vampires of the Alexian Era, who were almost human-like in appearance. The Brujah joined and formed what could be liked to wolf packs, their screeches long echoed across Erebus, until one day, one of the packs of four Brujahs found an entrance to a cave system. Alexis peered carefully at this mural, as she walked slowly around the room. This was the beginning. As she followed across the wall she recalled, all those years ago, watching from paradise with her life-long companion as the wild Angels, the demonic Brujah, swarmed into the village of Al-ash-ir.
The humans had struggled, barely surviving, feeding of insects they found in their subterranean world. They had been so unprepared. A tear ran down Alexis's face as she remembered the struggle. The Brujah had butchered the weak resistance the men of the village could provide and had fed upon their flesh. For four years, their rule grew more and more harsh, until the last remnants of Aeron's Empire were on the brink of destruction. Aeron saw this, and with the last of his strength opened a great portal between his Vault and Al-ash-Ir. Fearing the attentions of Mulcarn, the portal could remain open for only a second. Just enough time for Alexis and Flauros, the twin children of Aeron, his Archangels, to slip through the ether and into the ruinous village.
She remembered the stench most of all. The reek of the place was almost unbearable, rotting flesh and unwashed Brujah, who had become ever more demonic during their short time as rulers. There had been a great battle, and eventually Alexis and Flauros had driven them from the village. Flauros had charged after them, and spent several years in the wilderness, during which he hunted down and destroyed each and every remaining Brujah. In paradise, Aeron grew stronger with each execution and he smiled upon the successes of his children. In Al-ash-ir, Alexis nurtured her small rabble of humans, teaching them many skills, and the history of Aeron's Domain. When Flauros returned, they had rebuilt the entire village, which now provided homes for almost forty humans.
Flauros and Alexis ruled for hundreds of years, whilst Mulcarn's Winter raged across the surface. Under their leadership Al-ash-Ir flourished and expanded, and the people gladly bowed to their every wish, including the ritualistic sin-eating, the necessary feeding of the Vampires. However, one day the twins had fought, and the related events led to the exile of Flauros, who returned to the upper world.
Alexis shook involuntarily. Flauros had always been a vengeful character, proud and strong, and true to his word. Alexis knew, in her beating heart, that she was not the one to combat Flauros, no, if she fought she would be doomed to fail. This revelation startled Alexis, and she ran desperately towards the far end of the hall, glimpsing in Murals her future, and that of her nation. She had known of Agron's plot since the beginning, she had known that he had used her as a pawn since he was gifted, pretending to love her, but she had seen his potential and allowed him to continue. He would make an excellent leader, he had shown it again and again. He had crippled the rebellious nobles and brought riches to the Empire, whilst somehow also gaining the respect and love of the human populace. He was incredible.
Suddenly she gasped, barely repressing it to contain the sound, there was a dark figure crouched a little further along the wall, closely examining one of the murals. He was covered only by a black cloak, and a long, silver dagger lay at his feet.
''Hello Alexis'' the man said, without looking round. His voice was cold, and unrecognisable.
''Wh... Who are you'' she whimpered, fearing the worst.
''Why Alexis, don't you remember your dear old brother?'' his tone was strangely jolly, yet as cold as Mulcarn's Vault, as he stood and straightened up. In the torchlight that lit the Hall, Alexis could see every bulging muscle on his body.
''You!'' she gasped.
''Me.'' He said, snidely.
Alexis desperately searched for an escape, or anything that could help her, yet the Hall was doorless. Following her gaze, Flauros bent down and picked up the dagger holding it carefully in his hand.
Suddenly, the walls began to shake. The murals vanished, as the paint fell to the floor as so much coloured sand.
''Alexis? Alexis!'' A great voice echoed around the hall as the walls fell apart. Flauros dived for cover as he narrowly avoided the falling masonry.
''Father?'' Alexis wondered aloud.
And then she awoke.
Check my sig for previous stories in this series.
And also, before anyone commens, yes I chucked cannon FFH lore out of the window, so shoot me
Interesting interpretation of Aeron's followers. As you said, you may have chucked FfH lore out the window; naturally, I can't see Alexis seeing herself as a benevolent protector. But the religion you described does seem the very sort that would be given to the peasantry of "canon" Calabim, as one of the many ways to keep them under control. And it is an interesting view of a theology built around Aeron.
I agree. Alexis herself should not believe this mumbojumbo, but it makes perfect sense for her to want the populace to believe it. I tend to think that most vampires (especially the more recent ones like Agron) would be told this story instead of the truth too. I seriously doubt that Alexis or Flauros would have fully bought in to their propaganda though.
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