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Roleplay - Dance of the laughing god by Jester / EclipseIV

In a world of many gods, war between them is common place, mortals wage petty wars for their patron god in a shot at ultimate glory and historical immortality. Among these gods and mortals, dwell the Living gods, beings born between worlds. Two of which, had fallen into a forbidden love, their fathers and mothers at war with eachother. Eventually, poisoned by their archaic belifs, the quickly turned against one another, the first clash ended in the defeat of one of the lovers, Jester, the laughing god of vengeance. Defeated by his lover and encased in a crystal prison, bound by the material of his own creations, Jester's lover, whom few knew, in her guilt, she turned to a mortal coil, and entrapped in flesh and blood. For thousands of years, she wandered among the mortals growing to hate herself, and Jester, for doing what she did. But on a bright summer day, events all around seem to be signaling an erruption once more of the god wars, and signs of the coming of Jester. Additionally, with the appearance of a strange yet beautiful woman in black clothing, and the appearance of Jester's rival, Aragnok, the plot thickens ever more, as a handfull of mortals, and Living gods come togeather in a climactic clash of the ages. If Jester is freed, will it mean the end of all life in this world? or a rebirth preceeded by a sudden apocalypse?

Roleplay Details

For those of you who know me, you should know all of the standards I uphold as a roleplayer.
Fore those who don't
*NO ONE LINERS:
If its just one line of typing, its not worth looking at!(10 - 15 minimum please)
*If a fantasy, nothing futuristic.
(This is a fantasy)
*Keep OOC chat to a minimum.
*No explicit content please!
Do not describe graphic sexual scenes. (Kisses, Hugs, the harmless stuff are okay.)
*Please use proper grammar.
(bad example:SPAEK PROOPER ENGLASH!)
*No one-upping!
If someone is doing something you that think makes them better than you, dont try to out do them! its not a contest!
*Try to keep up!
Dont just leave and never come back, if and whenever you can, stay up to date on this roleplay.

Roleplay

EclipseIV / Jester: He slowly opened his eyes, peering through two slits in an the iron mask that covered his face... He saw a reflection of his former self in the crystaline prison. He felt cramped, tired, a little light headed. "Where am I...?" Said Jester. Then, as soon as he said it, the memories came rushing back. A montage of bloody bodies, extravvegant battle scenes, more bloody bodies, screaming, crying. "Ah... Yes, now I remember, now I remember everyithing..." He pulled viciously at his restraints, eventually braking them. "Now, the crystal." He began smashing at the inner wal, slowly but surely craking it until it shattered, he fell to the ground with a distinct 'Thump.' He stood up, taking a deep, hardy breath. "Ahhh, fresh, foul air. Wait a minute ..." He paused. "The air is felled with something els... betrayal, war, and fear..." Jester proceeded to the entrance of the cave. It was a bright sunny day, and that among other things, irritated him at the moment. ".... She lives on... Forgiveness is no longer an option..." As he spoke, he slowly began to fad into a black smoke, drifting into the wind.
SincerWritinAsh / Osli: Meshil walked serenely down the large stone stairway of the Legion Tower entrance. She had not traveled out doors in so long, the wind was fierce and the sky crackled with angry lightning. She pulled her golden arms about herself, shielding her slight frame from the harsh breeze. The lashing wind threw her dark hair in its currents as Meshil watched the sky with apprehensive eyes. Lost in the hurry of the wind she whispered, “He has freed himself.” The thunder sounded hard and a blue strike of lightning struck the air beside the woman.
SincerWritinAsh / Meshil: (very sorry, wrong char. this is meshil)
Starless Knight: A pale beauty waved one delicate, spider-like hand over a seer's orb. A cascade of hair such a deep auburn it seemed black hid her fine features as she contemplated what she saw. Black velvet eyelashes rested softly against a moonlight-white cheek as she closed her eyes, hiding the grey ice beneath her eyelids. Blood red lips pursed in thought, she hummed a slight tone, her voices rich, lush, and deeply seductive just by nature - her nature itself being almost an incarnation of darkness. She was a lost Priestess - one of the few who still worshiped a god that was believed to have been vanquished - but she followed the God Jester none-the-less. She was a devout priestess, as was her mother before her, and as would be her daughter when it became time to pass on the dark family ways. Her voluptuous body was draped in a sheath of fine black silks, which rustled as she pulled her hand from the smooth crystal and slowly glided towards the window. She felt something . . . oh, yes . . . she felt something. Perhaps the legends were true . .. perhaps the God was really coming back . . . Shadow shivered in the ecstacy of the idea - surely even a God as dark as Jesters would reward her for her life-long diligence - most especially since her family had kept tight vigil over the last surviving temple to his name. Shadow closed her eyes once more, then peered out towards the black horizon. "Welcome, My Liege," she whispered with her silken melody to the night wind.
EclipseIV / Mephisto: As the dark cloud of smoke whirled it's way towards the White city, a city in reverence to one of the kinder gods. Jester was intercepted, and somehow, knocked to the ground by another, faster moving cloud. As Jester stood up, he could see his attacker materializing before his very eyes. He was a large, rather buff man, hairy sweaty body, sheathed in spiky chains, long, thin iron nails protruding from all areas of his body. An Iron helm covering his face. "Surely Jester, you know better than to use shadow smoke as a way of getting around, you're so easy to spot! its the darkest of any dark god's shadow smoke! It was Mephisto, Jester's rival, he was one step under Jester, and was always trying to get above him in the ranks, even if it meant killing him.
EclipseIV / Jester: Jester stared at him for a moment. "Mephisto... dear friend," he said sarcastically. "I have no time for your child's play, I have a busy eternity ahead of me, much revenge to exact, much war to wage." However, he knew that Mephisto would never leave him be, it was drilled into Mephisto's head, make it to the top, become the lord of dark gods... Oddly enough, his thoughts strayed a moment, he could sense something, not his target, but someone else of womanly stature, peering at his soul, as if to inspect his authenticity, he felt a deep interest from the sense to, almost an urgency to request his presence. Something however, Jester would additionally waste more time investigating before moving on to find what his blackened heart desired.
EclipseIV / Mephisto: "Oh no, Jester, now that you've revealed yourself to the world once again, not fighting you would be a hard temptation to refuse!" Mephisto replied. "I've waited too long since our last encounter, I cannot forget the beating you gave me, humiliating it was, but a lesson too, kill everyone and everything until the rage builds, then let it all out on your enemies!" Mephisto raised a rather large obsidian battle ax and leaped towards Jester.
Starless Knight: Shadow frowned, her serenity turning cold - something was amiss with the God, she could feel it. Of course, just as soon upon his return there would be a disturbance . . . there were other gods who had long since tried to take Jester's place - failing miserably, in Shadow's opinion, but attempting none-the-less. In a sweep of grand midnight cloth she returned to her orb, touching it with a lover's caress. She was powerful in her own right - though only in as much as Jester had blessed her family long ago - and she reached out, just barely confronting the God's mind to inform him with her silken voice that his Temple still remained . . . and his favored weapon as well, if it so pleased him.
EclipseIV / Jester: Jester, as quickly as he could raised his hands, conjuring dark matter in front of him, and compressing it into a pliable shield. However, his mind took the message, and quivered as if to be seduced by it. Jester faltered and his shield temporarily weakened, just as Mephisto's strike fell upon it. The shield broke into a black smoke Jester dodged the ax just in time, however, he was still weak from under use of his godly powrers. He continually tried to conjure an offensive magic, but failed time and time again, all the while, dodging Meph's ever frequent ax blows.
SincerWritinAsh: Meshil had at first thought the human shell she had cast herself in would give her the necessary self punishment he felt deserved. In a weak and mortal husk she’d wander powerless, yet as she traveled the world and the humanity of the world made her smile. In her guilt she pulled herself away from the populace to the forest. She continued in that way for many centuries, walking in remorse, yet as some humans do possess powers, she found that her closeness to the elements for so long had evolved into a profound control of nature. At that return of power she had been mortified, teary and depressed, she built a large stone tower from thought. The tall prison like structure her new penitentiary. As her dark eyes watched the black turmoil in the skies, the figures in conflict easily detectable to her, she realized she must flee. Slowly her body registered her mind’s command. She quickly called on the violent wind which pushed so harshly at her to calm and she begged its favor. The breezes suddenly became gentle and swirled about her, the wind lifted her delicate feet from the ground. In he wind she was blown softly and fast across the desert plain towards the mountains, the dust and sand from the desert shielding her from scouting eyes. As she came close to the Reganth Mountain Side the wind deposited her lightly on the rocky earth. The harsh skies thousands of miles away now, she could no longer see Jester or Mephisto. Feeling a slight degree safer, she began wandering, her white dress now caked with the red desert dust.
Starless Knight: Shadow was hurt - she felt that her message, meek as she tried to make it, had defeated Jester's concentration. Angry with herself, she grabbed a knife, wishing to feel the blade against her skin in penance for her bad judgment . . . but then a better idea came to mind. She sat down on the floor, her eyes closed as she hummed an ancient tune, lending the wisdom, remembrance, and power of her lineage back to the god from whence they came. That should be plenty enough to give him the boost he will need to gain time to restore himself completely - though it left the High Priestess helpless, and nearly unconscious.
EclipseIV / Jester: Jester felt a flux of unusual energy, certainly, someone out there was still devoted to his house. He continued to repeatedly dodge strike after strike, taking advantage of his new found strength. He began charging more dark matter in his hands, and using proper timing, he clapped them together, then pulled them apart, stretching the matter until it formed a sort of net, and as soon as Meph's last strike fell, Jester threw it over him, and trapped Meph inside, sending him back to the spiritual plane. Jester relaxed his body, only temporarily wallowing in his victory. He quite frankly enjoyed fights with the lesser gods, their eager attitude and vengeful feelings toward the living gods made them all the more satisfying to fight. "And now, on to find the source of that energy..." And once again, he faded to the wind, drifting towards the white city once again, an odd place for a worshiper of his to end up. He searched for about ten minutes, before locating the unconscious, seeing her through a balcony window, he entered, and materialized, he merely stared at her for a moment. Jester then walked over to her, and gave her cheek a nudge. "Wake up milady..."
Starless Knight: Shadow awoke with a jerk, her head still kind of funny, and the lingering tingle of the touch on her cheek. No one touched the High Priestess - she was cold, hard, and pristine in her unattainability . . . so any touch left a lasting impression. After her eyes focused, however, she realized she was in the presence of the god. Her pulse quickened, and she struggled as quickly as possible while still maintaining her seductive grace to upright herself so that she may bow in proper. "M-My Liege! It is an honor." she said, her nerves naturally taking hold of themselves as her dark serenity slowly seeped back into her - though still she shook slightly from weakness. "I am High Priestess Shadowfire - they simply call me shadow. I am descended from your most loyal of Priestesses, the Fair Selene who saved this temple from the fate of so many others - ever since my family has devoutly guarded this place, and the few of your sacred artifacts that we were able to covet. There are not many priests and priestesses left," she explained, her honey voice lilted with a hint of an accent. "I am here to serve you, as always I have been. What is your will?" she asked - a bit foolish, since she was currently locked in a desprate battle just to keep standing.
EclipseIV / Jester: Jester remained quiet for a moment, examining the priestess. "Interesting, a temple to my name, in the white city? I don't recall it falling to the dark gods..." He was surprised at her ability to keep her composure under her weakness. "However, I am doubtful of your authenticity as a priestess." He seized her, very gently by the neck, allowing her, without worry to rest in the grip, he gently tilted her head side to side. "mm, not a love slave," he tilted her head back, revealing the base of her neck "Not a Mistress either..." He tilted her head forward. looking at the hem of her neck. "Not a warrior?" Leaving her to rest on his arm, he took her right hand, and there it was, the mark of Jester, a drawn replica of his iron mask. "Ah, so you are a priestess." He let her stand free. "And so I return what remains of the strength you gave me..." He placed a finger on her forehead, and pressed gently, returning the energy as promised. "Selene was the name of the first dark priestess to follow me, I am curios though, how is it, that the most trusted name in my temple, became shadow fire, you must have done something either of considerable importance, or nearly degraded yourself in a titanically hideous act..."
Starless Knight: At this, Shadow allowed a sweetly sinister smile to uncurl on her lips. "I am known to be somewhat of a sadistic creature," she said in an offhanded smile. Her eyes were cold and dark as they came to meet his, though behind that delicious pain was a flickering fire that would scare most. They said her manner nearly mirrored that of the God himself - though any who tried to pay her such complement she had executed in the most painful fashions - no one would blaspheme in her temple. "The instance that gave me my name, however, was also the one to give me this scar," she purred. She stepped away from him, and with nimble fingers let the black velvets and silks fall away from her smooth white body. Most of her belly was consumed by an oddly dragon-shaped burn scar, the supposed head of the dragon resting on her left breast, the wings open to wrap slightly around her sides. She explained, "We managed to save an artifact of particular importance - a sword you had on one occasion imbued with the power of fire made of darkness. When I was a young child, I used this as a last-ditch means to defend this temple from crusaders. I killed them all . . . but could not stop there." She slowly replaced the silken garment,looking him full in the eye. "And that, My Liege, is why I am an orphan with no family what-so-ever, and why I am now called Shadowfire. The ones that survived my attack decided to teach me a lesson and named me after the power that I had used to kill so many and remind me as well of how I should have died along with them . . ." Shadow looked at him, her pain at the memories somehow defying her. She loved pain, she savored pain - indeed, it was this addiction that got her the fear and hatred she had worked so hard for in this world . . . she felt that being rejected by not only all the powers of good but all the powers of evil was a fitting punishment for her,anyways.
EclipseIV: Jester, suprised to find her so open to a god who had not beenn there for his followers. "So, the blade I pulled from Aragnoks body, so many years ago, remains mine? I never thought anyone would look upon a sword of a light god as being owned by a dark god... care to show me." He paused, and thought for a moment, then rushed towards shadow, any closer, and hed ber stepping on her, his iron mask gently brushed past her face, to speak into her ear, his bony, decrpid hand had seized her hip, however, not gently at all... "Oh, and don't think your reverence can hid your more base instincts and feelings, I know you didnt call me just to help me, you wear the mark of the dark priestess, NOT a mistress, remember your place..." His voice was grim, just as the rules of his temple had been recorded; 'disregard for the rank of one's self will be met ith vicious disipline.' Jester's temple, unlike other dark gods, had come to embrace a darker side of love, darker than even abusive love. "He also repeated a phrase coined by selene "Your body is for this world, but your soul ..." He paused, hoping she would finish it.
Starless Knight: Shadow shivered, her jaw set so as not to utter a word at his touch. Her eyelashes lowered in a sadistic mockery of modesty . . . she remembered the words her family had held with such reverence - the words the few that still served hissed about her when she was not near - 'belongs to the God in all it's terrible purity.' Bold a creature as she was, however, she added, "I do not profane my rank, My Liege - is it not the divine privilege of the High Priestess to offer herself in whole to fulfill any - and all - of her God's needs and wants?" Shadow purred, not opposed to Jester rough handling at all - in truth, much to the contrary.
Starless Knight: Shadow lowered her lashes once more, and she moved towards a large display case. From her elaborate hair-style she pulled a decorative key, and she unlocked the case almost lovingly . . . almost fearfully. Inside was the weapon that made her who she was. She shivered just to lay eye on it - in the end she looked away, standing to the side to allow the dark god access to his weapon. "There are other things I am sure you would be pleased to see, when you command it. That orb there," Shadow said, waving a hand towards the orb she had been using, "is one of them, as I am sure you recognize. The others I keep the keys to with me always," she said, removing the rest of the keys and holding the six out to him reverently awaiting his orders - though the hint of a sinister smile always played just below the surface of her demeanor.
EclipseIV / Jester: "Thats a good girl. Come now, show me to my sword." He let go of her gently, pleased by her allegience. However, the touch reminded him of his former love, hwom at the moment, he had fogotten, and now that he could recall her, he remembered his first original goal, kill Meshil, or die trying. "It is true, I have been gone a long time, and perhaps forgotten many of the rules I set, and I am even more amazed that your lineage has remained so purely devoted to my temples. I am additionaly pleased to see that the dark legacy I left behind has ended up slithering the streets of the white city. Another thing bothers me, I was incapacitated before I could truely defeat my higher rival, Aragnok, did any scriptures state his death? Or does the foul bastard live on in ignorance of me?
Starless Knight: "I follow the scriptures of your enemies doggedly," Shadow stated, "Unfortunately, the scripts are written by ignorant good-wishes. They have spoken of your demise for a very long time, my Liege - keeping in mind the bias with which these documents were written, and what I could glean from my own powers . . ." Shadow hesitated before continuing, "It is my belief that your nemesis is no more, but I am only mortal for all my airs and power and I cannot always interpret all that I see within the depths of yon Orb," Shadow amended. She knew she tred on thin ice - if she assumed one thing, and it was not true, it was her life on the line. Mercy was a thing for the weak - the good - and there would be no mercy for mis-informing the God no matter how well her intentions were. All she could do is offer what she knew and what she could gather - which, really, was saying quite a lot. Among mortals, she was most certainly a power not to be crossed.
SincerWritinAsh / Meshil: Meshil walked along the cliffs’ edges, the rocks scraping at her bare feet. The calm wind blew her long hair away from her face as she watched the horizon. The battle had ended quickly and she assumed in Jester’s favor, for the dark cloud had drifted into a light grey haze about the setting sun. She clenched her fits at her sides and turned her back from the considerable beauty of the sight. She was drifting in life in remorse, she closed her eyes attempting to erase the beauty she had just witnessed. She opened her eyes and began to walk along the cliffs edge once more, ignoring and tolerating the rock slicing at her feet, her frail figure melding with the obscure light of dusk.
Jacoby / Aragnok: Aragnok wandered through the libraries, a book held in his hands, head bent to read. His muscles stretched languidly as he walked, flexing comfortably for the first time in what seemed like forever. He had come to these distant shores many years ago, a mere shadow of the godly entity he had once been. Absently he stopped walking and reached up and felt along his ribs, feeling the ridge of scar tissue there. He felt a very ungodly-like fear skitter up his spine. Gods shouldn’t scar and yet he had been marked by a sword made not of this world.
Aragnok sighed and continued walking. He had spent his years here reading many of the great tomes, learning about past deeds of the gods and of new legacies and foretold prophecies. He felt a resurgence approaching in the time-line of history, an oncoming tide of change that will forever alter the shape of this earthly realm. He knew he must play his part in the oncoming battle…and so must Jester.
Aragnok smiled grimly. Jester would be most surprised to see him.
EclipseIV / Jester: As they entered the temple hall, Jester raised his head high for a moment. Shawdowfire's response may have well just saved her life, being that the response was neutral, non-bias, it meant both possibilities of Aragnok's fate were true, and one had just been proven to be the most absolute. It didn't matter what your power was, or your affiliation, everyone on the spiritual plains knew when a full blown god was near. His presence to most gods, was a chilling one, just him standing nearby sent of sickly vibes. For Living gods like Jester, it was either to fear him, or serve under him, and Jester, in challenge to Aragnok's immense godly powers, that is what drew him into his first showdown with Aragnok, it had begun in a climactic fight between two armies of the light and the dark. Jester and the mighty Aragnok were duking it out at the center of it all, trading large blows and horrendous, bone shattering grapple moves, unfortunately, Jester was losing, horribly. But luck favored Jester... and luck? Favoring a dark god? Never a good sign. Jester had noticed that the sword of a fallen god had landed next to him, Galandrir... near death, as Aragnok prepared to finish the job, Jester, with the last of his strength, drove Galandrir into Aragnok's chest. And that is when he saw Meshil, preparing to lock Jester away...
Starless Knight: Shadowfire walked with a graceful swing of her hips, accompanying Jester until she was dismissed. Her dark lips were set once more in an unreadable expression - though her eyes danced with some mischief. Most assuredly, she did not get where she was by being meek or timid. "My Liege, would you like me to have your old quarters prepared?" She offered. Within the temple, there were only six left - two couples all priests and priestesses, and one couple had two children, who were being raised in the proper fashion as a young priest and priestess. However, Shadowfire's power extended beyond Jester's followers - the fearful attack she performed the day that scared her earned her a fear and respect across the domain of many gods. She'd left reports on the desk in his study if it pleased him, along with a few other documents that might help him orient since he'd been gone. Still, she remained calmly poised until he gave the order, a seductive smile settled on her lips.
Bishop The Grey / Lady Bishop: Lady Bishop, LB, walked around in a garden that she discovered near her ivory cottage. She was thought to be a queen in her kingdom. She was that no longer, nor was she a simple woman. Her husband saw her as a little high maitanence. "Dracano! Get out her, now!" She raged. Her husband came strolling out of the house. "Now what, you high-nee-ness?" He replied sarcastically. "Take me somewhere with people. I am bored all alone here." She angrily demanded. He sighed and went over to her cart and started to get it ready to take into town. He muttered to himself. "Dammit. She's gonna cost us even more money...she is way to destructive." ...
EclipseIV / Jester: "Old... old is a word that carries no meaning for me now, only forgotten, dear." He said in a rather dark sounding, yet sincere manner. As they entered the temple, it was a a shade darker than the rest of the chambers, there, sitting on an altar, driven gently into a crack in the altar, was Galandrir, a sword of the original (yet gladly fallen) patron god of the white city. Jester walked towards it, allowing one hand do drift under shadow fire's chin. "You've cared well for it child, it is just the tool I require." He wrapped his hand around the handle, pausing for a moment to get the feel. "You know, shadow, dear, that I have only held this sword for no more than a minute before my death, and yet, that same touch has not faded, even after a thousand years... this was the very weapon that saved me from Aragnok's final blow..." He turned his head to her. "And like a good priestess, and many before you, you have, according to the laws I set forth in my temples, maintained a sacred artifact with in it..." The sword itself was beautiful, in pristine condition, a chromed, mirror like finish, encrusted with blue diamonds all along the flat sides, a ribbed handle,and a ruby stone as a pommel. "Thaeus always had a thing for rocks..." Thaeus being the white god. Jester removed it from the crack, examined it, then materialized a belt and sheath to place it in. "Shadow, you have fulfilled your duties for the day, I will retire to my study for the hour, and then we search for my betrayer, Meshil..." He spoke bitterly of the name, not needing to describe, as the tone spoke for itself.
Jacoby / Aragnok: As dusk crept up the stairs to the pillars of the Great Library, Aragnok shifted in his seat, stretching a little. He placed the book he had been reading carefully on the floor beside him and rose. Walking to the nearest window, he stood and stared out at the tangerine and purple-tinged skies. The sun, a soft orange glow, sat bloated on the horizon, sinking slowly out of sight. He watched for a long time until the moon rose and the sky darkened, as if a pin-pricked azure blanket had been laid over the world.
He knew such peaceful times for him were coming to an end and stood an extra few moments, simply enjoying the solitude. “Enrahan.” He said the name quietly, but within moments a small bald-headed monk was beside him, bowing over folded hands.
“Yes, my Lord,” Enrahan asked solemnly.
“It is time. Please bring Xerxes.”
Enrahan hurried away, his sandaled feet making quiet scuffing noises on the marbled floor. Within moments, he returned. “He is ready, Lord.”
Aragnok smiled at the man. “Thank you for all your kindness, old friend.” He walked around the monk and headed outside. At the foot of the Great Library steps stood the most magnificent stallion, his cobalt coat shining magnificently in the cold light of the moon. Aragnok ran his hand down the horse’s flank, murmuring soft words. “It seems were are to war again, my brother.” Xerxes snickered and tossed his head.
Aragnok placed a foot into a silver-studded stirrup and lifted himself onto familiar-feeling saddle. He flicked the reigns and the Stallion danced forward.
Enrahan had appeared at the Great Library doors. “My Lord,” he called, hurrying down the stairs, holding something aloft.
Aragnok saw it was a sheathed long-sword.
“It is spirit-blessed, my Lord,” Enrahan said breathlessly, offering him the weapon.
Aragnok took the sword, feeling the weight settle comfortably in his hand. “Thank you, Enrahan. You have been a true companion to me.”
The monk bowed his head. “I live to serve you, my Lord God. We will pray for your victory.”
With a silent nod, Aragnok belted the sword around his waist and gripped the reigns firmly. He spurred Xerxes on and the stallion galloped into the night.
EclipseIV / Jester: Jester sat quietly in his extravagant leather chair, mulling over shadows reports. Most of which were just general information on changes in the last thousand years, some were about developments in technology and warfare. But one in particular troubled him. Even though he sensed Aragnok in his mind, he wasn't about to be convinced that his only true nemesis was still alive. Aragnok and Jester had sort of a history in fighting, their battles had always seemed to have a climactic undertone, and was filled with various surprises from both sides. Many gods considered their conflict a natural one, a conflict in a sense, that was crucial to the continuation of normal life in this world. However, for Jester, it was a fight for survival, and yet he can't quite remember the first time he fought Aragnok. Often, he felt much like he was fighting a mirror when he was fighting Aragnok. Another thing concerned him in the reports, temple membership. In the early days of the living gods, Jester had not just a legion, but a damn near civilization bowing at his feet, now it was no more than a scattered few priests, priestesses and highly devout descendant disciples. Jester would make sure those who had forgotten him, would be reminded, and would never forget again.
SincerWritinAsh: Meshil had walked towards the other side of the cliffs. No longer did her eyes pass over the warm sands of the desert, now the viewed the violent waves that crashed into the stony shore. Above the sound of the waves colliding, she could hear the thunder of hooves. Squinting her eyes she could not see that far into the night, sighing, her hands dropping languidly to her sides, he called on the earth. Quickly the ground about her shifted, a column of the rocky ground sprang forward, enveloping the human goddess. From with in the camouflage of the stone pillar she waited, her eyes peeled defensively. The Living God, Aragnok, came galloping proudly on a high stallion. Meshil cringed at the sight of another so close. She had not been in the company of others in centuries and especially not the presence of a fellow God. She thought over her predicament a moment, choosing to speak to Aragnok could make her attendance on the earth known. Yet speaking with Aragnok could provide the help she desperately needed, a protector from Jester’s vengeance. She swallowed her fear, the stone column shook. The stones crumbling into sand in a ring, revealing the wild and worn goddess Meshil in mortal form.
Starless Knight: Jester's tone at the name Meshil made Shadowfire shiver all the way to the core . . . yet in a strange way it also made her jealous. For one to be able to hurt Shadow's god so much - Shadow would do anything within her power and more if need be to rid the world of so despicable a creature. Alone in her own Quarters, Shadow undressed and sank into a tub of hot water, her dark eyes drifting closed. There was much to be done - and she still needed rest. She quickly finished her preparations, then slipped under the covers of her great bed and fell almost instantly asleep. Almost. There still was a lingering thought that plagued her mind . . . one that felt oddly like a premonition, really - one that she wondered if might possibly be true.
Jacoby / Aragnok: The stones beneath Xerxes’ hooves shook like thunder and rocks cascaded to the ground before him. Aragnok pulled harshly on Xerxes’ reigns and the warhorse reared on his back legs, snorting angrily. The God’s eyes lit upon the unkempt woman who stood before him. She seemed familiar…and yet not. Aragnok dismounted and slowly approached her. Torment shone from the woman’s eyes and he saw that she was once a beautiful woman. No, he thought, she is still very beautiful. He stopped a few feet away and inclined his head. “Hello, my Lady.” Meeting her eyes again, he gasped a little. “Meshil?”
It had been thousands of years since he had last time he had seen her; she had stood as Jester struck him with a deathly blow from the blade Galandrir. He had heard nothing of her since, and thought her gone to a distant place of the Gods. Now, he gazed at her and felt astonishment. “You are no longer a Goddess. How is that possible?”
EclipseIV / Jester: Jester adjusted his mask slightly as he poured of even more parchment laid before him. He felt less under stress than before, it wasn't that their membership had entirely gone out, it became more covet, so it meant, that the millions he had groveling at his feet weren't gone at all, they were waiting for him to return to their lives. And then, there was Meshil, no longer did Jester appreciate her, after thousands of years, Jester had slowly come to hate her, and revile her. Now there was only vengeance, a sheathing, burning vengeance. After a few hours had passed, Jester beckoned for Shadow, it was time to rouse the masses, not only was it time to kill Meshil, but it was time to make war on the gods who aided her in his defeat.
Starless Knight: At the disturbance Shadowfire awoke sharply, slightly confused - she'd never been summoned before. Being at the top of the hierarchy, the only one Shadow ever had to answer to was herself. This was a new experience, most assuredly, and she recognized early on that it would be her audacity and arrogance that would get her in the end. Still, with acceptable alacrity she slipped from the soft, warm sheets - her bare feet padding across the cold marble. She did not call her servants to her, but instead she slipped into her usually black dress and brushed out her long hair. She finished with the simple silver Diadem of her faith - the ruby was reflected in her blood-tinted hair and it sat so naturally on her cool features she looked every bit the regal, ruthless sadist she was known to be. She appeared before Jester in short time, greeting him appropriately, though perhaps with a little too much familiarity in the curl of her lips as she asked, "How may I be of service, my Liege?"
EclipseIV / Jester: "It has come to my attention, that in fact, membership has only been reduced by mere thousands, a small price to pay for my absence. Yet I see here, that your family has kept a disturbingly accurate record of census charts, something I did not expect. And yet millions are still in my membership... A pleasing fact. It is time to call my dark flock back to service, send all of our friars to spread the word,the laughing god has returned. Tonight, I will need you at my side..." He walked closer to shadow. Close enough that he would nearly be breathing on her. "You have earned a special place this day, keep this up, and there will be more than commendations..."
SincerWritinAsh: Meshil managed a sad smile as she lowered her eyes from Aragnok’s face. Her voice was gravelly from disuse as she explained solemnly, “I am human as I chose to be. I at one time had all elements answer to, and mortal man is made from simple earth anyway. A very easy home for me to make for myself.” She brought her eyes up to his hesitantly, “I have been relatively free to wallow in my feelings and hide in the desert undisturbed, yet Jester is free, and my time is quickly ending.” Quickly she remembered the hate she had seen in Jester’s eyes before she had imprisoned him, her eyes became distant and a heavy tear rolled down her ruddy cheek as her shoulders shivered slightly from the memory.
SincerWritinAsh: Meshil managed a sad smile as she lowered her eyes from Aragnok’s face. Her voice was gravelly from disuse as she explained solemnly, “I am human as I chose to be. I at one time had all elements answer to, and mortal man is made from simple earth anyway. A very easy home for me to make for myself.” She brought her eyes up to his hesitantly, “I have been relatively free to wallow in my feelings and hide in the desert undisturbed, yet Jester is free, and my time is quickly ending.” Quickly she remembered the hate she had seen in Jester’s eyes before she had imprisoned him, her eyes became distant and a heavy tear rolled down her ruddy cheek as her shoulders shivered slightly from the memory.
Starless Knight: Shadowfire let an unreadable smile grace her continence, as she bowed regally and respectfully. "My pleasure, MY Liege." She said. This meant no sleep for a few days, most likely - but as soon as given the command, her blood sang with excitement. Her power and influence ran far, and when she pulled the strings of her dark web even royalty would dance for her - now it was time for the shadows to finally consume the light. She was getting bored with her behind-the-scenes empire; Shadowfire was itching for something more - all she had needed was the command to do great things and she could accomplish them. "I shall attend to such immediately, if you have no further need of me," she commented, waiting for her dismissal.
EclipseIV / Jester: "You are dismissed, It will take several days for our forces to gather en mass, but if you may, call a detachment to the white city, I want to see the white gods cringe as we defile one of their holiest cities.... As for me, I believe it is time to pay my betrayer a visit...." Jester ran a finger across the base of her neck from side to side. "I see great potential in you, lady shadow fire..." Said Jester as he drifted into the wind once more.
Starless Knight: Shadowfire waited until the god had disappeared to let out a slight whimper. Part of her position as high priestess meant she was also kept pure of the defilements of men . . . which made the God's touch doubly as unsettling as it might have otherwise been. After composing herself for a moment, she turned in a grand flurry of movement, and as she summoned all she had with her to accompany her she could help but let out a bone-chilling laughter. It was time to she this world what real power could once one embraced it! It took less than a day for the White city Jester seemed to hate so much to be not only surrounded but saturated with Jester's forces - all the way up to the king's own guard waiting patiently for their orders. Shadiwfire peered into her orb, using every bit of power she had to make sure everything was perfect. This was not a military move so much as it was . . . a statement. The Dark Priestess was determined to make sure everything went perfectly.
Jacoby / Aragnok: Aragnok lifted a hand and gently wiped Meshil’s tear from her cheek. “It seems you have suffered enough, child. Maybe it is time to release this inferior existence and once again stand equal to your fellow gods.” But he could see that her self-loathing was that great, she would not be so easily convinced. “I see you are infinitely serious about your commitment, my Lady. But you must understand that Jester will not rest until he exacts his revenge upon you for your betrayal. Tis no longer safe for you in this mortal guise.”
Aragnok beckoned for Xerxes and the warhorse trotted over to them, nudging his nose into Aragnok’s shoulder. The god absently reached up a hand to stroke the horse’s muzzle.
“I know tis not much, my Lady, but you are welcome to ride with me and Xerxes for a while.”
Aragnok disliked seeing this once magnificent goddess lowered to such an unfortunate existence. He would do whatever was in his power to help her find her way back to her rightful self.
Tisuna / Jhoti: Slowly, in a shimmer of white wind, Jhoti appeared by Xerxes' head. She unfolded her wings and opened her eyes. "My Lord Aragnok," she said, bowing to him, "I am the angel Jhoti. I am in your service, and have found you now to aid you in any way possible, however you should see fit. Wherever from you call, I shall come, and wherever you send me, I shall go, my Lord."
Tisuna / Jhoti: She straigtened from her bow and noticed the goddess as well. Jhoti gasped and bowed deeply again, this time to Meshil. "M-my Lady! Forgive me, I-I did not notice your presence!"
It had been bad enough she'd started at the very top in her service! The might Aragnok, and now MESHIL! The Lady MESHIL! Simultaneously! Jhoti could barely breathe and keep herself in the air at the same time, now. How could she have-she wanted to pull her feathers out! Ignoring the lady Meshil, and being such a twit! Jhoti stayed low in her bow. "I can only ask your pardon, my lady. Please bless me with forgiveness of my ignorance."
EclipseIV / Jester: (Cant post at the moment, continue on and ill post after aragnok or Meshil.)
SincerWritinAsh / Meshil: Meshil raised her sad dark eyes to the young angel, “My dear you’ve done no wrong.” Meshil glanced back up at Aragnok, “I do need your help yet, I a not willing to shed this mortal coil so please halt your urging to do so. It only upsets me, and we are old friends, aragnok.” She walked over to the horse, her fingers running tenderly over Xerxes dark coat. She thought a moment, Jester had become the god of vengeance and she had becomehis opposite counterpart. She looked up at Jhoti with questions in her eyes, “How have I been remembered?” her voice was raspy yet kind. Her eyes fell beyond the heavenly beauty of Jhoti to focus on the wild night beyond, her own eyes reflecting savage splendor.
Jacoby / Aragnok: Aragnok bowed to Meshil, acknowledging her request. ”Of course, my Lady. Your wish is my command.” Watching her closely as she moved over to stroke Xerxes, Aragnok sighed a little sadly. How could one so pure of soul and mind be reduced to such suffering? The deity of repentance and sorrow was a cruel god indeed.
Aragnok turned his attention to the white-winged angel. “Greetings, Jhoti. It is a pleasure and an honour to have you in my service. It seems there may not be many left under my influence these days.”
The whites of Xerxes’ eyes rolled at Jhoti’s erratic movements and Aragnok put a steadying hand on the warhorse's shoulder. The God watched in amusement as the angel flapped about nervously. “Please, answer the Lady Meshil’s question, Jhoti,” he said. “And when you have finished, if you would be so kind as to explain to me how you knew where to find me…” his brow lowered darkly and his gaze sharpened. “…and if others may locate me in the same fashion.”
EclipseIV / Jester: At the moment Aragnok asked his question, a dark, fast moving cloud appeared on the horizon, moving ever closer. As it finally reached them, it circled for a moment, dived down, circled once around Aragnok, then furiously around Meshil, brushing Jhoti aside aggressively. "The only questions that should be asked..." Started the cloud. It landed in front of them, Jester stepping out of it like a ghost in a mist. "Is how much vengeance is enough when you are betrayed by someone so close, that you would never suspect them of such a thing. Jester's iron mask seemed to be leaking black smoke, a sign of anger indeed. "I've been away a long time,and everyone seems to have been very busy since my entrapment.." Jester paused. "Aragnok, I see you and the rest of those scummy white gods have been keeping my shadowy empire under the covers..." He turned to Jhoti. "Serving Aragnok are you? What foolish young transcendent being such as yourself do such a thing??" Jester again, turned to Meshil, and the leaking smoke flared. "As for you! What good deeds have you done to hide all that terrible guilt, what makes you think hiding from my vengeance will gain you penance in the spiritual plain!? You made a terrible mistake, betraying not only just any god, but the only god who rightfully bestows the power of vengeance to those who seek it, even himself!"
Tisuna / Jhoti: Jhoti's head still spun. So many questions at once-well, they DID deserve answers. Though she was eager to fight against Jester and his forces, this had been more sudden than she'd been ready for. However, her nervousness lost, Jhoti fluttered to hover protectively by Meshil and Aragnok. A sword, finely crafted and well-used came into being in the angel's hands. Holding it with familiarity and experience, Jhoti spoke respectfully to the two dieties, "My Lord and Lady, you have rightfully asked me questions, which I shall give answers to as rapidly as I may, but if I may, I shall save so for a more peaceful time. Only give the command, my lord Aragnok, and I shall battle against him."
EclipseIV / Jester: --
SincerWritinAsh / Meshil: Meshil’s eyes widened at the swift appearance of Jester, her human heart quickened in both fear and grief. She took a startled step back towards the cliff, she unconsciously checked her footing, feeling how far she may need to go to jump from the high crag, two she measured in her mind. She cleared her sore throat, “Jester I do not do all this in hope of salvation, you should know me well enough to realize, the course of my soul is not my main concern, I am far more selfish than that. Its what we have in common dear,” Her voice rasped quietly and confidently, her stature was straight and her head held high, as it had not been in centuries. She took a calming breath her eyes no longer holding fear or surprise, only the tinge of remorse, with the wry curve to her lips distracted you from noticing, “Why did it take you so long?” She felt a wind current behind her, it would be useful Two steps and air…the comfort of that made her brave.
EclipseIV / Jester: "I was blind then, your cooing words kept my young heart safe, kept the darkness in this dark god's soul from winning, but then you, you of all people, put me into a bewitched sleep! Just before my empire was complete, you stood with your white god brethren, and encased me in a crystal prison, it's been a thousand years, and this soul has had time to darken, this heart has had time to freeze again. Oh, im not blind Meshil, go ahead, take the fall, you, of all should know that attempting to take your life as a mortal does not only free you from death, but lands you in a state from which there is no return!" Inside, however, and Meshil would be able to pick this up easily. Jester's cold heart fluttered with fear. Jester was a living god of great and mysterious power, yet in a matter of a few words, his untamable state was tamed by the speech craft of Meshil. The affair ended only to find that the love was false, only to weaken Jester and capture him. Jester however, had found a new love, someone with as dark a heart as his own. "I should have known you were conspiring against me..."
SincerWritinAsh / Meshil: Meshil looked Jester over, reading the changes in his expression and eyes as he spoke. Her lips curled in considerate smile, “I suppose it is a compliment to me, that you such a dark being believe me so evil.” Her smile turned sad and her eyes fell to the ground, “I never did stop loving you.” With that her feet took the unconscious two steps backwards, the cool current hitting her bare feet. She begged favor in the breeze and she fell violently downward from height. Her eyes closed, hair streaming, her lips whispering silently, The wind caught her weightless and carried her off until a rocky limb. Jester and the others could have watched her falling but as the wind retrieved her to safety she disappeared in the mist. Hidden safely but a moment, she parted the wall of the mountain and entered into the newly born cool of the cave. She turned around, and with a sway of her hand the opening closed, locking her inside. She sensed the others standing on the peak of the mountain, Jester’s solid feet, Aragnok’s shifting stance, and Xerxes’ hooves. She assumed Jhoti was still at Aragnok’s side. She thanked the greater powers that she had such a friend still left and hoped she had not left him in imminent danger./
:
Jacoby / Aragnok: Aragnok held a forestalling hand to Jhoti. “Hold, angel,” he said, his voice quiet and yet commanding. “Be still.” He kept his eyes carefully on Jester, his hand never straying far from the hilt of his sword. He kept silent and unmoving as the God of vengeance addressed Meshil.
Although Aragnok felt a great need to interject on her behalf, he remained stony-faced. He knew that his interference would only anger her, and he respected her far too much to want to do that.
Aragnok sensed Meshil edging toward the cliff’s edge and he shifted slightly. Be calm Aragnok, he told himself, Meshil – although no longer a God – is no fool. So he did nothing as she jumped and sailed out of sight, even though his muscles tensed and his teeth clenched. When he heard the mountain open up and swallow her safely, Aragnok’s eyes moved back to Jester. “It seems that imprisonment hasn’t improved your manners at all.” He smiled slightly, without humour. “And, alas, you are still a fool.”
EclipseIV / Jester: As Aragnok motioned for his weapon ever so slightly, so did he. "A fool I am, yes, but the fool who fights for a foolish cause, will find away to turn that cause into to something monumental." Jester slowly pulled Galandrir, its normal shimmering beauty change in his hand, slowly being encompassed by a dark, shadowy substance. "It wasn't easy, you know, getting Galandrir, the only sword I know that could be used as a catalyst to the rebirth of my own sword, BloodMoore..." And thus the sword did change, it turned from it's shining chrome to a dark, aged obsidian with what looked like actual blood dripping from it. "Anyone else who wields it, is weakened, and suffers slowly over time, until the become part of the sword itself. Quite fascinating qualities, don't you think?" Jester looked at Aragnok. "I knew that Galandrir was much to weak to finish the job, yet, I don't believe it was supposed to, perhaps me and you, are natural enemies, meant to fight from our birth as god to the end of time itself..." He swung the sword down and slowly moved into a defending stance.
Jacoby / Aragnok: Aragnok raised one eyebrow slightly. “I think you’ll find that a fool who creates a monumental cause is still a fool.” His hand clamped tight on his sword when Jester pulled out Galandrir. He felt a momentary skitter of dread but he bit it down ruthlessly. He watched in wary fascination as the blade transformed to dark obsidian. As Jester moved into a defensive stance, Aragnok stood tall and did not draw his weapon.
“I am surprised, Jester, that you would come all the way here to fight me. I am strangely flattered.” Aragnok grinned mockingly. “But remember, it is you who has been imprisoned for the countless millennia, not I. Yes, you were lucky enough to injure me on our last encounter, but I am no easy prey.” Aragnok slowly drew the spirit-blessed sword from its sheath, tingling power rushing through his fingers and arm, and held the blade loosely in one hand. He felt Jhoti stir behind him, readying herself.
“Tis your move, Jester,” Aragnok murmured, his dark eyes fixed on his enemy.
EclipseIV / Jester: "Even so..." answered Jester. "I love foolish causes, fighting for the underdog is more... fun!" Jester began to laugh, at first, lightly, then, it began to build, soon coming to a full fledged diabolical laugh. "I'm going to enjoy the coming days o so much!" Jester's laugh was his trademark, those whom heard it, knew it instantly, 'When ever he laughs, people die.' Jest jumped high into the air, spun around, and motioned to bring his sword down on Aragnok. "Even if I cant kill you, I'll still take you with me back to the spiritual plane, and so with Meshil when I find her!"
Tisuna / Jhoti: Even as he raised it up, Jhoti was there in an instant, blocking BloodMoore with her own blade, which held surprisingly well against the Dark weapon. Catching her balance simultaneously, Jhoti turned the steel and parried Jester's blade back to him. "You were vanquished before Jester-do not think it makes you immune to being subdued again!"
Jacoby / Aragnok: Aragnok greatly admired the angel's courage, but Jester was a living God and she was no match for him by herself. Jester swung the blade at Jhoti and she only just managed to turn his blade aside before it sliced through her wing.
Aragnok moved forward, protectively shielding Jhoti, and Jester’s blade whipped down at his head. Aragnok blocked, the swords meeting with a blue-white flash of light. An deafening hum resounded through the shimmering air as the power of each blade fought against the other. Aragnok and Jester remained locked, swords straining, both tense and shaking with effort. Their faces were close and Aragnok saw the furious madness in his enemy’s eyes. Setting his feet in the hard earth, Aragnok gave a powerful heave and shoved Jester’s blade away. The god of vengeance stumbled back a step and growled in rage.
“You cannot win, Jester,” Aragnok said, his breathing a little fast. “Not this time. And you shall not have Meshil.”
SincerWritinAsh / Meshil: Meshil could sense every footstep that the gods took upon the earth above her. Worried greatly of the outcome, she unconsciously caused the mountain itself to shake. The ground rumbled beneath the men’s feet violently. Meshil closed her eyes from the dark entrance trying to calm her anxiety, yet her nerves would have none of it. Great landslides were aroused from the great mountain, the rocks and hard packed dirt loosening and rolling in waves to the foot, leaving only the bare and hard rock. Meshil found a bit of peace in her mind and the violent shuddering of the mountain ebbed.
EclipseIV / Jester: Jester regained his footing upon landing. "Even if I die by what you call, ah ha ha! Death, I will never be entirely gone, I die, the mask stays here, waiting for the next heir to pick it up!" Jester steadied his blade. Ignoring the landslide roaring towards them, soon enough, the landslide had encompased them, Jester again, leaped through the dust and falling boulders towards Aragnok. Al the while, he communicated with Shadow. -Darling, the god ties me up from my goal, I enlist your help, call they fastest being to your aide, find the wench, and capture her."
Jacoby / Aragnok: Aragnok stumbled as the ground beneath his feet shifted violently. A great roar sounded and an avalanche of rocks and boulders washed toward them. A thick dust cloud enveloped both gods. He lost sight of Jester. Aragnok leaped clear of the tumbling rocks and landed, crouching low, sword held before him. He squinted into the dust and flung his blade up as Jester suddenly appeared, leaping toward him, the obsidian blade held aloft. Their blades clanged together again, the strike resounding so loudly the falling rocks vibrated as they passed. Aragnok parried the blow but was forced back a step. He spun on one foot and swept his blade low, cutting at Jester’s legs. The god of vengeance leapt high again, Aragnok’s sword harmlessly sweeping beneath him.
Jester landed, off-balance, and Aragnok thrust the point of his sword at Jester’s unprotected neck.
EclipseIV / Jester: (9Ease off the character control Aragnok, we can manage our characters ourselves, please.)) Jester bent back, far back than anyone should go, then, bursting into a cloud of black smoke, passing around Aragnok raising his blade again as he rematerialized and swinging at the god's back.
Jacoby / Aragnok: << sorry dude, you are very right. this is my first attempt at writing sword action and i got a little carried away. my bad. >>
Starless Knight: ((I've been gone for the better part of a week and no one notices? To Shame! *pouts* For an explanation, I have been having computer problems.))
Shadow felt Jester's orders, and with an almost angry vigor she seized the orb with both hands, darkness shinning around her in a blinding swirl. She reached out and touched the mind of one of the cruelest, darkest creatures known . . . a black dragon. "By the Powers invested in me by the God Ester, I command you to my service!" Shadow said impressively. The dragon let out a wild roar that made it painful for Shadow to continue to make contact with the orb, but at last even the Dragon was no match for Shadowfire's willpower - especially when her god was in need of her services. The Dragon landed near the front door, growling and hissing the black dragon's close decedent being an asp) - scaring the living daylights out of the usually impeccably composed priests and priestesses. The High Priestess slide down the hallway like the shadow of vengence - truly, who one noted the unleashed power radiating from Shadowfire and the pure vile terror of the dragon one was hard put to decide which one was the greater of the two evils. Shadow mounted in a deadly flutter of voluminous sable silks and velvets, her robes billowing about her as the dragon lifted off, letting out a screech of rage at being handled. Shadow gently touched Jester's mind with her answer to his command - "My Pleasure."
Within a very short time, Shadow and the dragon found their prey. With a snarl the dragon began attaching the earth, ripping large chunks of dirt and rock from the mountainside. Shadow dismounted and snarled, her body shaking with dark energy. When she reached down to touch the earth, it rejected her sinister presence - the very land itself recoiled from her and by merely walking she was able to create a tunnel. It was not long before she became face to face with the object of her god's (and therefore her) hatred. "Meshil," Shadow breathed, the very name dripping from her lips like the blackest of poisons. Without warning, Shadow's arms rose, and tendrils of darkness wrapped around the goddess to hold her in place. Shadow felt introductions were called for, "I am the High Priestess Shadowfire, servant of the God Jester. You have tormented him enough - it is time you paid!" Shadow said, her voice low and feral.
SincerWritinAsh / Meshil: Meshil felt the dark tendrils rush her, the icy hold tighten about her fragile frame. She registered no reaction other than being momentarily restrained, her reply to the priestess was on the hand was not submissive. Before the world was as it was now, before Mushily had rid herself of all comforts, it was her voice that comforted the world. Angels had sang of the sweet melodies and magnitude that goddess’ voice evoked. Meshil in human form was still as charismatic in influence as he had been at her full power, she replied in the husky mesmerizing voice to her attacker, “Girl, you are but a fool. Fighting another’s selfish cause and you shall reap nothing but pain.” Meshil looked sadly at the woman, her eyes analyze the chiseled cheek down to the soft curves of her figure, a cheerless smile beckoned Meshil’s lips. “I am not so humble yet from walking in the wilderness as to allow myself to cut down by one of Jester’s pawned whores.” With that Meshil’s eyes began to glow a strange cast of gold. The dark constricting tendrils that bound her snapped and the rock wall at Shadow’s back pushed shadow forward violently until the priestess was mere few inches from the human goddess. With her eyes glowing furiously she looked up at the taller female, “Servant, tell your God to deal with me in person.” She clucked her tongue, before taking a step back. The rock wall at Shadow’s back began to mold stone shackles about her slim wrists. Suddenly the wall lurched backwards from the mountains side into the loft cliff edge, halting before it lumbered backwards into the low prairie lands. Meshil eyes remained gold and vibrant, as she walked in the other direction from where shadow had been deposited.
Tisuna / Jhoti: <<Well, Gee, thanks Jaco! I'm off for one night, and what has happened? You've controlled half the role play's other characters, wounded MINE deeply-an angel's WING, STUPID! That's important! If something like THAT happens, I want to be the one to say so!-and she's supposed to be your ally! She's out here, with the full purpose of helping you, and this has progressed so far that she'll appear to be a useless lump...greaaat...Fine, I've simmered some, now let me see if I can reclaim some of her character.>>
Jhoti gasped as her feathers fluttered to the ground, dripping with her silver lined blood. The Dark god had countered so quickly! She'd been stupid; she'd spoken when she should have been swinging! Ignoring the pain trailing its way up her wing, she quickly drew back into the air to help Aragnok, when she lost sight of both Aragnok and Jester inside the dust and landslide. Almost as suddenly as she lost them, she felt a presence, as dark as Jester himself. But though that was lost inside the mountain, where Meshil had dissapeared, one more remained on the side of the cliffs. Aragnok could take care of himself-he was a god, after all. And, she reasoned, if he needed her, all he had to do was call. She soared into the sky, beating hard with her uninjured wing, searching for the presence on the mountain.
Tisuna / Jhoti: Jhoti alighted a few lengths from the dragon. Though it reeked of evil, the greater spread of the stench lead within the mountain, and she could feel the earth's rejection of it's rider from the soles of her feet to the tips of her fingers. She felt rejection from the dragon as well; it had been called against its will. Dragons were dangerous, but she couldn't stand and watch it suffer. And, if she waited, she would learn who was so close to the dark god.
Jhoti flew to the dragon's head, and before it could snap at her, began to sing into its ear. She sang softly, soothingly, in the special voice of angels. She encouraged it not to be controlled against its will, and to take back its freedom.
Jacoby / Aragnok: << jeez. i'm getting some flack today. T, she didnt get her wing cut up, she parried the blade coz she is an excellent swordswoman - i wouldn't injure ur char. i'm an idiot but i'm not that much of an idiot >>
EclipseIV / Jester: ((Well, no matter what, lets either way, be optimistic and continue on, a point in writing is the forging of fellowship through the sharing of ideas.))
Starless Knight: Shadow felt the angel's interference, and with anger Shadow gained the strength to rise up from her earthly bindings. Wielding darkness like a whip, she struck out at the angel. "Freedom, dear?" Shadow said, with a sick twist of a smile on her lips. Shadow did not have the audacity to truly harm Meshil - that was for Jester alone - but who cared if Shadow killed an annoying little angel? "You learn early on there is no such thing as freedom," Shadow said in response to the song she had overheard. Suddenly Shadow pushed hard against the air, and a hot wave of anger and hate - enough to have made any lesser being go instantly mad - hit the Angel. Shadow laid a hand on the graceful neck of the dragon, which let out a long, agonized groan at her touch. "Stay out of my way, servant of the light. I have chosen my path and I would relish the death of any who hindered me." Shadow said coldly.
Tisuna / Jhoti: <<Sorry Jaco. Misunderstood ya.>>
Jhoti shook herself fully. The waves of anger and hate, the whip lash of darkness, scattered from her like grains of sand. "I can see you have chosen YOUR path," she replied to Shadow, "but this dragon has not. I cannot try to free you, for you are willing to serve under Darkness. I cannot begin to comprehend why..."
She glanced past Shadow, breaking the woman's powerful gaze, "This makes you strong. The most loyal servant is the one who follows of his-or her-own will. And you are a very faithful advocate of Jester. The day will probably come when I or another who follows the light will destroy you, priestess, but for me, that is not today. And nor will you destroy me."
Jhoti returned Shadow's stare, "You are on the losing side. You are free to follow, but even if Jester wins-which he shall not-you will lose."
EclipseIV / Jester: -
Starless Knight: Shadow's eyes grew dangerously dark, but in the relaxing of her stance you could tell she was no longer going to strike. "Angel, it is better for you that you do not fathom me or my path," Shadow said quietly. "I look forward to this fight - win or lose. I do hope, however, that when I die is is by the hand of one such as yourself." Shadow gave the Angel a wry flicker of a smile, "I would wish a death worthy of myself, and worthy of the torments I have undoubtedly earned myself in death." With that, she mounted, and turned the dragon once more to the task of locating the runaway goddess.
Jacoby / Aragnok: Aragnok felt a burning tear sear down his back and he spun around to find Jester grinning at him, the black obsidian sword dripping with his blood. Aragnok paused, his breathing coming hard and fast; he felt godly blood drip down his ribs. No, he thought angrily, not again. He lifted the spirit-made sword high and narrowed his eyes. He charged at Jester, roaring his fury.
EclipseIV / Jester: Jester's vision, blocked by dust and stone from the near endless landslide, raised his sword in defense as Aragnok appeared from the mist. "Aragnok, my quarrel is not with you, but I shal happily kill you another time!" Jester bbbbraced himself for the impact.
Starless Knight: Shadow contemplated the delicate doll she was hunting, as the dragon scanned the scenery. Shadow had seen the goddess act so modest and sweet - the pinnacle of a good little girl . . . but it was obvious her nature was something darker just beyond the surface. Why did the tramp betray Jester, anyways? Jester must have known something - or he must have done something to her . . . no innocent little goddess like her would suddenly lash out when confronted like that. By the gods - one moment she was cowering in a mountain, the next she appeared a different personality in total. Yes, good though she may inherently be, there was something dark in her - if Shadow could exploit that, she may be able to do that which she was bidden to do. The problem was, what did it mean that she was stuck in mortal form? What were the limitations of her powers? It was obvious Shadow's first attempt was a little too direct. What else could be done? Shadow decided it was time to be a little harsher - Jester would obviously want her alive, but a few scars here and there might be tolerable considering the trouble Shadow would have brining the dog to heel. Shadow directed the dragon into a thundering landing, and wasting no time at all Shadow encased the goddess in a mist of darkness no one could see through.
EclipseIV / Jester: -
Starless Knight: -
Tisuna / Jhoti: The moment Shadow left her view, Jhoti leapt into the air, her battle hungry rage building inside her, eager to help Aragnok-
But the sudden appearance of a mass of darkness on the land drew the full attention of her senses. Opposites attract, and she could not focus on aiding who she had pledged herself to, until its presence stopped hindering her thoughts. Jhoti took off for the Darkness, to seek and discover.
Coming upon the dark cloud shortly, Jhoti gasped and fluttered her wings. She had sensed its power, but so BIG. And the aura of the dark priestess swirled through it. She had seen her go only a moment ago, and already she had conjured such a thing! Jhoti fluttered her wings once more, for here was proof of what she had deducted; the priestess was strong, and very powerful. Jhoti was nervous; she hadn't expected on encountering the priestess again so soon.
But her nervousness went up in smoke when she sensed Meshil's presence within the Darkness. "My lady!" she cried aloud, and shot like a bolt into the Darkness, hoping that if she flew through it, she would reach Meshil at the center. She had no idea what she would do when she got there, but at the moment that wasn't the point. But when Jhoti crashed into the Darkness, she was met with a powerful, painful resistance, and she bit back the urge to cry out. Though it hurt her very being, to be in contact with such concentrated Darkness, Jhoti struggled to get through.
Starless Knight: "Angels," Shadow said under her breath in annoyance. It was bad enough up against a goddess, but now the Angel was back as well. True to her name, however, Shadow did have one power that not even the God Jester had realized she possessed . . . Shadow hadn't want to play this card until it was absolutely unavoidable, but with a sigh she decided it was time. She raised her hands, and concentrated, and her namesake flames of darkness shot out in a stream before her, working it's way into an explosion of darkness so bright it hurt the eyes and burned the skin. It was an attack worthy of the Gods themselves, and it was certain to do some damage to the petite goddess, especially in her vulnerable form. It was most likely the Angel had been hit as well (shadow could not see very well, wither, after all) but that was no concern of Shadow's.
Starless Knight: ()
Jacoby / Aragnok: In mid-charge, Aragnok pulled aside his attack and leapt out of Jester’s reach. Aragnok’s head turned and his eyes narrowed. He sensed the immense darkness that suddenly grew beside the mountain and could feel Meshil’s presence trapped somewhere inside it. He felt a gathering of power, power strong enough to belong to that of a god, and he bolted for the cliff’s edge, calling to Xerxes as he ran. Aragnok leapt into thin air, seeing the mist of darkness for the first time and feeling his eyes widen at the sight. He also saw Jhoti struggling to enter the cloud of blackness, trying to fight her way to Meshil.
Foolish, brave angel, he thought with a mixture of admiration and annoyance.
Aragnok started to fall, dropping away from the dark mist, and then Xerxes flew up under him and Aragnok clamped the warhorse tight and leaned over his mane. Without words or direction, Xerxes galloped forward, heading for Meshil and Jhoti.
An explosion clapped the air like a thunderbolt and flames ripped through the black cloud. The air reverberated violently around them and Xerxes’s reared and screamed.
No! This wasn’t possible! No one but a god could have such powers, and yet Aragnok sensed the presence of someone dark and evil and powerful…and yet not an immortal. <<Ash, who’s playing Meshil, won't be back for a couple of days - she’s on vacation. Can we try and not leave her char behind too much? Thanks>>
Tisuna / Jhoti: <<Sorry, meant to get this up last night, but the site logged me out.>>
Jhoti was flung back from the Darkness with a cry. The priestess! Jhoti's wings, more light than flesh, shivered and lashed out uncontrollably in their agony. The Angel wished her thoughts on the priestess hadn't been confirmed-at least not so soon. Jester had found an ally strong and dark enough to be worthy of joining him, it seemed. Jhoti found relief in the numbness following the shock of Shadow's attack. Though she could no longer feel them, she beat her wings furiously and rose to hover beside Aragnok. "My lord," she murmured, her head swimming with shimmering black shadows, struggling to clear it, "the Darkness entrapping the Lady Meshil was wrought by the same ally of Jester who caused the dark explosion. I await your orders, my lord, if you have them."
Starless Knight: ((I thought it odd that Meshil hadn't posted. I hope she won't be out for too much longer. Things have been moving fairly slow, anyways. Where is JEster, on that note? He does have a tendancy to drift in and out sometimes.)) The Priestess stopped, breathing heavily and reaching out with her senses to figure out what damage had been dealt. Shadowfire shivered in pleasure as she discovered an agony so thick it was sweet on her lips. There was the approach of another, though - a god. That, the priestess realized, was still much out of her league. Still, true to her god until the end, Shadow readied herself for a fight. She did have the one god-power, afterall. The Shadowfire she had taken upon herself, unwittingly blessed by the sword of Jester. Perhaps it would be enough. The darkness was her best allie, at the moment. It they could not see her, then that greatly hindered them. Shadowfire was used to moving in the darkness in a way that creatures of the light could never fathom. In a booming voice that would have shaken the walls of any mortal's mind Shadowfire delivered her message, "MY LIFE IS IN THE SERVICE OF THE GOD JESTER, AND I AM BUT INTENT OF FULFILLING THE TASK THAT MY GOD HAS SET FOR ME. STAY OUT OF MY WAY AND I SHALL NOT HARM YOU. ATEMPT TO HINDER ME, HOWEVER, AND BELIEVE YOU ME THERE WILL BE PAIN!" Of course, she didn't mention the pain would go both ways. The angel she could take, if nothing else. If shadow dispelled the darkness she would have just enough time for a direct hit of purest darkfire which if it did not kill her it would at least put her out of the fight. That, of course, left her open to the wrath of that nosey god, Aragnok - who most assuredly could defeat Shadow. Such an option would mean she had failed in her mission, however, and that was unacceptable. So, Shadowfire stayed passive for the moment, maintaining the large dark mist that at least partially protected her.
EclipseIV / Jester: ((Sorry, I failed to post due to fear of a post drought :P)) Jester landed on his feet. Just as the landslide ended, he noticed his quarry had disappeared from sight, an annoying if unfortunate twist of the fates. Jester sheathed his Obsidian weapon and paused for a moment. "This is getting to be a bother...." Jester knew something wasn't right, Shadow was summoning powers too high for any average mortal. <<Shadow, dear, finish up, Aragnok is strong and I have yet to recover from my sleep, further weakened by my scuffle with him...>>
Starless Knight: Shadow winced at the message - an ordered retreart? She must never make it seem as such. *I haven't much left in me, my Liege,* She whispered back. He was right, though - she was but mortal and Jester was weakened - all they had was the element of suprise . . . but Shadow was quite resourceful and that might just be enough to complete her given mission. ((I know this is a bad assumption to make, but it deals with the fact that Meshil's not posting for a couple of days . . .)) Shadow suddenly dispelled the mists, and in that instant she grabbed Meshil who had been knocked unconscious apparently, and then she recovered the mists and left with her dragon mount flying as fast as possible. Shadow planned to go through a few evasive manuvers to make sure they couldn't follow - though it would take them at least a little while to even realize what she'd done - then she would hit the underground for a bit before making her way to the temple. She informed Jester of this quickly, though most of her power was just used to keep the dragon under her will. Shadow was about to fall unconscious herself - those attacks taxed a mortal unlike a god, who was an incarnation of energy.
SincerWritinAsh / Meshil: Meshil had been stunned by the woman’s powerful blow, something she had not expected from a servant. She felt the comfort of a fast wind about her, the sway of air. An elemental goddess was she, her heart felt most comforted by that soft awakening. Her dark eyes opened to find herself on the back of a winged beast and that same weakened priestess. Her eyes narrowed noticing the slumped shoulders and tired bend to the female’s back. She sat upright, balancing easily in the harsh breeze, her long chestnut colored hair mixing with the current. She reached a warm hand forward, her eyes glowing faintly gold. Her emaciated fingers reaching for the woman’s rights shoulder, touching the dark windswept fabric firmly, her nails digging into the soft flesh beneath. Her voice was musical as it sang above the violent wind, “Girl, you’ve gone much to far. You are about to lose your balance…”Her eyes flashed brighter, her slight frame leapt forward taking hold of the dragon’s reigns that shadow held. Her other hand was fierce on the priestess, “Still,” she murmured in the woman’s ear almost like a lover. The priestess would feel an unnatural calm as the wind that surrounded them still suddenly as the dragon drifted slower and lower towards the white city. “You should have let Jester find me princess. It would have saved you much hassle. As they drifted among the highest building tops on the now groaning beast, meshil’s firm grip that had not once loosened until that moment above Jester’s temple. Meshil suddenly shoved the girl heartlessly from the beast’s back. Meshil smiled down at the woman, before calling the wind to speed the dragon into a hasty venture towards the city gates.
Starless Knight: Shadowfire did her best to summon enough power for another blast, but she was unsuccessful. Falling helplessly through the air, Shadow landed with an agonizing thud on the ground. She had tried to touch the dragon's will once more, but even that was beyond her power - though how could a creature as inherently evil as the black dragon ever lower itself to serve a creature of the light Shadow would never understand. Shadow was still, her mind still racing. *I have failed you, I have failed you . . .* Shadow managed to contact Jester, slightly babling and mostly incohereant. She felt like she was dieing - there was blood, she could feel it. Her power was nearly at it's end, her body bruised and broken from the fall. In a puddle of black cloth, her hair floating on a sparce wind every once in a while, Shadow felt death courting her. Graceful and poised as ever, Shadow's icey eyes met the sky's even gaze. "They shall not take me," she repeated to herself under her breath. She prided herself of appearing a woman of immeasurable strength and power all her life - her will was stronger than this! She had earned too many tortures in her afterlife for it to end like this! Still, she felt herself slipping, and with only a single tear sliding down her perfect skin, she fell to the weaknesses of her her own mortal form.
EclipseIV / Jester: As she lay, a shadowy cloud was flowing down to her, as it touched the ground, it began to swirl, Jester slumping out from it. Many of his followers were gathering to see the commotion. Jester grabbed Shadow by the neck, yet, there was an unlikely sense of tenderness in the grip, as if he wasn't holding her by the neck at all. "By the powers vested in me...." He started. "I, Jester, the dark god of vengeance, hereby, and from this day on until the end of time itself, grant you the powers of a demi god, you will know only the pain that I have felt, you will serve only me, you will know the anger I have felt, you will know only the vengeance that boils in my blackened heart and in the hearts of all mortal creatures alike." The dark cloud began to swirl faster and faster. "You will change, ShadowFire of the temple of Jester, you will know what it is like to be, to have a mere sample of the dark gods...." He said off key. "So now, As a god among men, and a god of gods, a walker in both worlds I am. I hereby make you, from this day forth, a Demi GOD!" The smoke exploded in a wild burst, Jester dropped Shadow to the ground, instead of a human form, she was but a puddle of black liquid." Jester spoke once more. "Rise Demi god, and present me with the name of your choice...." The puddle began to rise and take form...
Starless Knight: Shadowfire felt her soul respond to JEster's touch. As her form began to rise from the puddle of her essence she was slightly bound to her mortal template . . . though she realized that was not at all true. Her skin was now inhumanly white, her features still generally the same, though her eyes were the color of dark blood, her lips roughly the same. Her hair was the shade of a dark void, though now it floated about her as if in a current all it's own, as did the drapes of black cloth around her. She still dressed like a Priestess . . . it was a habit she figured she may never fully loose. The major change would be in the sharp, long incisors she now sported and the black, bat-like wings. Other than that she was still slightly shorter than the average human, still voluptuous in the same manner and what-not - she had worked too hard to gain the mannerisms she had in this form to trade it out for something else now. As always she was a poised, pristine beauty - rather like the black diamond - cold, hard, and unforgiving.
"I shall always be your Shadowfire," she said - her voice was a misty whisper, yet it carried on sheer power alone. Oh what a tragedian was she to delight so in such a simple effect! She was named after Jester's power, and now she had been created of Jester's power as well. Even in her new-found power her sense of loyalty and a dark sort of honor was impecable.
SincerWritinAsh: Meshil flew from the white city gates towards the dense forest that sheltered the western boundary. She sensed life giving water there. The dragon beneath her groaned its loathsome burble before it reached the dense canopy of the elms and oaks. Meshil let go of the dragon’s reigns and somersaulted gently to the wooded floor. The winged beast surprised at regaining his freedom, cooed in delight, before darting back into the high of the noon sky. Meshil thanked the beast quietly for his favor as she delighted in the firm earth beneath her bare feet. She gave a relieved sigh before taking the short walk towards the narrow stream nearby. Once reaching it a smile graced her fair features as she rushed into the cool knee high water. The water rushed at her torn dress and rinsed the dust from her lower legs. Her childlike features beamed with joy, as the water soon began to rush at a quicker rate, becoming a sort of funnel. The cool currents washing over the petite and slender goddess. Once she felt refreshed and renewed, the walls of the watery funnel fell as soft rain. Exposing the sparkling golden skinned goddess, her hair long gleaming in the specks of sunlight, the chestnut and chocolate shades laying kindly over her slim shoulders. Her eyes were bright and shining unnatural, as she shook at the hem of the tattered dress she wore, as she smoothed the skirt it became a clean linen shift that hung modestly about her feminine figure. A bright smile touched her glowing eyes as she stepped from the stream, she was slowly discarding her human form, although she clung to her mortal status still. She was a beautiful yet wild looking child, her face still childlike and eyes despite the momentary glee still full of remorse. She began on her slow trek back toward the white city.
EclipseIV / Jester: Jester gave a slight bow, and then walked in a circle around Shadow. "Now, we have, to my dismay, failed in our first attempt to capture my betrayer. However, the enemy grows in legion, knowing that I am strong, two things are possible now: Aragnok summons the white gods to fight me against and the dark gods. Or, Aragnok and those who agree to my total destruction, will summon their pathetic armies to fight mine." Jester stopped behind her. "In giving you the status of demi god, I have lifted the one chain Meshil left on me, the one that had made me so weak, and you so strong, the bond that kept me to the level of that of a conjurer of magic..." He paused. "And in giving you my strength, I have renewed myself..." He conjured in his hand, a blackened fire.
Starless Knight: Shadow gave JEster an unreadable stare until finally she asked, "I would ask that you tell me what happened so long ago. Something is not right about Meshil, I'm sure of it." Shadow took a slow breath before continuing - these were audacious questions, but they must be asked. "There is something in her manner that is agains 'good' nature. So often I hear her as kind and compassionate, yet there was a certain heartless pleasure in the act that most nearly killed me . . . There is something of the darkness in her, I am sure of it. Even in her use of the black dragon there is a sign. Whenever cornered, she lashes out with powers that are unpredictable and against the profile of a good goddess . . . all that besides, certain there must be something of the dark in her to warrant a romance between the two of you," Shadow realized this was going to far, but she had yet to learn the art of retreat, and again, there were things that needed saying. Shadowfire's eyelashes lowered respectfully. "There are things I must know in order to aid you to the best of my abilities," she said softly. "As you have doubtless read in my reports, your forces measure greater than any creature of the light would dare fathom. All of that is useless if Meshil will expect it, however. I must know as much as possible about the past to know what the wench would expect and what not - how much of your character she knows . . . as well as what elements play in her character, to make her act in a nearly skitzophrenic manner," Shadow intoned, trying her best to be straight-forward but respectful as always. Certainly Jester still outranked her, but her loyalty extended beyond the usual fear found in a dark minion . . . Shadowfire only wondered why he'd been so lienient with her thus far. Certainly she was diligent, powerful, faithful, and efficient . . . but she had failed in her given task and this was not the first time she'd fallen short. For that matter, she wondered why she had marked with a power that would have killed any other mortal - and why Jester had not asked about nor commented on how she could posses much less control such a power . . . there was much more going on than Shadowfire knew - but she was also just clever enough that it was dangerous for her to start trying to put the puzzle pieces together herself.
EclipseIV / Jester: Jester clenched his open flaming hand into a doused fist. There was a dreadfully long pause. "Long ago, almost five thousand to be exact." He began to walk in a circle again. "A young man of the age of twenty and one.... had fallen in love with a woman, a woman so beautiful, it was said that she even made darkness itself bow to her whim in awe... This man, but a simple worker in a forge, left everything he had behind, and put heart and soul into winning this woman, but time and time again, only rejection. One day, after yet another rejection, he wandered deep into the mountains, sodden and beaten down by his endless attempts, he mindlessly wandered into a cave, in this cave, he came upon a stone podium, and on it, a mask... The mask spoke out to him: 'Dear boy, wear me, and I shall grant your greatest desire, at only one price, leave your soul and body to me, become me, in darkness we'll live, but hapy shal you be.' And in his desperation, he wore the mask, and became a living god. He once more, approached the woman, only to find that she was also a living god. And then they fell in love. For a time, he had control of his new found power, and was able to keep it from effecting his life. But as the days progressed, the darkness slowly took it's toll. However, the Goddess, in her faith, remained at his side,but slowly, but less effectively, she began to feel the darkness wrapping her. Slowly, she sank to the background as the man rose to power, gathering millions to his own worship." Jester kept circling.
Soon, he began to attack the lands of other gods, and soon enough, the entire continent plunged into war. And one day, a thousand years ago, in the midst of a clash with a white god, the darkness now having full effect on the man, had driven the goddess to the edge, and in her anger, in her frustration, and in her so called sympathy for the man made god, subdued and encapsulated the god, banishing him to the cave where the mask was discovered."
That is but the footnote of the story, and all you will know for now... The rest will come when it is called for.
Starless Knight: Shadowfire remained as stoic and unreadable as an ice statue. No one could tell what she was thinking . . . truth be told, not even herself. "Very well," came the whisper from her lips. "Then the next question is, what is your wish, my Liege?" Not at all, she thought to herself - who was Jester - the one she knew now - was he a man in the mask of a god, or had his soul truly fused with this ancient power now? It was a dangerous question, but an important one - who knows what tragedies - betrayals of oneself, even - might occur if his humanity still lingered? Of this she said nothing, however.
Tisuna / Jhoti: Jhoti opened her eyes, after a long session of <<sensing>>. Her head buzzed uncomfortably from Shadow's previous blast of darkness, and her information was scattered and broken, and not as clear as she'd like. "My lord, Aragnok," she began, drawing his attention, "I have been <<sensing>> out to the priestess we encountered earlier, Jester and Meshil as well. As you saw, the priestess snatched the lady goddess and flew away with her on the dragon...I have found, to some degree, that Meshil is no longer in the Darkness's hold...also that Jester is even more powerful, and...while the priestess has certainly grown no less in strength, she has...changed,in some way I cannot detect. Forgive me, for I have no details on these matters. Why and how these have come about is currently beyond my own abilities, my lord."
So much had happened, and so quickly. How could she be of any use to her chosen lord if she couldn't keep up?
SincerWritinAsh / Meshil: Meshil tread through the dense foliage of the forest until the trees became sparse and the western ivory wall of the city was visible. She halted at the forest line, her eyes closing slowly. Meshil was the Living Goddess of Charisma, her voice was magnetic and persuasive, her demeanor respected and admired by all. She remembered teaching a small mass of children aged perhaps five on a hill, there she lead them in a song that would have persuaded the hills crops of maze and tobacco to grow tall for the fast arriving harvest. As she had led the singing joyfully, a kind hand smoothing the curls of a blonde child leant against her leg, her eyes noticed a handsome young man at the base of the hill. His eyes enchanting and full of life, she smiled at him from afar. His face was youthful and lovely, but that was not enough to capture the goddesses heart. When she opened her eyes she recalled how the young man reappeared confident and strapping in Jester’s mask, his influence quite potent, soon sweeping her to his side. She had stood beside him proudly along while it seemed until she felt the masks taint at her own power. Jester’s following would never had been as great as it was with out her influential presence at his side. She took a determined step into the open plain, the solid earth ceasing her inner turmoil. Her light eyes inspecting the stone wall, before she lost focus once more. Jester stood above a hoard of violent men prepared for battle, an attack on the Dawn Harbor planned. Meshil stood in the balcony shadow forgotten, Jester had not spoken to her for weeks, and she realized suddenly that she had been nothing but a tool since the beginning. At that moment she knew what she had to do before Jester destroyed the continent and all that was good. An arrow whistled past her head, her focus returned and she tilted her head at the soldier on the high wall. The earth beneath the portion he stood on began to crumble quickly, until he was buried within the stone blocks. They would now realize she was here.
EclipseIV / Jester: Jester stops pacing, and inanimately snaps his attention in the direction of the sounds. "It seems your use will be here now, she comes for me, surprisingly." Jester tilts his head towards shadow, "If she comes, so does the angel and Aragnok, in more numbers than themselves. Order the soldiers to outside the city, and I give you one final order before I engage my betrayer: If the angel and Argnok attempt to interfere, even with an armies worth, slaughter them, every last one."
Jacoby / Aragnok: Aragnok nodded to Jhoti, his eyes sharp and focused as his mind raced. Events were running far more quickly than he anticipated, and with the addition of Meshil into his concerns, he needed to act swiftly.
“Jhoti, I have a task for you. We must be prepared for all contingencies. Go to your council of Angels and tell them that Aragnok humbly requests that any white angels, who are fit for arms, are to please join me. A dark battle is coming and unless we stand together I fear evil will be victorious.”
Aragnok became dark and brooding again. He had sensed the power Jester had bestowed upon his minion. He had broken one of the divine laws sanctioned by the gods by doing so without permission. Maybe in that act, Jester had incurred the wrath of other living gods and might spur them into action against him.
Aragnok briefly thought of approaching his sister Micha for she was the Goddess of Discord but her powers were equal measure good and evil. Balance was needed in all things, and already the scales were tipped toward darkness.
Aragnok finally came to a difficult decision. Just as Jhoti approached her council, so must he is. He smiled kindly at the white-winged angel. “Thank you Jhoti, for coming to our defense. Your act of courage will not be forgotten.” He placed a warm hand on her forehead and let his powers of healing and strength suffuse her, repairing any damage or fatigue she was suffering. “Now go. We each have work to do.” Without waiting for her answer, he spurred Xerxes and the warhorse charged into the sky, heading for Hall of the Gods.
Starless Knight: The ice in her demeanor melted to show the intensity of her love for pain, "With pleasure, my Liege," she said, then she laughed - a slow bubbling laugh that made even her closest, darkest followers shiver. She curtsied gracefully from Jester's presence, and started shouting orders. Fighting army against army was one thing - army against gods and angels was completely different. She had the men stationed at the walls, armed with bows and arrows more than swords, to shoot down those winged annoyances. There was a leigon of dragon riders - mostly fire dragons, since only an elite few could bind the volitile black dragons. She had two officers on black dragons, and three capable of taking a black if she needed the fire power. These would be her main defense against any angels that came - as units they were slightly inferior, except that the fire dragons could cause some wonderfully nasty burns - but Shadowfire had a spy in the Council of Angels and she was certain that her forces outnumbered them enough brobably about 2.5:1. She had a number of her most powerful priests and priestesses in the temple, praying and sacrificing to aid Jester with their strength. There were a couple who would also try to do so for Shadow, though as a newly formed demigoddess that was not something to rely on. With another bone-chilling laugh Shadow flew into the air, taking stock of the situation. She would not fail her duties again! Of course, it helped greatly that he had pretty much given her sadistic fantasies free run . . . Her powers were seemingly much the same, only magnified greatly and much less taxing. No doubt after this battle Jester would help her to improve and learn her new power, but for now she was more than a servicable ally. She also changed - she wore now a black breastplate piece, with a black metal-worked skirt for gretest mobility. She watched for the God and his angels with am almost impish pleasure. Oh the fun she would have! She could almost hear the wails of pain singing to her already! Unfortunately, there was a little hindrance in her orders - she was distinctly told not to attack unless they attacked first. She wondered if this would be a probelm . . . likely not. They didn't know, after all, that the demi-goddess's hands were tied. As long as they thought she was going to attack, they were likely to attack in time.
Tisuna / Jhoti: Refreshed, and feeling incredibly honored, Jhoti took off immediately following Aragnok's departure. Once she reached the required speed, she cast out above her, and dissapeared within a wire-thin discrepancy of light and color.
~~~~~~
Jhoti hovered before the great Council of Angels, her hands folded respectfully before her, though she met each of their eyes in turn. It had taken thirty-two tellings of the tale (she'd counted) just to get her audience with the Council, and she prayed it would be worth it. Farravey, a stately Angel with blue-tinged hair, rose from his seat with the council, "Young one, why have requested a hearing with us? What could you have found that is so urgent you must meet with us yourself?"
Jhoti swallowed nervously and replied, "Because Jester, the Laughing God of Vengeance, has escaped his captivity."
When the gasps from attendents in the room, and some of the less-seasoned Councilors had died down, Jhoti continued, urgency over riding her anxiety, "The Lord God Aragnok has requested the assistance of all able-bodied white angels to fight against Jester and his army."
Another Councilor rose from his seat, outraged, "Even if Aragnok has requested his help, what gives him such right? My brethren, if we obey this order we forfeit what little freedom we have scraped away from the Light gods!"
Now Jhoti gasped, "How can you say such things? He does not order, but ask! As Angels, we choose the god we serve-none who do not wish to follow him must come!"
Tisuna / Jhoti: <<Sorry, had to break or it would log me out and I'd lose the whole thing.>>
The Councilors began to whisper and nod amongst themselves, or look at the objecting Councilor, considering.
Farravey looked back down at Jhoti, "What Aragnok requests is no small thing, though his need is great. We can easily send word to the white Angels in our realms, but not all will come. And not all will be happy about being summoned as such, to a God they may not have chosen to serve. And we will lose many."
The Objector nodded in approval, and others began to whisper louder, worrying over the loss. Jhoti fought against tears coming to her eyes, feeling incredibly frustrated. Yes, the Angels would lose warriors to this battle,and no one would feel that loss more than she, being the one who sent them into battle. But didn't they see-couldn't they understand? That if they did not support the opposing forces against Jester now, they would lose even more later? Others than the Angels would perish as well! Jhoti looked up into the eyes of the High Councilor, a female Angel named Marda, her hair long and gray with age-old, even by Angel's standards!-and wisdom. Upon reaching her gaze, Marda stood and exchanged looks with the others on the rise, then looked down at Jhoti gently. "Forces would be a mere fraction of our numbers, if Aragnok calls for the aid of only 'White' Angels. The loss would be incredible."
Jhoti stared at Marda, uncomprehending. Then, she straightened and called out confidently, "Council of the Angels, you have heard and discussed my Lord Aragnok's request. Now I have my own."
"I do not ask for the word to only White Angels-if they wish, I shall take Jade and Crimson, Cerulean and Ash, and all those in between!"
EclipseIV / Jester: -
Tisuna: <<I play Jhoti, and since it hasn't moved at all in here, I just thought I'd say I was done with my two-post thing. I'll pop up again when Aragnok gathers his forces or something...But you don't have to wait for me, or anything.>>
Starless Knight: (( *Starless awaits movement with a grumpy expression.*))
Jacoby / Aragnok: <<BOOM! Take that!!>>
Aragnok ruthlessly spurred Xerxes on, never having ridden so fast as he did right then. For those below who looked upwards at the sky, they saw only a streak of white light as they flashed by. Within moments, appearing out of the clouds, stood the burning white palace of the Gods. Aragnok wasted no time guiding Xerxes into the courtyard, dismounting and marching through the cavernous doors and into the palace. He ignored the surprised looks and gasps of astonishment as he strode through the marble white corridors, his face set in determined lines. He didn’t pause as he came to the council doors either, but confidently pushed them open and walked inside, the sounds of his footfalls loud in the sudden silence.
He dropped to one knee and bowed deeply. “Jester is free and has called upon a dark force to aid him. I am here to enlist your help for the salvation of all.” His last word died slowly in the heavy silence as all 11 of the Council of the Gods stared back at him.
“You have been absent from these halls a long time, brother,” a deep melodious voice said.
Aragnok glanced up and met the dark eyes of Merrick, God of Order. “I have been absent, yes, but now I return in a time of great need. Jester has broken our laws and has created a demigod without first consulting the Council. Even as we speak his armies grow in strength and number. It is imperative that we gather our own forces before it is too late.”
The Council chamber became a sudden buzz as each of the eleven Gods spoke at once. Aragnok remained motionless in his kneeling position, clenching his jaw against speaking out. Time was running out. It was Merrick again who finally spoke, his deep voice drowning out all others. “Aragnok, you are a living God and yet you chance going up against Jester again and chancing death? Why?”
“Because if I don’t, then Jester will surely win and the world will become constant night and the people who live on it will turn to ash,. All that is good and pure will surely wither and die.”
“It seems you retain your title of Guardian, brother,” Merrick said to him. “It is quite bothersome sometimes.”
Aragnok remained silent, sensing that it wasn’t the right time to talk.
Merrick glanced at the other Gods and one by one they nodded to him. “Very well,” Merrick sighed. “We have sensed a change coming for a while now and have been preparing. Messengers will be sent to all our human allies and an army will await you. But be warned Aragnok – us Gods cannot become directly involved in this. It is against the edicts by which we must live. You are alone but for the living deities that walk the earth; and their support is for you alone to attain.”
Aragnok rose, knowing that what they had offered would not be enough. He only hoped that Jhoti had done better. “Thanks you, my Lords, Ladies," he said to those assembled. "I will take my leave of you.” He turned to go, leaving the Council Hall with backwards glance.
Before the doors shut behind him, he heard Merrick the God of Order’s final words. “May the Fates guide you, brother, for I sense the balance of all things is coming to an end.”
Starless Knight: ((*Applause*)) Shadow paced, flapping her great wings, eager for the taste of fire and blood in the air. Her forces were ready, and waiting - where was her prey? Terms needed talking of and denying and so on - it was the curtesy of war. Shadow awaited her opponents like a hungry tiger - it was long past time she showed then how deep into the roots of their 'good people' she had nurtured her 'evil' empire. Ooh, indeed - it was long past time that Shadowfire showed the world her power and like the power she was named and made after she would raze the world! She would have vengence for the pain her family suffered at the expense of the 'good people'. She would see too it, as well, nothing got in the way of Jester's vengence - that was a long time in coming and Shadow felt that peculiar episode needed to be settled.
Shadow awaited her apponents in the sky above her forces until at last she saw the tell-tale gleam of white coming towards her to start the pre-emptory negotiations. It was a tedious thing, but Shadowfire was honorable and a lover of ceremony anyways so fair enough she would see to it not an arrow was fired until it was time.
Starless Knight: ((?!))
Starless Knight: ((So . . . is that it? Is everyone just going to leave? People, if you're going to drop an rpg at least have the decency to announce it - otherwise, you have hopless people like me still hanging on and waiting for some reply, lol.))
Jacoby: <i havent dropped it. i was just being polite and waiting on a couple of the others to post. If they don't soon, i shall post again. oh, btw, Starless - check your PMs.>
Tisuna: <<I'm waiting on the opportune moment, if possible. If that moment doesn't appear, I'll post again, if only to make myself known again, and that I'm still here. I like this rp-I'm not giving up on it if I can help it.>>
SincerWritinAsh / Meshil: (sry I've been gone so long...um I'm back now. I never meant to drop the rp. I like it too much)
Meshil was still at the western wall, her eyes examining the wall she had just destroyed. Her eyes were glowing a vibrant amber and the slight current that protected her churned about her lifted her chestnut tresses wildly about her innocent face. She took careful steps with her bare feet, lifting the hem of her cotton dress in a lady like manner as she climbed up the rubble to enter the White City. The trembling archers and guards watched warily as the forgotten goddess clambered up the rocks, a smile gracing her features in childish glee in the simple activity. The archers shaking hands shot aimless arrows towards her that were deflected by the shielding current of air defending her.
SincerWritinAsh / Jeanne: (bump)
Starless Knight: ((I'm not sure what to do . . . I wonder if Jester has forsaken this rpg? *pouts* lol))
Tisuna / Jhoti: <<Bump. Please, let's not lose this one.>>
EclipseIV: ((One rule: the Jester always wins >:) ))
Jester lifted his head. "Alas, the wench comes." Now, dark matter was seeping from his clothing and mask. Long had he savored the moment where he would finish the job she started, except he'd change the ending. "Come, Meshil! You dearly beloved awaits this dark marriage, till your death do we part." He could feel the anger seething within. He was blinded, only his hate drove him, even if it would mean his end, he would bring her down, and then this wretched world. It was time for it all to come to an end now, the true strength of the god of vengeance was about to spill over the world. He began to giggle, then started into a quite maniacle laughing, which soon reached the evil, unyielding, creepy laugh that he was infamous for.
SincerWritinAsh / Meshil: (welcome back kiddo)
Meshil could hear Jester’s laugh, the one she had at once smiled at, the one that caused tension in her petite shoulders now. Her golden eyes glowed, her human shell was slowly shattering, her full powers returning. She was becoming tired of mourning and sorrow, he did not warrant such feelings from her now. Her skin glowed a heavenly amber aura and her white tunic soon joined the material of the air current shielding her. She was once more the magnificence and magnetic force she had once been several centuries before. Her powers newly awakened and thirsting to be used after lying dormant so long. The Living Goddess of Earthly Persuasion had emerged to meet her husband, she was no longer the deity of remorse and mourning. Her golden eyes held no remorse and her head hung low no more, she stood atop the cragged wall. Arrows repelling from her defenses.
Jacoby / Aragnok: Xerxes’ hooves touched down before the amassed army and he trotted to a stop, stamping at the ground and snorting in exhaustion. Aragnok surveyed the army in from of him. A loud drone of murmured voices lay heavy in the tense air; as thousands of men shifted through nerves, boredom, excitement or discomfort, leather creaked and iron clanged. A frown darkened Aragnok’s features when he realised the army mostly consisted of poorly equipped soldiers with graying hair and paunches beneath their shoddy armor. He walked Xerxes along the ranks, meeting the eyes of every man there and was gratified when not one turned away.
Aragnok glanced up at the skies, searching for signs of Jhoti before letting his eyes rest on the White City. He could feel Meshil’s powers shimmering around the western wall, stronger than ever, and despite his worry for her, he felt a small smile touch his lips. It seemed she had finally awoken from her mortal coils and had retaken her Godhood back.
The taut muscles across his back spasmed where Jester’s blade had sliced into him, and Aragnok’s eyes narrowed, their irises flaming blue, power ripping through him. He would approach the White City to discuss terms shortly, but first he awaited news from Jhoti.
EclipseIV / Jester: "So..." Jester starts. "It all comes down to this, in the only city that you cared about, where I first perused a foolish dream.... And now I et to finish what we you started!" He slowly drew his Obsidian blade from it's hidden sheath. The dark matter flowing harder than ever, creating a blanket around them both. "Funny...." He said. "You used to be comforted by this screen, I wonder how you feel about it now, dear wife..." He reared up. "It's a said thing, readying to kill you, when so much could have been accomplished." Then the mask itself took hold and chimed in. "You will not have him, he is mine to keep, I will not leave his body, and the lady shadow fire shall serve me to no end, your day is at an end, goddess, I've waited a long time to taint all the good souls you have blessed!"
Tisuna / Jhoti: Jhoti alighted silently next to Aragnok, quieting Xerxes with a gentle stroke of her hand. Only the click and jingle of her armor alerted any of her presence. The armor was mostly light-woven chain mail and thick leather over the more fatal parts of her body, the traditional style most Angels wore to battle, so they may still fly with ease. "My Lord Aragnok," she began, looking up to meet his gaze, "I have returned with the Angels you requested."
She waved her hand over her head, then lowered it as a gentle breeze began to stir, "Please, my lord, for though they are not what you had in mind..."
She quieted as her recruited army, a magnificent pallet of colors, soared over them, and landed as one unit around the god, the angel, and the army of men. Jhoti took a breath and continued, "But every one has chosen to serve you in your conquest today, and it is a choice each swears to follow."
EclipseIV / Jester: ((I sure hope you all just haven't dropped this.))
Tisuna / Jhoti: <<No...I'm waiting on...everybody, it seems.>>
SincerWritinAsh: (im very sorry. im leaving for indoc this week will not have computer access until the very end of august. this has been a great rp even if a bit slow paced. i would love to pick it up again in a month's time. i will check es on the thirtieth when i arrive at the hotel but that is all. plz just leave me a comment tellin me that all is good to go.thanks)
Tisuna / Jhoti: <<Well I'm willing to wait for Ashe to get back so she can play Meshil. Just so long as we don't forget to come back to this.>>
Jacoby: <<Ash will be back within a couple of days so I’m gonna go ahead and post>>
Aragnok looked up at the sky, shutting up one eye as the sun blinded him. The golden orb was suddenly blotted out and shadows fell across the earth as angels of all shades swooped down from the sky to alight as a battalion all around him. Gasps of wonder and loud murmurs came from the amassed soldiers at his back but Aragnok ignored them, keeping his eyes on the angels. With a small troubled frown, he took in the greys and charcoals and midnight hues of their wings. He saw only a handful of white angels similar to that of Jhoti. He dismounted and stood next to Jhoti, his words low so only she could hear him. “You have done well, my winged friend. You have not only my thanks, but my gratitude. Yours will be the highest of victories in every bard’s tale; I will make sure of it.” He briefly squeezed her shoulder before taking a deep breath and turning to face the thousands of eyes that rested upon him.
He spoke to all, angels and men, young and old, his deep voice travelling the distance easily. A hush settled over the company.
“Many will die this day. Our numbers are few and theirs are great. But I give you my word as a God that I will not let these deaths be for nothing. I will fight to my dying breath to protect what we are all here to defend – hope. Hope that good will out and that light will not be vanquished from this world. Our children depend upon us. If we fail they will face the consequences. Today we can still call this world ours, not Jester’s or any other god’s bent on destruction and cruel dominance. But what tomorrow brings depends upon us now. We cannot fail. We will not fail.” His eyes blazed a brilliant blue as his last words faded into the silence.
No one spoke.
Aragnok quietly placed a boot in Xerxes’ stirrup and pulled himself astride the warhorse. He eased his sword in its scabbard, his hand tightening on the sword’s grip, the familiar feel of it suffusing him with resolve. He turned Xerxes to face the White City, his eyes narrowing on its walls.
His back to his army, a shout suddenly rang out. “Victory to Lord Aragnok! “Victory!”
Victory!
More shouts joined the first.
“VICTORY!”
VICTORY!
With thousands of voices making the air boom and the ground shake, Aragnok led his army forward.
Starless Knight: Shadow growled at the charge of the almost haphazard looking army before her. Was this all?! This was going to be a battle hardly worth her grand acendance! With a battle cry that stirred the dark hearts of her followers, Shadowfire called down her namesake power onto the procceeding ranks. From shadowfire's hands poured streams of the shadowy fires, burning anything that claimed itself an enemy of the darkness with a hunger matched only by the very fire in Shadow's heart. She was feverant about bringing honor and vallour to her lord Jester and now perhaps to herself as well.
Tisuna / Jhoti: <<Dang, I'm late. Just...place these things in the time they should be, please. In your head.>>
Jhoti felt her heart lift, even in the face of battle. Aragnok's words rang through her head as she joined the shout of 'Victory!', and as she she lifted her hand, raising the angels into the air. She too flapped her wings and rose with them. However, her confidence fell as she watched the Shadowfire rise and sweep down on their forces. She knew who cast it, and she shivered at the memory of that woman, so consumed by her love of the darkness. Jhoti narrowed her eyes as she felt the others around her register the fire as that of a demi-god's. She waved her arms in a silent command, sending the legion closer to the ground, where they might hear Aragnok's orders more clearly. She quickly sent her lord a telepathic message, briefly fearing the unthinkable act of entering his mind. 'I go to find the priestess. We will have a better chance without her Shadowfire. The angelic legion awaits your command, my lord.'
Jhoti took one last glance at the battlefield before flapping her wings and soaring urgently around the Fire, searching out the darkness's source, at which she knew she would find the priestess turned god.
SincerWritinAsh / Meshil: Meshil’s eyes flicked from Jester and his obsidian blade scanning the sky dominated by angels flying and flinging themselves through the air towards battle. The earth felt the ruins of the stone wall beneath her feet warm, reacting to the deathly heat of shadow’s attack, the scream of the war ready men on the breeze surrounding her. Meshil took a deep breath, ignoring Jester’s presence, there were others to focus on now. He was no longer the lone object of her consideration, he’d mentioned the city, the souls. Her eyes sought out the head of Aragnok upon Xerxes, she smiled slightly at the sight of the white god leading the from the front. The current of protective air swirling about her lessened as she lifted a single hand towards Jester’s form, her eyes still on the horizon. “Dear husband, you have been unfaithful, in more ways than one,” her voice was gentile and sweet from her curved lips, her index finger bent, targeting Jester. “You are not the only one has grown stronger in these many years and you have chosen for your companion a mere slip of a girl who is blinded by you and will scorch herself with the fire she plays with.” Finally she returned her eyes to Jester’s masked face, “metal is a mineral is it not? And mineral’s bow to my will.” The mask about Jester’s face began to tighten on his features before pulling away with a nagging tug. “I no longer remember true face dear, perhaps I need a reminder.” The tugging became stronger, the mask tearing slightly from his skin.
SincerWritinAsh: (did this die while i away?)
Starless Knight: Shadow sensed the approach of her main adversary. Giving clipped commands whe motivated her forces against the white army, then turned her attention to the angel. This was a battle of honor now - the angel was hers alone, and on Shadow's orders, none would rasie a hand to the angel now. Shadow boxed deeply and solemnly saying, "You are a most worthy adversary," then she allowed a twitch of a smile, "I will mourn your death as is fit for one of your honor." Shadowfire held out her hand, and in it appeared a sword fashioned from her namesake power - then she wasted no time in putting it to good use, slashing with amazing speed and skill towards the angel.
Jacoby: <<i'll leave a messg on Jester's page to remind him to post>>
EclipseIV / Jester: As the masked pulled at his face, he did not act on it. A spiritual voice spoke out: "Your husband is mine, and mine forever, I was his tool for winning your love for those wretched few years, and now he is my tool to live." Said Jester. The obsidian lowered and scraped across the ground. "I cannot simply be removed, just because I am metal, foul whore, I am the god of vengeance!" He shout. At that moment, the black mist leaking from the sides of his mask and his cloak flared even more, and began to form balls of shadow that orbited him
the way electrons orbit an atom.
"There is no hope for him, in darkness he now dwells."
"If you want to free him, come and try."
He lifted his sword and pointed it at her.
Tisuna / Jhoti: Jhoti quickly brought up her own blade to parry Shadow's attack. It shamed her, but the priestess's words and guestures had thrown her temporarily off balance. It shouldn't have; even beings of the utmost darkness could display honor in combat. "As is due," Jhoti replied, launching from the parry into her own expert assault, "I will mourn the loss of such talent as well, though it will not be my own."
She paused a moment when the two blades had locked safely, and bent her head to Shadow, the best variation of a bow their position could allow. A flash of metal, the sing of the two weapons as they cut through the air, and the clash continued.
<<Shadow, please check your personal messages (pms). Pardon this little message.>>
Jacoby / Aragnok: Aragnok threw up an arm, power tearing through him, his hair rippling in the sudden tumult of air that flared up around him. The massive wall of fire that flashed down at his army suddenly stopped as if hitting an invisible wall; red angry flames licked at the unseen barrier. Soldiers cowered as heat scorched the earth around their feet and roaring flames flickered and roiled overhead like a live animal eager to envelop them. Aragnok made a swift cutting motion with one hand and with a thunderous clap the fire flashed so bright it sent the whole world a blinding white and blinked out of existence. He turned his attention to Shadow, his face dark with dangerous intent but before he could issue his orders, Jhoti spoke to him through his thoughts and swooped in the demi-god’s direction. “God speed,” he murmured after the angel before drawing his sword and holding it aloft. “ONWARD!” he roared and spurred Xerxes forward. The men at his back screamed and charged, the ground thundering. The winged legion flew above their heads like a multi-hued shield from the heavens.
The army of light smashed into Jester’s army like a wave crashing against rocks. A battering of clashing steel and pounding flesh rang out. Red glowed from the eyes of Jester’s soldiers and their bared teeth looked sharp and feral. Aragnok rode through them as if they were nothing but tall grass, his blade cutting and chopping, leaving screams and blood in his wake. The flapping of wings was loud in his ears as angels dove and swooped into battle. A man squealed as a black-winged angel skewered him with a lance through the throat.
Aragnok yanked his own sword from the chest of an enemy and glanced up at the White City. He saw the long dark hair and flowing robes of Meshil standing at the wall, her face turned toward him. He also saw the light of the sun flash off Jester’s mask.
It’s Aragnok! Kill him!
Growling, he lowered his gaze and opened a fist, pushing his palm forward at the charging enemy soldiers. A flare of energy shot out and flung the soldiers away as if they were no more than ragdolls. A clear line opened up before him and Aragnok galloped forward, yelling orders, sensing his men rallying to him as they pushed deeper into enemy lines.
SincerWritinAsh: Meshil’s face lightened with the glimpse of a smile on her lips, “Sir, I have no sword.” She took a mere step forward, before the rubble that their feet rested upon shifted, and the heavy stone rocks sprung into the air, aimed at Jester, the flung themselves forcefully into his frame. Meshil’s gesturing hand still poised in the air, the fingers grasping into the space, she could sense the metal of the mask. It no longer mattered that the mask had tainted the mere surface of Jester, that it had suffused in his blood and heart but still ripping the mask from his face would feel like a victory in itself. The smile at the lifting of the stone, turned stern, as she gritted her small white teeth close in concentration. The iron pried itself angrily from Jester’s skin, causing dark fog became thicker.
Starless Knight: The dark army fought tooth and nail, and though the majority of the forces were human in nature, they still came up with surprising inginuity when faced with a legion of angels. The sky was so full of arrows that there was hardly an angel wing of any color that did not have hardwood shafts amongst the feathers. Though the white army pushed foreward - and hard - the dark forces still as of yet had a few tricks up their sleeves. From the temple came a pack of six ferocious black dragons - considered untameable at all, though Shadowfire had at some great length instilled a fear of her own forces and a taste for angel in them that made them perfect weapons. The dragons ripped through the battle-torn grounds, snapping angels right out of the air.
Meanwhile, Shadow and Jhoti were locked in a battle that would mark history for as long as Humanity existed! With each clash of swords there was an explosion of sparks, the darkfire of Shadow's blade making a streaming record of Shadow's moves. With a flourish, Shadow swung a mid-aimed blow, which forced the powerful angel back but also allowed for the clever Jhoti to get a shot as well, earning Shadow a stinging slash across her shoulder and midway down her chest - a surface wound, but one that would undoubtable leave a scar to last until the end of Shadowfire's form. Shadow touched a hand to herself, almost in shock that she could bleed at all - the thick red substance marring the perfect white of her skin caused an awakening within her, however, and with a smile that would have stopped any man in his tracks, she lunged a magnificent attack towards Jhoti. Her entire body extended, as if every fiber of the demi-goddess was being called upon in the power of this attack, the blade shuddered with a dark righteousness and Shadow let out an impassioned cry that boosted the moral of every man fighting for her.
Tisuna / Jhoti: Jhoti could not hold back her gasp of pain. She had been unable to avoid such a lunge from Shadow, nor had she been able to deflect it. She had only been able to swerve in the air, and even that had not been enough.
While a slyly smiling Shadow watched, savouring her opponent's agony, Jhoti slowly stretched her right wing. Again the horrible, stabbing pain, yet this time she managed to stop her voice in her throat; if her own losses were heard, the white forces would lose morale, just as Shadow's cry had gifted hers. The blade had gone clean through, and blood and feathers fell to the battle below, sinking unseen beneath the boots of soldier, lost. Her wing...To lose one's wings, to lose the gift of flight...to an angel, such tragedy was a fate worse than death... However, Jhoti gasped one last time, and shifted her body into a different position, a new one, one strangely feral.
Suddenly, the angel lunged at Shadow, her own fierce battle cry bursting from her lips like a clarion. The demi-god, startled from her pleasure at the angel's sudden change, quickly brought her sword up and glanced the incoming blade to the side.
But the blade came again and again, striking closer and faster, each expertly placed as Jhoti allowed the pain to fuel her rather than hinder her, putting the demi-god on a frantic defense, which annoyed her to no end. The Light battlers below sent up a cheer for victory and pressed on with new strength, fighting the Dark forces strike for strike!
Shadow narrowed her eyes and snapped the dragons into a greater rage, before rapidly turning her head to dodge a thrust of the angel's sword. A single scratch dribbled from her lovely cheek as the rest of metal cut through the air to graze the wings behind her. Catching sight of an opening, Jhoti whirled in mid-air, catching Shadow in the face and blinding her with feather and blood, to catch her momentarily off guard. With a shout of triumph that rang across the battlefield, throughout the entire city, the angel continued her turn to bring a swift, powerful plunge down toward the priestess's chest.
<<Block or take, it's your choice, Starless.>>
EclipseIV / Jester: Jester's body flung back, the rubble bashing into him and flying into the city behind him. He creaked back into position, only to have the mask ripped from his face. As it came off, there was the scream, heard round the world. "MASHILLLLLL AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!" He screamed, covering his pained face. Jester lifted his head to stare at her as the fog thickened. "The mask may be gone, but I'm still here, you'll have to come and rip me from his soul!" Jester conjured a dark matter ball, and hurled it at Meshil. "There are no gods, no mortals, there is ONLY ME!" He shouted.
SincerWritinAsh / Meshil: The mask flew into Meshil’s hand, her fingers holding tight to the iron. As the dark matter sped towards her, she squinted her dark eyes in focus, her ears burned from the sound of Jester’s scream. A stone wall erupted before her, barely shielding her in time from the blow the flying projectile would have dealt her. Her ears ringing and the mask burning in her hand, she unconsciously enclosed herself into an earthen cocoon, to at least dull the damage done to her ears. Inside the earth she sensed for the position of Jester, panicked he focus was beginning to lip, her concentration breaking. Her eyes wide in the dark space, the idea of this being her tomb occurred. She had been deadened much too long she knew, and to day she would not only live in a dull semblance, she would fight for all living. A faint golden light began to seep from the outer shell of the rock pillar, the light bleeding from Meshil.
EclipseIV / Jester: [Done to the song: "Behind Space '99" - By In Flames]
[Intro]There was a silence as the light leaked. And then, the crouching Jester stood up, flinging his arms back, releasing another ungodly scream. Immidately, the mist thickened and the darkness exploded skyward. "THERE IS ONLY ME WOMAN, ONLY ME!" Said Jester in incredible anger. The darkness engulfing the are around them, taking pot shots at Meshil's cocoon, clashing with the light at any point where it could escape.
[Solo/Middle] "I AM FOREVER!" He shouted, the darkness growing ever thicker, slowly engulfing the city. "ONLY I AND MY FOLLOWERS EXIST NOW! AND YOU ARE NOTHING!" He shouted again.
[End]The darkness calmed and began to slowly flow around them, still taking shots at Meshil. "There is no hope any longer. "I still can see that you love the boy as much as he loved you at first, is it that you finally understand what he was? Did you even know at all? My dear, he is the son of a god! Granted, I'm channeling this immense power through me, but when I finally breach his defenses, I will harness it all, and the biggest threat, himself, will be gone, and there will be nothing to stop me!"
Starless Knight: Shadow, always in tune with Jester's power, since she was practically made of him at this point, felt his power start to pique, which excited her own. Darkness strengthened itself, and as Jester's dark power seemed to radiate over everything, Shadow's own power rose to strengthen and meet his, causing yet another surge in the battle below. It seemed the fight going on between Jhoti and Shadowfire was an icon of entire battle - gruesome, yet strangely honorable. No man in either army was fighting simply for pay - they were fighting for ideals, philosophy - they were fighting because they needed too, and the raw passion itself blew the dimensions of the battle into epic proportions. On both sides, forces that might otherwise remain detached from each other came together to fight their common enemies. Men from countries that were at war with each other fought back-to-back against something greater than anything they had ever known before. It was aweful. It was awesome. Shadowfire pulled back, barely diverting the would-be deadly blow that Jhoti had dealt, though not completely. A stinging pain seered across her ribcage and fresh blood soaked through Shadow's garment's quickly. The wound was severe, and the pain more intense and acute than Shadowfire had ever previously felt. It was a pain so thick she could taste it . . . and it excited her. Shadow turned sideways, side-stepping a particularly nasty blow from Jhoti's expertly-manuvered blade, then whith incredable force made a motion much like a backhanded slap in Jhoti's direction, causing a large arch of shadowfire to launch towards her angelic opponent, aimed like a mid-sectional slash. Shadow was starting to get used to her powers - and more over she realized she drew a certain refreshment from the pain and suffering around her. The longer the battle went on, the more powerful Shadowfire would become and also the more Shadow would be in control of her special signature power.
Tisuna / Jhoti: Curse this power of hers! Jhoti shouted mentally as the fire raged towards her. Instinctively, not daring to risk her wings, she brought her blade up to sheild against the Shadowfire.
The fire fought her like its mistress, and it cost Jhoti incredible effort to push forward, and sweep it away into the sky, where it dissolved beyond all sensing into the air. Jhoti caught her breath and steadied her hands. It amazed her that she had been able to deflect it like that...But more pressing matters drew her attention.
She could feel it now; Shadow was drawing power to her like a lightning rod, gaining strength from the pain and hurt below, and even Jester himself. And the Shadowfire...how could she compete with it, especially as it grew stronger? Perhaps...Perhaps if she could draw the demi-goddess away from the battle, to a more remote area, she would no longer receive such energy. But she could not. Those who saw them from below...running away would do nothing to help their forces. And her injured wing would never carry her far enough in this condition...The senses. She and Shadow...they both shared the ability to sense the Light and Darkness around them...And if Shadow could pull strength from the misery...
Jhoti did not know how or why it came to her, but the instant she touched upon that thought, she felt it like an ocean wave. So much <<Living Power>>, from all sides, she felt. Jhoti recieved from her allies and brethren; even their foes harbored the same base wishes and desires. And it all condensed together and allighted, invisible to sight, in her hand, as if it had been ready and waiting for her to only notice it. Jhoti could not fathom any explanation for this miracle, and understood the fair chance that she never would. Shadow stirred in her own gathering. Quickly, Jhoti tried to decide what to do with the gift. Her first thought was to try and use it to heal her wing, but that would only leave her where she had started, and much more exhausted. Should she use it the way Shadow used her Fire?-No! She had no magic of her own to control it with...But she knew what she could control...
Tisuna / Jhoti: <<Sorry for two things. First, for breaking it up-I had to or it would log me out-again. I've also come up with a way to avoid TOTAL frustration with this; feel free to ask me if you have this problem too. Secondly, I apologize if that last one made Jhoti too...you know... But it's gotten rather difficult to think of ingenious ways to defeat Shadow that won't tread too much on everyone else's nerves. Sorry. Moving on before I take up too much space.>>
Immediately, Jhoti pushed the <<power>> forcefully into her blade with a cry, as her weapon briefly resisted the strange essence. A sudden explosion of white light erupted from the metal, wiping out all sight for just an instant.
When the light had passed, Jhoti opened her eyes and held her blade aloft. A gentle silver glow now emanated from her weapon, and it hummed beautifully as she lowered it, as if her sudden act had finally satisfied it. Jhoti felt her body and heart lift, and the pain in her wing began to slowly dull, though blood still dripped from it, staining the feathers around it crimson. "Something tells me..." she murmured, partially to herself as she gazed at the glowing weapon in her hand, "that this has not been tried before..."
The angel quickly returned her gaze to Shadow, and wiped a dribble of blood from a fresh cut on her forehead away. Setting herself again into position, her head dipped ceremoniously to the priestess, and rose. Then with a mighty battle cry, the angel lifted into the air and was upon her within an instant, her blade swift and glowing eagerly, tempered now to pierce the darkest of shadows.
SincerWritinAsh / Meshil: Meshil had somehow in those few moments regained her breath, the worry still painted on her youthful face. The golden glow bursts brighter as the cocoon sifted into sand, the golden light merging into the thick dark smog. Meshil looked upon Jester’s face clearly for the first time in centuries, and her heart softened only for a few minor beats. She raised a hand, urging the sand into a snake like whip to wrap about Jester’s limbs, the sand stiffening stone pinning his arms to his sides. She licked her lower lip before she began to speak, words she had not uttered in years, the mask hot in her hand, “Jester, God of Laughing Vengeance, you’re time to rest has come. Ease your scream and close your eyes divine son. Sleep till the Earth and Sky are one.” Her voice was strong and the persuasive sound waves reverberated on the crumbling walls, echoing into Jester’s ears. She had that one last strain of hope, that it might work once more.
Starless Knight: Shadow felt the change in power, and somehow she knew that the battle between Jhoti and herself was more than she could even fathom. Somehow it seemed the two females championed the light and the dark - as if the entire battle between good and evil rested between their blades alone. It seemed that they were evenly matched in skill and perhaps even in power . . . but there was more to the struggle between the two age-old forces than more power. Shadow returned the bow with a like honoring of her own before they set back into battle once more. Shadow had a profound admiration for Jhoti, and at the end of this if Jhoti was to lie dead before her, Shadow would give her a burial and a mourning fit for the greatest of heroes. As it was, the clashes between the Shadowfire sword and the sword that now embodied goodness send shockwaves that shook the foundations of existence itself. Shadow blocked a harsh downswing, and for a moment they stood still, straining against each other with both weapons locked above their heads. "You know - in philosophy, there really isn't much of a difference between those of the light and those of the dark. In the end, though you and I are opposites of the most divine nature, we are also inevitably much the same," Shadow mused to the powerful angel. The position disembled, and Shadow side-swiped, a motion which was blocked and diverted by the swift angel, then again Jhoti attacked and Shadow was made to block.
Jacoby / Aragnok: Two immense black dragons landed before Aragnok. Screaming men fell beneath the beasts’ wickedly clawed feet, crunches and cracks audible as their bodies were crushed into the ground. Both sets of golden dragon eyes fixed on the God as the creatures shifted and grunted, licks of flame curling out of their nostrils.
Aragnok sensed his men pulling back, their sharp terror smothering the stench of blood and dirt.
The fighting stopped as all eyes turned to follow the remaining four dragons as they darkened the sky overhead before touching down next to their brothers, their large leathery wings flapping so forcefully, Aragnok felt the displaced air push at him and dry the sweat and blood on his skin. All six beasts were lined up, every last one of them staring murderous hate at him. Aragnok knew that without him, his army would fall and their battle would be over. The darkness would triumph and many more innocent people would die. The dragons knew their role in this fight. They were obedient to their mistress and master.
Feathers floated through the air as silence fell. Angels, wounded and exhausted, landed lightly behind Aragnok. A golden-haired angel with white-irised eyes came to him. “My Lord, we have suffered…great losses.” He needn’t say more, Aragnok knew that they were on the verge of defeat. The two armies stood - one fighting for the darkness, the other for light - facing each other, weapons held ready. Aragnok looked around at his men and saw fatigue and pain etched into their faces. He dismounted and paused for a moment to press his forehead against Xerxes’ warm neck. The warhorse nickered softly as if knowing what his master was about to do.
Without looking at the golden-haired angel, Aragnok said, “Be ready to lead the way to the White City. There are women and children inside that must be saved before Jester destroys them all.”
He turned his back on his men and what remained of the angelic battalion, and strode out to meet the six dragons. Their unblinking golden eyes glowed in the midnight blackness of their scales.
“May the fires purge me of my sins,” Aragnok murmured, clearing his mind and feeling a calmness settle over him. “And may the Lord Gods grant me the strength to do what must be done.”
He had barely finished speaking when each dragon, one by one, inhaled deeply, their sides slowly expanding. And just as suddenly, they let out their breaths as if they were one entity, the sound that accompanied their exhalation shaking the ground and causing all to drop their weapons and clap hands over their ears and cower away. Waves upon waves of murderous fire shot from the dragons’ gaping maws and engulfed Aragnok until nothing could be seen but a searing inferno that burned the earth and scorched the sky.
EclipseIV: The dark torrent eased now, almost dissipated. Jester lowered his head for a moment. Then there was a laughing sound, it was quiet and childish at first, but as it grew, it became far more sinister. He flung his head up, laughing wildly. "You forget, wench." He paused. "The Jester always wins in the end.... Alway..." He paused. His body convulsed for but a second.
He coughed up blood for the first time. "What?" He questioned to himself. His body convulsed once more.
"No, it couldn't be, I thought I was in..." A voice rang in his ears. "No one can ever control their fate if they cant accept the worst outcomes first..."
His body began to convulse rapidly, his eye's bursted into beams of light, his mouth full of the light as well.
He screamed and screamed. The bindings nearly exploded, Jester cradling his face, and swaying about in agony. From under his cloak, light was beaming outward.
Suddenly, the soft light tanned skin of Jester appeared, the original host, Houkan, but sprouting like a limb was the shadowy smoky form of the evil Jester, who looked at his host. "Who, are you?"
"I am, Houkan, god of peace, good and forgiveness...."
Tisuna / Jhoti: Raising her voice over the grind of the two metals, glittering white on shimmering black, Jhoti replied to Shadow, "Yes...I have noticed as well...how incredibly similar our two sides are...As well as how alike we are."
She lifted her sword to counter yet another attack from the mighty priestess. When the weapons were locked once more, she continued, pressing hard as she attempted to break through upon her, "Both of us fight here for something we believe in with all our hearts, with our very beings, and both of us fight for someone. Our gods and masters, who, as we are now, we would give all our life for. I believe it is these similarities, not the extent of our strength, that binds us in such an even match."
And the battle continued, with the two women, Light and Dark, so alike, so different, fighting in equal strength, neither gaining any advantage over the other, neither falling back. The two weapons clashed and spark with as much ferocity and respect as their weilders, symbols of the struggle in themselves.
The angel was parrying and counterring an onslaught of the the priestess's, when she took a moment to glance down, and spy with her keen sight, Aragnok and the six dragons. She quickly pressed her blade into a stand-still with Shadow's to watch as he approached. She waited, for the moment when he would raise his weapon against the tainted beasts...
A moment which never came.
She watched, in frozen horror, as the serpents opened wide their maws, and released upon Aragnok, her lord and leader, torrents of flame, until nothing could be seen of the great god.
Her force went slack, and Shadow, like any combatant worth her sweat, pushed forward to place a thin scratch stretching from the turn of the angel's collar bone to the end of her shoulder. Jhoti barely noticed, barely realized that the the demi-goddess had even broken through. Her breath came out in short gasps, when what she really wanted was to howl. How...How could he?! How could he stand there and let himself be taken, when all those around him depended on him to lead them to victory?! How could he-No, no, she knew he would never abandon them...That was why she had chosen to follow the Lord Aragnok...So why?...He wouldn't...
Jhoti closed her eyes and took a deep breath, calming herself, before she opened them and spoke softly, praying that whatever he had done, her lord might hear, "I trust your judgement."
And just as she turned to take up her battle with the priestess-the Lady Shadowfire-her senses alerted her of a...a twinge. A subtle jolt from the other side, as if something was changing...something at the very root.
<<In case there was any confusion-that last one refers to the conflict between Jester and 'Houkan'. I'm not dragging in something new.>>
Starless Knight: Shadow nodded at Jhoti's words, acknowledging the truth in them. She was a wise angel - not many of the Light would dare acknowledge the similarities between good and evil - but this angel seemed to be an embodiment of truth. She could see things on a grander scale than simple light versus dark, and yet still she could hold in her heart a purity of light that Shadow had a deep respect for - it was as pure as the darkness Shadow had embraced. Shadow could have taken the angel's moment of distraction to kill her. She would have, even - had it not been for a moment of distraction for her own. Though Shadow was able to press on in the fight, she felt something tearing in Jester - something that had always been within Sadowfire's patron god like some kind of sickness, and now it seems to have taken over. "Jester, my lord, oh Jester . . ." Shadow let slip from her lips, she hoped he was alright - she could not sense him nearly as strong as she should. Finally, after a particularly nasty exchange of blows, Shadow sidestepped and dodged, and instead of taking a wide opening for inflicting damage, Shadow stood back. "Perhaps, my dear, we should call it day. There will be other times for us, I'm sure . . . but it seems that we are both needed badly, and as it stands I believe we could fight like this for an eternity or two," Shadow said, curiously. She had no reservations about letting the angel go - Shadowfire and Jhoti seemed to be reflections in a mirror, one light, one dark, but both very perfectly matched. "There will be, without a doubt, plenty more opportunities for us to match wits and swords."
Tisuna / Jhoti: Jhoti's eyes flickered from the priestess to the flaming torrent that may still revolve around her lord. "Yes, there will be..."
At the very least,though her foe she may be, Jhoti felt Shadow deserved her honesty. "Though we meet as enemies,and our next battle may our last, I look forward to it. You are a noble fighter, Lady ShadowFire, and though you give your loyalties to the Dark, and I to the Light, I believe you deserving of all the respect and honor due to you."
So saying, Jhoti bowed her respect to the demi-goddess for the third time that day, before rising and diving quickly for the ashen circle.
Fighting still raged on the feild, but a wide berth around the flaming column was completely still, as even the Dragon beasts had stopped their war to watch. A multitude of emotions was writ across each warrior's face,no matter the alliance they fought for, in that berth, but all held the same question of what had happened, and what would happen next. Few noticed the arrival of the white winged angel with the shining sword, so held were their eyes by the flames. An ugly wound still adorned her right wing, but the bleeding had stopped, and the pain had lessened. Jhoti could only guess that this was due to the myesterious <<living power>>, and her gratitude grew for whatever force had allowed her to gather and use it. Staying on the edge of the charred circle of grass, Jhoti allowed her sword's tip to drop and rest in the earth as she watched the flames turn and boil. "My lord Aragnok..." She worried, her voice no more than a whisper.
Starless Knight: Shadow bowed deeply to the angel, and they both parted ways. The demi-goddess melted into the shadows of the battleground, hoping to aid her dear Lord Jester in any way possible. When she arrived, however, she could do nothing but stand there, as still as a statue. Her expression was stoic and unreadable as always - there was an air of numbness about her. She looked to Meshil, then to the other god - then to what was now Jester. "My lord? What is your wish?" she said quietly.
Starless Knight: ((Eh?))
EclipseIV / Jester: Jester winced, and flowed over to Shadow. "Its not you who will do anything, it is me...." he said viciously, the mask whipped to Shadows face. "Come now servant, feel the power only a demi godess could desire from her master! The shadow began to swirl and flow onto Shadow. "In madness, we unite, in darkness we are bound, in anger we will bring my vengeance upon Houkan!"
((Houkan means the same thing as Jester in Japanese, its just a variant Im using for now.))
Starless Knight: Shadow suprised herself - she had lived in total spiritual subordination to Jester for her entire life . . . and yet there was a moment of hesitance. A small shard of reservation that she couldn't shake, and she knew it had something to do with that angel. She'd never had any ties to any creature besides her master god, but now there was a bond of honor and perhaps even destiny between Shadowfire and Jhoti. Shadow stowed this away for later examination, though, and she embraced her god with a love and devotion that would have made any member of her exalted line proud. "Your wish is my pleasure and honor to fulfill, my Liege," Shadow said, her voice the dark caress it always had been. The very definition of poise and stoicism, Shadow's momentary lapse would be evident only to herself.
Jacoby / Aragnok: Flames raged all around him, scorching his skin, burning away at his hair and clothes, boiling his eyes in his sockets. He howled his pain but nothing could be heard beyond the roaring of the flames and the dragons’ thunderous bellows. The more they sent wave after wave of fire lashing toward him, the more he shrunk into himself until he fell to his knee and bowed his head as the fires consumed him. He fell forward and saw his cracked and blackened hands come to rest on the charred ground.
He could feel himself dying; it was a strange sensation and one he hadn’t thought he’d be experiencing so soon.
Everything comes to an end, he thought. But not yet. No, not yet.
He clapped his hands together and the sound cracked across the skies. The flames began to swirl faster and faster around him as he struggled slowly, agonisingly to his feet. He held his arms wide and tilted his head back and inhaled deeply feeling the fire rush down his throat and into his lungs: but instead of burning him the heat infused him with strength. He continued breathing the flames in, his inhalation impossibly long as the tall column of fire spun faster like a maelstrom around him, shrinking smaller and smaller as it entered his mouth. The dragons, noticing a change, paused in their incineration.
And just as quickly the fires disappeared and Aragnok stood unharmed. He lowered his head and smiled at the creatures.
A distant rumbling began far below their feet, getting louder and louder until the earth started to shake and men on all sides stumbled and muttered nervously. Aragnok slowly stepped back, retreating from Jester’s army, his arms out to indicate his own men should fall back with him.
The rumbling, so loud now that the world seemed to shake with it, suddenly stopped and the earth cracked open in front of Aragnok. A fissure deep formed at their enemy’s feet, widening quickly. The edges crumbled and collapsed and the dragons, standing so near to the edge, screamed and fell into the dark chasm. They may have been able to fly clear but flames erupted high and caught the creatures in mid-flight, burning them alive.
The fissure continued to grow, travelling along the lines of his men, the fires alighting along its length until the wide, gaping chasm and towering flames fully encircled Jester’s army, separating them from Aragnok’s forces.
Behind the God, shouts of triumph broke out amongst those left standing.
Onwards to the White City!” he yelled. And his forces, enthused with elation at their enemy’s defeat, made their way around the enraged and corralled dark army and marched upon the City.
Starless Knight: Shadow felt the shift in the battle, and she ground her teeth at the destruction of the dark dragons. They happened to have been favored pets of hers, and the damned god would pay for their death and waste. She called forth her commanding officers, feeling that new orders needed to be given. She held back a little, however, mentally checking on what Jester thought of the situation. The battle had been Shadowfire's from the beginning as Jester left to take care of his personal business. The balance of power had shifted - and for once a flicker doubt tinged Shadow's thought. Her armies were ingenious with fighting the angels, but with a full god on their side and the dark god only barely conscious, much less effective and one fresh demi goddess the odds were hardly fair. Shadowfire would deal with the annoying god herself, giving her commanders the time and opportunity they needed to enact her orders. Shadowfire herself slipped into the shadows, reappearing in the space between the invading army and her own forces. "I don't think so - not so fast!" she said, though her voice was low and cold, it boomed over the battlefield, stopping everyone in their tracks. Then shadow raised her hands, and with a sweeping motion explosions of her namesake power erupted within the ranks of men and angels opposing her. She was merciless in her attack, and she offered no ultimatum - just pain and death. Her vicious and brutal process of cutting into the white army caused confusion, fear, and above all - panic. That was all her officers needed - they quickly advanced around the left side of the battlefield, herding the white forces towards the right, where a large force of dark soldiers awaited them, the two divisions of Shadow's army attacking from both sides was sure to break the advancement. Allowing them to enact this, however, meant keeping the damned God busy enough so that he couldn't give orders - but she also had to busy herself with that one exemplary angel, Jhoti. This was her main problem, the division of power, because though the Shadow/Jester combination would be a force to strike fear in any one being's heart, dealing with two separate opponents would be far more difficult. Shadowfire aimed a good amount of her attacks at the god, Shadowfire bursting towards him nearly relentlessly as she advanced towards him.
EclipseIV / Mephisto: ((!Bump!))
SincerWritinAsh: (sry for not posting soon enough, busy last week, will complete post by tues 9/18 night time.)
Starless Knight: ((I give, then. Ignore my last post.))
Tisuna: <<Sorry, Starless, but thank you. It was just getting too hard for us to find more ways to keep it going after all that. But when it comes to it, we'll have a good, strong ending!>>
SincerWritinAsh / Meshil: Meshil had quickly left the ruins of the fallen wall. Her eyes glowing brightly, she caught the assistance of the wind was quickly flown over to an overlooking tower of Jester’s temple. Ignoring her surroundings, she watched fiercely as the light army swept into the inner city. Upon the corralled dark forces, the lofty buildings of the white city began to tumble. The destruction of a city was nothing compared to its people, and if demolition of their homes was what could prevent that, so be it. She could make out the flaming Aragnok in the distance and hoped that her maneuver would help. The ground trembled violently and she knew he needed to focus on Jester and his servant, yet she needed to regain strength. Those whispered words had left her lips like fire and burnt her throat. She gulped a breath of cool air and waited until the heat inside her calmed. Meanwhile the screaming of tainted men below her echoed in her ears, and she questioned her actions.
Tisuna / Jhoti: <<I'm feeling a little confused as I write this, but I'm going to try my best. Please, correct me if anything is wrong, or misunderstood, and I will mend it. The get inside the city, they begin, I ask a question, then outside my post's time frame, Aragnok would probably answer, and then the buildings would crumble? Just the way I'm trying to fit this in at the moment. Please, correct me if I'm wrong!>>
The remaining forces of the angels swooped in low over the White City,dodging arrows nimbly and quickly cutting down Dark archers and those soldiers left to guard the city, allowing the rest of the forces reasonably safe passage. Innocents of the battle had taken refuge within their homes from the beginning, and the spill of soldiers into the streets ensured they would stay there, safely out of the way.
Jhoti flew quietly next to Aragnok as the actions of occupation took place. Overjoyed though she was at her lord's unharmed reappearance, as well as their immediate progress, she could not help but worry about what had happened while he stood among the flames. "My lord?" she asked, quietly enough so he alone could hear her.
She began, "I...I feel a...change..."
Somehow, that wasn't quite right. Jhoti trailed off and shook her head, "I do not believe the Lady Meshil is with the Jester any more, my Lord, or even that Jester is the same...and...Please excuse my bluntness,sir, but; Are you all right? I know something happened to you while you withstood the flames for us, but I cannot understand what..."
Jacoby / Aragnok: Aragnok watched his bedraggled army swarm into the inner city, funnelling off into side streets, chasing down pockets of Jester’s men and steadfastly engaging them in combat. There were still plenty of enemies to be defeated before the people in the White City were safe. Aragnok had witnessed Meshil’s aid and the collapsing buildings, the falling rubble crushing the dark battalions beneath its weight, but he had failed to sense her godly powers.
“…Please excuse my bluntness, sir, but; Are you all right…?”
He glanced briefly at the angel at his side then quickly looked away again, unable or unwilling to hold her gaze.
He kept his voice as low as hers. “What I did, Jhoti, exacted a price from me. One which I was willing to give but has nevertheless left us in a quandary. My powers…have been stripped from me. I sense nothing of what Meshil or Jester of even Shadowfire are doing and cannot defend you or fight back. I fear my actions have put us all in grave danger.” He suddenly smiled at the angel, his eyes alight with mischief. “But of course Jester and Shadow are ignorant of this development. I’m curious to see if my skills of bluffing are up to the challenge.”
Tisuna: Jhoti drew up in surprise, her wings fluttering nervously. "Your powers, my lord....gone?" she whispered.
She could not imagine how this felt to him; Was it in any way like the loss an angel felt after losing their wings? How much of a part of him had his powers been?
Jhoti knew Jester and Shadow did not know of the change in Aragnok, but for how long? She had not seen what it was, and that left some hope...And he was confident. That would be enough for her.
Jhoti flapped her wings quickly to catch up to the god. Though her belief in her words shone through, she continued to keep her voice low as she spoke, "Powers or not, my lord, you are still a great leader, and your soldiers will continue to follow you until this battle is done; when Jester has lost and the Dark and Light once more balanced. Your sacrifice will only strengthen that loyalty. And please...sir...I am here for you, so please, ask anything you need of me. And if you still wish me to do so, I shall follow you even after the battle."
Tisuna: <<Bump! Come on everyone, we're so close!>>
Tisuna: <<Bumped too soon, obviously. Bump again.>>
Jacoby / Aragnok: <<I'd really like to finish this rp. I've spent a lot of time posting in here and will be kind of annoyed if it dies off now. If neither Starless nor Jester post within the next couple of Days, I'm gonna go ahead and carry on>>
SincerWritinAsh: (id post but um i need something to go off of...please continue this. thanks.)
Jacoby / Aragnok: Aragnok turned to the angel and bowed as deeply as he would have had be been showing respect to a fellow God. She was more than his second in command; she had shown herself to be pure of heart and mind and soul. He thanked the Fates that they had seen fit to deliver her to him, for he knew he wouldn’t have reached even halfway to the White City without her help. “The Light bless you, Jhoti.” He gently pressed his thumb to her brow, the way in which a God bestowed his blessing on another, but he felt nothing. No rush of power, no warm light. He smiled sadly and lowered his hand. “Alas, all I have to give you are my thanks and gratitude. I fear I may need to ask more of you yet, angel-blessed.”
The ground beneath his feet suddenly trembled and he turned his head to see Jester and Shadow stood near to the wall’s edge, the mask covering the demi-god’s face. “No,” Aragnok whispered harshly, feeling a shiver of trepidation creep through him. He wondered what atrocities would come from this new unholy bond and knew that, whatever happened, this had to be finished and finished soon. He watched them, frozen, indecision warring inside him. He threw a glance at Meshil and a message seemed to pass between them as their eyes met and locked. Not waiting for his new uncertainties to take hold, he called Xerxes and the horse exploded into the courtyard with a clatter of hooves and galloped toward him. Aragnok leaped onto the warhorse’s back, not waiting for him to stop, and yelled for Jhoti as he saw Shadow fling a hand towards a group of women and children who cowered beneath a shop’s awning. He had to trust Jhoti would protect them, and quickly too; he would no doubt have need of her bravery before this was ended.
He guided Xerxes up to where Meshil stood. He pulled the warhorse to a halt beside her and offered his hand graciously as if they planned nothing more than a pleasant afternoon ride. He wondered briefly if she could sense the difference in him or read the apprehension in his eyes, but the next instant he was grinning down at her, his eyes twinkling despite the coldness that sat in the pit of his stomach. “My Lady,” he said quietly “Are you ready to end this?”
Tisuna / Jhoti: Jhoti stiffled a gasp of surprise as Aragnok bowed low before her, and her cheeks flared briefly. However, when he touched her forehead and gifted his blessing upon her, even if he could no longer deliver it as he might have before, the very fact that he wished to was enough to set her heart aglow.
He smiled sadly and lowered his hand. "Alas, all I have to give you are my thanks and gratitude. I fear I may need to ask more of you yet, angel-blessed.”
Jhoti smiled reassuringly back at her lord, red still tinging her face, "I am here if you need me, sir. And your thanks and gratitude are more than enough for me, my lord."
At that moment the ground began to shake, and Aragnok turned his head sharply to take in the sight of the former priestess near the wall, Jester's mask upon her face. Jhoti's eyes widened in shock. She couldn't begin to understand how the new union had come to take place, nor did she want to guess at what trouble it would bring.
Suddenly, Aragnok called to Xerxes, and leaped onto the great horse's back, riding up to where the Lady Meshil stood. In the same moment, Jhoti caught a movement of Shadow's hand rom the corner of her eye, directed at a group of women and children watching from the front of a shop.
With near-invisible speed, Jhoti flew to stand beteen the little group and the incoming attack, its presence already flaring into her senses. Her blade materializing in her hands, Jhoti protectively spread her wings wide. The blast exploded into being lengths from the angel and her charges. Jhoti raised her sword and nimbly cleaved it in two, the Dark whisps floating away to dissolve harmlessly into the air.
Leaving her wings spread, Jhoti lowered her sword and quickly warned her legion to be cautious and stay alert, and to search out any hidden pockets of the city's defenders. Those behind her began to slip quickly and quietly back to the shop, not wishing to attract attention, but Jhoti's gaze was registered sharply on the demi-goddess wearing the iron mask.
<<Pardon the delay everyone, and any unwished character contol, Starless!>>
Tisuna: <<Oh come on! Let's not let it go NOW, not after all the effort before! Bumpification! Bump bump bump!>>
SincerWritinAsh / Meshil: Meshil accepted Aragnok’s hand tightly in her own and allowed him to help her into the saddle before him. She felt the change in him, her wind spiraling around them she smiled sadly at him. Pausing even as the battle raged onward in time, her warm hand lifted to caress the side of his face, “Dear Aragnok, what sacrifice have you…” Her words trailed off and she lifted her lips to place a soft kiss to his forehead before falling back to rest against him, her voice in mock confidence she shouted at the ground began to shake at her silent will, “To end this, We’ll make a beginning!” The building crumbled once more from beneath the steed’s perch and the creature was lifted in a speeding breeze in the direction of the split Vengeance God stood in two.
Starless Knight: ((To point out something, I withdrew purposefully for personal reasons. However, for your sake I will bully JEster into posting, lol . . .))
Tisuna: ((Thanks, Starless! For whatever reason you pulled out, it was great having you here!))
Jacoby / Aragnok: Aragnok closed his eyes momentarily as Meshil caressed his face and placed a kiss on his brow. He could hear the shouts of men, the screams of pain and anger, but for that brief moment they faded and he took comfort in her presence. Too soon, she turned away and rested back against him and her voice rang out. The ground beneath them shifted and a powerful torrent of air whipped around him. The rumbling sound became louder and louder until the roar battered at Aragnok’s ears. A violent updraft of cool wind sent Xerxes into the air and charging for the Dark God and his bitch.
Xerxes reared, screaming, his hooves kicking at the two. It wasn’t until Jester stumbled back that Aragnok recognised the man. Houkan. His brother, God of Peace. He felt a clutch of pure love spear through his chest at seeing the brother he had believed forever lost.
“Houkan?” he said hesitantly.
The man’s eyes fell upon him, dark and tortured, and Aragnok gave a moment’s thought as to what the mask had done to Houkan, wondering if its darkness had seeped into his brother’s soul forever tainting him. Almost shamefully, Houkan dropped his eyes. Before Aragnok could speak, a harsh piercing scream emitted from the mask that now adorned Shadow’s face. Black wisps of incorporeal smoke floated behind the demi-goddess, flashes of red light sparking where Jester’s eyes rested. Aragnok shivered as the air froze about him as the Shadow/Jester amalgamation locked its gaze on them. A tremendous blow suddenly caught him across the face and he flew backwards out of Xerxes’s saddle and slammed onto his back. A very real mortal pain streaked through him and he groaned in agony, his face twisting.
“You thought you could fool us, Lord Aragnok?” Shadow sneered, the red eyes over her shoulder flashing in mockery. “Or should we say Lowly Lord Aragnok.” She made a quick twisting gesture with one hand and he felt his throat wrench closed. Already winded from the fall, he gasped for breath but no cool air could trickle past his pinched windpipe. He opened and closed his mouth impotently as darkness seeped into the corners of his vision. The first real stirrings of panic scampered inside him and he looked up at Meshil and beyond her to Jhoti, hoping that they would seize Shadow/Jester’s distraction and strike at their enemies, finishing them once and for all.
Tisuna: With a wild, feral, outraged cry, Jhoti leaped high into the air, soaring with her powerful wings for the Shadow figure. She struck hard for the demi-goddess, her opponent barely bringing up her own blade in time to defend herself. Sparks exploded into life as the point of Jhoti's blade scraped with the bulk of Shadow's, but the force still pushed her back, off the edge of the wall, forcing the Jester-goddess into flight, and turning all her concentration from suffocating the Lord Aragnok onto Shadowfire's last foe.
The ensuing battle was of a higher caliber than their last; sparks flew freely as metal clashed upon metal at the peak of each attack's force. Bright, wild flashes of Light and Darkness marked their places in the sky, as the two blades, so opposingly charged, met. The duel was vicious, the two dancing deadly with their swordplay. Blade always met flesh, on one side or the other, but never yet was a death blow struck, not yet did one fall. Jhoti fought to kill; she struck every vulnerable place, any angle left unguarded, showering the city below with her opponent's deep, black blood and scraps of her leather wings, even as her own crimson blood and white feathers fell with them.
Jhoti struck several times for the mask, and though it was met with flashes of Light and Darkness upon impact, no damage could be done.
Afer her most recent attempt, Jhoti quickly became defensive. The Jester-goddess immediately began to attack, and Jhoti felt the deep sting of her weapon cut into her skin, more now than she had during any other time in the duel. But, unlike when she was offensive, when Jhoti was consumed by instinct and a fighter's intuition, the angel could think whilst on defense. The dormant body of the Lady Shadowfire she could kill, she knew that now. But the mask...the mask of Jester was what had to be destroyed, before there could be peace again...
Jhoti prayed there was some form of the connection that had allowed her to speak with her Lord Aragnok in this way between herself and the Lady Meshil, and that the goddess would forgive her her intrusion and boldness.
Jhoti called to the goddess with her thoughts, trying to be as respectful as she could, though her <<voice>> was strained with the wear of battle and her worry. Lady Meshil! Please, forgive my disrespect, but I must beg your help! I can destroy the mask's host, but only a god can destroy a god! My Lord Aragnok was released when the Jester's servant's concentration broke, but he no longer--I...I will do anything you need before you can accomplish this. Please forgive me, but only you have the ability to end this!
Fal / Gare London: (So sorry....my OS failed so my friend redid it and barely got back my isp last night so I've been without the internet. So what's gone on?)
Tisuna / Jhoti: <<THIS is the picture that should have gone with the last thing. I forgot to get back on the profile after it logged me out. If there are any problems with the post, let me know and I'll fix it.
And all right, Jester, this is how it is at the moment. Aragnok's lost his godly powers. Jhoti's fighting Shadowfire, who's been possessed/used/given herself to/whatever-ed, pretty much wearing, Jester's mask. Houkan's Aragnok's brother, apparently, and he and Meshil are...floating around someplace. For lack of a better phrase. Erm, because of your long absence, and our enthusiasm for finishing this role play, the three of us still here decided to just take control of yours and Starless's characters. If only so we could finish it, for it is a story we enjoy. If you want to come back, you should probably go and read through the whole thing of what you've missed, and it'd be nice of you to fit the way we've steered it. You know, good triumphs over evil, basically. Details not yet decided.>>
SincerWritinAsh / Meshil: Meshil was blazing like the sun now, her eyes widened at Jhoti’s voice sped in a murmur at the barrier of her thoughts. She slipped from Xerxes, holding Aragnok close to her side as she descended form the steed. She ignored the on goings about her, all would end soon. She lay the demoted god, tenderly to the ground. Standing to her full height, a determined set to her childish features, she noticed the two living gods, standing awkwardly to the side. Jester, weekly taking a step to block her from the mask. Hounan, not one to condone nor to participate in violence was useless at the moment. She casually slid her hand in the air, a gush of wind knocking Jester to the side, off into a tall pile of rubble. Sighing she closed her glowing, golden eyes, her hands raisings, palms outward in the direction of the masked demi-goddess. Lowly she began to sing beneath her breath, slow her enchanting words rose in volume and melody. The energy warming inside her, vibrating towards the mask, the iron conducting the heat, the old black smoke leaking.
“Vengeful parasite, melted to skin, think the end is the begin, and that the dark cloud could win. Useless with out a host, dormant not long enough, shatter to the darkness, from which you’ve come.”
Her last words were a roar in the wind, as the mask began to crack upon Shadow Fire’s face. Tired and drainer, her hands fell down before her, and she took the hardest steps of her life on weak legs. Approaching the demigoddess, “Girl, you try my patience.” A sing-song whisper edged itself to Hounan’s ear mysteriously, “Carry your brother to safety.” She shoved the goddess, the earth falling from beneath the other females feet, To Jhoti, “get the men to and choirs away from the White City.” Reaching she held onto the liquid like gown of Shadowfire, and reached her hand to rip the mask away, the darkened smoke spreading to hide them.
Tisuna / Jhoti: Jhoti withdrew from her combat with the Mask and its host the moment she felt Meshil's response, her heart flooding with gratitude for the goddess. She leaped high into the air, effectively leaving her battle, as well as getting out of the glorified goddess's way.
From her lofty altitude, she cast her orders out to her legions. "Fall back from the city-take the Lord Aragnok's men and the civilians with you," she told the legion's individual captains, using her <<voice>>, so only they could hear,"It is no longer our battle."
She watched for a moment, as angels rose into the air, as soldiers gathered the city's innocents and herded them out with them. Below her, the mysterious Houkan went to Aragnok's aid. She moved to help him, but her vision was caught by the Lady Meshil's actions against Jester's mask and its servant. She watched the goddess grip the mask until she and her quarry could no longer be seen through the smoke.
Jhoti hastily descended to Aragnok and Houkan. If there was anything left, she promised herself solemnly, she would collect the Lady Shadowfire's remains. She would bury her with honor, as she had promised. As the priestess she had fought, not the body wearing Jester's Mask, had earned.
Jacoby / Aragnok: Aragnok gasped for breath as the constriction around his throat suddenly vanished. He blinked back the darkness that had threatened to swarm across his vision and squinted against the glare of the sun as Jhoti and Shadowfire fought overhead. Warm blood splattered his face as they continued their deadly dance, and feathers drifted down around him, their crimson stained whiteness too bright in the sun. He lifted a shaking hand to shadow his eyes. His brow lowered as Meshil stepped in front of them, squaring off to the newly formed Jester/Shadowfire abomination.
He blinked again as Houan appeared next to him, tugging at his shoulder. “W-what are you doing?” Aragnok stammered as his brother started dragging him away from where Meshil now stood.
He watched, fear for her rising as the wind rushed up around them and the mask cracked on Shadowfire’s face. She stepped toward her, her hand reaching up to tear the mask away even as darkness erupted and swirled thickly to surround them. Aragnok lurched upright, pulling away from his brother and was halfway to his knees when Houan knelt in front of him, blocking his view.
Aragnok opened his mouth angrily but stopped when his brother’s hand landed on his shoulder, the grip painful. The intensity in his eyes drilled into him. “Listen to me, Aragnok. There is not much time. I have been weakened by years under Jester’s control but I’m still a God, and as such I still have some power. Yes, some. Not even he can take that away from me.” His voice trailed off, his eyes growing distant, and Aragnok shifted impatiently. Houan’s eyes focused on him again. “Know that I do this as recompense for my weakness, brother.” Pain filled his eyes. “We do foolish things for love.” He suddenly reached out with both hands and clasped Aragnok’s head tightly. A flash snapped across Aragnok’s vision and heat like molten lava poured from Houan’s hands into his head and down into his body. The pain was unbelievable. His back arched, his teeth clenching on a tortured groan, and the next instant the pain was gone. And so was his brother.
Aragnok looked around frantically, but Houan was nowhere to be seen. He called his name as he struggled to his feet before his eyes came to rest on the swirling mass of darkness before him. Feeling fury build inside him until his fists clenched at his sides, he slowly, dangerously, started forward.
Jacoby / Aragnok: << Apologies are in order. I was too lazy to check a spelling and consequently ended up repeatedly writing Houan in my last post. Yeah, the God's name is actually Houkan. My bad.>>
Tisuna / Jhoti: Jhoti touched ground at the moment Houkan laid his hands on Aragnok. Her arrival was greeted by a sudden flash of light, and the angel instinctively put up her hands and shut her eyes. She was startled to find, when she opened them, that Houkan had dissapeared, and her lord alone remained kneeling on the ground.
Before she could say anything, the god of justice had gotten to his feet, and began to march back towards the city, where the dark cloud still swirled. "Lord Aragnok!" she cried, springing to follow him, "How are you walking--Where is the other--Lord Aragnok!"
The angel had begun to feel her fatigue as she kept pace with him, and walked now to spare and rest her wings. "Aragnok, please," she implored him, "You are still weak from before, and I fear what little strength you have regained would not be enough to defeat Jester."
She tried again; "Please, my Lord Aragnok, the Lady Meshil is more than capable of defeating what remains in that mask, as well as his acolyte. She herself ordered you be taken away from the battlefield!"
Jhoti stopped, watching her god's face. She saw his anger, and his hard determination. The angel knew she had no right to stop him, worried though she was. If he had his full power...
Silently, the angel brought her sword back into her hands, and moved quickly to close the gap between herself and her god, staying a just a step behind as she followed him towards the dark cloud.

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