1. Shandeh
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    Shandeh Active Member

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    Apocalypse

    Discussion in 'Archive' started by Shandeh, Jul 4, 2013.

    WELCOME TO HELL
    This is but a small taste of the eternity in purgatory every single occupant of Planet Earth faces. The Horsemen ride, the planet itself is tearing apart, and angels and demons not only walk, but war in every corner of the globe.

    Our story follows the conflict in and around what is left of Sydney, Australia. You are a soldier, be you human, Nephilim, angel or demon. Each individual is important. Each individual has the potential to either deliver or damn an entire planet.

    First came the famines, the great plagues. Soon enough the people began to war over what little food was left. Death followed them every step of the way. In the chaos and destruction, the barriers between the Kingdom of Man, Heaven, and Hellgates were destroyed. The angels and the demons flocked through and began to war over who would inherit this planet when the humans were gone, and now the planet itself is at risk, with the dimensional bridges between Earth, Heaven, and Hellgates gone.

    When the planet explodes, it will take with it every last soul that walks across its face. But all is not lost. While the war rages on, hope begins to rekindle in the hearts of the humans as they discover they can create magical items to help them fight for their survival.

    Be you human, Nephilim, angel, or demon, your choices will be instrumental in determining the fate of the world.

    SETTING
    This is not the Earth you know. It’s still Earth, but it is a very different planet now. The land is torn and has been laid to waste by terrible droughts and plagues, both of disease and of pests. War ravages every corner of the globe, a war that is not between men, but between angels and demons. Once a human or Nephilim chooses his alliance, it cannot be changed. A fate far worse than death awaits those who try.

    The year is 26773. There is little left of the Kingdom of Man. The few who remain have been forced into choosing between fighting for the angels, and fighting for the demons. Each faction is as bad as the other and will not stop until the other is eliminated. Technology works intermittently. Firearms work without fail. Magical items are widely used by the humans but the other races cannot touch them.

    Your job, as a warrior, is to survive long enough to fight for your overlord. Dark Queen Lilith leads the demon armies. She is the oldest and most powerful of the demons and is not to be questioned or opposed, by pain of death. High Seraph Raphael is in charge of the angels and is just as lethal, just as vengeful, and older than time itself.

    This war threatens to tear the world in two.

    In the midst of it all, neutral but most certainly not apart from events, ride the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. All four are female, and not to be crossed.

    Welcome to the apocalypse. It’s up to you to save the world.

    THE FOUR HORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE
    The Four come in two pairs. They are often described as a dual dichotomy rather than a group of four. Plague and Famine are the first pair, Death and War the other pair. They are physically very similar, with the main exception being Plague’s snowy white hair, which is a stark contrast to the other three sisters’ red locks.

    Each pair is essential to the other pair’s stability just as much as each member of each pair is essential to the other.

    Polar opposites, Plague and Famine keep one another balanced. Plague is emotional and often volatile, while Famine is analytical and appears to be incapable of any level of emotion.

    Plague’s ability to see a person’s soul is unnerving and somewhat offputting, but largely harmless. More insidious and damaging by far is Famine’s gift and habit of sapping energy from those around her, which weakens strong men and women to the point they become vulnerable with frightening ease.

    Regarding War and Death, the two are almost inseparable. Both have fiery tempers, though each in a different manner. War has little patience and gets angry easily. Death puts up with a lot but if one does succeed in irritating her, she will be resentful and withdrawn until one can prove oneself repentant. This is no easy task.

    Death sees, hears, and speaks to the souls of the dead, especially those of the damned. She can control them to some extent, though they are not always cooperative. War can incite any soul, living or dead, to violence. Of the two pairs, this one is the more immediately deadly to offend, though it is unwise to offend any sister, for they are four parts of the one whole and appear to share a mind.

    Each is but a Conduit for her namesake and if the true form is evoked, her power and glory are horrifying. The Conduits are Nephilim by birth, but even the Nephilim consider them something ‘other’.

    PLAYABLE RACES
    HUMAN
    Humans are the least magically capable of all the races, but are adaptable, determined and physically very capable. Magical items are their primary line of defense against the more supernatural races and can be used to nullify the effects of all magic, thus giving the user a small advantage in close.

    Humans typically stand between five and six feet tall, though some individuals are taller or shorter, and are stocky when compared to angels and Nephilim, though they are of much lighter build than demons.

    The human collective intelligence allows them to keep up with the other races through the most difficult of terrain despite the disadvantage of being unable to fly and physically less powerful than the Nephilim.

    NEPHILIM
    Nephilim are the creation of the Demon Queen, Lilith, and the angel Raphael. Half demon, half angel, they are not as powerful as either magically, but far outstrip both in the physical arts, strong enough to wield even the largest of warhammers and battleaxes and fast enough to wield daggers, armblades and claws like no other. Magical items are not usable by this race. [Playable by arrangement only]

    Nephilim stand between six and seven feet tall and are more slender than humans (though not as slender as angels), but can vary in appearance from angelic to demonic. They occasionally pair with humans physically, though such pairings invariably result in the human’s death. The child of a male Nephilim and female human is mindless and demonic in nature. The child of a female Nephilim and male human is highly intelligent but vicious, something between human and angel. Neither form of offspring is currently playable.

    They lack wings and cannot fly, but make up for this with their speed and incredible strength. Nephilim can jump great heights and incredible distances with ease.

    ANGEL
    Angels are ruled by Raphael [NPC] and largely reside in the Heavenly Realms, though they openly appear on Earth. Angel nobility [not playable] is extremely capable in the magical arts and no item is able to negate their magic. Lesser angels [the only playable form] are capable of basic to intermediate magic and the occasional advanced feat but lack physical strength - though they do make up for this with incredible speed and agility.

    Angels are the tallest of the races, standing from six and a half to nine feet, and are of slim, elegant build. To compare an angel to a human one would equate the angel to a greyhound and the human to a labrador.

    They have wings but can only fly for short distances without magical assistance.

    DEMON
    Demons are ruled by Lilith, the Dark Queen. She goes by many names and is considered to be the mother of the Nephilim. She is NOT playable. Demon overlords are the most lethal creatures in this world [not playable] with strong dark magic and extreme physical strength. Lesser demons [playable] are capable of basic to intermediate dark magic and are stronger physically than Nephilim, but out of all of the races, are the slowest.

    Demons stand between seven and eight feet and are very solid. Though they are not the tallest, they are physically the largest race. They are essentially the bulldogs of this world.

    Their wings are massive, bat-like and powerful, but because of the physical mass of this race, demons can only fly using magical means.

    RULES
    Firstly I’ll start by explaining the difference between god-moding and powerplaying.

    God-moding is making your character way better than anyone else’s. More powerful, smarter, more skilled, any of that. Making them dodge everything, making everything miss, making it impossible for the enemy to attack them, that sort of thing. It’s unrealistic and unfair.

    Powerplaying is doing little things to control other characters. And sometimes not-so-little things. Controlling reactions is not on. Doing things to them, however, like nudges, catches, sticking them in a headlock, etc, will be allowed depending on the physicalities of the individual characters. Nephilim can turn and put any random human in a headlock. Out-grapple any angel, outrun any demon. Oftentimes they do so to make a point.

    Players who are given one of the Four Conduits will enjoy power, but not much more than that of any average everyday Nephilim. The main difference is that the Four are free. They serve no master other than the Horseman after whom they are named.

    The Four are separate from the war, ‘other’, and entirely neutral - but that doesn’t mean they don’t get involved! They share one mind. They are four parts of the one whole and are changed by the Horsemen they channel.

    Magical items are common, but typically defensive. Magical items that are useful for fighting with are rare and must be quested for. This is where the Horsemen really come into their own.

    Everything in this game is quest-based, but especially the acquisition of superior equipment. I will throw the book at those questing for kit. It will take clever characters and cleverer writing to gain such items.

    So now, with that done, we can start on the ‘listed’ rules.

    1; GM’s word is LAW.
    2; God-moding, never. Powerplaying, where situationally appropriate. I have detailed the difference above. This is simply to make things more realistic and interesting.
    3; Keep the setting and story in mind. Environment-manipulating magic is off limits, nobody can bring back the dead but Death, that sort of thing. Do make sure you’re up to date with everything, even though some posts will have nothing at all to do with your character/s.
    4; Players may have as many characters as they can keep active.
    5; Any questions, ask the GM.
    6; Listen to your Faction Manager. They are in charge of guiding that part of the plot. You will be told who your FM is when you join a faction. Oh, and players are not restricted to one faction - only their characters are.
    7; Don’t ask for a Horseman’s Conduit. Asking won’t get you one. They are earned [exceptions made for those I have offered their pick].
    8; Have fun!

    Character apps are to be made to this template and posted in the discussion thread.

    Name:
    Nicknames/titles/aliases:
    Age:
    Gender:
    Race:
    Faction:

    Appearance: [description and/or pic]

    Brief Personality: [optional]

    Brief History: [optional]

    Weapons/items used: [begin with a maximum of four; more can be earned]

    Magical Talents: [begin with two, maximum, the power of which being dependent on the character’s race; more can be earned]
     
  2. losthawken
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    losthawken Author J. Aurel Guay Role Play Moderator Contributor

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    Approved
     
  3. Shandeh
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    Shandeh Active Member

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    It was cold that morning, raining. Death stood at the top of a hill, translucent, watching. Well, wasn’t this a lovely situation? The dead were everywhere, souls seeking absolution. Like she was going to absolve anybody of anything with all this glorious chaos around.

    This was the first time in millennia. The call had been made. Angels and demons walked and warred in the Kingdom of Man. The balance had been broken. It was beautiful. The world burned with more than just fire. With a slow, maleficent smile, the Conduit of Death stalked down the hill to where her spectral horse stood waiting for her. The magic was stronger here now than ever before. Never had it burned so bright on Planet Earth.

    She was Nephilim once. No longer, of course. Her dark mistress had changed that. She was a Horseman now. When she found her sisters, the Four would ride together once more.

    ------

    “Lilith, my darling, Dark Queen of All, it is time.”

    “For what, Styx? Be specific.” Lilith turned to face the demon lord. “There are many things it could be time for. Perhaps it is time for tea and biscuits. Perhaps it is time to march on Raphael’s base. Have you any brains at all?”

    “My apologies, Your Blackhearted Majesty. I assumed you knew already. The troops stand awaiting their orders, o Glorious Lady of Death. It is time for the address.”

    She snapped her wings and lashed her tail, hissing. The barbed tip struck the demon lord’s cheek. A thin line of black blood leaked out of the wound. Lilith turned her back on Styx and left the room, headed to her podium. Over her shoulder, she snarled, "Do not issue orders to your Queen!"

    ------

    Raphael’s wings flared. He stepped forward and leaned over the pathetic mewling wretch who called herself his assistant, fixing her with a murderous scowl. “How could you have failed me? How could you have LOST my blade? One task, Irina - ONE TASK! And not a particularly difficult one!”

    “Yes, High Seraph. I am sorry, High Seraph.”

    “SORRY?” The angel stormed over to the window, his wings spread wide. Magic sparked off his body. “Sorry is not good enough! THIS is why I prefer my Nephilim children over you pathetic humans. Get out of my sight!”

    “Yes, sir.”

    He turned to watch his human assistant scurry out of the room with her tail between her legs. Figuratively speaking, of course. Humans didn’t have tails. They didn’t have wings either, the pathetic inferior creatures.

    It was time to address the troops. He summoned one of his Nephilim to his side. The demonic-looking creature lashed its barbed tail, but obeyed. Raphael towed it out to the balcony.

    The sea of faces burst into a thunderous ovation at the sight of their glorious, smiling High Seraph. His smile widened and he strode up to the rail. Pleasingly, absolute silence greeted his actions.

    {This is the ONLY post in which I will have any control of Lilith and Raphael. From here on out, they will belong to the FM in charge of the faction they lead.}
     
  4. Keitsumah
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    Keitsumah The Dream-Walker Contributor

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    "Friends!" Raphael bellowed, listening as his voice filled the courtyard. "Allies, I call upon you today, for the war has only just begun! The Demons dare approach our walls with their black hearts and evil blades! We will not let them fell us like wheat to a scythe! We have only now entered this world, and we intend to keep it!" Magic rippled off his wings as he spread them wide, shining in the sunlight. His powerful form bespoke of many battles in his life, along with the thin scars that dared mar his near-perfect face. Sadly, no healer had ever been able to erase those better-forgotten lines, and rage filled him every time he looked at his reflection. But he would never let his subjects see him angry at them -no never at them! His rage was only for the enemy, and those who dared side with them!

    "Get Talahari." he muttered to the Nephillim as the crowd broke out into cheering and war cries. The half-breed couldn't stifle a hiss, but a warning glance from the corner of Raphael's eye was enough to send it running.

    Turning back to the crowd, Raphael folded his magnificent wings and spread his arms wide, "My people, there is much time for rejoicing for each foe brought low, each enemy destroyed so that they may never harm us again, but that will only happen if we show them what force we can create!" his voice rose into a shout as he clenched one hand in a fist. The crowd roared in answer.

    "My Lord." the soft, female voice drifted to his ear like a breeze, and Raphael turned with a grin to see his pet kneeling before him, wings neatly folded and gleaming from a recent preen. Talahari, his messenger for both enemy and ally alike. "What would you have me do?"

    Despite matters, Raphael's body seemed to lose all of its anger from the fact that he had recently heard of his sword being lost. Talahari rarely ever failed him, and even if she did, he had known she did everything in her power to reach the goal another way, or simply took revenge. Lethal and sleek as a goshawk, the woman watched him from beneath long, raven-black bangs with those deep maroon eyes. Eyes of blood, and pain.

    "My dear, my foolish assistant has gone and lost something very precious to me. And i want it back." Raph clenched his fist as he spoke, and he watched as Tala's eyes flitted to it for a moment. But if any emotion went through her mind, it was well hidden. She was well trusted to him not to give away any secrets, but nonetheless he was careful not to give her any information that could be used against him.

    "Yes, my Lord." she said, her wings opening just a bit to hang over her sides where she knelt, magic practically oozing off of her small form. Though she was tall by humans standards, she was as small as a member of her species could get, and was despised in subtle ways by the nobles of his court. Raphael never let them do anything openly, though. Nor would he let Talahari kill them no matter how angry she must get behind that carefully placed mask of no emotion. But, her size made her faster than the larger members of their kind, and along with her training, she was a much-needed aide to his side in the war.

    "I need you to find my sword. No doubt Irina probably left it in the hall somewhere," he grated, rubbing his head as if it ached, "but i cannot afford to have it land in the wrong hands."

    Talahari nodded once, standing up in one smooth movement when he gave her permission with a wave of his hand. "I will do my best, my Lord."

    "Best you do." he muttered, soft enough that she couldn't hear it, but he folded his own wings and waved towards the balcony. "Go now. I need time to plan out our next attack."

    A quick bow, and then she was off like a scrap of wind. Wings spread wide against the sky, the sun glared off of her back as she young woman flew low over the city.
     
  5. Shandeh
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    Shandeh Active Member

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    What was this? A Seraph blade? No, not just any Seraph blade. This was High Seraph Raphael's. Well. That was a most interesting development.

    Death didn't want it, not for herself, but she figured she could cause some lovely chaos by taking it. The human assistant Irina had misplaced it. Raphael would want it back. When word got to the demon court, Lilith would want to take it, purely because such blades were valuable to the angels. This one bore a strong enchantment. Unusual for a weapon used by an angel, but given who had enchanted the thing - the Master of Arms for the angel army - unsurprising. The Conduit banished the blade to the place in the aether where she stored everything she did not immediately wish to carry. Her dark mistress, her namesake, would deliver it to her in a flash when she wanted to hand it over. Whomever she deemed worthy would find themselves blessed indeed.

    This type of chaos-causing was really more War's domain, but with her sisters frustratingly absent for the time being, if Death wanted chaos and destruction, she would have to cause it herself. She smiled to herself and leapt onto her horse's back. With its spectral speed, she could be in and out of Lilith's palace in less time than it took demons to move from one room of the court to the next. Demons were fairly slow, mind - slower even than humans.

    The fastest way to guarantee she would get to watch a good fight and harvest a few strong souls was to give the leaders of the two great armies reason to attack one another head on. So off she went, pushing the horse as fast as its legs could carry her, to deliver Lilith the news. Hopefully the demon witch wouldn't keep her waiting long.
     
  6. Macaberz
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    Macaberz Pay it forward Contributor

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    Hugo Millery

    Hugo took a deep breath. The low gurgling of his stomach did nothing to ease the task at hand. It wasn’t fear, not really. It was his trusty friend, his only friend in this war-torn land. An icy tingle poked his innards, this particular job would require great skill, care, and a fair bit of daftness. Hugo didn’t care for the war, he had stopped caring about that ever since his father had been sent to the front, never to return. Hugo wondered if they even had graves at the front, or if the dead just remained there to rot, as they were beginning to do in the lower parts of the city. He shook the thought off and looked up at his target.

    It was an electronic shop. With a bit of luck, they’d have just the pieces he needed. Hugo bit his lip, even with all the soldiers gone for a booming speech by High Lord Raphael, this still wasn’t easy. First, he needed to cross the street unseen, that wouldn’t be too difficult. Then, he would have to break the window, hop in, find the pieces in the dark, hop out and run. Running and hiding weren’t the issue, it was more the sound of shattering glass renting the air that worried him. But what choice did he have? I need the pieces, for Papa, he told himself.

    Accompanied by the fierce rebellion in his stomach, Hugo crossed the street. He passed the electronic shop twice before he was able to sneak around to the back. He waited a moment around the corner, making doubly sure he hadn’t been spotted. He pulled his cap over his eyes and focused on the wonky backdoor of the shop. He considered that his not-so-great weight would be enough to crash the door and get in.

    He squeezed his eyes shut. He could see the postcard vividly with his mind’s eye. The intricate design that his father had drawn seemed to come to life. All he needed was the right gear and then, the mechanical key would be his. Hugo savored the thought, a key that could open any door. Not only would it help him survive, perhaps it would bring him home. Hugo’s eyes fluttered open, he started to countdown in his head. One, two, three! He slammed his shoulder against the rotten woodwork. The door bulged, but didn’t give.

    Two more times Hugo crashed into the door before it was finally ripped from its hinges. The shop was cold and dark inside. Find the pieces and get out, Hugo told himself.

    Talahari swooped to the left, then to the right as she traveled along the air currents, using them to speed her progress and make her flight easier on her wings. The air was cool against her face and throat, tugging at her long, black hair. The faintest touch of a smile graced her lips, but then the loud bang of wood snapping and the screech of displaced metal caused a frown. What was going on down there?

    Swiveling in mid-air, she halted, pumping against the wind as she looked around for the source of the commotion. Thieves were commonplace in the city, but it was not common in the least for her to just pass one by without retribution. They were doing wrong anyways.

    Closing her wings, she stooped, rocketing down out of the sky until she neared within twenty feet of the ground before snapping them open again and giving three powerful flaps to slow herself down before her feet touched the ground.

    Stepping towards the broken door, she kept one hand on the hilt of her daggers as she approached. "Hello?"

    Hugo's hair blew violently, three heavy gusts of wind rendered his eyes dry. He could tell by the low thuds that a winged one had found him, or at least suspected something. His stomach turned into a knot, his throat dried. For a moment he was petrified. He sneaked further into the store, avoiding the light crawled through the door. He hopped over the counter and cowered behind a dusty desk, in what he believed to be the corner of the shop. He could hear his own breathing, loud as a storm and his heart drumming against his ribs. He knew he was barely making any noise, but amidst the dark every sound seemed amplified a thousandfold. A 'hello' boomed through the shop. He cringed, and covered his ears.

    Many thoughts assailed his mind, he could run, he could surrender, he could stay, he could cause a distraction. But he remained frozen to the spot, his kneecaps began to ache under his weight, only through sheer force of will did he manage to remain still, and as quiet as he could.

    Talahari frowned, taking several quiet steps into the room. The sun haloed her body, casting the magic off of her wings into the air like so many dust motes. Straining her ears, she let go of her dagger and stalked towards the desk. Someone was definetly in here, she could feel the heat emanating from their body. Small, not fully grown. Hotter than an adult, but too hot to be a female. A young boy. Had to be.

    She sighed in exasperation, crossing her arms and glaring in the direction of where the boy hid. "Kid, get up. I know you're there, and I only want to know why you've broken into this shop." The reason she asked why was because she was honestly curious about the kid's motive. What had driven him to make this decision? Was it because he didn't have money, or because he simply enjoyed the thrill of it?

    Just in case he decided to hesitate, Talahari decided to announce herself. "I am Talahari, Leading Assassin for High Seraph Raphael. It is best that you do not give me any trouble, lad, or you will find yourself in a very painful situation."

    Hugo's heart skipped a beat when he heard a female voice a few feet away. She knew he was there. Well, not really, Hugo supposed, because if she did, she would have already snatched him up. Surrendering became a very tempting option, but there was no telling what would happen if he did. He remained crouched, his knees began to tremble. There was no stopping it, he had to readjust his position, if only just slightly. But his foot slipped and he found himself falling backwards against a desk. He spotted the door a good ten feet away and decided to give it his best shot. In a single motion he jumped up and began sprinting towards the door.

    Talahari tripped him, sending the boy tumbling into the wall just bedside the door. Drawing out a dagger and crouching in front of him, Talahari let her dark red eyes do all the talking for the first few seconds as the boy figured out just what had happened. "I didn't say run. Now what am I supposed to do with you?" she said, as if contemplating just slicing him open and leaving his body there for the storekeeper to find later. Another sigh. "Well, I don't have time for this. I'm on orders for my Lord right now, so i guess you'll just have to come with me until I can bring you where someone can better figure out what to do with you." Before the boy could even try to escape, she stood, grabbed the front of his shirt, and hauled him outside. Wrapping her arms around his torso, she leapt into the air with a powerful flap of her wings.

    There was a wall. Then he was pinned down and a red-eyed creature was pointing a dagger at him. She was saying something but the beating of his heart pounded in his ears, rendering everything she said inaudible. Something about going with her. "You can't take me with you," shrieked Hugo as she lifted him by his shirt. He tried to slither away from her grip but she was much stronger than him. He needed those pieces if he was to have any chance of making his father's key. The angelic creature kicked off and leapt into the air. Hugo desperately clinged to the creature, anything was better than plummeting towards the earth. He could see the shop become smaller, almost disappearing between the mass of houses and buildings, fading away, alongside his chance to construct the key.
     
  7. Kittenscribbler
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    Kittenscribbler New Member

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    Famine was bored, It didn't show on her face, her emotions never showed. Trotting around fields and withering crops was no fun; She felt Death's glee at finding something to stir the wasp's nest, that'll provide some fun.
    She urged her horse faster to catch up with her sister, leaving a trail of withering life behind her.
    Famine missed Plague, she was unbalanced without her, famine and plague go hand in hand just like war and death. She rode on wondering when the others would find their own conduits so the Horsemen could ride again.
    "I wonder" She murmured. It was the most she had spoken all month, she was always considered the silent one, the one who attacks last. It was half true, She didn't speak much because she felt it wasn't worth it to communicate with any but her sisters but famine didn't attack last, her presence itself was an attack. Famine drained the life energy from her enemies before finishing them with her blades.

    She finally caught up with Death and communicated through their one mind, 'sister, what fun do you have for us this time?'
     
  8. Shandeh
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    Shandeh Active Member

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    'A Seraph blade,' Death sang through the mind link. 'But not just any Seraph blade - no! This one belongs to Raphael himself. Ah, sweet, sweet chaos. Soon we shall find worthy Conduits for our missing sisters!'

    That was where Famine had gotten to. Death couldn't contain the wicked smile that spread across her face. Lilith's court was not far now. Given luck, the troops would not yet have dispersed by the time she and her sister arrived with their lovely chaos-causing announcement.

    Unlike Famine, Death had facets of War within herself. As the leader of the Four, she had facets of all her sisters within herself. Even so, she felt the lack of balance as keenly as Min did. She needed her twin.

    'Soon,' she said through the mind-link, more to herself than to her sister. Then, aloud, "Soon."

    The sharp spires of Lilith's palace rose slowly above the horizon. The flavor of the magic darkened and shifted. They were within demon territory now. That was dangerous for them, unbalanced as they were, but necessary for the chaos Death so desired.
     
  9. Amelyn
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    Amelyn Member

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    The Marksman

    Archer crouched on the rooftop watching the comings and goings of people in the street. Most were young because all the older men and even women were taken to be soldiers in the war. The children ran from shop to shop trying to earn or steal food for themselves and younger siblings left behind. If Archer had a heart, maybe he would have cared but right now he was just watching. He liked to observe; quiet and leaving no trace that he was there. That’s how he worked, that’s what he was paid to do and he liked it that way. Anonymity was his best weapon, being a shadow, a ghost; the only thing he left behind was his signature, a bulls eye carved either into his victim’s chest or on the ground where he took his shot. That was how he got his names; Bulls Eye for one, The Marksman was another and he enjoyed that.

    With a sigh, Archer looked at his watch. Half an hour to go, he thought smiling slightly. A lot of his job involved waiting but he didn’t mind, it gave him time to watch and listen, you never know what kind of useful information you might pick up.
    He was adjusting his quiver when a crash caught his attention. He focused his vision on a small boy throwing himself at a shop door. The boy crashed through the door and disappeared into the shop. Probably just some kid trying to find food or some money he thought, that was until an angel swooped down and followed the boy into the shop.

    This pricked Archer’s curiosity, what is an angel doing chasing a small child into a store. Archer took lengthy mental notes of what happened over the next few moment, you never know who might pay for this information or how it could help in the future. After a few minutes the angel reappeared carrying the boy and took to the sky.

    Odd, he thought, probably has something to do with an advantage for the angels in the war. With a mental note made he shrugged and turned to focus on his task. After checking his watch again he pulled his bow from his shoulders and strung it. It was hand crafted from a rare Blackwood tree, its grip thicker and sealed with a combination of black bear skin and tar, this meant that it was molded to his left hand. He carefully picked two arrows from his quiver, checking weight and length to make sure it would go the distance required, no further and no shorter. It was a precise art and he was the best.

    He then changed his stance, one knee on the ground, toes pointed to anchor him, the other foot flat with knee at a 45 degree angle from his body. This created his most accurate and stable position to shoot. He then took a few deep breaths to steady himself. At that moment his target ran into view. Archer took several more deep breaths and narrowed his vision till he was only aware of his target. The man was dressed in a wrinkled suit and was carrying a briefcase, the contents of which Archer cared nothing for. His hair was shoulder length and extremely messy like he hadn’t slept in weeks and his eyes were bloodshot and darting to and fro.

    Archer picked up one of the previously picked arrows and placed it against the bow. He drew back on the horse hair plaited string to half taught and paused. At this point he was dead still his body barely moved as his breath slowed to almost nothing, his vision was sharp and he waited to release. The man stopped and looked over his shoulder down the alley he had just come, Archer took the moment and in one clean movement he pulled to full strength and released the arrow. Time almost paused as the arrow sailed through the air and landed true, right through the man’s heart; he was dead before he even hit the ground. Archer let out a prolonged breath as his heart rate and vision returned to normal. He took out his dagger and carved his signature into the concrete roof before standing, bow at his side. With his right hand he adjusted his aviators and he watched as a man and a woman walked out of the alley, they walked up to the dead man’s body and picked up the suitcase. Just before they walked away the woman pulled the arrow out and tucked it into her jacket.

    Archer smiled as he slung his bow over his back and put the spare arrow carefully back into his quiver. As he strode to the building staircase he flicked the collar of his jacket up and pulled a piece of gum from one of the many internal pockets.
     
  10. Keitsumah
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    Keitsumah The Dream-Walker Contributor

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    Talahari and Hugo

    "Looks like I did." Talahari responded, "And it's your bad luck that you decided to rob a shop when i was around. Now, quit squirming, I'm not about to drop you." she said, tightening her grip on him just as a shock of magic stunned her. Gasping, she pumped her wings maddly, just managing to stay in mid-air as she watched a dark blur shoot off towards the horizon.

    Death . . . oh no. Not them! Tala cursed loudly. Death had just stolen Raph's sword, now what could she do?

    "Guess you're going to be with me for a while longer, kid." she groaned, swerving and using her magic to shoot across the sky at top speed towards the castle.

    Talahari's sudden drop did nothing to stop Hugo from squirming. Panicked, he clinged to Talahari with one arm, he forced his other hand onto his pocket. He couldn't lose the few treasures he had stored in there to the wind. They rocketed towards a castle, Hugo wondered what on earth was happening, but the roaring air bottled up in his throat, preventing any words from coming out. His eyes watered as they soared through the air, his hair lashed like whips after him. A wave of cold rushed through his stomach, up to his chest as they began to descend. The closer they came, the more confident Hugo was that they would crash into the brickwork. To his own suprise, he kept on looking as the castle became bigger and bigger...

    Tala pulled up at the last second on the balcony, swinging the boy up and over her shoulder like a bag of flour. Something slipped out of his pocket, and she caught it just before it could get away.

    Eyeing the strange metal bauble, her eyebrow quirked before she handed it back to him. His heart hammered loudly against her shoulder, and for some odd reason she got the sense that that object meant more than life to him. Well, so long as he didn't struggle-

    "Talahari!" the booming voice had her stopping in her tracks as Raphael came forward. "Did you find it? Was this the culprit?" A dangerous glint came into the Seraph's eyes when he looked at the boy, but Talahari gave him a quick shake of her head and a small bow.

    "No, My Leige; just a project I've been working on." she said quickly. "I fear that I was not able to retrieve your sword. It was in Death's hands last i saw it. They must plan on making a game with it between us and the demons, like the time with Lilith's amulet."

    Raph cursed, clenching his fists as magic filled the room, oppressive in weight. Talahari was careful to remain still, but she could not deny the small nugget of fear in her heart that arose. If he ever turned that rage on her, the results would be disastrous. "M-my Lord. I will do everything in my power to get it back for you, i promise!"

    "You better -now go get it before anything else happens! I need that sword back!" Raphael snarled, and Talahari fled before he could think of attacking her. Wings beating swift and hard, she was panting heavily by the time she landed back at the shop. Letting go of the boy, she braced her hands against her knees, gulping for air. "Now . . . what . . . were you doing?" she gasped, glaring at him. So much trouble -why had she even bothered?
     
  11. Macaberz
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    Hugo Millery

    Hugo looked as if he'd just seen a carpet fly. He'd had seen the seraph, the actual seraph, not even in his wildest fever dreams had he been that close to Raphael. He knew what this Talahari was looking for, a sword. The sword of the seraph. He couldn't imagine a more rare and precious object than that, it had to be of great value, even to the almighty seraph. Hugo had seen the bewilderment in Raphael's eyes, Hugo knew that look all too well. When the wind had almost taken one of his treasures he'd felt exactly the same. The idea of losing something so valuable and being unable to retrieve it horrified him.

    "Now . . . what . . . were you doing?"

    Hugo hardly noticed they'd landed. He glanced around. Why had she taken him back to the shop? Was this some kind of trick? He narrowed his eyes and examined Talahari. She looked small for an angel, but she was still much taller than him. Then, he noticed she was holding the postcard from his father in her hand. He scuffed his feet and lunged forward, attempting to snatch his most valuable treasure from Talahar's hands. "Give that back!"
     
  12. Keitsumah
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    Keitsumah The Dream-Walker Contributor

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    Talahari danced away from him, holding up the card out of reach. With a quick glance she absorbed the picture of some kind of key, along with a man's signature. Was the kid trying to make that key?

    "Answer me: why were you stealing?" she snapped.
     
  13. Macaberz
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    "Answer me: why were you stealing?" she snapped.

    Hugo's lips pursed into slanted defiance. He evaded Talahari's prying red eyes and stared at his feet. He couldn't resist glancing up at his postcard every now and then, as if he feared it would evaporate if he were to take his eyes off it. The silence eventually weighed him down. He crossed his arms. "I didn't steal anything," he said bitterly. His blue eyes fixed on his treasure.
     
  14. Keitsumah
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    Keitsumah The Dream-Walker Contributor

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    Talahari sighed and gave the child back his card, a pained look crossing her usually blank face.

    "Come back here!" a man yelled, and Tala grunted as she took off, evading a thrown can and board as she clutched a stale loaf of bread, pain lancing through her back. She hadn't managed to avoid the falling pile of the man's wares, but she was getting away. Free, alive for another day . . .

    Just another day . . .


    She'd had to survive the same way that he had when she was younger, so she couldn't exactly blame him. "Forget it. Just take this and go. I have other issues to attend to." Like getting back that sword. she thought glumly. Now of all tasks she had ever been given, this one was likely impossible to do alone. How would she manage to get it back from Death and the Four Horsemen? Gritting her teeth as she resisted the urge to clench her fists, Talahari stalked away, aiming to try and find some means of help somewhere else. There were always fools wanting to do quests somewhere, she just needed to announce it at the courtyard.
     
  15. Macaberz
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    "Forget it. Just take this and go. I have other issues to attend to."

    Hugo examined the postcard and carefully put it back in his pocket. He didn't notice the pained, dreamy look of Talahari, but he was thankful that she had returned him his treasure. He wondered why she had went through all the trouble of catching him only to let him get away now, it didn't make much sense. Unless something he had said had changed her mind, but he doubted it, he hadn't said much after all. For a moment he considered to just disappear in the city, or what was left of it. But something held him back. He could almost hear his mother demand him to have some manners. He swallowed down a gulp and stared at his feet. "Thank..." he lifted his eyes to look at Talahari, "thank you." A sigh escaped his mouth. Besides all the destruction that war caused, it also made giving thanks a most rare event. He turned his back on her, ready to sprint away, but curiosity got the better of him. He spinned on his heel and asked in a soft voice, "why are you helping me?"
     
  16. Keitsumah
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    Tala paused, and for a moment she felt heat crawl up her neck and into her face. Was she embarrassed? Embarrassed to admit that she too, had been like him whens he was younger? No. It showed that one could rise into power no matter where they came from.

    "'Cuz I used to be like you." she said carefully, looking at him through the corner of her eye. "But fate was kind to me. Raphael took a notice in my skills before i was to be beheaded, and decided to keep me alive." a faint smile touched her lips. Yes, Raphael was fearsome, but he had his good points.

    "Maybe one day you could end up in a better position."
     
  17. Macaberz
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    "Maybe one day you could end up in a better position."

    Hugo was suprised to hear kindness in Talahari's voice. The angels had been nothing like he'd imagined them to be, save for the wings. They were clever creatures, but vicious, they might be just, but they were also stern. Mercy from an angel was highly unusual, even more so in war in which no one could be trusted. "Maybe," muttered Hugo. Then he turned around and began to sprint away. For a moment he considered heading back into the shop, but he couldn't afford the risk. Empty-handed, he began to head back towards his hideout. He'd constructed a makeshift room for himself in a crumbling building, near the edge of the city. He had a bed there, and a drawer full with useful scraps of metal, tools and other curiosities. Hugo glanced at the sky, twilight was beginning to fall upon him. The air was clogged with thickening, grey clouds, and Hugo suspected a thunderstorm would follow. He doubled his pace, and hurried home, hoping he would be able to escape the tears of the sky.
     
  18. Keitsumah
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    Keitsumah The Dream-Walker Contributor

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    Lilith

    The Queen stood impatiently at her podium, long claws leaving thin red welts across her skin as she tapped her forearm. Tail twitching until the Nephillim finally finished messing with her hair and tied it into a strangled queue, Lilith turned to face the demon horde. The mixture of tangled horns, claws, and glowing eyes would strike fear into any mortal, but she only felt a grim pride in her warriors. They fought to the death, every last one of them.

    Even the ones who don't want to. She thought with a dark chuckle, a smirk tugging at the side of her mouth. Well, it's time to reinforce that belief that they will never escape me. That they will fight because they can only live if they do. Spreading arms and wings wide in an almost-welcoming gesture, Lilith allowed a sharp-fanged smile to grace her features. "What are we?" she cried.

    "Legion!" came the reply; over a thousand voices strong.

    "What do we do?"

    "Destroy!" there was a note of pride in that word from every demon, for the rush of power from each foe laid low was intoxicating. Inescapable. One could not flee from the blood that ran through their veins, and now, with the Bands of Binding that Lilith had created, every demon would bathe in the blood of their enemies, or fall as they should. Weaklings did not deserve to live.

    Bringing her arms down, the roaring of her army cut off instantly. Utter control. Utter, and complete. Nothing could escape her grasp. Nothing could resist them for long-

    CRACK!

    Shouts and curses alike assaulted Lilith's ears as a dark streak took form just in front of her. Flicking her tail to one side, eyes narrowing, the Queen crossed her arms and glared at Death.

    "You do realize i was in the middle of a rally, don't you?" she snapped.
     
  19. Shandeh
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    Nyxx
    It was a rather tight space for a demon. Even for a small demon. Perfect. The young demon struggled through the narrow opening, grunting at the pain when he caught his fragile wing membrane on a nail, and then settled himself down. Someone lived in here; there was a bed roll and the scent of young male human hung in the air. But Nyxx could rest here a while. He would be safe, for just an hour or two.

    This far inside angel territory, it was always risky to take a break. If someone saw him and raised the alarm, he would be swarmed in an instant, and though he was strong, even for a demon, he could not hope to hold off an entire army of angels. Hell, one Nephil on its own would be enough to take a lone demon out. And if he was extremely unlucky and was seen by a Seraph... or even worse, the High Seraph, the one who spoke for the Order of Seraphim... Hell was a happier prospect than that.

    Nyxx grunted again and pulled his injured wing around in front of him so he could clean and dress the wound. It was incredibly useful having a prehensile tail, he thought, using the tail and one hand to stretch the wing out and his free hand to do the job of making sure the rusty nail didn't give him an infection. Dark magic did not take well to healing, so unfortunately it was going to have to heal the long way. Damn angels could heal themselves quickly and easily using their brand of magic, but that which Nyxx and his species used was too black. Too infernal. It could be used to restore the body, but that was exhausting and took a lot more skill than Nyxx had had time to learn. He finished with the cleaning quickly, then had to stand on his wing - being very careful he didn't cut it with his toe-claws - because it took two hands to be able to dress a wing wound.

    He was just finishing off dressing the wound when a scent met his nostrils. His eyes locked on the doorway. He stepped back, off his wing, and drew his massive axe. The young human who slept here was back. Carrying the sweet stench of angel.

    Death
    Death regarded Lilith with a disdainful sneer and stayed atop her spectral horse. For anyone else, the Horseman might have dismounted, but damned if she was going to show that bitch respect when the demon refused to show her any.

    An illusion of Raphael's Seraph blade materialized in her hand. "I've something that belongs to your enemy. I will hand it to any sentient being, be they human, Nephilim, angel, or demon, who proves themselves worthy. Do not think to take it from me by force - oh, no. Invoking my true form would be most unwise. I could lay waste to both armies in a heartbeat, if either were foolish enough to attempt to kill Death."

    Without waiting for a response, she spurred the horse. It reared, and together, Death and her steed vanished.

    She re-materialized beside Famine. 'Well, sister. Now we ride for the old human mansion, set a few beginning challenges, and wait.'
     
  20. Keitsumah
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    Lilith hissed, both with despise and shock as she set eyes on the Seraph blade. So death wanted to play a little game huh . . .?

    Well, she would just have to awaken the one being she trusted most with a powerful prize like that. Even if he would try to destroy the world in the process...

    I'll just have to put an extra brand on him. she thought, and a grin spread across her face as she waved her clawed hand, dispersing the meeting. There was no use announcing anything now that Death had revealed the Seraph blade right in front of her army. They would know what was up.

    Heading down the hall, she caressed the dagger at her hip lovingly, dark magic oozing off of the blade. Yes, she would enjoy bringing the draogn to his knees . . .
     
  21. Macaberz
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    Hugo Millery

    Hugo strolled into his hideout, he opened the nearly-unhinged door without a whisper. A sigh escaped his mouth, he had made it through the city unscathed and still had some food saved up. It had been a very good idea to keep some rations stashed away, he didn't even want to consider what it would be like to search for a meal during a thunderstorm. The creaked and fell back into the lock. An old married couple had lived here once, if he'd judged the pictures he'd found in a drawer right. Sometimes he wondered what had become of the gently-smiling people in the dusty frames. The house was small and built out of simple materials, but that was why he liked it. It was well hidden, stuffed away in a back alley, far out of sight. Then there was the balcony, from which he could hop onto another roof and climb his way onto a high-point and overlook the city without coming much into view himself. yes, this was home. He walked up the stairs of the abandoned house, it was already dark inside, but still light enough to make out the dusted paintings on the wall and the cracked vase with dead flowers. He stepped around the corner, into his room.

    A gasp escaped his mouth, he backed off, his spine smashing against a cabinet shattering some off it's contents in the process. He wasn't alone. There was a demon in his room. Its tail larger than the boa constrictor he'd seen at the zoo, before the war. His claws like daggers, shimmering in the fading sunlight. First an angel had crossed his way, now a demon. Whatever concern he had felt when Talahari had caught him was quadrupled at the sight of the demon. Hugo's eyes were wide with fear, the stories he had heard did not give him comfort. Demons didn't just kill, they ripped and shredded, some people even said they skinned their enemies alive then cooked them and feasted on the burnt flesh.
     
  22. Shandeh
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    Nyxx
    The human child was afraid. Good.

    "How did you come to reek of angel?" Nyxx snarled, tusks mangling the words a little. He hadn't yet learned to speak around them properly. They were too new. "You will tell me, human!"

    He put his axe away across his back. This human was no threat. Even if it tried to raise the alarm, he could kill it swiftly and silently. His natural weapons were more than sufficient against a soft, small creature like this. Comparatively swift though it may be, it was weak. And it could not use magic. Nyxx swung his head north. He was supposed to be there, at Her Blackhearted Majesty's palace, being addressed along with the rest of the army. And something had angered the Queen. The Band around his neck told him that. Damnable thing. If he could only figure out how to get it off... He did not want to obey Lilith. He despised his kin. Fighting for the good of other demons? What a horrid thought.

    The Band rewarded him for his thoughts with a powerful, painful jolt of magic. His whole body jerked as his punishment crackled over his skin.

    "Ragh!" he roared, clawing at his neck, paying no heed to the sweet agony as he cut deep gouges into his own flesh. Any injury that occurred near the Band of Binding healed instantly. He had tested this many times. The knowledge only made him want it gone all the more. Lilith's magic, stuck to him, punishing him for any treasonous thoughts and forcing him to carry out her will... and no matter what he did, there was no way out.
     
  23. Macaberz
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    "How did you come to reek of angel?"

    Hugo cowered even further against the cabinet at hearing the thunderous, guttural voice of the demon. His legs felt wonky and he only barely managed to remain on his feet. He was about to answer the demon when it cringed, then roared. It was in pain. Even through the thick, crocodile-like skin Hugo could see the throbbing of the creature's veins, its faltering breath, and then there was the roar. Hugo contemplated to run away, but his mind piled with reasons not to do so, in spite of his fear. The demon was wounded, it was far away from the demonic host and most likely alone. Besides, nothing would ensure his death more than attempting to flee and fail. Hugo flared his nostrils, his eyes darted over the demon. He tried to look brave, wasn't that how you were supposed to deal with with animals? Pretend to be stronger and braver than you really were? Hugo hoped so as he mustered the courage to speak. He filled his lungs with air, tried to calm his pounding heart and exhaled. "Are you hurt?"
     
  24. Shandeh
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    Nyxx
    Another jolt of magic crackled across his body - every inch of his armored skin flickered with magic that looked like lightning. Nyxx jerked again, a violent twitch that sent him to his knees; his tail broke one of the legs of the bed. He hooked his claws in underneath the Band, ignoring the agony it caused him to maim his own body like that, and tugged uselessly on it.

    "Get it off," he hissed. He pulled his claws free again. They dripped black blood onto the floor. Panting, he dropped forward, onto all fours. His wings hung limply, covering almost the full floor area of the room. "Get. It. OFF! I don't want her in my head. Get her out of my head! Always in my head. Obey, obey, obey! Reading my thoughts, punishing me for bad thoughts. Using her magic to make me obey." Nyxx let out a sound that was between a growl and a keen. The demon equivalent of a moan, if the humans he had dealt with so far were anything to go by. It seemed to get the same message across. He hung his head. The tips of his horns just about touched the floor.

    Then, before the human could do anything, he lifted one wing, rolled his hips to the side, and sat, straightening his back. All fours was a very compromised position in which he could use only his tail as a weapon, and maybe his wings. Sitting up he had use of all his natural weapons if he needed them.
     
  25. Macaberz
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    Hugo Millery

    Hugo was perplexed by what he saw. The demon howled and moaned in pain. Terrified, Hugo began to shuffle to the left, towards the door. His back was glued to the wall, his eyes fixed on the demon. The creature seemed much too distracted to even notice him get away. It roared a slur of words, somehow the band that was wrapped around his neck caused him great pain. Pity flashed through Hugo at the sight of the wounded creature, but he subdued the feeling and focused on his escape.

    If only he could make it to the balcony, then he could hop onto some roofs and get to his outpost. He could spend the night there and wait for the demon to leave. He flinched when it wrecked his bed, despite everything, this room still felt like home, a home that was now being demolished. Then the creature sat up, Hugo was just inches away from the door, inches away from an escape, he swallowed down a gulp as he froze to the spot once again. For a moment his wavering breath was all he could hear, he didn't even dare look in the direction of the demon. Hugo squeezed his eyes shut and dug deep into his being, desperately searching for a few scraps of courage. Then, he looked up at the creature, his eyes blazing with determination. Determination to survive, no matter what.

    "I am Hugo," he breathed, "Hugo Millery." He didn't even really know why he was telling the creature his name. All he knew was that he could not stand the silence, and it was a safe thing to say. At least he knows who he's killing, Hugo thought bitterly.
     

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